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Being a Faith Person, in a cynical world

Good Morning! 

     I find myself thinking this morning, how difficult it can be to be a faith person, in a cynical world. 

     I am an oddity to many, and I perceive that many just wonder, (and worry a little for me) when they hear the things I believe, and the things I say, on any given day. 

     I am prone to speak faith over situations, and defy the laws of the natural with my words (and prayers). I don’t necessarily believe in “JUST” asking God for something, I believe in speaking faith words into the atmosphere.

   Many do not agree with me, but they are a little bit afraid to argue, too. I can almost hear their thoughts.

     “Should I say something to Laura?” “Doesn’t she realize she isn’t always going to “get what she says?” Or “does she realize God is Sovreign, and what happens, is up to him?” When I speak big things in Faith, I’m sure they wonder, “Is she going to be okay when it doesn’t “GO” How she thinks it will?” 

     Many often think I do need a “reality check.”. Know how I know? No, so I will tell you: I know by the things people (often) say to me what they truly believe. 

  They don’t believe they are cynical. They believe they are right. 

       Jesus really did say in Matthew 21 ” but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.”

     This does not mean every problem we have we just “speak to it’ and it goes away (according to our whim). However, there are times we do! And, things happen! 

     The “Blab it and Grab it” crowd gives Jesus a bad reputation! I don’t see Jesus speaking to every circumstance that was unpleasant, do you? So when we do this, our immaturity shows for all the world to see! And you give the gospel “a bad name” if you treat his word like a magical sceptor for your own personal gain.

   Jesus did many different things at different times, as he “Did the Will of his Father in Heaven” (John 5:30). There were prophets in the Old Testament who spoke things (by Faith) some of it never happened in their lifetime, They still believed it. 

     A doctrine of man is when ONE thing he did, is emphasized to the point the full message of God gets distorted. If we want to be like Him (Christ-Like) we will reject none of his ways (or methods) but at the same time we will also not take one thing he does (or did) and blow it out of proportion.

     I speak to situations when he leads me to do so. Those who have tried, or have seen someone, try to get rid of every problem Just by speaking Faith (when their hearts did not even believe what they were saying) Begin to get cynical, and think they have to “straighten out” Faith people, who seem to be ‘over the top.” It’s not one or the other, GOD”S WILL OR You Speaking Faith like he did! 

 You can believe for his Will AND speak Faith (to your Mountain) at the same time! The question is, what has his Word taught you to believe? Do you know what it says about every situation? (His word) or are you just listening to those who claim to know?

     And why should we even believe them? Who are THEY to say what you should believe or not believe? Isn’t that between you and God, in your Covenant with Him? 

Something to ponder, 

By Laura Grace Author, https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue/dp/197333187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535463548&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+graceGrace to Grow

 

 

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What does it mean to “abide in the vine?” A little sermon on John 15

VINE JOHN 15What does it mean to abide in the Vine?

For the last week I’ve had songs about abiding in the vine going through my head and spirit. What does this mean? (I used to ask myself). In 1 John we are told if we abide in him we will ask (and it shall be done). So abiding in the vine has something to do with covenant as well. It’s not automatic. It’s a decision we make to live in and with Jesus, in all that we do. 🙂

Some want to keep him in a box, let him out when there is difficulty or troube, and do their own thing the rest of the time. We CAN Do this but it doesn’t mean we should! Jesus is pretty clear in John 15 and does not mince words with us when he said:

” Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

John 15:3-8 NKJV

If we abide in (LIVE IN) Jesus we will know his will for us.

This is why our prayers will now be answered- because we have asked him how we should pray! To not live in Him sets us up for great failure, and the devil will use every opportunity to say, “See? God was not with you?” He never stops, he is a little opportunist for evil and despair. If you want Victory in your life, aim to live IN the vine IN Jesus! Let him be your teacher, instructor and guide.

Church is fine but it’s not THE Answer. Abiding in the Vine is the answer. Church is where you hopefully find people with answers but that is only if they have become his disciples and are growing in him. If they aren’t they won’t have any answers because: “APART FROM JESUS THEY CAN DO NOTHING.”

This is the word of the Lord and, it’s all true. Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

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Being Real & Giving God the Reigns

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I like the saying “Be Real” but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be! Is it? If you are real with the wrong people, watch out! And you don’t always know who you can be real with, and who you cannot be real with. And by the way WHAT IS REAL? 😮😃

Say, now that’s a good question (isn’t it?) What is real to you? What is real to you, may not be real to me! What is real to me, may not be real to you! God is real to me.

Not because of someone telling me about him, because I’ve experienced him! How do I know that? Because too many things happened in answer to prayer that could not be explained any other way. The odds were “Against’ me” so many times (and I prayed) and God took care of me, provided, and it couldn’t be “Just luck” because nobody is that lucky! Did things go my way?

NOPE! Did I always like my situation (no, again) were things just hunky dory all the time? NO!! Here’s the thing, I asked him to provide he does. Now sometimes he gave me what I wanted, and sometimes he didn’t. sometimes I had to eat beans when I wanted some macaroni. other times i had to wear clothes i did not pick for myself. (but, beggars can’t be choosers!)

It’s hard to explain to people there is a time to be content, a time to pray for wisdom, a time to believe for God’s BEST and a time to let it all go and pray for someone else instead. There is a time to love your enemy and a time to be silent or let them go. There is a time to “overcome evil with good” and a time to “resist the devil” (even if it’s in a person) and he has to flee.

There are times for this and times for that. Times to be sad and grieve, times to say wow I’m really frustrated and have your friend just hug you.

it’s called WALKING by The Spirit! the disciples followed Jesus so do we! we get up and say “Holy Spirit “LEAD ON” and he does! (Lead us, I mean). How do you explain that to anyone? WE just KNOW it’s him because “things work out” and we don’t know how! (as we are not in charge here, GOD IS) WHy? Because we GAVE HIM THE REIGNS! I”ve seen lots of people say they gave God the reigns but they didn’t. I have said I did and didn’t! when you do you KNOW because stuff starts to happen that could only be God!! so GIVE HIM THE REIGNS on that thing you can’t fix, change or do anything about! He can keep you! He can help you! don’t try to control everything! Let it go and go do something else! YOU gave it to him. Trust me he never forgets a thing (I’ve seen this time and time again!)

PS “Give God the Reigns” on how real you should be too. Not everyone can handle it. 😉

WIth Love and affection for you all, Laura Grace #beingreal

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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 with Precious things …..#12 Taking Risks & The resistance of the faithless when you do……

Risk: “A situation involving exposure to danger.” RISK.jpg

I have taken a lot of risks in my life time. I did before I met Jesus, and I did it even more “after” I started to know him. Jesus always seemed draw people out into situations that involved Risk. Risky business! (this serving Jesus!) to be sure. 

I know one of the many things God has called me to do, is exhort people to do just what it says in Psalm 118:8. “Trust in God, not in Man.” Is it easy (to do?) certainly not! It’s not hard at all if someone agrees with me, but if they don’t? Man, that can be difficult! 

I am not a person who loves to fight, argue, or debate. I don’t thrive on that kind of stuff. Therefore, if someone is all upset with me (about my faith stance) I find myself saying Okay Father what is this all about? What do I say? How should I handle this? 

I’ll give you an example: When my kids were young, we often had situations where my spouse quite his job (every year or every few months) I was the stay at home mom for the most part, as I could not And I mean could not find a babysitter for us both to work. I figured it out it was cheaper for me to stay home, than to pay a baby sitter for 2 kids and make at that time, 7.00 per hour. We had ONE car. When my spouse worked I had to stay home as nobody was going to buy us a second car and babysitting was amost 5.00 per hour at the time for a good one. No “Welfare” would not help. 

So then we were poor, and could not buy what we needed at times. People would hear about it (some from church) and help but then I got lectures. “You need to work too” they said. Not one of them offered to babysit, (on a regular basis). If I worked and my spouse stayed home, the kids were not safe. They told me about “Man’s help” such as government programs.

They said I could ride ‘The shuttle bus” but when I checked on it, it didn’t work for the days I was scheduled to work. So I would say “I”m trusting God” and it would lead to going to whatever provision he gave me. I was at risk and my kids were at risk and when God would provide, people would say “What are you going to do next time?” Next time? I was hoping there wasn’t a next time! But, there always was a next time that I had to trust God for something. 

You see I HAD read my bible. I read in Revelation “I counsel you to buy from me gold” (Revelation 3:18) and I PRAYED FOR THAT to happen “I want Gold Father more than I want anything else, Gold from you! Gold from Heaven!” (Read Rev 3:18). 

So now, when I tell people what I went through, and how God provided, I get this attitude at times from people. “Shaking their heads” and anylizing my decisions back then. 

Faith makes people feel threatened. Having FAITH In God makes some very uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s jealousy, other times they are just skeptical. Every time I stood for a miracle, I felt others were watching me as if it were some spectator sport. 

Some did follow my example, but for the most part I got this “Let me know how that goes for you attitude.” When I came out okay, they thought I was just lucky (perhaps). 

Nobody is going to get a Testimony without a test. We aren’t going to have miracles without taking risks, either. I can’t make anyone listen to me. As the years tick by, I find that many have grown cold to such possiblities (Miracles) because they think it only happens on the television set, and maybe those preachers are just doing some magic trick to bring in money (for themselves). 

God’s not going to do things on our terms. He never has, and he never will. HE calls the shots about how, when and where, and our part is to trust him. 

There are times having faith (for that miracle) is going to seem like “more trouble than it’s worth.” At times it seems silly to believe for one, when all you have to do is go along with the staus quo, and nobody will think you are too radical, too wierd, too crazy. 

Still, the mandate is the same. Psalm 118:8 “It’s better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.” that means “even yourself.” 

Why is it better? Because when you need to believe for a miracle, you’ll have had some practice and experience at it. pray with me if you dare. “Father I want to have a testimony of GOLD in my life. GOLD (of faith) that can come only from you. I want some precious testimonies to build on the foundation of your Holy word that I am saved, but now Father I want something more…….Please help me to achieve this in you. IN Jesus’ precious name…...amen. 

 

 

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The Lesson of the Eggplant……and what I learned from not knowing something…

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I decided to make eggplant Last night (Eggplant parmeson).
 
Got the recipe, and got the eggplant out I had purchased from the store. I started cutting it up and noticed it was mostly turning brown on the inside. Knowing nothing about egg plant I sniffed it (smelled fine!) Sniffed it again (no bad smell!) so I thought okay it got a little brown, I just bought it Wed, and it still looked fine on the outside not slimy, not withered….not strange looking……..
 
So, I cut it up and breaded it, fried it, put it on the pan. I put a bit of sauce and cheese on it and baked it (in faith and had peace) I had no premonition about the eggplant, I intended to eat it!
 
Got it on the plate (as you can see) and decided to try a bite It tasted bitter! It occured to me and this promting came my spirit “go look up eggplant, see what makes it bad……..”
 
And I did. Turns out a little brown spot inside is fine but almost all brown/tan means it has spoiled. In my experience you go by odor or if it’s slimy LOL ….but now I knew nothing about Eggplant!
 
Why? It’s a new thing I need to learn! something I did not know (yet) and it turns out “Sniffing” is not always reliable. Looking for mold isn’t either! The Egg plant was bad! Not one to miss any opportunity for God to teach me I thought…….
 
“How many things do I not know about God that I need to know?” It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been following him……
 
What matters is, Do I still have a heart to learn? (from him?)” So I’d invested time into this but, I threw the eggplant away. Better late than never (to find out about this) ……..:) Love and blessings! -Laura Grace
 
“Cease listening to instruction, my son, And you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27
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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