Test Time!

12-30-15 020


Me:  Howdy, Prodigal!


Prodigal:  Shh!  I am trying to take a test.


Me:  Sorry, I just was happy to see you!


Prodigal:  No Problem, I can take a break anyway.


Me:  Well, let me share with you about some of the test we take at times.


Dr. David Jeremiah in his book Slaying the Giants In Your Life talks about test we may take.


When you’re facing temptation, stand firm.  Know that Christ has been there, that His Spirit is with you now, that God is strong enough to pull you through it.  With those truths in your grasp, you’ll experience victory over temptation every single time.

Remember also that we actually need these tests.  Did you know that?  Yes, we need them because they help us demonstrate our love for Christ.  In school, you need to take a test occasionally to prove what you’ve learned.  Otherwise there’d be no measure; otherwise you wouldn’t even have to study and grow wiser in the subject. Life is the same way.  Without the occasional test, how could we measure our growth in Christ?  Why would we even need to depend on Him?  Everyone of us could run the perfect race, and what would it mean?  Nothing at all.  But when we have every possibility of stumbling, every possibility of choosing the wrong path, and we stand tall and walk wisely just the same, God is glorified in this world and in the next.

What has been happening this week?  God is showing you it is test time!  Now pull out the word of God and stand firm in God’s word so that God will be glorified at the end of this.  Also you will be able to see that you have matured in Christ.  That all that time in God’s word has helped!

2 Corinthians 1:8-10

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia:  that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.  Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us;  in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.


Jennifer Van Allen



Charles Darwin

09-19-15 012


Prodigal:  Howdy!  I am hanging out with my friends today and we are discussing Charles Darwin and evolution.  Christians do not believe in evolution do they?


Me:  No, we do not.  We did not come from monkeys.  I did find a short explanation that is not to detailed to explain this and I will share it with you.


In the book I Have a Friend Who’s Jewish Do You?  by Don Goldstein


Charles Darwin, who is the originator of the theory of evolution, and the author of The Origin Of The Species, admitted that millions of “missing links,” (transitional life forms), would have to be discovered in the fossil record to prove the accuracy of his theory.  Yet evolutionists have been unable to find ANY of the missing links.  Famous paleontologists at Harvard, the American, and even British Museum, report they have NOT A SINGLE EXAMPLE of evolutionary transition.


This is one think I never understood about the evolution theory.  If we evolved because, certain genes and traits enabled us a benefit and therefore we eventually became human.  Two important questions.

  1.  Why are monkeys still around?  Their traits should be inferior and they should have evolved too or just died out.
  2.  Why have humans not evolved with other special abilities and why have we not been able to come up with a longer life span then what God has ordained.

Sometimes we just believe things because it has been repeated to us by people we think are smart.  Look into things yourself though.  Evolution does not make since.


Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them.


Jennifer Van Allen



The Teacher

05-03-15 035


Me:  Prodigal, what are you doing with that apple?


Prodigal:  I am going to give it to my teacher today!  We should celebrate the hard work that our teachers do so that we can learn.


Me:  Well,  I can encourage your teacher also with a short story.


This comes from the book Voices of the Faithful with Beth Moore

He was a teacher, a Christian teacher.  One of his Hindu students had a sister who was sick.  The teacher asked his student if he could visit his sister in the hospital.  He told him yes.  The teacher visited her and prayed for her, and she got well.

The short visit began a relationship with this high-caste Brahmin family.  The teacher began to regularly visit in the home.  The father of these two children welcomed the teacher, even though he knew that the teacher was a Christian.

One day, the teacher asked the father if he could give him a wall calendar.  He explained that the calendar had a scripture on it.  The father accepted the calendar and hung it on his wall.  One scripture verse as on it.  The father was aware of this verse day after day and month after month.  Slowly, God’s Holy Spirit did His work.  The words on the calendar began to penetrate the father’s heart.  The message began to make sense to this man, who had been a Hindu all of his life.  One day, the father was convicted of his sin, and he became a believer in Jesus.

Now this new believer has a fellowship of believers meeting in his home.  He regularly attends training sessions to help him be a good leader.

Today is the day.  God has called you again to some small task with some person that you may not have a close relationship with.  You are busy, you are tired but this small task may be the beginning of a big story that God is planning.  So don’t allow the story to be stopped before it ever begins.  Follow the Holy Spirits leading and go complete that task!

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires.  It exposes us for what we really are.


Jennifer Van Allen



The Great Adversary of Our Souls

12-30-15 096


Me:  Prodigal, I didn’t know that you knew people from Star Trek.


Prodigal:  You will be surprised at the people I have contact with and know.  In fact I wanted him to talk to you because you have encouraged me in the past.


Me:  Sure let me share what I was reading today.


E.M. Bounds in his book Guide to Spiritual Warfare shares a little bit about our tempers.


He tempts us to lash out with evil tempers, to speak hasty words, and to be impatient.  He tempts us to use carnal reasoning, which is powerful all in our minds.  We must turn back to Christ.  We need more of His Spirit-renewed commitment and thorough self-dedication.  By sending prayers upward with uplifted eyes and hearts, we will be able to resist and conquer the great adversary of our souls.


How quickly can hasty words come out of mouth!  How these words have hurt others.  I am tempted like all of us and how I need this focus today!  Christ needs to be before my eyes and my mouth does not need to be hasty in speech.


Isaiah 24:14

They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea.


Jennifer Van Allen



All Ideals

12-30-15 059


Me:  Howdy, Prodigal!  Where you at?


Prodigal:  Outside of this government property.  I am not allowed to go in though.


Me:  No, but instead of going in there.  Lets chat.  I just read in the book Beyond Opinion Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias.  I thought it was a good point and wanted to discuss with you.


Prodigal:  Lets hear!


All ideals–divine, transcendent, human, or invented–are capable of being abused.  That’s just the way human nature is.  And that happens to religion, as well.  Belief in God can be abused, and we need to be very clear, in the first place, that this abuse happens, and in the second, that we need to confront and oppose this.  But abuse of an ideal does not negate its validity.


Some of you have been hurt by the church.  This does not mean that God hurt you.  It does not mean that you should never attend church or join a church again.  If that were the case.  You would shut yourself off from every government function that exits.  You would never have any type of job with a supervisor.  You would never have any friends.  Also forget getting close to a family.  All these systems have also had abuse in them.

We learn though how to be wise in these systems.  We don’t cut them out of our life.  We learn to not always trust everything a politicians says and vote for who we feel can do the job.  We have supervisors who abuse their power and we find another job or take the steps needed to make sure they are not allowed to abuse that power.  We have friends who take advantage but we don’t stop trying to reach out to connect with others.  We may have had family that did not protect us the way they should have or even loved us the way we needed love.  We don’t give up on family then. So then don’t give up on the church either.

What do we do now?  We start by seeking God in these imperfect systems and ask His help in guiding us thru all of this.


Philippians 2:14-16

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.


Jennifer Van Allen




So Is Waiting

12-30-15 076


Prodigal:  Howdy!


Me:  Who are the friends that you are with?


Prodigal:  They are friends from years ago and they found some trouble.  We are waiting for them to be freed.  I am trying to encourage them while they wait.


Me:  Do you mind if I share encouragement.


Prodigal:  Go ahead!


Jennifer Rothschild in her book Lessons I Learned in the Dark Steps to Walking by Faith, not by Sight share insight into waiting.


I’ve learned that although waiting is never fun, it’s always healthy.  It’s like spiritual weightlifting:  It strengthens us by teaching us that our joy and peace and hope don’t depend on when our needs and wants are met.  Instead, they come from what we choose to do in the meantime, when life is hard and so is waiting.


I know you are wondering how long the wait.  I can’t give you the exact time of the wait.  I don’t think God wants you to know the exact time.  If we knew how long, I think the days in during the wait could not become precious.  We would hurry them thru.  We would brush them aside and just mark them off the calendar as a day closer to the finish line.  With out knowing time frames, we are forced to try and enjoy today.  We are forced to see a value in these days instead of seeing them as a block between us and the finish line.


Matthew 6:13

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen


Jennifer Van Allen




Parent’s Job

12-30-15 187


Prodigal:  HELP, HELP!!


Me:  Prodigal what kind of mess have you got yourself into?


Prodigal:  I was trying to help babysit, and Brady kinda took over.  Now I am upside down and don’t know how to gain back control.


Me:  Well, let me help you out of that grip and then I will give you some wisdom from the book Parenting From Surviving to Thriving by Chuck Swindoll


A parent’s job is to know his or her child and then help that child discover who that unique, precious person is before God and in the world around him or her.  When that objective is accomplished and the time comes to release that life to live independently, the child can leave with a strong sense of identity, which will provide both security and direction for the rest of life.  The job of a parent is to help his or her children come to know themselves, grow to like themselves, and find a satisfaction in being themselves.


Often we try to mold a child to what we think they should be and a child will then be depressed due to a lack of being able to express themselves or they rebel.  There is always that balance of trying to allow free expression yet putting limits also.  This is where constant prayer to God for guidance is important to help guide you through so many years of parenting.


Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.


Jennifer Van Allen




God Gives Us All Gifts

09-19-15 082


Me:  Howdy Prodigal!  Those are beautiful flowers!


Prodigal:  Thank you I like them a lot!


Me:  It reminds me of how God thinks all of us are beautiful.  I want to share with you something from one of God’s beautiful children.


This is a song from a 10 year old boy who has Down Syndrome.  His name is Dylan Riker.  Many in the world will look upon his face and never see the beauty in his heart.


I wish that I could go to heaven

I want to see you God

You’re the best God, in the world

I’ll pray to You tonight

When I die, my soul will go to heaven

And see You

I will pray to You every single night

I love You

I miss You and I love You

You are a good God

In the universe, You are the greatest

You’re the greatest God ever.


Matthew 5:8

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



Jennifer Van Allen




The Flood

09-19-15 003 - Copy


Me:  Howdy, Prodigal!  What are you doing out here with all this rain?


Prodigal:  The water keeps rising and I am gathering wood.  I think I might built a boat before I get carried away in this flooding.


Me:  I do know that God has promised that a flood will not destroy the earth again.


Prodigal:  How do you know there really was a flood?


Me:  Good question.  We do have some facts that seem to point to the existence of a flood.


In the book by Don Goldstein  titled I Have a Friend Who’s Jewish Do You?  he gives us some interesting facts.


Well, there are over 500 flood legends from cultures all over the world and there are seashells embedded in the top 3000 feet of rock Mount Everest.


So you ask what does this prove?  Well cultures have these legends before the time of mass communications.  Why would cultures all agree on a fable when they don’t share language, dress, looks, holidays or even gods.  It doesn’t make since unless it was something that really happened and that Noah passed down.  So don’t listen to the lies that the Bible is not true.  Start reading it for yourself.


Genesis 7:10

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.


Jennifer Van Allen






Cooperating With God

09-19-15 084


Me:  Howdy Prodigal!  It is a wonderful day for a walk isn’t it?


Prodigal:  Yes, and I am deep in thought.  A lot of people have told me a lot of things and I am confused about God’s will at the moment.


Me:  Well, let me see if I can help.


Beth Moore writes in her book Believing God

A big difference exists between trying to manipulate God to give us what we want and cooperating with God so He can give us what He wants.  The latter is our goal.

When christians mature there should be a point in maturity when it stops being about their long list of prayers and what God should give them.  We can get stuck in a mode of let me help this person, go to this service, call this person so that God will answer this prayer request that I have.  After all the work I have done, I turn in my list of works so that God will exchange it for something I want.

Well that is the worlds way.  THERE is NOTHING wrong with helping others, going to service and other things and also NOTHING wrong with a prayer list.  I have a prayer list.  I think this is about spiritual maturity and our heart motives determine our spiritual maturity level.

When I can pray for things on my list, serve God and others and be content when he answers none of these.  And also when I surrender my plans and follow God’s plans then I am working on the second part of what Beth Moore is trying to say.  Now some Christians will never reach the second part because they are just focused on the first but maybe today God is trying to grow you to see and do differently.


2 Timothy 2:15

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.


Jennifer Van Allen