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True Thankfulness...Blossoms in the Heart

JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation; Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.” 1 Chronicles 16:33-35

Giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:12

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15

And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17

Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.  Colossians 4:1-3

But thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest through us the savor of His knowledge in every place.              2 Corinthians 2:14

Because we know that, the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:14-16

I speak to sensible people; judge for your selves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 1 Corinthians 10:15-17

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Ephesians 5:3-5

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Joel 2:26

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:5 – 7

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Oh come, let us sing unto Jehovah; Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. Psalm 95:1-2

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5

Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.  Psalm 106:1

Oh, give thanks unto the God of heaven; For His loving kindness endures for ever. Psalm 136:26

The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. Psalm 147:6-8

All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:11-12

Saying, We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who was; because You have taken Your great power, and did reign. Revelation 11:17

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.      1 Thessalonians 5:18

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  1 Timothy 4:3-5

I thank Him that enabled me, [even] Christ Jesus our Lord, for that He counted me faithful, appointing me to His service. 1Titus 1:12

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond

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The Many Faces of a Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love is the Closest Thing to Unconditional Love

A mother’s love is the closest thing to unconditional love we will ever experience here on earth. The birth of a child is the beginning of a lifetime love affair for most mother’s hearts. That child may be her 1st or her 12th; no matter, a mother’s heart is big enough. For, there is no such thing as too many children for a mother’s heart to love. In a perfect world, every mother would fully manifest this capacity…being  that vision of love personified to her children, and her community. However, in the real world, though many mothers may aspire to this, many do not meet the mark – due to her current daily challenges, coupled with history of the unrepaired brokenness in her own life.

God Made Mother’s Hearts Expandable

Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her womb. Sometimes, mothers are blessed with children of her heart. Sometimes a delightful and/or difficult combination of both. However and thankfully, though their minds may accept they are not the biological mom, most mother’s hearts do not discern a difference between her birth children, adopted children, step children…and all of the others she gathers along the way who attach to her heart. Each one is a blessing. Each one has his or her own precious place in a mother’s heart. No one has to move over to make room for another. God made a mother’s heart expandable – with a special place and enough love for every child He gives to her.

A Mother’s Love is a Reflection of Our Abba Father’s Love for Us

To be a mother is a gift. To give a child the gift of a mother’s love is a reflection of our Abba Father’s love for us. However, that does not mean it is easy. To love, to truly love…is a daily choice…and can be a burden filled with sacrifice, carried for a lifetime, within a mother’s tender heart.

Praying for Mothers…

Father God, I pray this night for all mothers. I pray for mothers with a history of abandonment, abuse, anger, or broken relationships that may color their ability to more fully demonstrate love in a healthy manner toward their children. I pray for those mothers with mothers who were, or are broken in mind, body or spirit; leaving them a legacy of self-doubt about their own capacity to love. I pray for all of the mothers  raised in loving homes by parents who affirmed them…that they will now lovingly affirm their children. I also pray for every mother who grew up knowing Jesus…that they will now give their children the gift of introducing them to Him.

I pray for mothers with tiny newborn infants clinging to life on heart and lung machines. I pray for the mothers with children who do not have enough to eat, who are dying of starvation in her arms. I pray for every grandmother who is now mother to her grandchildren. I pray for mothers with children who have fragile bodies that are broken, or wracked with disease. I pray for mothers with bright, healthy children who require ongoing daily nourishment for their bodies, minds, and spirits to grow and mature.

I Pray for Mothers Who Do Not Yet Know You

I pray for mothers who do not yet know You dear Lord…and for those who are knowingly or unknowingly presenting their children with false teachings. I pray for mothers who are home-schooling their children, to ensure that You will be in the foundation of their education. I pray for mothers who have children with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other conditions the world considers different and may not understand. I pray for every mother who never held her miscarried child.

I pray for the single mother who must be both mother and father to her children; may You give her strength and courage. I pray for mothers with young children who need Your guidance and right direction each day to fulfill Your promises in them. I pray for mothers with teenagers, that they will seek Godly counsel and not provoke their children to wrath. I pray for mothers with adult children, that they will reconcile their differences with forgiveness – and not abandon or be abandoned. Dear Lord, I pray for all of the daughters who must now be the mother and care-giver to their aged, ill, or incapacitated mother…who may not even know who she is any more.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Injured Her Child in Mind, Body or Spirit

I pray for every expectant mother as she prepares and awaits her coming child. I pray for every mother who has lost her child through her poor choices; resulting in imprisonment, abandonment or divorce. I pray for every mother with children who are lost, that they be found. I pray for every mother who has knowingly or unknowingly injured her children in mind, body or spirit. I pray for every mother who is left with so many unanswerable questions when her child died suddenly in an accident, committed suicide…or was murdered. I pray for every mother with a child who has taken the life of another.

I Pray for Mothers Seeking a Safe Place to Rest Her Head…and Protection for Her Children

Father God, I pray for homeless mothers, who wander, seeking a safe place to rest her head…and protection for her children. I pray for mothers with children who have been kidnapped, sexually abused, or exploited. I pray for all of the mothers who have aborted children from their womb. I pray for all of the mothers who have opened their hearts and homes to children through adoption. I pray for every mother who no longer has her own mother’s love to comfort her. I pray for mothers with children in battle on foreign soil in the service of their country. And, I pray for mothers with children in battle on our streets in service of their gang. I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her proud. And, I pray for mothers with children who act in ways that make her ashamed. Sometimes – it is just a different season with the same child.

I Pray for Every Mother Who Has Buried Her Child…Along with the Pieces of Her Broken Heart

I pray for the mothers who have not heard from their child today. Father God, I pray Your perfect peace for mothers, who at this very moment, do not know if their child is dead or alive. I pray for the mothers who are on their knees in daily prayer for guidance, protection, and salvation for their child; that they will make wise choices and understand the consequences of their actions. I pray for the mothers, who in whispers, tears, and pangs of despair…confide in You that it might be better if her child were dead, than to continue living a life of crime or addiction. Father God, I pray every mother who has buried her child, along with the pieces of her broken heart.

I Pray You Will Meet Every Mother’s Spoken and Unspoken Prayer

Dear Father God, I thank you that there is no life circumstance or condition of  heart that is beyond Your loving touch. I pray that all mothers will seek Your face and listen for Your divine guidance. For there is no request any mother can present to You on behalf of her child or herself that is too big or too small for You to hear and respond. I pray Your protection and covering over every mother’s heart. This night I pray in the name, power, and authority of Your Son-Jesus, that You, through the most Holy Spirit, will comfort every mother’s heart; increasing her faith, as You grant her wisdom and discernment in the thoughts of her mind, the words of her mouth, and the actions of her body. I pray dear God, that You will meet every mother’s spoken and unspoken prayer…not in my will but Yours I pray.  -Amen

You may also want to visit ‘Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day’ which is also on my blog at: https://jesusmylordandsavior.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/happy-and-blessed-mothers-day/

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JESUS my Lord and Savior

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©All Rights Reserved-Anastasia Diamond


Come Alongside
Come Alongside

To come alongside the grieving is to be side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

The simple coupling of these words creates a powerful word picture of unity and solidarity; oneness and togetherness. It is a true honor and a gift to be with another human being, as they allow you to share in the darkest moments of their soul. In the span of a lifetime, each of us is granted a number of unique opportunities to experience our own grief…and  to come alongside others in their grief. Loss happens to all of us. It is unavoidable.

The natural response to loss is to grieve.

Everyone who is grieving needs some level of companionship and social support…a safe place to explore their feelings, the freedom to practice their cultural customs and rituals, and true acceptance of how they grieve…for how ever long that takes. Additionally, they need accurate information and education about the natural grieving process. This is where friends, family, counselors, pastors and others with patience and love, can come alongside the grieving…sincerely acknowledging the gravity of what they have experienced… while encouraging and supporting them through their grief in a non-threatening manner. Walking with them through their grief process, so that in time they will find the courage to acknowledge the loss, experience the pain, re-adjust to a world without whom ever or what ever they lost …and find closure in moving on and saying good-bye.


Grief after-care…

Sadly, many people do not get all of the grief after-care necessary to assist them in walking through the process in a healthy and healing manner. Therefore, though we may not know it, we meet people every day who are at various stages in the grieving process and attempting to cope with new or lingering loss issues. It is important to remember that though some losses are obviously new, there are also the forgotten grievers. Those who are still grieving a loss that may have happened years before; and long after most friends, family, and the church have all but forgotten.


Good intentions…but I don’t know what to say or do.

Most of us have good intentions, and truly desire to be encouraging and supportive when faced with a person who is grieving and mourning a loss. We just don’t know what to say, or when and how to say it. Therefore, we often stumble through; at times saying things that at best sound like a poorly written sympathy card, and at worse – we say things that hinder rather than help, and hurt instead of heal.

Who we are when we are faced with the challenges of interacting with someone who is devastated by loss speaks volumes of how we ourselves have dealt with our own loss and grief issues.


Care givers are at risk of re-opening the wounds of their own grief.

We may sincerely desire to come alongside and walk with them through the darkness and into the light. Nonetheless, every time we encounter someone who is grieving the loss of love, faith, hope, a pet, family, friendship, fellowship, marriage, a job, home, health, mother, father, husband, wife, sister, brother, or child…. We are at risk of re-opening the wound of our own grief.


Even the seasoned grief counselor will have times and circumstances that will bring tears and emotions. They could not do what they do if they stopped feeling. However, to be of value to the grieving…a grief counselor’s tears and emotions are most helpful when motivated from that place of ‘coming alongside’…not from their own unresolved grief issues.


When talking with a grieving person, we can be the most helpful if we ourselves are sincerely moving toward a place of wholeness and hope in our own grieving process. If not, our grief may spurt out and spill over; covering the tender wound in the griever’s heart with even more hopelessness and despair than when they first started. Unfortunately, this can happen when our own loss issues have not sufficiently healed. Then we too walk away disillusioned and wounded; carrying renewed feelings of loss and grief.


Coming along-side the grieving…or cleansing your own wounds?

So, you may now ask: How can I get to the place of being able to truly come alongside someone who is grieving…and leave them better than I found them?

First things first; you must do your own grief work before you can truly come alongside some one else who is grieving. Otherwise, you may not be coming alongside them at all. Instead, you may knowingly or unknowingly, be sharing in their grief only to have a forum to expose and cleanse your own wound….or to make less of their grief and make more of your own. Like a contest; comparing who has suffered more.  This is not healthy for either of you.


When you are talking with someone who is grieving while you are in the midst of your own grief, and find yourself thinking, I am the best person for you to talk to, or saying something like, “I know exactly what you’re going through”…Take a breath, and step back from the situation. Maybe you are the right person; but maybe it is not the right time. Maybe you are not quite ready yet. It truly depends on how fresh and open your own grief wound is, and how much grief work you have done at the time. You must take care of yourself before you can honestly and effectively care for another.


Doctor…is that a wound in your hand?

Perhaps this will illustrate the point. How effective would the most brilliant surgeon be if he had a gapping, bleeding wound in his hand…while operating on the gapping, bleeding wound in your hand? Granted, he has been there…he does know what you are going through; but he is not functioning at 100%.  Both his perspective and his skill have been compromised by the wound in his own hand. Untreated, his wound could infect your already injured hand and negatively affect your healing process.


As for the patient, you are anaesthetized and in no condition to protest; or even know that the surgeon is incapable of operating at the time. I think it is safe to say that if you were fully aware and had a choice, you would choose a surgeon with the experience to operate on your wound, but not one of the walking wounded himself, while he is still bleeding. However, once his hand is functioning well, this same doctor will perform hand surgeries with a deeper compassion and stark awareness of what his patients have and will experience. He will truly understand what it will take for them to function in complete wholeness again. He will be able to sincerely tell them that though their hand will be somewhat different after surgery, they will survive and be able lead a full and productive life again.


Indeed, if he shares what he learned from his own wound and healing process, he will be a better doctor; one capable of coming alongside his patients. Both they and he will benefit from his experience.


We are all much like the doctor and patient in this story. We must be ever so careful in how we care for the grieving and their wounds. We must therefore ensure that we ourselves are taken care of and understand the process before we attempt to perform an operation on another’s wounded mind, heart and/or spirit.


We must know, within our own experience, that there truly is life beyond wounds and earthly loss. Otherwise, we will offer myths, empty promises, and cliché answers that will only partially cover the pain, but not assist in their walk toward wholeness.


Finding a New Normal

People who are grieving are often anaesthetized by the pain of the loss; numb and unaware at first. Yet, they do know they are wounded. They wonder and ask…will I ever feel normal; will my life ever be the same again? The hard answer is no, your life after this loss will be different. Wait, don’t run away and hide. Different does not have to be horrible, empty and lonely; different is different. None of us can recapture time, and often the people and things grieved over may be gone from this world forever. However, we can all learn to adjust, to find enjoyment, and fulfillment in a new way of living life; and that becomes our new normal.


One of the precious gifts you are likely to receive in ministering to grieving hearts is the opportunity to assist them in finding peace, hope, faith, healing, comfort…and contentment in their new normal. You may assist them by coming along-side the grieving in their walk towards wholeness in a life without those things, circumstances and people they thought they could never live without.

Yes…it is a challenge. However, you may find deep within you – a Holy Spirit inspired well of blessed and merciful resourcefulness…just waiting to be tapped.

As you come alongside the grieving, you will have the blessed opportunity to draw them towards a renewed, fulfilled and productive life…beyond the valley of the shadow of their loss…and into a closer walk with Jesus.


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