So where's the snow?

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

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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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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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God’s hints and how he soften our hearts!

Canoeist on the Mur

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!

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Rebellion and an answer from the Holy Spirit

Life in the bog roll lane, not the fast lane!

Dave had to go into hospital for a couple of days and we had total peace from God about this, and still do.  Dave and I have been together for 28 years and I love him to bits.  However……….the first night he was away I had a great time.  Ate a microwave lasagne out the dish. Didn’t do the washing up, didn’t rinse the bath, drank a glass of wine without getting earache from someone, turned the tv off at 8 and went to bed, without having to justify myself or give reasons.  Read a book. Quiet, pure quiet!   Only needed that one night though, the next I just the early night thing and was glad when he was back!

Since taking the local bible group  (in German) using one of  Andrew Wommack’s books on Body, Soul and Spirit, where not only my German but also what I’ve learnt was challenged, I’ve been meditating on John 9, v 3.  (Please read the whole bit if you lose me drift here!)   I don’t believe God ever makes us ill, not to test us, or try us,  or improve us or teach us a lesson.  A loving father would never hurt his child.  It comes from living in a fallen world, consequences from sin, and sometimes just our own stupid faults -eg smoking.   But this passage says quite clearly , however you twist or turn it, that the man was born blind so that God’s work could be displayed.   I just couldn’t see how you could from this say God doesn’t make you ill.  There is of course the fact that  Jesus removed forever the curses given in Deuteronomy, and gave us the blessing of health.  By his stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2, v 23).  There are many logical arguments  for example, if you believe God made you ill, why did you go to the Doctor to make it better?  Jesus never made anyone ill, he healed everyone, and so on.  Then this Sunday as we watched Joseph Prince, Holy Spirit finally got through this wooden head.  This blind man was a Jew, he was under the law, Jesus had not yet died, he had brought the new covenant but it was not yet in place.  Hence God could, because he was operating under the law, make this man ill.  Once Jesus died, this was swept away, we are free from the law, those of us who know and love Jesus are no longer under condemnation, we are the Righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.   No more fear, all our sins are forgiven and God no longer punishes, we have Jesus.  Now how do I explain that in German??????????????

View from the Burg towards my house