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Archive for the ‘Blessings’ Category

Happy Birthday America!

Jesus my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved 2011 – Anastasia Diamond

The 4th of July is ‘Independence Day’ in the United States.

Happy 235th Birthday and may God bless America! Yes…I am an American. I still get that lump in my throat and catch in my heart at the sight of our flag, or singing our national anthem; The Star Spangled Banner. I love my country and know that I am blessed to live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Today I also want to talk about a another kind of independence…

Long before America declared independence from England…God, the Creator of all that is, our heavenly Abba Father, gave us the free will to be independent in the thoughts of our mind, words of our mouth, and actions of our body. Though He knew some would stray and some would cleave…He gave us that choice.

However, He also  gave us the opportunity to become His blood-bought children when we repent of our poor choices and accept His Son, Jesus as our Lord and Savior  Additionally, when we realize this is only our temporary earthly home, we can choose to relinquish our passport to worldly things, submit our will to His…and through faith, become more dependent on Him.

Yes, of course we will still make personal choices. However, when we ask for His daily guidance and direction…our choices are tempered by His indwelling Holy Spirit, and the process of sanctification. Therefore, we will have more of Him and less of us in the choices we make.

He enlightens us mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. He teaches us that we cannot go to some of the places we used to go; We cannot look at some of the things we used to look at; We cannot think about some of the things we used to think about; We cannot listen to some of the things we used to listen to; We cannot say some of the things we used to say; We cannot wear some of the things we used to wear…and we cannot do some of the things we used to do.

Then, if or when we do make poor choices, His Holy Spirit lovingly, yet persistently, convicts our heart…teaching and reminding us of who were are in Him; our righteousness in Christ, that we will learn to make better choices…all to His glory.

Is the loss of our spiritual independence a negative?

I don’t think so. Rather, it is an opportunity to partner with our Creator, who has known us since before we were formed in our mother’s womb. It is such an amazing opportunity to live life in agreement with His perfect plan.

“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

We exchange spiritual aloneness for a precious blood-bought relationship with the only begotten Son of God…and are promised life in eternity with Him.

We receive spiritual wisdom, guidance and discernment from His most Holy Spirit.

We are healed, sealed, and blessed with the anointed blood of Jesus; giving us a covering and protection from the evil one.

Our sins are forgiven and covered with His divine grace and mercy.

Do you find it difficult to trust an unseen God with your life? Yet, you trust man and governments you can see with your life…and they fail you daily.

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”  –Numbers 23:19

Declare and celebrate your personal Independence Day. Use your God-given free will…and give it all back to Him! He will take the broken pieces of your life that may have been meant for evil…and use them for good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

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JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved

Anastasia Diamond

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Are you talking on your cell phone or texting while driving??? Three different times this week you might have been one of the people who was doing just that and almost caused an accident…with me as your victim.

Are You the Distracted Driver Who Almost Caused an Accident…with Me as the Victim?  How Would You Explain It to My Family?

One of you was driving  in the left lane, then drifted into the right lane…almost forcing me off the road…while you were talking and laughing on your cell phone.

One of you drove right through a stop sign without stopping…good thing I was watching, otherwise you would have hit my little car on the driver side at about 45 miles an hour…and would not have finished your text message.

And then, one of you drove up behind me so fast…that I had to change lanes to prevent the accident you would have caused by rear-ending my car because you were looking at your phone…not the road ahead.

Three ‘almost accidents’ that you probably don’t even remember almost causing… because you were distracted by a phone call that just couldn’t wait, or a text message that just had to be read or sent.

I am a mother and a grandmother…my children and grandchildren will be thankful I was watching when you were not. Think about your mother or grandmother, father, grandfather, husband, wife, children, grandchildren, friends, and yourself the next time you get behind the wheel. What if the next ‘almost accident’ becomes a real accident? How will you justify your addiction to using your cell phone while driving…to the victim and their family?

Please turn off your cell phone when you are in your car if you can’t be trusted to use it with responsibility.

I prayed for you after each ‘almost accident’…and I thanked God that he was watching over me…while I was watching out for you.

May our heavenly Father watch over, guide and protect all of us…and give us wisdom, discernment and knowledge to drive safely.

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Happy and Blessed Birthday to Me!

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Prayerful reflections on my life…as I approach my 64th birthday

Birthdays are such a precious time to celebrate all that God can do in the life of those who choose to follow HIM.

I never thought I would live this long! But…I am so very happy, pleased and blessed that I have.

I am so immeasurably grateful that I answered the Holy Spirit’s call on my life.

I have absolutely no doubt that I would have died in my sin…so many years ago…for so many reasons…had I not chosen to follow Jesus.

I am a sinner…saved and forgiven by HIS grace, and through His mercy.

I remember the audible pounding in my heart…as HE convicted me…and called me to choose, and follow Jesus.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…for my New Birth Day…the day I was re-born, in and through You.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You never gave up on me during all those years I searched for Your truth in so many strange, mystical, and occult places.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You never gave up on me as I stumbled in my unrepentant sinfulness.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You… that You never gave up on me when I was so very unlovable in the thoughts of my mind, words of my mouth, and actions of my body.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You loved me in the midst of my sin…while giving me a hope and promise for a new beginning, in and through Your Son, Jesus.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You continue to love me today…in the midst of my continuing human frailties.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…for giving me Your Holy Spirit wisdom, guidance, and correction.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You… for the process of sanctification…as I grow in submitting my will to Your divine will for my life.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You have made beauty of the ashes of my life.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…for the family, friends and foes in my life…as I grow from every relationship, when I submit them all to You.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ…to live, die, and resurrect for me.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You… for every moment of my life; each has drawn me closer to You, which is the only place I want to be.

Dear Abba Father, I praise You and thank You…for the rest of my life; may I live every day drawing closer to You, walking Your narrower road…and reflecting Your light and love, in Your Name, to all I meet

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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: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/learning-forgiveness-compassion-and-thankfulness/ Bookmark and Share

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

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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

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

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: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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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: https://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: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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