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Welcome 2012!

Faith and Hope for a ‘New’ Year

JESUS My Lord and Savior  © All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond                                    

How often we celebrate a New Year thinking, and yes, praying…Please let this year be better than the last one.

No matter our beliefs, we all want to let go of the pressures, sorrows, disappointments and stress of the old…in hopes of revival, renewal, refreshment for the new. Though we know there will be challenges, we press forward in renewed hope that the New Year will bring resolve, peace, solutions, reconciliations and new beginnings.

What distinguishes Christian hope from worldly hope?

Christian hope is intricately connected to faith in God and His perfect will in all things. Worldly hope is in people, circumstances, and luck.

My New Year prayer for you, and for me…

May 2012 bring a year of new beginnings in the depth of your hope and faith in God’s promises, purposes, and perfect will for you and your loved ones. May you not be conformed to this world, but choose to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. May His anointed word truly be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. May He continually sanctify you, making you holy by His  truth and teaching you His word. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. May you wait upon Him with renewed strength; mount up with wings as eagles; run, and not be weary; walk, and not faint. May you always seek His face, and in all things submit to the leadings of His indwelling Holy Spirit, who He placed in your heart. May you grow in purity, understanding, patience and kindness. May you love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your strength. May your New Year be blessed with an overflowing abundance of His  love, wisdom and discernment. May you glorify His Name and praise Him in all things. And…may you finish well dear one.

**Click links below for more NEW YEARS related posts on this blog**

Christmas in the post-War United States

The Last Christmas Tree

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©Anastasia Diamond

It was Christmas Eve when Daddy put the big homemade star on top of our humble, but brightly lit tree. We happily joined hands: mother, father, brothers, and sisters…smiling and singing Christmas carols…round and round we went, encircling our special little tree. Little did we know…it was our father’s last Christmas tree…and a precious gift to his children.

Filled with anticipation and excitement, my father, brother and I went tree shopping earlier that night. Why did we wait so long? Money, or…rather, lack of money. Our father knew his five children would not have a Christmas tree if we had gone any sooner. Daddy said, “We’ll go late and get one we can afford.” I was only about 6 years old, but already understood we surely didn’t have a lot of earthly things some others had…especially money.

I felt a little embarrassed listening to my father humbly telling the tree man he didn’t have any money. However, I was over-come with true joy when the man charged daddy only 25¢ for that little tree. I was filled with pride and all the joy my little heart could hold. We must have made quite a sight. Two small children and their daddy happily trudging through the snow; carrying our precious Christmas tree through the city streets, and up four flights of stairs to our cold-water flat.

My favorite Christmas carol was then…and is now, Away in a Manger.

Remember…like the Christ child, true Christmas joy comes bundled in little, humble, sweet, unselfish, acts and gifts. Let us not be embarrassed at what our Father has offered to do for us through the gift of His Son, Jesus. He came, to buy our salvation with His blood…paid in full, from a child born in a stable, who died on a cross. Jesus is the most precious gift of all…at no charge, from our loving Father. May we all choose to open our hearts and accept His priceless Christmas gift.

Read about the birth of Jesus: Matthew 1:18-25

MORE Christmas posts on this blog:

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/is-jesus-knocking-at-the-inn-of-your-heart-this-christmas/

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/the-very-best-christmas-present/

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/christmas-what-and-why-we-celebrate/

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/christmas-joy-to-the-world-proclaim-jesus%E2%80%A6yesterday-today-and-forever/

ZOE LIFE INSPIRED 2012 Daily Devotional

JESUS my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond

Just in time for the New Year!

 

I am honored to be one of 54 writers

in the beautiful, inspirational

 416 page hard cover 

 

ZOE LIFE INSPIRED 2012 Daily Devotional

 

366 Days of Inspiration (It is Leap Year!)


A Life Empowered is Zoe Life Inspired

 

  • Introducing the 2012

    Zoe Life Inspired Writers!

  • Aisha Smith-Thompson…………Jacquelin Priestley

  • Aja Porter………….Joyce Gilmer

  • Alfanette Rice-Mays…………..Joyce Y. Jones

  • Ana E. Chambers…………..Karen Deslandes

  • Anastasia Diamond………….Kelvin Williamson

  • Anita P. Latin………….Kim Weaver

  • Anna Simone Moon…………..Linda L. Smith

  • Anthony Chambers………….Lori Bryant

  • Ayanna Blackmon-Balogun…………..Mal Nicholson

  • Beryl Rooks………….Marcia Murphy

  • Bill Nicholson………….LT Colonel Melvin L. Myers

  • Brinetta Thomas…………..Michelle Wilson

  • Carolyn Watson…………..Miriam Moore-Hunter

  • Cathy Naylor…………..Pedro Nicado

  • Charles E. Chambers…………..Ratibu Jacocks

  • Chiquita Tillman…………..Raylene Murphy

  • Clarissa Pearson…………..Regina Williamson

  • Claudia Epperson………….RJ Jackson

  • Dante Marks………….Roy Guilford

  • David N. Chambers…………..Sam Maze

  • Donna Williams…………..Sharon Terrell-Brown

  • Erika R. Godfrey…………..Starla Faye

  • Felix Bobo………….Susan Nordang

  • Genevieve Shenton………….Tracey Walden

  • Gwendolyn Coggs–Moore…………..Tyronne Porter

Be Encouraged

Be Empowered

Be Inspired

 

Reserve your

Zoe Life Inspired

2012 Daily Devotional today!

Please message me on facebook or twitter, send an e-mail, or post a comment


JESUS my Lord and Savior - Anastasia Diamond

I am a ‘Faithful Blogger’. A couple of weeks ago we started a new group writing project based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18.  Twelve other bloggers and I participated in this project.

Courtney Chowning  complied all the entries into a FREE downloadable Special Report… just in time for your inspirational Thanksgiving  reading…and to offer on your blog or social network as well.

  • Hoping you will enjoy this Special Report as much as we do. If so, please take a moment to visit the Author’s websites and leave them a note telling them you enjoyed their contribution. 
  • If you would like to be notified of future group writing projects and special reports, please visit http://faithfulbloggers.com/ to sign up for the newsletter.
  • May you have many continuing blessings of thankfulness in all things. -Anastasia 

**Just click on the beautiful Ecover below for your FREE download**

Faithful Blogger Contributors:


Be Thankful and Praise HIM in All things

JESUS my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond © Copyright 2011

I have submitted this post to Faithful Bloggers Group Writing Project at  http://faithfulbloggers.com/blogging/group-writing-project/in-every-thing-give-thanks/comment-page-1/#comment-3335

First Thessalonians 5:16 -18 tells us…“Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

You might be thinking…Can that be true? Am I actually supposed to be joyful forever, pray continually, give thanks in everything, and trust that everything is God’s will for me? 

This scripture encourages us to joyfully call-upon and glorify God throughout our life; continually, without stopping or finishing. We are to draw near to God and seek His face in prayer daily…little by little, over and over again. It also reminds us to be thankful in everything because it is God’s will for us who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, in unity with God the Father, through our relationship with Him.

Why would we thank God in the midst of our problems?  James explains it this way, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-4

In 2 Corinthians 7:4 Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation”. He knew, even though he was going through trials, that God was working all things together for his good. –Romans 8:28

Perservance in tribulation brings about the process of sanctification; which consecrates, dedicates, blesses, makes holy, purifies, approves, and sets apart believers due to accepting a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Is everything concerning me truly the will of God ?

What about the death of my child, my illness, my loved one’s terminal illness, natural disasters, divorce, abandonment, financial debts I can’t pay, job loss, the murder of my loved one, being robbed, being raped, my homelessness, my addiction, imprisonment, unfairness in my life, other’s lies about me, the fright of global turmoil…and on, and on?

What about all those dreadful human conditions we encounter that bring pain, suffering, anxiety, loss, and grief? Can we truly approach God with a thankful heart, mind, and words while deep in the midst of worldly adversity?

It is easy and right to praise God on the good days and for all the good things in our lives and the lives of those we love. We are ever so willing to give Him thanks for our home, good health, happiness, finances to meet our needs, food  to quench our hunger, employment, position, children, and so on.

However, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 appoints us to give thanks in all circumstances that He allows, and to know that everything is His will in Christ Jesus in relation to us.

All is the opposite of nothing; it means every part of every thing.

What about the bad days? What about the days filled with complaints, hissy-fits, deep sorrow, and the ugliest circumstances of our life when it is clearly not easy to praise the Lord? One test of  our faith is learning to praise Him in all things…no matter how difficult the circumstances. That’s a tall order.

Praise Him in the midst of your circumstance. Though He does not promise an earthly life of continual bliss and happiness, He does promise His comfort and perfect peace in the midst of the storm. He wants us to allow our life circumstance to become a sacrifice of praise…all to His glory.

Giving Him thanks in all things leads to believing and understanding that we are to praise Him in all things! We are to glorify Him, worship Him, honor Him, applaud Him, and exalt Him…be truly thankful to Him in all things.

Step out of the boat…take His hand…in trust, faith and thankfulness. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…not lacking anything.

If we are not thankful and praising Him in the midst of our difficulties, we must ask this profound question: Who is getting the glory in the midst of my storm… if not God?

The answer is difficult…and one we don’t like to consider.

The evil one is always waiting in the wings…lying, conniving; nay saying; working overtime to convince us that life is terrible, there is nothing to be thankful for, and that God does not care for or love us; if He did, He would not allow the pain, not only in our life, but throughout the world for all time. Part of the evil one’s mission is to plant questions and doubt so we will not praise God and be thankful in the midst of our brokenness, which gives him a toe-hold into our minds, hearts, and body.

However, God has a plan for our lives that is often worked out through adversity. Are we willing to trust God and let Him mold and shape us according to His will? Are we willing to be led; willing to go, to be, to do, and to accept everything God might choose for us?

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 

Oh, that every day would be a Thanksgiving Day; that we would  be thankful, cheerful and glad; praising and exalting Him in the midst of our problems; trusting His perfect will in all things.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

Get a 'ripped' faith relationship with Jesus!

Jesus my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond - © 2011

          Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin,                      but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.   

Romans 6:11

In this world of extreme exercises for our physical bodies…are you submitting your spiritual health and well being to a rigorous workout?

Are you exercising your faith muscles to get a ‘ripped’ faith relationship with Jesus?

You are a blood-bought body of Jesus Christ; no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

Here is an exercise to get a spiritually healthy six-pack that will reckon you dead to sin.

Believe and confess, at the point of temptation, that you are dead to your specific sin. Believe and declare your faith, at the point of temptation, that you are alive unto God through Jesus Christ.

As with exercising your physical body, repetition is a critical factor.

A ‘rep’ is the number of times you do the same movement in a set: Example: Every push-up is one rep, and 20 push-ups make a set.

You do the reps, while God spots you.

Every rep of ‘I am dead to sin’ confession and every rep of ‘I am alive through Christ’ declaration builds your spiritual muscles.

Every set strengthens you, while building a mind, body and spirit memory connection that will establish a pattern of submission, discipline, praise, faith…and increased endurance to finish well.

You do the reps; Jesus already did the heavy lifting.

With True Patience Comes Humility

Jesus my  Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond – © 2011 

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us there are nine ‘Fruits of the Spirit’:

Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-controland Patience.

Most of us expect patience from family, friends, God, and others. However, we usually do not go out of our way to pray patience for ourselves.

Though we often lament in frustrated desperation, ‘Lord, give me patience’, we tend to seek and cherish the other eight fruits on that spiritual tree far more than we do patience.

So…why do we dread receiving this precious Fruit called patience?

Some how, we inherently know that patience takes time and comes with a price that will mold, shape, stretch, and grow us. Though we truly appreciate and desire the ultimate end product, we are often fearful of the process.

Our human nature functions in the instant gratification of now. However, God designed our spiritual nature to function in patience. The old English word for patience is ‘longsuffering’, which is a scary proposition for most of us. Did Jesus endure long-suffering? Indeed, in Him patience had its perfect work!

God is patient with us because He loves us, and fully knows us just as we are, flawed and imperfect. He has purposefully chosen to offer us the blessed Fruit of patience that we can be more fully like Him; more fully know Him, and more fully love Him. We can then more fully know and love others and ourselves…with His precious Fruit of patience.

With true patience comes humility…and submission to God’s perfect will for our life.

 

 

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