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Building #10 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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When your give a dang gets broken….. Jesus sticks up for you! And the sin of unjust criticism………..

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I’m going to be transparent with you today. Sometimes if I have given (and given) all that I have, and someone gets critical about how I did it, There is a point where I just want to give up on giving at all. There is a song about it and it basically says “My give a dang is broken.”  In the world of biblically-correct Christians, it’s not okay to say that. Leaders go through it (at times) pastors of all kinds, even Mom’s who love their children dearly, experience this phenomina. Pastors and Moms have something in comnon too: They don’t dare say so “in front of the children.” 

I won’t go into the reasons, We’ll just say some days “it all adds up” on us until we reach the tilting point or boiling point, as we may call it. I took it out on someone who did not deserve my wrath (and it’s happened before) All because criticism when I have given it all I’ve got, tends to send me through the roof at times. 

The passage “God loves a Cheerful Giver” was going through my mind. I decided I was not cheerful, so maybe I should not have given at all. Maybe I should not minister at all! I was about to give up, when Jesus came on the scene with his rivers of Living Water and Mighty flood of revelation! 

He said to me “It’s what it cost you” that is getting to you.” And then “Criticism under that cirumstance, is a sin.” 

The story of the widow’s mite came to mind. “She gave all she had to live on” Jesus said and not from her abundance, but she gave all she had.” (Mark 12). 

I know what Jesus is talking about here. I had a friend who typed me letters of encouagement with braces on his hands, because the pain in his hands was so bad he had to wear braces to do it. I just had someone tell me of a gift they are sending that cost them “all they have.” If you’ve ever given your last minute, your only day off, your only 5.00, or given up your only vacation to do something nice for someone else, you know exactly what I am talking about. Smug little sinners with no clue say things like, “Well You should not Martyr yourself!” or they might use a different passage of scripture (God loves a cheerful giver!). 

I have a friend that works full time, and even on weekends at times, but she uses what little free time she has to post helpful scripture on the internet. She Loves Jesus and she gives ALL she has to live on (her wee bit of rest time sometimes) to bless others. When I see someone going on her FB wall having to “correct her” with their “Opinion” I wish I could go and say, “What is your problem?” 

My aghast response to their treachery, is not so far from How Jesus sees it. (He told me so!) However, he also lets me know that he sees every thing we give, and why. 

When someone gives all they have, their last day, minute, breath, or even dollar, (in his Name for his purpose) he sees it, and he commends them for it. Why did Jesus commend that woman? Because, he wanted to get a point across about giving it all (and what it means to him!). Anyone who unjustly criticises those who are giving it all, are sinning against Jesus himself, not just that person. 

Now I ask you? How many people are supposedly “anti-bullying” and yet unjustly criticise the Lord’s servants, who are giving it all they’ve got? So now, what to do about it? GIVE AS UNTO JESUS and let the geese that bite you on the nose after you have helped them, go find their own bread. We need to be about the Father’s business, and doing what he has said to do! 

Later Jesus told his disciples “When you enter a house, speak peace to it and if they do not receive it, your peace will return to you.” Whatever you have done for others will be returned to you………No labor of love is in vain. (Jesus’ promised us this). 

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 

So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can’t afford to be Offended

Me 2015.jpgI want to share a little over a week ago God Led me to forgive some stuff. After I did it, I realized how many people I had let down in my life time. That was God’s Grace (TO ME!). I have to wonder,if my forgiveness allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal more to me about myself, and lift the blinders from my eyes.

We All have expectations of people.

Some is based on how we are raised, how we understand the bible, or whatever else. People can feel they are offering the help they have to offer, and you rejected it (or them) and I mean to tell you what, there are SO MANY THINGS the devil can (try) to turn it into an offense, I simply cannot list them all here. 

I’ve had people reject what I had to say when I thought it was God’s will I said certain things. It hurts, because we think we are giving a gift, and it just got rejected. If it happens 100 times, we may be at risk of getting offended. You’d be suprised how many people have “rebuked me” when I talk about Growing In Christ.

There are some who believe getting saved leads to this “instant Jesus pudding” and we automatically grow, without any real participation on our part.

Growing in Grace is a message that is balanced, and between the “Auto Pilot’ thing and the “being under law” mentality. Growing up IN Christ is a sensible and sound message, but not a popular one.

Therefore, I am delivering a word God asked me to deliver …..and yet those who seem to have the pulpit do not always agree. Does it stop me?

NO! It will not! And, I must not get offended. If I do, I will ruin myself.

I”m so glad when people tell me things like, “I waved at you, you didn’t wave back”. So many times, I just did not see them wave at me!

There are times people forget, don’t hear us, or do not understand how important something is to us. (really). Don’t fall for the “all about me” mentality. It’s a monster! ME MOnster.jpg Cartoon by Jeff Larson 

Yes, there are times people have been little snots, but it’s not all that often. Most of the time when people hurt us, it’s quite accidental.

The important thing is that remain “not offended”. If I’m not, I can go foward in Christ.

Proverbs 18:19 says “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Don’t put your walls up. It’s just not worth it to miss out on what God has for you next.

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to the Rescue and Grace to Grow, available on Amazon.

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Dodge the Stampede!

BUFFALOs.jpg

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Stampeding (When someone “stampedes’ your blessing)

I just feel led to share this today. If you saw a herd of buffalo about to stampede the church building, you would shut the door, holler for Help……And keep them OUT would you not?

A stampede of fools is like a herd of buffalo. There are those who have this “gang mentality” and you cannot LOVE them out of it. You have to get out of the way. Shut the door! Keep them OUT Of your heart and your mind! Do not allow them to trample everything God has put inside your heart (as you open your heart to their treacherous doings!) ….

It’s okay in this case to stop TRYING to love, and just shut the door, get out of the way……Let them stampede on.. 

For those bent on foolishness there is no other way. Do you think you can stand in the face of a buffalo herd and keep it from Trompling you? No!

Then stop and think about what you are doing before you try to deal with these “stampeders” in the realm of the spirit! Get out of the way! They will not respond to your loving words (and not even to God’s words)

for right now…..you’ll just have to let them go..

a now word (Laura Grace) Author, Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, Grace to Soar 

 

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed. Prov 13:20

The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.Prov 3:35

The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness Prov 15:14

A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness. Prov 12:23

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Christmas Story #4 “the Cabbage patch doll”

12 days 3.jpg

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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Christmas story #3 Is that you, Santa?

Santa fakesanta true.JPG

Laura Grace 
Christmas stories #3 “Santa, is that you?”

I remember thinking as a child (very young, in fact) that Santa had no chimney to come down, at our house. It took me a long time to ask ‘so how does Santa get in?”

This is kind of a special story to me, the one where I say “God and I” had a lot of talks about Santa Claus.

It (seems) like rather trepidatious waters, to shout from the house top there is no santa, when half or more of the world seems to believe in him.

The truth is he was a man born in Turkey, he served God, and he was an orphan. He gave generously, had signs and wonders follow him, and the Catholic church declared him a saint.

The “santa’ We hear about is simply a poem written in the 1800’s “come to life”. i wonder what Saint Nicholas would think about the stories we are telling about him today?

I know if I spent my life serving God and following after him, It would make me sad to be depicted as some guy who goes down chimney’s, with perpetual slaves making toys, and reindeer flying me around the world delivering toys to only “good” boys & girls.

Back in the 90’s, God and I had this big long talk. It was decided that my children would not be taught about santa claus, but we would always give glory to God for whatever he did (at Christmas time). We made an agreement, he and I, and it brought peace to my household.12 days extra extra

I asked the Lord to please “bless my children” at Christmas, and make it special for them. And he did, Year after year. I even have a book of testimonies about it.

St Nick was an awesome guy (and man of God) worthy of knowing about! He was generous, and there is an account he may have even raised someone from the dead!

I wonder if telling our children the truth is a good idea? (just a thought).I know I did. And I have never regretted it.

Far be it from me to have them wonder “what else I lied about” 
🔥😐👑

with love and blessings forever to you and yours.... #santareal#MerryChristmas

Laura Grace http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/how-did-santa-begin/

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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