People do what works…

People do what works…A true statement!

Nevertheless, each coin has two sides and what works might have two natures: the beneficial nature and the non-beneficial one.

People do what works. When we observe other people life including ours, we see that there are patterns in our life, patterns that we repeat and we repeat them because they work for us. It does not mean that the patterns are beneficial into our life. Let’s say that I am in an difficult relationship/friendship and I keep going with it. My excuse is that I love that person or that as a Christian, I need to persevere and show my “good” character…for as long as it goes. The result is that I destroy my life plus that I neither help the other person. I do stay in the relationship because it works for me, the rest are just excuses. It works because I get something out of it even if it is self-punishment/self-harm.

That’s how life goes on and we keep doing what it works – goods or bads. A twist in all these is what the scripture says to us:

James 2:18-19

“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble!”

Concerning our faith, we do know that we are saved by grace and not by work. At the same time, we cannot claim that we have faith and not produce works. They go together! When our stony heart is replaced by a fleshy heart where the word of God is written on it, there is no way that our works will not be for benefit. When our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, there is no way that the Spirit won’t change bit by bit each cell of our soul!

It is a fact that satan and demons do know God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – they acknowledge Him. So, what’s the difference?

The difference is that satan and demons want to take power from God and become God, when we submit under the power of God and recognize Him as our God, Lord and Saviour. Do the maths! Obviously, our works must be completely different than satan’s!

I consider my works as a guideline not of my salvation but of where I stand in faith, where I stand as a believer, where I stand in front of God. I need to reflect continuously – not with   guilt – on my works and change my ways when I need to through the strength of Jesus. My works can show me where my heart truly is.

I pray that you have a great day, a wonderful week, full of His mercies, grace and favour, in the name of Jesus Christ and for His sake, amen!

Love,

Dimitra

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Achieved through Grace

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 -Maya 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

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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Jesus and Samaritans

samaritans and jesusThis blog has entered its sixth year of existence. The supportive and faithful readers of LovingMinistry’s blogs know my passion with peace and search of harmonious ways, if possible. I believe that unconditional love is directly connected with peace. Unconditional love is not accepting abuse in the name of love. It does mean that while protecting one’s self at the same time one might extend a peaceful act towards the “opponent”! It can be a blessings and prayers, it can be a peaceful way of communication when it is creative or cover needs when it is possible.

Who is the “opponent” within our environment, community, workplace, family and friends? Obviously, anyone who attacks, manipulates, abuses, harms us in any physical, emotional and spiritual way. Also, “Enemy” – by many – is considered anyone who believes otherwise. “Enemy” is of another ideology, philosophy, culture. In few: the one who is different as we feel that s/he maltreats our “stability” and/or might, a probability of harm.

The platform of faith has to present great debates, great wars, great contradictions, great worries and discriminations.

Jesus Christ was not worried too much. We have examples in the Bible where He met people, such as Samaritans. Who the Samaritans were? Faithful Jews kept away from Samaria and Samaritans. Jesus, our Lord, was a Jew.

In Luke as He speaks in parables, He used a Samaritan to be the good guy! Strange eh! That’s from where the expression of the Good Samaritan comes. We are at the point that a man was injured by thieves and nobody cared for him except a Samaritan! Read:

Luke 10v33-34

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he st him on his own animal. Brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

Later on He met ten leper men. He healed them but only one returned to praise Him and give thanks.

Luke 17v11,16

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

(…that’s where He met the lepers…one comes back…)

“and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”

We see that Jesus Christ, at first, went through Samaria, not a practice of a Jew. In addition, He healed without asking who was who and strange enough it was the “bad” guy who humbled himself and gave Him the glory. The Samaritan.

We read in John’s Gospel:

John 4v4,7,9

“But He needed to go through Samaria.”

….

“A woman in Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”

….

“Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jew have no dealings with Samaritans.”

Truly, the Lord, turned the world upside down: healing Samaritans, passing through Samaria, using Samaritan for a good example. Not to forget that He healed during Sabbath…Genuinely radical!

Jesus Christ had no problem to speak parables, moreover good stories regarding Samaritans. He had no issue to go through Samaria when He had to, without changing His plans. He did not criticize the Samaritans. He had great conversations with them or about them, He did not feel threatened or minimized by doing so. He performed miracles upon them. In fact, I believe, He saw each Samaritan for who s/he was without contemplating any past experience or history between the people and according to laws.

I love Jesus, He is great! The true one to follow and honestly many times I loath in listening to teachings, preaching, acts and prayers based on personal insecurities and fears than on who really the Lord is, what He teaches and what He acts upon. The “suffocation” of His word truly breaks my heart.

Always remember that we live in the time of grace, grace we received, grace we give. Amen!

 

 

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FREEDOM

charlie 1

IN LIGHT THERE IS NO DARKNESS, IN FREEDOM THERE IS NO TERRORISM AND EXTREMISM, WE ARE FREE TO SPEAK, TO BELIEVE, TO EXPRESS, TO LIVE OUR DREAMS.
FREEDOM ENDS WHEN HARM STARTS.
WE OUGHT TO BE PEACEMAKERS AND NOT DESTROYERS, TO DIALOGUE AND NOT KILL, TO RESPECT AND NOT FORCE.

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HOLY SPIRIT, WHAT I UNDERSTAND…

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

Hello!

Please, click on the link below and the whole book will load. Enjoy!

HOLY SPIRIT, WHAT I UNDERSTAND 2

Dimitra Savvidou

the author

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“LITTLE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT LIFE” – New e-book by Dimitra Savvidou

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

Little Thoughts for a Great LifeHello!

Please, click on the link below and the whole book will load. Enjoy!

LITTLE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT LIFE PDF A

Dimitra Savvidou

the author

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2014 – 2015

20141219_171704

BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO ALL FAMILY, FRIENDS, BROs AND SISs, to the whole world. Remember that Christmas is not about santa clauss, cooking, gifts or family, it is about Jesus Christ…that’s why we call it Christ-mas!

For 2014 my word was humility, for 2015 is creativity!

My prayer for 2015 is not only health, joy and love but for less oppression, freedom to worship as one decides, equality, respect to human rights for all, true FREEDOM inside and outside one’s self, true love for TRUTH with no deception and manipulation.

Love to all, my prayers and thoughts with you!

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Still will rain…

LovingMinistry:

Rainy season, amen!

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

Still raining...

Hosea 6v3

Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the
rain,
Like the latter
and former rain to the earth.”

Hosea chapter 6 is really something to read well and put some thought in it, through the Holy Spirit! I love the word “pursue”. This word has emphasis in it; it has strength and for sure it has action!

There are different opinions in the world such as that some books in the Bible are more important or more “juicy” than others, some of them too mysterious and challenging for common people to read and understand. However, remember that He left the Bible to us to keep learning and growing, so how the above opinions could be true?

Looking at a sunrise, early in the morning, can remind us…

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Do everything and stand!

LovingMinistry:

A VERY BASIC PRINCIPAL OF OUR FAITH! IT IS ABOUT TRUST!

Originally posted on LovingMinistry.AlmostDaily:

It is written in Ephesians 6v13

“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and afteryouhavedone everything, to stand.”

What is “after you have done everything, to stand”? A lot of times, we talk too much. We ask the Lord for this and that, we continue begging, crying, asking…with no stop! Do we need to do so? I do not think so. The Lord is very clear through His instructions: we have a physical, emotional, spiritual need? We can put it in prayer, believe that He heard and wait with thanksgiving to receive it. As simple as that. We ask; we fast (if the Holy Spirit asks for it); we continue giving thanks as if we have received it already and that’s all. As we have done all, then we stand, then we are…

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