PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, I am finally starting to get caught up with some much needed rest and at the same time pressing forward with my writing. I have been doing less streets ministry in the past week or so, and that is a challenge for me! Why? I love the Lord more than anything and anyone, and I love people, and I love, love, love the Lord has blessed me with calling me to the streets to help people find and forever follow Him. I am so looking forward to having my full energy back and at the same time am so thankful the Lord pulling me back a bit right now is most importantly giving me the opportunity to spend lots of time with Him and in His Word. Thanks for your continued love and prayers! 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 LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, Within seconds of finishing my devotional below about letting go, the Lord reminded me that letting go isn’t always about saying goodbye to something or someone. Oh, sure, sometimes the Lord does call us to end a commitment, a relationship, a responsibility, a dream, etc. But sometimes it’s not that He is calling us to end whatever it is. Sometimes He wants us to LET GO OF THE OUTCOME OF IT. To stop trying to figure it all out, to determine the future, to control the unfolding of it, to imagine how everything will turn out, etc. Sometimes He wants us to let go in the sense that we need to FULLY PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM and to simply continue forth in faith WITHOUT TRYING TO EXERT OUR OWN WILL IN THE SITUATION. Oh, do I have so much learning and growing to do! I want to encourage you to consider whether you need to go to a deeper level of trusting the Lord. Are you reading the Bible daily? Are you learning to live by it? Is your trust in the Lord growing over time? Are you willing to go deeper in your faith in Him? Please join me in going deeper in the ways of the Lord – trust, faith, and letting go included. Following Jesus is anything but living a stagnant, stuck life. It’s about LIVING FOR CHRIST – and learning day by day to put our trust in Him and to carry on in learning to faithfully, lovingly, humbly follow Him forth! Press on, my friend! In the ways of the Lord for the glory of the Lord, AMEN! love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION LET IT GO! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “What did I ask you to do?” the Spirit of Christ who indwells His followers asked me in my heart. He was speaking to me regarding something weighing heavily on my mind not to mention in my heart. “Let it go,” I replied. Then came the message. With strong conviction. “Please do.” Ouch. Why did I have to be reminded? Can you relate? Sometimes the Lord tells us to let go of something or someone and we don’t let go. Other times, we let go but then take back what or whom we let go. Sometimes, in obedience to the Lord, we truly let go and stay true to His instruction to let go. If we really want to love and honor and please and obey the Lord, we need to let go when He says let go and not grab back a hold of what or whom we let go. We don’t need to understand the Lord’s reasons, we don’t need to want to let go, and we don’t need to agree with His will. Obedience to Jesus isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus. So when the Lord says let go, that’s exactly what we need to do. Have some letting go to do? If you don’t feel able to let go, think of it this way. The Lord will give us the love, grace, mercy, strength, and anything and everything we need to live in obedience to Him. So if you need to let go, by all means, LET GO! TODAY’S 365 BLESSINGS 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently wrote that will soon be available in print by the grace of the Lord for the glory of the Lord! BLESSING 151 “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.” Daniel 6:10-11 Miraculously, by God’s grace alone, yes, Daniel survived being thrown into a den of lions as his punishment for praying to the one true God. You can read the story in Daniel 6. His devotion to God was unstoppable, and no matter the challenges he faced for loving and worshiping and serving God, he pressed on. What an incredible blessing so many of us have the freedom to love and worship the Lord and to read the Bible without persecution while so many others worldwide are persecuted beyond description even to the point of death for doing so. Let us not take this phenomenal blessing for granted. To worship the Lord freely, to read His Word freely, to speak of Him freely, not everyone is able to do this. Not especially in this day and age. So, for those of us who can, let us be ever thankful! And may our hearts and prayers go out to those who cannot. TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL WILL YOU SAY THIS WORD? ““The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 I have a new word in my vocabulary. Okay, it’s not a new word. It’s a very old word. I’ve known it for decades and used it when I felt like it. But that’s exactly the point. That’s why I call it a new word. In essence, that’s what it is. Because I’m finally using it the way I should have all along. And I wonder, are you using this word on a regular basis? Will you say it? When you should? As I’m learning to do? OKAY. There it is. My new word. The one I’m finally using when I should. More and more, I find myself responding to the Lord when He tells me to do something with, “Okay.” Not, “I’ll think about it.” Not, “Maybe later.” Not, “let me weigh my other options.” Not, “I’d rather do something else.” Not, “that’s too hard and I have an easier, better way.” Not, “I know better.” Not, “I have my own plans, thank you very much.” Not, “let me argue with you for a while, then I’ll consider what you’re telling me.” Not, “You don’t love me, God, or else you’d never tell me to do this.” Not, a zillion other things I’ve said and done through the years when the Lord has made plain and clear His will for me and I haven’t immediately obeyed Him – if I’ve obeyed Him at all. The Lord told me to clean up my obedience, that it’s been messy, so I’m answering Him with this. OKAY. And, increasingly, I find at long last I’m responding to the Lord when He tells me to do something with a simple, humble, “OKAY.” Do you have some tidying up to do when it comes to your obedience to the Lord God almighty? If yes, as I do, please let’s get busy. Loving the Lord. Obeying the Lord. Honoring the Lord. OKAY? TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE THE 2-ORANGES STORY ” “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Mt. 25:37-40 Oh, how excited I was to get two somewhat good looking oranges. It is New York City after all. I bought them at a stand on the street. They didn’t look perfect, but they were oranges. And I don’t eat much fruit these days despite how much I love it. But the oranges were quickly gone. Not into my belly. First, a young homeless woman. I couldn’t help myself. I was compelled to ask if she wanted one. No hesitation. Yes! Then, walking with a precious friend, I noticed a senior homeless woman all bundled up and somewhat bent over if I recall. Sort of slumped in her chair. Not looking so good. I wanted to talk to her about Jesus. To give her a Gospel tract. To pray for her if she wanted prayer. She wasn’t interested. But still, she had a desire. She said she was hungry. All I had was that one orange that was headed right for my belly later. Instead, I knelt down at her feet, carefully peeled the orange, cut it into sections like she wanted, then handed it to her. Then my sweet friend took me to a public restroom to wash my hands from the sticky orange juice. I was near tears. Why? I had been feeling so very broken. So run down from so much spiritual warfare. So hard to believe I could be useful to the Lord in any way and that I could possibly have anything to give anyone. But the Lord showed me in that orange what matters most of all is that we’re surrendered to Him, that we believe in Him, that we follow Him, that we serve Him, that we listen to Him, that we’re obedient to Him, and that we make ourselves available to Him. One day, that woman could open up the Gospel tract I left with her and read about how to have a forever relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and remember how someone peeled an orange for her and handed the juicy pieces to her. Friend, serving Jesus we can do no matter what state we’re in, no matter how we feel, no matter our circumstances, when we humble ourselves before Him and serve Him in any way He desires.
PLEASE BE SURE TO click on READ MORE and SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, Right now I am doing a combination of resting and spending time with the Lord and pressing on in my ministry work when and as the Lord leads me. I am not going at my usual full force pace, but learning more and more how to be sensitive and obedient to the Spirit of Christ lovingly and mercifully leading me. As always, and at an especially deep level right now, I am doing plenty of repenting as the Lord continually purifies me and makes me more and more like Himself. I am yielding to Him as He conforms me to Himself. Long ago, I entered into ministry entirely unprepared most especially in my personal relationship with the Lord and in my heart. I was far too self-consumed to be in ministry, and not nearly enough grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus and in the Word of God to do what I was then doing in ministry. Now, I know there is NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT for each and every one of us than to believe in and fully humbly lovingly obediently follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and our personal relationship with Him has to come first even before ministry work for Him. It continues to be a very trying time spiritually and emotionally for reasons I am not led to share, but the Lord is faithful in carrying me through it all. I would greatly appreciate your prayers as the spiritual battle rages on and the Lord continues His gracious and merciful work in and through me! 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 LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, “How can you go forward without me leading the way?” the Spirit of Christ who inhabits His followers spoke to my heart. “In the flesh alone.” Meaning? And how it applies to you and me and all of us? Unless we believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ and His ways, we are living for self according to the world’s ways and bowing down to the devil, sin, and darkness. The Lord ALWAYS and ONLY speaks in line with the Bible. What does His Word say? “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.”” Jesus’ followers are to walk in His light not in the darkness of self and sin. God’s children are those who turn from their sins, believe Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, genuinely turning our lives over to the Lord and His ways. God’s children are indwelt by His Spirit. May this verse and the one above encourage you to be led by God’s Spirit as you walk forth in the Lord’s glorious light! “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14 love & blessings,lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION CLEAN UP YOUR OBEDIENCE “How can you do what I’ve called you to do when you’re running around doing everything else?” That’s not the only thing the Lord has spoken to my heart recently when it comes to obedience. But it all fits into the same overall message He has been giving me – and giving me to give to others. Maybe you? “Clean up your obedience,” He told me recently. Then, a few days later, more. “Clean up your obedience,” I recall He told me. “It’s messy.” How so? He had told me to turn left on a certain street. For all I know, there could have been someone dying on that street who needed to hear the Gospel message. Or maybe He just wanted to remind me I must submit to Him in all things all the time all for His glory. Regardless, I found what I thought was a quicker way to get where I was going. So I went my way and figured I would end up in the same destination the Lord wanted me to go anyway. Or did I figure Him into my walk at all? Truth? My obedience still has had too much resistance, debate, questioning, hesitating, etc. in it. It has not come with total and immediate submission and thanksgiving – and obedience! Right down to the very smallest of things, to the very detail, no matter whether it makes sense or not, no matter what we feel or think or want, we are to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and to follow Jesus Christ as Lord – which involves OBEYING JESUS CHRIST AS LORD. Not messily, but cleanly. Totally. For His name’s sake, AMEN! Got some cleaning up to do? 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 #150 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13 This is probably one of the verses in the Bible I’ve heard quoted more than almost any other. Oh, we who follow Jesus need to be encouraged when it comes to the beautiful fact the Lord Jesus Christ gives us the strength we need to do what He calls us to do. The New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible says, “strengthens”. The King James Version (KJV) says, “strengtheneth”. My understanding is that this verb form implies an ongoing action. It’s not a one-time, quickly ending occurrence. In this verse, then, wouldn’t this mean that Jesus’ followers have access to ongoing strength from the Lord to do His will? Oh, how blessed we are to receive the strength of Christ by the Spirit of Christ each and every day! As much strength as we need to fulfill His will for our lives! By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL GOD’S BROKEN HEART “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations.” Ezekiel 6:9 I honestly don’t know how many times I read this verse over the years before the Lord opened my eyes to see something utterly heartbreaking. The Lord says HE WAS CRUSHED – yes, CRUSHED – by their what? “Adulterous heart.” AND by what? Their EYES! Which like harlots – or whores – looked to their idols. The King James version says “broken” instead of crushed. Do you realize what the Lord is saying? THEY CRUSHED – or BROKE – HIS HEART! With their rebellion against Him! With their spiritual adultery! With their whoredom! Not just in their actions. In their HEARTS and EYES! In other words, they crushed the Lord with their THOUGHTS, their EYES, their HEARTS – and most assuredly their actions. They turned from Him to their idols and broke His heart! Why would the Lord tell US this? As a history lesson? NO! As a WARNING! That we BREAK HIS HEART when we rebel against Him! In our hearts, eyes, and actions. When we turn away from the Lord, or never turn to Him in the first place, we GRIEVE GOD ALMIGHTY! Our sins have consequences, and when we don’t turn from them to Christ as Lord the ultimate result is death, hell, and the lake of fire in forever torment. But even for those of us who follow Jesus, our sins have consequences. We still will have to give an account when our lives are over, we still will lose rewards we might have had in heaven. And, most of all, WE HURT AND BREAK AND CRUSH THE HEART OF THE LORD! Is it possible we miss this when we consider sin? Are we so consumed with ourselves we only think about whether we’ll go to heaven or hell? Or that we may have yucky consequences on earth if we do something wrong? Do we think about THE LORD when we sin? And what we do to Him? Or do we only think about us? IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL THAT WE NEED TO LOVE AND FEAR AND HONOR AND REVERE GOD ALMIGHTY AND DESIRE AND STRIVE TO LOVE AND WORSHIP HIM FOREVER AND NOT GRIEVE HIS HEART? Oh, friend, let us humble ourselves before the Lord, repent when we need to repent, and ever work to love and please the Lord not break His heart! Let us nt grieve God almighty! Let us bow down before Him and love and serve Him forevermore, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 Being on the front lines in ministry for Christ comes with a cost, and that cost can be high. For some, as we see in the Bible and in the news, people lose their very lives for Christ. For others, it may be as simple as giving up a few hours a week to do something for the Lord instead of relaxing and enjoying quiet nights at home curled up with a book and a cozy blanket in front of the warm fire. Some are called to leave their countries and families behind. Others are called to give up high-paying jobs and comfortable lifestyles and to move into tough neighborhoods to spread the Gospel message out on the streets. The cost I have had to pay to be on the road for Jesus full-time with my handicapped streets ministry doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing tracts, devotionals, and books is NOTHING compared with the cost so many have paid and are paying and will pay for the cause of Christ. Nevertheless, I have felt the cost and it hasn’t always been easy to say the least. Selling a little paid-for house not far from the ocean in beautiful, quiet, calm, affordable, peaceful coastal South Carolina and giving most everything away, traveling in a car with almost 250,000 miles on it, leading a ministry with a tiny budget, living an extremely economical lifestyle, staying mostly in hotels with handicapped dogs and a small apartment when I’m in New York City, dealing with hard situations, dangerous and scary situations, running across rats and roaches, filth and smell, vomit and people cursing me and lashing out at me, being often far from friends and family, being single for Christ, having much time on my own when I love people to spend alone time with Jesus and work on my writing, foregoing my own dreams to live the life to which the Lord has called me, not having a stable “home” but living day by day knowing the Lord might call me any day to my next location, yes, it’s most assuredly been challenging. But I wouldn’t trade loving and serving Jesus in the way to which He has called me for anything in this world. My fire for Jesus is ever-growing, and at the heart of my service which involves sacrifice is LOVE. The love the Lord pours into and through me, and the love I have for Him in return and the love He has given me for others. Love is why I do what I do. For I love Jesus more than anything and anyone in the world. Friend, serving Jesus isn’t about picking and choosing what we want to do to make ourselves happy and feel comfortable, safe, and secure, to satisfy our own desires and to get pats on the back from the world around us. It’s about humbling ourselves before the Lord God almighty and seeking Him and obeying Him in every area of our hearts and lives – service included. Got some praying to do?
PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK ON READ MORE AND SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, If you’re a big Bible reader and familiar with spiritual warfare, and experience it yourself in really big ways, you know it’s real and can be indescribably hard when you’re in the midst of it. I’m right there, friend. And I simply cannot describe how much I could use prayer as I go through it. Emotionally and spiritually, I’m facing some tough stuff and would be so very thankful for your prayers. My greatest desire even as the spiritual warfare rages on is that I would live in a manner day in and day out pleasing and honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ and that the Lord would use me in any way He desires to bring glory to His name and to help people find and follow Him. That said, I am wiped out and putting one foot in front of the other as He leads me forth. Thank you for keeping me prayed up! 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 LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA Dear friend, The cold season in New York City is starting to kick in, and for numerous reasons including my extreme sensitivity to cold I would love nothing more than to pick up and pack up my doggies and our belongings and RUN somewhere easy, safe, secure, economical, clean, quiet, peaceful, and filled with loved ones. But when I considered this in my mind, I realized there is nowhere I truly want to go. The greatest place to come away from the trials of this life is to come running to the Lord Jesus Christ and to find love, hope, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom, direction, rest, and peace IN HIM. I want to encourage you if you’re facing trials right now as I am to run to Jesus, to pour out your heart to the Lord, to snuggle up with Him and the Bible, to dive deep into His Word, to turn away from any wrongdoing, to seek Him for any forgiveness needed, to hear His voice and obey His instructions, and to find refuge in Him. love & blessings, lara “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9 TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION THE LITTLE LEAF STORY ” “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15 ““I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”” I looked down at a little leaf on the ground and told a friend this as I believe the Spirit of God who lives inside His followers put it on my heart. A message I believe we all need to hear. “It doesn’t matter when the Lord tells us to do something how big or small it is. If He tells us to do it, we need to do it,” I essentially said. “If He tells us to do something huge, we need to do it,” I basically continued. “If He tells us to pick up this little leaf, we need to do it,” I said as I pointed to a little yellow leaf on the dirty sidewalk in front of us. “Because He is Lord.” “It’s not about how big the thing is,” I shared. “It’s about Jesus Christ being Lord.” Do you see? Our obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t about whatever He tells us to do and the size of it. It’s about THE LORD. As a friend once said to me, when the Lord tells us to do something, we need to simply say, “Yes, Lord.” Yes. Whatever the Lord tells you to do, please remember who He is. He is Lord! Forever! Please do what He tells you. For His name’s sake, yes! 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 #149 “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Mt. 14:14 Does this verse say Jesus healed the sick in the large crowd? Yes. But is that all? Please don’t miss something so powerful, so beautiful, such a blessing in this verse – and in the lives of His followers back then and now and forever. The verse says “HE WAS MOVED.” Is that all it says? No! It says “MOVED WITH COMPASSION FOR THEM.” Did Jesus simply heal them as though that were not wonderful and miraculous enough? No. He HAD COMPASSION – and healed them. Have you ever stopped to think how Jesus has compassion for us? For you? For me? Utterly amazing. The Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Creator of the universe, God almighty, Jesus the Christ, HAS COMPASSION FOR US! Love, yes! And compassion, yes! What an awesome, awesome blessing to reflect on the fact JESUS HAS COMPASSION FOR US. The next time we walk around feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling lonely, feeling alone, feeling like nobody cares, feeling like nobody sees our suffering, feeling needy, feeling like we could really use someone to show us love and mercy, oh, let us think of the Lord Jesus Christ – and of HIS COMPASSION! The greatest compassion from the greatest one in the universe, the merciful love and unmatchable compassion of Christ, AMEN! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL TEARS IN JESUS’ MERCIFUL HANDS As soon as I started to cry, which I don’t do often as I once did, I asked the Lord to take away the self-pity. So what if there was a little sadness in my heart over some losses and grief. My life’s challenges, as hard as they have been, have been NOTHING compared with the suffering of so many people around the world. I didn’t want to give way to the old long-standing self-pity. Then this brief prayer came to me, and I knew within it as soon as I prayed it contained a message. “Use these tears for your glory,” I told the Lord. And I know He will. The Lord has long since taught me every challenge we ever face on this earth when placed in His hands with our hearts and lives surrendered to Him can be used for three big and beautiful and powerful things: * to draw us closer to Him * to test us and mold us and shape us and refine us and transform us and make us more like Him * to be more loving, caring, sensitive, compassionate, and giving to others as He when it’s His will uses our hearts, lives, and life’s circumstances to help others to find and follow Him Decades worth of tears in my life fell to the ground and bore nothing because I wasn’t a totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, now totally devoted by His grace alone for His glory alone, when I place my tears in the hands of the Lord, along with my heart and life, I fully trust He will use them for His glory. Cry unto the Lord, my friend. Give Him all of you – tears included. And watch what He does when you’re wholly His. May He use your tears and mine for His glory, AMEN! TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE I sat on a bench on the streets of Brooklyn, New York City, with a brother in the Lord talking about the times we get so incredibly exhausted from ministry. He is a streets preacher, and I do streets ministry and write and publish Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. No matter the work to which the Lord calls us, when our hearts are on fire for Jesus, and we’re totally devoted to Him and the Lord’s work, we find at a times a great need for rest. It can be difficult for those of us like myself who are extremely driven to press on to slow down, to even stop, but it is necessary. Even the Lord Jesus Christ when He was on this earth in the form of a man took time away from the crowd to rest and spend time with the Father in heaven. The rest, the refreshing, the renewal, it is so very important so that we are wide awake, and ready, and best able to follow the Spirit of God as He leads us forth in life and love and service to Him. Need some rest? I do! And I plan to get it! For the glory of the Lord, yes!
AN AMBULANCE, 2 STRANGERS, & JESUS ““I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” John 17:20-23 I was praying silently as I walked as I sometimes do when I see ambulances and noticed a woman standing on the street corner across the street from the ambulance when I felt compelled to ask her a question. “Are you praying for the person?” I asked her. I felt a little awkward. A little nervous. I’m truly shy at heart but the Lord has given me a boldness to proclaim Him to the world. “Yes,” she readily replied. The next thing I knew, two strangers, but now known to each other as sisters in the Lord, we prayed together for the person who was being taken away in the ambulance. We hugged several times before we parted ways, and I gave her a Gospel tract with my contact information. We may never meet again on this side of heaven, but we know through Christ we will share eternity with one another in the presence of the Lord God almighty. The Lord brought together two strangers for just minutes to serve Him together before He led us on to go where He would send us next. We who follow the Lord Jesus Christ are ONE Body of Christ, we all belong to Him, and we are to love, worship, and serve Him as one united whole all for His forever glory, AMEN!
TIME TO SURRENDER?……….. “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15 I was mulling and musing and perhaps somewhat murmuring in my heart anyway over a situation when the Spirit of God broke into it all and said this. “It’s not about you,” God’s Spirit spoke to my heart. “Submit to me.” Do you know that no matter how passionately, how fervently, how devotedly I love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and no matter how long it’s been since I became totally sold out to Him, I still need these reminders. All the time in fact. That day, I was thinking about something that for me was pretty emotional. Pretty significant, a bit scary, a bit exciting, well, you get the point. And the way I was approaching it in those few minutes was to think about WHAT I WANTED, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOOD, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS RIGHT, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS RISKY, HOW I SHOULD FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO, etc. Get the point? I had made it ALL ABOUT ME. When in fact, the life of someone headed for eternity with the Lord instead of forever in hell and the lake of fire in torment SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT SELF. It SHOULD BE ABOUT CHRIST! What did I need to do once again? SUBMIT MYSELF TO THE LORD. In that particular matter. And IN ALL THINGS. ALL for the GLORY OF THE LORD! Have any submitting and surrendering to do, friend? I do. Daily. All for the glory of Christ!
“Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.” Mt. 14:19 There wasn’t enough food to feed the people, and Jesus knew it. But Jesus can do anything. He could turn a tiny bit of food into so much food everyone could be fed and there would still be food leftover. First, He looked up to heaven. To the Father. Father God. God almighty. It’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Not because I love food. Not because I am so exceedingly thankful the Lord has blessed me with food throughout my life. Not even because of the miracle involved in this story. But because of the blessing that THE LORD PROVIDES all we need – yes, ALL WE NEED – to give to others what He wants us to give to others. For years now, I have not thought of food when I consider this story. I think of HIS WORD. THE BIBLE. And of the GOSPEL MESSAGE. The GOOD NEWS MESSAGE. Of JESUS HIMSELF. Though this story on the surface is indeed about food, I believe it’s also about Jesus giving His followers the SPIRITUAL FOOD – the Gospel message and the Bible – to GIVE TO OTHERS. He commands His followers to share the Gospel and help people follow Him, but He doesn’t leave us on our own with this. He gives us all we need to fulfill His commission to us. Oh, what a blessing He provides for us to give unto others the most important food of all. HIS WORD. AMEN! 365 BLESSINGS is a devotional book I recently finished writing that will soon be available in print by the grace of God for the glory of God!
IS THIS YOUR BODY?………… “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 “Put your hand on your belly,” the Spirit of God spoke to my heart as I lay for a minute or two on my bed tired and needing to snatch a snippet of rest before getting back to my ministry work. Was it really the Lord? I have faced a decades-long battle with an eating disorder and long ago sensed the Lord wanted me to stop putting my hand on my stomach. Why? Because that had always been my way of telling how “fat” I was. But this time, I had a sense the Lord wanted me to go ahead and do it. Why? I put my hand on my stomach. “Whose body is this?” the Lord asked me. “Mine!” I declared. “No, it isn’t,” the Lord strongly admonished me. “It is mine.” Conviction. Chastening. Truth. How do I know it’s true? The Bible says so. Please see the scriptures above. Plain and clear. When we receive God’s forgiveness and the promise of everlasting life through turning from our sins and believing in Christ as Lord who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, we are to TURN TO THE LORD AND HIS WAYS. We are born again spiritually and given a fresh start. We enter into a forever relationship with the Lord. TRUE FAITH IN CHRIST AS LORD bears the fruit of our hearts and lives being devoted to Christ. We learn to LIVE FOR HIM and not ourselves any longer. And OUR BODIES AND WHOLE LIVES now BELONG TO JESUS! Oh how He humbled me once again! My body is not mine. It is His. So is my whole life. Have you surrendered your whole heart and whole life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you living entirely for Him? Or is there more to surrender? I needed the reminder. Do you? Whose body is it? Whose heart is it? Whose life is it? Do you belong to Jesus? Are you living your life accordingly? Oh, may it be so for us all!
Dear friend, ….. Today, yet again, I was greeted in the early morning by one of my 4 handicapped streets ministry doggies with her exceedingly joyful morning happiness as she virtually jumped up and down and danced around looking for someone to join her in her morning thanksgiving for a new day. Disabled Gracie, hit by 2 cars on the same day after being dumped at a gas station years ago, is so thrilled at the prospect of a new day and all its possibilities that she literally can’t contain herself. Sometimes she is met with a snarl and snap by 14-year-old, slow-moving Abigail. Or she is faced with paralyzed doggies Mr. Simeon and Miss Mercy along with myself making a relatively slow start to the day. Still, nothing stops Gracie from being ecstatic that she has another day of life. Friend, I am humbled even writing this. The Lord tells us to rejoice – and, yes, to be glad – in this day. There are a zillion reasons to be thankful each and every day no matter our circumstances when we have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. The greatest blessing of all is the Lord Jesus Christ and the promise of everlasting life with Him instead of hell and the lake of fire forever when we turn from our sins, believe in Him as Lord who died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, and genuinely turn our lives over to the Lord and His ways. Oh, but the reasons to be thankful each and every day go on – and on. Today, the Lord used Gracie to remind me to be thankful. To rejoice. To celebrate. To be thrilled. To rejoice. That today is a new day the Lord has given me to love and worship and serve Him and to tell others about Him. How about you, friend? Do you need the reminder to rejoice this very day? “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 love & blessings, lara
PLEASE BE SURE TO SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO SEE THE WHOLE ISSUE OF TODAY’S GOOD NEWS DAILY! LATEST UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST Dear friend, I am so excited some of my street preacher friends in New York City went on a road trip to bring love, encouragement, and support to a fellow street preacher in another location who was locked up in jail for preaching the Gospel and to join a rally of people standing up to preach the Gospel freely on the streets in that region. I won’t go into more detail other than to say this. I am SO PROUD OF THEM for being totally sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ and to telling this world THE ONLY WAY TO EVERLASTING LIFE WITH THE LORD is through turning from our sins to the Lord and His ways and believing He died on the cross to pay our sin punishment and was raised from the dead. I have seen these men preach on the streets, and they are forsaking all and putting their very lives at risk to help people have a forever relationship with the Lord instead of ending up in forever torment in hell and the lake of fire. Please would you pray for my brothers in Christ on the streets with me in New York City and for all the people around the world laying down their lives to preach the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and the only true God and the only way to eternal life? 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 LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”” Mark 9:23 Dear friend, Some years ago, I determined it would be utterly impossible for me to ever travel. No vacations. No work trips. No visiting loved ones. I was sure enough stuck in coastal South Carolina (a beautiful place mind you!) with my up to 19 rescue dogs at a time many of whom were special needs dogs. Traveling was out of the question. So I stayed put. In retrospect, I see it was necessary as the Lord took me into essentially 7 years in the wilderness with Him as He taught me His Word and refined me and prepared me for what was to come. Some of the dogs sadly passed away. Others, a few, were adopted. But still, I had too many including special needs ones for me to go anywhere. I told a woman over the phone one day I could see myself traveling around the country sharing the Gospel, but I believed that was impossible. Surely it was a silly little idea of mine that would never come to pass. The Lord in His love, patience, and mercy despite my little faith did something incredible one day. He used a HURRICANE – yes, a HURRICANE – to show me what I had thought impossible was totally possible. As scary as it was, I had to evacuate my house and the entire area with a big bunch of dogs, their supplies, a rental truck, a little of my stuff, a very little time to get ready, and no definitive plan as to where I would go other than I felt a strong leading to drive about 10 plus hours to Virginia. There I was doing the impossible ALL BECAUSE OF THE LORD. I ended up staying for several weeks. First with a friend. Then, the Lord used her abusive husband kicking me out to send me to a hotel. A hotel? Even after some friends agreed to temporarily foster some of the dogs, I still had many. The Lord gave me favor, and the hotel agreed to accept the dogs. In those few weeks, the Lord planted a seed in my heart to go back to South Carolina – TEMPORARILY – to go through a season of rest and preparation – and ultimately to go out on the road for Him and ministry. The impossible didn’t just come to pass in a small way. He had me sell my house, give most everything away, go back to a different hotel in Virginia, and begin what would become being on the road for Jesus full-time with a little crew of handicapped streets ministry doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. Unbelievable, isn’t it? But with God, how much is possible? ALL THINGS. ALL for HIS GLORY, AMEN! I encourage you to put your trust in the Lord, to keep it there, to put your trust back in Him if and when you find you have taken it back, and to lovingly, humbly, faithfully, TRUSTINGLY follow Him – for HIS GLORY, absolutely, OH YES! “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” Mt. 19:26 love & blessings, lara TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION GIVE ME MORE! “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:11-13 “You have everything you want now Mr. Simeon,” I said – totally irritated mind you despite a smile on my face or rather in my heart. “You’re on my bed, you have attention, you have love, you have food, shelter, clothing, you have a pillow,” I essentially said though I can’t remember the exact words. I had hauled paralyzed doggy Mr. Simeon onto my little bed to make certain he would now be completely content and stop causing his typical fuss when he wasn’t getting everything he wanted NOW! So what did he start to do as soon as I set him all up on the bed with his pillow directly by me so I could start my writing? MORE! NOW! Fuss, fuss, fuss. No sooner had the words popped out of my mouth whining to him about his ongoing need for MORE NOW which quite frankly can be a bit tiring considering he requires a tremendous amount of work given his particular paralysis than I believe the Lord gave me this message. Is this not exactly what some of us sometimes – if not often – do with the Lord? The Lord tells us in His Word to BE THANKFUL and to BE CONTENT with what we have, but don’t we sometimes whine about what we have or don’t have and keep going to Him begging for – maybe even demanding – MORE NOW? I needed that reminder, and will continue to need it I am quite sure, to BE THANKFUL and to BE CONTENT with what the Lord so blessedly has given me, gives me, and will continue to give me all in His love by His grace in His mercy FOR HIS GLORY! 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 #147 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 Payday is coming. The wages for our sins is what? Death. Is that all? No. With it comes hell and the lake of fire – what we deserve for our sins. The result of the curse that comes with sin. We are all sinners, and we all deserve our pay. But. But what? But God. But God what? He gives us the gift – yes, THE GIFT – of ETERNAL LIFE through Christ who is Lord forever! What price do we have to pay for this gift? Jesus paid the price! Oh, sure, there is the price of turning away from a lifestyle of sin. The price of turning away from the world’s ways. The price of denying flesh day by day and saying yes to Christ and righteousness. But the price that earns eternal life is a price none of us can possibly pay. Jesus paid it for us! What must we do? Turn from our sins and turn to Him as Savior. AND AS LORD. Yes, LORD! Put the two side by side. There is no comparison. Death, hell, and the lake of fire on one side. Eternal life in the presence of Christ communing with Him forever! The blessing of a gift beyond measure. Paid for by Christ. We must die to self when we receive it, yes, and learn to live according to God’s ways. But the price to get it is paid for. By Jesus Himself. Oh, glory be to the Lord forever! AMEN! TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL THE FOOT FAITH LESSON “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” Isaiah 52:7 “Father, please heal my foot so I can get back on the streets and go the way I want to go,” I prayed. The Lord brought immediate conviction. I have had a minor foot problem, but it’s been an imposition because I do streets ministry and love to take long walks with the Lord to spend time with Him, pray, seek Him, listen to Him, relax and unwind, get some fresh air and exercise, and sometimes talk on the phone more often than not about the Lord my number one love and favorite subject to talk about. Conviction? I didn’t ask the Lord to heal my foot so I could LOVE AND SERVE HIM with my feet, but so I could get back to what I wanted to do. Truth is I’m totally on fire for the Lord and strive day in and day out to follow Him faithfully. I don’t willfully, purposely go against Him as I used to do, but my prayer made clear there was still a WRONG MOTIVE inside my heart which left unaddressed could have turned into something dangerous and rebellious. The Lord lovingly and mercifully and swiftly led me to repentance. Know what the Lord spoke to my heart? “…Remember to let me lead you in all things all the time all for my glory.” Is this message for you? TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:2-4 One night someone very precious to me took the love, time, and care to pray for me in a loving, beautiful, and extreme way as I sobbed my heart out over all the brokenness I see continually in my streets ministry work, my exceeding grief over so much of this world having its back turned against the Lord and headed for hell and the lake of fire forever, and some personal grief probably thrown in there too. I’ve been on the road now for about 2.5 years. Though I sometimes stay in some locations for longer periods, I consider myself to have no official home and base. I belong utterly to Christ, have devoted myself totally to the Lord and ministry, and live day by day never knowing when the Lord could send me to my next location to help people find and forever follow Him. Sometimes the exhaustion, the grief, the rawness of it all, well, it all builds up to the point I have a big cry. This time, I was blessed to have someone pray me through. Friend, please don’t underestimate the vital importance of Christ’s followers HELPING Christ’s servants very much including those in full-time ministry. The Bible makes it ultra clear that Christ’s disciples who forsook all to serve Him had HUMAN HELPERS along the way! When you consider how you are serving Jesus in your everyday life, please seek the Lord about whether He might have you to come alongside someone in ministry to help however He desires. Please note in the verses above the apostle Paul’s request for prayer. Would you please pray for all those worldwide myself included who are out in the highways and byways proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?