So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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A new spiritual home!

One of the main reasons we decided to return to the UK was that we were running dry spiritually. The Protestant church we were in had its head firmly buried in concrete and was battered by constant feuds and personality conflicts. We had a Bible group with some friends of ours, but they neither wanted to move on nor try yet again to build a new fellowship with the Christians in the area. All the things we discussed were treated with wariness until they heard it from an Austrian source! The Lungau might have been a natural paradise, but spiritually it was a desert.

So, when we started looking at parts of the UK, we always searched the churches and fellowships in the area, and Wales in comparison to the UK seemed full of ones to explore. When we looked at Mountain ash, there seemed to be churches all over the place. It wasn’t until we got here, that we found google was listing empty buildings and many that had been demolished, even two in Cfenpennar. But lockdown had us searching online services and we soon picked up that in Rhonda Cynon Taff, our area, there were many free churches and we would surely find an alive fellowship.

We didn’t have a car to start, and so decided to go to those in walking distance, and so ended up at the Baptist church in the town. We walked into the warmth of a living fellowship, small in numbers, and an older congregation, but so full of the spirit, we knew that we didn’t need to go any further, we had found our new home!

There was a new pastor, and we met him and his wife and found fellow hearts for the area and bringing people to the Lord. It’s been such an utter relief to be home! Over the past months things are moving on and we’re so thrilled to be part of this, it was something we came home for. They started by blessing the fellowship that was already there, with love and Christmas celebrations, what a beautiful thing to do. We started a children’s club, which had a slow start, and last week we had a prayer breakfast with other churches which rocked my spiritual socks. All the other fellowships are of the same heart for the area, and out of this are coming a walk of witness on Good Friday, evening services, Mothers’ day teas, all sorts of wonderful things. I’m just leaping about with excitement! Only downside, was that while it was brilliant to sing songs we sang in Lymington Baptist church all those years ago, there are some great new ones…


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New Book!

Just before Christmas, I published the first volume of my memoirs, doesn’t that sound grand? But this is the book that has me most scared. Revealing myself, rather than playing with the people of my imagination.

However, as a Christian, I have prayed about this and am certain, that it the present situation, this is the main way I can witness to people. The whole of my life leads to God, despite fighting him for years. Maybe someone might learn from my mistakes and trials and find him too.

Blurb

Brought up by a warring Mother and Grandmother, Anna Rashbrook had to make choices that no child should have to.

In this first memoir, she begins the quest to understand the threads of faith, horses, and love, which weave and intertwine throughout her life.

Years of diarying help Anna in this frank and honest chronicle of her childhood and teenage, as she explores the scars and the disfunction that was all around her. Not to forget pony mania, the Tremeloes, David Bowie, some terrible teenage behaviour, travel, first love, and heartbreak.


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Time to celebrate!

My 60th birthday today, and to celebrate, here is the new version of my first book, Tom. Newly edited, new cover but still a great read!


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Things I wish I’d said to the Jehovah’s witnesses

The resident Greenfinches posing on the table!

This is also an invitation for people to add their own ones and comments to mine,nothing abusive please, just a sharing of the things they say and how Christians counter them. I’m not always the fastest thinker in the world, so some of these took a couple of days to percolate through!

I said that in England I would offer visiting  JW’s a leaflet of mine to read, if I took theirs.  This usually resulted in them bolting.  The guy the other day had this analogy that when you have a set of keys to open a door, you try all till you find the right one and then stop, you don’t try any more.  Ok , I can see the logic in that.

Response.  What if someone had given you a forged or copied key, sooner or later you would notice and then you’d have to test it against all the other keys you hold. Wouldn’t it be better to check all the keys in the first place?

I said I pray in tongues. The guy said he’s never heard that.

Response, Well I should think not, you don’t believe in the Holy Spirit as a person, you grieve him. (Ephesians 16.30)  You can’t have it both ways.


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Prayer meetings

One of the bonuses or maybe problems with the Christian life are prayer meetings.  Most are great, you can feel in your sprit that he’s there, and you’re on the right track, and you can feel the engulfing love. 

Others are a bit drier!  Why is it people have to adopt this special prayer voice?  I try to just talk as normal, but with the right words.  Of course, I find this difficult in German, but maybe it stops me going on too long.  I can sense when I should try because the words come, not necessarily grammatically correct, but he knows. There’s firstly the problem with who goes first, this can lead to a long silence, then you sit there thinking, have I got to say something, are they waiting for me to speak before we all open our eyes? What do you do when everyone beats you to your topic or you run out of ideas?   Then there’s the serrupticious peeking at what the others are doing.  Then the shuffle and the little cough to try and alert someone everyone else is finished.  Then you sit in silence as you wait. 

Last night was priceless. We kept on stopping and starting, then one of the cats walked in.  He proceeded to chirrup and make noises.  He was fed and then evicted, while we all pretended it was not a problem.  Funny, no one ever discusses the prayer after – hey you gave good prayer there, or what did you mean?  Especially when the prayers are more spelling it out for the listeners, e.g., so and so’s family has this problem. God knows all this stuff, don’t waffle.  As I was first to leave, I found out why the cat was shouting.  He just caught another of the newly bought Goldfish that had just been put in the new pond and left it on the doorstep for all to see!


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It’s not a wilderness!

God still has so much work to do in me, it seems like the process is never-ending,  how would I manage without his grace?

The new job is ok, it was definitely his hands, and it works, but  I don’t earn my share of our combined income.  It’s ok for a while as there’s spring madness and poor Dave is having to work up to 50 hours a week at the garden centre.  This is why I’ve been trying to make money on the second blog – which is coming close to being ditched as it’s not working for various  reasons. I’ve got time to write this and the new book is chugging on slowly.  I have time to garden and weekends and bank holidays off. More  than just what I asked.  The only downside is I’m on my own a lot, this I on the whole like.  At times though it gets a bit lonely, but  God hit me with a smackeroo  the other day,which still has me reeling.

I was whining on to myself about how lonely I feel and whats this life for, blah, blah, blah.  When he said to me, this isn’t a wilderness, it’s a paradise and he opened my eyes.  I have all I’ve asked of him, he’s leading me through some issues that I really need to deal with, and the quietness is his mechanism to do it. Holy Spirit is helping me to perceive things and deal with them as never before.  He’s given me with all I could ever need or want, I need to be with him, he’s my friend  and I must just simply enjoy it.

I am at peace like never before.