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A word about……Your heart (and the intentions thereof) by Laura Grace

heart and soul We’ve all heard those sayings, like this one: “I had good intentions!” Or how about this one? “The road to hell is paved with (good intentions!). That last one is a harsh one, in today’s society! Saying things like that could get you in big trouble! 

Check out these words concerning the choice of David for the next King:

 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1Samuel 16:7
I was in church about three years ago, and I heard a woman say to another person, “I heard that minister didn’t even go to ministry school, He just preaches!” She was all aghast. I also remember my reaction which was to think, “So?” I pondered the disciples who became Apostles in the bible, and how they followed Jesus, learned of him, and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. They turned the world upside down, every one of them, without a “degree.” 
Fast forward now, to me sitting with a pastor’s wife, who said something like this: “Man does look at the outward appearance.” I realized at that moment, I had only pondered the second half of that passage, for most of my Christian life. 
You see……I had been telling her I didn’t understand why I am now in Bible College, pursuing a degree. I said “I felt like the Lord wants me to do this, but I don’t understand why. Well? Man looks (at credentials) … God wants me equipped (for EVERY good work) And if it means a degree……I will not say no to him! 
God does look at the heart, yes, over and above our (outside) appearance. He looks at intents, and our motives too. What God wants for us is first, and foremost, over what man thinks we ought to do (yes!). But we do have to keep in mind “our ministry” will be affected by how we look to others. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t need any “rebels without a cause” running around snubbing their nose at those who want to clean up their act, on the outside, as well as on the inside. 
I’ve lost track of how many times I have heard this statement: “You’re a people pleaser!” 
Really? They don’t know me. I (at times) do appear that way. What they don’t know is, I used to despise people! (before I met Jesus) and for those who really know me, they know I used to not care a bit what anyone thinks (about me). In fact, I went out of my way sometimes to let people know how much I didn’t care (what they thought). 
If I appear that way, it’s because I am intent on not losing any opportunity to get across God’s message (of love, mercy, healing, and grace!). I do not have to prove I care, or that I don’t care. God knows my heart. The crux of this message is to say this: WE need to know the motives of our own hearts! If we know why we do what we do, We’ll always have a ready answer for those who ask……
“Father I thank and praise you that you look at our hearts first, and not the outside appearance. However I do thank you also, that you get around to helping us clean up our act. You do clean the outside (and the inside) OF US so that we are more useful and Holy (set apart) for the great works you want to do for us. In Jesus’ name!”  Amen! 
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All lives matter……..

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My (deep) thoughts for today……”All lives matter”….We can pray for the families that lost loved ones in this shooting…..those who died in recent storms, hurricanes…..more that died locally in traffic accidents because someone crossed the center line….snuffing out their life in a moments’ time because of carelessness, recklessness……..

That’s all we can do is pray for comfort as we cannot bring them back. Every day I hear of those who have hidden problems ….problems nobody understands. Wierd things, things they are too ashamed to even speak of……and I understand that because I’ve had some of those (unspeakable) problems that virtually nobody but God would understand…..

Here’s one I heard of this among many “a minister” who was into sadism, made his wife do unspeakable things and tortured her…who was she supposed to tell? How could she get help without someone gasping in horror? (and adding to the problem with their own fears and horror about it? LIsten all we can do is pray and be ready to reach out to OUR corner of the world….

Each of us is ONE person…….we can only do so many things in a given day….but we can make the world a better place. ONE good decision at a time..do what you can for those around you……

WE have to and need to develop the Kingdom of God within us Giving people Jesus and a true knowledge of Him and not some religious view point is the best gift we can give anyone ….a TRUE Knowledge from his heart to your heart to their heart………….the real thing…………

In HIM is all things LIfe, Peace, Answers….HOPE ……Get Jesus in you so deep you have something to give. Establish yourself on the ROCK WIth HIM then you can pull others out of the torrid waters and pray for them in Faith. This is how we can be “the best we can be” for Jesus…….get established ..ON the Rock! Amen

Then ask him to send you where you can go…..and ask him to send you those you are equipped to help. Amen -Laura grace, author Grace to the rescue and Grace to Grow 

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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 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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Child like Faith (Don’t lose it!)

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Here is what I will tell you for today: Always Walk by the Spirit beware of doctrines of men. Let the Holy Spirit Guide you in all things.

Don’t allow the enemy to get you to put God in a box In other words “Limit him” on what he can or can’t do.

John 21:25 “There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books” (MSG)

The bible says if all the miracles Jesus did were written down- there would not be enough books to contain it all.

When we limit God and make him smaller than he is in our own mind because of our own understanding of scripture (OR someone else’s we have learned) We do limit the miracles he can do in our life. We really cannot get around words such as “let it be done to you” according to your Faith.

It’s sad when the doctrines of men limit God- and then cause disasters that God gets the blame for.

Remember sometimes jealousy can be a motivating factor in how we get advised (by others) and they are often not even aware of this. A sort of “you can’t have what I didn’t have” mentality.

“Father forgive them! Truly they know not what they do.” amen

We can grow and still maintain child-like faith.

-with Love, Laura Grace 

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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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Agreement? Is it necessary?

Agreement! When I was talking about relationships, in Grace to Grow, I mentioned what a struggle relationships can be, at times. I wasn’t kidding. If we stop and think about it, the main problem in marriages, friendships, and relationships of any kind is not “money problems’ as the claim, but agreeing or disagreeing how to spend it. It’s not so much “stress from a job” but agreement (or disagreement) on how to handle it. 

I remember when I first got with Tim, there were so many things we did not agree on, it simply amazed me! But, we did agree on the main thing. The main thing is, What are our core beliefs, what are our goals, and where are we going? What do we both want? 

So many churches have split and split again over issues (that they could not agree on!).  You know, we can agree with our spouse we are going to a destination. We may not eat the same foods, but we can discuss and hopefully agree on the same restaurant. Amos 3:3 says “How can two walk together, unless they agree?” Good question!

We don’t have to agree about everything. What we wear, our taste in music, certainly many things to not require agreement, UNLESS we are doing those things as a team. if we have one cup of flour and can’t agree what to make with it (pancakes, biscuits, or?)

We might have a problem. We can defer to the other (out of love) but after a time, the injustice will be in our faces. We may feel “it’s our turn to pick” and by golly, I want pancakes today! Agreement is important.

Really, how can we walk together, unless we agree? We need to remember, even in the early church world, they did not always agree on what needed to happen (or what needed to be done.) There were times The Lord said, “Don’t worry about them” You, follow me! Walk on! Your anointing carries you into your destiny…………….

And there will come a time you will walk to that place alone, with God. Just remember with him, you are never alone. Remember to make peace with the situation, forgiving those who did not seem to agree with you or maybe refused to agree with you! There are times we take the narrow path, don’t let it shake you (Good words, hard to do) when you find yourself on this narrow path (with God) and trust in His re-assuring Spirit that tells you “yes, you are on the right path right now.” Have Courage! Take Heart! Where God guides you, he will provide for you all you need to full fill your mission and calling, in Him. 

Peace love and blessings, Laura Grace 
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