So where's the snow?

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


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Kickstart!

Our little house group asked for a kickstart, and this is what we got! We all have an instinctive knowledge of God, but it is at our peril that we ignore him when we opt in or out of belief.Bevere uses an allegory to show just what will happen to us, not only when we die, but on the judgement day. Scary and a real wake up call. It’s there in the Bible, but we all pass it by with complacency.As Christians, believing in Jesus, yes, we do get to heaven, but there is a life accounting to be made. I’m sure that I’m not just loving God for the rewards that Bevere goes on about. After all, you don’t love someone for them to thank you. For me, it’s the being with him. But then again, if something I’ve written or said brings a person to know Jesus, I’d like to know, that would be a reward for me.My first reaction was to yell, help to God, is this true? I’m sorry if I’ve goofed, let‘s start again, I repent. I thought I was in your will. Out walking I began praying in tongues and at work listening to the Bible on the phone, it took a while to find a UK voice! Not that it would make God love me anymore, but to let his word and spirit wash over me and clean and heal me. Was I still his beloved Anna? When I was a new Christian I heard this said behind me and jumped out of my skin!Then I began to consider the peace I had found writing and claimed that I felt this IS his will. He had given me the plots for the books in dreams, and I feel such a peace and contentment in this life now I’m doing it. Especially when creating, I can’t wait for the new day, however mundane.I began to wonder if my not writing, which I started in 1991, if I had kept on, what sort of writer for him I would now be. I have a talent for wrong decisions. Now I’m right and I’m holding on to it.I was also convicted that I needed to be giving Dave more respect, and to stop moaning and grumbling about him in my head, and when I asked Holy spirit, he stopped me (well mostly) we are so happy at the moment, even if not perfect. Both loners together, at this point of my change, I am so happy with him and he seems so too. I am at times aware of how much I do love him and when I’m engulfed in that, I send that feeling of love on to God as well.The other morning, while walking the dog, I was saying to God how do I witness to people in my situation here at the moment, the answer came autobiography, so that will come next year. Something I’ve avoided for years. I feel as if I’m in the calm, centre eye of the storm in his safety. I am in the right place now!Not that there aren’t lessons. Reading Bevere, about being jealous of other’s successes. I am. I must realise these books are Gods, funded by his money. I need to let God market and concentrate on writing his words. But being a perfectionist, I have to go on and on at the words till I feel they are perfect. But he okayed using the book marketing company, so he will use them. It’s his money.The Bevere book also has the best explanation of dying to self I’ve read. It’s the world set of carnal values that are about you, money, politics, ideology, replacing them with Jesus, so these values just don’t mean anything to you. Only God.Lastly healing. I’ve had my diverticulitis, my unbelief due to the symptoms taking over. I believe in speaking to my mountain as I am a born again Christian and believe the power of the risen Christ is in me. So now I say, in the carnal, symptoms you are toast, you are being treated by carnal medicine, and you are healed supernaturally. Illness, you’re pants. As you see or imagine yourself well, that builds hope, increases faith and enables the healing. A recent bug, I said you have a day symptoms, then you are gone, and the next morning they were! My unbelief is shrinking and my faith building, but I have a long way to go.


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Guest Post; Leah Meahl

I am so pleased to introduce Leah Meahl, a Christian author, whose first book is now on pre-release!

The greatest gift that I ever received without even knowing it was my mother’s prayers over me as a baby. I’ve seen the effect they’ve had on my life over the years. One such prayer was that I would be used for the glory of God’s purposes. At this stage of my life, I believe I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of that purpose.

I’m a Yankee girl with the NY accent to prove it, but with the loving hospitality baked in from living most of my life in Greenville, South Carolina. I believe they call us GRITS: Girls Raised In The South.

Though introverted and shy at heart, I’ve grown up with the desire for storytelling. I grew up in church and community theatre and discovered that I have an acting bug with a knack for singing. I got into the writing scene, however, after being enchanted by a teen romance that may or may not have included a vampire. My taste has grown since then, trust me.

When Jesus called to some of His disciples, He said that they would no longer be considered fishermen, but fishers of men. Similarly, I feel that Jesus has called me to no longer be a storyteller, but to be a teller of His stories. Everything I write has His influence, and my desire is for people to see and hear and understand His influence in their life.

My debut novella, The Threshold, is a true testament to God’s grace and guidance in fulfilling the desires of your heart once they’re surrendered to Him. I couldn’t have continued the writing and publishing process without Him.

Speaking of the writing process, when I begin to craft a book, I need to get deep into a daydreaming state. It usually includes talking to myself. Typically, that’s when the idea first arrives. It takes the form of a snip-it or a moment played out in my mind. If I think it’s intriguing, I build a storyline from that moment. Who was involved? How did this moment come about? What’s the result of this moment taking place?

For the most part, I do a lot of pre-thinking and organizing before I start writing, just to make sure this could be a plausible reality. When a good portion of the plot is planned out, I begin writing. You can plan all you want though, but the writing is when the tale begins to truly blossom.

Unlike when I was younger, I read Christian fiction and non-fiction. I love stories with supernatural elements and mystery but having a love interest is a definite must for me. My favorite book is The Shack by Paul M. Young. It’s the only book I’ve read twice which clinches the fact it’s my favorite. I don’t like to reread books because I’d rather use the time to experience something new.

What used to be a strange concept when The Shack first came out, became a beautiful story that moved me to look at my relationship with God with a new perspective. I had to read it again, so that I could retain the deep spiritual truths it held about healing and loss and trusting God in everything. I highly recommend checking it out.

Be encouraged that whatever God has for your life can be accomplished with faith, prayer, and trust. With those fundamentals propelling you forward, all that’s left is to watch and see what God will do.

 


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Happy Easter!

He is risen! Easter is the most important Christian feast day, the basis of our belief. No other faith reaches out to you and gives, no rules, no works, just pure love. Beat that.


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The Fig Tree

The story of how Jesus cursed the Fig tree and how it died from the roots up, being found dead the next day, always had me feeling this explanation had something lacking. This tree in the picture is a Birch tree that was recently felled. Now it’s spring, the roots are sending sap running out of the bole like its wet. My first thought when I saw this, made me feel queasy as I saw it like someone being beheaded, all the, no head but the body still functioning for a while-YUK!

The I realised this puts the parable into reality for me, you can’t kill a tree until the roots are dead, so it had to be like that. If the leaves had just died they could have grown back, Duh moment!


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Happy Christmas!

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A blessed and wonderful day to all who follow my blog personally, or on Facebook!  Maybe take a minute to remember just whose Birthday we are celebrating!!!!  Anna and Swingle!


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So What Next and a Christmas letter?

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December 12th

I’ve just had a real blast teaching the now annual English course, and this time I had the Intermediate Class and they were great, even though I did make a bit of a bog up with the Passive voice, have to go and study it…..

Now I’m home, back to walking the dog and annoying Dave! I’ve had answers to prayer, where God has told me two things that have given me real peace.

Firstly, where I’ve been wingeing on about missing the kids, he said quite clearly to me – Haven’t I been looking after them and blessing them while you’re away for the last eight and half years???

Secondly, where I’ve been miserable about our future, not knowing the way forward, hating doing the gardening and changeovers on the holiday houses, he said, there is nothing wrong with the situation, the problem is you and your attitude to it!  Sank back into utter peace. And when I read our Christmas letter, it put it all into perspective how God has changed things for us this year and I’ve been too blind to see it at the time.

Quite what I’ll do for work next year, I don’t know. I’ve had a few English students and the work with our little business kept us busy in the summer. We’re living a life of peace and suddenly I can perceive this.

The dog has of course helped, along with the regular walking , which has me 10 kg lighter since March! I’ve realised what a hypochondriac I’ve become since my operation and the menopause. My Hashimotos must be controlled with the hormones and selenium – when I stopped it I began to live in a brain fog. But I don’t need to panic each time I feel something in my chest or have indigestion of have a bout of the palpitations – it’s all been going on for over two years, nothings happened, I must stop panicking!!!!

I want to paint and God has shown me that I need to re-think my approach to it. See it like a written document or book that I wont leave until its right. And my mission-to try to paint my joy in his creation.  Here’s our letter below. Thanks Lord!

 

Christmas last year was one of our best ever, after  we drove to England via Munich and Paris and then the ferry from Cherbourg to Poole. It was less traumatic than we thought due to the Sat Nav and we’ll do it again, but when we can take a bit longer and stop off more on the way………

As the ferry left France, we heard the sad news that Herr Pagitsch, (or Paggy as we called him) had passed away.  His brother, Hubert inherited the house and has completely renovated it. We were honoured at the funeral to carry a lantern and the cross to the Graveyard.  Hubert has given us the use of Paggy’s greenhouse which is wonderful!

Anna hit a low point after all this, and were beginning to question our being here and what the way forward was. Then into our lives exploded a small puppy, who Anna named for some peculiar reason, Swingle. A black, short coated, farm dog mixture, she has chewed a lot of the house, cost a fortune as we had to fence the garden, but over the year she has calmed down and her sweet but mischievous nature gets her forgiven most of the time and has got us fitter through  going walkies!

In April Dave landed a job at Burg Finstergrün as a helper, and spent a lot of time strimming the Castle grounds into order throughout the summer.

We had more gardens to do this summer and have another holiday flat to look after, which is about our limit for coping with the work in the winter ski let season.  We don’t know yet if Dave will go back next year, the Burg management is still deciding after a quiet season. We’ve continued doing Meals on Wheels, and have got to know some lovely people in the village.

Anna was at home during the summer, doing a lot of dog walking! She has just finished teaching what seems to be the annual English course in Tamsweg and after Christmas will be trying to find something part time all year round.  She has been teaching evening classes in English and has had several private students during the year and maybe this will grow.

She also broke our yellow fiat panda in a stupid accident, and we now have a new Red Panda, which someone hit while it was parked as Dave delivered Meals on Wheels. That’s more than enough car trauma for one year!

The weather this summer was really hot, but this time with enough rain to keep the grass and the veggies growing in our garden. Now we have Paggy’s greenhouse we’re going to try melons in ours next year!!!!

We’ve also made some really good new friends this year with dog owning in common. They have lived in the Ramingstein for ten years!  Like living in Cornwall, the Lungau is a very closed community and although we do have some Austrian friends, this new friendship is wonderful!

Stef is coming out here for Christmas and we hope to get to the UK sometime next year depending on work. George and Michelle are still in Wareham and enjoying being dog owners too!

The Church in Lungau is taking very slow, tiny steps forward. The PCC has agreed to run an Alpha course, but this has fallen at the first hurdle as there are no training courses for the leaders in the near future in Austria.  Our small Bible group is looking at some evangelism training and their way forward too.

So a year of changes, the work situation is slowly improving, and we feel more settled at the end of this year than last, but who knows what’s around the corner?

Happy Christmas!  

 


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Growing older

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Many of you have read my views on ageing and my own minding not to give into it. And getting freaked out when things do change. Well, I read a lovely book recently, by Adam Houge, Quiet times with Jesus, which uniquely is written in the first person of Jesus speaking straight to you. I don’t agree with all there, the voice at times doesn’t seem the Jesus I know, BUT  here I found a whole new way of thinking about it. Look on life as a pilgrimage to Jesus, finding your way to him through all the seasons of life. I began to see that growing older, which I’ve seen so negatively as illness and mental deterioration doesn’t have to be so. It can be a time of peacefulness and acceptance without the terrors of teenage and the exhaustion of being  a Mum. It’s a way to a perfect goal.

Life has to be seen from both sides, if its to be a full experience. I can live with these ideas, and will ponder on! Thank you Adam!