There is a Difference


Me:  I like your rooster friend!

Prodigal:  He is making more noise than a cornhusk mattress at the moment.

Me:  I don’t mind it at all.

Prodigal:  If you can share still then go ahead.


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


Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier distinguishes between the person and the personage.  The person is the inner part, and the personage is the outer shell.  Many of us go around with manufactured smiles, and manufactured answers to others.  Simply agreeing with others, or asking simple, practiced questions are all a function of hypocrisy.  Yet one who is inwardly true has a lot more to say and can ask questions of another that demonstrate authentic concern.  In these and other ways, they begin to resonate with the inner person of others.

Let me give a word of reassurance to those who fear their own hypocrisy.  There is an important distinction between a hypocrite and the faithful servant who simply feels inadequate, but continues to press on into fullness of faith.




Job 5:1-2

Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?  For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy salyeth the silly one.


Jennifer Van Allen





Me:  Watcha reading Prodigal?

Prodigal:  The best book there is!

Me:  I have to agree with that, in fact I have to something to share about books.


This is from C.S. Lewis

You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread.  You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words…..Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling…of that something which you were born desiring….


I think I love this so much because of the mention of  books and friends!  What a combination!  I have a lot of Books!  My desire started when I was a child.  My mother would take us to the library a lot.  I remember looking at the rows and rows and rows of books and thinking “I can take any of these home”.  I thought this is all free and I can spend a long time here.  Well I thought it was heaven!  I still love a good book.  I have collected many over the years.

Now friends I have collected them too.  Sometimes I just rejoice over who God has brought into my life.  I really don’t think I have time for all of them.  I have friend’s that are missionaries and are overseas.  I have older friends and very wise younger friends.  I have those who have heard many of tears and those that have seen me at my silliest moments.  I have friends out of state that do not seem far away because I speak to them all the time.  I have family that are friends and I have friends who are happy to see me every week.


Thank you for encouraging me!  Thank you for seeing the good in me and have patience with the bad!  Thank you that you accept my love of books and you have even given me some!  Sometimes we just have to remind special people that they are still special to me!


Proverbs 16:24

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.


Jennifer Van Allen



It is Only in Him


Me:  Are you enjoying your walk in the park today?

Prodigal:  Yes, and in fact I spotted an alligator just resting in the sun.

Me:  Don’t get too close.  I am sure you would be a tasty snack!

Prodigal:  I will try not too, what book would you like to share from today?


This comes from Charles Spurgeon:  Joy in Christ’s Presence


Remember how impossible it would have been for you to receive a single spiritual blessing if you had not been in Jesus.  The love of God cannot be poured out into anyone’s heart unless he is clearly united with God’s Son.  No exception has ever been made to the universal curse on those of the first Adam’s seed who have no interest in the Second Adam.  Christ is the only Zoar in which God’s Lots can find a shelter from the destruction   of Sodom( Gen. 19-25).  Apart from Him, the blast of the fiery furnace of God’s wrath consumes every green herb; it is only in Him that the soul can live.


Remember the days of old..

Remember the days of yesteryear..

Remember when…

We are called to remember all sorts of memories, anniversaries and tragedies.

Today though REMEMBER who you would be without Christ.


Proverbs 30:30

A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any.


Jennifer Van Allen





Singing Outload


Me:  There is something about this sign that speaks to my heart!

Prodigal:  I agree!

Me:  There is also something else that speaks to my heart.


I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see


Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it


And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me


Some of you have figured out that these are the lyrics to some songs.  They are Amazing Grace, Come thy Fount and All I have is Christ.

To me worship is when I am singing the truth to my savior.  Whether I am alone or with others it is an act of acknowledging what God is in my life and what He does for me.

Sometimes we can become so busy with all we have to do at church or socially talking to everyone that day.  Sometimes I think though it is good for our spirit just to sing to God and God alone, it changes us from what we were just thinking of two minutes ago.

My soul needs to worship when the fears, stress and weariness of life has overcome me.  How can a song help?   Well it is nourishes us with the love of God.  This finds it way to the spirit, and forces the fears and stress to leave us.  We are then able to  focus on the wonderful savior who changed us forever more.


2 Timothy 3:10

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness.


Jennifer Van Allen


O Lord


Prodigal:  Are you going in to pray?

Me:  Yes, I just read a wonderful prayer by a woman who served others often.


This is from the book Great Women of the Christian Faith by Edith Deen

This prayer was written by Elizabeth Fry a leader of prison reform for women


O Lord, may I be directed what to do and what to leave undone: and then may I humbly trust that a blessing will be with me in my various engagements….Enable me, O Lord, to feel tenderly and charitably toward all my beloved fellow mortals.  Help me to have no soreness or improper feelings toward any.  Let me think no evil, bear all things, hope all things, endure all things.  Let me walk in all humility and Godly fear before all men, and in Thy sight.  Amen.


Awake, O Lord!  Why do you sleep?  Rouse yourself!  Do not reject us forever.  Why do you hide your face?

Psalm 44:23-24


Jennifer Van Allen

God Loves Me

Me:  Howdy Prodigal!

Prodigal:  I was just thinking of you.

Me:  Well, here I am.

Prodigal:  Are you going to share?

Me:  Of course.


I have the privilege to hear people’s stories at times and God uses these stories to encourage me.  Today with her permission, I will share some of the story of Sharon.

Sharon had a hard life.  It was tough as a child because instead of parents who loved most of the time, these parents hurt deeply at times.  Sharon does know the love and salvation of Jesus and that has made all the difference.

Sharon has attempted suicide and has been hospitalized 24 times.  One of these attempts was so serious that the paramedics pronounced her dead when they arrived at her apartment.  They were able to revive her and she then recovered in the hospital.

Sharon told me of a time when God finally was able to show her that He loved her.  She then wrote this right after it became real that she was loved.


I have begun to believe that “Jesus”-“God” loves me.  Its not how much I love Him, it’s how much He loves me.  It seems that His love is so magnificent it is almost unbearable.  The pain in knowing His love knocks my body to my core.

Is this the great awakening I came here for?  I had it all backwards.  I knew how much I loved Him, I didn’t know how much He loves me.  There is no struggle.  There is only God’s love.

My first memory is singing praises to Jesus.  I was proud.  My major adversity has been my pride and arrogance.

I had to fall.  I’ve lived a long life in order to come to my knee’s and want to fall on my face with the power, the knowledge of His grace and His love for me.

A song is playing on my radio.  Jesus saves “yes” Jesus saves.  He also is the greatest love I have or ever will have.

Wow, I can barely contain the emotions I am having!  Embrace the pain within.  I am alive!  I am loved! I am here!  He is with me always! 

I wanted love from human beings.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “I’m sorry I can’t love you the way you need to be loved.  It wasn’t that they didn’t want to, it was that they didn’t have the love in them.

God loves me the way I need to be loved.  I feel it all over.  In every fiber of my being.

This love is for everyone.

This is God’s world!  Right Now!  Maybe from the beginning of time, mankind has been running from the pain of letting go.  The world does not belong to us.  I tried to make it mine.

I realize that every time I think I have the answer, I turn on the TV, read an article in the magazine.  I realize that the answer has already been found.  It’s already been done.

It’s Jesus.

Sharon Hollinrake


Psalm 18:1

I love you, O LORD, my strength.


Jennifer Van Allen


Sharon has not attempted suicide since this letter.  She has not been hospitalized either.

You Make Me Happy


Me: Wait up Prodigal, you make a runaway horse look like a tired turtle.

Prodigal:  I am just happy to be out on a wonderful day like this, hiking in the woods.

Me:  Me too, I am glad you are with me.


This come Slaying the Giants in your Life by David Jeremiah


This is the truth I come to see with more clarity each passing year.  We worry so much about appearances; God worries so little about them.  This is another subject Jesus returned to constantly:  the superficiality of the surface; the seriousness of the heart.  We’re all wrapped up in public perception, but God’s steady gaze never wavers from the heart.  God loves us most deeply when we drop the pretenses, forget our all-important facades, and come to Him not like the proud Pharisee but like the trembling tax collector:  “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!”


Sometimes people get it wrong.  They look at us and think one thing and even though they don’t know they act.  I know your heart.  I know that it hurts to be misunderstood.  I know that God sees you with love.  You may not make everybody happy today, but you make me happy.


For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal

2 Corinthians 4:17-18


Jennifer Van Allen

A Circle


Me:  Hot dang, ain’t you in full feather today!

Prodigal:  Thank you, I am dressing up for a change.

Me:  Have fun and I will leave you with a small poem.


He drew a circle that shut me out–

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win;

We drew a circle that took him in!

Author unknown


1 Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am:  and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I , but the grace of God which was with me.


Jennifer Van Allen

Uplifting Words

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Prodigal:  Today, I brought my friend.  She has been listening to me talk about some of what you say and has decided that she would like to hear something encouraging today.


Me:  Well thank you!  I try to let the Lord guide me with what I should say so I do not say the wrong thing.  A lot of prayer is put into the words I write and I say.


Prodigal:  Do you have something to share today?


This is something that really touched my heart.  It comes from the book A Woman of Strength by Neva Coyle


The weary are everywhere.  People struggling with life need encouragement.  It’s up to us to reach out to such people with an uplifting word or deed of hope and help.  And I do; sometimes I do too much.

You see, an untaught tongue, even when attempting to give a word of encouragement, can get in God’s way of doing what he wants to do in someone else’s life.  It’s true.  Only when I seek him for his guidance can I make sure a word or deed meant to encourage is not only needed, but appropriate and in keeping with God’s will.



What is my point with all this.  Please watch your tongue.  Even if you think it sounds good at the moment.  Pray first.  You have no idea what is in the other person’s heart.  We are all different and we have different paths to take.  We can encourage each other but it just has to be encouraged by the Holy Spirit.


There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18


Jennifer Van Allen

God Sees Me

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Me;  What are you doing Prodigal?

Prodigal:  I am just sending a quick email.  There it is finished now I can talk to you.

Me:  I was reading a letter that was sent a long time before email was every around.

Prodigal:  Lets hear it, because it might bring us some wisdom.


This is a letter that Susanna Wesley wrote to her eldest son Samuel.  She is the mother of John Wesley who founded the Methodists.


Consider well what a separation from the world, what purity, what devotion, what exemplary virtue, are required in those who are to guide others to glory…I would advice you to arrange your affairs by a certain method, by means you will learn to improve every precious moment….Begin and end the day with Him who is the Alpha and Omega, and if you really experience what it is to love God, you will redeem all the time you can for His more immediate service.

Endeavor to act upon principle and do not live like the rest of mankind, who past through the world like straws upon a river, which are carried which way the stream or wind drive them….Get as deep an impression on your mind as is possible of the constant presence of the great and holy God.  He is about our beds and about our paths and spies out  all our ways.  Whenever you are tempted to the commission of any sin, or the omission of any duty, pause and say to yourself “What am I about do?  God sees me.”


Do not forget God sees not only what you are doing, He always sees your heart and you have to make sure it is aligned with God’s will.


Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.


Jennifer Van Allen