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Overcoming Evil with Good…..

Out of a dark tunnel.jpg

I think because of written books like: Grace to The Rescue (a story of deliverance from a bad and not “God ordained marraige) and also Dysfunctional People, I’ve been pegged to a certain degree as “One who has not ever taken abuse,” and therefore, not an overcomer or a lover of my enemies……..

That’s not true. 

I have not written a book (yet) about the thousands of times I’ve lived this passage: 

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
 
I’ve been hurt, mistreated, spoken evil of, slandered, stolen from, mocked, scourged with words, misunderstood, and the list goes on. I’ve forgiven it all, and I’ve done good to those who’ve hurt me, WITH a cheerful heart! 

 I spent 16 years of my life forgiving the same offenses over and over, and praying to have fruit and be fruitful, and using the opportunity to be strengthened in my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I have no “regret” about the things I suffered in a very bad and abusive marriage..
Why? Because God turned it out for my good! I want you to remember however, even Jesus dodged the Pharisees because “His time had not come.” Likewise, Joseph was warned in a dream how to keep Jesus safe from harm. God is not expecting anyone to take abuse, to the point they die before their time. ECC 7:17  

-Laura Grace, author, Grace to the Rescue (available on Amazon) or http://www.lauragracebooks.com  
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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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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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The Magnificent Mentor (Gods’ gift to me)

 

When I was young in the Lord, I had a mentor. I clung to her like glue! (Like Ruth and Naomi, kind of). I learned so much from her,and was so blessed. One time I asked her to pray I’d have a double portion of what she had, (this was years ago).

She prayed it! It was a treasure to my heart, and I was always full of expectation, that exactly what she prayed would happen. Now I am older than she was when all that took place. It’s hard to believe……but here I am…..almost 57. Yikes. LOL I”m gonna share a few things she shared with me that I never forgot:

1. “Hem me in” King David asked God to hem him in. He could not do anything but God’s will (was his prayer) that God would literally prevent him from doing anything else. I treasure and use that prayer to this day.

2. “The Vision of the Well” She saw a vision, a girl trying to draw water out of a well. Every time she brought the bucket up it was empty but she tried and tried again. soon she started to cry, and gave up……at that moment a rumble occured and the well spewed water in a giant guyser blowing the bucket into the air………She said God said “the girl is you, the bucket is your expectations of answers to prayer………” the water was God coming through bigger than she could ask or think!!

3. She put her daughter in a young Miss Pageant and fully expected her to win. In Fact she felt God had put a promise i her heart the girl would win. When she didn’t win, my friend was devestated. She cried, “why did you let me believe she would win?” (heartbroken) God said “Because, if I didn’t you would not have done all that you did, and all that you did was part of my plan.” amazing!!

I remember that story when my hopes get deferred…….

These are some of the treasures I carry in my heart. Now I have my own experiences with God but back then, I lived on her testimonies toward me (and they were seeds in my heart).

   Thank you God for Faithful Mentors! PS Later I had another Mentor…..a God send at exactly the right time. And I will be someone’s mentor (at times)….we all help each other and do our part! Peace!     -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

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A Clean House (Spiritually Speaking, that is) De-Cluttering and Unclean. What does it all mean in New Testament living?

clutter.jpg Hi! Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! (who had me studying about clutter, just this morning!). 

 “Clutter” is not a word that’s in our bibles, but we now it exists. Don’t believe me? Check out the picture (above!). Do we see why we should not limit our terms and uses of language to bible language only (now?). Clutter is a real thing! 

So often, we clutter our minds with opinions, useless information, all the jokes we saw online yesterday, and at Christmas especially, most of us get all cluttered up with the festivities that go with “Christmas.” It’s all good clutter, isn’t it? And yet sometimes, it is clutter, nonetheless. 

     It’s wierd how a study on Clutter this morning, (just one word the Spirit gave me) wound up being a study on uncleanness too! I had a friend just recently, who told me a mouse was in her trap and she wanted it disposed of. She said “I have mice” what should I do? Incidentally, she didn’t want to use poison, mostly because she didn’t want dead mouse-bodies laying around (where she could not see them.). 

     No, clutter is not the same as “dead things” (which were a big deal in Old Testemant times). God had special rituals listed in the Book of Numbers on how to get “clean again” and in Leviticus, and even 2 Kings, uncleanness was just a very big deal in those days. 

     Why? Why was touching dead things such a very big deal to God Almighty? 

     On top of that, why did God give Peter a Vision (Acts 10) and tell him not to call any man unclean? (Acts 10:38). Just as “back then” science had not developed to a place where people understood say “How to cook a Lobster” (and not get sick) or nobody knew that they needed to use Chlorine or something anti-bacterial to protect themselves after handling “dead things” (in order to protect and preserve one’s life), therefore, God listed everything that would bring his children harm, or potentially bring them harm, and deemed it all to be a big fat ‘No no.” 

     We understand clutter makes it hard for us to find “good things’ (which we have lost in the pile of clutter) and we easily understand “germs’ make us sick, dead bodies carry disease, and mold or mildew can especially cause immediate sickness (or even death!). 

     At the same time, we tend to clutter up our lives, and ignore the warning signs that we are spiritually “sickened” by all the things we expose ourselves to in this life.

     We want God to “clean up the mess” and we need to get after it ourselves! “Clear the Way” (John the Baptist) “Prepare for his coming (answer) and not just the coming of him as the last trumpet sounds. See? We’ve got work to do!

     How often do people cry out to God (for answers), and wonder why they can’t find or even see the answer from him? We get “clutter of the soul” and wonder why we can’t hear God, when he promised “the sheep will know his voice.”

   What about the audible clutter in our lives? (Noise Pollution). We listen to many things, think our own thoughts, and spend a whole lot of time stressing out, trying to figure out how to solve a problem! 

     At the same time, we wonder why we can’t hear God very well? We clutter up our lives and wonder why we cannot SEE Him? Didn’t you promise I would see you, God? Maybe the answer is “right there” and we can’t see it, because of the clutter! 

     James had the answer “Purify your hearts” He said (in other words, de-clutter, get the junk out, and pay attention to him!). We want living water, but we mix it up with the defilements of this world (and wonder why it doesn’t refresh us!). 

     Ponder this awhile! (to be continued) ……With Love, 

Laura Grace, Author Grace to Grow, Grace to Soar…….(etc and so on). 

 

 

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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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Building with Precious things …..#12 Taking Risks & The resistance of the faithless when you do……

Risk: “A situation involving exposure to danger.” RISK.jpg

I have taken a lot of risks in my life time. I did before I met Jesus, and I did it even more “after” I started to know him. Jesus always seemed draw people out into situations that involved Risk. Risky business! (this serving Jesus!) to be sure. 

I know one of the many things God has called me to do, is exhort people to do just what it says in Psalm 118:8. “Trust in God, not in Man.” Is it easy (to do?) certainly not! It’s not hard at all if someone agrees with me, but if they don’t? Man, that can be difficult! 

I am not a person who loves to fight, argue, or debate. I don’t thrive on that kind of stuff. Therefore, if someone is all upset with me (about my faith stance) I find myself saying Okay Father what is this all about? What do I say? How should I handle this? 

I’ll give you an example: When my kids were young, we often had situations where my spouse quite his job (every year or every few months) I was the stay at home mom for the most part, as I could not And I mean could not find a babysitter for us both to work. I figured it out it was cheaper for me to stay home, than to pay a baby sitter for 2 kids and make at that time, 7.00 per hour. We had ONE car. When my spouse worked I had to stay home as nobody was going to buy us a second car and babysitting was amost 5.00 per hour at the time for a good one. No “Welfare” would not help. 

So then we were poor, and could not buy what we needed at times. People would hear about it (some from church) and help but then I got lectures. “You need to work too” they said. Not one of them offered to babysit, (on a regular basis). If I worked and my spouse stayed home, the kids were not safe. They told me about “Man’s help” such as government programs.

They said I could ride ‘The shuttle bus” but when I checked on it, it didn’t work for the days I was scheduled to work. So I would say “I”m trusting God” and it would lead to going to whatever provision he gave me. I was at risk and my kids were at risk and when God would provide, people would say “What are you going to do next time?” Next time? I was hoping there wasn’t a next time! But, there always was a next time that I had to trust God for something. 

You see I HAD read my bible. I read in Revelation “I counsel you to buy from me gold” (Revelation 3:18) and I PRAYED FOR THAT to happen “I want Gold Father more than I want anything else, Gold from you! Gold from Heaven!” (Read Rev 3:18). 

So now, when I tell people what I went through, and how God provided, I get this attitude at times from people. “Shaking their heads” and anylizing my decisions back then. 

Faith makes people feel threatened. Having FAITH In God makes some very uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s jealousy, other times they are just skeptical. Every time I stood for a miracle, I felt others were watching me as if it were some spectator sport. 

Some did follow my example, but for the most part I got this “Let me know how that goes for you attitude.” When I came out okay, they thought I was just lucky (perhaps). 

Nobody is going to get a Testimony without a test. We aren’t going to have miracles without taking risks, either. I can’t make anyone listen to me. As the years tick by, I find that many have grown cold to such possiblities (Miracles) because they think it only happens on the television set, and maybe those preachers are just doing some magic trick to bring in money (for themselves). 

God’s not going to do things on our terms. He never has, and he never will. HE calls the shots about how, when and where, and our part is to trust him. 

There are times having faith (for that miracle) is going to seem like “more trouble than it’s worth.” At times it seems silly to believe for one, when all you have to do is go along with the staus quo, and nobody will think you are too radical, too wierd, too crazy. 

Still, the mandate is the same. Psalm 118:8 “It’s better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.” that means “even yourself.” 

Why is it better? Because when you need to believe for a miracle, you’ll have had some practice and experience at it. pray with me if you dare. “Father I want to have a testimony of GOLD in my life. GOLD (of faith) that can come only from you. I want some precious testimonies to build on the foundation of your Holy word that I am saved, but now Father I want something more…….Please help me to achieve this in you. IN Jesus’ precious name…...amen.