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What Truly is Adultery toward God? The Fiery book of James: Letting the Fire of God purify your heart (and mind)

105_1354.JPG How well I remember the first time I heard the word: “World-ly.” It was from a congregation member in an independent pentecostal style church, and they were referring to watching television. ‘Friendship with the world is hatred toward God, ” they declared to me with much confidence. “It’s in the book of James,” they said. 

SO I went home and read the book of James. I have to say I didn’t much care for James (my brother in the Lord by the way) When I first read his book. I thought, “Wow,” and was stunned by these words; “Adulterers and Adultesses! Don’t you know friendship with the world is emnity (hatred) toward God? Wow. Wrecked all my love theories in a big fat hurry! James 3 and 4, preface to 5 where the solution is given, without a lot of fanfare. It wrecked my pride, right then. See I was faithful to someone who wasn’t (toward me) and I had serious pride about it too. 

I wasn’t too happy with James that day, for causing me to see how Adulterous I was, but once I had read the words, I could not possibly “Un-read” them either. 

I remember when I heard television watching, listening to (worldly) music, smoking, eating too much, and even talking to those who are not preaching the bible every day of their lives was considered to be “worldiness.” I wanted you to know where this doctrine came from. It came from someone who loved the bible, but didn’t study it too well. They saw something on the pages (of their beloved bible) and ran with it. 

What is the cure to this (adulterous) Worldiness James is talking about? Well he tells you in his next words, “Draw near to God,” He says (James 4:8) “Purify your heart” (oh I just thought of Matthew 5, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall (see God) Oh maybe this is the cure for blindness, eh? Purify my heart? What does that mean? 

So I asked God about it (over and over again) in my personal friendship time with Him. For if he is my friend, he is willing to show me, right? I would think so! 

OH here’s the answer: “He gives us more Grace.” More Grace? More unmerrited favor when we are so messed up? How could it be, I wondered? 

James mentions weeping (over our own sing) getting humble, enduring, and patiently waiting for God to do the work (in us) and also “admitting” to others we have faults. 

He says nothing about going on witch hunts to find people we think are worldly and nailing them to the wall. Nothing about being all puffed up and smug about our “lack of worldliness,” And nothing about Judging others (for being so messed up). Furthermore He (like his brother Jesus) Just said we are adulterers and adultresses JUST for loving the world (or any part of it) More than we love God. WOW. 

So, there we go. No more judging others for what YOU consider to be worldly or the worst sin, eh? Get your eyes on yourself (and your relationship with God). It’s the only way. The only way! And now you know why I don’t easily submit to the judgment of others. Let God be the Judge! Let (the words) of man fall to the ground, and let every Word of God stand true! I love James (now) Why? I Prayed I would! And God answered me! Because this is the types of prayers HE REALLY LOVES TO ANSWER! “Father change my heart, make me more like you……Help me love what you love, and turn from what you hate. Amen” 

 

Your sister, lover of James, lover of God and lover of truth in God’s Spirit, 

As Christ is formed in you ……(Let it begin) God’s peace (and Mercy) to you all…….

 

Laura Grace 

 

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“Swing with me mommy” …..

colton swimming 3“Mommy, Swing with me”

Remembering when I was too stressed out to rest

By Laura Grace

How well I remember a summer day, long ago, when my children were ages 7 and 4.

We were at a park in Washington State, and I can still see myself juggling my purse, snacks, half a bottle of soda, car keys, and who knows what else.

We pulled up in the parking lot and my daughter ran full blast toward the playground. “Carolee wait,” I hollered, cringing as I saw a car pull into the parking lot.

My mom-brain was running full blast, eager to protect her from things like, well, cars that might drive too fast in the parking lot.

I was (and am) a committed Christian, taking my children to church every week, praying with them at night, trying to keep my husband happy, shopping on a budget, striving to become more virtuous, and reading books about how to organize my closet more efficiently.

I was attending bible studies, working part-time, and ran full-blast trying to have healthy meals on the table, send out thank you cards when needed, and remember everyone’s birthday on time. In other words, I was striving to do it all, and do it well.

I remember well I had a friend who said to me; “We have to strive to enter the Kingdom of God.” She was a go-getter, and new to Christianity like I was, at the time. She had leadership qualities, so I looked up to her.

I’m not sure she noticed Hebrews 4 which says, “Enter my rest.” PS (God was saying, “Settle down girl, or you’ll mess yourself up. Enter my rest (well-being found in him.)

So, on that great summer day, now so far away in my mind, I saw nothing wrong with what I was doing, which was, deliberately not resting, or enjoying myself! I needed to be vigilant! The devil prowls like a roaring Lion, you know? 

I was so busy being VIGILANT I forgot to Rest. 

I really thought I had to help God get everything done. I really thought if I rested, I was slacking, or not striving to “enter in” To the Kingdom. Goodness, talk about misunderstanding one word! (and how it can mess us up!) I was upset about this, and that, and the other thing and all the problems I “needed to solve.” right now.

I’m a Grandma now, and I’ve learned how to rest. I can sit and smile, look at the smudged faces of my grandchildren, and delight in every word they say without worrying they will grow up to be horrible people. And yes part of it is because my children have grown up, and they are quite obviously NOT horrible people.

This is not all because of my age, however. A few years ago, the Spirit of God arrested me, and reminded me of that day. “You only have memories of stress, He said, and now that day is gone forever.”

It is gone. I can still see my kids playing, and having fun, but I remember I did not have fun that day, and “come on mommy, swing with us” fell on deaf stressed-out ears. I can never retrieve that day.

Take it from an old war horse Christian and grandma; I can honestly tell you, there is nothing so urgent that you can’t take a few minutes to swing with your children, who are going to need those happy memories with you someday.