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Relationships Series #5 Control part 2 “The behavior police’ (Galatians 3)

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Relationships #5 Control (Part 2). The Behavior Police
 
They’re out there. “The behavior Police.” You just got saved or you decided to renew your relationship with Jesus, he’s loving on you, and you’re all on fire for him. You’re in love with him! You have returned to your first love. I am happy to report I am in love with my saviour again (Jesus) and I have no intention of letting anyone rip me from his arms, ever again.
 
There was a time (I well remember) when I was not ready for the stuff that happened in church. I thought it was always a safe place, a happy place, full of people who love Jesus.
 
Not always so. (Not always). sometimes there are people in there who just GO to the building and don’t KNOW Jesus (see 1 John) and on FB there are people like that also. they think they know him, but they don’t. If they DID they would not get in the face of one in love with Jesus with their pointy little finger, scolding you, telling you how you better SHAPE UP and do things right!
 
We don’t need to be scolded by those who are NOT our parents. One household runs different from another. It’s the same with God’s people. God has a plan for EACH Person and unless YOU Heard from the Holy Spirit you don’t Know God’s plan for Them!
 
Maybe they aren’t called to make the cookies for the funeral dinner. Maybe God led them to lead someone to Christ last Sunday instead of going to church. Maybe they are tired and God told them to rest. They belong to Jesus! (Not to you!).
 
What did Jesus say to Peter “Feed my lambs” HIS Lambs not YOUR lambs….!! Hmm…and they know HiS Voice! and should be encouraged that they know his voice! Not told to sit and be still in your little military school! 😐
 
We are not in a man-made religious army here. We are grafted in by Faith, receiving from the life giving vine (Jesus). Have you ever looked how a plant operates? Dead stuff is pinched off and new life streams into the new leaves that are growing. 🌱🌳
 
Soon the plant blossoms as it stretches toward the sun. All it needs is water, light, good soil to grow in, and everything must be attached to the vine. We don’t walk up to plants and “Scold them” into submission! We should look for ways to encourage others to stay in the vine and keep on growing (IN Christ Jesus).
 
I want so share a large segment of Galatians. It’s worth reading again and again. A reminder to stand firm in the Faith that first brought you to Jesus (and not be dismayed by the Behavior Police). Laura Grace
 
Galatians 3
 
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,[a] before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
 
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”[d] 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
 
The Law Brings a Curse
 
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
 
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
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Relationships, No More Drama, not even for your Mama! #4 Assumptions …..

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

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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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Con Artists & Church….Stuff nobody wants to talk about ……

It happens. If I were to tell you every story I have personally seen or heard where people fake being a christian, take advantage of the church (time and time again) with no remorse or repentance (or willingness to change) You’d be appalled.

I have been faced with a plethora of reactions when I say “Hey “There are con Artists” Watch out! Some say well You have to love ALL the time turn the other cheek……

“Well that’s not our business,” They say, “We just have to love, and be kind like Jesus said or did.” Really? He let the people sitting at his feet listening to him go hungry for three days (was it a fast?) He told a woman asking for healing for her daughter the children’s bread was not for dogs! There is no record of Jesus gathering his disciples together and saying “Come on boys, we’re going to hand out free meals today to everyone in the leper colony!”

I had a woman tell me (recently) that she tried to help someone (got burned) and after she’d helped this person ranted at her (she didn’t help enough apparently) and I have also experienced this myself.

When I was a property manager, I remember a couple who got the church to pay their deposit and rent, and moved in. They didn’t have a very good back ground check but hey, the church was helping, so we overlooked it in the interest of good will and charity. After all isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Love our neighbors? Jesus indicated brethren first and be wise (as serpents) but somehow that goes unheard by many as our examples of great humanitarians loom before us as “the great example” of how we should be.

This couple moved in, wrecked the place, made a mess that would make your hair curl, soiled carpet, ruined floors, stains, grease debris that cost the owner literally thousands to repair. They moved out owing two months rent, as it was never paid, and their promise to pay was not kept.

I’ve met people who say “Just go to the church for help,” there is a network of people who do this, and go from town to town, place to place, leaving damage, debris and sorrow in their wake. The people who get burned often feel God let them down somehow, or they just decide never to help anyone again and develop a ‘no trust” standard.

This is so sad (to me). Do we really need these extremes? Help everyone or help no one?

I know it’s hard to decide if someone is “worthy of help.” After all we do have the example of Jesus saying “Judge not” and there is this nugget:

“To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. ” Luke 6:29

But see you have to LOOK hard at the whole picture here. Verse And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Verse 31 of this same passage says:

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” 

Do you want God to just let you be a con artist? Hurting everyone as you go? Leaving a trail of destruction in your wake? Certainly the disciples were not like this. I want God’s correction don’t you? SO see the whole counsel of God is not to just let someone rape you financially and take all your goods over and over again. And sit and cry and say “God did this to me.” I was Just obeying his word!

I don’t have time to tell you all the passages about being wise (in proverbs) It saddens me that people who don’t study the bible allow leaders (who are setting some bad examples by the way) direct their paths, (instead of learning from the Holy spirit for themselves).

I too followed their examples at one time. I gave and gave and thought “Well God would reward me” and grieved the heart of God in the process. He wept for me. Every time he tried to bless me, I thought I had to give it all away. I allowed con artists to (literally) steal from me, thinking it was God’s will. If you are a person LIKE the disciples Jesus was talking to YOU WANT Corrected. Right? (if you are being a con artist?)

Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade Or get discernment! You won’t be less in the Kingdom of God you’ll be MORE. More able to help those God wants to help…..

Less foolish and less fooled..Not deceived! Til 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 power of one…..and the importance of one ……and the mandate to go……..

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For years i wondered where I fit in, in God’s church. I wondered what my job was. In church I felt like a kid who never got grown up enough to handle any sort of responsibility, no matter how Hard I tried. Oh sure I loved going to church but eventually, I (like any kid) wanted to do something too. All the jobs seemed to be taken, and my job was to sit on the pew. I just didn’t like it (is all) so for years I practiced guitar (Praise music) and prayed, sought God, what was I to do? 
Now years later, I understand the river (and the heart of a believer) will find their way into their true calling. 
My husband and I just got back from a vacation/ministry trip. He had a few days of Vacation, and we have not taken one since last year (at this same time) when we went to be a tourist down in Dillon, plus went to Virginia City. WE prayed, Packed up, and went on a Journey praying we would find those God wanted us to find (on this trip). Over the 5 days we found 10 stops and about 20 people we prayed for (total). We also were prayed for as we met with new friends who prayed and ministered to us as well! I had always wanted to see Silverwood (never have) a theme park near post falls ID. I wanted to do a lot of things, shop for stuff, go to this famous donut shop, just all kinds of things …..
but …we gave up our vacation and we gave it to Jesus. He used it to do marvelous things too! the memories of who I have prayed for and spent time with on this trip will be marked for eternity! I have no regrets that I did what I did. 
We prayed for a woman who is having a terrible time with her Dad, for another guy that is grieved about how he can’t find any good churches (in his town) as he said so many are falling into strange doctrines and wierd beliefs.
We stood and prayed for entire church complex and witnessed to the secretary in the church and encouraged her. I prayed with a little girl who was severely abused and another couple whose shop was going out of business. God led me to a homeless shelter/soup kitchen where he had me stand and give my testimony of how I got saved, and offered them hope with tears running down my face ……
The point is not to impress you but to say…..the river finds a way. If you can’t minister anywhere because the jobs all seem to be taken, Jesus has a job for you. I’ve heard so many pastors say “reach out to people” (on your job or wherever) but we all know that’s not so easy. Just think if Every believer spent some days of their lives saying who can I reach today Father? Who can I reach today? “Work through me today Father!” 
How many could all of us reach together? Probably everyone. 
To do this we can’t be concerned with Notariety or what WE are going to get out of it. In Matthew 10 Jesus said to his Disciples GO……..GO ………
I see nothing about anyone taking up an offering for them or having church back up. They just went……..and delivered what they had in their heart to deliver …..
YES my friends ONE (You) can make a difference, and that ONE life you touch, THEY MATTER (Jesus said so!) …….So now what are you waiting for? The world needs to hear and see the treasures God has put in your heart……..Amen? 
Matthew 18:12
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
PS: The Lord made sure we were blessed and still had some fun on this trip Isn’t he GOOD? yes he is. He is so Good! Praise Jesus! 🙂
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No labor of love is in vain……..but let’s define love again, shall we?

LOVE BLACK AND WHITE.jpgLet’s define love again, Shall we? the 1 Corn way. 

1 Corinthians 13:6
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
I can still hear Margeret Becker, playing on my cassette deck singing, “NO Labor of love is in vain…….precious jewels are changed to jewels in the rain……” (Never for Nothing, by Margaret Becker). I can remember how hard it was to beleive that. My book Grace to the Rescue, is only available on Kindle right now. It was my first attempt at authorship and no…I didn’t go to school for writing, and no publisher approached and me and said “Hey, you should write a book.” 
 
It came about because I could not tell my story without constant interuptions.
I would say what I’d been through, people would quote 1 Corn to me, and tell me I should read it. I read it 1000 times (or more) and, I lived it.
And no I’m not living in the past. I was on auto-pilot, trained to love, by the church and others. I stuck up for my church zealously too, I might add, and for those that advised me poorly. 
When People saw the abuse I was going through I thought standing up for 1 Corn 13, was standing up for Jesus! Nobody, and I mean nobody, was ever going to get me to give up on believing for my marraige to last.
Now that I have been (gasp) divorced, and yes re-married (for 15 years) I have added forgiving all the crazy, inconsiderate, mean-spirited, and even clueless people who tormented me for years with the very passages of scripure I loved. 
I fell in love with God’s word when I became born again 30 years ago. It came alive to me. My family will tell you I would not shut up about Jesus, and I would not stop witnessing and praying for people either. Thousands of times (Thousands) I said “THANK YOU FATHER FOR Healing my marraige!”
You have to remember, Jews were brought up in God with their parents inolved in the marraiges, along with many teachings about marraige. Nobody ran to a court house and got a certificate, back in those days, nor ran to Vegas and woke up saying “what did I just do?” There were serious laws (from God) about how a man treated his wife, and laws for the wife and children as well.
There was not crazed druggies making their spouse’s lives a living hell every day, after they married them in a spur of the moment decision on a court house lawn.
We’ve learned to say things (like little parrots) and it needs to stop. God hates divorce. He hates sin. He hates that you married the wrong person. He hates that you didn’t know him when you were young…….
He hates sin, because it seperates us from him. Living in sin on purpose keeps us apart from him and he loves us so dearly, he sent his son to die for us. Sin is walking in constant error, deeming something to be more important than he is. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from that tree, (of knowledge of good and evil) and they did it anyway.  
If you are abused, God loves you. He wants to help you. He came to make the captives free.  Yes I did 16 years of working on me, changing me, before I ever walked out that door. Yes I learned to love to forgive beyond 70 times 7. And I don’t regret it, but I did need to get out of there. Better to lose your hand or foot (spiritually speaking) than to be dragged to hell with them. 
Maybe you won’t have to get divorced, maybe you will. I don’t know. But God loves you enough to say, “You matter.” I made my laws for you, to protect you, because I love you my dear.” He said these words in his Holy Word: “I made the sabbath for man, not man for the sabbath.” Think about that for a minute, will you? 
I have copies of my book (Paperback) grace to the rescue, published in 2013 if you are interested in one, write me sisterzeal@yahoo.com