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Relationships 5 “No More Drama not even for your mama” the dark underbelly of “Control” (Part 1)

Control vs influence conTROL VS INFLUENCE Jesus.jpg

 Have you ever had anyone come on your FB wall and argue, and argue, and argue (Until you finally have to delete them?) Because if you don’t, the message you are trying to get across is lost in a sea of debate? It reminds me of when we were kids, and played “king of the hill.” Whoever could push you off your stance on the mount “became King!” …..

Control: To direct a person or animal to behave a certain way. To have power over something. Authority: the power to or right to make decisions, or direct (It is given) 

See the difference? One is given. One is assumed. Stephen had authority given by God to speak. A mob of controllers silenced him because they were cut to the heart (conviction). Acts 7:54-59

What is it? If you’ve spent any time on the internet, You’ve probably experienced control. It’s the counterfeit of Authority. Jesus spoke as “one who had authority” He did not argue with people, or try to talk over top of them.

He didn’t whine about how intolerant people are. He found those who wanted to listen.

If you notice, Jesus didn’t talk about “his rights’  His Authority came from the Father in Heaven. He walked in it by simply “going about his Father’s business.”  (Luke 2:49).

His Authority was questioned in Matthew 21. (by the Pharisees). He wisely refused to answer them. He knew their tricks.

Control starts with fear. Not fear like Fear of snakes or bugs, but fear of conviction or being exposed. Sometimes fear of not beng “in power or in control (of that which they wish to control!) Fear of hearing the truth..(and having to make adjustments). 

It was control (in a mob mentality) that made them stone Stephen to death Acts 7:54-59.

Controlling people will often accuse you of being controlling. Here is the difference. You have authority over your house, your face book, your car, your “twitter account” and before all that, your mind, your will and your emotions. God gave you freedom (from the evil one) when he sent Jesus to the cross.

He spoiled all those powers and triumphed over them, “making a show of them” openly. (Col 2:15).

People may have different things they want control of (and to put a lid on things) but the motive is always the same. “I am in control.” Ever heard that expression,” I”ve got it all under control?” Yes, you have! You may have even said it! Controlling people will talk over the top of you, not let you get a word in edgewise, and will use all sorts of tactics to “shut you up.” Why? Because they don’t wish to hear you. If you put them in their place, they will often call you: “conrolling!” 

I pray Father in Jesus’ name as I consider and reveal about control (and where it comes from) you will help us all learn YOUR ways and not man’s ways about how to deal with this. I pray this Father “LET THERE BE LIGHT” In all areas of our souls, hearts, and minds that comes only from you Dear Father!”

In Jesus’ name “deliver us” from the evil one, cause us to escape his lies, which have been growing like weeds since that day he entered this earth. In Jesus’ name. (amen)

-stay tuned for part 2. Laura Grace control vs influence.png   Author, speaker, minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ 

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Relationships, No More Drama, not even for your Mama! #4 Assumptions …..

Relationship 10.jpgRelationship 12

Who I DON”T want to be (and how I found out). by Laura Grace

I’m going to write this before I change my mind! I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to share about relationships a number of times….and I knew it would mean confessing mistakes I have made……….

So Years ago my husband tells me “his ex” used to buy a lot of food and not use it. I heard that, made a note of it, and make every attempt Not to be that way. Years go by, one day he notices I threw something out without using it and makes a comment “Did that go bad already, we didn’t even use it?” ….

Instantly (because I’m tired and had a hard day) I assume he is saying I’m like his ex. “That fast!” Hair trigger moment. “I’ve been busy!!” I snap- (and start listing what I had to do all day BECAUSE I assume he needs to know (because he doesn’t keep track of all my jobs, only what food is being tossed out!) “Okay Okay” He said it was just an observation I wasn’t attacking you!” (and looks all disgusted like I am a hila monster on fire!) I react to THAT next it goes into my mind “Gee wiz can’t I have a bad day?”

Now I’m bent! (and don’t even know why!) And see, all this happened so fast it’s like- “100 miles an hour” and the next thing you know, two people that were supposed to be relaxing in the harbor of their home are thinking “good grief, what’s wrong with YOU?” “NO, what’s wrong with you?” …….

Now, it’s been worse (in times past). I thought he should water flowers at this one place we lived (as I was tired, had done it all the time, and they needed watering. He decided to make “gardeners’ last stand” and say he didn’t want flowers in the first place! I was all indignant, he got a list of all the stuff I didn’t want to do that I  did…….and that’s why he should do it when I ask with no back talk! (Yeah I know, WOW) …but the thing is….

You can be a praying person, full of the spirit. LOVE GOD and love others- and STILL wind up like this! One is from being too tired, or not taking the time to just count to 10, think about what you are going to say next…….in this case, he has the right to say “I am not into flowers” and I have the right to say “I am not” Into whatever it is he wants me to do (change the oil maybe?) 😄

But the other thing we have to watch out for is this:  “assumptions’ like how I assumed he was comparing me to his ex? (Lickety split, it just happened) If we say well “sorry” and don’t pray on our ways….. we keep messing up (over and over again) Destroying the relationship we so cherished. If we say “Okay God, I need help with this JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS Problem” then …….

The  bible says “confess your faults’ and pray (for one another) AND you’ll be healed! It doesn’t say “point out their faults and assume it’s all them because hey YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” 
(and you can never be wrong? oh oh! )………

I know this is a long post. Maybe YOU are never like this but, we all have our flaws.🙂 (weak areas?) …..and it’s the little things sometimes. I hope my confession (one of many days I was OFF In my thinking for one reason or another) Will help you Remember to ASK “What did you mean by that?” When dealing with someone stop! ASK “What are you saying, can you clarify?” ….

Pretend you HAVE To be professional! It’s too easy to take someone we love for granted, & think things like “You should know me by now” (another assumption)

Helps you see yes ….we are all human! But let’s try to do better! And here’s the thing DO things in such a way you actually like yourself! There’s a story Jesus told, the master took a long time returning and this person began to “beat the servants” 😯and how much trouble he got in when the master came home! Let’s not be doing things wrong just because we think nobody sees us….

God sees everything! He is your Father! and he’s watching you! every day! Well I hope this helped someone ..

WIth Love And a prayer: “Father anyone out there who is just struggling with feeling things are unfair, hopeless, impossible! I Pray that You would help that person start with themselves! And learn to learn of you Father! NO matter what! In Jesus’ name help us all remember two wrongs do not make things right. Help us not to give up on our own integrity just becuase we’re having a bad day. Helpl us Father to love ourselves enough to get some rest or take a time out …….In Jesus’ name we pray. amen

Laura Grace

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Relationship #2 No Drama “YOU” are you who you want to be?

Relationship 9

Relationships #2 YOU (Is at the core of every relationship.) Are you who you want to be?

“Being Real” is something we hear all the time. You should “be real” (They say). But it’s not defined. What does being real mean to you? Your anger (about social injustice) outrage (over the issues of life) or even grief, pain, sorrow…..(over untold Losses)

That’s not WHO you really are. is it? No. At the core or heart of relationship-is who WE are. If we don’t like ourselves how do we expect others to like us? If we are not at peace with ourselves, how can anyone else be at peace with us?

Can anyone MAKE us happy? (including God?). I am reminded of the story of Jesus and the man at the pool of Bathesda, (in John, chapter 5) where he said “do you want to be made well?”

Mental health is every bit as important (if not more important) than physical health. Many of us were “messed up” in our minds over things that happened throughout our lives. Abuse. Bullying. Social Injustices. And you don’t have to be a minority to experience discrimination, favoritism, and being left out by those ‘Elitists.”

It all hurts, and it all affects us (deeply) in our hearts.

A whole (Healed) Person has a Healed Soul and Mind. Did you notice Jesus dealt with this man’s heart? (and mind?) “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be made well? God asked me one time if I wanted Restoration or Compensation! (Wow!) I chose Restoration. Compensation is what you get when you sue someone over what was done to you. Or get “payment” for your loss.

I don’t want compensation. I want restoration! I choose life!

Even in relationships we have to ask this question: “do we want to get along?” (or do we just want to argue?). Do we want to do the work it takes to have a great relationship?

What’s important to us? What matters most? And truly “WHO” do we wish to be? A fighter? Scrapper? Conquerer? Leader of the band? Or do we wish to have our identity forever be “continual victim” because we believe this is our lot in life?

1.Who do you want to be? And why? God really wants to know! Let him know who you would like to be! Then ask “what he wants you to be!” This is relationship at it’s finest. TWO WAY (not one way).

2. Make peace with yourself (However long it takes)

3. Be a friend (to yourself) And receive all God has for you. This will make you a better friend to others…in the long run (and a better spouse, better employeee, and so on and so forth). This means “Being willing to take correction”.

You’d be amazed at the things I’ve said to Jesus. I came to the conclusion years ago…”He already knows” so.I may as well tell him the truth! Trust me, he can handle it. I’ve said things to God that are so shocking I waited for lightning to hit me! But it didn’t! His love enveloped me instead…….(I testify!)

You can’t “offend him” by telling him the truth! I feel like Giving up Father! I have had about enough Father! I need you to show me Father (And let him know what you truly believe you need from him). I will give you a clue however……that when we ask him for what he already wants to give us, it’s likely to happen a lot quicker.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (NKJV) Peace! Until Next time, -Laura Grace

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No Drama not even for your Mama! Relationships #2 Judging/Making snap-judgments

RElationship 13 judging.jpg

Relationships #1 Judging (and snap judgments).

Nothing is scarier than a person armed with Knowledge, (bold as brass), yet not having an entire handle (or view) of the truth. The truth actually contains “the whole picture” not just your view of it.

If we see a house next door to us, we cannot see the roof, the basement, or the interior of the house. We can only see our viewpont, unless we investigate and get a closer view. Right?

Yet at times, we all make “snap” judgments, better known as jumping to conclusions! And why did I say nothing is scarier than these types?

Because: People with real problems are vulnerable (more than any others) to this “mis-applied’ Information, and you can really “Mess them up.” 

I met a gal a few years ago, who had such problems in her marraige it was staggering.

After hearing her story, I jumped to the conclusion (based on my knowledge) she needed to get out of there and start over. THANK (YOU) God for a background in learning that prayer (and asking the Holy Spirit how to pray) was important (to God). if not for those Spiritual Teachings. I have no idea how much damage I might have done with my “I know the answer” type advice.

I did pray before I spoke, but I really didn’t take much time to really seek God about her situation, before opening my mouth! I was so gung ho about seeing women not abused, I failed to see God wanted to heal this relationship.

And so I learned. The hard way.

We can know things that are true, yet mis-apply that truth. That’s what the Pharisees did on more than one occasion, with Jesus. They knew the Sabbath was holy, but they mis-applied that truth and attacked him about his disciples picking some wheat, or his healing of someone on the Sabbath Day. They crossed from knowledge to Judging, and I suspect pride had come in- over their “great knowledge” about God’s Word.

When people say “God is Judging” (Over all this sin) i want to remind you of this passage: Matthew 7:2 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (KJV).

When God Does Judge, by his own standard- it’s to those who are measuring out Judgment toward others. This is the only type of judgment we need to be concerned with, as it’s not up to use WHO receives mercy or who doesn’t! That is between them (and God)- not between them and us.

When we are too concerned with Justice, or even protecting ourselves and others, we can find ourselves in the very deep water of mis-applying the truth, and making snap-judgements all too quickly. No wonder Jesus said “take my yoke, learn of me”

Let’s keep learning! (and deal withourselves first!) It is wise to do so. The best relationships start with YOU! And as we learn of Jesus, (relationship #1) all the others will get better.  -Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow 

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Relationships! no more drama, not even for your mama! by Laura Grace

Relationships! Introduction: By Laura Grace Should I give up, shut up, put up my dukes? 

Relationships are one of the hardest things we will ever contend with in this life. Frankly Not a subject I have wanted to contend with OR address. Even in my book Grace to Grow, I talked about it being hard. but I didn’t say a whole lot about it. That’s because it’s not cut and dry. Every relationship is different. There are variations (Within) and while we all know there are basic principles in the word of God how do we know Which Principle to apply?

I’m going to address hard truths, talk about real situations, and share with you what God 
has taught me thus far about relationships……..

What about giving up? Did I fail that person? How do I know? How do I get closure when they won’t talk to me anymore?

How do I love them- yet avoid the drama? AS we begin……Let’s Ponder Matthew in chapter 5 where Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” …….(Matthew 5:9) and 
explore how we make peace (in various ways) as we are BECOMING children of God.

Yes, I said becoming. (You’re being formed and shaped here, into his image!) Amen

“Father please, be with me as I do this series and I know you will be. Allow me to share from your heart to theirs “what works” and what does not work! For you already know! and you know all the persons out there who wonder about how you said make peace but yet you said at times there will be no peace in certain relationships…..

 

Give us understanding we pray (Father) In Jesus’ name. and we thank you for it too. 

 I ask you Father help us to undertand your word better, and how to apply it in everyday life! IN Jesus’ name! -amen

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A word about……Your heart (and the intentions thereof) by Laura Grace

heart and soul We’ve all heard those sayings, like this one: “I had good intentions!” Or how about this one? “The road to hell is paved with (good intentions!). That last one is a harsh one, in today’s society! Saying things like that could get you in big trouble! 

Check out these words concerning the choice of David for the next King:

 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
I was in church about three years ago, and I heard a woman say to another person, “I heard that minister didn’t even go to ministry school, He just preaches!” She was all aghast. I also remember my reaction which was to think, “So?” I pondered the disciples who became Apostles in the bible, and how they followed Jesus, learned of him, and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They turned the world upside down, every one of them, without a “degree.” 
Fast forward now, to me sitting with a pastor’s wife, who said something like this: “Man does look at the outward appearance.” I realized at that moment, I had only pondered the second half of that passage, for most of my Christian life. 
You see……I had been telling her I didn’t understand why I am now in Bible College, pursuing a degree. I said “I felt like the Lord wants me to do this, but I don’t understand why. Well? Man looks (at credentials) … God wants me equipped (for EVERY good work) And if it means a degree……I will not say no to him! 
God does look at the heart, yes, over and above our (outside) appearance. He looks at intents, and our motives too. What God wants for us is first, and foremost, over what man thinks we ought to do (yes!). But we do have to keep in mind “our ministry” will be affected by how we look to others. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t need any “rebels without a cause” running around snubbing their nose at those who want to clean up their act, on the outside, as well as on the inside. 
I’ve lost track of how many times I have heard this statement: “You’re a people pleaser!” 
Really? They don’t know me. I (at times) do appear that way. What they don’t know is, I used to despise people! (before I met Jesus) and for those who really know me, they know I used to not care a bit what anyone thinks (about me). In fact, I went out of my way sometimes to let people know how much I didn’t care (what they thought). 
If I appear that way, it’s because I am intent on not losing any opportunity to get across God’s message (of love, mercy, healing, and grace!). I do not have to prove I care, or that I don’t care. God knows my heart. The crux of this message is to say this: WE need to know the motives of our own hearts! If we know why we do what we do, We’ll always have a ready answer for those who ask……
“Father I thank and praise you that you look at our hearts first, and not the outside appearance. However I do thank you also, that you get around to helping us clean up our act. You do clean the outside (and the inside) OF US so that we are more useful and Holy (set apart) for the great works you want to do for us. In Jesus’ name!”  Amen! 
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The second mile…..according to Jesus…

a ROAD Matthew 5: 41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. ” 

Right after Jesus sat on the mount (speaking to the multitudes) He continued to speak about other topics. One was this passage- (above) which came to mind this morning as I was pondering and waking up. 

You see, I have dreams in my heart, which I believe God placed there. Dreams of travelling, speaking, sharing all the treasures he has bestowed within me. Dreams of sharing with others (who are hurting) all the beautiful testimonies God has given me of redemption, healing, restoration, and reasons for praise! 

I have boldly declared “I will go” (travel and speak) but I seem to be ahead of my time in most everything I do. In Other words, Sometimes a vision is so real to me, I think it’s going ot happen tomorrow! I just want you to know everything I”ve ever said is going ot happen HAS happened. But not in the year or day I thought it would happen. 

I was asked to help with music in my local church about three years ago, starting with the children in an after school program. That led to more singing (in the church) and later on, a semester of teaching music at the local school (grades K to 12) and this was without a teaching certificate by the way. AMAZING!

I can’t tell you how much it blesses my heart that even recently, I sang at church (a song God put on my heart to sing with guitar) and a local person chased me down the other day saying: “I forgot to tell you, that song was so great, please do that more often!!”. It’s 2017 now. Twenty years ago I was crying and asking God WHY He would not use me in church to sing. I had learned almost every song on guitar that church did at the time. EVERY SONG …It took hours to learn them all….hours and hours and hours of time……

I prayed “Thank you Father that if I am faithful you will TRUST ME to sing and minister to your people” …..(as I learned all these songs, and practiced them over and over) And I have to tell you….I had given up on the whole thing, a few years ago.

Oh sure- I sang at this one place but for the most part I’d “thrown in the towel” Given up…..said Okay Father what’s next I surrender! Obviously I”m NOT called to sing or do music in my local church! 

Now I’m in school (full time) Pursuing a degree at a christian college, I’ve written books, I’ve made brochures…..I’ve gone on some speaking engagements…..and I’ve done a mission trip this past summer in my local region. The pastor of the church I attend now is telling me “this other church” wants you to come and sing………” 

             I wanted to keep writing books…bag the singing…..Give up on it now…

 BEING REAL HERE! See it hurts to be disappointed, and if we don’t allow God to keep working in our hearts….we may just slam the door on him! 

Well? Do I go the second mile? Or do I just say “I have other plans now, Lord!”. I asked him to open doors! I asked him to use me! (for his Glory)….who am I to decide what I should or should not do? Who am I to say “this life is MINE I will do what I WISH to do?” …….hmm …..and when I asked him “Should I be singing or should I be writing books?” He gave me that passage (Matthew 5:41) “Someone is asking you girl!! What’s the problem?” ……Incidentally I CAN Do both if I trim some corners. 

So “Father I trust your timing! I don’t understand it, always, but I trust in you! I know whatever visions you have given me that you’ve put in my heart….will come to pass. Eventually ….they will! and please Forgive me for giving up all those years ago…….because I thought you were not quick enough to answer my prayers.” and Father thank you that when something in your word Is true FOR US you will cause it to leap off the page at us! Just like this one you gave me today! It’s for me Father! and I praise you for this! IN Jesus’ name. amen ……..Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow the Study guide (a self contained book With studies) Available on Amazon. 

DENTON 7 the grinch.jpg

This picture is me Christmas Concert 2016 directing the music program (Without a teaching certificate) but God was with me……..Laura Grace