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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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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

Walk in Faith

Anastasia Diamond
©All Rights Reserved
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Fear and faith are like opposite sides of the same coin. God requires our faith, while satan requires our fear.

Faith gives God access to our lives through grace…allowing Him to work in, through, and for us. Fear gives satan access to our lives mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or financially…allowing him to work against us.

Fear cannot grow where faith is firmly planted on a sound foundation, and faith cannot blossom where fear grows wild and untamed.

Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side I will not fear; what can man do to me?” If God is on our side, and helping us, why should we be afraid?

Hebrews 2:15 tells us people are in bondage because of fear of death. The fear of death is possibly the root of all fear…and takes the biggest covering of faith because death is the ultimate unknown.

Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Interestingly, fear also comes by hearing…but hearing by the word of the world. Remember, satan is not a creator. He can only distort and attempt to mimic that which God in heaven created. Therefore, it is important to understand that fear is satan’s primary means of destroying our faith. Every issue of fear that torments our heart has a root that can be covered, destroyed, and renewed with faith.

Fear that we will not have enough allows satan to deprive us of what we need. However, faith in God’s provision allows God to provide for us.

Which one governs your life…fear or faith?

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Luke 12:32

©-Anastasia Diamond

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Godly New Year's Resolutions

Blooming in Transparency before GOD

 
 
JESUS my Lord and Savior
© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond
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Making and Keeping Godly New Year’s Resolutions

Though we realize nothing supernatural actually occurs on January 1st, we none-the-less like the idea of and opportunity for new beginnings that come with a new year.

I have not found anything in the Bible that specifically speaks for or against New Year’s resolutions.

However, Philippians 4:13 declares: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

John 15:5 proclaims: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

And, Psalm 37:4 promises: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

These scriptures remind us…

  • It is God who empowers us. He grants us favor, and fulfills our inner most wants and needs when we joyfully abide in Him.
  • God sustains us. We are completely dependent upon Him and truly productive only when we remain connected to Him, our source.
  • We are able to accomplish everything in accord with God’s divine will, plan and purpose…when we submit our will to His.

A resolution is a determined decision in the form of verbal or written goals to make mental, emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual changes for the better.

New Beginnings!

What kind of resolutions

do Christ-followers make?

Are we making resolutions to change habits about smoking, drinking, weight lose, addictions, finances, family, relationships…or are we making vows and promises to God to increase our spiritual relationship with Him?

Even among Christians, the majority of New Year’s resolutions are mostly earthly, not spiritual. However, as you may expect, many Christians do make resolutions to attend church, pray, and read the Bible more often. Though truly wonderful goals, unfortunately, they are often broken as quickly as non-spiritual resolutions.

Whether earthly or spiritual, New Year’s resolutions have no value without having right motivation. Therefore, we must ask ourselves, why we want to make the change, and if the result will glorify God.

Stand close to God; with Him center in your New Year’s resolution. Be connected to the source of His perfect will for your life, spiritual growth, and earthly success in this coming new year.

  • Pray for Holy Spirit wisdom and guidance in choosing Godly resolutions.
  • Pray for discernment, knowledge and understanding in keeping your resolutions.
  • Trust God’s strength and read His Word for encouragement.
  • Seek a prayer/accountability partner who will come-alongside and encourage you to keep your resolutions with hope, faith  and joyful expectation.
  • Accept that you may have setbacks in keeping your resolutions, but a setback does not have to mean failure.
  • Give God the praise and glory in all things.

May you have a joy-filled and truly blessed New Year. Travel ‘Light’ my dear friend.

Lovingly, in HIS name -Anastasia

**Click the links below for more New Years related posts on this blog**

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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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Conversations of Courage

NEW INSPIRATIONAL BOOK!!

CONVERSATIONS of COURAGE

Jesus my Lord and Savior -Anastasia Diamond

© All Rights Reserved

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CONVERSATIONS of COURAGE

Stories of Success, Hope & Possibility

I am so very honored and delightfully blessed to announce that I am one of the featured authors in the NEW inspirational anthology compiled by ‘The Courage Giver’ – RJ Jackson, and Starla F. Porter of Zoe Life Publications.

Twenty-two authors share stories that will remind you of the future and hope God has in store for you.

My story…

From Darkness…into HIS Light

explores my spiritual journey seeking HIS truth

I knew about Jesus…but I did not know Jesus

Let the Conversations Begin!

Order a signed copy

at reduced savings

Please E-MAIL or COMMENT for more information

Many continuing blessings,

as you travel ‘Light’

on your journey… Anastasia


Click on this LINK to learn more

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

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HE Knocks…Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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What happened at the door to your heart?

Did you not open it the first time He knocked? Did you hide and pretend you were not home? Did you peek out and talk to Him through a half-closed door? Did you open the door widely, invite Him in, and offer a quick ‘ten-cent tour’? Did you say, “Mi casa su casa” (My house is your house)…and allow Him immediate access to every room, closet, and drawer? Did you seat Him in the living room, serve Him there, but not allow Him to wander around, for fear of embarrassment? Or…is He still knocking?

As for me, I opened the door very slowly.

Thankfully, I knew who Jesus was, and that He was there. But, I needed to learn to trust Him, to walk in faith, to build my side of the relationship, and accept that He was not only my Savior, but also my Lord.

Thankfully, He was patient.

Thankfully, He was still there knocking when I chose to open the door and invited Him in.

Thankfully, He accepted me just as I was, sin-filled and broken.

Thankfully, He provided the ongoing process of sanctification, after I invited Him in.

Thankfully, as I grow ever closer to Him…He grows closer to me.

The day to celebrate and proclaim our thankfulness is approaching. We call it Thanksgiving.

Yes, God has blessed me with a loving family and loyal friends, a healthy body and mind, food for my stomach, shelter over my head, and good work for my hands.

Yes, I praise and thank Him for these things daily.

However, I am most thankful for the day I opened the door to His knocking, my relationship with Jesus, and the salvation of my soul.

Thankfully, God does not show partiality.

What He does for one…He will do for another.

Will you fully open the door to your heart today? Let Him in…with no boundaries. Give Him full access to your life, that He can mold you and shape you into the man or woman that He desires you to be.

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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