So where's the snow?

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


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The New Plant

A repeat but I’m trying to make sure I still post a day while on holiday!  Still worth it I think!

We were watching a service from Willow Creek church in the USA last night and Bill Hybels was talking about how Jesus told the parable of how the seed must die to produce the new life, in reference to his death and resurrection and how when we are reborn parts of us must die, that we must die to our selves which is a main point of christian doctrine.  This is in John, Chapter 12, v24 -25, and of course reflects the parable of the seeds and soils, Mathew Chapter 13 v 1 -23

 Bill said erroneously that the seeds need nutrition from the ground to germinate, but actually they don’t.  All that is needed is moisture and warmth. All the ingredients are present in the seed to create the new plant until it grows its own leaves and can feed itself, through its roots in the soil (the word of God).  Jesus says the soil can be rich or infertile and  the world (weeds and bugs)  determines how you keep the word. 

I thought that maybe this analogy goes deeper and further  than Bills and I am going to give it a go!   When a flower is  pollinated, the new seed (or child) is created from both God and human. As the seed grows, it hardens and matures, forming a carapace that protects the seed until it has the ingredients to germinate (receive Jesus), and this can involve travelling some distance, can be quick or takes years.  The seed can also get damaged, destroyed, lost  on the journey to germination/receiving Christ. – See the likeness between us and plants??!! 

So  the essential, perfect real person, our heavenly being that we spend so much time on earth renewing our minds to become, is already there and is never actually lost.  Jesus coming to live in our soul makes perfect what the world has changed.   Like the seed, we have all the ingredients we need, we just need to receive the living water to grow.  The seed husk that is left in the ground is our old self.  When we become mature Christians/plants, God’s water supports us, but we also still feed from the word (Bible) and the world about us.We are no longer seeds but plants, and can grow or die.  The perfection is still within us.


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Easter Sunday

It would be easy to do a typical blog on the joy of Easter and the Resurrection and Christ lives, but I want to think I can be different!

Easter is about reconciliation. What took place over 2000 years ago was God‘s final act in giving us a way to be back in the garden of Eden, in the original relationship, where God and man had walked  and talked together in the cool of the day. But we blew it, and God spent a long time searching for a man who could re-build this original relationship, but sin conquered each time.  It was only through Jesus, finally taking for once and for all the punishment for sin, that the original relationship could be rebuilt.  No more guilt or punishment for sin. Original relationship. Each day we can walk with God again in the garden, no more barriers, no more pain.  And he ‘s waiting for us because true love never forces itself.  Chose life.


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Decisions

Another EAGALA training pic

One of the fundamental things about moving here was a strong belief that God had his hand on this and wants us here. It showed in how quickly the house was sold when we found this place, having a strongly Christian neighbour, meeting a Christian Estate agent and so on and so forth.  Yet when we arrived, so proud of being here for God and what does he want us to do, only to find it was nothing.  I needed these five years to read the Bible and get to know God and be made useable – hence Erna and the Burg.  I’m not there by any means, but I’ve moved on.

So when I joined a new Bible group in Tamsweg it was with a sense of at last, here we go, out of the desert.  The group is young and we need to take off the gravecloths of the old (John 11, v44) in the looking back of the failings of the older established churches and move on.  I’m also on the PCC, and that has been an eye opener, and from that, I’m beginning to see the possibility of my work here and a way out of the darkness.

My dilemma is this, should I fully blog these experiences and risk offending, pass on stuff others would wish remain private  or chronicle the start of something new and wonderful in Lungau in a general way which might miss the finer detail?

What would you do?


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Jesus and the Wall

 So  after all I had been listening to, I was experiencing a renewal.  My doubts about the path we’re on here were gone and I now needed to take more steps and explore the way.A teaching of Andrew’s talked about using your imagination to see God’s will and plan, and that positive imagination is HOPE. Together with my renewal of using toungues I decided to battle with that wall.

 I had been reading  about Jesus being the shepherd (John 10 v 1-7) and how he goes into the sheep pen collects his sheep and then leads them out into pasture, funny I’ve only just understood this picture of practical sheep keeping!  So I sat and saw this wall, and could see a brick wall with some trees behind.   So I began tearing down bricks, and some had names on them, self, arrogance, family, Erna, horses, disbelief, self pity (I’m good at that!)  and I could see them lying on the ground.  The wall grew neither smaller or shorter although now 30 brick were on the ground.  So I decided to give it another go and went back to reading. 

 Matthew 7, v 13-14, and John 10, v 7

 I don’t need to destroy the wall, I have a gate, Jesus, I just need to find the small and narrow gate in all that undergrowth!


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Follow the Peace

 

When you have God’s will and you are meeting his in your heart, there’s a peace.  It’s difficult to describe and I can only say that by having re found it, I’m now so aware of how I had lost it.  I was so eaten away by bitterness at the Erna at work situation and I was causing strife in my mind because I was just letting my damaged pride eat away at me, when we live in strife the devil has a foothold (Thanks Joyce Meyer)

 So I’ve been back to praying and reading, and come to a realisation that I need a daily realignment in my thinking and actions. I wanted to care for those at work, even Erna. When she started the ignoring me, I thought (and this didn’t come from me), dear Erna, she is a sister in Christ and I’ll be with her in eternity (HELP!!!!!!) and the following sensation was sweet.  Driving up the hill to the Burg one morning after an early shower, the sun caught the rain drops and golden light filtered through, and I was overwhelmed with the beauty of his creation, and was filled with joy.  I haven’t had a moment like that for ages. 

 I’ve been wary of fasting for a while, for those who say that you get closer to God and have new insights.  But surely isn’t that just the effect of having low blood sugar and other chemical changes in the blood?  This moment in a way proved it to me, I was happily well fed and untired when this happened.  I think fasting should be a discipline for the body, God I don’t think loves you more because you’re hungry –someone comment?

 For several days following this I was filled with this Holy sweetness and the light around me on the plants and trees gave them a new beauty.  The supernatural is so close but we fail to perceive it.

 My perceptions changed too, when Edith suggested we work with the disabled people, my heart leapt – mainly because it is financially viable for them which we had thought not.  I thought this way was blocked since I left the FCRT, but maybe it was there all along, after all, seeing the Lebenshilfe workstation was one of the key moments in deciding us for here, although I later failed two interviews – my timing not Gods?

 I was still yearning my alone time, but began to see the element of self in it.   I also had another bout of the unexplained sadness – it during when I was trying to deal with Erna at work and then Edith rang and I snapped at her.  Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit being grieved in me.  I have felt there’s a contraction in being told not to follow our feelings, but sadness/grief etc are part of them.  Maybe its in the sense of knowing.


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The Renewed Mind

Poor marrow!

This simply means getting your nose down in the Bible and reading it, assimilating what it says and mediating on it.  Some things have puzzled me so much that I’ve let them go around in my head until ‘I got it’ to quote Joyce Meyer!  The Holy Spirit helps us, and Andrew Wommack also says praying in tongues while you do it helps a lot – I’ve tried but find it difficult to concentrate , no doubt needs practise.

 Ok, so then how about God’s will in our lives?  Well with these two steps in motion we can begin to test God’s perfect will.  I’m not going to repeat all the examples in the teaching, you must listen to it yourself. Suffice to say that the outcome is what is God’s will becomes yours.  In our own lives, it was this overwhelming desire to come and live in Austria, for me to work at the Fortune Centre where I’ve been most of my life terrified by disabled people.  This also means that this fear that folks have that they will be sent to the stereotypical mud hut in Africa because it’s what they will hate the most is null and void, God’ s love and will for their lives becomes their’s too and as in my own life.

 Yet it is so easy to get the idea of God’s will and go and blow it as Moses did, when he killed the Israelite and had to spend time in the desert repenting and learning from it.  We put our own timing on things in our haste to get going.  The way our house sold two weeks after we found this place is not man’s timing, its Gods, and I feel confident that we didn’t blunder.  I’ve been dogged with a sense of being on the wrong path so much but as I’ve listened, I’ve seen again his hand not mine in all this = phew!

 Not everyone will be called to be Ministers or preachers, there are other ways.  In some ways it might even be totally irrelevant as to what you do, as in work wise and living if you are maybe witnessing to a neighbour or helping someone.  And even then, it’s not our actions he’s looking for but US.

 Lastly, and what was most soothing to me, again with the example of Moses, is that its never too late to make a course correction if we swerve off the path, King David was God’s second choice after Saul and look what he did.  God will honour our honesty seeking and following a path, but he cant do anything unless we actually move and do something, then he can show us the co-ordinates to go on.