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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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Straining gnats and swallowing camels……Matthew 23- “the warning”

magnifying glass

Matthew 23:24 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
SOMETHING GOD SAID TO ME Awhile back “They are building a church, but not my Kingdom, and it’s eating them up inside………” 
Pharisees prided themselves on how cautious they were, and how protective they were of God’s word. They were not aware of the pride growing subtly within them, as they prodeeded with no caution- as far as examining themselves, and their own hearts. They thought they’d arrived. 
We have some today- who protect the building of the church, and consider themselves to be supervisors (and experts) of God’s own word. 
They are so busy protecting themselves, shielding themselves, and building giant barricades to keep out evil, they fail to see the heart of God– behind every word Jesus spoke. 
Self-righteousness, Pride, selfish ambitions, greed, lust, (for power not just drugs or alchohol) Are very real threats to the human soul. Why else would Jesus (and his Apostles) warn about these things so much? “take heed to yourself” (The preacher cries.) 
Luke 11:35
“Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness”
In being so careful and examining things, the Pharisees missed the miracles. They missed (Out) On Jesus, the son of God. They missed out on everything God intended for them, and they were so sure (oh so sure) they were full of God’s light. He tried to warn them, but they were so focused on protecting themselves, They did not really hear him at all.
                                     They Judged Jesus’ ways. And, cross-examined him. 
If a drop of rain falls (on your head) and you needed that rain, do you examine it to see if it’s really rain at all? Or do you question where it came from? “He must be from the devil,” They said, for he did not measure up to the former words of God the way THEY Undestood it. The trouble is, they didn’t understand God’s word at all. Jesus was trying to show them, but they would not listen (or hear). 
When I pray for something I don’t care who (the answer) comes from. I expect Jesus can answer any way he wants to. GOD RAISES UP THE HEAVENLY ARMOR within us as we grow in Him and study his Word WITH The Holy Spirit as our guide. He does the work. He’s the Author and finisher of our faith (and our Salvaton) which is why all the glory goes to him, not to us! We aren’t going to be commended for how SMART we are we will be commended for having Faith IN HIM! 
Therefore, Pride has no place in us (or our hearts) there is no reason for any self =righteous Indignation. When we see ourselves becoming all angry about how we are not listened to or followed, we can see pride and/or self-righteousess has taken root in our heart(s). 
God spoke to me about some pride I had……in an area of my life. I’m so glad he did, and he has done it before, and I pray he will do it again! And yes I did something about it. I endured the humiliation so he can make me free! 
Pride you have to go! Self righteousness, you have no place in me! I Resist you satan! Get away from me with your lies and delusions of granduer! I ask you Holy Spirit to teach my heart. I ask you Jesus to purify my soul and cause me to really SEE you and hear you! 
IN Jesus’ mighty name, the name above all names. I dont care how much I suffer for it Lord I want YOU And only you! and only your living word! Cleanse my soul Father wash me clean! I renounce everything that is not you Lord! 
And by the way Pride doesn’t just go before the fall, it can possibly go before the great falling away…….so here’s your sign. Get rid of it! Ask God to show you if you have it! He will answer that kind of prayer! I Promise, HE WILL. 
-Laura Grace (Grace to Grow) peace! and amen
discipline · gettingthere · Uncategorized

What is Discipline? Do we like it? No!

That picture is me! Hard to believe, that was so many years ago.  This morning I was thinking about how most people really hate (and don’t even like) the word, Discipline. 

There are exceptions of course, but if you take a good hard look at society (as a whole) and even your own heart, chances are you hear the word, DISCIPLINE and probably shrink back, just a little. The bible says discipline is not fun, but painful, at the time.

Do you find discipline to be: Fun? 

I sure don’t! On top of that, we have a whole lot of people out there that think God uses sickness, broken legs, car crashes, and all kinds of horrible things, to do his job of “disciplining us.” Not true.

When I was in the military, discipline (training in Military ways), came through marching, learning, constant reminders of what we were to be doing. Repetition and doing the same thing over and over again, until it became a part of us. See, military people may have to be in life or death situations, and need to know how to follow orders, do things the Air Force way, and so on, and so forth.

So really, what is discipline? 

Relentlessly keeping you on the same topic, doing the same thing, over and over again, until you get it right, and not only that; THIS TRAINING becomes a part of you, and you don’t forget when you are under pressure. So, if you find yourself doing some of the same things over and over again, Think of this: “IF you are not disciplined, you will never be the very best you can be! Thank you God, Thank you Father…..for your discipline …..I love you! so Thank you! Thank you so much for training me! 

Amen -Laura Grace 

me-1981-air-force
Me, USAF 1981