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God is not unfair, or unjust….He is not a “mean dad” either!

mean dad It breaks my heart when I find people have had the wrong picture painted for them, about God and who he really is. I know too, that it upset Jesus too, which is why he was so very hard on the Pharisees, and even on his disciples at times. HE CAME to make sure God was not misrepresented. That was part of why he came down here to earth, and had those 12 people follow him around. He made a way to reconcile us to God our Father, because it was not his will, nor his intent, for everyone to be seperated from God due to Adam and Eve’s sin of turning their ears away from him. 

When I was about 10, I was with some friends playing in the yard, and this one kid went and played with the charcoal in the BBQ grill. I remember the mom noticed it had been messed with, and tried to get us to admit “who did it.” I wouldn’t tell on him, and neither would his sisters, and he would not confess. She made us all bend over, and smacked us all with a wooden spoon. Not only did it hurt, it was humiliating, as well. I remember being very upset with her, and thinking how unfair that was. For years, I didn’t think the same about this woman, after this,  nor trust her judgement, because of her decision to punish us all. 

In a church setting, we are often not treated as individuals. We all get the same message, and those who are sitting there are often scolded, or even given a message that may only apply to one person in that group. There are times when ministers have dealt with hard or almost impossible issues with others, and wind up dishing out a type of “wooden spoon” sermon, which makes those who are trying to be good and follow God feel very discouraged. God did not intend for us to be without his guidance in our own (Personal) lives.

When Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach them (John 14:26) He meant “individually, to you.”

What kind of Father would give a child with music abilities more football training? Wouldn’t a good Father notice and cultivate the gifts he put within his own child? Of course he would! God knows what you are good at, and whaf you are not good at. He knows what he wants to cultivate in you, and he’s not out to treat you like some soldier in an army, marching off to war. Tell me where Jesus gathered up a big army to go conquer the city and rid of of sin? Tell me how he made all the disciples be exactly alike, and march in unison to go reach the world for his causes? 

For the most part, Jesus dealt with people one on one, and so did his disciples. He cultivated and shaped Peter, James, John, and the others, into who he wanted them to be. He did not get on Mary’s case for not helping Martha with dinner, and he didn’t tell Peter he needed to be just like John. In fact, every disciple in the bible had their own unique style (and ministry). This is why the belief the Holy Spirit will teach you is so very important!

I have the bible on my side, because Jesus said to them, (and therefore, to us also), And He (the Holy Spirit) will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you”.… John 14:26 

God does not “spank everyone” when one person is naughty, He doesn’t insist we all be exactly alike, and he is not into ministry that produce “Cookie Cutter” Christians. Before you mention the Old Testament to me, remember this; Noah, Abraham, Hannah, (and many others) had a different outcome, all because they seperated themselves unto him. And you can do the same. 

We need to find out what we are. (Pastor, Prophet, Apostle, Prayer warrior, helps, worker of miracles, Evangelist, teacher, and so on……..). Ask Him! He’s listening! 

Laura Grace, Author,

Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, and Dysfunctional People 

https://www.amazon.com/Dysfunctional-People-Laura-Grace/dp/1722365706/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=dysfunctional+people+by+laura+grace&qid=1550767699&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

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Are you praying for your town (or city?)

l town

 
What if one person prayed in every single town? Do you think it would make a difference? I believe it would. Genesis 18 says God agreed to save Sodom and Gomorrah over 10 righteous men (see below) WOW.
 
Remember Miss America Pageants? “I want world peace” they often say. Where does world peace begin? IN YOUR House and IN YOUR TOWN. You can’t beleive for something you have not achieved yet in your own household. Amen?
 
I’ve been praying for my town for quite some time now. IN fact, ever since I arrived here when I hear of issues here I pray about it. The school, the church, the local library..Post office…..
 
I’ve trained myself that when I hear of a problem (in my surrounding area) I go to God in prayer and petition him to help, to fix it, and make declarations of faith over the situation.
This keeps me busy! After that there is church, my famiy….Friends, loved ones….And yes of course, the Nation! I”ve seen many answers to prayer already! (many!!) even down to “help them find a good librarian and town Clerk!” When I lived in another town (Pictured below) I prayed for that town (daily) for years!
“Father I ask in every town in this nation, every government entity, every place there is Father, Raise up People to pray for their towns (and cities). Help them believe they make a difference too! IN Jesus’ name! I thank you that you hear the prayers of those crying out secretlly to you Father Help us to take heart and be encouraged that “People are praying”
IN Jesus’ name! amen!
 
Genesis 18:16-33 Abraham pleads for Sodom:
 
“31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
 
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
 
32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
 
And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place” NKJV                    -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Soar 
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the Letting go process (it’s so very hard)

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One of the hardest things I’ve ever done (and still do) is accepting what I cannot change. it’s especially hard when you love someone, so very much, and you’ve invested so much into them, you just practically die trying to let them go…….

 We need to let go of people sometimes. People who are not ready to receive yet, or people who don’t want to change anything and it becomes what I call a one-way relationship. Relationships take work, committment, prayer, wisdom, (can you think of some more ingredients?) from both people to succeed & be good. 

My advice is to get to a place you can Rest in Him- and allow God to do the work he needs to do in you, no matter what! Even if others are not as passionate as you are about it. This is called “loving yourself” (the Jesus way). 

….then when you’ve received from God- you can love others “as you love yourself”…see? You can let go without giving up on a person. You can commit them into the loving hands of Jesus, through prayer. I have said sometimes “Thank you Father if you want this relationship to be, you will work things out. Show us what your vision is Father, for our relationship, in Jesus’ name!” 

There have been those I’ve had to let go of, simply because they were hindering God from taking me where I wanted to go. In those cases, at times, I”ve had to let go. 

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well

James 2:8

     I’m not sure God meant foot massages, meals out, or great vacations. The best way to love yourself is to spend time with Him (and allow him to be your best friend!). 

” And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.” -Mark 12:31-32

Prayer: “Dear Father help me stay in balance today. Help me love others AS I love myself. Help me to love myself the way you intended and receive what you want me to receive.” you know best! In Jesus’ name” Amen.

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“Tit for Tat” is not all that. A Message about Justice……..

praying woman.jpgWhy Should I?”

Often people ask themselves this, “Why should I?” show love or be honest, kind, or just? “Nobody else is” they say to themselves. Why should I do the right thing? 

To be called to do the right thing when others seem to always be doing the wrong thing is a very high calling. To become and example to others is a privilege. “Tit for Tat” is not all that. Getting even is unfullfilling. It makes you just like the person you were mad at, or angry with. Forgivness is liberating. IT”S A BLESSING! Trust me. Trust God! “LET IT GO”…….

Yes, I’ve seen some injustice that would make your hair curl (AND stand on end.) I’ve cried about it, lost days of my life being upset about it: NONE of which changed a thing about it! If I go and try to get even I’ll be unfullfiled, just as sad as I was before AND I’ll become like those who hurt me. Not a good outcome. 

 

Pray with me:

“Father I trust you to make things right! You are the God of Justice and you care about this more than I do! You see everything! I have decided to give all this injustice to you right now Father and trust you for the outcome! Help me forgive those who have trespassed against me, or hurt me or ……

Whatever they have done Father you saw it. I TRUST YOU. if Justice is you finally show them your everlasting love and kindness for them SO BE IT. I will rejoice in their salvation. I will hold no grudges ……..

Oh Father, Help me be like you! This (we) pray in Jesus’ name, Amen

Psalm 103:6 The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed.

-Laura Grace

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Pride (the sin of Pride) it hurts YOU.

People get hurt, don’t go to God with it, then they want to protect themselves from further hurt. We often think, ‘oh what’s the big deal?” I am just fine! As if saying we are fine will make it okay. No. We need to ask God to heal the hurt, or if we are offended, take away the offense. It’s like a big sliver in your heart, and it leads to other (nasty ) things at times. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Hurt can lead to things like self-righteousness (not seeing their part in what happened) so in fear of being hurt again. People put up walls, justify the walls, stay behind

PRIDE PICTure.jpg(those walls), and eventually after much time goes by, they get cemented in pride, believing that the decisions they made, the walls they erected, and the refusal to go To God with it all, was perfectly justified.

     The sin of pride hurts US, and limits what God can do in our lives. Sometimes when people finally cry out WHAT is going on, Father? “HELP ME!” God responds, but the help he sends, sometimes, is breaking the pride, which leads to the “Blessed to be Broken” message many talk about. This process is painful. 

     You don’t have to wait to be broken, you can talk to God about Pride today, and ask him if you have pride.  He can remove it more gently, IF we ask him to convict and correct us today. We have a choice. the Easy way….or the hard way…..:) 

   

     Pride hurts others, but it hurts you more than anyone else. Sin is like a weed, ask God to yank it out of your heart. You can speak to it “Pride you have to go out of my soul!” I command this pride to be removed today, in jesus’ name!” I’ve done this. I was amazed at the supernatural experiences i had, as a result. 

Sin (Pride, Self rightousness, and others)  First and foremost,  hurts YOU. God loves you, he wants the best for you! Pursue a relationship with him today. It’s not too late! 

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

 with love, …….. Laura, Author, Grace to Grow 

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Traditions: Don’t get stuck (in them)

All the kids 2016
My Family……(some of them) daughter Carolee and family not pictured 

I”m going to tell you something right now that I have FIRST received for myself (through hard correction by the Spirit of God!)

A lot of traditions we have and hold dear, or “ways of doing things” are just that: “Things we hold dear.” When we get too stodgy or stuck on OUR WAY Of doing things, we leave little room for the Holy Spirit to move. When we gather with family how about saying “what do you want, Holy Spirit? Or “Jesus do your will in my family today……..”

Or “What is your will in my church today?” “do you want to do a new thing? Help me NOT TO GET IN YOUR WAY” (amen!)

I recently let go of a “tradition” it was very hard for me- but, it turned out good! (I let the Lord have his way!!)

I thought because I’ve been serving God for over 30 years, am filled with the Spirit have read the bible 7 or 8 times wrote books, sat at bible studies for years “I KNEW” certain things! 

But let me tell you something, we don’t KNOW what the Lord wants to do next unless we ask him! We need to stay fresh (who likes old bread?) We need FRESH Bread! FRESH anointing!

FRESH Ideas too! The generation coming up needs the gospel to be spoken to them in a language they can understand. i want you to remember something (And God showed me this too)

We who are over 50 are now “the older people’ that used to get on our cases when we were in our 20’s. Whatever traditions they had some were not so important to us. We need to remember our younger generation has ideas too…….

And some of them are very Good ideas! bless them! Set them free to work for Jesus and for the future that lies ahead…the patriarchs of old layed hands on their kids ‘and blessed them”

amen ..

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