So where's the snow?

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


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What a weekend! Sunday

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Those happy, dancing, Samson feet!

So on to the last service for this year in the Catholic church at Mariapfarr.  It was here I came to realise how I enjoy the services here far more than in our usual chapel in the Old people’s home.  Maybe because it’s used mostly for funerals?  It was pouring with rain but it didn’t dampen spirits.  Heidi took the service and she repeated the reading from 1 Kings 19, v1 -18 that Tadek did earlier in the summer. He had concentrated on the need for a break and time to listen to God.  Heidi took the line of after the break you need to come out of your cave and do God’s bidding after you’ve  heard his word. She also used some songs that had familiar tunes but German words.  For the first time since I’ve been here, I felt fed and filled with the peace of the Holy Spirit after and during  a service.  I was ready to take the reins up again of this life. We all chatted and went home in the rain.  Dave and I were going to go to the horse fair in Mauterndorf, but apparently the parking was chaos, so we went and exercised the sofa for the afternoon. The phone rang in the evening and Dave’s Dad is in hospital with a chest infection.  Getting better though.  So I opened my big mouth and said have you considered that we’re a bit unfair on your family leaving them with all the responsibilty for him?  But if we were to move back, we could be just as far away travelling wise if we were in Wales for example, after all we can do door to door to the UK in eight hours.  Then he could just die and we’d  have burnt our boats. We managed to conclude we must talk to his brothers first. Kevin does seem to like the caring. As soon as we started discussing this, my stomach began to knot up, maybe I don’t want to go back as much as I thought!

Monday: So as it rains I am sat here, with the smelly dog peacefully sleeping at my feet –she’s in no hurry for a wet walk.  I’ve been writing this all out.   Dave and I must talk about  recommitment.  We’ve been asking for signs and instructions and we have been given them, just I was too dumb to read them the right way.


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Boldness

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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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Through the Wall!

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I may just have talked a bit about me feeling that there is a wall about us here, especially this year with my operation and the trip to England to the wedding.  Now we’re though. Dave and I have been working things through a lot together, and this is how things are at the present.

I came back praying for more people in my life, feeling that in some ways, we live here in a desert.  And perhaps I lost my perspective on our bigger dream of the Retreat.  It came to a head when I was praying for Dave to have a job and he got really cross.  While he wouldn’t want to be written off workwise in his tender years, he wants the Retreat perhaps even more than I do!  I wanted people.  I applied again for the job teaching English, and like when I began teaching riding, I will really need God’s help in this one.  I surprisingly got a phonecall interview and a real interview, and may start one Monday!  BUT, the AMS or national job centre must clear my qualifications.  If these are no good, then no job.  Holy Spirit pointed out to me how often I’ll be doing something, such as waiting for riders for a lesson, and I’ll be hoping that they don’ turn up so I can go home. I’m even hoping that the AMS will say no.  I’ve christened this my lazy negative bug and am ignoring it! If I do ok, then there is another course in October, so I’ll have a summer at home (what hardship!).  The only worrying thing is that I’ll be taking over halfway through this course, the lady is leaving, ostensibly to go on holiday and not coming back – God’s provision while I was off sick?

So back to the Retreat.  I pray and try to imagine the people in our spare room as I can’t yet visualise the guests in the flat.  I bang on the door of my un-hearing, I rebuke anything that is blocking all this coming to pass in the name of Jesus.  I pray for my husband’s breakthrough (I hate that term but can’t off hand think of a better).  The picture I see is of me working while Dave does the physical work, a good lesson for me not to interfere!  One prayer I made, was that Mr G who owns the flat next door would turn up and we could talk to him, not sure if it was ok to pray so.  He turned up the next day!  I was like a cat on a hot tin roof, Dave met him in the yard and we asked him in for tea.  We said we were interested in buying, but he told us that flat has already been given to his son to stop the Health service here make him sell it for Care costs if need be.  Darn!  But Dave and I were surprisingly upbeat, feelings seeds have been sown.  We wouldn’t want to manipulate things or God, but felt led to speak.  So we’re now planning to put a small shower room in our spare room, so we can start off small.  Dave prays daily for finances to arrive, I don’t, I try to see the end product.  Both sides of the same coin?

https://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/the-wall/

https://annarashbrook.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/jesus-and-the-wall


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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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Frohnleichnam or the Feast Corpus Christi – Part two

The morning started out a bit cold so I wore my Trachten jacket over the Dirndl, but when I arrived at the council place, most of the women had either the Festival Tract on which is black, or a dark shawl, I felt I stood out like a sore thumb, even though they said I looked ‘Fesch’ (smart).  I chatted to a friend who’d studied English with me, which helped my nerves.  I couldn’t lose the jacket having come in someone else’s car.  We then got ordered to line up, three abreast, starting on the left foot.  It was easy to follow the band up the hill to the church and we piled in.

The service wasa typical Mass, with lots of bobbing up and down – the Priest even caught the congregation out once and we did a quick down then up!  Loads of incense and clanging bells.  Sadducees I cried inside.  I just couldn’t do the dabbing of the Holy water, the bobbing at the pew end,the genuflection and crossing myself.  I was reminded of how Paul says not to offend those weaker than you in the faith and should observe their customs. Should I make myself as not part of something when I was actually taking part?  Or should I stand up for the long gone persecuted Protestants in the region who suffered for their faith by taking part in this thing but adhering to my beliefs? I don’t know.  When Communion took place I stood aside.  Its seems more effecient than our service  with no wine and a conveyor belt of hosts, quickly over to save time.  Deeply spiritual?  Hmmmmm. Once I calmed down about my bright jacket I managed to relax a bit.

Service over, we lined up outside the church and marched off behind the band and did three stops around the village.  Being on the left, I ended up being on the front as we turned to the left to make a line.  I could hear a couple of women going ‘left, right, no, right left’ behind me and wanted to giggle.  By the third stop, I stopped jumping at the cannon but still couldn’t do the crossing myself.  Maybe they would just put it down to my foreigness! I could agree with the prayers and did so, they were all based on the gospels and simply said Jesus s the bread of life and no more. We marched back to the church through the village where the Priest went back in the church and the Firebrigade, us, the brother hood all marched to the Pub!  I had my photo taken as the new mad foreign member and we all had a free drink.  The band was sitting with us and suddenly took up their instruments and played a polka – turned out you could request a tune.  My neighbour asked for one for me, and I was  sooooo relieved I didnt have to get up and dance! I chatted to others at the table, and then was quiet at others pretty much as I’d be in the UK.  Soon it was time to go and I felt like giggling as I said I can’t come next time as its our Protestant church service!

So I left feeling it was ok.  There was an assumption in all the readings that Jesus is the bread of life, and there was no dogmatic saying you must believe the host actually turns into his body.  I was accepted by the gang.  As tradition as compared to belief it was quite ok.  I think I’ll go again, Harvest festival I have no problems with and when I get the kit I can go with the gang to the more cultural festivals rather than religious. I think for most there, it was custom not faith here. Maybe its a way to make links between the two churches. Another Austrian experience under the belt!


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Ascension and Pentecost

One of the recent Holidays here was for Ascension day, as in when Jesus returned to heaven before he sent the Holy Spirit down on Pentecost – next weekend’s holiday!  Now I don’t hold with all this time and date setting it’s just a man-made thing although we can guess a timescale from the events in the Bible.  There was quite a lot of stuff on the TV on the day here, which I liked. In the UK no one would dare to stand up for the Faith of the Country, they might offend a Muslim  somewhere.  I’ve never heard of a Muslim complaining of things which are often found in their own creed.  It’s the idiotic political correct politicians who cause all our problems –rant over!

 Back to the TV, they were showing a church that is  dedicated to the Ascension and the pictures on the ceilings.  One of which showed one of the Apostles looking heavenwards, at a picture of the soles of a pair of feet!  My first reaction was to giggle but Dave told me off!  Then I thought, well maybe this is a simple way to portray the event, although we’re told he disappeared in clouds.

Its one of those mysteries I suppose is beyond human understanding, although as Science increases more theories come forward and explain things.  How did a man die, resurrect then disappear into heaven, God knows!  At church on Sunday we actually had a good sermon about this time for us as Christians. During this pause  inbetween the two major events we can eagerly await the arrival of the Holy Spirit – the Pastor was forgetting himself a bit about how this is all a marginal calendar.  But what struck me most was that unlike the Apostles at the time, we know whats coming.  We have the sureness. They had only a death, a miracle and an abandonment.  If only they’d know they wouldn’t have had to hide in fear and trembling!