V-E day 1945. A childhood memory from Sweden.

V – E day 1945. Ah, yes, I remember it well.

In 1944 my father bought a shortwave radio to listen to news from the the Finnish war. He sat up at night, at exactly kaksi, kymmenta kaksi (22:00) there was a ten minute condensation of the war news. Sweden had taken in more than 70,000 children from Finland to keep them from being ravished by the war. In addition we had some Estonian children and a few Jews in the school where my father taught. I was not yet four years old, but I was fascinated by the news, asking my father what it all meant. Then came the spring of 1945, and  the family sat around the radio to listen to the noon news. They told that Denmark had been liberated the day before, and that the German army had surrendered. The day was May 5. So I asked my father what that all meant. My mother interrupted and smiled broadly “That means, we are going to have peace.” Being not quite four yet, I remember answering “But what are they going  tell us on the news then?” Up till then, all I have heard on the news was war news. They assured me that from now on there was only going to be good news on the radio. We all hugged and sang a song, I don’t remember which one, but we often sang “Blott en dag” (Day by day). This has become our family song, and we have sung it as good night prayer for years with both our children and grand children.

 1 Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
its appointed part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
2
Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
3
Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

 

 

The national day of prayer in Boalsburg. Power and prayer restored.

Today is national day of prayer. All over the country, and in places overseas people, in small groups, usually around a flagpole, but here in Boalsburg at the Military Museum, gather to pray.

Normally we are joined by our Congressman, Glenn Thompson, but he was otherwise occupied by trying to pass a new and better healthcare bill, so he sent his assurances some members of Congress met today early to pray, as they did daily when the nation was founded.

On Monday, at 6:35 P.M. a squall line came by our quaint little village. The down-burst did, as so often happens in historical villages with old trees, take down a few trees, which luckily did not do much harm to the buildings. The trees had been for the most part been well pruned, except a few maple trees that had just done this year’s growth and were at their most vulnerable, so a few secondary power lines went down. The major problem was four poles in a row along the major road snapped, even though no falling trees were involved. How can that happen? These were wooden poles, showing their age, badly overloaded with one high voltage line on top, one intermediate voltage in the middle, telephone and cable lines galore below, placed too far apart so the power lines resonated and swayed harder and harder until the lines snapped. We lost power for one day, most lost power for two days, and power is not yet restored to all customers.

This is when it hit me during the morning hour of prayer for the nation:

We are like the four power poles, overloaded, showing signs of age, getting brittle and lacking maintenance and stabilizing supports. When a down-burst comes, we too can snap if we are not anchored properly with multiple supports.

Our nation’s power grid is vulnerable not only from an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse from either the sun or a nuclear blast) but also from hurricanes, tornadoes, down-bursts, terror attacks, overloading and lack of maintenance.

Likewise, spiritually we are like the overloaded power grid. We are vulnerable to attack from all sides, and without proper maintenance of daily prayer we too are in danger of losing power.

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.

ess_pastebitmap00102

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.