Tuesday's Tune

The music I listen to these days seems to be as hectic and random as my life. Last weekend was all about classical music, now it's... well, this and that. One song came to me yesterday which I decided to post today. It has nothing to do with my reality, it just came out of blue. So today we go to Japan (although the song itself sounds completely western) - it's Ann Sally's version of I Wish You Love. With wonderful Takahito Mori on the guitar. There's so much great stuff coming from Asia, and from Japan in particular, I need to look more into these musicians and their beautiful creation.


My dad has a vacation. Which is a funny thing for our family - on Sabbath morning we get up early enough to leave the building before anyone else gets here (we live in the church house) and we won't come back before we're convinced everyone is gone. That's what pastor's holiday looks like. My dad's comment on this sounds something like 'not a single normal person hangs out at their workplace over the vacation so why should I?'

Today we took a trip down the coastline. Dad showed us the best birdwatching places - he's a fanatic birdwatcher. And then we took a stroll in a mire and admired its breathtaking nature. Of course I had my dearest camera with me.

But we're off again soon. Sabbath evening worship service starts at six, haha.

We should change our surname to Birdwatchers.

In the mire.


Me, me, me!

With mom & dad.

Meet my brother. Or his sneakers.



old & young

I got back from the senior camp meeting. They were intense days indeed. I didn't have much time to prepare for my sermon but as I was basically just telling one story (and as I know fancy terminology now I can call it a narrative sermon haha) it was alright. Of course I got overtly emotional while preaching it, just like I had predicted. The story of apostle John is one of the most beautiful stories in the Scriptures, I think. I won't say more because I might want to preach that in English sometime. :)

The cool and unexpected thing was that some church kids happened to have a short camp meeting too over these days. They were little kids from all over the country who could already play an instrument so they had a little orchestra camp thingy. How awesome is that! So I got to hang out with the children, too, we went to visit some church members at their farm on Tuesday evening, saw 200 sheep and had a big bonfire, baked some bread and roasted marshmallows. I sure am making some new little friends over here!

Here are some pictures from my kids' night.

My friend T. She has played the flute for a year.
I remember seeing S. for the first time when he was a month old or so. That must have been 8 or 9 years ago. Now he plays the clarinet and all.
This is how midsummer looks like in Estonia.

Just chillin'

Where there are kids there are candies.

My mom and dad. I love that shot. (very modest of me)
Little R. A. doesn't play the violin just yet but she will soon. Apparently I'm her best friend and I take that as a true honour and try to live up to the title.


Tuesday's Tune

I'm off to preach at our church's senior members' camp meeting today. I've had some seriously busy days after getting back from the youth camp meeting, preparing for a new sermon and stuff. As I wrote the sermon, a piece of music was my constant companion. So there's an abrupt change in the style of music - today's tune is Ennio Morricone's piece Gabriel's Oboe. I think Morricone is one of the most brilliant composer of movie soundtracks - I mean, we all know his immortal soundtrack for The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, right - and that little piece from the movie The Mission is one of the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard. Wow, a whole bunch of superlatives in that sentence. In any case, the first time I heard that piece - it was the best Estonian oboist who played it - I fell in love with it. And I'm still in love with it.


I know I have to get use to preaching regularly as it will soon become one of my weekly obligations. Sometimes I think I'll be alright but there are also days when the thought of preaching a new sermon every weekend is a rather scary thought. Today is one of those days. I mean, I preached yesterday morning and I'm still smashed! There's no way I can afford spending so much of my energy on preaching in the future.

But the youth camp meeting and the preaching experience itself was a good one. The sermon prep process is always long and laborious, it took me the whole week to prepare myself emotionally and spiritually for that sermon. But in the end it was all good - and I'm not talking about the quality of the sermon itself for I'm the last person to evaluate it, but I'm talking about this big and beautiful realisation that hit me when I stood in front of these young people - I had so much love in my heart for all of them that I knew it had to be God who was present and speaking.

It's just that I'm the one who has to deal with the consequences later, haha. With headache and all.


Tuesday's Tune

Today's man is Ben Harper. No question about it. The question about the song was more serious for me though, I debated long with myself about what to post, the guy is so incredibly versatile and he seems to rock all the different styles just the same. But in the end I decided that today's song has to be Better Way. I really like the video (the guy is such a swagger!), let alone the lyrics. My favourite part is the burning guitars bit, and then the shouting bit - Reality is sharp / It cuts at me like a knife / Everyone I know / Is in the fight of their life...

I believe in a better way.


Other than that, not much is happening. I've gone swimming for 7 days in a row now, that's cool. And I'm reading Salman Rushdie's short stories. And doing my sermon prep for the next weekend. That's pretty much it.


Good ideas must spread. Over the past few years I've learned about ADRA's shoebox appeal and seen the shoebox mountains in Newbold church around Christmas time. Last December when I was home for the break I decided to start the same kind of project here in Estonia. But as the next Christmas seemed too far, me and my best friend here decided we'd start a project to collect school supplies for kids in need and that we'd deliver them by the beginning of a new school year on the 1st of September. So I wrote a project and started the whole planning process. By May we had found a sponsor, had designed the webpage and other ads and were ready to make it public. And we did.

Good ideas seem to be spreading indeed. Last Friday I gave a short interview to the national radio station, someone there noticed and picked up our project for all Estonia to know. That was already a second radio interview I gave over the last months, the other one was for Estonian Christian radio station. Plus I've been asked to write an article about it to a magazine and a webpage. More people know about our project than we dared to dream when we started. Now it's our task to pray that people would feel a desire in their hearts to join our charity project. Beautiful things happen to those who believe. Indeed, indeed.

Here's our Shoebox Presents webpage - www.kingakarbikingitused.ee Well, it's all in Estonian. Sorry for that, haha.

I've already got some heavy shoeboxes filled with all kinds of goodies on my shelf. The feeling of awe and pure joy hits me every time I see them there. It's such a beautiful thing to be able to spread goodness and love in this world.

God is good. All the time, God is good.


I'm slightly puzzled because I don't know how far back one needs to go in order to call it a Throwback Thursday. I don't know the rules. Are two months enough? It can't be more than two months since this picture was taken.

There are those great days you look forward to and get ready for but sometimes the most awesome days just kinda happen. That day two months ago just kinda happened. One day I sit in the caf and have B. and G. R. convince me that it is absolutely essential for me as an educated human being to go to Cambridge to hear Dr Cornel West's lecture. And then the next day we just get on the train and go. I remember it was the day my kids wrote the Greek exam (excuse my language, in my head I always called them this way, ignoring the fact that some of them were quite a bit older than me - I mean no disrespect) and I wasn't sure if I was even allowed to leave the campus on that day. But somehow I managed to talk my way out of my responsibilities and sneak out of the campus. And then London and then Cambridge and we suddenly found ourselves sitting in a crowded lecture hall in Cambridge University and listening to Dr West (who, I have a feeling, would rather have him called brother West) in a complete silence, feeling very small and not very educated after all. Listening to him brought a mental picture in my head - I'm like a kid who has two or three puzzle pieces in her hand, trying really hard to fit them in the right place, and then comes a guy who somehow manages to see the whole picture and who juggles with hundreds of pieces with such an elegance that you just stare at him and his magic, totally mesmerised. That's how I felt. It was a beautiful and very humbling experience.

I listened to Dr West's radio program the other day and once again it made me realised something I intuitively already knew - I don't know much about this world yet. I've got a long way to go.

But even more than the knowledge and the elegance and charisma, I wish one day I would have what it takes to honestly and without any falseness be able to call all people - despite their beliefs - my brothers and sisters. Brother West does this and maybe that's the thing I like the best about him.


Tuesday's Tune

I've decided that July is the month when I pay tribute to my favourite gentlemen. We had Jamie Cullum last week, today Stephen Marley takes his rightful position on 'Mervi's favourites' list. It's his Now I Know that probably rules the charts of the Marley clan's songs for me. It was quite a while ago so I might be wrong but I think this very song was my entry to the Marley brothers' world. I'm very glad I was introduced to reggae world this way. And no matter what I listen or how far my music preferences take me, I always find my way back to this song. For me it comes with a story and a memory and an emotion. Beautiful.



I just got back from the football tournament I mentioned sometime earlier. It was such a great weekend with God and friends and sun and bonfire (with marshmallows, of course) and football. There's something very special about like-minded people taking time to enjoy each others company. Magic happens when good people get together.

Yesterday it was a full working day for me though. I had to preach two sermons. Not only the one at the football thingy but also in the church at the divine service. The guy who was supposed to preach in the church declared a complete lack of inspiration last week after he had heard that I would be there too. Sigh.

The football tournament wasn't even over yet when we already started planning the same kind of event for the next summer. Because next year we can celebrate the football by both playing it and then watching the real stuff on tv. We decided we'd have our football party that very weekend they have the finals in Brazil. And then the host of the event said, 'Well, we're hoping to get more publicity and more people next year because we'll hopefully have a new sporty youth leader in Estonia. (wink-wink)' So if they elect me as a new youth leader at the conference session in August (which is very likely to happen), I'll keep myself busy organising a football tournament for next summer hehe. :)


on social media

I've been wanting to say a word or two about social media for quite some time. The time seems to be ripe now. I know I promised to keep my blog sweet and short but bear with me. Just for this time.

The more I think about it, the bigger problem I seem to have with social media. Especially with Facebook. I wouldn't even call Facebook shallow any more, I would call is schizophrenic. I think is distorts the reality in a very dangerous and harmful way and leaves us with an illusion of connection and caring that is not really there. The reason why I've been thinking about it far more than usual is that I'm going through a very difficult time in my life right now. I'm confused and scared and I don't know what the near future holds for me. And for some mystical reason I haven't been able to communicate this to those people I care about. I get really upset each time I go to my FB profile page because all I see there are pretty pictures and witty quotes - things that are rather far from my reality right now. And even though Mr Zuckerberg has not pointed a gun to my head and has not forced me to post these things, for some unexplainable reason I seem not to be able to break through this invisible wall of social etiquette and reach out to my friends and shout out loud and ask for help. The non-realness of the picture that I've created of my life sometimes really baffles me. And that makes these few people who have cared enough and who have broken through my 'profile pictures' and my silence and who are insisting on keeping in touch even more precious to me than usual. I love these friends to whom I can send long emotional messages and who schedule Skype dates with me and pray for me over Skype and who send me simple text messages. And I know there are many more who would be willing to do all these things if I only got over this fake modesty and told them about everything.

And it works reversely, too. I've realised that I have no idea about my friends' real life. I don't know who's confused and who's heartbroken and who's lonely because I can only see cool instagram pics and funny tweets. They may be going through hell and I have no clue because social media has troubled the waters and has neutered our ability to truly reach out and care. And this breaks my heart.

So please, friends, call each other and talk to each other and send some hand-written letters. It might not only save someone's day, it might save someone's life.

But as to me, don't worry too much. Tides will turn again one day and I'll get back to the ministry I was created for. And I'll get my joy back.


photo picking

One only needs to observe our family in the woods to realise that we're a family with many hobbies and interests. Like today, we went to pick blueberries. My brother K. was practicing moon walk, my dad was busy bird watching, I was taking pictures, and mom was picking berries. Perfect division of labor.

I'm quite happy with today's photo harvest. I think my photo basket had more pictures in it than the blueberry basket berries.


Tuesday's Tune

Today's tune comes from UK. Both the song and its video. I think it's time to give air to Mr Cool, that is to Jamie Cullum. His song These Are The Days That I've Been Missing is a must-listen during summertime. But more than that, I've chosen the video where this song has been used - it's BBC's Wimbledon montage from 2008 (ignore the first 20 seconds of the video). Every time I listen to this song I also watch this video, completely mesmerised. Tennis is such a beautiful sport! One day I'll get my bucket list a little bit shorter when I go see one of them gland slam tournaments. Either the French Open or Wimbledon one, I think.

But now it's Wimbledon time. Go, Murray, go!!!