31 December 2008

struggling... again

i always seem to end up back here time and again... why, Lord why? i hate the term backsliding it makes me think of being on a hill and trying to find purchase, so you climb up and use your hands even looking for nay finger and toe holds, but the ground is wet with this muddy sludge and you're not just mired in the bog, it's pulling you down! And there seems like there is nothing you can do... no not true that there is nothing you can do; there is something you can do but you don't want to ask for help from the guide beside you. you want to do it yourself and you begin acting like a pig and thinking the sludge and crud ain't too bad. it's kinda fun playing in the dirt - and before you know it you are at the bottom of the hill and the stink comes up and you are asking yourself how did i get down here?!?!?... but i was doing so well Lord... what part of me just does not learn Lord?... I KNOW i don want to be down here, and how to keep out of this stinky bog - so why do i lose sight of you and of your love for me and of your light... stand firm, steadfast in the faith, come daily to God, persevere, immerse yoursefl in God's word...is this not yet emblazzoned on my heart??? and yet somewhere somehow i am left again at the wayside.. I don't even have an excuse that's the pathetic thing about it.

Way back when i used at least to justify my sins, tell myself i know it cant be that bad, i mean did God really mean 123 and not ABC ... you know stuff like that... but this time round i know it's wrong i don't even try false justification anymore... i just went right along and did it... it's like a man who has developed and allergy for his favourite food, say caramel and he sees this delectable caramel cake all sticky and wonderfully gooey. Instead of taking himself away from temptation coz he knows it is bad for him it could kill him, what does he do? he keeps coming to view it, taking pictures and putting them by this desktop, finding new recipes for caramel cake and even trying them out himself, and he comes to inhale in its all so wonderful scent and he cuts a piece telling himself he wont eat it he just wants to imagine himself doing so and before you know it he has convinced himself a 5mm tiny incy wincy corner wont kill him and it's in his mouth... and anyway he has his EpiPen ready... and then it dawns on him after that minuscule taste that what he is doing is wrong wrong wrong and he may as well be eating the whole thing and having an EpiPen wont save him if he keeps that cake around so he comes to his senses and dumps the whole thing, pictures and recipes included, in a big black bag, drives to the furthest dumpster out of town and leaves the bag there whilst he hightails it out of there... but the taint of the tiny taste lingers in a rash that has developed on his lip and in a..... stain on his heart - well caramel does not put stains on the heart but i figure you know what i mean... so i am trying my level best to take myself away from temptation... the pains and agonies of christian-hood

so to help me out i have decide to pimp up my one-on-one me time with God. I have never been really good with my daily devotions but i am really hoping this time it picks and stays. i saw this beautiful plan here and i am hoping that this time it works better than the other times i've started and it's fizzled out, and i'm hoping that i actually turn to the Lord for help and not think i can do it all by myself. if i have learned anything this past year it's that I have no control over anything... i may make plans but the world always comes in my way and i can not chnage a single thing by worrying.. makes me think of this verse... hav no idea where it is but it goes something like "who of you can add a single hair to their head or a single year to thier lives by worrying" i may have paraphrased a lot... see am still a along way from memorising my verses... sigh

i'd best get going i hav to study for my exams... how did i get here? this aked by the chief procastinator... moi!

simple woman dec 31st

new entry in my simple woman day book :D visit and get the template from Peggy at Simple woman Interested?... check it out...

i was too lazy to do this last week and this Monday as well so it's actually Wednesday but no biggie...




FOR TODAY 31 Dec 2008...

Outside my window... am at my workstation at the office... 'tis glorious outside, bright sunshiny day

I am thinking... of the past year, and sins and backsliding and how to get reconciled with God and of my exams and of studying

I am thankful for... little things, and God, that He loves me so

From the kitchen... am alone so cooking is no fun, yet it is coz i experiment

I am wearing... a blue summer dress that i think may be getting too short- i'm still gaining weight... sigh

I am creating... notes... i have exams next after next week for which i ma ill prepared

I am going... nowhere

I am reading... hopefully my textbooks... have put novels on hold

I am hoping... that i manage to finish studying and am prepared for my exams, that i have good quiet times and that i listen to God will for me better this coming year and am still hoping ...that my permit comes out - no change there from last week... or the week before that.... or the week before that..... or the week before that.... or the week before that.... or the week before that - ad infinitum

I am hearing... air con- been listening to Chris Tomlin a lot though and the Screwtape letters on audio

Around the house... nix

One of my favourite things... blogs and forums... where would i be without real knowledge and pseudo knowledge? honest though i love it that i can get help and find information quicker than i would without them :D

A few plans for the rest of the week... getting through today... one day at a time Sweet Jesus, that's all i'm asking of you....

Here is picture thought I am sharing... still despair ... lets just say things are dark.. and i am here is an inspiration




19 December 2008

carols


am going to carols tonight and will be singing a duet with nya, Panis Angelicus... i know it's not a carol but it is or so beautiful and do-able when compared to opera of the bells :D and gau's wedding reception is tomorrow... so i try on the blouse that goes with my saree... and discover i now look like a hippo... last time i wore my saree i had to reduce and pull in the openings... i may have to let out a seam or two today here's hoping i have fun though! My saree is black with blue edging similar to the photo. mmm maybe i must get pictures to put up

and on carols again i found this wonderful video on you tube here...

video

17 December 2008

on a sin... and communion (Part II)

So after asking my questions and googling as if my life depended on doing so, here are some conclusions i have come to:

What I have gotten is that
1. it is wrong to miss Mass without a grave reason, and to go to a protestant service as a substitute without grave reason... (emphasis on grave)
2. if i go to a Protestant church instead of a Catholic one, i fail to fulfil my Sunday obligation and am in a state of mortal sin
3. it is wrong to fully and actively participate in a non-Catholic service, i.e. communion, reading, etc.
4. it is unclear whether it is wrong to attend other Christian services 'passively' - if one can be passive - as well as mass. It is advisable not to go, as one's faith is put in peril, could be attacked and undermined.And attending these services is not in the best interests of the church; of not condoning the different Christian denominations as we want to encourage the return of all the Christians to the church
5. if i attend protestant services for different reasons like pleasing family or just because i like it, i tolerate the hurt to Christ’s Body and make light of the scandal that wounds our Lord deeper every day

and what i need to do is:
1. actively endeavour to go to mass every week and receive the Eucharist
2. study the catechism in order to understand why Catholicism is the true church of Christ
3. avoid actively participating in other Christian services and going there as i could be tossed around and confused by strange doctrines and beliefs
4. somehow get my friends and family to understand why it is important for me to be catholic and lead them to the light....


As i read around i came across a site which had the following... "The new Catechism calls the Eucharist "the heart and the summit of the Church’s life," as well as the "sum and summary of our faith." (CCC, #1407, #1327). The Eucharist is the sacrament of sacraments, the divine reality toward which all the other sacraments point and in which they are all fulfilled."source and i thought how profound, i think i was last at a benediction years ago i cant remember when and yet i always felt immersed in His presence then so why don't i go now?

In one of the Screwtape letters by C.S. Lewis which i am listening to, Screwtape was telling his nephew Wormwood something about how our bodies and what happens to them affects our spirituality... or something to that effect, it was about how the nephews 'person' could be led to being less prayerful by thinking that where i am and kneeling etc. are not important in the greater schemes of things for prayer or the quality of a prayer. As catholic we hold that our bodies are the temples of the Lord, hence i'd want my temple (read body) to be positioned at the best place possible and not be desecrated and to be clean in preparation of the Lord coming into it... during communion. Along the same lines i'll quote the following (also on-line) "...there were gnostics who reasoned that the opposition of body and spirit meant the body could do anything without effecting the spirit. This school went in for orgies and every form of self-indulgence, all the while pretending they were 'holy within'. But the Church of Christ went on teaching the truth: The Word became flesh. Body and spirit are married in Christ Jesus and we who are in him can and must glorify God in our bodies, not apart from them just as Jesus did when he died and rose–bodily–and ascended to his Father.source" So indeed i have been woefully depriving myself by not receiving the Eucharist to be unified body and soul with the body of my Lord. and not only that, i've also been in a state of mortal sin by not attending mass... which leaves me very sad indeed...

"Many Catholics leave their bland parish for another denomination that serves up the Gospel hot and spicy. People who give up the Catholic faith often say they were looking for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How much more personal can you get than to have Jesus literally and physically living within your body? Ex-Catholics who claim that they are now being "fed" with the written Word at their new church, don’t realize that they have abandoned the banquet of the Living Word, the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. source i used to wonder that if half the world did not believe in God for reasons out of their control as in been brought up way out wherever where Jesus is mostly unknown, and that if we can only get to heaven through His son then what would happen to them? it seemed ... anathema...!!! would so many perish?!? then i would think that there must be another way to heaven or that there must be some flaw in the formula or that ones deeds were a great part of it. then i came to realise that there can not be two or more right answers... there is the truth and everything else. It may fill me with horror to think of people perishing in hell, as it well should, for without this fear would my faith grow? It is not for me to try and figure out the mysteries of the Lord or to try and figure out how the rest of the world would get to heaven or to judge if they should... but it is for me to say yes to the truth when i hear it, for me to say no to the sin when it is recognised (as has happened here)... i was sinning and i have to turn away from that sin ask for forgiveness and for the grace of the Lord to not sin again... for all my failures are my own and the triumphs are His... it his mercy that pulls me through

15 December 2008

on a sin... and communion (Part I)


dilemma! or not... when you sin and you know it's a sin it's different from when you sin and you didn't know if it was sin and also different from when you sin and you weren't sure it was sin... so in which category am i in?... the latter i'm afeared on this current dilemma item.

And what is sin? In this day and age the lines between right and wring get so blurred and logic is sometimes used to present an argument against doing what is right, we do love to rationalise don't we? if one is not sure if something is sin what does one do? in my case i asked around a bit but not enough, just enough for me to do the something... and then only after asking around enough or sufficiently i find 'tis been a sin all along, so what to do? stop of course that's a given (i'd hope), repent and do better...

so what is the sin? receiving communion in a church that ain't catholic, i remember how huge it seemed on day one then you let people talk to you and one ratiionalises and the deed loses it's 'horror aura' and becomes less sinister... but that niggling that came from God never left me, it just didn't gel with my spirit you know. and so i researched some more and was led to the catholic on-line forum and asked my question and i am getting 'educated'... no better word for it... so watch this space and i will give more info as i get it... or just go to the discussion, click here...

some may be thinking what's wrong with receiving communion in another church, we are all Christian and we all want to be united spiritually in the body of Christ don't we? I get that if we believe different then we are not in communion anyway, as a catholic i believe the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ in every essence except our physical experience of it. This is something i really need to study and pray for discernment on, and there is so much informtaion i have to do a lot of sifting too, ok so lets winnow...

simple woman dec 15

new entry in my simple woman day book :D visit and get the template from Peggy at Simple woman Interested?... check it out...




FOR TODAY 15 Dec 2008...

Outside my window... no windows still... the joys of computer labs... am surrounded by black monitors and CPU's though if that counts

I am thinking... of my permit and trying to not despair or fall into despondency (which would be a sin)

I am thankful for... scones - just had a fluffy one with strawberry jam... mmm it seems i am most thankful for food these days... :d must be the season

From the kitchen... nix

I am wearing... my gypsy skirt and a black polo-neck

I am creating... music.... busy practising for the carols on Friday

I am going... not home it seems... i really wanted to go to Zimbabwe but with no permit and no money how is that possible?... and i so wanted to get my mom something... am beginning to get stomach pains just thinking of it...

I am reading... A crown in the stars by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow - the last book in the Genesis Trilogy, still think the first one was the best but hey i'm only on page 50

I am hoping... still...that my permit comes out - no change there from last week... or the week before that.... or the week before that..... or the week before that.... or the week before that.... or the week before that - ad infinitum

I am hearing... nothing much... soon to start Panis Angelicus for practice though

Around the house... nix

One of my favourite things... blogs and forums... where would i be without real knowledge and pseudo knowledge? honest though i love it that i can get help and find information quicker than i would without them :D

A few plans for the rest of the week... getting through today... one day at a time Sweet Jesus, that's all i'm asking of you....

Here is picture thought I am sharing... I'm not despairing.. at least i think not... but in case i am here is an inspiration




11 December 2008

yoh


it seems December is a serious birthday month have close friends and family with birthdays on the 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, 25th, 26th, 27th, 31st it's a good thing most of them are not in the same country as me this year!

10 December 2008

God's Will, which is love and mercy itself...


the final prayer on my Divine Mercy chaplet ends thus... I just had to comment that it is true, God's will for me is His love and His mercy in their entirety... now if only i could program that into my being... because i tend to wonder, especially nowadays when all is not going as planned, that Lord what is your will?... what do you want me to see, to learn, to glean if need be, please make it clear and then i sorta realise i have to submit to his will for it is infinite love and mercy to me :D now all i need is to learn how to submit... easy peasy ha?... this advent is proving more difficult than most

8 December 2008

need the grace of charity...

so have had an odd week... what can i say did not do as much as i had hoped to do
1. ich habe keine pleatzchen gemacht!!!... i did not get the time to make my plaetzchen this weekend how sad is that?
2. still no permit
3. bone tired from go-karting (well over the weekend)

so at work we went go-karting on Friday and we were divided into teams and during my practice
round i was all gung-ho and thinking now i know why i have always wanted to be an Formula 1 driver; and thinking i was the bees knees in my team i asked to go last so i could cement a win...only to be proven woefully wrong... getting overtaken by the red team coz i kept crashing into everything and everyone... 'twas fun bumping my ceo though! Michael Schumacher and all them Formula 1 drivers deserve all their money coz we all got so tired, sweaty and a headache... from the speed? who would have known that one has to expend quite a bit of energy to get the kart to turn round a hairpin turn... my left arm and wrist can testisfy. much fun was had by all i had a blast though my pride had a great big knock... see only good came out of it! just shows me ha? pride comes before a crash


then Saturday choir practice was grand (to which i was late again ) and we sang this Hillsong song Eagles wings "come live in me all my life, take over, come breath in me and i will rise on eagles wings" which on sunday we sang as a prayer and a better mind worm is yet to be found especially for me a pepertual hummer :D

we (that is the family in Johannesburg) also had a prayer meeting for my brother. he was involved in a car accident a while back... and so his leg got buggered and so he's come to Johannesburg to see a specialist, after having gotten an unnecessary operation that did not work...he had an appointment this morning... hope it went well, will have to find out in a bit. so we prayed for his healing, for the examination to go well, for the grace to accept God's will... all great and all except that my heart when i got there was at first in the wrong place... not feeling very charitable to my sister-in-law which is nasty of me... and i had been listening to C.S. Lewis' Screwtape letters which just basically were a highlight to me of how i let the powers of darkness reign supreme sometimes... like honestly by now you would expect that i had gotten this charity thing down pat or at least to a point where i view all the people i am associated with as glorious creations of the Lord... i have generally become a flippant ol' thing... and I hate it! so i pray Lord change my heart coz only you can at this point.

'twas great to see one of my mom's though...we sang and prayed for Zimbabwe too and generally my heart got better as i prayed coz i asked the Holy Spirit to enter my heart and help me focus on my brother my and my family and their needs and not mine and i think it worked.

got my hair cut and relaxed and all then as soon as get out of the saloon we got rained on! so much for having a spiffy do for the training today :D... all is vanity

simple woman dec 08

4th entry in my simple woman day book (mmm maybe i should not count???) :D visit and get the template from Peggy at Simple woman Interested?... check it out...




FOR TODAY 08 Dec 2008...

Outside my window... no window am in the middle of a training

I am thinking... of the programme we are using? not sure hey my toes are freezing and that seems to put my brain on freeze as well

I am thankful for... muffins... just had a gorgeous bran one for afternoon tea

From the kitchen... sadly lagging on my plaetzchen... no young ones to kake them with

I am wearing... dressy pink top and black slacks...

I am creating... nothing much... creatively defunct week

I am going... nowhere... boo hoo... stuck in this office all week doing a training... the joys of the software world

I am reading... Summer Hill Secrets 1 by Beverly Lewis, always have loved reading about the amish and the book is great light-reading... though it does perpetuate the feeling i have had that white teens are a different creatures from black teens

I am hoping... still...that my permit comes out - no change there from last week... or the week before that.... or the week before that..... or the week before that.... or the week before that.... or the week before that

I am hearing... the air-con hum and wishing it was off my fingers are turning blue and i'm black for crying out loud! my head has a mind worm though, Hillsongs Eagles wings.

Around the house... nix

One of my favourite things... bran muffins... honest

A few plans for the rest of the week... getting through this training

Here is picture thought I am sharing... come live in me all my life, take over, come breathe in me and i will rise on eagles wings -- current mind worm


4 December 2008

early to bed, ealry to rise....

...makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise. I wonder when I'll learn that...? when i sleep late i wake up late and grouchy the days does not go well and i don't' 'have' time to read my bible or say my prayers coz i am harried and the day just goes down the drain... I know this! but guess what time i went to sleep the other day? 3:30 am... when i need to be at work by 8:30 and it takes 1hour at least for me to get there.... whoever said human beings are creatures of habit had it spot on... because all i wanted to do was finish my novel and the rest would take care of itself... now if i had the same attitude towards my quiet time I could probably move mountains coz when i am in tune with the Lord I am in tune with me and what i need to get done, i am literally superwoman.

There have been a couple of good breakthroughs though, I decided for advent to say the Joyous mysteries and I've actually been doing it twice a day and loving it as well as the Divine Mercy chaplet. i was busy googling devotions i came across it and tough i hadn't done it in a while when it was actually one of my favourites so depending on how i'm feeling rosary first then DM chaplet or vice versa and because the Angelus is so centered around the birth of Jesus I'm doing it too... i tend to miss at least one of the times either midday or 6pm but 'tis early days yet, i';ll have it down pat by next week, easy peasy... now to sort out my sleep patterns.....

1 December 2008

advent

One of my favourite times of the year is here! Advent began yesterday and at church the first candle of advent was lit. I love advent because of what is symbolizes, the coming out of darkness. The word Advent is from the Latin 'adventus' for "coming" and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas, for the coming of Jesus, as a baby and for His second coming. I love the feelings of anticipation and penitence that pervades the atmosphere. With the lighting of the candles we are coming out of the darkness and we come to God asking Him to forgive us that we may be ready and not found wanting when His son comes. It's major family time too which i love to bits, and trying to parallel ones family to the holy family is always an interesting exercise. I'm kinda sad though in that this is the first year in a very long time that i wont' be orgainsing the nativity play, last year was a blast... I've stopped acting in them thank the Lord... who knows maybe this year it will mean that midnight mass won't be frantic for me :D

But most of all I love to 'basteln'... that's the German word for 'doing craft' because I just love creating advent wreaths, advent calendars and baking and making sweets and seeing kiddies excitement... This weekend was a bit hectic to do what i intended but i finish my nieces advent calendar later today. I had intend to make Honeycomb toffee like that inside Cardbury's Crunchy bars but had no bicarb of soda so will make that today... cant wait till I get home! and i have this Girl Guide advent calendar that i have never used coz i like it too much... but i did make copies for my Guides last year mmm maybe i should make more copies of it this year anyway and send it to them... it will be late but not by too much... yep i do miss the girls a whole bunch. So advent has begun and i can make as may plaetzchen and sweets as i like and my family will shake their heads at their outlandish black sheep again, all the while happy I am there to create little things they'd never see or taste without me in their lives :D i do love advent

simple woman dec 1

third entry in my simple woman day book :D visit and get the template from Peggy at Simple woman Interested?... check it out...




FOR TODAY 1 Dec 2008...

Outside my window... overcast and not to exciting, but who cares, it's advent!

I am thinking... advent, advent, advent, advent, and of my work permit which is way over due and of all the stuff i need to buy to make sweets

I am thankful for... fellowship... had a grand time at church yesterday

From the kitchen... I will be making Honeycomb (sponge or cinder toffee to some) and i cant wait to see how it will come out.. and plaetzchen of course!

I am wearing... sleeveless black top and a brown skirt and am barefoot... as usual :D

I am creating... advent craft and plans of things to do with my niece this coming weekend

I am going... Go-carting! it's the end of year function at work this Friday... am actually looking forward to it

I am reading... assassins from the left behind series, still... a bit on hold this book coz i am taking a break from being 'left behind' and The Viscount

I am hoping... that my permit comes out - no change there from last week... or the week before that and that the new Honeycomb recipe i want to try out will come out fab

I am hearing... O holy night by il Divo... started on my carols about 4 weeks ago...

Around the house... hopefully the smell of sweets and vanilla and caramel and cinnamon... soon

One of my favourite things... Zimt Sterne - that is cinnamon stars mmm yum... there goes my diet... bye bye... see you new years!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Advent and Christmas craft mostly

Here is picture thought I am sharing... unashamedly i have caramel tart-lets and lebkuchen and plaetzchen on the head, here is a fab picture of plaetzchen i am planning on making
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