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Archive for the ‘fellowship’ Category

our mates

Relationships do not just happen. At first, we build them. Then we need to maintain them for as long as we claim that we are within such a relationship. True friends are a treasure.

Sometimes we need to let them go especially when we realized that friendship is no longer. Same we do with all relationships in life. One said that there are people in our life for life and others for a season. And this is ok! Regarding our families, we need to remind ourselves that genes do not make the family as they do not make the relationships but relationships make a family. A good friend of mine says “we have families by choice, not necessarily by blood.”

I am sure that you understand what I mean and you have experienced such trembles.

There is an expression in Greek: “eyes do not see each other, they forget each other”! Very true. There are times that we fell short with a friend or circumstances might keep us away. Unexpectedly, we meet each other. It is the moment when we realize whether we fell truly apart – when there is a neutral emotion – or we feel as no time or conflict ever took place. All these facts are human. It is what makes us humans. We ought to remember so.

Garfield, the cat, said something amazing: “I am not mad at you, I’m just not dealing with you and your drama anymore.” Remember that we have those “drama” relationships somewhere on the way of life! (I love Garfield…a so wise cat!) My recommendation? Move out rapidly as they just absorb your energy and the possibilities to do something creative for the Lord, for yourself, for others.

Luke 10v1

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”

Today it is a beautiful day to think our mates, pray for them and ask the Lord to continue bringing in our lives the ones with whom we can become OUR BETTER SELF for the Lord’s sake.

I strongly believe that whoever brings up our best self – we do the same for them – those mates are the ones to go on for life. In the meantime, we encounter many others, those who are for a season. Within that season we mature more in knowledge of relationships, we understand more human nature, we appreciate better what is the best. There is no waste of time, no waste of relationships, all is about recycling!

The Lord in His indefinite wisdom knew all the pros and cons of relations. He knew the power of friendship, the power of co-operating and the strength of being two-two! We have many examples in the Bible of relationships, the ones which were successful, the ones that were for a season, the ones which remained strong till the end. Nevertheless, He kept putting people together to work for His kingdom and for fellowship.

Friends, mates, spouses, acquaintances, co-workers are important as the Ecclesiastes says:

Ecclesiastes 4v9-12

“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Our Father God, we come to you today and we thank you for this new day, a day that we have the opportunity  to do something new; to do something for our friend, spouse, child, neighbour and stranger. Help us Lord, today, to become better, one step at the time. We need your strength and we pray that all is done for your glory, in Jesus Name, amen!

 

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Love is Protection

We continue the series of what love is and what love is not! By now we have explored that love is communication and that love is not pride!

Love is also protection! When we love, we feel to protect the other party as our Lord keeps protecting each one of us. We desire for the other person to be happy, joyful, living in “green pastures”, a life well lived with joy, respect, dignity and full of physical, emotional, spiritual health.

The Lord loves us in a way of becoming our shelter; He is our safe place, our security, our stability and our shield. Each one of the above descriptions is about protection. I highlight what I just said: “the Lord loves us IN A WAY…” It is inevitable not to observe that someone protects you. Protection is not only in the natural world, such as, protection from physical harm. Protection expands to our emotional world, making sure that we are well, respected, well treated. People make sure that they do not physically abuse others, nevertheless many  do harm through their behaviour, their tongue, by trying to exploit or manipulate others. They consider their selves no abusers the moment that they are one of the worse cases.

The Lord is the definition of love and that’s why I start with Him. He is the measure, the comparison to understand love as protection. When there is protection, when we know that we are protected, we can relax, we can rest, be in quiet resting places.

Isaiah 32v18

My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,”

Joe 3v16

But the LORD will be a shelter for His people,

Proverbs 29v25

The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

Psalm 119v114

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”

I have so many testimonies of how the Lord kept me safe, protected, bringing stability in my life and truly feeling that I had a shield upon me. All those stories will be in my next  book. Today, I wish to write down one very recent experience I had.

It was about a month ago when I woke up as usual early in the morning and just before 6am I went out to remove the padlock that keeps the little door of the gate locked so the gardener to enter in. When I reached to unlock the padlock, I noticed that there was …no padlock! I was surprised and started looking around on the ground where it could have been. I thought that I forgot to lock the previous night or as I was sliding the gate, it fell down. Kept looking around for a while but no sign of it. Suddenly, as I turned my head towards my left shoulder, I noticed something strange about the steel door of the little storeroom. I walked closer and I saw that somebody had tried to open the door but had failed. They had tried so hard to the point that the door was crooked and the key could not open it. Instantly, I understood that thieves came in during the night. Not a second passed by and my eye turned at the borehole location and then I saw it: all piping from inside the borehole were laying on the ground. I got it: they stole the pump! Next, my sight went straight at my vehicle. The car was open – I left it like this the previous day – windows open, my MP3 inside and some spanners…nothing was touched.

At first, I got upset and sad…especially thinking the finance implication of it. It was not a kind of fear. I would never allow myself to become intimidated or panicked. At that moment, the gardener came and he noticed naked footprints all around, starting at the gate reaching the vehicle and my house door! My garden boots had gone as well. I spoke a bit with Bupe and went in the house, bathing and getting ready to go out. I would normally have gone to the police but only the thought of spending at least three hours in the police station reporting, gave me the clear picture of I was not going to report anything!

In about an hour my whole perception changed and joy came back into my heart! The upsetting mood and sadness left me when suddenly I realized that I never heard the thieves. I am convinced that they made quite some noise by braking the locks of the gate door and the one for the pump, especially when they bent the whole steel door of the store room. In addition,  my car had not been touched nor the loose items inside it, the garden chair was still there, I was alive and not traumatised in any way. Imagine if  I had woken up and look out of the window seeing strange people into my property…I don’t think that I could easily forget it. Imagine if they had come into the house…

What I felt at that moment was thankfulness and heavily protected. Yes, something bad had happened. At the same time, I was fully protected, safe and my dwelling was secure. This amazing peace and joy returned inside me and I felt His shield fully covering me, defending me!

The end of the story? The thieves – it seems – kept coming each night trying to cross the gate again, we saw their naked footprints outside my gate but this time strong sophisticated padlocks  were in place, plus a rapid response alarm! One of my neighbours was equally victimized as his pump was stolen few days just before my incident but he kept an eye of what’s happening. Few days later, he got them into his property and they ended up in the prison! I felt sorry for them – I heard that they were badly beaten – as I know Zambian prison very well but what else could have happened?

I am truly thankful and grateful to my Father in Heavens for protecting my emotions, my body and my spirit from any true harm. Financially, there was provision to replace the damages and cover security fees. No complains! The same night I went to my bed (before fixing the pump or security) with the absolute security that I could sleep peacefully as I had Him looking after me.

Is it not a wonderful feeling? Oh, yes, it is!

That’s how we need to express love towards to others. Our love will be in a way that provides the same confidence that we have in the Lord. Our love will materialize as our protection for others in a way that helps them to relax and not get stressed, manipulated and obliged. Can you see the difference?

We use to provide assistance or protection or services to others whom we love but then we try to get something out of them as an indication of appreciation or because we think that they ought to and so forth. I do not believe that this is love. Yes, we need to be appreciated but it is not the end of the world if we are not! We probably won’t be very motivated to do something soon for that person but it is OK. If they do not feel that we show love, they might never understand it in any case or in any event! We need to move around, to act and go on living with love and mostly with wisdom. What we call love could become an abuse if it is not applied with wisdom. Love is not an act or feeling that can be truly described as a picture but it can be painted through acts and deeds.

Isaiah 33v6

Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times”

It is very much about wisdom; wisdom is a whole subject by itself. What I really desire to emphasize is that we truly need God’s wisdom in our life to know how to practice and give love without hurting others.

It is also time not to take anything or anyone for granted but recognise the great provision in our life and that He is our hiding place!

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Dear Friends, Readers, Brothers and Sisters,

I send you greetings in the name of our Lord and plenty of warm sun from beautiful Africa and as an advertisement says, they call it Africa, we call it Home! I pray that you are all well and His Hand is upon you, His love, protection, provision, grace and mercy is with you. Amen!

You might have noticed that recently the blog is not as active as used to be. So, as I am sitting in a nice cafe where there is electricity and internet connection, I wish to let you know that I have not forgotten you. The issue is that water level in reservoirs is low that means electricity cannot be produced according to demand. So, for first time in Zambia, we are in 8hrs load-shedding a fact that influences communications as well. It is what it is, we just become practical and pro active, being prepared for even more difficult days as the hot season will come in few months. I am sure that humans, animals and plants looking forward for next rainy season.

No matter what we deeply love our land and we are grateful to the Lord for each day’s favour!

If we miss each other at times, know that I appreciate you and love you truly, looking forward always to hear from you and share as our days allow.

Talk to you soon, when no post on line please go back to all those previous posts (almost 200 in this blog and more than 400 in the http://www.lovingministry.org) and get some inspiration, download my e-books, are free, and refresh knowledge of our God.

Big hug and love,

Dimitra

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Through prayer light comes in our lives, © DS

 

 

Last week as we discussed on Prayer –Part A, we agreed that we will use – just for our discussions sake – the terminology of “Personal Prayer” and “Collective Prayer”.

We understood, through the Holy Spirit, that we pray our personal prayers in our closet as being just us and the Lord. We do also pray our collective prayers with our fellow believers in Church or any place of fellowship. It was nicely said that even when we participate in a collective prayer, still it is a prayer between our own self and the Lord.

Matthew 21v13

“It is written,” he said to them” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ ”

The above scene takes place in the area of the Temple, where different traders were selling their products. Jesus Christ overturned the tables of the money changers and the ones where doves were sold! The same incident is repeated at Mark 11v14 and John 2v14. At John’s Gospel except the money changers and dove vendors is added that people were selling cattle and sheep. In few words, the Temple was used as a supermarket!

It always amazed me that, in all Gospels, when this scene is described, traders of doves are mentioned. My thought runs to the fact that dove represents the Holy Spirit as we know from the scene where Jesus Christ was baptised. In my heart, I remind myself how important person is the Holy Spirit; imagine that only the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not forgiven among all sins!  The thought is mostly how much we do respect or not the Holy Spirit within the Church. What I want to say is that in my mind – not biblically supported – speaking all times about the doves is like telling me to respect the spirituality of the Church and not to trade the Spirit.

It was written that the Temple, the House of the Lord, is a house of prayer. The House of the Lord during the era of the Old Testament was the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, the House of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, is us. We are used to call the Church – building – the House of the Lord most likely out of tradition or understandable terminology. The scriptures, still, say something different:

1Corinthians 3v16-17

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

2Corinthians 6v16

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

We are the temple of God. Our body is the house of the Holy Spirit. The house of the Lord should be a place of prayer. It is so great to know that at each moment, each second, we can pray to our God, talk to Him, make petitions, pray for us and others and just pour our hearts out.

Prayer is an open line with God 24/7. In our modern terms we could say that we are “on line” at all times with our Lord, our Creator, our Provider, our Comforter. We can say anything and everything to Him, a friend and a listener 24/7!

Philippians 4v6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

He has invited us to speak to Him about every concern, anxiety, issue, problem, thought and need. We can freely present all to Him.

Additionally, I see that believers do not pray just to pray. Yet, it is not a bad idea to pray for just to pray. Just to talk, communicate, being thankful and praise the Lord. Our prayers should be a way to praise and worship the Lord. Do you remember in Part A of our discussion concerning the outlines of a prayer? Prayers prayed in the Bible include praise and worship, thanking and acknowledgment.

I understand that believers also pray as they wait results out of the prayer. As the Lord spoke and said that we should present our requests to Him, as he said that anything we ask in His name will be done, it is absolutely natural to expect answers on our prayers. Nothing selfish about it!

There are different schools of believers with regard to when, how and if prayers are answered. Some say that all prayers should be answered as exactly were prayed. Others say that it is up to the will of the Lord if answers will be answered or not. At last, a number of them believe that all prayers are answered but not necessarily they way we were expecting, which I think it is the same as the second school. It is interesting to meditate upon to various scriptures and come to an understanding, to conclude how the Spirit counsels us on this issue, in our Christian life than arguing among us!

The Lord has made some very important statements with reference to successful prayer, such as:

Matthew14v31

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

The above-mentioned scripture corresponds with the amazing story of Peter and Jesus. The Lord was walking on the waters and called Peter. He, without thinking, spontaneously followed the Lord and as a result he started walking on the water (something naturally impossible). But lasted only as long he did not doubt. It was a fact, he was doing it but still he doubted it. Imagine! In my own eyes, faith is absolutely connected with doubt. Or we believe or not. It is a black white situation and there is no grey in it.

Let’s read carefully more scriptures, they speak by themselves!

Mark  11v23

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”

James 1v6

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

To me, it is very apparent that doubt should not exist in our prayers otherwise as we wave we cancel the prayer itself. We need to stand after we have done all. We need to remember that He is God! 

James 5v16

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

This scripture speaks for powerful and effective prayer. Powerful and effective prayers belong to the righteous men and women. It is up to us to study, to ask, to meditate and learn as we grow in our faith how to be righteous in the eyes of our Lord and to practice what we believe. Amen! 

 

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Where is your confidence? Where you put your confidence?

What is your confidence? Do you know?

Who is your confidence? In who do you put your confidence?

We talk about things, meanings, ideas but sometimes we talk about different things as we understand the meanings, the words, the idioms in a unlike way.

So, in order to make sure what we are talking about, let’s travel among the pages of dictionaries and discover the definition of the noun Confidence.

Confidence has quite few meanings and is used in rather a range of ways. The first meaning we find is:

(1)   Full Trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: We have every confidence in their ability to succeed; (note this one; we will discuss it bit further.)

Then:

(2) Certitude; assurance:

(3) In confidence, as a secret or private matter, not to be divulged or communicated to others; with belief in a person’s sense of discretion: I told him in confidence.

OK! We know and agree about some of Confidence’s definitions and uses. Let’s move on.

Yes, confidence is about certitude and assurance. Life is a long journey, not always pleasant. Life is a long process and full of challenges, unfortunately, at times, we face tragedies. We, all humans, need assurance. By nature and by personality, we can feel lost, we can feel alone, abandoned, confused, vulnerable, flying astray.

Do you know what I mean? I am sure that you do. There is no person, no individual who has not felt some – if not all – of the above feelings. We do not need to be proud. We need to be honest, at least with ourselves.

What takes to feel assured or certain?

It takes someone or something that we can trust, isn’t it?

Success – as the world defines it – or money, house, food, career, health…and so on, could provide assurance in our life. The wonder is whether they are reliable sources of assurance. Can we say that those things will exist forever? We can’t. Success, career, money etc are refuge at risk. They appear and they disappear. One day, they exist, the next they have gone.

True assurance comes from inside us; when we know who we are, when we know our value and capability. The question to be asked is: who am I? Each of us need to answer this question.

Yes, it takes someone to trust. That’s where the chain of meanings merges: the primary meaning of confidence is Full Trust!

What do you trust? Who do you trust? I cannot give you the answer, but what I know, I give you; what the Lord speaks, I recall:

Jeremiah 17v7-8

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Wow! Wonderful, eh? “Like a tree planted by the water”…imagine the picture! We can see that the scripture speaks about confidence and trust. They go together, they mean the same. Where there is confidence there is no fear because we have the assurance. With confidence, fruits come. With confidence, results appear. That’s how important is where we put our confidence, into whom.

Speaking about trust, we need to highlight that trust is connected with faith. How can we say that we believe God when we cannot trust Him? That’s why it’s written that when we believe, we do not doubt. All is connected, they link to each other!

The remarkable thing is that digging in the etymology of the word Confidence, we discover that the word origins from the combination of Con+fidere. Fidere is the root from where the word trust comes, as well as faith!

Confidence is by etymology connected to faith, much more by theology!

So, let’s make our formula: trust+faith+confidence = assurance, security, self-esteem, self-awareness = results, fruits.

One more point:

Hebrews 10v35-36

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

There are those moments that we doubt, the moments when we are low, our self-esteem is low, our moods are low and we lose our confidence of who we are in Christ and who Christ is. Yes, it happens and happens often. He knows and understands because He was tempted as we have been; He was tested as you are.

Yes! It takes time, it takes perseverance, it takes patience but mostly it takes constant faith and firmness. Many of us have already done big part of the journey; are we going to give up now? Do we think that the Lord is a liar? Are we sure that we have heard from God? Thus, let’s wait and wait upon the Lord, full in confidence. Don’t throw away your confidence, you are too close now! Don’t throw away your assurance. Don’t throw away your trust. He trusted you with His blood, trust Him back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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acceptance creates peace

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

–Ephesians 4v29-32

As we reflect on the above scripture in Ephesians 4v29-32, it is clear that we are requested as children of God to pay attention of what is our talk, of what comes out of our mouth. Interesting eh? We are responsible for what comes out of our mouth. Sometime ago, we spoke in the post “Listen and listen actively” about how important is not what we say but how we say it and how reflects through our body language. When we talk to somebody – of course for things concerning them, not our concerns – needs to be for their assistance, their benefit and the cover of their needs…not ours! Additionally it is to be said in a way that helps them to explore their own possibilities and not to try to teach them! Do you understand what I mean? (smiles).

The other thing that we learn from this scripture is that we can get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger and any form of malice. They will not disappear by themselves! We need to take action on them and with perseverance they will flee from our lives. For sure, the first step and ultimate is Forgiveness!

What am I trying to say? Imagine those two people who are in a relationship. One day, they have an issue; they have a conflict or a great fight! Ok, it is normal to get stressed out and even say things that we do not really mean; to be hard and rude. It happens and it will happen again. It is usually the first reaction and unfortunately we say words that they are laboriously forgotten. That’s life and we are not perfect! We need to do better next time. However, we did mess up this time! What we can do?

That’s why it is written:

Ephesians 4v26

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”

The word of God does not say that we will not be angry. It says that we can do something about it. At the end of the day, God Himself gets angry when it is needed…check Old Testament…It is full of it!

Apologizing builds relationships! I love what Kami Garcia wrote:

Apologizing doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong, it just means you value your relationship more than your ego.”

Apologizing is important and needs to be genuine. What difference would make to apologize every time and the next time easily to do the same thing? This is not an apology that develops but an apology that just calms things temporarily and builds nothing. Honestly is the key!

Of course we ought not to get angry all times! There are people who seem like “searching” to find excuses to be angry with others…probably they are angry with themselves and in a great denial. Always it is somebody’s else fault. They are angry because of who did what, what society did to who and so on…Excuses, excuses, excuses…

James 1v19

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

Dear readers (including myself), we are not of this world! We became new creatures through the blood of Christ and we walk a path to become Christ-like! No excuses! Sorry, but that’s how it is. We can do it and change through Christ. We have the Holy Spirit living inside us…what else we need? The Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our teacher and our conscience.

It is essential for healthy communication to be slow to become angry. It will happen. We will become angry and we need the Holy Spirit to change us in time. We need, from our side, to remain conscious when the anger rises and keep it slow. We can do it! We are capable through Christ. Keep the focus on Him and so much can be done and change.

When angry or upset, we do not need to continue the conversation. We need to accept that we are not in a position to do so. We need to make peace with each other and let it go for a while till the day comes that we are ready to continue the discussion and to conclude. In the meantime we can use our time to re-think on the issue and cool down our adrenaline! I encourage you. It is possible. It does take some practice but we can reach to the desirable result: being angry but no sinners! Being angry but not destroying the relationship.

When we accept the true insight of where we are and what we truly feel, peace will cover our souls and our existence. When we apologise even when we are right, a freedom comes upon us and we find easier our peace.

Acceptance of who we are in Christ will guide us to become who we really are: a Christ-like individual. By accepting that we need to play with the rules of the Kingdom will allow us to keep remembering and being conscious of what comes out of our mouths.

There are a lot of ways to say the same thing and being beneficial instead of harming. But this is another discussion.

There are a lot of genuine lovable Christians who live in a permanent guilt because they have feelings. They have feelings of anger, feelings of fear and sadness. It is important, essential, and vital that we do study the word of God by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and understand what says. Read that Jesus Christ wept; read that He got afraid and asked that cup to be taken away from Him; He got angry and broke everything outside the Temple!

However, He lived on earth as man and He was sinless. The sin is not in relation to our feelings but what we do about our feelings or where we go with our feelings.

When we accept that we were created with feelings, we will find peace. When we accept that the important is what we do with our feelings, we will become more self-aware and more pro-active.

Acceptance creates peace in so many ways. Acceptance is a great tool.

The Alcoholics Anonymous participants pray the prayer of Serenity:

“God,

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

Certainly this prayer applies in a vast area of choices we need to make during our lives. I wish to use the task of this prayer and apply it on our relationships. I am talking about relationships and not just social contacts or uncommitted affairs.

Let’s look at the following scenario: two people (any people in any environment) meet, they like each other, they click as we say and they meet again and again trying to develop a relationship. Each individual is unique. Each of us has the same rights in life but we are different. If we wish to find people that they will think like us, they will like what we like and act as we act…we will reach to great disappointments in life. Even siblings who lived under the same roof for years, attended same schools, shared same relatives and early experiences and probably similar friends, they grow to be two absolutely different people, creating different lives. They even lived their common life – under the family’s roof – in different ways; their understanding of same facts is different and their perception or lesson learnt completely of opposite ways! This can happen even with identical twins!

As these two people walk the path of building their relationship, they realize the differences. They have at least two choices:

  • To accept the other person as s/he is, because it is vital to keep going with the relationship or because the differences are not vital;
  • To withdraw from the relationship as it is not the priority or the differences are essentials.

In both cases the individuals involved need to accept what they have to accept. Whatever the decision, it needs to be with acceptance and in this way to avoid the internal conflict that creates all anxieties.

If I decided to stay in the relationship (for any reason) I shall stop complaining about the things I do not like. Certainly, I will discuss and declare my dislikes but I shall do it once or twice and that’s the end. There is no reason to keep complaining! Or I stay in and accept the other person as s/he is or I move out!

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

–Philippians 2v14-15

The biggest mistake we do within our relationships is to try – try hard indeed – to change the other person. If you think that this problem applies only between spouses, you are wrong! It happens again and again in all kind of relationships!

It is understandable that all relationships are not of the same nature. What about parents and kids? Should child move out from home as its communication with the parent is not good? Should husband separate wife as he can’t stand her middle age crisis (or the opposite!)?

Especially relationships with family or relatives can be hard as we do not choose them and we think that we have no responsibility with our involvement with them! I remember when i was 12yrs old, I had a fight with my parents and I told them: “did you ask me if I wanted to be born? You decided for me, not I!”

I strongly believe what is written in the Bible. The Lord has promised to leave our anxiety and concerns to Him through prayer. He can bring clarity and guidance of how to treat the really sensitive and more complicated relationships. We need just to ask and wait to listen from Him and not to follow our own ways and our own understanding.

It is also true that our kids are always are children, no matter how old they are and whether they have their own family. We need to remind ourselves that since 18yrs old they are citizens of this world and take decisions by themselves. We can discuss with them but we cannot change them and we cannot push them. When they live under our roof …we have an excuse but even then, even when they are just little ones, we need to recognize their characteristics, their unique personalities and treat them with love and understanding, using dialogue and exploring options with them. At the end of the day they copy what they learn at home…

Acceptance is a great part of Unconditional Love. We are loved unconditionally by our Lord and He accepted us as we were. He will still discipline us or make clear what He wants and what not, within the relationship but He makes sure that we know that He loves us. In the same way we can start showing unconditional love to others.

I remember a story I read some time ago. It goes like this: it was a woman and she decided to go to the forest, walk around and get some rest. So she did. After her walk, she decided to lie down and get a nap. As she did so the birds from the surrounding trees started their singing and it was impossible for her to sleep. She got upset! She started talking, yelling and shouting to the birds hoping that they would stop. But in vain! Finally, she decided that her nap was important and she could stop worrying about the birds and focus to her sleep. As she deepened herself in a light sleep, she realized that the sound of the birds was lighter and eventually they stopped being an annoyance. They became a nice song in her ears and helped her to sleep nicely and enjoy her nap in the fresh air!

Acceptance is peace and creates peace! There are things that we can control and others that we cannot. Let’s keep praying to our Father in Heavens to guide us through His Holy Spirit what to accept and stop fighting it and on what or who we should never give up!

The people who I have accepted as they are, I am in peace with them. I might not click with the way they are but I have seen them for who they are (the positives and negatives) and I love them as they are, even if I am not with them. If I do not click but still I need to keep a relationship with them, I will just go as far as I know that it would be comfortable. Things that I can’t share with them, I will not. I will share them with somebody else!

Love doesn’t mean that we need to share everything with others. Love doesn’t mean that we need to satisfy everybody or to be satisfied by everybody. Love doesn’t mean that we do anything somebody asks us to. Relationships are not based in dependency or independency, they are based in interdependency! Amen!

 

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Worried and troubled about many things

Luke 10v41

“And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things.”

AHA! Too many worries and troubles swathe our lives. True? Worries and troubles are different meanings. Trouble creates worry. Worry might create trouble. Others are in trouble but do not worry. Some worry even when no trouble exist!

That’s how life is for believers and no believers. Life has troubles, life has challenges, life has amazingly beautiful moments and experiences. Humans follow the ups and the downs.  We seek to live a life in full, hoping that throughout life will be smooth and joyful. The truth is that no circumstances, no wealth, no human beings, no possessions – physical, emotional or spiritual – had ever succeeded to bring effortless and joyful life to none! If anyone declares so…s/he definitely lies!

It is what it is! Be realistic! Above all, be honest with yourself and towards others. Such testimonies are great, as they allow other people to feel that they are not the only “insane” in this world. Don’t be afraid; say what it is true and beneficial.

It is true that Martha worried a lot. She worried about practicalities, about how to serve others, how other people treat her instead to simply keep her eyes on Jesus. At times, we need to do nothing, including not cooking for the quests (read the story of Mary and Martha) but just focus on Jesus. There is time for cooking; there is time for focusing.

This is a large issue within the Christian community. There are Christians who trust the Lord but misunderstand that it is a relationship where each part contributes. They trust that all eventually be done by the Lord so they become a kind of lazy, idle people, contributing nothing to themselves, family, community. Eventually they even become depressed. In few… “they focus on to Jesus without cooking anything to eat”.

Along with this matter, we have differences among Christians and no Christians, especially within family, working place etc. Martha’s complain was (she even attacked Jesus Himself…You not care…):

Luke 10v40b

“Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

As I have said in the past both Martha and Mary were right in their own ways. Nevertheless, there are affairs of importance as of urgency. We need to understand the difference.

All we need is to increase in wisdom, to understand what is what and when is what. Let it go when we have to, becoming less controlling, enjoy and being thankful for who we are in Him and what we are provided with.

Worry when it is time to worry; let it go when there is no purpose to worry. There is no purpose in becoming worriers. There is purpose in becoming pro-active. As it was wisely said “stop being reactive and become proactive”.

Amen!

 

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