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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

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Is it better to see? Or not see?

You are blessed if you can see. There are many who cannot see what you see….But the trouble is that the more you can see the harder it is to walk in love sometimes. I can remember when I could not see certain things & People told me I was Niave’ and they were right, I was! I didn’t like hearing it at the time, and it made me angry. I had a friend one time say “I guess it’s like the blinders on those horses, they can’t see what is going on or they will get skittish” She was frustrated with me, trying to get me to see (what I could not see) and it took years before I sincerely went to God and said “OKAY I want to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!” When you pray this way, you may see things you didn’t want to see. It may upset you, make you cry……..But honestly, the pain of seeing is not worse than the pain of being in the dark and being deceived……

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Matthew 13:15 NIV

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Healthy Things to do instead of fighting about Politics and Pandemics…..

At some point, I had to realize, yes, I have been upset for some unhealthy reasons this year. One of them was politics. Another, the pandemic.

How many of us, I wonder, have been caught in the crossfire of arguments over politics, the pandemic, whether we should or should not wear masks, and a host of other volatile issues, this past year.

I recently went on my site and posted a video, in which I said, “Yes, this is still the perfect time to Grow.”

A woman from New York City swiftly ordered my book and said,

“I just ordered your book please pray for me.”

Honestly, this year has been the absolute worst year I have ever seen, as far as people seeming to argue about anything, and everything.

Many people are scared. Frustrated. Feeling like they have no voice.

Amid all this, Jesus still says,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

At Christmas time this year, I lost myself in decorating and doing normal activities involving Christmas.

I have been sending out cards to people shut in, or who are in rest homes.

Some things we can do that are healthy. instead of arguing with others about how to solve the worlds’ problems are:

  1. Use your talents to cheer someone up. They can surely use the lift!
  • Force yourself to walk away from articles and posts that disturb you.
  • Pray, every time you find yourself worrying and cast your cares on God.
  • Try listening with empathy to someone who sees things from another viewpoint and make up your mind to just listen, and not argue with your own opinion.
  • Make up your mind to do normal activities as much as possible, and not dwell on subjects that irritate you. In other words, exercise some self-control.

I am sure there are many ways to think positive and do healthy things, despite the turbulence going on in the world today. Think of it this way; You are far more help to someone if you are an anchor in their waves, or a lighthouse in their storm.

Being part of the problem is to allow yourself to stay upset and of no help or worth to anyone. Being part of the solution is going to require some well thought out decisions and perseverance, which will shape your character and make you a far more effective vessel for God’s Kingdom.

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LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Psalms 119:130 “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

Yesterday, the scripture God gave me on the way to Stanford as I said “What do you want to say?” is the one that jumped up (in my heart).He didn’t give it to me to beat the drum about you had better study or read. No.

He was saying His Words bring LIGHT into the dark area of our soul, setting us free from something.It doesn’t matter how you get it. A song, a passage of scripture, or a movie you watched that had some truth in it, which gave you LIGHT (That orginally came from God’s word).

We are far too focused on Methods, and this is what causes all the division in the body of Christ. “HOW” to do things and the right way supposedly, trips us up every time.

We act like children, sometimes.

“No My DAD SAID YOU DO THIS,” we say, as the other says, “No Dad told ME to do this!”

Well, maybe he told you different things! So what? So long as the job got done, who cares?One person loves “the Old Rugged Cross” another loves modern music. One loves to sit and read scripture, while another likes a Daily Devotional.

If you are causing division- quibbling over how to get things done STOP IT. The entrance of God’s word brings light. It could be that old hippie song “Spirit in the Sky” Makes some one think about Jesus. Just be glad they thought about him, and rejoice! 🙂

-Laura Grace

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#12 A Quiet Christmas

Yes, we had a nice Christmas……..

It was quiet here. I got up Christmas morning, had my coffee, said my prayers, and started making breakfast and preparations for dinner. The night before, I was asked to do “Renewing of Marraige Vows” online with a friend, so I had prepped for that the day before. I video chatted with my grandchildren (all but one). I made Tim a heart shaped cake with no frosting (His one request for Christmas treats) and made myself gluten free brownies……Our dog (cooper) got some special dog treats as well. 🙂

After the “online wedding” I did, The husband of my friend asked me about the JOY bottles behind me, so I moved over to let him see. In the process of that, I didn’t pay attention and literally “Fell off my chair’ an onto the floor! 😮😄

The chromebook went flying, I could not get OFF the floor and had to have help! It was pretty funny (but scary) I had started prepping for Christmas 30 days in advance. I’m so glad I did! Christmas was my happy thought this year- because for me, Jesus is at the center of this blessed Holiday.

I refuse to allow Corona Virus or anything else take away my Joy or Good Cheer! So when God said, “whatever is true, whatever has virtue, whatever is lovely or admirable” (Phill 4:8) “Think on these things…..Well for me, Christmas fits that description. I have asked God for a month why do I love Christmas so much? Is that you Lord? And this was my answer: Christmas is a great thing to meditate on because it so often brings out the best in people. love you all! -Laura Grace

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#9 Christmas in 2012 (at our old house)

Christmas 2012 at our house

How well I remember 2012! That was the year the world was suppose to end, remember?

There were even movies made about it.

In 2012, I put Christmas outside on the deck, because our house was only 640 square feet (That is small!) I put cups with goodies in them under the tree and wrapped them up (and prayed over them).

I said a prayer that whoever God wanted to bless, he would send them to receive the gifts. I had prayed whoever received these cups, their cup would “run over……” I felt led by God to do this.

Every recipient got a special blessing that following year. (Yes, I kept track). One person had a baby when they thought they couldn’t. Another got a huge financial blessing. Whoever came to my house that year, was invited to select a package with a cup inside, until they were all gone.

I am sharing this because this year (like any other) I am asking God to lead and guide me. What do you think Christmas should be? Maybe we should ask him! Wise men still seek him. 🙂

A Prayer: Father we ask you this, “Bless christmas this year” Let it be memorable, happy, and fun. Let your Spirit be with us we pray! Thank you for filling the rooms of our house with Your Love Father! And we ask you if we need them, you would bestow upon us “christmas miracles’ this year. In Jesus’ name. Amen”