So where's the snow?

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


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Trainee Hermit?????

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For the past few weeks while Dave has been out of the house doing his work experience (snigger snigger), I’ve had the place wonderfully and silently and peacefully to myself.  My childhood memories are of being alone, playing alone although it can’t always have been the case, and anyway, why was I on my own, where was everybody? Our days at Little Marsh were alonely too, but after a while I had the kids.  So being alone is easy for me, safer than with people. So I’ve spent the days with my quiet time with God and chatting and trying to hear his word, reading, blogging, trying to paint and unsuccessfully trying a new book, bits of gardening and harvesting, and special times with friends around.  I know that maybe this time is the sweeter because I know it will end as Dave goes back to his course on Monday, but he’ll be out the house on mornings. I feel God has given me the go-ahead to start a new House Group, but just to hang on a bit with the invites –he’s given me the biblical basis and the running order of the evenings, so I wait for the go ahead.

I take each day at a time.  At moments a gulf of despair will creep in, will I ever work again?  I know God has something up his sleeve for me, but I have no sense of it’s arrival.  Then, well as long as I get some money, what do I care if I don’t?  I like being at home!  Jobs applied for and no answer. If I think of going back to the UK, my stomach knots up, but it would be such a relief to do all in English, and England feels friendlier than here does at the moment. When Dave’s course is over we talk of packing our bags and running away.

Last night we were watching a programme on people who spend their summers up on an Alm, milking or caring for cows, or collecting Entian roots for schnapps. All that time alone, nothing, just the Alms seemed like heaven to me.  Yeah says a voice, no internet there, no contact from the kids.   A lot of these places have no electricity, how long would the camera battery stay charged?  Still as maybe so long as I had paper, pen and a Bible…..

Anyone got a spare hermitage??????


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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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Project ‘Pilgrims’

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It’s been long our dream to host holidays for people here in Austria, especially those in real need of one, those in need of some respite, those who need a boost.  It all started with this hut above on our first trip to Austria. We now live in a beautiful area where we can offer a real break, along with some time to study the Bible and help people to find God in their lives. We’ve prayed for a long time to be able to buy the flat next door and support ourselves sufficiently to subsidise this venture fully so the holidays are free. We would begin with English guests but extend it later to Austrian. So far, nothing has moved on.

We feel that this year, we must dip a toe and try the idea out. We need to find confirmation of God’s plan for us and which way to go in the future. We ask now for prayers and most importantly, feedback.

a)      For this first step, we will use our flat and so are looking for a couple who will be guinea pigs (Guests) for one week in July or August.  However, if we can negotiate with our neighbours, we would rent the flat next door and be able to make the offer to a family. We need God to reveal these people to us.

b)      That we can then form a week fitted to the needs of our ‘guests’ that will bless them, refresh them, revive them and restore them.

c)      That we can perceive through this if it really is God’s will for us, if it is, then to step forward in a full venture in the coming years.  If it is not, to find God’s plan for our lives.

d)      That the financial independence that will be needed to fund and back this venture will be found through God’s providence.

e)      We will need to cover; transport costs, e.g. flights, transfers, possibly passports, possibly a second, six seater vehicle, food, entrance costs around the Lungau, living costs for ourselves, study materials, insurance. If it is the Lord’s will, we will need to be able to buy and renovate the flat next door or another property in the area.

 

What do you think? What is God saying to you for us about this?  Tell us on Facebook, or email, a.rashbrook@aon.at, or post; Taferngasse 29, 5591 Ramingstein, Austria

Blessings,

Dave and Anna


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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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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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God’s hints and how he soften our hearts!

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Sometimes I think the Holy Spirit shows me things and I think its good to share them.Whether its a softening of our hearts, or a prophetic event it doesn’t matter to me. I’m always on the look out to follow God‘s plan and theses incidences are to me such strong indications of his working things out for me. There were so  many God-incidences about buying this flat that we knew it was right, but here’s some of the other stuff in which he’s been active in over the years.

In the 1980s, we were evicted from a Tithe cottage in the New Forest and went through the process of eviction and living in B&B (maybe I need to tell this story some time, anyone interested?).  We were waiting to be rehoused and in this time, I had to do some trips to New Milton, a local town we had never really liked. However, on these visits, I realised that it wasnt such a bad place, and I would come back to do some shopping. So what happens?  In the next few months we’re offered a new council house there and accept with alacrity – this is also maybe God softening our hearts!

When I was working in Art Insurance and my Boss was such a bully, for some reason I got interested in  horse competition called Le Trec and went to a demonstration at the Fortune Centre.  While I was waiting,being early as usual I saw some of the students and thought these kids are ok -until then Disabled people had really freaked me out.  Result, three months later I was working there!

Last year I took a job as a laundress in Obertauern, which didn’t work out but I got some ideas about ironing and stuff.  So what does my new job entail? About 4 hours ironing a week, and its never been a favourite occupation for me – I’m so glad Dave never had an office job and needed shirts!