11-27-13 006

Me: Happy Thanksgiving Prodigal!

Prodigal: Thank you, it is time for turkey and giving thanks.

Me: I love the turkey and the left overs. It is always good to give thanks. In fact I was reading Philip Yancey and he has composed a list of great prayers in the bible. The last is Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving. Let me share.

Genesis 18: Abraham’s plea for Sodom
Exodus 15: Moses’ song to the Lord.
Exodus 33: Moses meet with God.
2 Samuel 7: David’s response to God’s promises.
1 Kings 8: Solomon’s dedication of the temple.
2 Chronicles 20: Jehoshaphat prays for victory.
Ezra 9: Ezra’s prayer for the people’s sins.
Psalm 22: A cry to God for help.
Psalm 104: A prayer of praise.
Daniel 9: Daniel’s prayer for the salvation of Jerusalem.
Habakkuk 3: A prophet’s prayer of acceptance.
Matthew 6: The Lord’s prayer.
John 17: Jesus’ prayer for his disciples.
Colossians 1: Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving.

If you read the list then you will see that each of these prayers will teach something unique about prayer and is an example of a person talking to God. If you don’t have time to go over all of them today, then just save it and go through the list slowly. For tomorrow, maybe you can read Paul’s prayer to remember that all we have is due to God and God alone. I hope you all enjoy plenty of food, fellowship and football (go Carolina Panthers)

Colossian 1:12
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints of light.

For God’s Glory,

Jennifer Van Allen


God Far Far Away?

11-10-13 030

Me: Howdy, Prodigal. You look so far away on the bench?

Prodigal: Am I far away or are you one the that is causing the distance?

Me: That is a good question?

Who has not been in a position that we feel God is far away? In fact I think that is more common then we would all admit. How do we get close to God? What are the small steps that make that possible? Dorothy Sayers breaks down our feelings about God and how we feel when we speak to him in prayer. I would like to share what she has written.

If a person wrongs me unjustly, I have several options. I can seek personal revenge, a response condemned by the Bible. I can deny or suppress my feelings of hurt and anger. Or, I can take those feelings to God, entrusting God with the task of retributive justice. The cursing psalms are vivid examples of that last option. The authors are expressing their outrage to God, not to the enemy.

Instinctively, we want to clean up our feelings in our prayers, but perhaps we have it all backwards. Perhaps we should strive to take all our worst feelings to God. After all, what would be gossip when addressed to anyone else, is petition when addressed to God. What is vengeful curse when spoken about someone (“Damn those people!”) is a plea of helpless dependence when spoken directly to God (“It’s up to you to damn those people-only you are a just judge”).

I see the cursing psalms as an important model for how to deal with evil and injustice. I should not try to suppress my reaction of horror and outrage at evil. Nor should I try to take justice in my own hands. Rather, I should deliver those feelings, stripped bare, to God. As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what is appropriate to say in a prayer. God can “handle” my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God’s correction-but only by taking those feelings to God will I have that opportunity for correction and healing.

My own personal healing has come in the form of tears, grief, anger and calling out to God with all those emotions at once. I can say that people in my life have not been able to take those raw emotions at times (Aaron my brother has done a pretty good job) but only God has been able to take those emotions over and over again until I am drained. Only God is available 24 hours a day and has not time limit in our prayer time. Taking these emotions to God does this make you closer? Trust me try this over and over again long enough and God will seem very close!

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

God Bless,
Jennifer Van Allen



11-10-13 046

Me: Howdy, Prodigal! What are you eating today?

Prodigal: A cookie and it is good. I wonder what ingredients were in it to make it so good?

Me: I know it has North Carolina pecans in it, and speaking of ingredients that reminds of Heaven’s Grocery Store.

Prodigal: I just knew you were going to relate a cookie to God somehow.

Me: Of course Prodigal and this is actually from our reader Ginger today.

I was walking down life’s highway a long time ago.
One day I saw a sign that read “Heaven’s Grocery Store.”
I saw a host of angels, they were standing everywhere.
One handed me a basket and said, “My child, shop with care.”
Everything a Christian needed was in that grocery store,
And all you couldn’t carry, you could come back the next day for more.

First, I got some PATIENCE, LOVE was in the same row,
Further down was UNDERSTANDING, you need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of WISDOM and a bag or two of FAITH,
I just couldn’t miss the HOLY GHOST, for it was all over the place.

I stopped to get some STRENGTH and COURAGE, to help me run the race.
By then my basket was getting full, but I remembered I needed some GRACE.
I didn’t forget SALVATION, for SALVATION, that was free,
So I tried to get enough of that to save both you and me.
Then I started up to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything to do my Master’s will.

As I went up the aisle, I saw PRAYER and I just had to put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside, I would run right into sin.
PEACE and JOY were plentiful, they were on the last shelf,
SONG and PRAISES were hanging near, so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the Angel, “Now how much do I owe?”
He just smiled and said, “Just take them everywhere you go.”
Again, I smiled at him and said, “How much do I owe?”
He smiled again and said, “MY CHILD, JESUS PAID YOUR BILL A LONG TIME AGO.”

Even though we do not have a Heaven’s grocery store with angels in it. This is a fun reminder of all the things we do need on a daily basis to walk in obedience to the Lord. All we have and all we use on a daily basis is just simply ended with Jesus our Savior, our creator and out Father. I like that Ginger shared this because at times we need serious in depth study of the scriptures and other times we just need a short parable that speaks the truth in a way that even children can understand! Thanks and I look forward to others who share their thoughts also!

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Take care,