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When your give a dang gets broken….. Jesus sticks up for you! And the sin of unjust criticism………..

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I’m going to be transparent with you today. Sometimes if I have given (and given) all that I have, and someone gets critical about how I did it, There is a point where I just want to give up on giving at all. There is a song about it and it basically says “My give a dang is broken.”  In the world of biblically-correct Christians, it’s not okay to say that. Leaders go through it (at times) pastors of all kinds, even Mom’s who love their children dearly, experience this phenomina. Pastors and Moms have something in comnon too: They don’t dare say so “in front of the children.” 

I won’t go into the reasons, We’ll just say some days “it all adds up” on us until we reach the tilting point or boiling point, as we may call it. I took it out on someone who did not deserve my wrath (and it’s happened before) All because criticism when I have given it all I’ve got, tends to send me through the roof at times. 

The passage “God loves a Cheerful Giver” was going through my mind. I decided I was not cheerful, so maybe I should not have given at all. Maybe I should not minister at all! I was about to give up, when Jesus came on the scene with his rivers of Living Water and Mighty flood of revelation! 

He said to me “It’s what it cost you” that is getting to you.” And then “Criticism under that cirumstance, is a sin.” 

The story of the widow’s mite came to mind. “She gave all she had to live on” Jesus said and not from her abundance, but she gave all she had.” (Mark 12). 

I know what Jesus is talking about here. I had a friend who typed me letters of encouagement with braces on his hands, because the pain in his hands was so bad he had to wear braces to do it. I just had someone tell me of a gift they are sending that cost them “all they have.” If you’ve ever given your last minute, your only day off, your only 5.00, or given up your only vacation to do something nice for someone else, you know exactly what I am talking about. Smug little sinners with no clue say things like, “Well You should not Martyr yourself!” or they might use a different passage of scripture (God loves a cheerful giver!). 

I have a friend that works full time, and even on weekends at times, but she uses what little free time she has to post helpful scripture on the internet. She Loves Jesus and she gives ALL she has to live on (her wee bit of rest time sometimes) to bless others. When I see someone going on her FB wall having to “correct her” with their “Opinion” I wish I could go and say, “What is your problem?” 

My aghast response to their treachery, is not so far from How Jesus sees it. (He told me so!) However, he also lets me know that he sees every thing we give, and why. 

When someone gives all they have, their last day, minute, breath, or even dollar, (in his Name for his purpose) he sees it, and he commends them for it. Why did Jesus commend that woman? Because, he wanted to get a point across about giving it all (and what it means to him!). Anyone who unjustly criticises those who are giving it all, are sinning against Jesus himself, not just that person. 

Now I ask you? How many people are supposedly “anti-bullying” and yet unjustly criticise the Lord’s servants, who are giving it all they’ve got? So now, what to do about it? GIVE AS UNTO JESUS and let the geese that bite you on the nose after you have helped them, go find their own bread. We need to be about the Father’s business, and doing what he has said to do! 

Later Jesus told his disciples “When you enter a house, speak peace to it and if they do not receive it, your peace will return to you.” Whatever you have done for others will be returned to you………No labor of love is in vain. (Jesus’ promised us this). 

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 

So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can’t afford to be Offended

Me 2015.jpgI want to share a little over a week ago God Led me to forgive some stuff. After I did it, I realized how many people I had let down in my life time. That was God’s Grace (TO ME!). I have to wonder,if my forgiveness allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal more to me about myself, and lift the blinders from my eyes.

We All have expectations of people.

Some is based on how we are raised, how we understand the bible, or whatever else. People can feel they are offering the help they have to offer, and you rejected it (or them) and I mean to tell you what, there are SO MANY THINGS the devil can (try) to turn it into an offense, I simply cannot list them all here. 

I’ve had people reject what I had to say when I thought it was God’s will I said certain things. It hurts, because we think we are giving a gift, and it just got rejected. If it happens 100 times, we may be at risk of getting offended. You’d be suprised how many people have “rebuked me” when I talk about Growing In Christ.

There are some who believe getting saved leads to this “instant Jesus pudding” and we automatically grow, without any real participation on our part.

Growing in Grace is a message that is balanced, and between the “Auto Pilot’ thing and the “being under law” mentality. Growing up IN Christ is a sensible and sound message, but not a popular one.

Therefore, I am delivering a word God asked me to deliver …..and yet those who seem to have the pulpit do not always agree. Does it stop me?

NO! It will not! And, I must not get offended. If I do, I will ruin myself.

I”m so glad when people tell me things like, “I waved at you, you didn’t wave back”. So many times, I just did not see them wave at me!

There are times people forget, don’t hear us, or do not understand how important something is to us. (really). Don’t fall for the “all about me” mentality. It’s a monster! ME MOnster.jpg Cartoon by Jeff Larson 

Yes, there are times people have been little snots, but it’s not all that often. Most of the time when people hurt us, it’s quite accidental.

The important thing is that remain “not offended”. If I’m not, I can go foward in Christ.

Proverbs 18:19 says “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Don’t put your walls up. It’s just not worth it to miss out on what God has for you next.

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to the Rescue and Grace to Grow, available on Amazon.

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Christmas Story #6 “A viewmaster disaster”

12 days 5thomas really youngView master

Christmas Story #6 (12 days of stories) ” A Viewmaster Disaster”

(Sigh) It seems I’ve been telling on myself in these stories. That wasn’t the plan! Maybe God’s plan, but not mine! Anyway it was the 90’s, can’t remember what year, and the man of the house lost his job (again). I tried to shelter my children.

They really had no idea the fear, the chaos or the level of fright I was dealing with. I didn’t want them to know. No child should have to know they are in danger of being homeless all the time or having no dinner, or no Christmas present.

So, I prayed and found this viewmaster with Slides for 5.00 at St Vincent and I probably Told my son “God Provided” and made it sound like the thing was “a gift from God.”

YES I was a good mom. I prayed with them daily, I was faithful with all my heart to be a mom, but hey, I was learning myself! and I try as I might I still made mistakes. Blaming God for this gift WAS a mistake. It was almost detrimental to his Faith system.

So Thomas ripped into the view master all excited (From God! It must be special) and when he saw that viewmaster well he was pretty disappointed. okay VERY Disappointed! And, he cried.

Man I felt terrible. Like the worst mom ever!

Others in “housing projects” who often lied about their income, (and I know they did) bought their kids Play Stations and big ticket gifts at Christmas time. Not so with us. It was God provided, or it didn’t happen other than the sweet benevolence of others.

So how does this turn out for Good (Romans 8) you might ask?

For one thing, when I get someone a gift such as recently for the Kids at Browning, I really THINK about what I am getting. will they like it? Will they enjoy it? Or am I passing off my old time ideas of what I THINK They should like?

 I loved my view master as as kid. my son grew up in a totally different generation. I have to say I would not get excited about a tin cup and a penny either (as some did many years ago). I would say thank you, but I wouldn’t be ecstatic or anything! The Little house on the Prairie children were having a different experience when Mr. Edwards Gave them that “tin cup!” God gives perfect gifts in the perfect timing, and in the perfect way. I would have been off saying “I got you a view master” and leave God out of it! There is more than one layer to this presentation by the way………:) 

In My Zeal to lift up Jesus as the King of Christmas, I failed to see I was misrepresenting God. I don’t think he “chose’ to give my son a gift that brought him to tears. Let’s face it poverty is hard on a kid. (it really is) It produces Character, it can be very GOOD for them, but it’s still hard. by the way…….. Many years later (2007?)

I got him ANOTHER viewmaster as a joke gift at Christmas! He was able to laugh over it Good sign! He came out with Character! Oh the Joy of having children with Character! Who Can abase or abound! And that my friends, is a result of prayer, Faith, and God’s Grace.  

Merry Christmas! Stay tuned for more! -Laura Grace

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”      James 1:17

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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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If you jump to conclusions, leap before you look or listen (in speaking to someone) or make someone feel more scared than they already were before they spoke to you, chances are they won’t confide in you again. Being trusted with the confidences and problems of others is a Holy keep.

Don’t scold a wounded heart. A wise person is prayerful about how they approach a situation. How do I know this? I’ve messed up. I’ve had people mess me up too.

“Please Father make us trustworthy. In Jesus’ name.
Help us know when to speak, when to be silent, and what to say.” Amen

Psalm 141:3
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
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The silent cries of an anguished heart………

rescue meDid you know it’s super important to let God have your tears? Your Pain? Your disappointment? oh you don’t have to. You can drink, do some drugs, go on a wild rampage, if you choose to do so you could even kill someone (go to prison) Whatever you like! Shocking, isn’t it? YOU CAN do whatever you wish! Who’s going to stop you? 

That’s the scary part. (Free will!) Free will scares me more than anything, especiallyl my own. You probably already figured out we live in a world where more and more people are saying “I can do what I want, be what I want” get out of my my way!” People hurt us, let us down, reject us, ignore us, take things out on us, 

And- all kinds of things happen (every day) There is no cut and dried solution. Yes I know what the bible says “Love suffers long” (How long?) Love is patient and kind (but I don’t feel like loving today!) I am tired (the heart screams) I need a harvest! I can’t take anymore! The demands are constant! It never ends! We wear masks because nobody wants to hear it. SO we put on a brave face and march forward, doing the best we can (with a brave face, and the heart screaming!) 

Finally by the grace of God we find a friend, a true friend we can confide in. They understand. Our hearts cry with relief. Finally, someone understands me! Maybe it’s because they have walked that path we are walking right now, or maybe it’s because they prepared their heart to minister in THAT particular area…..

But later on……(much later) we find out they can’t handle this other thing we are going through, so they lash out at us, and don’t know what to say…….and the magic is gone, so to speak. It happens to all of us (if we are honest) 

Sometimes Life on planet earth throws so much at us (one thing after another) It staggers the mind, rips at the heart, and leaves us all in pieces. We don’t understand what people are going through all the time no matter how much we THINK we know the answers. We don’t know if that one more thing was almost the end of them. They don’t always know one more thing was almost the end of us…….

There is only one person I know I can always depend on. God. Father God. Abba Father. I know those who think I’m some headhunter for Jesus do not understand this either. All I can hope is after he’s picked me up for the 1000th’ time and breathed his life into me once again, that I will someday run into to someone, somewhere I can share how he helped me…….and in turn, they too can be helped. 

For me, this is life worth living. Receiving from him and breathing his life onto others ……Life is short “I want to live it well” as the song says…….

SONG HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ_UZMYp3mI

Which means I don’t have time to stay angry, or mourn too long, or wallow around in my troubles. I don’t have time to hold grudges, or wonder why that person did what they did. I just have to move on, and follow jesus …..

And here is what I have to say to you now. HE WILL HEAL YOU SO YOU CAN GO FORWARD WITH HIM! He WILL DELIVER YOU FROM ANYTHING THAT KEEPS YOU FROM HIM! Trust me when I say he didn’t die a bloody death to see you LEFT OUT of his Kingdom! He will break you out, break you free and make a way for you TO FOLLOW HIM! To the ends of the earth and wherever he takes you. 

I can say this because I’ve lived it. And yes I know about all those silent screams that say WHY WHY WHY WHY God WHY did this or that have to happen? Well somtimes it’s just free will. God cries over those who run away from him too. God hates it when they hurt you too.  Yes he wants to fix the misunderstandings but sometimes there is not time for it, or someone isn’t ready to hear what they need to hear (Yet) So ….Let it go, let him Heal (your heart) give him all the pieces…

and march on. “Father if you help one person go foward today because of this message I praise you” I really praise you” to the one reading this heal their heart bind up their wounds and let them go free today Father” IN Jesus’ name I pray. amen Laura Grace Author, grace to the rescue and others available on Amazon 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.”
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Feeling like the 5th string…..and God’s word about this (to me) (Listen up!) :)

guitar string

I had a good cry ……I really did (this morning). So Tim had this prostrate exam and had to be punched with a needle 12 times inside of his body which was very painful. He was traumatized by it. Then there is the fact that doctor made it sound like He must already have cancer, because his PSA level was so high. Nobody wants to hear the C word. 

He’s just believing every day for a good report, prays every night saying,”Thank you Father there is nothing there”, I just went to “show myself’ to the medical priest.” Laura (miss Faith woman) is saying well, What if they find something? what then? but I am praying against it of course (I am) Because I DO believe God is our healer …..and I do. 

On top of that, I’ve been having insecurity issues over whether I was ever supposed to write books or send out brochures or any of it…

Because Honestly, I can remember any time I’ve “heard from the Lord” there was always a barage of voices right after that, telling me I didn’t, or that I’m just crazy, or I just heard what I wanted to hear, or “those voices in your head” Girl, “Maybeyou should get your head examined.” But it doesn’t come from my head, it comes from my heart. The Very place where the Holy Spirit dwells (within me) and HE has said a lot of things to me he hasn’t SEEMED to have told anyone else.

Years ago, he talked to me about Jezebel in the early 90’s. the people I told thought I was nuts, because there were no books about it then. 15 years ago he was telling me some marraiges are not Joined together by HIM and again, no books about it, up until now (15 years later). He tells me to speak blessing in the face of evil, so I do!

Then I get accused of sticking my head in the sand. I’ve lost friends because my stance with God seems to be so threatening somehow, AS iF I am judging what they believe! I”M not! But let’s face it folks, when we make a strong stand for something we are GOING TO BE ACCUSED of being Judgemental. 

Even if all we are doing is standing up for what GOD told us! Speaking of strings, they don’t all sound the same! but they all together sound very good! And if one string is missing (on my guitar?) It sounds pretty bad! 

IF you can bear with me a moment, on top of this I’m feeling so “NOT NEEDED” Here lately. I sat out on the prairie looking at the fields of barley and wheat and said “you know I feel so un-needed” and I spilled out and poured people who used to need me or who used to care and I cried and wept profusely. I thought about when I was in school and nobody ever picked me for the team, and I was second string in Basketball. 

“I Don’t feel like 2nd string” I said, I feel like 5th string” (crying some more) …..And my heart is saying just take away this desire to minister Father it’s killing me!” And you knowwhat he said? “Well, what would happen if the 5th string on your guitar broke?” “It would play bad Father” ….”Yes, it would.’ 

Now I can’t get past what He said to me. I can’t get around the truth that truly, without the 5th string on my guitar, it would sound pretty bad. so much for excuses! so much for pain and emotional misery! I am 5th String! And I will rejoice in it!

-Laura Grace, Author, Grace 

to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, and more upcoming books. stay tuned!