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Paper Dolls & Cookie-Cutter Christians

paper dolls 2

I was thinking about God not staying in his box this morning, and trying to think how to describe my Christian Life! Instantly I thought about Paper Dolls. If you remember them you are probably a little bit “Over the hill” (Like I am!). 

I had some paper dolls as a kid. The clothes were cut out and put onto the paper doll, which was usually made of cardboard. They were cool, but if you would have ever had a paper doll smaller or larger than the clothing, none of it would have fit. 

Thankfully, God doesn’t design clothes like the ones made for paper dolls, and expect us to fit even though we do not fit! Sometimes we feel like we need to be trimmed to fit the clothing man has designed for us, because it doesn’t quite fit, and we look funny! What fits YOU may not fit ME! But that doesn’t mean I’m defective. 

I”m sure when someone (like me) stands and quotes a scripture like the one below, it seems to cause rebellious rabble rousers to say YEAH! And bible teachers to cringe.  Do we get what God is saying here? Paper dolls

And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’  (Matthew 15:9 NKJV) 
There are actually several scriptures where Jesus warned about doctrines of men, or even our lips honoring him, and our hearts being far from him. Was he getting on our cases? Does he not love us anymore? Sure he does! He is not MAD at you. He’s trying to help. 
When we thought “Dad” was mad at us as kids, we tended to want to hide, or run in terror. When we are scared (of God) we cannot even hear what he wants to say. Such is the case with many who read this scripture. 
No God’s not on our cases. He just wants us to see that if we have a one-size-fits-all teaching and Sunday sermon, and ways of doing things, and bible studies that are formatted in a way that does not FIT everyone and we try to say; “Make it fit!” We are acually harming the very people we hope to love. God will adjust the teachings and methods (To fit the doll) not cut down the doll to fit the clothing. See? Because his word is written in such a way that his clothes will fit everyone (who desires him) 
God has Grace on upon us. Peter did not do what James did. Paul did not do what John did. They didn’t go to meetings and get in one accord by saying amen to the pastor and that was all there was to it! They all grew in Grace (And into their spiritual clothes- which God designed for them!). WE don’t have to feel like wretched weirdo’s because we are not the right size For the one-size-fits-all teachings of men. 
God wants to speak to YOU Today. Not JUST through your pastor. 
Teachers? Be willing to adjust the teaching (if need be) as the Holy Spirit leads you. 
Don’t be so rigid. This is not “Military School” it’s the living growing entity called…
    “The Body Of Christ” 
thanks for pondering with me; 
With Love, Laura Grace 
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How to Guard your Heart by Laura Grace

gate heart Be a Gate Keeper! Guard the Soul 

I think there are a lot of Christians out there, like me, who truly do not know how to guard their heart. First and fore most we must give more weight to the voice of the Shepherd than anyone else.

We don’t need pretty lies of exaggerating how wonderful we are, and we don’t need Input from amateur counselors or the peanut factories. We certainly don’t need help allowing unbelief! 

Because we are “word of God” people, we think if we can’t rebuke it, cast it out or get it gone via spiritual warfare, we are failing somehow. Not true.

Some people just ‘are what they are” and we must learn how to deal with it!

  1. Step number one we need to keep learning and meditating on who we are to Jesus. that knowledge must become so real to us, nobody can talk us out of it. If the voice of someone else’s opinion of us screams louder than what God says, we must reinforce what he says about us until it’s more real than anything else. 
  1. In keeping with that train of thought, the accuser of the brethren (the devil) is always going to try to remind you of your past. That’s his job. He is evil. He isn’t going to stop so you must learn to overcome him with YOUR TESTIMONY. You speak it to him: “I am saved, God’s child, I’ve been forgiven of that” and if the person who is allowing the enemy to “USE THEM” to accuse you keeps it up, start to ignore it. It’s the best defense you have. IGNORE IT. You can’t argue with demons.

 

You can’t cast them out of someone who wants to stay that way. No, they may not be demon-possessed- they just listen to his lies and it’s become a part of them, like WEEDS. You cannot go into someone else’s garden and start yanking weeds out. You are trespassing! You are going to have to ignore it and tend to your own garden. Not what you want to hear, but true. Change the subject, dodge the questions, or say “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

  1. Do not ask for counsel from those who have no clue what you are talking about, or what you have been through. I don’t care what their credentials are or how much they “seem” to care. Ask God who you should talk to about something. SEEK HIM FIRST! He is your Shepherd, your counselor and your friend, and he is always listening. 
  1. You live in the world, so best to get started learning how to cope with things. Go to a rest room or go outside and pray. I’ve done this over the years, went to my car. Prayed, or even went to a restroom, prayed in whispers asking God for help, wisdom and guidance. I assume everything I go through he is RIGHT THERE WITH ME because he said he would be.

 

  1. Family can be the hardest, because they knew you before you knew Jesus. Family has expectations that often feel like obligations. If we are a good sister, daughter, mom or son we will do this or that supposedly. Jesus told his own mom he was going about the Father’s business, but another time he did change water to wine because she asked him to do something about the situation. There are no pat answers, we must learn to say; “I am praying” I am “seeking God” and let everyone know (including your family) you are on a mission to do God’s will. We are not born “being like Jesus’ It’s something we are walking out.

 

  1. Whatever weapons you know of right now (with God) use them, he will add to your skills as you use what he gave you. I started out a Lutheran Just ‘praying the Lord’s prayer” and now I know all kinds of spiritual warfare tactics. God is not in a hurry. You are in a school called life and he is willing to walk with you as your Father and help you to grow.

 

  1. Learn from your experiences, write them down. Use a Journal use the computer and ask God to teach you in EACH situation how to handle it better next time. I have noticed things I run from I will usually face again, so best to learn to overcome it.

 

  1. Give that other person the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can. Did they mean to hurt you or were they hurting themselves, distracted, or just clueless? We need to ask God “Why is this happening? Or “what do you want me to learn from this?”

There are some people who are just plain bullies, but what about the mandate to love them?Do we keep taking the hurt?

If I tell someone something wounds my soul and they keep doing it anyway, I am probably going to pull away from that person.  When you go, say a prayer and give it to Jesus. Be willing to be reconciled later, if that’s what he wants you to do. 

WHEN we guard our heart it’s not just against people. WE protect our heart from becoming bitter, angry, full of self-pity, and a host of other things the devil sends at us. There is no end to the things he will try, to destroy our very hearts. Do you know why?

BECAUSE my friends, that’s where the word of God gets planted and takes root. It’s where he speaks to us. It’s where rivers of life flow out of us!

Satan would rather take you out than take out a church building. If he can take you out, he has stopped the flow of God’s spirit to hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people due to the ripple effect. (you touch a life, they touch a life, and so on and so on and so on).  Some people gaurd a church building more zealously than they protect their own hearts from the evil one. It’s a full time job! 

 

 Guard your heart! It’s where your inheritance lies. It’s worth fighting for.

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow Click here to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue-ebook/dp/B077L71XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525753636&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overcoming…..How do we do it?

HURDLE.jpg

I’ve never liked physical exercise, nor been into sports.
 
Therefore, the athlete analogy in scripture didn’t do much for me until I read 1 Timothy 4:8. Now there is a scripture I can get my teeth into! 🙂
 
I can and do, understand the need to overcome obstacles in this life for there are many of them. We say we have faith for something “someone” bars the way. We (as christians) do too much of this “well it must not be God’s will” (type thing) giving up too easily. A Major part of our walk is to OVERCOME!
 
In fact, I would say that’s the biggest goal. Didn’t Jesus say “fear not I have overcome?” and saying in a nutshell, if I did, so can you?
 
Yes indeed, He did.
 
Christmas a lot of times is just overcoming obstacles, and I didn’t realize it until just now. God didn’t send it, (Christmas) people came up with it.
For many it’s an obstacle course.
 
It’s either an opportunity to get upset, or a chance to let God produce love, generosity, more fruits of the spirit, and whatever else he’d like to do IN US at Christmas OR any other time in our lives.
 
That’s all trials really are. Opporunities to Overcome.
Oh, so THAT”S why he said rejoice (when you have a trial)
It’s your big chance to overcome!
And you don’t even have to sign up for the Olympics to do this! 
 
YAY!!! I can Get the Gold! Go for the Gold! Hurray Hurray! And yes LORD, I will do it! Be with me I pray! as I go and JUMP over all these spiritual hurdles I face today!
 
cheering you on!
Your partner in this life in Christ Jesus!
 
Laura Grace
PS (Here’s the scripture I told you about!) #overcoming
 
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
 
1 Timothy 4:8 by Laura Grace (Author) 
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Christmas Story #7 “When I lost the rent” (A Christmas Miracle)

12 days extraI was running hard as usual (It was Christmas time!). I wanted to send gifts to Mom and I had friends and family I was wanting to bless at Christmas, and of course, my children.

Maybe God in me- just wanted to turn what the enemy meant for evil out for Good (like in Romans 8) where it says “all things work for the good for those who love God (and are called to his purpose).

You see, I’d already learned that Christmas was some strange concoction of compromise, that there are pagan traditions “mixed in” and Santa is a saint plus a fun poem “brought to life” and yes, opportunists make the most of it, telling our kids they have to have all their dreams come true, in order to be happy (so they can sell a lot of Junk) and none of it is out of love in their heart, it’s greed for money! Yes, I know this.

My heart however, is focused on my children, who have all the wonder and joy Christmas can bring, and I just want to see their lit-up faces, and deep down I am just happy we have one day a year set aside for giving, and being a blessing, and an excuse to “Deck the Halls” and celebrate family, and life!

This is how I see Christmas. I CHOOSE to see it! How is it different from how God looks at us? He sees potential, he sees an opportunity, to make the most of, to show forth his glory. 12 days 7.jpg

Anyway, this Christmas, I lost the rent money. I was in a store (crowded) and had a hundred things on my mind, and left the rent somewhere, or it dropped out of my purse. When I went to mail it after I got home, I realized I’d lost it in the store, or in the parking lot, but either way, it was gone.

I went into a panic. I started repenting for Christmas shopping. I cried. I prayed. I was in fright! Images of telling my kids we are homeless flashed through my mind. How could I be so stupid?

I called a friend, and asked her to pray. I was crying. THANK GOD she believed in Grace, and not chewing my butt or saying something like “You shouldn’t have been Christmas shopping, that’s evil!”

I had already thought of those things. The devil is big on condemnation when we are already down.

She prayed “thank you God you love Laura, she is your child, you will take care of this.” And she said it with confidence. I thought Man “someday” I want to pray with confidence like that! And Faith God will provide! I had already called the store, they had not found anything.

Hours later, I get a phone call. “These people came in, they had found your money order on the floor hours ago” (she said) and just returned it.” She said, “I wonder if they tried to cash it, and couldn’t so they brought it back.” I thought “yep, probably so.” But if they meant to steal it, why did they finally return it? I may never know! Did God bug them, send an angel? All I know is for me THAT was a miracle!

You know it might have been the year of the view master! I have no idea. All I know is, my heart was full that year. The rent was paid. By the very Grace and power of God.

And this miracle caused me to love him More……….

And I prayed to be like my friend. And I believe I am (like my friend) Praying with Grace!

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corn 9:8

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The all about me people (by Laura Grace)

GROWING TREE ROOTS.jpg

The All about me-people!

by Laura Grace:

We’ve all met them …….
at least once or twice
they want to be naughty
and pretend to be nice

It’s all about them, every time, every place
If they are not happy, they get in your face.

Now I know we forgive them (and pray for them too)
But honestly sometimes, what can we do?

We see them coming, we want to hide!
When we’re having a blessing, they’re along for the ride.

But when we go through a trial ……
THEY run and hide!
They wait til it’s over
and then they come back
It’s all about them (again) 
And that, is a fact!

They will drain you 
and pain you 
and flat “wear you out” 
use you
abuse you
and fill you with doubt

Now you are wondering “did I fail to love?” 
Nope you did not! And here’s help from above!

If they won’t take God’s wisdom, 
It’s not up to you 
to save them from folly 
so take heed what you do!

Let them go my sweet child 
Let them go with a prayer 
gather the wheat 
and uproot the tare

I”m sorry this happens…..
And I know that there’s pain…..
But God is the saviour 
and You: “Pray for rain”

Let them grow up,
They must suffer the pain 
You Need to Grow! 
Now, Soak up the rain! 
Grow in the sunshine
Bask in God’s love!

And my child this is: 
Your help, From Above!

Please don’t feel guilty …….
they are making a choice

Now you, please make yours
and don’t lose your voice!

#grace to Grow (by Laura Grace)

Grace to Grow (the book) Is now available on Amazon WITH Study guide included

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When Giants Have to Fall…..

giants Good Morning! 

Facing any giants today? Monsterous Fears Maybe? 

You know, this may suprise you but …people don’t just wake up one day and realize “Hey I’m a giant slayer!”

Even those of us who DO stand up to those supposed “powers of darkness” had our days of fear and trembling, shaking and quaking, and wondering what to do next. Maybe King David was blessed in that, he did not have to listen to the news on TV every day, and hear about how many stood up to a giant and got killed in the process. See: We have it easier than David in someways (we live in New Testament times) but in other ways, we have it harder. Life was simpler in the days of King David, but the choice has always been the same. Trust God, or not Trust God. 

I do not mean idly sitting by, watching to see what God will do next…….

I’ve been writing messages for months now, as I face my own giants. I have faced many, in my time. 

This time, it was cancer. Oh yes, the big C. The name of the giant is different, the victory over it is the same. One day we will all face that last giant (death) And when God decides it’s our time, we’ll see that one defeated too, as we enter heaven forever, rejoicing. 

after King David slayed the giant, he faced a bigger one. Saul’s Jealousy and Rage.

Before he became King, He was chased around by Saul, who was so upset at David’s Victories, his own realization his time was short (as King) that he wanted to literally murder David. David’s men begged him to kill Saul, but he would not do it.  

I could talk for hours about how I came to the conclusions I have (about Faith) but you wouldn’t likely read it all (unless I write another book) and I don’t have time. What I will say is this: “The Holy Spirit” Has a lot he wants to teach you……

Will you take the time? The other thing is: Becoming a Giant Slayer takes time. David was out in the fields tending the sheep, meditating on God’s truths and principles. He was prepared for his day in the sun (and the days in the dark as well.) I don’t care what the giant’s name is, the answers is the Same. GOD! 

If you looked out the window and saw a stray dog molesting your child, you would grab whatever you could, run out there, and beat the thing half to death. GET OFF MY CHILD! 

When we face ANYTHING that threatens to destroy us the answer is the same……..

SATAN, GET OFF MY CHILD!!! In Jesus’ name! What weapon you use hardly matters. David used the one he was most comfortable with (A sling and a stone). Maybe your weapon is prayer, declarations …..speaking VICTORY SINGING …….What matters is to have a heart like David and realize “WHO ARE YOU DEVIL” TO torment the people of God? WHO ARE YOU (sickness, cancer, premature death, lack, poverty, etc) WHO ARE YOU OH MOUNTAIN? (to stand in the way of God?). 

As giant slayers…..we may have different styles. The important thing is: do we understand this concept? GOOD GOD (Very Good Father) vs BAD DEVIL (who hates us)

WHO wants to kill, steal and destroy? Not God! 

Jesus said: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”
John 10:10 
 
Father make them giant slayers today (all of your People Lord God) Let it get in them once and for all YOU have given us all we need in you to defeat every giant! in Jesus’ name! Amen   Laura Grace Author, Grace to the Rescue series