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söndag 25 juni 2017

Summertime - again?

I know I am not very active right now as blogging goes.
From time to time my life just rushes on and it seems that friday comes right after monday.
We are having a bit of a hard time and I admit, we are not coping all that well.

At the same time, the world is in a bad state and need attention as well. In todays sermon I thought about the fact that we are surrounded by announcements, statements, warnings, appeals, political speaches, headlines. We are scared, downhearted, sad, angry, in despair, guilty.  And at the same time you can never know what headline will be altered in the morning, what astonishing news will be gone by evening, what everlasting truths will be lies ever so shortly.   We are tired of all these disasters and terrors, endlessly shouted at us.
We need to hear about something solid and good, something comforting that will stay the same tomorrow and the next day. We need statements and proclamations that can carry us however the wind may change.
This sunday ended the Midsummerweekend, it's the sunday of John the Baptist.  It's the proclamation of the solid rock, the Salvation and the neverchanging Resurrection. The Lord IS God, and no one else, the Saviour IS born, the Kingdom is real, the Covenant is real.

I for one need to hear that kind of proclamation, otherwise my soul will get tired by the suffering of people arround me and perhaps my heart will turn elsewhere and get cold.
But if I know that God is on our side, never letting go, I can let that knowledge carry me through the dark times.  And pray that it can comfort others!
Zacharia, Johns father, is giving voice and words to the joy he feels about this son of his, God keeps his promises so that everyone will know it and see it. It's a wonderful song.

In Sweden, we don't speak much of John the baptist, but we celebrate midsummer, both in church and in our homes, you can read about it in my post from last year:
If you want to know more about the Summer solstice, check with the Heron, he is the expert on that!!

This weekend I had one marriage, two christenings, one high mass and two services with lots of music.  I am a bit tired. We've had such funny weather too, for long we heard warnings everyday about the water, now the rain got back and so we are good again.  
The wedding was interesting, the bride was from Thailand and her sister sang for us, a song about land and family and speaking to your loved ones about worries and joys. Amazing singing technique!!! After that wedding I stood in the pouring rain talking to the couple who wants their wedding to be in the harbour beneath a certain tree, we decided there would be no rain on that actual day.......
I actually pinched this picture from Facebook, a man taking nice pictures of our choirs singing!!!! I couldn't take any since I am down there!! As you can see, the empty seats in the front rows belong to the choirs...100 year Jubilee!!!

Last weekend also was interesting and indeed a very pleasant event. Our choirleader in church turned 60 in february and that has caused him lots of agony. To cheer himself up he decided to give the parish something from his heart and as he has served in 40 years he set up for a 100 year jubilee.  The churchchoir turned 80 three years ago and I wrote a song for that occasion but since it never was finished I took help from a colleague and finished it now. I just wanted him to have it , but he actually wanted to use it so, oh dear, the choir sang it on that Jubilee concert. So he started out with Bach from the powerful church organ and then three different choirs took turns in the singing, we had amazing solos from several persons, by voice, by trumpet, by harmonica, by violin.....  oh, what blessed times!!! The church was filled to the brim!  Praise was sung, carefully chosen songs, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Swedish composers( and me!). You can see a picture above!!
We closed with  "Abide with me", varying between solo, trumpet, violin, choir and the entire congregation .  I heard now that we had it recorded and if we are lucky it's good so we can get a copy each. I wish I knew how to bring it to you, but I don't.  

Here is a little film about our church, it's in swedish but you can enjoy the pictures!! This is where I serve, one of our churches, that is!!

We need to share both good and bad, we need to take part of both darkness and light.  The terrible disasters that shake the world right now and have done so for a long time, are enough to discourage anyone, but there are so many heartwarming occasions in the middle of all this, that you still find it possible to carry on.
Since we are going to London again this year, we are following the news with great care.
But we know that terror hits everywhere, in Stockholm we experienced it for the first time.
I feel downhearted about the Grenfell , all those people, and for what gain?? But now we hear they are taking action all over the UK. 600 houses just like that one...600???!!!! Only in the UK? What about the rest of the world? Hurry, lifes can be saved!!

It's too late for those poor souls , but hopefully there have been lessons to learn. No more.
WE have to come to many of those NO more and NEVER again!!  At least we have to try taking charge of what we actually can do!  So much to do, so much knowledge to be used, so much experience to weigh in before we decide, so much concern to take, so fragile is the human life and so strong.  We are no fools, we know what is right, we have the tools. So as far as it is our responsibility,  when things are within our reach and we have the means to do right, then we must do it.  And while we raise our voices for action, we can take care of those in need, the love and care between people when times are dark, is the most hopeful proof that the words from the Scripture today - are valid and solid. God hasn't abandoned his people - so love still remains among us - we can see it with our own eyes!! 
And as a small token of bright days: some pictures from two weeks ago:

We went for a small excursion in the Osterlen county, this is the Chapel of Knäbeck. It can hold 20 if you stand tight...

Churchwarden Peter trying the belltower
The internal

lördag 10 juni 2017

The lark ascending - music to make you lighthearted

Just wanted to cheer my british friends up and let you all take part of something really wonderful.  This is "The lark ascending" by Ralph Vaughn Williams.
Since I compose a bit myself, I find great pleasure discovering new music and this I heard the other day, feeling gloomy about Brexit, Trump and personal matters.
When such music is possible , how great will not the heavenly choirs be like? I wonder.
So if you found time to plough yourself through my last post, maybe this one will fill your heart with light and blessings!

fredag 9 juni 2017

This is the season

So this is the season?

Mothers day is the last sunday in May, look what I've got!!

Come sunshine, come tourists, come flags!! 

The month of maying is long gone, there was hardly any spring at all, some say now that we have but two seasons left.  Pentecost was cold and windy, with our 55 voices big church choir singing at the service, our National Day was spent with anthems sung from every citysquare, speaches held and flags and banners waving. We payed our icecream boat a visit and then strolled over to the big(?) city square.  New swedish citizens welcomed, folkdancers and childrens choirs. This has been a holiday for 7 years now,  originally the day, june 6th, was celebrated because of the King Gustav Wasa ( yes, the one that gave his name to the skiing contest) With him the country was united under one king only in 1523. That same king also made way for the protestant church. In doing that he emptied the monasteries and killed quite a few monks, but hey, we were now lutherans!!

Our part of the country was still danish though... anyway, several hundred years went by and we then imported a new king for the new kind of kingdom, a new order of government was signed 1809 june 6th, by june 27 all the counties had signed and so we had a new reign. We now got one of Napoleons generals for king, they couldn't get along so it was a win win situation and we got the Bernadottes, first one called Carl XIV Johan, but he actually didn't speak french like everyone else did, more some kind of spanish.  Since 1818 this has been the Royal order in Sweden, the King has no real power today but is a very important symbol for our nation. We love our royal family. At first we celebrated the flag alone, then we started to call it a nationalday 1983, although we never had any victory or independence day to celebrate so this day never had the pregnance that these days have in other countries.  Norway f.i. 

Here is the national anthem, about great days of glory, this particular version is from the park in Stockholm, Skansen where the royal family celebrate every year.

This is also the time for graduation, schoolproms and partys in every garden, the barbecue time and in our community - time for Sweden Rock Festival - a week when we are invaded by 33.000 hideous and friendly rockers from all of Sweden ; Denmark, Norway, Finland but also Germany and more.
They arrive dressed in jeans and t-shirts or even suits and polished shoes and come out of their tents and caravans dressed in robes, with black or white eyelenses and walking sticks with skulls and demons on them. This year we have Scorpions and Aerosmith f.i, but last year Queen was here, sort of...Freddie....

This is the season when our children go on summer leave, in Sweden they have that summer from mid june to mid august. For some children this is a wonderful time of bathing, travelling, picnic and partys. It's a time for meeting relatives and friends. For others, it's a idle time, time to kill, time spent indoors with the computer as only company, for some children these are days when they don't get enough to eat every day because of the economical and social situation in the family. When I was that age the community sent me for summer to families in the country side, I have written about those days here: 

without that help my life would have been quite different, for sure.

This is also election time , it's not going very well for the conservatives in UK. Not in Sweden either, the right wing is falling rapidly, they call for changed leadership, and that is also the case in the left wing. A coalition is needed for next years election? In the UK, it seems that everything is no shaking, we hope for at good and solid solution, the Brexit has to be managed in a wise and sound fashion, now when its there to handle. I'm sorry about it, but hope for the best. 

Handling things wisely is also a deep felt prayer, when terror hits again and again. We need to take action, we need to be firm and we need to unite our forces. This is the season when the free world and the freedom of people is threathened by a thinking that is uncomprehensable to us.
It seems that an answer in military fashion is unevitable, so now it's on.  A sensible political thinking to prevent more bloodshed, must be layed on the table as well as those actions.  People are scared and angry, people are hurt and bewildered.  Who can we trust? No one?  I fear a closed and suspicious society. That was the goal, wasn't it? 

But then again; so comforting to see that there are no hayforks or angry mobs roaming the street, screaming for revenge.  Instead people start to sing, buy flowers, write poems and greetings, holding and comforting each other, side by side, young and old, christian and muslim.
We have to fight this, but we must keep the hatred out of our hearts - that is what they say these people who ran for their lives and now are back in the streets, seeking fellowship.  That probably wasn't intended but that is what we've got.  I pray that it will last. 
We are , I believe, strong enough to act for those who are in need right now, and we do,  and so hope is possible, because Gods children need eachother, He created us that way.

Same sparrow every day - tjirrp, tjirrp. I don't know what he is on about but I prefer him because at the rooftop of the parish home, we right now have an angry family of gulls, attacking everyone and everything, protecting the newly hatched babies.  I can understand them, children must be protected, but I still prefer the sparrows way.....
This is the season also, to hope for a better life ahead while trying to get through every day not worrying about the next.  We try to do this in our family, some of you know the difficulties we are facing right now, but we are not abandoned, just very tired.  Matthew 11:28 is called for!
" come to me , ye who are tired and burdened, I shall give you rest "( swedish translation, didn't check King James's )

And now, a bite to eat and then off to prepare for another christening of a little boy. 
This afternoon will be spent celebrating the 60th birthday of a woman in the churchchoir, fighting to live a good and bright life in spite of her handicap - this will be a good day!!!

lördag 3 juni 2017

No doubt about the drought.

Good saturday!!!

This beautiful cross was made of the talented old lady Eva Spångberg. She moved home to Jesus a couple of years ago.  On sunday we celebrate Pentecost with 55 choirsingers, musicians and a wonderful Mass with folkmusic. Blessings to you all!!!!!

Water, cool, clear water!!! We are having some problem with the waterlevel, mostly in the southern parts of Sweden.
Up north they still have snow..
We hade a flood this winter, the water rose to a level we seldom see around here,   covering backyards and parkinglots and gardens. Unfortunately that has very little to do with the water supplies. Many hot and dry summers and some winters almost without snow has created a situation that can become very troublesome and already is in some parts.
On my favourite island Öland they are trying a device for seawater, last year they had to take fresh water from the mainland in great tankers.  
The drought also has it's roots in how we use water nowadays.  We shower for hours, some take showers twice a day. We have swimmingpools in every second garden, we have recycling so we have to rinse everything in order to avoid smelling yoghurt bottles and oily trays. 
The farmers need to use sprinklers on the fields when there is no rain, the soil is flying around
like smoke. And in our part they are alarmed about the state of things when we start Sweden Rock Festival, four days of solid rock. The american bands are reluctant and some have backed out, they fear for terrorism.  Anyway, it takes huge amounts of water to serve all these rockers.
After the festival we will probably be drinking by teaspoon....
Still, we are blessed and spoiled, we still have water , clear and clean, for everyone to use. Soo many walk for miles and then the water is almost never clean, so....

Yesterday was also graduationday in our little town, hundreds of
young, singing, howling, happy and scared teenagers in their white hats
and white dresses or smart suits. The great ball took place last week,
with long dress, hairdo and limousines, they spend half a fortune on
dresses, hairdresser, makeup, shoes, champaign and parties.
The brightening future is ours - they chant or sing.
Our oldest is up next year....my husband and I fear the great
cavity that will evolve in our bankaccount.

Taking a stroll last night we saw the party tents and the balloons in blue and yellow , many graduates in our village as well. 
Our oldest is now 18, she can vote in church, we have a system with elected churchcouncils,
you can vote from the age of 16. But she thinks it's better to prepare for the real election next year. At the news we could hear the voices of young people in UK who have no intention of voting for parliament next week. They have no interest for it, they say, and it's no use voting, they wont care about us anyway a young girls said. Democracy has been fought for and dreamed of and is an impossible thought in many countries. Young people there can only dream of it.  But I can understand that when you find yourself standing last on the list of priorities, you may not think voting can change anything. They interviewed young people in Leeds, unemployed or underpayed, insecure and with no chans of university studies. Same kind of people that live in trailors and try to make ends meet with bad pay, bad health and no social security , in Trumps America. They found he was an alternative for them. How the young people in UK think of their future and who to vote for, is also troublesome. They never voted for Brexit, how then can they choose who is to make the exit !

Politics is important and difficult. We'll be having the Burma leader for a visit in Sweden soon.
Politics is a way of adapting the gospel to make society work. Martin Luther thought it was important to create a society where everyone was safe and every skill needed and valued!!
A good working society is a blessing.  Unfortunately he got involved with the uproar of the farmers and stood on the wrong side, I think he accused the farmers of a bloody uproar and therefore banned it, maybe he didn't foresee the bloodbath that his peers made of it!!!
It's nothing new this game of power, it will continue for as long as there is something to gain in oppressing, stealing and lying. Too many lies are being spread, too much of it is mistaken for the truth and too little is discovered before the damage is made. WE have a great economical scandal rolling up, even bigger than the first one a couple of years ago, the one with the false mailboxes... Now we see billions hidden in bankaccounts, while the owners declare nothing of it or only a trifle of it to the taxoffice. Democracy also need a system where everyone helps paying for everything we decide we need: schools, roads, trains, hospitals, welfare, security...
If you decide not to be a part of that when you actually have the means, you are no better than the young people in Leeds who say: "Politics is not my thing, I don't want to be part of it"

In Sweden the headlines are screaming about mistrust and bad leaders, may they be out out and ashamed, pictures and miscredits are visible everywhere, these people have families and feelings, the blaming society that Rachel spoke of is very true. We need a scape goat for the bad situation, be it the countries finances or the footballteams losses. 
I know, they chose to go in to politics , they get payed for it, they have plenty of advantages being who they are, but they are still people, humans, do to others...
We are not talking of crimes here, just failors in doing what I was set to do.  Mercy mercy.

Chestnuts by the church

Our little bee hotel got its first inhabitants, six of the small rooms are taken and this guard is watching over them!!!!!

Poppies are popping up everywhere, glowing red!!
Seeing the lupines in their nice pastel coats, makes me think of John Cleese. Ever seen Dennis Moore?  The rather sweet but confused Robin Hood character? Click and enjoy!!!


Lupines without the red are almost even more beautiful!!!!!

måndag 22 maj 2017

Anniversary - from harbour to harbour in 25 years!!!!!


As I thought I would share another anniversary with you, I find it best to link you to the story of the event 25 years ago:

If you travel along that link you will find a story about our first trip to Greece and the xchange of golden rings!!

This post, however is the story of a small anniversary trip, to celebrate the 25 years that has passed since then, this time heading for our own south borders and a small fishing harbour.

After a busy week and actually rather dark and gloomy, moody, if you like, my husband bought me flowers and I had booked a B&B on a farm down south.

Saturday morning we left the girls and grandma in the house and headed for a place called Forsakar,  a forest with a ravine with waterfalls, smaller but rather beautiful. It's also a somewhat dangerous place since the ravine have no fences. Along the riverside you can see that several of the very tall trees have lost their grip in the thin soil, falling dramatically across the stream.  The trail leads up and down along the riverside, the forest is thick and filled with birdsong and flowers, insects and ....sand. We found a small rock with a cross shaped pattern in it, and sat down for a nice cup of coffee and a sandwich. 

 I wonder who made this pattern?
And I wonder what flower this is?

Deep river... nah!

SMALL waterfall!!!
These funghi are usually found on pinetrees but from time to time they grow on beech and birch. They are beautiful, like small canopies.
 After a rather hot but pleasant walk/climb, we climbed in to the car again. You see, we skipped spring this year, I know some of you agree, from icy mornings last week to 25 degrees celcius hot this day!!  Ah well,  we were on our way to the sea, to walk on the windy cliffs of Dover, well at least our version of it, Hovs hallar and the plateau where  the stones of Ale are situated, no no, not ale, Ale is a name!!! High above the waterline , with a walkingtrail among the hills and sometimes in the company of cows and sheep. Did I mention the wind?  Here below you can see some scenery from our walk. We left our bags in the B&B, took the picnic bag and started the trail right through one of the farmers inner yard!

As I said, trail began in the farmyard. She had seen lots of hikers and didn't bother much.

A sea of rape seed, nice waters!
Here you see the sea!!

And here you see the sea, a bit too high up for my taste actually!! Me, not the sea! The undersea stream here is rather strong and there have been dramatic drownings among , mostly middleaged, men.

This was the lowest hindrance for the cattle, the highest caused a climb of 2 metres, I mean, for a frail little woman with a metal hip, that is a challenge. And more of it, WHAT ARE THEY STOPPING WITH A HINDRANCE OF TWO METRES?? Giraffes???

The stones of Ale are said to be a cultic place, with traces back to 700 BC. It is build to cover the winter and summer solstice and also several more parts of the calender. Inside the boatstructure there have been found traces of a burialplace. Some stones have been raised long before the boatstructure was completed. For us, however, it is a beautiful spot with a striking view. 
6 hours later, after our dinner, we climbed
back up again and took some more pictures!!!
 Well, since our engagement took place in a greek little harbour, it seemed right to take our picnic at the ridge of Kåseberga, a small fishing harbour with a equally small village attached to it. When we were children, this place was very simple and you could buy smoked herring or salmon and eat it on a bench. Today there are tourist shopping, bakery and at least 3 restaurants and a grill in the harbour area and two more in the village. Mostly open at summertime, like most villages by the sea everything closes in september.
I had prepared a chickensalad and added a rosé wine, small bottle off course!  Very tasty actually. You see the harbour below as well, a very sweet sight!! In Greece, we changed rings right after the thunderstorm and before dinner. Crickets had begun chanting, this time we had no crickets and no thunder.                                                                                                        

 Some hours later we returned to the harbour and had dinner, this time we dared the pizza , very special , thin, baked in a stone oven with logfire. The heat had expired a bit, but we chose to sit by the sea anyway and after dinner we went back up to the hill to get a last look at the rocks, the sea and the sun.  
 Nothing like a good sunset, this was around 21.00 and very soon after that the setting was completed.

A cup of tea and pannacotta with berries completed the day!
Next day we went to a place called Backåkra where the swedish FN boss Dag Hammarsköld used to stay. There is a museum and a monument, more like a place for prayers and solitude, the word PAX is chopped in to the center stone. Around in the field there are hundreds and hundreds of small orchids and anemones, those blue furry ones, impressive in height at this place. Many people makes pilgrimages to this place and church have outdoor services here.

Larks singing, otherwise this was the most silent place, and believe me, silence is not what we usually have around us. The world today is such a noisy place, and hasty too. We move around like in a race but inside we move at beetle speed.  

Before returning home we stopped at the turkey farm to have a bite to eat and buy some goodies home, sausages, pies, smoked turkey and other tasty things.  Back home we hurried to have a cup of coffee with the rest of the family and then off to afternoon service where the childrens choirs had prepared a musical about the Creation and the six-year olds in the parish came to get their bibles. It was a splendid anniversary, God be praised!
A quiet sacred place for worried and restless souls and tired feet. Dag Hammarskölds Backåkra.


söndag 14 maj 2017

Signs of summer


However cold the weather have been , spring is marching on and summer is approaching.
Signs of that?  Well, the lark is singing over the fields that turns yellow by the minute. Rapeseed is very common in Sweden and when it's in it's richest, the colour is overwhelming!! Above those fields you often hear the lark, hard to spot, however! The picture below was taken yesterday, but we have far more impressing fields than this, I'll catch one!

This afternoon ,  after service in our smaller church, we went out to the small chapel, the one I have been telling about in advent, for the Spring gathering, sermon by one of our retired vicars, lottery, coffee and homebaked in the benches, smalltalk and plans for the future. We are about 20 active members, hoping to become more.  Below is Siretorp in advent, with a link that post.


More hopeful signs of spring are the lambs and calfs running about in the fields, we don't have all that many pastures for them , the farmers keep them mostly indoors, but some are out.

Another sign are the annual running festivals. We have one called Spring Rush. It's for woman only so we gather a bunch of parishoners and colleagues in a bus, and drive up to the neighbouring dioces - Vaxjo. It's redpainted Dome is being repaired so I couldn't get a good picture from the bus window.  So I snatched one from their Facebook sajt. 

 And another one from the inside, Vaxjo is a part of the Glass Kingdoom, in this county there is by tradition and history several glassfactories and an impressive bunch of glass artist, like 

Bertil Wallien who made the altarpiece in this Dome, among many other things. The tree to the right here is for candles used for personal prayers. It's leeves are made of glass just like the Christ figure. There are also apples. The teenagers in white are a confirmation group on their way to the confirmationservice.  To the left you see the organ.
In Sweden the Dome cathedrals have twintowers.
Normally the bus leaves us in the centre of town, to do some shopping and having a bite to eat, but since it has been temperatures close to freezing, they chose the big Mall......need I say more of my feelings here?  This was a very cold day, about 5 degrees celcius but no rain!!  The race itself took place by the lake where St Sigfrid was told by an angel, to build the church. It's a 5 kilometer race, so it's no big deal. Since the race takes place in several cities, it's surrounded by sponsors and events. We were about 4200 women running, the money you pay supports The Fund for Childcancer. It runs on charity and supports research on cancer. The blue chair ( see below)is their symbol, in the commersials you can see many chairs being filled with children and the blue chair being empty, a symbol for the child lost in cancer. The fight against cancer goes on.

Once you have passed this inflatable chair, you have finished the race!
Here are some pictures from that evening, I for my part was walking, since my metal hip doesn't allow running, hence the walkers in my picture!!

Walking walking!

The fastest runner made it on 17 minutes, that is a shame really, the running trail is rather beautiful with the lake and the trees. Fastest in our team took 25 minutes. Me? About an hour, walking with some newfound friends!! After the run you collect a picnic bag, this year all vegetarian. From the stage there is music and all sorts of things you can win on music quizzes and other challenges.

We came back home by 22.30, rather tired!!!

And, the next day you could sleep late?
No, the next day was the annual spring outing for our seniors, 63 seniors in two buses, going for a ride. If yesterday was bad, this was worse; 5 degrees and RAIN. The busride went well enough, singing and talking, but usually we can sit outside and take walkes and enjoy the scenery, but this wasn¨t one of those days!!! We went down south, first stop - off course, lunch!! We had a dish very special for this county :
The egg cake!!! Eggs, milk, a touch of wheatflour , fried slowly in a pan. It's very thick so you turn it using a plate. Served with crisply fried salted pork and lingonberry jam. Mmm.

Then on to one of our middleage churches, Ravlunda. Oldest parts of it were built around 1220, the rest of it restored and extended over the centuries. Inside you can see, like in many of these churches, a small wooden bench beside the mainseats. Those were for servants. In the early days every larger mansion had their own seats, the bigger ,the closer to the altar.
In some churches the familyname is painted on the small door to the benches.
In the churchyard you find two interesting headstones for two loved swedish celebrities:
Fritiof Nilsson Piraten and Olle Adolphsson. One an author, creating amusing and historical anecdotes about life in the villages and life in town around 1890-1940. The other one a trobadour and storyteller. 
" Here underneath are the ashes of a man whos habit it was to postpone everything to the next day. He finally changed for the better and actually died january 31th 1972". Those were his own words for this headstone, Fritiof Nilsson The Pirate.
The interior of Ravlunda, with the altar and the pulpit, with a door!!
This is a very typical sight in the south of Sweden: the churchyard ends, with some old, forgotten headstones and a hedge and on the side the farmers have prepared the field for some crops. The farm you see down there is very typical for this county, half-timbered I believe you call it, we say cross lumbered.
After a short service and guiding we went on to Kivik to visit were my husband and I had our apple safari:

Coffee, applepie and some shopping and we went home again, tired and singing!!

Now we are heading for Pentecoast and the great celebration !! We celebrate with our neighbouring parish, all choirs and in our large church. We sing a mass created by a priest called Per Harling, he has created several hymns and songs in folktune.  More of that in next post.  Bless you all, please comment if you like!!

måndag 8 maj 2017

The political pastry?? The rhye of faith?


The willowtree knows nothing of standard , it is like us, generous in it's growth and majestic in it's own way.  We let the tree differ in shape, why not humans?

Of the  elections and referendums going on in the world right now, I really don't understand so much. Harry S Truman said this once: "A great leader is one that makes people do what they don't want, and like it". If that is true, anything can happend when a leader becomes great or at least get the most votes. History have deep scares to proove it.

In some countries however, getting the most votes doesn't seem to have anything to do with what the people want. Especially not if "loving the leader" is a written rule.

Where the leader f.i needs to be addressed "Supreme Leader, the great creator of world peace" I at least feel a bit uneasy. Just to invite such a person for a snack must take an eternity if the time has to be discussed, titles used with every new option.
Turkey had an election and they say it went well, for Erdogan at least. What his supreme leadership means to the people and the current political situation is yet to be seen, but I fear we might need to be praying for them. All leaders need prayers.

Political spring is one thing, the brilliant springing of leafs is another.

And so we followed Macron to the office, I was under the impression that macron was a pastry, but I could be wrong, no offence sir!  The other option looked like a pastry but acted like something less sweet.

The french people have suffered greatly, I can understand the frustration.  But would it really be wise to close the borders and stop cooperation between nations?  Especially in such dark times. Is has never been successful as far as I know.

                                   In Sweden we have a saying: "Your best helper is yourself"     That is off course the same kind of jibberish as " Alone stands strong".  Macron look strong enough, but needs friends and know it. And friends can come from surprising directions. We'll pray for that. And for every single person who suffers from the violence.

So the leader that can make people do what they don't want and like it, who is that person?
Hopefully that person can be prophetical and see the need before everyone else and lead on towards a goal that needs actions most are reluctant to take.  
If that leader really is wise and good, people can actually listen and go ahead and do what they didn't believe in at first and find out it was in the nick of time.  The gospel works that way, since we are all selfish creatures, we don't really want to sacrifice ourselves for others, but he makes us do it and like it,  love is the most forceful and forceless power in the world. We do it because Jesus did and because he makes it possible. That is great leadership. And no strings attached.
No court marshal if you don't obey. The change for the better starts within me.  Slowly.
One of the doorways to S:t Nicholas!!

Politically however, it seem to take an eternity.  We say over and over; never again, now we have learned our lesson"  . No we haven't. War is still going on, small and big. Starvation is still a problem, overconsuming a problem in the other end of the line, the environmental challenge is bigger than ever,  new ways of destroying creation for short term gain, is ever growing.

We still judge people by their value, and value is set differently in every context. We still divide people in to those who belong and those who don't, those who count and those who don't.

 But things can and do change and light can be found, hope is glowing and faith is growing because the force of Love,  makes people do what they don't want and like it. We are created to do good and when we start doing it against our will, we find that we like it and wish to continue.  We are not meassured in terms of useful or useless, we are not valued for what we can achieve, anyone can make a change, everyone counts.  We have to realize life is more in need of rhye than pastry, and it takes more effort than leisure.
Yes, I am preaching and yes, Christians can be coldhearted and turn their backs just as anyone, but Christ can't.
Christians are not the answer to the problems in this world, the evil, the despair, the lack of hope, but I believe that Christ is .  And every day I hope that some of that truth can be visible through us and at least not the opposite...... and welcome every person who finds the strenght to spread hope, light and comfort, and so many do,  and when they do, let no one go questioning if their faith or political colour is correct, we need all human efforts, because being a human is the greatest thing you can be . 
You can even find hope in the fact that they built this hotel for swallows in Torsö ,by the sea.

Another thing that gives me hope are the posts, the pictures, the comments and the sharing of wisdom, happiness, sorrow, daily efforts or just beauty and tranquility that takes place daily among you, my newfound blogfriends. I know very well we don't think or believe alike always, but life has improved a lot since I discovered all of you. Thank you!!