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Relationships! no more drama, not even for your mama! by Laura Grace

Relationships! Introduction: By Laura Grace Should I give up, shut up, put up my dukes? 

Relationships are one of the hardest things we will ever contend with in this life. Frankly Not a subject I have wanted to contend with OR address. Even in my book Grace to Grow, I talked about it being hard. but I didn’t say a whole lot about it. That’s because it’s not cut and dry. Every relationship is different. There are variations (Within) and while we all know there are basic principles in the word of God how do we know Which Principle to apply?

I’m going to address hard truths, talk about real situations, and share with you what God 
has taught me thus far about relationships……..

What about giving up? Did I fail that person? How do I know? How do I get closure when they won’t talk to me anymore?

How do I love them- yet avoid the drama? AS we begin……Let’s Ponder Matthew in chapter 5 where Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” …….(Matthew 5:9) and 
explore how we make peace (in various ways) as we are BECOMING children of God.

Yes, I said becoming. (You’re being formed and shaped here, into his image!) Amen

“Father please, be with me as I do this series and I know you will be. Allow me to share from your heart to theirs “what works” and what does not work! For you already know! and you know all the persons out there who wonder about how you said make peace but yet you said at times there will be no peace in certain relationships…..

 

Give us understanding we pray (Father) In Jesus’ name. and we thank you for it too. 

 I ask you Father help us to undertand your word better, and how to apply it in everyday life! IN Jesus’ name! -amen

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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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The second mile…..according to Jesus…

a ROAD Matthew 5: 41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. ” 

Right after Jesus sat on the mount (speaking to the multitudes) He continued to speak about other topics. One was this passage- (above) which came to mind this morning as I was pondering and waking up. 

You see, I have dreams in my heart, which I believe God placed there. Dreams of travelling, speaking, sharing all the treasures he has bestowed within me. Dreams of sharing with others (who are hurting) all the beautiful testimonies God has given me of redemption, healing, restoration, and reasons for praise! 

I have boldly declared “I will go” (travel and speak) but I seem to be ahead of my time in most everything I do. In Other words, Sometimes a vision is so real to me, I think it’s going ot happen tomorrow! I just want you to know everything I”ve ever said is going ot happen HAS happened. But not in the year or day I thought it would happen. 

I was asked to help with music in my local church about three years ago, starting with the children in an after school program. That led to more singing (in the church) and later on, a semester of teaching music at the local school (grades K to 12) and this was without a teaching certificate by the way. AMAZING!

I can’t tell you how much it blesses my heart that even recently, I sang at church (a song God put on my heart to sing with guitar) and a local person chased me down the other day saying: “I forgot to tell you, that song was so great, please do that more often!!”. It’s 2017 now. Twenty years ago I was crying and asking God WHY He would not use me in church to sing. I had learned almost every song on guitar that church did at the time. EVERY SONG …It took hours to learn them all….hours and hours and hours of time……

I prayed “Thank you Father that if I am faithful you will TRUST ME to sing and minister to your people” …..(as I learned all these songs, and practiced them over and over) And I have to tell you….I had given up on the whole thing, a few years ago.

Oh sure- I sang at this one place but for the most part I’d “thrown in the towel” Given up…..said Okay Father what’s next I surrender! Obviously I”m NOT called to sing or do music in my local church! 

Now I’m in school (full time) Pursuing a degree at a christian college, I’ve written books, I’ve made brochures…..I’ve gone on some speaking engagements…..and I’ve done a mission trip this past summer in my local region. The pastor of the church I attend now is telling me “this other church” wants you to come and sing………” 

             I wanted to keep writing books…bag the singing…..Give up on it now…

 BEING REAL HERE! See it hurts to be disappointed, and if we don’t allow God to keep working in our hearts….we may just slam the door on him! 

Well? Do I go the second mile? Or do I just say “I have other plans now, Lord!”. I asked him to open doors! I asked him to use me! (for his Glory)….who am I to decide what I should or should not do? Who am I to say “this life is MINE I will do what I WISH to do?” …….hmm …..and when I asked him “Should I be singing or should I be writing books?” He gave me that passage (Matthew 5:41) “Someone is asking you girl!! What’s the problem?” ……Incidentally I CAN Do both if I trim some corners. 

So “Father I trust your timing! I don’t understand it, always, but I trust in you! I know whatever visions you have given me that you’ve put in my heart….will come to pass. Eventually ….they will! and please Forgive me for giving up all those years ago…….because I thought you were not quick enough to answer my prayers.” and Father thank you that when something in your word Is true FOR US you will cause it to leap off the page at us! Just like this one you gave me today! It’s for me Father! and I praise you for this! IN Jesus’ name. amen ……..Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow the Study guide (a self contained book With studies) Available on Amazon. 

DENTON 7 the grinch.jpg

This picture is me Christmas Concert 2016 directing the music program (Without a teaching certificate) but God was with me……..Laura Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is the Gospel always good news? It is but not to all…..and here’s why……..

HAPPY SADI know we’ve all heard the saying “How beautiful are the feet of those, who bring good news.” (Isaiah 52:7) And even Jesus himself quoted Isaiah, letting everyone know he was the fullfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies, about a coming saviour, bringing Good News. 

To many of the Chief Priests and Pharisees, this was not good news. I was reading this morning how they yelled and screamed for him to be crucified. “He said he’s the Son of God” they said “Crucify Him!” (John 19:6). To the disciples who were told “Ye of Little Faith” by Jesus- (while in training) perhaps it didn’t always “Feel like” good news to them, either. Man always has an answer HE thinks is best, and God always has an answer. 

When the two do not agree, worlds collide.

We need to be aware of our choices, and what answer we are going to give creedence to.  I want to remember that those who stopped following Jesus, did not get anymore answers, or correction from God. He doesn’t throw his pearls out-for those who tend to trample on them. An idol is something that we give more creedence to than God and that CAN BE our circumstance, or problem sometimes. 

IN other words what is bigger to me? God, or my problem (the giant) I am facing? Jesus followers ask these hard questions. Those who don’t do not, and blame God for every single outcome (good or bad). So then, the gospel is always “Good News” but not to some. 

We (sometimes) try to bend it, twist it or even water it down to make it more palatable, but that is not wise. Oh Sure, God knows our hearts (I just wanted them to get it Lord!) 

But, we don’t need to “adjust” God’s word so that it “feels more” Like good news to those who won’t listen. We Don’t have to make it into Good News, It already is. The Good news is God is speaking (and has spoken) the question is: Are we listening to Him? Or something else? Incline your ear (toward him) Proverbs 2. If you care to…..

with love and prayers and blessing to you all 

Laura Grace

 

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What do you consider to be “RESPECTABLE” ? What does God think about Respect? and being respectful

I hear a lot about being respectful nowdays. “Respect me” or “That’s disrespetful.” The truth is if someone sets a boundary, we should respect that boundary or (the Authority) of the one who set the boundary. No Trespassing signs, No solicitors, Keep off the grass! If we violate those boundaries it’s a trespass. 

But really, what is being respectful or respectable in the eyes of Jesus? Or the World? are they the same? 

I really struggle with the word “respectful,” sometimes. I have prayed about it over the years, asking God what he thinks about it all. As usual he doesn’t answer, sometimes for years. I think it’s because he waits for His word to grow and develop in our heart(s). Sooner or later the fruit will come out, including the fruit of understanding his Word.

And yes, Understanding is a “fruit’ or outcome- of studying, praying and seeking him. 🙂 It’s the fruit of HIS own Love building us up (in HIm.)

I see this: What the World (humans in general) have respect for: 

  1. A person well-educated on a topic 2. Success financially 3. Ruling without apology and successful management of people or business 4. Overcoming incredible odds by sheer determination 5. Selfless Humanitarianism and tireless giving

This is what I see God Respects: 

  1. Receiving Revelation from Him (Understanding) about his Word by his Spirit. 2. Faithful with goods or money and not clinging to it, surrendered to Him 3. Serving without selfish Ambition as directed by His Spirit 4. Overcoming by his strength and in obedience toward Him 5. Ministry as God says to do it (no matter how foolish it looks) And looking after his own sheep (feeding them, finding them, helping them) and doing what he says! (When he says, how he says) Gen 4 The story of Abel.

  Pretty different, aren’t they? Do I care what the world thinks (about me?) Or what God thinks? Which one will I face for all eternity? Hmm 

Gen 4:4 “And the Lord Respected Abel”. (We know what happened to him, right?) 

To respect a boundary -is to not trepass. For instance, if you put out a sign “Keep off the Grass” Or tell someone “Please don’t belch in my house” and they do it anyway, it’s disrespectful (not honoring their wishes, in their own house).  I have no problem with this, but I do have a problem with respect when it comes to a one-way relationship.

As far as belief systems go, if I have to respect your beliefs, you need to respect mine. This means we may not “trespass on each other” If I say stop (regarding your input) or you say stop (concering my input) we both should have to stop (out of Love IE: Respect) For each other’s personal boundaries.

Here’s the thing: God’s Word, and the world’s opinion, will never mix. One is hot, one is cold. One is sharp, one is dull. You can’t be conformed to this world and transformed by God at the same time. We can’t love (be On fire or Hot) for God While embracing all the thoughts of this world (which is cold toward God,) and not become lukewarm. Hot and cold mixed makes “tepid” (Lukewarm) waters. Hot water flushes out bacteria, germs and unhealthy things. HOT For God’s word (on fire) cleanses us in Holy Fire.

So if I don’t seem respectful of the world’s advice, I will not apologize for that. My food is to do the will of my Father (in Heaven). My mandate is to Follow him. My mind is to be renewed on his Word, not every thing you want to tell me, that you think is cool or the latest rage, or the latest fashion. Call me disrespectful about the opinions of others if you wish, For really, I could say the same about you. Are you respectful of God’s Word?

He made this world! He Framed it! His input is Bread (and life) to my soul.

If you are looking for the world to applaud you for your belief system, you will probably be very disappointed. They aren’t going to applaud you. Respect for God, his ways, and his people is not something the world is ever going to do. If you give them

Respect,other than just saying Okay “I will” Keep off your grass” I WILL stop talking to you about God- because you said “it’s trespassing” has nothing to do with me having to listen to YOU and your opinions all day long! That is not respect, that’s cowing down to someone who does NOT have the answers (Christian) and you know better! So don’t listen to them. Stick with God. Blessed is the man who Trusts in Him (and inclines their ear to hear what God has to say!) Proverbs 2.   What Good is it to gain the world? (Jesus said) and lose your soul? Hmm Something to Ponder. 

-Laura Grace Author, Grace to Grow 

 

John 15:8    Romans 12:2   1 John 2:15-17   Matthew 16:26

 

 

 

 

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Are you the Storm? Causing some structural damage? A word on this….

LIGHTHOUSE AND STORM.jpg Storms. We Just had one last night. 

Thankfully there was no damage, but I was thinking this morning about the damage that gets done sometimes by emotional storms. 

The weather report said, “This storm has been known to rip down trees, damage siding, and cause structural damage.” Wouldn’t it be great if we understood the damage we can cause just because we had to have this “fit of rage” that seemed important at the time? 

I remember well this time I was so emotionally distraught and upset over my ex, who had lied to me, lied again and lied again. This was after promises not to do that ever again and great expressions of how much he loved me.

Anyway, I had a fit of rage, threw a coffee cup at the wall, and scared my daughter half to death. She was crying and her whole world was being shaken and ripped apart, just because I let my emotions and temper get out of hand. 

I”m not proud of that moment, or a few others I’ve had. I do remember that day, I decided I was going to work on myself, and stop obsessing about changing someone else’s behavior. I realized right then, “dear God, this child is looking at me for guidance, and look what I have done!” I was convicted! Be a better example, and practice what you say,” is what I heard from deep within myself. I think it was God as he has all the good ideas, I usually don’t have any, all by myself. 

That was a lot of years ago. Sometimes if I am not careful, and get to looking at what others are doing rather than going to the mirror every day to look at myself (with God’s great assistance) I am still prone to getting all upset at others………

Someone is always watching. OH FATHER we pray: “Let our actions speak good things! Let our actions speak well of us and Glorify you Father! Keep us close to your heart! Remind us daily not to allow pockets of anger to get out of control to the point where we hurt a person with our wicked tongue! deliver us from THIS evil …

the evil of just saying whatever pops in to our pea brains! IN Jesus’ name! Amen”

Storms. They can do a lot of damage. Amen? “Father where we’ve done that forgive us, and help us to be bringers of peace (and light) and not a storm, causing damage and harm to others, and what they are trying to build. Amen”   

Colossians 3:8
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.