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“I wanted to be forever surrounded in comforting darkness. In the dark I could pretend that the chugging of the train was the heartbeat of someone I knew, in the dark I could be anywhere, with anyone, because darkness is the same wherever you go.”

(Gem Squash Tokoloshe, by Rachel Zadok, p.246, Pan Books, 2005)

I read this book recently and even I did not really like it, I found the above paragraph so enlightening. When it was discussed in the Book club some readers felt that it was a dark book. There were those spirits and fairies. Darkness is connected with bad, with mystery, with anonymity, with dark spirits, evil, danger.

I never thought that darkness is “comforting”. Though, as I read it, I truly felt that it is amazing and real! How many times during my life I did feel comfort into darkness. It allowed me to hide, to think, to reflect, to lick my wounds.

The Lord has created nothing to go in waste or to be useless. Do you know that tobacco is a very beneficial plant? Thinking that smoking is an unhealthy habit, we ignore tobacco. When you are cut, open a cigarette get out some tobacco and put on the cut, it stops the bleeding or spread it around your garden, termites dislike it!

We ought to be more open and learn without bias.

1 John 1v6

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

Yet, there are two kind of darkness, the physical one and the spiritual one. The Bible speaks a lot about darkness and light. We need to remember that we, followers of Christ, we are (and should be) the light of the world.

The physical darkness, as I said above, it can be convenient and comforting when we need to heal, to reflect. It can be used in a beneficial way. Don’t forget that many hours during the 24hrs day, it is dark. We rest, we sleep, humans and the majority of the creation. When we have a painful headache, we need some darkness to rest, to heal. This darkness was created by God Almighty and it has its purpose; do not reject it!

When we “walk in darkness” is about where our spirit is, how our spiritual life stands. In the spiritual world, darkness has no benefit at all. It is a truly dark place that depresses, oppresses, steals and kills.

Ephesians 5v8

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”

1 John 1v5

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”

It is clear, crystal clear, that God is light so anything or anyone who is not light cannot claim is God. Whoever loves God, received the Holy Spirit to live inside him/her, cannot be other than light.

Light has shades, when it is dusk, the light is smooth, small, and colourful but still weak as it breaks the darkness. That’s how we are: we are light but not perfect, we make mistakes; we do sin and walk our own path, at times. Still, we are light, we reflect the light from Christ, it is not our own and through forgiveness we go back to His path. The main Light is Christ, we get from Him not by acts but by grace.

So, how do we light? We are the light of the world but how someone knows so? If it is not through works that we get the light from Christ, so what…we just sit there and we light like a solar lamp? Is it that a bright light comes out of our flesh?

I do not think so. It is our acts which reflect the light. When we have light inside us, our talk, our attitude, our joyful face, our relaxed movements, our good deeds, our offerings, and our care for our self and towards others, our sweetness and our trust reveal light!

When we are light, we act as light! We bring warmth, we bring hope, we bring care and we carry truth. It will eventually reflect to others! People might not know what it is that we manifest but they feel it!

I believe that the truth about light and darkness can be our guideline to clearly comprehend what we need to include in our life, what to avoid, how to look at our self and check our life, how to grasp what is from our Heavenly Father and what to follow.

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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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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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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20140827_153903

Luke 9v54b-56a

“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.

“For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

The disciples were very passionate men. Do you agree? The Lord speaks to His disciples and clarifies violence and peace in a solid way. The disciples motivated by the actions during the Old Testament era want to use their authority bringing violence-oriented solution than a peace-making one. They are obviously influenced and guided through the scriptures out of the Books of the Old Testament, as so many Christians of today do.

This teaching seems and is very relevant to a previous one, the “His full wrath or His mercy?”

I like the reaction of Jesus Christ! He rebuked them! He did not advise them, He did not just explained. He really wanted to shake them, so they do not forget. By this time, they had spent rather much time with Him. They should have known better!

“You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” What a respond, what a declaration! That was the problem with the disciples – and so many of Christians today. We are not of the world, we are not of the Old Testament era. We are of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are of the New Testament era, the era of Grace and not of Wrath/condemnation. Truly, the time of separation and judgement will come. Then again, we are not still there.

Our God is not a god of violence. We respond to evil with good and kindness. The end of this world as we know it will come and it will come in a violent way. Yet, the violence that exists in our days is not of God but of Satan who tries to kill, steal and destroy.

We are of a certain manner of spirit. We should not forget that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ while on earth as the Son of Man was never violent against men. He acted violent when He destroyed the tables in the Temple but He did not violate any human being. Instead, He received violence upon Him with no complains. He kept ceasing His disciples to act violent in more than one occasions.

Many read the following verse

Matthew 10v34

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

and they feel free to forcefully act upon others or justify acts of war and violence. They combine it with two other ingredients: the fierce acts within Old Testament era and the truth that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. A good receipt to manipulate the Word and cover insecurities, fears and personal violent nature. They need to read the verses before and after to understand the context where Matthew 10:34 applies.

It speaks about separation due to faith, it speaks about persecution at individual level within families or expanding within communities and so forth. We, believers, are and will be violated, treated with no peaceful way. It is not us to act as such.

We do not have peace due to others or to circumstances. We have peace because we are one with Him, He gives us peace, a peace that is not of the world. He gives us His peace and teaches us how to keep it. He teaches us how to be peacemakers not war makers.

As we already read: “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

The Lord came to save lives spiritually, providing redemption and reconciliation. Still, at the same time He provided physical salvation/healing through all the miracles He performed. He did so that they did not suffer as He had compassion on them. He did it to glorify the Father.

I believe that our work is to imitate Jesus. Choosing to save lives than destroying them through violent and manipulating teachings, decisions, acts that have nothing to do with the manner of the spirit we are of.

Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Friends travel together through life…no matter the transportation, D.S. ©

 

I do not know about you but talking about my life, I have to say that friends are so important. When still an atheist, friends were the number one in my life. Since I became a Christian, God is number one and very, very close my friends follow.

I can’t imagine how my life would have been if not with my friends. I always try to respect them and stay loyal to them. True friends remain passionate for each other even when they have not seen each other for long time. When they meet… is like no time passed by!

What friendship means? Is it an important relationship in our life? Can we exist without friendship? What is the definition of friendship?

Searching back in time we can locate the first definition of friendship through the writings of wise ancient Greek philosophers (philosopher = a word that means “friend of wisdom”. Philia means friendship in Greek, Sophia is wisdom = do the maths!)

Checking in Wikipedia under Aristotle & Philia, we read:

“Aristotle gives examples of Philia including:

“young lovers (1156b2), lifelong friends (1156b12), cities with one another (1157a26), political or business contacts (1158a28), parents and children (1158b20), fellow-voyagers and fellow-soldiers (1159b28), members of the same religious society (1160a19), or of the same tribe (1161b14), a cobbler and the person who buys from him (1163b35).”[2]

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle defines the activity involved in Philia as:

“Wanting for someone what one thinks good, for his sake and not for one’s own, and being inclined, so far as one can, to do such things for him” (1380b36–1381a2)”

And when we look at Friendship, we read:

“In recent times, it is postulated that modern American friendships have lost the force and importance they had in antiquity. C.S.Lewis for example, in his The four Loves writes:

To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves; the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it. We admit of course that besides a wife and family a man needs a few ‘friends’. But the very tone of the admission, and the sort of acquaintances which those who make it would describe as ‘friendships’, show clearly that what they are talking about has very little to do with that Philía which Aristotle classified among the virtues …”

Apologies if I overwhelmed you with too much information. It was necessary, as it seems that in our days everybody searches for a friend but we have forgotten what friendship is and how it is applied – at least, in some cultures and societies.

Friendship takes two! It is like tango: it takes two to tango! As any other relationship, it does take two committed people, it does take effort, it does take communication and mostly, it does take LOVE!

Who taught us to be friends? Nobody! We learnt on the way and so many times, we got it wrong!

Aristotle told us what Friendship is. He gave us its definition. The very true and interesting observation is that friendship is not a limited love. It is an Unconditional Love. It is attached to lovers, nations, towns, colleagues, neighbours, churches, mosques, synagogues, tribes and clans. Friendship exists within other relationships. There is friendship between couples (not only lovers or parents), between co-workers, between believers. Any other kind of Love includes the meaning of Friendship.

Though, it is the Lord who comes to teach us what friendship is, through that amazing book called Bible – the written word of God:

What can we learn?

  • To be called friend IS IMPORTANT;

James 2v23

“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”

ü  We share important things, small and big with friends;

John 15v15

“…no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

  • Friends are not only important, they are a necessity in life;

Ecclesiastes 4v10

“If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

  • A true friend is a friend forever, especially through the difficult times. A true friend is more important than blood or just a fellow believer;

Proverb 18v24

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

  • A friend acts in a certain way, as described below;

Proverb 17v17

“A friend loves at all times…”

John 15v13

“Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The last scripture speaks tons! That’s how Jesus proved that He is our friend: He gave His life for us.

As we meditate on the above, let’s think – be honest – whether we have truly loved our friends, whether we have appreciated them and let them know that we have. (Keep remembering that friendship needs feeding, independently of its length in time.)

Let’s remind our self that the closest and greater friend we have is Jesus. Do we truly appreciate Him? Do/will/have we really give (n) our life for our Friend?

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