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Welcome 2012!

Faith and Hope for a ‘New’ Year

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

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

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

What distinguishes Christian hope from worldly hope?

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

My New Year prayer for you, and for me…

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

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

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JESUS my Lord and Savior Anastasia Diamond

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

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

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

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

Faithful Blogger Contributors:


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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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Get a 'ripped' faith relationship with Jesus!

Jesus my Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond – © 2011

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

Romans 6:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You do the reps, while God spots you.

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

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

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

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JESUS My Lord and Savior

Anastasia Diamond ©All Rights Reserved 2011

Have you pulled up along side a car with music blaring so loudly you had to put your windows up to hear what you were listening to?

Me too.

Until…I decided the music in my car had something equally or even more important to say. This time, instead of closing my windows, I turned up ‘Come…Now is the Time to Worship’.

The driver looked at me as if I had violated his space, then rolled up his window; apparently his music was already as loud as it could go.

I have to admit, it felt somewhat powerful.

Wondering if perhaps I should have remained quietly submissive, I talked with God. I didn’t think he really said anything at time. But, in the process of this prayerful, rather one-sided conversation, I realized my car and the sounds coming from it were another way to give Him the glory. So, perhaps He did say something to me after all.

Since then,I have a Christian music ministry in my car. Because I have Christian music or Christian radio on all the time in my car…I now choose to share ‘The Good News’ at every stop and red light.

No, I’m not obnoxiously loud about it. I say a little prayer, smile, and roll down the window, so others who are beside me with their window down might hear a sweet an old hymn, praise and worship music, Christian rock, or a piece of a sermon. Sure, some roll their eyes…and some roll the windows up. However, some..stop, look and listen. Some even smile back.

We never know when or how God will use us. Let us be willing servants in all things. A passing word, or lyrics to a song, could be exactly what that driver next to you needs at that moment. They may be believers…or seekers. Not matter, we all struggle and need encouragement. Your willingness to give God the glory in all things may bring them comfort, increase their faith, till the soil of their heart, or plant a seed of Jesus in their heart. You may never know…because that’s about them and God, not you.

The important part for you could be learning to take another step in obedience and service to God’s glory.

How about starting a Music Ministry in your car; allowing your car to be yet another way (vehicle) to speak God’s truth, light and love to those you encounter…while traveling the roads of your city or town.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31


  

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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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The Church is the Body of CHRIST
JESUS My Lord and Savior
©All Rights Reserved 2011-Anastasia Diamond

 Do you believe this familiar Laurence J. Peter quote? “Going to church doesn’t make you any more a Christian than going to the garage makes you a car.”

Well, let’s see…on the surface, you might agree, as going to the garage certainly will not make you a car. However, do we become any more of a Christian from going to church? Though it may not necessarily happen…it is more likely it will.

A car is an inanimate object that cannot make the choice to go to the garage…it cannot get there or leave by itself…it must be driven, pushed, or towed. Though someone may take a person to a church building, they have the option to stay, go, or return. However, God Himself can call a person to go to church and become a member of the body of Christ.

Is everyone who goes to church a Christian? 

Unfortunately, no, because all persons who go to church have free will to choose to accept or reject Jesus, and may be in various steps of submission or the process of sanctification.

However, going to church should provide all potential Christians the spiritual setting, scriptural background, knowledge, leadership, and opportunities for increased faith and spiritual growth that will improve the possibility of that happening.

Going to church should also provide the declared Christian a place of worship, fellowship, prayer support, and opportunities for ongoing spiritual growth that will increase the likelihood of them remaining in church, the body of Christ.

A person called to be a Christian answers Jesus’ knocking at the door of their heart…opening the door and inviting Him in.

Not everyone who enters a church enters into a relationship with Jesus. However, it is available to all who choose Him. As much as some people like to give their car a name and personality that reflect them selves, it is impossible for a car to have a relationship with anyone or anything. However, our God invites us to have a relationship with Him.

Christians…we are His church, made to reflect His way, His truth, His life, His light, and His love.

While people cover, guide, protect, direct and love their cars, it is God who covers, guides, protects, directs, and loves His people. Let us not just sit in our church…as a car parked in a garage.

Let us be active members of the body of Christ.

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