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

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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 With God #2 When bad news comes: Fighting in faith, and becoming a son and daughter of God.

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“I shall come forth as Gold” (Job 23:10)
 
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7
What do you think (or say) when you hear “bad news?”
A Faith Person does not just stick their head in the sand
They are not “unrealistic.”
They don’t deny what is…….
They just deny it’s right to stay.
If an enemy comes up to you and says “I”m going to beat the stuffing out of you,” You are either going to tremble and prepare yourself for a beating ….Or, you are going to think quickly what you can use for a weapon to fight him off.
Maybe you’ll shout “DAD” “Dad, Dad DADDDY ” Or, kick him in the solar Plexis. You’ll either submit to God and fight (in faith) or you will wave the white flag and accept defeat.
It starts out with a bad report: (Your account is over drawn, you lost your job, your health is at risk) and then it goes to thoughts of “You” being homeless, dead, bankrupt, and broken.)
“You will not be put to Shame,” (Isaiah 54 shouts.)
“You will not be disgraced!” (the Prophet speaks further)
Now you have a choice. Believe that, or believe you are doomed.
In 2 Corinthians 6, after saying light should not agree with darkness, and not to consult with idols, says to not touch what is unclean, nor agree with Unbelievers.
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corn 6:17-18) NKJV
Prior to this, what is unclean is described to us. We are not to agree with idols, or be unequally yoked (with unbelievers). It says: You are the temple (And should not fellowship with darkness, and lawless persons) hmm …..
Something to ponder, and meditate on, right?
Fighting the Faith of Faith, along with you, dear Brethren,
with Love, -Laura Grace
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Christmas Story #9 Angels on the Tree

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Christmas story #8 Angels on the Tree

I wanted angels on the tree, 
and actually prayed for this, you see……..

A friend of mine loaned me hers ……
12 lighted angels…..stem to stern

So I’d just sit and look at them, 
Both Looking forward, and “remembering when” 
I thought of angels, anouncing his birth, 
And I thought about, how much we are worth.

That Jesus would come,for little ol’ me 
and help me have angels……upon my tree.

 by Laura Grace

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Angels We have Heard on High, Sweetly singing  o’er  the plains
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Christmas Story #5 Replacing Mom with God and becoming an elitist

12 days 5There was a time I replaced my mom with God.

She knew it, I knew it, and I know now, it wasn’t the same thing as putting God first in my life.  It was a form of giving up (on our relationship).

I sent her Christmas cards and gifts every year, and she did the same for me. We stayed in touch, told each other “I love you” but we both knew, there was a big chasm between us. I will call it “the great divide.”

I really love my Mom. And she really loves me. We had had our trials through the years, and both of us have felt misunderstood, hurt and even trampled at times, by the other. Now we are on a path to restoration. She lives closer, so now we can talk more, and I find that communication in person is far better than what we could ever achieve by letter, or even on the phone.

I think a lot of people try to give their kids what they did not have (growing up) but many do not see how that can make parents feel a little rejected. In making different choices and not holding to what we are taught, it is kind of like saying, “Your way is not the right way,” whether we say those words or not.

My Mom taught me to write thank you cards, and appreciate every gift I was given. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” was a favorite saying, and one I never quite understood.

As a teenager, I did not understand money being tight, nor did I have any idea how very hard it is (or can be) for parents to come up with Christmas money to “make our dreams come true.”

In the show “Little house on the Prairie” we see how grateful the kids are for a tin cup and a piece of candy, but at that time in history, most were poor (out on the prairie) and only a rare few had more than their daily bread. As the prosperous 80’s came forth, then the 90’s, kids were not so grateful for “less,” for the most part. The continual message was, “If they love you, you will get what you want.”

Television shows depicted “all your dreams coming true” at Christmas (Miracle on 34th street is one example) those who have sponge type personalities like myself, well we took it all to heart. “All my dreams can come true, and I’m sticking to it!” was the motto of many.  Even something as simple as that, can become an idol.

How do I know? Because, I did it (at one time). If my dream of getting just what I want for Christmas (or any other time) leads me to stomp on people’s hearts, trample them down, and cease to care how they feel, well “Houston” we may have a problem.

Mom sent me boxes every year, but this one Year I recall, she really outdid herself. She sent a pond with a bear skating on it, (I still have it do this day). She sent grand gifts, a card that played music, all kinds of (wonderful) things.

Man, it hurts to admit this but, I had my eye on what others (in the church) had by this time, and I was fully gone into the ‘all your dreams can come true” mentality. I-will-Prosper-thinking (big time!).

I wasn’t very thankful (as I should have been) for the love that she put in those presents.

I was fully gone in my elitism, (Holier than thou) because I went to church all the time, and she didn’t.

I had my eyes on those who had more (and I was going to have it too!).

I believed if she really loved me, she would get me exactly what I wanted.

What I am trying to say is, I was bad at honoring my Mom, and in my quest to follow Jesus, I stopped listening to her.  Nobody wants to admit they have become an elitist, partial-Pharisee, or holier-than thou in their attitude.

The especially “spiritual” seem the most prone to resisting correction, unless it comes straight from God himself. The truth is God can even use a donkey to rebuke us. (Story of Balaam, Numbers 22:28).

I still loved her, but how could she see it? I rejected almost everything she had taught me to be.

We can’t change the past, but we can be restored.

I think the biggest key to seeing restoration of our own soul(s) is to realize we continually need changing, healing, and sometimes even “attitude adjustments”.

Like the story of Balaam and his donkey, we can be all fired sure we are on the right path, but sometimes we are really fighting God as he directs us toward the one thing we don’t want to do to receive our healing. Getting humble. Humble hurts! But it’s worth it my friends. Sometimes we just need to stop and realize; it wasn’t all them. Look past our own hurt and see “it takes two to tango.” With Love, 

-Laura Grace

Jesus talking to the Pharisees  

 But, you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.” Mark 7: 11-12

Ephesians 6:2 “. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

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I die daily…..

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Dying Daily- and God’s power to raise you up

I do die (daily). By this I mean that I let go of my (selfish) ways and let go of the outcome I desired.

I may hope to convince someone to see things my way but if they won’t: “I die to it.”

Every time I choose to just let it go, Pray about it, give it To Jesus instead of taking things into my own hands (because Of God’s word) I may not be applauded by the masses, but I am right with God.

There is a pastor who said to me: “Meekness is being at rest from the un-rest of your self-will.”

If we don’t see manipulation as a sin, we won’t stop doing it. But if we do see it, we will be face with ta choice: Keep doing what your flesh “feels like doing” or just let it go. (die to it!).

Praying for others who have let us down, frustrated us, hurt us, attacked us, or whatever else (I believe) helps take the sting out of this “death to self” that goes on when we let go.

It’s admirable! If you have been upset, agitated, angry at someone (and maybe for a JUST cause) And you choose to let it go, just because God Said (vengeance is mine, overcome evil with good, bless your enemies, and so on) You will be rewarded. Your reward is you have overcome, sin does not have dominion over you, because you have chosen God’s way (over your own). Not only that, you will be led in paths of righteousness, and God will produce the Fruit of righteousness within you.

I know the world often says: “nice guys finish last.” If you are just trying to be a nice guy to impress someone maybe that’s true. However, if you do something out of obedience to God, wanting to honor his word, you are promised a greater outcome. Dying to self is painful, but trust me, His Resurrection power will lift you up (into him) And his Power will sustain you (and keep you alive in Him).

 

1 Corn 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Romans 6:14-18 1For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. with Love, Laura Grace

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Relationships Series #5 Control part 2 “The behavior police’ (Galatians 3)

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Relationships #5 Control (Part 2). The Behavior Police
 
They’re out there. “The behavior Police.” You just got saved or you decided to renew your relationship with Jesus, he’s loving on you, and you’re all on fire for him. You’re in love with him! You have returned to your first love. I am happy to report I am in love with my saviour again (Jesus) and I have no intention of letting anyone rip me from his arms, ever again.
 
There was a time (I well remember) when I was not ready for the stuff that happened in church. I thought it was always a safe place, a happy place, full of people who love Jesus.
 
Not always so. (Not always). sometimes there are people in there who just GO to the building and don’t KNOW Jesus (see 1 John) and on FB there are people like that also. they think they know him, but they don’t. If they DID they would not get in the face of one in love with Jesus with their pointy little finger, scolding you, telling you how you better SHAPE UP and do things right!
 
We don’t need to be scolded by those who are NOT our parents. One household runs different from another. It’s the same with God’s people. God has a plan for EACH Person and unless YOU Heard from the Holy Spirit you don’t Know God’s plan for Them!
 
Maybe they aren’t called to make the cookies for the funeral dinner. Maybe God led them to lead someone to Christ last Sunday instead of going to church. Maybe they are tired and God told them to rest. They belong to Jesus! (Not to you!).
 
What did Jesus say to Peter “Feed my lambs” HIS Lambs not YOUR lambs….!! Hmm…and they know HiS Voice! and should be encouraged that they know his voice! Not told to sit and be still in your little military school! 😐
 
We are not in a man-made religious army here. We are grafted in by Faith, receiving from the life giving vine (Jesus). Have you ever looked how a plant operates? Dead stuff is pinched off and new life streams into the new leaves that are growing. 🌱🌳
 
Soon the plant blossoms as it stretches toward the sun. All it needs is water, light, good soil to grow in, and everything must be attached to the vine. We don’t walk up to plants and “Scold them” into submission! We should look for ways to encourage others to stay in the vine and keep on growing (IN Christ Jesus).
 
I want so share a large segment of Galatians. It’s worth reading again and again. A reminder to stand firm in the Faith that first brought you to Jesus (and not be dismayed by the Behavior Police). Laura Grace
 
Galatians 3
 
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth,[a] before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
 
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”[d] 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
 
The Law Brings a Curse
 
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
 
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
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Relationships 5 “No More Drama not even for your mama” the dark underbelly of “Control” (Part 1)

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 Have you ever had anyone come on your FB wall and argue, and argue, and argue (Until you finally have to delete them?) Because if you don’t, the message you are trying to get across is lost in a sea of debate? It reminds me of when we were kids, and played “king of the hill.” Whoever could push you off your stance on the mount “became King!” …..

Control: To direct a person or animal to behave a certain way. To have power over something. Authority: the power to or right to make decisions, or direct (It is given) 

See the difference? One is given. One is assumed. Stephen had authority given by God to speak. A mob of controllers silenced him because they were cut to the heart (conviction). Acts 7:54-59

What is it? If you’ve spent any time on the internet, You’ve probably experienced control. It’s the counterfeit of Authority. Jesus spoke as “one who had authority” He did not argue with people, or try to talk over top of them.

He didn’t whine about how intolerant people are. He found those who wanted to listen.

If you notice, Jesus didn’t talk about “his rights’  His Authority came from the Father in Heaven. He walked in it by simply “going about his Father’s business.”  (Luke 2:49).

His Authority was questioned in Matthew 21. (by the Pharisees). He wisely refused to answer them. He knew their tricks.

Control starts with fear. Not fear like Fear of snakes or bugs, but fear of conviction or being exposed. Sometimes fear of not beng “in power or in control (of that which they wish to control!) Fear of hearing the truth..(and having to make adjustments). 

It was control (in a mob mentality) that made them stone Stephen to death Acts 7:54-59.

Controlling people will often accuse you of being controlling. Here is the difference. You have authority over your house, your face book, your car, your “twitter account” and before all that, your mind, your will and your emotions. God gave you freedom (from the evil one) when he sent Jesus to the cross.

He spoiled all those powers and triumphed over them, “making a show of them” openly. (Col 2:15).

People may have different things they want control of (and to put a lid on things) but the motive is always the same. “I am in control.” Ever heard that expression,” I”ve got it all under control?” Yes, you have! You may have even said it! Controlling people will talk over the top of you, not let you get a word in edgewise, and will use all sorts of tactics to “shut you up.” Why? Because they don’t wish to hear you. If you put them in their place, they will often call you: “conrolling!” 

I pray Father in Jesus’ name as I consider and reveal about control (and where it comes from) you will help us all learn YOUR ways and not man’s ways about how to deal with this. I pray this Father “LET THERE BE LIGHT” In all areas of our souls, hearts, and minds that comes only from you Dear Father!”

In Jesus’ name “deliver us” from the evil one, cause us to escape his lies, which have been growing like weeds since that day he entered this earth. In Jesus’ name. (amen)

-stay tuned for part 2. Laura Grace control vs influence.png   Author, speaker, minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ