Sunday, 27 November 2016

Insight & Revelation.

One reason I am charismatic today, despite the wackier elements giving the rest of us a bad name & giving the reformationists reason to denounce our theology, is I actually read my bible.

That sounds arrogant because reformationists read their bibles too ~ along with Anglicans & some Catholics & we have all ended up in very different places.  I was raised Anglican & for the life of me I have never understood why anyone stays in that church.  It is neither unabashedly catholic nor unashamedly reformed, just this strange mongrel mix but the thing that sent me from the church was my bible.

Starting with Genesis all the way through to Revelation the God you read about in the bible acts with power & might & majesty ~ none of which filtered through to the congregation in a tangible way. Oh, lip service, sure ~ but actual power? Nope.  Not a skerik. My bible told me that where God was there was power so either the bible was true [as it claimed to be] or the whole thing was a gigantic hoax, as I seriously suspected.

So being me, I asked.  I was told all my life that prayer was talking to God so why couldn't He talk back?  If He was real, as I was constantly told, then I could expect an answer.  That was only reasonable. Probably no~one was more surprised than I was to get an answer.

The hows, the whys, the what happends are not the purpose of my meanderings here. In His own way & time God proved beyond reasonable doubt that His charismatic gifts are alive & well for the purpose of allowing His saints to serve a hurting world. So far, so good.

However changing denominations simply raises a new set of questions ~ for which, quite often, there seems to be no reasonable explanation & I really, really, really hate being told something inane like It's the will of God.  I don't believe God is a sadist.  I don't believe He tortures those who believe in Him with sickness, debility, depression etc but charismatics have their own set of foibilles & I had heard By His stripes you were healed until I wondered if these people even heard themselves? I had heard: Stand in faith until healing manifests...but hope deferred makes the heart sick... or as the message puts it Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. 

So what was I meant to think when I didn't see healing manifest?  When I prayed & nothing happened? It bugged me, you know. I know what the word says.  I believe the word is true. I also know we are in a spiritual war zone where most of the time we can't even see the enemy. And I know I often don't see the obvious, the stuff right under my very nose, the things I think I know inside out & upside down & back to front.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to phrase something slightly differently & the lights, all the lights go on at once.  I had that happen last week & it has so totally impacted my faith: what I think, how I think it & how strong I am about what I believe.

Rabqa & I are our bible study just at present. Our other lady is away & the MOTH generally listens rather than participates. We came away from our last prayer seminar with a number of things we planned on using for our study times.  One of those was a set of Larry Hutton cds: I Believe: Why No Results? Yes indeed!

Bek & I have had this training & so we use things like this to build ourselves up & as a reminder to speak the word, believe the word, do the word.  However Larry said one thing that impacted me enormously.  He was speaking about healing & put it like this:  My body hurts~ that's a fact. But a fact is not the Truth.  The bible says Your word is Truth [john 17:17] & the word says By His stripes you were healed. Lightbulb moment!!!! 

In all honestly the only thing that has changed is how I see what is happening around me.  I pray & sometimes I see something immediately & sometimes I don't.  That is a fact.  The *Truth* is what the word says & the word says they are healed. Seeing fact V Truth has helped me enormously & really helped my faith.  I stop looking for all the things I might be doing wrong.  I don't doubt myself, our prayers, or think I've failed to connect with God or that God, for whatever reason, has chosen not to answer this particular prayer in the affirmative, because facts are not necessarily Truth! I have no trouble with a concept expressed in this particular way.  In fact it has cleared up a lot of muck for me & made things very, very clear.  There are facts & then there is the truth.  They are not necessarily the same thing!  Such freedom!

Don't you love how the Holy Spirit works to clear your thinking up so you think right?  Yep, I sure do appreciate it!

Doing the crazy jive.

 Sometimes life does crazy more than usual. At least now I am not the one driving the crazy.  However ODD was performing.  End of year recital/Christmas gig/charity event ~ &  the girl was hassling to get me along, which proved to be unusually difficult.  Of all the cars I might have borrowed not one was available.  I was considering the all day bus/train event for a couple of hours of afternoon matinee when CG &CB decided they would like to come along, so I had a lift.

I've done these events for years.  And I have the ODD.  There are things I know are difficult; showcase pieces that leave me cold not matter how well performed they may be & then there are things like the Lux that  I shouldn't enjoy but absolutely adore. High sopranos so not my thing. Alison's soprano for this has sweetness as well as clarity & she sounds absolutely effortless & ethereal.

Exaudi lined both aisles to sing this so surround sound.  Enough to reduce me to a flood of tears. *sigh* Still I'd rather that any day than carol of the bells, which I truly loath.  It sounds so very harsh to me & the timing annoys me. Yep, I have unusual tastes in music too ~ as testified by newbies at church who wanted to know who they were singing as they had heard none of it before. *sigh*
 My girl has no idea how gorgeous she is & getting pictures is always something of a drama these days.  Having CG & CB along helped. We abandoned ODD & headed into Southbank. CG has crammed so much into a week CB may never recover.  Each & every day was full to the brim but she was determined to show him how much her local area has to offer.  She included both the Sunshine & Gold Coasts ~ & a jolly good thing as I consider Brisbane about the dullest & most boring city I've ever been to & the absolute hardest to get around in.

CB was wonderful as everything delighted him & CG just said Santiago is a cement jungle so Southbank with it's green spaces, swimming pools, eateries, giant ferris wheel, & brown flowing river was a novelty. Years of rehearsals has made me a bit jaded I think.  I associate Southbank with work, late nights & sheer exhaustion rather than somewhere one goes for pleasure & from choice.
That being so I've never done a proper Brisbane restaurant. Things like the Chocolateria, yes, the pancake parlour or Max Brenner's but food, real food, no.  We ended up doing a vietnamese sidewalk cafe & again CB impressed me by embracing the unknown & being willing to try something new.  So long as there was a vegetarian option I couldn't have cared less as I will eat most cuisines & as it happened I made a great choice for me: coconut pumpkin with sweet potato chips.  It was really, really nice & I can probably duplicate it at home.  CG opted for a green papaya salad [we did a trade as she wanted to taste mine & I was curious about hers] & that was light & fresh & quite spicy though I wouldn't have wanted it as a main, just as a side. CB tried a traditional & hearty soup & we came out under AUD$50 for the 3 of us.

I was back on the island by 9.30 hunting both my cats who had found an escape route & gone AWOL.  I never have this trouble but they alway misbehave for the MOTH. It's their way of protesting my absence but I don't appreciate it when I'm tired & just want to go to bed.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

A Smiling Visitor.

 So our multi~cultural family is expanding.  This week we welcomed CG's Chilean friend [to be known as Chile Boy or CB for short].  As an engineer he actually works for an Australian company & seeing he was in Perth for work he decided a week's leave was in order so he could pop across to Brissie & meet us all.
 We took the Grand's & had lunch at the Courthouse.  Because of work CB's English is very good though parts of the menu defeated him & the subtleties of Aussie humour were more than he could always manage.

 I think he likes Oz.  He seems to be enjoying his time here anyway.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Post Traumatic.

“Pops added,"you know, they say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve."

"And if you do, you never get the results you expected," (Katherine) replied.” ~ E.A. Bucchianeri

I have been rather quiet lately ~ & not just because the American election has consumed so much time. Like many other countries America's choice affects us & we already have the pundits calling for a recession from American influence.  Thankfully they are no longer in politics & their views will not affect policy so saner heads are likely to prevail.

I am quietly hopeful.  Trump is at least seen to be willing to listen to the Christian right & has publically stated Christian influence cannot be allowed to wane in America.  This gives hope to those of us in a much more openly secular country that our frantic paddling below water & fervent prayers are being heard & we will not go down the path of secular humanism to destruction ~ or at least not immediately.

We were called to prayer in unusual ways & as intercessors in the weeks prior to the election & felt that Trump was God's choice & a reprieve for Americans if they are willing.  It should be a wake up call to the left that in trying to get your agenda in place you cannot ignore large segments of your population.  They will rise up at some point & scream Foul! We saw it with Brexit in England.  We saw it with One Nation here in Australia.  We are seeing it in France & Germany, Sweden & Norway.

And as surely we see *love & tolerance* fly out the window when the love & tolerance crowd does not get it's own way.  Tolerant of everyone & everything except those who disagree with their *tolerance*. *sigh* The irony kills me, though really, it should not be a laughing matter.

So we did our thing in the park on Sunday & as we were coming home from the shops discovered flames leaping out of the CG's bedroom window.  She had been burning candles prior to getting in the shower but swears they were out [which I believe to be true.] The phone she has been using was in the middle of her bed & that is where the hottest part of the fire was & where it appears to have started; the phone is a molten mess.  Praise the Lord we were able to put it out just before it really took hold & have a few scorched walls, ruined bed linen, molten curtains but no structural damage. Her new computer, passport, & Chile identification were all saved though she must replace her Blue card, bank card, driver's license, & transport card.

Then we had a massive storm election night with thunder & lightening & torrential summer rain only to find someone had turned our garden hose on full bore & flooded our yard ~ not any of us.  We keep the head on & do not leave the hose where it was found.

Then CG had to fly down to Melbourne for her debrief on the Monday morning, completely rattled & upset by the fire, only to have a security leak on her home flight.  We have been getting more & more of these *attacks* but we are being wonderfully protected by our Lord & saviour.

I need to get off the emotional rollercoaster  but the unfolding drama I see all around me is rather addictive.  People are peculiar creatures & their choices often befuddle me but the reality is not my circus, not my monkeys. I belong to another Kingdom & thankfully it is ruled by a righteous King who does not show partiality.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Happy to Rant.

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. L.M. Montgomery

I loved being an October baby. In Sydney it is the best month: just warming up for summer but the morning rich with scents & just cool enough.  It is a green month, the waters of bays & Harbour, river & inlet a deep jeweled sapphire & the sunshine glows amber amongst the tree leaves. 

I have a late birthday so it meant Exams were nearly over & the long summer holidays almost here.  I pitied those who had birthdays in June or July, the depths of winter, or hot summer babies, beet red in the heat.  Even in Queensland, October has always been a pleasant month until now.

Things began to change about 10 years ago.  There would be a knock at the door & some random child in a witch's hat & ghoulish mask demanding candy ~ here in Australia where October is not fall & Halloween cannot possibly be a fall festival.

They don't come any more. I never have candy but I can give them a history lesson they never wanted.  I guess word's got out...

I hate Halloween with a passion.  I hate the Americanisation of my country.  I hate that people want to dress ugly, scary, demonised. I understand, as most Australians don't, the symbols they are using. The carved pumpkins that seem so cute?  Left by wiccans to acknowledge you have agreed with satan.  That is a spiritual doorway.  It gives satan a right & an access to your family, your home, your life.  People laugh but there is nothing funny about the end results of cavorting with the devil.

Reclaim for Christ, cry some sadly misguided Christians. I'm sorry but there is no way you can reclaim this for Christ.  You cannot make holy that which is intrinsically unholy. Halloween was originally a festival dedicated to the Old Celtic gods ~ & they were dedicated to 2 things: sex & death. Now consider the majority of halloween costumes; they are either sexy or deathly. Those *fun* halloween games: fertility rites!  The trick or treating? A tithe to hell, one way or another.

Exodus 23:13

Now concerning everything which I have said to you, be on your guard: & do not mention the name of other gods, nor let[them] be heard from your mouth.

Exodus 23:24

Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Again & again & again God told Israel not to follow in the traditions of the pagan peoples who surrounded them.  Again & again & again they did ~ with dire consequences. Which bit of utterly overthrow them & break down their images do Christians not understand?  Which bit of nor do after their works is incomprehensible? 

I am sad beyond measure to see more & more children each year given to satan like this.  I am devastated well meaning parents allow it.  I am angry that greed is seeing this advertised on tv & so it is becoming a *thing* with the next generation of Australian children. 

I have problems with other *Christian* holidays as well.  Essentially there is nothing Christian about them & so I am not surprised that they have become commercialised.  They were always satans.  He's just taking back what was always his.

I think it should be compulsory reading for every Christian parent to read or listen to the testimonies of ex~pagans about the meaning & the symbolism of halloween.  They understand.  They get it.  When they get saved they utterly reject it ~ & they can't understand why Christians don't.  Jesus is coming back for a Church without spot or stain.  It is past time to repent of worldly ways & wash our robes clean in the blood of Christ!

Walking with Marlow.

"Cat people are different, to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be, with a cat running their lives?" ~Louis J.

I like the wild.  It is why even the prettiest of cities holds no real attraction for me.  I am drawn to the green, to the quiet of birdsong, to the empty spaces.

I love where I live ~ though in all honesty I could do without my neighbours.  They are nice enough~ but why would I have people when I can have curlews crying under a harvest moon, crazy cats, & the wild shy creatures of bush & sky.

The wild is not orderly but it does have rhythm.  It quiets my soul.  This is what I understand God to have meant when He rested on the 7th day, looked around at what he had created & declared:  It is good.  Cats just make it better!