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Archive for the ‘Celebration’ Category

Welcome 2012!

Faith and Hope for a ‘New’ Year

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

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

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

What distinguishes Christian hope from worldly hope?

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

My New Year prayer for you, and for me…

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

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

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Be Thankful and Praise HIM in All things

JESUS my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond © Copyright 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is everything concerning me truly the will of God ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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I AM the Resurrection…and the Life

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©2011 All Rights Reserved

Anastasia Diamond

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Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. John 11:25-26

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very heartbeat of Christianity. However, though most Americans view Easter as a religious celebration, many do not know why.

A recent Barna Group study asked adult Americans what Easter means to them…

While 67% consider Easter a religious holiday, there was some serious confusion: 2% of those said Easter is about the “birth of Christ”; another 2% indicated it was about the “rebirth of Jesus”; and 1% said it celebrates “the second coming of Jesus.”

An additional 3% said Easter is a celebration of spring, or a pagan holiday.

Of the 67% who acknowledged Easter as a religious holiday…only 42% rightly identified the resurrection of Jesus as the true meaning of Easter!

HE is Risen

Dear one, do not be confused…our salvation depends on faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 tells us, “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

In 1 Corinthians Paul states, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen sleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

Then Paul victoriously announces, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ secured our justification; He died for our sins and was raised for our justification.

Resurrection Sunday Blessings

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12

May your Resurrection Sunday be blessed with the truth, knowledge, light and life of the resurrection of Jesus in your heart…and in your life.

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Read More Prayerful Reflections on EASTER:

Easter…I Prefer RESURRECTION SUNDAY

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God Bless America…Land that I Love

JESUS My Lord and Savior

All Rights Reserved ©2009-2010 –Anastasia Diamond

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The United States of America

234th Birthday

July 4, 2010

I love America! It is my homeland. My ancestors, and probably yours, endured many hardships to come to the land of the free…and home of the brave.

Our beautiful nation, America, is now standing on gravely unstable ground; physically, politically, judiciously, economically, and spiritually.

Our homeland, now sold off from sea to shining sea; piece by piece…to and by those who do not hold our country’s liberty, people, beliefs, or best interest at heart.

We are witnessing the foundations of American freedom…questioned, mocked, and maligned from within our own government.

Our former pride in home and country…is now shamed by legal proposals and decisions that often compromise America’s established family values.

What’s wrong with me? I still get a lump in my throat and a thump in my heart when I pledge allegiance to our flag. Do you? Tears still dampen my eyes when I hear God Bless America, The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and Proud to be an American/God Bless the USA. What about you?

Let’s not just pay lip service to our country; wearing patriotism on our sleeves or a T-shirt. Let us remember that we are Christ-Followers who are to pray for all of our leaders, whether we agree with their religion or politics.

Father God, I pray You will pour out Your blessings on the United States of America; granting Godly discernment, wisdom, knowledge, and action to our people and our leaders…and return America to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Father God, You give clear direction in Your word for all people:
If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. Deuteronomy 28:1

Father God, You give clear direction in Your word for Christians:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

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/

God Bless America

©Irving Berlin 1918

God Bless America.
Land that I love

Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies ,
To the oceans, white with foam

God bless America
My home sweet home.
God Bless America,
Land that I love

Stand beside her,
And guide her,
Through the night
With the light from above,
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the ocean,
White with foam,

God bless America,
My home sweet home.
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

…Our Flag Was Still There!

The Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem)

©Francis Scott Key,  September 1814

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

My Country,’ Tis of Thee

©Samuel F. Smith, 1808-1895

My country,’ tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song;
let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
Our fathers’ God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

Stars and Stripes Forever

God Bless the USA

©Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all the things were gone

..I’d worked for all my life

And I had to start again

. . with just my children and my wife,

I’d thank my lucky stars

. . to be livin’ here today.

Cause the flag still stands for freedom

. . And they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American

Where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died

Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up

. . next to you and defend her still today

Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota

… To the hills of Tennessee

… Across the plains of Texas

… From sea to shining sea

… From Detroit down to Houston

… And New York to LA

Well there’s pride in every American heart

And its time we stand and say..

That I’m proud to be an American

Where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died

Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today

Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

God bless the USA

And I’m proud to be an American

Where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died

Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today

Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

…GOD Bless the USA!

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




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