Do you pray for strangers? I do. It comes naturally to me. I have noticed a world in need for as long as I can remember. I was born with a humongeous heart, but my human heart did not have the capacity to love like God does. Now that the Lord lives inside me, I am learning to love with His love and to let His unfailing mercy and compassion flow through me. Throughout my day, wherever I go, whatever I am doing, I notice those in need. Random people. Total strangers. People who oftentimes never know I am there. Today, I saw a man with an infirmity hobbling far across a parking lot. I could see his brokenness. We never crossed paths. He never even saw me. I prayed…

Bound in chains. In a prison without bars, without walls, without escape. A cloud of blackness blinding my vision. A weight ever on me, lowering me, pressing me down. The rape of darkness. I could hear almost nothing but noise. Constant. I already knew Jesus; I had known Him for years. But I could do little more than grope for Him and grab onto Him, pulling Him down with me, before He motioned for me to follow and I could only drown in the quicksand. I could not even see Him leave; I could barely hear Him say, “Come, follow me.” I could not even breathe right, nor think straight, let alone love for more than minutes. I loved God. I prayed. I studied the Bible. I went to church. I worshipped. I…

Mother Theresa needs help with her retirement. She is on multiple medications to keep her comfortable. She has had a tough life & thinks of Walk by Faith Ministry as her assisted living facility. Her owner planned to shoot and kill her, her rescuer abandoned her in his flight from the police, her next caretakers kept her in a pen outside, and she was attacked so badly by a fellow foster dog after rescue that it took 2 hours of surgery to put her neck back together. Now she hobbles around like a little Granny after 13 years of a hard life – and is happy as a clam!! She is not one of Walk by Faith Ministry’s most adoptable dogs, so we are reaching out for support in providing her…

I call them my butt-kickers. They are my biblical butt-kickers. They are my friends who love the Lord so much that they are willing to tell me the truth even when it is hard to hear. They are too sold out to the Lord and care about me too much to watch me walk through difficult places without telling me there is another way. They remind me about what is real, and they tell me what I tend to forget. God has blessed me with a number of biblical butt-kickers. Why? He knows me well. I have a habit of staying in places I need to leave, and to hold onto people and things I am supposed to let go. My butt-kickers remind me what the Lord says in His…

I have fallen. Oh, I have fallen so far. I have fallen so far I have landed in the muck and mire of a hog pen I used to live in. I have made all the mistakes I made before, the ones I thought I left behind through Christ Jesus. But alas, the hog pen was waiting for my return. All my old sins awaited me, and I swooped them up like I had never let them go. But this time there were two differences. First, I knew why I fell. I am walking through a grueling season, and one of great change. So I reached back for the familiar rather than trust God to walk forward to the new land He calls me to. Second, in my fallen state,…

True love speaks the truth – in love. Yesterday my long-time pastor, whom I had not seen in the four years since God sent me out for a four-year degree in His Word and life, chastened me about my recent disobedience regarding some things the Lord has asked me to do. After so long being away from my human shepherd, I can think of some better things to talk about than where I have fallen short. But I love the Lord so much and have such a strong, trusting relationship with my pastor that I am able to see the blessing in the chastening of the Lord. The Bible says the Lord chastens those He loves, and I know the same is true of my pastor. I am grateful God…

Just how insignificant are you? In the hands of the Lord, your seeming insignificance may be your greatest asset. Before I left on a trip to visit South Carolina where Walk by Faith Ministry will open a new office and I will ultimately move, I hurried to a random tire shop to get two desperately needed new tires. Two were just about useless; the other two were exeedingly close. The manager was honest; though I was in dire need of four, I could get by with two for just a bit longer. Then, he surprised me with four tires for just slightly over the price of two to ensure I would be safe on my long journey ahead. He was led by the Lord to bless me, and I could…

What if what you won’t let go is costing you your life? Maybe you believe what you are holding onto is not risking your life because it is not potentially fatal. But what if what you will not surrender is keeping you from living the fullness of the abundant life the Lord intended for you? In a matter of mere weeks, the Lord has brought me to a place of releasing every single person, place, and thing I have held onto since the day I was born. Why? He revealed to me that not only was I holding back the life He has planned for me, but most importantly that everything and everyone I was holding onto was keeping me from holding onto Him. What are you holding onto that…

I have little recollection of a short stint I had assisting a Kingdergarten teacher years ago, but one lesson she taught at the beginning of the year remains clear. She neatly wrote a question across the chalkboard and drilled this into her students right from the start. R U Listening? The teacher knew the students would need to learn to listen if they were to learn, grow, and succeed.I know countless people who talk and pray to God on a regular basis, but I wonder how many of us are taking the time to listen. As I continue my walk through a valley of loss and challenging, unexpected change, I am conscious more than ever of my need to listen – to the Lord.I have placed my heart and life in…

When I put the ashes of my life into the hands of the Lord, He fulfilled His promise in the Bible and gave me beauty. On my wedding anniversary last week, also the anniversary of Angel Gabriel’s journey to heaven, and with divorce papers on the way, I expected the worst when I opened the mailbox. Instead, I saw the glory of the Lord once more. I rifled through the small pile of mail, I opened the single thick envelope, and within 30 seconds the Jeremy Camp song “Walk by Faith” came on the radio. The timing was perfect. I burst into tears – of joy. On the very day I did not think I could stand any more pain, the Internal Revenue Service had written to say it had…

Some storms come with thunder, lightening, wind, rain, sleet, snow, ice, and hail. Other storms come with pain, hurt, sorrow, tears, loss, grief, and injustice. But every storm has an eye, and every wise person knows there is only one way to truly make it through the ferocity of the center of the storm – by standing on the rock of faith in Jesus Christ.As the dark clouds burst open this afternoon with torrents of rain outdoors, I remained calm in the center of my personal storm. May 14 will mark the one year anniversary of the loss of my beloved Angel Gabriel, rescued as a sack of virtually hairless bones from the streets of Michigan and only given a short time with me before he want home to be with the Lord.…

Some followers of Walk by Faith Ministry may remember my beloved Angel Gabriel, who went home to be with the Lord last May 14 after only a few months under my care. He was found wandering the streets of Michigan as a sack of almost hairless bones. I asked the Lord, why would I only have such a short time with him. The Lord gave me these words, which I now use often in our ministry: It’s Never Too Late to Know the Love of God. Just two days ago, the Lord sent another canine angel.The Lord has perfect timing, doesn’t he? Angel, who was already named before she was sent to Walk by Faith Ministry, arrived just days before the one-year anniversary of Angel Gabriel’s journey to heaven. Thanks to God…

“Hello God,” said the man, adjusting his tie as the sweat gathered in the palms of his hands. “Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the job.” “Please be seated at my feet,” God replied, collecting the man’s resume from the top of the endless pile of the world’s resumes. The man looked uneasily at the ground, then seated himself as requested just the same. After all, he wanted the job. “Are there any questions I can answer?” the man said, clearing his throat in an effort to hide his shaking voice.”Your resume is very long,” God commented as he perused page after page. “Yes,” the man answered eagerly, sighing. At last, he had caught God’s attention. “And you have many degrees,” God noted, looking briefly at…

God’s love never fails, right? But human love does fail – always. Human love always comes to an end. It is only God’s agape love that is everlasting. Human love always has its limits; God’s love goes on forever. So what do we do when human love comes to a finish? We have two choices. We stop loving because our love will always terminate in our human flesh. Or, we move forward with the love of the Lord. God promises to supply all our need, and this includes love. Not only will He give us love when we need it; He gives us His very own. Today, not for the first time, enduring one of the most painful circumstances I have faced, I came to the place where human love…

What would you do for one lost sheep? Would you lay down your life for the sheep? Would you put aside your wants, your desires, your dreams, your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings, and your needs for the life of the one lost sheep? I have heard it preached often about the prodigal son, and rarely about his brother. What I have heard least of all preached is about the father. He never gave up on his son. He did not chase after him, nor did he go out and drag him back. Not only did he welcome him home, but he reached out – out of his way – to receive his son. The world teaches us all about boundaries, judgment, and vengeance. All of this belongs to the…

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WANTED:Foster Homes!Walk by Faith Ministry is looking for a few very special, safe & loving homes for our adoptable dogs. Homes should be in or near Purcellville, VA, and families should be able to provide love, love, and more love! A fenced yard or leashed walks are required, and transportation to adopt-a-dog events would be helpful. Veterinary care is provided by Walk by Faith Ministry, though donations are always welcome! To fill out an application to foster a dog, please e-mail love@walkbyfaithministry.com.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at http://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.

The Peanut Butter Project is not the most ordinary name for a ministry assignment, but then neither is Walk by Faith Ministry the most ordinary ministry. I have yet to come across another Christian ministry that shares the Gospel as it ministers the Lord’s love to miracle cases of people and homeless dogs, too. Add to that the fact Walk by Faith Ministry specializes in the people and homeless dogs the world has given up on as it demonstrates that it is never too late to know the love of God. Not to mention the ministry is directed by me – a woman who grew up in a Jewish home without God, became an atheist, then agnostic, and had just about every odd against her to even stay alive given…

God has taught me yet another faith lesson through the frolicking, furry paws of yet another four-legged friend. The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Romans 10:17 KJV), and I have no doubt that studying the Bible regularly is the source of my ever-increasing faith in God. But God knows my heart, and He often brings to life my faith lessons through Walk by Faith Ministry’s rescue dogs. Today, yet again, God did just that in the form of Hosea – a big, bounding, long-limbed, still-got-puppy-energy, Great Dane-labrador mix. hosea at the beauty shop…Hosea has just learned to swim, and make no bones about it. He already loves it. He has had the good fortune to learn his favorite new sport in not just one pond – but…

The ultimate abortion. Can you imagine? She had every reason. Unplanned pregnancy. Totally inconvenient. Bad timing. Wrong father. People would call her crazy. Money? Probably not enough. She would be ridiculed beyond belief. Location way off. Uncomfortable. Totally inconvenient. Not on her agenda. Who would help her? Her family would be appalled. She would never be able to hide her pregnancy. She wasn’t up for the pain of it all. It really was the ultimate abortion. She had all the reasons in the world. The abortion would take all her troubles away. Maybe there would be a small cost, maybe a bit of discomfort. But in the long run, she would be better off. Maybe she couldn’t run to the nearest abortion clinic, but there was always someone who knew how…

Today I broke the world’s rules. Over and over. I find increasingly that following Jesus Christ involves breaking rules. Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23 KJV).” As I learn to do just this, I find I break the world’s rules. How so? Today, for instance, I wrote a fundraising piece that was too long. Any non-profit director would have told me so. I did not earn enough money to pay my bills and put away savings. A good financial advisor would have pointed out my mistake. I did not take enough time for my makeup. A cosmetologist would have pointed it out. I did not live by the world’s rules, you see.…

Words. Manic depressive. Bi-polar. Herniated disc. Post traumatic stress disorder. Major depression. Flashbacks. Anxiety. Alcoholism. Anorexia. Self-mutilation. Suicidal tendencies. Anti-depressants for life. Chronic neck pain. Psychotic episodes. You will never have a normal life. Statistics are against you. Words, words, and more words. I fought some. I gave up with others. For the most part, I believed the world’s words. I knew nothing about the Word of God. I believed the world, and I lived for most of my life thus far in a prison of the world’s words. Today I am free. Freer than I have ever been. Free and healed. Living a normal life. I live by God’s Word. I believe Him. I was given a key that set me free from decades of imprisonment. His name is Jesus…

In the four years I have lived in the Nation’s Capital region, I have been asked one question more than any other by friends and strangers alike concerning my walk with the Lord. “What church do you go to?” people have asked me, over and over, and over again. In the same four years, nobody has asked me the most important question – not directly anyway.How is your relationship with God?When church becomes more important than Christ, we have a problem. The Church is Christ’s body. But without Christ, there is no body. So what is a church without Christ, and what is fellowship with man without first and foremost relationship with God. I know without the shadow of a doubt I will be judged for the statement, just as…

Disobedience. It comes with a cost. We see through human eyes. The cost to ourselves. Maybe to our families. Sometimes to our friends. We rarely, if ever, calculate the cost of our disobedience in terms of nations, of generations, of centuries, of the universe. But if we saw the whole picture as God does, we could see how a simple act of disobedience could have a ripple effect throughout the universe – for eternity. If we truly understood how the obedience of an ordinary person could help save the world, then we might comprehend how disobedience may help end it.If Moses had not obeyed God, the children of Israel would have stayed in bondage in Egypt. If the prophets had not obeyed God, entire nations would not have heard from God.If…

I am not sure I have ever felt as vulnerable as I do right now, sitting quietly at my computer with my menagerie of dogs sprawled around me waiting for dinner. I have just sent to two friends the manuscript of a Christian novel I wrote from my heart in a 3.5-week period at the start of this year. The writing is not my best, at all, but my heart is so surrendered to the Lord in my daily life – and in the writing of this book – that I believe the Lord will touch and transform lives through this book in a mighty way. I used to hide behind writing technique. I enjoyed pats on the back, good grades, an Ivy League education, a nice-looking resume. All of this…

When I think of my accountant, I cannot help but think of the wonderful way God can use His gifts to us for His Kingdom purpose. When we put our gifts and talents in His hands, when we surrender our hearts to Him, and when we choose to live daily for His glory, we realize God can transform our ordinary lives into extraordinary living – for Him. My accountant is living proof. I cannot remember the day, hour, or even the year a friend referred me to a local accountant, but rest assured I can recall my situation. Desperate. I am almost always desperate when it comes to numbers, banking, and taxes. Suffice it to say, I am quite sure I reluctantly, begrudginly, and warily dragged myself off to this stranger’s office. I was certain…

Magic at church? God does not have anything to do with magic, right? Church has nothing to do with magic either, right? If you had followed me around in years past, you might have thought otherwise. Maybe you have fallen prey to the same mistake I did. I must have worn the soles of my shoes down and burned a zillion calories running back and forth between my seat in church and the altar where I was convinced, if not hopeful, I would receive yet another magic fix. What am I talking about? Maybe you know. Surely I was not alone. I had turned the altar in just about every church I attended into a dumping ground where I could trade my troubles in for magic. I figured if just…

“The Bible is not a smorgasbord, Lara,” a loved one told me during my very early days of studying the Bible. “You don’t pick and choose what you want from it.” Fortunately, my loved one had a tough skin. He was able to handle how I argued at least every other scripture. He was also able to manage how I fought against his declaration that the Bible is not a buffet. How many believers in Jesus Christ, I wonder, subscribe to the Bible, buffet style? “I am sick and tired of you playing church,” a pastor told his mega church congregation just weeks ago. “You come to church each week with Bible in hand,” he told thousands of people in so many words. “You play Christian in church. You cry, you…

What is your living sacrifice to the Lord? The Lord commands us in the Bible to give our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, yet I wonder if we truly know what that means and are willing to do so. The Lord reminded me today that I promised to sacrifice one of the most beautiful gifts He has given me – someone who is very precious to me. The Bible says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 KJV). Have you ever wondered what a living sacrifice is, and have you ever considered obeying God’s command to sacrifice?Today the Holy Spirit gave me revelation that a living sacrifice can…

Resist the devil. There is a right way, and there is a wrong way. I have learned this the hard way. There is only one way. He is the way. His name is Jesus. Maybe you have made the same mistake I have. First, I did not believe there is a devil. Then, when I realized just how much of a devil there truly is, I tried to resist him the wrong way – in my own strength. A loved one pointed something out to me. I was delighted to find one particular, well known scripture in the Bible. However, like so many other people, I missed the scripture in its full context. You know the one.”Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7 KJV).”But that is…

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