The cleansing power of fire

Over the past few weeks I’ve taken time out to get rid of everything that has come to the end of its life.

Firstly, I took about twelve years of diaries and burnt every page in an afternoon.

Sitting in my backyard by my fire pit tearing page after page of my life and throwing them into the fire. Every now and then I took a glimpse of something that was written and can’t believe how much I went through in those twelve years.

The memory has an amazing ability to take you places and revisit experiences. It was an interesting afternoon watching those papers go up in smoke.

At the end all that was left were ashes, a very small pile of ashes.

The takeaway for me was simple. I now have an opportunity to write the next twelve years of my life with a fresh outlook.

The next thing that I did was chop down a pile of branches from my olive trees. Branches that were growing too high to reach the olives and branches that were dead.

I did the same thing as my diaries. Over an afternoon while my wife and I did gardening, I took out the same fire pit that turned my diaries into ashes and committed these olive branches to the fire.

At the end of the afternoon, all those branches that took up valuable space in my yard disappeared. Just a small pile of ashes were left behind.

I took those ashes and threw them into a compost heap getting them ready to come back to life. In the coming months all those remains will be invested back into my garden for a new season of growth.

The takeaway was simple, we carry way too much that weighs us down. Our minds get cluttered with unreachable goals. We carry dead wood around everywhere.

When we take time to declutter our minds of things that don’t give us life, commit those things to the fire. Whatever remains, throw into the ground and believe for new opportunities to come to life.

Jesus said “If you try to save your life you’ll lose it. But if you lose your life for my sake you’ll find it”

We hold onto way too much trying to make sense of it all, rather than let go and let God make sense out of what’s left.

I pray you have an amazing day and start thinking of decluttering your life back into meaning.

In an age where we get instant information, very few find instant answers.

The modern world with all its ease, it still doesn’t have the ability to calm the soul.

We get to work faster, achieve a lot more, run from one meeting to another and still feel we’ve accomplished nothing.

WHY?

We are all created in the image of God, yet through false and poisonous mindsets we rob ourselves of all God intended for us.

What is a MINDSET?

Simplest meaning : Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation.

An even simpler meaning is our mind begins to form beliefs likened to concrete being poured into moulds. Once the concrete is set, it becomes irreversible. It no longer is pliable or fashioned into a greater belief.

Faith changes everything!

It was Paul the Apostle who described faith that changes everything. He said “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

The word substance can also be interpreted as assurance.

Faith is like a title deed to a property transaction. It’s proof of ownership.

Faith activates what is ours if we claim it as it’s rightful owner. Faith produces hope, confidence, a miraculous change of mind.

Old mindsets are literally removed and new beliefs are set in their place.

Faith in what?

Faith in God’s promises, starting with salvation through Jesus Christ. Building our lives on a solid foundation first.

Just having faith alone with no foundations creates a roller coaster life that has extreme highs and lows yet without meaning.

Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except though me”

One of the greatest mistakes I’ve done in my forty plus years of faith was to compromise where I place my faith.

People let us down

Governments let us down

Our own intuition let us down

Repositioning where we place our faith restores our ability to build lifelong relationships without bitterness and suspicion. It also helps us with uncertainties of government and social disruption. More importantly it hones our intuition through the eyes of a gracious, loving and merciful God.

If you have never considered placing your faith in Jesus but you are sick and tired of false and poisonous mindsets that are holding you back, just pray and ask God to show you the way.

As for me, my faith is not for sale. I’ve been to the dark side and back and I put my trust in Jesus.

I pray 🙏 you have an awesome day and take hold of God’s assurance.

A Miracle, one way of defining it,

an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.

Another way of explaining it from my perspective,

I was exhausted trying to figure out how to put my life in order. I had achieved everything I wanted or thought I wanted, and I was left empty.

I got the girl, the family, the house, the career, the sky was the limit. At the top of the mountain all I saw were an endless amount of valleys without meaning and more mountains to climb. Life is more than a vicious loop, life had to have more meaning then endless struggle.

As a young person I had always believed in God, but that alone didn’t mean anything. Believing in God merely increased my yearning to know why I existed. Not to believe seemed easier, but I couldn’t ever bring myself to deny God’s existence.

When I heard the gospel of Jesus for the first time, my heart identified with its complete message.

We are born sinners, all of us.

We are created in the image of God, all of us.

We all need to accept the gift of God’s salvation through faith if we are to experience God’s forgiveness and peace, all of us.

Jesus bridged the gap between mankind and God when He died on the cross.

It will take a lifetime to try and grasp what that actually means and still be light years from its meaning.

If I could explain my miracle, it wouldn’t be a miracle. All I know is, I was lost but now I’m found.

Being a Christian doesn’t make me any better than anyone else. Being a Christian simply reveals to the world around me that I am free from the debt of sin. I don’t have to spend the rest of my life trying to be good, I am free from the grind of the endless cycle of meaninglessness.

Jesus died to pay for our debt of sin. Jesus rose from the dead to give me and anyone else who believes in Him the right to be a Son & a Daughter of God.

Here’s the promise of the miracle that can take place in your heart.

The ancient scriptures promise ‘If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved’.

I believe in miracles, I am one.

Many of you are large trees planted in small pots and it’s killing your soul. You must expand your horizons in order to discover your place in the Master’s garden.

My wife transplanted a lemon tree from a large barrel pot into the garden a few days ago. The tree thrived for a season in the large barrel but turned for no apparent reason. When my wife removed it from the large barrel, it was evident, this tree was destined for far greater things. Unfortunately the large wine barrel, all be it beautiful, it was killing it. The roots had nowhere to go.

What is confining and defining you? You are more than what’s on the surface!

God has called you to far greater things than being an ornamental and perhaps a frustrated lemon tree planted in the wrong space.

Perhaps it’s time to consider being an insignificant but incredibly fruitful tree in a prosperous garden rather than a large tree in a small pot?

You are who you associate with.

I’ll leave you with that thought.

Your brother in Christ

Tom Smilovitis

Men often don’t equip their children to talk from the heart in fearless transparency.

This morning I reflected on my dad’s last words to me when I was 31 years old, after an operation that didn’t fare well.

He said “I’m not coping!” Gasping for air with honest fear in his eyes.

I reacted harshly to him in disbelief that he was fading away within minutes. He died just like that and I missed out on so much about the real Dimitri Smilovitis.

I carried that anger with me for many years, dad survived hell, why couldn’t he just beat cancer.

Being raised by a man who coped with stress by not talking, or by winning every argument through intimidation, or being dismissive didn’t help me in my relationships that mattered most.

Don’t get me wrong, he was a brilliant father, I just never got to know the real man behind all that bravado.

I became brilliant at my work because I held my stress in. I used it to manipulate others, and unfortunately I developed an incredible ability to always get my way. Some call this leadership or an influencer. I’d suggest it was and is passive aggressive behaviour that made me very sick emotionally.

Stress always has to find an outlet!

The ones I hurt most were my family and loved ones. The best thing that ever happened to me was failure. I fell from my lofty self into the Grace of God some years back.

Don’t let stress ruin all your hard work and best intentions by not knowing how to communicate better with those we love.

What I would do just to have a drink with my dad and pick his brains about things that matter. Being open is not easy but it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

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