Go Yet

 

Me:  Watcha doing?

Prodigal:  I am watching these street performers.  I wonder how hard this job is?  Do you think I could be a street performer?

Me:  You’d have an easier time chatchin’ wind in a fishin’ net  I believe.

Prodigal:  Well I guess I will just stick with the writing for now.

Me:  I think that is a good plan.

 

Today I wanted to share a prayer.  This is from Daily Guideposts and was written by Charlene Ann Baumbich

Dear Lord, spare Your children from wounding one another when they are already split open with grief from losing someone they love.  Keep us from too quickly spouting Bible verses as a form of comfort, rather than simply opening our arms to hold a friend while he or she cries.  “They are in heaven now”  feels of little consequence–even though it may be the truth–when the giant void of their empty favorite chair fills a room.

God, help us grieve simply with our friends.  Embrace them through us and allow us to be Your arms and strong presence.  Give us words to pray for them and courage to do it aloud, when Your spirit leads.  But spare us from handling our clichés and Scriptures when what is truly required is our genuine heart.

 

My heart is saddened with your grief and it is ok for you to be sad too.

 

Luke 6:19

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came from him and healed them all.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Let’s Label

 

Me:  Did you enjoy the game Prodigal?

Prodigal:  It was just a little bit better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Me:  Well maybe next round will be better for you.

Prodigal:  I can only hope.

Me:  I was just reading about some other games that are not so fun.

This is from the book Simple Faith by Charles Swindoll

 

Some Christians play a lot of indoor games.  Among their favorites is one we might call “Lets Label.”  Here are some ground rules for starting.  Find someone who is different.  He or she may look different or sound different or think different.  It works real well if the person holds to different opinions and/or reacts in a different way than the “acceptable manner,”  which differs from your religious group.  This game is especially effective if someone has a mark on his or her past record that your group considers worth discussing, even if it is over and done with, fully forgiven, and none of your business (which is true over 95 percent of the time).

 

When we play this game then nobody wins.  Not you and not the other person.  Instead God wonders why is children are playing games and not just loving one another.

 

Micah 7:18

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance?  He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

All Nations

 

Me:  What a nice day to sit outside and enjoy each other’s company!

Prodigal:  I agree, why don’t you share a story.

Me:  That sound perfect to me!

 

This comes from the book The God Who Hung on the Cross by Dois Rosser Jr. and Ellen Vaughn

 

During Liberia’s civil war, Reverend Claudius Deah, found himself in a role he’d never imagined.  As the rapacious rebel soldiers sought out fugitives, they’d kill anyone they found on the streets.  Rev. Deah began hiding people in his home…and before he knew it, some 375 people were crammed into his four bedroom house, including a number of wounded, elderly, and small children.

The rebel troops were drawing closer and closer to his neighborhood, and Rev. Deah knew he had to lead these people in an escape across the border into Guinea.  One night, as gunfire erupted on streets near his home, he and his enormous flock slipped out his back door, one by one, into the darkness, away from the town and into the jungle.

As this modern-day Moses led his people through village after village in the journey to the border, more and more fleeing people joined their exodus.  As the huge group approached the border, they ran into armed rebels.  The soldiers were perhaps sympathetic; they didn’t kill them on the spot, but told Rev. Deah that he and everyone in his group would be killed for sure if they continued their journey.

Rev. Deah would not be stopped.  “The battle is the Lord’s, he told the soldiers.  “He has gone before us.  We must press on.”

At this, to his astonishment, the weary soldiers laid down their rifles.  They had enough of killing.  “We will come with you,”  they said.

And by the time Rev. Deah reached Guinea, his group of refugees had grown to about 17,000 people.  Together, safely, they crossed the border, leaving Liberia behind.

 

Matthew 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Amen

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Right Hand of Power

 

Me:  Are you stuck Prodigal?

Prodigal:  Yep, I was trying to be careful but I got stuck anyway!

Me:  Let me give you a hand and I also will share.

 

This is from the book Joy in Christ’s Presence by Charles Spurgeon

 

In the remembrance of all these redemptions the Lord seems to say to us, “What I have done before, I will do again.  I have redeemed you, and I will still redeem you.  I have brought you from under the hand of the oppressor;  I have delivered you from the tongue of the slanderer;  I have borne you up under the load of poverty and sustained you under the pains of sickness;  and I am able still to do the same.  Why, then, do you fear?  Why should you be afraid, since already I have again and again redeemed you?  Take heart, and be confident, for even to old age and to death itself I will continue to be your strong Redeemer.”

 

It can be difficult to remember the Lord as a redeemer.  Most of the people are focusing on what tickles their ears and not on God’s truth.  Even so, remember that it is better to be hot or cold then luke warm.

 

1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Confession of Faith

Me:  Howdy Prodigal!

Prodigal:  I am happy with this day.

Me:  Good, let me share a prayer.

 

This is from the book Great Women of the Christian Faith by Edith Deen

This was written by Mme Chiang

I used to pray that God would do this or that.  Now I pray that God will make His will known to me…When one prays he goes to a source of strength greater than his own.  I wait to feel His leading, and His guidance and balance…I am quite often bewildered because my mind is only finite.  I question and doubt my own judgements.  Then I seek guidance, and when I am sure,  I go ahead, leaving the results with Him.

I do not think it is possible to make this understandable to one who has not tried it.  What I do want to make clear is that whether we get guidance or not, it’s there. It’s like tuning in on the radio.  There’s music in the air, whether we tune in or not.  By learning to tune in, one can understand.  How is it done?  By practicing the presence of God–by daily communion with Him.

 

Matthew 10:40

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

 

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithicounseling.org

Daily Littles

 

Me:  What are you and Mr. Bill doing?

Prodigal:  We are just wrestling it out, to see who is stronger.

Me:  Well, it looks like you won!  I am happy for you.

 

 

This is from the book You Can Change by Tim Chester

 

The battle for holiness is made up of what Horatius Bonar calls “daily littles.”  It’s not given to many of us to make life-and-death choices for our Savior.  Not many will be called on to recant or be martyred.  For us the battle is made up of thousands of little moments–choices between self and service.  We fall, not when we face death, but when we face a traffic jam.  It’s too easy to imagine ourselves as strong Christians who would stand firm in the face of persecution, while every day we let sinful desires control us.  We imagine ourselves winning the great battles when all the time we’re losing the “daily littles.”  But the “daily littles” are the stuff of the battle.  Bonar says, “The Christian life is a great thing, one of the greatest things on earth.  Made up of daily littles, it is yet in itself not a little thing, but in so far as it is truly lived….is noble throughout–a part of that great whole, in which and by which is to be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10).

 

I noticed your battle with “daily littles”. I am proud of you and respect you so much for the wins.

 

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

 

 

Parents

 

Prodigal:  I am having a great time!

Me:  I can tell you are getting a lot of attention.  Let me encourage parents out there today.

 

This is from the book Parenting From Surviving to Thriving by Charles Swindoll

 

If you haven’t heard this in a while, let me thank you on their behalf.

Thank you for the many sacrifices you make.  Thank you for doing what is right even when things don’t work out well.  Thank you for saying what may be difficult for your children to accept and for being the truth teller when you’d rather be a pal.  Thank you for loving them when you feel so unloved.  Thank you for fulfilling your role with such devotion and faithfulness, even when you’ve run out of hope, energy, and ideas.  Thank you for the great service you do for all of us in the body, not just your children.

 

 

 

Matthew 5: 3

Blessed are the poor in spirit , for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

More Than Meets the Eye

Me:  Is my eyes deceiving me? I think you have a twin Prodigal?

Prodigal:  Yes, and my twin here has good taste.

 

This is from More Than Meets the Eye by Dr. Swenson.

The human body is a reflection of the brilliance, the genius, the power, the precision, the sophistication of an almighty Creator.  There are 10 to 28th (10 with 28 zeros) atoms in the human body–more than there are stars in the universe.  We turn over a trillion atoms every 1/billionth of a second.  And, if we examine the subatomic space where the smaller-than-atom particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons dwell, we find we are perhaps infinite in a subatomic direction.  The scientific theory of ‘super strings’ (fundamental constituents of subatomic reality represented as strings of energy as opposed to particles) postulates that the most basic building blocks of life lurking in the microscopic sphere of our body are a 100 million billion times smaller than a proton particle.  Consider the greatness of God’s handiwork in creating the human body, which scientists today are only beginning to understand.

 

God my body is only working because you allow it too!  I praise you for how you create and how you up hold your creation!

 

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Prevenient Grace

 

Me:  I am glad I found you!

Prodigal:  Me too!

Me:  Now we can continue on our day.

 

This is from the book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

 

Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated means this:  that before a man can seek God, God must have sought the man. Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring and seeking and praying which may follow.

We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.  “No man can come to me”, said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming.  The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand:  “Thy right hand upholdeth me.”

 

 

I cannot take any credit for what God has given me today.  It is ONLY because of our LORD!  So may I praise Him with my whole heart and rejoice at His plan!

 

Romans 8:16

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 

Jennifer Van Allen

 

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

 

 

Not Weak or Passive

 

 

Me:  How is the pig racing going?

Prodigal:  Good, there ain’t no grass gowin’ under that ones feet.

Me:  Looks so. I will share when the race is finished.

 

This is from the book When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey

 

Meekness has nothing to do with being weak or passive.  Meekness is power harnessed by love.  It is an expression of humility that will not bristle or defend when challenged about motives.  In fact, a meek person realized that he could have selfish motives and must evaluate himself.  This fruit of the Spirit helps us govern our anger, restrain our tongue, and maintain our peace.  A.W. Tozer said, “The meek man…will have attained a place of soul rest.  As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him.  The old struggle to defend himself is over.  He has found the peace which meekness brings.

 

 

Thank you LORD!  How God is good to remind of us the truth over and over again.  I love to try and win an argument with words.  Aaron so do you.  Sometimes though we need to be reminded that it is about meekness and not the most intellectual speech.

 

Phlippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org