Time to Receive

Prodigal:  Just finished feeding the fish.

Me:  Sometimes it is good to do unto others, but sometimes you have to receive also.

Prodigal:  Maybe it is a time to receive.

This is from the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

There is another element in discipline that receives too little attention.  We must be willing to receive from others as well as give to others.  Some sacrificial souls delight in sacrificing themselves but are unwilling to allow others to reciprocate.  They do not want to feel obligated to others.  But leadership requires openness to others.  To neglect receiving kindness and help is to isolate oneself, to rob others of opportunity, and to deprive oneself of sustenance.

Serving is wonderful and I know you enjoy it.  There can be vulnerability in receiving but there is fellowship and love in receiving.  Don’t always feel like you have to say no.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 1:12

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

The Lord’s Work

Me:  Are you working in the garden?

Prodigal:  Yes, I am trying to get it all done before it gets to hot!

This is from the book  Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

The emerging leader eats right, stands tall, and prepares himself to wage a good warfare.  He will without reluctance undertake the unpleasant task that others avoid or the hidden duty that others evade because it wins no public applause.  As the Spirit fills his life, he learns not to shrink from difficult situations or retreat from hard-edged people.  He will kindly and courageously administer rebuke when that is called for, or he will exercise the necessary discipline when the interests of the Lord’s work demand it.  He will not procrastinate, but will prefer to dispatch with the hardest tasks first.

Today is a day to focus on task and not much of a day for limelight.  Stay focused and do your work unto the Lord.

Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. Mark 10:15

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Prepared for Service

Me:  How is the strawberry picking going?

Prodigal:  I am getting as many as I can.

Me:  Me too, I am going to enjoy my strawberry lemonade from this!

This is from the book  God’s Word for Women:  Devotions For Women of Virtue

Begin at once; before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints.   Never mind about tomorrow; one day at a time is enough.  Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious, peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when tomorrow comes, to ask Him to take it also–till it will become a blessed habit to hold yourself simply and “wholly at Thy commandment for any manner of service.”  The “whatsoever” is not necessarily active work.  It may be waiting (whether half an hour or half a lifetime), learning, suffering, sitting still.  But shall we be less ready for these, if any of them are His appointments for today?  Let us ask Him to prepare us for all that He is preparing for us.

Frances Ridley Havergal

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Give Us, Father

Me:  Before we start with all we have to do, let’s pray.

Prodigal:  I will trust you to pray then.

Me:  I am going to share someone else’s prayer.

This is from the book  A Man of Grace and Grit:  Paul by Charles Swindoll

Lord God,

You are very patient and gracious with us.  You allow us so much of the rope, until finally we come to an end and realize this must be addressed.  Thank you for your understanding.    Thank you for the wooing of Your Spirit, who has a way of finally getting our attention.

I pray for all those on some kind of maddening pursuit to make a name or somehow feeling indispensable in the equation.  Stop that kind of nonsense in us!  Remind all of us, Father, that only One is truly indispensable, and that is Yourself.  You who dwells in absolute silence and beauty and purity.  No wonder You are so deep and profound.

Give us, our Father, a holy hatred for activity for activity’s sake.  Force us to reevaluate why we do what we do when we do it.  And may we become Your chosen vessels, fitted and prepared for the tasks You have for us.  Keep the flesh away from our involvements, Lord, and give us a holy discipline to address the things that lead to the death of authenticity.  Whether we’re single or married, younger or older, give us a dissatisfaction for the energy of the flesh, and show us the value of the hidden life as You prepare ours for whatever You have planned for the future.

I ask it through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Galatians 5:14

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

My Name is LOVE

Prodigal: This would be God’s emoji for you.

Me: Yes, I believe that is what He is trying to show us.

This is written by Mary Catherine King and is a blessing.

Come to me

My sweet child

I accept you and every trial

My name is “LOVE”

So reach out to me

And take the cup

I fill from above (I fill it up)

What is that?

A fresh new pride

For I get ready

For my Dear Bride

Her gown so white

And ever so bright

Because tonight

I spend just right

Come on child

I love you so

Let your life really show

You have only now

Not tomorrow, nor yesterday

Only today will matter

You will see

Forgive yourself

And ask of me

I will wash away, all

You will see

Only look up

And give your best

Because today is really a test

Do you love me?

Are do you want things?

I can not tell

Until you spend time with me

My sweet Love

I poured out

For all to take are really forsake

Come on now

I know you can

Receive pure love and not sin

A free gift

I give to you today

Is what I say to you?

1 Thessalonians 5:24

Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Special Delivery

Me:  All this food looks good!

Prodigal:  I am trying to sneak a taste!

Me:  If we have a minute before it is done, I will share.

Prodigal:  Take all the time that you need!

This is from the book Where Angels Walk by Joan Wester Anderson

Kenneth was born in Tennessee.  A short time later, his father was killed in World War I, and his mother took Kenneth back to Switzerland, where she had grown up.

At seventeen, Kenneth became an Assemblies of God minister, going first to Jerusalem, and later to the south of France, where he met and married the sixteen-year old daughter of Max Vinitski, and Orthodox Jew turned Christian and an artist whose portraits hang in the Louvre, Kenneth became known in Paris as a great evangelist, and when World War II broke out, both the Vinitski and Ware homes became havens for Jewish fugitives fleeing to Spain or Switzerland.

As a son of an American soldier, husband of a Jew, and supporter of the French resistance, Kenneth was in constant danger of being imprisoned.  Eventually Kenneth, Suzie, and their infant son tried to flee France.  Instead, Kenneth was arrested, interrogated, and beaten, but when a German guard discovered he was a pastor, he was secretly released.

Finally reunited with his wife and son in Lausanne, Switzerland, Kenneth tried to provide for them.  One Saturday morning in September 1944, however, he found himself without a penny.  Suzie decided to pray–specifically.  “God, I need five pounds of potatoes, two pounds of pastry flour, apples, pears, a cauliflower, carrots, veal cutlets for Saturday, and beef for Sunday,” she said.

A few hours later, someone knocked on the door.  Suzie opened it to a man carrying a basket of groceries.  The man, between thirty and forty years old, was over six feet tall and strong looking, with blue eyes, white-blond hair, and a long blue apron over his work clothes.  He seemed radiant, glowing.  “Mrs. Ware,” he said, “I’m bringing you what you asked for.”  He spoke in perfect French, without the usual Swiss accent.

“There must be some mistake,”  Suzie protested, bewildered.  “I have not ordered anything.”  She called Kenneth.

Kenneth did not think the man looked like an ordinary deliveryman.  Perhaps he was the owner of a firm and had gotten the apartment numbers mixed up.  “There are twenty-five apartments here, sir.  Have you come to the wrong one?”  she asked.

The man ignored the question.  “Mrs. Ware,” he repeated, “I am bringing what you asked for.”  Then he went into the kitchen and emptied the basket.  On the table were the exact items Suzie had requested from God that morning–even two pounds of pastry flour was the correct brand.  The Wares were shocked.  “I turned to apologize, to explain that I hadn’t a coin to give him, but his look of reproach sealed my lips,”   Kenneth reported.

Suzie accompained the man to the door and thanked him, then the couple stood by the window to watch him leave the building–via the only route available.  But though Kenneth watched, and Suzie opened the door again to check the hallway, the man never went by.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:14

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

A Clean Sanctuary

Me:  The water is so clear!

Prodigal:  You can see to the bottom.

Me:  My thoughts are not that clear right now.

Prodigal:   Share about the Lord and maybe that will help.

This is from the book  How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer

To God, our thoughts are things.  Our thoughts are the decorations inside the sanctuary where we live.  If our thoughts are purified by the blood of Christ, we are living in a clean room no matter if we are wearing overalls covered with grease.  Your thoughts pretty much decide the mood and weather climate inside your heart, and God considers your thoughts part of you.

Thoughts of peace, thoughts of pity, thoughts of charity, thoughts of God, thoughts of the Son of God–these are pure things, good things and high things.  Therefore, if you would cultivate the Spirit’s acquaintance, you must get hold of your thoughts and not allow your mind to be wilderness in which every kind of unclean beast roams and bird flies.  You must have a clean heart.

Lord, the world would have me focus on the pain, the impossible.  Look at what the Lord has already done?  Look at what the Lord has worked out.  Focus on what is of God and ignore the rest.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

God

Me:  You know there are a lot of styles of churches.

Prodigal:  Yes, but Christ is the focus.

This is from the book Vocabulary of Faith by Hampton Adams

As our knowledge of God increases, the truth is impressed on us more and more that God is always seeking us.  Anyone who tries earnestly to find God will learn that God has been trying to break through to Him.  This is due to the fatherly nature of God.  We want to know God because he has created us to want to know him and to find the meaning of our life and our peace in fellowship with him.

God really is seeking you right now.  We doubt and we get distracted but God is very faithful.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 55:13

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org