Not much is happening. I'm trying to take it easy because in less than a month's time I'll be off to Amsterdam and I'll add the stress of studying to that of working. Another busy year is knocking on the door. So I try to do everything now I won't have enough time for during the school year. Which really only means reading and gymming and seeing my family.

I spent a heavenly weekend at my cousin's summer house (I only get one weekend off in three months so it's actually a big deal for me). It's a place where I can't draw a line between reality and dream - it all seems too good to be true. Of all the people I know my cousin really is the one who knows how to enjoy life. And not in a big or fanciful way but in a very simple and down to earth way. We went swimming so many times I stopped counting, we ate pancakes on the porch on Saturday morning, we heated the sauna and spent two hours sweating and dipping in the lake, we read books and took naps, we sunbathed and ate fresh honey, we played football with kids and made apricot jam. Heavenly. Absolutely heavenly. When I had to leave the place I've come to love so deeply, I left with an invitation to go back, and not just for a weekend. My cousin said that if I ever needed a place to hide and do my homework or just relax, I could stay there by myself for a whole week. I promised to keep that invitation in the back of my head. And now I'm thinking - October. I so need to take a week off and go there in October and hide from the business of my life!

My reading business has been upgraded to a new level recently. I already took reading advice from Dr A. N. earlier but now she has come up with a whole new thing she calls The World Literature Course. She's the lecturer, I'm the student, obviously. It means that she has given me a personal reading list of 50 books, containing classical novels, travel books, biographies, a big section of African literature (which, I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about), etc. I took a tour in my local library last week after I had received the book list and I realised how poorly equipped it was. So she promised to help me out as much as possible and supply me with books I can't get my hands on here when she comes to Estonia in October. This is some serious business! I feel like I almost have an obligation to read now. But I don't mind, I love it. At the moment I'm finishing my 25th book this year - William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, a frustratingly beautiful and painful book about the history and tragedy of American South and slaves and slave masters.

My gymming has a big impact on the music I listen to. I've picked up Body Balance classes again and who ever is choosing music for their routines is doing a brilliant job. My two favorite songs at the moment must be George Ezra's Budapest and Tom Odell's Heal. It's a pure pleasure to listen to these songs while sweating in the gym.


No. I take back my words. There's something I want to add to my last post about women's ordination. [And here I apologise to all my non-Adventist and non-Christian friends for this ranting but it's just too difficult to summarise the meaning and importance of the topic of women's ordination in the Adventist church at the moment.]

One of my Facebook acquaintances said last week that he was "confident that the Lord was going to deliver us from the WO on Wednesday." When you sit and read and realise that your pastoral ministry is something the Adventist church needs to be delivered from, it shakes you to the very core of your being. Because it makes you question your calling and your sanity, it makes you question your denominational identity and at the darkest of hours, it also makes you question God.

It is a situation for many godly people where they face some of the hardest questions of life and where they have to decide whether they stay true to their faith and calling and church and God, or not.

And this, by definition, is the shaking.

We're so eagerly waiting for the day when we can't pay for groceries because we don't keep the Sunday and we're waiting for evil papal minions to pull out our fingernails in dark cellars of Vatican but maybe, just maybe the true testing of our faith is happening much closer to home.

We all go through those dark times of testing. Not because of some sick pleasure of Jesus or because He doesn't know the quality of our faith but because we ourselves need to know the answers to these tough questions. And right now many people in our church are going through the painful process of finding answers and finding the depth of their faith. May God be close to us. May joy come in the morning.

And may God have mercy on this church.


The light of last weekend will shine bright for a long time.

It was the weekend of Christian song festival in Tartu. It was about 1,5 years ago when the organising committee (from the Lutheran church) had made the final selection of songs and to our great delight it was announced that one of my dad's song would be on the program. And then about a year ago came the detailed program which said that my dad's song The Lord Is Great in Zion would be the very last, the closing song of the whole song festival. Which, of course, would be a great honor to any composer.

So we were all in Tartu this past weekend, braving the heat wave and singing our hearts out and being so very glad for my dad. There were around 2800 singers in the main choir, it was a pleasure to be part of it and as much as I've heard, it was also lovely to listen to. And it's difficult to explain to someone who's never seen a song festival what it's really like but towards the end of it mass psychosis (or something very similar) starts taking over the singers. Like, you've waited for the festival for so long, you've rehearsed the songs, you've put up with hours of rehearsals on the song festival grounds, suffering from sun burn and dehydration, it's been much hard work and a long journey to the actual song festival concert so when you realise it's almost over, you'd do almost anything to prolong the bliss of singing together with so many people. And it's not only singing, it's like breathing together, for a moment you cease to exist as an individual and you become one with this massive crowd. So it was also on Saturday. And the only thing you can possibly prolong this experience with is having some songs repeated by popular demand...

 It was when all the prayers and benedictions were said and most of the audience was standing when we sang my dad's song. And oh, I have never sung a song like I sang this one! And when it ended, the choir started chanting "Au-thor, au-thor" and dad came running to the conductor's stand and waved to the singers and he got a bouquet of flowers and a massive applause and it was all rather like a dream. And when I thought everything was over, I suddenly heard some chanting from the men's section: "Repeat! Repeat!" And then I was almost crying when I saw the conductor come back and give us a sign to repeat the last song. My dad stood there with his flowers, watching the massive choir and orchestra and he cried happy tears...

Some moments stay with you. This one will - one of the proudest moment of my entire life.

A fraction of the choir. I'm somewhere there.

I'm only going to say this about the GC and WO. It was around 3am that the result of the voting came last night and when it did, I sat on my bed and wept like a little child.

In the beginning of the week I was like, I should make Thursday my visitation day this week. So I looked at the members list and called a whole bunch of people. And except for one lady who was out of town with her grandchildren, no-one answered my call. And I thought it really funny, wanting to suspect a conspiracy. But now I know it wasn't a conspiracy, it was mere mercy. I'm not in a condition of sitting on anyone's couch and asking about their lives today. In fact, I would appreciate a pastoral visit myself.

But on a brighter note, the uplifting messages and phone calls from good friends have been appreciated beyond words. It's encouraging to know I'm not facing this tragedy alone. Actually, my conference secretary just called, checking on me. That's the Kingdom I believe in!