The Person I Admire The Most

Who do you admire the most? We admire people to different degrees and for different reasons. The person that I admire the most is someone who embodies that “for me to live is Christ.” Here are some of the reasons I admire this person so much:

  • She abandoned a prospective “career” in her youth to move to France as a missionary with YWAM.
  • She was part of planting a church in a town of 5500 inhabitants, in a spiritual desert in France.
  • She has raised up six children, all of which have turned out pretty awesome (hehe), and are following Jesus.
  • She makes everyone she meets feel valued and loved.
  • She is incredibly generous with her money.
  • She handled the death of her husband in a heroic way, keeping he eyes on heaven through the pain (even dancing at the memorial service, at the thought of one day being in heaven herself).
  • She is constantly seeking God, and his kingdom first, she is a woman of the Word and a woman of prayer.
  • She is now considering going back to Mozambique as a missionary for some time, at over 60.

You’ve guessed it, that person is my own mother, Wendy Hockley 🙂 Love you Mum!

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Mum & Leanah

Beautiful and Broken

This post was born out of a discussion I recently had with some friends. We were discussing the fact that “sin” is a very Christian word and that it is hard to explain it to people on the streets. Have you ever thought of that? How do you explain sin in a post-modern context? People have so many associations to the word itself that sometimes just the mention of it can make them cringe and sneer in disdain.

When I was thinking about this one morning, the word brokenness came to my mind. I believe that it is common ground for every human being that has ever lived. When we look at the world, we see so many beautiful things, the nature, beautiful skies, mountains, oceans, we see love, kindness and goodness. Yet when the TV is turned on, and the news of rape, murder, wars and hatred fill our screens, we quickly understand that something is not as it should be, something is broken.

Now, if we are humble and honest with ourselves, when we look into our own hearts, we are presented with the same picture. We see beauty, love, kindness, goodness, yet we also brokenness, since we do the bad things which we know we shouldn’t do, and many times find ourselves incapable of doing the good we know we should do. Something is broken.

The word broken is interesting because it means that something is not fulfilling it’s original purpose. If a car is broken, it is not able to take you where you should go. Well then, does not our sense of brokenness indicate an original purpose in which we are not living? This sense of meaning would not arise if we were purely the random product of matter and energy. Yet the quest for meaning is haunting, and a universal human experience. There must be a higher purpose. The original purpose is connection and relationship with our Creator. It is the brokenness of that relationship that brings brokenness to this world, and ultimately brokenness to our own hearts.

I have found that most people I speak with in the streets are willing to recognize this brokenness inside. To recognize that a broken relationship with the Creator requires a greater step, but at least we have managed to explain “sin” in a good way!

Stabbed With God’s Knife…

Some time ago I was listening to another young leader share his heart, what had happened in his life and his vision for the future. What he shared was truly inspiring, but strangely enough, I found myself groaning on the inside. I could not simply rejoice at his success…This led me the following morning, to probe down into myself. What it revealed was like getting stabbed with God’s knife. It led me to jot down the following thoughts:

Lord, continue to break all insecurity in me that is based in pride. Let me truly rejoice at other people’s successes.

Insecurity as a leader leads to competition and comparison. Why do I groan when other leaders are successful? Especially successes that embody something I want to be. It becomes “my kingdom” instead of “His kingdom.”

What is this kind of insecurity based on? What is the root? Pride and fear? Is it just as simple as me wanting to be in the center? Wanting myself to be made much of? It seems obvious that I am not satisfied when I slip into the background. Something in me says: “I need to step in, I need to be seen, I want to impress.” In other words I try to seek glory from men. So it is also fear of men. Insecurity then seeks approval in the wrong place. This in turn goes to show that I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval.

The challenge is that approval by men is not necessarily a bad thing. Rom 14:18 “He who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” But as a source of security, it is very shaky. Approval is good, seeking approval from man is treacherous.

I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval/love. I need a deeper revelation and experience of Your love. That is the true path to freedom. It brings the ability to truly rejoice at another’s success. So the cure is to receive your love, and to bless, love and pray for those who embody our desired success.

Since that day, whenever I feel the “groaning” coming. I just repeat this sentence to myself: “God, my approval is in you” and I feel like a puff of fresh air coming into my spirit. I can truly rejoice at other’s successes.

The Sacredness of Opportunity by JR Miller

Jesus said, “Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you!”

Sometimes darkness is very welcome. It is welcome to the weary man who can scarcely wait until the sun sets to cease his toil. To him darkness means rest. It folds him in its curtains, away from the noise and strife, and restores his exhausted strength. Darkness is welcome in many a home, for it is the signal for the home gathering of loved ones and the joys of the evening fireside. All day the hearthstone has drawn upon the hearts of the scattered household, and the coming of the night—is the signal for the home gathering.

But it is not a friendly darkness to which our Lord refers. The figure his words suggest is that of a wild beast coming upon the traveler, pursuing him, overtaking him, pouncing upon him, devouring him! Thus it was that Jesus urged his disciples to walk in the light while they had it, to be quick to use the few moments of the day that remained, before the devouring darkness should swoop down upon them!

The lesson is for us. Most of us live as if we had a thousand years to stay here in this world! We loiter in the golden hours of our little days—as if the days were never to end! We do not see how swiftly the sun is whirling toward his setting, while our work is but half done, our task perhaps scarcely begun.

We fritter away days, weeks, months—not noticing how our one little opportunity of living in this world is being worn off, as the sea eats away a crumbling bank until its last shred is gone! We set slight value on time, forgetting that we have only a hand-breadth of it—and then comes eternity!

What did you do yesterday that will brighten and glorify that day forever? What record of blessing in other lives did you give it, to carry to God’s judgment? What burden did you lift off another heart? What tear did you wipe away? On what soul did you leave a mark of beauty? Where is your yesterday?

Many of us fail to appreciate the value of ‘single days’. “A day is too short a space,” we say, “that it cannot make much difference if one, just one, is wasted—or idled away in pleasure!” Yet the days are links in a chain, and if one link is broken—the chain is broken. In God’s plan for our life—each little day has its own load of duty, its own record to make. We never know the sacredness of any particular day—what it may have for us amid its treasures.

Its sunshine may be no brighter than that of other days, there may be no peculiar feature in it to mark it as ‘special’ among a thousand common days, and yet it may be to us a day of destiny. If we fail to receive it as God’s gift—we may miss and lose that without which we shall be poorer all our life and in eternity.

How often do we see afterward, that the days which are gone, were bearers of heavenly gifts to us—which we had not the wit to recognize, nor the grace to take? When they have passed beyond recall—then we see what we missed in wasting them. How these lost days shame us—as they turn their reproachful eyes upon us out of the irrevocable past!

“Walk while you have the light—before darkness overtakes you!” There are many illustrations of this coming of darkness, this ending of opportunity. The lesson touches everyone’s life. There is the darkness that comes—as season after season of privilege closes.

Here the teaching is especially for the young: Some things God gives often; some only once. The seasons return again and again, and the flowers change with the months—but youth comes twice to none! Youth is the time for preparation. The success of the after life depends upon the diligence of the first years. A wasted youth—is followed by the darkness of misfortune and failure.

Youth is the time to gather knowledge. It is the time, too, to form good habits. It is the time to make good friendships. It is the time to follow Christ. It is the time to train the faculties, for the best work in life. It is the time to prepare for life’s business. When youth closes, with its opportunities, leaving one unready for the days of stress, struggle, duty, and responsibility that must come—perilous indeed is the darkness that wraps the life and drags it down!

Many young people are wasteful of time. They fail to realize its value. They appear to have it in such abundance, that they never dream it can end. They do not know that a day lost in golden youth may mean misfortune or failure for them sometime in the future. They do not know that missed lessons, squandered hours, minutes spent in idleness, may cost them the true success of their life, bringing failure or disaster, and may even blight their destiny. Young people should walk earnestly while they have the light, redeeming the time, buying up the opportunity, lest darkness overtake them. They should not make the mistake of imagining they have so much time that they can afford to let days or hours or even minutes be wasted. They cannot afford to lose one golden minute of any day. That may be the very minute of all that day on which their destiny hangs.

Says a thoughtful writer: “One of the illusions—is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart—that every day is the best day in the year. No man has leaned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is doomsday.” This is very true. We do not know what momentous issues, affecting all our future, are involved in any quietest hour of any common-place day. There is a time for everything—but the time is short, and when it is gone and the thing is not done—it never can be done!

“Never comes the opportunity that passed;
That one moment—was its last!”

“Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you!” While you have your eyes, use them! A young man was told by his physicians, that in six months he would be blind. At once he set out to look upon the most beautiful scenes in nature, and the loveliest works of art in all parts of the world—so that, before his eyes were closed forever, his memory might be stored with visions of beauty to brighten the darkness into which he was surely moving. Use your eyes while you have the light. See as many as possible, of the lovely things God has made. Read the best books you can find, and store your mind with great and noble thoughts. Learn while it is easy to learn. Be a student. Be a worker, too. Fill your days full of intense activities—for it will be only a little while till darkness shall overtake you, when you can work no more. What you do—you must do quickly. What you make of your life—you must make in a few years at the most; for the human span is short, and any day may be your last one!

This lesson is for those who are in life’s prime, and for those who are advancing toward old age, as well as for the young. Every day that passes—leaves life’s margin a little less for each of us. Our allotment of time is ever shortening. We must work—while the day lasts. We must do good—while our hearts are warm. We must speak the words of life—before our lips grow dumb. We must scatter kindnesses in the world—before our hands grow feeble. We must pour out love to bless the lonely—before our pulses are stilled.

We must not crowd God’s work out of our busy days, hoping to have time for it by and by—when leisure comes. Ah! By and by—it will be too late! Those who need us now—will not need us then. The deeds of love which we should do today—we cannot do tomorrow. The sick neighbor who now longs for our warm sympathy and gentle ministry—will not need us when our tasks have been finished and we have leisure time; there will be death-crape on the door then, and there will be no use in our calling with our word of love.

The child needs the father’s care, guidance, counsel, and loving patience—NOW! A few moments given each day, would make indelible impressions upon the boy’s soul, and bind him fast with chains of gold about the feet of God. But a little later—it may be no use to try to bless his life. He will have passed beyond the period when even a father’s hand can mould his life!

Never leave out of your busy days—love’s duties to your heart’s own, whatever else you may leave out. It were better to miss almost anything else in life—than what affection demands. Work while you have the light; do the things that are most important, most sacred, most vital.

Over the doorway of a certain church, is the inscription: “Only the eternal is important!” There are a great many things it is not worth our while to do. Some of us spend our days in poor trivialities which bless no one, and which will add no lustre to our crown. “Only the eternal is important!”

Therefore “Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you!” Waste no opportunity. Despise no privilege. Squander no moment. There is just time enough in God’s plan for you to live your life well—if you spend every moment of it in earnest, faithful duty. One hour lost—will leave a flaw. A life thus lived in unbroken diligence and faithfulness, will have no regrets when the end comes. Its work will be completed. It will not be night that then overtakes it in the mystery which men call death—but day, rather, the morning of eternity!

– JR Miller 1899

Remembering Dad…

A bit more than 4 years ago, just three months before my wedding, one of the dearest people in my life disappeared.

He left behind him a wife, six children, and the church he pastored in a little village in the north-west of France. In the eyes of the world, he may not have been the most successful man. He was neither rich, nor very influential and did not have a great career.

How do you measure a man?

What determines the value of a man’s life? The challenge in the question is that by looking into the answer, I am providing a measuring tape against which my own live will be laid. Therefore I can be tempted to value a man by the things that I have been successful at. Anything else would be to admit that I have failed at making my own life count.

So how do you measure a man? The Bible provides some clear defining lines as to what is meaningful here on earth.

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor 13:13

Love is the answer

What is love? My definition is pretty simple: it is living for others. Why then do I consider Dad to be one of my greatest examples? A man that leaves a good career in England to go to France as a missionary is not living for himself. A man that starts a church in a village of 3500 people is not living for himself. A man that raises up 6 children is not living for himself.

I have many good memories of my father, such our the weekly family times, his wisdom, his ability to challenge me…One day he called me into his office, read revelations 3:16 (So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.), and then confronted my lifestyle. Funnily enough, I really treasure that moment.

But most of all, I admire his capacity to focus on the eternal. He knew that life would be short, and lived for God and others. That is why I am certain that he had few regrets when dying, even though he was far from perfect. While I was certainly saddened by his death, I want to echo my mother’s attitude at the memorial service. She started dancing and singing for joy while people looked awkwardly at her. “Has it snapped for Mrs Hockley?” Actually, with her thoughts turned to heaven, she was the clearest minded of us all.

The year of births

How blessed we are! This year we will see the birth of two wonderful things. The first is our child, whom we can’t wait to meet! The second is the Jesus Revolution groups project, that we look forward to launch. While preparing to share with our teams, I discovered some great similarities between the birth of a child and the birth of a vision:

1/Conceived in intimacy

Our child was conceived in the intimacy of our couple, the Jesus Revolution groups project was conceived in intimacy with God. He placed his thoughts in our minds. It says of Mary that she was “found to be with child of the Holy Spirit”, and that is how we have felt for this project!

2/ Gestation

What started as one cell in Guro’s stomach is now developing before birth. It is exciting to follow the different stages that the baby is going through! In a similar way, the project was developed these last years. As a cell contains everything needed for multiplication, we have come forth to a form in which Jesus Revolution can be multiplied to the local churches.

3/ Birth: a miracle

In the beginning of September I will be holding a miracle in my hands, amazed at what God is able to create out two human beings! In August, I will be seeing the beginning of a miracle when we launch the JR groups project after these years of preparation.

Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a incredible prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.

4/ Growth

Our healthy child will naturally grow,  the project will increase in the hands of God!

Merry Christmas and a little gift for 2009!

Merry Christmas from us (a little bit beforehand so that you can enjoy this during the holidays)! We hope that you are enjoying the season, and managing to relax! Here is a little gift from us, some of the best Christmas CDs that we have found on spotify! Be blessed!

Spotify CDs

And for those of you that don’t know spotify is, it is a free program that allows you to play millions of songs on your computer (completely legally). Check it out on spotify.com.

Christlikeness

I came across this story while I was preparing for teaching:

The young son of a humble consecrated pastor became very ill. After the boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests, the father was told the shocking news that his son had a terminal illness. The youngster had accepted Christ as his Savior, so the minister knew that death would usher him into God’s glory; but he wondered how to inform him that he would soon die. After earnestly seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, he went with a heavy heart through the hospital ward to the boy’s bedside. First he read a passage of Scripture and had a time of prayer with his dear child. Then he gently told him that the doctors could promise him only a few more days to live. “Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my boy?” asked his father. Blinking away a few tears, the little fellow said bravely, “No, not if he’s like you, Dad.”

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You know you’re getting Norwegian when…

  • -4°C is not so cold anymore.
  • You see children cross country skiing to school.
  • You look forward to the 17th of May.
  • You know what the Jante law is.
  • Your backyard looks like this:
  • You can pronounce the Norwegian “y”.
  • You are interesting in Women’s Handball.
  • However, the ultimate Norwegian test is your relationship to Brown Cheese. I still fail at that one.

Top 11 pieces of advice to people wanting to be missionaries

7 years ago, when I had just turned eighteen, I clearly felt God call me to full-time missions.
Hopefully, since that time, I have matured and gained some experience. I know that there are many others out there feeling the same call, so here is my advice if you are thinking about stepping into the field…

  • 1. Learn to hear and cherish God’s voice. This is your greatest asset. You will experience many situations where human wisdom is just not sufficient. Knowing God’s will at all times will enable you to be fruitful.
  • 2. Read “Is that really you God.” Author: Loren Cunnigham

Loren Cunningham’s dream began with a vision — waves of young people moving out across the continents announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole earth. Decades later, Loren’s vision has grown into an interdenominational movement of Christians from around the world who are dedicated to presenting the Gospel to this generation. From Amazon.com

  • 3. Start by being a missionary where you are. In Acts 1, Jesus tells his disciples to be disciples in Jerusalem before anywhere else. The best training ground for missions is in your daily encounters with friends/colleagues that don’t know Jesus yet. Experience the power of the Gospel now, it will strengthen your faith for the future!
  • 4. Know where your joy lies. Missions is not always a smooth ride. You will face disappointments. In Luke 10, Jesus sends out his disciples, and they come back all excited. Here is what Jesus tells them:

All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you–that’s the agenda for rejoicing. Luke 10:20 (MSG)

  • 5. Read “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret.” Authors: Howard and Geraldine Taylor

This is the classic biography of James Hudson Taylor by his son Howard and daughter-in-law Geraldine, who also served as missionaries to China. It is the inspiring story of Taylor’s uncovering of the spiritual secret that paved the way for the China Inland Mission to become a reality. From Amazon.com

  • 6. Read “God’s Smuggler” Author: Brother Andrew

As a boy he dreamed of being a spy undercover behind enemy lines. As a man he found himself undercover for God. Brother Andrew was his name and for decades his life story, recounted in God’s Smuggler, has awed and inspired millions. The bestseller tells of the young Dutch factory worker’s incredible efforts to transport Bibles across closed borders-and the miraculous ways in which God provided for him every step of the way. From Amazon.com

  • 7. Read as much as you can about the culture you are going to. This one is pretty obvious, but simply by reading about different aspects of a culture, you can get a lot of insight about how to reach the people.
  • 8. Read Operation World. Author: Patrick Johnstone

Packed with informative and inspiring fuel for prayer about every country of the world, it is essential for anybody who wants to make a difference. A handbook for global prayer. Over 2 Million in print worldwide! From Amazon.com

  • 9. Find ways of getting involved in your future community. If you are a sportsman, find a sports club, etc. The more natural your contact point with people is, the greater trust they will give you, and the easier it will be for you to share the message…
  • 10. Find out what other missionaries are living in the area. No one should stand alone in missions! They will also be able to give you local knowledge, which will increase your effectivness.
  • 11. Invite your friends to join you. Either physically, in prayer, or financially. Start making preparations as to how you will keep in contact with them, and keep them informed about what is happening in your life. Start a blog/website. In this way you can inspire other people all over the world to do the same as you are, and further the Kingdom!

What kind of advice would you give to people wanting to be missionaries?
If you have any questionsor advice, do not hesitate to post your thoughts in a comment…

Merry Christmas and a little gift!

Merry Christmas to everyone! We are currently in Scotland, enjoying our time with the Gibson family, as well as Mum and Chris (photos will come later). What a blessing to be able to remember the day our Savior was born into this world!

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing:
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
~ Grace Noll Crowell

Here is our little gift to you, 11 free, 100% legal, Christian Christmas music that I have found on the web (right click and save as…):

  1. Sara Groves: Toy Packaging
  2. Shane and Shane: Away in a Manger
  3. Go Fish: It’s about the Cross
  4. Sixpence None the Richer: Angels we have heard on high
  5. Barlow Girl: Angelic Proclamation
  6. Jars of Clay: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  7. Chris Sligh: When You Come Home Again
  8. Aaron Shust: Silent Night
  9. Aaron Shust: God Has Come to Earth
  10. Aaron Shust: O Come O Come Emmanuel
  11. Josh Wilson: Angels We Have Heard on High
Merry Christmas from the Hockleys
Merry Christmas from the Hockleys

So…what happened in 2008?

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
Henry Drummond

As Christmas and New Year approach, I look back and realize that although the years may not always be as I have planned or expected them, God’s hand is always there, steadily guiding us. Here is a little glimpse of our lives in 2008.

Some glimpses of 2008
Some glimpses of 2008
  • Moving to Norway, and into a new apartment that God provided for us.
  • Leading a team in Oslo, called the Headquarter team, in charge of the running of the missions base.
  • Travels. I traveled in France and Germany with a concert team and saw people saved and healings on the streets.
  • Summer Team in Italy, where Guro instructed dance, and I led a group of crazy young people for outreach in the south. Here also people were saved and healed on the streets.
  • Holidays. We gladly had  some time of rest in both France and Spain.
  • Teaching. I enjoyed teaching both for YWAM in France, and our Mission Training School in Oslo.
  • Work. Guro has been working part time for a Norwegian company, and will start working 100% for Jesus Revolution again, in a couple of months. I have had an great time working with the Jesus People project.
  • Church. We became members of Jesus Church in Oslo, and have a great “house church” fellowship.

We are looking forward to see more of God in action in 2009!