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All you need is love?

All you need is love?

I”m going to go ahead and share this, even though I risk losing some followers or (I hope not) but maybe even friends. I don’t know how many of you have ever thought about the fact that Abraham was told to “cast out” the bondwoman and her son (Ishmael). see, he was to wait for a promise, and he didn’t wait for it. His wife talked him into sleeping with the handmaiden to have a child, chaos followed, God said in concurance with Sarah, ‘cast them out.”

The emotions that went with this are not clearly described in our bibles, but I can bet it was a horribly emotional experience for him, and for the ones who were cast out. In light of what our own thoughts on “what Love should be” it doesn’t really add up (with human reasoning). The God of love said to cast them out.

It had to be so hard but, the child they had was not the child of promise, and they had not done things the way God commanded. Therefore, what God did not establish or do had to be “undone.” (selah).

God said he loved Jacob but “Hated” Esau! Why? God hates what is evil, and while he may not hate people, and hopes for the to come out of darkness and return (be reconciled to Him) he does not spend his energy and wear himself out chasing after people who literally hate him, and what he represents.

Furthermore, The book of 2 Corinthians was written to the church to describe how to treat our brethren (those in the church) but so often, we are unkind to our family in God, and spend our love and time on those who DON”T know God thinking that is evangelizing! Not so!

Evangelism is putting a line out for those whose hearts and minds are already prepared for and ready FOR HIM (good soil, willing hearts!).

It occured to me today that the reason the “love of many” will wax cold, is they are wearing themselves out trying to love people who hate God (and what he represents). “Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Was God saying it’s okay not to love anymore?

No, he wasn’t. He was saying they will be spent and wore out from trying to love those who are abounding in iniquity (sin).

God wants us shining for him. He is going to allow people to have their way and live without him for all eternity. There are folks in the last days who will curse God instead of repenting when times are hard. Don’t spend your time chasing after those who want nothing to do with God. Keep your lamps full of oil and be ready to help those whose hearts are truly crying out for him.

This is called being a wise (Matthew 25:8) and wisdom cries out and says ‘Listen to me!!” “Hear me!”

Are we listening for Him?

Laura Grace, Author, Grace to Grow

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It’s Time for Backbone (An Open Letter to Preachers)

The Recovering Legalist

This morning I watched a YouTube video in which Todd Friel (Wretched Radio) declared: “The problem with today’s preachers; nobody wants to kill them.” His point was that the reason preachers from centuries ago were imprisonned or killed was their determination to preach truth regardless the culture’s feelings. Too often our modern preachers and pastors are afraid of offending.

It is with that sentiment that I penned the following open letter. We need to love desperately, but without compromising our message.


Dear Fellow Preachers,

Now’s the time – it’s actually past time – for some honest-to-goodness, strong-as-steel, George S. Patton and John Wayne-like BACKBONE!

I don’t care if you’re Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Methodist, or whatever…MAN UP!! Stand in the gap! Quit being a politically motivated, crowd-pleasing, purse string-tying wimp and PREACH THE WORD!

Seriously, check out what’s going on in the world and what’s coming to America. Gentlemen, more…

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Overcoming Evil with Good…..

Out of a dark tunnel.jpg

I think because of written books like: Grace to The Rescue (a story of deliverance from a bad and not “God ordained marraige) and also Dysfunctional People, I’ve been pegged to a certain degree as “One who has not ever taken abuse,” and therefore, not an overcomer or a lover of my enemies……..

That’s not true. 

I have not written a book (yet) about the thousands of times I’ve lived this passage: 

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
 
I’ve been hurt, mistreated, spoken evil of, slandered, stolen from, mocked, scourged with words, misunderstood, and the list goes on. I’ve forgiven it all, and I’ve done good to those who’ve hurt me, WITH a cheerful heart! 

 I spent 16 years of my life forgiving the same offenses over and over, and praying to have fruit and be fruitful, and using the opportunity to be strengthened in my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I have no “regret” about the things I suffered in a very bad and abusive marriage..
Why? Because God turned it out for my good! I want you to remember however, even Jesus dodged the Pharisees because “His time had not come.” Likewise, Joseph was warned in a dream how to keep Jesus safe from harm. God is not expecting anyone to take abuse, to the point they die before their time. ECC 7:17  

-Laura Grace, author, Grace to the Rescue (available on Amazon) or http://www.lauragracebooks.com  
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Creative Ways to Evangelize …..

MOney 1You don’t have to be a big-name evanglist, to help win the lost, or fulfill the great commission. 

I hate to tell you this, but the world is not interested in your religious theologies, as much as they want to know if you (truly) care.  I have a friend that told me how she paid for someone’s bill, while standing at Walmart. She had some extra money, a woman could not pay her tab, so she stepped forward and offered to pay the bill. 

In December of this year, I was led to go to a Senior citizen’s center, and pass out 5.00 bills saying “God bless you” (and prayed for every one of them.) People know you are a Christian, they are watching you! If you have something in your hand to help, and you have peace about it, just do it (as unto the Lord!).

You know, in this world, people often want something in return when they give. There is often this “now you owe me,” type mentality (which is not of God!). Why then, would we insist people come to church to be blessed?

Long ago, a woman who was on a bus with me, and saw me not get food at one of the major stops, handed me a readers’ digest and said “Open it when I’m gone.” Inside was a 10.00 bill and a note that said, “Get something to eat,” and “God bless you.” 

That moment made me think, “Maybe there is a God, and maybe he cares about me!” Listen, we have to get creative, get out of the box, and stop trying to do Evangelism the way it’s been done in times past.  

I”m not against church my friends, but please listen to me! People who are hurting, broken and who need to know GOD IS REAL, often do not need you putting strings on their blessings. If it looks to them like you just want them in church next Sunday, (giving tithes and offerings), sorry, but they aren’t likely to really respond all that much to your saying how bad they need Salvation. Show love, plant the seed, and let it lay there! GIVE THEM that unconditional love, that led you to Christ. 

Ask God to water those seeds, make himself real to them, and bring them in to wherever he wants them to go! Love without strings, give without needing a cerain outcome (FREELY GIVE)…….

I live by a saying “It’s just crazy enough to be God.” so often, the ideas he gives me to bless others is “out of the box” from anything I’ve done before or heard of anyone else doing. Get Ready, for your “out-of-the-box idea” today, (when you pray). The Harvest is ready! Let’s get going…….with Love and blessings, 

Laura Grace 

OUT OF BOX

 

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may seeyour good works and glorify your Father in heaven
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God is not unfair, or unjust….He is not a “mean dad” either!

mean dad It breaks my heart when I find people have had the wrong picture painted for them, about God and who he really is. I know too, that it upset Jesus too, which is why he was so very hard on the Pharisees, and even on his disciples at times. HE CAME to make sure God was not misrepresented. That was part of why he came down here to earth, and had those 12 people follow him around. He made a way to reconcile us to God our Father, because it was not his will, nor his intent, for everyone to be seperated from God due to Adam and Eve’s sin of turning their ears away from him. 

When I was about 10, I was with some friends playing in the yard, and this one kid went and played with the charcoal in the BBQ grill. I remember the mom noticed it had been messed with, and tried to get us to admit “who did it.” I wouldn’t tell on him, and neither would his sisters, and he would not confess. She made us all bend over, and smacked us all with a wooden spoon. Not only did it hurt, it was humiliating, as well. I remember being very upset with her, and thinking how unfair that was. For years, I didn’t think the same about this woman, after this,  nor trust her judgement, because of her decision to punish us all. 

In a church setting, we are often not treated as individuals. We all get the same message, and those who are sitting there are often scolded, or even given a message that may only apply to one person in that group. There are times when ministers have dealt with hard or almost impossible issues with others, and wind up dishing out a type of “wooden spoon” sermon, which makes those who are trying to be good and follow God feel very discouraged. God did not intend for us to be without his guidance in our own (Personal) lives.

When Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach them (John 14:26) He meant “individually, to you.”

What kind of Father would give a child with music abilities more football training? Wouldn’t a good Father notice and cultivate the gifts he put within his own child? Of course he would! God knows what you are good at, and whaf you are not good at. He knows what he wants to cultivate in you, and he’s not out to treat you like some soldier in an army, marching off to war. Tell me where Jesus gathered up a big army to go conquer the city and rid of of sin? Tell me how he made all the disciples be exactly alike, and march in unison to go reach the world for his causes? 

For the most part, Jesus dealt with people one on one, and so did his disciples. He cultivated and shaped Peter, James, John, and the others, into who he wanted them to be. He did not get on Mary’s case for not helping Martha with dinner, and he didn’t tell Peter he needed to be just like John. In fact, every disciple in the bible had their own unique style (and ministry). This is why the belief the Holy Spirit will teach you is so very important!

I have the bible on my side, because Jesus said to them, (and therefore, to us also), And He (the Holy Spirit) will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you”.… John 14:26 

God does not “spank everyone” when one person is naughty, He doesn’t insist we all be exactly alike, and he is not into ministry that produce “Cookie Cutter” Christians. Before you mention the Old Testament to me, remember this; Noah, Abraham, Hannah, (and many others) had a different outcome, all because they seperated themselves unto him. And you can do the same. 

We need to find out what we are. (Pastor, Prophet, Apostle, Prayer warrior, helps, worker of miracles, Evangelist, teacher, and so on……..). Ask Him! He’s listening! 

Laura Grace, Author,

Grace to the Rescue, Grace to Grow, and Dysfunctional People 

https://www.amazon.com/Dysfunctional-People-Laura-Grace/dp/1722365706/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=dysfunctional+people+by+laura+grace&qid=1550767699&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

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Could your relationship issue be over Fret? A candid little story about me….

fear and worry

I had a lot on my mind, the other day. My Mom broke her hip, the weather was terrible, and I didn’t know how we could even go see her. She broke her other hip last year, and hadn’t even recovered from that yet! Here we’ve been praying for her to fully recover when “Wham,” another bad suprise happens. 

We live in a rural area where it’s bitter could outside, and it’s been snowing like crazy. My husband had back pain, my road was unplowed and I could not get out to help Mom’s husband, and the list of “Things to be afraid about,” just kept piling up. 

Like a good Christian Girl, I put it all in God’s hands. I prayed and made my petitions known, got centered in peace, and went about my business. 

Later that day, I decided to make a pot of soup for my husband, a type of soup he’d requested, not too long ago. My reason for this was to do the only thing I could do to make someone’s life a little better that day. 

I”m a woman of Faith, so I did not believe for a minute, I was fretting. Had you told me I was, I would have said, “No, actually, I’m not.” 

Deep down however, I must have been fretting, and I know this, because I lashed out at my husband when he didn’t compliment me on the soup. Was it because I was greedy for compliments? No! The sad thing is, he lashed back at me, and why?

Because he was fretting as well. We did not need hours of counselling to find out why we squabbled, all we needed was a bit of understanding as to what was happening. And the big problem was……………….

                                                  We were both Fretting! 

God made me aware that fretting was the awful culprit behind me lashing out at him, (for not saying the soup was good), and that he was fretting about whether he could finish his tasks with the pain he was having, and more snow on the horizon. 

The truth is, just a bit of fretting can lead to hostility, and barking at the ones we love, for almost no apparent reason, at all. How do we stop it? By being honest with ourselves, that’s how! “I”m concerned and a little worried because”_____(fill in the blank), is a humble approach that will lead to Grace from God, in our hour of need. 

I wonder how many people we meet in life who are cranky, crabby, lash out at us, act rude toward us, or even just drive badly at times, are fretting over something, and possibly even lashing out as a result? 

Words like, “I’m sorry, I had a lot on my mind, I didn’t mean to lash out at you,” are good and healing words to say, (once we realize what has happened.) 

fearFretting leads to worry, and can even lead us into fear, and then anger, (and eventual harm to relationships.) It’s so simple, yet true! 

Sometimes a good solution is to admit it, have a good laugh about it, and then quit! 

                                 With Love and hopes for your good (fret-free) day.

-Laura Grace

 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.”

                                                                     Psalm 37:8

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Leadership is…………

Leadership is

Speaking of Growing……….

I got asked to lead the entire music program over 2 years ago, for our local school. They had no music teacher, so I was elected. I dropped to my knees in prayer, felt like I was facing a giant. “How do I do this Lord?” I inquired of him. is this you? (I said) and can I do this? He assured me i could. I was so scared! Truly, the word petrified comes to mind.

I am not the born-leader type, not a type A personality, nada. But I have read the words, “Let the weak say I am strong.” I know God qualifies the unqualified. 

I’ll never forget that first day, kids came piling into my room, and there I was, “the teacher.” I had some experience with leading worship but, that’s about it. As their music teacher, their entire success seemed to depend on me. It was scary!

The high school kids told me they “were really bad singers” and they’d been embarrassed at some event they’d had the prior year.  When I asked them what they knew they said “Not much, we’re pretty bad.” 

It was at that moment, the desire formed in me to Help them succeed! The need in front of me seemed to bring out “the gifts within me.”

I sure did pray for their success (and mine). In My heart, I know God guided me to help them succeed, and part of it involved discipline.

They didn’t like the discipline, my insistence they pay attention, not let them just skate by (and treat music class like an easy A). I made them sing the songs over and over and over again. “I think we got it now,” they would say, and I would say “You’re going to do it again’. I had them do stuff that seemed silly or even beneath them, (at the time) but soon they were singing togehter like champions. 

Needless to say, they had a successful concert (2 of them) everyone loved it, and I know they felt proud of themselves when it was all over.

Just like young David and his 5 stones, God unfolded to me a plan for each group of children (K-12). It was amazing! Had I not stepped into the water with courage, I never would have witnessed what God can do, (through me.). It was incredible! 

Nobody likes discipline (at the time) we all want that easy walk from point A to point B but……..Hang in there! Discipline helps us become all we were meant to be. It’s a part of growing, (and a very necessary ingredient).

DENTON CONCERT #4 the grinch Dylan.jpg
Me with the Kids 2016

-Laura Grace, author, Grace to Grow 

Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” #discipline #Goddisciplines#disciplinetodisciple