Thursday, 31 January 2013

Recent stuff...

There hasn't been much to report over the last few weeks - I've been busy teaching business English at various companies around town, enjoying the contact I have with my students, and praying for open hearts - most are fairly closed though.

I did have one encouraging chat with a girl on Tuesday. The other student was ill and couldn't come. I knew that the remaining student was a Christian, and she started talking about the Lord. She wanted to learn the Lord's Prayer in English, so I wrote it up on the flipchart. :)  (I wonder what other students and people who use that room think of it!)

Turns out she had come from East Germany two years ago, remembered the days under Communism very well, and shared what a struggle she and her husband were having with the lukewarm, self-satisfied Christians here in the West. She said that we needed to become fit for the concentration camps again. I agree with her. She said though, that I was the first person she had been able to say this to - as most here would be horrified and shocked to hear it. People are too wrapped up with their possessions and nice houses.

They go to a reasonably lively Lutheran service on Sundays, but the sermon is like weak tea and she feels increasingly desperate, as she has no fellowship and no-one with whom she can really pray.
She told me about the place where she works, the Red Cross Blood Donation Centre here in town, where she's the only Christian and everyone else is very closed. One of her colleagues is a self-proclaimed witch - a gypsy from Romania. Anyway, we had a very good time praying, were mutually encouraged and exchanged addresses. We'll see what the Lord brings out of it.
It was kind of encouraging to discover that she and her husband like an occasional whisky and cigar!

I have rejoined Facebook. I didn't think I ever would, and the last two years have been good, since I left, but as both our children are still there and I miss the contact with people who are far flung - especially in the US and UK, after praying about it, I had peace about rejoining. I still dislike the thought of being spied on by the Powers that Be, but that's par for the course these days. I  must be careful not to spend too much time there, though.

We have a young man staying with us whose marriage is going through a tough patch (his wife stayed with us for two weeks before Christmas). We don't have much to offer, apart from a bedroom, food and prayer now and then, but the Lord is able to multiply it and make it effective.  He's been a Christian for 7 years, but in the church which he attends (our old one) he hasn't been able to grow much, isn't yet baptized and until a week ago wasn't baptized in Holy Spirit either. The Lord saw to that two weeks ago last Saturday, after a good time praying together. He has been much encouraged and changed since then and has more hope in his difficulties.

As far as I'm concerned, I think the Lord is giving me a breakthrough in the area of eating. It's been something I've given up on for about 8 years, after constantly failing in all the attempts at dieting I ever made. But something has changed. I have accepted that I cannot have the fellowship with the Lord that I long for if I am indulging myself, however harmless that looks on the outside. Deep down I know what is right for me and what isn't. It may be different for other people. I know what He has said to me, however. I have accepted that food is, for me, the giant in the land, and nothing short of obedience and death to my flesh will kill it. I don't want to despise my birthright, like Esau, for a mess of potage! So I'm not focussing on how much weight I'm losing, so much as eating the right things and 'trying to see what pleases the Lord.'
Someone once said to me after I had told her that I was fasting to lose weight - this was about 19 years ago -  that 'obedience is better than sacrifice'. It hit home, and I have always remembered it, but I was just too impatient - and disobedient, wanting to do things my way. Now, at nearly 49, I have finally realised that perhaps my ways don't work very well. May the Lord give me grace, because I've learned that I can be very slippery and after He brings me to a new place in Him where I experience breakthrough, I have often slipped back again and been rebellious, and have had to go through the same hard lessons all over again.
Israel circling Mount Seir (I think it was) comes to mind. Esau again. Hmm. I think I'm hearing something here.

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