November 5, 2006 4:15pm
God is great!!
So I’ve been sleeping really well here… which also means I’ve been sleeping pretty late – well, really late for me (till like 10am sometimes, crazy?!). Anyway, this morning I woke up around 8am and couldn’t really fall back to sleep. I just laid in bed and read some of the Bible. After reading for a while, I thought I’d go check my email (this still means bundling up and going to sit outside up at Katarina Hissen). So now listen to this… I was going through my emails and I received one from someone that I didn’t know at all. It was from a couple with two girls; the mom wrote me the email. She somehow (God) came across my previous blog entry about my desire to be connected with a church here in Stockholm. Come to find out, they are involved with ministry and are trying to raise support to come back over to Sweden (and she – the mom – had been here 11 years earlier). Crazy, huh? Then, it keeps getting better… she suggested a church for me to go to AND (since it is Sunday) the church’s service was at 11am this morning!! Oh my gosh, I was so excited. I had happened to wake up early, happened to go out to find an internet connection, and then happened to get this amazing email from the sweetest family trying to help me find a church. Coincidence?! No way!! God is SO amazing!! I took the subway to church (the mom gave me perfect directions to the church and I found it very easily) and even made it there on time. The church… New Life Church (ww.newlife.nu) was awesome. It’s bilingual (Swedish and English, obviously, I think). There was worship music with guitars and drums, prayer, fika (a break in the middle, over coffee/tea and a Swedish pastry, to meet and talk to the people around you), the sermon, and then more prayer and worship. I felt like I was in heaven (or at least a glimpse of what it may be like!). The sermon was talking about love… how God says “You shall love eachother.” You shall you shall you shall… not that you could or should, but that you shall. Think about that. It’s powerful (or it was to me). The pastor also kept emphasizing that love is not all about feelings, rather love is a choice and a commitment. Love means making a sacrifice so that others have it better. We must have faith, tolerance, and build trust in our relationships, so that we really can love with all our hearts… so that we can take on other people’s burdens and help each other out. Love them. I felt the sermon was very applicable to my life right now because, being in a new place, I’m meeting lots of new people and trying to make new friends. In making new friends, there’s lots of trust that goes into it from the start. Lots of putting yourself out there (or not)… you know, like negotiating boundaries or rather (hopefully) just sharing all of yourself with others (hoping that God comes through at least some of the time). Sometimes I think I need to be more patient in relationships, as I always want to get to deep stuff right away. That’s one of the reasons why the sermon was good for me today… building trust can take time, not everyone is just ready to jump into deep stuff. But in loving others and building that trust, a great platform is built to be a really good listener, encourager, and challenger in a relationship. And, God’s love has come into our hearts and is “enough” (from Romans). Of course, God’s love is enough! So we’re all equipped to love eachother, now we just have to do it!
After the service was over, the family that sat next to me invited me to go to lunch with them. Sweet! They are young couple, Kristine and Carlo, with a cute, little baby boy, Elias (he’s eight months old). She’s a doctor (general practice), but is thinking more and more about going into pediatrics. Double sweet!! They had their car there, so they showed me all around old town, the eastern part of the city, and then took me out to “rice.” The restaurant was a really nice Asian place with delicious sushi (Carlo is like addicted to sushi… might I say addicted to wasabi?! he loves the stuff!). They had another one of their friends meet up with us for lunch too. Happens that she works about 100m from Fryshuset (the gym I play at almost everyday). Their friend, Maria, is twenty-four (close in age, good) and very nice too… hopefully we’ll get to hang out sometime soon too.
All in all, today has been more than I could ever have asked for. I feel like I don’t deserve the wonderful people whom God has been putting in my life. Thank you so much for all your prayers. Please tell me how I can be praying for you too. Praise God!!