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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

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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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

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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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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Lean on JESUS

JESUS My Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/

When life is challenging (that’s every day)…lean on Jesus

When time stops on rewind, and hard memories replay…lean on Jesus

When resources are scarce, or finally run out…lean on Jesus

When hope turns to hopeless…lean on Jesus

When promises crack, and are broken…lean on Jesus

When sad songs are the melody of your life…lean on Jesus

When prayer feels impossible…lean on Jesus

When sorrow engulfs you…lean on Jesus

When tears overflow, and will not stop…lean on Jesus

When truth is made false, and lies become truth…lean on Jesus

When home is a place where there is no peace…lean on Jesus

When faith is only a distant concept…lean on Jesus

When disappointed in people, places and things…lean on Jesus

When grief is your constant companion…lean on Jesus

When friends cannot be found..lean on Jesus

When defeat is an option, and you want to give up…lean on Jesus

When loss overwhelms you…lean on Jesus

When love isn’t lovely, but tainted or worn…lean on Jesus

When abandoned, alone and forsaken…lean on Jesus

When comfort from others, leaves you still wanting…lean on Jesus

When joy is elusive…lean on Jesus

When sleep doesn’t come, in the middle of the night…lean on Jesus

When words have wounded, and cannot be taken back…lean on Jesus

When anger and rage spew like an erupting volcano…lean on Jesus

When addiction is your secret companion, destroying you life…lean on Jesus

When confusion reigns, clouding your thinking…lean on Jesus

When death is knocking on the door of your life…lean on Jesus

When evil, and false gods beckon you…lean on Jesus

When laughter depends on bad jokes, or hurtful pokes…lean on Jesus

When justice is unjust to the innocent…lean on Jesus

When suicide feels like the only way out…lean on Jesus

When family are not supportive, or far, far away…lean on Jesus

When change is unwanted, but inevitable…lean on Jesus

When envy is deep, deep green…lean on Jesus

When peace isn’t perfect…lean on Jesus

When pleasure is an empty and bottomless pit…lean on Jesus

When trouble surrounds you…lean on Jesus

When sin consumes you…lean on Jesus

When goodness, mercy and grace are foreign to you…lean on Jesus

When marriage vows break…lean on Jesus

When pain burns in every fiber of your being…lean on Jesus

When thoughts take you to dangerous places…lean on Jesus

When burdens are heavy…lean on Jesus

When communication crumbles…lean on Jesus

When wisdom departs, or wise men act foolishly…lean on Jesus

When bitterness is turning your heart to stone…lean on Jesus

When children or parents disappoint…lean on Jesus

When guidance is poor or lacking, and your path is diverted…lean on Jesus

When illness invades your body, mind, or spirit…lean on Jesus

When fear cancels all logic…lean on Jesus

When God feels like a stranger who just doesn’t care…lean on Jesus

When doubt fills your every thought…lean on Jesus

When actions cause negative consequences…lean on Jesus

When heaven feels far beyond your reach…lean on Jesus

When plans shrivel and die…lean on Jesus

When forgiveness isn’t easy, or doesn’t come at all…lean on Jesus

When you shatter and break, gather all the pieces at the foot of His cross…and lean on Jesus.

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

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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Jesus my Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Goodbye 2009!

Looking back, you were not very happy. You were a recession year around the world. A year piled high with global and personal financial disasters; coupled with big business governmental bailouts, home foreclosures, increased homelessness, payroll cutbacks and furlough days, double-digit unemployment, and retirement funds swept-away by greed.

You ushered in a change of political party, coupled with a new President’s proposed and hotly debated changes in national, international, and health care policies.

Many, if not most, are glad to change the calendar…and see you go.

Wars raged, soldiers died, religious persecution reigned, and pirates ruled the waves. Global warming was the new hot and cool subject to ponder, while the controversial swine flu pandemic became the more politically correct: H1N1 virus. Diminished moral codes pushed the envelope of decency…while every two seconds a baby lost its right to life through abortion.

Media, saturated with dooms-day predictions, erased almost all hope for future generations; leaving those without an established moral compass to embrace romanticized death, destruction, and anarchy.

Interestingly, the media  also presented and pondered the name, birth, life, death, resurrection, and of hope of Jesus…unlike any other time in history.

Hello 2010!

You are the beginning of a new decade! Where do we all go from here? Many of the previous woes are projected to continue.  And…none of us know who or what may attempt to steal the Happy from your bright and shiny New Year.

However, no matter the global or personal mental, emotional, physical, spiritual or financial challenges we will face – let us none-the-less choose hope – and walk the narrower road,  in faith.

Let us choose to allow Jesus to keep the Happy in our New Year.

For the joy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is our strength. Let us all keep our minds stayed on Him – no matter the year or the season. Let us give a positive report to others…of who and what keeps the Happy in our New Year.

May Jesus  reign supreme in our world, and in your life, family, home, and heart…today, tomorrow and forever. May your New Year 2010 be blessed and truly happy.

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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Bring MY Light into Their Darkness

Into His Presence

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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There are Opportunities for Prayerful Intercession Everywhere

Do you ever drive or walk around your town praying for those strangers you see along the way? I do…and have for years. There are opportunities for prayerful intercession everywhere. Just look around and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct your eyes, your heart, and your mouth.

This morning, my eyes again followed a woman who acts and dresses a bit oddly as she jogs down the streets of my town. I see her almost every day, while driving on my way to work. She often stops to jog-in-place… talking all the while to some unseen companion. I am always on the move, so I have no idea what she is saying, or to whom she is talking. I lifted her up in intercessory prayer this morning…that God would meet her every need, and that she would come to know Jesus, if she doesn’t already. It may be Him she is talking to; I do not know. And, I do not have to know her name…or her specific needs. For our heavenly Father already knows everything about her and loves her more than I ever would or could. It is His precious Holy Spirit who provides His discernment, wisdom and knowledge whenever He leads us to intercede for others.

Tell Him you are ready and willing to intercede for others…and He will make you able

God made intercessory prayer so easy for us to participate. One of my spiritual assignments, if you will, is to respond through intercessory prayer whenever and how ever His Holy Spirit leads me. Do you feel that same calling? If so, talk to your Abba Father. Tell Him you are ready and willing to intercede for others…and He will make you able.

Last week I saw the disheveled man sitting cross-legged in the median of the street close to the freeway. He cradled a cardboard sign and bitterly locked eyes with every driver who passed him by. Although I could pre-suppose many of the circumstances of his current life, I certainly could not know which of life’s trials brought him to that specific apparent broken moment. But… God does know. There is nothing and no one beyond His knowledge and loving care. Our Father, through the Holy Spirit, asked me to pray for this man’s soul. I gratefully accepted in prayerful response…and was blessed in the process, as I praised God for all that He would do in this man’s life. I am often led to sing in the Spirit as I intercede for others, as was the case  while I prayed for this man.

The Holy Spirit often leads me to intercede with a prayer…

The other day, in the midst of the desert heat, it was a middle-aged woman slowly pushing a store cart half-filled with groceries. The Holy Spirit often leads me to intercede with a prayer that God will miraculously provide automobiles for those whose only transportation is their shoe leather.

I have no earthly evidence that anyone for whom I have interceded has received the blessing of a car. However, I do believe, in faith, that it is God’s perfect will for them because of the specific area of need in which the Holy Spirit directed me to intercede for them.

The Holy Spirit chooses the recipient of the intercession…not you

You may be thinking, well she prays for everyone who looks like they may need a car. Not true. I see some people who are walking…even those pushing carts of groceries…and am not led to intercede. I have wondered why myself. However, I have learned that when you commit yourself to intercessory prayer for strangers, the recipient of the intercession is chosen by the Holy Spirit, not you.

Last month I silently prayed for a frustrated young mother and her two small children, as I watched them eating in the fast food restaurant. I was led to pray about very private things in her personal life that I knew nothing about…but God knew.

I have interceded for babies, fragile children, and strong athletes; for those with obvious challenges and those I did not think needed Holy Spirit intercession. Interestingly, at times the intercession lasts long beyond the initial fleeting first moments. Sometimes I carry an intercessory burden for a particular stranger for days, weeks, months, and yes…even years. Again, I can pre-suppose the reasons; but do not actually know why. But, God knows.

I may also be the recipient of Holy Spirit directed intercessory prayer

I doubt that we will ever know the full impact of our intercessory prayers while here on earth. But, maybe… just maybe, we will know more in heaven. It fills my heart with ever increasing joy and hope to know that God may have  strangers praying for me…that I may also be the recipient of Holy Spirit directed intercessory prayer.

The Holy Spirit whispered pray…so I prayed

About three weeks ago, I prayed protection for the teenage girl sitting on a curb… looking lost and so very alone. I remember many years ago, fervently interceding for a young man who was sitting high on a hilltop, looking forlornly at the ocean below…as I drove by him on a freeway. I will never know what his specific need was. The Holy Spirit whispered pray…so I prayed.

The need for intercessory prayer is so great. I know that many of us regularly and prayerfully intercede for friends and family. Never stop this blessing to them. But look around you. There are so many other open opportunities for intercessory prayer. The Holy Spirit can lead us to intercede for specific groups of people who suffer with a similar disease, illness, or problems. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me opportunities to pray in intercession for the lonely, bewildered, and grieving. Sometimes I am led to pray for the elderly, as I drive by convalescent homes. And, at times…for those who have no apparent challenge. But…God knows.

The world is full with persons and personalities who God wants to cover with intercessory prayer

Then, there are the public figures and celebrities, who, though recognized by so many…are strangers to most. The world is full with persons and personalities who God wants to cover with intercessory prayer. Do you have a favorite celebrity…or sports team player? Ask God if you should pray in intercession for them.

I often prayerfully intercede for those who are driving too fast…or erratically. It is truly a joy to watch them noticeably slow down as I pray. It is important to remember that it is not me who causes this change in others behavior. Rather, it is He who is in me; God’s Holy Spirit, who I am honored to allow to work through me.

Tomorrow I may be praying for you…or you for me

I automatically pray for police officers, firemen, and ambulance drivers…as they fly by with sirens blaring…as well as for all of those they assist, or will encounter in the course of their duty. Tomorrow I may be praying for you…or you for me. What an absolute blessing it is to submit our will to His and prayerfully intercede for others.

We are our brothers and sisters keeper. We are commissioned to love one another, as Jesus loved the church; His body of believers  here on earth. And, we are all presented with every day opportunities to bless others – even strangers, with intercessory prayer. As an intercessor, the process will soften your heart toward everyone you meet, while you gain in understanding God’s heart toward all of us.

You can be a bridge between God and another who is in need

You can be a bridge between God and another who is in need. Will you accept this holy commission? Will you step up and prayerfully intercede for the strangers among us?

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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