27 December 2010

O Holy Night

It's still the season right! I should've really posted this on Christmas Eve. It's so beautiful.

25 December 2010

The Christmas Story

This is cuteness maximised!

In Finland we celebrate Christmas most on Christmas Eve. Or that is the main day, we do celebrate it for a whole three days (24th, 25th, 26th) - but the Eve is when we have our big dinner, open presents, Santa Claus visits, most go to Church - you can also go on Christmas morning at 7am, which is even more traditional, and which is what we in my family do. It's followed by traditional breakfast at my aunt's with all those who went to Church together, or who just play along in the morning. I used to do the Watch Night service, but it has changed to this in the last two years.. Some years before this, I did both!

Nobody works here on the 24th, unless you are in the service sector (or church staff :)). All shops (except those with special license) close at 12 noon on Christmas Eve. So that's when Christmas officially starts here! And they don't open until the 27th.

This year (And most years) it's winter wonderland. It was -20C yesterday..Just now it is only -12C!

Happy Christmas!

Here's a classic :)

20 December 2010


Today I went here with a group of my students (and with):

Picture from

It looked pretty much like that. Oh how we enjoyed and loved the silence there. Nearly in the middle of nowhere..At least it sounded like there was nothing close. There's nothing more refreshing than a walk in the forest on a winter day like this. Being in the nature.

It got me thinking. I realised how much noise we have in our lives. How hard it is to hear the important still whispers, when our lives are crowded with of all sorts noise. I long for more Silence.

It balances us and connects with our inmost being.

I'd recommend having a walk in the forest any day to re-balance you. Only the sounds of nature there..Speaking without words.

Beautiful Silence.

11 December 2010

I Won!!!!

Homemade Goats Milk Soap in a Giveaway Contest!!! I am soooo happy!! I don't remember ever winning any of these type of draws/competitions. Yey!!! I look forward to testing them!! Stay tuned, will let you know how they are!
And if you like, you can try them out yourselves for a very affordable price at Rhen's shop, here: Handcrafted Goat Milk Soap - shop
Ahh, I am so happy. :)
Pictures from Rhen's site

06 December 2010

Onnea Suomi!

Happy Birthday Finland! Happy Independence Day!

04 December 2010

From Nakedpastor

Good News a little early! But couldn't resist posting.


29 November 2010


The Script: For the First Time

Guess it's a pretty hard time in Ireland..

This morning when I arrived at work I had BandAid and "Do they know it's Christmas" in my head.. But I shall leave posting that closer to the Holiday!


Ahh, what a nice start to a Monday. A colleague had bought me a cake like this (from a bake sale yesterday) - what a nice surprise and start for the week!! It's kind of a bundt cake (kuivakakku) a Finnish thing (or maybe Scandinavian..oh no, I checked it's German origin), I think this one is like Marmorkuche (marble cake) or something like that in German.

(Forgive me if I am wrong, I haven't studied a day of German. I have, however, "taught" German..Ok, that was in my substituting daze. Wonder if the students learned anything? ;D)

Yesterday was also lovely. It is like winter wonderland here already. A wee bit on the cold side, -15C (and more..) Brrrrr. But apparentily so it is in the UK! I'm meant to fly in tomorrow, but I think my airport is closed!

Here's a few news clips for you (if, like me, you are reading this from outside the UK.)

More gritted streets needed say Newcastle residents

Snow causes travel disruption in Scotland and North east England

'Beautiful but bitterly cold'

It was so beautiful yesterday when I drove to my godson's 8th birthday party. Such a familiar road from youth, therefore nostalgic.. I didn't have my camera with me, and I couldn't have even stopped to take a photo, as I was driving! But it was a bit like this:

photo from here

Eerie and beautiful, isn't it?

Have a good week!

PS. I'm so glad my least favourite month of the year is OVER tomorrow!!! Yey!

18 November 2010

Glorius ruins

But think for a moment about the millions of tourists who visit ancient sites like the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and the Pyramids.

Though ravaged by time, the elements, and vandals through the ages, mere shadows of their former glory, these ruins still awe and inspire. Though fallen, their glory cannot be fully extinguished. There is something at once sad and grand about them. And such we are. Abused, neglected, vandalized, fallen-we are still fearful and wonderful. We are, as one theologian put it, "glorious ruins."

But unlike those grand monuments, we who are Christ's have been redeemed and are being renewed as Paul said, "day by day," restored in the love of God.

From: The Sacred Romance

Images from Petra, where I'd love to go (one day). Happy Recent Birthday to my friend by that name! :)
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sade and Ella today! Hope you are having a wonderful day :)

16 November 2010

An Amazing Guy -Musical Genius

Check out this guy: Petteri Sariola. You can check his music on his web page (the link there) or on his page in Myspace. He's a musical genius! I love at the moment especially the song Silence. Check it out!
What do you think?
PS. Some youtube links, though they're not that great quality..

11 November 2010

B.o.B - Airplanes (Feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore)

And when your plans unravel in the sand
What would you wish for?
So airplane airplane sorry I'm late
I'm on my way so don't close that gate

Somebody take me back to the days
Before this was a job, before I got paid
Before it ever mattered what I had in my bank
Yeah back when I was tryin' to get into the subway
And back when I was rappin' for the hell of it
But now a days we rappin' to stay relevant
I'm guessin that if we can make some wishes outta airplanes

Then maybe yo maybe I'll go back to the days
Before the politics that we call the rap game

So can I get a wish to end the politics
And get back to the music that started this sh-t

When your plans unravel in the sand,
What would you wish for?

Hmm, I think the story of the song can be quite relevant to many fields other than rap! Also maybe those working within the "church"... Or any of us, whatever it is we do, if it is something that started out of passion, from our hearts... that wasn't just a job. It's like finding your way back to the roots..

Watch a rocking recent live performance of this here! (mtv european music awards)

20 September 2010

17 September 2010

Magnify- Watch online

Mie recommends for this weekend:

Watch online 24-7Prayer's International Gathering Magnify 2010 in Edinburgh

But be quick, each video set from the evening sessions is only viewable for 24 hours! They are available/a set changes from about 12am (UK time, GMT).

15 September 2010

To Restore Dignity

Once again, Kathy Escobar puts to words what's also on my heart. Here's her latest post.
It starts "Dear North American Church" but I think/believe it is also very valid for Finland/Europe, the church universally!

"dear north american church,

you have developed a bad reputation. you didn’t mean to. i believe your heart is good & you have been so sincere in your dedication to Christ, of that i have no doubt. the problem is that somehow you’ve become more committed to teaching the truth than actually living the truth. to building successful businesses that are self-sustaining rather than living by faith & giving your resources away. by creating walls instead of bridges.

and the world’s started to smell out your contradictions. you see, they are in need of hope and peace, not anger and control. they are hungry for love and cups of cold water, not hate and picket signs. they are desperate, dying, divorcing, and deconstructing, and you are spending energy on trying to prove your “this is what the Bible says” point.

and you’ve forgotten one of the most important things that Jesus did, that he modeled for us so beautifully–he restored dignity to people who had lost it. the sick, the lame, the broken, the desperate, the outcasts, the marginalized, the least, the last. over and over, he healed them, lifted their head, and touched them with hope. hope that the kingdom of God was available now and it wasn’t only for the learned, the put- together, the well, the powerful.nit was available for all those who were humble enough to admit their spiritual poverty & need for God.

the world does not need any more dignity-strippers. they’ve got enough of that going on without the church’s help.

what the world needs are dignity-restorers.
  • people who are willing to call out God’s image in those that don’t know it’s there.
  • people who are willing to sacrifice their own jobs, time, heart, and money to change systems that keep others oppressed.
  • people willing to go the long haul and offer compassion & love to the hurting instead of trite advice & easy spiritual answers.

  • people who will stand between the stone throwers & the one about to be stoned and advocate on their behalf.

  • people who touch the untouchable.

  • people who see the best in others instead of the worst.

it’s not going to be easy to make this change for you.

a cool website won’t do it.

all the right answers won’t do it.

going to the next great conference won’t do it.

putting the word “missional” on the tip of everyone’s tongues won’t do it.

to really become known as dignity restorers, you’re going to have to give up all kinds of things you rely on to keep you safe, strong, and protected:

being right.

systems that perpetuate money & power & control

hanging with people who are just like you

making sure you’re the “us” and they’re the “them.”

but first, your own dignity must be restored. you must get in touch with who you really are. who you were meant to be. not what you think you had to become to feel better about yourself. yeah, Jesus can heal you, too. humble yourself and touch his garment, seek his ways, and surrender to love.

and here’s the wildest part–if you won’t do it, can’t do it, refuse to do it, you need to know that others will. right now, others are. they are actually being “the church” instead of wasting time hashing over who can teach & who can’t, who’s right & who’s wrong, who’s giving money & who’s not. they are just getting down to Jesus’ business without the trappings of “the church” and doing just fine.

oh but i have no doubt if all your resource, all your hands & hearts & eyes & ears & buildings & power & influence & hope could really be channeled to restoring dignity in person after person after person after person, the image of God uncovered in his people, shining brighter and brighter, would dim the darkness of this world like never before.

please, step into who you were meant to be. it’s beautiful. it’s better. and the world really, really needs it."

Amen to this from me!

11 August 2010

Guess how old I am

A few days after my birthday I went to a friend's house. Guess what awaited me!

Yum I love that cake!

That's a blurry **-old me (:))

21 July 2010

In Honour of Summer...

Summer of Love 2010!

Here's my playlist. :-)

the ultimate and best summer song ever... my favourite

How easy to feel light and happy when it is light (and doesn't get dark at all), blue skies and sunny! It's been beautiful so far. Summer makes me feel happy and thankful for life, especially when it is continually sunny and around +30C. Easy to be in good spirits.

Enjoy life my friends!

Don't give up

Apparentily you can grow to like a song when you hear it often enough. My radio really only plays this one channels I probably wouldn't listen to much. And that radio station plays this song a lot. (They do also play this one, which I don't mind ü) This is one of those. I don't like when I hear it millionth time on the radio, but somehow I like this video, there's something in it that moves me!

Just don't give up I'm workin it out
Please don't give in, I won't let you down

09 July 2010

Coming up!

Just as a little side note, wanted to put up here what's ahead (maybe to remind myself the most): I have in my mind to post about Finnish balconies... (yes, you heard right ;)) and about Linkin Park. So that's what to wait! Don't have time to write these just yet. Officially on hols, but a lot to do..

Friends of mine (Finn-Brit couple) have moved to be my next door neighbours, literally. What a blessing! And a lovely surprise to come home to after I had been away for two weeks. Anyway, I want to share a a funny moment.

I was over at theirs for a coffee one morning a few days ago, and was explaining something, looking for the right word, itdidn't come to mind straight away... at first I said "valuable" to which Paul nodded "ohh yes" (as in understanding what I meant), to which I was no, no..a few moments of more thinking I finally got the right word: valid.

"Ohh haven't been speaking English for awhile, takes me to find words for a bit", I said.
To which Paul replied:
"Clearly neither have I".

LOL. And he
is English. And he doesn't speak Finnish (much). Hehe. Funny. Valuable and valid, they are pretty close? ;)

It was too early in the morning, we concluded.

It's amazing that they live here too.. Of all places in this city flat next to mine. Paul and I worked together last winter too. They are also one of the few people who visited me in Glasgow in my last leg there. I said nice that you guys missed me so much you had to move next door... ;D I am amazed at this, and blessed. I will live from this for the next month. :)

Live Love Laugh!

That's what my first birthday card said that arrived in the post this week. I'm turning 30 next week! Yikes! When did I get this "young"? Where did the decade go? :-)

06 July 2010

We cry out

↲ This was playing in my head this eve. "We cry out" by Kim Walker &co (Jesus Culture) in Bethel, Redding California.

29 June 2010

What if I wanted to break?

Lovely sunset there :) "The Kill" live @ Rock Am Ring in Germany, 2010

He is totally crazy I think (with the crowd) :)

Finally found myself
Fighting for a chance
I know now, this is who I really am

21 June 2010

If it kills me

"i think all people share something deeply in common:
our desire to love and be loved, to be connected to other human beings and something bigger than us, to taste freedom and hope and joy and purpose in the midst of real life. i believe this is our common denominator, the thing that we all share"

- Kathy Escobar

It's from this post by her. Good thoughts on church and marginality - and about how we tend to congregate with the people who are just like us. (Kind of)

"to me, a true reflection of the kingdom is when those with no margin and those with lots of margin live together in brotherly and sisterly love, where economics and education and mental health and gender and all kinds of other things that separate us don’t get in the way of loving freely."

Check out Kathy's blog

I was walking by the train station today in sunny beautiful Helsinki going home (my "temporary" home) from work, and weirdest thing a bit of this song played in my head! It took me a few seconds to realise which song it was, but quite soon I realised it's Jason Mraz. I haven't listened to it in such a long time! Therefore "weird" it played in my head. But it suited the beautiful sunny summer evening in this beautiful city!

What played in my head was this bit: *All I really wanna do is to love you*

If I should be so bold I'd ask you to hold my heart in your hand

09 June 2010

I know who I am

Living from knowing who you are! Israel (Houghton) doesn't disappoint.

This is another nice one from Israel Houghton.

I'm at a friend's house, and watched this film today - and totally cried at the end!!

You have to build a bridge to the one you love.

Reminds me of one of my favourite films, The Painted Veil where the tag line was:

"Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people."

28 May 2010

to where you are

Isn't it interesting what kind of images you sometimes get when you google something? Well, I was googling for this song by Josh Groban, and when these images came up, I couldn't resist but to share and put them here. Love this first one especially!

It says freedom and happyness doesn't it!

this one's from Nepal I think.

By the way, I used to absolutely dislike Josh Groban. Back in 2003 I detested it when my flatmate listened to his music. Well, then some years later (2006) another friend introduced me to the album Awake and I was sold. Now he is one of my favourites, isn't it funny how we change over time. Nowadays I can even listen to those songs I considered soapy over seven years ago :)

Tomorrow I will be here (working).

At the moment I am translating this amazing article into Finnish.

*Images from here (1) and here (2)

28 April 2010

revelation song

This is so beautiful! Let it just sweep you, wash you away. Love it!

I will follow you with my song
I will follow you with my heart

Be my everything

You are everything

12 April 2010

(my) Song for 2010

I was meant to post this back in January already. Well, it's only 3,5 months into the year..

In defence of our Dreams
These lessons that we've learned here
have only just begun

20 March 2010

From yesterday

"Christianity has been buried inside the walls of churches and secured with the shackles of dogmatism. Let it be liberated to come into the midst of us and teach us freedom, equality and love."

- Minna Canth

As happens, I am reading a book by Neil Cole (Organic Church) from which I just yesterday of all days read this quote from(!). And yesterday was another flagging day - AND in honour/celebration of Minna Canth of all people and of equality in Finland. Amazing!

For some weird reason, every time within 2010 I've seen the Finnish flag in the flagpole something stirs within me and I've been touched by it. I'm not sure if it is something that happens to a return migrant like me, or whether it is something God is speaking to my heart. Anyway, I was like "What are we flagging for now? March 19th?" I didn't know. As you know turned out it was Minna Canth's day. And I think I can be excused for not knowing what it was for - it's only been set as a flagging day since 2007 - and I was away from the country for two years..

I do like flags in general. Flags are important. They carry a message and are a sign. I've studied somewhat the importance of flags in popular rebellion (popular revolts) in the Middle Ages.. And have you seen the movie Kingdom of Heaven? With Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson to name a few... oh and even a Finnish actor Jouko Ahola(!) in it! :-) Well, if you have, you know they had loads of flags in the movie especially in the battle scenes. It is set in 1184 or something like that..

It is interesting, as we were a week ago at that 30 Seconds to Mars concert, I was just speaking to my friends there about how I like flags and how I think there should be more of them used in concerts and in dancing/shows.. and what happens, just a few moments later the band had two white flags on the stage! Another amazing thing. =)

You may know this song..

14 March 2010

my friday eve

..was pretty similar to this:

Well, a bit of it. ;) Thank you 30 Seconds To Mars for an amazing show and the friends I was with for the evening too :)

This is a call to arms
Gather soldiers
Time to go to war

This is a battle song
Brothers and sisters
Time to go to war

Did you ever believe?
Were you ever a dreamer?
Ever imagine heart open and free?

Ever want to just stop?
Do you want to surrender?
Or fight for victory?

Far, far away in a land that time can't change
Long, long ago in a place of hearts and gold
Far, far away in a land that time can't change
Long, long ago in a place of hearts and gold

Here we are at the start
I can feel the beating of our hearts
Here we are at the start


"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)

"We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." (NLT)

2 Cor 10:3-5

Do you know what this is a call for?

05 February 2010

time for a new post!

We're in February already, and I'm still wishing Merry Christmas - time to change that!

There were Finnish flags everywhere today as it's a flagging day here in Finland. It is "Runeberg's Day" a national holiday (not really a bank holiday though) in honour of Swedish-speaking national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. He lived in the 19th century. So in honour of his work, today we eat these cakes (or "Runeberg tarts" as they are called):

Not quite like haggis in Scotland :-) Which you eat on Burns Day, 25th of January every year in honour of the Scottish national poet Robert Burns. Quite close these two days celebrating national poets in my two home countries, and it is funny how food is associated in both celebrations. I find it an interesting cultural thing, this thing with food - that we celebrate by eating certain foods foods in certain days. Does every culture in the world have that I wonder? National food, food that receives an iconic status. Interesting! That we also define a country/ a culture/ ourselves through food..

For Finland February is a big food month. First these Runeberg cakes, then we eat pea soup on a certain tuesday (called "sledging tuesday" - yes tradition is you also go sledging) and also have some Finnish sweet rolls called laskiaispulla ("sledging bun" to translate literally..). In February we also have "skiing week" - a winter holiday week - it's a school holiday, kids are off for a week. And you are obviously meant to go skiing! =) Sooo lots of traditions we have invented for February! Kind of in the midst of every day life. Celebrating winter. Usually it is also the best winter weather in February. Good amount of snow, and not too cold. Perfect for, e.g. skiing ;) but yes, lots of "traditions".. of course, not all of us participate in (all of) these :)

I didn't see any translations for Runeberg's poems, so instead I'll post one of Burns' poems, recited by Scottish Actress Dawn Steele. Don't worry if you don't understand a word. That is how I felt when I landed in Scotland for the first time! :)

Here's the written version of the poem (plus English translation ;D)!