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……

May my spirit fill the world with beauty and wonder.

May my mind seek truth with humility and openness.

May my heart forgive without limit.

May my love for friend, enemy and outcast be without measure.

May my needs be few and my living simple.

May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others.

May my hands never harm a living being.

May my steps stay on the journey of justice.

May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear of the powerful.

May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is hungry.

May my life’s work be a passion for peace and nonviolence.

May my soul rejoice in the present moment.

May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility.

…….

 

(Extract from Prayer for the Decade of Nonviolence by Mary Lou Kownacki)

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1Corinthians 13v3:

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

One thing that really makes me crazy (especially when I do it!) is to judge easily and by just taking in consideration how things look like and not trying to find out, at first, how they really are! I have experienced this phenomenon so many times in my life – especially practiced by people quite close to me – and I admit that it is a trigger.

However, the Lord will judge the heart. We are saved by grace. He will judge the motivation behind the deeds. Before we do anything better to check our heart and honestly to recognize what it is in it!

Love is more important than sacrifice. Sacrifice is not necessarily love, love can be sacrifice but still love won’t see it as a sacrifice but as the best that can be done as it is done willingly. When we learn or see various forms of sacrifice and wonderful acts, we believe that it is done out of love, true interest, passion, faith or ideals. It is not always as such. Many times is out of ego, useless expectations, masochism, showing off, fear, thinking what others might say about us.

“I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day.”

-Mother Teresa

Job 39v11

“Will you rely on him for his great strength? Will you leave your heavy work to him? “

Life on earth, including planet earth itself, goes on with us or without us! We need to remember that we are unique, for sure different – yet, equals – still, we are not the keepers of the Universe.

We think that we can have control on our life and we are not wrong to believe so. Certainly, we are capable to make decisions and to create most of our dreams if we put our mind into it!

The question is “What we do when we feel weak and scared?” We remember God! The error is that life becomes more difficult because we do not rely on Him during the good times, the bad ones, the sad ones, the exciting ones, the challenging ones…

We need to rely on Him continuously and in this way our scaring and weak moments will reduce. But how can we trust Him? If He gets too busy? If we are not good enough for Him to act?

How 1Corinthians 13v3 and Job 39v11 are connected?

It is about truly loving and relying on God. When we love a human being, we rely on him, we have expectations. Still, many times we do not rely on such a person, probably we try not to give troubles, not to become a burden, it is a thoughtful act out of love. With God is different. He asks us to rely on Him. When we do so, He can see that we trust Him and believe in Him. When we find it difficult to carry our burdens, God is pleased to do it for us.

So, it is about love, a love that it is more important than supporting the poor or go through unspeakable pain in His name. Our love to Him is the most supreme feeling. Many Christians become Christians when they go through difficulties in life. They go to God with expectations. Few out of them remain true believers. The reason? When the problems go or become familiar, God turns out to be irrelevant. Only those who believed in Him out of true love and cause they are convinced that He is real, He is alive, He is present and absolutely existing, only those keep loving Him and keep relying on Him without judging Him, without question Him – but do ask questions – without blaming Him. They are those ones who rely on Him under any circumstances, day and night!

 

 

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“Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you. Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

                                                                                                                -Psalms 91v9-12

Have you seen the movie directed by Wim Wenders “Wings of Desire”? It is the original on which the unacceptable remake City of Angels was based. Only Wenders could have started with those amazing figures representing angels standing on high buildings looking down, being ready to attend humans. The extraordinary scene in the library where they stand and listen the thoughts and whispers of human beings. They are restless workers. I love this movie, it is a master piece as so many of Wenders.

It is thrilling! Picture it and live it! It is true and only true! There are angels all around. They serve the Lord and you. They guard you, they lift you in their hands as they are commended by the Lord. They stop any plague! I truly believe it and I have experienced it so many times in so many ways.

Yet, there is a CONDITION! “Because you have made the Most High your dwelling…” It is very vividly described. Not only to confess and believe Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, not only to get baptized in water and fire, not only to follow Him, not only to be a vessel for Him, not only to be used according to His plan…BUT Him to be your DWELLING. He is to be your home. Where our heart is, our home is. Where He is, our home is.

Home/house provides protection from the weather and enemies. Home is comfort, the place where we feel relaxed and peace. Home is the place where we eat, sleep, dream, play, dwell. Home is not always the house. Home can be a place, another human. But it is always what our peace, our security, our destiny is. That’s where we keep growing, aging and feel familiar.

It takes some dwelling for enjoying this and next life. Think about it, visualize what it really means “If you make the Most High your dwelling…” and watch His angels to keep working for you, lifting you in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Amen!

 

 

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Our Tutor

 

Kids, youth and sometimes even old lads go through exams at school, College, University and any type of educational system. It is a challenging period and everybody looks forward to its end!

It is the same with the Kingdom of God. Who believes and confesses Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour and Lord, belongs in the Body of Christ. We enter as little babies who drink “milk” and through time we grow, we mature and become adults who eat “meat” (or veggies for some of us!). We know that during our lifetime, we will have troubles, we will have tests, challenges and sometimes tragedies. This is part of our “schooling” in this world. Those tests help us to move to the next level in our faith and into how to serve the Lord.

As we remember when we had exams at school (or still have) and we did our best till we passed to the next year or graduate, similarly happens through the counsel and help of the Holy Spirit. We excel in life and move on to something new that is still creative and productive. We continue to give testimonies regarding God’s glory. We continue witnessing His Majesty.

It is written in Romans 8v22-28:

“We know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

When troubles come, they will shape us but we will not stay long in the trouble thanks to the Spirit who supports us through our weakness and trial. We are not alone through our “exams”. The Lord fights our battles! When we stand with Him, victory follows!

So, stick with the TUTOR and the TUTORIAL BOOK!

We certainly know that creation and creatures are always in labour to succeed survival and move forward. There are wonderful moments in between but “hard work” is the normal. As we grow and we learn through our Tutor how to increase, progress, move forward to His kingdom, still we need to do it with perseverance and endurance. This is the only way. Anything in this life needs perseverance and endurance.

I love the expression that says: “Good things come to those who wait”. My own understanding out of the” Tutorial Book” is that waiting is not sitting and doing nothing but by doing all needed to remain still and let the Tutor to do His own thing.

It is very reassuring to know that the Tutor checks the hearts. The Counsellor who was left with us – the Spirit – is our great helper during this life of perseverance and endurance. We are not left alone. We have a truly personal assistant who knows who we exactly are, each one individually and what we need. It is a great comfort!

It is even more encouraging that we are guaranteed that the Spirit does intercession for each one of us. What we lack, He adds, bringing in what it is needed.

What a nice way to start this week, remembering and acknowledging all that He has already helped us with, giving a huge thank to Him.

 

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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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DSC01185

 

A great day to all of you! Enjoy this day and I pray that we all move one step closer to our Lord and learn bit more about Him, that we praise Him a bit more and worship Him in our hearts and through our lips. I pray that the Holy Spirit continue teaching us, counselling us, guiding us and support us no stop, we need Him and we keep relying on Him and only, in Jesus Name, amen!

Luke 18v1

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Galatians 6v9

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Hebrews 10v25

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

I believe that our Lord clearly tells us that we are/should not be quitters. In fact, He speaks to us not to give up in prayer and keep believing. He says not to give up meeting each other and keep sharing, supporting and encouraging. He instructed us to do good against evil, not to pay evil with evil but with good. In addition, He says not to give up doing so, doing good under any circumstances.

Christian life is not easy but it is not so complicated as some want to present it. There are few basic principles to be followed and when they are followed with a clear, pure heart, victory is on the way, success is there and our success and victory is when the name of the Lord is glorified.

Don’t give up in anything you know that it is from the Lord – for your life, for your community, your nation – no matter what others say. Listen to what the Lord says! Amen!

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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