Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CALLED TO WALK BY FAITH - DAILY INSPIRATION 1/27

Every so often, I am called by God to do something that is so far exceedingly beyond what I feel capable or wanting to do as a human that I am utterly 100% convicted that I can only do it with 100% in the strength and love and mercy and grace of the Lord. Such is the case as I sit right now in an emergency clinic for the 2nd time in three days with paralyzed dog Miss Mercy who is only three years old after being told she needs life-saving surgery and even with that extremely expensive surgery she may or may not live.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

URGENT PRAYERS & DONATIONS 4 PARALYZED DOG

UPDATE:

1/26 - URGENT DONATIONS are STILL NEEDED for PARALYZED DOG Miss Mercy. Miss Mercy is currently being hospitalized to treat what appears so far to be an exceedingly severe bladder and kidney infection along with hemolytic anemia. She also has a blood clot. Her veterinarian has her on fluids with a catheter, lots of medication, and will monitor her over the next 24 hours to see if surgery is needed.

So far, the veterinary care will cost a little under $1000. If she needs surgery, I will post an updated needed amount. About $310 has been donated so far. Thank you and God bless you!!!

Please click on the DONATE button to make a donation.


1/25 - Paralyzed dog Miss Mercy spent the afternoon at the emergency vet clinic where they were unable to diagnose her due to the nature and seeming severity of her symptoms. She has had a very sudden onset of symptoms that led the doctor to believe she could have anything from cancer to a paralysis related issue. I do not want to go into details here to avoid upsetting anyone with the specific symptoms. However, suffice it to say I am deeply concerned about her, and prayers and donations would be exceedingly appreciated. I will keep everyone posted, thank you very much!!! I am exhausted due to what's going on and am not at this time setting up a special donation button for her. Please simply contact me click on the DONATE button or contact me at 843-338-2219 to make an over-the-phone donation if you prefer to donate directly to the vet. Thank you & God bless you!!!

photo courtesy of Whitney Boring

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What Lies Behind Temptation - DAILY INSPIRATION 1/24

The temptation always seems to innocent - and delicious - at the time, doesn't it? It seems to come with so many promises. Wealth. Power. Satisfaction. Fulfillment. Relief. Euphoria. Escape. Love. And on and on. The voice of temptation speaks to us, telling us we won't suffer; there won't be any negative consequences, and surely we'll get away with it. How deceived we are. For so often we neglect to see what lies behind the temptation. The devil whispers to us about all the good stuff we can have and that will happen to us if we would only say yes to the temptation. Then comes the next sentence.

photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Short, Sweet & to the Point. . .. Update on DAILY INSPIRATION

Just wanted to let everyone know that Daily Inspiration and Bible Takeout have now been merged into Daily Inspiration - with a new format. Daily Inspiration will now be short, sweet, & to the point. Still full of love, hope, encouragement, teaching, conviction, challenge, and life-changing Truth from God's Word, the writing will now be short for people on the go. Those who want to go into greater depth are very welcome to request copies of the Walk by Faith Devotional in print and to check out my books at CLICK HERE. I hope you will be blessed. . . !


Friday, January 23, 2015

A Life-Changing Question - DAILY INSPIRATION 1-23-15

"Do you ever ask yourself if what you're doing is pleasing to God?" I asked a loved one. "Do you think about this when you choose a radio station, or turn on the television or read a book, or do anything at all?" My loved one's response was defensive, and I was not surprised. After all, as he confessed a few minutes later, my question was convicting. And so it is - for all of us who will truly consider it.


Do you ever ask yourself if what you're doing is pleasing to God? Now I'm asking you this question. It's a life-changing question, isn't it? How can we call Jesus Lord if we do not treat Him as such? How many of us are picking and choosing what portions of our lives should be submitted to God? If we really believe Jesus is Lord, wouldn't we do our best to submit all of our lives to God, from the big stuff to the little stuff?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Very Big Inspirational Update from LARA LOVE

Hey everyone. Just wanted to let y'all know by God's grace alone, I have now completed publishing THE HOMELESS DREAM book and have just finished up putting together a book of many selections of my online almost Daily Inspiration called PIECES FROM MY HEART which should be available within the next few weeks. That makes 5 books total now for which I give ALL glory to God. You can see my books at LARA'S BOOKS.

In the meantime, I am continuing to write and publish the monthly WALK BY FAITH DEVOTIONAL in print and am about to resume my online almost DAILY INSPIRATION.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Boring of W Photography on Hilton Head Island, SC
On the note of DAILY INSPIRATION, I will no longer be writing BIBLE TAKEOUT. Instead, I am merging both writings into one and embarking on a new endeavor as far as DAILY INSPIRATION is concerned. It will now be short, sweet, to the point, and jam-packed with inspiration, teaching, scriptures, love, faith, hope, encouragement, and as always a challenge to all to give their lives to the Lord and to learn how to follow Him. I believe in my heart the shorter and more direct format will be a better fit for online readers, while I encourage everyone to check out my books and monthly devotional for those who would like to read my inspirational writing and teaching in more depth.

Given all of this is just one piece of my ministry work, which also includes preaching, teaching the Bible, discipleship, streets and beach ministry, and caring for 17 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs, and that I have no staff or regular volunteers / physical help, I would greatly appreciate your love, prayers, encouragement, and consideration of whether you might be led to help out financially. I continue to dedicate my life 24-7 to the Lord and the work to which He has called me, and I continue to both live personally and to operate the ministry on a bare-bones budget. Your support in any way you might be led to give it is greatly appreciated.

With loads of love,

Lara Love

p.s. Photo is courtesy of Whitney Boring. Please consider checking out her work at W Photography.

Friday, January 16, 2015

LARA'S 4 BOOKS NOW AVAILABLE

Just wanted to let everyone know that by God's grace alone, my first four books are now available for purchase. I hope very much you will check them out and consider purchasing some for you or perhaps as a gift to others.


To learn more about my books, please CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scrubbing Toilets for Jesus - DAILY INSPIRATION

"For the next three hours, I'm going to be scrubbing toilets," my friend told me in her voice mail to me. "And I'm going to be sending you the money [for the ministry]." A former emergency room nurse in the metropolitan D.C. area who had to stop nursing for health reasons, my friend did not have a single trace of self-pity, shame, or complaining in her voice as she shared with me her latest work opportunity. Scrubbing toilets. Do you know what I heard in her voice? Joy. And thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, most assuredly, because she had some work. And joy because of the very reason she would be scrubbing toilets for the next three hours.

Mr. Shnookles does not ordinarily sit on the toilet.
 I placed him there some years ago
when I tried doing some advertising for pet sitting services.
Thankfully, the Lord not only called me into full-time ministry,
but convicted me I need to trust Him 100% for provision rather than
take on anything else...........

What an ASS. . . - BIBLE TAKEOUT

I don't usually talk about asses, but I just can't help myself this time around. Because this particular ass comes with an incredible warning. And the warning isn't for the ass; the warning is for us.

When the prophet Isaiah delivered a warning from God to the people, he told them God had said that even ox and asses know their owners and crib (manger or stall according to the concordance). Yet the people, so full of sin, wickedness, and evil, were in total rebellion against their Father - God.

background courtesy of pixabay.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

PARALYZED DOGS LOST SPONSORS - WILL YOU BE ONE?

Paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon lost his monthly sponsor some time ago, and paralyzed dog Miss Mercy has just lost hers. If you would like to be a monthly sponsor of either or both, please contact me at love@walkbyfaithministry.com or at 843-338-2219. Thank you for your consideration, and God bless you!!


Donations, and monthly sponsorship, are also always very welcome for Walk by Faith Ministry as a whole. I live on a bare-bones budget in order to pursue my life's calling, and the ministry operates on a bare-bones budget as well. I do very little traditional fundraising, and most of the time do my best to walk by faith in God for His provision and trust that He will send along loving hearts to help me to fulfill my mission to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ while ministering the Lord's love to a world in need.

I would greatly appreciate your love & prayers........!

Homeless Man with a Message for Me / DAILY INSPIRATION

Dirty. Greasy hair. Scrawny. Waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for food. Waiting for life to go on as usual. Where to sleep for the night. Where to get the next free meal. Where to get a little bit of conversation in an otherwise lonely life. Where to get a little bit of work. I was utterly thrilled to see him in the long line of homeless and impoverished people waiting. I swooped off into his arms to envelope him in a blissful hug. He is my friend, you see. And not so long ago I had been praying he was still alive. He had been running on empty, as many of the homeless often are. Here he was now, alive. Happy to see me once he saw who had rushed into his arms. Such joy when friends come together. Though I hardly know him but from when we cross paths at a homeless outreach once in a while, when I stuff my latest writing into his hands, he is my homeless friend with a message. A message for me. And maybe for you.

photo from pixabay.com

Saturday, January 10, 2015

She Murdered a Man / DAILY INSPIRATION

The frail disease-ravaged woman sat sprawled before me on the pavement, nonchalantly telling me how she had murdered a man in cold blood. She had already long ago paid society's cost and consequences of murder; her human penalty had been paid. She had been given her court system sentence and done what the penal system had mandated her to do. Some would say her victim deserved what he had gotten considering all that he had done; others might see the situation in a different light, or darkness. This was only the second time in my life I had a face-to -face conversation with someone who told me of a murder she or he had committed. The first time, I had been too young, too immature, and too lost to know what to think, what to feel, how to respond. I had not known the Lord. This time around, I was no longer young. No longer immature. No longer lost. I knew the Lord this time. I knew what to think. I knew what to feel. I knew how to respond. Because quite frankly, I was shocked.

photo in background from pixabay.com

Friday, January 9, 2015

Is Your Life a Sand Castle? / DAILY INSPIRATION

Some years ago, I moved back for a few years to where I had grown up and was astonished to find an incredible amount of what some seemed to laughingly call "McMansions." I didn't find it funny at all, however; it seemed rather tragic to me. For I could not help but picture how many lonely, lost people might fill up a single room or two of these monstrous sized houses. I wondered how many of the houses were filled with one or two people. And I wondered how one person yelling out to another across the great expanses of these houses could even be heard by someone at the other end. Yet it was highly possible the owners of these so-called McMansions had worked tirelessly, endlessly, even for decades, to climb corporate ladders, to achieve great success, to be able to chase down dreams of pleasure and comfort, to be able to turn the key in the front door of one of these dream homes. But then I wonder now, how many of us have done just this - whether or not we have possessed a key to a McMansion?

photo in background courtesy of pixabay.com
How many of us have lived our lives to succeed according to the ways of this world, to prosper according to the world's standards, to build up our bank accounts, to fill up our resumes, to be able to boast how greatly we have achieved our own dreams? How many of us have lived our lives as though they were castles in the sand, pouring our hearts and time and gifts into the things of this world so we can make our castles ever greater, ever grander, ever bigger, ever more noticeable, ever higher, ever taller as they reach ever upward into the sky?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lara Love Has Not Disappeared

For anyone who might wonder if I have disappeared simply because I have not been pouring out my usual almost Daily Inspiration, or Bible Takeout, or been in touch in what perhaps might be my usual manner, do not be alarmed; I have not disappeared. I have not fallen back into the confines of depression, or any number of old places that kept me bound, purposeless and mostly useless in the grand scheme of things. Rather, if it can be imaginable for those who know me, I am more alive than ever before, more on fire for the Lord than ever, more committed and dedicated than I have ever been to the Lord and to the work to which He has called me. So where then have I gone, and what accounts for my quiet when it comes to my usual writing? The answer is simple.

Every ounce of joy I wear on my face and in my heart belongs to the Lord! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

ARE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS KILLING YOU? / Daily Inspiration

Every which way it seems I turn these days, it seems I am watching prescription drugs wreak havoc on human beings. I am literally watching people I know, and hearing stories of others, who are dying from them. They are not only not getting better from the prescription drugs, and they are not only getting worse. The prescription drugs are killing them. And in case you are wondering, I am not speaking of prescription drugs that are being taken according to the prescribed kind and the prescribed amount by reputable, qualified, and honest doctors.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Has God Gone Silent? / DAILY INSPIRATION

There are those who seek the Lord, there are those who do not seek the Lord, and then there are those who seek and seek and seek the Lord - and seek some more. I seek the Lord so much and so often it is a wonder He does not grow tired of me, and yet He never does. But He does seem so silent at times despite my seeking; does He ever seem that way to you?

photo in background courtesy of morguefile.com
According to the Bible, God does speak to believers in Christ. And according to scriptures, God can be found when we seek Him. So why then do we go through dry spells when it seems He simply will not speak? Why does it seem God will not reply? Why do we seek Him sometimes with hungry hearts only to be met with seeming silence?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Has God Given You More than You Can Handle? / DAILY INSPIRATION

As I unloaded about 1000 pounds of dog food from my car, for which I am grateful beyond description mind you despite the several hours it took to go pick it up and the time it took to unload it all, I thought about for the umpteenth time how God has given me so much more than I can handle. From childhood sexual abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, self-mutilation, severe anxiety and depression, multiple addictions, the loss of my family, abandonment by two husbands, the loss of my pastor and some of my favorite dogs ever, to the responsibilities involved in running a ministry that involves everything from evangelism, writing and publishing, administrative, and caring for numerous mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs amid a zillion other tasks on a bare bones budget with virtually no physical help and support, I feel it fair to say God has given me far more than I can handle.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com
Though my trials and tribulations have been NOTHING compared with the trials so much of this world faces, and though my responsibilities are NOTHING compared with the responsibilities borne by so many worldwide, for me they have been far more than I can handle. But I have finally come to see the two greatest blessings in all of this.

DONATIONS for PARALYZED DOG's SURGERY

Please help paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon get surgery related to his paralysis. As one of the 17 mostly special needs & senior rescued dogs of Walk by Faith Ministry, Mr. Simeon is a permanent fixture with his numerous canine siblings but has greater needs than many if not most of them. His surgery will involve removal of one of his nipples - the same surgery he had in 2013 for another nipple.

Mr. Simeon in his wheelchair with some donated toys.....
Due to his paralysis and his long periods of lying down when he is not in his wheelchair, he is prone to pressure sores. As for the nipple, well, it gets in the way! Given his severe skin alllergy & infection issues, the nipple issue wreaks havoc for him. Needless to say, he will soon have one less nipple - and hopefully be a lot better off! Thank you for considering a donation, and God bless you!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

I Feel Like I'm Dying / Daily Inspiration

"I feel like I'm dying," I cried out to the Lord in the midst of yet another trial. Though such an infinitesimally small trial compared with trials I have gone through in the past, and phenomenally minuscule compared with trials others worldwide have endured, for me it was a tough one. And amid my crying out to the Lord to get through it, I told Him exactly how I felt. Even as I spoke the words to Him, I thought how strange they seemed for a 47-year-old woman blessed with good health. Yet there the feeling was anyway, and as I poured out my heart to the Lord, sought Him for help and strength, told Him everything I was thinking and feeling, I should not have been in the least bit surprised at His response.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Did the Devil Get a Hold of Your Bible?

If you don't think one word can make all the difference in the world, think again. I recently found out with just a little research that one of the exceedingly dangerous outcomes of how many countless people have decided to keep bringing out new versions of the Bible is that one changed, or missing word, can make ALL the difference. But that shouldn't surprise any of us, should it? Not when the devil upon his first appearance in the Bible deceived Adam and Eve by twisting and perverting God's words. The devil did the same thing when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness; he twisted around the scriptures. Jesus didn't fall for it, but are we? As false teachers, false prophets, false teaching, and false gods abound more and more just as the Bible said they would, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the devil has managed to worm his evil way into some of the modern day Bible translations. Though advertised as extremely, and even increasingly accurate, some of these translations contain gross, dangerous, and potentially deadly errors. And one word can seriously make ALL the difference. Like this one.

photo in background adapted from photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Radical Obedience - What the Heck Is It? / DAILY INSPIRATION

The day long ago a woman told me she was planning a talk on radical obedience, I thought it was the most exciting, unique, and wonderful topic. It sounded fresh, inspiring, and like a revolutionary concept when it came to the things of God. It also seemed incredibly intriguing - like something I could certainly afford to learn something about, let alone put into practice. But as time went by, and I dug deeper into God's Word, I found I had developed a totally different outlook on the subject.

background photo from pixabay.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Little Slideshow with a Whole Lot of Love.......

WHERE ARE YOU GOD? / Daily Inspiration

In some of my greatest trials, I did not just cry out to the Lord. Oh, how easy it would be to say this. But I did much more. I cried out against Him. I cried out in anger. I cried out in hurt. I cried out with questions. And, I cried out in doubt. I doubted His goodness. I doubted His sovereignty. I doubted His promises. I doubted His Word. I doubted His will for my life. I doubted His will for humanity. I doubted His plan and purpose for this world. I doubted His kindness. I doubted His forgiveness. I doubted His hand in my life. I doubted His love for me. I doubted His care for me. And I doubted Him. Yes, I doubted who He is. I doubted His Son Jesus Christ. Oh, how ashamed I could be to write these words. But if I am not transparent with you, who am I to inspire, and encourage, and teach you? I cringe at the words I have written, at the state of my heart once was. But I must be honest. For there is a lesson in this, a glorious message I believe from the Lord. And this message may well be for you.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

The Loneliest Christmas Ever / Daily Inspiration

Okay, first a confession. I'm 100% Jewish. I'm a Messianic Jew - a Jewish believer in the Messiah Jesus Christ. Christmas never was a really big deal to me, not in the same way it is for people who grew up celebrating Christmas. After all, my family celebrated Chanukah. But just the same, the holidays are a really big deal in our society. And I, like so many others, have had enormous expectations for how wonderful they should turn out. And I, like so many others, spent YEARS lonely and depressed beyond description each time a holiday came around. This Christmas, for all intents and purposes, should be the loneliest Christmas ever. Why?

The 17 mostly special needs & senior rescued dogs of Walk by Faith Ministry,
including Elijah pictured here, are anything but lonely.
But I felt the picture of Elijah wearing Christmas lights
with the sad look on his face was just what this story needed......
I am not welcome in my family because I spoke of something that happened to me long ago. I have been abandoned by two husbands. I have no current husband, fiance, boyfriend, or even a date. I have not received a single invitation for Christmas. I have no social life to speak of since I have committed my life 100% to the Lord and to my ministry calling and have chosen to spend my free time loving and serving Him and ministering to others. It should be the loneliest Christmas ever, but -

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When God Won't Give You a Break

Have you ever felt like God just won't give you a break? Despite numerous blessings in my childhood for which I am indescribably grateful, my early years were marred by childhood sexual abuse. I then spent DECADES with what felt like virtually relentless trials - some blatantly self-induced, some blatantly not. Post traumatic stress disorder, major depression, multiple addictions, self-mutilation, bad relationships, debilitating anxiety, suicidal thoughts for years, abandonment by two husbands and two unwanted divorces, abandonment by my family for talking about being sexually abused as a child, therapists, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, hospitals, self-help groups, 12-step groups, medications, welfare, food stamps, charity care, disability, the loss of numerous dogs that had become like family to me, the loss of my beloved pastor, and the list goes on - and on. Why wouldn't God just give me a break?

photo in background courtesy of pixabay.com

Why You SHOULD Pray for PATIENCE / Bible Takeout

With 17 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs in my care, not to mention my 24-7 commitment to the Lord and to His calling for me as an evangelist who does a combo of preaching, teaching the Bible, streets and beach ministry, discipleship, writing and publishing, along with all the administrative duties of Walk by Faith Ministry, rest assured I don't just need patience. I need PATIENCE!!!!!!!! And I sadly can be severely lacking in this area. Sadder still, for too long a time I fell prey to the "funny" myth that we should NOT pray for patience because God will then test us in that area of our lives. Ridiculous myth aside, the Truth - God's Truth - is that we WILL be tested whether or not we pray for patience. So why should we NOT pray for patience when we so desperately NEED patience? The Bible teaches us clearly that PATIENCE is a key component in having a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Monday, December 22, 2014

Repentance - a Gift from God / Follow-Up to Raped. Robbed. Repent?

I encourage you before you read this follow-up to piece to read the first piece called "Raped. Robbed. Repent?" Please CLICK HERE to do so.

I don't ordinarily follow up - at least this quickly - to a piece I have written, but I can't help myself this time. A beautiful woman with a courageous heart reached out to me in response to my piece called, "Raped. Robbed. Repent?", and I just knew in my heart more needed to be said on the subject the Lord had placed on my heart to bring up - specifically on the subject of repentance when it comes to survivors of sexual violence.

Some people might call me a fool for thinking of repentance as a gift from God, and others might call me crazy for believing a survivor of sexual violence would be blessed through repentance, but I have my reasons both according to the Bible and based on my own experience.

RAPED. ROBBED. REPENT? / Daily Inspiration

In ministering to a dear woman who was raped and robbed and had yet to receive the help she needed and truly enter into the healing process, I was a bit surprised to find myself emphatically telling her she needs to repent. Not so long ago, I would never have even considered doing anything other than offer extreme compassion, comfort, love, and encouragement. But times have changed, and I've done a bit of waking up - to say the least. Now before you think I'm totally crazy - and blatantly wrong - please hear me out.

background of photo courtesy of pixabay.om


Saturday, December 20, 2014

38-Year-Old Hamburger STOLEN / Daily Inspiration

Sometime around 38 years ago, a family with a little boy showed up unexpectedly at my family's house just when we had sat down to our dinner. My mom had already set out our plates, and we had already filled them. I am quite sure my dad, working as hard as he did as a doctor and undoubtedly having a hearty appetite as a result of being incredibly athletic, was looking forward to sinking his teeth into that steaming hot hamburger and getting on with the rest of his meal. Until the doorbell rang -

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com
My dad, my brother, and I probably wouldn't have minded ignoring the doorbell and enjoying our meal before heading off to our various evening activities, but my mom, being ever the social butterfly with perfect etiquette, surely was the one who drew us away from our dinner plates to answer the door and entertain our company. Little did we know what would happen.

Friday, December 19, 2014

WHEN FAITH GETS TESTED - GOT JOY? / Bible Takeout

When I was growing up, my Mom liked to tell my Dad that hard stuff builds character. His response was plain and simple - and hilarious, or so I thought at the time. "I already have enough character," he would retort. As funny as it seemed at the time, back when I was too young to know much about character and certainly knew absolutely nothing about the Lord, I came to find that it wasn't quite as funny as I thought. At least that's what I decided when I became a committed follower of Jesus Christ and started learning all about what exactly character building feels like. Ugh! Argh! Oh my! That's a pretty description of the wild array of extreme emotions I have experienced through the years as God has relentlessly tried my faith as He perfects His love in me and helps me to grow in His image. To this very day, it boggles my mind that James in the Bible tells us to be JOYFUL when our faith gets tested.

background photo from pixabay.com

Thursday, December 18, 2014

They Are LYING to YOU!

Ouch. It's hard to write. And it may be hard to hear. But this must be said. They are LYING to YOU! Thus saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord. There are most assuredly men and women of God solidly grounded in the Bible who are genuinely called by God to prophesy His Truth according to His Word to warn, teach, rebuke, instruct, encourage, etc. as messengers from God. But there are also liars. Deceivers. False prophets. False teachers. Beware! Beware! Watch out for people claiming to speak for God as they promise peace and prosperity, riches and rewards, happily ever after on earth and wishes come true. Watch out for those running around throwing "Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you" in your face without telling you the whole story. Deception is deceptive. It looks all pretty all packaged up with big red ribbons on top. Enticing. Alluring. Seductive. Tempting. Comfortable. Cozy. Deadly.


DON'T GIVE UP / Daily Inspiration

I can't even fathom how many people around the world right now might be ready to give up. You might even be one of them. Given the challenges this world faces, not to mention the challenges of individuals everywhere, is it any wonder that countless people worldwide are ready to give up. To give up on their marriages. To give up on their loved ones. To give up trying to break free from addictions. To give up loving people who are hurting them. To give up trying to do what's right in a world that is increasingly don't what's wrong. To give up recovering from sickness. To give up helping people who aren't grateful in return. To give up trying to make positive changes in their lives. To give up jobs to which God has called them that have turned out harder than they expected. To give up dreams God's given them because of the obstacles in the way. To give up on giving to others. To give up on their foster children. To give the animals God has placed in their care. To give up paying off their debt. And, some, to give up their very lives. If you are ready to give up, or you know someone who is, I would like to offer you three words of encouragement.

BACKGROUND PHOTO COURTESY OF PIXABAY.COM

Don't give up.

Why?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What Are You NOT Giving? / Bible Takeout

The Bible says that it's better to give than to receive, but I believe that WHAT we give is just as important as the fact we are giving. And what we are NOT giving may be a good indication of where we need to make changes in our hearts and lives.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com
The greatest two gifts ever given in the universe are when God sacrificed His only begotten Son Jesus to become Savior of the world, and when Jesus sacrificed His life by dying an indescribably gruesome death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. There have never been, nor will ever be, greater sacrifices than these. Those who repent of their sins and believe this amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ are forgiven and promised eternal life in heaven with God rather than forever in hell. Being reborn and saved by receiving Christ as Lord is just the beginning. We are called to follow Christ by sacrificing our own selfish worldly sinful ways and learning to live our lives according to the ways of the Lord as we learn when we study the Bible. We are called to offer our lives to God as a "living" sacrifice. The common denominator in all of this is sacrifice.

When TEMPTATION Seems RIGHT / Daily Inspiration

Lots of temptation seems blatantly wrong, right? Illegal drug use, adultery, pornography, they all are pretty obviously temptations straight from the devil, don't you think? But have you ever considered that lots of temptations may seem totally right - at least as far as appearances are concerned? Let me give you a few examples.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com
Taking your kids to Disney World. Asking a beautiful and kind single Christian woman on a date. Volunteering for a reputable non-profit organization to help at-risk youth. Joining a church small group to get to know people where you have just moved. Coaching soccer in the next town over. How could any of these possibly be seen as temptations, right? Don't they all seem like great opportunities? What could possibly be wrong about saying yes to opportunities like these? They can't possibly be temptations, can they?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Warning About Your Pastor / Bible Takeout

No matter how much you love your pastor, no matter how kind he is, no matter how loving and generous he is, no matter how much he encourages and blesses you, no matter how engaging his sermons are, no matter how many people respect him, no matter what a good friend he may be to you and your family, no matter how much he helps you, heed this warning. If he is not teaching the sound and solid Truth of the Bible, he is leading you to destruction and hell. And if you think pastors, no matter how wonderful they may seem to us, are not capable of leading their flocks to destruction, you are wrong. The Bible is chock full of warnings about false prophets, false teachers, false teachings, false doctrines, and pastors who promise peace and prosperity and are in fact wreaking havoc and hell in the lives of their sheep because they are teaching contrary to the Gospel and God's Word.

Are You Missing God's Purpose in This? / DAILY INSPIRATION

In the seemingly most insignificant and purposeless times in your life, you could discover that God has the most extraordinary purpose and significance if you are willing to lay down your life and yield yourself utterly to Him.

When Mordecai sent a messenger to tell his cousin Queen Esther whom he had essentially raised to go before her husband the King to plead for the saving of their Jewish people, Queen Esther responded by messenger that she could lose her life by going before the King outside of proper protocol. Mordecai made it clear she could lose her life anyway because the Jews would all be killed if she did not intercede for them before the King. But this was not all he said. The message he sent to her is a message for us all.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Monday, December 15, 2014

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive? / BIBLE TAKEOUT

Is your faith alive? Or dead? If you think it's enough to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, it is not. We are not called to merely believe in Christ. We are called to follow Him. Those who genuinely believe Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and was three days later raised from the dead are believers. But belief isn't enough. After all, even devils believe in God. Genuine faith in Christ as Lord manifests in a life committed to Christ. Real faith in Christ produces good works. Sincere faith results in a life committed to leaving behind one's own ways and learning to live according to the ways of the Lord.

background photo courtesy of pixabay.com

What Are You Praying for? / DAILY INSPIRATION

I didn't always believe in God, but rest assured as soon as I did I started praying - and praying and praying. But I confess that I spent quite a few years waving my magic wand and praying for what I wanted when I wanted it - much of the time for myself. I wanted God to make something happen to make me feel better, for provision to fall down from heaven so I could be more comfortable, things to turn out the way I wanted so I would be happy, etc. Even my prayers for others were oftentimes about me. I wanted someone to love me, someone to change to treat me better, someone to come back into my life to make me happy, someone to repent so that person would fulfill my plan for that person's plan, someone to get healed so I wouldn't lose the person, someone to be a committed follower of Christ so I would get what I wanted from that person, etc. Times have changed; my heart has changed. And so have my prayers. What are you praying for?


Friday, December 12, 2014

When Blessings HURT - DAILY INSPIRATION

One of the most hurtful things I have faced over the past few years as I have poured my heart into my writing both online and in print is most of my friends refuse to read my writing and don't encourage me whatsoever in my calling to write for the Lord. After decades of feeling hurt over one thing or another, I have finally come to see that some of my greatest blessings from the Lord have come right in the midst of great hurt. How did I finally come to see my blessings despite all the hurt they have often come packaged within?

Photo in background courtesy of pixabay.com

Are You Facing a Big Decision? BIBLE TAKEOUT

Right in the midst of making a major decision in my life that could effectively impact the eternity of a bunch of people living in dire straits, not to mention that could potentially effect my emotions on one end and my safety on the other end, it dawns on me that the method I use to make major decisions may be something worth sharing with others who struggle with making major decisions. So if you are wondering whether you need to alter, or upgrade, or even exchange your decision-making skills for the ones I believe God would desire for us all to have, I hope you will consider the nine steps I believe are crucial based on my long-time, in-depth study of the Bible.