He Set His Face Toward Jerusalem

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

– Luke 9:51-56

It is not obvious what purpose this little vignette serves in Luke’s narrative. Previous passages cover the disciples ministry experience, the Transfiguration, and further healing ministries of Jesus. The immediately preceding passage demonstrates the disciples’ skepticism about the exorcism ministry of some non-Christ followers. In the passage immediately after this one, the cost of following Jesus is central.

But nothing really happens here. A village rejects Jesus and they move on.

However, there are two significant features of this text that we must not overlook.

1. Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem”

Twice in this passage, we read that Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (51, 53). In v. 51, the reason why is given:“the days drew near for him to be taken up.” So the reason Jesus is determined to go to Jerusalem is because his time on earth was coming to an end. Those of us who have read the Gospels before, know what happens at Jerusalem. In this way, Jerusalem almost serves as literary synecdoche implying all that must happen to him there.

This is significant because in this passage, Luke is drawing out Jesus’ efforts to communicate his true purpose to the disciples, who clearly still misunderstand what the purpose of the Messiah is.

2. The disciples wanted to call down fire upon the rejecting Samaritans, as Elijah did.

The disciples had begun to see reflections of a prophetic ministry in Christ’s ministry, and thus by extension, in their own. This is what they thought the Messiah’s purpose was. Therefore a rejection such as this was offensive and, they thought, worthy of death, since these Samaritans had rejected God’s Holy Messiah. Surely that must not be tolerated; Jesus must be allowed to enter and minister where he sees fit, or else.

Yet Jesus rebuked them for this suggestion. Apparently, according to the ESV Bible footnotes, most manuscripts leave it at that, though some suggest further instruction with the rebuke. I agree, and think Luke’s purpose is clearer without it, lest we focus too much on Jesus’ words instead of Jesus’ priority.

The disciples were still confused. Just a page back, Peter had declared rightly who Jesus is “You are the Christ of God” (9:20). Yet what that meant still needed clarification. So Jesus began to clarify that and mention his imminent death (9:21-22; 43b-45). Yet they still did not get it. To be the Christ still meant something different to them. Considering their response to these Samaritans, they apparently thought it involved calling down fire on the opposition, putting on display mighty works of God in a flashy defense of his Authority and Power, this great God they served, with the Christ as God’s spokesperson and they as his followers, his Elisha’s.

“We still didn’t get it,” Luke appears to be saying through the events in passage. “His purpose was different than we thought.” Again we read in v. 53, “the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.” Jesus knew or perhaps even influenced the hearts of these Samaritans. His purpose was not to continue endlessly parading through towns and villages healing, preaching, delivering, and feeding people. He ‘set his face’ toward, that is, he ‘determined to proceed toward without hindrance’ the place where he would be accused, convicted, beaten, crucified, mocked, killed, buried, and resurrected so that he could finish his task all at once. The point of this passage is: “Behold the purposeful focus of our Lord! Behold the lamb running headlong for the slaughter that he might save many sinners from captivity to sin and death! Behold our friend Jesus too concerned with laying down his life for his friends to stop off in one more village who would perhaps see his signs and not accept the one to whom such signs point.”

He set his face toward Calvary. He set his face toward our redemption, our full and final healing, our full and final deliverance, our full and final meal.

He set his face toward love.


Psalm 29: Ascribe to the Lord Glory

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. — Psalm 29:2b

The idea of “ascribing” is an odd one, because it is not a word we commonly use in 21st century English. I suppose our common word would be “count” or “accredit,” meaning ‘apply a thing to one’s account, or as the source of that thing.” So when we say ‘ascribe glory to the Lord,” I think we mean something like ‘acknowledge the glory that he has,” or, ‘reckon to yourself that God deserves our weighty regard and honor.”

The next phrase parallels this to help us take home the concept: “worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” This is a bit more direct in saying the Lord is worthy of our praise, and our making an effort to adorn ourselves in the ‘clothing’, both figurative and literal, of holiness and cleanness and purity, casting away our sin, darkness, and lies.

I love the end of this psalm and the truth that is speaks, “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood.” He is in authority over the floods, both physical and circumstantial. They do not catch him by surprise, nor is he swept up in their wake, nor do they cause him danger. Furthermore, nothing threatens his Kingship: “The LORD sits enthroned as king forever.” Demons and ‘rulers and authorities,’ have no sway over him and though they cast a shadow at times, like weak rain clouds threatening to flood the earth, they are all subject to his power and authority.

And finally, the psalmist beseeches the Lord for a blessing: “May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless his people with peace.” Is this not what every human needs and desires with each new day: to have peace and strength in life? This is precisely who God is; His rule and power and authority make him the source of these blessings; His mercy, love, and grace make him willing to grant them to us. We sin when we seek peace and strength from other sources. We ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name when we seek Him alone as our source of peace and strength!


Psalm 119:ב

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you, let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (9-11)


1. The question of verse 9 is one that only one who belongs to God will ask.

This text came into my head this morning, so I felt that meant I should open it and study it today. It is an encouraging thought that even one who struggles with a few particular sins as I do can be sure that he belongs to God by acknowledging that one who is not DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THIS QUESTION.

It is an evidence of God’s grace in our lives to wake up each day and wonder, “How can I grow in holiness? I want to be more like Jesus – holy and pure and loving and kind and caring. How do I get there? I hate the remaining sin in my life and want it gone! But how?” Be encouraged if this is you.

Do you have sorrow over your sin? Does it keep you up at night that you don’t love God as you should. Then repent of your sin, and turn to Jesus who has already done everything necessary for your justification, and seek the truth of God’s word to replace the lies that you will never be good enough for God to love or accept you; that you need fill-in-the-blank to be truly happy and fulfilled; that no one really cares about you; that you cannot change. Your sadness and grief over your sin is good. As Paul says, “the kindness of God leads us to repentance,” (Rom. 2:4). It is God’s grace in your life that you would wake up today asking this question. You are his.

2. He answers his own question. (9b)

This is interesting because it begs “why did he ask the question if he knew the answer?” It makes me wonder if this was part of a catechism for Hebrew children or something. Nevertheless, it could be that since the author had set out to praise the goodness of the word of God in this psalm, had decided upon a format (alphabetic acrostic), and needed to start with ב (bet), he chose to ask a question that the reader could resonate with, and then fulfill his purpose by suggesting that the answer to getting and keeping your way pure is to guard your way by living according to the scriptures, God’s commands.

3. The tone of verse 10 sets up a theme of emotional honesty in this psalm of love of God’s word, and desperation for its good effects in one’s life.

Here he is both declaring that he does seek God with his whole heart, and pleading that he will seek God with his whole heart in the future. Therefore he says, “let me not wander from your ways.” It reminds me of this hymn we love:

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it…for thy courts above. (Come Thou Fount)

I would not be surprised if this text was not in the author’s mind as he/she penned that stanza.

4. This is one of the most tangible links I’ve found in scripture between love and treasure of God’s word, and countermeasures we are commanded to use against sin. (11)

Along with Ephesians 6 marking the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God,” and others like it, the author here plainly says that the weapon against the desire and tendency to sin he has chosen is to “store up” God’s word in his heart.

Other translations say “hide” (“I have hidden”, KJV, NKJV, etc), and are often used to encourage scripture memory and the joy and good of being able and ready to pull out verses and ward off temptation and the devil. This is all well and good if that is the best way to translate it. If so, it serves us very well in that way.

But if the ESV, “stored up,” is right, it suggests a different image. Now the word is good and rich food (like “drippings of the honeycomb” in Ps. 19:10) that he puts up in a barn or storehouse to feed upon when spiritual drought comes so that he might not be drawn to eat the non-nourishing dust of sin. Jesus said to his disciples, who were baffled by his response after he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, “I have food to eat that you do not know about,” (John 4:32). And he meant, “doing the will of God” was his food, or to revocalize it, “living according to God’s word.” Likewise, when he was in the desert, Jesus responded to Satan by saying, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4; Jesus quoting Deut. 8:3). This second citation is the perfect example of this point, for Jesus had been physically starved for forty days and satan was tempting him in the weakness of his human flesh. Yet instead of bowing in worship and selling out for a single meal (like Esau), he turned to God’s word to fight the temptation rather than yield and fulfill even the most legitimate desires of the flesh. Yet how often do we sin, never considering the word of God, to fulfill desires for various pleasures which have nothing to do with life or death the way hunger does.

To take food when starving at the cost of worshipping the devil is worse than drying up into a husk in the desert and remaining faithful. It takes more faith that God will supply all your needs and give you greater fulfillment and joy in this life than sin will to turn to God in those moments, desiring the holiness that makes us occasionally ask the question of verse 9 with this psalmist at night and when we rise in the morning, “How can I make my way pure?” Do we really want to experience in this life the holiness that God has already purchased for us and made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection? Do we really believe that to strive after it will bring us more joy with God as our Treasure, than to play in the proverbial mud-pit of sin? It seems fun in the moment, but as C.S. Lewis observed:

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.


Pride, the Devil, and how to endure suffering as a Christian

So the point yesterday from 1 Peter 5:7 was:

Humbly trust that God is able to give grace because his hand is mighty, and he is willing to give grace because he cares for me; and he gives such grace to those who are humble.

Today, we’ll look at verse 8:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

So what is the connection between humility and pride in verses 5-7, and sober thinking and vigilance against the devil, in verse 8?

The imagery in this verse is not insignificant. Peter is painting a picture of pride for us: the lion is a powerful and proud beast, much moreso when it struts and stalks its prey, confident to destroy it. So, he says, be “sober-minded,” — think of yourself rightly, clearly, as you ought to— under God’s mighty hand. Do not become puffed up, proud, and full of the swagger of the lion who does what he pleases and submits to no one. The devil in his pride made himself out to be God and hates God. He loves his ways and his strength, and he would rather you compete with him in your pride than submit to God in humility. The point is, you are not mighty; God is mighty! The devil fell into the trap of pride and now all he does is consume others.

This verse is not merely meant to warn us against the devil who is “out to get you”. Peter already warned us against that in 3:11, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.” In some cases, to be sure, the things the devil would have us give ourselves to in the “passions of the flesh” are the tools he aims to use to devour and destroy us. On the other hand, I think what is in view here that the devil wants to do to us to devour us is more like what he did to Job: to strike us with suffering and pain so that we will deny and reject God. He is looking for weaknesses in us to exploit, a chink in the armor of our faith, whereby he can instigate doubt and unbelief through pain. A win for the devil here is a denial of God’s love.

How does this connect to the theme of 1 Peter?

I do not want to miss that this is not the first time the phrase “sober-minded” has been used in this letter. Rather, there is a theme in the letter that this is a part of, a refrain almost, for Peter.

The context of the letter seems to be present suffering as a believer. I note a few such observations:

  • they are “elect exiles” (1:1, 17; 2:11)
  • they are under trials (1:6; 4:12-16)
  • some were suffering as slaves (2:18-20)
  • they were experiencing “various evils” (3:9)
  • they were suffering for righteousness’ sake (3:13-14, 17)
  • they suffered “in the flesh” (4:1)

And so Peter puts forth a call to sober-mindedness as these Christians endure trials. Here are a few such examples:

  • believers should “prepare [their] minds for action, being sober-minded, and set [their] hope fully” on future grace (1:13)
  • since the end is near, believers should be sober-minded and self-controlled for the sake of their prayers (4:7)
  • believers should be sober-minded and watchful against pride and against the proud devil who wants to devour them (5:8)

This refrain of sober thinking marks a pattern that is present in the book. First, a description of their suffering (1:1, 6-7; 2:18-20; 3:17; 4:4; 4:12-14; 5:9-10), then a call to sober-mindedness and reflection on Christ’s sufferings (1:13, 18-21; 2:21-25; 3:18-4:1a; 4:5-7; 4:13; 5:10), then a description of how to live as Christians enduring suffering (1:22 – 2:17; 3:1-16; 4:1b-3; 4:8-11; 4:15-5:9; 5:10). This pattern is not lock-tight, but if you follow the passages in each category, you’ll see how this theme develops.

So to put these observations together, I think the theme becomes clear:

When you face suffering, and you may already be, consider Jesus and his sufferings for you and through such considerations, have a clear mind that is set not on your earthly trials and pain, but rather be filled with humility and self-control as you hope in the future grace God will supply, fully confident that God’s mighty hand is able and willing to be all you need for life and joy. That is how you endure trials as a Christian.


God gives grace to the humble.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 

1 Peter 5:6-7


Peter has turned in this letter briefly toward the elders and given them a brief exhortation (5:1-4), and then turns to everyone else in the church: “Likewise you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you…” (5:5a). So this verse and following is directed once again to all the members of the churches in the five cities he expected to receive and read this letter (1:1).

In verse 5, he says, “Act in humility toward one another” (my paraphrase), because, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (5:5b), and then elaborates in the next verse, “Humble yourselves…”.


1. How is the command to be humble connected to our anxieties?

I think the connection is highlighted in a kind of “grace sandwich.” It goes like this:

  • (5:5) God gives grace to the humble
  • (5:6-7a) Be humble and trust God with your worries
  • (5:7b) God cares for you

So here we have obedience and faith smashed between the bread of two of God’s promises. Be humble (obedience) and trust God (faith) with your worries.

1a. Peter why are you even bringing up anxiety here? Aren’t you still talking about humble obedience to the elders in the church?

I am tempted to highlight here how pride is connected to anxiety. I do not think Peter’s aim is to show how anxiety indicates a lack of faith and a sense that you know better what you need or desire than God does, and how you ought to repent by humbling yourself and repenting of the kind of pride that produces anxiety. But the connection is there nonetheless, or putting these themes together this way would make no sense. We would be left scratching our heads going, “Peter why are you mentioning my anxieties right now? We’re talking about pride and humility!”

The reality is, there is something in anxiety that causes us to feel or believe that we must take matters into our own hands and fix it and (looking back at 5:5a) perhaps not obey the leadership of the elders God has entrusted me to.

Humble trust in God’s ability and God’s love

This kind of humility, on the other hand, stays those impulses—to go take what I feel that I lack, or force what I want to happen, or cheat so I don’t have to wait—and turns away from a focus on my present need or desire. Instead, it looks to God’s “mighty hand,” which is able to give all I need for joy and for life, and trusts in the promises, “God cares for you,” and “God gives grace to the humble.”

John Piper wrote a fantastic book called Future Grace. The main point is that the Gospel looks both backward to past grace (which brought justification) and forward to future grace (final sanctification and glorification), and that all of life as a believer ought to be lived thankful for past grace and in anticipation of future grace—goodness we can trust God to give because of his many promises in Scripture. We may receive some of this future grace here in this life, and some in the next, but we can rejoice because our God has given us himself through Jesus, and has made us many promises we can trust in his mighty hand to fulfill.


Steadfast, Atoning Love and Fear That Turns Our Hearts From Evil.

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil. – Proverbs 16:6

What a refreshing reminder of the gospel and the beautiful doctrines of justification and sanctification! When I am tempted into (or drift back into) thinking that may standing before God is dependent upon my will and ability to clean myself up, this verse proves me dead wrong. I cannot atone for my own iniquity (sin), that comes through the steadfast love (Hebrew: chesed), the unconditional lovingkindess of God and his faithfulness, through Jesus Christ. In the midst of the mire and corruption of all my lust and pride and self-dependence and self-love, he reaches in, despite those things, and atones for my sin by dying on the cross in my place, perfect and undeserving of it though he was. And even now, his steadfast love makes him stand at the right hand of the Father as my great Advocate (1 John 2:1).

Yet that is not all, but there is more truth here.

“By the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.”

Once I have experienced such beautiful, atoning love and mercy, I become free to see God and fear Him rightly. His perfections make me pure, and therefore I ought to fear Him, to be in awe of His majesty and perfections and beauty, and by comparison to him love no vile, low, sinful thing, or even myself, more than Him. Therefore, by fear of God, I should “turn” from evil, despise it as a low and mean thing, unworthy of the joy and pleasure to be had in abiding in God. No other thing in the whole Universe can have this effect — to truly cause someone to turn from evil. Nor can one rightly fear the LORD and so turn without the preceding truth, without knowing through experience the steadfast, faithful, atoning love of God.

“Oh Jesus! Please let me see and hear and feel your atoning, steadfast love today and every day! And let that joyful experience lead me to a good and proper fear of You that I might turn daily from evil and never again prefer its empty promises of pleasure and self-glorification to your Love.”



It’s hard to believe my time in Copenhagen is already up! It has been a wonderful adventure to explore this beautiful city, to learn its patterns, quirks, and see so many amazing things it has to offer. I’ve explored buildings, museums, quaint and trendy coffee shops, and ridden its streets alongside the locals on a bike. It would be difficult to summarize my experience here in just one blog post, so hopefully you’ve been following me on Instagram for the play-by-play.


Adventure every day.

My hope and goal coming into this trip was that, since everything I experience is new, that instead of being afraid, I’d simply view it as just part of the adventure. I wanted to expect to get lost, to meet new people, to be embarrassed, and then to just accept it and even enjoy it! So I committed to having an adventure every day.

Often this was as simple as going to a new coffee shop to work instead of returning to one I knew had good internet and a power outlet (that works) for my laptop. Other times, I’d consult the internet or this book, which my hosts have a copy of, and just look up how to get there and check it out. I would just pick something I had read or heard I should see here, and then just go do it despite the cost or the mess I’d get into.

Lessons learned.

#1. The weather is nuts. I learned along the way it is best to just keep my raincoat with me, even if the sky (and my weather app) say its going to be good weather. One thing you can count on in Denmark is for it to rain randomly for ten minutes, or two minutes, and then stop and become a beautiful sunny day again. Otherwise, the weather here is amazing. Temps are in the 60-70-degree range (F˚) and its rather dry, despite the frequent rainfall. Houses and buildings often don’t have, or need, A/C, because it is sufficient to open the windows to make it feel nice inside.

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#2. Biking is betterI also learned when it does, and does not make sense to travel by train/metro. My neighborhood, Peter Bangs Vej (Frederiksberg), is a few stops away from the popular parts of town of City Centre, Nørreport, etc. But by the time you travel to the station,  wait for your train to arrive, stop at every station, it works out that it takes longer to travel by train than it does to ride a bike. Also, biking is free, good exercise, and a great way to see more of the city. The trains typically cost about $2 each direction. Thankfully, this past week while the Williams’ have been on vacation, I’ve been able to ride Patrick’s bike into town, which also makes traveling around town a lot easier. Biking in Copenhagen is the preferred transit method of “Copenhageners,” so I’ve felt more like a local from being able to bike around!


New friends.

I made a point to get out there and just talk to people. It was tempting at first to just rely on Patrick and Chelsea for everything, but that’s boring and not adventurous! This also required me to redefine my old definition of “friends,” which was egregiously narrow and far too reserved for what most people mean when they say “best friends.” To me now, if we hang out and enjoy each other’s company, we’re friends.

So here’s to my new friends! Matt and Cindi Nipper, with whom I enjoyed exploring their garden last weekend; Gabriel Koc, owner of the awesome Buzz Kaffebar, with whom I enjoyed so much good conversation about Christianity, Islam, politics and just life in general; Chris Crespo and Mikael Petersen, my brothers in Christ with whom I had the pleasure of fellowshipping at meals after church and at Torvehallerne; Ida Jensen, my Danish friend, who took me all over the city and explored the Round Tower, Botanical Gardens, Christianshavn, Christiania, and Church of our Savior tower with me and introduced me to delicious Danish food. If you’re reading this, thanks for welcoming me to your city!


Adventure is out there


Leading up to my trip, I thought a lot about what it would be like to travel alone, and I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to set reasonable expectations. I recognized the possibility of becoming lonely, of missing home, of becoming depressed. But I also wanted to get myself psyched up about launching into an adventure!

Those of you who know me remember that I LOVE PIXAR movies. In fact, one of the main reasons I studied Film Studies at UNC Wilmington was because I wanted to get experience doing digital animation and storytelling and maybe work there someday. I also really enjoy analyzing films and narrative. So before my trip, on a quiet evening by myself, I popped in PIXAR’s Up to get pumped about my adventure.

If you are unfamiliar with Up, it’s the story of Carl Fredricksen, a crotchety old widower unwilling to part from the house in which he shared his life with his deceased wife, who embarks on an adventure to fly his house, levitated by 1 million helium balloons, to Paradise Falls in South America. His plan is blown off course by an unexpected storm and a well-meaning, but annoying Wilderness Explorer named Russell, who accidentally gets swept up with the house. I won’t explain the whole plot here, just watch the film.

Life’s real adventures are made not in the epic experience of the Paradise Falls we long to perch our house upon, but in the relationships we enjoy all the time.

The theme of Up is that life’s real adventures are made not in the epic experience of the Paradise Falls we long to perch our house upon, but in the relationships we enjoy all the time. Carl and his wife, Ellie, had always wanted to go to paradise falls. But when he finally gets there, it is not all that he hoped it would be, and his house is only half of what it used to be.

Charles Muntz, famous adventurer and Carl’s hero, banished himself to the Falls trying to prove the existence of the Kevin bird and clear his name. He let his pride drive him to isolation, with only his dogs as friends. He had gone so far down his own path of jealousy and pride that he even became a murderer, killing the only other humans he came into contact with. See Charles Muntz made adventure all about himself, his desires, his trophies, his reputation, and he missed out on his life.

By contrast, Carl never went to Paradise Falls with Ellie, but he had lived a full, meaningful life full of adventure with his best friend. And even when he finally got there, though reluctant at first, he learned that life and adventure are not all about perching your house atop a beautiful waterfall in South America. See the temptation when you’re living the mundane moments of your life, picking out ties, fixing the car, and enjoying simple picnics in your small town, is to believe that your life is boring and not adventurous.  But maybe the best adventures in life are actually dreaming about adventures with your best friend, or eating ice cream on a curb counting blue and red cars with your dad.

Reflecting on this, I decided that I didn’t want to go on my adventures in Europe like Carl Muntz, hiding behind my camera lens and my cell phone apps. I’m using my phone and posting to Instagram, obviously, but I wanted to be making friends every day. So one of my goals on this adventure is to meet someone new every day, have a conversation, get their perspective and story, and share my adventures with them.



One week in.

My first week in Denmark has been amazing! Thank you to all who have been following my Instagram and Facebook photo stream. Though I’ve tried to give you a thorough pictorial summary of my journey so far, I thought it would be fun to just write about my first few experiences and friends. I’ll write more about my impressions of Denmark, Copenhagen, and the Danish folk in a later post.

First, Patrick and Chelsea Williams, my Copenhagen hosts, are an amazing family. I enjoyed spending my first few days here with them, getting advice on where to visit, eating delicious meals, and “reading” to their adorable daughter, Kinley (she likes to look through the photos in an enormous National Geographic book).

I went to their church, First International Baptist Church of Copenhagen, on Sunday and made several new friends, including a family that lives in Birkerød, where I’ll be staying the next three weeks after this weekend. The church members were very welcoming and we went to lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant together. The service was very simple, but it was beautiful to see how the Gospel brings together people from all the nations and makes us family together in Christ.

I made friends with the owner of Buzz Kaffebar near Nørreport, where I am writing right now. His name is Jibril (in english, Gabriel). He is a very kind and generous Muslim man. We have had many great conversations about our faiths, politics, and the difficulty many immigrants to Denmark, especially Muslims, face. I have come back to his coffee shop three times now.

It has been really fun to go out each day and try to have a daily adventure. I’ve enjoyed giving myself “missions” each day to go see something, or meet someone, or try something new. Today, my mission was to go back to the Round Tower and take photos from the top now that the weather is nice, and to visit the Denmark National Museum. See my Instagram story for that (you’ll have to follow me 😉 ) Others were to find the Strøget and eat at Paper Island with a friend I made at the airport in JFK, visit the Kastellet and St. Alban’s Church, visit my friends’ community garden, go to FIBC (church), attend a programming Meetup, and just find a new coffee shop to work from.

So my goal of making friends here is being met. It’s been a humbling and very rewarding experience. Humbling because I often have no clue where I am or where I need to go, I know few people, and have been graciously welcomed by so many wonderful people.

P.S. Danish is really hard to pronounce. Like really hard. Trying to say the names of streets and places is often very embarrassing.