Tuesdays' Tune

If I remember it correctly then October should be the Black History Month in England. Which gives us a perfect reason to go black for a month. Hah, I like that! And I don't know any better song to start this month with than Esperanza Spalding's amazing Black Gold. Watch the whole video, I'm embarrassed to admit but after watching it I had to google names like Salif Keita, Miriam Makeba, and Fela Kuti, and educate myself.


Life is very quiet at the moment. Very busy and yet unbelievably quiet. The quiet season in my life continues.

I called my parents last Friday evening, after I had come back to Tartu. And my dad said that it was as if the sun had come out for two days when I was home cleaning and cooking and singing and well, just being there. And it made me realise that it's not only me who needs them but that they might need me now just as much, if not even more. It gives me this deep satisfying and comforting feeling to know that it's not a one way street but this love and need for each other is very much mutual.

I've said yes to do the morning devotional minutes for the national radio station again. It's the third time in three years. It gives me a whole load of extra work to do - seven mini sermons, to be exact - but I couldn't say no. There were about 90 people to hear me preach last Sabbath but for all I know, there might be 90 000 to hear the morning devotionals from the radio each morning. Which means that I just have to find time to prepare so that I could tell them about Jesus.

And then I'm reading Seven Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership. Haha, thanks for the copy, S., very much appreciated!

13 days until I touch down in England again. Late in the evenings I lay on my bed, listen to music, and think of Newbold. I think it's called love.


I got two days off so I've come to see my parents in Pärnu. It's just crazy, never ever during my three Newbold years - that is many months away from my family - have I missed my parents so terribly much as I've missed them over the last two weeks. There were moments over these weeks when I had to fight against almost an invincible desire to get on a bus and come home. But now I'm here. And it feels heavenly.

I just had to get a bunch of red roses to my mom on my way home from the bus station.

And now I want to talk about love. I'm glad none of you is here to see how emotional I'm just about to get. Because this is terribly personal.

I have pleaded with God and I've asked Him to take ten years of my life and give them to my mom. And I have meant it. I hope He takes me serisously enough to at least consider this arrangement. I would do it without ever giving it a second thought and without ever mentioning it again.

And one day when I'm old and sick, my wish is that one of my own children would have courage to pray the same kind of prayer for me. It should be possible if I manage to do half as good a job as a mother as my own mom has done. And it's not that I care too much about ten last years of my life, I don't, and it's not that I want to get back what I've freely given away. But I want to keep this love and this spirit in the family. My parents have done an outstanding job, for if there's a kid in this world who is raised in a way that she's willing to pray such a prayer, this kind of love is worth keeping alive and worth keeping in the family. And I know that it's this kind of love that in the end proves to be invincible and immortal. And I want to find a way to pass it on to the next generation.

Love wins.


Me and Mat Kearney used to be pretty close a few years ago. During my first Newbold year, to be more precise. I remember those long days when I studied Greek and battled with B sections (if you've done Greek in Newbold, you know the stuff), and sometimes it took me a whole day. I called them 'my Greek days'. And on my Greek days Mat Kearney used to be my constant companion, I needed his music like air. It has been a while since I've seriously listened to his music. But there's one song I keep coming back to. So ladies and gents, may I present - Mat Kearney and his I Won't Back Down. A beautiful tribute to another great singer, Johnny Cash. Enjoy!

And I won't back down
I won't turn around and around
And I won't back down
Doesn't matter what comes crashing down
I'm still gonna stand my solid ground


I've been thinking about truth lately. I've encountered people who are convinced they possess all the Truth there is out there, and this gives them some sort of superiority over other people. And well, when you are superior to someone, it doesn't really matter how exactly you treat them. For you're right anyway.

And I can't help but think of a text in the gospel of John where Jesus has the audacity to tell those famous words: I am the way, the truth, and the life. And I realize that I understand truth in a completely different manner compared to many other people. Because for me Truth isn't a what, truth is a who. Truth is not a doctrine, Truth is a person.

So a person can only have as much Truth as much as she has Jesus. A person can only be as close to Truth as close he is to Jesus. Doctrines and sound teachings are all good and necessary, don't get me wrong, I don't have any intention to downplay their importance, but they have never been and they will never be the Truth. I believe in one Truth, and that is Jesus.

Last week I attended the Estonian Christian radio station's event - it was really cool. I got to see some old friends, I got to make some new ones, and I got to hang out with the archbishop of the Estonian Lutheran church (it doesn't happen every day). And in the end of the day when there was only a handful of friends left, we prayed together. And the director of the radio station prayed for the healing of my mom in such a beautiful and powerful way. And I realized there, praying together with my friends from Adventist and Baptist and Lutheran church, that on this very moment there were no doctrinal differences (no doctrines at all, for that matter), there was no ecumenical politeness, there were no walls, but there was a lot of Truth in this moment. Because Jesus was there, and with Him a lot of divine love, mercy and caring. And once again I saw the beauty of the real Truth, the kind that sets you free and makes you see the world through the eyes of Jesus. Beautiful.

Oh, one last thought - when you've got all the Truth in the world, you don't look down on other people. You go and die for them.


“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

One of the greatest thoughts of all times.


Throwback Thursday

M. & M. & D. & B.

Every Thursday is The Experience day. Even now when I'm not in Newbold any longer. The Experience and Thursdays will always go together for me.

It's hard for me to put it into words - how much love I had for The Experience. And how much love I had for my people. Every Experience was like a miracle for me. I remember how each Thursday night, after the program was done and after the Moor Close stuff was taken back (people, don't ever touch that pink Moor Close lamp again, it's not in a good condition, I should know) and after I had said 'thank you' and 'good night' to my team, I sat or paced back and forth in my little room, realising that what had just happened had been much bigger and much more beautiful than the sum of the parts - it wasn't only about finding a speaker and a praise team, or about getting PowerPoints done and the room decorated, it was always making a space for people to meet Jesus in that tiny little Student Centre. Every Thursday night I had so much adrenaline in my blood I couldn't fall asleep for hours, and thus I kept playing the Experience tape in my head, thinking of every little detail again and again. Crazy stuff.

And I look at this picture and it makes me sentimental and all. For half of the team is already gone - I'm in Estonia, D. is back to Brazil. Give it another year and M. and B. will be gone, too. Students who come to Newbold next year will know nothing of the team we used to have. And that is fine. For something that we created and the love we had for each other will always stay, even if some people know nothing about it. That's the beauty of The Experience. Well, that's the beauty of life, really.


Tuesday's Tune

I don't know why I haven't posted any of my favourite classical pieces yet. For I like classical stuff - my heart undoubtedly belongs to Russian and French music. Tchaikovsky's first piano concert makes me cry. Literally. It has happened in a concert hall, that's why I know.

I had this phase last summer when I read Dostoyevsky's novels and Tchekhov's short stories and listened to Rachmaninoff's music. I would have started speaking in Russian too, if I remembered any. Sadly I don't have good relationships with the language, all I studied over six years is gone with the wind.

But then Rachmaninoff. Today's tune is his heartbreakingly emotional Prelude in C Sharp Minor. I love that piece.


I'm glad I still know the best places in Tartu. The best cafes with best cakes and biggest tea cups.

Pictures from Sunday morning tea date with my big brother S.

Cafe Werner. Just mentioning it in case any of you should visit me one day. :)


So it has begun.

Officially it all began already from the 1st of September. And there's stuff you can do from a distance, plans you need to make with your senior pastor and all that. But there's nothing compared to standing in a pulpit and for the first time sharing the Word with your congregation. And nothing like hugging your old friends and these elderly ladies who love you to bits, welcoming and being welcomed. It was a lovely and heart-warming experience yesterday. And I've got a lot of love for these people in my heart, I can tell that.

But what really made the day was the fact that my own family was here with me yesterday. That my mom felt good enough to come, that my dad canceled his own preaching appointment to be here, and that my older brother cared enough to travel for three hours early on Sabbath morning to support me. I've got, oh, the most awesome fam a girl could want!

And then in the evening I visited our good church friends with a bunch of people. We talked theology and listened to music and made some ourselves. And as it came clear that I needed an update on young and talented Estonian actors and comedians, we watched funny stuff late in the evening - me, my brother, and uhmmm... three of my church elders. Some great people in my church, hehe. :)

Some official-looking pictures from yesterday. It won't get any more official than that in my blog, I promise.

Pastors who prayed the prayer of blessing and who welcomed me in their midst.

The fam. My younger brother is missing.


I have mixed feelings when I think of my weekend in Newbold. I feel like I was constantly torn, trying to spend time with everyone, sneaking out to see my dear friends. The conference was really nice, don't get me wrong, I'm just not sure my heart was always where my body was. There was always someone on my mind, someone I wanted to talk a little longer, someone I felt I couldn't spend as much time with as I wanted. Oh well, I'll be back in mid October and then I'll have time for longer walks and longer conversations. And for more tea. :)

There was one thing though that truly made this weekend a weekend to remember. One memory that will shine the brightest in my soul. It was completely unplanned (as the best things in life often are), almost like a coincident. I sat down with four ladies, with four beautiful and faithful and strong ladies I very much look up to. And although I really hadn't planned it, a dam broke down in me and suddenly all the hurt and pain and all the injustice recently done to me poured out. They listened to me in complete silence, they couldn't believe the things I was telling them. And I kept talking and talking and I hold nothing back because I couldn't any longer. I wept like I hadn't done for quite some time, and they wept with me. And then they put their hands on me and prayed for me and pleaded God on my behalf, and they anointed me with their tears and ordained me with their hands and blessings. And it was the most beautiful moment I could imagine.

Thus I was ordained. For this what the ordination is for me - sending someone on their way and to their ministry with love and encouragement and authority, acknowledging their calling, their gifts and their uniqueness.

And if this is the only ordination I will ever receive, so be it.


Just a few days ago I heard a short melody that reminded me a lot of Adiemus. It brought back some precious memories from my radio times, I often took my Adiemus' CD with me and played it. For those who don't know - Adiemus is Finnish awesomeness, a strange mix of Northern voices and Southern-sounding melodies, all put together by brilliant composer Karl Jenkins. So today's tune is Adiemus' song Adiemus from their album Songs of Sanctuary. Brilliant. And unique.


I'll share my emotions from last weekend in Newbold as soon as I've survived my moving madness and have time to catch my breath. Tomorrow I'm moving to Tartu. Blah.


The birdwatcher. My dad.

There are some people we don't feel very safe with. And then there are the other kind of people with whom we feel very safe. My dad certainly belongs to the latter category. I realise it every time we go to the woods to pick berries or mushrooms.

The thing is that I'm a topographic idiot - I only need about 200 meters to get lost in the woods (so don't ever trust me when I say I know the right way, unless it's one of my hometowns I'm talking about). Like seriously. Once I got lost on my way from a lake to parking lot after a swim, and it couldn't have been more than 200 meters between those two. But my dad has proven to be a topographic genius (one of his traits I haven't inherited) and with him I can run around woods for hours and hours, never having to worry whether he'll get us out of the woods and whether he'll find our car or not. Just like yesterday. We got the whole family to the nearby forest and while others picked berries, I went on a mushroom hunt with my dad. We were all over the place, walking backwards and forward, in circles, kilometers away from our car. And not even once I got a worrying thought in my head. I knew he knew the way, even though I didn't have a slightest clue where we were. And of course he didn't let me down - after our two hour hunt and after a bucket full of mushrooms we walked straight back to our car. As usual.

Talking about trust.

I should write a sermon about it.


Other than that - my mom has been scheduled her first chemotherapy session. It will be a long and hard fight. But she fights and we fight with her. And if God fights for us, we'll win.


Tuesday's Tune

I noticed an interesting phenomenon a few days ago - I've almost stopped listening to music. It's very strange because usually I listen to a lot of stuff, all the time. Music is just essential to my existence. But I guess it's a time of silence in my life now. I don't know how else to explain it.

So there are only very few handpicked songs that make it to the soundtrack of my life right now. That Bobby McFerrin's song which I posted a few weeks ago is one of them. The other one is Ben Taylor's version of By Your Side. It's really Sade's song but for some strange reason the original version has never spoken to me the way this cover has. There are evenings when the last thing I do before going to sleep is to listen to this song. I don't know if it was written as a spiritual song - and honestly, I don't care - but for me it's very much spiritual. I've heard God's voice speaking to me through that song. There are mornings and noons and late evenings when I just need to hear Him telling me,

You think I'd leave your side, baby
You know me better than that
Think I'd leave you down on your knees
I wouldn't do that


Stripes and squares. I'm turning my mom into a photographer. :)