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When Having Faith Hurts (And we don’t get the outcome we desired).

What do we do when having Faith hurts us? I’ve experienced the devestation of not having the outcome I believed I woud have (after believing, with all my heart, for something to happen.) What I see is, God honors my Faith, but my timing isn’t always the same as His. 
I used to stand outside my door every single day (praying in the morning) believing for a bigger house. The house we lived in at the time was so small, it literally felt like you had to “go outside to change your mind.” Prospect House outside 2017.jpg
This house was 643 square feet (total) including the porch area, and when my kids came to visit, we didnt have room for everyone to sit around the table.  
At Christmas time, we sat in a circle, as if we were in a tee-pee, and the coffee table became one of the chairs. It was a small, small, very small house, and we lived in it for several years. During that time, God taught me to be thankful, while having faith at the same time for “something more.” 
     Now, we live in a double wide mobile home, which is a blessed home to us, but probably “lost its’ value” according to the world. However, we love it, and consider it an answer to prayer! We had to adjust our faith to receive this house however, because it wasn’t exactly what we were believing for. There really is a balance between “not giving up on your faith” and staying surrendered at the same time. 
God did honor our Faith, but he also had us make some adjustments in the process of having Faith. By his Spirit, he challenged our thinking. Isn’t that what a good Father should do? 
This is our house now: garage
  
     God is smarter than we are, and it’s not that we should just “give up on having faith” nor should we just say, “Whatever will be will be.” God commends (and honors) people who have faith. Do not shrink back! (Hebrews 10:39). 
Laura Grace, Author, Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, & Dsyfunctional People. 

 Hebrews 11:35 “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 

3These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” 
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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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“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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Death by Criticism! What does it mean?

cROw

Some are experiencing “death by criticism” right now. And you need to fight for your life and extinguish those flaming arrows with prayer and the blood of Jesus Christ! Criticism should be constructive. Not destructive! 

Proverbs 26:17-19 “He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death,
19 Is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, “I was only joking!”

Let’s think about dogs for a moment. What do they do? Our dogs used to fight over a bone (even if they each were given their own bone!). It was sport to them. Now, dogs to not have the make-up of human beings. They do not ask questions like; “How come you don’t go chew on your own bone?”

The nature of dogs is to fight over a bone, bite for sport, and if someone bothers their home or family “growl, snarl,” and maybe even bite someone! The Nature of crows is to eat your seeds (of Faith)

 

And look at the passage above. How do you “throw” Death at someone?

James says “life and death” are in the tongue (and it can be an unruly evil full of deadly poison!). How so?

I had a friend who called me once, and said how some Christians told her how “messed up she was’ by a certain activity she was doing. I’ve heard countless stories of how someone “Christian” said “do you need prayer?” The person said “yes’ and the Christian (a representative of Jesus by the way) told them how God isn’t going to answer because of sin in their life.

It could be anything from smoking, drinking or living with someone not married yet, to not attending church, or listening to the wrong type of music. THEIR SIN is not your business! It’s God’s business! And their business! and if he has you say anything to convict them A HUGE dose of God love will go out in front of your words so that hearing about their sin will be so full of Love they will say THANK YOU For the conviction. That’s how GOD works! He is not a soul killer that kills people with the letter of His laws!!!!. The letter of the law kills the Spirit BRINGS LIFE!!! 

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for theletter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

TELL ME one example where Jesus Said they could not be prayed for because of sin? IN fact, even for those IN Christ it says in James “and the prayer of faith will make the sick man well, and his sins will be forgiven.” (James 5). 

So then, death by criticism comes in many forms. The Spirit of God brings life, and a person’s hope is renewed that God’s going to help them.  When someone comes along and says; “He will not” because of sin, because this person is not doing what YOU did to get where you are at, or because God just doesn’t do that (according to You!) You are causing “Death by Criticisim” and you don’t even know what you are talking about. You are not God! You don’t KNOW what he will do or not do. Capiche?

                                  These Crow-like ways are NOT the nature of God! 

Faith is fragile when it first starts out. It’s like a tender young plant, and the seed of faith is growing into this beautiful & young (sapling, tree) and if someone comes along and “mows it down” with their words of Unbelief, jealousy, or anything else not of God, it’s like the crow who stole the seed in Matthew 13.

So (Christian) your job is to Protect the seed. Watch over it, guard it, and chase off the crows!

 The seeds of God are far more precious than any seed upon this earth! You need that garden of God’s word to live on! Don’t allow the devil to “kill your dreams” through others that don’t agree with you.

IF you are not all the way perfect, or right with God yet (in every area of your life), welcome to the club (of humanity). HE will show you what to do and when!  Find out for yourself what the Word of God says about his heart toward mankind! Find out for yourself! Ask him! Today!! Today is a great day to get started!

“Father today I ask you if this person reading has been stolen from by those who are like crows, I pray you would restore and re-assure them about their Faith, and allow them to see and know that Faith pleases you, it honors you, and those seeds of Faith in your word that have been planted “Must Remain” and be cultivated and watered. I pray for great crops in their lives today Father! and a Very great Outcome (and more testimonies of you!) In Jesus’ name! amen!” 

With Love and assurance God is for you, not against you!

Laura Grace, Author, (Grace to Grow) And an advocate for his Mercy (and grace).

 

Scripture Ref: James 5, Proverbs 26 Matthew 13 & 2nd Cor NKJV

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onward Christian Soldiers…..marching as to war…..with the cross of Jesus…

chrisitan flag

Onward Christian soldiers….(by Laura Grace) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I say this: This is a war! And we must believe we will win! Whenever I see films about war, I think of Christian soldiers. We get shot at (by the devil and his minions) every bad thing the devil the father of lies is behind it.

We nullify him with our faith! Our battle is not against flesh and blood EVEN THO we may see the enemies ways manifesting in people sometimes. Sickness is not of God he wants it gone.

GOD does not want you sick! Yes I have stood up to it too and seen it get worse. That’s no excuse! Sickness you have to leave! The Lame “be made whole” speak to that problem in the name of Jesus Christ. SHOOT it like a gun! use your weapons God gave you! “SHOOT” (in the Spirit) those words out of your mouth!

There is power in the name of Jesus! Power in the words you say!

I have accepted I live in a fleshly body full of unbelief. I have to overcome my mind, which has also had bad seeds planted at times, that are not of God. The Battle field for the mind is a real thing. satan sends flaming darts of unbelief at us to tell us we won’t make it. We have PTSD (he says) “we have too much trauma” so we have a right to give up give in or just wave the white flag.

My mind and body gets weak at times but with my MOUTH I can still speak words of Faith. OH Father! Let words of Faith be on my lips always! amen

Soldiers who fought often kept fighting for their commrades. they wanted to give up! their feet were cold and they thought they might go crazy from the continual sounds of war. They were traumatized when their friends were blown to pieces.

WW2 Victims were just as traumatized but they didn’t get meds for PTSD. I’m sure many of them had it. The Victors over it had to have faith.

WE can’t AFFORD TO GIVE UP! Don’t let “Give up” be part of your vocabulary! We are in this to win and we can make it Friends! We Can…….use your strength to declare victory!

WE ARE Going to Win! God is with us! We must go forward no matter what we’ve seen (like soldiers) we are fighting for a greater cause then just ourselves. The world needs to see your example and your Brothers and Sisters in christ need your prayers! We have the victory! never surrender! We will not be deafeated. With Love (preaching to myself too here)

your companion in the battle and a soldier of Jesus Christ, 

 

Laura Grace 

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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