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Archive for May, 2008

Temptations

My whole body is itching. I can feel it all the way from my fingertips to the back of my legs. I want to hurt Jaakko. I want to make him cry. I want to punch him down verbally. I want him to lie in a heap on the floor begging for mercy.

And the worse thing is that I feel I could accomplish all this. I’m that good. No-one I know is as good at hurting people, using only their mouth, as I am. (And I’m not talking about biting, although I could be quite good at that as well.) Few are those that have met my wrath but they have all ended up in tears. Oh, I’ll use everything against you – even the things you thought positive about yourself.

Because I know what I’m capable of, it’s even harder to resist the temptation. I don’t want to be the bigger person. I want to be the very tiny angry person that takes the other, bigger one, by the hair and drags him along a rocky path until he is bleeding from every pore of his body.

And then yesterday, I read my morning chapter of Stinissen’s “Today is the day God made” and it said:

Be honest to your true self. People carry both darkness and light inside of them. We can choose which one we identify ourselves with. If we choose goodness and light, we choose to be the image of God that we were created to be. But if we choose the darkness and follow our every emotion we betray our true self. To be true to the real you, to be the person you are meant to be, you have to embrace the divine side of your life and not follow every whim and feeling that comes along.

Well, at least it’s something to consider…

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Eurovision #2

Today I had some time to talk to my colleagues about the Eurovision song contest and as I suspected they had not understood Björn Gustafsson at all. Well, they had had a hard time understanding Perelli as well: “why did she have that eye-makeup?”, “why did she have the same dress as the Ukrainian girl?” – and so on. And I had a good laugh at the selfobsessed Swedes – yet again.

But, as we got to experience at our Scanfly meeting in Estonia this week, not all Swedes enjoy watching the Eurovision contest. We Finns were sitting quite alone in front of a very big TV watching the first semi-finals. The Swedes only stopped by occasionally and did not have half the fun critiquing the singers as we had. The next morning we all concluded that they seem to have no sense of humour at all! (Or was it that the Finns had had a couple of more beers than their Nordic neighbors…)  

Here we are enjoying our selves:

Jenni, Jaakko and Jukka having fun

Riitta and Mari equally so

 

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I came to talk to a Muslim this week. He was from Iran and, as he explained, therefore not a Muslim by choice. He seemed more inclined to follow the country’s traditional sun-worshipping, where the three ground rules were; do good, speak good and think good.

When he had finished talking about his admiration of the old religions we came to touch upon the subject of Christianity. Participating in this conversation were also a Mexican and a French-Swede. Even if you are in a heterogeneous group like this you find yourself defending your religion for the same basic reasons as always, the biggest one being how intolerant everyone seem to find Christians.

Three things that are common to hear:

  1. Isn’t it enough just to do good? This should be the main goal of all religions. (meaning: who your God is should not matter that much)
  2. Christians believe that they are the only ones going to heaven – all others will burn in hell forever. (meaning: how can you believe in a loving God?)
  3. Doesn’t both Christianity and Islam stem from the same Jewish believes? If they have the same God, why do we separate them into three distinct religions? (meaning: why are you guys always fighting?)

Unfortunately I have a tendency to get very upset and agitated when I defend something I believe in. This does nothing for my cause, or it rather has the opposite effect where people start looking for ways to get out of the conversation before I can take an axe and chop their heads off…

So I thought I’d defend by believes here on line, so that I wont start screaming at someone. Although I highly doubt that anyone not Christian would agree with my believes.

I feel that many think that Christians try and even have to be perfect. So far so good, because other religions too, like the sun-religion, have rules that say that humans should act in kindness towards each other. The main difference here is that people seem to believe that if you, as a Christian, fail to do good – you sin – you get thrown into the burning flames of hell. Our God seems to be a god who is ever watching us, His eyes glaring with contempt and Him saying to his creation: Repent, or else!

Well I must admit that a lot of it is true, but as so many things in this world the message has gone through some bad telephone lines ending up scrambled into something quite different than it was first intended to be.

My belief is this: Our God is a loving god who, when looking at His creation, says: “Look at me, turn back to me. This is the way for you to be the happiest, to live to your fullest.” But we do not seek Him or try to hear His will in our lives. We even go so far as to say that we do not belive He even exists. Our sin is in this; we do not follow His will.

Then God sends His son to earth. Jesus is not just any guy – he is God. God is one in three parts: God, Jesus and the Hole Spirit. Muslims are very good at sounding tolerant when they say that they believe Jesus was a prophet. But that is not enough. A sacrifice was needed for all the bad things people were doing and would do in the future. All the times they turned away from God. For us to be in the presence of our God for eternity we need to love Him throughout. We need to be saved, to have someone take all the bad things we’ve done and bring them to an eternal death.

Jesus was the sacrifice that took our sins to the grave. He has cleansed us from everything we might have done and will do to hurt God. If we believe in this – we are clean. If we do not – how can we say that we have the right to be in the presence of God. If we do not believe in God, why do we still assume that we have free access to heaven on the day we die??

I believe that hell is a place where God is not. How can someone who has turned his back to God still believe that he will live in His presence for eternity?

I hope I’ve answered the three questions or assumptions that you saw earlier.

  1. To do good in the eyes of God we must follow His will.
  2. To live in His presence forever, we must turn to Him when we are still on this earth and believe that He has taken away all our sinful actions so that we can stand in front of Him without blame when we die.
  3. Jesus is the one who took our sins to the grave and he is God. To believe in God you therefore have to believe in Jesus.

I don’t know if there is someone who is more theologically equipped who could explain this better. If that is the case – please do. Otherwise, I hope I could explain something of what I believe in.

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Just because…

My favourite song of the evening (not the whole song though, couldn’t find a good enough version on YouTube 😦 ):

And just to make it absolutely clear: the wrong song won!! In my opinion Russia should have been disqualified. No-one was voting for the song but for the ever so adorable Plushenko who did his best skating to the tune – which couldn’t have been easy.

Sweden had the most embarrassing evening ever. Not only did France and almost every other country beat them(here all the Finns, including me, are laughing uncontrollably) , but letting Björn Gustafsson give the results of the Swedish votes only made them an even bigger joke. BG is of course lovely, but putting him on TV made it look like Sweden made a private joke in front of all of Europe – in other words, not so much fun if you’re not a Swede. Ha ha, maybe they finally learn the lesson of being too selfobsessed… But here is Björn in all his glory:

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Today I went out for a little walk with the people I know from my time in Viikin kristityt’s Bible study group (or there were only 4 people that I already knew. As it has been four years since I last attended their meetings some new people have joined in). We went to Nuuksio national park that is just a one hour drive from Helsinki city center. There we walked around and looked at all the pretty flowers, lakes and marshes.

I found out that even though there are around 7 different words in Finnish to describe a marsh (to distinguish how wet it is and how it is formed), you can never go wrong if you call a marsh or wetland “suo” in Finnish. An observant person may even notice that this word makes up one part of our nation’s name in Finnish. Even though our country is called Finland internationally, in Finnish it is Suomi – as in “suo”-mi.

I, on the other hand, was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the difference between the different Swedish forms of the word marsh; myr, kärr, mosse osv. So if someone who knows would please give me an answer to which of these that is the most wet I would be very grateful (mainly because it would save me the trouble of looking it up in Wiki 😉 )

Today has been a very informative day indeed, since the guy driving me to the park turned out to be an Adventist. Some of the differences between Adventists and the Pentecostal church: They celebrate Sabbath every Saturday. Then they are not allowed to do anything that can be considered working. For example, they should not be going grocery shopping. But, if they think it’s pleasurable (and not an obligation) to go out running or do some other kind of exercise they are allowed to do so even on Sabbath. It is in any case a personal interpretation of the word “work”.

On Sabbath they go to church. Their sermon starts off with half an hour of Bible study in which all participating in the service can take part. It’s like a big discussion on a specific topic. After this there is a “normal” sermon held by the pastor.

They try to live healthy and many are therefore vegetarians. They abide to the practise of the Old Testament avoiding to eat pork meat, and try in every way to live a pure life. They don’t mind female pastors as the founder of the Adventist movement was a woman. And then I heard something about them washing each others feet, like Jesus did for his disciples, but I didn’t get this confirmed…

Here are some pictures from the five and a half hours we were out walking:

 

The whole gang. From left to right: Johanna, Ella, Risto, Aapo, Tea, Matti, Anne and Elina.

It was a very nice day, even though we got some rain. We took short breaks at each lake and a very very long break for food. In one of the pictures you see Matti and Tea making pancakes in the frying pan they brought with them 🙂

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Review: Waitress

Story: A pie-baking waitress (Keri Russel) gets knocked up by no other than her hated husband. As she is now unable to flee him she falls into the arms of her very married gynecologist. All this accompanied by the most mouthwatering pie-baking and the most lovely music that you could ever imagine. How will it end – watch the movie!!

I’ve only seen Keri Russel in the TV-series Felicity (and of course in all those lovely dresses she’s been wearing to all kinds of events…), so I was not expecting that much from the movie. But she blew me away, completely!

I feel that I have to explain my surprise: Felicity was the worst series ever to be made and produced in more than one season. And it was all because of Keri Russel’s character. She was awful! I cannot pinpoint it, but she made me shiver in a bad way every time I saw her. And as the TV-fanatic I am, I really tried to like it. I even watched a couple of episodes. But to no use. It was awful, dreadful and a pain. The only thing I liked was the hair. I loved the hair. Here is a picture:

                         

She has now returned to her longer curls and with it made this adoring movie. And if you haven’t got the hint yet: I truly recommend that you see it! I even find it better than Enchanted and 27 dresses – the two latest feel good movies I’ve watched.

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This is a three step process that can be done step by step or all at once 🙂

1. Bake two different kinds of bread at the same time. This ultimately makes you eat twice as much bread as you would usually do that day. If you would like to slow down the fattening process you could always try to bake very healthy bread, for example whole-rye or something containing a lot of bran. But I’m telling you right now: you’re just fooling yourself, there is nothing like healthy bread!

2. Bake special French fasting bread. This may sound very healthy but then you should read the following:

  • 4 dl milk
  • 25 g yeast
  • 12 dl flour
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 tsp mixed spices (cardamom, nutmeg, ginger)
  • 1 tsp grinded clove
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 dl sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 240 g raisins
  • 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp milk for glazing

Just mix everything and make them into small buns. Believe me, you want them to be small. But again, I feel I have to warn you: although the buns are small, you will probably end up eating them all sooner or later. And if you think logically this should be quite similar to eating the same quantity of dough made up into bigger buns… Bake for 15 min at 225 degrees Celsius.

3. Buy lemon curd. Lemon curd should preferably be eaten as it is, straight from the jar. But I guess you are a person who thinks this sounds kind of unhealthy (even I consider this too much). That is where the bread come in. You spread a thick thick layer of lemon curd on a piece of bread. In this way you can convince yourself that you get some fibers amongst all those carbohydrates. But don’t be fooled – this only gives you twice as much sugars as you would get if you would only be eating the spreading. AND with the bread you are able to delay the feeling of sickness that comes from eating say 7 tbsp of lemon curd.

That’s it folks. I guarantee an increase of at least 2 kg in one month! Enjoy 🙂

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