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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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A Good day!

me and TIm.jpg

     Tim and I had a great day the other day, I wanted to share about it. We didnt’ go to the Bahama’s and we didn’t go to Disneyland.

We BBQ’d and enjoyed some corn from a friend nearby, who brought me some corn on the cob, just because they remembered how much I love it. it’s funny how a still day, no wind hardly, BBQ smells emerging from the charcoal, and the dog laying there in anticipation of a bite can eminate such a wonderous atmosphere. 

Suddenly, all the pain, fear, and turbulence from the past months just went away. I don’t think it was because of the BBQ.

It was just a reflection of the peace that had emerged inside me from acceptance, love, forgiveness, and just letting go of all the pain and allowing God to take over. 

I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe in God, but then again, there are many who call on him in times of trouble, who don’t normally call on him otherwise. 

I do believe in God, as I have seen evidence he exists time and time again. I wrote books about it too, but they are not selling too well right now, but that’s okay! 🙂 

My success does not depend on what man has to say about me, so no worries there. Here’s the thing, God said in his word there is nothing better than to eat, drink, and enjoy the fruits of our labors. Isn’t that awesome?

He didn’t say there is nothing better than to work your buns off, or there is nothing better than to sacrifice to the flames, or be a huge success in this world’s eyes…..

He said “Via his Servant’ 

“So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.” 
Ecclesiastes 8:15
Wow!
Why do you think this is? Nothing better, he says? I agree. That BBQ and Corn was just awesome. And so is the loving man I shared it with.  Just think, the wisest man in the world said these words…….so let’s not do over-kill on performance, shall we? 
-Laura Grace 
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When Jesus went his way……..(In response to the religious people of that time.)

     In Luke 4, there is an account of Jesus standing up and saying he was sent to preach good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, and all the other Prophesies about himself declared by Isaiah in Isaiah Chapter 61. Although this was good news, for the religious people of that day it was not good news at all. In fact, when Jesus was finished saying who he was, and what he was sent to do; they were so filled with wrath they tried to throw him off a cliff! 

     Religious spirits is not a type of spirit I see Mentioned in our bibles. There is a spirit of fear, there is Jealousy, a person being filled with wrath or rage (called vessels of wrath), but I do not see anything called “a spirit of wrath,” Mentioned in our bibles. 

     It’s funny how those who say they would never add to what is written in the bible come up with some Lulu’s as far as “types of spirits,” such as a spirit of nicotine (stuff like that) but in any case……..Jesus did not cast a devil out of a single Pharisee that I know of. He did not say; ‘you religious spirit, be gone from me right now!!” He had to dodge them until his time came, and he already knew they would crucify him and that for him, was no big secret. I think a spirit of Anti-Christ may be at work on a religious person, but I’m not so sure there is a “Spirit of Religion” per say. 

     In any case, the crux of this message is to say; “Whenever you get Joy in the Lord and all happy over what God is doing in your life, and when you are rejoicing, singing and happy about it all (AND FULL OF JOY, a KINGDOM BLESSING), and someone comes along and has to straighten you out with their big bible knowledge; looking at you as if you were some wayward rebellious kid with no clue: chances are you have encountered a religious person. Why did they want to kill Jesus and throw him off a cliff in Luke 4? 

     They didn’t mind Jesus speaking, so long as he seemed to agree with their view of the Old Testament Law. There interpretation was God was out to punish everyone who broke his law (sinned) and he was not out to redeem anyone without THEIR advisement. They liked their job standing in for God, and they were not about to give it up. Like satan, they had become so full of themselves, that even God himself was not welcome to be Lord over their lives. They probably could not bear to think they had been wrong all of this time, and the conviction they felt was interpretted as evidence Jesus must be an imposter instead of realizing they themselves were not right with God. 

     So, they went after him, and eventually had him nailed to a cross. Jesus did not stop preaching the gospel (good news) just because they didn’t want him there. He went and preached it somewhere else, where his words were welcome into good soil, and people would rejoice over these gospel seeds he was planting in their hearts & minds. 

     So what did Jesus do about religious people who raged against him? He died for them too and died at their hands. However, even after he was raised from the dead and his disciples reminded them of what they had done, they wanted to kill his disciples too! 

     Religiousness brings pride, self-rightousness, love of power, and all kinds of evil things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. So I ask now what are we portraying to this world in need of Jesus? Religiousness? Or true love for God, who redeemed us and sealed us by his grace (unmerritted un-earned favor?). Laura Grace 

Luke 4 (He went his way) read this with me…………Jesus ministering

16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

 

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, noprophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

 

 

 

 

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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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Broken Noodles…….(a teaching about sacred cows, and how we do stuff)

spaghetti casserole

My husband informed me the other day, he doesn’t like it when I make spaghetti casserole. He said my spaghetti is good, he loves it but the breaking of the noodles just ruins it for him somehow. I love Spaghetti Casserole! This caused a big dilemna, because most of the time i do things “his way” but not this day. 

Don’t we all have a preference on how we do things? Some of us do, some of us don’t! In terms of spiritual food, some like teachings on discipline, some do not. Healthy food like Broccoli, Asparagus, whole grains, fruit, (and the list goes on) are not the cup of tea for some, but they are necessary to a healthy body. If you don’t like one, try to find one you do like (Fruits, Vegetables, all of it). 

It’s sad to me, that a lot of medical professionals have given up on counselling people to eat healthy. They know they won’t, so they just prescribe a drug (instead) hoping to keep them alive and going. Sometimes it’s the same in Christianity. We know people do not want to HEAR certain teachings so we pray and hope they’ll be okay. 

However, Most of us who’ve been studying the Word (of God) for very long, know that some things are necessary in order for a person to grow, stay healthy and even thrive as a Christian. 

I was pretty upset with my husband (I must admit) because I usually do things “his way” but in this case, spaghetti casserole was the way to go, in order to be efficient. I only had so much time to cook this food, and I am juggling a lot of responsibilities right now. I found myself (as a servant) Torn between should I have done it his way? Or not? 🙂 It’s a silly fight we had (and yes, it was almost a fight!!!). 

I have no idea why, but it’s human nature we get used to something (being a certain way) and in his case it sounded so understandable “Well I like your spaghetti the way it was.” 

HMM how many things are we like this about church? “I liked the songs we sang before” or “I liked the way that other pastor did it” Or “I just like it when we don’t have so long of a prayer time, or that long of a sermon, or this, or that (or the other thing). This is the sort of “striving” Romans 1 and 1 Timothy 6 mention the wrong kind of striving, while Phillippians 1:27 tells us what we SHOULD be striving for in the Body of Christ. 

We should be striving to have FAITH together (and stand strong, as one!) Instead of striving over what our little preferences are in terms of “FOOD” and how it’s prepared. 

Food is food! We need it to live! (spiritually and in the body). 

My husband’s a good guy, and I do love him dearly. He believes in being in the light and not mincing words about things. Therefore, when I said ‘I just wanted you to say THANK YOU” and eat it! “I make lots of food the way you wish me to, this time, I did not.”

And he did understand that, but see, I had the problem! I was worrying about whether or not I was being a great servant (or not) instead of resting in confidence over my decision to make “Spaghetti Casserole.” IN CHURCH we have got to be careful as we listen to teachings about “being a good servant” or even “being a good wife’ Or “being a great Pastor” and remember that THERE IS BALANCE In all things.

Don’t allow a teaching to become a sacred cow in your life. It’s good to learn about things,  but the moment we make it into a Sacred Cow (This is how we always Must do things!!!) Then it’s on it’s way to becoming a doctrine of men (and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!). Be careful! Staying on course is good, unnecessary dogma is NOT good! 

Why? Because we need the freedom to Move and BE and Walk by the Spirit of God! He will show us how to get something done “in a pinch” but if we get all stoic and stuck in how we do things, we may end up just that: Stuck! Not going forward! Refusing to eat because we decided we do not “Like something’ to be done that way. 

 

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How Ministers feel sometimes (The question and answer committees)

Questions

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your help, and it’s not that I am snobby, or too spiritual, okay? It’s just that I am sitting here with a real big problem (that I don’t know how to solve) and am already battling in the spirit (With God’s help, of course) to fight off fear, worries, concerns, insecurities, and a myraid of other things. The last thing I need right now, is more stuff to worry about! 

One thing ministers do not often talk about (and likely battle alone, or with the help of a few mature commrades) is what I’ll call the “questions and suggestions” trial- that seems to happen every time they ask for prayer. 

Example: “Let’s pray for healing for_______” We pray. Person #1 approaches me and tells me how Aunt Hazel solved the very same problem. “Thank you,” I say. Person #2 tells me “Well you know they are backslid and haven’t been to church in awhile.” (I take note of it and smile). Person #3 tells me what healing video I should be watching (to help my faith) Person #4 Tells me about 3 others that need prayer for healing, Person #5 asks me if they have been to the doctor.

“Well, no I say, they don’t have insurance!” This leads to a big long conversation about help that is out there, which leads to me explaining why this person can’t get that particular help…….soon My mind is so clogged I forgot what the Lord just said to me about believing for their healing……..

Questions and suggestions and, not a single one of them asked GOD before they spoke ….. 

  Nope, they just said the first thing that popped into their brain. (Like Peter). 

So now I start to just ignore it all (and pray, and look to be so spiritual I am no earthly good!) It’s not lack of appreciation, but sometimes, we just don’t have time for it.

There are as many experiences as there are people (almost) and while some can be categorized, boxed up, and filed under “Help with______,” I have noticed the more possible answers I find (for any problem) the more stressed and confused I get! 

Continue reading “How Ministers feel sometimes (The question and answer committees)”