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Archive for the ‘Counseling’ Category

The Unfolding Seasons of Life; Birth, Death…and Renewal

Come…Walk Through the Valley with Me

JESUS My Lord and Savior

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© All Rights Reserved 2010 -Anastasia Diamond

Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me. -Psalm 23:4

Come; walk through the valley

…and fear no evil.

Fear is such a powerful four-letter word. However, the accepted acronym for FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real, which really takes the biting teeth out of the word.

Do you have false expectations appearing real?  Most of us are afraid of something. Fear of heights, the dark, commitment, abandonment, failure, needles, intimacy, crowds, flying, falling, dogs, driving, snakes, spiders, clowns, thunder, change, public speaking; the list goes on and on – fear of the unknown…

Ah, yes – the greatest fear…of the grandest unknown: Death and dying.

In these days of astounding medical and technological advances, the fear of death still plagues the depth of the human soul. Perhaps, even more now than ever before. While the world population is rapidly aging…society promotes youth, vitality, strength, beauty, health and vigor. While baby-boomers are fighting for 60 to be the new 30…society encourages us to hide the frail and dying from view; progressively training us to warehouse our sick, elderly, and terminally ill loved ones.

Death comes in all sizes, shapes, styles, colors, ages and stages. Death is the guaranteed equal opportunity end to all life.

Those, who in years past, were honored and cared for by family, friends, ministers and neighbors…have lost much of that personal care and contact. With their daily care often given over to overworked, under appreciated nursing staff or care providers…more often than not…family, friends, ministers and neighbors are now visitors in a foreign and sterile world of white sheets and rules.

Society tells us our loved ones are better off dying in hospitals and retirement homes, than at home. Well, these places certainly do have their value, time and purpose…and provide necessary medical treatment and care when needed. However, ideally, when death is imminent, those who are dying should be surrounded by familiar and gentle things…and people.

Caring for a loved one at home is an opportunity to face your fears of death. I realize my proposal is at times impossible, difficult at best, and that life adjustments must always be made to accommodate the dying at home. But, I none-the-less urge you to bring them home if you can!

The death process is as much a natural and expected part of living as birth. One takes a breath in…the other is letting it go. The pre-death experience often includes a pending-death awareness that heralds life’s waning and ending much in the way birth pangs announce an impending new life.

I have witnessed the resplendent echo of my children’s and grandchildren’s first cries…as well as the awe and tenuous gasps of my loved one’s last breaths.

Though we celebrate one, and mourn the other…both are equal in their beauty and spiritual significance.

The struggle is similar; one is letting go of the familiar cocoon of the womb to enter earthly life. The other is letting go of the familiar earthly life to step into life eternal.

Approaching death awareness is an awe-inspiring piece of the pre-death process.

Travelers on this road often express a need to prepare for a journey; they know they are going somewhere. They may talk of driving, taking a bus, a plane, a train…needing to go. Those who have become ‘bed-ridden’ may attempt to get up in their quest to get where they are going. They may describe their destination, with awe and joy. They may talk about seeing others who have already passed over, who they may or may not know. They may ignore your presence; preferring to talk with ‘others’ who are present.

They may even tell us the date or time of their own death.  As they approach death awareness, they may actually control the circumstances and time of their death; delaying the final moments until a request is met, a promise fulfilled, a fear dismissed, or reconciliation accomplished.

What an honor to be present and partake in these pieces of spiritually precious moments at the end of a life’s journey.

Education and faith are the keys to dispelling the fear of death…and of those who are dying.

I encourage you to educate yourself, and others. I encourage you to allow God to minister to your heart, and increase your faith in Him and His designed death process. I encourage you to prepare for this excursion into the unknown called death, with at least as much thought and preparation as you gave your last vacation. I encourage you to regain a child-like faith in an Abba Father who loves you into eternity. I encourage you to accept death as a perfectly designed step in the ever unfolding seasons of life.

Death is a journey that we, and all of our loved ones, shall take…

We have all seen or heard of those who complete heroic deeds in war, only to come home to die in an auto accident. Those who live through major drama, trauma and chaos, only to die from a brief and simple illness. Then, there are those who survive, when all around them have perished. And, those who the doctors say are medical miracles who should not have survived.

Being in danger does not mean you will die. It only means you have lived.

There are a limited number of ways any of us can leave this earthly existence:  ‘natural causes’, illness, disease, accident, murder, suicide…or being translated; known as the rapture…when end-time believers will be taken up to meet Jesus.

Interestingly, when asked, most people want to die in their sleep; not consciously knowing what is happening to them. However, those who believe in heaven or the coming rapture, often want to fully experience this journey into eternity.

Most people say they are not afraid to die, they just don’t want a lingering death, or one preceded by extreme pain or disfigurement. Most people who have not accepted the promise of heaven are fearful of death…and prefer a life lingering on earth indefinitely, to a death with an uncertain destination.

Those who have a hope in life after death are usually less fearful…more ready and willing to consciously take that step into eternity. They trust, through faith, that to be absent from the body…is to be present with the Lord.

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

-2 Corinthians 5:8

Let us honor death as a natural part of  living. Let us not turn away from opportunities to draw closer to accepting God’s purposes in life…and in death.

I urge you to reach out and touch the face of your fear of death.

Your life and the life of those you love and care for will be forever changed, blessed and enriched when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death…and fear no evil.

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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Abstinence

What does ABSTINENCE mean to you?

JESUS my Lord and Savior

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©All Rights Reserved–Anastasia Diamond

Abstinence is one of those words, and subjects, that means many different things to many different people.We have numerous religious, cultural, moral, and societal standards that affect our personal thoughts and judgments about abstinence.


So…what does ABSTINENCE mean to you?


To you, abstinence may mean turning from pieces of your past…to make a new commitment before God for the present or the future.

To you, abstinence may mean only men make this choice.

To you, abstinence may mean only women make this choice.

To you, abstinence may mean…I can do this…but not that.

To you, abstinence may mean practicing a spiritual discipline.

To you, abstinence may mean only those with sexual hangups make this choice.

To you, abstinence may mean only single people make this choice.

To you, abstinence may mean married people can also make this choice.

To you, abstinence may mean abstention from food, such as fasting.

To you, abstinence may mean making a joint commitment of purity with your current boyfriend or girlfriend, but does not apply, if or when, you become engaged.

To you, abstinence may mean making a joint commitment of purity with your future spouse.

To you, abstinence may mean making a singular commitment between you and God..without any prospect of marriage.

To you, abstinence may mean abstention from alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, or food.

To you, abstinence may mean believing true love waits…in purity…until entering a biblical marriage relationship.

To you, abstinence may mean choosing to be holy, as He is holy.

To you, abstinence may mean it is okay to masturbate, but not have sexual relations with another.

To you, abstinence may mean learning to love God more than your passion nature.

To you, abstinence may mean it is a way to avoid having sexual relations with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse.

To you, abstinence may mean it is the safest form of birth control.

To you, abstinence may mean giving up the most important part of your life.

To you, abstinence may mean submitting your passion nature and will to God’s perfect will for your life.

To you, abstinence may mean the only form of protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

To you, abstinence may mean understanding and believing that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

To you, abstinence may mean foolishness in today’s permissive society.


What does Abstinence mean to you?

Please Leave a Comment or send me an
E-mail…

There are so many possible answers…and points of view. I look forward to learning what abstinence means to you.

Many blessings and thank you for visiting.

-Anastasia


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Seasons of Hopelessness…and God’s Promises of Hope

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Everyone experiences seasons of hopelessness now and then…

We have all had times when we looked at the circumstances of our life…and sighed in hopelessness; not knowing what tomorrow would bring. Or, knowing what tomorrow would bring…and not being able to change it.

Either way, the dread of our hopelessness over-shadowed every thought, invaded our sleep, and consumed every waking hour. No matter which way we turned…the outcome was dire…and appeared totally hopeless.

When was the last time hopelessness was your closest companion?

Was it in a broken relationship, financial disaster, natural disaster, a negative health report, a lost job, a lost home, a lost love, or an over-powering addiction? Perhaps it was in grieving a death or impending death of a loved one, an unwanted change, broken boundaries, being controlled and manipulated by others, or perhaps…when you just didn’t get your way!

Hopelessness comes in all sizes, shapes and colors; to the old, young, rich and poor; obscure and famous. Hopelessness offers everyone an equal opportunity to feel its pangs in the tragedy, trauma, and drama of every day life.

So…what do ‘you’ do when hopelessness knocks on your door?

The list of possible negative coping devices is at least as long as the reasons causing your feelings of hopelessness.

Do you create more chaos and hopelessness by swallowing a pill, indulging in destructive sexual contacts, complaining, crying, drinking too much, over-eating, accusing or blaming others, running away, angry outbursts, or attacking, swearing, or sleeping all the time…etc, etc, etc?

Or, do you turn to prayer…and place your hope in Him?

Times made for the foot of the Cross!

This is not to say we must wait for hopelessness before we turn to Jesus. However, we often tend to put off taking it to the cross until we feel desperate…or at least broken enough to lean on Him.

Let us all remember to take our hopelessness to the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ. He can, and will, give the hope we seek…covered with His perfect peace.

The Bible offers hope in the midst of our hopelessness…

The divinely inspired Word of God is overflowing with scripture to guide, inspire, encourage…and promise hope in our seemingly hopeless situations.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4


Scriptures of Hope…


You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:18

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:5

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. – Psalm 25:21

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. Psalm 33:18

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:28

For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:9

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. – Psalm 39:7

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:11

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. – Psalm 52:9

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. – Psalm 62:5

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. – Psalm 65:5


May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.- Psalm 69:6

For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. Psalm 71:5

But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. – Psalm 71:14

Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. Psalm 119:43

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.Psalm 119:49

May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. – Psalm 119:7

My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. – Psalm 119:81

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. – Psalm 114

Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. – Psalm 119:116

I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. – Psalm 119-147

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.  – Psalm 131:3

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God. – Psalm 146:5-

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.- Psalm 147:11

The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.- Psalm 10:18

The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath. – Proverbs 11:23


Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death. – Proverbs 19:18

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23:18

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 24:14

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. – Proverbs 26:12

Anyone who is among the living has hope —even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! Ecclesiastes 9:4

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” – Isaiah 49:23

You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. – Isaiah 57:10

Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.Jeremiah 14:22

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. – Jeremiah 17:13

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

So there is hope for your future,” declares the LORD. “Your children will return to their own land. Jeremiah 31:17

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.Lamentations 3:25

Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope. Lamentations 3:29

There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. Hosea 2:15


But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. – Zechariah 9:12

In his name the nations will put their hope. – Matthew 12:21

Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope. – Acts 2:26

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” – Romans 4:18

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. – Roman 5:5

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. – Romans 8:25

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:22

And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.” – Romans 15:12

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 1 Corinthians 9:10

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. – 1 Corinthians 15:19

He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:10

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. – 2 Corinthians 3:12

But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. – Galatians 5:5

In order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:12

I Pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. – Ephesians 1:18

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called.Ephesians 4:4

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. – Philippians 1:20

The faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel. – Colossians 1:5

If you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Colossians 1:23

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 1:3

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? –1 Thessalonians 2:19

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. – 1 Thessalonians 5:8

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope. – 2 Thessalonians 2:16

(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. – 1 Timothy 4:10


The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.1 Timothy 5:51

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. – 1 Timothy 6:17

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. – 2 Timothy 2:25

Faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.  –Titus 1:2

While we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:13

That, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:7

But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. – Hebrews 3:6

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. – Hebrews 6:11

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. – Hebrews 6:18

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.Hebrews 6:19

(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23

[By Faith] Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1

[Praise to God for a Living Hope] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – 1 Peter 1:3

[Be Holy] 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. – 1 Peter 1:13

Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:21

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. – 1 Peter 3:15

Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. – 1 John 3:3

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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: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/      Bookmark and Share

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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.

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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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: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

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