So where's the snow?

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


1 Comment

Old wine

P1250311

Ok, so these are new beer bottles from a recent event in Tamsweg!

The parable of the old wine into new wine skins is one of the most straightforward ones in the Bible. Its not rocket science to understand that something old does not sit well with the new and so on. However, for a long time, the last line in Luke’s Gospel has often baffled me. Why should Jesus be saying that the old is better than the new? This seems against all he taught. It took a while for the Holy Spirit to get though to me. Its my cultural stuff about how the older the wine is, the better it is that is getting to me. He’s not saying the old is better. Its that people will hark to the familiar, the old times, even if it is better they don’t want to change, i.e the jolly old Sadducees and other gangs.  Now I get it, I just needed to change my mindset!

Luke 5

36 He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”


1 Comment

Jesus and the Wall

 So  after all I had been listening to, I was experiencing a renewal.  My doubts about the path we’re on here were gone and I now needed to take more steps and explore the way.A teaching of Andrew’s talked about using your imagination to see God’s will and plan, and that positive imagination is HOPE. Together with my renewal of using toungues I decided to battle with that wall.

 I had been reading  about Jesus being the shepherd (John 10 v 1-7) and how he goes into the sheep pen collects his sheep and then leads them out into pasture, funny I’ve only just understood this picture of practical sheep keeping!  So I sat and saw this wall, and could see a brick wall with some trees behind.   So I began tearing down bricks, and some had names on them, self, arrogance, family, Erna, horses, disbelief, self pity (I’m good at that!)  and I could see them lying on the ground.  The wall grew neither smaller or shorter although now 30 brick were on the ground.  So I decided to give it another go and went back to reading. 

 Matthew 7, v 13-14, and John 10, v 7

 I don’t need to destroy the wall, I have a gate, Jesus, I just need to find the small and narrow gate in all that undergrowth!


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

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.


2 Comments

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.


Leave a comment

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.