October 2014


zambian flag20141004_095158

October 2014 was expected to be special for us who call Zambia our home. As a matter of fact October 2014 exceeded our anticipations!

Zambia exists as a nation (One Zambia One Nation) since the 24th October 1964. In the beginning, our region was a without borders area inhabited by various tribes, co-existing, speaking their own languages, having their own traditions and educating their children according to their morals, ethics and knowledge. When a beautiful sunny day the big foot of the Europeans – in our case, the British – stepped in, they designed borders on a map. They named that nation Rhodesia ! Today’s Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe cover the region of ex-Rhodesia. As you understand no Zambia existed before. Zambia is YOUNG at 50!

Great celebrations were organised owing to our Golden Jubilee. Everybody was excited. Artistic and of historical nature exhibitions took place. Each province organised dances, functions, music, food and endless speeches. The greatest fete went on in our new Independence Stadium in the capital, Lusaka. People queued since the previous evening. They slept outside the closed gates waiting the next morning.

During the past 50 years, the nation had five presidents: two died, two in life and the recent one unfortunately in a hospital in U.K. He was not present during the celebrations. Few days later, the nation mourned his death – counting three out of the five. However, our first President and fighter for freedom, Mr K.K. Kaunda at age 91 feels and looks great! Life peculiar, eh?

Thus, one week we celebrated, the next we mourned. Within the week following our Golden Jubilee of freedom from the British Empire, we are paradoxically governed by our Vice President whose parents are an Englishwoman and a Scotsman. According to our Constitution, presidential elections should take place within three months.

Among all those happy and sad moments, my garden had its contribution:

Since beginning of October a particular lily keeps blooming (see photo attached). It was given to me by a friend when I started planting my garden. I thought that it was just greens. I planted it around the biggest and more dominant Acacia tree that exists in the garden. I had no idea that it was a lily.

“So what?” you would say. Look at it and compare the colours to Zambian Flag! Any similarities? Aha! The green symbolises our fertile land, the mustard our superb copper produce, the black for the Zambian people and red representing the blood shed for freedom and independence.

(It might not be clear in the photo but the soil where lilies were planted is black. All colours perfectly in place!)

What a wonderful coincidence! I enjoy looking at them, taking care of them, as I desire to care and give back to Zambia.

Within those 50 years, so much achieved by this nation. I could not be less proud for this land. There is still much to be accomplished. I do trust this nation for a great future. My wish is that I could become a small brick on the pavement of excellence. Sometimes I wonder whether I have loved a person, a thing, a land or anything, more that I have loved this soil…

October is our hottest month and colourful as many others. Rainy season follows the heat. As I drive in Lusaka’s traffic, I pass time – while wait for the front car to move few inches – looking at the beautiful trees that bloom. Those ancient giants are in full purple and orange coloured flower bouquets. One can see tree branches weighted under the load of juicy fruits, fruits freely available to all. People stop and grab “one for the road”.

I love you Zambia, I love your internal and external beauty and as E. Hemingway wrote in the “Green Hills of Africa”, “Where a man feels at home, outside of where he’s born, is where he’s meant to go.”

 

 

 

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Choosing to save lives

20140827_153903Luke 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 judgment 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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Keep seeking…

Today, let’s meditate in two scriptures, one of them my favourite! Here it goes…

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

-Matthew 6v33

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

-Matthew 7v8

I understand that as long as we seek for His Kingdom, all we need in life will be given. Also it is written that who seeks finds. I understand that as long as I seek, I will find eventually. The excuses of the type “but I do love the Lord, I do try to do this and that…but nothing works” seems pale to me. I do agree that things take time to happen. It is part of the process but when somebody has truly received Jesus Christ as the Lord of his/her life and the Holy Spirit lives inside him/her, it can’t than improvements to appear in his/her life. Otherwise the person does not truly seek! I strongly believe that it is as simple as that.

Have we accepted that the Bible is the true word of God and what it is written is true? Otherwise when the above do not take place, it means that the Bible – basically God – lies to us!

I pray that the Holy Spirit continues its work within any true believer and fruits of the faith appear for God’s glory, amen! In Jesus Name!

Love,

Dimitra

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What I saw…

LovingMinistry:

The post below was written almost 3 years ago and within the past 2 years I returned to where “they call it Africa, we call it home” and I am inmthe same status, feeling grateful for all done within so little time and I rejoice!

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

Jeremiah 33v6

“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

Good morning wonderful friends! It is more than a month since our last communication and sharing. I kept thinking of you and praying that you are strong and joyful in Him.

The past month was a period for me to get refreshed, a time for rethinking, reflecting and recreating. I spent that month in a place that I consider my home even if for the past few years I live mostly away from that land. My earthly home is in Zambia. I consider Zambia as Paradise on Earth! Read “Gratitude to Africa” article, you will understand! Still a land so primitive and at the same time being developed and modernized in ways that could be considered beneficial and all at once, ugly into my own…

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We still have a chance!

20140827_153451We read and study the Bible, again and again same scriptures provides new inspiration and guidance comes to our life through the Holy Spirit. Bible is alive! That’s what happened today studying the following verse:

Hosea 11v7-9

“My people are bent on backsliding from Me,

Though they call to the Most High,

None at all exalt Him.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim?

How can I hand you over, Israel?

How can I make you like Admah?

How can I set you like Zeboiim?

My heart churns within Me;

My sympathy is stirred.

I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;

I will not again destroy Ephraim.

For I am God, and not man,

The Holy One in your midst;

And I will not come with terror.

(Note 1: when I started this meditation and study, I was reading the Greek translation. I noticed two differences appearing between the NKJV and the Greek one:

My sympathy is stirred is translated as My internals (all internal organs – σπλαχνα) became emotional (moved in an emotional way).

I will not again destroy Ephraim is I will not destroy Ephraim. (the word again is not present)

I mention those differences as the Greek expressions are emphatic, showing more extreme emotions.

I always struggle with those various translations of the Bible…huge differences at times…anyway, this is another topic.)

The inspiration and guidance reflected at first to who God is. We forget that God is God and not a man. We fail when we try to compare Him to our human nature, habits, and characteristics. I feel that we are trapped every so often due to the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ came in human form and lived on earth.

The second reflection lays on God’s anger. His people had not follow His commandments, they did acknowledge Him to the level to call upon Him but not really worship Him as their master. They did not exalt Him. It was not a true love but a convenient one!

God was angry. Nevertheless, He did a conscious decision not to execute the fierceness of His anger.

(Note 2: for some relevant impetus I would like to refer you to a previous teaching entitled “His wrath or His mercy”.)

The whole picture amazed me. Recently I witnessed conversations debating whether when we are provoked in ways that might lead to inappropriate actions, we ought to remember that we are Christians and ambassadors of God. The debater supported that we do not need to do so as the Holy Spirit lives inside us. It is normal not to have negative feelings with the effect acting inappropriate. Otherwise the Holy Spirit is not within us.

It is a fact that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit but if God Himself thinks and decides when and whether He acts upon His fierceness of His anger, how much more we are “allowed” to remember who we are and block our feelings becoming acts.

We still have a chance! Most of the times it is creative – not to mention obligatory –  to take that chance and do our best through Christ. Remember: we might be the only Bible that one reads. The responsibility is great and not to be taken lightly.

Last but not least, I was reminded and stunned at/by God’s love.

My heart churns within Me;

My sympathy is stirred.

…and His love replaced His ferocious anger. What a God!

 

 

 

 

 

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Grow in wisdom…

Luke 2v52

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.”

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, grew up as other children, he grew within his culture, the physical and social environment. Jesus did not live a Christian life as developed after His death and Resurrection. Jesus lived a life of a Jew, in a Jewish town, with the Jewish culture, food, clothes, happenings and worshipped God, His Father, in a Synagogue.

Still, Jesus was different than other kids, young men or adult men. He grew in wisdom, stature and he was in favour not only of God (His Father) but also with men.

Do you wonder why?

Growing in stature means growing in an achieved level or status. He was not rich, famous as a celebrity or a politician. How he attracted the favour of men? He was just a young boy, unknown, a Jewish young man among so many others.

Still, he was different. We do not know whether was out in the dirt, dusty streets playing with other kids or spending all day studying the scriptures but we know that he grew in wisdom.

There are much written in the Word of God about wisdom, starting from the Old reaching to the New Testament. Wisdom is highlighted again and again.  Why?

Wisdom is the base of all. Wise men asked for wisdom, double portion of wisdom! Not the human wisdom but our God’s wisdom!

Wisdom is not something that could be hidden. Wisdom is seen in our words, our actions, our life style, our thoughts, our choices, our decisions and our deeds. It is said that there are three things that we cannot hide: love, money and cough! I add wisdom!

My prayer to our Father in Heavens is that we go in front of His throne and ask Him for double portion of His wisdom. We know, with no doubt, that what we ask according to His will, He will give us. In Jesus Name, amen!

Love,

Dimitra

 

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A list of beliefs…

zanzibar-be-still1[1]

You have made known to me the path of life;

You will fill me with joy in your presence,

With eternal pleasures at Your right hand.

Psalm 16:11

 

Time, indeed, is a sacred gift,

And each day is a little life.

Sir John Lubbock

 

 I have noticed that there are four basic (and more if we combine the basics) categories of people:

  • The ones living in the past
  • The ones living in the future
  • The ones living for the moment
  • The ones living at the moment

I promised long- long time ago – years ago – that I would live at the moment. I truly felt “awarded” for this decision through time, especially, this past year.

Living in the past means that we focus on what happened in the past, our past experiences and we are missing what’s happening today, at this moment.

Living in the future means that we are dreaming, planning for what will happen next moment, next day, next month, next year or so on. Again we miss what is happening today.

Living for the moment means I do as it comes and as it is convenient today, this second, this moment without conscience of how this will shape life, how will affect beloved ones and the consequences out of it. It is mostly about pleasure and quick fixes.

Living at the moment means to truly live what is happening at this moment, act based on principles, values and doing what is needed to be done without allowing the influence of what happened or will happen or just for the pleasure of the moment. What I do today will influence the future but I do not try to predict the future or just do something that will e.g.  reduce my stress this moment and bring damage later on. It is to really be present without wavering back and forward and fully using the conscience.

Decisions taken and choices chosen which might  seem irrational or difficult or abnormal, were probably not paid back from the source that I was expecting but they did pay pack in a completely unexpected way and from an unexpected source. What we sow, we reap – or as we say: what goes around comes around.

It might appear that my writing today comes out of pride or arrogance, but no! I speak with a humble way, as I have been humbled too many times. I fully acknowledge that all happenings are out of the Grace and Mercy of God Almighty. There are a lot of times that I faced death but I am still alive, not out of my own strength but and only through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”

As I write this post, my mind moves forward, backward, left and right. I started remembering all lessons learnt slowly that I could conclude with a list of what I remembered and reconfirmed:

  • My Master is the Lord and nobody else;
  • Life is difficult, still, the point is what do I do about it (being proactive);
  • One voice is important; one person can bring a lot of changes in this world;
  • I am what I believe, think and eat;
  • Life is long enough to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy each moment but do not become arrogant;
  • Be kind, polite, understanding but not tolerant when I have to stand for the truth;
  • What’s happening today, it will not necessarily be repeated tomorrow;
  • Relationships are of vital importance in our lives; relationships are commitments by definition, otherwise, they  are just casual acquaintances;
  • Commitment is not for ever; it lasts for as long as the relationship lasts; the relationship lasts as long as we want to and work on it; and Commitment is about respecting, behaving with dignity, being honest, straightforward, speak the things with their name and not just moving around them without saying the truth and the important.

You probably make no sense of what I say today, nevertheless inside my heart does make sense. Sometimes, we do not know how to present what our inside converses about, so please forgive me.

P.S.

“The warrior knows an old saying: “if regrets could kill…”

And he knows that regrets can kill; they slowly eat away at the soul of someone who has done something wrong and they lead eventually to self-destruction.

The warrior does not want to die like that. When he acts perversely or maliciously – because he is a man of many faults – he is never too ashamed to ask forgiveness.

If possible, he does his best to repair the wrong he has done. If the injured party is dead, then he does some good turn to a stranger and offers up that deed to the soul that he wounded.

A warrior of light has no regrets, because regrets can kill. He humbles himself and undoes the wrong he has done”

From the “Manual of the Warrior of Light”

By Paulo Coelho

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The desert and the fly…

LovingMinistry:

52 today and one of my most precious experiences which took place just bit more than 10 years ago, May 2004. As I red it, all comes back, same pictures, same thoughts, same feelings, time is a strange thing!

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

My relationship with silence is an adventurous one! I claim that I love silence but the truth is that I do not live in silence. My home and my office are filled with sounds of music or radio conversations or sounds out of TV documentaries, including my own voice when I sing or when I quarrel with my own computer! Yes, I live a single life and I adore silence but somehow, it seems that I do not walk my talk!

However, there are places on our noisy planet that silence reveals itself in glorious ways. One of those places is the desert. I had the privilege to spend three days with the Bedouins in the Sinai Desert. I slept under the stars and on the soft sand. I bathed using water from a 5-litre container and my skin dried before I had any chance to towel my body.

The…

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Love is not pride…

Love is not pride….

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All things are ready…

Matthew 22v4

“Again, he sent out other servants, saying, “Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”

What a God we serve! He says “…and all things are ready”! That’s a true statement! We are all invited to the wedding and to the feast, to the celebration! Wow! Let’s get ready!

As I read the above-mentioned verse, I really get excited, as I do know – out of the remaining verses, chapters and books of the Bible that the dinner was already prepared and all work done on the cross by Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Son of God, the Saviour, God Himself!

Matthew 22v14

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

If you keep reading the verses following Matthew 22v4, you realize the extra miles and efforts that the Lord did, does and will do to bring more and more people in the feast. However, not all the invited ones are willing to participate and that’s how the story ends by “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Some believers misunderstand the meaning of this scripture as they did not coalesce it with others, such as:

1 Timothy 2v3-5

“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

Everybody is invited, Jews and Greeks, Gentiles, free and slaves, men and women…

Due to the fact that God wants all “for many are called”, I understand that all=many are called – not few – however, all called won’t participate in the wedding due to two reasons:

  • Even if they were called/invited, they declined and never went;
  • They did accept and went to the wedding but without the truth into their hearts…with the wrong outfit!

The Lord read our hearts and not our appearances. We cannot fake it! Or we love Him and go prepared and with all our heart and willingness or not! There is no secret kept from Him! The ones whose heart is not at the right place, even if they had been called together with everybody else, they would not cross the door, they won’t be chosen!

That’s the truth and it was told in all honesty and written in black and white in our Bible!

Verily, everything was done and has been prepared by our God and our Lord. It was finished on the cross and fully implemented through His resurrection. He has done His part and He has given us plenty opportunities to reconcile and follow a different path in our life, to walk along the path with Him and to reach the end together.

Have we done our part? This is the question to be asked and to be answered! Whether we are chosen for the feast is absolutely depended upon us and ONLY from our walk and decisions taken by us, choices made by us…

The table is ready!

 

 

 

 

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