Archive for the 'random' Category

24
Sep
09

how god reacts when we reject his gifts

It was one of those key moments in life for this dad and his little girl who were watching a baseball game a few days ago in Philadelphia, United States of America. He catches a foul ball, and the rule is that he can keep it as a souvenir. To baseball fans it’s a big deal to catch a ball used in a Major League Baseball game. And he is celebrating with his friends seated around him before he gives the ball to his three year old daughter who wants to see daddy’s new ball…Watch this video and enjoy the beautiful reaction of this young father to her daughter’s action:

He could’ve yelled at her. He could’ve shown his disappointment. He could’ve rejected her. But he didn’t. He chose to show her that she was much more important than the gift he had just given her that she had rejected unaware of its value.

To me this is a beautiful picture of my relationship to God. He gives me many good gifts every day. And I often don’t use them or throw them away, because I’m unaware of the value of what I have received from my Father.

Many people believe that God is disappointed with them. I used to think so too. Satan had used a line from a song that went like this: “when God looks at me, he sees me with sorrow, always afraid, always running away“. That’s how I viewed God. He was disappointed in me. But God is not disappointed in me, even when I don’t receive, misuse or reject his good and valuable gifts.

I once asked a group of discipleship students from different nations what they thought God would think of them if they fell asleep while reading in their Bibles. Sadly, many answered that God would be disappointed in them that they couldn’t stay awake and scorn them for their weak faith. A Ukrainian man who had only been a Christian for a few months raised his hand and said: “I would imagine that a good father would be happy to have his child fall asleep in his arms. I think God feels the same way”.

God delights in you no matter what you do, say, think or feel!

Zephaniah 3:17: “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs

Blessings, Torben – who hopes that I will respond like the Phillies’ fan dad when I experience this type of key moments with my sons or daughters some day!

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05
Sep
09

Our apartment

I promised the readers of our Danish newsletters that I would post some pictures from our apartment, and since I try to live up to my promises, here they are. IMG_3055

IMG_3058Our very international collection of stuffed animals and other small collectibles. The Greenlandic polar bear is the latest addition.

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We are very, very thankful for our small basement apartment, and you’re very welcome to swing by and see it and us 🙂

Blessings, Torben

30
Jun
09

Kaká – he belongs to Jesus!

On my old blog-site, www.torbenriisjensen.blogspot.com, I wrote this about the Brazilian football (soccer) super star Kaká one and a half year ago: “The world’s best footballer these days, a young Brazilian by the name of Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, or better known as just KAKÁ isn’t just a wonderful football player, he is also a great testimony of Jesus Christ and what Jesus has done in Kaká’s life. After each goal, and there are many, he points to heaven to show who gets all the glory in Kaká’s life, and after each trophy he has won, and he has won many, he shows his t-shirt saying I BELONG TO JESUS!

In fact it seems like the only problem with this wonderful Christian brother, is that he isn’t willing to switch clubs to Real Madrid..! :-)”

Today, that “only problem” has been solved, since Kaká is now a Real Madrid player!! This wonderful football player and ambassador of Christ is now the latest star to join my childhood love of Real Madrid 🙂

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Kaká, who just dazzled the world again during the Confederations Cup where he lead Brazil to victory and was selected as the best player of the tournament, will now be even more in the spotlight than he was used to when he was playing for A.C. Milan. A.C. Milan is a large club, but nowhere near the status and size of Real Madrid.

It’s great that one of the top three footballers in the world these days (the other two being Real Madrid’s Portuguese, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona’s Argentine, Lionel Messi) is so open about his relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s beautiful that he makes such an impact on and off the field that people can’t talk about Kaká without talking about his faith in Jesus Christ as well. I remember seeing a football magazine in Ukraine with a picture of Kaká on the cover and the heading said what Kaká’s t-shirts always say: “I Belong To Jesus“. It’s great that Kaká helps spread the message of life in Jesus Christ this way to millions of people all over the world who wouldn’t normally be interested in “religion”

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It was interesting to see how the Danish newspaper Politiken just yesterday was desperately trying to discredit Kaká, team captain Lúcio and the other believers on the Brazilian national team (see picture above) by trying to make it sound as if they’re part of some mysterious sect as opposed to just being great men who are madly in love with the only Savior and hope of the world, Jesus Christ! The fact that Kaká’s favorite book is the Bible, and that he was a virgin when he married his teenhood sweetheart, Caroline, has always been a thorn in the side of the secular sports media all over the world, but the fact is that it stands as a beautiful testimony of a man fully dedicated to his savior and best friend, Jesus Christ in a world of sports where selfishness, stupidity and sex is what normally sells….

I am looking forward to watching Kaká strut his stuff in the beautiful white jersey, and I will continue to remember to pray for him to stay strong in Christ and not give into the temptations of this world. There is nothing Satan and the secular media would enjoy more than to see Kaká fall one way or another. I am thankful, though, that the one who is in Kaká is stronger than the one, Satan, who is in this world (1. John 4:4)!!

Torben – who is hoping to get a Real Madrid Kaká-jersey for Christmas 🙂

07
May
09

Cute knitted things for sale :-)

When you live on financial support from churches, family members and friends you have to get creative at times if you need a little extra money now and then. My dear wife, Jeannette, is a creative soul, and I thought I would post some pictures of some of the knitted animals and dolls you can buy from her, if you are interested. They all make great little Christmas-, birthday-, baby shower-, whatever gifts, or maybe you just want one or two for your own home/children/office. They are very hard to tear apart proven by the fact that our four year old nephew, Toby, who has three younger brothers still plays with the knitted cowboy Jeannette made him three years ago!

If you are interested in buying any of these knitted friends, just email Jeannette at roselemon7@hotmail.com and tell her what you would like and in what colors.

All prices are valid from June 22, 2009

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These adorable mice are $15 (90 DKK) each 

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The little ducklings are $8 (48 DKK) each img_21501n659430383_6757680_1837220

Elephants – boy or girl – are $15 (90 DKK) each 

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A very creative wedding gift! This frog couple is $25 (150 DKK)

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These well-dressed bunnies are $12 (72 DKK) each

img_2146Mr. Duck with an elegant hat is $10 (60 DKK)

img_03111Shepherd girl, drummer, baker, nurse – each measures around 7 inches (18 cm) excluding the hats- $20 (120 DKK) each

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Another creative and beautiful wedding present – 7 inches (18 cm) tall excluding the hat – this elegant couple with many beautiful details is $45 (270 DKK)

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This clown, who holds a banner with whatever name you want, is $20 (120 DKK) (7 inches/18 cm excl. the hat)

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T-Rex and Bronto are $10 (60 DKK) each

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This cute little dino is $10 (60 DKK)

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Baby doll is $12 (60 DKK)

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Whales are $8 (48 DKK) each

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…and finally this beauty of a doll that comes in whatever colors you want for just $45 (270 DKK). She is 12 inches/29 cm. tall.(Due to many knitting orders at this point, it’s only possible to order this particular doll, which is bigger and takes a lot of time, for delivery in the beginning of 2010).

Jeannette can also knit a number of other dolls and little animals that she has the patterns for. You can tell her what colors you would want them in. At this point we don’t have any pictures of them, but you’re free to discuss design details with Jeannette. The list of other possibilities include: a golden retriever-looking dog chewing on a bone, a black/white panda, a light brown koala bear, a very adorable pig, a Christmas penguin with a hat and a scarf, an autumn harvest mouse and a Christmas mouse (similar design to the mice pictured above), boy or girl frog (regular frogs not in wedding outfits), a graduating owl.

As far as dolls go Jeannette also offers: a fairy doll, a Superman-looking super hero, a chimney sweep (skorstensfejer), a bell hop with champagne and flowers in his hands, a policeman, a fireman, a sailor, and a ballerina. Contact Jeannette to hear about prices for the dolls we don’t have pictures of yet. 

Hope you are interested in any or all (!) of these dolls and little  knitted friends. Just contact Jeannette and place your order, and she’ll start knitting 🙂 

All prices mentioned here are not including shipping – if you need shipping we will ship them, and you pay the shipping charges to whatever country you’re in.

This concludes this somewhat special blog entry!

Blessings, Torben

15
Feb
09

Hala Raúl!!

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As a boy growing up I had my football (soccer) heroes that I followed with great passion. Michael Laudrup was the greatest of them. The Danish magician was a joy to follow whenever he played, even though I admit it was hard to see him play for FC Barcelona for a number of years (!). The Dutch Milan star Ruud Gullit was another hero, and more recently I loved watching Zinédine Zidane play. The only one left of my childhood heroes who is still playing at top level is the Spanish forward Raúl González Blanco, or just Raúl who plays for my favorite club (together with F.C.København, Arsenal FC and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk from Ukraine!) Real Madrid in Spain.

I have always loved watching Raúl play since the very first game he played back when he was only 17 in 1995. In 1995 I watched Denmark play Spain in the qualifications for the European Championship in England in 1996. The game ended 1-1 and wasn’t that memorable in itself. But I still remember that evening in Parken in Copenhagen very clearly, because I spotted that the Spanish under-21-team was watching the game in the same area as I was sitting. Raúl was a part of that team and I went down and got his autograph on my match program. By far the coolest autograph I’ve ever gotten!

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And today, 14 years later, Raúl just scored another brace for Real Madrid and became the highest scoring Real Madrid player in history with 309 goals for the royal whites. He is also the all-time topscorer of the Champions League, of all European club tournaments in general and for the Spanish national team. An amazing achievement by Real Madrid’s captain who has always been the very definition of a gentleman on and outside the football field. He has played more than 600 competitive games for Real Madrid and Spain, and he has never received a red card in his entire career!

I will be sad the day Raúl hangs up his boots, and I guess that will remind me that my childhood days are finally over 🙂

But until that day, and Raúl has said that he will play on for another few seasons, I will enjoy watching him play, lead and score goals for the most successful club in the history of football, Real Madrid!

Hala Real Madrid and Hala Raúl!

Torben – who hopes his faithful blog readers will forgive all these ramblings about a guy that most of you probably don’t know at all 🙂

Here is a video with some of Raúl’s great goals for Real Madrid. Enjoy!

18
Dec
08

Early Christmas present :-)

My beloved F.C.København (Copenhagen), Scandinavia’s best football (soccer) team, gave me and the rest of their fans an early Christmas present tonight with a beautiful, nerve wrecking, and well-deserved 1-0 UEFA Cup victory in Brugge (Bruges) in Belgium against the local team Club Brugge KV. I thought this lovely blog site deserved some pictures from the triumph that secured a spot in the 1/16 finals of the UEFA Cup in the spring for F.C.København where they’ll face newly rich Manchester City from England, a team linked with purchases of several super stars over the winter (I doubt any of them actually want to play for City, but that’s another story)!

Good times! 🙂

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First a picture of the best player and match winner of the game, København’s Brazilian forward, César Santín, in the interesting looking orange jersey (that you can buy right here!). København have managed to play in five different colors of jersey this season alone, but this was their first game in all orange. (I just know there are tons of readers out there dying to know this type of info…. :-))

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And next a couple of pictures of happy København-players after a job very well done!

Merry Christmas, F.C.København!

Torben

04
Jun
08

A trip down memory lane :-)

This weekend the European football Championship will begin in Austria and Switzerland. Unfortunately Denmark has not qualified, so I will be cheering for France and Spain instead of my home country. I just read an article about the European Championship in 1992 where Denmark delivered one of the biggest surprises football has ever seen when this tiny nation of 5,5 million people beat the mighty World Champions Germany (with more than 5,5 million registered footballers..!) in the final on Nya Ullevi in Göteborg, Sweden. 

If you are up for a trip down memory lane, you can read the whole article here, or you can read these extracts from the article and watch some of the highlights from the semifinal and the final of that incredible summer of 1992!

The second semi final saw under dogs Denmark face off against the ridiculously talented defending champions the Netherlands in a battle to face Germany in the final of Euro ’92.

Whilst all the pre-game pundits predicted a second consecutive final appearance for the Netherlands, as soon as the game started the Dutch seemed strangely muted with Denmark dictating the pace of the game from the opening whistle.

This poor start was punished by the Danes in the fifth minute when the excellent Brian Laudrup found Henrik Larsen, who headed Denmark in to a 1-0 lead.

The Netherlands were to break out of this stupor in typical fashion in the 23rd minute with Dennis Bergkamp scoring a beautifully crafted goal after tremendous work from Frank Rijkaard.

However, the Danes reacted to this set back in the most positive way possible as they seized the initiative once again from the Dutch, with Larsen proving to be the goal scoring hero for the second time as his neat shot from outside of the penalty area put Denmark 2-1 ahead.

From here on in Denmark continued to be the better team, as they continued to restrict the Netherlands of any of the possession and chances that could have seen the Oranje dominate their supposedly inferior opponents.

As such, Frank Rijkaard’s late equaliser for the Dutch in the 88th minute could have proved to be a killer blow to most teams. Denmark were not however most teams, and their surprising run to the European Championships seemed to galvanise their squad as the game lurched through extra time towards the dreaded penalty shootout.

Here, Peter Schmeichel was to prove to be the hero of the hour as his save from the Netherlands’ second penalty taker Marco van Basten was enough to see Denmark through to the final.

 
The Winners 

Never has a team come from further behind to claim the European Championships than Denmark did for this tournament. The Danes weren’t even supposed to make it to Sweden, as they finished behind Yugoslavia in their qualifying group. However, the tragic events of the war that erupted in the Balkan states in 1991 led to Yugoslavia being banned from Euro ’92, with Denmark being chosen by UEFA to take their place in the finals.  


The Danes’ unlikely road to victory continued in the group stages as they stumbled through to a semi final match up against defending champions the Netherlands after recording a draw against England, a loss against Sweden, and a win against a Jean-Pierre Papin inspired French team. 

In both of their subsequent games against the Netherlands and Germany they were classed as distant outsiders. However, several of Denmark’s players were to leave a significant mark on the tournament. 

Midfielder Henrik Larsen was to finish joint top scorer, Peter Schmeichel’s penalty saving heroics were to set him on the way to being proclaimed as the finest goalkeeper of his generation, whilst Brian Laudrup emerged out of the shadow cast by his absent brother Michael to provide the creative spark that was needed to edge past their more heralded opponents. 

As such, Euro ’92 remains the distinct bright spot in the history of Danish football, whilst also providing a shining example that with hard work and team spirit surprises can happen in the European Championships. 

The Final 

Coming in to this match it seemed a sad fact that the fairytale story of surprise packages Denmark would surely be coming to an end at the hands of the all conquering Germany team that they would face in the Gothenburg final. 

The opening minutes of this game more than reflected the supposed dominance of the German side as first Golden Boot chasing Karlheinz Riedle, then Stefan Reuter and Guido Buchwald all tested the impressive reflexes of goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. 

However, just as it seemed a matter of time before Germany took the lead, a questionable challenge from Danish midfielder Kim Vilfort began a move that was finished in the most surprising of styles by the perennially goal shy John Jensen to give Denmark a 1-0 lead. 

This strike knocked the wind out of the sails of Berti Vogts’ German team, and from here on in the plucky determination and belief that was coursing through the veins of the Danish players shone through as they successfully frustrated their illustrious opponents. 

The excellent performance of the Danish side was further rewarded in the 78th minute as Vilfort was once again in the thick of the action as he drove a low shot past the reach of Bodo Illgner to make the score 2-0, thus sealing Denmark’s name on the Henri Delaunay trophy. 

Denmark – Germany 2 – 0 

26th June 1992, Gothenburg 

Denmark: 3-5-2: Peter Schmeichel – Kent Nielsen, Lars Olsen (Captain), Torben Piechnik –  John Sivebæk (66 mins Claus Christiansen), Kim Vilfort, John Jensen, Henrik Larsen, Kim Christofte – Flemming Povlsen, Brian Laudrup – coach: Richard Møller Nielsen

Germany: 3-5-2: Bodo Illgner – Guido Buchwald, Thomas Helmer, Jürgen Kohler – Stefan Reuter, Thomas Häßler, Matthias Sammer (46 mins Thomas Doll), Stefan Effenberg (80 mins Andreas Thom), Andreas Brehme – Jürgen Klinsmann, Karlheinz Riedle – coach: Berti Vogts

Goals: 1-0 John Jensen (18), 2-0 Kim Vilfort (78) 

This clip is actually better. You just have to fast forward two minutes, then you get to watch all the highlights of the final and all Peter Schmeichel’s saves with an English commentator – I still get goosebumps and I feel like yelling and celebrating watching it here 16 years after it happened….! 🙂

Allez les Bleus! and Vamos Espana!

Torben

 




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