Progression of a Pioneer Missionary

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Me:  What are you doing Prodigal?

Prodigal:  I am looking at these pioneer’s and thinking about how courageous they had to be.

Me:  I agree they had to focus on the future and not look to the past.

Prodigal:  I never thought of it like that, but I agree.

Me:  I have a story of a missionary pioneer that I think you will like.

Prodigal:  Probably will.

This is from the book Overcoming Spiritual Blindness by James Gills, M.D.


Adoniram Judson was an outstanding pioneer American missionary who lived a remarkable life, taking the Word of God to the Asian country of Burma (now called Myanmar).  His monumental achievements include providing the Burmese people with a grammer, a dictionary, and a Bible in their own language.  However, these wonderful achievements would never have happened if Judson had not progressed from his spiritual blindness, characterized by rationalism and his faith in the ideas of man, to an authentic faith in God’s supremacy.

Judson was a precocious and gifted child.  He was also ambitious.  When he went to Brown University, he became enchanted by the academic environment, turning from the traditional religious teachings he received as a child.  A fellow student influenced Judson’s decision to embrace deism, causing him to become skeptical of Christianity.  Deism is a system of thought that advocates “natural religion,” the seeking of a moral life without recognizing the need for God’s gracious redemption.  It also denies the hand of the Creator in the laws of the universe.  This sounds like the cult of Darwinism, doesn’t it?  After finishing his studies, Judson went on the New York to work as a playwright.

Content for a time with his career and enamored with the powers of his own mind, Judson experienced a dramatic tragedy that would awaken him to divine truth and turn his life and service to God.  One night while he slept at an inn, he heard noises coming from the next room that could only mean the man in that room was dying.  By morning the “neighbor” was dead, and Judson wondered if the poor fellow had been a skeptic, like himself, or he died a Christian.  He was shocked and dismayed to discover that the dead man was the same college friend who had influenced Judson’s decision to renounce Christianity.  From his sound childhood religious upbringing, Judson now realized that unless his friend had changed his philosophy recently, he was lost forever.  In that stark moment, Judson also realized that he would be lost as well if he did not change.  He promptly returned home, entered seminary, and eventually became a great missionary.  Adoniram Judson’s spiritual eyes had been opened to the fragile, fallible nature of human intelligence, and to the sin of granting it stature above God’s wisdom.


Ephesians 6:16

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.


Jennifer Van Allen

Beautiful Music

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Me:  Nice boat Prodigal!

Prodigal:  I am about to take a sea voyage.

Me:  One story before you go about another type of voyage.


This story was found in Tim Chester’s book You Can Change

In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs, drawing sailors irresistibly toward the rocks and certain shipwreck.  Odysseus filled his crew’s ears with wax and had them  tie him to the mast.  This is like the approach of legalism.  We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation.  Orpheus, on the other hand, played such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the seduction of the Sirens’ song.  This is the way of faith.  The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have the faith to hear its music.


Let me hear the faith of YOUR music today Lord!  Let my focus be on you!


Deuteronomy 10:12-13

And now, Israel, what does the LORD you God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good.


Jennifer Van Allen

You Have Come

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Me:  Well I have a story for you from East Asia today.  I liked it and wanted to share.

Prodigal:  Well, I am all ears!


Voices of the Faithful by Beth Moore

It took seven hours on a hot, smoke-filled bus to find the small town hidden deep within the mountains.  God’s assignment for us was to prayer walk in this unreached village.

My co-worker and I began the short trek through the winding narrow roads.  Believing that God had gone before us, we trusted Him to direct our steps.  We turned into an alley while praying and noticed an elderly lady running toward us.  She was speaking to us in the local dialect, exclaiming, “You have come!  You have come!”  Her face was radiant, and her dark, almond-eyes filled with tears.  She embraced us and escorted us to her home.

The unadorned shack provided shelter for four family members, chickens, mice and the family treasure–a pig.  While sipping on Chinese tea, we learned that this grandmother was indeed a believer in Christ!  She had come to know Him two years prior through relationship with a Christian teacher.  Since the teacher’s departure, there had been no one to disciple or even fellowship with the grandmother.  She had been reading the only portion of Scripture she owned.

For two years she had prayed to the Most High God for a visit from believers.  She knew we were the answer to her enduring prayers!  All afternoon we prayed, sang, shared Scripture and laughed together.  She served us the only thing she had–a piece of watermelon.

God answered the prayers of this believer while answering our prayers that He would guide us.

S.H. East Asia

Faithful God how you work with one group of people and then on the other side you were working with another group of people the whole time.  I am glad for the people that have come into my life this week!


By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

Exodus 13:21


Jennifer Van Allen

New Ways to be Unhappy

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Me:  Howdy!  Prodigal!

Prodigal:  How are you?

Me:  Just enjoying peace at this moment.

Prodigal:  I am a little down.

Me:  I can share with you ways to increase unhappiness or maybe you can just stay away from these.

Prodigal:  Well, it would not hurt to listen.


David Jeremiah shares this in his book Turning Toward Joy


If you are looking for a new way to be unhappy, perhaps one or two of these ideas will motivate you to greater depths of despair:

  1.  Make little things bother you; don’t just let them, MAKE them.
  2. Lose your perspective of things, and keep it lost.  Don’t put first things first.
  3. Get yourself a good worry–one about which you cannot do anything but worry.
  4. Be a perfectionist:  Condemn yourself and others for not achieving perfection.
  5. Be right, always right, perfectly right all the time.  Be  the only one who is right and be rigid about your rightness.
  6. Don’t trust or believe people, or accept them at anything but their worst and weakest.  Be suspicious.  Impute ulterior motives to them.
  7. Always compare yourself unfavorably to others, which is the guarantee of instant misery.
  8. Take personally, with a chip on your shoulder, everything that happens to you that you don’t like.
  9. Don’t give yourself wholeheartedly or enthusiastically to anyone or to anything.
  10. Make unhappiness the aim of your life, instead of bracing for life’s barbs through a “bitter with the sweet” philosophy.

Now if you have done all 10 of these before lunch then I say you have figure out the secret to unhappiness my friend.  The great thing though about follow our Lord Jesus Christ is that no matter if we have followed this list everyday for the past 30 years at any time God can change us and show us a way to have joy.  We can rejoice in knowing that in our stumbling and failings of imperfections God never says we have to stay there.


Hebrews 10:25

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


Jennifer Van Allen

I Kept On Praying

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Me:  What are you doing?

Prodigal:  I am pray walking!

Me:  That is a great idea, let me encourage you in your pray time.

Bill Hybels shares this story in his book Too Busy Not To Pray


Some years ago we had a baptism Sunday when hundreds of people publicly affirmed their decision to follow Christ.  It was incredible!  Afterward, in the stairwell, I bumped into a woman who was crying.  I couldn’t understand how anyone could weep after such a celebration, so I stopped and asked her if she was all right.

“No,” she explained, “I’m struggling.  My mother was baptized today.”

This is a problem?  I thought.

“I prayed for her every day for twenty years,”  the woman said, and then she started crying again.

“You’re going to have to help me understand this,”  I said.

“I’m crying,” the woman replied, “because I came so close—so close–to giving up on her.  I mean, after five years, I said, “Who needs this?  God isn’t listening,’  After ten years, I said, “Why am I wasting my breath?’  After fifteen years, I said, ‘This is absurd.’  After nineteen years, I said, ‘I’m just a fool.’  But even though my faith was weak, I kept praying.  And finally she gave her life to Christ.  And that woman was baptized today.”

Looking me dead in the eye, she said, “I will never doubt the power of prayer again.”


Psalm 119:111

Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.


Jennifer Van Allen

Two Famous Men

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Me:  Wow, Prodigal!  I didn’t know you knew Karen Abercrombie.

Prodigal:  Yes, She played Miss Clara in the movie War Room.  I got to meet her and was very excited!

Me:  What was she like?

Prodigal:  She was surprised to be taking a picture with a pig (I’m not sure why).  She was nice and seemed to be a Godly woman.

Me:  Well I was just reading a story about two other famous men.


James Montgomery Boice tells this story.


In 1899, two famous men died in America.  The one was an unbeliever who had made a career of attacking the Bible and the Christian faith.  The other was a Christian leader.  Robert Ingersoll, after whom the famous Ingersoll lectures on immortality at Harvard University are named, was the unbeliever.  He died suddenly and his death devastated his family.  His body was kept in the home for several days because his wife could not bear to part with it; and it was finally removed only because the corpse was decaying and endangering the health of the family.  Finally his body was cremated and the scene at the crematorium was so dismal that the national newspapers carried feature stories about it.  When death came for Robert Ingersoll, there was no hope..only despair!

In that same year, evangelist Dwight L. Moody died, and his death was triumphant for himself and his family.  Moody had been in poor health for some time, and his family had taken turns being with him.  On the morning of his death his son, who was standing by the bedside, heard him exclaim, “Earth is receding; heaven is opening; God is calling.”  You are dreaming, Father,”  the son said.  Moody answered, “No, Will, this is no dream.  I have been within the gates.  I have seen the children’s faces.”

For a while it seemed as if Moody was reviving, but he began to slip away again.  He said, “Is this death?  This is not bad;  there is no valley.  This is bliss.  This is glorious.”  By this time, his daughter was present, and she began to pray for his recovery.  He said, “No, no, Emma, don’t pray for that.  God is calling.  This is my coronation day.  I have been looking forward to it.”  Shortly after that Mood was received into heaven.  At the funeral the family and friends joined in a joyful service.  They spoke.  They sang hymns.  They heard the words proclaimed, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is they victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Moody’s death was a part of that victory.


Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.  I implore Eudia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.  Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!   Let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.

Philippians 4:1-5


Jennifer Van Allen

Press Release for Radio on 11-20-16



Me:  Prodigal, are you enjoying your time in the radio station with Pastor Adam?

Prodigal:  Yes!  Pastor Adam and his production team are wonderful.  They really work well together to produce this great show together.  They were very nice to me.  You know that had no problems with having a pig in the studio?  They also let me take a picture with Pastor Adam around the mike.  The Show really seems to be authentic care for others and how to encourage one another in Christ!

Me:  Prodigal, I will have to agree with you.  I am very thankful that Pastor Adam allowed me to be on the show.  I would encourage you to listen to the show this Sunday the 20th from 3:00-4:00.  I would like to say that  I was impressed with the production team and how friendly and caring they are.  I also would like to say that I have wonderful friends and family.  They have all encouraged me!  It fills my heart with joy to know how you support me.  Let me know if you have any feedback for the show and also just reach out to the Pastor Adam Smith Show.  They really spotlight all the good that is going on in the Tampa Bay area and if my show was not helpful then listen to archived shows or shows in the future for other information that may help you.




Press Release for immediate release 21 Oct 2016


Media Contact:  Pastor Adam Smith, 720-934-0409 (0303).


Sunday 20 Nov 2016 from 3pm to 4pm Jennifer Van Allen, Faith In Counseling Owner,  is Pastor Adam’s  guest on The ADAM SMITH SHOW; WTIS 1110 AM radio. 

Listen on:   or .

Faith in Counseling works with children, and adults of all ages with issues related to I anxiety, depression, mood disorders, OCD, addictions, grief issues, chronic illness, work related stressors, divorce issues or spiritual issues. We are also a Florida certified adoption specialist.  We are a faith initiated company. We have counselors who provide Christian services and Psychological services.”

God Is Moving. Jennifer, as a Christian Counselor, understands that holidays, especially Christmas, are special to Christians but the holidays can also a very troubling time for some people. The media shows healthy families enjoying this time of year and everything is perfect and happy in the end. These expectations accentuate the loss or the things that are missing or those hurts that you know.

# # #

Faith, Family & Freedom defines The Adam Smith Show. Listen every Sunday from 3-4pm on WTIS 1110 AM radio and FACEBOOK. Our guests help us all understand and appreciate that “we are not alone” as we face challenges and opportunities in our lives. Past shows are in the WTIS archive at: htttps://  WTIS 1110 AM 1110 reaches these 6 counties; Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Pinellas, Manatee, and Hardee. WTIS is the oldest Christian station in the Tampa area.

Psalm 27:4

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.


Jennifer Van Allen


Who is Right?

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Me:  I love those pumpkins!


Prodigal:  Yes, I want to take one home so I was looking at them more closely.


Me:  Here let me help you.  Working together is sometimes quicker.


Prodigal:  Ok, and while we look you can share.


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

Islam says that Yeshua did not die and come back from the dead.  Christianity says He did.  One of these religions is wrong.  Buddha, contrary to popular belief, never claimed to be deity.  In fact, he was agnostic about the question of whether God even existed.  Hindus believe in literally millions of gods.  Jews and Christians believe in one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  So who is right?


Saving that every religion is the same just is not true.  Saying you believe in all of them at the same time contradicts itself and makes you really believe in non truth.


John 14:1

Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.


Jennifer Van Allen







A Divine Test

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Me:  What are you doing at school?


Prodigal:  Trying to learn and trying to grow.


Me:  We should never stop trying to grow because we may then become like salt which has lost its flavor.


Prodigal:  Good to remember that today.  Any other thoughts you would like to share.


Today I share from the book Abraham One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith by Charles Swindoll


A divine test usually exposes what might be called our default response to crisis.  Everyone has a default response when confronted with a challenge to his or her faith.  It starts as a self-preservation reflex.  We then learn to cultivate this natural reflex into a strength.  In time, we learn to respond to stress with expert agility without even thinking.  And before we know it, we have a full-blown coping mechanism that takes over, keeping us from trusting in God.


The divine test that God has given me to expose how I was not trusting in God.  I had to take them several times.  God knows exactly what to bring into our lives at the right moment.  We want to complain.  We want to yell at God.  We feel entitled and we feel we are being treated unfairly.  What God is doing though is turning up the heat in the refiners fire.  He is trying to make you to not trust in yourself.  He wants you to trust in Him.  So go to the alter once again and surrender your plan and cling in trust to God’s plan.

Psalm 92:1

It is good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High.


Jennifer Van Allen

Fancy Live’s

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Me:  Nice boat Prodigal!

Prodigal:  It is my friend’s boat and I am going for a ride.

Me:  What a blessing to have a nice boat, but it is also a blessing to not have a boat.  It really depends on our hearts.

Prodigal:  I am confused….what do you mean?  God wants us poor?

Me:  No it is not about having money or being poor, it is about our hearts.  Here let me share with you what Luci Swindoll shared in the book Extravagant Grace Devotions That Celebrate God’s Gift of Grace.


Sometimes we have the mistaken idea that God loves and blesses us more if we look, live, or behave a certain way.  If our lives are tidier, he’s happier.  If we are “successful” in the world’s eyes, he’s relieved.  If we become cultured or erudite, he feels better about us.  We  assume God prefers designer clothes and custom homes.  We presume he’s pleased with fancy careers and technological advances.  But in God’s economy, grace doesn’t work like that.  God places no emphasis on externals.  He looks at our hearts, and he blesses us from the inside out.  His goodness is available to all.


God doesn’t care if we are rich or poor.  What he does care about if it becomes a distraction.  See being rich and poor can both become a distraction.  If you have money or don’t have money you can make it an idol to where you always need more.  God is looking at the heart.  So why not starting looking at your heart right now when it comes to the money in your life?  He may be trying to show you something about your heart connected to money and God may want to change that.


Philippians 2:7

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:


Jennifer Van Allen