GOOD NEWS DAILY – MAY 22

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Dear friend,

My pastor long ago who tragically went to be with the Lord far sooner than any of the countless people who loved him expected emphatically told me when God called me into ministry that I needed to go through a season of preparation first. I went against his wise counsel and made a mess of my early years in ministry. My biggest mistake? I tried to do the right thing on the outside but my heart was all wrong. I lacked love!

God’s greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. My friend, love isn’t just a priority for people called into full-time ministry as I am. Love is a command for us all!

Please take a close look at your everyday life, dear one. Are there any gaps, holes, and crevices in your love life? I’m not referring to your romantic life if you have one. I don’t have a romantic life because I am called by God to be entirely His as a single woman available 24-7 to the Lord and ministry, but I am called to a love life. A life of love. Of the love of Christ. We are called to this.

Do you need to grow in love? Do you need to love God more? Love others more? We all do to an extent, don’t you think? We all have room for growth. But let us not stop where we are wherever we may be lacking in love. Let us grow forward in love. And there is no greater way to do this than to grow in our relationship with Christ.

Turning from our sins, believing Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin punishment and was raised from the dead, truly committing our lives to God and His ways IS JUST THE BEGINNING of a forever relationship with God instead of ending up spending eternity in hell and the lake of fire away from God. It is the beginning of a forever love life with Christ – and of learning day by day to love others as ourselves.

Pay attention to your love life, friend. And grow where you need to grow. In Christ. In His love. For God’s glory. AMEN!

Love in His forever almighty magnificent name,

Lara

TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION

Paralyzed Dog Miss Mercy’s Victory 

“Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3

I have four special needs ministry service doggies remaining who are on the road for Jesus full-time with me, and three of them were hit by vehicles. Gracie was dumped at a gas station and hit by two cars on the same day.

Mr. Simeon was hit by a hit-and-run driver after his owner likely sent him out as a hunting dog. And Miss Mercy was probably hit by a truck before she was taken to a shelter where she was in excruciating pain and headed for euthanization. I’ve had all three for at least 6 years or so, and Miss Mercy has in the past year developed an unbelievably overwhelming anxiety problem when it comes to seeing or hearing a truck – even when the truck is parked without its engine on or a driver even in it!

She is so frantic when it comes to trucks that if we’re taking a walk, she starts shaking and pushes her front feet so hard against the pavement that it looks like she’s putting brakes on. And she is! For it’s virtually impossible to get her to go even a single inch forward, that’s how scared she is! Sometimes I am loving and patient.

Other times I am impatient and frustrated and upset with her. It’s hard to maneouver her and Mr. Simeon because he needs to be partially pulled and is very large, while I need to try to get her to move forward at the same time. I prefer to have her leash tied to the back of his wheelchair so we can walk in a little line of the three of us which makes sidewalk walks easier, but when Miss Mercy is panicking, it’s very challenging for me.

Do you know what happens when I basically force her to keep going by pulling as hard as I can so she has to move forward? After she goes a few feet, or a little distance, she realizes she’s free. She realizes she’s walking. She realizes she’s out in the fresh air. And she starts thoroughly enjoying her walk with me and Mr. Simeon!

Know what this reminds me of? How some of us, very much myself included, allow anxiety – including anxiety that results from experiences in the past – to stop us from going forward. We basically put on the brakes while God is trying to lead us forward. Instead of trusting Him to safely get us to where He wants us to go, and enjoying the ride there, and the destination, and most importantly enjoying the company of God who is there with us when we belong to Him through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we refuse to budge. Or we go only inches.

But then, when we take our foot off the brake, so to speak, and submit to God, surrendering our will to Him and going forward as He leads us, we find it’s not so bad after all. And, even if it is scary along the way, we realize we have the most wonderful companion with us. The Lord!

Mercy’s victory isn’t when she refuses to go forward. It’s when she stops fighting where I am taking her, puts her trust in me, and off we go.

Let us do the same with the Lord, shall we? Let’s take our foot off the brake, let’s put our trust in Jesus, and let us go forward as His Spirit who dwells inside those of us who follow Him leads us forth!

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 #

Once again, the Lord has placed on my heart not to write today’s 365 blessings. But rest assured I look forward to the next time He places on my heart a blessing from His Word to share with you! Please look forward with me!

TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL

3 Key Ingredients for Your Prayer Life 

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”” Luke 18:1-8

The widow in the scriptures above is used by Jesus to teach us a lesson about prayer, right? But is that all? Please read the verses and see that this story isn’t just about prayer. It’s also about FAITH and PERSEVERANCE. It’s about NOT GIVING UP in PRAYING TO GOD with what? With FAITH.

I’m writing this in a hotel room in New Jersey. I am extremely thankful to the Lord for the hotel, and the hotel is truly the best I have stayed in over the past two years on the road for Jesus in the way of peace and quiet with a nice place along the water to take my walks with the doggies and most importantly with the Lord.

But I’d give almost anything to leave and find somewhere in a different
part of the country that would be much more affordable. Not to mention to discontinue my search for housing in New York City where the Lord is sending me back for another season of streets ministry there. But I am choosing obedience to the Lord over bowing down to my flesh which would love somewhere cheap, easy, with loved ones nearby, not to mention a warm winter climate.

How will I ever find the right place in New York City for just the period of time the Lord wants me there that will accept the ministry’s 4 special needs service doggies and will be in the location the Lord has chosen for me? And how will I carry on with this ministry when the support for so very long has been so very little?

PRAYER, right? But is that all? This story is also about what? PERSEVERANCE and FAITH. Three key ingredients. PRAYER. PERSEVERANCE. FAITH.

The Lord doesn’t answer our prayers according to our will. He answers them according to His will. For His glory. And our job is to PRAY TO HIM with PERSEVERANCE which comes with FAITH that HE WILL ANSWER according to what HE KNOWS IS BEST for us with the end result of BRINGING HIM GLORY!

Do you feel like giving up on something you’ve been praying about? Unless the Lord has spoken to your heart it’s time to stop praying and give up, please do as we learn in this story. PRAY. With PERSEVERANCE. That is borne of FAITH. KEEP ON PRAYING. Trusting the Lord will answer in His time according to His plan for His purpose for what? FOR HIS GLORY!

AMEN!

p.s. When it comes to New Jersey and New York, I know what to do. PRAY. PERSEVERE. BELIEVE. The Spirit of God who lives inside those who follow Jesus will lead me forth!

Please do the same. PRAY. PERSEVERE. BELIEVE. For as long as the Lord desires you to keep seeking Him about what you’re praying about. Remembering this. May the ultimate glory be HIS. AMEN! Yes, AMEN!

Let us draw near to the Lord – in PRAYER! With PERSEVERANCE! With FAITH! Experiencing His presence as we pray!

TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE

ENCOURAGEMENT as Service to Jesus!

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11One of the most beautiful – and one of the simplest – blessings when it comes to serving Jesus in our everyday lives is this. ENCOURAGEMENT. Some of us, myself included, are prone to think that serving Jesus always has to be about something absolutely gargantuan. Totally radically majorly over-the-top BIG. But when we think of serving Jesus everyday only in the context of doing “really big things”, then we may well miss some of the most significant ones.

Like ENCOURAGING people to believe in and follow Jesus. Like ENCOURAGING people to love, serve, obey, and worship God. Like ENCOURAGING people to turn from their sins and to believe in Christ as Lord. Like ENCOURAGING people to repent when they need to repent. Like ENCOURAGING people to pray and spend time alone with Christ. Like ENCOURAGING people to read the Bible and to live by it. Like ENCOURAGING people by pointing them to Jesus and specific scriptures relevant to what they’re going through. Like ENCOURAGING people to humble themselves before God. Like ENCOURAGING people to ENCOURAGE others to believe in and follow Jesus!

I can’t tell you how indescribably wonderful it is for me to RECEIVE ENCOURAGEMENT as I go through this life following Jesus. And I can’t tell you how indescribably wonderful it is to be a vessel of Christ’s love and to GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT to others.

Please make sure you have a nice-sized group of people in your life who follow Jesus to ENCOURAGE you as you grow in your relationship with God, and please make sure you GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT to others to help them in their own lives to faithfully follow Jesus now and forevermore!

LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST

Tired, tired, tired. When will I ever get past tired? When I rest sufficiently, of course. And the reality is even when I slow down enough to rest, my mind rarely does. Rarely do I focus on one thing at a time. My mind just goes, goes, and goes. It’s a true blessing in ministry to have a strong mind. But it’s also a challenge to slow this mind of mine down! Especially as the Lord continues to grow this ministry, to grow me, and chooses for the time being anyway not to supply the physical and financial help I so very much would love to see to help the ministry as it continues to grow.

Perhaps you might be led to pray for my rest and refreshing, restoration and renewal, continued growth in and for Christ, and that the Lord would continue to supply mine and the ministry’s needs as He so desires.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful love, encouragement, and prayers, and to those of you who are faithfully sowing financially into this work of the Lord’s for His forever glory!

Love & blessings,

Lara

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