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Being a Faith Person, in a cynical world

Good Morning! 

     I find myself thinking this morning, how difficult it can be to be a faith person, in a cynical world. 

     I am an oddity to many, and I perceive that many just wonder, (and worry a little for me) when they hear the things I believe, and the things I say, on any given day. 

     I am prone to speak faith over situations, and defy the laws of the natural with my words (and prayers). I don’t necessarily believe in “JUST” asking God for something, I believe in speaking faith words into the atmosphere.

   Many do not agree with me, but they are a little bit afraid to argue, too. I can almost hear their thoughts.

     “Should I say something to Laura?” “Doesn’t she realize she isn’t always going to “get what she says?” Or “does she realize God is Sovreign, and what happens, is up to him?” When I speak big things in Faith, I’m sure they wonder, “Is she going to be okay when it doesn’t “GO” How she thinks it will?” 

     Many often think I do need a “reality check.”. Know how I know? No, so I will tell you: I know by the things people (often) say to me what they truly believe. 

  They don’t believe they are cynical. They believe they are right. 

       Jesus really did say in Matthew 21 ” but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.”

     This does not mean every problem we have we just “speak to it’ and it goes away (according to our whim). However, there are times we do! And, things happen! 

     The “Blab it and Grab it” crowd gives Jesus a bad reputation! I don’t see Jesus speaking to every circumstance that was unpleasant, do you? So when we do this, our immaturity shows for all the world to see! And you give the gospel “a bad name” if you treat his word like a magical sceptor for your own personal gain.

   Jesus did many different things at different times, as he “Did the Will of his Father in Heaven” (John 5:30). There were prophets in the Old Testament who spoke things (by Faith) some of it never happened in their lifetime, They still believed it. 

     A doctrine of man is when ONE thing he did, is emphasized to the point the full message of God gets distorted. If we want to be like Him (Christ-Like) we will reject none of his ways (or methods) but at the same time we will also not take one thing he does (or did) and blow it out of proportion.

     I speak to situations when he leads me to do so. Those who have tried, or have seen someone, try to get rid of every problem Just by speaking Faith (when their hearts did not even believe what they were saying) Begin to get cynical, and think they have to “straighten out” Faith people, who seem to be ‘over the top.” It’s not one or the other, GOD”S WILL OR You Speaking Faith like he did! 

 You can believe for his Will AND speak Faith (to your Mountain) at the same time! The question is, what has his Word taught you to believe? Do you know what it says about every situation? (His word) or are you just listening to those who claim to know?

     And why should we even believe them? Who are THEY to say what you should believe or not believe? Isn’t that between you and God, in your Covenant with Him? 

Something to ponder, 

By Laura Grace Author, https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue/dp/197333187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535463548&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+graceGrace to Grow

 

 

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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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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)”

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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.