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How to Guard your Heart by Laura Grace

gate heart Be a Gate Keeper! Guard the Soul 

I think there are a lot of Christians out there, like me, who truly do not know how to guard their heart. First and fore most we must give more weight to the voice of the Shepherd than anyone else.

We don’t need pretty lies of exaggerating how wonderful we are, and we don’t need Input from amateur counselors or the peanut factories. We certainly don’t need help allowing unbelief! 

Because we are “word of God” people, we think if we can’t rebuke it, cast it out or get it gone via spiritual warfare, we are failing somehow. Not true.

Some people just ‘are what they are” and we must learn how to deal with it!

  1. Step number one we need to keep learning and meditating on who we are to Jesus. that knowledge must become so real to us, nobody can talk us out of it. If the voice of someone else’s opinion of us screams louder than what God says, we must reinforce what he says about us until it’s more real than anything else. 
  1. In keeping with that train of thought, the accuser of the brethren (the devil) is always going to try to remind you of your past. That’s his job. He is evil. He isn’t going to stop so you must learn to overcome him with YOUR TESTIMONY. You speak it to him: “I am saved, God’s child, I’ve been forgiven of that” and if the person who is allowing the enemy to “USE THEM” to accuse you keeps it up, start to ignore it. It’s the best defense you have. IGNORE IT. You can’t argue with demons.

 

You can’t cast them out of someone who wants to stay that way. No, they may not be demon-possessed- they just listen to his lies and it’s become a part of them, like WEEDS. You cannot go into someone else’s garden and start yanking weeds out. You are trespassing! You are going to have to ignore it and tend to your own garden. Not what you want to hear, but true. Change the subject, dodge the questions, or say “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

  1. Do not ask for counsel from those who have no clue what you are talking about, or what you have been through. I don’t care what their credentials are or how much they “seem” to care. Ask God who you should talk to about something. SEEK HIM FIRST! He is your Shepherd, your counselor and your friend, and he is always listening. 
  1. You live in the world, so best to get started learning how to cope with things. Go to a rest room or go outside and pray. I’ve done this over the years, went to my car. Prayed, or even went to a restroom, prayed in whispers asking God for help, wisdom and guidance. I assume everything I go through he is RIGHT THERE WITH ME because he said he would be.

 

  1. Family can be the hardest, because they knew you before you knew Jesus. Family has expectations that often feel like obligations. If we are a good sister, daughter, mom or son we will do this or that supposedly. Jesus told his own mom he was going about the Father’s business, but another time he did change water to wine because she asked him to do something about the situation. There are no pat answers, we must learn to say; “I am praying” I am “seeking God” and let everyone know (including your family) you are on a mission to do God’s will. We are not born “being like Jesus’ It’s something we are walking out.

 

  1. Whatever weapons you know of right now (with God) use them, he will add to your skills as you use what he gave you. I started out a Lutheran Just ‘praying the Lord’s prayer” and now I know all kinds of spiritual warfare tactics. God is not in a hurry. You are in a school called life and he is willing to walk with you as your Father and help you to grow.

 

  1. Learn from your experiences, write them down. Use a Journal use the computer and ask God to teach you in EACH situation how to handle it better next time. I have noticed things I run from I will usually face again, so best to learn to overcome it.

 

  1. Give that other person the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can. Did they mean to hurt you or were they hurting themselves, distracted, or just clueless? We need to ask God “Why is this happening? Or “what do you want me to learn from this?”

There are some people who are just plain bullies, but what about the mandate to love them?Do we keep taking the hurt?

If I tell someone something wounds my soul and they keep doing it anyway, I am probably going to pull away from that person.  When you go, say a prayer and give it to Jesus. Be willing to be reconciled later, if that’s what he wants you to do. 

WHEN we guard our heart it’s not just against people. WE protect our heart from becoming bitter, angry, full of self-pity, and a host of other things the devil sends at us. There is no end to the things he will try, to destroy our very hearts. Do you know why?

BECAUSE my friends, that’s where the word of God gets planted and takes root. It’s where he speaks to us. It’s where rivers of life flow out of us!

Satan would rather take you out than take out a church building. If he can take you out, he has stopped the flow of God’s spirit to hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people due to the ripple effect. (you touch a life, they touch a life, and so on and so on and so on).  Some people gaurd a church building more zealously than they protect their own hearts from the evil one. It’s a full time job! 

 

 Guard your heart! It’s where your inheritance lies. It’s worth fighting for.

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow Click here to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue-ebook/dp/B077L71XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525753636&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

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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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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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The all about me people (by Laura Grace)

GROWING TREE ROOTS.jpg

The All about me-people!

by Laura Grace:

We’ve all met them …….
at least once or twice
they want to be naughty
and pretend to be nice

It’s all about them, every time, every place
If they are not happy, they get in your face.

Now I know we forgive them (and pray for them too)
But honestly sometimes, what can we do?

We see them coming, we want to hide!
When we’re having a blessing, they’re along for the ride.

But when we go through a trial ……
THEY run and hide!
They wait til it’s over
and then they come back
It’s all about them (again) 
And that, is a fact!

They will drain you 
and pain you 
and flat “wear you out” 
use you
abuse you
and fill you with doubt

Now you are wondering “did I fail to love?” 
Nope you did not! And here’s help from above!

If they won’t take God’s wisdom, 
It’s not up to you 
to save them from folly 
so take heed what you do!

Let them go my sweet child 
Let them go with a prayer 
gather the wheat 
and uproot the tare

I”m sorry this happens…..
And I know that there’s pain…..
But God is the saviour 
and You: “Pray for rain”

Let them grow up,
They must suffer the pain 
You Need to Grow! 
Now, Soak up the rain! 
Grow in the sunshine
Bask in God’s love!

And my child this is: 
Your help, From Above!

Please don’t feel guilty …….
they are making a choice

Now you, please make yours
and don’t lose your voice!

#grace to Grow (by Laura Grace)

Grace to Grow (the book) Is now available on Amazon WITH Study guide included

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Relationship #2 No Drama “YOU” are you who you want to be?

Relationship 9

Relationships #2 YOU (Is at the core of every relationship.) Are you who you want to be?

“Being Real” is something we hear all the time. You should “be real” (They say). But it’s not defined. What does being real mean to you? Your anger (about social injustice) outrage (over the issues of life) or even grief, pain, sorrow…..(over untold Losses)

That’s not WHO you really are. is it? No. At the core or heart of relationship-is who WE are. If we don’t like ourselves how do we expect others to like us? If we are not at peace with ourselves, how can anyone else be at peace with us?

Can anyone MAKE us happy? (including God?). I am reminded of the story of Jesus and the man at the pool of Bathesda, (in John, chapter 5) where he said “do you want to be made well?”

Mental health is every bit as important (if not more important) than physical health. Many of us were “messed up” in our minds over things that happened throughout our lives. Abuse. Bullying. Social Injustices. And you don’t have to be a minority to experience discrimination, favoritism, and being left out by those ‘Elitists.”

It all hurts, and it all affects us (deeply) in our hearts.

A whole (Healed) Person has a Healed Soul and Mind. Did you notice Jesus dealt with this man’s heart? (and mind?) “Do you want to be well?”

Do you want to be made well? God asked me one time if I wanted Restoration or Compensation! (Wow!) I chose Restoration. Compensation is what you get when you sue someone over what was done to you. Or get “payment” for your loss.

I don’t want compensation. I want restoration! I choose life!

Even in relationships we have to ask this question: “do we want to get along?” (or do we just want to argue?). Do we want to do the work it takes to have a great relationship?

What’s important to us? What matters most? And truly “WHO” do we wish to be? A fighter? Scrapper? Conquerer? Leader of the band? Or do we wish to have our identity forever be “continual victim” because we believe this is our lot in life?

1.Who do you want to be? And why? God really wants to know! Let him know who you would like to be! Then ask “what he wants you to be!” This is relationship at it’s finest. TWO WAY (not one way).

2. Make peace with yourself (However long it takes)

3. Be a friend (to yourself) And receive all God has for you. This will make you a better friend to others…in the long run (and a better spouse, better employeee, and so on and so forth). This means “Being willing to take correction”.

You’d be amazed at the things I’ve said to Jesus. I came to the conclusion years ago…”He already knows” so.I may as well tell him the truth! Trust me, he can handle it. I’ve said things to God that are so shocking I waited for lightning to hit me! But it didn’t! His love enveloped me instead…….(I testify!)

You can’t “offend him” by telling him the truth! I feel like Giving up Father! I have had about enough Father! I need you to show me Father (And let him know what you truly believe you need from him). I will give you a clue however……that when we ask him for what he already wants to give us, it’s likely to happen a lot quicker.

1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (NKJV) Peace! Until Next time, -Laura Grace

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Con Artists & Church….Stuff nobody wants to talk about ……

It happens. If I were to tell you every story I have personally seen or heard where people fake being a christian, take advantage of the church (time and time again) with no remorse or repentance (or willingness to change) You’d be appalled.

I have been faced with a plethora of reactions when I say “Hey “There are con Artists” Watch out! Some say well You have to love ALL the time turn the other cheek……

“Well that’s not our business,” They say, “We just have to love, and be kind like Jesus said or did.” Really? He let the people sitting at his feet listening to him go hungry for three days (was it a fast?) He told a woman asking for healing for her daughter the children’s bread was not for dogs! There is no record of Jesus gathering his disciples together and saying “Come on boys, we’re going to hand out free meals today to everyone in the leper colony!”

I had a woman tell me (recently) that she tried to help someone (got burned) and after she’d helped this person ranted at her (she didn’t help enough apparently) and I have also experienced this myself.

When I was a property manager, I remember a couple who got the church to pay their deposit and rent, and moved in. They didn’t have a very good back ground check but hey, the church was helping, so we overlooked it in the interest of good will and charity. After all isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Love our neighbors? Jesus indicated brethren first and be wise (as serpents) but somehow that goes unheard by many as our examples of great humanitarians loom before us as “the great example” of how we should be.

This couple moved in, wrecked the place, made a mess that would make your hair curl, soiled carpet, ruined floors, stains, grease debris that cost the owner literally thousands to repair. They moved out owing two months rent, as it was never paid, and their promise to pay was not kept.

I’ve met people who say “Just go to the church for help,” there is a network of people who do this, and go from town to town, place to place, leaving damage, debris and sorrow in their wake. The people who get burned often feel God let them down somehow, or they just decide never to help anyone again and develop a ‘no trust” standard.

This is so sad (to me). Do we really need these extremes? Help everyone or help no one?

I know it’s hard to decide if someone is “worthy of help.” After all we do have the example of Jesus saying “Judge not” and there is this nugget:

“To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. ” Luke 6:29

But see you have to LOOK hard at the whole picture here. Verse And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Verse 31 of this same passage says:

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” 

Do you want God to just let you be a con artist? Hurting everyone as you go? Leaving a trail of destruction in your wake? Certainly the disciples were not like this. I want God’s correction don’t you? SO see the whole counsel of God is not to just let someone rape you financially and take all your goods over and over again. And sit and cry and say “God did this to me.” I was Just obeying his word!

I don’t have time to tell you all the passages about being wise (in proverbs) It saddens me that people who don’t study the bible allow leaders (who are setting some bad examples by the way) direct their paths, (instead of learning from the Holy spirit for themselves).

I too followed their examples at one time. I gave and gave and thought “Well God would reward me” and grieved the heart of God in the process. He wept for me. Every time he tried to bless me, I thought I had to give it all away. I allowed con artists to (literally) steal from me, thinking it was God’s will. If you are a person LIKE the disciples Jesus was talking to YOU WANT Corrected. Right? (if you are being a con artist?)

Don’t be afraid to call a spade a spade Or get discernment! You won’t be less in the Kingdom of God you’ll be MORE. More able to help those God wants to help…..

Less foolish and less fooled..Not deceived! Til next time; -Laura Grace

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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!