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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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Relationships 5 “No More Drama not even for your mama” the dark underbelly of “Control” (Part 1)

Control vs influence conTROL VS INFLUENCE Jesus.jpg

 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 

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Relationships, No More Drama, not even for your Mama! #4 Assumptions …..

Relationship 10.jpgRelationship 12

Who I DON”T want to be (and how I found out). by Laura Grace

I’m going to write this before I change my mind! I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to share about relationships a number of times….and I knew it would mean confessing mistakes I have made……….

So Years ago my husband tells me “his ex” used to buy a lot of food and not use it. I heard that, made a note of it, and make every attempt Not to be that way. Years go by, one day he notices I threw something out without using it and makes a comment “Did that go bad already, we didn’t even use it?” ….

Instantly (because I’m tired and had a hard day) I assume he is saying I’m like his ex. “That fast!” Hair trigger moment. “I’ve been busy!!” I snap- (and start listing what I had to do all day BECAUSE I assume he needs to know (because he doesn’t keep track of all my jobs, only what food is being tossed out!) “Okay Okay” He said it was just an observation I wasn’t attacking you!” (and looks all disgusted like I am a hila monster on fire!) I react to THAT next it goes into my mind “Gee wiz can’t I have a bad day?”

Now I’m bent! (and don’t even know why!) And see, all this happened so fast it’s like- “100 miles an hour” and the next thing you know, two people that were supposed to be relaxing in the harbor of their home are thinking “good grief, what’s wrong with YOU?” “NO, what’s wrong with you?” …….

Now, it’s been worse (in times past). I thought he should water flowers at this one place we lived (as I was tired, had done it all the time, and they needed watering. He decided to make “gardeners’ last stand” and say he didn’t want flowers in the first place! I was all indignant, he got a list of all the stuff I didn’t want to do that I  did…….and that’s why he should do it when I ask with no back talk! (Yeah I know, WOW) …but the thing is….

You can be a praying person, full of the spirit. LOVE GOD and love others- and STILL wind up like this! One is from being too tired, or not taking the time to just count to 10, think about what you are going to say next…….in this case, he has the right to say “I am not into flowers” and I have the right to say “I am not” Into whatever it is he wants me to do (change the oil maybe?) 😄

But the other thing we have to watch out for is this:  “assumptions’ like how I assumed he was comparing me to his ex? (Lickety split, it just happened) If we say well “sorry” and don’t pray on our ways….. we keep messing up (over and over again) Destroying the relationship we so cherished. If we say “Okay God, I need help with this JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS Problem” then …….

The  bible says “confess your faults’ and pray (for one another) AND you’ll be healed! It doesn’t say “point out their faults and assume it’s all them because hey YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” 
(and you can never be wrong? oh oh! )………

I know this is a long post. Maybe YOU are never like this but, we all have our flaws.🙂 (weak areas?) …..and it’s the little things sometimes. I hope my confession (one of many days I was OFF In my thinking for one reason or another) Will help you Remember to ASK “What did you mean by that?” When dealing with someone stop! ASK “What are you saying, can you clarify?” ….

Pretend you HAVE To be professional! It’s too easy to take someone we love for granted, & think things like “You should know me by now” (another assumption)

Helps you see yes ….we are all human! But let’s try to do better! And here’s the thing DO things in such a way you actually like yourself! There’s a story Jesus told, the master took a long time returning and this person began to “beat the servants” 😯and how much trouble he got in when the master came home! Let’s not be doing things wrong just because we think nobody sees us….

God sees everything! He is your Father! and he’s watching you! every day! Well I hope this helped someone ..

WIth Love And a prayer: “Father anyone out there who is just struggling with feeling things are unfair, hopeless, impossible! I Pray that You would help that person start with themselves! And learn to learn of you Father! NO matter what! In Jesus’ name help us all remember two wrongs do not make things right. Help us not to give up on our own integrity just becuase we’re having a bad day. Helpl us Father to love ourselves enough to get some rest or take a time out …….In Jesus’ name we pray. amen

Laura Grace

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Suicide: My take on the subject…. (Stuff nobody wants to talk about, #4)

rescue-me

I’m going to address a tough subect here, because God told me to do it. 

In my (over 30 years) of travels, both amongst the Christian and secular realms, I have heard much on this subject. I’ve read many books on the subject too. 

Suicide happens because of free will. I had a Christian once tell me some do it out of defiance (to have the last word) In other words “I”LL SHOW YOU” Here, deal with my death! Judas committed suicide, after he betrayed Jesus. Sampson (in a way) knew, when he prayed to have strength “on more time” to defeat Israel’s enemies, that he would die in the process, but it does not qualify as suicide 

I am addressing this topic because God wants me to. 

It’s not always a “spirit of suicide’ as many surmise. 

People left behind after such a tragedy, want to know WHY

Not too long ago, I asked someone to pray for this person who said they were feeling suicidal. She said, “Statistics show people who are really going to do that don’t tell anyone.” I’ve heard this before (as well.) 

They did not seem to want to pray, because they were so bound up in their knowledge on the subject. SO instead of saying let’s pray, I got a big argument instead. 

It made me sad.  And a little bit angry, I must admit.

So here we go: 

#1 because the devil (always) wants to steal kill and destroy, he is ultimately behind it. Whether it was out fear of not facing another day (for the person wanting to end it all) or whether it was accumulative despair, hopeless feelings that overwhelmed them, or even as this other person suggested, “Defiance’ as in “I”ll show you!” I do believe the devil’s influence upon this earth is why “many bad things happen.” The reasons people do things are as varied as the types of plants we have on this earth. So if we want to know ‘the reason” we need to look at each invidual case with God’s help. 

#2 The answer, as to how to stop or prevent it, is just as varied as the actual condition, or situation of the person who has decided to take their own life. 

#3 Sometimes we cannor stop it (from happening) and this is the hardest fact of all. 

Lastly, if it’s going to be prevented, or can be, I believe we should seek God for the answer on this. (#4) Do they need love today? Prayer? a Crisis line? or maybe they just need YOUR listening ear .I have no idea but GOD DOES! And he’s always willing to share that information with us, if we seek Him for it. 

2000 years ago when people ate simple foods, and the world was much different, there were not recorded cases of chemical imbalances, mental illness, and so on. Many who believe the bible is their ONLY source of information (If it ain’t in the bible it just isn’t so type people) Think that because Jesus always cast out demons, well then it has to be a demon (of suicide) Because mental illness is not addressed in our bible (to my knowledge). 

There is mental illness. Sometimes demonic activity is passed off as mental illness, while other times mental illness is misdiagnosed and there really IS demonic activity going on. 

Now we are back to square one 

seek God 

Every case is different. 

ASK HIM What they need! 

if you are feeling suicidal, God always wants to rescue you 

If someone you love did it, it is not your fault. 

I’ve seen God Rescue people from many things (Including this terrible temptaion) so I know it can happen. 

#5 I refuse to put God in a box. 

Jesus is the answer 

and the answer (Pretty much always) will be just a bit different.

Grace to Grow