this is good. 🙂
A Thanksgiving Day reflection…
This Thanksgiving morning I woke up thinking about this: Thankfulness is getting my mind off myself and instead thinking about what others mean to me. Then I read a passage of Scripture during “Coffee with the Lord” that gave that idea some additional direction and focus… 1 Peter 4:7-11
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion…
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Someone we pass during the day is in danger, has an emergency, or is clearly facing a crisis. Will we stop and warn them? Will we do something to intervene? Will we help? Periodically we hear the sad news reports of individuals who were facing situations like this and neighbors or passersby choosing not to get involved or help those in crisis or danger. The excuses given are many, but one recurring flimsy, pathetic excuse is “I didn’t know! – I didn’t realize!” Makes you wonder…
It’s bad when it involves physical danger… It’s equally bad (or worse) when it involves spiritual danger! Spiritual crisis or danger has consequences not only for time, but for eternity! Christians who have experienced the love and “salvation” (i.e. the rescue) of God have responsibilities at both levels! And it is inexcusable for us to offer lame excuses like “I didn’t realize!”
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developed skill. Learning how to avoid subjects that are not necessary is
a big Key (Politics and all that) because we have to learn to ask ourselves
“in the whole scheme of things’ how much does this really matter? In order
to function in our relationships there has to be give and take and two way
conversations. It’s not about one person being on top and the other at the
bottom. It’s not about one person feeling safe and not the other. Much is
needed in the form of communication and prayer, love and care, patience
kindness and all that stuff. the truth is there is times we don’t have time to
do all that with everyone so we make choices as to how we spend our time
(and who we spend it with). There are overly needy people who maybe need
to learn to get a grip and just let God be their friend at times. Every person
is different as my grandson Colton just told me at age 5 “not everyone is
the same grandma’ he said………wise words of a 5 year old.
Once we get the devil out of the way we can start talking. He has no right
to interfere with our relationship and we really do need to tell him to scram!
(Spiritual war fare 101) then we can get down to business.
I have learned standing up for Jesus doesn’t mean I have to talk about
him personally every minute of the day he knows I love him. He knows my
heart and he also knows that restoration requires peeling away the layers
of our very soul to see what makes us tick and why. He wants to do heart
surgery on us he wants to have US know what makes us tick and he wants
to show us how our thinking (in our very soul) at times is not always his best
for us or for others. I was thinking how the cross goes up and down (us and
our relationship with GOD) and across representing our relationship with
others. Without God in the midst of it all things just “don’t seem to work”
although we can speak truth without necessarily quoting a scripture every
minute of the day. I didn’t used to know this; but now I do.
what makes you tick (and why?) do you even know. One of Jesus’ names
is counsellor and I believe it (his name is counsellor) I remember this from
years ago and always seem to fall back on it. Please Father by your Spirit
be my counsellor” In Jesus’ name We pray! Amen -Laura Grace
Author of grace to Grow and other books available on Kindle.
unconditional” – limited by no conditions; absolute
You know, believe it or not you really can learn something from your accuser(s). I didn’t talk about this in my book Grace to the Rescue, I was limited on my word count; Therefore a lot of stuff got left out. That’s why I am writing other books until everything God showed me is fully revealed before “my time comes.” I am called to be a witness and testify of what he has shown me.
My ex: I learned something from him and I just realized this today. Would you like to know what it was? He was in church and learned scriptures just like I did. Whether he took them into his heart to become a part of him (to become Christ like) was a decision entirely up to him. He could use the scripture against everyone (like the enemy does) or he could choose to let it change him inside. I was determined to allow God to change me. I well remember when I became born again that I was very aware that every sin known to man I had committed in my heart at one time, or another. God clearly showed me I had fallen short of his glory and it was not because of some fire and brimstone sermon; nor because of anyone parading banners around me telling me how much I had sin. The Holy Spirit did the job in his perfect way (like he does) and I eventually responded and gave God my life. My ex on the other hand “came to God” because he was backed in a corner by others over his laundry list of sins.
I was going to leave him over drug use and stealing and lying to cover it up. He said he wanted God to help him so I followed him to a church in Idaho where he swore he was going to: “Get delivered.” It never happened. While I was married to him as he regressed back to lying, stealing, drug use and the like; I remember saying; “you promised.” and I would cry and talk about how much all this was hurting his family and such. He would say to me (gently) “I’m sorry honey but you are being a little self-righteous and judgmental.” He would (in a gentle way) tell me that was I was being religious and would tell me what Grace really is in the bible. There were sermons all the time “we are not under law” but Grace. Law was the tutor to bring us to Christ they said now you are led by the Holy Spirit. My ex would tell me he prayed and prayed but the devil was winning. If I put rules or boundaries or consequences on him he said: “you are putting me under law.”
It was a blessing in disguise because it drove me to the throne of God and it drove me (literally) to study God’s word more. I had to have answers, and I had to hear from God! “Submit to your husband” was just not cutting it for me and that’s the one everyone loved to quote to me. I knew I was in spiritual danger and natural danger as well. The first time God spoke to me on this was pointing out to me the scripture about obeying the authorities and laws of the land. It said “They do not bear the sword for nothing” and I saw that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were in agreement to obey the laws of the land.
Because of this; I felt liberated by God to say; “you will not have illegal drugs in the house.” I explained to him it was a violation of the law of the land forcing me to also violate it if I turned the other way. Now I had a leg to stand on.
He accused me of not loving so I loved. He accused me of not forgiving so I forgave him time and time again. He accused me of not walking in Grace so I showed him Grace beyond 70X7. I do not regret this decision.
The reason I don’t regret it is because the bible says our righteousness should exceed that of the Pharisee. I gave him Justice and I walked through the fire of false accusations; proving to both God and myself I was not what he said I was. I Prayed to not be Judgmental, self-righteous, religious; or any of the things he accused me of. He did me a favor as far as I can tell.
He refused to provide for our household. I gave him scripture about it and prayed that he would provide. He said he had to work light duty because of his back pain but he would not even keep a cab driving job God provided for him. Why? Because he had to steal from the guy to buy drugs. He stole from my work to buy drugs. I did not do what they call “intervention” because honestly I don’t believe in that. It doesn’t work. God intervened and led me out and away from the person who continued to put my family in danger; In his timing. Later on I was on an online blog and faced all the accusations of unbelievers. They talk about how we are endangering our children teaching them there is a hell and called it child abuse.
They make horrid statements like: “Can God make a rock he himself is not big enough to carry?” and accuse Christians of having to have a fairy tell or made up crutch to survive in this world. They say the world was not created, that there was a big bang and we all came from rock soup out of nowhere. I endured that test too. When it was all over I realized that people are not saved by hearing the word of God. Do they need to hear it? Well; yes they do but they can have ears in the natural and never hear a thing spiritually because they are dead inside. They literally are: The walking dead.
It’s important to me to preach deliverance and not mix it with other teachings of man. What I have both seen and learned is that intervention (even) does not work unless the person wants to change. People who are forced to give up one habit replace It with another. I never demanded my ex stopped using drugs I only asked he not do it in our home. When I left no matter how much abuse I had taken the love of God WITHIN ME for him was still intact. I remember praying Please let him make heaven please let him be okay. Oh Father if he winds up “Smarter than me” In the Spirit that’s fine, just never stop working on him.”
This is a person who has walked through the fire with God determined to come out shining. This person is me and I’m still standing.
Sometimes we just have no peace about something and we don’t know why. the bible says to be at peace with all men if it’s possible. There are those who are peace with certain things while others are not at peace with it. I know Moses had to say “hold your peace and let God fight the battle” (Be still) but there are other times the bible said prophets were told not to hold their peace. TO be Holy Means to be set apart. Part of that is to not think like the rest of the world but we grow into this little by little. The seed of God is holy and it makes us “BE COME” Holy it’s not an overnight instant presto thing but a process.
It’s like sometimes they were holding their peace and like Jeremiah said “There is a fire i…n my bones and I cannot hold it in” He was troubled and could not be at peace with what was going on and had to talk about it.
I have learned that often when I try to explain why I am not at peace with something it’s not always a thing I can explain really in intellectual terms.
Righteousness and Peace go Hand in Hand. Righteousness with God is right standing with God. It will involve Justice, Mercy and all that God is and how he believes.
As we come into agreement with what God believes about a situation we are peace with him. Jesus said I didn’t come to bring peace but a sword (which causes division at times) which sounds ilke he is saying be at peace but don’t be at peace. Why is this? See, it really is about what God is teaching you at the time. when he wants you to learn something new you won’t be at peace with the way you used to do things. and that is a GOOD THING.
There is lots of stuff I used to do that I now do not do because I have learned and grown and that’s how it should be. Please Father help us not to be stuck in our ways and help us to go forward in you whatever that means to us personally. In Jesus’ name. “HELP US GROW” ……amen -Laura Graceauthor of Grace to grow and Grace to there rescue available at Amazon and Tate Publishing.
I was watching a television show last night about a woman who was abused and beaten by her husband. In one case he had told the daughter she could not have any meatballs unless mommy admits what she did and the accusation was false, but it didn’t matter. The woman wanted her child to eat so she let the guy beat on her with a flashlight while she fed the child meatballs. She endured the beating for the sake of her child. As I watched it I was taken back to my own experiences trying to raise children while suffering abuse and even the churches I attended neglecting what I needed because they were taken in by my con artist husband who deceived them. I erred on the side of love toward him and was determined to endlessly believe for his deliverance and to forgive 70 x 7 and beyond. But I endured beatings; many of them had to do with false accusations, being called controlling, self righteous, “holier than thou” and all kinds of things just because I wanted us to have a healthy and non dysfunctional lifestyle. The more I grew in God the more I wanted that and the more I got beaten down in my quest to try. I took endless advice from church people telling me how to pray and many were good people but they were misinformed about my situation or “not informed at all.” They picked scriptures out of their hats and gave them to me not knowing they were giving me condemnation instead of healing and help.
I remember thinking I would not live to see 40 years old because I could feel myself dying. Because of this I just thought no matter what I have to help my kids know Jesus enough so they can live without me. That was my thinking until one day the Lord showed me it was okay to depart from this marriage. If not for his intervention I believe I would have stayed there and died. The bible talks about beware of a person who can drag your soul to hell. If your right eye “causes you to sin” it says “pluck it out.” Divorce leaves a Christian person who loves God feeling like an amputee. You can’t just get rid of them if you have a born again heart to love everyone and think oh “good riddance” because you are born to love, born to forgive, born to be merciful like God is himself.
People who have lived in abuse and taken the beatings need soul healing. The scripture says the Lord heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Healing of the heart happens in layers. God can heal a heart overnight but in my case the healing has come one layer at a time. I know I am healed of what happened when I can expose myself to stories (such as the one above) and I do not cry or feel the pain of it any longer. Abuse victims have a form of PTSD if you will and only the Lord himself can heal it. Tell me how conventional psychology or drugs heals a person and I will relent; but for the most part what I see is society teaches us to “COPE” while God actually does do soul healing. In order to function in our bodies we have to be healed; otherwise we cannot walk or use that limb or whatever is going on with our body that is messed up will not function properly. It’s the same with healing of the soul; until we are healed all the way we will not function as God intended.
The Journey of healing (in God and his power) takes great courage. A lot of people would rather just pretend it isn’t there because it’s embarrassing to break down and cry or go through the messy business which goes with healing. I often wish there were more healing oriented groups in churches where people come in and have a history of abuse. Learning scripture is wonderful; but marching around parading scriptures on large banners and saying Glory to God will not heal people. Healing of the soul takes time; love, patience, study of the scripture on who you are in Christ Jesus and learning that we must unlearn the things which were done to us in times past. I wish it could all be done with name it and claim it or blab it and grab it but believe me I have tried and it just cannot be done.
People who need healing will not always do the right thing at the right time but they are still people whom God loves very much. In the world of Christians there are often many of us who are hurting still and these (old wounds) need to be healed by God so we can make sense and function properly. It’s an ongoing journey and we would do well not to assume we have arrived: either as a minister or as a sheep in the congregation. Father some need more healing than others but we are all in the process of being restored to what you envisioned us to be. Help us Father not to be prideful and realize we are all on a journey to be made whole. Help us to remember we need to apply the scripture that by your stripes we are healed; body soul and spirit. Thank you for pouring in the oil and the wine and healing us Father thank you for making us whole, healthy and strong in you and thank you for giving us patience with ourselves in this journey called healing. In Jesus” name we pray………amen
Leaders: You are one whether you think so or not.
I often feel misunderstood. Whether it’s true or not, I have no idea. I remember wanting to be a motel manager someday so I could make a better experience for my guests. The vision was born of pain when I stayed in Motels and spent the only 40.00 I had for the purpose of enjoying myself with my children and I would have maids beat on the door at 8:30 or 9 am. they just didn’t know how that time of sleeping in and enjoying the children was perhaps the only chance
I had that year or there were other times $5 off would have made a
huge difference in whether we could afford breakfast and the motel. Therefore I prayed to manage a motel someday so I could make others lives brighter, better and give them the gift I never had. I was the same way about property management for a long time remembering how it was to have no credit and be denied a place to live even though Yes, I did almost always pay my rent on time.
All of how I view life seems to be based on do unto others as you would have done unto you or do as you wish had been done unto you. My songs have often been born of pain and a fight to overcome it. My life is a living testimony of saying guess what devil YOU don’t get to win and turn me into the bitter angry person you sought for me to be. I will love people I will give what I often did not have and I will continue to pray NOT ONLY to be a light but to be a practical and blessed help to whomever I can find to receive it.
I don’t remember ever wanting to be a leader for the high of bossing people around. In fact I did not aspire to be one until one day I realized Leaders who lead by both example and words of wisdom are always needed. The world doesn’t need more gestapo type leaders or dictators we need examples of love, light, truth and mercy. we need examples of humility in our lives. We need examples of forgiveness and grace.
Leaders who have inspired me are the ones who get up and keep on fighting to forgive, produce the fruits of righteousness and faithfulness and peace, kindness and others attributes of God in their lives despite all the pain and despite all the odds that seem to be arrayed against them. Leaders. What types of leaders have inspired you?
I know Jesus was not the leader Israel expected him to be he did not take over and overthrow the government entities. He did not slay his enemies and he did not smash the wicked into pieces. He told his disciples they would be hated and they were. He healed everyone that came to him he taught everyone that truly wanted to know. He loved unconditionally but he did not take abuse until the day he was appointed to die and take the lashes and pain that we Deserved but he did not deserve. He did all this to win us and reconcile us back to God the Father in heaven so we could have a relationship with Him.
No power of earth or devil of hell is going to tell me I can’t have a relationship with my Father in heaven and walk and talk with him ever again. However I do allow him to teach me what he wants me to know not what I wish to know at the time because I see myself as “his child.”I see myself as learning to become (more) like him and I pray each & every day that’s exactly what will happen. How about you? How do you see Christianity? What do you think it all means? When the seas are calm and he’s provided all you need to live what do you find is most important to you? A relationship with him or “everything else”……..
Good question eh …….? End of Sunday morning sermon! -by Laura Grace (and you are a leader whether you think so or not)
Someone somewhere is watching and you don’t even know it.
Getting closer to God tip #3 Be willing to learn new things! For those of us who cherish what God has taught or given to us; believe me when I say:
I understand the fear of learning something new that may seem to step on the old at the time. An example I can give you is the Lord taught me that by giving up certain types of Music I was making room for him to plant good things in my heart which would lead to well, more of HIM in my heart rather than this “junk music’ I used to listen to all the time.
The revelation was so real that for years I was unwilling to listen to any so called “worldly music” ever and I got a little bit too extreme.
God taught me a new thing one day as I was reading Ecclesiastes in a passage which said “don’t be overly wise” Why should you ruin yourself? The timing was perfect.
I sat there stumped thinking how can you be overly wise? but as I asked the Lord to expand on this he showed me I had gotten out of balance and that in doing so it wasn’t really glorifying him as much as I thought it was at the time. I had even become a little self righteous over my “no worldly music’ stance. OUCH …..
thank you God for always helping me be willing to learn new things. that’s how I grow. Amen -Laura Grace