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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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Being Real & Giving God the Reigns

bEInG REAL.JPG

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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Sympathy vs Compassion is there a difference? Yes there is……

Sympathy is not the same thing as compassion. God showed me this years ago.

When Jesus fed the multitudes he was moved with compassion as they had not eaten for three days while listening to him so he said to his disciples “Give them something to eat” Prior to that he was moved with compassion to “teach them” 
Because they were like sheep, not having a shepherd. (They Had a sheep nature!)

They were listening to Jesus and Then HE felt for them. being hungry. He did not say ‘let’s go feed everybody in the world today” …… (I did notice this.)

…..Sympathy is different. Sympathy is not always a good thing. There are those who have given sympathy, and saw that it led to co-dependency, making excuses for someone’s bad behavior, and became a never-ending bottomless pit of helping someone will never help themselves, or even grow.

Some of those people who got burned by the sympathy mongers got burned very severely & learned to not give sympathy but got it mixed up it up with compassion, (a Godly quality) and now when God needs them to have compassion they cannot, for they are afraid they will get burned again.

When you are moved with Compassion by God to do something, you will know. You may find yourself like the disciples “HOW LORD am I supposed to do this? He will show you! You may even have a hard time doing it, and it may not be easy for you, but you will know when God is telling you to do something for Him.

You will know because he convicted you to do a certain thing. What you do is also up to him, not for someone else to decide or dictate. This is how we were made free to serve HIM and Made Free to follow after Him.

Sometimes the things he leads you to do may not be your desires 🙂

Martha and Mary were upset with Jesus for not getting there before Lazarus died, but the plan of God was to raise him from the dead. Are we in with God’s plan? Or our own?

If we sympathize with every sob story that comes along, our resources will be drained (our strength and so on) and we won’t be able to do what God wants us to do when we need to do it.

This is why praying is so important. “order my steps Lord” Help me walk by the Spirit, and show me what’s important today.”

This I do strive to do every day of my life. I don’t believe there are cut and dried recipes or formats on “how to behave” or the “right thing to do” according to some christian book for dummies.

We walk by the Spirit! Jesus did. And we ought to do this also. You will know in your heart when something is him. It may be painful, but in your heart, you will just know. 

Matthew 9:46, Mark 6:34, Matthew 18:27, Matthew 14:14

Laura Grace

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How Ministers feel sometimes (The question and answer committees)

Questions

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your help, and it’s not that I am snobby, or too spiritual, okay? It’s just that I am sitting here with a real big problem (that I don’t know how to solve) and am already battling in the spirit (With God’s help, of course) to fight off fear, worries, concerns, insecurities, and a myraid of other things. The last thing I need right now, is more stuff to worry about! 

One thing ministers do not often talk about (and likely battle alone, or with the help of a few mature commrades) is what I’ll call the “questions and suggestions” trial- that seems to happen every time they ask for prayer. 

Example: “Let’s pray for healing for_______” We pray. Person #1 approaches me and tells me how Aunt Hazel solved the very same problem. “Thank you,” I say. Person #2 tells me “Well you know they are backslid and haven’t been to church in awhile.” (I take note of it and smile). Person #3 tells me what healing video I should be watching (to help my faith) Person #4 Tells me about 3 others that need prayer for healing, Person #5 asks me if they have been to the doctor.

“Well, no I say, they don’t have insurance!” This leads to a big long conversation about help that is out there, which leads to me explaining why this person can’t get that particular help…….soon My mind is so clogged I forgot what the Lord just said to me about believing for their healing……..

Questions and suggestions and, not a single one of them asked GOD before they spoke ….. 

  Nope, they just said the first thing that popped into their brain. (Like Peter). 

So now I start to just ignore it all (and pray, and look to be so spiritual I am no earthly good!) It’s not lack of appreciation, but sometimes, we just don’t have time for it.

There are as many experiences as there are people (almost) and while some can be categorized, boxed up, and filed under “Help with______,” I have noticed the more possible answers I find (for any problem) the more stressed and confused I get! 

Continue reading “How Ministers feel sometimes (The question and answer committees)”

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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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Building #9 The Miracle of Fruit! and being out from under the curse..

FRUIT HAPPY 2Did you know producing fruit in your life is actually a Miracle? I remember how before I gave my life to Christ and received becoming born again, I didn’t like people much. In fact I had a whole lot of hatred, animosity, judgement, and even bitterness in my heart. 

After I got saved, I could FEEL the love of God rushing up out of my very being. At that time there was a song by Dallas Holmes “I got love, love, love in my heart, I got peace like a river, that never will part……..” (Love in My Heart, Dallas Holmes).

Anyway, I would sing that song and I really MEANT IT For the first time in my life. It was something I could feel, I could grasp it, and I WANTED to go run out and bless people who had hurt me, or who didn’t show love to me first. Why? Because The Love of God was SO REAL TO ME It just flowed out of me. I wanted to ABIDE IN HIM! 

Abiding in Jesus in the Vine is GOING to produce fruit. You don’t even have to worry about it! He will trim off the dead branches and be your Vinedresser.FRUIT HAPPY 1

(John 15)

Producing Fruit is also the evidence the CURSE is broken. Jesus said he became a curse for us. In Matthew 21 he curses a fig tree (for not producing fruit). it withers and dies shortly after that. I believe that story is not only about the power of our words but also it’s an outward manifestation of what happens to us if we are not IN HIM. Without him we will wither (and die). 

Jesus doesn’t want us cursed, and he paid a heavy price to REDEEM us from the curse of the law. Just like when you redeem a coupon, you have to receive it, grab hold of it, and literally cash it in with Him! YOU Have the power whether or not to utilized what He did for you. See in Deut 28 when he talked about them being blessed (Fruitful) WITH HIM and cursed WITHOUT HIM It’s saying exactly the same thing as John 15. In the gospel the shadow is just eliminated, but it is actually saying the same thing!

From the very beginning (Gen 1) God said “be Fruitful!” Not just in spirit, but the Body as well. (one comes before the other, you see?). To be fruitful we must live in the right environment with the Lord. IN HIM! Any man-made, phony balogna, MFG Fruit is not what Jesus was talking about. He alone can make us fruitful! Our part is to give up our own ways, and surrender to Him, and his work within us. 

A Passage about being Fruitful: (2 Peter 1) 5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

by Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow, Grace to the Rescue, and more …….https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue/dp/197333187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518201916&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

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Building #8 What is Integrity?

INTERGRITY 2

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9 “…In teaching, show integrity” Titus 2:7 

What is integrity? It’s doing the right thing when nobody is watching. It’s having a moral compass or having ethics do to things the right way (according to God). The old sin nature it to just “see if we can get away with stuff.” 

The best example of integrity toward ourselves I can think of, is the story of the three little pigs. The three little pig story shows us the end result of either cutting corners, taking the easy way, and so on and so forth. What I do not see is the brick building pig having an argument with the other two on “the best way to build.”

He did not have time for it! 

In this series, we are talking about building things that will stand the test of fire and flood. Wood, Hay and Stubble they will suffer loss (1 Corn 3:12) so we are not talking about your eternal salvation here, but making wise decisions toward God. 

People always want to know (It seems) “What’s in it for me?” Having integrity may not produce instant gratification or results. Like the Three little pig story, you may not “SEE” a house very quickly, when you are doing things one brick at a time. In the end however, you will see a fire proof house. 

Integrity produces trust worthy ways in us. It may take a long while, but we will soon see people trust us, believe in us, and would trust us with their very lives, all because we have proven we have integrity.

I am sorry this process (seems) to take so long, but it’s worth it in the end! Proven integrity, and the willingness to walk in righteousness through thick and thin, is necessary to building a house that will stand in the storms. Not only that, if we want to be an effective minister for Jesus, We can’t really help anyone without a solid place to stand.  Let them build their house of straw…..(If they want to) it’s not going to stand, so do not worry about it. YOU do the right thing for you! 🙂 

I leave you with this thought, as we ponder why so many tell us “hypocrites’ Go to church…….Let’s not be one of them.

Please Father! Fill us with integrity! and the desire to press on, and believe it’s all worthwhile. Amen! Pastor Laura Grace 

INTEGRITY