Archive for the 'smile' Category


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! 🙂


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…. :-))


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

Merry Christmas, F.C.København!



Something to be thankful for :-)



What a miss….

I’ve just started playing football (soccer that is) at amateur level for a local team, Hammer Heads, here in the Marietta, Georgia area. We’ve had big problems playing with a full team, but my dream is that one day we’ll actually be 11 players on our team at the same time… 🙂

I’ve played football my whole life pretty much since I could walk, and I’ve missed some fairly big chances in random games, but I’m not quite sure I’ve missed one like the one Chris Iwelumo missed today on his international debut for Scotland in a World Cup qualification game against Norway….Anybody who has ever played will feel with Chris Iwelumo after this one…And the game ended 0-0:

Torben 🙂


Counseling tip: “STOP IT!!” :-)

I’m in the process of learning about identity in Christ/exchanged life counseling and coaching, and let’s just say that the methods we’re learning are 100% different from the ones shown in this wonderful skit………..but it sure is funny!! 🙂



Three wonderful years

It’s been a full three years since Jeannette and I said “I DO!!” to each other on a very hot summer day in Garden City, Georgia! Three wonderful years with my precious wife. I won’t embarrass her too much, so I won’t write too much about her, but I want to mention how special she is to me. It’s a privilege and a joy to spend every day with her. We thought we knew each other really well three years, and to some extent we did, but today we know each other even better, because of the choices we’ve made. We have allowed each other to see and know both the good, the bad, and the really ugly. We are journeying together getting to know God and ourselves better. And what a fascinating journey it is. I’m amazed that Jeannette knows me so well, and knows my faults and weaknesses, and yet chooses to forgive and love me. It’s beyond me what I did to deserve my wonderful wife. God is good, and I see his goodness displayed every day in Jeannette’s love for me. 

Now we’ve moved our lives from Kiev, Ukraine, Eastern Europe to Marietta, Georgia, USA, and it’s quite a big change not just in terms of location, but in any other way as well. But two things I know for sure: God is good all the time, and Jeannette continues to love me in ways that go beyond my wildest dreams!

Happy anniversary to us – I’m looking forward to a new year with Jeannette!



Scranton – the Electric City!

I already posted this on my Facebook account, but it wouldn’t be fair to not post it here as well. My dear wife and I have been dedicated The Office fans for a while now, so when we were driving from New York to Ohio recently, it only seemed appropriate to visit the wonderful city of Scranton, Pennsylvania en route! Here is what I wrote on Facebook: 🙂

According to my Mac dictionary a pilgrimage is: “a journey to a place associated with someone or something well known or respected”. An a pilgrimage was what we were on a few days ago when we finally made it to Scranton (the electric city!), Pennsylvania.

Rain was pouring down, but in no way was it possible to dampen our excitement. Going to the city of such fine folks as Michael, Dwight, Creed, Pam, Jim and even Stanley Hudson bring up feelings that are hard to put into words (“use words, Dwight, use words!”). 

We were searching all over Scranton to find places that we could associate with The Office, and as you can see on the wonderful pictures we saw many picturesque sites that brought up Office excitement and a little tear. 

It really is hard to find words for our experiences in Scranton. Maybe we should just let the pictures do the talking?

Torben and Jeannette – now we have done the pilgrimage, what else do we have left to accomplish?

Ain’t no party like a Scranton party……

– click here to see the pictures on my Facebook account


“I am Canadian”…

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers. I don’t have too strong opinions one way or the other about the country of Canada, and since I’ve only spent 20 minutes in Canada (on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls of course) I can’t say that I’ve seen much of the country either. But I do know a few things that are just facts of life: Canada is nice, and Canadians are nice! It’s just the way it is!

And then they make great commercials. I definitely enjoy these three commercials for the Canadian beer which obviously is called “Canadian”. Enjoy 🙂

Torben – who would love to have a pet beaver! 🙂


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!




From the kids’ room :-)

Heard in the kids’ room when I visited my brother and his wife this past weekend: My nephews Christian and Jakob were talking about something, and this dialogue played out:

Christian (9 years): “I know that! I know how to do that too!

Jakob (6 years): “You don’t know everything. Jesus is the only who does. He even knows what 10×10 is!

Torben – 🙂 I guess there was really no point for Christian to argue with that. Jesus surely is the wisest person to ever live, and he even knows what 10 times 10 is..! 



16 things you should know about Denmark

It’s been an ongoing joke in my time in Youth With A Mission that my students have to learn a lot about the little, fairly insignificant Scandinavian kingdom of Denmark. Of course I have to educate my students about the wonders of the fairy tale nation, and so I have with stories, quizzes, songs and different lovely food. Now that I’m soon leaving YWAM Kyiv and my role as the director of Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) here, I thought it was appropriate to make sure that the leaders who will follow in my shoes will continue to share important facts about Denmark with future students. So I made a little list with the 16 most important facts that anybody should know about Denmark. And here it is for you, dear blog reader, so you can be educated about the important things of life as well 😉

1.            Denmark is the oldest existing kingdom in the world

2.            Denmark has the oldest existing flag in the world (June 15, 1219)

3.           Denmark is ruled by a queen (Queen Margrethe II), and her husband is a prince not a king!

4.           Denmark has the happiest people in the world

5.           Søren Kierkegaard was a very intelligent Dane who said clever things such as : “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself” and “Purity of heart is to will one thing

6.            “Rødgrød med fløde” (approximately strawberry porridge with cream) is really hard to say if you’re not a Dane

7.            LEGO is the greatest Danish invention ever

8.            …but Skype comes pretty close..!

9.             Norway is not the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen (København) is!

10.           Hans Christian Andersen, the world’s greatest fairy tale writer, was born in Odense, Denmark

11.           Denmark’s highest point is only 170 meters (557 feet) – in your face, Mount Everest!!

12.           Denmark is made up of 444 islands of which 76 are inhabited

13.           Clicking on will take you to the website of Scandinavia’s best football club

14.           Denmark has, without much competition, the greatest food in the world (just look right here :-))

15.           Danes like to draw and print cartoons, also when they probably shouldn’t…

16.           Denmark’s language is called Danish, not Dutch…!!!

That won’t be too hard to remember, right?!!


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