So where's the snow?

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


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Lent

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I haven’t done much for Lent the past couple of years, I wont let it become a law. But this year I am. One is private, but a positive thing, the other is a bible study. I have the new Andrew Wommack book, Living in God’s Best. Which I think is the difference between living in blessings, which are God’s provision for us in the atonement, rather than miracles, which are short term fixes. Will be interesting.

And I’m going to study the Prodigal son. All my life, I have felt that the second brother did get a raw deal and I can so identify with his alienation and feeling left out. I know the context is how God deals with his Kingdom and in a way, it relates to the book. I have this feeling that all these blessings are not for me,for some reason I am excluded, so I get frustrated when I can take on all this teaching but nothing changes.

I’ll be blogging as it goes.

What are you doing?


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Healing

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Andrew Wommack has been teaching about Elijah he spoke about  Elijah being  fed by the ravens, and drinking from a brook in the desert. This  lead to a teaching about God working in the supernatural and the natural, and I think this is so, and we musn’t dismiss either form.

In my life, I recently had a hysterectomy, and really felt God telling me that this operation was a healing.  In the same sense, God heals us supernaturally, we have the power of the living Christ within us, and when I have a cold or stomach trouble , I rebuke it in the name of Jesus, and it works.

How often in our earthly state, do we restrict God by our small minds?

I Kings 17

    1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”

   5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 


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The Priest of Melchizedek, Hebrews Chapter 10,v19 -25

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As I said last week, I began to see my reading of Jakob’s blessing in a new light, and  so while the premis was right, I didn’t want an injury for my boldness!

Andrew Wommack was just staring a teaching on Hebrews, and  here  came my answer.  We are under the new relationship with God. When Jesus died the temple veil was torn in two  and we can now approach God without fear, but with respect and perseverance spiritually – maybe Jacob was a bit too much.  No fear of death if I haven’t got the ritual correct – in those ancient times the Priest would have a rope around his leg when he entered the inner place so if he croaked, the body could be pulled out! So I can now ask God, persevere, but will not be wounded as I have an intercessor, a priest of the order of Melchizdek, and we will receive our answer. It will be God’s timing on this, not ours.  What loving parent would deny his child an answer, even if to say, not quite like this, or this is the way, answer he will.  I just need to keep persevering in faith.

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


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Jakob wrestling – Genesis 32, v 22 -33

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Dave and I are a bit of a crossroads at the moment about our lives here, and are praying with boldness and perseverance that God will bless our lives and release us from unemployment by some means that will enable us to work full time for him, in opening the day centre in Tamsweg, run the new house group help at Charities and so on.

This is one of the Bible sections that spoke to me, through Jacob‘s persistence with God.  I’m not going to go into the is this or is it not Jesus discussion here, but I do think it is. The Angels were already there, so this was someone else.  Jakob hasn’t exactly been a good specimen of manhood up till this point (you will have to read this yourself), but in his determination to be blessed he takes on and wrestles this man the entire night, and receives his blessing.  I was praying for several weeks about this and through till God started pointing things out to me.  Yes, we can be persistent, and pursue our blessing till we make God bless us. MAKE GOD BLESS US?  Hang on, what happened to the unconditional love and providence for us?

Then  I realised that this is still under the Old testament, even before the law was created. When people’s sin was not ‘inputed’ or laid on them. And while Jakob received his blessing, he was damaged in the process. I didn’t want that , what was I missing? Jesus and salvation is what I was missing. In his death, God’s forgiveness, our salvation, we can approach the throne with confidence, without fear of damage, we need to wrestle no more. Grace is what I was missing.

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.


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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.