At the beginning of the first decade the fledgling builders with their youthful dreams began to work on their first nest. They had their first children; there were more things to worry about but also more joy.
I love animals! I have had animals almost always, even when I lived by myself in these “backwoods”.
I am an ordained minister, and ordained ministers are expected to show dignified manners, exemplary life and commitment to God’s word. In some way, ordained ministers are even required to be holy. I also confess myself to be a believing person, a child of God. Believing people are expected to be sinless and perfect, at least when they have fallen into sin.
Sergei Gerasimov is a Russian vicar from Primorsk. He received the grace of repentance during a confirmation camp for Russian believers in Jämsä.
The last few kilometers of the ride to the location of the services are bumpy. The children in the yard notice us and run to greet us. The older children can speak English well. An interpreter helps us visit with the rest – everyone is able to greet and say their name without an interpreter.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Trusting in this promise, we often gather to listen to the word of God and its explanations. The promise is great, but how is it possible?
God created the world and all was well. The situation changed when the enemy of souls tempted Eve in to taking fruit from the tree of good and evil. The woman did not have the strength to resist the temptation. Instead she took the fruit and ate it. Then she gave it to her husband and he ate it also.
God is almighty. As the Almighty, God is the foundation of everything. He is present everywhere, sees all, knows all, is right-minded and perfectly good.
We all know how important it is to spend time together. Couples are encouraged to have some private time for themselves, and that is a good thing. Short breaks from the daily routine are refreshing. Many people seem to take such mini-breaks. I sometimes think everybody else does it, except we don’t. But I do discuss this topic with my wife quite regularly.
I remember my first mission trip to Africa a few years ago. I remember our arrival in a home in the small village where the services were held. There was a table covered with a white tablecloth in the shade of a tree and some chairs around it. Some service guests had already arrived, and they cheerfully greeted the newcomers.
There is a lot of physical, mental and spiritual pain in the world. I saw it very concretely during my first foreign mission trip. The whole spectrum of human suffering lay open before my eyes. People approached me and begged for help.
When I was young, I would have slept even if the world had collapsed around me. Ÿuan Mei, a Chinese poet who lived in the 18th century, wrote: ”...but then I remember my youth, I remember my snoring was loud like thunder and I slept my mornings like struck by a lightning.” But age changes things. When you feel stressed, you easily wake up in the early hours and begin to turn over in your mind all kinds of troubling thoughts.
This time I decided to go straight to the point and write about what is really the most important matter to me. I will write about faith. And this time I will not be able to give rational arguments to back up my views and opinions. Pondering and reasoning are some of my favorite pastimes, but I will put them aside for now. They do not belong here.
Monet suunnitelmat ovat tänä poikkeuksellisena keväänä muuttuneet. Muun muassa perhejuhlien järjestelyjä on pitänyt miettiä uudelleen. Tämä on koskenut myös avioliittoon vihkimisiä. Nyt vihkimisiä on toimitettu niin, että koolla on ollut vain joitakin läheisiä, ja muu juhlaväki on seurannut tilaisuutta ehkä virtuaalisesti.