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But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:15

JESUS My Lord and Savior

© All Rights Reserved -Anastasia Diamond

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Prayerful Reflections of an ordinary day that stands out because of  valuable lessons learned about what is truly important.

I was born and lived in Boston’s South End at a time when there was row after row of old brick tenement buildings; certainly not the best address in town; often called the slums; today we would call it a ghetto. Instead of porches, patios and backyards…we had front steps, fire escapes, the street, alleys, and the roof.

They tore the buildings down years ago, but the memories remain.

Our family lived in a fourth floor cold-water flat in a melting pot of diverse cultures, religions, crime, and hope of new beginnings. Without the luxury of private bathrooms, we shared a hallway toilet with other tenants…and anyone wandering in off the street. We saw and experienced some things in the neighborhood that children should not. But it was home for that season.

The kitchen was the center of family life.

The big metal sink doubled as a bathtub for the little kids. My mother heated water on a coal and wood burning stove that doubled as a warm and cozy fireplace to sit in front of while our mittens hung on the door to dry after a snow ball fight in the cold New England winters. My mother cooked everything from scratch. I am still in awe of how she baked cookies, cakes, and lemon meringue pies to perfection in that old oven. Delightful memories also linger, of the variety of other wonderful smells drifting through the hallways at suppertime.

So often, our mother would tell us…

“It doesn’t matter where you live, what you have, or don’t have. We have soap, so you can always be clean.” We bathed nightly in that kitchen sink, and were always clean. “It doesn’t matter if your chair is broken; polish it.” Our furniture, though worn and somewhat tattered, was clean and polished regularly. “It doesn’t matter if your clothes aren’t new; just be sure they are clean and ironed, and sew them when they’re torn.” Our clothes were mostly hand-me-downs from the Saint Vincent-de-Paul, but they were clean, mended, often starched, and always ironed.

One sun-shiny spring day remains deeply etched in my memory.

My petite, Italian mother washed a mountain of laundry that morning, all by hand, as usual. I remember watching on tip-toe as she filled that big old kitchen sink with water she heated on the stove. It must have been so difficult for her to carry all of those heavy, wet loads up two flights of stairs to the roof, where she hung everything to dry. I don’t ever remember hearing her complain. I do think that particular day must have been extra tiring, because she washed clothes for all five kids, our father, her self…sheets and towels too.

On the rooftop overlooking the Boston skyline…

My brother and I played under the blue skies and fluffy clouds while our mother lifted, shook, hung, and pinned. I am sure we left little fingerprint smudges of this and that on the clean, wet sheets as we twirled in and out, and ran round and round through them as they flapped in the warm, sweet breeze. When she finished, every line was full with happy colorful clothes, tattered but clean towels, and sparkling white sheets and pillow cases.

Trusting the hot sun and gentle wind to do their assigned tasks…we left the rooftop to go on with a very ordinary day.

Later that day, just before dark, my mother went to the roof alone to gather the laundry. However, after just a few minutes, and much too quickly, the door swung open again. Ma’s strong smooth arms, which should have held the first basketful of sweet-smelling, sun-dried clothes, hung empty at her sides.

She just stood there looking at us…and said, “Everything is gone.”

“What?” we asked. “All of our clothes are gone?” My brothers, sisters and I clamored around her, all talking at once and full of questions: “Where did they go? Who took them? Let’s tell the police. What will we wear?” Though still stunned with shock herself, and probably pondering similar questions, our precious mother listened to all of our concerns; then she said…

“Anyone who would steal children’s clothes and sheets needs them more than we do.”

Though I am sure she was devastated, our mother used this opportunity of our loss to talk to her children of forgiveness, compassion for others, and remind us to thank God, for it was only clothing, sheets and towels that were missing, not us.

Our mother demonstrated a living example of forgiveness that I have never forgotten.

I really don’t remember what else happened that afternoon. I don’t think my mother ever found out who the thief was, or if he, she, or they were ever caught. I do however remember looking at people on the street the next day to see if they were wearing our clothes…but never saw anything familiar.

Though I have no real memory of when or how our mother replaced everything, I have a strong feeling she made many more trips than usual to the Saint Vincent-de-Paul…and that our local church probably helped too.

I have no idea what impact that blue-skied spring day had on my brothers and sisters. I don’t actually remember them talking about it after that day; at least not with me, as I was the youngest; only about four or five years old. For that matter, I don’t remember discussing it with my mother either. Unfortunately, she died long before I was mature enough to tell her how much that day, her insightful response, and guiding advice affected me, and still does today.

Thank you dear mother…

You planted seeds of compassion, thankfulness, and forgiveness on that ordinary day so very long ago. Because of your compassionate example, I learned very early, that even in the face of adversity, we can and should be thankfully gracious, compassionate, and forgiving…and that people are always more important than things.

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/2010/07/25/learning-forgiveness-compassion-and-thankfulness/ Bookmark and Share

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A Bouquet of Thankfulness

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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As our nation prepares for Thanksgiving, let us look back to the foundation of the decree that established this day to thank, praise and acknowledge God for His abundant blessings.

In 1863, prominent magazine editor of her time, Sarah Josepha Hale wrote a letter urging President Abraham Lincoln to establish a national day of Thanksgiving and Praise.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington, DC—October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A.D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State


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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Seek HIM in All Things

Spring Will Soon Be a Memory…Summer is on the Way

It is that time again. Spring will soon be a memory. Summer is on the way. Here on the Mojave, that means  emotions may run as high as the outrageous desert temperatures, as people struggle to stay cool, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Whether living in the dry hot desert, or in the city sweltering in humidity, soon we will all be re-adjusting to the change in season. Tension and stress can run high, as summertime is often packed with increased financial strain in the best of times…and will be even more so in today’s faltering economy. For, with Summer often comes the anticipation and high expectations for that hoped for dream vacation, home improvement project, trip to the theme park, picnics, sporting events, swimming, BBQ’s, concerts, more movies, more eating out; more, more, and more. Summertime often holds the promises of the things we want to buy and activities we want to do…to fill our time, sooth ourselves, and entertain our easily bored children.

Have You Ever Hung Out a ‘Gone Fishing’ Sign?

Have you ever wanted to just hang out a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign?  Have you and your loved ones ever wanted to just slip away to truly refresh and reflect on things that really matter? Have you thought about how truly relaxed you might be if you were not rushing around doing things that are not relaxing?

Why not promise yourself, and plan for some vacation time that really meets your need for restoration. Now is the time to develop a summer itinerary with purpose that will build lasting spiritually and emotionally satisfying memories. Why not make plans to do some things that will not cost anything but time. Why not turn some of your recreation time into personal and family re-creation time. Why not lay a renewed foundation for every day by praying together. It sounds so simple. However, and unfortunately, even in many Christian homes, it is often a much needed but overlooked…or avoided activity. If you are alone in a family of one, find someone to be your prayer partner. If that isn’t possible, one on one communication with your Abba Father will meet your every need…and then some.

Why Not Hang Out That ‘Gone Fishing’Sign Today?

Why not hang out that ‘Gone Fishing’ sign… Ask God to direct you to use your time wisely, and He will reconstruct your days. He will teach you how to be refreshed in Him, while leading you to become a fisher of men…perhaps even within your own family or circle of friends; in your leisure time. He will guide you on His footpath throughout the summer months as He shows you new, refreshing, and exciting ways to draw closer to Him, and to each other. He will show you how to take a debt-free spiritual vacation in every season; at no cost to you, because Jesus already paid the price in full.

Give Yourself a Well Deserved Spiritual Vacation

Sure, it is still okay to have fun and do all the typical summertime things. But please do not forget to invite the Father, the Son-Jesus, and the most Holy Spirit to be with you wherever you go; be it around the world, Disneyland, down the street…or in your own back yard. Make room for them in your life every day; in the good times and bad. Take them with you on your next vacation. They travel for free and do not have extra luggage to pack, or pay for. Life will be sweeter wherever you go, and whatever you do. Give yourself a well deserved spiritual vacation.

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

Walking on the Pricipice of Time
Walking on the Precipice of Time

From the time I was a little girl, my mother told me I would live in the most exciting times since Jesus walked the earth.

She spoke of the end times in a very reality based manner. So, I took what she said in a very matter of fact way that colored my perception of this precious time called life. She died before I matured enough to ask the questions I would today. However, I knew she knew Jesus, and was talking about the times before His return.

Today, more than half a century later, we are walking on the precipice of that promised time… as everything points toward that scripturally defined era.

The world says trust no one but our selves, or others who may have questionable motives. The rules of decency no longer apply. Live for today, but make resolutions for tomorrow… that we will break next week. However, our heavenly Father says have faith, pray, be pure, live for Him – and He will renew us each day. Dear ones, is it time for easily forgotten resolutions, or earnest prayers? The choice is ours, as we draw closer to that apex moment in His perfect plan. Therefore, let us prepare, not with a list of worldly resolutions, but with daily prayerful communication with the mind and heart of God.

Dear Lord –

Please put my mind, heart, and body in order

…as you would have them be

Teach me, through Your most Holy Spirit

that I will learn to seek Your face in all things.

May Your perfect timing be my timing

as I submit my will to You.

May I faithfully walk in full preparation every day.

For, I do not know which second in time

will begin our journey into those final days

…or call me into eternity with You.

May I have divinely inspired clarity of thought, word, and deed.

May I live every moment ready to go where You send me

…and do what You would have me do.

May I make prayerful choices that honor You

and lean not on my own understanding.

May I praise you in all things

trusting that what satan means for evil

You will turn to good.

May I remember to pray

for those You have placed in positions of authority.

May I be compassionate, loving, and pray for all others

…whether they agree with me or not.

May the promises of a new year ignite a fire

of hope, new boldness in You, and righteous changes in me

…and in the world.

These things I pray

in the name, power and authority

of precious Your Son – Jesus Christ.

– Amen

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