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Let’s Not be Pharisees

I am just talking in plain English, here. A very long time ago I was reading through my bible (Just reading all of it) and saw how mad Jesus was at the Pharisees. (see Luke 11) and I thought “How can I avoid being like that?” I thought about it deeply (I kind of felt sorry for them). I realized okay they knew God’s word but they did not KNOW God and they did not personally understand how the word applied to them, Personally. 😌

They didn’t get why God even sent his word! They missed the heart of the matter, entirely. (HIs Love!). Because they did not know him (or his love) they used God’s word to beat people down. They were so set in their ways, they thought Jesus (the son of God) was a blashemer for healing people (and setting them free). Oh they were full of pride! My goodness sake! And it could happen to anyone (you, even me) if we are not careful. 🧐

So That’s when I started saying “I need you to make your Word Real to me Father. “if you don’t” I said, I can never be a witness for you.” I saw that everyone is supposed to be a witness. (Who is Christian). Now I ask you, how can he make his Word real to you if you do not experience NEEDING HIM For something? I”m sorry about the trials but that’s where we learn MORE of who he is (to us) personally.

Love you all! Let’s not be Pharisees. ❤

-Laura

Luke 11:46-54 46Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. 47“Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. 52“Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” 53When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, 54waiting to catch him in something he might say.

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Matters of The Heart ……

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

When you got saved (born again) and gave your heart to Jesus, he gave you a new heart. This New Heart (Part of your Soul) Is tender. God wants to plant things in it.

A heart can be broken, which is why God said He will Heal the Brokenhearted (and bind up their wounds) Psalm 147:3

Your Heart is like soil. God wants to 1.) Heal it 2.) Wants you to gaurd it 3.) Give it to Him

There are over 175 references to the Heart, in the bible. It is not the same as the soul, but it is part of the soul.

God talks about Trusting him (with all of our heart) Letting his wisdom go (into our Hearts) Planting his word (within our heart).

It is pretty serious business.

A broken Hearted person might have difficulty receiving God’s word, unless it’s about Healing.

So often, we get hurt, and say things like “I am not going to trust anyone again (with my heart). It hurts to have it broken.

What we need to realize is, God is the only one that can be completely trusted, with our Hearts. If we have put someone else before Him in our Trusting, He wants to correct that, as well as heal us.

We cannot spend our lives upset with people who handled things wrong. I can tell you a list of people (and go on all day) about how many have hurt me, hurt my heart, said the wrong thing at the wrong time, and were not the perfect counsellor that God is. He has never mishandled my heart. Not even once.

If I trusted my heart to the wrong person, I need to take accountablity for that. And they weren’t always out to get me, either. Some are mean (malicious) and take great delight in hurting others. Some do not think it through, or pray about what they say. Every case is different. So let’s not over-react when someone did not intend to hurt us.

When I find I have been guilty of that my own self, I go to God and ask him to forgive me, and “Put a gaurd on my tongue” and a watch on the door of my lips. I am then inviting him to rebuke me when I get out of line. This is part of growing.

Please understand that growing the word of God in your heart can take years to come to fruition. If you let the wrong teachings or sayings into your heart, you may wind up speaking death to a person, when you meant to speak life.

It’s no wonder God said to be merciful, forgiving, gentle, and kind. He knew we would be hurt, as well as hurt others, as we learn and grow.

No one is the exception to this. Being a new creature means you have a new beginning. We still need to choose what we plant in our hearts, and what we say to others and how we say it.

We have all been guilty of misjudging and mishandling others.

The quickest way out of your pain is to realize this, forgive the offending person.

Ask for Healing (God will grant it).

Most importantly, Go before God and ask if His word has just wounded the soil of your heart going in (because if think about it, a seed going in wounds (breaks) the soil……….)

If the words the person spoke were untrue, pull it out of your heart and discard it, and replace it with the word of God. Get the weeds out, remove the rocks………(See Matthew 13).

Take Responsibility for what you allow into your Heart.

What does God say about You? It’s what he says, that truly matters. But you have to decide that for yourself.

Much like Gardening, there are no short cuts to a vibrant, God-Filled heart. We know HIS words are LIFE to us.

with Love, Laura

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5

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Reflective……..

We should never give up.

Always forgive…

give people another chance unless they deliberately abused us

and I am not perfect

Just because I try to be good does not mean that I am.

I am only Good if God puts his goodness within me….

All the rest is striving (to be good) and it proves nothing

The Only Goodness I have is what he plants and waters within me

By his Spirit and in his Love

Laura Grace

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Those Problems you Face……..(and frustrations)

Tearing your Hair Out? Frustrated today? Let me ask you something, if tearing some hair out would solve the problem, Would you do it? I know I sure would!

Have you ever been in strife with someone over a fundamental issue? I sure have.

Here is the definition of Strife: Angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues. Conflict. God says not to do it.

We disagree about politics, how to raise children, how to run the church. Strife gets into marraige, relationships, friendships. Strife is everywhere! And it is doing great harm, to the people involved in it.

The more we disagree on, the more likely we will have strife and chaos. I was listening to a sermon yesterday about “submitting to one another.” How Does that work, if we hold every one of our opinions so dear that we will never bend, never to listen to someone else’s viewpoint, and never back down?

In Fact, James says: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3

OH, I see! “Blessed are the Peacemakers!” We are now back to Matthew 5, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

So, how does this mysterious, yet Holy Peace Happen, without compromising our dearly held beliefs?

Very often (in the interest of Peace) I just keep my mouth shut. I can vent (to a friend) I can pray, I can re-assess my beliefs and decide if they are truly worth fighting for.

This is what I do to try to get the Anger and Strife OUT of my conversation.

I look at my motives. Why am I really arguing about this? Is it really necessary? Am I really helping anyone? I will not back down about my beliefs that were revealed to me by God (His Word) but I do not have to “Make Anyone”agree with me either. He does the convicting. The Convincing. He is God.

How Do you rid yourself of anger? What makes you angry (and why?). Do you have control issues? Fear? Is your anger truly righteous? These are things we need to find out. (Seek, and you will find?)

Do we have to be world changers? On the contrary, we were called to be seed-sowers and waterers of God’s Word. That means look for some “Good soil” to plant in. No strife. Even God will not “Force us” To change our mind…….

Personally, I don’t like to live in strife. I would rather walk away, take a drive, be by myself, and have long talks with God. There are some people however, who seem to thrive on it.

My suggestion is, if you are angry and want to strive, Let it go, before you have a heart attack, high blood pressure, or wind up with road rage.

People who are full of strife (and envy) are not the healthiest people on Earth. You can win an argument, but lose the war. You don’t have to win. You don’t even have to prove you are right.

Fools give full vent to their Anger. Righteous People look for a chance to plant (and water) Gods’ Truth.

If your advice is so great, (and of God) people who seek it as treasure will find you. If they don’t believe HIS truths are a treasure, they probably won’t listen to you anyway.

What is there to strive about? Nothing! Be at peace with what you believe, until the time comes you are not, and seek God’s wisdom about it, and ask for more information. Be part of the solution.

PS: Not being at Peace with your own beliefs, is an indicator you might need to do more seeking.

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Don’t let them cheat you out of your prize…..

Vain Philosphy (by Laura Grace)

Take heed lest there will be anyone taking you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the principles of the world and not according to Christ. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” -Colossians 2:8

Assuming what scripture means, quoting things without knowing how they are supposed to be applied, generalizing and assuming to understand what “the Love Walk” really means.

One of the worst things to realize is when you come to understand a lot of things that were taught to you were not the words of the Holy Spirit to YOU personally. (#1) and #2 that well-meaning bible teachers taught you wrong and you taught other people wrong because of it.

Here’s one that was taught to me “That Only certain people” have discernment. We all can and should have discernment. For years I thought I didn’t have any, and had to rely on someone else for it. Here is another: Churches will say “if you are here God sent you here!” How can that be? How do they know this? It’s a nice thought but not always true, and it can hinder you from following after the Holy Spirit if you let that go into your heart.

There are some enemies God will say to show love and others he will say TURN AWAY. Some he will say help them others he will say “Let them alone” For awhile or possibly for good. satan uses vain philosphy to trick you into NOT walking after the Spirit! Galatians says to walk by the Spirit- and you are not under law.

We want recipes because it is EASIER than taking the ingredients God gave you in his word- and baking the cake HE tells you to make. We want formats, to be on auto-pilot because it is EASIER and less scary than following after God.

We make mistakes and use it as an excuse to go be like everyone else because we missed it. God says “GET UP AND TRY AGAIN!” He doesn’t want us eternal babies, having to have someone else wiping the snot off our nose and carrying us around in a backpack or pushing us in a stroller! It takes guts to learn to walk in the Spirit you will Fall down, scrape your knee and say ouch. Now, stop letting anyone cheat you with their vain philosphies and religious platitudes. Jesus paid the price for your mistakes! Like a good parent, God will pick you up and help you try again.

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The Testimony of the Little Pink Car…..

2014 Chevy Sonic Purchased in ND

Car Testimony:

God prompted me to post this so here goes.

In 2014 we were making good money in ND and my Jeep started to fall apart. It needed a tire rod, Had a lot of miles, I didn’t trust it on long trips anymore. I LOVE Jeeps so Tim said I could get another one. I wanted a Jeep Liberty. We went shopping one was 17,000 and high miles and didn’t ride nice. Another one when we got there the guy promised to hold it, but did not (I offered money down)

We had one frustration after the other, and In my heart I knew that vehicle was overpriced for what it was. People have always said “God wants you to have the desire of your heart” But I’m not sure I was aware of what the desire of my heart REALLY WAS. My brain wanted a Jeep Liberty I thought they were cool. I thought I would ‘Feel cool” driving one…..

I also had a fear of small cars because my dad called them “death traps” and never wanted me to have one. After the last Jeep debacle we stopped at a dealership I had said “I GIVE UP LORD” I guess I’ll fix my Jeep and be content.” …..

We walk into this dealership, and see this pink car marked down from 19,000 to $14,000, brand new, and 7000 miles on it only. It had pink lipstick on it Underlining the price.

The guy said ‘It’s a nice car” I said “I don’t wanta puddle-jumper” He said “drive it”..…..

I drove it and I was amazed! It had so much power and get up and go! More so than any vehicle I’d ever owned. We bought it I felt like God was saying “yes yes yes” (God my Father who isn’t afraid of little cars)

I have driven this car almost 100,000 miles now it went to 103,000 today. I have put 1000 in it only for a timing belt, we did the brakes, it needed a battery. 100,000 miles and never once had to use the warranty for anything!

It does great in bad weatherm it gets almost 38 mpg on the highway……today a clerk from the gas station came out and said “I just have to ask you, did you buy that car cause it’s CUTE or because of the mileage?

I said “Neither’ and told him the story.

And that my dears, is the story of how my Father knows best! And he is so kind to me! with Love, Laura

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The Pity Party……

Psalm 88: 14 Why, O LORD, do You reject me? Why do You hide Your face from me?…”

I had a short Pity Party today, not a very long one. It involved some tears, a few reeses’ peanut butter cups, 2 cookies and some staring at the wall for a time. Nobody was impressed, certainly not me. I had my reasons. Many of my friends would say they were good reasons. But that doesn’t change the fact that pity parties do not help.

After awhile I looked up some meme’s under the category “Pity Party” and was amazed at what I saw. Apparently, hundreds and thousands of people besides me have had one, chastized others for having one, or sat around inventing meme’s about them. I even found a song about it.

By the time ate the treats, walked around, and read the meme’s, Having a Pity Party didn’t seem like such a hot idea.

See, I like to write about overcoming. I love to share how I’ve overcome so you can overcome.

But there are days even I have a struggle doing that.

Elijah had one of those days, when he prayed to die. “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” 1 Kings 19:1-4.

I’m sure a lot of great theologians have talked about why Elijah got that depressed. He isn’t here to tell us, so I”m going to guess having Jezebel threaten to kill him after he did a big Faith showdown on Mt Carmel (and saw victory) was just too hard to take. I think He must have realized at that moment there would always be trials, for the rest of his life.

That’s kind of how I was feeling today, tired of trials, day after day, fighting the fight of faith and wanting to just give up.

It’s not what we should do, but we just feel like doing it, sometimes.

The truth is, we CAN give up if we want to. You have that freedom. LIke the child who lays down in the store, refusing to go any further because they can’t have the cereal they wanted, we can choose to pout for a time. We look silly while doing it, we get nothing for our efforts, and God is not impressed.

I kind of picture him saying, “Are you done now?” (Looking at me with concern and hope that I’m over it.)

Yes, he loves us so much! (He really does). When we are ready to talk about how to really solve things permanently, make some changes that lead to different outcomes, and learn to be more content within ourselves, God is going to be right there with great ideas for us. “Father, forgive me for settling for a pity party when I could have had your wisdom sooner……

“I ask you to give me wisdom on what to do next Father God. Help me make choices that lead to fruitfulness, Happiness, Joy and laughter. In My heart, I know this is what you want for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen”

By the way, God showed up- and had another assignment for Elijah.

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The desire of your heart

What is the desire of your heart? To be Rich? Go on trips? Be important?

People often quote this scripture, and come up with their own definition of what it means to “delight in the Lord.”

Let’s be real here: We want God to grant us what we want, and we want it now. We reason he has the power to do whatever he wants, and he could truly bless us if he wanted to (making all of our dreams come true!).

We all love movies where the Genie grants the three wishes, and secretly hope God will do the same.

Yesterday as I was praying I was STRUCK with how much God really loves me. I was praying and this came out “If I asked my friend to borrow a cup of sugar she would give it to me gladly” How much more Father are you waiting to give us what we need/desire/request? He knows when we need some relief, and I gotta say there are certain things I always KNOW God will do. I want to share Laura’s thoughts on this passage today, one I have looked at and studied often:

“James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” NIV

It is not wrong to enjoy things. To eat out. To go on trips. I have found however in my walk with God, he often delays these things until I don’t care anymore And HE is enough. This is his discipline in action, this is his love for his sons and daughters. I have often been amazed by how many beautiful blessings God has given to me, after I didn’t think I cared anymore.

This IS Love- that he makes sure we have our priorities straight. Because honestly it would not be love from him to help us become addicted to pleasure and in the process, lose our relationship and intimacy with him. ❤ I see the Love……….❤

And honestly, do you want someone loving you because of what you do for them, or do you want them just to love you?

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Love can be expensive…….

What love costs us…….by Laura Grace ❤ I feel led to share something today and yes it will have the word of God in it.

The bible says God is not unjust to forget your labor of love, and what you do IN HIM is never in vain (1 Corn 15:58) Which implies that what you do that was not IN HIM might be in vain.

Love costs us, and sometimes it costs us big. It might be financial, it might be forgiving and praying for someone who harmed us.

God has both called me and chosen me, not only to evangelize and get people to Christ but one of the biggest ways he uses me is to get people back to him- who have been deeply hurt.What hurts me (as a minister) is when people feel they need to take endless beatings in the name of love, otherwise they are not walking in love.

Also what bothers me, is this is idea that people never do anything to us, it’s just the devil.

The devil shows up in spiritual form and we can rebuke him and cast him down, bind him up and remind him he is under our feet.

People also can be (unfortunately) trained to do things the devils’ way from an early age. This is why the bible talks about putting away wrath, clamor, get rid of bitterness (and so on) ……They can be clouds without water and spots at your love feast (book of Jude). ON SOME have mercy God says, snatching them out of the fire, hating even their garments defiled by the flesh.

Jesus was not a woosy. He told people in no uncertain terms who was going to be blessed, and who was not. (Look at Matthew 5).

He did not blanket people who hated him (or his words) with his everlastiing blessings. He went to the cross but he was not everyone’s “whipping boy.”

In fact, he made people very angry by pointing out their sin (and exposing it).

So yes, the Holy Spirit does the convicting if they indeed choose to be convictable, but many harden their hearts.

In the last days (it says) some (no matter what happens) will curse God and blame him for everything. (Rev 9:20).I felt it necessary to have this little talk with you about Love.

We love God first. We love his Word. That, alone, will seperate you from many. He will show you who to bless and anoint.

He makes it clear taking care of our brethren (others who love God) is first, then we go out and show and demonstrate love to the poor, the orphans, the fatherless…..

Love will cost you. Financially, and in every other way.We are entering a time of the wise virgin. (That is another sermon)

So I am going to ask you PLEASE seek God about all this.Love him first and don’t wear yourself out trying to show love to everyone, until there is nothing left of you. Ask him for wisdom.

If I have seen one thing over and over the past few years, it’s satan using love AGAINST God’s people and beating them to death with it. He is the great accuser.

Pray with me if you wish “Father in the name of Jesus, show me what walking in love means to me personally. I praise you when I am IN YOU I am never condemned. I command the voice of the enemy to cease and desist NOW in Jesus’ name!

I do hear from God he is my Father” Thank you Father for showing me personally- by your Spirit how YOU want me to define love and walk in love. I forsake all religious teachings right now Father and ask to be in living covenant with you. in Jesus’ name. amen.” those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.”

-Romans 8:14

Stop being afraid of messing up! God will lead you, He promised. –Laura Grace

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on Being Vexed, Angry or Upset

I want to share that this past year took its’ toll on me.

We can declare all the power scriptures we want to, pray every day, love God, pray to lover others, be faithful, and still wind up with frazzled nerves.

It does not mean there is something wrong with you, necessarily.

What it can mean however, is you are listening to the wrong things.

Here is the truth: We who are Christians know we should meditate on what is true and lovely and great report. We know we should meditate on scripture.

In day-to-day life, we deal with opinions, input from others, “the news” and yes, even people who cause harm to us, and refuse to acknowledge what they have done.

In an effort to be “Not so heavenly-minded” that I am no earthly good, there are times I listen to far too much of the human realm, and not enough from the heavenly realm.

If we stay too spiritual, how can heaven touch earth? If we are too earthly, how can heaven (in us) touch earth? It’s a balancing act for certain.

If I get into an argument with someone, I lose my opportunity to plant good seeds.

They are no longer listening to me, so my arguing and fussing is all in vain.

I don’t feel better when it’s done, and the other person is un-affected as well.

Therefore, I make it my aim to take a breath, say a prayer, and remain calm.

This is the only way I have hope of making a difference, and planting good seeds.

I am pondering these scriptures today:

“The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.”

Proverbs – 22:16

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.”

Proverbs 29:11

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

 James 1:19

Getting angry with others, letting them have it between the eyeballs, or flying off the handle about the injustices we see will not change anything. Fighting fire with fire often makes a bigger fire.

We think we are tough if we defend ourselves, but the truth is, the strongest person is the one who learns discipline and resists the temptation to fly off the handle.

With Love, Laura Grace