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Me:  I didn’t know you were friends with Yoda?


Prodigal:  Yeah, he is short like me.  Also he likes to give out wisdom and I like to listen to wisdom.


Me:  Well, this is some wisdom from a strong woman of God named Teresa of Avila, that came from the book Great Women of the Christian Faith.


Thine am I, I was born for Thee,

What wouldst Thou, Master, make of me?

Give me death or give me life

Give me health or give me infirmity

Give me honor or give obloquy

Give me peace profound or daily strife,

Weakness or strength add to my life;

Yes, Lord, my answer still shall be

What wilt Thou, Master, have of me?

‘Tis Thou alone dost live in me.

What will Thou I should do for thee?



John 5:30

I can of mine own self do nothing:  as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.


Jennifer Van Allen

The Lanky, Quiet Boy

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Prodigal:  Well we are waiting on our food and we would love to hear a story!


Me:  I have one that maybe you can relate too.  It is one about a boy and some of his story.


Prodigal:  That sounds like it would fit our mood!


This is from the book David Jeremiah:  Slaying the Giants In Your Life


The lanky, quiet boy never had much of a chance.  He had to work from the age of seven, when his family joined the homeless.  His mother died two years after that.

As he grew to adulthood, the young man held a series of small jobs until his twenties, when he was fired as a store clerk.  But the idea of operating a store appealed to him.  At age twenty-three he took out a loan that would enable him to buy into a small business.  But the run of bad luck continued; his partner died three years later.  Now the young man’s debt was more than doubled, and it looked as if he’d spend years just repaying it.

He fared no better at relationships.  Approaching his thirties, he was still a bachelor.  He proposed to one young lady after four years of dating, but she turned him down.  It was just another failure; he was used to that.

Twice he ran for Congress, and twice, unsurprisingly, he lost.  To put it kindly, his credentials were unimpressive.  But at the age of thirty-seven, with more than half his life over, he was finally elected to an office–only to be subsequently voted out!  He failed in two separate runs for the Senate.  He failed in a vice-presidential try.  No one was more conscious of his legacy of failures.  “I am now the most miserable man living,” he said. “Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell.”

Some would say he didn’t know when to quit–and most of us are glad he didn’t.  For at the age of fifty-one, Abraham Lincoln became perhaps the greatest of all American presidents.


Mark 12:30

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.


Jennifer Van Allen

The Answer

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The Covenant Is Broken

11 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem. Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”

I answered, “Amen, Lord.”

The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them. From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts. So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words. They have followed other gods to serve them. Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors. 11 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. 12 The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes. 13 You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’

14 “Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.

15 “What is my beloved doing in my temple
    as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
    Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness,
    then you rejoice.[a]

16 The Lord called you a thriving olive tree
    with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm
    he will set it on fire,
    and its branches will be broken.

17 The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.

Plot Against Jeremiah

18 Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying,

“Let us destroy the tree and its fruit;
    let us cut him off from the land of the living,
    that his name be remembered no more.”
20 But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously
    and test the heart and mind,
let me see your vengeance on them,
    for to you I have committed my cause.

21 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— 22 therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine. 23 Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”

Jeremiah 11



Byproduct of Prayer

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Prodigal:  Shh!  Shh!  My friend is praying we should walk over here to talk.


Me:  I do not want to disturb praying!


Prodigal:  My friend was talking about just the enjoyment they receive from their prayer life.


Me:  I was just reading about prayer, would you like me to share?


Prodigal:  I am listening!


Bill Hybels share’s about his own journey with prayer.


I remember that the most fulfilling byproduct of a life of prayer is not the satisfaction of checking off a daily to-do–perfect attendance in your prayer closet doesn’t always equal deep fulfillment.  The most fulfilling byproduct is also not receiving miraculous answers to the actual prayers prayed, although those are wonderful when they occur.  What I have discovered along the path of prayer-life cultivation is that the greatest thrill to a life of prayer is the qualitative difference made in one’s relationship with God.

Don’t start praying to sound good.

Don’t start praying to be good.

Don’t start praying to make someone else good.

Pray so that your view of God becomes good.


Galatians 5:6

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.



Jennifer Van Allen



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Me:  Howdy Prodigal and chicken!  I was just reading a story about some chickens.


Prodigal:  We have a little time before we have to leave and we would love to hear the story.


Anne Paden shares this short devotion


Jack London’s wonderful classic, White Fang, tells the story of an animal, half dog, half wolf, as he survives his life in the wild and then learns to live among men.  There is one story in particular that has left a lasting impression on my heart.

White Fang was very fond of chickens and on one occasion raided a chicken-roost and killed fifty hens.  His master, Weeden Scott, whom White Fang saw as man-God and “loved with single heart, ” scolded him and then took him into the chicken yard.  When White Fang saw his favorite food walking around right in front of him he obeyed his natural impulse and lunged for a chicken.  He was immediately checked by his master’s voice.  They stayed in the chicken yard for quite a while and every time White Fang made a move toward a chicken his master’s voice would stop him.  In this way he learned what his master wanted–he had learned to ignore chickens.

Weeden Schott’s father argued that you “couldn’t cure a chicken killer,” but Weeden challenged him and they agreed to lock White Fang in with the chickens all afternoon.

Locked in the yard and there deserted by the master, White Fang lay down and went to sleep.  Once he got up and walked over to the trough for a drink of water.  The chickens he calmly ignored.  So far as he was concerned they did not exist.  At four o’clock he executed a running jump, gained the roof of the chicken house and leaped to the ground outside, whence he sauntered gravely to the house.  He had learned the law.

Out of love and a desire to obey his master’s will, White Fang overcame his natural, inborn desires.  He may not have understood the reason but he chose to bend his will to his master’s.

The simplicity and purity of White Fang’s love and devotion to his master help me realize that my life will always be full of “chickens.”  What I have to settle is , whom will I serve?


Psalm 81:12

So I gave them up into their own hearts’ lust:  and they walked in their own counsels.


Jennifer Van Allen

God is With You

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Me:  What are you doing here alone in the garden?


Prodigal:  I came to get some quiet time with God.


Me:  We all need quiet time with God to renew our strength.


Prodigal:  I could use some encouraging words.


Let me share for you words from Joan Of Arc


My loneliness shall be my strength, too; it is better to be alone with God; His friendship will not fail me nor His counsel, nor His love.  In His strength I will dare and dare and dare, until I die.


I remember the days when I was alone and not a friend in site.  God was my friend, and God gave me His love!  Do not be afraid of being alone, be afraid of being an enemy to God!


Psalm 107:4

They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.


Jennifer Van Allen


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Prodigal:  What a nice bridge that is!


Me:  Very nice, but it is not like the Golden Gate Bridge.  I have been to the Golden Gate Bridge.


Prodigal:  I have not been yet.


Me:  Well let me tell you a story about it.


Dr. Earl Palmer described the Golden Gate Bridge.


I have often though of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco as our city’s boldest structure in that its great south pier rests directly upon the fault zone of the San Andreas Fault.  That bridge is an amazing structure of both flexibility and strength.  it is built to sway some twenty feet at the center of its one-mile suspension span.  The secret to its durability is its flexibility that   enables the sway, but that is not all.  By design, every part of the bridge–its concrete roadway, its steel railings, its cross beams–is inevitably related from one welded joint to the other up through the vast cable system to two great towers and two great land anchor piers.  The towers bear most of the weight, and they are deeply embedded into the rock foundation beneath the sea.  In other words, the bridge is totally preoccupied with its foundation.  This is its secret!  Flexibility and foundation.  In the Christian life, it is the forgiveness of the gospel that grants up our flexibility; and it is the Lord of the gospel who is our foundation.


And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

Matthew 6:16


Jennifer Van Allen

We Live By Faith We Love By Faith

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Me:  Howdy, Prodigal!


Prodigal:  Just reading this verse.  You know the world has so many thoughts on love.  What is true?

Me:  I think there is no better example of love than Jesus.

Prodigal:  Yes, Jesus really showed love.

Me:  Here let me share with you from Beth Moore Believing God


We live by faith.  We love by faith.  Faith and love are inseparable housemate that offer hospitality to hope.  When we lose our faith to love, we lose the energy to love.  Then we lose our hope.

Beloved, when all is said and done, living is for loving.  So, these three remain: “faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13).  This is our daily hope: faith expressing itself through love.  Sometimes it has interesting consequences.


Romans 5:5

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given up.


Jennifer Van Allen

New Way

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Me:  Look at that boat Prodigal, it has been stripped down to nothing.


Prodigal:  Yeah the owner must be upset about their boat.


Me:  Having everything removed but the foundation is not such a bad thing.


Prodigal:  Are you sure?


Me:  Yeah, let me share in a story.


This is a story about Thomas Edison


In December 1914, the great Edison laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey, were almost entirely destroyed by fire.  In one night, Edison lost two million dollars’ worth of equipment and the record of much of his life’s work, Edison’s son, Charles, ran frantically about trying to find his father.  Finally he came upon him, standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the winter winds.  “My heart ached for him.”  Charles Edison said.  “He was no longer young, and everything was being destroyed.  He spotted me.  “Where’s your mother?”  he shouted.  “Find her.  Bring her here.  She’ll never see anything like this again as long as she lives.”

The next morning, walking about the charred embers of so many of his hopes and dreams, the sixty-seven year old Edison said, “There is great value in disaster.  All our mistakes are burned up.  Thank God we can start anew.”


Sometimes God brings what seems like a disaster in our lives but what he really doing is bringing in something new!


1 Timothy 6:17-19

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.


Jennifer Van Allen,

A Complex Organism

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Me:  Prodigal, that looks complex!


Prodigal:  I was trying to get a closer look.


Me:  Science and art can be fun to combine together!


Prodigal:  Yeah, I guess it could be…kinda like combining a pig and the internet….haha


Me:  Yes, like combining the pig and the internet.  Today we will talk science.


James Gills, M.D. talks about the science in his book Exceeding Gratitude for the Creator’s Plan


More than four decades ago, I was a medical student at Duke University.  Sir John Eccles had recently been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on the cell and its electrophysicological trans membrane potential.  Eccles had exposed the cell as an active and intricate entity possessing dynamic relationships between a number of cell systems.  As a young medical student, I developed a tiny instrument, called a nanopipette, which could measure these electrical potentials across a single cell membrane, as proposed by Eccles.  I found that the electrical field the cell generates, as measured by this instrument, can be at times larger than the electrical field found near power lines.  As I gazed at the phenomenal activity of life produced by the hundreds of functioning entities within one microscopic living cell, and its ability to integrate perfectly with more than sixty trillion other cells of the human body, my ingrained philosophy of evolution was jolted.

It was becoming more and more illogical to reconcile the odds of “formation by chance” to such a complex organism when the obvious criterion of “design” was necessary to its flawless form and function.  During the decades since then, scientists in the world of molecular biology have continued to explore the phenomenal design of the cell, with similar conclusions.

For example, Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, has concluded that the irreducible complexity of the microscopic , functioning “motor” within each cell preclude the possibility of their evolution.  His original definition of “irreducible complexity” is “a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”  In other words, these microscopic entities, comprised of several functioning parts, could not begin to function without all of their parts being present simultaneously.  Thus, for one of the parts to have to evolve slowly over time would make the existence of the system impossible.


It is really that much easier to hold to your idea of evolution?  God really does exist because only someone as all knowing as Him could have figured all these details!


Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


Jennifer Van Allen