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Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

1ST JAN 2016

Dear readers, Happy, Blessed 2016! It is here, it has arrived! I thank God for 2015, it was a great year, I learnt a lot, I finished unfinished business, I did different choices and definitely I grew emotionally, spiritually, mentally and aged gracefully.

2016 will be a year full of adventures in any level and I look forward to each day of all 366 days, yes, it is a leap year so it must be special! Why? No, no, I am not superstitious! I will have one more day to create something new and locate it within 2016. I am also happy for all those people who were born on 29th of February, so this year they can have a proper birthday celebration!

Simplicity is important in my life and I pursue it in my best ability. I believe that within the next 12 months I will learn new ways to simplify, I will understand my needs and wants in a new light and simplicity will become a stronger foundation in my life, by God’s grace and mighty hand.

I send my love to all of you. I am looking forward to share all next 366 days with you!

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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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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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one people

D.S.©

I am the only white person in the Church I attend. In fact, I am the only semi brown one …after years of healthy sun bathing! You understand that I stand as the fly in the milk!

Last Sunday, a visitor Pastor did delivered the message, a message regarding the Passover, the unleavened bread and the yeast. I had heard him one more time in the past. We do not know each other. I know he is a Pastor, married with two kids, an Eastern Province Zambian – I assume it due to his name – and that’s all I know. I think that he knows nothing about me except my sex, my skin colour and my external physiognomic characteristics.

During his preaching he approached me and as he needed to highlight a point, he said “our people” he turns to me “ I don’t know about your people” …I interrupted him firmly saying “we are one people”; he repeated with a question point “one people?” and then went on with his point.

People assume about other people as they see their external, the place they are, the environment, their origin or their occupation. Wrong! Each one is unique as our fingerprints are. We cannot assume. We need to know and when we don’t, to ask, to search first and then address the other. I remember another brother inviting me to their home’s Bible study, highlighting that their road was tarmacked recently …assuming that as I am a woman or a white (semi brown!) woman, I would have problem to drive to a less privileged area. Only if he knew places I have driven to and from, thousands upon thousands of Km, places I have slept, places I had meals, foods I have eaten…

Don’t misunderstand me, I do not feel discriminated (even if I could have good reasons to!) or offended in any way. Indeed it is a trigger to write this article and encourage all of us to think twice before we assume.

I remember the story I read years ago, a story that stayed with me and always makes me to stop and think before I assume, before I explode, before I judge. A man travels in a subway train when another man enters from a station accompanied by his 4 children. The kids are really noisy, running up and down. Their father sits next to the man, so the man asked him why he doesn’t discipline his kids but allow them to be so annoying and noisy. The father responds that he is right but he doesn’t know how to do it, they had just lost their mother.

You see, we cannot know. Sometimes we cannot know details regarding people close to us, our own families, our friends. At times, we might have no clue interpreting our own self and we are just base life and opinions on assumptions.

Making the point the each one is unique and generalizations would never help, at the same time, I need to highlight that we keep being One People! Especially speaking about the Christian community. We might have our own backgrounds, identities, cultures, fingerprints but from the moment we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour we begin receiving a new identity, a new culture, new mind, new characteristics. Yes, it is a process, still, we cannot see each other as different; we see each other unique yet the same. Would you go to say to the guy from your own town, “my people – your people”? I don’t think so. That’s how we need to see each other, as same people with unique personalities. We live under the same Spirit, we follow same commends and instructions, we follow same destination despite our diverse gifts and work in the Kingdom of God.

God see as identical to each other, we are His heirs! I think that it is time for us to stop seeing the outside thus focus on the inside of all us who are One People. Amen!

1Corinthians 1v3

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

 

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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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achieved through grace

Lake Flores, Tikal, Guatemala D.S.©

Once upon a time, a “little girl” found herself into the jungle of Central America. She discovered an amazing world, so different from the West World or Africa she knew. Yes, that “little girl” was I! Not really too little…however, much younger than today!

I never thought that my life could have turned to such a blessing that had started already few years afore my life in Central America but reaching there, experiencing that beauty and history was completely out of what I had ever planned.

Few years previously departing from Zambia to Belize, turning the pages of National Geographic I was absorbed by some beautiful frescos paintings. I read the article and discovered the artistic beauty of Mayan Civilization but never comprehend the reality till I witnessed them with my own eyes! Reading the article, I remember, I said to my friend: “Aha, one day I desire to see those frescos.” Life continued, frescos were stored into my sub-conscious knowledge.

When I had to give up what I knew and did, moving thousand miles away, flying through 3 continents, a trip that at times took up to 3 days. My life and work had moved to Central America and as I onset discovering the neighbourhood, yes, I commenced experiencing the jungle, the secret falls, the butterflies by millions, iguanas, amazing fruits and seafood, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and above all Chiapas province. Not to mention the Caribbean coast. Wow, what a beauty!

I met God in His different environment, I grew spiritually in an unforeseen way. It was that period that I truly understood what Grace is and how we achieve through Grace. His Grace got me to Bomanaque in Chiapas of Mexico where those unique – and the only surviving  Mayan frescos existed. True, I travelled just before I left Belize to my next assignment as His grace opened the way to go. When I had expressed that desire to see those frescos, though I had forgotten it, He did not. He heard that small talk and kept a note. I lived in Central America for two whole years but the political and security situation in Chiapas was still very unbalanced, travel was not recommended, in some cases not allowed.

When I realized where I was and discovered the Maya Routa, I could not imagine not to reach at Bomanaque. Few weeks before the end of my working contract, the way opened and the travel was possible. Climbing the Mayan hills, the Mayan pyramids’ steps, reaching closer and closer to those rooms that accommodated the frescos, my heart was beating fast. Each step I walked was unbelievable. How all happened? How all achieved! His grace is unlimited.

Once a friend was sad upon an issue. Her close friend told her not to worry and be sad, there are so many serious problems in the world. The other friend responded: “everyone understands his/her own pain, we cannot compare”.

It is the same with our miracles and achievements in life. Something that seems insignificant to one might be a great deal for another.

Reading the bible I come often across the same expression: the grace of the Lord be with you.

1Corinthians 1v3

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

God has given a purpose to each human who lived, lives, will live on earth. We are not here for no reason. Each human is to contribute something, all important, no big or small. It is so essential to know our purpose, our gifts and how to apply them.

Purpose cannot stand by itself. What’s the meaning of knowing the purpose and have no achievements? We need to achieve in order to build confidence, to understand our worth, to contribute. Purpose is only a vision, the achievement is the actual impact.

Human nature exists to achieve and when an achievement is completed, a new task rises in human hearts and brains. It is an unstoppable human capacity.

It is 1Corinthians 1v3 that clarifies what we need to achieve: Grace and Peace!

Think about it:

Peace maintains stability, stability provides consistence, and consistence drives to progress till all done.

Grace opens the door to possibility, to knowledge, to know how to achieve, provides wisdom and protection.

Both peace and grace can be seen! Humans who carry grace and peace, cannot hide it. Others can see it in their attitudes, face, body language, and environment.

So, let’s keep praying for grace and peace! 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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