So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Disabled bloke healed by pool!!

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Ok, so you’re all thinking thats a really lame way to get me to read your blog!!!!

John 5, v 1 – 14

This is one of the readings that Joyce Meyer uses, showing how we sometimes wallow in self pity.  After all the guy had had 38 years to organize someone to help him into the pool.  She so ably speaks in the whining voice of helplessness. I think Jesus also had a twinkle in his eye, because this was another Sabbath healing and all through the gospels he seems to do as many as possible just to annoy the Jewish establishment!

This one of the passages where you have to read carefully, to understand why Jesus seems so unfair in rebuking him and telling him not to sin.  This was maybe  because  Jews of the time equated illness with sinning, so this would have made sense to this bloke (see following blog!) I guess also that the man was so excitied and overwhlemed that he could get up, he just didn’t see Jesus clearly or see him go. When he spoke to the Jews, he is honest, he doesn’t lie becasue he genuinely didn’t grasp who and what had happened. How often do we have something happen in our lives as a result of prayer or a blessing and are so caught up in it, we don’t realise where it came from and we forget to be thankfull for it?  But our God is a God of second chances as the bloke went back and explained who it was, and we must think he trotted off to the happy ever after.   I often wonder of the stories of the people who are healed in the Bible, what happened in their new lives after Jesus had gone.

Was Jesus saying sin would make the illness come back again?  Andrew Wommack so preaches, when we are healed, it may try to return if we wobble and doubt a little and we have to rebuke illness, taking the authority given us when we became Christians, the power of the living Christ within us –as in moving the mountain!  So in a way, maybe he was saying turn away from the sin of self pity and self absorbtion, you don’t have grounds for it anymore, stay healed as the opposite to self pity is self respect, leaving no room for sin in this area.  This guy  must have been so full of joy! (all this is my interpretation).

One of the things that also worries me is why didn’t Jesus heal all of the people at the Pool?  On reflecting, I’ve come up with several answers.   I know that Luke talks a lot about healing the whole crowd’s illnesses, John seems to look a bit more at the individual cases. Most of the people in the mass healings had made a step towards Jesus, even a little step of a fragile belief.  All the people here were fixed on the healing coming from the water. Jesus had to get this guy’s attention by speaking to him, then despite the complete self pity and even doubt (in my mind) whether he was really looking for healing because he doesnt answer in the affirmative either, Jesus healed him. Of course, he may have been desperate for healing, the words here only have the nuance that the Spirit gives us as we read.  So this shows the power of Jesus, even when we are doubting, mired in our pity, Jesus can heal, we just need to turn our full attention on him. Easy to say this though isnt’ it??!!

From the New International Version

 1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

   7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

   8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

   The day on which this took place was a Sabbath10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

   11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

   12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

   13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

   14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

http://www.biblica.com


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Quiet times

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I’ve been hearing for a long time from Joyce Meyer and Andrew Wommack about the importance of the quiet prayer time in the mornings.  With work and laziness I’ve copped out with the excuse of lack of time and tiredness. I do pray and talk to God a lot while driving but maybe that isn’t the same. It’s gently nagged away at me.  I’ve tried to do a quiet time as a Lent thing and while the extra reading has been interesting, I’ve had one eye on the clock all the time and have been rushing back to the TV feeling its a bit of an onerous, dry duty.  Now I am a one for my own space, and Dave is out of work too, so there is a lack of quietness, he has the radio or tv on all the time and sometimes I just want it quiet.  He claims it covers his tinnitus, but it never goes the other way that I get quiet for my peace of mind, I know, moan, moan, but I have learnt to live with it!

Recently we had a blitz on the spare room, which is actually my favourite room and a little light bulb went on. …..so I ordered things around so that I have a corner with somewhere for the cup of coffee, pen and Bible.   I decided that I’m going to try and be regular about all this –of course easy now I’m not working!  I go in with my cup of coffee, after all Joyce does so, but maybe a dog would be a distraction…..

To my huge surprise I’ve found it a real blessing, I love doing it, of course because I get some  ‘me’ space, but I don’t have a clock and I never look at how long I’ve been.  I think of God and all the things that are going around in my life , asking him questions about the future, thinking things through, praising. Sometimes I read a lot, sometimes a little. I’m always thankful that I’m sitting in my own room, in the warm, in a house I own, what luxury!  It’s not an irksome duty as it once was, it gives me a real sense of peace  and quiet joy. The Holy Spirit is close and I feel rested spiritually through this, and I’m always seeking and knocking at his door for answers about things they seem to be coming through. I’m hooked.


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Freaky Friday

Lovely mountain shot to cheer one up!

Yesterday was one of those days you just wonder what is going to happen next!  Having been a follower of Joyce Meyer and Andrew Wommack, I knew quite early on that I could make the decision about how I handled it!

It began with taking Dave to a new Doctors as he’s been suffering a really bad dose of bronchitis this year, and he needed checking out by the specialist.  Appalling we had to wait all of three days to see her!  So as we arrived, we found the door to the Practise locked, I walked around saw some writing about the Doc on the wall, but needing glasses and being in daft mode, I missed the doorbell.  When I rang the Secretary,I felt so stupid, but we had a laugh about it when I walked embarassedly in.  Dave just needed his medication checking and the Doctor wanted to practise her English, so it was all good.  But of course, there was no train for Dave to catch home, I had to get to work at my Friday Cleaning jobs and there was fog everywhere, so we had the complicated arrangement he’d go home and I’d ring when I needed collecting, then drop him off at home and go on to my next job.

When I arrived, it was to find that I’d made another blunder. In cleaning last time, I’d cleaned the tiles in the bathroom, but had missed in spots where there were flecks where it had dried.  Lecture. So I went into nice mode. She was obviously in a strop, went out the door to walk the dog  without a bye.  So there was I sulking and ranting to myself, then  realised I could choose to get over it, so I did.  Then I had a text from my daughter, nasty wasp sting, the mothering kicks in, but what could I do so far away, frustrating? Finished, I walked down the hill and found a Five Euro note – Thanks God, was that a well done for not acting like a five-year old for once????????

The next jobs were ok, but a bit rushed.  Then I got a phonecall.  Some friends of us are going through a messy divorce, and the wife seems to be creating problems.  The husband wants me to go and witness for him about various things she’s said, which to me don’t seem true.  So I agreed, but knowing at the same time, Dave and I don’t know the whole truth, only they do.  But we have to be here for friends. I was as one would say, ‘bricking it’.  I rang Dave and said you’ve got to come with me, I cant do it alone, and for once he said yes straight away. It wouldn’t be right to turn up in court with this husband without Dave if you see what I mean. I was scared, what could it mean for us here, would it threaten us?  In court, in German, I could get stitched up. All a bit paranoid.  So as I drove back to Tamsweg, again I knew I could let this fear ruin my weekend and my life.  So I tried to rationalise and it came to me, maybe when she hears we’ll testify, she may back down and it’ll come to nothing.  My peace returned.

I then had to meet my boss of all my cleaning jobs.  Its been an issue since I started that while I was contracted for 15 hours, there wasn’t that much work. Maybe my fault, I could have looked for extra jobs, but as far as I felt  able, I’ve been doing these jobs well and I wont lie about the hours. But there is a backlog. End of discussion, I have to work a couple of morning extra a week until Christmas then we’ll be square.  Fine. Funny, I’d had it in the back of the mind that I could do more work – God preparing me?  Of course it wasnt until I was home I remembered on these days, I’d been due to have my part-time dog-arrgggggghhhhhhhh!

So I got home feeling a bit world weary, to ring my best mate here, to find one of her horses had had an attack of colic and the vet was saying he may have to be put down. I’ve been there, my horse, Monty was also prone to it -turned  out it was cancer. Oh, I felt so for her, but she was getting a second opinion, the morning would tell.

I still had to pick up Linda from where she works in the local Bookshop, and as I told her, I kept it all light and stressed how I was thrilled with the Fiver, it was all ok.  Am I growing up at last?????


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‘What a Mess’, her friend and an awful day……….

One of my jobs now includes cleaning the house of the Lady who owns What a Mess, who I usually meet when I clean the Insurance Office in St Michael.  This Afghan is just so typically hound, friendly, bouncy and yet elegant.  She’s got adult her coat so isn’t quite like Frank Muir‘s puppy.  I’ll now call her WAM!  This lady leads a chaotic life as a single Mum of a boy, full-time worker in Insurance (and I know, having worked in it how demanding it is), and she’s into all this stupid numerology and card reading stuff.  So I felt when I was asked to clean her house by my main boss, I could really bless her, give the house a lift and her too.   Apart from the first time she showed me round, I haven’t seen her.

So last week I arrived, and I fully admit I was tired, and so emotions are  bit higher than normal. The two Siamese/Burmese cats were looking indignant by the front door, so I opened the door to let them in and then the inner porch door as one lingered.  To my shock I was greeted by WAM and what I take as a brindled whippet puppy! Cats slunk in, door slammed and I enjoyed being frisked, bounced and slurped on as the dogs greeted me, full gas. I went and sat in the sitting room, of course the puppy shivered as they do, but I cuddled them both and chucked some toys around -bliss.  Then I really knew I had to  work.  I looked around for a note, could I let the dogs in the garden, where was the dog poo cleaning kit?  Nothing.  I had to clear up -I could see WAM looking at the baby’s accident with worry. So in the end I found a plastic sack and left it right by the front door.  It was such fun though, especially as it became obvious that the dogs werent allowed in the bedrooms by the way they leapt on the beds and jumped about, (just like you know who) and all too soon, I was done and gave the two some treats I’d found and slunk away.  I could hear them barking -and hounds don’t bark that much, as I left.

HOW  FLIPPING RUDE! Yes, Joyce, I’d taken offence.  I can only hope there was some huge problem why this woman hadn’t left me a note or rung to explain. If not,as Dave said, remember we’re just slaves here.  It’s the lack of respect, the taking me for granted that I found so bad.  But not only that, it’s the leaving dogs for so long alone in the house.  I had to remove various medicines that the woman had left lying about that the puppy was chewing, there was what just seemed a lack of care.  Not even a newspaper put down. If the silly woman had called me, I could do more if she must leave them in the house. Of course I could have rung her, but I’m nervous speaking on the mobile in German, people speak too quickly, and I would have just been really rude to her.

I wished then I had another doggy person I could talk to about this, but have no real doggy friends in Lungau, I havent spoken to folks in the UK for a while and of course I couldn’t make a phonecall out of the blue so upset.  I wanted to talk to the only person in the world who knows dogs  as I do, Mum.  And she’s dead.  It hit me like a blow to the stomach, grieving for my mum at her doggy best when she wasn’t drinking or depressed.  I grieved for my own dogs, who I’ve given up living in here, in a belief or decision (right or wrong) that I need to keep myself free for the next step in my walk with God.  I so missed my horsey/doggy life that I’ve left  behind.  And I knew I was also jealous of this woman for having two dogs, and I none.  I did talk to Dave, but he’s a man and not a pet fan, he only sort of understood.  I calmed down and finished the days work. I don’t know how I’ll deal this with next week.

I saw the puppy had peed on the bathroom floor, so I left it.


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Taking Offfence

Sitting in the church at MariaPfarr, I was admiring the altar and flowers as usual. The pictures of Mary’s life above it I look at just as pictures.  Then the new altar cloth caught my eye. ‘Ave Maria‘ in red cross stitch. Hmmmmm thinks I, my Protestant hackles rising a little, she was just another human being like us, yes one who was particularly good, but no  better.  To me there’s no Biblical basis for worshipping a person, and so on.

Then I thought, hey, I’m taking offence at this. Andrew Wommack and Joyce Meyer talk about this;

Philippians 1 v 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Acts 24 v 16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men. (KJV)

We are so quick to offend, in England there is a culture of deliberately taking it, against what other people say and do, and using it to sue and defame.  How far are we wandering away from the life he would us have?


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Self centeredness is the source of all grief

As I’ve said, God really has his hands on my path at the moment, and it feels good at last to feel its the right direction. This doesn’t mean he’s still not dealing with me, oh no, everytime I think he’s going to lighten up, he points out something new. I’m also really getting to be excited that he has something new,  because he is dealing with both of us on somethings, and we’ve felt under spiritual attack (my severe bout of homesickness), we must at last be getting close to our goal!

Joyce Meyer and Andrew Wommack were both speaking  similar subjects last night -thawack again. Basically we see ourselves as the centre of the universe and take offence when someone acts as if we aren’t  eg, someone ignores you – well maybe they’re on a bad day, its nothing to do with you.  Someone cuts you up on the road – maybe they are in a hurry, or cross, but its nothing to do with you, you’re just in the way.  It’s all about dying to self, which I’ve written about before.  Basically being self-centred is the source of all grief  -do  look at their teachings!

So me. God gives me a job where I’m a lot on my own – a relief after last year but it can be a bit lonely. One lady leaves me instructions as if I’m a dope, not knowing what to do each week.  Once I got really upset so I just let all these feelings run through me to examine them.  I’m just a cleaning lady, not her friend.  In some ways down the social ladder and of little interest – that’s just how it is. She also has a very busy stressed life and its her way of trying to be nice, leaving me a note, she doesn’t realise what she’s saying hurts, she doesn’t know Ido all these things anyway. Its her problem not mine, I can decide not to be offended.  Likewise, there’s some special event on in one of the offices – I knew as they left flyers around, but no one said a word to me.  I could get on my high horse or laugh,  so I just kept quiet. Today she rang, asking me to do special clean, so I was polite, didn’t get cross that she was asking me to do stuff Id done already, I chose not to take offence.  Like wise the other  house, they are all a bit shy and unfriendly, I’m not letting them get  away with that, they have the problem,  so I’m always cheerful happy and willing.  This is how God is teaching me to deal with people.  What is the next challenge ?  Getting me ready for when we run our small Hotel?????????