LARA’S LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, I woke up this morning so excited it was absolutely incredible and wonderful. Am I going on vacation? No. Haven’t had a real one in years. Won the lottery? Nope. Don’t even have a regular salary. Getting married? Single on purpose for Jesus. Leaving this freezing cold northern climate where the Lord currently has me for my ministry work? Not as of yet anyway. Have a wonderful social life with a great weekend to look forward to? No real social entertainment life as I’m available 24-7 for the Lord and ministry. Great weekend plans? None other than to love and follow Jesus and tell the world about Him. Why so excited? I’m so madly and passionately and head over heels in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and so over-the-top elated to be loving and serving and worshiping the Lord day in and day out that I have no words to describe how thankful I am! Oh, and how I love, love, love to help people find and follow Him! Please keep praying as the Lord continues to grow me and my ministry and expand its reach ALL FOR THE GLORY OF CHRIST! love & blessings, lara p.s. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR MORE OF MY BRAND NEW GOOD NEWS DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONALS!!!!! TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, I have been writing and editing for decades. I actually started writing passionately, desperately, hungrily, and devotedly as a little girl, but I didn’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and my gift of writing the Lord gave me wasn’t dedicated to Him. As much as I’ve learned about editing through the years when it comes to my writing as well as my speaking, no human expertise, no human grammar books, nothing human at all comes close to the editing of Christ. We need to submit our whole hearts and lives to Jesus – our written and spoken words included. When what we write or speak is not pleasing to the Lord, we need to change it so it is. I encourage you to surrender ALL to the Lord – your words included. Strive to honor the Lord in ALL areas of your life – words included. love & blessings, lara “The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,…” Proverbs 10:11 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION YOU’RE SO NEEDY “You’re so needy,” my first husband complained years ago. I don’t blame him. I was. Always needing love, attention, validation, acceptance, encouragement, company, help, support, on and on. I wasn’t a committed Christ follower back then, so I turned to my husband continually with my neediness. I wore him out! Now I bring my neediness to Jesus, and oh how He gloriously lovingly mercifully patiently kindly tenderly gently strongly wonderfully fabulously fantastically meets my needs! I’m glad I’m a needy person because the more I bring my neediness to the Lord, the closer I draw to Him and Him to me. Feeling needy? Come before the Lord Jesus Christ! Draw near to the Lord! May He draw near to you! DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT THIS IS A DISTRACTION “This is a distraction,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one day. What was a distraction? You don’t need to know. But I want you to know this. THE LORD was making plain and clear I needed to turn away from the distraction and do what HE wanted me to do. NOT what I wanted to do. Is there something or someone distracting you? Do you sense the Lord calling you to turn away and turn to Him and what He has for you to do? Then turn! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I wrote that is available in print by contacting me at 843-338-2219 or via lara@GoodNews.love. Blessing #227 “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8 Did the Lord Jesus Christ die for us when we got our acts together and stopped sinning? When we became perfect? When we became good enough which in all honesty we can never be on this earth? When we found a way to measure up to God which is impossible? When we did enough good deeds which also is not possible? When we turned away from our wickedness and became totally pure without a single fault – ever? No! He died for us WHILE WE WERE SINNERS. While we were still living a lifestyle of sin! Can you even begin to comprehend the enormity of the Lord Jesus Christ dying on the cross and being raised from the dead knowing what our lives would look like from start to finish – every sin included? How can we comprehend the magnitude of this let alone ever be thankful enough to the Lord for the blessing of His death and resurrection WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS with our backs turned to the Lord and our flesh indulging in any and every sin imaginable to satisfy our ever-lusting flesh? This blessing is truly beyond beautiful and amazing. Let us reflect on just what He did for us! Oh, let us be thankful! Thank you, dear Lord. Oh, thank you! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND? “…Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!” Son of Solomon 2:13 My best friend is Jesus. Who is yours? First and foremost, He is my Lord, Father, King, Savior, master, healer, redeemer, etc. But I do not simply know the Lord from a far away distance. I know Him up close and personal. Intimately. Personally. He is my heart. He is my first love. He is my greatest passion. My highest priority. My beloved truest companion. My very best friend. The Lord is to be loved, honored, adored, revered, respected, served, obeyed, bowed down to, etc. He is first and foremost Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of the world. But He is also to be intimately, lovingly, and tenderly experienced and enjoyed. We were created for personal relationship with Him, and this fellowship we can only have when we turn from ours sins, believe He is Lord and Son of God and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, committing our lives wholly to Him. Is Jesus Christ your Lord? Savior? Your very best friend? Turn, turn, turn to the Lord! And may He be your all and all, now and forevermore! AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE The Man Who Lit Up “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12 I was standing in a little grassy area with handicapped streets ministry doggies Abigail and Gracie when I began speaking to a man standing on the sidewalk nearby doing his non profit work. I mentioned Jesus and he absolutely lit up. Within moments, we were throwing scriptures back and forth at each other. The more verses, the more joy. Brother and sister in the Lord. Two strangers in his big old world. But siblings in Christ who will spend forever together with Jesus. Oh, how joyful we were with our hearts and mouths pointed to Jesus for those few minutes. Soon a few young people showed up to join him in his volunteer work. I gave them Gospel tracts, and all three signed up to receive my Good News Daily devotionals by email. Then off we went in our respective lives. I wish you could have seen how that man lit up once I spoke of Jesus. Shouldn’t be surprised, of course. Jesus is the light of the whole world. Savior of the world. The only way to everlasting life. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, almighty God. When we think about Him, and talk about Him, and read the Bible, and share Him with others, and, most of all, follow after Him, how can we not be lit up? Oh, bless the Lord. Father of lights, God is. The light, the light, do you know the light of Jesus? Don’t hold the light of Christ to yourself, my friend. Long ago, I saw the Olympic torch which was carried from place to place around America. The light was spread all around. The most important way we can serve the Lord in our everyday lives is to share the Gospel message with others, to proclaim Christ to the world, to help people to find and follow Him, and as we do so to spread the love, light, hope, mercy, joy and grace of Jesus with the world!
This is a short story I wrote several years ago and have been led to re-publish each holiday season with the hope that the Lord will move mightily in people’s hearts as He did in my own when He gave me the story to write. I hope you might consider passing it along…. CRAZY MAN IN THE POST OFFICE…… Crazy people always stand out from the crowd, don’t they? This one did, alright. I couldn’t help but notice him. The post office might have been jam packed with people holding on for dear life to their remaining patience and arms piled high with holiday season packages, but the crazy one drew my attention more than anyone else. Barefoot. In winter. Simply dressed. No coat. No impatience like many of the others. No smile either. A sadness, actually. Soulful eyes. He wore his heart on his sleeve. He was weighed down by some sort of tragedy. His shoulders sagged. And he didn’t even have the weight of so many packages to pull his body down, not like all the others did. He had no packages at all. Not even a letter to mail. I watched him carefully, wondering what he would do. What was he standing there for when he didn’t have anything to send? Nobody else noticed him from what I could tell. They didn’t seem to see him. But then, they were busy. Chatting about the Happy Holidays season. Discussing recipes. Some laughing. Some staring at their watches. Some grumbling over the length of the line. How long, they mumbled to one another, would they have to stand in this line? Before returning to their Happy Holidays shopping. So they could come back to the post office and stand in line all over again to send off more gifts to celebrate the Happy Holidays. The crazy man looked over at them standing in line from time to time. He didn’t say a word. He just wore that sad expression on His face. Then he walked over to a corner, found himself a simple wooden chair, and sat. I wondered again why he was there. Then the whispering started. Whisper, whisper. Whisper. “Honey,” a woman dressed in a bright red Happy Holidays sweater with pom poms that looked like snow balls whispered to her little boy who was dressed in a bright green version of his mother’s sweater. “Stay close to me, okay? Santa will give you an extra Happy Holidays present if you’re good, okay? Don’t go near that man over there.” The little boy looked over at the crazy man and smiled at him. The crazy man smiled back. The woman tugged her son closer to her side. “What’s he doing in here?” a man said under his breath to the man standing just behind him. “He doesn’t even have shoes on, for heaven’s sake.” “Homeless,” the other man mumbled in return before looking back at his watch. “I have a Happy Holidays party to get to, this line better start moving.” Mumble. Grumble. “I know all the homeless people around here, I don’t think he is,” the first man muttered back. “My wife makes me give them our leftovers. If I try to argue with her, she threatens to take away my golf clubs.” The other man sighed in resignation. And commiseration. “Wives,” he sighed again. “Baby doll,” a woman whispered to her daughter. “I want you to stay away from that man over there, okay?” The woman tugged at her daughter’s big red hair bow before she redid it all over again to make it look pretty and perfect just like of course it should be. The little girl looked up at her mother with big sad brown eyes. “But mommy, mommy – ” “No cupcake, please don’t argue with me. I know what’s best for you. Let’s mail these Happy Holidays presents and I’ll take you to the ice cream parlor, okay? Now help me hold these packages. Everyone will be so delighted with their presents.” The mother smiled down at her daughter to reassure her. “You can have an extra scoop, dear.” “Why are you giving everyone presents if it’s not their birthday?” the little girl asked her mother aloud, forgetting to whisper. The little girl continued to stare at the crazy man in the corner, and she couldn’t help but smile at him. She would have waved at him, only she didn’t want to get her mother angry with her again. Her mother wanted her to stay focused on the Happy Holidays season, and to help decorate the Happy Holidays tree, and to prepare her lines for the Happy Holidays play at school. She wanted to be a good little girl, but she sure did want to go over to the crazy man in the corner and say to him what was sitting right on the very top of her huge heart. “Stop staring, dear,” her mother said, grabbing her daughter’s hand and jerking her forward in line. Just then, three little girls, two little boys, and their mother came bursting through the post office door. Everyone in line looked over at them. “Happy holidays! Happy holidays!” the mother called out to everyone in the post office line before she rang a big Happy Holidays bell and gave everyone a big, perfectly white smile. Then the children began to sing. In perfect unison of course. “Happy holidays! Happy holidays!” Then they walked through the line with chocolate flavored candy canes and handed them out. People smiled. People said thank you. People moved forward in the line. Then the children walked over to the man in the corner to give him candy canes, and the mother gasped. “Oh no! Oh no! Children, come stand in line with me.” The children knew to obey, so they did. They smiled sadly at the crazy man in the corner and went to stand in line with their mother and all the others. Everyone stood in line together with their Happy Holidays presents and the watches they kept looking at and their rush and hurry to move forward so they could get to where they needed to hurry and rush to so they could rush and hurry along once more. One of the children turned to another and said quietly enough for his mother not to hear. “How come mommy doesn’t recognize him?” Several of the children who were with the little boy answered in unison. “Mommy’s too busy, that’s what she always tells us these days, doesn’t she? She says it’s the Happy Holidays season.” The children all nodded together in agreement. Then the line moved forward. The people carrying packages moved forward. Everything moved forward. Even the children. Because the children weren’t allowed to walk away from their parents. They all had to stand in line because it was the Happy Holidays season, and because they weren’t allowed to go talk to the crazy man in the corner. After some time, when the line began to dwindle, and the packages had been mailed, the mothers with their children walked out of the post office with big, bright smiles and empty arms and plans to go get hot chocolate and go ice skating and then get ice cream and go to Happy Holidays parties and celebrate the big wonderful Happy Holidays season. Several mothers left the post office together as their children chattered among themselves, looking forward to when the Happy Holidays season would all be over and they could get back to just being children without all the rules and regulations and responsibilities of helping their mothers stay happy for the holidays. One little girl managed to slip off from the little crowd just long enough to run back into the post office without any of the mothers noticing. She opened wide the door, cruised right through, and skipped over to the corner where the crazy man still sat. She looked up at him with her great big brown soulful eyes and watched the man as a single tear slipped slowly but steadily down his cheek. “I’m sorry they forgot about you, Jesus. I just came back to say I love you.” He reached out to her with His hand, and she would have taken it if her mother’s voice hadn’t cried out through the doorway of the post office and drawn the attention of everyone standing in line. “I told you to stay away from him, honey pie. Now let’s get going. We have the Happy Holidays to go celebrate, dear.” Jesus smiled at the little girl. She smiled back at Him before her mother rushed through the post office and dragged her away. “I love you too,” whispered the crazy man in the corner of the post office jam packed with people sending off packages to celebrate the Happy Holidays season. Then Jesus wiped away His tear and wondered if anyone but a small child would ever recognize Him again.
Dear friend,… I sure could use prayer today! While I’ve been frustrated about being in New York City and spending most of my time indoors recently as the freezing cold has set in, I’ve had an awesome opportunity to spend plenty of time seeking the Lord and doing loads of writing which of course is an enormous part of my ministry. I’ve also been blessed with starting up my GOOD NEWS DAILY Video Devotionals which I absolutely LOVE doing! So despite being frustrated that I’m not out on the streets telling the world about Jesus, I’m ecstatic that I’m indoors instead TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT JESUS! Talk about a humbling and thrilling privilege and honor! I am delighted to tell you that I’m right in the thick of finishing up my latest little devotional booklet to be sent out to prisoners and homeless people around the country. I have an ever-growing distribution list, and I get frustrated when I go for periods of time without writing and sending them their next tract or devotional. The Lord has me starting back up again my devotional magazines specifically for the prisoners and the homeless and those in extreme need plus one for the general public, but the latest is a themed special edition devotional. Why do I get frustrated? BECAUSE I LOVE THE LORD SO EXCEEDINGLY AND LOVE PEOPLE SO EXTREMELY MUCH AND AM SO EXCEEDINGLY DEVOTED OT JESUS AND TO TELLING THE WORLD ABOUT HIM THAT I GET FRUSTRATED I CAN’T DO MORE AND KEEP UP WITH IT ALL! I write this with a smile in my heart and on my face! This is all good if you think about it. I come from a background of brokenness beyond human hope and repair. So how awesome the Lord has so saved and restored me that my number one desire in life is to love and worship and serve Him forever and to help people find and forever follow Him! I am still – as always – in need of REST. I am also in great need of DONATIONS which unfortunately still are very few and far between. I am also in great need of PRAYERS as I press on. However the Lord leads you to pray, please pray on! Today, I hope you enjoy my video above. I will not be sending out my usual Good News Daily as I work on finishing up the devotional to go out around the US. thanks for your love, prayers, encouragement, and, most of all, for devoting your lives utterly to the Lord Jesus Christ! love & blessings, lara p.s. I encourage you in the meantime to consider visiting my ministry website & seeing the latest writing, videos, photos of the handicapped streets ministry doggies, and my personal story. You can do so when you CLICK HERE!
MIRACLE STORY. Years ago Miss Mercy was hit by probably a truck and taken to a shelter in rural Georgia. I picked her up and was told by multiple vets she needed to be euthanized. The Lord Jesus Christ in response to prayer told me to KEEP HER ALIVE. On the way to the shelter, I stopped at a gas station and was told a dog had been dumped there and hit by 2 cars on the same day. Her name is now Gracie. Miss Mercy (now 8) and Gracie (now 8) are now 2 of the 4 handicapped streets ministry doggies that are on the road with me for Jesus as I do streets ministry and writing & publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. 12-year-old paralyzed Mr. Simeon was hit by a hit and run driver and left for dead. His rescuer handed him off to me about a year later. 14-year-old Abigail has her senior issues. Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy both almost died several years after rescue. The Lord saved them again. My own personal story is totally miraculous. This is a little family of miracles. ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS. All devoted to the Lord! For His glory! Please read my personal story & the best message in the universe when you CLICK HERE.
Ever felt like giving up? When it comes to the will of the Lord in your life? Like there’s no way you’re going to make it another minute? Or have you already quit? Or turned the other way? I have some BIG ENCOURAGEMENT for you! 1 James 1:2-4: “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Romans 5:3-5: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA……. Dear friend, ……… I met a woman who told me how she lost an eye and expressed to me how positive and thankful she was about the experience. Instead of whining, complaining, and being self-pitying, she shared how thankful she was for the eye she still had. I commented to her how we tend to take for granted what we have until we don’t have it, and she agreed. I have taken so much for granted in my life and complained so much about what I have not had or what I lost. Imagine if we lived our lives day in and day out with thanksgiving in our hearts and flowing out of our mouths – for the Lord, for His death and resurrection, for His forgiveness and salvation when we turn from ours sins and place our faith in Him as Lord, and for all His endless spiritual and physical blessings. Imagine if we made a strong commitment to stop taking for granted His goodness. Oh, let us praise the Lord! Let us not take His goodness for granted not ever! love & blessings,lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION Paralyzed Dog: Exceedingly, Abundantly, Above! “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 Exceedingly. Abundantly. Above. The exact words that came to me when I discovered paralyzed wheelchair doggy Mr. Simeon with his massive teeth in the wonderful leggings I had just found at a thrift shop to wear under pants to keep me warm. I had BEGGED the Lord to heal Mr. Simeon who had been very sick. The Lord had done exceedingly abundantly above what I had asked for. Mr. Simeon was so happy and healthy that he was getting ready to destroy my clothes! Please note the first verses above. The Lord is ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly above what we pray for or think. But note in the second verse above, He answers our prayers ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. Just because He can give us above what we desire and ask for does NOT mean He will. We need to trust the Lord and to be thankful that He ALWAYS knows what is best. LATEST WISDOM FROM ABOVE GRIEVING JESUS “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 My alone time with Jesus isn’t always joyful. Sometimes it’s tough, challenging, convicting. The Lord’s wisdom from above can bring hard chastening. Like when He told me recently I’ve been grieving Him for a really long time in my deficit of faith in a vitally important area of my life. Do you know we can grieve the Lord? We can! And we must not! So as soon as His Spirit shows us we have been, we need to be sorry for our sins and turn to Him with our entire hearts! Let’s make a conscious effort day in and day out not to grieve Jesus but instead to bring Him love, praise, honor, joy, pleasure, and glory. AMEN! DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WHEN JESUS TAKES SOMETHING OR SOMEONE AWAY “Simeon, are you mad because I took the pants away?” I asked paralyzed doggy Mr. Simeon after I removed my leggings from Mr. Simeon’s mouth.No response. He wouldn’t even look my way. He was apparently totally dismayed that I did what was best by retrieving my belongings. He wouldn’t even look in my direction. If a dog can have self-pity and be downcast, that was my beloved Mr. Simeon just then. Reminds me of how we humans act sometimes when the Lord takes something or someone away from us because He knows what is best for us. When we’re humble and mature, we trust Him and are thankful even though it may be exceedingly hard. When we’re immature and prideful, we may be self-pitying, bitter, hurt, dejected, and even refuse to look in the Lord’s direction. Mr. Simeon is just a beloved doggy. But we who are followers of Jesus need to act humbly, wisely, and honorably when the Lord removes something or someone from us. We need to believe He knows what’s best, to keep loving and obeying Him, and to follow Him forth. TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I wrote that is available in print by contacting me at 843-338-2219 or via lara@GoodNews.love. Blessings #222-226 “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 Can there really be five blessings in these two verses? Oh, yes! Please look at them with me! First, we can learn to rejoice right in the midst of our tribulations. Jesus said we will have tribulations, and you can find a wonderful promise related to going through tribulations if you look at John 16:33. In the meantime, look at the verses above to see why we can find reason to celebrate when we face tribulations. A product of going through them is PERSEVERANCE. We learn how to endure! So hard, but in God’s strength we can. What results? Character! We need more of it, don’t we? Then what comes? HOPE! Oh, yes, we can always use more hope. This kind of hope doesn’t result in disappointment. Why not? Because the LOVE OF GOD is poured into us! How? By God’s Holy Spirit? We don’t figure all of this process out on our own. God shows us in these verses how it works. And, when we surrender to Him right through our trials and tribulations, He brings to pass His promises in these verses. One, two, three, four, five. Celebrating in tribulations, one. Perseverance, two. Character, three. Hope, four. And THE LOVE OF GOD, five. Five more blessings, absolutely, thank you Father, AMEN! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WHY WON’T YOU BEHAVE? “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”” 2 Timothy 2:19 “Know what I was thinking Simeon?” I told my beloved paralyzed doggy Mr. Simeon. Yes, I talk to my dogs. I’m on the road full-time alone with Jesus, and my sweet streets ministry doggies get to hear a mouthful sometimes. “We could behave today. Now that’s a novel concept, isn’t it?” I was referring to his behavioral issues which are in fact hilarious though sometimes annoying. Immediately I saw the message in my silly little one-way conversation with Mr. Simeon.How must the Lord feel day after day when we don’t behave? When we disobey Him? When we consciously go against His will? I can’t even fathom. But I know this. Not only will we reap the awful consequences of rebellion against the Lord, which hurts us, most importantly of all we grieve Jesus. We hurt terribly His heart. I heard a preacher say he wasn’t set free from the sin of pornography until he opened his eyes and saw he was HURTING THE HEART OF THE LORD. I was joking around with my beloved doggy. But there’s no joking around when it comes to rebellion against the Lord. If we’re in it, it’s time to turn away from it. And turn with godly sorrow and a plea for forgiveness to Jesus. Now. Before it’s too late. TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE”Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.” Deuteronomy 31:6-7 I think my ministry work is challenging, but I cannot even fathom what people like Joshua in the Bible went through as the Lord called him to lead a massive number of people into the Promised Land especially considering the challenges they faced. They had unfathomable giants to face. How could he possibly go forth in his ministry work let alone to do so victoriously? HE COULD NOT DO IT IN HIS WEAKNESS. HE COULD DO IT IN GOD’S STRENGTH. HE COULD NOT DO IT IN FEAR. HE COULD DO IT WITH COURAGE. HIS TRUST NEEDED TO BE IN THE LORD TO LEAD HIM FORTH! If we try to serve the Lord without the Lord, we will fail miserably and miss the point. The point of serving the Lord is ABOUT THE LORD and THROUGH THE LORD and FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD! Whatever the Lord calls us to do to serve Him day by day, let us go forth IN HIS STRENGTH WITH COURAGE FOR THE GLORY OF CHRIST, oh yes!
Two of my precious handicapped streets ministry doggies. 14-year-old Abigail and Gracie who years ago was dumped at a gas station and hit by 2 cars on the same day…..A quick rest stop break in the snow…!
LARA’S LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, My latest book 365 BLESSINGS is now available in print. The book does not have a set price if you order through my ministry, but donations would be very welcome. If you’d like to get a copy for yourself, like to order copies perhaps as gifts, or would like to sponsor copies for people in prison or in homeless shelters, please contact me at lara@GoodNews.love or 843-338-2219. Love & blessings, Lara TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, Ever wanted to desperately get out of a place, a situation, a relationship, a commitment, a job, a house, circumstances, etc.? I most assuredly have! Truth is for decades when my flesh wanted to run, I ran! It was all about pleasing myself and moving on immediately when my flesh said GO and RUN! When we believe in and receive Jesus Christ as Lord, turning from our sins, believing in His death and resurrection, and turning to the Lord and His ways, we now belong to Him and are to live for Him not ourselves. If you’re desperately wanting to run from something or someone, go before the Lord. Seek Him. Open the Bible. Read what He leads you to read. Seek counsel from people who follow Jesus if He leads you to do so. Wait on the Lord. Go if He tells you to go. Stay if He tells you to stay. Live for Him. He will give you the strength to do His will. love & blessings, lara “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17 TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION THE WOMAN WITH ALL THE TROUBLES ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34: I have a beloved sister in the Lord and dear friend who is in the thick of facing so many major trials it’s a wonder she gets out of bed every morning let alone that she’s still standing. Loved one just passed away, another loved one desperately ill, she was just diagnosed with a major illness after surviving a life-threatening other one, several immediate family members with major challenges, always this family or that family member sick, she’s relatively young, and the trials in her life have been relentless for years on end. Really her whole life. So of course you can imagine she is a depressed, down, discouraged, self-pitying woman who is always crying out to everyone her troubles and bemoaning her existence, right? WRONG! She is one of the most vibrant, positive, thankful, love, hope, and joy-filled women I have ever met in my life, and she spends her life day in and day out loving, praising, worshiping, serving, and following the Lord and blessing others with love, encouragement, words of wisdom the Lord gives her for others, and praying for them. She’d be the first to admit she is far from perfect and needs the Lord’s grace and mercy just like the rest of us, but oh what an inspiration she is to me and to others. She doesn’t let her troubles make her quit. Instead they fuel her fire to live her life for Christ to the utmost and to proclaim Him to the world. What an inspiration she is to me. And hopefully now to you also. May we not let our challenges stop us. May they instead be a catalyst to chase after Jesus all the more and to live to love and glorify the Lord forever and to tell the world about Him! DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT I’M NOT GOING THERE! “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 “I’m not going there!” I declared aloud. Where? Into self-condemnation! I had fallen into ugly sin. I had repented. The Lord had forgiven me. I have a long history of then beating myself up over and again for what I have already been forgiven for. Each time the devil has thrown at me what horrible thing I have done, I would go back into the horror, shame, remorse, and guilt and self-hatred over what I had done. The Lord doesn’t forgive us so we can live in the past and get swallowed up in self-condemnation. He forgives us so we can move forward in fulfilling His greatest commands to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves – and to carry on in His will for our day to day lives. Let’s seek Him for forgiveness when we need it – and then move forward as His Holy Spirit leads us! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I wrote that is available in print by contacting me at 843-338-2219 or via lara@GoodNews.love. Blessing #221 “I will love You, O Lord, my strength.” Psalm 18:1 One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible, and that says a lot because I LOVE the whole Bible! It is God’s Word! It is the Lord speaking to us! Oh, how AWESOME is the entire Bible. This verse included! We are commanded to love the Lord with our whole hearts as His very greatest command. The psalmist here is resolved to love the Lord. Love isn’t merely a feeling. It’s a demonstration, isn’t it? An action. An expression. It can manifest in all sorts of ways. And well it should when it comes to loving the Lord. We must not merely feel love for the Lord. We should think loving thoughts about Him. We should say loving things to and about Him. And we should act in loving ways toward Him – including by praising Him, worshiping Him, serving Him, and obeying Him. What does the psalmist go on to say the Lord is? His STRENGTH! Oh, yes, the Lord is my strength! Is He yours? Can you imagine a greater blessing when it comes to needing and seeking and finding strength than to realize the greatest strength of all is in and through Jesus? Oh, bless the Lord He is our strength! May we turn to Him and His blessed strength, oh yes! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL THE BIGGEST SNOWFLAKES I’VE EVER SEEN”Praise the Lord from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars; Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; Both young men and maidens; Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:7-13 Less than 24 hours after I was moaning, whining, and frantically trying to figure out how I would handle being in a cold climate for this latest season of my ministry work being on the road for Jesus full-time, I came in from walking paralyzed doggy Mr. Simeon in his wheelchair, snuggled up on my little bed with my laptop by the window, and looked out to see what I daresay are the biggest snowflakes I ever recall seeing. Granted I lived in the south for many years and may have forgotten seeing such big ones in the past. How beautiful each and every flake is, big or small. I hate the cold, I love the outdoors, I thrive on doing streets ministry work in the warm weather, and the last thing I would ever desire is a winter in the north. But complaining is sin against God, and there I had the most wonderful opportunity to enjoy watching the beautiful big snowflakes the Lord was sending down from heaven. Even in our trials, even in the circumstances we don’t desire, even when things aren’t going our way, there is so much to be thankful for. Let us never neglect to praise the Lord. Thank you Lord for the biggest snowflakes I ever remember seeing. Thank you for ALL my blessings, Father. Thank you most of all for the greatest blessing of all. You, Jesus! AMEN! Praise the Lord! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE AN INCREDIBLE GIFT “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2 Know what a beloved friend and long-time grandmother Christ follower told me she did while on vacation? She prayed for me! I was so humbled and blessed to hear this. I expected to hear all about her vacation. Instead she told me how she loved and helped me through prayer. What an amazing opportunity we have day or night whenever the Lord so leads us to serve Him in our everyday lives – by praying for others whether loved ones or strangers or anyone in between. What an incredible gift to be prayed for. Let us give this gift to others! Let’s pray, pray, and pray!