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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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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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Am I a Mutt? I think perhaps I am

cooper 2012 age 4
This is Cooper, He’s a mutt (and he doesn’t care) 

Who I am: Am I a Mutt?

Hi, Laura Grace here. I wish I could make this page “come alive to you” as I share what’s on my heart today. You know, I was raised Lutheran, studied the catechism to be confirmed (meaning I understood God’s word well enough to partake of the cup and the bread) but you know what? I didn’t know the Lord even after all that. I knew scriptures, but I did not know God. Oh, they are one in the same you say?

Who brings the word alive? Who causes it to become Living water to your soul? Jesus, that’s who! And how can we do that if we never let him in? “Okay Lord, I believe in you,” Many say, as they go on their way. Yes, THEIR WAY. And that’s what I did, for a long, long time. I went to a little Pentecostal church one day because I was feeling empty inside. They sang praises to Jesus, and clapped their hands. “PRAISE THE LORD!” I heard them shout. oh wow, I was amazed by this! What a sight to see!

Alas, I found out they didn’t think I was saved, because they prayed I would speak in tongues, but it didn’t happen when they thought it should. Want to know why? I wasn’t even SAVED YET! Which leads to the next portion of my mutt story, I DO BELIEVE we must be Born Again to SEE the kingdom of GOD TO SEE IT TO LIVE IN IT AND TO WALK IN IT. Maybe some get Born again without realizing it? I mean, don’t babies get born sometimes at home? Or did anyone tell them “Hey by the way did you know you were actually born? You didn’t just arrive here from a stork some magical day?”

See, there are so many things we experience, but never understand. God wants us to understand what has happened to us! He wants us to know where we are at with him, where we stand, and what he thinks about it all. He’s our Father! And yes, he wants you to know! But so long as we treat him as this distant unapproachable scary God (as in MT Sinai and a mountain burning with Smoke) we will never experience the new Zion, angels rejoicing, celebration experience He so desires for us. For a Christian, words like “Born Again” should not scare us. We should love and want to understand the WHOLE bible, should we not? 

Hey, I understand many are not comfortable with speaking in tongues, jumping around dancing, or worshipping with their hands lifted high in Praise to Jesus. I do. But I want to tell you, opening my mind and heart to my other brothers and sisters in Christ and their experiences, has surely enriched my life beyond my wildest imagination. I believe, like the Baptists, that being Born Again is important. I do believe we should consider and ask God about the bread and the cup and not be careless about it. I think we should be Spirit Filled too.

We THE BRETHREN (the ones that we are asked to Love) Must learn to at least try and like each other! (And move on to Love from there?) seriously! And do I ever go up to my dog and say “why aren’t you a doberman?” Why aren’t you a poodle? What’s wrong with you?” We are all just (gentile dogs) saved by Grace. Unless you are a Jew (the first people God went to) and you know why He did that? I beleive it’s because of Abraham! But that’s another story……..

I think we should open our hearts to consider Mark 16, and the idea of casting out demons, laying hands on the sick, and believing for them to recover. I think there should be order in the service and we should sing all kinds of hymns, and spiritual songs. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to bring myself to label myself with a certain denomination ever again. I have to face what Jesus has made me,

“I’m a mutt.” And I know He loves me, just as I am. If I can love my dog (who is also a mutt) how much MORE Does God rejoice when I come running to him, my face full of Joy, so happy to be His! Yep I’m a mutt. And I’m okay with it. Yes that’s me, a gentile dog, saved by his grace…..and I am so thankful! -Laura Grace 

PS There is more to this story (born again, Spirit Filled, testimonies, ) in My book Grace to The Rescue. Available on Kindle (Amazon) and soon to be re-released. 

Mark 7: 25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed. Hey wait a minute! didn’t he “cast out the demon?” No in this case –her faith caused the deliverance! hmm……”Don’t put God in a box” ….

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Disciple, or Follower? and Arguing with God …………

Jesus and me

I remember when I went from Follower To Disciple. How about you? A disciple learns from Jesus (Directly) and then Prophets, teachers, pastors and others enhance or solidify this experience. This is how it should be. 

Nobody can “make” a christian like you make a mud pie or a clay animal. You can try, but without the Holy Spirit Breathing the life of God into a person, they’ll still be just as dead. (inside). And worse yet, when the bible is used to create a monster called a pharisee, well, that’s another story too. I tend to avoid the monsters of pharisee-ism, and I dodge them (Just as my Jesus did!). 

Back to my story: I didn’t start learning FROM Jesus until I stopped arguing with him! Listen, how can God talk to you when you are busy arguing? I’ve read books that say “How to hear from God’ and even well, unconfessed sin seperates you (so they say) but listen, if He is my righteousness and paid it all, HOW CAN THAT BE? 

This double-talk has got to stop (law vs grace!) I came to the place where I said Father Jesus either redeemed or he didn’t! If He did then I’m Free (to hear from you) because you don’t see “SIN” when you look at me you see Jesus! Because he paid it all! (at the cross) and BROKE EVERY CURSE! I don’t need to go to some seminar to get free. Now maybe some do, and they get free, but only because their faith limited them to- “I have to get to that seminar, then I will be or get free.” 

I am talking to the people who can’t afford that big seminar (somewhere in Texas, or wherever it may be). To become a disciple, your heart just needs to shift from FOLLOWER to LEARNER. Now you are following AND learning (take my yoke upon you, Jesus said). “LEARN OF ME” (He said) “the holy Spirit will teach you” (he said!) 

So, I took him at his word. (Crazy me!) Disciples Eventually become Apostles, Prophets, teachers (and the rest) if they keep on going (IN HIM!). I may go to a seminary or not but who Makes me (what I am) Is HIM (Plain and simple). 

Just laugh with me as I say this: “GOD cannot get through to you when you are busy arguing! Sometimes I get that feeling he is saying “are you done?” 🙂 

Followers follow so long as the blessing is flowing…….

Disciples understand that someday they are going to do great things, like he did. Followers are more likely to fall away……

As your friend I am here to tell you, God is not going to just “finish the work in you” all by himself. He needs your cooperation! I have lost track of how many times he has said…..”are you done now?” …..”ready for me to speak?” ……..

 

HMM …..With love and somber blessings, 

 

Laura Grace 

 

 

 

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I used to fall in the cracks……but now I fill them!

What do I mean by this? Well honestly, I did used to think people were hurting me on purpose! Excluding me! Sorry, but I did. Whether they did or they didn’t, the Lord knows my heart. I know now most of them didn’t (do it on purpose) because I have a more mature view of things. Therefore, “get mature” ……

I have always said to him: “SHOW ME” IF I am wrong and then I tell him all my feelings, woes, hardships, or sorrows. He did say cast our cares on him! (SO I do!) 

God does not always show us we are wrong immediately. Sometimes we make the same mistakes for years and it’s HORRIBLE when we finally find out about it. I can testify, it doesn’t matter if you “prayed about it” You may STILL be wrong about a few things. It’s hard to realize, and even harder to imagine how God could just “let that happen.” 

Years ago God started saying “Bloom where you are planted” And “If you think something should be done, you go do it.”

Later after I’d done that awhile He said, “You do make a difference,” And here lately he’s been telling me clearly what I do who I am, and what he has in store for me.  Oh and there is the infamous “THE RIVER FINDS A WAY.” 

Too often, I’ve been stuck in “the proper way to do things,” Or “How stuff happens” according to someone else. You don’t need to go to Seminary to be a minster, you already are, or should be (becoming one) as we are all priests according to the bible. The thing is, will we step INTO What God has already said we are? 

I was not approached nor picked to sing in the church I am currently in. I asked to sing, because I didn’t see specials being done, so I offered to do a special.

The pastor said yes, the congregation liked it, so I did it again. Then I got a vocal partner to harmonize with and it went from there. This all led to a job filling in the cracks at the school, when they had no music teacher and I had a Fatnastic experience there! I have filled in cracks as a sub, and became a dog watcher for someone …….Many ‘cracks’ I have just gone and filled, as it needed to be done. 

IN EVERY AREA (so far as I know) That I’ve been hurt, or went through a terrible trial, God has made me strong in that area to fill in the cracks, and minister.

Just today- I was explaining when a person is abused, going through terrible trials at home (beyond the comprehension of many) they do not need to be scolded for not going to church all the time, or have someone quote a bunch of scripture on not fearing (and stuff like that) WE HAVE GOT TO stop and pray about these things! They may need healing emotionally and it may take years. Maybe they just need a friend to listen right now……

Whatever I was NOT GIVEN I freely give! that’s how I learned to fill the cracks and not fall through them.. “Give what you hope to receive!” Think someone should do this or that? YOU DO IT! You pray with someone, or listen, or give them the daily bread God gave to you! It’s the same with Jobs, I just fill in the cracks, where I see a lack. If you hear a story that is terrible just stop and think (and pray) What would I have wanted to have said to me in this situation? Don’t do what was DONE TO YOU Do what you WISH had been done to you! It’s not that complicated! If you Pray and God does not speak, then do what you think is best (TO HELP not hurt, to HEAL NOT DEAL! We all must remember that God didnt send us out to be sin sniffers with a big stick trying to straighten people out! 

So I saw my friend may need pictures of her wedding, I just did it. They needed a guitar player, so I played. I gave up on MY WAY or the Highway mentality! It’s God’s way or bust, for me now! 

now think about this (God showed me this, this morning) when the Disciples wanted them to go away and eat Jesus said “You give them something to eat.” They are standing there like WHAT? Well it’s not just loaves and fishes, take what you HAVE IN YOUR HAND and hold it up and bless it. Start doing stuff for Jesus! You don’t have to fall through the cracks. Just …what do you have right now? A song? A desire to go encourage people? A word of encouragement? You have and are bread– if you have been with Jesus very long. Pray over what you have, ask God to bless it, and just start going, and doing, and filling in the cracks, every time you see one! 

Maybe it’s a tidbit of understanding God has a testimony of what GOD DID FOR YOU In that same situation. shown you. Or maybe an encouragment, or a psalm or just whatever…..I filled in the cracks helping with music and Donna jumped in and became a ‘crack filler” too! Just do it! and if they won’t let you do it in church go do it elsewhere! What are you waiting for? A Green light from God is a green light from God! Guess what else God showed me? FIRE BAKES BREAD! 

if Jesus is “the bread of life” so then, are you! Astounding, isn’t it? Yes, it is! 

Father help us to let to of our petty little selves and just DO What needs to be done! Help us not to worry about rewards or getting paid or any of that stuff so much as we just concern ourselves with Following you Father! And if our job happens to be filling in cracks, so be it! IN Jesus’ name! amen 

-Laura Grace