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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 with Precious things (Continued)

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I’m going to tell you why I posted this. I used to live in housing projects. We suffered years of poverty I still have the records. Living on 8,000 a year or less even 6,000 a year (a family of four) and I used to quote this scripture “He raises the Poor from the Dust” …….(Psalm 113) 
 
And I’d say “AND IT”S TRUE FATHER” I believe you! Years later, things have really changed for me, and they have. 
Every time I have plenty of toilet paper, I am thankful. And, When the bills are paid, and I don’t get shut off notices I say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…..experiences like that you never forget all your life! Ask those who went through the great depression……..They just never forget what it was like 🙂
 
I can talk about building on the rock with Precious things, because I had the storms that took everything (and I barely escaped) and finally I got tired of it and said; “change me change me change me” ….people bailing you out will never change things. 
The change must happen from within! We need Soul healing and restoration! We need God to CHANGE US to think LIKE HIM!
 
Amen? 🙏🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
 
The Loving kindness of God WILL LEAD someone to repentance if they have a heart after God in the first place such as “They want to know (the truth). Others will take and take and get mad at him when he wants them to learn and grow up and sometimes Will Basically tell God Where to stuff it and walk away….
 
If you read the book of Revelation, some will NEVER repent. They will curse God no matter what (and blame him for all disasters). I know a lot of people think I don’t understand love but I do. I will walk with someone to the end of the earth If they are just struggling to understand God. If they don’t care, and spit on him, and want nothing to do wtih Him, I’m gonna work with those whose hearts are crying out to him. I wasted so much time on those who did not care (to know) the truths that can make them free. No more! It’s called Co dependency or it could be called strengthening the hands of evil doers. (Bad idea!)
 
God’s going to have a church that speaks the truth once again, not molly coddling those who want nothing to do with Him. The excuses have to stop, And God will show and reveal “who is who” and what is what.
WE NEED God’s Wisdom! WE NEED His input! This is not a game.
 
Those who “poo poo” on all this will have the outcome of their (Own) ways. and last thing: Don’t Worship Angels or anyone but God. They are simply fellow servants with you. #worshipGodonly #blazingglory #choosingGodoverothers
 
“Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he [stopped me and] said to me, “You must not do that; I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who have and hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God [alone]. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy [His life and teaching are the heart of prophecy].” Revelation 19:10 (When John saw an Angel)
Peace and blessings! Laura Grace 
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Christmas Story #6 “A viewmaster disaster”

12 days 5thomas really youngView master

Christmas Story #6 (12 days of stories) ” A Viewmaster Disaster”

(Sigh) It seems I’ve been telling on myself in these stories. That wasn’t the plan! Maybe God’s plan, but not mine! Anyway it was the 90’s, can’t remember what year, and the man of the house lost his job (again). I tried to shelter my children.

They really had no idea the fear, the chaos or the level of fright I was dealing with. I didn’t want them to know. No child should have to know they are in danger of being homeless all the time or having no dinner, or no Christmas present.

So, I prayed and found this viewmaster with Slides for 5.00 at St Vincent and I probably Told my son “God Provided” and made it sound like the thing was “a gift from God.”

YES I was a good mom. I prayed with them daily, I was faithful with all my heart to be a mom, but hey, I was learning myself! and I try as I might I still made mistakes. Blaming God for this gift WAS a mistake. It was almost detrimental to his Faith system.

So Thomas ripped into the view master all excited (From God! It must be special) and when he saw that viewmaster well he was pretty disappointed. okay VERY Disappointed! And, he cried.

Man I felt terrible. Like the worst mom ever!

Others in “housing projects” who often lied about their income, (and I know they did) bought their kids Play Stations and big ticket gifts at Christmas time. Not so with us. It was God provided, or it didn’t happen other than the sweet benevolence of others.

So how does this turn out for Good (Romans 8) you might ask?

For one thing, when I get someone a gift such as recently for the Kids at Browning, I really THINK about what I am getting. will they like it? Will they enjoy it? Or am I passing off my old time ideas of what I THINK They should like?

 I loved my view master as as kid. my son grew up in a totally different generation. I have to say I would not get excited about a tin cup and a penny either (as some did many years ago). I would say thank you, but I wouldn’t be ecstatic or anything! The Little house on the Prairie children were having a different experience when Mr. Edwards Gave them that “tin cup!” God gives perfect gifts in the perfect timing, and in the perfect way. I would have been off saying “I got you a view master” and leave God out of it! There is more than one layer to this presentation by the way………:) 

In My Zeal to lift up Jesus as the King of Christmas, I failed to see I was misrepresenting God. I don’t think he “chose’ to give my son a gift that brought him to tears. Let’s face it poverty is hard on a kid. (it really is) It produces Character, it can be very GOOD for them, but it’s still hard. by the way…….. Many years later (2007?)

I got him ANOTHER viewmaster as a joke gift at Christmas! He was able to laugh over it Good sign! He came out with Character! Oh the Joy of having children with Character! Who Can abase or abound! And that my friends, is a result of prayer, Faith, and God’s Grace.  

Merry Christmas! Stay tuned for more! -Laura Grace

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”      James 1:17

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Grief and Pain (no, you are not stupid).

tears and sorrow

Having Grief and Pain (You’re not stupid!) 
One thing I’ve not been known to ever do, is to call people’s 
feelings stupid (or dumb, or even wrong). I’ve learned some 
times the hard way our feelings should not dominate us, but 
at the same time, I know we have them. Grief comes in many 
forms, and sometimes people who can’t cry get very angry 
instead. Maybe they won’t cry because someone said it’s 
stupid, or maybe because it embarrasses them. 
You won’t catch me telling you there are right or wrong things 
to grieve about either. These ideas such as “There are starving
children somewhere” so be grateful for your plate of liver” or 
platitudes such as: “Well at least you are alive, or if one of your
children died, you still have the other” do not really help people 
feel better. Do they? Not very often. I would say mostly, not. 
People hire therapists in part, because they fear telling friends, 
family, and yes even pastors at times, their deepest thoughts 
and fears. They have grief and want to get over it. Sometimes 
the grief “seems to be” over something stupid. The fear that 
someone will call them stupid, makes them want to hide. 
“I AM SO STUPID!” (I have said that myself) When I am very 
frustrated for giving that person another chance (and they did 
that to me again!) Or I dared to dream, and now I’m disappointed
(again for the 14th time, or even the 100th time). 
I should never say that but, I have. Why? Why do we chastize our
selves like that? 
#1 We see others getting over it, so we think we are failures
#2 We think our grief is “stupid” to begin with. (not important). 
#3 We don’t understand where this grief is coming from or even how to stop it. 
Therapy sometimes goes too far in perpetuating our grief, (getting 
us to feel sorry for ourselves, which can lead to depression) 
God tells us to “be of good cheer” but sometimes, we can’t. We 
are sad. We need to cry. It’s called grieving. 
King David danced, but he also wept about sin and disappointment. 
Jeremiah wept over the sins of God’s people. 
Jonah got depressed because God did not destroy Ninevah after he 
delivered a word that it would be destroyed. Job got depressed too. 
I believe part of soul-healing is talking about it. Whether you talk to 
God about it, or someone else. Ministers like TD Jakes talk about their
soul being torn, ripped apart, dreams going out the window, and feeling
like God didn’t care (for awhile) about their pain. This is why people love
to read their stories. They can relate. 
We need teachers and we need prophets, but we need pastors too. 
Pastors tend to be nurturing people. They love and tend to the sheep. 
If they are not this way, perhaps they should not have been pastors. 
But in the world of men, There are not any paying postions for a lot 
of the other ministries (which is sad). They are forced to ask for money
continually, because nobody offers them a home, or a paycheck. 
Those people have dreams too (you see) And it’s a heart to reach the
lost, the hurting, the broken, and the dying. They can’t get there without
someone’s help. I just put one of my dreams on the Altar, because unless
God sends a way to provide for it, I just can’t do it anymore. 
It’s called “Authoring books” to reach the hurting. I can’t afford what it costs anymore, so I have to stop. My paychecks are like .01 (last quarter) for this endeavor. I’ve been doing it for 7 years now, and it pays nothing. And it’s okay but it still hurts to have dreams come to an end. I have to stop now. Until God provides for it. If he doesn’t, oh well! I will still love him just the same. 
And no I don’t want sympathy- but I have some grief right now. God will 
surely bring me out of it too. He always does! He is faithful! I have faced many disappointments in my life. And I will live through this one, too. 
As a minister and a child of God I find that “letting go” is one of the most 
painful things I have ever experienced. Letting go of what you know is bad
is hard, but letting go of something you thought was good is even harder. 
I am reminded of the following scripture in regardes to self-preservation. 
When you are done grieving, consider putting it all in God’s hands. 
We really are better off to put our lives in the Lord’s hands and say “Thy will 
be done, thy kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Amen. 
Today is November 1. Happy Author’s day. I just layed my 7 year Journey 
of writing books at the Lord’s feet. 
Matthew 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it.  Peace out (for now) Laura Grace 
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The power of one…..and the importance of one ……and the mandate to go……..

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For years i wondered where I fit in, in God’s church. I wondered what my job was. In church I felt like a kid who never got grown up enough to handle any sort of responsibility, no matter how Hard I tried. Oh sure I loved going to church but eventually, I (like any kid) wanted to do something too. All the jobs seemed to be taken, and my job was to sit on the pew. I just didn’t like it (is all) so for years I practiced guitar (Praise music) and prayed, sought God, what was I to do? 
Now years later, I understand the river (and the heart of a believer) will find their way into their true calling. 
My husband and I just got back from a vacation/ministry trip. He had a few days of Vacation, and we have not taken one since last year (at this same time) when we went to be a tourist down in Dillon, plus went to Virginia City. WE prayed, Packed up, and went on a Journey praying we would find those God wanted us to find (on this trip). Over the 5 days we found 10 stops and about 20 people we prayed for (total). We also were prayed for as we met with new friends who prayed and ministered to us as well! I had always wanted to see Silverwood (never have) a theme park near post falls ID. I wanted to do a lot of things, shop for stuff, go to this famous donut shop, just all kinds of things …..
but …we gave up our vacation and we gave it to Jesus. He used it to do marvelous things too! the memories of who I have prayed for and spent time with on this trip will be marked for eternity! I have no regrets that I did what I did. 
We prayed for a woman who is having a terrible time with her Dad, for another guy that is grieved about how he can’t find any good churches (in his town) as he said so many are falling into strange doctrines and wierd beliefs.
We stood and prayed for entire church complex and witnessed to the secretary in the church and encouraged her. I prayed with a little girl who was severely abused and another couple whose shop was going out of business. God led me to a homeless shelter/soup kitchen where he had me stand and give my testimony of how I got saved, and offered them hope with tears running down my face ……
The point is not to impress you but to say…..the river finds a way. If you can’t minister anywhere because the jobs all seem to be taken, Jesus has a job for you. I’ve heard so many pastors say “reach out to people” (on your job or wherever) but we all know that’s not so easy. Just think if Every believer spent some days of their lives saying who can I reach today Father? Who can I reach today? “Work through me today Father!” 
How many could all of us reach together? Probably everyone. 
To do this we can’t be concerned with Notariety or what WE are going to get out of it. In Matthew 10 Jesus said to his Disciples GO……..GO ………
I see nothing about anyone taking up an offering for them or having church back up. They just went……..and delivered what they had in their heart to deliver …..
YES my friends ONE (You) can make a difference, and that ONE life you touch, THEY MATTER (Jesus said so!) …….So now what are you waiting for? The world needs to hear and see the treasures God has put in your heart……..Amen? 
Matthew 18:12
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
PS: The Lord made sure we were blessed and still had some fun on this trip Isn’t he GOOD? yes he is. He is so Good! Praise Jesus! 🙂
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Church should be, Psalm 23

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At the beginning of this year the Lord spoke to me and “I’ve put my love in you for the church.” See for a long time I was like that jaded teenager that gets mad at the parent who made mistakes.

I have come to see a lot of the anger I had was from very deep hurt. Yes I’ve forgiven them, and let me tell you something, God has put powerful things in my heart to share with his people both IN And out of church. How do I know?

Some of the very same things have happened again, and I didn’t even flinch LOL Ok I flinched a little…..but didn’t run!

The truths of God are timeless, but we need to go with the times and not wear this outdated religious “clothing” so to speak. We all need to be spiritual pioneers, venture out into new territory, let God expand our horizons, get out of that tunnel vision and walk out of the stuck in the mud ways!

Platitudes are not going to work we live in a world that wants REAL answers, a REAL testimony of God’s power and the church can’t be just a club house anymore.

It needs to be filled to the top with testimonies of God’s love and power From EVERYONE in the church! We need ALL Of the Body parts to function and share!

CHURCH SHOULD BE Psalm 23! this is what the Lord has said to me. and not just for some for EVERYONE THERE …..
Green Pastures, Still waters, Restoring your SOUL!

THEN Go out! Don’t send wounded soldiers back to the battlefield! Get them Healed up! LOVE YOUR Brethren!

People come in hurting they don’t need to get scolded, or hear how they are not measuring up or not attending enough or whatever. THEY NEED SOUL HEALING! Let’s learn to be spiritual doctors! bandage em up! Pray for their healing!

Well that’s just the beginning. ………there is more!

LOVE YOU CHURCH (and People of God) I LOVE YOU! Laura Grace 

Grace to the Rescue Ministries http://www.gracetotherescue.com