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MY BLOG



Here you can read about all the different things I am part of. Some tips and advertising. And sometimes something humerous!

2014

View over the the Norwegian west coast city: Bergen View over the the Norwegian west coast city: Bergen

Now it's terribly long since I wrote a blog. For those of you who follow me through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it's no news that this fall has been filled with a lot of concerts and travelling for me. For example, two times I've had the great pleasure to visit our neighbors in Norway. In the summer I sang on "Skærgårdssång" in Langesund and in November, the band and I went to Bergen. In November, we had in my homecity a total of 4 hours of sun. Then we came to Bergen (where it always rains) and got a whole day with a blue sky and bright sunshine. Fantastic! We also had a concert in the evening in the beautiful St. Markus Church with a lovely audience.

In September, my musicians and I did a concert tour in South Korea. We did several concerts, one of them in a newly built church in the middle of Seoul. The largest church that holds 6,000 people in the audience (if I understood correctly). We parked the car on the floor -6. They have built the church in the ground including garage at the bottom, instead of building a high building. Awesome!

SaRang chrch
Was at a nursery with disabled children one of the days
On our day off we went to the Gang-nam street.
And so we got a Selfie, or what to call it ...
Kerstin and Bosse together with our Japanese driver. Kerstin and Bosse together with our Japanese driver.

Now, in December, I’ve been to Japan on a 12-day concert tour. There have been small concerts this time with an audience from only 100 to 700 people. As always, I enjoy the Japanese audiences and "Japan In My Heart", now translated by my friend Rutsuko Bedow into Japanese, they really like. .
I also had the great pleasure to revisit several of my friends. First Bosse & Kerstin Dellming in Fuji and then wonderful Marianne and Tommy Bylund at the Swedish Embassy where my assistant and I also stayed over.

But now it will be fantastically nice to come home and enjoy the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I have worked very hard this year. Seven concert tours abroad, a lot of performances in Sweden. And, to be honest, the most enjoyable of all... I have started a shop. So far I do most of my selling in the webshop. Maybe it's because my shop in Jönköping open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays while the webshop always is open!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
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Now I have new products from Växbo Linen in Hälsingland in my shop "Butik Lena Maria". In Växbo are the best preserved environments from the flax preparation heyday. The small flax processing plants at "Trolldalen" (Troll Valley) testify to the the flax-growing peasants' use of hydropower. On this historic ground and with that cultural heritage in the back Växbo Linen started in 1989.
Dishcloths in different colors. Linen has the unique ability to absorb moisture better and then dry faster than any other natural material. Dishcloths in different colors. Linen has the unique ability to absorb moisture better and then dry faster than any other natural material.

Initially, the production was solely focused on spinning, but after a few years the linen weaving mill also started. All products are woven in 100% linen. They are 13 employees who together weave, sew and sell these beautiful linen products. Their vision is for Växbo Linen to develop, manufacture and market modern linen products with the intent to arouse desire and create added value for customers and employees and to pass on a unique craftsmanship. Their work is based on three guiding principles that permeate their entire operations. Växbo Linen is: - Solid - Personal - Innovative.

The goods I have in my store are are:

  • Dishcloths
  • Potholders
  • Drying Mats
  • Bath towels
  • Towels


Read more about them in my shop!

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Joakim Holgersson, Lena Maria, Tóra Við Keldu, Magnus Ahlgren & Robin Brokvist Joakim Holgersson, Lena Maria, Tóra Við Keldu, Magnus Ahlgren & Robin Brokvist


Two weeks ago, I went to the Faroe Islands together with my musicians. A fantastic trip to an exciting and beautiful country.
The first time I visited the Faroe Islands was when I was in the music program at the senior high school. Some of us went to a conference and held a concert for music teachers from the different scandinavian countries. The second time was the following year when the Swedish Swimteam for Disabled flew in a Hercules aircraft to the Farao Islands and participated in the Nordic Championships. On the day we were going home, the weather was terribly bad and no regular plane got off the ground. But since we flew the Hercules, there were other rules for us so we flew home. It jumped and bounced tremendously but we got home! The third time to visit the Islands was in 2009, a tour with my musicians. And now we had the great joy to come back again.

The sky was clear blue and we approached and landed on Vagar airport in a wonderful weather. Quite unusual in this barren and often rainy and windy country.
The Faroe Islands consist of 18 islands that is connected by long tunnels or bridges. They have a very different and exciting landscape. But the most distinctive I think, is the people. Everyone we met was so nice and hospitable. Approximately 50,000 people live here scattered in the different communities.

After checking in at the hotel we went to Christianskirke "the Christian Church" in Klaksvik and got a tour in there by the woodcarver Mr. Sjúrði Solstein. The church itself has a very interesting story, but most fascinating was the exhibition in the basement, "Jesus úr (= from) Nazareth," which held 10 wooden sculptures by Mr. Edward Fuglø, one of the Faroe Islands' great artists. Sjúrði showed pictures and talked about each painting and its symbologies and how he helped Edward manufacture these huge fine artwork.

During the tour we performed and met students in different senior highschools. The students were amazing and I was so impressed of how focused and interested they were when I spoke and told them about my life. Such fine young people!

Students in Eysturoy
The Faroese television news crew came and did an interview (see above) before I met senior high school students in Torshavn (see below)

Then it was time for the concert that we held in Løkshøll. It was sold out and the evening was really lovely and fun. Although it might not have been that easy for everyone to understand my Swedish, it was a great atmosphere and lots of laughter.

In the morning, the same day as we flew home, we visited another senior high school: the Commercial School on the Faroe Islands. All students didn't fit in the audatorium so we did our program twice.
The tour was really fun and Tora við Keldu who arranged everything had planned it very well for us. We would love to come back!

Links: Lena Maria Klingvall er gestur í Brunsj (in Swedish)
         Dagur-vika nyheter (in Swedish - from minute 16:04)

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Your best workout buddy!

When autumn is here, many of us take the opportunity for a fresh start. It can be about eating healthier, but perhaps most of all about getting started with your workout... All said and done, we get out on the first round of jogging or do a really hard workout at the gym to really get started. A day or two later, we barely get out of bed. Muscle soreness are here.

What is muscle soreness, really?
Before it was thought that the soreness was caused by damaged muscle fibrils and muscle fibers. Now new research shows that it's the opposite, it's something good: a strengthening of the muscle fibrils. You can say that muscle soreness signals that your body is preparing for more training.

How much muscle soreness you experience depends on how hard and how long you exercise, but also on the type of exercise you perform. The worst muscle soreness you get is the so-called eccentric training, where your muscles are working during the extension and as you slow down a movement. Like running downhill, for example.

How to avoid it
Rule number one: Do not neglect to warm up. During the warm up the joints are lubricated, the circulation increases and the oxygen delivery to the muscles improves. This in turn means that the risk of both injuries and soreness are reduced. The cool down you shouldn't skimp on either if you want to avoid muscle soreness. It doesn't take long at all, just finish your training with a jog or walk at a relaxed pace, five minutes is usually enough.

Don't go out too hard if you havn't exercised for a long time, to accustom your body gradually will be more beneficial. Start with lighter weights or shorter running tracks and then build on more each workout. But muscle soreness can affect even the most well-trained - it's enough that you're doing an exercise where you engage muscle groups you don't usually use to feel the next day.

If an accident occurs?
Don't worry - sore heals by itself after a few days. To stretch or put on ice may help reduce stiffness. And please try a gentle massage - a suggestion with Aloe Heat Lotion. With its skin nourishing and refreshing ingredients Aloe Heat Lotion is in fact a nice calming, soothing and invigorating massage lotion that is easily absorbed by the skin and leaves a pleasant feeling behind.

Wait also with hard training workouts until the pain has subsided. However, you can go jogging, cycling or walking at a gentle pace, as light physical activity increases blood flow to the affected muscles, which in turn speeds up healing. So be careful - and listen to your body.

ORDER IT HERE!

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Having recently returned from "Formex" at Stockholm International Fairs, I am so inspired and it feels so great to get to work and let the autumn start. Over the next few weeks, my webshop will expand and what I sell in my shop on Östra Storgatan 52 in Jönköping will be available to order via internet too.
You who've looked into my online store have already seen a lot of products already available to choose from. My own CDs, DVDs, books and original paintings are there, as are some reproductions of the Mouth & Footpainters. I am a distributor for Forever's Aloe Vera products and many of them are also available to order.

Now I want to introduce Carina "Cajo" Johansson. An amazing ceramist that I have great pleasure to be a reseller for. Her pottery is now available in the webshop for ordering.

"- Design, handmade ceramics and paintings are my daily chores!"

Carina "Cajo" Johansson, born in Gustav Adolf, Västergötland, in 1969 with a keen interest in creating already at an early age. The interest has continued now by far and now she creates full-time. Utensils and art of ceramics but also painting with different materials.

Cajo has worked at a large furniture company in nearly 25 years with product development as their main occupation, in 2013, she changed her course in life to focus on her main interest - to create.

- - - See more?  Click on the picture! - - - - - - See more? Click on the picture! - - -

Cajo makes a lot of custom orders, to companies, restaurants & cafes and private customers. Her unique creations she sells at markets and exhibitions as well as in her studio in Lovsjö. She also collaborates with agent companies as an independent designer of products to stores with interior design, flower & gift industry. She also sells their products through a few selected retailers among others Butik Lena Maria (Shop Lena Maria).
 

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I send two newsletters per year. One in May and one in November. But this spring has been so intense that the newsletter did not get away until now in July. If you are not among the more than 9,000 who already receive my letter but want my letter, go to the first page and scroll down at the bottom of the page. There you can fill in your name and email address.
It was really fun to write the newsletter this time since it's happened so much the last six months. I got to be a small part of a book about our Queen of Sweden, did two tours in Japan, opened the "Shop Lena Maria" etc. etc.

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Sweden welcomed us home with 28 degrees and summer weather. The sun was up all evening and everything had become green. In my garden called the dandelions in all its glory. Amazing that so much can happen in just two weeks.
After a few days of rest, it is wonderful to think back on a successful and good tour. It was blessed in so many ways and I did not feel as tired as I usually do because I felt that I received so much myself this time.

Including the press conference which launched the tour, I had 14 appearances in 12 days and only the second to last day off. We made eight domestic flights, three train trips and spent a number of hours in cars and buses.

Every place we came to welcomed us warmly and it was both dear reunions and new acquaintances. It was great that in several places meet Japanese artists and musicians, and especially many gospel choirs.

There is so much to tell but I'll end with the concert in Aizu. The pianist Anders Wihk and I had a concert there 20 years ago when the congregation celebrated its 100th year anniversary. They rented the largest concert hall in the city and in the concert we gave all seats were full. It had never happened before. Now I had the pleasure to sing on their 120 year anniversary and the seats were full again. Many things happen in 20 years, and I referred to some of these and that life never goes as planned - it is often better! I ended by saying that if I am invited to sing at their 140 year anniversary, it will be the same year as I turn 65 years old. It may well be, in that case, my last concert before I retire! (if I retire - it's very fun to work)

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Together with Franklin Graham and Alfie Silas Together with Franklin Graham and Alfie Silas

Now, a little more than half of the tour is done. I have never had such an intense tour before. 9 days in a row with appearances.
We started out with "Festival of Hope" in Sapporo. There I was one of many artists and the preacher was Billy Graham's son, Franklin Graham.
The venue we were in held 8000 people so it was really festive. In October last year, and most recently in March I had the pleasure of traveling with Will Graham, Franklin's son and the amazing singer Alfie Silas. Alfie and her husband Mike live in Los Angeles and are

traveling with Franklin Graham all over the world with a group of wonderful musicians and singers.
With the festival were many more artists involved and I have to mention the Brooklyn Tabernacle singers, oh how it swung when they started! A youth choir with 500 joyful singers also joined in the gospelsongs, very impressive.

On Monday morning I flew to Tokyo and did a concert with other Japanese artists. Then my best friend here in Japan interpreted - Rutsuko Bedow. She has also made a Japanese translation of my song Japan In My Heart. To my great joy the song brings out a lot of response, especially now that the audience understands the text.

On Tuesday we flew further south to Osaka where we had lunch with the pastors and leaders of various churches in the city. A festival was arranged in 2010 here as well together with Billy Graham Evangelistic Assiciation. This day was my parents 47th wedding anniversary and we were treated to a fabulous lunch with an amazing view of Osaka Castle. In the evening there was a concert again!

Yesterday we flew north to Fukushima where Alfie and I had another concert and today, Thursday, we have a concert in the largest city here in Fukushima Prefecture called Koriyama. Late tonight, we'll take the Shinkansen to Tokyo station, taxi to Haneda Airport Hotel where we'll spend a few hours until tomorrow morning when we fly to Osaka again where I will sing on a school's 120 year anniversary.
A new blog will be written again in a few days!

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Now we finally reached Sapporo. After 26.5 hours of traveling it was nice to arrive at the hotel in this beautiful city. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains with air filled with the fragrance of cherry blossoms and the birds sing and croak. I'm so glad we got the chance to experience it at the last moment before the cherry blossoms leaves will snow down on the ground.
After a good night's sleep, we ate a hearty breakfast. My mother and father are my traveling companions on this tour. After breakfast they went out for a walk and I went to bed and slept for a few more hours. I love to sleep!

The whole day was very calm. Practiced for a while, including the new Japanese translation on Japan In My Heart done by my good friend Rutsuko Bedow, I also played Candy Crush and solved Sudoku.
Tonight for dinner we had Mongolian barbecue. Sapporo, located on Japan's northernmost island Hokkaido, is famous for its fine seafood, vegetables and lamb. So that was what was served!
Super oishi! = Really good!

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Greg Schneider Greg Schneider

Greg Schneider, a very nice and skilled photographer, traveled with us throughout the tour. Please take a look at his amazing slide show from the tour in Japan.

SLIDESHOW - CLICK HERE

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Now another tour in Japan has come to an end. How I love to be here! We started in Fukuoka where we were about a week and did all sorts of things. I visited for example a junior high school where I sang and talked about my life. A teve channel was there and filmed my visit and afterwards the reporter interviewed a few students. One student said: - I learned that it 's ok to be different!
I was also in the elementary school and met the most cutest and beautiful children.

During the week I also gave a lot of interviews. Both in radio, television and newspapers. To top it off , I was invited to the governor. He had lived for a period in Paris and had also been in Sweden a few times. It can easily be a little stiff at this type of events, but it was a lovely governor and we had a very nice time together.
On Friday, I sang and spoke at a women's lunch with about 700 ladies. Here in Japan they really know how to dress up themselves. One woman is fancier than the other and the noise level is quite high when we ate our lunch around the round and beautifully set tables in one of the Hilton hotel’s beautiful rooms.

Friday , Saturday and Sunday we did " Celebration of Hope" hosted by churches in Fukuoka area together with Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The events took place in a Sumo wrestling arena that held 5000 persons. Huge amounts of time and dedication has been put into this celebration and the preparations have been going on for over a year. Will Graham, Billy Graham's grandson , was the speaker at the various meetings and over the weekend came more than 10,000 people, on the last evening about 4600 people. We were many artists who performed at the 3-hour long events. Alfie Silas and Mark Christian were other international artists, and then several Japanese singers and musicians.

After the weekend we continued our journey to Tokyo where we Monday evening did "Celebration of Love " in one of Shinjuku's great concert halls. A lovely evening with many people again.

On Tuesday, we then had a much needed day off. We went shopping and vacationing in Akihabara (known as Electric Town) and Ginza (the Fashion street). At night we were in that part of Tokyo where I feel most at home - Shinjuku - and had Kobe beef or Tepanyaki as it is also called, for dinner. The world's most delicious food, in my opinion, and with a view from the 51st floor over Tokyo.

Yesterday morning , we seated ourselves in a minivan, along with Alfie and her husband Mike, and then drove about four hours north to Iwaki in Fukushima prefecture. About 40 km from the nuclear power plants. There Alfie and I with my musicians had a concert. It's very special to meet an audience in this area. I have a tremendous respect for their life stories, many of them have lost so much in both the tsunami and the nuclear accident, and it is impossible to gain an understanding of the fear and the great loss these people had to go through and still struggle with. It appears clear that the only thing you can trust in circumstances such as these is your faith. When everything is taken away only Jesus - the solid rock – stays. The assurance that God loves me and the people I have around me gives life hope, comfort and meaning, in spite of all the difficult things we are forced to go through.

Now I say Sayonara (goodbye) to Japan for this time. See you in May again!

Robin and me!
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After four days, with a lot of stubbornness, I must admit that I will not get my website to work as I want in WordPress. I can probably find a sullotion to my problems with an expert's help, but I'm a bit too chary, it will be expensive ...
So I met a good friend who recommended "hemsida24". After a few hours I realize that I found IT. What a fun site to build website in. Simple, clear and good instructions. I love it!

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