“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Gal. 5:13………………. “Do not try to fix this, Lara,” the Spirit of God told me one afternoon. “Let me.” A beautiful, beloved friend of mine was hurting, overwhelmed exhausted, and so very dear to me, not to mention that I love helping people anyway, whether strangers or friends or family. Immediately I wanted to do something to help. Something. Anything. Something concrete. Tangible. Not long after I jumped right in, the Spirit of God yanked me back out. I had already loved her when we spoke, encouraged her, offered biblically based counsel, given her scriptures, listened to her, and made clear how much I care…

“Then the word of the Lord came to him [Elijah], saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith….So he went and did according to the word of the Lord…” 1 Kings 17:2-5 bold added…….. “Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” Mt. 4:19-20…………… “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:26………….. Some of us are clingers when it’s time to go. When it’s time to move forward. Time to move on. Time to let go. Time to move ahead. As the Lord leads us. Some of us…

“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………………. “This makes no sense to me,” I said in my heart one morning. It wasn’t an outright prayer. I wasn’t consciously trying to speak to God. I was just going about my morning dog-related chores and muttering in my heart these words concerning something I was on the precipice of doing in obedience to the Lord. This makes no sense to me. One of the greatest challenges I believe Christ’s followers face is I think we tend to want to make sense of the Lord’s will, and to refuse to do the Lord’s will if we don’t have understanding of it,…

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:8…………… “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord,…” Psalm 24:4-5…………. “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23…………… “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8…………….. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for…

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17……………. “Every time you need something, you come to Mommy,” I told paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon one day. “You definitely know who your provider is.” Sure enough, after years of being in my care, my sweet beloved paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon knows everything he needs he can get from me. And he uses his face, his facial expressions, his paws, and his “talking” (I tell people he “talks” rather than howls or barks, and I’m convinced of this!) to tell me what he needs when he needs it. He doesn’t look to anyone or anything else for his needs to be met.…

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7……….. One morning the Lord placed in my heart a little picture of the piece of equipment I saw used years ago in the physical therapy department of a hospital where I volunteered for a very short stint. The equipment was about 12 feet long or so with handrails on both sides so someone learning to walk again after a major injury could hold onto the rails for support and to keep from falling. A few minutes later, the Lord said this to me: “I will walk with you,” the Spirit of God spoke. “I will lead you.” What was He showing me? What was He telling me? What might He be showing and telling you? I was in the…

“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………… “Mercy! Mercy!” I called out to paralyzed dog Miss Mercy as I do multiple times a day so she will come to me so I can change her diaper. Her paralyzed dog buddy Mr. Simeon has just about no mobility without his wheelchair and Mommy’s help getting him around, but Miss Mercy who was hit by a car before she came to me at only about 6 months old has been scooting around on her knees for years not to mention enjoying her wheelchair. This time, she came surprisingly fast when I called!…

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Genesis 2:20……….. I read the scriptures above FOR YEARS before one day the Spirit of God brought something to light quite astonishing and utterly life-changing. Abraham was considered a man of exceedingly strong faith in that when God told him to essentially pack his bags and leave so very much behind to go where God was…

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20…….. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad… 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. 5:10-15………. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything much crazier to do at 50 years old on the budget of…

“I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13………….. I was driving down a highway out in the country where there was little to no traffic many years ago when the Holy Spirit spoke to me so loudly and so clearly and so emphatically it was as if the Lord God almighty were sitting in the car with me. I felt as though He had taken the car over, the driving of the car over, and taken me over. I felt almost as though I wasn’t even there. For those few minutes, it was like the rest of the world just disappeared. His message to me in those minutes could not have been more plain and clear. He was calling me to Bible school and to preach.…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23 “Love suffers long [is patient] and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” 1 Cor. 13:4………………. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4………………. “…be patient with all.” 1 Thess. 5:14…………… “Be patient today,” the Spirt of God spoke to me as I knelt briefly on my knees. “That is the word I am giving you today. This is all.” When the Holy Spirt says to…

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22…………….. “There’s no reason for them to pray. You need to obey,” the Spirit of God told me one afternoon. I had felt rather impulsively I should ask some friends for prayer about something, had even started to send them an e-mail to that effect, and that’s when the Spirit of God intervened. The reminder He gave me contained a message for all of us. I was having a little bit of a challenging day, par for the course for weeks past, and I figured some prayer would help me out. But the Lord showed me I didn’t need people to pray me out of my circumstances and out of how I was feeling. I needed to…

“Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”’ “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet, for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you to…

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12…………. “I’m being stern with you because that’s what you need,” the Spirit of God told me one day as I sat with my laptop doing my work in the little waiting room of the place where my car was getting repaired. There was plenty of distraction. Kids running around, noisy, the noise of cars being worked on, people coming and going, both staff and customers. I’m easily distracted, but the Lord spoke through all the noise, through all the distraction, right to my heart. About a certain situation. A situation concerning which I clearly needed the Lord…

““For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:14-15…….. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Eph. 4:31-32…….. “I’ve forgiven,” people have told me from time to time in my streets ministry work. “I’m not angry,” people have also told me. “I forgave that person a long time ago,” I have told people. “I’m not angry at him,” I have said. The truth is we can tell the whole world we’ve forgiven someone, and we can tell the whole world…

“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…

“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38………… “Stop resisting me,” the Spirit of God told me one night. “When I tell you to do something,” He said. “Simply do it.”………….. He was reminding me of something He had told me before, taught me before, reminded me before, and continued to remind me as He teaches me to follow Him the way He desires to be followed by me – and by all of us. The Lord wants His children to be HUMBLE, to be SUBMISSIVE, to be YIELDING, to SIMPLY SURRENDER to Him, to hear His instructions, and to simply say yes and go forth in loving obedience, in His strength,…

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalm 9:10………….. “But I have trusted in Your mercy [unfailing love, steadfast love, lovingkindness per other versions]; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” Psalm 13:5 “Do you trust me?” the Lord said to me one morning “Yes,” I replied. “I just wish you would make things easier.” “If you trust me, it doesn’t matter if things are easy or not,” the Spirit of God essentially spoke to my heart. “Because you know I will carry you.” As usual, as always, the Lord wasn’t letting me be satisfied with where I was in my faith in Him, in the degree to which I trusted Him. He was, and…

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 I was right in the thick of making preparations for one of the biggest transitions of my life when I realized for the umpteenth time how indescribably thankful I was to the Lord for having lovingly and mercifully granted me the biggest, strongest circle of rock solid women Christ followers I had ever had. I knew day and night I had a long list of beautiful, loving, honest, patient, kind, and committed to Christ sisters in the Lord whom I could call on for love, encouragement, prayer, biblically grounded counsel, and godly wisdom, and who would not be afraid to let me know if they saw me in any way, shape,…

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him…” Gen. 12:1-4 “Simply obey me,” the Spirit of God said to me one morning. That’s not all He said, but that was the gist of it. Along with that, He told me I would understand why He was telling me to do something that seemed…

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:2………… One night I was afraid to get down on my knees. Afraid of what He would tell me. But knew that’s exactly what I needed. To get down on my knees. Not just to pray. To surrender. To whatever He wanted to say. And to whatever He desired of me. To whatever He wanted to do with me. In me. Through me. So down to my knees I went. Felt like I’d never get up once I went down there. Like I’d crumple into a million broken pieces. But not only did I need to get down there. I needed Him. So down I went. I honestly can’t remember what happened when I went down to my knees that…

“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 I was feeling weak. Tired from not enough sleep, and worn from pushing myself hard as I prepared for the next big step in my journey following Jesus, and weak in the sense I felt vulnerable, raw, fragile, like it would be too easy for me to fall into saying or doing something displeasing to the Lord. I needed rest, for sure. I’d been spending…

If you don’t already know, and some if not many of you already do, the Lord is leading me to pack up my belongings, along with the last of the special needs and senior rescued doggies in my care, and hit the road for New York City where He is sending me to carry on with my work as an evangelist and writer doing streets ministry and writing and publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books. I do not get a salary, live an incredibly simple and economical lifestyle to be available 24-7 to the Lord and ministry, try to stay out of emergency savings because it’s set aside for emergency and for a possible future RV for ministry or whatever the Lord desires for His glory, and sadly exceedingly few…

“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16…….. But God, I don’t want to do this. But God, this isn’t fair. But God, there is a better way, I just know it. But God, what you’re asking of me is too hard. But God, I don’t understand. But God, I’m not ready. But God, I’m afraid. But God, I don’t want to go there. But God, I don’t want to talk to that person. But God, I’m not strong enough. But God, you need to explain yourself before I go and do that. But God, I have a better idea than yours. But…

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4………… God’s tests for me are never easy. They can be downright hard. Even seemingly impossible. And, perhaps because He has called me to devote my life 100% to Him and ministry, I get tested sometimes seemingly constantly, and sometimes in pretty big ways. And somehow along the way I got the idea the Lord tests me by teaching me something, then testing me on it, then moving me forward whereby I never need to look back and revisit old lessons and old testing. Oh, but not so! For sometimes God does…

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1………….. If there is one thing that stands out about two of my sisters in the Lord who are going through treatment for cancer at the same time, and who despite living hundreds of miles apart have become friends through the Lord using me to introduce them, it’s this. No matter their diagnosis, no matter their prognosis, no matter their trials, no matter how they feel on any given day, no matter how grueling what they have faced thus far, no matter how much they didn’t ask for this, no matter how much they probably have a zillion things they’d rather be doing than being treated for cancer, and no matter the outcome…

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”” Luke 11:13…………….. “You are a very gifted writer,” a sweet reader wrote me one day. Yes! Yes I am, I thought later when I reflected on her message. I am a very gifted writer! Now before you think I’m the most prideful person in the world, please hear me out. Listen to what she wrote next. “I feel God’s presence through the words you write,” she continued. I am a very gifted writer BECAUSE the GIFT IS FROM GOD, and ALL – absolutely EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF GLORY for this gift – BELONGS TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST! I can…

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” Mt. 6:10…………………. Not long after the Lord gave me a message to write about not leaving a person, place, or situation unless it’s the Lord leading us to do so, I sensed He had another message for me related to the issue of leaving versus staying. So I waited until I knew He had placed another message on my heart. And here it is. If God is telling you to STAY with a person, in a relationship, in a location, at a job, in a situation, etc., even though you feel like you really want to or really must leave, because it’s just too hard, too painful, too scary, too boring, too unproductive, too uncomfortable, too…

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” Acts 8:32-35……………… Ah, I sighed. A perfect fit. Comfy. Not too snug. Not too loose. The kind of sneakers you’d find after trying on plenty of pairs at…

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