Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full, a song in Swedish and English.

As a little lad, my grandfather put me on his knees and sang this little lullaby. He was a skipper, having been both “on the Heat” and fishing on the banks of Iceland, so he sang it with emotions, slowly rocking as if we were sailing.

This is how I remember it.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där kommer tre vandringsmän på vägen,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där kommer tre vandringsmän på vägen.
Den ene, ack så halt,
den andre, o, så blind,
den tredje säger alls ingenting.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
på himmelen vandra tre stjärnor,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full.
på himmelen vandra tre stjärnor,
Den ene är så vit,
den andra är så röd,
den tredje är månen den gula.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där blåser tre vindar på haven,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där blåser tre vindar på haven.
På Stora Skagerack,
på lilla Kattegatt
och långt upp i Bottniska viken.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där segla tre skepp uppå vågen,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
där segla tre skepp uppå vågen.
Den första är en bark,
den andra är en brigg,
den tredje har så trasiga segel.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
sjökistan har trenne figurer,
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
sjökistan har trenne figurer.
Den första är vår tro,
den andra är vårt hopp,
den tredje är kärleken den röda.

Byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
de tre äro heliga ena
byssan lull, koka kittelen full,
de tre äro heliga ena.
Den förste är Gud Far,
den andre är Hans Son,
den tredje är den Helige Ande.

And now for the English translation:

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three wanderers are coming down the alley.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three wanderers are coming down the alley.
The first one, oh so limp,
the second, oh, so blind,
the third one is mute, saying nothing.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
in heaven three stars are a-wand’ring,
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
in heaven three stars are a-wand’ring,
The first one is so white,
the second is so red,
the third is the moon, bright and yellow.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three winds blowing over the oceans.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three winds blowing over the oceans.
On greater Skagerak,
on little Kattegat,
and far up in the Bothnian Bay.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three ships sailing over the ocean.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
three ships sailing over the ocean.
The first one is a barque,
the second is a brigg,
the sails of the third are so tattered.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
the Seaman’s chest has triple engravings.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
the Seaman’s chest has triple engravings.
The cross is for our faith,
the anchor for our hope,
the heart is for charity the crimson.

Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
these three are in one that are holy.
Byssan lull, boil the kettle so full,
these three are in one and are holy.
The first is Father God,
the second is His Son,
the third is the Holy Spirit.

And here is the music score, as per Evert Taube.

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Boy and girl scouting are missing their goal. How about Awana?

Many years ago I met a friend that had escaped East Germany after the war. He emigrated to U.S., met a delightful Southern Belle and fell in love. She was a faithful church goer, so before she would accept his advances she asked about his faith. He answered proudly “I am a Lutheran” to which she answered “Oh, is that’s like the Catholics?” This didn’t sit well with him, but he loved her very much, so he promised to go to church with her anyhow. He liked the people very much and felt welcome, so he became a faithful church-goer, but kept his faith to himself. They  married, got children, brought them to church, but when the church started an Awana program he drew the line. “No Awana for my children! It’s indoctrination! Their scarves reminds me of my childhood’s Hitler-youth“. This saddened his wife, but being a loyal wife, she submitted and let the children join the Boy and Girl Scouts. This went on for  years, but one time taking his daughter and two of her girl friends home after the scout meeting he happened to listen to what they were saying to each other about the meeting and many other things. The next Wednesday he came with his whole family and exclaimed “Awana, here we come” to the delight of his wife and children, since that’s where their real friends were, and this experience was also the catalyst for his salvation.

awanaThis was 35 years ago, and Awana is still going strong. The name Awana comes from 2 Timothy 2:15 Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed  and their mission statement is: God is changing the world through the ministry of Awana by equipping leaders to reach kids with the gospel and engaging them in long-term discipleship.

Meanwhile, the Boy scouts and Girl Scouts of America have taken a different route and are now even further removed from their original mission than they imageswere 35 years ago.

 

 

A thanksgiving thought.

As Christians we are commanded to  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes 5:16-18).

This is my life verse, but as with so many things I had misunderstood the verse to mean “for everything give thanks”, which turned out to be impossible. With the meaning “in everything give thanks” that makes it possible to give thanks, no matter the circumstances.

So was the situation with the Prophet Jonah. God had told him to go to Nineveh and prophesy so that they would repent. Now Nineveh was the very enemy of the Jews, so Jonah refused and boarded a ship going the other way. A storm arose, and the crew wanted to know who to blame for the storm. The lot fell on Jonah, he confessed and told them to throw him overboard so the storm would end. They did and God    had prepared a big fish that swallowed Jonah whole. Jonah stayed in the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah was in dire straits. What could he do? He did obey God and said:

“I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, And He answered me.

“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord, my God.

“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.

“Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy.
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.”

10 So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:1-10)

The story goes on Jonah went to Nineveh (think ISIS), they repented, which displeased Jonah. Pouting Jonah sat outside the town and in one day a gourd grew up, gave him shelter. But in the evening the plant withered, which also displeased Jonah (he was not a good rejoicer)

 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”

10 But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

This is the true meaning of thanksgiving; In everything give thanks.

1 Thess 5 continues: 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

This too is good advise, more than that, it is a command.

One more verse of the Hillary Clinton Nursery Rhyme: Feel for the rapist.

Hillary, Hillary, where have you been?

“It’s none of your business, for I am the queen.”

……more……………

Hillary, Hillary, say can you feel?

“I feel for the rapist, blame the victim, he he, got him off, no big deal.”

The whole nursery rhyme: https://lenbilen.com/2015/05/17/hillary-clinton-as-a-nursery-rhyme/

Greetings from Boalsburg on National Day of Prayer

We woke up early this morning. The birds were already singing, and my Wife and I got dressed and walked down to the flagpole in front of the Military Museum in Boalsburg, the birthplace of Memorial day.

DSC_1000

Tussey Mountain and Mount Nittany were both in the clouds, and thanks to five days of rain the leaves on the trees shone in all the different shades that can only be experienced for a few days in May before they all turn uniformly dark green. People came from the large parking lot where the Amish and other farmers sell their organic produce in season.

The Christian Business men’s Connection had organized the event, as well as four more events in State College during the day. At this gathering our congressman, Glenn Thompson was attending

DSC_0994and he spoke for all of 90 seconds after the CMBC spokesman had opened with a prayer from Thomas Jefferson. Thompson mentioned that the U.S. Congress opens every day with prayer. He stayed and prayed with us for the rest of the hour.

DSC_0990We split into small groups and prayed for our nation, our leaders, military, first responders, medical people, teachers, and other people entrusted with authority.

DSC_0995People kept joining our groups as they arrived, the clouds parted and the sun started warming our backs. DSC_0998God keeps His promises: if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ( 2 Chronicles 7:14)

On the way back, we went back via the memorial of Decoration Day, as it was first called

DSC_1003It was a day to remember.

On Fasting: Fasting for a time or fasting for a purpose?

In his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, General George Washington acknowledged a day of “fasting, humiliation and prayer” proclaimed by the Continental Congress to be held on Thursday, May 6, 1779. This has since been shortened to The National Day of Prayer  and is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation“. Each year since its inception, the president has signed a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

Gone is the humiliation aspect. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds nowadays, to Abraham Lincoln in 1863 it meant: Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offenses…

On May 15, 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered:

“The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th instant to be observed as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please Him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation; the General commands all officers and soldiers to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress; that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory to prosper our arms.”

Times have changed: The 2015 National day of prayer can be simplified to Obama asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world. 

Today, the aspect of humiliation is gone. Well, not altogether.

During a speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Hillary Clinton lamented that white Americans have a long way to go in realizing all the ways they’ve been given unfair advantages over the nation’s minority populations.

“White Americans must do a much better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day,” she said. “We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility rather than assume our experiences are everyone else’s experiences.”

So, I guess humility is not totally dead, it seems to be one of her strong points.

But I wanted to discuss fasting. 

Do we fast, and if so, why do we fast?

Let us see what scripture says about the subject. In Zechariah 7:4-5 the  prophet wrote: Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying,  “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? 

This was a fast for a time.  The Muslim world holds a hard fast every Muslim year during the month of Ramadan, their 9th month, and since Islam is a lunar based religion with 12 lunar months making one year, Ramadan occurs 11 days earlier every year. This fast is to commemorate the revelation of the giving of the five mandatory contact prayers to be prayed by everybody at very specific times. As an example, the noon prayer must be started 2 min after the sun is in its zenith. To start it any earlier might offend Allah. This is not really a true fast, it is corporate mind control.

So, what is a true fast? In Isaiah 58:3-6 the prophet writes:

‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Jesus adds a new dimension to fasting. I Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says:

 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,  so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Jesus says, when you fast, not if. We are urged to fast, individually, not as part of a group fasting in solidarity, but to seek God’s face, in other words, fast for a purpose.

As we fast, let us fast and pray for a purpose as is stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

Thought for the day. Finding God’s love in unexpected places.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)

After becoming a follower of Jesus Christ many years ago but as a mature man I thought I already knew what love really was, having a real wife, two wonderful children with a third on the way, a good job and no known enemies. Yet I knew, and everybody kept telling of God’s love, especially around Valentine, saying that God’s love is different.

Having joined the choir in church it became my passion to sing as often as possible, even to waking up in the morning with a song in my heart. This was nothing new, but the words and the melodies changed. So I volunteered to sing solos, but they were hesitant to add me to the roster, and instead suggested that I sang once a month at the downtown rescue mission. I had made the promise to God that what He wanted me to do I would do if possible, so I went. One thing led to another, and I became responsible for the music, and also to select a preacher for the service.

I complained to God: Why do you insist that this is the only opportunity I have to minister, I don’t even like those  down and out people? It was like I heard God answer: I never asked you to like them, I asked you to love them. So once humbled I persisted, and I did it faithfully for 15 years, until moving from the area. My pastor liked to coach a number of “preacher boys” and I got the privilege to present them one at a time as the featured preacher. The crowed really appreciated that since the boys only spoke for less than 10 minutes. We spent the rest of the time singing, and since I always had a good accompanist I took requests, trying anything they suggested. The audience was more than half black, some were good singers, and they sometimes  laughed at me for my lack of rhythm. They thought me a lot about singing in the joy of the Lord, and they  did it differently than I was used to. One time they asked to sing “Just a closer walk with thee” and I started in what I thought was a normal tempo, but was overruled by four young black men  starting to sway and slap their legs in a very slow beat. Suddenly the song took on a whole new dimension, and I found the joy of the Lord in the song. Looking at the men, happily and triumphantly smiling that their way of singing won the day, I felt a love for the men I never thought possible.

I never learned to like the men, seeing them destroy their lives with drugs and alcohol, estranged from family, and with no ambition to change their position in life. Some were repenting of their ways, but were usually back in even worse shape after a few months. During the 15 years I found they went under at a younger and younger age. What usually took 10 years to make an alcoholic could be accomplished in 3 with drugs.

Yet, with God all things are possible, and rescue mission fulfils an urgent need, standing in the gap.  The social agencies act too slowly and with a bureaucracy that sometimes makes matters worse. It is also far more cost effective than to involve the social agencies.