Archive for August, 2009


Cynicism or joy

A choice that I’m often presented with is the choice between cynicism and joy. Growing up and in most of my life I have always had a tendency to be very cynical (‘honesty’ I used to call it…), negative (‘realistic’ was my term for that…) and sarcastic (‘having a sense of humor’ in my words…). Cynicism, negativity, sarcasm, fault-finding are all different words that have to do with judgment. Judgment of God as being incompetent and not living up to my expectations, so I decide that he is a liar with his lofty promises (“abundant life?….yeah right!”) and I choose to live a life as a believer where I profess to be a Christian, but spend the vast majority of my energy judging other people for their mistakes and hating God for not giving me what I want. I also judge other people and deem them not worthy of my time and energy. Soft, good-hearted, forgiving people are seen as weak and pathetic, and it becomes very hard for me to relate to a God of compassion, grace and relentless love.

I am a cynic in healing. Some Christians I have met say that “it’s just natural for me to be more negative and cynical than other people“. That’s simply not true. It’s a lie. There is simply no way that it’s ‘natural’ for a born again child of God with the Holy Spirit living inside of him or her to be cynical, harsh, negative and judgmental. It’s flesh. It’s ugly. It needs to be recognized, confessed and exposed and put in its right place under Jesus’ leadership.

I am a cynic in healing. I have spent much time in my life finding faults. I have often found myself belonging to the large group of Christians who just never seem to find a church that fits them. There is always something that they don’t like. The other people never live up to their expectations. They think they are spiritually mature and have the gift of discernment because they can see that no churches are perfect. The problem is that we all know that no churches are perfect. It’s truly stating the obvious! But the tragedy is that these people, these cynical Christians, either just sit miserable in their bitterness and self-righteousness in the seats of whatever church or they conclude that church is a waste of time altogether and find themselves church-less, and often after a short while life-less as well. It’s a slow fade, but I’ve seen it happen for too many people I hold dear, and I thank God that he stopped me in my tracks when I was going down that well-worn path. And I thank him that he is healing me for the cynicism and negativity that used to control my life all the time.

It doesn’t mean that I’m not able to find faults anymore. Trust me, I’m great at that. I can find faults anywhere. But I don’t have to entertain that thought, invite it in for dinner and invite other people to share that discovery with me. I can say to God that I don’t want to live in darkness, and he will gradually show me more and more what it looks like to live as a child of the light.


Grace-healed eyes

I was very challenged by the following sections from The Return Of The Prodigal Son. It speaks volumes to me and challenges me to continue down the path of healing with Christ where he changes me from a son of cynicism to a child of joy, just the same way he changed the Apostle John from a son of thunder who wanted to call fire down on unrepentant people (Luke 9:51-55) to the apostle of love who couldn’t stop celebrating Christ’s love for him and named himself  ‘the disciple Jesus loved’ (John 20:2) when he wrote his gospel.

“The father of the prodigal son gives himself totally to the joy that his returning son brings him. I have to learn from that. I have to learn to ‘steal’ all the real joy there is to steal and lift it up for others to see. Yes, I know that not everybody has been converted yet, that there is not yet peace everywhere, that all pain has not yet been taken away, but still, I see people turning and returning home; I hear voices that pray; I notice moments of forgiveness, and I witness many signs of hope. I don’t have to wait until all is well, but I can celebrate every little hint the Kingdom that is at hand.

This is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when there is much darkness to frighten me, choosing for life even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for the truth even when I am surrounded with lies. I am tempted to be so impressed by the obvious sadness of the human condition that I no longer claim the joy manifesting itself in many small but very real ways. The reward of choosing joy is joy itself. There is so much rejection, pain, and woundedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration,. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to fertile soil for more joy.

Surely I will be called naive, unrealistic, and sentimental, and I will be accused of ignoring the ‘real’ problems, the structural evils that underlie much of human misery. But God rejoices when one repentant sinner returns. Statistically that is not very interesting. But for God, numbers never seem to matter. Who knows whether the world is kept from destruction because of one, two or three people who have continued to pray when the rest of humanity has lost hope and dissipated itself?” (The Return Of The Prodigal Son, pages 115-116).

A few years ago I would have been in the large group calling Nouwen and people like him ‘naive, unrealistic, sentimental and ignorant’, but they are not. The more I get, what Philip Yancey in his masterpiece What’s So Amazing About Grace, called grace-healed eyes, the more I see that I am called to be like Nouwen and the other naive dreamers. I am also called as a child of the light to point to the light in the world when it’s visible. I’m not called to be ignorant about the real problems that are in this world. And I doubt that will ever be a temptation for me to not be aware of the real problems that are going on. But being aware of the problems and talking a lot about them, doesn’t do much to solve them. I have spent a lot of useless time dwelling of the problems in the world, and the problems in the church, instead of being a part of the minority that is always active in loving people and bringing forth life and light where darkness, bitterness and mediocrity rule.


Darkness/light, cynicism/joy

I will give the scene to Henri Nouwen again in these two segments where he contrasts people of cynicism with people of joy. I recognize myself very well in the cynical people, but thank God (!!) I’m beginning to see more and more of the simple joy in my life. And joy, not cynicism, is after all, one of the fruits of the Spirit living his life in and through me.

For me it is amazing to experience daily the radical difference between cynicism and joy. Cynics seek darkness wherever they go. They point always to approaching dangers, impure motives, and hidden schemes. They call trust naive, care romantic, and forgiveness sentimental. They sneer at enthusiasm, ridicule spiritual fervor, and despise charismatic behavior. They consider themselves realists who see reality for what it truly is and who are not deceived by ‘escapist emotions’. But in belittling God’s joy, their darkness calls forth more darkness.

People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God. They discover that there are people who heal others’ wounds, forgive each others’ offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of the full manifestation of God’s glory” (The Return Of The Prodigal Son, page 117)

These are powerful words indeed. They expose the darkness that’s still inside of me. They expose how often I’m tempted to look at the dark instead of the bright colors of life. They expose that I often find it easier, more comfortable and even more spiritual (!) to criticize instead of encourage.

Paul urged the Ephesian church to: “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Real truth is always filled with love. And real love is always filled with truth. This is not a call to blindness, stupidity, a childish outlook on life or anything like that. We are called to be aware. Be aware of both the good, the bad and the ugly. But in this day and age where most people are focusing on everything that doesn’t work in and outside of the church or in their own lives, the calling to celebrate the light is even stronger than ever before. I rarely have any problems speaking what I believe is the truth. But if it’s not spoken in love, it’s worth nothing (1. Corinthians 13), and I always have to ask myself a key question: “will what I am about to say build up relationships or break down relationships?‘. If it will break down relationships, it is probably better to stay quiet, but if it will build up relationships, I am free to speak what’s on my heart and trust that God put it there.

Here is the song A Place Called Grace. The place that we can all run to no matter how caught up in cynicism and resentment we may be. It’s a place where God starts to melt the iceberg that is around our true selves and we get to experience that God’s forgiveness and mercy changes us slowly from within

Blessings, Torben – who is glad that it’s God doing the changing of focus! It’s not about me tricking myself into seeing more of the light in this world. I simply see it the more I see Christ – who is the light of the world – in my life!


Gratitude or resentment

As I already mentioned Henri Nouwen’s book The Return of The Prodigal Son has been a great read for me these past weeks. I like to eat this type of deep, spirit- and truth-filled book in small bites with some space in between the meals to properly digest all the beautiful food that is packed into less than 150 pages.

And so I have taken my time reading this book that talks about the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke chapter 15 and the many aspects of life with God that the story, and the painting by Rembrandt portraying this story, point out.

Nouwen discusses many choices in the book. Choices I can make as a child of God. Choices that determine whether I get to live in the joy and peace of Romans 8 and the rest of the New Testament or whether I end up in the misery and mediocrity of Romans 7 and the reality of too many believers today.

Our choices have consequences. If I choose to live in the darkness even though I am a child of the light, I miss out on what God has for me. If I choose bitterness and not brokenness, complaints and resentments instead of gratitude and hatred and unforgiveness in place of love and forgiveness I miss out on a multitudes of gifts that are mine as a child of the king of the kingdom of God.

This passage about choosing gratitude over resentment spoke to me about one of these choices:

Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly. I can choose to listen to the voices that forgive and to look at the faces that smile, even while I still hear the words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred.

There is always the choice between resentment and gratitude because God has appeared in my darkness, urged me to come home, and declared in a voice filled with affection: “You are with me always, and all I have is yours”. Indeed, I can choose to dwell in the darkness in which I stand, point to those who are seemingly better off than I, lament about the many misfortunes that have plagued me in the past, and thereby wrap myself in my resentment. But I don’t have to do this. There is the option to look into the eyes of the One who came out to search for me and see therein that all I am and I have is pure gift calling for gratitude” (The Return of The Prodigal Son, page 86)

I know this choice between gratitude and resentment very well. I have often spend a lot of time in the darkness complaining, whining, arguing, debating…without many positive results! Resentment and bitterness are like bacteria that start small and insignificant, but the more you and I feed them the more space they’ll take up, until we can’t see any beauty and love for all the negativity that occupy our thoughts and feelings. Resentment is also dangerous because it attracts company. You’ll always be able to find people to sit and share your resentment and bitterness with. I never had a hard time finding whining-session-partners, but I have begun seeing more and more how destructive it is for me to be a person of always finding fault and always concluding that God is holding out on me. I have been bitter at God many, many years, and for me it was a huge step to allow myself to forgive God. That may sound absurd, and obviously God, who does not make mistakes, does not need my forgiveness. But I had to go through the painful process of forgiving God for making me that the way he made me, and allowing the things – good, bad, and ugly – to happen to me that have helped me shape me into the person I am today. I had to forgive him in order to come to the place of being able to thank him for everything he has done, is doing and will do in my life! I still have some steps to take with him, before I am at the place of giving him thanks in all situations and under all circumstances. But that’s where we’re heading, God and me. And I trust him to continue to change me with his love and care, so I live a life of gratitude and not a life of resentment and bitterness.

Blessings, Torben


He makes all things new

As you can see I’ve decided to change the look of this blog site. I guess it was about time after a year and a half with the other look. I hope you like it 🙂

I do need something new too. A new look from Christ. A new touch from Christ. A new reminder that he loves me just the way I am. Also when I don’t live up to my own expectations. I thank Christ for his acceptance. I thank him that he understands that I have a hard time accepting his acceptance. I thank him that he continues to accept and love me in new ways. He understands that I need new experiences of who I really am. I need new spiritual touches from him. I need him to spend time with me in a way that works for me. He speaks my love language, and even when I feel that he doesn’t, he surprises me and I see his love for me in a new way.

I thank him that when I feel down and frustrated or maybe just bored he meets me in that place. And he embraces me for who I am.

I thank Jesus for who he is and that he makes all things new. In me. In the world.

Blessings, Torben


Do you want to experience God’s love?

I have been reading a great book by Henri Nouwen called The Return of The Prodigal Son. It’s somewhat of a spiritual classic talking about the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 and especially about the Dutch painter Rembrandt’s interpretation of this story in his painting The Return of The Prodigal Son


One quote stood out in the book that talks the choice we have as believers. We can, like the older son in the story and in the painting, stay in the shadows and pout, be bitter and miss out on most of what God has for his children. Or we can, like the younger son, allow God to embrace us and be changed into the fullness of who we are as his sons and daughters.

The Father’s love does not force itself on the beloved. Although he wants to heal us of all our inner darkness, we are still free to make our own choice to stay in the darkness or to step into the light of God’s love. God is there. God’s light is there. God’s forgiveness is there. God’s boundless love is there. What is so clear is that God is always there, always ready to give and forgive, absolutely independent of our response. God’s love does not depend on our repentance or our inner or outer changes” (page 78)

God truly is a gentleman. He doesn’t force us to live in the reality of who we really are as children of light. We can choose to live in the bitterness and lack of life of the children of darkness. The choice is yours and mine. The invitation is open. God is always there. Always out looking for us. Always ready to forgive and forget and throw a party when we return to him and accept his boundless love for us instead of holding on to our own misperceptions of who God is and who we are as people.

Blessings, Torben


Living as God’s dwelling place

The worship song Better Is One Day was written by Matt Redman quite a few years ago and have been recorded by Redman, Chris Tomlin, Kutless, etc. and has become a fan favorite in a lot of contemporary churches all over the world. This song also made it into the repertoire of the church in Nuuk we visited during our recent trip to Greenland. I shared with the small group that we were gathered with while singing this song a revelation that God showed me a while ago. It’s a wonderful catchy tune and the lyrics of longing after God are powerful. But not true anymore…

The lyrics to the song are taken from Psalm 84 where David cries out to God in this way:

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearn, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (verses 1-2)…Better is one day in your courts that a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked (verse 10)”

David is desperate to spend more time in God’s dwelling place which in Old Testament/Old Covenant days was the Temple of God. The temple that David so desperately desired to build for God so they could spend more time together, but where David had to accept that God had chosen David’s son, Solomon, to be the one who were to build the Temple in Jerusalem. David longed to come in and encounter God and be in God’s dwelling place. God’s dwelling place was a place outside of David. A place he longed to travel to and spend time in. A place that didn’t belong to David, but where he longed to be welcomed as a guest. Even if he just had to stay outside in the courts, David would be excited, because he would know that at least he would be close to the presence of God.

This was David’s reality and it was the reality of all believers in the Old Testament times before the New Covenant was set in effect after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the permanent coming of the Holy Spirit. But this is not the reality of any New Covenant believers, and therefore not the reality of any of God’s children today! We don’t have to travel to Jerusalem or somewhere else to visit God’s dwelling place. We don’t need anybody to intercede on our behalf, because we fear that we are not welcome. We don’t have to be afraid that the Temple will be shut down for us, because we have committed some sin or just don’t have the right heart attitude.

The great news of the New Covenant, of the new agreement between God and his children, is that we are now God’s dwelling place! And that dwelling place sure is lovely!

1. Corinthians 3:16-17 puts this piece of truth this way: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God’s, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are

Wow…I am the dwelling place of God! I am God’s lovely dwelling place! I can rest in that. I don’t have to go anywhere, do anything, wear special clothes, eat special food, attend any fancy ceremonies or anything like that to approach God, because he is already inside of me. And he has declared that the dwelling place of himself is holy, and I’m that dwelling place, and therefore I am holy! I am as holy and righteous and blameless as the Temple in the Old Covenant was. God lives in me, rules in me, encounters me in me. And I can always fellowship with him, because he is right here inside of me.


Stop praying like David!

We have to stop using language from the Old Covenant and talk about it as if that is our reality today. It is not! We are no longer in the Old Covenant. If you want to read through a book that talks about the difference between the Covenants, and why David, Abraham, Moses, etc. would be jealous that they didn’t get to live in the New Covenant days, that you and I experience, go to the book of Hebrews.

We have to stop inviting God to come. He came. He is here. He is in me. You only invite somebody to come who isn’t here. He doesn’t need an invitation. He is already here.

We have to stop praying with David from Psalm 51: “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me“. He will not take his Holy Spirit away from a true believer in the New Covenant. In the Old Testament/Covenant days the Holy Spirit came at different times as a visitor. Today he is here permanently living in each of God’s children. As Paul puts it in 1. Corinthians 6:17 “The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with him“. Not two separate spirits. One spirit. Just one. We are one with Christ and his Spirit will never ever leave us. No matter what we do/think/feel or say he will not leave us. For David there was a real fear that the Holy Spirit would leave him. That fear is not a part of the New Covenant. Let’s appreciate this miracle and stop praying as if we were still a part of the Old Covenant.

Maybe we could change the lyrics to Better Is One Day to something like this:

“How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord almighty. For my soul longs and even faints for you. For within me you encounter me and I’m satisfied in your presence. I sing beneath the shadow of your wings.

Better is one day here with you, better is one day here with you, better is one day here with you than the reality I lived in before I came to know you

One thing I ask, and I would seek to see Your beauty, to find You inside of me and have you reveal Your beauty to me.

Better is one day here with you, better is one day here with you, better is one day here with you than the reality I lived in before I came to know you”

(I’m by no means a great song writer, so if you, dear reader, have a better New Covenant-reality-inspired version of this song, you’re very welcome to post it here!)

Here is a video with the old version of this song 🙂 :

Blessings, Torben


The beauty of admitting needs

There is a simple beauty and simplicity in admitting needs. Babies have no problems admitting that they have needs. Kids are fine expressing needs as well. Most adults, however, struggle to admit that they simply don’t know everything, have everything they need or have everything under control.

Our calling as missionaries living on financial support from churches, friends and family members have forced us to a lifestyle of admitting needs. It’s humbling and frustrating at times, but there is something wonderful about it as well. We have to admit needs. We have to be open to God meeting those needs through various people. We have experienced this countless times these past years. That’s how we got our wonderful little car, Nissan Sentra, that we drive. We admitted a need to our church in Copenhagen, and God found a couple that he asked to be the need-meeters for us. We didn’t know them at all, but they gave us the money for the car and now we pray for them and thank God for them on a regular basis.

Just today we got ourselves a vacuum cleaner. We moved into our basement apartment two months ago and we haven’t had a vacuum cleaner. But today we got one from somebody we know from church’s friend. Quite random, but wonderful. And the beauty of admitting needs is that it gives other people an opportunity to meet those needs. It’s a great cycle where everybody benefits. We were created to give and to receive. It’s a big part of God’s nature that he gives. “God so loved the world that he gave his only son” (John 3:16). God gives, and we receive. God loves to meet his children’s needs through other children of his.

I want to be better at admitting my needs. At times it’s still hard for me to admit that I certainly don’t have it all together. At times it’s still hard for me to admit that I just don’t know. At times it’s still hard to accept that we have to ask people for money to do what God wants us to do. But it is exciting to see the needs met by people around us. It’s exciting to see that people continue to support us and meet all our needs. And it’s comforting to know that whether our need is a vacuum cleaner or something bigger, the God of the Universe will somehow meet our need.

Today at church it was great to see some people asking for prayer and others praying for them. That is a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ in action. We present needs together to God who is the ultimate need-meeter, but we also get to participate in meeting each others’ needs.

Blessings, Torben


Worship the Creator not his creation!

This passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans has been swimming around in my head during our trip to Denmark, Iceland and Greenland. Especially while being in my beloved native country Denmark and during our time in Iceland did I think of the tragedy of the way the majority of people choose to live. I write this blog entry with a heavy heart well-knowing that many people could read this, misunderstand it as me judging other people or putting myself up on some kind of pedestal, while nothing could be farther from the truth. I would be living my life completely the way that I describe in the following lines if it wasn’t for Jesus being at work in me and causing me to walk in his ways which bring life and not my ways or the ways of the world which bring death to me. I am well aware that I am as capable of falling into the depravity and destruction that so many people are in as anybody else. I just pray and trust that Jesus will always be there to lift me up when I fall. And I thank him that it’s with him as the hope for me, individuals and all the nations that I write these words that are on my heart!

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them

(Romans 1:18-32)

Unfortunately this passage written about 2000 years ago describing what was going on in the city of Rome in Italy is directly applicable to what’s going on in the world in 2009. All over the world people are worshiping the created instead of the Creator. All over the world arrogance and pride is the name of the game and not humility, love and surrender to God who is love. But these weeks these verses describe very well what I saw going on in my home country, Denmark and on the beautiful little island of Iceland just south east of Greenland. Denmark is a nation of great Christian heritage. We have had the Gospel of Jesus Christ available to our nation since around the year 700, and especially since the second Danish king, Harald Bluetooth, got baptized and decided that Christianity should be the official religion of Denmark in 950, the Gospel has been freely preached everywhere in the little Scandinavian kingdom. But today more than 1000 years later the Danes have largely forgotten about the God of the Universe! As a nation we have became proud and cold and have decided that everything concerning faith, and relationship with a God we cannot see with our human eyes is ridiculous and for a majority of modern day Danes Christianity is about as relevant for their everyday life as Greek and Roman gods of olden days. Today Christianity is still the official religion of Denmark, but it’s a watered-down version with as much resemblance to the real deal as the brown water of Coke Zero is compared to real Coca-Cola…

I always grieve when I’m in Denmark. “They did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God“, Paul wrote. And that’s true for most of the Danes. They may consider themselves to be the happiest nation on planet earth. But it’s a happiness built around self-sufficiency, selfishness, arrogance and pride. Most Danes feel so embraced by the well-functioning welfare system of Denmark that they have decided that they simply don’t need God anymore. They may do some religious activities now and then (baptism, marriage in a church, confirmation, go to church on holidays, etc.), and 81% of all Danes are still members of the Danish Lutheran State Church, but there is very little spiritual life in the little kingdom. Many Danish Christians (but certainly not all! I am blessed to know a good number of on-fire believers who are still believing in and praying forth great breakthroughs of God’s kingdom in Denmark!!) are also caught in the postmodern cycle of self-sufficiency, cynicism and pride and many of these are simply not believing that God will become important in Denmark again. God has blessed the nation of Denmark so it’s one of the richest nations in the world, but as a nation we are not in a place of worshiping God for his good gifts. Instead we have largely decided to ignore him and everything he is.

Please understand that I write all these things with a heavy heart. I don’t mean to judge anybody. That is – thank God – not my job, but I know that there are terrible consequences for the godless way so many people that I encounter live. I’m grieved by the state of my home country, and I pray and believe that God is doing a new thing even in Denmark. He is setting more and more hearts on fire for him, and God’s kingdom shall not be defeated in Denmark either, but I want to be honest about where this nation is at, so I – and maybe you, dear reader – know how to pray for Denmark.

The contrast between the natural and worshipful beauty of Greenland and the sadness I felt while being in Reykjavik, Iceland where they were celebrating a gay pride weekend was very tangible. As Paul puts it: “they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them“. I am not by any means saying that lived-out homosexuality is a worse sin than any other, but I am saying that the very fact that sin, and lived-out homosexuality is a sin that’s destroying our nations, was being celebrated and encouraged in the streets of the beautiful city of Reykjavik and that little children were handed gay pride flags to wave with was tragic to observe. It grieved me deeply and caused me once again to pray to God for life to spring forth in Iceland. Though surrounded by so many examples of God’s unbelievably beautiful and creative creation, Icelandic people are also incredibly proud people and the truths of God are very hard to proclaim on the little island.

I pray for Denmark, Iceland and the rest of the nations of the world. I pray for a revival where we walk away from the lie that Satan has tricked us into believing. The lie that says that we humans are the center of everything and that we don’t need salvation and life in Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve bought into the lie from Satan in the Garden of Eden, and ever since we have chosen to walk our own ways and not surrender to God’s love for us. I pray that the kingdom of God will break through in new and powerful ways in Denmark and in Iceland. I pray that there will be a day soon where thousands of believers will be filling the streets of Copenhagen and Reykjavik parading through the cities singing worship songs to God and testifying about the freedom, life, love and passion without any hangovers that Jesus has given to them! I pray that more and more people will come to Jesus and be healed of their shame and guilt and may experience the free and easy life that Jesus, as the only one in this entire world is capable of offering.

Blessings, Torben


Greenland – raw, rugged, untamed!

I have been blessed enough to travel to quite a few countries in my lifetime. These last five years I’ve been living as a missionary completely depending on God providing for us through money from churches, friends and family members. And again this summer he has provided generously. Paul writes in 1. Corinthians 1:31: “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” And that’s what I do. Again. I boast in the Lord! I boast in the God of the Universe who has created incredibly beautiful places all over the world and who has given me the privilege of seeing many of them. I boast in the fact that he wanted us to go to Greenland (and Iceland!) this summer just because he wanted us to go….No deeper reason. Just because he loves us. That’s how it felt throughout our trip to Iceland and Greenland. This was – once again – God showing off!

Greenland was a breath taking experience. We were only in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, and in some of the fjords around Nuuk, but during the week we were there we were constantly overwhelmed by the raw, beautiful and untamed nature that we were witnessing. Many cultures came and died trying to conquer the wildness of Greenland, and we couldn’t help but thinking that God created Greenland primarily for his own sake, since only a few percent of the largest island in the world have people on it. I think God just really enjoyed creating and he enjoys watching this majestic, colossal, white island where everything is very extreme.

It’s hard even to explain the unique beauty of Greenland, but untamed is an excellent word. Human beings at large think that we control nature. In Greenland people know that nature cannot be controlled completely. The air is fresh, the view is always majestic even when the unexpected fog rolls in and in minutes covers everything, the water is crystal clear and freezing cold even in the winter, the icebergs are a blue color that we thought only Colgate, Aquafresh or other toothpaste companies could manufacture.

We felt like we ran out of superlatives to describe the beauty of Greenland already before our plane landed, and we ended up saying “wow”, “thank you God”, “that’s so beautiful”, “wow…that truly is awesome” countless times during our stay there. I find it hard to fathom that many people who live in Greenland and many of the tourists who come to visit still refuse to bow their heads in worship to the Creator of all of it. We had to worship again and again. We couldn’t help ourselves. Thank you God! Thanks for your creation! Thanks for your beauty! We worship you for who you are!

Here are a few pictures that we took trying to capture some of the beauty. We weren’t able to catch it, because true beauty can’t be captured and put in a box. It’s untamable by nature.






And here is a worship video with a song that I sang countless times in Greenland:


Blessings, Torben


It truly is unconditional

Who would have thought a few years ago that I would end up preaching and teaching about God’s unconditional love as freely and fervently as I do these days? I used to have a messed up view of God and myself. I thought God was always disappointed in me, and I thought that I was simply “too much” for him and other people to handle, and that was why I lacked close relationship both with my Father in Heaven and with other people. How wonderful it is for me to look back a the last six years in particular and see how God has been at work in my life. And how joyful it is for me to work in the area of discipleship training with God’s worldwide church and share about God’s unconditional love for us and the freedom, peace and joy that is ours to live in if we will surrender to the life giving truths about who God really is and who we as his children are in him!

Just yesterday my wife and I returned from a four week trip to visit my family and friends in Denmark, and to visit the wonderful islands of Iceland and Greenland. I still haven’t processed everything that happened during these past four weeks, but it’s a great joy for me to see that all the things I’m learning about who God really is and who I am in him make a radical, tangible difference when life’s difficulties hit me. I see a difference in the way I react when I’m hurting, when I get disappointed and when I feel like trying to save other people and rescue them to a better and more fulfilling life that may not experience yet, but that I know is real. I see how God has been dealing with me and my Savior Complex. I see how forgiveness, surrender, and letting go of expectations on other people bring freedom and life to me. I see that what I believe is real and makes a difference that other people can see. The difference is called Jesus Christ. I take no credit for the transformation that has happened in my life these last six years since I agreed with God that it was him I was searching for and not some girl who would fill the void I felt inside of me. It’s truly all about who Christ is and how he is working out his salvation in me.

I tried something new when I was in Greenland. It may sound odd, but it was actually the very first time I tried teaching about our life in Christ in Danish! I have taught and preached in English many times these past six years, but it was the very first time I had to teach several hours in my mother tongue. It went pretty well, and it was good for me to see that the truths of God’s Word are just as powerful in Danish as in English 🙂 The first time I taught in the small 45-people church that my friend in Greenland attends, I even had the privilege of being translated into Greenlandic, which is the official and very complicated-sounding language of Greenland.

I taught and talked much about God’s unconditional love during my trip. It truly is what we all need to have revealed to us. It gives such an incredible freedom to be ourselves when we know that we know that we know that we know that nothing we can ever do/say/think/feel or not do/say/think/feel will ever separate us from God’s love when we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior!

I will write much more about what went on in me during these past few weeks. But I thought I would just write this little blurb to get this blog re-started 🙂

Blessings, Torben

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