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The Spiritual side; An excerp from my upcoming book:

                                                 On the Spiritual Side

     There really is such a thing as the devil, demons and evil influences that are spiritual. We are not talking about that here, because that subject has been covered amply in my opinion. There are books out there all over the place on how to deal with spiritual matters if we care to read them. I’ve read many, and I agree with many.

    The revelation I have; is that someone who refuses to grow or get in with God about going forward in him; potentially sets the stage to have spiritual demonic influence get a hold of them. Why? Because they have not been going forward. Even in the natural, stagnant ponds draw bugs, bacteria, and all kinds of smelly things.

     It stands to reason that a stagnant person not growing and keeping all their stinky attitudes might draw help from the dark side; if they don’t do anything about it.

     I believe just as a person seeking and following God is a magnet for good things, a person who is only seeking to be evil, fleshly, or bad draws dark influences toward them. We can look at nature and see many truths if we only pay attention.

     We know we need to develop and grow and so many like me; search the scriptures for answers. There are no scriptures to tell you that it’s childish to get fussy about food, or to preach at everyone all the time or other than the famous Mary and Martha story; when we might be over the top about our priorities.

     It’s safe to use bible stories because then we hopefully won’t venture into what most Christians consider to be “enemy territory.”

     I have a friend that wants me to write a book on how to study; and I’m perplexed about how to write it. From the knowledge of this world and studies that have been done (which are truths by the way) I know that there are different types of learners. Some people learn better from visual, while others learn better via audio. Still others, like myself, are called abstract learners.

     Those types of truths are not any different from truths about how to arrange flowers or how to fix a car the right way. We need knowledge to correctly learn how to grow along with spiritual principles and the Holy Spirit as our guide.

Consider this passage as I have read and pondered it often:

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1; 5-9 (NIV).

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How to Guard your Heart by Laura Grace

gate heart Be a Gate Keeper! Guard the Soul 

I think there are a lot of Christians out there, like me, who truly do not know how to guard their heart. First and fore most we must give more weight to the voice of the Shepherd than anyone else.

We don’t need pretty lies of exaggerating how wonderful we are, and we don’t need Input from amateur counselors or the peanut factories. We certainly don’t need help allowing unbelief! 

Because we are “word of God” people, we think if we can’t rebuke it, cast it out or get it gone via spiritual warfare, we are failing somehow. Not true.

Some people just ‘are what they are” and we must learn how to deal with it!

  1. Step number one we need to keep learning and meditating on who we are to Jesus. that knowledge must become so real to us, nobody can talk us out of it. If the voice of someone else’s opinion of us screams louder than what God says, we must reinforce what he says about us until it’s more real than anything else. 
  1. In keeping with that train of thought, the accuser of the brethren (the devil) is always going to try to remind you of your past. That’s his job. He is evil. He isn’t going to stop so you must learn to overcome him with YOUR TESTIMONY. You speak it to him: “I am saved, God’s child, I’ve been forgiven of that” and if the person who is allowing the enemy to “USE THEM” to accuse you keeps it up, start to ignore it. It’s the best defense you have. IGNORE IT. You can’t argue with demons.

 

You can’t cast them out of someone who wants to stay that way. No, they may not be demon-possessed- they just listen to his lies and it’s become a part of them, like WEEDS. You cannot go into someone else’s garden and start yanking weeds out. You are trespassing! You are going to have to ignore it and tend to your own garden. Not what you want to hear, but true. Change the subject, dodge the questions, or say “I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

  1. Do not ask for counsel from those who have no clue what you are talking about, or what you have been through. I don’t care what their credentials are or how much they “seem” to care. Ask God who you should talk to about something. SEEK HIM FIRST! He is your Shepherd, your counselor and your friend, and he is always listening. 
  1. You live in the world, so best to get started learning how to cope with things. Go to a rest room or go outside and pray. I’ve done this over the years, went to my car. Prayed, or even went to a restroom, prayed in whispers asking God for help, wisdom and guidance. I assume everything I go through he is RIGHT THERE WITH ME because he said he would be.

 

  1. Family can be the hardest, because they knew you before you knew Jesus. Family has expectations that often feel like obligations. If we are a good sister, daughter, mom or son we will do this or that supposedly. Jesus told his own mom he was going about the Father’s business, but another time he did change water to wine because she asked him to do something about the situation. There are no pat answers, we must learn to say; “I am praying” I am “seeking God” and let everyone know (including your family) you are on a mission to do God’s will. We are not born “being like Jesus’ It’s something we are walking out.

 

  1. Whatever weapons you know of right now (with God) use them, he will add to your skills as you use what he gave you. I started out a Lutheran Just ‘praying the Lord’s prayer” and now I know all kinds of spiritual warfare tactics. God is not in a hurry. You are in a school called life and he is willing to walk with you as your Father and help you to grow.

 

  1. Learn from your experiences, write them down. Use a Journal use the computer and ask God to teach you in EACH situation how to handle it better next time. I have noticed things I run from I will usually face again, so best to learn to overcome it.

 

  1. Give that other person the benefit of the doubt, whenever you can. Did they mean to hurt you or were they hurting themselves, distracted, or just clueless? We need to ask God “Why is this happening? Or “what do you want me to learn from this?”

There are some people who are just plain bullies, but what about the mandate to love them?Do we keep taking the hurt?

If I tell someone something wounds my soul and they keep doing it anyway, I am probably going to pull away from that person.  When you go, say a prayer and give it to Jesus. Be willing to be reconciled later, if that’s what he wants you to do. 

WHEN we guard our heart it’s not just against people. WE protect our heart from becoming bitter, angry, full of self-pity, and a host of other things the devil sends at us. There is no end to the things he will try, to destroy our very hearts. Do you know why?

BECAUSE my friends, that’s where the word of God gets planted and takes root. It’s where he speaks to us. It’s where rivers of life flow out of us!

Satan would rather take you out than take out a church building. If he can take you out, he has stopped the flow of God’s spirit to hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people due to the ripple effect. (you touch a life, they touch a life, and so on and so on and so on).  Some people gaurd a church building more zealously than they protect their own hearts from the evil one. It’s a full time job! 

 

 Guard your heart! It’s where your inheritance lies. It’s worth fighting for.

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow Click here to Buy:

https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue-ebook/dp/B077L71XP1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525753636&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

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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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…..nor give place to the devil…..(A message to the church) Eph 4:27

MEN IN A lot of people think when it comes to faith, that I have faith by sticking my head in the sand. Not so. 

Many years ago, a small passage in Ephesians seems to jump off the page at me. “Nor Give place to the devil,” (Ephesians 4:27 NKJV). 

Like the men in black (if you’ve seen the movie) there is always “something” trying to destroy us at any given time. Always. 

James and the other Apostles would not have said “Resist the Devil” if there was no devil. He is the master of fear tactics, lying, coming against God and making false accusations about our Father in Heaven. He is “the father of lies.” In John 8:44 Jesus spells this out for us quite clearly.

He lied to the disciples, and made them fear for their lives when Jesus was crucified. That’s why Peter denied Jesus (three times) “Fear.” 

Fear is why people don’t want to pray in Faith (They might look stupid) and fear is why so many do not stand against the status-quo. As a woman pointed out at a meeting last night I went to “Sheep are dumb, they follow each other into the danger.” (Paraphrase) 

I pondered this passage many times in my life: “Neither give place to the devil,” and it occurred to me that even though the danger may be real, and even though there may be testimonies of all the bad things that could happen to me, I have to choose and decide once and for all whether I will believe God’s word, or whether to believe the lies of satan that are arrayed against me. 

“Fear” really is a liar. Yes, there are times we must be cautious. No, we should not go where angels fear to tread, or just run out and try to defy gravity without being armed with the Word of God and his presence. At the same time, we have to realize that literally thousands of lies are probably coming at us, every single day. 

There are testimonies of those who have not stood on God’s word, and had a bad outcome. Think back with me to the bible, and how all those people did not go on to the promised land, along with Moses. Why? Because they feared they were doing it all in vain. They had to get past their unbelief, but they refused to do it. Moses could lead them to the waters of God (so to speak) but he could not make them drink it. 

That was a decision they had to make for themselves. 

I choose to find out (from God) what is his voice and what is the devils. Because my friends, there is a devil. And Jesus is not going to do ALL the work for us, nor is he going to make all the decisions for us, that only we can make. 

It was his voice speaking way back in the Old Testemant: “CHOOSE” (Life or Death). to this day we choose what voice we will listen to. Please don’t decieve yourself. God wants to speak to you today. (John 10:4). First we pray for ears to listen and ears to hear. We pray to have a sheep nature, and accept him as our Shepherd, and the bishop of our souls. 

I am encouraging you today: There is a devil. Don’t give place to his lies in your mind and heart. If you don’t know what is God or what is the devil, ASK GOD For his input! Pursue him like Jewels! Listen for him like he’s a treasure! This is what I have have done, and will continue to do. -Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow 

 

 

 

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Building #9 The Miracle of Fruit! and being out from under the curse..

FRUIT HAPPY 2Did you know producing fruit in your life is actually a Miracle? I remember how before I gave my life to Christ and received becoming born again, I didn’t like people much. In fact I had a whole lot of hatred, animosity, judgement, and even bitterness in my heart. 

After I got saved, I could FEEL the love of God rushing up out of my very being. At that time there was a song by Dallas Holmes “I got love, love, love in my heart, I got peace like a river, that never will part……..” (Love in My Heart, Dallas Holmes).

Anyway, I would sing that song and I really MEANT IT For the first time in my life. It was something I could feel, I could grasp it, and I WANTED to go run out and bless people who had hurt me, or who didn’t show love to me first. Why? Because The Love of God was SO REAL TO ME It just flowed out of me. I wanted to ABIDE IN HIM! 

Abiding in Jesus in the Vine is GOING to produce fruit. You don’t even have to worry about it! He will trim off the dead branches and be your Vinedresser.FRUIT HAPPY 1

(John 15)

Producing Fruit is also the evidence the CURSE is broken. Jesus said he became a curse for us. In Matthew 21 he curses a fig tree (for not producing fruit). it withers and dies shortly after that. I believe that story is not only about the power of our words but also it’s an outward manifestation of what happens to us if we are not IN HIM. Without him we will wither (and die). 

Jesus doesn’t want us cursed, and he paid a heavy price to REDEEM us from the curse of the law. Just like when you redeem a coupon, you have to receive it, grab hold of it, and literally cash it in with Him! YOU Have the power whether or not to utilized what He did for you. See in Deut 28 when he talked about them being blessed (Fruitful) WITH HIM and cursed WITHOUT HIM It’s saying exactly the same thing as John 15. In the gospel the shadow is just eliminated, but it is actually saying the same thing!

From the very beginning (Gen 1) God said “be Fruitful!” Not just in spirit, but the Body as well. (one comes before the other, you see?). To be fruitful we must live in the right environment with the Lord. IN HIM! Any man-made, phony balogna, MFG Fruit is not what Jesus was talking about. He alone can make us fruitful! Our part is to give up our own ways, and surrender to Him, and his work within us. 

A Passage about being Fruitful: (2 Peter 1) 5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

by Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow, Grace to the Rescue, and more …….https://www.amazon.com/Grace-Grow-study-guide-Rescue/dp/197333187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518201916&sr=8-1&keywords=grace+to+grow+by+Laura+grace

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When your give a dang gets broken….. Jesus sticks up for you! And the sin of unjust criticism………..

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I’m going to be transparent with you today. Sometimes if I have given (and given) all that I have, and someone gets critical about how I did it, There is a point where I just want to give up on giving at all. There is a song about it and it basically says “My give a dang is broken.”  In the world of biblically-correct Christians, it’s not okay to say that. Leaders go through it (at times) pastors of all kinds, even Mom’s who love their children dearly, experience this phenomina. Pastors and Moms have something in comnon too: They don’t dare say so “in front of the children.” 

I won’t go into the reasons, We’ll just say some days “it all adds up” on us until we reach the tilting point or boiling point, as we may call it. I took it out on someone who did not deserve my wrath (and it’s happened before) All because criticism when I have given it all I’ve got, tends to send me through the roof at times. 

The passage “God loves a Cheerful Giver” was going through my mind. I decided I was not cheerful, so maybe I should not have given at all. Maybe I should not minister at all! I was about to give up, when Jesus came on the scene with his rivers of Living Water and Mighty flood of revelation! 

He said to me “It’s what it cost you” that is getting to you.” And then “Criticism under that cirumstance, is a sin.” 

The story of the widow’s mite came to mind. “She gave all she had to live on” Jesus said and not from her abundance, but she gave all she had.” (Mark 12). 

I know what Jesus is talking about here. I had a friend who typed me letters of encouagement with braces on his hands, because the pain in his hands was so bad he had to wear braces to do it. I just had someone tell me of a gift they are sending that cost them “all they have.” If you’ve ever given your last minute, your only day off, your only 5.00, or given up your only vacation to do something nice for someone else, you know exactly what I am talking about. Smug little sinners with no clue say things like, “Well You should not Martyr yourself!” or they might use a different passage of scripture (God loves a cheerful giver!). 

I have a friend that works full time, and even on weekends at times, but she uses what little free time she has to post helpful scripture on the internet. She Loves Jesus and she gives ALL she has to live on (her wee bit of rest time sometimes) to bless others. When I see someone going on her FB wall having to “correct her” with their “Opinion” I wish I could go and say, “What is your problem?” 

My aghast response to their treachery, is not so far from How Jesus sees it. (He told me so!) However, he also lets me know that he sees every thing we give, and why. 

When someone gives all they have, their last day, minute, breath, or even dollar, (in his Name for his purpose) he sees it, and he commends them for it. Why did Jesus commend that woman? Because, he wanted to get a point across about giving it all (and what it means to him!). Anyone who unjustly criticises those who are giving it all, are sinning against Jesus himself, not just that person. 

Now I ask you? How many people are supposedly “anti-bullying” and yet unjustly criticise the Lord’s servants, who are giving it all they’ve got? So now, what to do about it? GIVE AS UNTO JESUS and let the geese that bite you on the nose after you have helped them, go find their own bread. We need to be about the Father’s business, and doing what he has said to do! 

Later Jesus told his disciples “When you enter a house, speak peace to it and if they do not receive it, your peace will return to you.” Whatever you have done for others will be returned to you………No labor of love is in vain. (Jesus’ promised us this). 

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 

So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44

 

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Building in God #4 What is Worship?

Prayer 3.jpg

Bob Pittman, a pastor in ND at a church we attended, used to pray every service “Help us Lord to honor you.” Today when I stepped into the church door, that’s what I prayed. That prayer struck me as a simple thing I can pray when I don’t FEEL like worshipping God.

When I have things i feel but shouldn’t say, When I’m hurting, when I am even a bit disappointed in how things are going right now……When I do not know exactly WHAT God is up to or why his answers seem to take so long…….

This is a prayer I can grab onto. “Help Me Father to Honor you.” 
It reminds me of B. Hinn who said he was called, but didn’t want to go and God told him to pray “Pray that you’ll be willing to be willing”

Sometimes the things God asks us to do seem staggering, or imposssible. Sometimes our friends or companions seems to make light of how hard the struggle is. Some days when you have taken many hits from “life in general” it’s a big effort to jut get out of bed, and keep doing the right thing. SOMETIMES we don’t know how to pray.

Some days we are just tired of having hope, and wonder if it would be better to give up, give in and wave the white flag at the devil and say Fine …….’just do me in” There are days I can’t even articulate how I feel-and I wish I DIDN”T HAVE FEELINGS!

But then, I”d be a robot. I would not feel love, or passion, or any of the wonderful things God wants me to feel. So in our grief, even in despair we can still Honor God with our Lips, and pray our heart comes in line with his. ‘Father, help me to Honor you”

It was the very best I could give today, and it led to exuburant an sincere Worship!!! thank you Father! thank you! you are my strength, you are my song. i will praise thee, all day long! And Worship? It’s telling God how much you love him! Right? Pretty simple 

Laura Grace PS. thank you Bob!