Please click on READ MORE to read the latest GOOD NEWS DAILY that goes out by email to those who sign up. Four different devotionals plus a personal letter and a ministry update & prayer request all lovingly bundled into one almost daily email! Enjoy and be blessed and encouraged!
TODAY’S LITTLE LETTER FROM LARA
One thing is for sure when it comes to being fully devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ. When it comes to being totally sold out to Him. When it comes to being willing to forsake all for Him. When it comes to being willing to live a life of love for and obedience to Jesus forever Lord. And that’s this. Following Jesus can be a wildly challenging, wildly wonderful, wildly humbling, wildly surprising adventure. A journey full of lessons, testing, trials, tribulations, falls, repentance, triumphs, celebrations, battles, losses, recovery, redemption, victories, and oh, how the list goes on.
So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I left the Florida Panhandle for the Appalachian region of the United States for my next step on the road for Jesus full-time with my special needs doggies doing streets ministry and writing and publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books at what the Lord has spoken to my heart.
If you’re a student of the Bible, you may have noticed the apostle Paul and his fellow disciples of Christ would set off in one direction to preach the Gospel only to be redirected by the Holy Spirit. A sister in the Lord calls it “re-routing.”
I had a strong sense the Lord would send me to the Washington DC area after the Appalachian region only to find out He is sending me back to New York City where I spent 6 months last year doing my ministry work. He told me plain and clear He has more work for me to do there.
As for Washington, DC, it’s entirely possible He will in fact send me there – in the future. But for now, I am waiting on the Lord for the timing of my big trip to New York City as I sit here writing in my hotel room in Charleston, West VA, with my beloved special needs ministry service doggies gathered round and snoozing.
I am learning to live by faith, and learning to live day by day with my heart, Bible, special needs doggies, and our belongings ready to go the moment the Lord sends us forth.
I want to encourage you to be totally devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ no matter what He calls you to do, where He calls you to go, when He calls you to go, for however long He desires, ALL FOR HIS GLORY.
Our lives are not meant to live for ourselves. Our lives are meant to be lived for the Lord!
Live for Jesus, friend. And fasten your seat-belt. It’s an amazing journey, and God will provide all we need for the journey when we are living in His will for His awesome everlasting splendorous glory!
Love in Jesus’ name,
TODAY’S DAILY INSPIRATION
“Father Knows Best”
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
I was praying one day for something big, and I was praying big about it. In other words, I really, really wanted the Lord to answer big. Big, big, big. This was a big deal to me. Then all of a sudden I prayed some words that totally surprised me.
“Father, you know best.”
Amazing. Awesome. Incredible. Oh, how the Lord has changed me. And is changing me. I used to be under false teaching and was taught I could have whatever I wanted as long as I had enough faith – no matter what God had to say about it. I was told to pray in a demanding way. I was prideful in my prayers. It was all about me and how God should serve me. Horrible, I know! Then the Lord led me to repentance and delivered me out from under the false teaching.
Still, even under true biblical teaching, I still for a long time was very self-centered. It was still about me. Then God led me to repentance once again and delivered me out from under a me-centered life. He taught me how to be Christ-centered – and how to pray according to His will – FOR HIS GLORY.
So along came the prayer that day. A prayer of love, reverence, honor, and trust. Today, I know Jesus Christ is Lord. He is God. And God ALWAYS knows what is best. ALWAYS.
Remember the television show from long ago called “Father Knows Best”? It wasn’t a show about God. But the name is true to this message. THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, FATHER to all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and devote their lives to Him through faith that He died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT IS BEST.
I do not as I write this yet know the outcome to my BIG prayer for something BIG. But I do know for certain whatever the Lord decides in answer to my prayer is BEST. FATHER KNOWS BEST! ALWAYS! IN ALL THINGS! 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…!
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7-8
We all need help, don’t we? One way or another, for one thing or another, we need help. Whether for big things, or little things, we need it. We weren’t meant to go through this life on our own. We have others to help us, and we need to help others. We were created to love one another. But before we love and help each other, first and foremost, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our hearts.
And when it comes to help, though we may receive help from people, our greatest help comes from the Lord. I have made the mistake time and again in my life of placing my trust and expectation in people and then being disappointed when I didn’t get the help I needed or the help wasn’t in the form I wanted it or the help came but didn’t meet my expectations and hopes. I wouldn’t have been let down if I had placed my trust and expectation in the Lord in the first place and believed that He would help me through humans when and as He desired.
And that my thanksgiving needed to be to Him above all else for the help He provided and for how He chose to provide it whether directly from Himself or through people in my life. Look at the absolutely stunningly beautiful promise in the verses above. Jesus was telling His disciples that when He left this earth until He returns again, they could rejoice because the Helper would come to them.
Know who the Helper is? Helper with an uppercase H? The Spirit of God! The Spirit of Christ! Who lives inside His followers! Who lives inside you and me if we are His followers! The greatest Helper in the universe lives in us! How humbled I am for all the times I felt I didn’t have enough help to be reminded even as I write this that living inside me is the greatest Helper in the universe!
Oh, let us rejoice! That God does not leave us helpless. That He is our help! And that our help is not far, far away! Our Help lives within us! And it’s up to Him to decide how He wants to provide His help day by day. Thank you Lord for being our Helper!
TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL
Love, Obedience, and New York City
“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”” John 14:21
When I told a man at a hotel where I stayed on the road for Jesus that God is sending me back to New York City for my ministry work, the man essentially told me I’m crazy.
Seemed like the devil was using the man’s mouth to talk me out of obeying God and going back to New York City.
I’m pretty sure the man had never been to New York City, but I lived there decades ago before I became a Christ follower and last year spent 6 months there doing ministry work. I had a phenomenal opportunity to serve the Lord, but it was very hard, very expensive, and at times dangerous.
My answer to the man came quickly. I will return to New York City because of my love for the Lord. I love Him more than anything and anyone on this earth!
Know what comes out of an intimate ever-growing personal relationship with Christ? Obedience! Jesus said those who love Him obey Him!
First He loves us, friend. Then we are to love Him. Out of this love we choose to obey! He is Lord!
Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you obeying Him? Will you forsake all for Him? Will you do what may seem crazy in the world’s eyes if it’s what Jesus is calling you to do?
Receive Jesus’ love. Return His love. Obey Him in His love for you and yours for Him.
TODAY’S SERVING JESUS IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
Serving God from the Inside Out
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” 2 Tim. 2:20-21
It’s one thing to serve the Lord. It’s another thing to serve the Lord WITH THE RIGHT HEART. Enough said? Well, let me explain.
No matter how much we may do the work to which the Lord has called us in serving Him, He doesn’t just see our labor for Him. He sees our hearts. Our thoughts. Our feelings. Our attitudes. Our motives. The condition of our hearts. The condition of our minds. And He cares. Deeply. So much so that we need to be really careful to SERVE THE LORD in the service to which He calls us – WITH THE RIGHT HEARTS.
Example? For a long time in my early years in ministry, I tried to do everything I believed God wanted me to do in serving Him. But my heart was filled with anger, rage, selfishness, discontent, complaining, bitterness, self, self, self, sin, sin, sin. How could I possibly please and honor the Lord in serving Him with such a sin-ridden heart?
Today, I still try to do my best in serving the Lord with the labor He gives me, but I also strive to keep my heart and life pure for Him such that I repent whenever He shows me anything in my heart, attitude, words, and actions that displeases and dishonors Him.
God calls us to have pure hearts. Keep your heart pure for Jesus, friend. Serve Him with a pure heart. And if the Spirit of God shows you anything in your heart and life that is displeasing to Him, turn away from it. Purify yourself for the Lord. That you may love Him, and honor Him, and SERVE HIM in your everyday life with a heart and life – service included – that brings Him glory, honor, praise, and joy!
LATEST MINISTRY UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST
The Lord has just blessed me with a request from a woman led to distribute my pocket-sized devotionals on a monthly basis to people in extreme need. What an honor, blessing, and privilege to be used in such a way even as the Lord continues to greatly grow the ministry and expand its reach worldwide for Christ. Even as I have incredible ministry opportunities in just a week’s time being in the Appalachian area. Even as my tracts and devotionals continue to go to prisons, homeless shelters, onto the streets, to a street preacher and an evangelist and others to distribute and via my own streets ministry work nationwide. All by God’s grace, all in God’s strength, all for God’s glory.
With a big church recently deciding unexpectedly to stop sponsoring and providing most of the print work for the very large number of tracts and devotionals going out, and with the Lord sending me to one of the most expensive cities in the country for more ministry work there, it would have seemed like the perfect opportunity to say to the woman requesting the devotionals, “Sorry, no way! My ministry doesn’t have enough financial support. I can’t keep up with the growth. I simply can’t do this!”
Instead, I immediately said YES! Why? Because I am learning day by day to live by faith in Jesus. To trust in Him. Knowing this work is all by God’s grace for His praise, honor, and glory, and to help build His Kingdom and to help those already His to faithfully follow Him. Knowing the Lord will provide for His work. Knowing that He has clearly told me to not stop moving forward. To be faithful. To be steadfast. To trust Him.
I am devoted 24-7 to the Lord and ministry. I have no social life, no entertainment life, no vacations, no normal American typical life. I live for Jesus and to help people to find and forever follow Him. So I trust He will enable me to do what He has called me to do – as I was told by a loved one years ago.
Please, my friends, please pray as often as you are led for me and this ministry. I beg of you to pray like you’ve never prayed before for this ministry. I am so very much in need of the Lord’s provision as I go forth. Please pray, too, for the hearts of those the Lord calls to help, to give, to serve, in this labor of love for Jesus!
And please pray for the ministry’s special needs service doggies who are on the road for Jesus with me! I hope to give you an update on them soon!
Love, love, and love in Christ to you!