One can't possibly click on every picture, link or video that's up on Facebook. I mean, that would be a full-time job. So most of the time I kind of ignore everything that's up on Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter) and rarely ever watch these things. But couple of weeks ago I did click on a link of a lecture that N. had on her Facebook wall. And I think I've become addicted to it by now. I've watched it at least three times, and I plan to do it again.

It's Michael Card's hour-long lecture titled Lamenting Is Worship. There's something in this talk that really satisfies my soul - it's deep and honest and somehow very calming. It reminds me again why I love theology so much. And it reminds me how deep real (not the superficial kind of) theology actually goes. On one hand it touches the most general human experience that has stayed the same for thousands of years, and on the other hand it sheds light to the darkest corners of my own soul, addressing issues that I might not want to share even with my closest friends. It's a truly uplifting and comforting talk about lamenting & worshiping, and about how human beings can hold on to their faith when absolutely nothing (including God's hesed) makes sense.

So if you have an hour, watch it. I can't guarantee that you'd become addicted to it as I have, but I can guarantee M. C. will say things deep and personal that will resonate with your soul.


Tuesday's Tune

It's time to wrap things up with Movember. And I think Donavon Frankenreiter is just a perfect guy for that - he seems to be a real Movember guy (whatever that means). So here comes his It Don't Matter, such a carefree and fun song! I'm in a mood for these kind of songs today, it's my mum's birthday, the sky is blue and the sun is shining, it smells like snow, and I'm just about to head out to get my mum a bunch of roses from MJ. :)


H., S., mum, dad, M., K.
We had early Christmas. Nah, not really. Only all of us kids went home this past weekend to celebrate mum's 60th birthday. But it felt a lot like Christmas Eve. Because it only happens couple of times a year that all of us get together. I hadn't seen my little (or not so little) brother K. since August so it really felt special to be home this time. Mum and my older brother with his wife had prepared a feast, there were presents (only for mum but no-one minded haha), there were candles and there was a long-long evening with no-one being in a hurry. I wanted to play some Christmas music to make it a real Christmas Eve but K. refused categorically. Only later in the evening I could talk my dad into playing White Christmas once. Oh, and in the end of the day we all got in the cars and went to the beach where S. had prepared a decent fireworks. Just add snow... and it could have been real Christmas.

But more than anything it was a celebration of life. My mum is just in the middle of her treatment so we still don't know whether things will turn to better or to worse for her. And although the shadow of that bloody illness was hanging over us also that evening we still managed to make it a joyous evening, yes, a real celebration of life. We were thankful for each day and year she's been with us, and thankful for all the coming days she will still be with us.

Happy birthday, dear mum. I'm enormously blessed to have such mother. Just don't leave us, not yet.


Rain of glass. [from Montenegro]

Last week I went to Rakvere for a day. Rakvere is the town in Northern Estonia to which I'll move in January. I had a meeting with the local church elder there, we had to discuss a number of issues dealing with the place I'll live and the stuff that needs to be done in that apartment before I arrive. It was a terribly long day, rainy and grey and cold and kind of sad. The pastor's apartment was in a shape much worse than I had expected. And I hadn't had a proper breakfast. So it wasn't exactly the brightest day of my life. The church elder had asked me if I could go and visit an old lady from that church, and I had said I could. So in the afternoon before heading back to Tartu I went and spent some time with this lady at her place - she's something 80+ years old, never married, no kids, living alone in a tiniest and most modest apartment imaginable. I hadn't seen her for quite some time so she started crying as soon as she recognised me. She was so glad to see me. We talked a little and I asked about her life and such. When I left I took her Bible and said I wanted to read her something before going. I picked Psalm 103 and as I began reading she started sobbing again. And I couldn't help myself, I started crying, too.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him

And so we sat there at her kitchen table and I shared the Word and we both cried. For different reasons and with different worries in our hearts but with the same longing for the Almighty God and for His deliverance. Two ladies, one old and one young, one with most memorable events behind her and the other one still looking forward to the future for great stuff to happen, with the Word of God being the rock for both of us and the glue that connected our lives - even if just for a moment. And with Jesus being the centre of both of our lives.

As I left her place, I knew it would be the moment to remember and to cherish for a long time. And I'm slowly learning that these small and seemingly unimportant moments are the most important ones for a pastor. 

These are the moments that are made of real Kingdom stuff.


So the Mission Story thingy. I only found out recently that my story had made its way to the worldwide church's mission stories. And it was last week in Montenegro where one of my friends spotted it on adventistmission.org page and showed it to me. That was the first time I could read it. And I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it. Truth be told, I'm still a little puzzled. Because the story as it was written down seems to me way more dramatic that the real life. But the thing that puzzles me the most is that all the facts in that story were true. So maybe, I'm thinking by myself, my story actually is a bit more dramatic and extraordinary than I've thought of it so far. Go figure.

In any case, it was really cool last weekend when friends from all over the world started reporting about hearing my story. I didn't go to church myself - don't tell anyone, I sneaked out to go to Global Leadership Summit - but based on these reports there are faithful churches in Brazil and US and England and Scotland where mission stories are still read. Good to know.

And I've received about 15 friends request on Facebook this last weekend. From strangers. I'm really not sure what to do with them so I have ignored them so far. If you know a good reason why I should accept them, do let me know.

And the coolest thing is that someone sent me this video. My story. In Portugese. With pictures. I was totally blown away when I saw that whoever made it had actually done some googling. They've got two pictures of Tallinn's old town in there. One picture of me at the Experience, and - the biggest surprise - two photos of Tartu uni's main building. How on earth they guessed that it was Tartu uni that I went to I really don't know because the story never mentioned it. It must be a coincident, otherwise I'd freak out. Here you go, take a look!


Tuesday's Tune

Although I have a pretty good excuse for not posting a song last Tuesday - no Internet connection, no laptop, and a long day at a conference far from home - still I want to apologise. I hope it won't happen again.

But today's song is dedicated to all my beautiful ladies out there. It's Griffin House - oh, what a sweetheart! - with his song The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind. The title speaks for itself. And the video is cool, too. Kind of minimalistic. Enjoy, ladies!


So I spent last week in Montenegro, a tiny little country on the coast of the Mediterranean. I had received an invite to attend our Division's Secularism and Postmodernism Conference with about 150 awesome people. It was great. I mean, to listen to academics and practicians from all over the world, and to hang out with friends old and new, to enjoy the service and luxury of a proper 5* hotel, to think of your ministry and to hear others talking about theirs - it's a good way to spend one's week, trust me. T. summed it up brilliantly, he said it was like going to Heaven - everything is so beautiful and nice around you, and then you meet your friends you had no idea would be there, and you're like, hey, what are you doing here, and then you suddenly think, but hey, what AM I doing here? Haha! Anyway, someone somewhere thought we should be there, and that was a reason good enough to go.

And yes, our president T. W. was there with his wife. He sat just in front of me so I had plenty of time to stare at his neck and think about how I felt about the whole business. And how I felt about him. Because the truth is I've got some church members being nasty and mean to me because they feel the president backs them up and shares their view in certain questions. So it's kind of personal. But then I thought about what Jesus would say, and well, I know what He would say. He'd pull out His "if you love those who love you, what reward will you get?" thingy (Jesus is terribly annoying sometimes). And I knew I had to put aside some hurt and some hard feelings and... well, be a Christian. As simple as that. And I tried my best. I went and had a short conversation with the guy the last evening, and it turned out to be such a nice and uplifting conversation. The difference in views was still there, but we prioritised some other topics, and in the end he prayed for me and my ministry, and I almost had a tear in my eye when I left.

I think Jesus won.


Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6

Psalm 23 is my psalm, no doubt about it. Over the past months I've read it to myself over and over again. I love it. I especially love this 'goodness and mercy' bit which has opened up to me in a completely new way.

The Hebrew word which is translated as 'follow' is radaph. I did a little bit of research and found out some interesting stuff. Apparently it's a word which is translated in different ways in the Old Testament. It can mean 'to follow' - obviously - but it is also translated as 'to pursue', 'to chase', 'to run after', even 'to harass'. Which means that it's a word with a very strong meaning. It's not some vague following, the Bible says that those two - twin angels as Charles Spurgeon calls them - pursue us relentlessly. That they won't let go. That they don't grow tired. That they won't give up. Basically, that goodness and mercy are so persistent they're HARASSING us. Wow. Like, wow.

I'm voting for the 'harassing' translation.

So to me Psalm 23 is all about following and being followed. It's starts with us following the Shepherd. And then the twin angels, goodness and mercy, follow us. It's quite beautiful, if you think of it, really.

So we're in the good company, guys. :)


The past week has been so busy I haven't had any time to sit down and reflect a bit and share my thoughts. I mean, when it's table tennis time it's table tennis time. And when it's The One Project time it's The One Project time. And when it's traveling time it's traveling time. And sometimes blog just has to wait.

But now it's the Tuesday's Tune time. Today I have to share some Estonian awesomeness with you. It's a band called Ewert And The Two Dragons and they're just about awesome. They're a bunch of talented young guys who have been lucky enough to sign a contract with the Universal. Right now they're touring in US and then they're getting back to studio to record a new album. Apparently they've got the same producer as The Lumineers so we're all holding our breath here in Estonia and hoping to see them take the world by storm soon. Check them out, like seriously. Today's song is In The End There's Only Love.

Life is only worth
When you give it away