Sudden Increase

Me: Friends are welcome all the time! Thanks for joining us.

Prodigal: Sharing is a way to show you care.

I had only two one-dollar bills in my wallet and they had to last until payday, ten days away. My husband was away on business, and I was at home with our two children conserving every cent.

On Monday my father called to say he needed to attend a union meeting on Friday afternoon. Would I come and stay with Mother? She was bedridden with brain cancer and had to have someone help her with her medicine. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Back then, in 1970, one dollar would buy enough gas to get there and back, and I would still have an “emergency” dollar left.

All week long my five-year-old kept asking for a treat from the ice cream truck. And each time, I would open my wallet, show her the two one-dollar bills, and explain why we couldn’t afford such a luxury.

When we arrived on Friday, Daddy’s parting words were, “Don’t forget to give Mom her Dilantin,” her anticonvulsant medicine. But after he’d gone I discovered the bottle was empty. I was terrified that if Mother didn’t get her medicine on time, she ‘d go into convulsions.

Mother told me to check her purse and a couple of other places for loose change, but that was all I found–loose change. I telephoned my sisters, but no on was home. The prescription cost over eight dollars. Where would I get that money?

“God will take care of it,” Mother said.

At my wit’s end, I decided to go to the pharmacist’s with my lone dollar and beg him to trust me for the rest. But when I looked in my wallet again, I was stunned.

That single was a ten-dollar bill.

by Esther McIntosh

Psalm 103:2

Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–

Jennifer Van Allen

A Deeper Meaning

Me: Let’s sit a spell.

Prodigal: Yes, I can get some things off my chest.

Me: Yes, we can.

This is from the book The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer often asked himself about the deeper meaning of his life, which seemed to him so disconnected and confused. A few months before his death, when coming events cast their shadows before, he wrote in prison: “It all depends on whether or not the fragment of our life reveals the plan and material of the whole. There are fragments of our life reveals the plan and material of the whole. There are fragments which are only good to be thrown away, and others which are important for centuries to come because their fulfilment can only be a divine work. They are fragments of necessity. If our life, however remotely, reflects such a fragment….we shall not have to bewail our fragmentary life, but, on the contrary, rejoice in it.”

Get you no gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purse; no wallet for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, or staff: for the labourer is worthy of his food. Matthew 10:9-10

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: It’s been a blasted nuisance.

Me: That’s ok, the Lord is here.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD; but they that deal truly are his delight. (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

When We Praise

Prodigal: These are wonderful!

Me: Thank ya!

This is from the book Something More: In Search of A Deeper Faith by Catherine Marshall

When we praise, we are letting self go by turning our backs (through and act of will) on the problem or grief where self as been most involved.

We stop fighting the evil or less-than-good circumstances.

With that, resentment goes;

Self pity goes.

Perspective comes.

We have turned our back on the problem and are looking steadily at God.

We are acting out our belief in the character of God–His goodness, His love.

We are acting out our belief in the present power of God-in His participating Presence.

Isaiah 26:1

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

Jennifer Van Allen

Our Days

Prodigal: I ain’t see a single person around.

Me: Gives you time with God.

Prodigal: Yes, and we can praise Him.

This is from The New England Primer

Our days may include much trouble here,

Our lives lacking power and might.

But there is hope beyond hatred and fear,

How great a Savior is Christ.

Isaiah 26:8

In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: Only one way to go.

Me: Yes, to follow the Lord.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 12:21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Still Waters

Prodigal: The water is very calm.

Me: Yes, and a perfect place to rest.

This is from the book God’s Psychiatry by Charles L. Allen

The sheep is a very timid creature. Especially is it afraid of swiftly moving water, which it had good reason to fear.

The sheep is a very poor swimmer because of its heavy coat of wool. It would be like a man trying to swim with his overcoat on. The water soaks into the sheep’s coat and pulls it down.

Instinctively, the sheep knows it cannot swim in swift current. The sheep will not drink from a moving stream. The sheep will drink only from still waters.

The shepherd does not laugh at the sheep’s fears. He does not try to force the sheep. Instead, as he leads his sheep across the mountains and valleys, he is constantly on the watch for still waters, where the thirst of the sheep may be quenched.

If there are no still waters available, while the sheep are resting, the shepherd will gather up stones to fashion a dam across a small stream to form a pool from which even the tiniest lamb may drink without fear.

This petition of the Twenty-third Psalm has wonderful meaning for us. God knows our limitations, and He does not condemn us because we have weaknesses. He does not force us where we cannot safely and happily go. God never demands of us work which is beyond our strength and abilities.

Instead, God is constantly ministering to our needs. He understands the loads upon our shoulders. He also knows where the places of nourishment and refreshment are located.

It gives one confidence to know that even while he is sleeping, the Shepherd is working to prepare for his needs tomorrow.

Psalm 121:3-4

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Jennifer Van Allen

A Road in the Wilderness

Prodigal: I’ll be dogged if there ain’t so much sand around.

Me: Yes, there is. You will not get lost if you focus on the Lord.

This is from the book God Will Make a Way: Stories of Hope

In a genuine wilderness, there are no roads or even well-worn paths. This is especially true in the Middle East, were desert sands can shift overnight, completely changing the dunes and valleys of a landscape. A roadway in the wilderness must be revealed and pursued on a daily basis.

How do you navigate across shifting sands? By looking into the face of the clear night sky, getting one’s bearings in relationship to the stars, and pursuing a course regardless of what things may look like the following morning. So it is with our lives. As we look to the Lord for guidance and directions, we know where to walk and what to do–regardless of the shifting circumstances around us.

And what about rivers in the desert? They do exist–they simply don’t flow upon the surface of the sands were we can readily see them. Rather, water in the desert flows deep under the earth’s crust. At times, it flows up through crevices of rock to form an artesian well or an oasis. Other times, it puddles just below the surface and a well must be dug. The river is always flowing, however, and if you dig deep enough, the water can be brought to the surface.

So it is with God’s provision. It is always available, just under the surface of what we can see or experience. Occasionally God causes His provision to appear before us suddenly and effortlessly. Often, though, His provision is not so obvious, and we must dig deeper. The good news of God’s provision is that He knows the way through the wilderness. He provides the life-giving water that we need on a daily basis. He is our guide and He will provide.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: There’s gratefulness in the small things.

Me: Amen, I agree.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 12:20

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. (ESV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Self Examination

Prodigal: I’m mighty fine and dandy today!

Me: I am glad that you are taking a look at yourself.

This is from the book Seven Seasons of the Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley

What should we know about ourselves? The call to self-examination is not the contemporary call to discover who is at fault for the way we turned out so we will have someone to blame. Rather, it is a call to understand our human nature so we can take responsibility for our lives.

Matthew 6:19-21

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Jennifer Van Allen