Our little house group asked for a kickstart, and this is what we got! We all have an instinctive knowledge of God, but it is at our peril that we ignore him when we opt in or out of belief.Bevere uses an allegory to show just what will happen to us, not only when we die, but on the judgement day. Scary and a real wake up call. It’s there in the Bible, but we all pass it by with complacency.As Christians, believing in Jesus, yes, we do get to heaven, but there is a life accounting to be made. I’m sure that I’m not just loving God for the rewards that Bevere goes on about. After all, you don’t love someone for them to thank you. For me, it’s the being with him. But then again, if something I’ve written or said brings a person to know Jesus, I’d like to know, that would be a reward for me.My first reaction was to yell, help to God, is this true? I’m sorry if I’ve goofed, let‘s start again, I repent. I thought I was in your will. Out walking I began praying in tongues and at work listening to the Bible on the phone, it took a while to find a UK voice! Not that it would make God love me anymore, but to let his word and spirit wash over me and clean and heal me. Was I still his beloved Anna? When I was a new Christian I heard this said behind me and jumped out of my skin!Then I began to consider the peace I had found writing and claimed that I felt this IS his will. He had given me the plots for the books in dreams, and I feel such a peace and contentment in this life now I’m doing it. Especially when creating, I can’t wait for the new day, however mundane.I began to wonder if my not writing, which I started in 1991, if I had kept on, what sort of writer for him I would now be. I have a talent for wrong decisions. Now I’m right and I’m holding on to it.I was also convicted that I needed to be giving Dave more respect, and to stop moaning and grumbling about him in my head, and when I asked Holy spirit, he stopped me (well mostly) we are so happy at the moment, even if not perfect. Both loners together, at this point of my change, I am so happy with him and he seems so too. I am at times aware of how much I do love him and when I’m engulfed in that, I send that feeling of love on to God as well.The other morning, while walking the dog, I was saying to God how do I witness to people in my situation here at the moment, the answer came autobiography, so that will come next year. Something I’ve avoided for years. I feel as if I’m in the calm, centre eye of the storm in his safety. I am in the right place now!Not that there aren’t lessons. Reading Bevere, about being jealous of other’s successes. I am. I must realise these books are Gods, funded by his money. I need to let God market and concentrate on writing his words. But being a perfectionist, I have to go on and on at the words till I feel they are perfect. But he okayed using the book marketing company, so he will use them. It’s his money.The Bevere book also has the best explanation of dying to self I’ve read. It’s the world set of carnal values that are about you, money, politics, ideology, replacing them with Jesus, so these values just don’t mean anything to you. Only God.Lastly healing. I’ve had my diverticulitis, my unbelief due to the symptoms taking over. I believe in speaking to my mountain as I am a born again Christian and believe the power of the risen Christ is in me. So now I say, in the carnal, symptoms you are toast, you are being treated by carnal medicine, and you are healed supernaturally. Illness, you’re pants. As you see or imagine yourself well, that builds hope, increases faith and enables the healing. A recent bug, I said you have a day symptoms, then you are gone, and the next morning they were! My unbelief is shrinking and my faith building, but I have a long way to go.
Our local Priest runs evening talks after the Mass on Monday nights and the proposed theme was ‘There gives only one Father God’. With great glee, Linda and I decided to go as the radical Protestants and see what he was going to say. We went to the Mass before as a mark of respect – although not all did.
I sat as usual somewhat bemused but felt the Love of God all around me and a touch of naughtiness and what we were going to be talking about- would I put a silly point of view over? I really began to feel how silly the ritual all was, the bowing and not drinking the wine, and as I’ve thought before, but all this doesn’t really matter to God? What does matter is our hearts and our desire for relationship with him. If we are loving Jesus all these fripperies I don’t think really matter! I also remembered my childhood and always being sat in the front row during Mass with my grandmother, and the utter boredom of it! Some of the words I could remember too, although in English. All perfectly lovely words to praise God!
So into the Parish rooms to sit around the table and chat. There was no Mrs Doyle bullying us into tea which was a shame…..There was 10 of us, with three men besides the Priest. My heart fell a bit as one of the men I know. Although Catholic he is dead against what the church does and is trying to change it from within. Maybe a noble sentiment. However this has led to an antagonistic attitude and I knew he would try to dominate the discussion from his point of view and so it was. I felt my love disappearing.
The Priest did a historical resume of both churches and we got tied down in the history of the schism and then Bruno pitched in about the Saints. I agree, if people have led a great life, maybe died for their belief they are great way finders, but when we go to them rather than Jesus, it aint good. You can’t pray to dead people its unbiblical, talk to the living one!
Then the discussion got beyond me, and when Bruno had shut up, the Priest tried to take the reins again and move on. So of course we got into the difference in the sacraments. I was getting wound up by Bruno now, fed up with him and had things to say myself, which I feel were the prompting of the Holy Spirit. So I let rip. Explaining I come from another culture and we have huge churches where the sacraments are not in the services as a rule, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are very much there. That what matters is love. For one Church or ideology to think its better than the other is arrogant. When we have Jesus at heart all the ritual is unimportant. We have the truth in the Bible (that didn’t go down so well). The talk went on and I again said we must be together. That the devil laughs when we tie ourselves up with condemning theology . together we could do so much for the world in these times, but he keeps us divided. Time was up, all were tired. The Priest finished on the rod of power being passed on down through Peter to the current Pope- I can see that. And why is the Bible not added to – well the Catholics would say it was. Then we got the Bride for Christ bit – yes, ok, but first we need to tell the people the truth about Jesus. The last bit made me giggle again when the Priest said that he believes that when Jesus comes, he’s going to be Catholic! He hadn’t studied all these years and got these conclusions to change his mind.
So a discussion that wasn’t held together – and I saw Bruno cornering the poor Priest as we left, but Linda said I spoke OK. So at last, I’m a bit usable in little things. Life us regaining its integrity for me. Yippee! I hope that I can make contact more with the ladies that were there and we can show this love.
We were really surprised when we heard that Rory Alec had stepped down as CEO. Dave and I have our disagreements with some of God TVs fundraising, not trusting some of the people they trust and haven’t given so much lately. In fact their last appeal had a huge shortfall- we didn’t like the idea of buying bricks and putting a Bible under the altar – that’s daft and non biblical. But this explains why there was a blockage. God expects a lot more from his people in key roles, and such sin would block things spiritually.
HOWEVER! Rory is just a man and maybe they had all forgotten this and were so super spiritual that they thought themselves immune from attack. So what now? Forgiveness, repentance and Rory needs to at some stage, when he has sorted himself with God and his wife, to be brought back into the fold. What a chance to show the love of God and how repentance and forgiveness works. Or perhaps Rory doesn’t want to give it up, and she doesn’t want him back. Human, weak and fallible, God uses the weak of the world. What a chance for great things to come from this.
We recently had a visit from our son and his lovely wife. We hadn’t seen them since the wedding, 16 months ago, although we had exchanged infrequent emails, texts and face time on the phones. But not enough.
We had a time that was intense, such fun, chatty, learnt stuff about each other. Caught up.We even discussed what our future is here and how all we have in the UK is the kids. When they left, I decided that this time, I will let the emotion out, but I was in such pain at the Airport, I had to keep a hold on that in front of them.
I know it’s a reflection of how we are finding work and life here difficult. How would it be if they had moved away?
The next day Dave and I were both tired and ratty, and the following day I started the morning miseries, mild panic attacks, fear, light palpitations. Just like when our daughter left us in June.So it wasn’t a hormonal thing, it was my head and grief stepping in. This morning I cried. I prayed in tongues, letting it all out, and I was healed. I am calm. But I can’t go on like this. It doesn’t change the situation. I don’t want to step on their toes or be the intrusive mother, but 16 months is too long. My family is my life. Sacrifice apart, God, you brought me here. I am a Mother, I will see my kids. If you want me to stay here, you have to trump up more money so I can go to see them more often. If not, next year, I’m leaving Austria. And going home. To where I can see them maybe every couple of months, or even more.
Have I talked to Dave about this – no. and I know that’s not good. I will not be putting this through Facebook either. But he doesn’t want to leave here. And it would be a great wrench to go to. We have quickly slipped back into our calmness and doing stuff, pottering about, filling our days and in six weeks I will be teaching again, having a shift on Meals on Wheels focuses our day. What is the solution? Dave has been given a verse, about what is sown in sadness will be repaid in joy-he sees this as a us getting loads of money in the autumn, I see it as my situation, but I wasn’t given the verse.
I’m hanging on for Christmas, when we all get together in England. It is my focus.
As many of you may know, I had quite a difficult time at Burg Finstergün with another member of staff called Erna. (eg below) These are the verses which got me through that time. I would repeat them as I would try and be as nice as I could, finding things for her and doing stuff for her. Doing the best to live this, by being as far as I was able at peace with others. Didn’t work and in the last few months, I was so down, but The Holy Spirit gave me a song to sing, which helped. I’ve well and truly learnt my lesson since then, I know I will always have a difficult Austrian where I work, and am getting a bit better at dealing with it!
Long ago, when we were evicted from our cottage, I was bent on revenge, until God gave me verse 19, it helped me let go of the anger I felt towards our employers, and gave me peace. So many people are hurt and damaged by events and hang on to them, letting the anger fester. I have someone who will deal with injustice, real and even perceived by giving me HIS peace, after all he’s been there and understands.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[ 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[
I must confess to a certain amount of butterflies before I had to work with Erna again. It was the uncertainty of what would happen. I was geared up to being shouted at, or at the most blindingly unlikely, being apologised to. The plan was to do the bins and loos and clean away from her. So we arrived at breakfast and she said the usual ‘morning’ to Micheala and then ignored me – also as usual. She was set on scrubbing every floor in the place she could. Fine, I could deal with this, but if she was any sort of leader or rather what I would have said would be great, we have some time, lets see if we can do anything to clean things up a bit – no it was just we’ll scrub the floors as we have time, there’s so much more than just floors to keep the Burg clean! So I felt if she wants to be an Ostrich and not deal with things, I will too. Hopefully we won’t work together more than a few times more this season, then I’m out of there. So she mopped and I made a point of asking her what to do, even if I got the blank look, and even ended up with the broom! If they think I’m so bad at mopping/scrubbing and they do all this work and end up knackered, why should I care?
Every time I started on the negative thoughts or feeling down, a Christian anthem came into my head, ‘Shout to the North and South….Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth’, now I don’t even really like this tune, though we sang it loads at the Fortune Centre, but there it was in my head, so strong that I got caught up in singing it (well not very loudly). I don’t often get songs stuck in my head either. I’d often thought of bringing my MP3 on Erna days but hey, this was God doing it for me! WOW!
However, most importantly for me, I’ve learnt some things from God in this process that maybe he’s been trying to explain to me for a long time. And how? Besides getting my prayer and reading life back in order, I’ve apologised to the Holy Spirit for grieving him and asked for help, and look what he did! Sorry non Christians, this is deep Christan speak now. I can see that the devil has tried to sink me in negativity and so separate me from the path I should be on – and he has shot himself in the foot because I’ve got over the not handling being ignored, and working with someone who yells and screams and can move on. No longer will I be eaten up by negative thoughts and worries –result!
Spookily or really a natural coincidence, that afternoon the Lungau was hit by a freak thunderstorm. We saw it coming over the hills as the sky went black, then came the wind and the trees bent double, then the rain and hail hit. Non of the windows in the Burg were water tight and the howling of the wind though the gaps was incredible. Hail lay like snow in the Hof and from one of the baclonies you could see nothing except the cloud and the lightning in it as the storm howled through. It cleared in an hour and the sky was blue. But I felt a deep, overwhelming sadness, and I was I right, for when I got home, so many of my flowers had been cut to shreds and the veggies were either flattened or full of holes. Pictures will be on the next posts.
A week on…..Saturday I was on my own and there was one trakt that needed cleaning for new guests. Micheala had said to me in her ‘speak to her seriously and slowly so she understands voice’ that two the rooms would need scrubbing because there had been dogs in them – like I wouldn’t have worked that out? Well any way, I scrubbed two of the rooms on my own initiative as well as these two –so there! But one room was occupied by an old boy with a chihaua, which had pooped all over the floor. At 3.30 he was still faffing around in the room, so I went to Helmuth- maybe this guy was staying on. Helmuth exploded and went to give the guy a heave – the next group was due in an hour. So I went and sat in the sun and ate a cake until I could finally get in. At four o’clock I was finally finished – quite a contrast to last week and my paddy at having leaving at three. I didn’t moan to Helmuth once, as mostly I was chuckling inside, payback for last week!
Sometimes a reading jumps out at you and the Spirit suddenly gives you an insight into a previously unremarkable passage. He’s trying to tell us something as God‘s word is spirit. ( John 6,6) This is one I received lately and I think it speaks to us about re-commitment. I think that God has given me the go-ahead to write a series of blogs about Bible passages that have really spoken to me, so there will now be a regular occurance!
At the time I was wondering why this was sticking so much in my mind, nothing was jumping out of the page at me but I did re –read that this was also a re-commitment, after the original call from Jesus, the fishermen had gone back to their trade. (Mat 4, 18 -22, Mark 1, 16 -20 ).
Then this Sunday, Mr Wishywashy (Joel Osteen) preached on the same verses. He said that when our faith is weak and we are doubting, then God’s faith steps in, and so the fishermen were blessed with the huge catch. A set time of blessing he said. Of course I felt he’d oversimplified. If you read it, Peter’s unbelief is countered with a little belief, ie we haven’t caught anything but if you say so, I will. This little step produced what was for the fishermen untold riches.
Peter confessed his sin and recommitted and WALKED AWAY from the riches. That’s a hard one. He was so impressed he could but not believe and his belief surpassed the proof in his eyes, wow! Still I like the idea of the blessing that is to come, and re-commitment for us to living and working here but I don’t know if I could walk from riches away unless Jesus told me to personally!
1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
I guess I was feeling a little sore from having just lost the job, it had in many ways suited me, my last day in the evening, it was the International day of Women’s prayer. For some obscure reason it’s always held in the Crypt of the church in Mariapfarr. No heating, underground and a bit grim. It’s also the war memorial and there is this stunning crucifix, its draped with pieces of leather which are slowly drooping. Its atmospheric and sad, just like the loss of war. The service was run by the local Catholic ladies and there were only three of us Protestants there!
The service did go on a bit long and the lady (Barbara) next to me, who had got the bad deal of being next to the damp wall was more than ready to go to the Agape meal. I had brought her and Linda over from home, quite a little gang, it felt like a little bit of serving God for me. There was another car of ladies from Ramingstein and we all sort of congregated together. As we left the Crypt, a white haired lady who I’ve seen quite a lot around the village came up and grabbed my arm and said how pleased she was to meet me, having already met Dave loads of times in the Garden centre. She was so kind and interested. So we all sat in a group and tucked into the bread and spreads, there was much excitement about the Quiche, seems no one makes them much here, now I know what to produce to impress folks! It was a general chat, then we somehow got onto the subject of not sleeping well, someone said salt under the tongue went well. Another how she goes into the kitchen, and another suggested that the best cure was to go to Church, everyone dozed off there sooner or later. Much laughter. We talked about baking, various neighbours , my Wuhlmaus eating the garden. It is difficult to pick up dialect when there’s so many people were chatting but I felt a part of them. On the way out one of our group, a little like my Mum, also grabbed my arm for support. The whole evening had me overwhelmed by the love of these ladies. It was like being surrounded in a loving, Godly circle and I felt included and loved. Maybe this day of prayer takes many different forms.