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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The power of one…..and the importance of one ……and the mandate to go……..

power of one.jpg
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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Would you pray with me this week?

I am an evangelist, and I live in a really small town. On top of that I have this pastor type heart along with it. God gave it to me. I can’t do anything about it, It’s just there.  Oh, and I also play guitar, and sing in my local church. 

God decides what the gifts are (in a person) we don’t decide for ourselves.  

I live in a small town, sort of in the middle of “nowhere” and most people I know here, already go to church. So who will I Evangelize? The cows? Horses? 

You may wonder how I know this about myself. I will tell you. Years ago after a hair raising experience for months with a person next door to me (she was super mean) the body of Elders at my church layed hands on me and with the power of God all over me I heard “LORD, Make her a soul winner!” and since that day I’m not afraid to witness. 

Anywhere, Anytime. I will pray with anyone “ask them” if they know the Lord. If a soldier in Christ is falling apart- I have faith to pray they will be renewed, restored, or even be brought back to life again. God put this in me, and I have cherished and kept it and fed it and watered it.  

I’ve been hesitant to say “what I am” because honestly, who cares about titles? 

Lately I’ve found myself just suffering with the daily grind of working, chores, dishes, cooking, errands and my heart longs to get out there and Meet people, pray with them, see what God wants to do next. I want to walk in the Spirit (of God) RUN in the Spirit and flow in him! There is always work to be done, and it seems to never end.  Just……..I have this blazing passion to do more than just “tend to the house” 

See, I know we have to be a good steward of what we have. I don’t believe in hounding people for money so I can do God’s work. So we are taking vacation and we are going to Go…….See what God has for us to do. We’re going to pray and watch for opportunities to touch someone for Jesus………

Today I am asking myself not “what can you do for me Father?” But “what can I do for you today?” What would you like? Who do you want to reach today? What hearts to you want to touch? How would you like me to pray? 

I would love it if you would please Join me in prayer as we travel The 9th to the 15th of July and believe WITH US For miracles for every day people we find along the way ….

Jesus lives in me! And HE wants to flow through me! And HE wants to touch people every where I go! Will you pray with me? I’m believing for great things this week. 

                                                          I want to Make a Difference Father

                                             WITH YOU I can! I really can! send me to whom you want me to pray with speak to, give them a hug….encouragement…..whatever you want 

“Your servant always….”     Laura Grace  PS “great stories when I get back!” Thanks for your prayers! Love and blessings!