So where's the snow?

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


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Follow the Peace

 

When you have God’s will and you are meeting his in your heart, there’s a peace.  It’s difficult to describe and I can only say that by having re found it, I’m now so aware of how I had lost it.  I was so eaten away by bitterness at the Erna at work situation and I was causing strife in my mind because I was just letting my damaged pride eat away at me, when we live in strife the devil has a foothold (Thanks Joyce Meyer)

 So I’ve been back to praying and reading, and come to a realisation that I need a daily realignment in my thinking and actions. I wanted to care for those at work, even Erna. When she started the ignoring me, I thought (and this didn’t come from me), dear Erna, she is a sister in Christ and I’ll be with her in eternity (HELP!!!!!!) and the following sensation was sweet.  Driving up the hill to the Burg one morning after an early shower, the sun caught the rain drops and golden light filtered through, and I was overwhelmed with the beauty of his creation, and was filled with joy.  I haven’t had a moment like that for ages. 

 I’ve been wary of fasting for a while, for those who say that you get closer to God and have new insights.  But surely isn’t that just the effect of having low blood sugar and other chemical changes in the blood?  This moment in a way proved it to me, I was happily well fed and untired when this happened.  I think fasting should be a discipline for the body, God I don’t think loves you more because you’re hungry –someone comment?

 For several days following this I was filled with this Holy sweetness and the light around me on the plants and trees gave them a new beauty.  The supernatural is so close but we fail to perceive it.

 My perceptions changed too, when Edith suggested we work with the disabled people, my heart leapt – mainly because it is financially viable for them which we had thought not.  I thought this way was blocked since I left the FCRT, but maybe it was there all along, after all, seeing the Lebenshilfe workstation was one of the key moments in deciding us for here, although I later failed two interviews – my timing not Gods?

 I was still yearning my alone time, but began to see the element of self in it.   I also had another bout of the unexplained sadness – it during when I was trying to deal with Erna at work and then Edith rang and I snapped at her.  Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit being grieved in me.  I have felt there’s a contraction in being told not to follow our feelings, but sadness/grief etc are part of them.  Maybe its in the sense of knowing.


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The Renewed Mind

Poor marrow!

This simply means getting your nose down in the Bible and reading it, assimilating what it says and mediating on it.  Some things have puzzled me so much that I’ve let them go around in my head until ‘I got it’ to quote Joyce Meyer!  The Holy Spirit helps us, and Andrew Wommack also says praying in tongues while you do it helps a lot – I’ve tried but find it difficult to concentrate , no doubt needs practise.

 Ok, so then how about God’s will in our lives?  Well with these two steps in motion we can begin to test God’s perfect will.  I’m not going to repeat all the examples in the teaching, you must listen to it yourself. Suffice to say that the outcome is what is God’s will becomes yours.  In our own lives, it was this overwhelming desire to come and live in Austria, for me to work at the Fortune Centre where I’ve been most of my life terrified by disabled people.  This also means that this fear that folks have that they will be sent to the stereotypical mud hut in Africa because it’s what they will hate the most is null and void, God’ s love and will for their lives becomes their’s too and as in my own life.

 Yet it is so easy to get the idea of God’s will and go and blow it as Moses did, when he killed the Israelite and had to spend time in the desert repenting and learning from it.  We put our own timing on things in our haste to get going.  The way our house sold two weeks after we found this place is not man’s timing, its Gods, and I feel confident that we didn’t blunder.  I’ve been dogged with a sense of being on the wrong path so much but as I’ve listened, I’ve seen again his hand not mine in all this = phew!

 Not everyone will be called to be Ministers or preachers, there are other ways.  In some ways it might even be totally irrelevant as to what you do, as in work wise and living if you are maybe witnessing to a neighbour or helping someone.  And even then, it’s not our actions he’s looking for but US.

 Lastly, and what was most soothing to me, again with the example of Moses, is that its never too late to make a course correction if we swerve off the path, King David was God’s second choice after Saul and look what he did.  God will honour our honesty seeking and following a path, but he cant do anything unless we actually move and do something, then he can show us the co-ordinates to go on.


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The Living Sacrifice

Weird clouds as the storm departed

This is a repeat of an earlier blog series as I’ve just increased where the Blog appears.

Living Sacrifice – what a mouthful and what a daunting expression this is, especially to someone not really knowing the Bible. There is the picture of something being slain on an altar which is horrible and as Andrew Wommack says, the trouble with a living sacrifice it keeps on getting off the altar.

This expression is found in Romans 12, 1 -2 and a lot of preachers make a lot of this, I quote below from the NIV;

‘1. Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy , to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. 2. Do not confirm any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will’

The series then unpicked this statement, and to be a LS, is basically come to the end of your self.  And I have so done this!  God’s allowed me to follow my own desires in my writing, my degree work, although he showed me his purpose in working at the Fortune centre.  Here I’ve learnt patience, about my arrogance, my low self esteem, and the commensurate high sense of self importance, I’ve learnt how to clean bogs and be the invisible member of a team (well nearly).  I have this sense that there is nothing left but God, and I’ve made him my last option as I’ve slowly built a spiritual wall around myself, which I can see neither over or round.  I would counter those who would say that God has broken me – for I am not broken, I am his beloved and he has shown me these things in a way through my spirit so that I’ve come to recognise them and pray against them and learn, even though at times I’ve let them run while still being aware of them.  He’s let me discern and I feel has said that he made me, some of these things are damage and some things – like my love of control are not necessarily bad if used in the right way. I am at the end of myself, I lay myself on that altar and say I’m yours.  Do with me as you will, no holds barred. I know there are times when I’ll try to crawl off, as this self of  body  and soul (my thinking) which lives in the present time and space rears its physical needs, desires, cravings and will against that of God spirit of God who lives inside me, but I know I just have to climb back on board.  Its not a bloody place. When I get what is called a ‘Flesh flash’ of me wanting to do things for me, the Spirit will help me deal with it. As the series went on, more and more insights came to me and at last I’ve begun to get on the next stage.  I laid down my blog writing as a symptom of self, but I believe he’s given back to me this burning desire to share with people in this way through words so here I am.


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Testimony

The storm - hailstones hurtling onto the Hof

This is first of a series six I’m reposting as I’ve added extra shares to the Blog.This summer I posted  a spate of blogs  that I wrote in the spring as I was having a break and dealing with stuff as in that Woman and life, but also because I knew I was back tracking in my faith and needed to do something about it.  The blogs are full on Christian which I hope might inspire some comment -although if something interesting happens I’ll add!

 I started off the season with all the best intentions, using scripture to deal with that E woman but I fell by the wayside as stress and tiredness took their toll, and laziness too as I relaxed my Bible and prayer time. It was  in some ways  a desire not to get tied to a regular reading in case it became the law ie just a ritual which I know now is a lie.  It was a twisted thinking because I need scripture to feed me spiritually and let God speak to me through it.  God will not love me more because I do it, he just gets more chances to talk to me!

The Burg being quieter meant that there are now days when we work on our own and so my MP3 comes out and I wander the Burg like a demented wombat singing when I hope no one’s around and listening to Andrew Wommack downloads.  This amazing man does all this for free, the only telly evangelist I know who does so.  We are partners with him and so I feel free so to do.  Last year I had listened to the How to Find, Follow and Fulfill God’s will in your life series and as the player was on the blink, it seemed a good idea to start here again as I’ve felt for a long time we had taken a wrong turning.

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1066

 As blogged, Edith and I have finally started the Asylum seekers work and yet I was just feeling a sense of dread and hoping no one would turn out.  I began to see that here I was fulfilling a dream of working with horses and kids again and I was so guilty of not loving them at all. It was particularly when a little five year old girl took my hand for reassurance I was shamed and began to love again. I even had the naughty joy of nicking one of Lois’s customers one day and it all came back to me, I need to refresh my teaching skills so that I don’t run out of things to do in the lessons. 

 So I set too and cleaned bogs and listened.


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Back to Blogging!

Confused hound!

I’ve finally reached a bit of quiet and some space to write and I’ve got so many ideas that I want to get down too!  Its been a hectic few weeks compared to the rest of the summer, the high point being my daughter’s visit, much chat and SHOPPING!  Even without new blogs, I had one day when I had 30 hits, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it.  I think I will go on Twitter just so I can link the Blog.

 As I write, I’ve got the neighbours Dalmation dog with me, who is very confused and thinks I’ve kidnapped her. Roland has been ill for a while and I’ve always said if I can help with Aika, please let me know.  This morning Lizzie herself was ill and also needed to talk to the Doctor so she rang me and I’ve had a glorious dog walk.  It was so good to get out with Doggie company,but my cynical voice said, this wouldn’t be such fun when its all icy!  Now I just wish Aika would settle a bit, she’s worried she’s been abandoned.  She’s hoovered the kitchen floor, you forget what dogs can find on an apparently clean floor!  Having seen Spotty dog in the Wooden Tops (that ages me), I’m glad to report that Dalmations really do walk like that!

The Indian summer has passed, with a fall of snow on the tops and the sycamores and larches turning gold at the same time, usually they’re a few weeks apart.  We’ve the National day bank holiday coming up, where we coould have done some specatcular walks – but not only are the high paths snowed up, its going to rain! Funny how one EU country has no trouble celebrating their land, (and they technically lost the last war), compared to our feeble washed out, scared of its own shadow UK!

Dave and I were all set to go to Germany this week for an Andrew Wommack conference, which we missed two years ago because of my working for Lois. This time, Dave’s  boss suddenly cancelled his holiday, and while I was annoyed at the time, I can see God’s hand was in it. During the time we should have been away, I’ve been able to help next door a little, and also run an EAGALA workshop with Edith and the horses, where we think we may have our first Lungau  customer. We were able to demonstrate the therapy to our sponsors from Tu Was (and I was allowed to do it in English!!!), and from the ensuing evening meeting, we have sponsorship for riding lessons for one of the Asylum seekers. Then when we watched Andrew online, his theme was something I’d been listening to on the old MP3 player while bog cleaning at the Burg!

The past few weeks have seen the end of the season at the Burg, with the last children, and a TV company filming which meant the season was extended while Stef was here – still I went, cleaned and came home!  It was one of these living in the middle ages and voting out a contestant each day things.  Having watched them filming, it makes you realise what a sham these things are.  When I last saw them, the two last contestants were knocking seven bells out of each other in the Hof with padded sticks…hmmm.  Just one more day this week to tidy the last bedrooms then finish.

I still havent really decided about next year. I’ll say I’ll be back so I have the option.  I did really blow it a bit with Erna too! We were cleaning the Rittersaal and I had to do another room, and I asked if she needed me again and she said no, so I wandered off, only to get shouted later because she expected me back to help after I’d done the room. Michaela confirmed I had said the right thing in German too!  Maybe just a miss understanding but quite honestly, I have no respect for the woman any more – it’s when you respect someone that its stressful. If I have to work with her again, I’ll just ignore her as we’ve done the end of this season.  I also went to the Docs, to find that my cholesterol is finally ok, but my thyroid is on the blink again – hence the extreme tiredness this season.  I wish I’d been able to see him sooner. On the higher medicine, I feel great, but of course I’m not working either. I’ve also managed to have a stinking cold and cystitis, which needed horse pill size antibiotics in the past couple of weeks too.  Not to mention the Panda having a major illness.  It was some speed control box, which was causing it to hiccup.  Dave’s still convinced I was imagining it, but the guy at the garage tried it with a bx from another Panda and it was ok.  Hence a huge garage bill too, but at least  Dave has a very small pension coming – if the Prudential can just get their system to accept our account number!

Well Aika has now been rescued and we’re going to have another round this afternoon -she’ll probably refuse to go with me!


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Healthy Lungau?

More from the LungauVolkskultur fest (LVKF), blog to follow!

Sometimes it amazes me how people are cared for here.  I went to visit Paggy the other day and took him his prescription to find him with a huge box of medicines and a shiny box of daily doses on the table.  He told me that a woman comes weekly and sets it up.  later I visited the other neighbours and she was doing there and later was at the other neighbours what care, and it means lonely people get contact each week.  Nice!

When we were first here, having worked with disabled people, I couldn’t help notice how many there were with what I’d call slight birth defects – such as a limp.  Then there are obvious stroke victims who are quite young.  Then as we became aware of the diet here.  Drinking and smoking without any apparent teaching on the dangers – and look at how beer is a part of life.  When Dave worked at the builders they had a beer dispenser in the rest room, and when I was on the Job seekers course, there was beer on sale. The alcoholics were thrilled and were on their first by 8.30 in the morning.  They all think me nuts when I moan at the Burg at having to sit in a smoke filled room….the smoking ban was introduced there this year under much complaining from the staff, I imagine that by October the smokes will have bronchitis and flu from having to smoke in the Hof!!!  They din’t like it when I luaghed at them! You don’t see the alkies on the streets like in GB and most of the local events I’ve never seen anyone binge drinking etc, but we don’t go to the events for the young uns so I can’t say!

And the diet!  sausages in so many form, cheeses of all sorts. (Ok so I gripe a bit having hugh cholesterol and being unable to indulge).  plenty of healthy bread and the ubiquitous semmel- white bread rols that atste and smell like heaven when fresh.  You see kids being given a semmel as a snack – better than sweets?  Yet, they eat loads of salad and fesh veg, make loads of their own jam and in the autumn a lost of places have their own meat in a calf or pig slaughetered on the place.