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Archive for the ‘Prayer’ 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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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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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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JESUS my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved

Anastasia Diamond

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Waiting for just about anything, even answer to prayer, is often not an acceptable option in an instant gratification society filled with poor impulse control and lack of will power.

The thought of waiting until God grants a prayer request, when and if it is in accord with HIS will, is challenging at best…and absolutely unacceptable to those who use prayer and scripture like a magic genie: I want what I want, and I want it now…in the name of Jesus!

Praying in Jesus’ name is not a hocus-pocus guarantee of instant spiritual gratification that forces God to grant our requests.

It means to pray in the divine, anointed nature of Jesus, to pray in the character and temperament of the Son of God. This concept is often missed; and clearly illustrated when people quickly slur over HIS holy name, or use it as a command at the end of their prayer.

Sadly, many well-intentioned Christians sound like they are attempting to manipulate God into serving their will, instead of honoring HIM.

Many forget to ask in accord with the assurance of HIS goodness and promises… trusting that HIS perfect will be done in HIS time and in HIS way.


Though we proclaim God’s ways are not our ways, when it comes to answering prayers, many tend to expect only immediate results.

However, our heavenly Abba Father functions from the perspective of eternity. Therefore, though He sometimes does answer ‘Yes’ and gratification is instantaneous, we must not become disappointed when HIS answer is ‘No’ or ‘Not right now’.

After all…HE is God…we are not.

HIS perfect plan for us continues, and is bigger than we can possibly know. We must learn to trust HIM…in patience and hope.


There can be a variety of reasons why we must wait…

The timing may not be right yet; we may need to fulfill specific prerequisite conditions; we may need to grow mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually; we may need to develop right motives, or we must meet other needs first.

None-the-less, we are to persist in our prayers…ask, seek, and knock… always remembering to praise HIM in all things.

Including the dark times when HIS answers are not instantly gratifying. If we are not praising HIM in the midst of our storms…who will receive the glory?


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© Anastasia Diamond – All Rights Reserved

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11


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JESUS…was born, lived and died for our salvation

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Making room for JESUS in the inn of your heart

JESUS was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God in a young virgin called Mary.

JESUS is the second part of the Holy Trinity; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who existed before the creation of the world.

JESUS is the only begotten Son of God, who came to us in as a baby in human form to offer and fulfill God’s perfect plan and purpose.

JESUS came to live and die for all of us in payment for our sins.

JESUS provided the free gift of salvation to everyone who chooses to accept it…and follow Him.

Scripture about the birth of Jesus

Isaiah 7:14 – Prophecy…a virgin will bear a son

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 9:6 –Prince of Peace

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:16 – Jesus, Mary and Joseph

to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Matthew 1:21 Son and Savior, called Jesus

And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

Luke 1:3 – The Son of God

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God

Luke 1:14 – Rejoice

“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

Matthew 2:1 – Jesus born in Bethlehem

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem

Luke 2:9-12 – Good News and Great Joy

And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:21 – They named Him JESUS

And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

John 1:14 –The Word became flesh

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

My favorite childhood Christmas carol

‘Away in the Manger’

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Words: John McFarland (1851-1913). Music: James Murray, 1887

JESUS is knocking!

I pray you will open the door to the inn of your

heart, and receive HIM…

God’s divine gift of salvation this Christmas.

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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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