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Paper Dolls & Cookie-Cutter Christians

paper dolls 2

I was thinking about God not staying in his box this morning, and trying to think how to describe my Christian Life! Instantly I thought about Paper Dolls. If you remember them you are probably a little bit “Over the hill” (Like I am!). 

I had some paper dolls as a kid. The clothes were cut out and put onto the paper doll, which was usually made of cardboard. They were cool, but if you would have ever had a paper doll smaller or larger than the clothing, none of it would have fit. 

Thankfully, God doesn’t design clothes like the ones made for paper dolls, and expect us to fit even though we do not fit! Sometimes we feel like we need to be trimmed to fit the clothing man has designed for us, because it doesn’t quite fit, and we look funny! What fits YOU may not fit ME! But that doesn’t mean I’m defective. 

I”m sure when someone (like me) stands and quotes a scripture like the one below, it seems to cause rebellious rabble rousers to say YEAH! And bible teachers to cringe.  Do we get what God is saying here? Paper dolls

And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’  (Matthew 15:9 NKJV) 
There are actually several scriptures where Jesus warned about doctrines of men, or even our lips honoring him, and our hearts being far from him. Was he getting on our cases? Does he not love us anymore? Sure he does! He is not MAD at you. He’s trying to help. 
When we thought “Dad” was mad at us as kids, we tended to want to hide, or run in terror. When we are scared (of God) we cannot even hear what he wants to say. Such is the case with many who read this scripture. 
No God’s not on our cases. He just wants us to see that if we have a one-size-fits-all teaching and Sunday sermon, and ways of doing things, and bible studies that are formatted in a way that does not FIT everyone and we try to say; “Make it fit!” We are acually harming the very people we hope to love. God will adjust the teachings and methods (To fit the doll) not cut down the doll to fit the clothing. See? Because his word is written in such a way that his clothes will fit everyone (who desires him) 
God has Grace on upon us. Peter did not do what James did. Paul did not do what John did. They didn’t go to meetings and get in one accord by saying amen to the pastor and that was all there was to it! They all grew in Grace (And into their spiritual clothes- which God designed for them!). WE don’t have to feel like wretched weirdo’s because we are not the right size For the one-size-fits-all teachings of men. 
God wants to speak to YOU Today. Not JUST through your pastor. 
Teachers? Be willing to adjust the teaching (if need be) as the Holy Spirit leads you. 
Don’t be so rigid. This is not “Military School” it’s the living growing entity called…
    “The Body Of Christ” 
thanks for pondering with me; 
With Love, Laura Grace 
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Building #10 The Measure of Spiritual Maturity. What does it mean to be “Grown Up” In Christ? And how do we know if we are (and if others are?)

GROWING TREE ROOTS I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have a grown-up for my leader. Many people aspire to be leaders, coaches, teachers, and the like; but they are not always qualified. 

I said, they are not always qualified. 

How do we know if they’re qualified? What do you think would be “God’s measure” of maturity? have you ever thought about that one? (I have). 

We’ve all heard the stories of how someone wasn’t “picked” for the team. I was one that nobody wanted on their baseball, football, or even volley ball team! I was not good at it. I didn’t want to be good at it (bad enough) to practice.

I let go of even trying long ago, because guess what? I didn’t care! (about sports) enough to put my heart into learning, practicing, and becoming great at it. 

I did, at some point, need to stop whining and admit to myselfI don’t want this bad enough to do the hard work.” Step #1 to Growing and Maturity: Admitting the truth about ourselves in the light of God’s Truth! 

I’m sure out there “somewhere” there are ministries that choose their leaders by their maturity level in-Christ, but I don’t think there is many. Sad to say, the mainstream church world often makes their selections based on willingness, an outward appearance of maturity, faithfulness to church services, and attending bible school and colleges. The main goal is often raking in more bodies (to fill the pews) and not growth and maturity for the ones who are in those pews. 

They have board members who look at the resume’, pray about it, and make their choice as to what they think is the best candidate for the (open slot) or job.

So, if you were picking a leader, or a pastor (of a church) what would be your measure for maturity? 

I make that decision every day of my life, when I decide who I will listen to and who I will not (listen to). Ephesians 4 says God gave us Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets and Teachers to help us come to maturity (in Christ). 

I learned a long time ago, a person who is blind will lead me into the ditch. A person who is not mature will not help me get mature. I want a leader who is stronger, wiser and more mature than I am. 

Therefore, if I do not listen to someone’s advice, it doesn’t mean I am rejecting them, personally. I simply learned (a long time ago) That listening to Jesus comes first. To put anyone’s council above His, is a form of idolatry. 

Am I perfect? No! Have I made mistakes? Yes, I have. But my heart and mind are set on the words “Take my yoke upon you” (Words of Jesus) “and be yoked to me.” (Matthew 11:28). 

The Lord is my Shepherd (primarily) and everything else is subject to him. 

Years ago I sat under a minister for a time (online) and hardly anyone understood why. It was because of his Testimony.  A testimony (for me) is the true measure of maturity. Not what school they went to, not how many days they warmed a pew in the church. 

I”ve met many who attended church for 30 years, and like a submarine, nothing seemed to really get INTO their hearts. They are no different today than they were 30 years ago, other than knowing how to speak christianese. 

Like a tree, a testimony is a measure of how much work God has actually done in a person’s life. Are they born again? Filled with God’s spirit? Have they walked in the fruits of the spirit and learned to walk by the spirit of God? Have they cried out for, and received wisdom (from above) and not relied on the wisdom of man (and his ways?). Are they tried and true? 

It’s out of balance to say we don’t need anyone but God and it’s out of whack to say we only need church, and just follow along with whatever supposed “leader” comes our way. It’s unhealthy to gather around someone who just “says what we want to hear” and it’s foolish to assume every person in a leadership position was put there by God. If that were the case, Paul and Jesus would not have wept over flocks being deceived by wolves in sheeps’ clothing and they would not have interceded with tears over those being “led astray.”

Did you know Jesus cried (and wept) for those that would not listen to him? That was more serious to him than starving children or the physical suffering of humanity. Why? 

Because: He knew if he could successfully save the human soul (and we would listen to him) all the rest would be taken care of. God’s wisdom leads to us being “alright” in the Spirit first, and then in the natural. He wants us healthy (Spirit, Mind, and Body!). He wants us mature, which means we have grown up INTO his Headship.

I would dare say this means “We’ve God the mind of Christ” in all things. 

To get the mind of Christ, we have to continually give up our own ways of thinking. We have to push out the voices of the immature, the unsteady, and the godless and faithless, and INCLINE Our ear to the word of God via His Spirit. 

So here’s my standard on whether I will listen to you (or not). What is your Testimony? If you don’t have one to overcome with, how can I follow you? 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11 NKJV). 

In conclusion, if you have found a church that truly has a loving, parental heart to see you Grow (UP) IN Christ, stick to them like glue! If you can see they love you, and want you to grow, stay put! If they have other agenda’s, face it and pray, and ask God for a church that helps you get where you need to be. This is my advice, and I believe it is sound. LOVE yourself enough to get good spiritual food. 

Put your Spirit and Soul First, and the rest of you (body) as secondary. This is what it means to love not (your physical life) Unto Death. You put it under, and put it second to your growth and development in Christ. Enough said! -Laura Grace 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Worried about America? Upset at how things are? I know, I was too for awhile….

a beautiful TREEhi! Laura Grace here! Yes, I get upset sometimes too, I really do. Scared? Yes, I am easily frightened without God’s help. But, here’s the thing. Fear brings Anger, Anger gets out of control (super easily) that rages out of control. We lose our peace, satan comes along and says it’s their fault, not our fault, if only THEY would straighten up and stop upsetting us this way! Oh My!

SO I asked God, (yesterday) Tell me what to read Father, what do you want to say? One word came to me. “Galatians”. It says the works of the flesh are obvious. Envy, Pride, lust, self-righteousness…….(the list goes on.) What’s the solution?

It’s not that we are taking a lukewarm stand against sin, or that we don’t care what’s going on in this world, but there is no getting around the fact, that God tells US to Grow! When we find ourselves feeling like the fruits of the Spirit, walking in righteousness, or learning of Him is too PASSIVE For our taste…..

There is something wrong. WE are supposed to be taking the land (Of our own soul) and expanding the territory of our own minds, TAKING THE LAND (of us) For Christ!

This will never change. God isn’t making any exceptions, to his rule.

We will not make a difference until we are more like him (First).

And, Anger can (and will) lead to sin if you are not careful……….

So, when someone tries to get me all upset (at the things that are happening) I want you to know, I am not sticking my head in the sand. I simply choose Jesus, and he said TO GROW! (and I am not done yet, and never will be,) Amen! -Laura Grace

PS choosing this road……TAKES GUTS! Amen

 

 

 

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Anger ……….It may be justified but it’s bad for us!

Anger (by Laura Grace) Well, Did you ever wonder why God said Be Angry, and Sin not? Actually he said through his Apostle, and He had a great reason for saying it.

And it wasn’t to immobilize us or make us feel stifled. It wasn’t because He thinks we never have a reason to be angry. Like All his Commands, It’s for OUR SAKE! satan under our feetSo then, I’ve been angry many times, and I will admit it. I know, it just does not seem very satisfying if we are hurt, injured, abused, bullied, stolen from, lied to, kicked around, slam-dunked, or ANY of that and have to just keep our mouth shut! Right?

It seems weak, Doesn’t it? To Just say oh Father forgive them. Anyone who has taken years of abuse (which never seems to end) can relate. Right? Here’s some Grace to the Rescue, just for you! I was lied to so many times I lost count, insulted further by people who say things off the cuff, and do not even TRY to understand the problem. Sometimes it still happens. Then after a real hard day ( or week) There is always that unsuspecting person who does one more thing, pushes us off the edge (so to speak) and we find ourselves fit to be tied! Ever Happened to you?

Now if you are leading some sheltered life, one where you keep yourself in some gated community of sorts (some people do isolate themselves from others) I am not talking to you. If you interact with people a lot however, bad things are bound to happen.

So what do you do when your stupid-o-meter has reached it’s limit? When one more person says one more thing, and you feel like you are going to yell, scream, explode, cry, and at that very moment you think “Why am I being so nice all the time? What good does it do me?” That’s when you have to remember some things my darling fellow companion…….

#1 stress kills you not them #2 The hell fire of anger, burning in your soul does not produce righteousness or help you make wise decisions #3 God saw what they did #4 God doesn’t mind if we vent to him and tell him all about it #5 IF you keep or hold onto your anger you are likely to hurt people you love, people who don’t deserve it, and in the end, be almost worse than the person you are mad at. That’s 5 good reasons to settle down and pray! Can you think of more?

One time, Long ago, I was so upset at the complete unfair horrifying stuff going on in my life, I allowed myself to get worked into a big tizzy. My daughter was young, I said
honey just go play” (trying to contain myself) but in the end I wound up yelling at her because she would not stop. I can still see her face, stricken with horror ……

Wondering what she did that I could be so angry…….

Yeah…..and that’s the reason we have to give it to Jesus, and not nurture and harbor anger in our hearts. IT HELPS US! I am just Sharing my own thoughts and personal revelation here, but 9 times out of 10 I think, anger is fueled by fear it will happen again……

So face the fear, pray, decided if it’s worth doing something about it, and pray to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. K? We do make a difference! With Love and blessings

Laura Grace, Author Grace to the Rescue (available on Amazon)

Ephesians 4:25-27

 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

 

 

 

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God’s not mean #1 What’s standing between you and him?

Bright sayings #18

Hi, It’s me again, Laura Grace.

I was actually coloring in my adult color book when this came to me. I did pray today, asked The Lord to speak into my life. I have something to share with you right now, something very important. When God said “thou shalt have no other gods before me”

He didn’t just mean other gods, as in religious statues, or Zeus, or whoever. He also

meant your problem, your child, your spouse, your job……….Money Problems?

Anything taking over your mind can be an idol. So much for pointing fingers at drug

addicts, or whoever YOU think is in sin, right? Right! NOW (here’s  the good part) THE
REASON! God’s not mean! He doesn’t demand in a roll of thunder we have no other gods

because he is going to get so furious at us for not putting him first. The Jealousy he has is

a love type of jealousy, not the fleshly type we are used to seeing, or experiencing.

GET THIS: He just loves you so much, he doesn’t want these other things getting in your way so, he can’t really speak to you, can’t get across to you, what he wants to say. He cries

over it, weeps over it………..

Now, if you hate God, have sided with the devil and are shaking your fist at him, that’s another story! But if you are his child? HE JUST WANTS YOU TO GET IT! So badly he said,

No other gods…….no problem no nothing, don’t let it get between us, (he is saying) Because I really WANT YOU TO get MY WISDOM ……….Because I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Well thank you Father, Thank you love us SO much (THAT MUCH) That you would do anything for us to get it. Even sending your Son (Jesus) ……to spoil all those principalities

and powers……….Your anointed servant,

Laura Grace (Peace!)

 

 

 

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His Friends Seek him ……..

JESUS FEET WASHING

The Disciples Knew what was coming, others did not. His Friends knew,

because they took the time to ask him, to seek him, and they really did

want to know. Whosoever wants to know, will truly know…….

 

-Laura Grace

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Bullies, and the needs of the many ……

bullies 2bullies

Bullies! We all know they are bad, and tend to intimidate, such as in this scene (above) from Little House on the Prairie, where the town of Walnut Grove, is visited by bullies.

In this episode, (called the Bully boys) the kind, nice, and even hospitable town’s people, are duped into helping a clan, which they later learn, are bullies.

We sort of get the feeling it’s because of their Christian charity, that they ever open their doors to these guys (who are bullies) In the first place!

Hey I’m just one little gal from Montana (who Prays) Not saying I know much, but I do know what a bully is, when I see one, and I do know about COMMON SENSE!

WE need Spock-like thinkers for leaders (Speaking of Hollywood) who say things like “The needs of the many, outweigh, the needs of the few.” And, Spock was no hypocrite, he did lay down his life (for the needs of the many) in the Wrath of Khan. There was none of this, “Oh Poor Khan,” He just had a difficult time, and needs to steal our ship! Nope!

In this little house episode, the town took care of it, ran the bullies out of town. They didn’t have to pray first, wonder if they were walking in love, or whether they were being politically correct (or not). A bully is a person who believes the need of the ONE (them) outweighs the needs of “everyone else” and they use intimidation, manipulation, threats, and whatever else they can grab hold of, (a big stick?) to get their way.

Captain Kirk constantly defended his ship, and the town of Walnut Grove drove out the bullies, in an awesome scene, where they were grabbed by the scruff of the neck, escorted out of town, and sent back to where they came from (wherever it was.) So then, tell me, are we thinking in terms of how the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few?

So, can you think of any situations right now, where a small group of people, who have “a right” To take over the nation are getting away with it? In the name of THEIR COMFORT?

Because ultimately, that’s what a bully is. It is someone who doesn’t care how it affects everyone else, so long as they feel better, and they are going to use guilt, threats, manipulation, “I WILL SUE YOU” ……..to get their way. Enough said. -Laura Grace

Author, Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, Grace to Grow Study Guide, Grace to soar