THE LORD STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS……………. “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:……….. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:5-11 “This is not what I want you to write,” the Holy Spirit told me. “This is bitterness. Empty your heart of it.” That’s essentially what He said. Almost word for word. As best I recall. Ouch. Yes, ow. Truth? I couldn’t even see as I was writing my heart was filled with bitterness. Old bitterness. Hurt. Amazing how I didn’t even recognize it! But that’s exactly what can happen with sin if we’re not careful. We can get so accustomed to it dwelling in our hearts or spewing forth in our actions that we don’t even see it. But the Lord in His love, mercy, grace, wisdom, and perfect will bring correction by His Holy Spirit in line with His Word. Just like He did that day. Know what I needed to do? Oh, sure, I needed to get rid of that little piece of writing. But, most importantly, I needed to respond to the Lord’s chastening with REPENTANCE. So I sat on my little bed, stopped typing on my laptop computer, and asked the Lord to forgive me for what He showed me needed to be purged from my heart. Sadly, the junk in my heart on the particular matter in which He was correcting me had festered there – and built up there – for years! Happily, when I humbled myself before the Lord and sought His forgiveness, He mercifully gave it to me! The result was a clean heart and a readiness and excitement to go forth in my life, ministry – writing included. Not to go forward according to my own ways, but to go forth living for Jesus! Is the Lord bringing anything to mind in your own heart and life He wants you to address with repentance? Please don’t look the other way. Please don’t walk the other way. Please humble yourself before the Lord and do as He shows you. For His name’s sake, AMEN!
PLEASE CLICK ON READ MORE AND SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO READ THE FULL ISSUE…! TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA……. Dear friend,……… “Whatever you want with this,” I prayed to the Lord, “Thank you.” I looked at my laptop computer screen as I prayed. Specifically at this very page I’m writing on now. Where I have a template to fill in my Good News Daily writing. Why did I pray this? I wanted the Lord to lead me in my writing. I wanted Him to give me everything I needed for this. I wanted to put my trust in Him not in myself. I wanted the writing not to be for me but instead for Him and others. I wanted the writing not to bring praise to me but to bring praise, honor, and glory to Him. I wanted His will not mine. Most of all, I wanted to please Him. To worship Him in my writing. Imagine if we looked at our lives this way – each and every day. That we would surrender our days wholly to Christ. That He would lead us, and that He would be loved, honored, praised, glorified, and pleased. Isn’t this exactly how we are to live? So what if we prayed this as I did with my writing? “Whatever you want with this,” we would pray. “Thank you.” Let us surrender this day – and all days – to Jesus. Truly. AMEN. IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION DON’T BE ASHAMED “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 I had just started to pray briefly on my knees as best I recall with my hands either folded or raised upward, I don’t remember, when I looked out my window and saw a bunch of construction workers too close for comfort. I honestly don’t like having construction workers working just a few feet outside the window in New York City when they can see right inside and I work by the window, but I felt especially uncomfortable when I realized they could see me praying. My first reaction? I started to stop. Then the Spirit of Christ brought strong conviction. Was I ashamed of praying? Was I ashamed of Jesus? Was I ashamed He is the love of my life? My first love? My forever love? My Savior? My Lord? It is a sin against the Lord to be ashamed of Him. I knew what to do. I went back to praying. I talk constantly to people about the Lord Jesus Christ, and I love doing so no matter their response. I am not ashamed to tell people about Jesus. I can’t think of a greater privilege in my life’s work than to talk and write about the Lord and to help people find and follow Him. But there was something about the intimacy of praying what I thought was privately only to find a bunch of construction workers might be watching. I kept on. Praying to the Lord. Let us not be ashamed of the greatest one in the universe. The Lord Jesus Christ! AMEN! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessing #127 “And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.” Jeremiah 32:33 How can there possibly be a blessing in a verse as hard and convicting as this one? The Lord is bringing conviction to the people of long ago. Telling them they have turned their backs to Him when they should have been facing toward Him not away from Him! Instead of listening and obeying Him, instead of hearing the instruction He gave them given how He rose up early to teach them, they turned away in rebellion! Isn’t this something to which so devastatingly we can relate – at least to a point? Whether we have finished rebelling and have turned to the Lord, or find ourselves even now rebelling at least in some areas of our lives, can’t we all admit we’ve struggled at one time or another with pridefully turning away from the Lord? How can there be a blessing in this? Ah, but there is! The Lord tells us when we are doing wrong to correct us so we will admit our wrong and turn to Him for forgiveness and commit to do right. He doesn’t want us to stay in our sin. He wants us to leave our sin behind and come into His sweet fellowship. Blessed be the Lord who blesses us with correction to bring us into His righteousness. Hard, yes, so very hard as we learn to die to self, humble ourselves before Him, and cry out to Him for the strength to obey Him. But oh so sweet to come into a place of bringing joy and pleasure to the Lord – Amen! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” John 4:23-24 [Jesus speaking to the woman at the well. Please read the whole story in John 4 in the New Testament of the Bible!] Know what I wrote to the Lord yesterday? This.”I can’t believe I finally started writing the 365 Blessings book – can’t even remember when you told me about it – and that I’m this far along. ONLY BY YOUR GRACE. Father, thank you!” Do you know what this is? Oh, sure, on the surface it’s giving glory to the Lord to whom belongs all glory for everything good. And, oh, yes, telling the Lord I know grace is from Him, well of course that’s true. But know what stands out to me more than anything besides that it shows my excitement and how humbled I am at the writing that is pouring through me these days in my little labor of love for Him? It’s this. Intimacy with Jesus. A personal, deeply beautiful, deeply wonderful, deeply close relationship with Christ. That I am so, so, so, so, so close to the Lord! That my Father is the most wonderful Father in the universe. That He is my heart! My number one love! That I am so in love with Him that even as a writer and someone who preaches on the streets, I will never have words enough to describe my love for Him. That I feel His nearness, His closeness, His love, and receive daily His grace, His hope, His joy, His comfort, His compassion, His conviction, yes, His chastening too. Friend, do you think the Lord of the universe who died on the cross and was raised from the dead to pave the way for all of us to repent and believe in Him as Lord and give our lives over to Him for the promise of His forgiveness and a forever relationship with Him now and in heaven wants to have a long distance relationship with us – with Him all the way in heaven and us so very far away? He wants us to be near to Him and Him to us! He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him as Lord, Savior, King, Father, master, teacher, comforter, healer, redeemer, and friend! I used to think of the Lord as far, far away up in heaven with me far, far, far away down here with a long, long distance between us. But the Spirit of God lives inside His followers, and we can draw ever closer to Him and Him to us. Where do you stand in your relationship with the Lord? Do you have one? Are you close? Do you spend time alone in His presence with the Bible? Do you pray to Him? Do you listen for His voice speaking to your heart? Do you praise and worship Him in a real, tangible way? Need help in starting a forever relationship with God? Need help in growing in a relationship you already have with Him? Feel free to reach out! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE THE WOMAN IN NEED “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”” Mt. 22:37-40 I walked right by a young woman on the street as I hurried along with two of my handicapped streets ministry doggies when she called out to me. Let me take that back. I was not hurrying along. My 14-year-old Abigail walks so slowly it’s a wonder I can call it a walk at all. Anyway, the woman called out to ask if she could pet my dogs. Within minutes, she was pouring out her heart to me. She had a terrible addiction, was in huge need of help and hope, did not seem to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that I could tell anyway, and had a boyfriend who is Jewish like I am. Though, of course, I’m a Jewish follower of the Lord Jesus Christ now, hallelujah. When the woman walked away, she had been given love, hope, encouragement, and a Gospel tract explaining that Jesus Christ is the only way to a forever relationship with God and that we must turn from our sins, believe in Him as Lord who died for us and was raised from the dead, and hand our hearts and lives over to Him and His ways. It all begia with a little walk with two sweet dogs on a warm fall afternoon in New York City. One of the most beautiful blessings I have discovered when it comes to serving Jesus in our everyday lives isn’t that we need to have a plan, an agenda, a manual, a workbook, a seminar, etc. to serve Christ. More than anything at all, we need faith in Him, love for Him, devotion to Him, to be filled with His Spirit and His Word, and to be willing to go where He sends us to do what He sends us to do with whomever He desires all for His glory, AMEN! Please don’t miss your opportunities, friend! LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Tons of Jesus, the Bible, chicken, chocolate, water, and writing. Perhaps to you it seems like an odd array of ingredients in a day. But that’s where I am right now. Oh, please don’t get me wrong. I’m spending tons of time with my precious special needs streets ministry doggies. How could I not? They’re assembled around me as I write. And as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing streets ministry in New York City, I’ve been doing tons of writing as I fly forward in writing my latest book. Suffice it to say the Lord is my number one love, and recently I have found myself eating chicken to make sure I get protein, tons of chocolate (I know, please don’t lecture me, I’m enjoying it and it’s nice to be free from years of anorexia), keeping myself hydrated, getting wonderful exercise walking as I pray to the Lord and keep my heart open to streets ministry work, and writing, writing, writing. Hoping to soon be finished with this latest book, and so excited the Lord has already placed on my heart where He is leading me next in writing. For someone whose life was broken beyond any human hope for decades, it still astonishes me what an amazing life I have now loving and serving the Lord and telling the world about Him. Life in my latest season of streets ministry work on the road for Jesus full-time – this time in New York City – is raw, beautiful, wonderful, hard, challenging, just the right mix to keep me on my toes and to keep me continually seeking the Lord and learning to trust Him step by step, breath by breath, now – and forever, yes! Please keep praying for me, the ministry, my sweet special needs doggies, and all the lives the Lord is reaching near and far through this little ministry of His! love & blessings, lara
I’ve been working my tail off – no pun intended – on my latest book for THE LORD JESUS CHRIST & those in need of and seeking love, help, hope, & encouragement in believing in and following Him. It’s an almost rainy day, I was just thinking of how EXHAUSTED I am and how I should go to the fridge for some MORE CHOCOLATE, when I looked beside me at my beloved handicapped streets ministry doggies. Two paralyzed doggies, 1 disabled, 1 extremely old & slow. They’re just as exhausted today as I am. They’ve got the right idea, of course. Taking a SNOOZE. Me? More chocolate & back to writing for Jesus. Please learn more about Walk by Faith Ministry at http://www.GoodNews.love & feel free to sign up for my GOOD NEWS DAILY devotionals…….!
IS IT TIME TO STOP PRETENDING?…. “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor. 10:5…. I was walking through my little New York City apartment which in all honesty seems huge to me considering I’ve been on the road for Jesus for about 2.5 years now usually staying in hotels when the Lord spoke to my heart about some big things concerning my ministry work. BIG THINGS – in my estimate anyway. That’s when it happened. What? I felt thrilled! I felt humbled! I felt excited! And I felt like, well, NO WAY! Deep down inside me, I had what in retrospect seemed like the baby seed of a thought that I COULD PRETEND THE LORD HADN’T SPOKEN TO ME! For as thrilled, humbled, and excited as I was at the prospect of what His Spirit had spoken to my heart, I knew a tremendous amount of work, challenge, energy, strength, and time would be involved – with undoubtedly plenty of spiritual battle that so often comes with big writing projects. Know what I needed to do with that seed of a thought? Get rid of it! Not let it get any further than a seed. For pretending the Lord hasn’t spoken to us when we know good and well He has spoken to us leads to sin, to disobedience, to rebellion. What’s the right thing to do when the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts? Hear Him. And obey Him. Is there anything the Lord has spoken to your heart you need to quit pretending you haven’t heard? Is it time to pray and seek His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, and strength so you can proceed forth in whatever He’s calling you to do? Please don’t pretend you haven’t heard from the Lord if you have. Please choose love and obedience instead!
Dear friend, If there is anything this world needs lots more of right now in addition to most importantly the Lord Jesus Christ, His salvation, love and devotion for the Lord above all else, and true dedication to the Bible and living according to the Lord’s ways which top of the list includes loving the Lord with all our hearts and loving others as ourselves, I believe it’s this. MORE LOVE MORE ENCOURAGEMENT Please, friend, love the Lord with all your heart. Love others as yourself. And make it a point to love and encourage others in finding and following Jesus as often as the Lord gives you opportunity and leads you to do so! Hoping this latest edition of GOOD NEWS DAILY offers you plenty of LOVE and ENCOURAGEMENT! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara PLEASE BE SURE TO SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO READ TODAY’S FULL ISSUE! TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION IS IT TIME TO STOP PRETENDING? “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor. 10:5 I was walking through my little New York City apartment which in all honesty seems huge to me considering I’ve been on the road for Jesus for about 2.5 years now usually staying in hotels when the Lord spoke to my heart about some big things concerning my ministry work. BIG THINGS – in my estimate anyway. That’s when it happened. What? I felt thrilled! I felt humbled! I felt excited! And I felt like, well, NO WAY! Deep down inside me, I had what in retrospect seemed like the baby seed of a thought that I COULD PRETEND THE LORD HADN’T SPOKEN TO ME! For as thrilled, humbled, and excited as I was at the prospect of what His Spirit had spoken to my heart, I knew a tremendous amount of work, challenge, energy, strength, and time would be involved – with undoubtedly plenty of spiritual battle that so often comes with big writing projects. Know what I needed to do with that seed of a thought? Get rid of it! Not let it get any further than a seed. For pretending the Lord hasn’t spoken to us when we know good and well He has spoken to us leads to sin, to disobedience, to rebellion. What’s the right thing to do when the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts? Hear Him. And obey Him. Is there anything the Lord has spoken to your heart you need to quit pretending you haven’t heard? Is it time to pray and seek His love, grace, mercy, wisdom, and strength so you can proceed forth in whatever He’s calling you to do? Please don’t pretend you haven’t heard from the Lord if you have. Please choose love and obedience instead! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessing #126 “‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” Jeremiah 32:17 When we look at the challenges in our lives, they can seem like insurmountable mountains, can’t they? Mountains we cannot possibly climb over. Mountains we cannot possibly walk around. And most assuredly can’t pass through. Oh, how impossible everything can seem! But the Lord Jesus Christ, Father God, Creator of the universe, yes, the one true God who made the very heavens and earth is more powerful than anything and anyone in the universe. He is sovereign. He is almighty. He is all knowing. He is all good. He is all glorious. He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, forever Savior, master of all. He is Jesus the Christ. And NOTHING – absolutely NOTHING – is too big, too hard, too impossible for the Lord! The mountains we face are nothing compared with the Lord. So, let us look to the Lord! And be thankful that nothing is too big nor too hard for our forevermore King! Glory to the Lord! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE? “Why are you doing such and such?” the Spirit of God asked me one night in His own words. These were not His exact words. I modified them rather than share exactly to what He referred in my life. “Are you doing it for you, or are you doing it for me?” He essentially said. “For you,” I said. His answer was immediate and cut right to the heart. Mine. “Then act like it.” Ouch. Chastened. Refined. Whatever you want to call it. In His ever love, and ever mercy, and ever desire to make me more like Himself, He showed me what I needed to see. I had convinced myself I was doing something for Him when in fact lots of why I was doing it was for me. The thing I was doing wasn’t bad necessarily though it was definitely a distraction and was something I needed to pray about regarding continuing. The big issue was that my primary motive really wasn’t about the Lord. And yet I had convinced myself it was. I needed to pray about my motive. I needed to seek the Lord and follow whatever instructions He gave me. And, if it was His will for me to continue, I needed to have a pure motive and not just say I was doing what I was doing for Him. I needed to show it in my heart – and actions. How about you? Anything you need to look at in your life regarding your motive? What’s your motive? Are you doing it for the Lord? Does it show in your heart – and actions? Time for some refining? I’m always in need of more. And you? TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE MY BEAUTIFUL BROTHERS “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 I have met some of the most beautiful brothers in Christ I could possibly imagine in New York City both in my first season doing streets ministry here last year as well as in my current season here. They are different ages. They have different stories. They have varying backgrounds. They have different families. They come from different places. They live in different places. They travel to different places. They have different jobs or in some cases no job. But one thing in common they all have which humbles, inspires, and blesses me beyond measure. They love the Lord Jesus Christ beyond measure, they are devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ beyond measure, and they are committed to going out onto the streets to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ beyond measure – no matter the cost. They preach the truth. They preach the Bible. They preach repentance and turning to Christ as Lord. They preach Jesus Christ is the one true, the only true, God almighty. They preach the Lord Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. They preach about heaven, hell, sin, and that we MUST repent and believe in Christ as Lord. They refuse to budge. They refuse to back down on the truth about Jesus. Oh, how blessed I am to have such beautiful brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers who live and breathe to love and glorify the Lord and to tell the world about Him. Let us all turn from our sins, turn to Christ as Lord, believing in Him, living our lives for Him, and proclaiming Him to the world. We have the opportunity every day, don’t we, to love the Lord with all our hearts, to love others as ourselves, and to share the Gospel message with a world in dire need of Christ! Let us serve Jesus in our everyday lives by loving Jesus and by telling the world how to have a forever relationship with the Lord, and let us help others to forever follow Him, AMEN! LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST The last thing in the world I ever expected – okay, one of the last things – would be that I’d be in the thick of writing yet another book. I feel so thankful and free to finally be past the stage of knowing the Lord was calling me to write it and well into the actual writing of it. Knowing the Lord’s will for us is not the same as fulfilling it, friend, and I can well attest to that! Some of my hardest attacks from Satan, and some of my greatest distractions, have come when I’m supposed to be working on an extra big writing project. That said, prayer would be greatly appreciated! love & blessings, lara
PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK ON READ MORE & THEN SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY!…………. TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA………… Dear friend, …………. I’ve been a passionate person for as long as I can remember. Passionate about this. Passionate about that. Zealous about one thing or another. Majorly devoted to this or that. Sold out to someone or something. So on fire for whatever or whomever I wouldn’t want to dare to let anything or anyone get in the way. Oh, sure, I changed my passions along the way. But one way or another, I usually found a reason to pour out my passion in zealous pursuit of whatever or whomever my heart desired at the time. Then I found the passion of my life. Of forever, in fact. For I found the Lord Jesus Christ and a forever relationship with Him. My passion has never been so great, nor has it ever been so pure. For there is nothing and nobody in the universe more pure, holy, righteous, true, wonderful, marvelous, magnificent, wondrous, glorious, beautiful, awesome, amazing, and precious than Jesus. And, in the words of the Bible, “My beloved is mine, and I am His.” Song of Solomon 2:16 What, or whom, is your greatest passion, friend? Is it the Lord Jesus Christ? If not, please let today be a new beginning. The beginning of making Jesus your number one passion – now and forevermore! IF YOU NEED HELP BEGINNING OR PRESSING ON IN A FOREVER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACH OUT AT 843-338-2219 OR lara@GoodNews.love love & blessings, lara “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION WHERE ARE YOU GOING? “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 “What if you believe your Lord is telling you to go to Texas but you want to go to such and such a place?” a loved one who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as of yet essentially asked me one day. What an awesome question – especially from someone who hasn’t yet committed her life to Christ. What about those of us who call Jesus Christ Lord? Shouldn’t we most of all be asking ourselves this question? What if the Lord tells us to go to one place but we want to go to another?” What a powerful, poignant, vital question. My answer was simple. Clear. Direct. But sadly, tragically even, it took years for me to get to this place. Quite frankly, few if any people taught me this along the way. In modern day “Christianity”, the true Bible isn’t always being taught – at least in its entirety. The true Bible? The truth? “I would need to go to Texas,” I basically replied. “I would go to Texas. Just like I’ve come to New York City even though I didn’t want to come here,” I said. Then I told her that despite my not wanting to come back to New York City for my second season of streets ministry work here, I have been blessed beyond measure with ministry opportunities ever since I arrived. God has blessed me beyond anything I could have fathomed, and things keep getting better and better in the way of my ministry work for Him. What about you, friend? Are you so surrendered to Jesus that you will go where He tells you to go even when your flesh might want to run the other way? There is a cross to be carried when we commit our lives to Jesus for the promise of everlasting life with Him. The cross of dying to self. And of living for Him. And, speaking of truth, there is nothing more beautiful and wonderful and glorious than the Lord Himself and being in His everlasting fellowship, AMEN! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessings #123-125 “Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalm 62:1-2 Just two verses in one of so many psalms in the Bible are chock full of blessings! This, of course, should come as no surprise given the Lord is the one who bestows blessings. And how infinite is His love for His children. And oh, how He pours forth His blessings. Three beautiful blessings in these two small verses. SALVATION. ROCK. DEFENSE. He offers salvation for all those who repent and turn to Him as Lord. He is the rock for all those who believe in Him as Savior. He is the defense of all those adopted into His forever family. Oh, yes He is! Our salvation, our rock, our defense. No matter the challenges we face, we can turn to the Lord and trust in His salvation, strength, power, love, and His defense of us. Oh, how glorious is our Lord! Yes! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 I lay resting in the afternoon. Something I don’t often do. Or don’t do well anyway. Slowing down is hard for me. Very. But what can I say? I was exhausted from my ministry work, from life on the road for Jesus. From caring for my beloved handicapped streets ministry doggies. From a recent visit of someone very precious to me. From a rainy, grey, early fall day. So I lay there on the dog bed snuggled up with paralyzed Mr. Simeon with disabled Gracie on her way over to me to get some love. That’s when I said this in my heart to the Lord. “I don’t want to have those thoughts, Lord,” I essentially told Him. “Because they don’t please you.” I had been repenting for wrong thinking. Ugly thinking. Yucky thinking. Bitterness, hurt, pride, whatever. I wasn’t even through when it came to me. I came to a place long ago when I hated my sin because it displeased ME. I didn’t like the consequences of my sin because it adversely affected MY LIFE. Now the Lord had taken me to a place in which I so love Him that I despise sinning against Him because I DON’T WANT TO HURT THE LORD! When we really, truly, genuinely, sincerely LOVE SOMEONE with ALL OUR HEART, we don’t want to hurt that person, do we? Well, I don’t want to hurt Jesus! I want to love Jesus! And please Jesus! And honor Jesus! And praise Jesus! And worship Jesus! And obey Jesus! And serve Jesus! Help me, Lord, to please you day by day! Help the people reading this to desire the same, precious Father! Oh, Lord, help us to love you with all our hearts! Help us to honor and praise and worship you! Help us to serve and obey you! Help us to bring joy and pleasure to you! Help us to be blessings to you, precious Lord! Thank you, Lord, for answering this prayer! Thank you, Lord, yes, thank you! AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 THIS IS MINE! Yes, it’s true. I, daughter of the Lord, servant of the Lord, saved only by His grace from His wrath and the punishment we all deserve for our sins of death, hell, and the lake of fire forever apart from Him, promised an everlasting relationship with Him instead through repentance and faith in Him as Lord, had the audacity to determine this. THIS IS MINE! What is? A rare, beautiful, quiet, serene, and full-of-nature little place in New York City I thought of as my little “secret place”. Somewhere I could walk the dogs, get away from the noise and smells of the city for a few minutes, then resume my life doing streets ministry in the city. How shocked, and irritated, and even mad I was when I found others had discovered it also. Others with problems. Big troubles. Others who made me a bit afraid. Others who made me uncomfortable. Others whom I decided shouldn’t be in MY SECRET PLACE. The Lord dealt with me swiftly. First, He reminded me everything on this earth belongs not to me but to HIM. Then He gave me the first scripture above. He humbled me. Put me in my place. Then He reminded me THIS COULD BE A MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY. I sensed He had sent the people there so I might have the opportunity to minister to them. But first I needed to repent for my selfish and prideful attitude. The Lord also reminded me of this. See the second verse above? My “secret place” doesn’t need to be a quiet, serene, peaceful place on this earth. My secret place – the only secret place that is perfect and will last forever – is Christ Himself. And a forever relationship with Him! I needed to repent and put my trust in the Lord. And seek Him as my place of refuge, of quiet, of serenity, of sweet blessed peace. And I needed to open my heart and eyes to whatever ministry opportunities He might bring in the place I had been led. The place that wasn’t mine. The place that was – and is – HIS. LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST More and more, day by day, I have learned – and am learning – to PUT MY TRUST IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST to provide for me as I continue forth devoting my life 24-7 to Him and to ministry for Him. HE IS MY PROVIDER FOREVER OF EVERY SINGLE THING I NEED – ALL FOR HIS GLORY! The Lord has always met every need I have had for this ministry, and I fully believe He will continue to do so. The needs are many and include financial, safety, wisdom and direction, love, strength, grace, mercy, truth, hope, peace, and rest, ministry opportunities, writing and publishing equipment, helpers, veterinary care for the special needs streets ministry doggies, hotels where He has sent me, an apartment for my seasons in New York City, continued changes in me with ongoing refining, and on and on. Please pray for me and this ministry however you are led. The Lord is growing it by leaps and bounds, and it’s hard sometimes to imagine how I can keep up with it all. But it’s all for my precious forever Lord Jesus Christ, and I am bound and determined to faithfully follow Him in His love, strength, grace, and mercy now and forever! Thank you for praying for me. I am so very thankful! Love & blessings, lara
I’ve been so blessed recently to be connected by the Lord to fellow street preachers and evangelists in New York City who like myself are totally sold out to Christ and to telling the world about Him. The energy, excitement, and enthusiasm are so refreshing for me because oftentimes I find myself talking to believers in the Lord who are thankful for their faith in the Lord and for His salvation and their relationship with Him but who are not very interested if at all in helping others to hear about, believe in, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Please consider these words from Jesus. “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”” Mt. 9:37-38 Would you please pray for me and those around the world who are out sharing the Gospel and helping people to follow Jesus? And would you please pray to the Lord about how He would lead you to do the same in whatever capacity He desires? love & blessings, lara
A KEY INGREDIENT TO SERVING THE LORD ““Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.” Jonah 3:2-3 I tried to avoid it. I tried to push it away. I tried to go on with my own plans. Really, I did. To no avail. For I knew that I knew that I knew the Lord wanted me to stop what I was doing and take my paralyzed streets ministry doggies out for a walk to the very park where I had felt so unsafe just an hour or so earlier. Jesus Christ is Lord, friend, and He is to be loved, praised, worshiped, adored, served – and obeyed. Just a little while later, I was in the park with the wheelchair dogs when it all began. Person after person coming up to us to meet the dogs. And, unbeknownst to them, they would receive Gospel tracts and whatever the Lord placed on my heart for them to hear about Him. Even in the park, I sensed the Spirit of God speaking to my heart which way to go. I wanted to go one way. He sent me in a different direction. I later thought to go the usual direction. In another direction He sent me. Each time I sensed the Spirit of God moving me, I moved in obedience to Him to where He was sending me. I almost missed that opportunity to serve the Lord. I almost missed the people who left the park with Gospel tracts and the life-changing, life-saving message that the only way to an everlasting relationship with God is through the Lord Jesus Christ. To serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the way He desires, we must love – and OBEY – the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us do just that! In the verses above, the prophet Jonah hears and obey the Lord when the Lord sends him to a mass number of people to preach so they turn from their evil and are saved. But Jonah did NOT go when the Lord first called him. He rebelled and suffered terrible consequences. Friend, let us seek, hear, and obey the Lord that we may love and serve Him in a way glorifying to Him, AMEN!
“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”” Mark 5:25-34 The woman with the issue of blood who was not healed no matter how many doctors she went to came to Jesus with the faith that led to her healing. But there is no indication that she calls herself a Christian, goes to church every Sunday, tells the whole world she believes in Jesus, puts up a Christmas tree on Christmas, wears a cross around her neck, bakes brownies for the church picnic, underlines her Bible with the prettiest pink highlighter, etc. Where then was her faith? IN HER HEART. Where else was her faith? IN HER ACTIONS. Was her faith anywhere else? Yes! Where? IN HER MOUTH. Her thoughts, words, and actions all showed her faith in Jesus. Friend, the faith of the woman with the issue of blood was so real, so genuine, so true that it showed forth in everything about her. Can we say the same for ourselves?
365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book the Lord has led me to publish piece by piece even as I’m writing it rather than waiting until it’s in print to share it. Please join me & be blessed as I write my latest book…! Blessing #122 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31 These verses make clear the Bible does not show us all that Jesus Christ did in His time on this earth in the form of a man. But what is written in the Bible is enough for us to believe Jesus Christ is Savior of the world, Messiah, the prophesied redeemer of the world, Lord of Lords, King of Kings. And it is through this faith, along with the repentance that accompanies it, that through His holy most precious forever blessed name we are forgiven and given everlasting life. Oh, glory, glory, glory. The Lord gives us all – Himself, His death, resurrection, love, grace, and mercy – we need for everlasting life with Him instead of eternal torment apart from Him in hell and the lake of fire. Let us dig deeply, daily, and devotedly into the treasure trove of God’s Word to learn from Jesus and of Jesus as we increase our faith in Him and enjoy through Him forever relationship with Him! Glory to the Lord indeed! Hallelujah! AMEN!