So where's the snow?

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


Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!


A great thanks to everyone who follows and read my blog. I have some lovely regular readers and I do so appreciate all the comments!  We’re celebrating this year at home with our daughter. I guess we’ll pop in to see Paggy and if the snowfall that has been predicted has arrived we may go and play on the toboggans! As the English TV satellite is working, we may even watch Dr Who and the Queen……..then Mr Fisher on New Years Day!

Have a great , loving day

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Romans 12, Verses 9 – 21

P1240155As many of you may know, I had quite a difficult time at Burg Finstergün with another member of staff called Erna. (eg below) These are the verses which got me through that time. I would repeat them as I would try and be as nice as I could, finding things for her and doing stuff for her. Doing the best to live this, by being as far as I was able at peace with others. Didn’t work and in the last few months, I was so down, but The Holy Spirit gave me a song to sing, which helped. I’ve well and truly learnt my lesson since then, I know I will always have a difficult Austrian where I work, and am getting a bit better at dealing with it!

Long ago, when we were evicted from our cottage, I was bent on revenge, until God gave me verse 19, it helped me let go of the anger I felt towards our employers, and gave me peace.  So many people are hurt and damaged by events and hang on to them, letting the anger fester. I have someone who will deal with injustice, real and even perceived by giving me HIS peace, after all he’s been there and understands.

 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

   14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[ 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[

I must confess to a certain amount of butterflies  before I had to work with Erna again.  It was the uncertainty of what would happen. I was geared up to being shouted at, or at the most blindingly unlikely, being apologised to.  The plan was to do the bins and loos and clean away from her. So we arrived at breakfast and she said the usual ‘morning’ to Micheala and then ignored me – also as usual.  She was set on scrubbing every floor in the place she could. Fine, I could deal with this, but if she was any sort of leader or rather what I would have said would be great, we have some time, lets see if we can do anything to clean things up a bit – no it was just we’ll scrub the floors as we have time, there’s so much more than just floors to keep the Burg clean! So I felt  if she wants to be an Ostrich and not deal with things, I will too. Hopefully we won’t work together more than a few times more this season, then I’m out of there. So she mopped and I made a point of asking her what to do, even if I got the blank look, and even ended up with the broom!  If they think I’m so bad at mopping/scrubbing and they do all this work and end up knackered, why should I care?

Every time I started on the negative thoughts or feeling down, a Christian anthem came into my head, ‘Shout to the North and South….Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth’, now I don’t even really like this tune, though we sang it loads at the Fortune Centre, but there it was in my head, so strong that I got caught up in singing it (well not very loudly). I don’t often get songs stuck in my head either. I’d often thought of bringing my MP3 on Erna days but hey, this was God doing it for me! WOW!

However, most importantly for me, I’ve learnt some things from God in this process that maybe he’s been trying to explain to me for a long time. And how?  Besides getting my prayer and reading life back in order, I’ve apologised to the Holy Spirit for grieving him and asked for help, and look what he did! Sorry non Christians, this is deep Christan speak now. I can see that the devil has tried to sink me in negativity and so separate me from the path I should be on – and he has shot himself in the foot because I’ve got over the not handling being ignored, and working with someone who yells and screams and can move on. No longer will I be eaten up by negative thoughts and worries –result!

Spookily or really a natural coincidence, that afternoon the Lungau was hit by a freak thunderstorm.  We saw it coming over the hills as the sky went black, then came the wind and the trees bent double, then the rain and hail hit.  Non of the windows in the Burg were water tight and the howling of the wind though the gaps was incredible.  Hail lay like snow in the Hof and from one of the baclonies you could see nothing except the cloud and the lightning in it as the storm howled through.  It cleared in an hour and the sky was blue.  But I felt a deep, overwhelming sadness, and I was I right, for when I got home, so many of my flowers had been cut to shreds and the veggies were either flattened or full of holes.  Pictures will be on the next posts.

A week on…..Saturday I was on my own and there was one trakt that needed cleaning for new guests.  Micheala had said to me in her ‘speak to her seriously and slowly so she understands voice’ that two the rooms would need scrubbing because there had been dogs in them – like I wouldn’t have worked that out?  Well any way, I scrubbed two of the rooms on my own initiative as well as these two –so there!  But one room was occupied by an old boy with a chihaua, which had pooped all over the floor. At 3.30 he was still faffing around in the room, so I went to Helmuth- maybe this guy was staying on.  Helmuth exploded and went to give the guy a heave – the next group was due in an hour.  So I went and sat in the sun and ate a cake until I could finally get in.  At four o’clock I was finally finished – quite a contrast to last week and my paddy at having leaving at three. I didn’t moan to Helmuth once, as mostly I was chuckling inside, payback  for last week!

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I recently reviewed Altar Ego by Craig Groeschel  and was bowled over by his section on obedience.

When I was reading this, I was talking to God about this boldness and obedience business and he said quite clearly, that here  would be a time to speak boldly at a dinner party that night, he said it several times, but I thought, na that’s just me.  Blow me down if both Dave and I didn’t get asked about what we believe by two people. Now I did what I could (I wish I hadn’t had that second glass of wine) in trying to form answers that were both bold and would reach my asker.  I felt I hadn’t succeeded and started to beat myself up.  But then no I thought,( or was it the Holy Spirit?) I spoke as boldly as I could. It was a step on the way, and I am now eager to be bolder at the next prompting.

I now pray with Boldness, Dave and I WILL open a small B&B  where we will bless people who will really need a holiday, it will be a Christian outreach.  We WILL do this without debt, Dave and I WILL  be occupied and supported as we support others.

However, the effect of this prayer has had a quite different effect on me, I can see it in the small things I’m doing with my witness on the blogs and Facebook, where I can, I can’t help but speak boldly anymore!!!

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Matthew 26, verses 36 – 46

I haven’t done much about the route God has set me on for a while, reasons of confidentiality mostly.  However, this one would be a good one to discuss with people. It’s amazing how similar all three accounts of the Garden of Gethsemane are.

I was really knocked for six recently when I read Matthew 26 about the garden of Gethsemane. I’ll work my way through what I’ve had said to me.  Firstly, someone near to death with sorrow,(v 38) an utter depth of grief, having touched on it a little though the death of my mother, and some renewed grieving for her, I can see how this is maybe the deadliest emotion that can slay the body and mind, and how it could cause Jesus to sweat so heavily it looked like blood. Of course this was tempered by the physical and spiritual trial that lay before him.

Then I was drawn to asking, well, if the Apostles were sleeping, how did they know what Jesus said? One account said that their eyes were heavy (v43), so maybe they were drowsy more than sleeping, but not enough to be out cold.  Why did Jesus go back three times?  It grieved Jesus too that his friends couldn’t hang on for him.  He tells them in Luke 22, v 40 not to fall into temptation. Is sleeping when we should be awake a temptation? Maybe they were full after the Passover meal, how much idea of grief did they have or foreknowledge of what was to come?

Then on Sunday, we were watching a teaching on prayer, and the guy said that sleep is the biggest thing that stops us praying and talking to Jesus, having this, what now seems obligatory quiet time.  I’m all for this, as long as it’s not made into a law, eg you can’t be a good Christian if you cant do this, I’d rather its more that if you want to get closer, make some effort. It’s up to you.

So is Jesus saying I’m sleeping in my relationship with him?  My body is definately weak! That I need to wake up and be attentive?  I admit I’ve slipped into complacency with my prayer and study time, the old arrogance creeping in of the know-all. Ok, a call I’ll answer. All my life I’ve been a big sleeper, and without more than the norm, I’m a zombie.  The under functioning thyroid means I sleep.  Then I need to sleep less, he must sort this out, because I can’t, obviously. I need to stop sleeping so much physically and spiritually because it grieves him. Or is it simply really my time now, to wake up and get on with the whole thing???????

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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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The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

One of us has met Royalty!

Sat here in Austria, just a tad remote from all the festivities had me pondering again about Nationality and stuff.  I’ve always been a Monarchist, and especially when Paggy starts on – he’s just jealous because Austria got shot of their lot! We watched all the river pageant and will do all the other things too I expect – thank heavens for Sky news giving such a good coverage.  It got on the Austrian TV too but it was just the same footage but in German!

I remember  the Silver Jubilee, I was living in Fareham,Hampshire in digs because I had started Prices sixth form college  in anticipation of a house move but it had fallen through. It was huge fun and I ran amok!  We went and saw the fleet review but it wasnt as impressive as yesterday, a load of boats on the horizon! Still we had parties and a barn dance at home in Martyr Worthy.  Didn’t register on my teenage consciousness that much!

So here am I, at 52, watching the Queen from another country and feeling as patriotic as ever.  When we have been here ten years apparently we must take up Austrian Citizenship though I’m not 100%sure this is so.  I don’t think I’ll ever be Austrian.  The language separation is too great and I’ve always England and the kids at the edge of my consciousness.  Dave and I spent yesterday doing exactly the same stuff as we’d do in England, visiting a Museum, eating out and going for a stroll. So what difference does it make where we live?  Dave quite rightly pointed out that as a couple we’ve never felt part of any community, we didn’t fit in on our Council estate and we certainly are outsiders here, maybe that’s just how are.   We hear so much on the media about the UK, and when I take my Rosy tinted glasses off, I wonder could I live in a land so filled with Political correctness that it seems you can’t open your mouth any more?  In a land where Christians are so discriminated against, for smaller sections of society?  Where a Church is so weak it does nothing to stop this?

I think for now at least, I’ll put my Austrian Rosy glasses on and stay here, while being proud to be English and of my Queen.