Posts Tagged ‘gmi

20
Jun
11

it’s all grace

Here is a neat message by John Lynch, author of TrueFaced. I love the way he expresses God’s endless love for his children. Accept Christ as your Savior, allow Christ to show you who you are in him, and your life truly will change – it sounds too simple, but it is the truth! And this is the message that I have the privilege of sharing with people here locally and internationally through counseling, conferences, teaching, and personal relationships!

Jesus is not far away. I’m in him. And he’s in me. Hallelujah!

Blessings, Torben

22
Nov
08

Thanksgiving

I haven’t been blogging for a little while, but now I’m back in business. Inspired by my wonderful wife who wrote a lovely blog entry about our Thanksgiving experiences the past five years, I thought I would start out with a few words about giving thanks.

I’m looking forward to my first Thanksgiving here in the United States. It’ll be a great time of turkey, fun,games, and fellowship with family. But it’s also an opportunity to stop and think about all we have to be thankful for. So I’ll just go for it, and make a little list in random order of things, experiences, realities and people that I’m thankful for. I am thankful for….:

  • what God has been doing in my life these past nine weeks. I am thankful for him bringing me to the end of myself and showing me how to embrace who I am in Christ, and inviting me to experience abundant life in him
  • God’s patience. I learn so much, and so often I don’t live it out. So often I waste my time and engage in life stealing in stead of life giving activities. How beautiful that God never gives up on me, and that he keeps calling me to him!
  • God’s provision. We’re amazed that in the midst of this financial crisis, and a general raise in expenses and drop in support for us, we’re doing just fine. We have a wonderful car, we have a great place to live, and we have everything we need, and lots more!
  • Jeannette. I continue to be amazed of the beautiful gift she is. She is truly my best friend and a perfect wife for someone like me. She is caring, loving, gentle, fun, but she also knows when to tell me to shut up and get on with life in stead of going into self pity cycles
  • my calling. I enjoy what I’m called to do, and I’m looking forward to see what my near future with Grace Ministries International and Marietta Vineyard will look like
  • Coca-Cola, oats with raisins and milk for breakfast, Papa John’s Pizza (without cheese!), Zaxby’s,our local dollar theater, M&M’s and other great stuff I get to enjoy here in America
  • getting the opportunity to play football (soccer) again on a great team. I have enjoyed every game, even though we still haven’t tried playing with a full team…!
  • family and friends, and I’m sad that I get to spend so little time with so many of you, but I know that that’s one of the costs of living the life I live
  • Skype and cell phones so I can stay in touch with family and friends
  • my six year old black New Balance 474 shoes! They really should have been thrown out three years ago, but I will continue to faithfully wear them until all my toes hit asphalt…! 
  • our car. I love our dark silver grey Nissan Sentra. It’s amazing that we own our own vehicle!
  • the DVD recorder that I got myself early for Christmas that will be at my sister’s who will tape F.C.Copenhagen games in the future and send them to me wherever in the world I may be 🙂 

….I think I’ll leave it there. Thank God, I could go on and on! What are you, dear reader, thankful for?

Blessings, Torben

21
Sep
08

Arsène knows and God knows!

This past week has been a challenging and interesting experience. We kicked of the nine weeks of learning about who we are in Christ by going on a retreat to a wonderful location in a forest out in the middle of nowhere. We are six interns doing these nine weeks together, and we have a group of 5-7 discipleship counselors that journey with us as we get to know more about what it looks like when Christ lives his life through us, and how we can help other people see these wonderful and life changing truths.

For me this week was the beginning of what I titled heavenly CPR. It really did feel like my heart had grown cold and semi-dead, and I was in desperate need of God to start waking up my heart again. And God is the master surgeon. He knows what I need, when I need it, and how he needs to get to me. During the first few days I really got in touch with some heavy emotions. Many tears were cried, many questions to God were raised, and I did come to the point of thinking: “why don’t I just run away from this, this is too hard, and it’s not gonna help anything anyway”. But I know that I know that I know that I know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and with Peter I just have to cry out: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68).

And I know that God knows how to get to my heart and clear out the lies that I’ve been believing about him, about myself and about other people. God is clever and patient. He knows we can’t handle everything all at once, so he takes on a journey with him. It’s a process where God wants to bring further healing to places that have hurt us. It does hurt. Make no mistake, but it’s still good. And it’s still God answering my prayer asking him to experience life in him. Life with him may not be easy, but it’s good and fulfilling.

Someone might wonder why there is a picture of a somewhat stern looking gentleman accompanying this post. And I will try to explain what the relevance of Mr. Arsène Wenger is to this post. Arsenal Football Club is one of England’s and Europe’s biggest football (soccer that is) clubs. Wenger is known to be fairly unique among the top managers in England. He is known to hardly ever spend the big sums of money that all the other top clubs spend on players. Instead Wenger prefers to find random, well-hidden, talented youngsters all over Europe and in Africa and groom them into top class players over time. Before each season Wenger is accused of not buying the needed players, but among us Arsenal fans a saying has developed over the last many years. It’s two simple words: “Arsène knows“. With those few words all confidence is put in Wenger’s abilities to make the team both play beautiful football, but also to succeed and finally win some trophies.

God used those two words to speak to me Thursday evening, when I was lying in bed pondering what I should be talking about on Friday where we were all supposed to share something about what God had been doing in us throughout the week. I was tired, frustrated, angry and lonely, and God spoke to me through something as trivial as a manager of a football club – he’s got a good sense of humor, God, and he knows how to get to all of us, also an Arsenal fan 🙂

God gently reminded me that he knows. God knows. God knows best. God knows what I want. He knows I want more life in him. He knows I’m not satisfied with crumbs from the table. I want it all. I want life, peace, security in Christ. I want Christ to live his life through me and change the world one person at a time through me. Not because of me or because of who I am, but because I surrender to Christ and allow him to live his life through me.

God knows. He really does know best. And even though I left the week with many questions and much confusion in my heart, I also left it with a sense of peace knowing that God knows. He knows me. He knows how he can best transform me more into what he wants me to be. So I surrender to him. I surrender to his wisdom and knowledge. I surrender to the fact that he is in control, even when I don’t see it or feel it.

God is good, and God knows what I need these next seven weeks of intense discipleship training.

Blessings, Torben – who hopes that the reader understands that even though I do admire Arsène Wenger, I’m not in any way comparing him with God! Wenger was just the means that God used to speak to me this week 🙂

25
Aug
08

About a savior complex and Prince Caspian

I heard another sermon yesterday that touched on brokenness. I wonder if God is trying to prepare for the nine weeks, starting mid-September, where I will have the huge privilege of spending time with God every day with new friends in an atmosphere of utmost transparency and brokenness? These weeks I’m looking forward to this internship with Grace Ministries International. I have been reading different books that challenge me in the right direction. I am reading Charles Solomon’s Handbook to Happiness, and despite not liking the title of the book, I am really enjoying its content. He explains very well what has happened to me since June 2007 in England where I started grasping some of who I am in Christ and what it looks like to allow Christ to live his life through me. I have seen some and experienced bits of the abundant life that Christ promised all believers. How thankful I am for that! I am not the same person any more. From God’s perspective I was always in Christ since I accepted him as my Savior many years ago. But for me it’s only these past years I’ve begun to see that Christ is much more than “just” my Savior. He is my life. He is the one who wants to live his resurrection life through me. And when I allow him to live his life through me, other people and myself get to experience great blessings, hope and life. 

After my wonderful month in England last year, it has been difficult for me to hold on to the new truths that I have learned. I’ve encountered many attacks from Satan which doesn’t surprise me, but still I have unfortunately allowed Satan and my flesh to get the better of me many times these last 14 months. I’ve been misunderstood by friends and other people I’ve talked to, and it has hurt me. I’ve been tempted to walk away from experiencing more life in Christ with the somewhat silly thought: “I don’t want to experience more of what Christ has for me, because that will mean that people I love will understand me even less than now“. That thought has attacked me many times. It sounds kind of humble as in: “I want to be able to relate to people, so unless they get what I testify about, it’s not really nice of me to grow more”. It may sound humble, but really it’s ridiculous. It’s a Savior Complex. It’s me saying that I am super important for other peoples’ life and growth with God. It’s me saying that unless I inspire and help them, they won’t grow. It’s me saying that I’m the most important discipleship trainer. 

I saw the film version of C. S. Lewis’ “Prince Caspian” the other day in the local dollar theater ($1.75 per ticket, how great is that?!) and a line in the movie really spoke to both Jeannette and me. Young Lucy had seen the lion Aslan (Jesus) in the woods a couple of times during the movie, but she can’t convince her brothers and her sister that she really did see him and that they should walk after him. Finally she meets Aslan in person, and she tries to explain why she didn’t come to see him, trying to use her siblings’ unwillingness to come as an excuse. Aslan turns to Lucy and says: “So if you knew I was there, why didn’t you come?“. That question became Jesus’ question to me. “If you know that I’m here, why don’t you come and meet with me?” And I felt he has been adding: “How is it your problem what other people choose to do or not do? Why are you so concerned about other people? I want relationship with you! I want you to experience more life! And don’t worry about the people you love….I will call them in my way. It’s my job, not yours!”

I am honored by the fact that Jesus is wanting to reveal himself more and more to me. I’m humbled by the fact that he cares so much about me that he continues to give me opportunities to learn more about who he is and who I am in him. I’m thankful for his patience with me. I’m often impatient with my slow growth and my defeats in my life. I’m frustrated that my flesh so often gets the better of me. I am thankful that all I hear from Christ is: “trust me, come and follow me”. Yesterday at church I had to, once again, re-dedicate my life to Jesus as my Shepherd. I really do just want to be a sheep lead by my great Shepherd. I want him to take me through the valley of shadow of death and brokenness. I want him to help me die more and more to myself, so I can allow him more and more to live his life through me. My flesh and my feelings protest. They know that growing with Christ involves pain. The pain of calling things by their right name. The pain of looking at (past) sin, pain and hurts. The pain of admitting that I don’t have it all together. The pain of accepting that I’m accepted and seen as perfect even when all my actions are not perfect. The pain of being broken, vulnerable and open without trying to cover up my issues, weaknesses and problems. 

But I want more life. I want it all. I am not satisfied with a mediocre Christian life where all I have to look forward to is a whole of bad conscience, boredom, and then the promise of heaven (even though, unfortunately, many Christians don’t even look forward to that….). I know there is more to life. I know that eternal life is to know Christ. Right here and right now. And I do pray with Paul: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).

Blessings, Torben – who has been very encouraged by comments from some of those who read this blog who have said that God has used this blog to speak into their lives! Hallelujah!




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