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Christmas Story #4 “the Cabbage patch doll”

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12 days of Christmas “Story #4” Cabbage Patch Doll.

When My daughter was 4, almost 5, she really wamted a cabbage patch doll. I believed in God, but I had not given my heart to God (yet).

Anyway, I got her one, and well remember the ridiculous way people acted, shoving each other in store to get one, buying more than one and re selling them for double the price (or more). It was ridiculous. cab patch

On top of that hers got stolen, (in church no less) and that was the end of the cabbage patch doll. I have happier stories to tell you, but I must admit this was during my years of darkness.

I tried to find happiness in my own way, worldly things, and I was not a happy person.

I still loved Christmas lights, but I was convinced at that time in my life, if I only had more money I would be happy.

It wasn’t true. I’ve had more, I’ve had less. Happiness doesn’t come from how much we have (or possess) and certainly the cabbage patch doll turned out to be a very fleeting thing.

I am reminded of the book of Ecclesiasties, where the preacher said he obtained everything he ever wanted, and learned it was all vanity (and chasing after the wind). it’s a blessing to know God Loves us “through it all” even when we have wasted some of our time on vain pursuits. He loves us! so much! He is just happy to see us coming down the road…….coming home……

He doesn’t wait to chew us out or say “Done being stupid?” 
He just grabs us, fixes a big feast, and rejoices over us with singing and tears of Joy! What a great Father we have! “Our Father” who is in heaven (watching for us to come down the road to him!” ……with Love, (til next time) -Laura 

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The Monster of Fear……

FEAR is 1Fear is 2

Fear is a liar and it walks right behind worry. I don’t believe we need another scripture about fear. We know God says “not to fear” but we also know that our bodies do not listen to us, and sometimes, neither do our minds. 

Fear is a liar because it only tells you the circumstance and what has happened to others in this same situation. Fear will never tell you God’s word, or his promise to YOU. When YOU beleive God’s promise you activate heaven to act on your behalf. That’s the truth.

When a huge storm is threatening to take my house down, and I can hear it blowing so hard it’s uprooting trees, yes it’s pretty hard to not fear. Or if someone has a life threatening illness, or if someone is crazy on drugs raging at you threatening to hurt you. WE have built in responses to fear and we cannot (seem) to help that.

Not without valium! So deal with worry first (when it’s small) and don’t just nurture the worry or feed it or add to it or meditate on it! Start fighting this stuff off before it’s full blown! (You’ll be glad you did). 

Therefore, God is not unkind when he speaks to a person DO NOT FEAR (With HIS Voice of LOVE) it will settle you down. Why/ Because it’s filled with Love! (that truly casts out fear) See because He IS LOVE so when he speaks, your heart is settled down. Giving people a lecture is not enough either. 

This is why quoting scriptures is not enough. 

Jesus is enough. Only Jesus. And we need to know Him. I distinctly heard him one time tell me “Do not fear” before I drove into fog so thick, I could not see the road. Because he spoke to me, I knew I did not have to panic, or pull off to the side of the road. He let me know he was going to get me through it. 

Prior to this, I was seeking to know him. “talk to me” I said, be my best friend! “the sheep know your voice” (I would say) see, you can’t know what to ask God for without at least trying to know his word recorded in this precious thing called; 

OUR BIBLE! And he’s the one that helps you understand it so don’t let those overly-educated pious ones tell you any different! HE SAiD (Jesus) 

John 14:26
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
I did not say this, Jesus did! So if a great (and worthy) bible teacher is not available or you work Sunday’s at the gas station every week just know this, The Holy Spirit can and will teach you! Believe me! Believe him! Let God be more real to you than anything else in this world! And Father we pray…..that your perfect love and your words would eliminate all of our fears! One by one until it’s done! In Jesus’ name! Amen! 
 

 

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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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What being A Christian really is- and what it isn’t ….by Laura Grace

xangels 4It just happens I’m in bible college, and a class I’m in right now is called apologetics. It’s a funny name for it, since I make no apologies about what I believe, or why. 

This class helps us think about our Biblical worldview, what others believe, and challenges us to dig deep and see for ourselves why we believe what we do. 

Everything I am about to tell you is based on scripture. If you have a question about that let me know, I will provide all the passages. What I can tell you is I am a witness just like the disciples who followed Jesus

As a child I attended church. I heard all my life “Jesus is real.” When I was in high school I was a big time humanist. I was horrified at the world, the bullies, the mean people, the selfish people. I was a liberal, and very much a women’s libber, as well.

I was mad at God, and mad about injustice, which he seemed to do nothing about. I was apalled at conserative stances, and how christians could talk about love one minute, and throw people under the bus if they got food stamps, calling them “those who suck off the system” and take their tax dollars. For me that was the ultimate hypocrisy, to preach love one minute and be a “hater” the next toward those who were not so fortunate. 

I married badly partly out of pride. I was going to show those conservatives what was what. “HERE I”LL SHOW YOU HOW to love” I thought (since they were so bad at it and all). it didn’t take long to figure out I got myself in a real pickle of suds (and problems). Totally broken. Defeated. In the dark. It was a blessing in disguise. 

It wasn’t long before I found myself in a pile of failure. Baptists knocked on my door one day, asking if I was born again. “I’m a Lutheran” I said, and went to work and laughed at them for being so crazy. Later I was crying, upset, and a Billy Graham message captivated me. I HAD experiences with the presence of God (the Holy Spirit) prior to this. 

When I ran away in high school in defiance, My mom prayed, cried and gave me to God. She said she didn’t know what to do with me. WHEN I was watching Billy Graham I truly realized my sin. Pride. Anger. Unforgiveness. Defiance toward God and others. Judging. 

The Holy Spirit (Via Billy Graham and those that knocked on my door) caused me to see I had believed in Jesus but had not RECEIVED him as saviour and Lord. I saw he was the only way to Salvation. I saw I was a sinner, in need of help. I stopped saying in my heart “Well I’m not THAT bad of a person” and accepted him, gave him my life. I asked him to take over…………

After that, things changed for me. I went on a journey (30 years ago) It hasn’t ended yet. A journey of learning, (from the Holy Spirit) who IS my teacher. I’ve seen so many miracles I’ve lost track. I’ve seen God honor his word and provide for me. 

God is holy. I know this. He wants us to be Holy.  Why? Because if we are becoming holy (more like him) We are deeper in covenant with him. ALL we have is His, and all he has is ours. I’m not a liberal anynore, and I am not judging God for letting the world go to “hell in a handbasket” as they say. He gives us a choice. Me, You, everyone…..”choose this day” who you will believe in. God does not share his glory with any (other god) and he is not a humanist. He put us in the world, he can take us out if he wants to. He made us, created us TO BE HIS SONS (and daughters) 

IF we rebel like satan we are satans’s kids -not his. When I was in defiance, if I had died, I would have gone to hell, and I know that. Yep they were furious when Jesus said “your Father is the devil” (wanted to kill him, and did!!) I undestand now, to be a humanist is to defy God’s discipline, holiness, and who He really is. 

“HOW Dare you!” Their flesh said (to Jesus) How dare you not make us feel GOOD about how we are (in our sinful condition) How dare you convict us? Jesus was crucified because people were appalled he dared to say he was the only way. They wanted his miracles, but not his conviction. The Pharisees didn’t want either because they were already rich (and powerful.) They thought they knew God but they only knew his laws, and not his heart. They were full of pride. 

Well, the road or door to Salvation is to admit we are wrong, and God is right. There is no other way, and there is no other name by which Men are saved.

JESUS ….the name above all names. Jesus………He’s proven himself to me, time and time again. I didn’t take “Someone else’s word for it” I just heard the preacher and said Okay “make yourself real to me Lord.” 

He will rule and reign. Don’t believe me? Ask him! I dare you.

with love, Laura Grace  Author, Grace to the Rescue 

PS: Yes, I am born again. Filled with the Spirit. and in love with Jesus Christ

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Stuff we don’t want to talk about: “touching God’s anointed” and other false teachings, that are misapplied.

There was a teaching, about 20 or 25 years ago. I’m not sure where it came from, but it was about “Touching God’s anointed.” I personally heard the teaching, in church, but I did not ever study the passage it was based on, until years later. 

King David, was to replace King Saul, in the Old Testament. Without sharing pages of bible scripture here, I will summarize, that Saul did a lot of bad things to David, prior to David becoming the new King, of Israel.

At one point, David’s own mean pleaded with him, just to get rid of Saul. Specifically, they wanted him to just kill him, as Saul was trying to kill him, so wasn’t it justified? At this point, David said he would not “touch God’s anointed.” 

This teaching was never meant to negate the passage in Ephesians, where we are told to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather, expose them. 

Saul was certainly exposed. It was known to all, what kind of man he had become. While he still retained his king status (for quite a while) and gave David a lot of grief in the process, even driving him almost to the brink of insanity, David would not kill him. 

I just wanted to expose the fact, that there are some teachings (which were taught in church) through the years, that are not a true revelation from the Holy Spirit. There are also teachings, which were meant for just one person, and not for everyone in the group.  I do not go around teaching, that every child of God having marital problems, should get divorced.

Likewise, it should not be taught that someone should always submit to a bad leader (who is not following Jesus) Just because the bible says “submit to your leaders.”. We have to understand who is a true leader in Christ, and who isn’t. To teach a woman to go home and submit (to someone who is crazy, or abusive) is irresponsible as well. 

Pat answers, such as “God hates divorce,” “Obey your leaders,” “Wives, submit to your husbands,” and even passages such as “Love bears all things,” are not the right word, for the right time, for some people, at that time. Only the Holy Spirit can teach us to properly apply a scripture at the right time, to the right person, and for the right reasons.  I hear these passages a lot, but not “slaves obey your masters,” which is also in the bible. Why is that, I wonder? I do know the answer. 

It was advisable, (at one time) When slavery was still in effect, for them to submit to or obey their masters. If they did not, things might not go well for them. When It came time for the slaves to go free (and many fought to the death for this freedom) The passage no longer applied, as it was time for “The captives to be set free.” 

It’s not touching God’s anointed, to expose lies, or things that are not true. When a wife, child, or spouse, exposes something evil (going on in their home) they may just be obeying the word of God, found in Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:11

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them

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Lofty Lucy’s….Who are they fooling I wonder? Not even themselves!

She’s so right isn’t she? So confident in her own (Picture) Of herself she has in her mind! “Lofty Lucy” she is everywhere. 

I’ve had more people give me advice (their two cents worth) than I can shake a stick at, in my life time. What do you do with people like that? (Mostly, I ignore them!). 

Sometimes, I endure them. Mostly, people who act like they know everything, wind up being examples of who “we don’t want to be,” and sadly, most of the time they are pretty clueless about what is going on.

Why Do people love Peanuts cartoons? Well, because they tell the truth, they tell a story, one the most of us have lived (to some degree) and can relate to. 

I just brushed off another “Lofty Lucy” comment, just a few minutes ago. She was clueless about how childish she sounded. I think to myself “How sad,” For I really would have liked to have a meaningful conversation with you…..even a deeper relationship. But, it’s not going to happen, because lofty Lucy (For today anyway) refuses to grow up.

What about you? Moving forward in the personal Growth department?” I hope so! You will like yourself better if you do this, and God will be so happy! 

Laura Grace, author speaker, blogger, prayer warrior, and friend of God. 

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Formulas and Spiritual concoctions, why they don’t work………

formula

We’d all like a formula, to solve all our problems! Wouldn’t we? Better yet, a magic genie, or some mystical experience with Aladdin’s lamp. I lost track of how many times, as a young mother, I thought “I wish” I could be like that woman on Bewitched, wiggle my nose “poof” the house is clean! That deep seated desire (in our soul realm) is the very reason many wind up mixing “mysticism” with a trace of God-stuff. 

Hey, I don’t blame you! We need to get out of this idea that God is angry, throwing things, having some giant temper tantrum in the sky, just because we insulted him with our “bad ideas.” We wonder why people are not drawn to the God we love so much. Why would they be? According to some, he is extremely temperamental! 

Back to the Formula Analogy, I want you to remember that no lie can stand, without a truth to hold it up. True, there will be a formula (of sorts) For each individual situation. 

Mud in your eyes, go dip in the river, a floating ax, march around Jerico……These are just a few examples of formulas, if you will, in the pages of the bible. OH and there is sowing, reaping, giving, prayers of petition, covenant meal, which many call communion, use of anointing oil…..and so on, and so forth. 

The thing is, we as humans, want to leave out the primary ingredient; RELATIONSHIP with God. Personal relationship! “Peter,” He said “Feed my Sheep,” John (he said) “take care of my Mother” (Paraphrased) and to Stephen: “stand there, behold my glory” (as he is stoned, to death!). “Paul,” GO wherever I tell you, even if chains and prison awaits you………” But the thing is, Paul declared “He would” be delivered from every single thing he encountered, until, it came his time to go to heaven. 

One thing we often forget, every person in the bible with a Testimony, was actually in Covenant with God Almighty! And, I might add, it was personal. Very Personal. 

This is why, just memorizing passages of scripture (or hearing them sometimes) does not give us the full picture of what is going on, in the Mind of God and Christ. WE need to see the whole story, the backdrop, and what was going on with each person (in our bible) that was in this covenant relationship with God Almighty. But see, we want formulas (I do too, sometimes).

Making scripture into Formulas (without relationship) is the reason so many atheists say “I tried that, It didn’t work for me” and bash God so angrily……..

Think about that for a minute. What are we teaching? And why? 

What I have learned is, each time I gain a victory, it has to do with God saying “You do this, now trust me for that” (Other thing I want to trust him for) and it’s never the same twice!  Why?

Well, just for one thing, he wants me to know him! (More and more) So therefore, in my personal relationship with Him, I will find things are always changing, or just a bit different! So much for Formula’s, and all the gainsaying that goes with it. If you’d like to know more about that one, look it up? I love you all “Blessings Peace and love (to you all) and may the God of all hope, spring eternal within you, and Let there be Light! 

A link to my newest book: Covenants. 🙂 

Laura Grace, Author, minister, and his Servant Forever……..Amen 

Stay Tuned for Part 2! 

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And then, they wrote…..(Disciples)

Me, Mom, daughter mom-me-and-carolee

me sexy 2013.jpg  me, Laura Grace  WHAT ARE DISCIPLES? Do we really know? 

I want you to think with me a moment, about the early disciples. You know, the ones Jesus called, to follow him around for awhile? “Come, follow me” He said. They did, and he spoke many things to them.

These words were planted in their hearts (as he spoke to them) and they received it, as the good seed that it was. Except Judas. He did not receive. 

Then, the incorruptible seed and words of Life Jesus spoke (to them) Went into the soil of their hearts, sprang up, and the Holy Spirit had something to work with! The Holy Spirit is our teacher (this is for Christians to learn.) 

I want you to think about Jesus’ example for a moment. When someone called him good, he said nobody is Good but God the Father. When they called him teacher he said, “don’t call me that.” He was setting an example for the disciples. And us. 

He didn’t want them to think they were too important to wash someone’s dirty feet, scrub a dirty floor, or prepare a meal like the one he made them after his resurrection. 

These men, who wrote these glorious words which, the Holy Spirit preserved for us, to the point where billions of copies have sold, all over the world, were just men. They were not super heroes, not magic genies, and certainly not anyone the world would have made into idols. Fishermen, a tax collector, a former killer of Christians, and so on, and so forth, and so on. The books Paul, John, Peter, James, and others wrote, are now called Epistles. Letters to the church. Let me repeat that, Letters to the church! 

Not letters to the unsaved! Not letters to the unbelievers. Letters to the Church. 

Please do not expect the world to see what we are saying. They won’t. They are not supposed to! Not Until God opens their eyes to see, as they receive him.

And for what reason? Because we have more to learn, than just one scripture. They hung out with Jesus for years!

They went with him, did what he did, followed his example, were eager to learn. And what happened? They taught, they did miracles, and they wrote. Where were their church services held? In the streets, in the houses, wherever they went.  I know I’m a disciple! I have no doubt in my mind! I have been following after the Holy Spirit for years now, and I wrote! And whenever I can I give my books away (for free). 

If you ever want one or need one let me know, I will find a way. For you see, those words are my living Epistles, revelations, of what God has etched into my heart, and what he has spoken to me, to share with his people, the church. 

Lots to think about, isn’t it? with Love (and blessings to you and yours) Laura Grace

My books are available on Amazon Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow Grace to Grow Study Guide, Grace to Soar, Covenant Promises, Let there be Light, and others…… 

 

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Know it alls & One-uppers! Do we know how to listen? (Grace to Grow)

know-it-allBoy I tell ya……….OH Good morning by the way! 

Know it alls…..one uppers…….Or People who just have to be the center of attention, or who always have to be “right.” Ever met anyone like this? You just get the feeling they are not listening, but chomping at the bit, waiting for their turn to talk. 

I’ve had some experience with being a talk -a-holic. I can remember some comments my husband has made to me such as “You’ve been talking for an hour straight, without taking a breath” (this was a few years ago) Or sometimes I would stop on my own and say, “I’ve been hogging the conversation,” To which he would reply “Help! I”m talking and I can’t shut up!” (making fun of me!). When we first got together, 14 years ago now, I was just in desperate need to be “in control” Of the conversation at all times. 

My goal? Well, sometimes it was to get him to understand me (which is about me) or to get him to see it my way (also about me) to get him to agree with me (about me again!) OR sometimes to straighten him out! How easily our desire to help, can easily turn into an ego trip. I have, in the past found myself saying “WELL, if they aren’t going to listen to me then………They can just go their own way!” (Crossing my arms, thinking I won’t put them out unless they are on fire!) All signs of immaturity by the way. 

But, there is the art of listening, too. You know, years ago, When I first found out I’d been taught some things wrong (even about what it says in my bible) I kind of decided to not listen, and I shut people out in an effort to guard my heart. It does say in the bible to guard our hearts, but it is also possible to get to a point where, we can retain what we believe, and still listen to what others have to say about a matter. 

Being hyper-vigilant can be extreme. We can calmly say; “I don’t agree.” however there is a problem when, the other person chooses not to respect what we believe. I have noticed, especially in politics, many who believe in freedom to believe as they wish (so they say) are very hypocritical, attacking and slamming others for THEIR beliefs, while at the same time maintaining that “others’ shall not shout them down or “ram’ their beliefs down their throats. WE are seeing those who say “I don’t want to hear that christian stuff” while they attempt to force others to believe (how they believe) and even try to make laws to enforce it. So, before I can remove a speck out of someone’s eye, first I have to get the log out of my own eye. Many believe it’s a compromise to listen to the views of others……….

But that is not so. I dare say, Jesus actually listened to some input from others. One was the day he said to a woman wanting healing “It’s not good to give the children’s bread to dogs” (Gentiles were compared to dogs you see) and SHE said “even the dogs get the crumbs from the master’s table! “How great is your faith” He said, and healed her!

You know I can’t think of a case, where someone in the bible marched up to Jesus and said “how dare you preach that” Or correcting him in front of others. Unless of course it was the Pharisees, who used scripture to tell him how “wrong he was” to heal on the Sabbath, or tried to trick him, bait him, or goad him into giving up. He finally told them off, in no uncertain terms……”BROOD OF VIPERS” He said. Why? I think it’s because he needed to drive off the crows, who were trying to steal the precious seeds of truth and wisdom he was planting. We have some truth seekers, truth lovers, and wise Spirit filled people in this world, but friends? What do we do about the crows? Especially crows who think they have the right to run up and snatch the seed before it’s even sown? 

HMMM ……..are you helping the cause of Christ? Or coming against it? Something to think about. And is it love to let the crows gobble up the seed? “Father help me to listen more, learn more, and be quiet before you. “teach me to listen” Open the eyes of my heart I pray. Heal me of all insecurities that make me act up. Help me grow! Father please help me be a lover of truth! I ask you sincerely, in any areas where I think I know the truth if I am wrong? Please uproot those lies, Grant me thy truth I pray! Grant me wisdom! In Jesus’ holy awesome and mighty name. Amen 

 

Laura Grace, Author, minister, and your friend Laura Grace

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 Contraceptives Were illegal? A man of God AVOIDS EXTREMES!! Word of Wisdom……for you and I.

a beautiful light house.jpgI was watching a show last night (documentary) and learned that for a long time, contraceptives were illegal, in the United States of America. I was watching in dismay, as I heard how this man tried to pass out contraceptives, and was arrested, even put in jail over it!

Many Christians believed (back then) it should be illegal, and were putting sure they were in God’s will to put up such a fight.  This was Extreme. (see the passage, Ecc 7:8)

AS God still says, a man who fears God, avoids all extremes. Now, you can ignore it, cast this wisdom off from you, but it’s Still a Word of God’s Wisdom, for us today.

What happened was, ONE MAN in a position of leadership, with great confidence in his beliefs, stood up and talked about why contraceptives should be illegal. He reasoned that Women could become promiscuous, or that they were not doing the will of God, and for a long time, many were on his side.

Women, through the years, have been made slaves by many, victims of abuse, untold suffering, and denied the freedom in Christ (to choose) and not so much today, but at one time, yes, they were denied much freedom.

We were designed to serve, love, nurture, but then again, so were men! Before the fall of Adam, men had all the attributes of God in their lives. God never intended for men to be brutal taskmasters, toward anyone! The next time you are thinking God is into your rally, just remember, what is justice to one, may be unjust towards another……..

NONE OF US Understands the full spectrum or scope of JUSTICE in it’s purest form, without seeing through the eyes of God the Father and Jesus, his son.

this is a word of Wisdom, for you and for me. Stop and consider, before you jump on the bandwagon for what you consider to be Justice. Amen.

#Grace to Grow By Laura Grace, author Of Grace to Grow Study Guide, and Grace to Soar