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Mother’s Day…Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

JESUS My Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond ©All Rights Reserved-2011

You can see three more Mother’s Day posts on this blog:

Another Mother’s Day…without you

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/mothers-day-reflections-and-prayer/

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We believe the roots of Mother’s Day may have started as early as seventeenth century England, when it was called ‘Mothering Sunday’, and celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  Children honored their mothers; bringing them bouquets of wildflowers and treats of sweet cakes. Though many may still celebrate ‘Mothering Sunday’…most know it now as Mother’s Day.

In 1872, American activist and poet, Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words to ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’, proposed having religious gatherings for an International Mother’s Day to celebrate peace and motherhood.

Thank you dear Mother

Then, Mrs. Anna M. Jarvis worked many years to establish Mother’s Day as a national celebration. She held annual gatherings of ‘Mother’s Friendship Day’ to heal the pain of the Civil War. After Mrs. Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, Anna was devoted to having Mother’s Day declared a national holiday. In the spring of 1908, Anna wrote to the Methodist Church where her mother taught Sunday School for over 20 years, requesting that a Mother’s Day service be held in her honor. As a result, the first formal Mother’s Day celebration was held on May 10, 1908.

For you…dear Mother

By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state of the Union. Anna Jarvis’ relentless campaign is the reason we have an official holiday today.  President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national holiday in 1914; since then, we celebrate Mother’s Day every second Sunday in May. Anna chose Carnations to pay tribute to all mothers because they were her mother’s favorite; white carnations are worn to honor deceased mothers, and red ones to honor living mothers.

Over the years, Mother’s Day has changed from a simple, semi-religious event of prayers of peace and thankfulness for the efforts and labor of love of mothers around the world…to the present day holiday that is often filled with extravagant and costly gifts, flowers and cards.

Honor your mother in the thoughts of your mind, words of your mouth…and actions of your body

Interestingly, Anna Jarvis was arrested at a Mother’s Day festival while trying to stop women from selling flowers. She said, “I wanted it to be a day of sentiment not profit.” Many mother’s the world over tend to agree with Anna…often preferring a personal handmade gift from the heart of their loved ones that they will treasure forever.

Mother’s Day Blessings

The Fifth Commandment reminds us to “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee.”

Jesus honoring and obeying His Heavenly Father is our model of perfect, submitted love, from a child to a parent.

The ultimate strength or breakdown of any society starts at home. Let us remember our Creator’s miracle of motherhood, as we honor and respect our mothers…in our thoughts, prayers, words, and actions.

May your Mother’s Day be blessed…and may you bless and honor your mother.

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Godly New Year's Resolutions

Blooming in Transparency before GOD

 
 
JESUS my Lord and Savior
© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond
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Making and Keeping Godly New Year’s Resolutions

Though we realize nothing supernatural actually occurs on January 1st, we none-the-less like the idea of and opportunity for new beginnings that come with a new year.

I have not found anything in the Bible that specifically speaks for or against New Year’s resolutions.

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

John 15:5 proclaims: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

And, Psalm 37:4 promises: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

These scriptures remind us…

  • It is God who empowers us. He grants us favor, and fulfills our inner most wants and needs when we joyfully abide in Him.
  • God sustains us. We are completely dependent upon Him and truly productive only when we remain connected to Him, our source.
  • We are able to accomplish everything in accord with God’s divine will, plan and purpose…when we submit our will to His.

A resolution is a determined decision in the form of verbal or written goals to make mental, emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual changes for the better.

New Beginnings!

What kind of resolutions

do Christ-followers make?

Are we making resolutions to change habits about smoking, drinking, weight lose, addictions, finances, family, relationships…or are we making vows and promises to God to increase our spiritual relationship with Him?

Even among Christians, the majority of New Year’s resolutions are mostly earthly, not spiritual. However, as you may expect, many Christians do make resolutions to attend church, pray, and read the Bible more often. Though truly wonderful goals, unfortunately, they are often broken as quickly as non-spiritual resolutions.

Whether earthly or spiritual, New Year’s resolutions have no value without having right motivation. Therefore, we must ask ourselves, why we want to make the change, and if the result will glorify God.

Stand close to God; with Him center in your New Year’s resolution. Be connected to the source of His perfect will for your life, spiritual growth, and earthly success in this coming new year.

  • Pray for Holy Spirit wisdom and guidance in choosing Godly resolutions.
  • Pray for discernment, knowledge and understanding in keeping your resolutions.
  • Trust God’s strength and read His Word for encouragement.
  • Seek a prayer/accountability partner who will come-alongside and encourage you to keep your resolutions with hope, faith  and joyful expectation.
  • Accept that you may have setbacks in keeping your resolutions, but a setback does not have to mean failure.
  • Give God the praise and glory in all things.

May you have a joy-filled and truly blessed New Year. Travel ‘Light’ my dear friend.

Lovingly, in HIS name -Anastasia

**Click the links below for more New Years related posts on this blog**

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HE Knocks…Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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What happened at the door to your heart?

Did you not open it the first time He knocked? Did you hide and pretend you were not home? Did you peek out and talk to Him through a half-closed door? Did you open the door widely, invite Him in, and offer a quick ‘ten-cent tour’? Did you say, “Mi casa su casa” (My house is your house)…and allow Him immediate access to every room, closet, and drawer? Did you seat Him in the living room, serve Him there, but not allow Him to wander around, for fear of embarrassment? Or…is He still knocking?

As for me, I opened the door very slowly.

Thankfully, I knew who Jesus was, and that He was there. But, I needed to learn to trust Him, to walk in faith, to build my side of the relationship, and accept that He was not only my Savior, but also my Lord.

Thankfully, He was patient.

Thankfully, He was still there knocking when I chose to open the door and invited Him in.

Thankfully, He accepted me just as I was, sin-filled and broken.

Thankfully, He provided the ongoing process of sanctification, after I invited Him in.

Thankfully, as I grow ever closer to Him…He grows closer to me.

The day to celebrate and proclaim our thankfulness is approaching. We call it Thanksgiving.

Yes, God has blessed me with a loving family and loyal friends, a healthy body and mind, food for my stomach, shelter over my head, and good work for my hands.

Yes, I praise and thank Him for these things daily.

However, I am most thankful for the day I opened the door to His knocking, my relationship with Jesus, and the salvation of my soul.

Thankfully, God does not show partiality.

What He does for one…He will do for another.

Will you fully open the door to your heart today? Let Him in…with no boundaries. Give Him full access to your life, that He can mold you and shape you into the man or woman that He desires you to be.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at:  http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Prayerful Reflections of an ordinary day that stands out because of  valuable lessons learned about what is truly important.

I was born and lived in Boston’s South End at a time when there was row after row of old brick tenement buildings; certainly not the best address in town; often called the slums; today we would call it a ghetto. Instead of porches, patios and backyards…we had front steps, fire escapes, the street, alleys, and the roof.

They tore the buildings down years ago, but the memories remain.

Our family lived in a fourth floor cold-water flat in a melting pot of diverse cultures, religions, crime, and hope of new beginnings. Without the luxury of private bathrooms, we shared a hallway toilet with other tenants…and anyone wandering in off the street. We saw and experienced some things in the neighborhood that children should not. But it was home for that season.

The kitchen was the center of family life.

The big metal sink doubled as a bathtub for the little kids. My mother heated water on a coal and wood burning stove that doubled as a warm and cozy fireplace to sit in front of while our mittens hung on the door to dry after a snow ball fight in the cold New England winters. My mother cooked everything from scratch. I am still in awe of how she baked cookies, cakes, and lemon meringue pies to perfection in that old oven. Delightful memories also linger, of the variety of other wonderful smells drifting through the hallways at suppertime.

So often, our mother would tell us…

“It doesn’t matter where you live, what you have, or don’t have. We have soap, so you can always be clean.” We bathed nightly in that kitchen sink, and were always clean. “It doesn’t matter if your chair is broken; polish it.” Our furniture, though worn and somewhat tattered, was clean and polished regularly. “It doesn’t matter if your clothes aren’t new; just be sure they are clean and ironed, and sew them when they’re torn.” Our clothes were mostly hand-me-downs from the Saint Vincent-de-Paul, but they were clean, mended, often starched, and always ironed.

One sun-shiny spring day remains deeply etched in my memory.

My petite, Italian mother washed a mountain of laundry that morning, all by hand, as usual. I remember watching on tip-toe as she filled that big old kitchen sink with water she heated on the stove. It must have been so difficult for her to carry all of those heavy, wet loads up two flights of stairs to the roof, where she hung everything to dry. I don’t ever remember hearing her complain. I do think that particular day must have been extra tiring, because she washed clothes for all five kids, our father, her self…sheets and towels too.

On the rooftop overlooking the Boston skyline…

My brother and I played under the blue skies and fluffy clouds while our mother lifted, shook, hung, and pinned. I am sure we left little fingerprint smudges of this and that on the clean, wet sheets as we twirled in and out, and ran round and round through them as they flapped in the warm, sweet breeze. When she finished, every line was full with happy colorful clothes, tattered but clean towels, and sparkling white sheets and pillow cases.

Trusting the hot sun and gentle wind to do their assigned tasks…we left the rooftop to go on with a very ordinary day.

Later that day, just before dark, my mother went to the roof alone to gather the laundry. However, after just a few minutes, and much too quickly, the door swung open again. Ma’s strong smooth arms, which should have held the first basketful of sweet-smelling, sun-dried clothes, hung empty at her sides.

She just stood there looking at us…and said, “Everything is gone.”

“What?” we asked. “All of our clothes are gone?” My brothers, sisters and I clamored around her, all talking at once and full of questions: “Where did they go? Who took them? Let’s tell the police. What will we wear?” Though still stunned with shock herself, and probably pondering similar questions, our precious mother listened to all of our concerns; then she said…

“Anyone who would steal children’s clothes and sheets needs them more than we do.”

Though I am sure she was devastated, our mother used this opportunity of our loss to talk to her children of forgiveness, compassion for others, and remind us to thank God, for it was only clothing, sheets and towels that were missing, not us.

Our mother demonstrated a living example of forgiveness that I have never forgotten.

I really don’t remember what else happened that afternoon. I don’t think my mother ever found out who the thief was, or if he, she, or they were ever caught. I do however remember looking at people on the street the next day to see if they were wearing our clothes…but never saw anything familiar.

Though I have no real memory of when or how our mother replaced everything, I have a strong feeling she made many more trips than usual to the Saint Vincent-de-Paul…and that our local church probably helped too.

I have no idea what impact that blue-skied spring day had on my brothers and sisters. I don’t actually remember them talking about it after that day; at least not with me, as I was the youngest; only about four or five years old. For that matter, I don’t remember discussing it with my mother either. Unfortunately, she died long before I was mature enough to tell her how much that day, her insightful response, and guiding advice affected me, and still does today.

Thank you dear mother…

You planted seeds of compassion, thankfulness, and forgiveness on that ordinary day so very long ago. Because of your compassionate example, I learned very early, that even in the face of adversity, we can and should be thankfully gracious, compassionate, and forgiving…and that people are always more important than things.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/learning-forgiveness-compassion-and-thankfulness/ Bookmark and Share

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How Far We Have Come From Here!!!

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© 2009-2010 All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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And HE (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” -Mark 16:15

What an amazing time to be alive!

There has been no other time in history when Christ-Followers had the ability to instantly carry out that Great Commission; communicating the good news…to every corner of the globe…in a matter of seconds. Yes, we have satellites and cable television providing mass media to the world. However, on a more personal level, the Internet is the individual’s answer to Jesus’  universal call to ‘go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’.

The Internet is overflowing with social networking sites representing hundreds of millions of users worldwide. As of June 2010, there were reportedly over 11.4 million blogs hosted on WordPress.com alone.

Unfortunately, it is true that many people use the internet for negative purposes. However, there is a divine movement of Christians who use the internet to minister to others, coupled with seekers, who scan the internet to find answers to their spiritual questions. There are also so many lost and hurting people who will not enter a church, but will engage in conversation and accept online prayer from a stranger.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

One of the ways Christ-Followers are taking up the challenge to acknowledge HIM in all their ways is by establishing Christian websites, blogs, and other social networking sites. We are also utilizing established sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube to go into all the world to preach the good news to all creation.

Though I had used computers since the 1970’s, and the internet since the mid 90’s, I had never visited or seen a blog site, Facebook or Twitter! I really didn’t know what they were, or give them much thought.

Interestingly, though I was quite ignorant of these new ministry opportunities…the most Holy Spirit of God was not.

HE continually whispered to my heart about websites, blogs, and other social media that could and should be used for HIS divine purposes.  HE clearly impressed upon my heart that this was yet another…and more current way…for Christians to carry out the Great Commission.

To be obedient to this calling, though I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing, I started putting together a small free website through my internet carrier. I told my daughter that I also planned to have a blog on the site. Thankfully, she wisely asked…”Who will see it???” Then she recommended I create a WordPress blog instead. Thanks Danise! I appreciate your insight. Danise is a wonderful woman, and minster of God’s Word. About 6 months later, she also started a blog:  http://danisedelights.wordpress.com/

In my continuing desire to gather…two or more…in the mighty, powerful, and anointed name of Jesus Christ, and to carry out the Great Commission…I posted my first blog on April 10, 2009. I started my Twitter account 16 days later…and Facebook shortly there after. I use these online opportunities to minister and offer prayer in HIS name.

Today, my WordPress blog, Facebook and Twitter are part of my daily ministry life.

They are added blessed opportunities  to acknowledge HIM in all my ways…and to carry out the Great Commission to my little flock… throughout the world. Yes, the world! I am blessed with followers from around the world. Some, know Jesus…while some do not. It is my opportunity to be one of HIS representatives to all the world; one person at a time.

Currently, you might preach, hand out faith-based tracts, minister over a cup of tea, teach Sunday school, be a prayer warrior, visit hospitals, convalescent homes, or prisons; share scripture, hold a Bible study; sing, paint or make something to glorify God, or have any other wonderful and much-needed form of ministry. I urge all Christ-Followers to find new and challenging ways to acknowledge HIM in all of your ways…and  carry out the Great Commission to your little flock.

Like me, and so many others…it may be time to step out of your comfort zone.

Is it time for you to start a Christian blog, where you write about your current ministry, and encourage  a new and growing little flock on the internet? You can  start an online ministry posting scriptures, have a site offering prayer, post your inspirational writing or poems, post Christian humor, have a  site offering Biblical perspectives on current world issues, a ministry site for men, women, relationships, couples or children; a site offering Christian resources, promote Christian values, review Christian movies, offer Christian products…the possibilities are endless.

There is always room for one more Christ-Follower online. Your words are exactly what someone needs, and is waiting to hear. What are you waiting for? It often doesn’t cost anything but some of your time. If I can do it…you can do it.

Why not make your time online count for something.

Twitter and Facebook are two free,very easy, and great ways to minister, connect with friends, relatives, and make new friends…while carrying out the Great Commission to all the world.

Your little flock is waiting to hear you acknowledge HIM in all your ways. Be  a blessing…and be blessed in all you do in HIS name.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

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May Your Roots Grow Deep and Wide

JESUS My Lord and Savior ©Anastasia Diamond

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010

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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

As Christ-Followers, we are to stand on the rock of our salvation; our foundation in Jesus Christ. In the midst of our trials, when all around us is shaking, we are to stand. That is so much easier said than done, for our faith and hope tends to waver in difficult times. Most assuredly, in what many are calling ‘the end times’, Christ-Followers are feeling the heat of increasing persecution, and the rumblings of things to come. This is not the time to give up, or give in. Our Abba Father grafted us into His kingdom for such a time as this.

Like you, my foundation has shaken a bit at times. Ultimately, and to His glory, we have stood; we do now stand, and pray by His grace that we will continue to stand. However, there are those wispy fragments of time; seasons when an unexpected tug of instability pulls extra hard, attempting to tip our foundation. We are human, not God…therefore, we do walk in dark valleys, and we do grow weary at times.

Sometimes…weariness manifests as stray thoughts, disappointment, fear, or feeling lost, abandoned or alone. At times, doubts caused by unanswered theological questions, or feeling discouraged over unfulfilled hopes, dreams, promises, or unanswered prayers threaten and shake our foundation. And, at times, weariness comes as we walk through overwhelming, deep, dry and isolated places…mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually.

Sometimes we feel God has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. And, sometimes we feel God heard our prayers, but is punishing or ignoring us because of something we did…or did not do.

Living in wavering hope and faith too long may completely shake our foundation; opening the door to long-term depression, Christian cynicism, spiritual oppression, hopelessness…or permanent disappointment and anger with God.

However, remembering who we are as blood-bought bodies of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…resets our balance, refreshes our faith, restores our hope, and re-secures our foundation in Him.

Joshua Gove

Just as Joshua Trees Grow and Thrive in Groves…      Christ-Followers Grow and Thrive in Fellowship

May I draw your attention to the unique Joshua tree; named by Mormon pioneers while crossing the desert. The strange, reaching branches reminded them of Old Testament Joshua; reaching his hands heavenward in prayer; waving them on to the Promised Land. Let the Joshuas encouraging wave you on…through your dry times and desert moments.

The Joshua tree is a member of the lily family; the largest of the yuccas. Joshuas grow only at elevations from 2,000 to 6,000 feet in the high and dry Mojave Desert, where they can live up to an astounding 1,000 years old! I am truly blessed to live where the Joshuas grow, and give personal testimony of their wonder.

Joshua trees have two root systems. The first is shallow, reaching down only a couple of feet. The second stores surplus water, develops massive bulbs, grows wide, and up to 40 feet deep. In the midst of the dryness of the desert, when all around them without a firm foundation are shaking, and may fall…the Joshua tree stands!

Let us remember that a single, shallow root will not sustain our faith. We also need a deep and wide spiritual root system. Nature sustains Joshuas in groups called groves. God sustains Christ-Followers in groups called fellowship.

The Joshua’s spiny leaf turns upwards in hopes it will catch any moisture in the air, which it then stores in the limbs and trunk. Let us also turn our prayers upwards, that we will receive and store the watering of Holy Spirit guidance…coupled with God’s Word reigning in our heart.

Joshua Tree in Bloom!
Allow the Holy Spirit to Bloom and Produce Good Fruit in You

Joshuas bear 1.25 to 1.5 inch creamy yellow and green, bell-shaped flowers, with 12 to 18 inch clusters on each branch.  Unfortunately, some trees do not bloom annually, but for those that do…the flowers, though beautiful, give off a very unpleasant odor.

The fruit of the Joshua is green, brown, and about 2.5 inches long. The fruit, which matures in late spring, falls from the branches;  dropping flat, black seeds on the desert floor.

Only the Pronuda moth has the special organs needed to fertilize the Joshua flowers. The moth’s larvae feeds on Joshua seeds, which cannot reproduce without the moth…which is equally dependent on the tree. Likewise, Christ-Followers are dependent on God’s Holy Spirit to fertilize and produce good fruit in us in His name. In turn, Almighty God has faith in His Christ-Followers…that we will carry out His great commission.

The  government protects Joshua trees; you must have permission to cut one down, even on your own property. Our Abba Father protects His Christ-Followers; only He holds the number of our days in His hand.

May we, like the Joshua tree, stand through our dry times…and not be shaken. May we have fellowship, praise Him in all things, and produce good fruit in His name.

May we reach to the heavens with our prayers, and may the roots of our hope and our faith…grow deep and wide; watered by the divine Word of God.

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All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/      Bookmark and Share

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Lean on JESUS

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

When life is challenging (that’s every day)…lean on Jesus

When time stops on rewind, and hard memories replay…lean on Jesus

When resources are scarce, or finally run out…lean on Jesus

When hope turns to hopeless…lean on Jesus

When promises crack, and are broken…lean on Jesus

When sad songs are the melody of your life…lean on Jesus

When prayer feels impossible…lean on Jesus

When sorrow engulfs you…lean on Jesus

When tears overflow, and will not stop…lean on Jesus

When truth is made false, and lies become truth…lean on Jesus

When home is a place where there is no peace…lean on Jesus

When faith is only a distant concept…lean on Jesus

When disappointed in people, places and things…lean on Jesus

When grief is your constant companion…lean on Jesus

When friends cannot be found..lean on Jesus

When defeat is an option, and you want to give up…lean on Jesus

When loss overwhelms you…lean on Jesus

When love isn’t lovely, but tainted or worn…lean on Jesus

When abandoned, alone and forsaken…lean on Jesus

When comfort from others, leaves you still wanting…lean on Jesus

When joy is elusive…lean on Jesus

When sleep doesn’t come, in the middle of the night…lean on Jesus

When words have wounded, and cannot be taken back…lean on Jesus

When anger and rage spew like an erupting volcano…lean on Jesus

When addiction is your secret companion, destroying you life…lean on Jesus

When confusion reigns, clouding your thinking…lean on Jesus

When death is knocking on the door of your life…lean on Jesus

When evil, and false gods beckon you…lean on Jesus

When laughter depends on bad jokes, or hurtful pokes…lean on Jesus

When justice is unjust to the innocent…lean on Jesus

When suicide feels like the only way out…lean on Jesus

When family are not supportive, or far, far away…lean on Jesus

When change is unwanted, but inevitable…lean on Jesus

When envy is deep, deep green…lean on Jesus

When peace isn’t perfect…lean on Jesus

When pleasure is an empty and bottomless pit…lean on Jesus

When trouble surrounds you…lean on Jesus

When sin consumes you…lean on Jesus

When goodness, mercy and grace are foreign to you…lean on Jesus

When marriage vows break…lean on Jesus

When pain burns in every fiber of your being…lean on Jesus

When thoughts take you to dangerous places…lean on Jesus

When burdens are heavy…lean on Jesus

When communication crumbles…lean on Jesus

When wisdom departs, or wise men act foolishly…lean on Jesus

When bitterness is turning your heart to stone…lean on Jesus

When children or parents disappoint…lean on Jesus

When guidance is poor or lacking, and your path is diverted…lean on Jesus

When illness invades your body, mind, or spirit…lean on Jesus

When fear cancels all logic…lean on Jesus

When God feels like a stranger who just doesn’t care…lean on Jesus

When doubt fills your every thought…lean on Jesus

When actions cause negative consequences…lean on Jesus

When heaven feels far beyond your reach…lean on Jesus

When plans shrivel and die…lean on Jesus

When forgiveness isn’t easy, or doesn’t come at all…lean on Jesus

When you shatter and break, gather all the pieces at the foot of His cross…and lean on Jesus.

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/            Bookmark and Share

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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My Beautiful Mother…on Her Wedding Day

I miss you mother…I miss you today

It has been an entire life time since I held you as you took your last breaths. My life has been forever tempered by your life…and your death.

How could I have known then, how much I would still miss you and love you now…after all these years?

Ours was a difficult relationship that ended much too soon. You were a hot-headed forty-eight, and I was a hot-headed sixteen. We clashed…and clashed often. Indeed, we argued that night so long ago, when you died of a coronary thrombosis.

Though we were different in so many ways then, I have grown to appreciate so much about who you were, and your day-to-day struggles to survive. We may have been more alike than different after all.

From a hindsight, 20/20 perspective, I eventually came to appreciate and acknowledge that we had a lot in common. We probably would have become friends…had you lived until I grew out of my rebellious years.

There were so many times I felt only anger and abandonment when I needed you…and missed you along the way. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I was able to make peace with the ghosts of the past. I completely credit my blood-bought relationship with Jesus for the mental, emotional and spiritual healing and forgiveness in my heart.

Today I know you did the absolutely best you could do…given the times, circumstances, and your family life history.

Thank you dear mother for all you did.

You provided a clean home, with good moral standards in the midst of difficult times. You set a spiritual foundation of attending church and honoring God. You had a ninth grade education, but possessed amazing wisdom and communication skills. You encouraged my inquisitive mind, and taught me to appreciate learning, philosophy, religion, politics, reading, poetry, writing, and art. I still remember some of our interesting kitchen-table conversations and debates.

You expressed your love and creativity with lots of the best freshly baked, yummy delights; pies, cakes and cookies. I am still amazed to this day at how you were able bake like a master pastry chef in that old coal stove!

Tender emotions were difficult for you.

You were not a ‘hugger’ and I do not remember you ever telling me you loved me. However, I will always remember the day you brought me my jacket in the rain.

I never knew the wise medical decision you made in my best interest until a bit over ten years ago when I contacted my childhood cardiologist with some questions. He sent me copies of my very old medical records and letters. I anxiously opened the envelope, and was completely surprised to learn that you probably saved my life well over 50 years ago…when cardiologists recommended I have open-heart surgery…and you said, No!

You were still coping with the loss of my father, just a few years before, who died on the operating table during an open-heart surgery when I was seven. You apparently were not going to take any chances with my life. Thank you mother. I am now 63-years old; I still have the same heart…and never needed surgery.

There are so many ways to express love…yours was a love expressed through wisdom and service to others.

I am now older than you were then…and still missing you. I love you my dear and precious  mother.

Addendum: My mother died June 7, 1963

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All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

You may also want to visit my other prayerful reflections for Mother’s Day which are also on this blog:

http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/mothers-day-reflections-and-prayer/

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My dear and precious late mother-in-law, Dorothy Diamond

JESUS My Lord and Savior

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May your Mother’s Day be blessed and filled to over-flowing with love, joy, peace, happiness, comfort, discernment, wisdom…and a closer walk with Jesus.

Whoever you are, and wherever you are…Happy and blessed Mother’s Day! No matter if you are 15 or 105; Happy Mother’s Day!

No matter if you are carrying your first child, have one child…or 20 children; Happy Mother’s Day! No matter if your children are with you…or not; Happy Mother’s Day!

No matter what the current circumstances of your life and motherhood are; Happy Mother’s Day! No matter if anyone speaks words of encouragement to you…or not; Happy Mother’s Day!

No matter if your children are living…or have gone before you; Happy Mother’s Day! No matter if your child is perfect…or not; Happy Mother’s Day! No matter if you receive a Mother’s Day card…or not; Happy Mother’s Day!

No matter if you are free…or imprisoned; Happy Mother’s Day! No matter if it is your first breath as a mother…or you last; Happy Mother’s Day!

The current circumstances of any mother’s life does not take away from knowing that being a mother is God’s gift to us.

He gave all mothers a special purpose to fulfill when He proclaimed they would carry life. God also gave all women called to be a mother-in-law a special purpose when he gave them their children’s husbands and wives to love.

Whether the children in your life are of your body…or your heart…may your Mother’s Day be sweetly blessed in the thoughts of your mind, words of your mouth, and actions of your body. May you have a Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day! http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/

You may also want to visit my prayerful reflections for Mother’s Day which is also on this blog at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/mothers-day-reflections-and-prayer/

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Jesus, my Lord and Savior -Anastasia Diamond

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“For I know the plans I have for you”…declares the LORD…“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I am always so gratefully humbled by the knowledge that our heavenly Abba Father has thoughts and plans about and for me.

I am continually in awe that the Almighty Divine Creator of all that ever has been, is now and ever will be…desires that I prosper, have a future, and a hope.

Dear one…rejoice! God has these same encouraging thoughts and plans for you and your life.

No matter your current circumstances or beliefs, our Abba Father has never stopped loving you. In fact, He loves you more than any person here on earth ever has, ever will…or is able.

God loves you more than your mother, father, grandparents, children, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends…or fans.

He is the only One who will never leave you or forsake you.

He is with you now. He knows your needs before you even ask; for He has known you since before He formed you in your mother’s womb.

No matter what others may tell you, God has never stopped His loving thoughts and plans toward you. No matter what you think or believe…or how you feel at times…He has not, and will not, leave you or forsake you.

God is ever-present, through His most Holy Spirit. He remains a loving, caring Abba Father… watching over you. He is ready, willing…and able…to give you the guidance and direction you are seeking.

God has a storehouse of overflowing blessings waiting just for you, today…and always.

Does that mean life will always be easy or perfect. No!

Does it mean you can claim your righteous, blood-bought, place in the anointed family of God? Yes!

Dear one, though I may not know you,  I believe in you.

I believe in who you are…and who you want to become. Why should I believe in you? I believe in you because I trust in who God says you are, and who you can become…in and through Him.

His Word reminds us that He is no respecter of persons. Therefore, rejoice again! What He thinks and plans for one of His children, He equally plans and thinks for all of His children.

Life is a series of decisions and choices.

Why are we so often resistive to such a loving Father, who has such perfect thoughts and plans for our life? Free will and Fear. We often exert such a strong will to run our own life, that we are fearful of letting go of control…and trusting Him.

May today be the day you decide to trust His thoughts and plans for you.

May today be the day you decide to accept His loving, merciful and gracious promises in your life.

May today be the day you choose to allow His Holy Spirit to guide and direct your path…helping you grow into the man or woman He is calling you to be.

May today be the day you decide to release your fear, and choose to submit your will to His perfect will for your life.

May today be the day you choose to accept and receive God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior…then follow Him into eternity.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. -Luke 12:32


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HE is Risen!

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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Why the Resurrection? Jesus, who was sinless, went to the cross to die for our sins…the sins of our mind, our words, and our actions.

Was that not enough? Well, not quite. Before His death, Jesus promised eternal life to all those who followed Him.

If the story just ended with His death, Jesus would be remembered as a delusional man living a lie…who was crucified and died.

However, His Resurrection…that miraculous rising on the third day after the Crucifixion, demonstrates Jesus’ divine victory over death, and gives us hope for eternal life with Him. For, it is through His Resurrection, that we who believe in Him, receive deliverance from the evil and darkness of the world and are transported into the purity and light of an eternity with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our ‘old man’ was crucified; buried with Jesus. Then, renewed and restored in His Resurrection.

It is through Him and Him alone, that we have salvation. His Resurrection gave us that way of escape. It is through Him and Him alone, that we are delivered; rescued, recovered and saved from a life of sin…and have received the promise of eternal life in His kingdom. Our hope, faith and life is in Jesus alone.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”    -John 3:16

It is through Him that we are blood-bought children of the King of Kings, made righteous in His death and in His Resurrection.

The Resurrection is the true foundation of Christianity. Without it, we could not have relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Thank You Abba Father…for sending Your one and only Son, JESUS CHRIST to live, die…and resurrect for us.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/
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Love is the Question Love is the Answer

JESUS My Lord and Savior ©-Anastasia Diamond

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As parents, we tend to love our children unconditionally…in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances, even when we do not like or approve of their actions or behaviors. As children, we tend to love our parents with expectations and conditional love. How much is this like our Abba Father’s love for us…and our response to Him?

God, our Father, loves us with a divine, unconditional love that gives us the free will to choose to reflect it back to Him…or not.

How broken-hearted are parents when their children do not return the love they feel and express to and for them? How can we even begin to measure the broken-heart of God the Father when we, His children, respond negatively to His divine love?

Clearly, God the Father and Jesus, the Son are our divine role model for earthly parent-child love.

Yet, even among those who know the Father and the Son…there is often conflict within the minds and hearts of parents and their children.

As parents, we are by nature positioned to forgive our children’s trespasses… with a genuine heartfelt love. However, the forgiveness our Abba Father and Jesus lovingly model and bestow upon all of us is often sadly missing from us to Him…and from children to their parents.

Many of us knowingly or unknowingly hold a grudge against God when disappointed due to unmet or false expectations of life and people.

We may say, “I am angry with God. Why did He do that? Where was He when I needed Him? He must hate me. How could He have let that happen? He is cruel. I will never forgive Him.” Does that sound familiar? Interestingly, these are also many of the things children often say to and about their earthly parents.

Children cannot learn to love their parents until they forgive them their human trespasses. God the Father and Jesus the Son, who love us eternally, model forgiveness and love for us.

Children…forgive your parents; that you may learn to love them. Parents continue to love your children unconditionally…that you will always forgive them.

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I like this Flower...I LOVE my Children

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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How often do we say, I love this or I love that…when talking about some thing that has no known eternal value?

Our casual wording gives everyday stuff a place of equal importance with the most treasured people and relationships in our life. In doing so, we speak words that unthinkingly may appear to lessen the value of our most important love relationships by comparison.

Should the words we speak equally compare the lustful attraction we may have to a chocolate chip cookie, piece of jewelry, an electronic gadget, a sport, a game, or a new car…with the blessings of the love we have for and share with, our children, husband, wife, parents, family, friends…or Jesus?

What a ridiculous comparison. Yet, every time we speak the word love in relation to stuff…we verbally exalt that stuff to a place of honor…while diminishing by comparison, the value of our love relationships with people and with God.

I don’t know about you, but I am wondering how I can possibly continue to use the same word when saying I love (fill in the blank with your favorite stuff) …I love you…and I love Jesus?

Continuing to do so feels like an implied insult to our loved ones…and most especially to the holy name and nature of God our Creator, His Holy Spirit, and His Son; Jesus Christ.

Clearly, English lacks the love-word options offered in Greek and some other languages. However, I can train the English words of my mouth to define the differences. Therefore, I challenge myself to this change.

This is my prayer:

Heavenly Father, I want the position of my heart and the words of my mouth to match.

May my words express that I like my stuff…and I love my people; most of all You dear God.

Father, I pray for Your Holy Spirit wisdom, discernment and knowledge…that I will make proper word choices to express my emotional attachment, attraction, or reaction to…all worldly stuff.

No matter what stuff I am talking about… I submit all stuff – every thing – to You for clarification of its’ true worth: home, belongings, gifts, music, movie, song, TV show, computer, car, circumstance, antique, money, flower, collectible, furniture, food, book, restaurant, color, clothes, shoes, phone, place….and more. I submit it all to You.

I pray I will remember to save all of my true love-words for people…and for You.

Dear Abba Father, I love You.

I pray You will continue to teach me…that I will receive and understand more from Your precious mind and heart of love.

These things I pray…in the name, power, and authority of Your Son, Jesus. Amen…and amen.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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ALL Things Grow with LOVE

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…so we tend to ponder the meaning of love and our love relationships a bit more in the month of February.

The world says Valentine’s Day is for lovers. The un-coupled, alone, lonely or abandoned often feel rejected, unworthy, and without favor. Dear one, please do not overly despair if you find yourself feeling un-loved or alone by worldly standards.

God’s divine promises tells all of His children: ‘I will love you always’ and ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’. HE loved us long before we loved HIM…or anyone else loved us.

Whatever your circumstance: coupled, single, or alone…remember to place your hope in HIM who knew and loved you before the foundation of the world. Honoring God and choosing HIM as the first object of your love allows all earthly relationships to line up in proper order – after HIM. Thus, you will be more fully able to receive HIS love…and show HIS love to others

We grow in HIS loving ways…when we draw nearer to the mind and heart of our Abba Father. For it is there that we learn and receive the truth of HIS deep and abiding love for us.

It is also there, where we discover HIS heart’s desire for all of us to share the blessings of HIS everlasting love. It is there HE reveals HIS loving plan and purpose, in and through our lives. It is there HE brings forth the majesty of HIS love offering to the world. It is there HE exposes HIS eternal love for all of His creation. It is there also, where we realize that true love chooses to focus on places of agreement…not disagreement.

Some will share flowers, cards and candlelight on Valentine’s Day. Some will not. No matter our circumstances, let us neither gloat…nor complain.

Let us choose to praise HIM, with, and in love…in all of our circumstances. Let us choose to celebrate HIS love and live in HIS way. The often spoken, but seldom practiced, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’, cries out from God’s heart for all of us to take action toward one another…in love.

Therefore, let us open our hearts and reach out in true love to the stranger, lost, broken, the estranged… to those difficult people in our lives, and those we meet along the way who we would rather ignore.

Let us reach out with forgiving love, like that which HE pours out to us when we act in un-loveable ways. Let us reach out in accepting love to those with whom we may not always agree…but, who are none-the-less included in the blessings of our Father’s profound and all-encompassing love.

Let us choose to reach out to one another…in love…as HE loves us.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/


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May Your Christmas be Joy-filled and Blessed to Overflowing

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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The best Christmas present doesn’t come from Wal-Mart, Macy’s, or even Tiffany’s. It has no shiny paper, streaming ribbons…or a fancy card.

The best Christmas present isn’t downloadable…you can’t drive it, play it, or watch it on U-Tube.

The best Christmas present is perfect for all ages…and is truly best when shared with others.

The best Christmas present cannot be bought or sold. It cost nothing…yet is priceless.

The best Christmas present is found in a manger…and wrapped in simple swaddling clothes.

The best Christmas present is over 2000 years old, inspires hope…and gives unconditional love.

The best Christmas present has a blood-scourged back, nails in His hands…and wears a crown of thorns.

The best Christmas present chose to die for you…that you may live.

The best Christmas present offers Himself to you again this year…He is the One true sacrificial Gift of  life.

Yes, the very best Christmas present – is the presence of Jesus Christ in your life…today, tomorrow, and forever.

Won’t you open your Gift…and receive His presence?

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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Bethlehem…

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Was Jesus Christ truly God manifest on earth in the flesh?

If that is true, and I believe it is… Christmas is actually the glorious celebration of Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, fulfilling Biblical Messianic prophecy when He came to earth manifest as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago.

Almighty God has always been with us in that He has always been with His creation. However, this all powerful Creator chose to have an even closer relationship with His creation.

The birth, life, and death of Jesus was Almighty God’s personal demonstration of His Divine will for each of us to have an opportunity to go to Heaven… and live life everlasting…with Him.

God chose a young virgin for Jesus’ mother, and a humble manger in Bethlehem for His birthplace. Did you know that Jesus’ birth alone fulfilled 48 of the over 300 prophecies about Him.

This Christmas, let us celebrate the birth of the Son…and the manifestation of the Father, God Almighty in His Son. For the true message of Christmas is one that is close to incomprehensible: Our Creator and Abba Father, the One and and only Almighty God chose to come to earth as one of us, that He could live and die for us.

For it is God Himself who lies in that manger; vulnerable and human, while still Divinely omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent (present in every place at the same time).

Almighty God came to us, embodied as His only begotten Son, the baby Jesus. His sole purpose was to understand, forgive, and take our sins upon Himself; that He may live and die for us.

This Christmas, yes…let us celebrate the birth of the baby, Jesus. Let us  also celebrate the divine gift and sacrificial offering of our heavenly Father, God Almighty, for He chose to give Himself to live and die for me…and for you.

Scripture from the King James version of the Holy Bible

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel. ” Isaiah 7:14

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”           Matthew 1:23

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; and all things were made through Him and apart from Him nothing was made which was made…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”  John 1:1-3, 14

Jesus said:

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also.”  Jon 14:6-

“Whoever hates me hates my Father also.”  John 15:23

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” John 14:10

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.” John 5:19-20

“The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”  John 8:42

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/




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Christmas Joy to the World

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Isaac Watts (1674-1748) was an English preacher, Pastor of a Church of Christ in London, poet, and author of about 600 hymns; including Joy to the World.

The Reverend Watts wrote the stirring and much-loved words of Joy to the World…not as a Christmas Carol…but as a hymn based on Psalm 98:1-9

1- O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. 2- The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. 3- He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4- Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5- Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 6- With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King. 7- Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 8- Let the floods clap their hands: 9- let the hills be joyful together Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.  (King James version of the Holy Bible)

As we now see,  Reverend Watts composed Joy to the World with the purpose of praising the Lord Jesus Christ in His glorious and triumphant return…at the end of this world age…not at His first coming as the tender One born in a stable over 2,000 years ago.

This Christmas season, let us join in singing the centuries-old words of Joy to the World with a renewed joy, coupled with a deeper awareness of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ: He who is the same… yesterday, today and forever.

Let us worship and give homage to our Lord Jesus Christ: The Savior, The Baptizer with The Holy Spirit, The Healer…and The Soon-Coming King.

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the Earth! the Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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The Royal Family of the KING of KINGS...With Privlege Comes Great Responsibility

The Royal Family of the KING of KINGS .....With Privilege Comes Great Responsibility

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are grafted into the royal family of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Therefore, as is tradition in all royal families, with privilege…comes great responsibility.

Earthly sons and daughters of royalty have inherited an obligation to stand for the heritage of their time-honored family, and the world-presence of their nation. These royal offspring are given amazing favor, acclaim and protection wherever they go. However, they are also held to a higher standard. They are expected to be goodwill ambassadors for their family and kingdom …and to the people of all the nations.

The rest of the world watches these favored children. How are they different? How are they the same?  How do they live? What do they think? What do they say? Where do they go? What do they do? Who are they with? What are they wearing? What are they eating? What are they drinking? Watching – watching ever so closely… to see if they will stumble.

If for any reason these children of earthly royalty do fall, the watchers are there waiting…snaring, pointing fingers, and declaring their wrong doings for the entire world to see.

Some of these privileged children may choose to denounce their royal heritage. In doing so, they make life choices that are against the dictates of their royal family calling… and walk  from the covering of royal protection. In doing so, they choose to abdicate their honored position and relinquish all former royal favor and award. In doing so, they choose to not carry out their royal birthright responsibilities as a child of their king.  In doing so…to their family, kingdom, and the world…they become a commoner among the people.

Do you see similarities with earthly royal children and the blood-bought royal family of believers of Jesus Christ? He wore a crown of thorns for us…so we can be crowned in eternal glory with Him. By accepting and receiving our royal birthright as children of the King of Kings, we have acclaimed distinction and favor – coupled with a Divine covenant of mercy, grace and responsibility. And, because God will not force HIS will on anyone…we have free will to choose to follow Him…or the world.

The world also watches Christians. How are they different? How are they the same? How do they live? What do they think? What do they say? Where do they go? What do they do? Who are they with? What are they wearing? What are they eating? What are they drinking? Watching – watching ever so closely… to see if they will stumble.

If for any reason these children of heavenly royalty do fall, the watchers are there waiting…snaring, pointing fingers, and declaring their wrong doings for the entire world to see.

With the privilege of being HIS child…comes great responsibility. With the honor, favor and reward that comes with being a royal child of the Most High God…also comes the call to stand for His Kingdom. All Christians… AKA Christ followers, are called to be salt and light in the darkness. They are called to repent and turn from their sins. They are called to be pure and holy as He is pure and holy. They are called to live a righteous life…causing none who see them to stumble or fall. They are called be ready to give a testimony of the cause of their hope. They are called to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. They are called to anoint, lay hands, and heal the sick. The are called to not be ashamed of HIM. They are called to praise Him in all things. They are called to pray in the name of Jesus. They are called to judge not…lest they be judged. They are called to stand when all around them are falling. They are called to submit their will to their Father’s will for them. They are called to have God’s Word written in their hearts. They are called to live each day, ready to go home with HIM. They are called to be fishers of men. And then comes the call  to carry out the great commission…to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Sons and daughters of heavenly royalty are Princes and Princesses in His Kingdom. They have inherited an obligation to stand for the Divine heritage of the family of God and the presence of His divine Kingdom. These royal offspring of the King of Kings are given His amazing favor, acclaim and divine hedge of protection wherever they go. However, they are also held to a much higher standard. They are expected to be Almighty God’s goodwill ambassadors for His eternal Kingdom – to the people of all the nations.

Some of God’s  privileged children may choose to denounce their royal heritage, in and through Jesus Christ. In doing so, they make a free-will choice that is against the mind and heart of God, and His perfect will for their life. They choose to step out from under His Divine covering of royal protection and Holy Spirit guidance. In doing so, they choose to abdicate their honored eternal position in heaven; relinquishing all royal favor and reward. In doing so, they choose to not carry out their royal birthright responsibilities as an anointed child of the King of Kings.  In doing so…they again become a commoner among the people.

You can choose to walk away from HIM and live in the world…to go the way of the world and do what they do. Or, you can choose to follow in the way of the Master. Choose wisely dear one. Worldly gifts and pleasures are temporary and tarnish with time. God’s gifts and rewards for HIS children are eternal and shine with HIS Divine Light. The privilege of being a royal child of the King of Kings comes with the blessing of the profound responsibility to carry HIS Word on the narrower road into an eternity with HIM.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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He leads me beside the still waters

He Leads Me Beside Still Waters

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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David’s 23rd Psalm reminds us that the Divine Shepherd’s rod and His staff will comfort us. Clearly – David makes distinction between the two.

His ROD is for discipline, correction…and reformation.

His rod comforts me. His rod bestows caution, reproof…and gives me wisdom. His rod, which may often feel harsh – is to protect us from a greater harm.

His STAFF is for leadership, assistance…and direction toward His narrower road.

His staff comforts me. His staff bestows supervision, guidance…and redirects my path. His staff, which may often feel restrictive – is to keep us going in the right direction.

The Good Shepherd tenderly cares for His sheep.

He comes alongside…watches over, directs and disciplines His flock…in love. We, being good parents – are to shepherd, correct and guide our children…that they will choose the right path.

Is our heavenly Father any different? Indeed not.  He has set the shepherding model through His rod and His staff.

Whether five years old, fifteen, thirty, sixty-five or eighty…we are often like rebellious little children in need of parental discipline and guidance. We are little sheep wandering about…in need of a shepherd’s rod and staff.

He is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will correct, guide, and direct His sheep; that we will not wander too far from Him. That we will graze only where He allows. That we will drink only from His water source. That we will listen, and obey only His voice; that we will trust Him and follow only Him. That we will live a life of service to Him…and will remain in His flock forever.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who sacrificed all for His flock…that none will stray. Not even one. Fear not little flock – trust in Him. Go where He leads. His rod and His staff will comfort you.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used; provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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We...His believers...are His church

HIS Believers…HIS Church…May GOD Bless America and all HIS Creation

JESUS my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved 2009-2010 -Anastasia Diamond

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Independence Day July 4, 2009

As we in America approach Independence Day this 4th of July 2009, we face growing  unprecedented national and international man-made crisis and governmental decisions– coupled with ever-increasing satan inspired confusion. We also watch, as America and the world suffers through continually escalating natural disasters taking unbearable human toll.

Indeed, the current forecast for America…and the world is rather gloomy to say the least. We are learning to live in a post 911 era under the threat of terrorists – with wars – and rumors of plausible impending nuclear war. With increasing crime and decreasing morality, comes the clear decline of human decency that is rampant throughout the world. Yes – this is the America – and the world…we live in today.

We are Under Attack….

Dear ones…We in America are under attack in our land, in our government, and in our Constitution; in our military, businesses, finances, and health care; in our court system, universities and schools; in our entertainment: movies, music, television, radio, and advertisements. We are burdened and under attack in our workplaces, homes, marriages…and in our families. Our adults, our children…and our unborn babies are under attack. America is under attack – in our bodies, minds, spirit… and, in our churches. America – and the world is under attack.

Where is the Hope?

Our Hope is in Jesus and His promises. Not in man and his promises. The New Testament reminds us to watch and pray. To be alert and to stay awake with watchfulness and caution.

Luke 12:35 reminds us to Be Dressed for Service…and In Readiness.

What Can I Do?

The Israelites wore loose flowing robes that were very impractical for work, travel, or battle as they were. Unless they were girded up…they were not ready–and neither are we. It is due time that we too need to gird up for work, travel and battle.

Christians in America and throughout the world need to be strong; we face a battle. We need to get ready for many difficult decisions and tasks ahead. We must gird up our loins…and prepare ourselves to battle for God and country.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the ‘Whole Armor of God’ in preparation for our daily battles…that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Prayer for America and the World

Will you agree with me in this prayer for America and the World?

Dear Heavenly Father,

We, Your church, prepare to do battle for the United States of America and all the rest of this world You created.

Today we claim victory over satan, and protection over our country and the world, by putting on the Whole Armor of God as we stand individually…and in intercession for America and all of Your creation.

We put on the Girdle of Truth! That we may stand firm in the truth of Your Word…so that we, America and the world, will not fall victim to satan’s confusion and lies.

We put on the Breastplate of Righteousness! May it guard our hearts from evil so we will remain pure and holy…protected by the blood of Jesus Christ while in battle to reclaim America and the world for You.

We put on the Shoes of Peace! May we stand firm in the powerful and Good News of the Gospel…so Your love and Your peace will shine in us and through us…to be a light for You to all we encounter.

We take up the Shield of Faith! May we be ready for satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial, and deceit against America…so we…and our country will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

We put on the Helmet of Salvation! May we keep our mind focused on You… so satan will not have a stronghold on our thoughts…or on those in positions of leadership in America and throughout the world.

We take up the Sword of the Spirit – Your Word! May the two-edged sword of Your Word by ready in our hands, and our mouths…so we can expose satan’s false and tempting words to America and all of your creation.

By faith in You, we believers – Your Warriors, declare that we have put on the Whole Armor of God. We are now fully prepared to live this and every day in spiritual victory for the United States of America… and all of Your creation here on earth. We pray that You will bless America and all of the countries of Your creation.

Dear Lord, these things I pray in the Name, and Power, and Authority of Your most precious Son, our Lord and Savior; Jesus Christ. –Amen.

Pray This Prayer Often

Pray this prayer often. Restating your commitment to be ready to stand for Him and do battle mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Prepare, stand…and be not shaken. For there is nothing that can happen to you that our heavenly Father is not aware. Draw nearer to Him and He will draw nearer to you.

Declare Your Independence Day!

This year – yes – joyously celebrate your freedom and the birth of our nation, Amercia. But also declare and celebrate your Independence Day. The day you became a blood bought child of the one and only true and living God, Jesus Christ. For, it is only in and through Him that you are truly free!

May God Bless America

May God bless America…and all of His creation…and may He richly and abundantly bless you in all you think, speak, and do.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010 -Anastasia Diamond

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My Abba Father loves me yesterday, today and forever

My Daddy Died…He Can’t Wear a Tie

My earthly father died in February the year I was seven years old. The following June brought an empty Father’s Day to a little girl still mourning the loss of her daddy.  However – to my first grade teacher – making a Father’s Day tie was the scheduled class project that Friday. Everyone would make a paper tie to surprise their fathers…even me.

With mist clouding my eyes, I attempted to refuse. I stammered as I told her I just couldn’t do that – my father was gone. He went to the hospital and never came back. She looked at me with unseeing eyes and listened with unhearing ears…telling me, “Everyone must make a tie today.”

Tears welled up in my eyes that morning, as they are again…this many years later. I protested – telling her as clearly as a shy and stuttering seven-year old could: “You don’t understand, my daddy died on the operation table…he can’t wear a tie.” I will never know this woman’s heart, mind, or motivation at that moment – as she continued her stern demand that I make that tie…and without tears.

My daddy can’t wear a tie…

I Felt Defeated…and So Very Small

I felt defeated and very small, as I  chose brightly colored crayons, thought of my daddy…and made him a paper tie that he would never see or wear. A tie that he would never applaud or make me feel special for giving it to him. My best friend hugged me and told me I made the best tie –  my daddy would have loved it. I started thinking that maybe he really could see it. However, I crumpled and tore it up before that Father’s Day came and went.

It took a while for me to forgive my teacher – but I did. However, I spent many more years missing my father…knowing I would never feel the safety of his arms again.  He would never again cuddle me to him and tell me how much he loved me.

I Know My Abba Father Was There

Today, I know that my heavenly Abba Father was there while I made that paper tie – loving me through my loss, grief, frustration and anger. Today, I know that He is with me in all of my struggles on my journey. Today, I go to my Abba Father, who draws me close and tells me how much He loves me – yesterday, today, and for eternity.

HE is the Father Who Always Has Time for You

Children – you may have a great relationship with your earthly father…or that relationship may be non-existent; through death, distance,  indifference or distain. No matter what the past or present circumstance with your earthly father, please know that you have a heavenly Abba Father, the Creator of all that ever was or is…who loves you more and better than anyone else ever will, could, or would. Please look to Him for the guidance, wisdom, advice, and love you seek. He calls you and all of His children to Him. He is the Father who loves all of His children equally, yet appreciates and acknowledges each of your individual precious and unique gifts and talents. He is the Father who always has time for you.

HE is Patiently Waiting to Give You Fatherly Guidance

Fathers – love your children. Look to your heavenly Abba Father for the strength, wisdom, courage, guidance, and ability to be the man He created you to be as you parent your children. Your Father God,  His Word, and His  most Holy  Spirit will show you the way. Seek out Godly counsel when you are confused, angry and unsure. Talk with your Abba Father. Tell Him your concerns. You can tell Him everything. There are no surprises with Him. There is nothing to big or too small to share with Him.  He is patiently waiting to give you the Fatherly wisdom, guidance, and advice you seek as you parent your children.

HE Sent His Only Begotten Son to Die for You

Celebrate this Father’s Day with your Abba Father. He is waiting to hear from you. He is the Father who loves you so much…He sent Jesus, his only begotten Son to die for you…that you may live.

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All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Nature's Cathedral

Nature’s Cathedral

The Life Altering Power of Praising God

I cannot think of any thing beyond accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior that is more powerful and life altering than praising God. Do you remember the depth and breadth of your praise when you first believed? Did His Word, the Holy Bible, illuminate before your astonished eyes…causing you to cry out in spontaneous praise of our Lord and Savior? Were your waking moments and your nightly dreams filled with His presence, and your praise of Him? Did you see His hand at work in everything…and praise Him, the Creator of all that is, in awe of all His creation? Perhaps you were like me, so awestruck by His divine presence, that you were on your face praising Him and glorifying His name every time you prayed…or thought of Him.

It is Never Too Early or Too Late to Start Praising God

It is never too early or too late to start praising God. If you are not familiar with praising Him, start now. Your praise may be loud and filled with shouts. Your praise may be soft and whispered. Your praise may be in song or dance. Your praise may be silent…or in your prayer language. Your praise may be the lifting of your hands, or the lowering of your eyes as you glorify Him. Your praise may be all of this…or something different.

God receives your praise wherever you are, and in whatever you are doing…just as long as you are praising Him; the one and only true Almighty God. You may be alone at home, or in a crowd. You may be in a country church, an elaborate cathedral, or a quiet meadow when you praise Him.

It is the Position of Your Heart That Truly Matters to Him

Although others may tell you differently…the position of your physical body does not really matter when you are praising Him. You may sit, stand, kneel, walk, or lay down…it does not matter. For, it is the position of your heart that truly matters to Him.

Our heavenly Father designed the divine communication process of praise as a catalyst to draw us continually ever closer to Him. His desire is to have a preciously reciprocal relationship with each and every one of us. He is so loving and good to us, that each time we praise Him, we also open the door of our hearts for Him to transform us miraculously into all we can become in Him.

Praise Him in All Things

Praising Him in all things has the power to change us; change how we think, feel, speak, act and react to the circumstances of our life. Praising Him can even change how we look, and how others see us. When God’s divine presence comes to dwell in us through His most Holy Spirit, He softens, molds and shapes us in body, mind and spirit. Changing us into the spirit-filled men and women our Abba Father created us to be.

It may have been a while since you praised Him by making a joyful noise unto the Lord…or you may have never praised Him before. Either way, your ability to praise Him is there, ready and available. Glorify Him today and let His light in you shine. Be that light in the darkness…praising Him in all things, every where you go. Give Him your unconditional praise in every circumstance of your life. Everytime we praise and worship God, we position ourselves nearer to His throne and His perfect will for us.

Rejoice…Make a Joyful Noise…Transform Your Life

Dear ones, rejoice! Lift up your hands, your voices, and your hearts in praise of Him. Make that joyful noise…pray and praise Him without ceasing. Praise Him with renewed commitment, enthusiasm and joy. Allow the power of praising and glorifying God to perform the mighty work of drawing you closer to Him and transforming you into all you can be for Him. Praise Him, in the mighty name, power, and authority of His Son, Jesus Christ. Praise Him today, tomorrow, and for eternity. Transform your life and your relationship with your Abba Father, His Son – Jesus Christ, and His most Holy Spirit. Praise Him.

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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Bring MY Light into Their Darkness

Into His Presence

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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There are Opportunities for Prayerful Intercession Everywhere

Do you ever drive or walk around your town praying for those strangers you see along the way? I do…and have for years. There are opportunities for prayerful intercession everywhere. Just look around and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your eyes, your heart, and your mouth.

This morning, my eyes again followed a woman who acts and dresses a bit oddly as she jogs down the streets of my town. I see her almost every day, while driving on my way to work. She often stops to jog-in-place… talking all the while to some unseen companion. I am always on the move, so I have no idea what she is saying, or to whom she is talking. I lifted her up in intercessory prayer this morning…that God would meet her every need, and that she would come to know Jesus, if she doesn’t already. It may be Him she is talking to; I do not know. And, I do not have to know her name…or her specific needs. For our heavenly Father already knows everything about her and loves her more than I ever would or could. It is His precious Holy Spirit who provides His discernment, wisdom and knowledge whenever He leads us to intercede for others.

Tell Him you are ready and willing to intercede for others…and He will make you able

God made intercessory prayer so easy for us to participate. One of my spiritual assignments, if you will, is to respond through intercessory prayer whenever and how ever His Holy Spirit leads me. Do you feel that same calling? If so, talk to your Abba Father. Tell Him you are ready and willing to intercede for others…and He will make you able.

Last week I saw the disheveled man sitting cross-legged in the median of the street close to the freeway. He cradled a cardboard sign and bitterly locked eyes with every driver who passed him by. Although I could pre-suppose many of the circumstances of his current life, I certainly could not know which of life’s trials brought him to that specific apparent broken moment. But… God does know. There is nothing and no one beyond His knowledge and loving care. Our Father, through the Holy Spirit, asked me to pray for this man’s soul. I gratefully accepted in prayerful response…and was blessed in the process, as I praised God for all that He would do in this man’s life. I am often led to sing in the Spirit as I intercede for others, as was the case  while I prayed for this man.

The Holy Spirit often leads me to intercede with a prayer…

The other day, in the midst of the desert heat, it was a middle-aged woman slowly pushing a store cart half-filled with groceries. The Holy Spirit often leads me to intercede with a prayer that God will miraculously provide automobiles for those whose only transportation is their shoe leather.

I have no earthly evidence that anyone for whom I have interceded has received the blessing of a car. However, I do believe, in faith, that it is God’s perfect will for them because of the specific area of need in which the Holy Spirit directed me to intercede for them.

The Holy Spirit chooses the recipient of the intercession…not you

You may be thinking, well she prays for everyone who looks like they may need a car. Not true. I see some people who are walking…even those pushing carts of groceries…and am not led to intercede. I have wondered why myself. However, I have learned that when you commit yourself to intercessory prayer for strangers, the recipient of the intercession is chosen by the Holy Spirit, not you.

Last month I silently prayed for a frustrated young mother and her two small children, as I watched them eating in the fast food restaurant. I was led to pray about very private things in her personal life that I knew nothing about…but God knew.

I have interceded for babies, fragile children, and strong athletes; for those with obvious challenges and those I did not think needed Holy Spirit intercession. Interestingly, at times the intercession lasts long beyond the initial fleeting first moments. Sometimes I carry an intercessory burden for a particular stranger for days, weeks, months, and yes…even years. Again, I can pre-suppose the reasons; but do not actually know why. But, God knows.

I may also be the recipient of Holy Spirit directed intercessory prayer

I doubt that we will ever know the full impact of our intercessory prayers while here on earth. But, maybe… just maybe, we will know more in heaven. It fills my heart with ever increasing joy and hope to know that God may have  strangers praying for me…that I may also be the recipient of Holy Spirit directed intercessory prayer.

The Holy Spirit whispered pray…so I prayed

About three weeks ago, I prayed protection for the teenage girl sitting on a curb… looking lost and so very alone. I remember many years ago, fervently interceding for a young man who was sitting high on a hilltop, looking forlornly at the ocean below…as I drove by him on a freeway. I will never know what his specific need was. The Holy Spirit whispered pray…so I prayed.

The need for intercessory prayer is so great. I know that many of us regularly and prayerfully intercede for friends and family. Never stop this blessing to them. But look around you. There are so many other open opportunities for intercessory prayer. The Holy Spirit can lead us to intercede for specific groups of people who suffer with a similar disease, illness, or problems. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me opportunities to pray in intercession for the lonely, bewildered, and grieving. Sometimes I am led to pray for the elderly, as I drive by convalescent homes. And, at times…for those who have no apparent challenge. But…God knows.

The world is full with persons and personalities who God wants to cover with intercessory prayer

Then, there are the public figures and celebrities, who, though recognized by so many…are strangers to most. The world is full with persons and personalities who God wants to cover with intercessory prayer. Do you have a favorite celebrity…or sports team player? Ask God if you should pray in intercession for them.

I often prayerfully intercede for those who are driving too fast…or erratically. It is truly a joy to watch them noticeably slow down as I pray. It is important to remember that it is not me who causes this change in others behavior. Rather, it is He who is in me; God’s Holy Spirit, who I am honored to allow to work through me.

Tomorrow I may be praying for you…or you for me

I automatically pray for police officers, firemen, and ambulance drivers…as they fly by with sirens blaring…as well as for all of those they assist, or will encounter in the course of their duty. Tomorrow I may be praying for you…or you for me. What an absolute blessing it is to submit our will to His and prayerfully intercede for others.

We are our brothers and sisters keeper. We are commissioned to love one another, as Jesus loved the church; His body of believers  here on earth. And, we are all presented with every day opportunities to bless others – even strangers, with intercessory prayer. As an intercessor, the process will soften your heart toward everyone you meet, while you gain in understanding God’s heart toward all of us.

You can be a bridge between God and another who is in need

You can be a bridge between God and another who is in need. Will you accept this holy commission? Will you step up and prayerfully intercede for the strangers among us?

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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From Darkness Into HIS Light

I have added a fifth page to this blog: The Listening Room

Please click on the new ‘Listening Room’ page tab above, or where it is listed in the sidebar to your right, under My Blog Pages. The Listening Room is an interactive cyber prayer room. A quiet place to pray…and to receive prayer or spiritual guidance counseling.

Prayer-Related Scripture

I have selected and added lots of prayer-related scriptures for your prayerful reflection while on your journey from the darkness of the storms in your life…into His light.

Our Heavenly Father Loves You…and is Waiting to Hear from You

May our heavenly Father meet your needs with an overwhelming abundance of His grace, mercy, truth and love – that is beyond the boundaries of your imagination. He loves you…and is waiting to hear from you.

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Travel ‘Light’ My Dear Friend…

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Last Night I Added the ‘On Your Journey’ Page to This Blog

It is my sincere prayer and heart’s desire that our heavenly Father will bless this effort. And, that your mind and heart will receive the words of On Your Journey as intended.

I am in the Process of Writing My First Book

I am in the process of writing my first book. On Your Journey – A Pilgrim’s Guide for all of Life’s Journeys is based on a portion of a letter/poem  I wrote many years ago, entitled On Your Journey. You can go to the new page tab to read On Your Journey…and all of the back-story.

Pilgrims? No, I am not referring to those folks on the Mayflower with funny hats and buckles on their shoes who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1642. Though, I am sure they also needed guidance on their journey – the pilgrims I am talking about are you…and me.

Our Heavenly Father Lovingly Set the Course of Our Life’s Journey

We are pilgrims and travelers on our journey through this time called life – from before we were formed in our mother’s wombs…into eternity. Our heavenly Father has lovingly set the course of our life’s journey in His perfectly designed and personalized plan for each of us. Our task is to have faith in Him… as we follow His lead and guidance.

Please visit the ‘On Your Journey’ page… and watch for the book.

Travel Light My Dear Friend…Take But Three Companions with You on Your Journey – The Father, The Son – Jesus Christ, and the Most Holy Spirit

Travel ‘light’! May our heavenly Father bless you on all of your journeys.  Lovingly, in His name…Anastasia

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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From Darkness to His Light

Walking Out of the Darkness Into His Light

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is filled with wisdom and encouragement for we who grieve. That is all of us. For, everyone will share in the bitter taste of losing a loved one or coping with a tragic loss…yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Many will drink from this cup of broken-heartedness time and time again. However, and thankfully, His Word is true and never changing. These divinely inspired scriptures will lift you from the depths of your sorrow and heartache when you drink from their sweetness; allowing their precious healing balm to restore you.

I pray in the name of Jesus for those who are steeped in grief…that the following scriptures will give you divine counsel and assist your heart in moving from grief in your loss to glory in Him. May you be blessed and restored by the reading of His Word.

For I will turn their mourning into joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.  John 16:20

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.  Psalm 126:5-6

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them; let those who love Your name be joyful in You. For You O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor. You will surround him as with a shield.  Psalm 5:11-12

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

Restore me to the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:12

You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.  Psalm 4:7

So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  Isaiah 51:11

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed  Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.  Isaiah 61:1-3

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid; nor dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!  Psalm 27:14

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.  Psalm 43:5

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble. Psalm 20:1

…You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you don’t know.  Jeremiah 33:3

You will make your prayer unto Him, He will hear you…  Job 22:27

Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’  Isaiah 58:9

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity.  Jeremiah 29:11-14

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:17-18

It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.  Isaiah 65:24

If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  Psalm 46:10

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us — Eternal life.  1 John 2:24-25

“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. And that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.  John 6:40

“Whoever drinks of this water will never thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:14

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  Jude 1:20-21

Most assuredly, I say to you, he that believes in Me has everlasting life. John 6:47

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”  John 10:27-28

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means  precede those who are asleep. For the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

“Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” For we know that if our earthly house, this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2 Corinthians 5:1

So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  John 5:24

“Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.  2 Corinthians 6:18

When you will lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.  Proverbs 3:24

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.  Psalm 37:7

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.  Psalm 3:5

For we walk by faith, not by sight… 2  Corinthians 5:7

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  2 Chronicles 16:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who live according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.  Romans 8:28-30

When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me — until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.  Psalm 73:17

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.  Psalm 36:7

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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The Many Faces of a Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love is the Closest Thing to Unconditional Love

A mother’s love is the closest thing to unconditional love we will ever experience here on earth. The birth of a child is the beginning of a lifetime love affair for most mother’s hearts. That child may be her 1st or her 12th; no matter, a mother’s heart is big enough. For, there is no such thing as too many children for a mother’s heart to love. In a perfect world, every mother would fully manifest this capacity…being  that vision of love personified to her children, and her community. However, in the real world, though many mothers may aspire to this, many do not meet the mark – due to her current daily challenges, coupled with history of the unrepaired brokenness in her own life.

God Made Mother’s Hearts Expandable

Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her womb. Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her heart. Sometimes a delightful and/or difficult combination of both. However and thankfully, though their minds may accept they are not the biological mom, most mother’s hearts do not discern a difference between her birth children, adopted children, step children…and all of the others she gathers along the way who attach to her heart. Each one is a blessing. Each one has his or her own precious place in a mother’s heart. No one has to move over to make room for another. God made a mother’s heart expandable – with a special place and enough love for every child He gives to her.

A Mother’s Love is a Reflection of Our Abba Father’s Love for Us

To be a mother is a gift. To give a child the gift of a mother’s love is a reflection of our Abba Father’s love for us. However, that does not mean it is easy. To love, to truly love…is a daily choice…and can be a burden filled with sacrifice, carried for a lifetime, within a mother’s tender heart.

Praying for Mothers…

Father God, I pray this night for all mothers. I pray for mothers with a history of abandonment, abuse, anger, or broken relationships that may color their ability to more fully demonstrate love in a healthy manner toward their children. I pray for those mothers with mothers who were, or are broken in mind, body or spirit; leaving them a legacy of self-doubt about their own capacity to love. I pray for all of the mothers  raised in loving homes by parents who affirmed them…that they will now lovingly affirm their children. I also pray for every mother who grew up knowing Jesus…that they will now give their children the gift of introducing them to Him.

I pray for mothers with tiny newborn infants clinging to life on heart and lung machines. I pray for the mothers with children who do not have enough to eat, who are dying of starvation in her arms. I pray for every grandmother who is now mother to her grandchildren. I pray for mothers with children who have fragile bodies that are broken, or wracked with disease. I pray for mothers with bright, healthy children who require ongoing daily nourishment for their bodies, minds, and spirits to grow and mature.

I Pray for Mothers Who Do Not Yet Know You

I pray for mothers who do not yet know You dear Lord…and for those who are knowingly or unknowingly presenting their children with false teachings. I pray for mothers who are home-schooling their children, to ensure that You will be in the foundation of their education. I pray for mothers who have children with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other conditions the world considers different and may not understand. I pray for every mother who never held her miscarried child.

I pray for the single mother who must be both mother and father to her children; may You give her strength and courage. I pray for mothers with young children who need Your guidance and right direction each day to fulfill Your promises in them. I pray for mothers with teenagers, that they will seek Godly counsel and not provoke their children to wrath. I pray for mothers with adult children, that they will reconcile their differences with forgiveness – and not abandon or be abandoned. Dear Lord, I pray for all of the daughters who must now be the mother and care-giver to their aged, ill, or incapacitated mother…who may not even know who she is any more.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Injured Her Child in Mind, Body or Spirit

I pray for every expectant mother as she prepares and awaits her coming child. I pray for every mother who has lost her child through her poor choices; resulting in imprisonment, abandonment or divorce. I pray for every mother with children who are lost, that they be found. I pray for every mother who has knowingly or unknowingly injured her children in mind, body or spirit. I pray for every mother who is left with so many unanswerable questions when her child died suddenly in an accident, committed suicide…or was murdered. I pray for every mother with a child who has taken the life of another.

I Pray for Mothers Seeking a Safe Place to Rest Her Head…and Protection for Her Children

Father God, I pray for homeless mothers, who wander, seeking a safe place to rest her head…and protection for her children. I pray for mothers with children who have been kidnapped, sexually abused, or exploited. I pray for all of the mothers who have aborted children from their womb. I pray for all of the mothers who have opened their hearts and homes to children through adoption. I pray for every mother who no longer has her own mother’s love to comfort her. I pray for mothers with children in battle on foreign soil in the service of their country. And, I pray for mothers with children in battle on our streets in service of their gang. I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her proud. And, I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her ashamed. Sometimes – it is just a different season with the same child.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Buried Her Child…Along with the Pieces of Her Broken Heart

I pray for the mothers who have not heard from their child today. Father God, I pray Your perfect peace for mothers, who at this very moment, do not know if their child is dead or alive. I pray for the mothers who are on their knees in daily prayer for guidance, protection, and salvation for their child; that they will make wise choices and understand the consequences of their actions. I pray for the mothers, who in whispers, tears, and pangs of despair…confide in You that it might be better if her child were dead, than to continue living a life of crime or addiction. Father God, I pray every mother who has buried her child, along with the pieces of her broken heart.

I Pray You Will Meet Every Mother’s Spoken and Unspoken Prayer

Dear Father God, I thank you that there is no life circumstance or condition of  heart that is beyond Your loving touch. I pray that all mothers will seek Your face and listen for Your divine guidance. For there is no request any mother can present to You on behalf of her child or herself that is too big or too small for You to hear and respond. I pray Your protection and covering over every mother’s heart. This night I pray in the name, power, and authority of Your Son-Jesus, that You, through the most Holy Spirit, will comfort every mother’s heart; increasing her faith, as You grant her wisdom and discernment in the thoughts of her mind, the words of her mouth, and the actions of her body. I pray dear God, that You will meet every mother’s spoken and unspoken prayer…not in my will but Yours I pray.  -Amen

You may also want to visit ‘Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day’ which is also on my blog at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/

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New England

HE is the Creator of All That is...

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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The mighty and powerful names of God are His clear and loving messages of who He is to us, and for us. He never changes. Therefore, all that He was in biblical times is all that He is today, and will be tomorrow. As you read His names and their meanings, why not take a few moments to reflect on how He has been all of this to you; as well as the areas in your life where you need more of Him.

Call on Him, using His mighty and powerful names.  He is listening and waiting to hear from you.

Elohim Eternal Creator

1 Timothy 1:17

El ShaddaiAlmighty God

Genesis 17:1

Jehovah-Jireh – Lord our Provider

Genesis 22:10-14

Jehovah-Nissi Lord our Banner

Exodus 17:9-15

Jehovah-Rophe Lord our Healer

Exodus 15:24-26

Jehovah-Shalom – Lord our Peace

Judges 6:22

Jehovah-Tsidkenu – Lord our Righteousness

Jeremiah 25:5-6

Jehovah-Mkaddesh Lord our Sanctifier

Exodus 31:15

Jehovah-Shammah – Lord Ever Present

Matthew 28:20

Jehovah-Rohi – Lord our Good Shepherd

John 10:11-12

Jehovah-Elyon – Lord Most High

Psalm 97:9

Jehovah-Hoseenu – Lord our Maker

Psalm 95:6

Jehovah-Eloheenu – Lord our God

Psalm 99:5, 8-9

Jehovah-Elohim – Lord God

Genesis 2:4

Jehovah-Eloheka – Lord your God

Exodus 20:2, 5, 7

Jehovah-Elohay – Lord my God

Zechariah 14: 5-7, 9

Jehovah-Sabaoth – Lord of all Hosts

1 Samuel 17:43-45

I agree with you in prayer today, in the powerful and anointed name of Jesus…that our loving Father will hear your prayers and meet your needs within His perfect will for you. –Amen

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Seek HIM in All Things

Spring Will Soon Be a Memory…Summer is on the Way

It is that time again. Spring will soon be a memory. Summer is on the way. Here on the Mojave, that means  emotions may run as high as the outrageous desert temperatures, as people struggle to stay cool, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Whether living in the dry hot desert, or in the city sweltering in humidity, soon we will all be re-adjusting to the change in season. Tension and stress can run high, as summertime is often packed with increased financial strain in the best of times…and will be even more so in today’s faltering economy. For, with Summer often comes the anticipation and high expectations for that hoped for dream vacation, home improvement project, trip to the theme park, picnics, sporting events, swimming, BBQ’s, concerts, more movies, more eating out; more, more, and more. Summertime often holds the promises of the things we want to buy and activities we want to do…to fill our time, sooth ourselves, and entertain our easily bored children.

Have You Ever Hung Out a ‘Gone Fishing’ Sign?

Have you ever wanted to just hang out a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign?  Have you and your loved ones ever wanted to just slip away to truly refresh and reflect on things that really matter? Have you thought about how truly relaxed you might be if you were not rushing around doing things that are not relaxing?

Why not promise yourself, and plan for some vacation time that really meets your need for restoration. Now is the time to develop a summer itinerary with purpose that will build lasting spiritually and emotionally satisfying memories. Why not make plans to do some things that will not cost anything but time. Why not turn some of your recreation time into personal and family re-creation time. Why not lay a renewed foundation for every day by praying together. It sounds so simple. However, and unfortunately, even in many Christian homes, it is often a much needed but overlooked…or avoided activity. If you are alone in a family of one, find someone to be your prayer partner. If that isn’t possible, one on one communication with your Abba Father will meet your every need…and then some.

Why Not Hang Out That ‘Gone Fishing’Sign Today?

Why not hang out that ‘Gone Fishing’ sign… Ask God to direct you to use your time wisely, and He will reconstruct your days. He will teach you how to be refreshed in Him, while leading you to become a fisher of men…perhaps even within your own family or circle of friends; in your leisure time. He will guide you on His footpath throughout the summer months as He shows you new, refreshing, and exciting ways to draw closer to Him, and to each other. He will show you how to take a debt-free spiritual vacation in every season; at no cost to you, because Jesus already paid the price in full.

Give Yourself a Well Deserved Spiritual Vacation

Sure, it is still okay to have fun and do all the typical summertime things. But please do not forget to invite the Father, the Son-Jesus, and the most Holy Spirit to be with you wherever you go; be it around the world, Disneyland, down the street…or in your own back yard. Make room for them in your life every day; in the good times and bad. Take them with you on your next vacation. They travel for free and do not have extra luggage to pack, or pay for. Life will be sweeter wherever you go, and whatever you do. Give yourself a well deserved spiritual vacation.

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Jesus my Lord and Savior

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The Way

The WAY: Enter Through the Narrow Gate

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

This is God’s crystal-clear statement of His divine plans and perfect will for each of us.

Many of us say we want to be ‘in His will’. However and unfortunately, we often act out in childish willfulness when faced with the reality of walking the walk, and talking the talk…24/7.

We tend to forget His perfect will when we want what we want, when we want it…and are willing to give up anything to get it. Sadly, we set ourselves up for disappointment when we make choices and decisions in headstrong stubbornness against the mind and heart of God.

Do You Have Spiritual Amnesia?

Thankfully, Jesus has already paid the price for us to receive all that the Father purposed for us through His will. However, from time to time (more likely than not) we still get spiritual amnesia and are blinded by our human desire to run our own program.

Our Abba Father’s divine desire is that we each live a life filled with His fruitful abundance…in His time, and in His will. Here is where it gets a little tricky, because we must learn to choose to be obedient and submit our willfulness to His will.

Turn the Reigns of Your Life Over to Him

Turning the reigns of our life over to Him can be the most difficult, yet rewarding, aspect of our Christian walk. So, why do we fight it so much?

God, in His divine wisdom, created us with the ability to make choices and decisions based on our own free will. That makes us feel powerful. We like that. He also designed us with a built-in homing device to draw us back to Him; our Creator. However, in doing so, we must willingly submit and give back our free will to Him. Thus, acknowledging who He is, and who we are in Him. We desire the results, but frustrated by the process.

Only He Knows Your Struggle…and Your Heart

Remember, dear ones, He knows your struggle and your heart. This is not a one-time commitment. It is a daily re-submission process of exercising our willfulness muscles to build a more permanent spiritual strength.

So, be gentle with yourselves. Know that this perfecting of your will shall take you into His presence…and His perfect will.

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Death Valley SunsetJESUS…Blessed be the Name of JESUS

And thou shalt call HIS name JESUS

There is something about that name

JESUS

There is only one name above all names

JESUS

Every knee will bow; every tongue will confess

- Jesus Christ is Lord-

The Prince of Peace, Holy One,

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Prince of Life, Morning Star,

Lamb of God, Son of Righteousness,

Lord God Almighty, Governor,

Messiah…

Lion of the Tribe of Judah,

Root of David, Word of Life,

Author and Finisher of Our Faith,

Lord of All, The Way, Son of God,

Chief Shepherd, Head of the Church,

Dayspring, Advocate,

I Am…

King of Kings, Righteous Judge

Shepherd and Bishop of Souls,

Savior, The Truth, Chief Cornerstone,

Light of the World, Horn of Salvation,

Resurrection and Life, Lord Jesus Christ,

The Alpha and Omega

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Darkness Into Light
A New Door Will Open…on the Other Side of Eternity

Wee little ones  graduate from kindergarten to grade school; others from middle school, high school, and college….

Every Graduation is Preparation for the Next Step

Throughout this time called life, we graduate from one motivating passage to another: womb to birth; crawling to standing; walking to running; babbling to talking; school to employment…moving out, military, marriage, career, baptism, parenthood, widowhood, and maybe eventual retirement. Every graduation is preparation for the next step; as we prepare to do the things, that will prepare us to do the things, that we are being prepared to do.

God Created You to Live a Series of Progressive Graduations

God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He created you to live a very specific series of progressive graduations from your precious conception to your earthly death. Some are mild-stones, remembered as momentous occasions. Others, you can not remember at all. However and interestingly, they are all the same to God;  as each one presents a uniquely tailor-made opportunity for you to grow mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Earthly Rewards Eventually Fade Away

Here on earth, we are handed tangible acknowledgments of our graduations such as certificates, report cards, diplomas,  promotions, paychecks, certificates, birthday cards, licenses, and contracts. We then hear: “Congratulations! (fill in your name)”. Albeit joyous and valuable occasions, we are being presented with kind words and earthly rewards for achievements that will eventually fade away.

How Many Graduations Will I Have?

I don’t know how many graduations you’ve experienced…or will experience. Some of us have many, others – very few. I don’t even pretend to understand why the difference. However, I do know, young or old,  rich or poor, successful or not, there is an ultimate graduation all of us must experience: the final graduation from earthly existence into life eternal.

Dear one, what do you want to receive, and what are the words you long to hear at your final graduation? The Bible reminds us to press on; that we may receive crowns, and hear: “Well done good and faithful servant.” These words speak of the spiritual rewards that will last into eternity for believers in God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

We Are All Going Somewhere After Our Final Graduation

The choice is yours. Will you  live in eternity with Jesus? Or, will you spend eternity in that other place so many do not want to even acknowledge exists? Yes, the choice is yours;  heaven or hell. There is no graduation party in hell. Satan’s only purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy. The only one celebrating in hell  is satan and his followers. They  celebrate the killing of life, the stealing of the truth, and the destruction of hope. They celebrate another lost soul knowingly or unknowingly committed to an eternity in the pits of  hell.  Choose wisely dear one. Choose Jesus! He will celebrate your life and your choice to follow Him.

Will Your Final Graduation be a Celebration of Your Life and …Choice to Follow Jesus?

It is never too late…or too early, to decide where you are going, while you are still here on earth. Every person born on earth has the opportunity to choose heaven. No one has strayed too far. Remember the thief on the cross who repented? Jesus told him, Today you will be in Paradise with Me. Forgiveness is for the taking. Jesus died and shed His blood for our sins, so that we may celebrate life eternal with Him. Choose wisely; choose Jesus. Let your final graduation be a celebration of your life, and your choice to follow Jesus.

I Agree with You in Prayer

I agree with you in prayer that you will choose wisely to live your life in, through, and with Jesus; one meaningful graduation at a time…while knowing the most significant treasure and graduation is yet to come in eternity with God the Father, the Spn-Jesus Christ, and the most Holy Spirit.

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Fall Leaves in New England
HE Loves Us… Unconditionally

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We hear people say it all the time: I want unconditional love. I want someone who will love me no matter what I say or do. Someone who will accept me just as I am; with all of my emotional baggage…warts and all.

Are You Setting Yourself Up for Disappointment and Disillusionment?

In reality, when we seek unconditional love from a human object of our affections, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and disillusionment. Many find themselves seeking this illusive dream person and idealized love human relationship over and over…and over again.

We all Want to Know that Someone Loves Us Unconditionally…

Interestingly, even though our personalities can be so drastically different, we are all more basically alike than we are different. Though we manifest our need for love in a variety of creative, charming, or covert ways, we all have that same built in desire for true unconditional love. At times we will not, or can not admit it, but it is there in all of us; from the most tender-hearted to the most hardened heart…we all want to know that someone loves us unconditionally.

Is Your Need for Unconditional Love Camouflaged to Protect Your Broken Heart?

The inevitable happens when two individuals are locked in the battle of a love relationship campaigning for their individual right to receive unconditional love from the other. Unfortunately, neither one will win. Both will have so much focus on their own wants, needs, and desires that it will be impossible to even partially meeting the other’s needs, let alone offer or receive anything close to unconditional love. Sooner or later, one or both feel neglected, misunderstood, and unloved. And so the illusive cycle continues once again, feeling lost and seeking unconditional love; both start thinking they are not lovable and not worthy of love. Though their need for unconditional love continues, it often becomes covered and camouflaged to protect their broken hearts.

Unconditional Love Does Exist

So, what is the answer? Give up? Let go of the dream? No. However, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you will keep getting what you have been getting. Is that what you want? Unconditional love does exist. You will just never it find in someone here on earth, or be able to give it to someone here on earth.

God Offers You His incomparable, Unconditional Love Into Eternity

God is the ‘someone’ who loves us unconditionally. Our Abba Father offers each of us an opportunity to receive the unconditional love we so strongly desire, and need, in order to flourish and grow. His divine unconditional love for you began before the foundation of the world. He knew you and loved you unconditionally before you were formed in your mother’s womb. There is nothing you can do to become more worthy of His love. And, there is nothing you can do to remove His love from you. He offers you His incomparable, unconditional love into eternity.

Have You Said ‘Yes’ to His Divine Offer?

If not, what is stopping you from receiving the unconditional love you have sought all of your life? Won’t you reach out and accept His love offering? I pray you will receive His gift and enter into His presence, knowing you are His and are loved beyond the bounds of your earthly expectations.

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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How Beautiful YOUR Creations
How Beautiful YOUR Creations

Well, I just took a further step into today’s technology.

I now Tweet on Twitter….

Please consider following me… as I follow my Leader, Jesus Christ

My Twitter name is AnastasiaHIS

Although I have used computers for a few decades, and the Internet since 1995…’Twittering’ is all new to me.

I pray God will bless my efforts...

May those who already understand how to use Twitter prayerfully bear with me in support of this new adventure.

You can visit my Twitter from the  Sidebar, the Blog Roll…or go to  http://twitter.com/AnastasiaHIS

My continuing desire is to gather…two or more…in the mighty, powerful, and anointed name of Jesus Christ – for fellowship and prayer for one another…even on Twitter.

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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-Anastasia Diamond

Daisy

Be Blessed Today…and Always

This wonderful old Irish blessing speaks affirmations of hope,  encouragement, goodness, prosperity, friendship…and joy into the lives of all who receive it.

May there always be work for your hands to do

May your purse always hold a coin or two

May the sun always shine on your windowpane

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain

May the hand of a friend always be near you

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

I reflected on these words in relation to God’s Word in the Holy Bible. The following seven scriptures are my Biblcial interpretation:

1. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

2. Be content with your wages. Luke 3:14

3. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalms 84:11

4. And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-16

5. A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

6. You have put gladness in my heart. Psalms 4:17

7. Is anyone cheerful? Let him pray. James 5:13

I pray all of God’s covering of blessings for you this day. May you always know how very precious you are to Him. May His perfect peace, through His most Holy Spirit… give you guidance and comfort in the midst of uncertainty and daily chaos. May His Son, Jesus Christ, be your constant companion today, tomorrow…and for eternity.

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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Come Alongside
Come Alongside

To come alongside the grieving is to be side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

The simple coupling of these words creates a powerful word picture of unity and solidarity; oneness and togetherness. It is a true honor and a gift to be with another human being, as they allow you to share in the darkest moments of their soul. In the span of a lifetime, each of us is granted a number of unique opportunities to experience our own grief…and  to come alongside others in their grief. Loss happens to all of us. It is unavoidable.

The natural response to loss is to grieve.

Everyone who is grieving needs some level of companionship and social support…a safe place to explore their feelings, the freedom to practice their cultural customs and rituals, and true acceptance of how they grieve…for how ever long that takes. Additionally, they need accurate information and education about the natural grieving process. This is where friends, family, counselors, pastors and others with patience and love, can come alongside the grieving…sincerely acknowledging the gravity of what they have experienced… while encouraging and supporting them through their grief in a non-threatening manner. Walking with them through their grief process, so that in time they will find the courage to acknowledge the loss, experience the pain, re-adjust to a world without whom ever or what ever they lost …and find closure in moving on and saying good-bye.


Grief after-care…

Sadly, many people do not get all of the grief after-care necessary to assist them in walking through the process in a healthy and healing manner. Therefore, though we may not know it, we meet people every day who are at various stages in the grieving process and attempting to cope with new or lingering loss issues. It is important to remember that though some losses are obviously new, there are also the forgotten grievers. Those who are still grieving a loss that may have happened years before; and long after most friends, family, and the church have all but forgotten.


Good intentions…but I don’t know what to say or do.

Most of us have good intentions, and truly desire to be encouraging and supportive when faced with a person who is grieving and mourning a loss. We just don’t know what to say, or when and how to say it. Therefore, we often stumble through; at times saying things that at best sound like a poorly written sympathy card, and at worse – we say things that hinder rather than help, and hurt instead of heal.

Who we are when we are faced with the challenges of interacting with someone who is devastated by loss speaks volumes of how we ourselves have dealt with our own loss and grief issues.


Care givers are at risk of re-opening the wounds of their own grief.

We may sincerely desire to come alongside and walk with them through the darkness and into the light. Nonetheless, every time we encounter someone who is grieving the loss of love, faith, hope, a pet, family, friendship, fellowship, marriage, a job, home, health, mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother, or child…. We are at risk of re-opening the wound of our own grief.


Even the seasoned grief counselor will have times and circumstances that will bring tears and emotions. They could not do what they do if they stopped feeling. However, to be of value to the grieving…a grief counselor’s tears and emotions are most helpful when motivated from that place of ‘coming alongside’…not from their own unresolved grief issues.


When talking with a grieving person, we can be the most helpful if we ourselves are sincerely moving toward a place of wholeness and hope in our own grieving process. If not, our grief may spurt out and spill over; covering the tender wound in the griever’s heart with even more hopelessness and despair than when they first started. Unfortunately, this can happen when our own loss issues have not sufficiently healed. Then we too walk away disillusioned and wounded; carrying renewed feelings of loss and grief.


Coming along-side the grieving…or cleansing your own wounds?

So, you may now ask: How can I get to the place of being able to truly come alongside someone who is grieving…and leave them better than I found them?

First things first; you must do your own grief work before you can truly come alongside some one else who is grieving. Otherwise, you may not be coming alongside them at all. Instead, you may knowingly or unknowingly, be sharing in their grief only to have a forum to expose and cleanse your own wound….or to make less of their grief and make more of your own. Like a contest; comparing who has suffered more.  This is not healthy for either of you.


When you are talking with someone who is grieving while you are in the midst of your own grief, and find yourself thinking, I am the best person for you to talk to, or saying something like, “I know exactly what you’re going through”…Take a breath, and step back from the situation. Maybe you are the right person; but maybe it is not the right time. Maybe you are not quite ready yet. It truly depends on how fresh and open your own grief wound is, and how much grief work you have done at the time. You must take care of yourself before you can honestly and effectively care for another.


Doctor…is that a wound in your hand?

Perhaps this will illustrate the point. How effective would the most brilliant surgeon be if he had a gapping, bleeding wound in his hand…while operating on the gapping, bleeding wound in your hand? Granted, he has been there…he does know what you are going through; but he is not functioning at 100%.  Both his perspective and his skill have been compromised by the wound in his own hand. Untreated, his wound could infect your already injured hand and negatively affect your healing process.


As for the patient, you are anaesthetized and in no condition to protest; or even know that the surgeon is incapable of operating at the time. I think it is safe to say that if you were fully aware and had a choice, you would choose a surgeon with the experience to operate on your wound, but not one of the walking wounded himself, while he is still bleeding. However, once his hand is functioning well, this same doctor will perform hand surgeries with a deeper compassion and stark awareness of what his patients have and will experience. He will truly understand what it will take for them to function in complete wholeness again. He will be able to sincerely tell them that though their hand will be somewhat different after surgery, they will survive and be able lead a full and productive life again.


Indeed, if he shares what he learned from his own wound and healing process, he will be a better doctor; one capable of coming alongside his patients. Both they and he will benefit from his experience.


We are all much like the doctor and patient in this story. We must be ever so careful in how we care for the grieving and their wounds. We must therefore ensure that we ourselves are taken care of and understand the process before we attempt to perform an operation on another’s wounded mind, heart and/or spirit.


We must know, within our own experience, that there truly is life beyond wounds and earthly loss. Otherwise, we will offer myths, empty promises, and cliché answers that will only partially cover the pain, but not assist in their walk toward wholeness.


Finding a New Normal

People who are grieving are often anaesthetized by the pain of the loss; numb and unaware at first. Yet, they do know they are wounded. They wonder and ask…will I ever feel normal; will my life ever be the same again? The hard answer is no, your life after this loss will be different. Wait, don’t run away and hide. Different does not have to be horrible, empty and lonely; different is different. None of us can recapture time, and often the people and things grieved over may be gone from this world forever. However, we can all learn to adjust, to find enjoyment, and fulfillment in a new way of living life; and that becomes our new normal.


One of the precious gifts you are likely to receive in ministering to grieving hearts is the opportunity to assist them in finding peace, hope, faith, healing, comfort…and contentment in their new normal. You may assist them by coming along-side the grieving in their walk towards wholeness in a life without those things, circumstances and people they thought they could never live without.

Yes…it is a challenge. However, you may find deep within you – a Holy Spirit inspired well of blessed and merciful resourcefulness…just waiting to be tapped.

As you come alongside the grieving, you will have the blessed opportunity to draw them towards a renewed, fulfilled and productive life…beyond the valley of the shadow of their loss…and into a closer walk with Jesus.


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Heaven Sent Rocket

Prayer is a Heaven-Sent Rocket from Your Heart to God’s Ear

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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I was in complete awe when I took this photograph…and even more so when I developed it. For, to me…this was instantly a visual representation of the trajectory of our prayers. We talk to God with words, pleas, thoughts, shouts, whispers, and groanings called our prayers. Then, when we are ready to let go of them…we release and send our prayers up to Him. He listens all the while…but patiently waits for our ‘let go and let God’ release.

We have great difficulty conceptualizing how far our prayers might travel and accepting how long they will take to be answered. That seemingly empty space between releasing our prayer and God’s answer…is our time of  growing in faith, as we wait for HIS perfect will and His divine answer…in His perfect time.

The star burst above the waiting place is our prayer – received, ignited, and being answered through His divine action. Never give up on your prayers…or your heavenly Father. His ways are not our ways. Therefore, His answer will most likely come in ways, means and timing that are not within your limited expectations. Trust Him and give Him praise in the midst of the storm…while you are waiting for His perfect answer to your prayers.

Prayer is our earthly opportunity for direct communication with God. Our Heavenly Father loves you. He is waiting to hear from you about all of the circumstances of your life. May you be blessed with lots of daily two-way conversations with Him. May your relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ grow as you draw nearer to Him.

God is our Abba Father…or Daddy Father.

Many of us had or have difficult, unsafe, or no relationship with our earthly father. Many of us lost trust in – and respect for – people who were supposed to protect and love us. It is important to know that it is safe to go to Abba Father with all of our questions, concerns, heartache, joy, hurt, pain, sorrow, fear, stress, addictions, anger, brokeness, frustration, passion, hate…and everything else that affects us daily.

Our Abba Father is wise, tender, gentle, honest and truthful. He is the only one who can truly give us the unconditional love we all seek. My earthly father died in the hospital during an open-heart surgery when I was seven years old. I felt alone and abandoned. It took me a very long time to trust, in faith, that God would not also abandon me. However, it was when I absorbed the concept that my Heavenly Father would never leave me- or forsake me – that I was finally able to pour out my heart to Him in prayer.

I do not know your life circumstances at this moment. You may be a blood bought believer child of God. Or, this may be your first exposure to Christianity and the concept of having an Abba Father who knows and loves you – right now, today…in the midst of your sin.

You may or may not have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Therefore, I will take this opportunity to invite you to know Him who went to the cross for you. He is the door to eternal salvation. His word in the Holy Bible tells us that if we open the door when He knocks, He will come in. This may be your time to open that door.

If you choose and are ready, please repeat the following prayer:

Dear God, my Abba Father, I come to You because I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ was born, died on the cross for my sins, and was resurrected so that I may have eternal life through Him. I repent of my sins, and accept that Jesus’ shed blood and crucified body was full atonement for all of my sins. I submit my life and all of my works to You dear Lord. I trust, in faith, that You will make me over into Your blood bought child, and I will never be alone or fatherless again. These things I pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dear ones, it is my honor to agree with you in prayer that your Abba Father will meet your every need in His perfect time.

Father, I come before You so humbled in Your presence dear Lord. You, who knew each of us before we were formed in our mother’s womb…and before the foundation of the world, care more deeply for us than we can possibly understand or imagine. I ask dear Lord, in the name, power, and authority of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that You meet each and every need presented here according to Your will. Father, I pray You will touch and inspire Your children through the power and guidance of the most Holy Spirit to minister to one another – in love, with mercy and hope.

I also pray Your words in Jeremiah 29:11 over all who are visiting ‘JESUS…My Lord and Savior’: For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Father I pray that each of these – your children – receives and accepts Your loving plan for them…in name of Your Son, Jesus I pray. – Amen

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Fall in New England-Lake and Trees
Two Sides to Every Conversation…Even with God

It is said that God gave us two ears and one mouth because He knew listening would be twice as difficult as talking.

The fact is, at times we all tend to be a bit selfish and childish in our communications. Right or wrong, we often talk (about ourselves) more than we listen (to others). We expect to be heard, understood, respected and accepted when we speak. We also want unconditional love and instant forgiveness for our ill chosen words. At the same time, we often have false expectations that others will know exactly what we mean…and are disappointed when they do not.

I don’t even pretend to fully understand the total mind of our heavenly Father when He created man in His image.

However, God is the most profoundly wonderful communicator. He, who spoke the world into existence, is now and always has been the personification of an exceptional listener. With His divine guidance, our communication skills can be in His image.

God’s Word teaches us to be still…and to not speak unnecessary words.

However, at times, we are so tightly focused on our own needs that we forget there is an equally vulnerable heart and questioning mind needing nurturing on the other side of the conversation. Instead of engaging in true fellowship, actively sending and receiving information in the manner it was intended, our communications easily become a self-indulgent monologue, coupled with destructive immaturity. Though we live in a world filled with endless chatter, within each of us is the need for a listener in the midst of the chaos, someone who will honor and respect our heartfelt emotions. Someone, in His image, who will continue listening when they hear and see us for who we really are; not who we want them to think we are. Someone who will listen and not turn away.

So,…how do we come closer to having true fellowship and develop more mature communication skills?

Clearly, we must each find a balance between speaking our mind and listening with our heart.

God, in His divine wisdom, gave us two ears and one mouth. Therefore, we must begin, not by talking…but by listening. With one ear finely tuned to the direction of the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom, and the other intent on listening to those with whom we are communicating.

Interestingly, most of us listen and think at about 400 to 600 words per minute, while we speak about 100 to 150 words per minute.

God purposefully created us to have plenty of time to listen with our whole head, heart and body; not just our ears. He designed us with a capacity to understand what is being said, coupled with a built in time lag that allows us to check everything with the Holy Spirit…and develop our answers, or clarifying questions. We just need to learn to use these abilities in the manner He intended.

Listening can be a difficult – but rewarding work!

We listen to show acceptance, to gain knowledge, to understand, to give and gain trust, to reassure, to support, and to react to ideas. Let us all pray that God, through His Holy Spirit, and in the name of His Son, Jesus, will give us the desire and patience to listen more. Active listening is not just a learned skill. It is a matter of purposeful attitude.

Our parents were right when they told us it was very important to look at the other person when we speak, or are listening. Ignoring or looking away, sends a message of disinterest, or disrespect, and maybe even defiance. Speak encouragement into the lives of those around you by choosing words that promote their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health, healing and well being.

Everyone needs a listener.

However, so many of our conversations are like rapid-fire debates, with people listening only long enough to disprove what is being said. Take time to listen. Others will respond more positively to our communications when we listen with a true heartfelt desire to understand them.

Always remember…words that wound, cut deep and may never heal.

When you have differences of opinion, decide just how important it is to ‘win’ this one.

The Bible reminds us not to let the sun go down on our anger. So, talk it through…being gentle with your self, and others. Always seek to find mutual points of agreement, instead of focusing on that small false victory of being right.

Prayer – although one of the most important aspects of Christian communication…is often the most overlooked.

A commitment to daily prayer and spiritual accountability maintains our open lines of communication with God. The more we talk with Him and truly listen to His responses, the more His Word and His heart will be present in our communications with our self and others.

God gave us His Son Jesus Christ – that we may have a relationship with Him.

Jesus sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to give us guidance and direction. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are available to us 24/7. We can call on them to teach us divinely inspired communication skills. When we listen, truly listen, we give others a priceless gift that will cost us only our time and attention, while giving us the blessed opportunity to be God with skin on for His children.

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond





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Flowers and Posts

Let HIS Holiness Reign in You

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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“Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Temptation surrounds us at every turn!

In these days of brazen exclamations promoting political and moral freedom of choice, we are continually enticed to lose touch with the blessings of purity and holiness. Unholiness and impurity manifests in every possible way in this prideful ‘Me-first’ world.

Our passion nature is the connecting tie to all unholy manifestations.

Indeed, the biggest life struggle each of us has is between our passion nature (what we want – even to our detriment) and our spiritual nature (following God’s will for us). Therefore, anything we desire more than our relationship with Jesus Christ can draw us into an unholy and unbalanced alliance. Anything? Yes, anything: power, perfection, food, money, shopping, sex, drugs, alcohol, relationships, career, love, family, position, beauty, possessions, fame…etc, etc, etc.

God bestowed the uniqueness of personal free will upon each of us to set us apart from all of the rest of His creations. Thus, allowing us the option to choose Him, over anything the world can offer. Now, that is truly moral freedom of choice.

We are our heavenly Father’s blood-bought children.

His call is for all of His children to be pure and holy. He set a family standard for us to live up to in all areas of our life. Opportunities to turn from His standard surround us. The unbalanced nature of impurity and unholiness starts in our heart, flows to our mind, grows in our imagination, alters our surroundings, and changes our speech…then manifests in our actions.

If God set a standard, He must have also provided a way to attain and maintain it.

The Bible reminds us that we have not because we ask not. We often do not ask because we choose to hold onto the things and habits that bind us. To balance your passion nature with your spiritual nature, be honest before God.

Ask Him for His mercy. Ask Him to show you what has drawn you away from Him, how it has manifested…and what you must do to change. Ask Him to cleanse you from anything that draws you away from your walk with Him.

Ask God, who is holy, to purify your heart…to make you holy as He is holy.

Make it part of your daily prayer that you will become holy and pure, as He is – in the thoughts of your mind, the words of your mouth, and the actions of your body. Believe in your heart that through the process of sanctification, He will purify you in all things; for this is His will for you.

You may think a pure and holy life is boring and not worth the effort.

Fortunately, you are wrong. Living life as our Creator intended actually brings balance, joy, harmony, and abundant life to our passion nature and the chaos of our daily existence. This allows us the ability to prioritize our life with God at the head of every compartment, which in turn, brings everything in our life under submission to His perfect will for all of His children. In doing so, the fruits of our passion nature glorify God, while we experience the blessing of being in His will, and walking a closer walk with Him.

Is it easy to submit our passion nature to God, in an effort to become holy, as He is holy? No…not hardly. If it were, everyone would be walking this narrower spiritual road. However, it is wisdom for every Christ-follower to seek to submit ourselves to His divine will for guidance on the path toward holiness in all things.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13-16)

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/





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Cloud and Rainbow
HE Promised a Rainbow!

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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As 2009 unravels his banner, we grapple with dramatic daily historic changes that challenge and threaten the world’s political, economic, and military climate.

We are witness to ever-increasing natural catastrophes of Revelation proportions

We often watch, almost as casual observers, while man’s inhumanity to man creates the chaos and calamity of terrorism, prejudice, hatred, crime, murder, poverty, famine and disease throughout our neighborhoods and our world. In addition, we are witness to wordwide physical climate changes that cry out of an extraordinary, earth-shattering instability ignited by probable global warming and ever-increasing natural catastrophes of Revelation proportions

What in the world is happening?


There is no place on earth untouched by man-made or natural disasters. I live in California, where every year we watch wild firestorms blaze and char thousands of acres; destroying land and homes, displacing people and pets . Every time the earth shakes we wonder: Is this the Big One? It could happen today! We could be the next to be buried under tons of rubble, or evacuated. Where to go? What to do? If firestorms and earthquake country are not your cup of tea…what is the major natural disaster in your area: flood, draught, tsunami, hurricane, monsoon, volcano, lightning strike, blizzard, tornado, an avalanche?


The experts remind us to be prepared


Keep our gas tanks half-full, store an emergency kit in our cars, and have another one at home. Kits should include a radio, whistle, paper, pens, maps, flashlight, copies of identification and credit cards, contact names and numbers, sturdy shoes, clothes, tools, utensils, blankets, and enough food, water, first-aid supplies, medicine, infant and pet supplies, hygiene and sanitation items, waterproofed matches, batteries, and cash to survive without assistance for at least three days.

Unfortunately, recent disasters have taught us that it could take much longer. Every person should have an agreed upon, after the disaster, location for all family members or friends to meet.

Your cell phone might not work, and it may be impossible to make local phone calls. Therefore, also have an agreed upon out of state contact person.


Are you prepared?


Are you prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually for a natural or man-made catastrophe?

Logic dictates that we should heed the warnings and be prepared to the best of our ability for whatever may come our way. You can start today. Visit http://www.christianemergencynetwork.com to find out more.


Remember, dear ones, It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

Christians are not exempt from experiencing these disasters. Trust God, be prepared, pray daily, and put extra Bibles in your emergency survival kits.

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Blue Flowers and Clouds
Look for HIS Hand Touching Everything

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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Never underestimate the power of prayer

The Bible declares the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. The source of that power comes from God; the Almighty creator of the universe who spoke everything into existence…not from we who pray.

The next time you are broken and discouraged, remember that God releases that same unlimited power He applied to creating the universe when we approach Him in prayer to heal the sick, to change hearts, habits, and circumstances; to give wisdom and understanding; to overcome enemies; to conquer death, and to defeat demons.

Fear not as you pray…give it all to Him

Although His answers are not always yes, His will is always for our ultimate good. God always responds in His power. God listens, and moves powerfully in response to prayers that communicate with Him, heart to heart, in obedience with His will. He desires that we trust Him fully and understand that we are partners in prayer. We initiate prayer, and He completes it in His power.

His unlimited power

Just as we have humbly acknowledged that we cannot save ourselves, we must also humbly acknowledge that it is only through His unlimited power that our prayers are answered.

It doesn’t take fancy words to talk to God

Contrary to what many believe, it doesn’t take fancy words to talk with God. The Lord’s Prayer is Jesus’ model of how we should pray to release God’s power into our circumstances, and when we intercede for others. In it, He shows us how to acknowledge God’s sovereignty; praise, trust, and glorify Him; state our need, confess and repent of our wrongdoings; forgive and ask for forgiveness; receive protection; then praise Him again in thankfulness for all He has done, all He is doing, and all that He is going to do in and through His divine power.

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sunrisesilhouette
The Magnificent Power God’s Grace, Mercy…and Love

JESUS my Lord and Savior


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Your self-esteem gages how you truly think and feel about yourself.


High Self-Esteem…and Self-Importance

It is clearly reflected in all you say and do. We live in a ‘me-first’ society that promotes high self-esteem based on physical appearance, intelligence, education, belongings, religious status, money, and position.


All of this worldly self-focus leads many to a develop a false sense of self-importance…coupled with prideful thoughts, words, and actions that overlook or ignore God’s grace mercy, and love.


Low Self-Esteem…and Self-Focus

At the other end of the ‘me-first’ pride spectrum are those with low self-esteem… those who feel they are never enough.


They are often so inwardly focused on themselves and filled with such self-limiting fear, self-pity, self-loathing and self-consciousness that no matter how good life may be, they are incapable of feeling good about themselves and do not see themselves as worthy of God’s grace, mercy, and love.


The focus is on self…not on God

Either way…Christian or non-Christian…when we possess excessively high or excessively low self-esteem, the prideful focus remains on self – not God. Our self-perception and level of self-centeredness affects every facet of our lives: home, family, relationships, work, and ministry.


Genesis 1:26 tells us that God created us in His image.

That magnitude of that scripture always gets me. Once again…I need  a moment to receive and absorb the depth of that scriptural truth. Does it affect you the same way? We – you and I…are made in the image of our Abba Father – the Creator of the all that is…and all that ever will be. That concept leaves me completely awestruck!


What God thinks about us is what truly matters…

Dear one, no matter what society says, how we think or feel, or what others believe about us, our one true human foundation is built on God’s perception of who we are. We are uniquely endowed, unlike any other creature on earth, with the promise that we are made in God’s image. Our divine heritage is in God’s family, our spiritual DNA is imprinted with His name, His nature, His love, His promises, and His vision for us.


True Self-Esteem…and Who We are in Christ

God demonstrated His love and spiritual plan for each of us on the cross at Calvary over 2,000 years ago. Our heavenly Father proved, overwhelmingly, that He holds each of us in the highest esteem when He offered Himself through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to be our Savior.

It is through receiving Him and His blood sacrifice on the cross that we have eternal value. Only He can reveal to us an understanding that true self-esteem is found through recognizing and proclaiming who we are in Christ. Then, through the purifying process of sanctification, we let go of our me-first esteem, and humbly acknowledge that we are worthy only because His worthiness healed us of our sins, while balancing our self-esteem with His grace, mercy, and love.

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Night Sky with Star and Red Cloud

Tell Them Your Glory Story …Your Testimony in HIM

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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When a wise person speaks – they give a reason for the hope that is within them.


They testify; bearing witness and announcing to all who have ears to hear, the truth of their testimony. They are willing to confess publicly, who they were before they met Jesus, so others may also know the ONE who died to save us all.


What is your wisdom quotient?


What is your testimony? How did you meet Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you have the words ready to share – in your mind and in your mouth?


Sadly – many Christians do not witness their life changing faith to others… especially those who need to hear it the most.


They often feel intimidated; confusing witnessing with that number one fear: public speaking. Indeed, many people are so afraid of public speaking, they say they’d rather die than do it. Dear one, the alarming truth is that you are saved, but others may die without knowing Jesus if you don’t tell them. The truth of your testimony may be exactly what they need to hear.


I challenge you to be wise and prepared…at your next opportunity to share your testimony.


Do your homework so the words will come easy and spontaneous. Prayerfully, privately, and honestly review who you were before and since you met Jesus. Writing down your testimony and committing it to memory will enable you to share what is in your heart with confidence.


Let us all pray that God will give each of us boldness through the Holy Spirit to tell others the reason for the eternal hope within us.

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Joshua Tree Flower
Are You Surrounded by the Thorns of Life?

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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How is your stress level?

…when you think about wars, global warming, the recession, unemployment, trillions of dollars in national debt, taxes…taxes… taxes, big business bailouts, foreclosures, family, work, and school obligations? What about window-shopping at the grocery store, the shrinking dollar, highway robbery at the gas pump, jolts in the stock market, ever-increasing personal debt, natural catastrophes, gang violence, identity theft, and an uncertain political future?


To say the least – it is difficult to be anxious for nothing today

However, that is exactly what Philippians 4:6-7 directs us to do when we are nervous, worried, and frightened. Just look at the divine wisdom and encouragement of this advice:


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanks- giving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”


Scriptural guidelines when we are faced with adversity


Philippians 4:8 gives us specific guidelines of those things we should focus on when faced with adversity:


Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.”


So, dear ones, in these difficult times, when you are feeling anxious about personal and global woes that feel out of your control…follow Jesus’ example; surrender everything to our heavenly Father – and lean on the everlasting power of His Word.


All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010…”JESUS my Lord and Savior-ANASTASIA DIAMOND’S Prayerful Reflections…and Photographs on a Spiritual Journey from Darkness into HIS Light” Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Anastasia Diamond is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given author/photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at: http://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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Sunset Over Water
Go Into the Deep with HIM…

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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The word ‘Minister’ is a noun and a verb…both a person…and an action


A Minister is a chosen servant of Christ who ministers by serving others. That sounds like what a Pastor does. Surely that doesn’t mean you and me. Or does it?

Who are the Ministers?

Certainly Pastors, but all Christians are Ministers of God’s word, called to minister by serving others. A Minister not only sees the sorrow, loss, anger, disappointment, fear, hopelessness and pain in the world, but they do something very profound; Ministers minister.

How can we become ‘ministering’ Ministers?


God already set the foundation with the ministry gift(s) He gave us: Words of Wisdom; Words of Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Working of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. We too are Ministers who minister when we apply our gift(s), with love, to the life issues we encounter in ourselves and others.


Minister to others


Whether apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher – our gifts were given to equip us to enlighten the body of Christ while bearing one another’s burdens with love, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.


Use your gifts


God intended us to minister to others through service, teaching, exhorting, giving, leading, and mercy.Find your gift…claim your gift…and use your gift to minister to others in HIS name.

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Four Candles
The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit…and Me

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I also received the precious and promised gift of the Holy Spirit – the indwelling comforter – to live inside of me.


I am the host – He, the invited Guest, and my constant companion from that day forward. Although I may not fully understand how it happened, I do believe, through faith, the Holy Spirit took up residence in my body to provide me with a spiritual compass of guidance and direction for the rest of my life.


Many consider the Holy Spirit the most mysterious member of the Divine Three.


Yet, He is the One who knows me so intimately well. My body is His home and I take Him wherever I go. Therefore…He is involved in my life in a more deeply familiar way than anyone else is, or ever could be. For, He knows where and how I live, work, and play. He goes where I go. He knows my every thought. He sees what I see…and do. He hears what I say. He is exposed to what I experience; what I eat, drink, and the consequences of my daily choices. It is somewhat embarrassing that He knows everything about me…the good, the bad, and the ugly. The things I would not want anyone to know about me – He knows.


Thankfully, neither you nor I can surprise…or shock Him.


However, we can, and I am sure I have at times, offended Him by my choices. However, and mercifully, the process of sanctification illuminates levels of God’s truth in us, as we are ready to receive more of Him. Therefore, as a blood bought body of Jesus Christ, my earthly obligation is to seek His truth, repent, submit, and change, as I become aware of the ways I offend the Holy Spirit. His divine and loving obligation to me is to continue to assist me with His indwelling wisdom, guidance, direction, and comfort…without condemnation.


May we remember always that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.


Neither you nor I would invite – then ignore – an earthly guest in our home. We would honor our guest; inviting him to share in all the best that our home can offer. Let us each be a gracious, respectful and accepting host to our Divine Guest, the Holy Spirit of God. Bookmark and Share

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Bible and Rose

God's WORD-The Lamp Unto My Feet...and Light Unto My Path

JESUS My Lord and Savior

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God is the Master Physician
The gift of healing is a biblical promise to be received, when it is asked for in the name of Jesus; for by His stripes we are healed. We have all had times when we have prayed or cried out for healing for ourselves, and for others. How many times have you received all that you asked for? Once, twice, ten times, one hundred times…none?

Healing is in His perfect will for each of us

God’s word teaches us that healing is in accord with His perfect will for each of us. However, how often have we unknowingly diverted His plan for complete physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing? We live in an instant gratification society that reaches into the depths of our hearts and minds to create an ‘instant healing’ scenario, that if not met, can tear at our faith and give us an excuse for denying God’s goodness.

When this happens, instead of receiving all that He holds in store for us, we rob Him of His rightful praise for all that He has done, all that He is doing, and all that He is going to do. Instead of standing on His promises and continually praising Him for our healing, we immediately return to reciting our laundry list of ills, ailments, and addictions. We then walk away discouraged, disappointed, and feeling that God’s promise for healing does not include us.

There is a better way!


Enter your prayer for healing for yourself and others with anticipation; not knowing when the healing will come, but with unwavering faith in His promise, that it will come. We must relinquish the process to Him. Yes, although some healing is instantaneous, this is where walking by faith, not by sight, is put into action. For, not unlike other movements from God, many more healings seem to be rather progressive, happening more slowly but steadily, as we learn to walk in His will. Still, other healings may come in ways that we would not choose or understand.


Receive His gift of healing in His time, in His way…and in His will


So, praise Him in all things, receiving His gracious gift of healing – in His time, in His way, and in His will. You will no longer be disappointed if you trust that He truly has your best interest at heart. Instead, you will walk in anticipation of the fulfillment of His promises. You will walk in the wonderment of His perfect timing. You will rejoice, refilled, and encouraged that His word truly is medicine to all our flesh.

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Flowers and Posts
LORD Re-Member Me

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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Jesus’ resurrection promise of renewal for our body, mind, and spirit is still fresh in our hearts.

But, where do we…His blood-bought bodies…take it from here?

What can we do differently this year to reflect the priceless value of His death and resurrection in our daily life?

The thief’s words to Jesus on the cross give us a hint, when He said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”


The Lord has impressed upon my heart that spiritual renewal here on earth is the process of being re-membered into our heavenly family…Finding our way back to Him, re-joined and reunited.


The thief always had the ability to return to his Father, but he had to choose to be re-membered into His family.


Choosing to be re-membered means standing, at all cost, for re-membership into the family of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Choosing to be re-membered is a declaration of loyalty…of belonging only to Him.


It is choosing to be counted among His people…no matter who is looking or listening.


Jesus answered the thief’s plea to be re-membered….His re-membership in Paradise was promised and secured.


This year can be different!


We all need to be re-membered in some area of our life that is out of alignment with God’s divine plan and purpose.


Let us all submit a humble daily plea to be mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually re-membered in our thoughts, words, and deeds.


And, dear ones…let us have a boldness to proclaim Him to others – that they will be re-membered too.

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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Walking on the Pricipice of Time
Walking on the Precipice of Time

From the time I was a little girl, my mother told me I would live in the most exciting times since Jesus walked the earth.

She spoke of the end times in a very reality based manner. So, I took what she said in a very matter of fact way that colored my perception of this precious time called life. She died before I matured enough to ask the questions I would today. However, I knew she knew Jesus, and was talking about the times before His return.

Today, more than half a century later, we are walking on the precipice of that promised time… as everything points toward that scripturally defined era.

The world says trust no one but our selves, or others who may have questionable motives. The rules of decency no longer apply. Live for today, but make resolutions for tomorrow… that we will break next week. However, our heavenly Father says have faith, pray, be pure, live for Him – and He will renew us each day. Dear ones, is it time for easily forgotten resolutions, or earnest prayers? The choice is ours, as we draw closer to that apex moment in His perfect plan. Therefore, let us prepare, not with a list of worldly resolutions, but with daily prayerful communication with the mind and heart of God.

Dear Lord –

Please put my mind, heart, and body in order

…as you would have them be

Teach me, through Your most Holy Spirit

that I will learn to seek Your face in all things.

May Your perfect timing be my timing

as I submit my will to You.

May I faithfully walk in full preparation every day.

For, I do not know which second in time

will begin our journey into those final days

…or call me into eternity with You.

May I have divinely inspired clarity of thought, word, and deed.

May I live every moment ready to go where You send me

…and do what You would have me do.

May I make prayerful choices that honor You

and lean not on my own understanding.

May I praise you in all things

trusting that what satan means for evil

You will turn to good.

May I remember to pray

for those You have placed in positions of authority.

May I be compassionate, loving, and pray for all others

…whether they agree with me or not.

May the promises of a new year ignite a fire

of hope, new boldness in You, and righteous changes in me

…and in the world.

These things I pray

in the name, power and authority

of precious Your Son – Jesus Christ.

– Amen

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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California Coast

Walk into the Deep of HIS Sacrificial Service

We all have opportunities to serve in His name

Within the process of sanctification, while traveling on the narrower road, we are given opportunities to wash another’s feet in sacrificial service. Opportunities to offer our service in submission to God’s will; opportunities to unleash His power, through us, to others.

Opportunities for more of Him and less of us in every thing we think, say, and do. Opportunities for Him to be glorified, and for us to be humble, obedient, yielding servants in His name.


God has called  you to serve Him in miraculous ways


Sacrificial service is a gesture, a statement, or action that you normally would not choose to say or do. It may even put you in peril. It requires that you go above and beyond what is expected or comfortable, in love, and in reverence to the Lord. God has called missionaries, ministers, martyrs – and you, to serve Him in miraculous ways.


Look for opportunities to serve Him


We never know when we will be placed in a situation where God is proving the metal of our serviceability. Be looking for opportunities to present your body to God, a living sacrifice; in joy, and to His glory.


Look outside of your comfort zone to serve others in the name, and nature, of Jesus Christ. Seek out service, without compensation. Sacrificial service does not expect reward or personal gain. Assist in another’s mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual restoration. Look for opportunities to be used in sacrificial service to the good of others, and to His glory.


What are you willing to do in His name?


Step-up! Relinquish your will, in service to Him. Do a good deed in His name, offer a helping hand, extend a kindness, go without…or do without…to His glory. Jesus demonstrated the ultimate sacrificial service. He died for you, that you may live. What are you willing to do for others in His name?

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