Me:  Enjoying some arts and crafts!

Prodigal:  Yes, I am trying to relax

Me:  Before you get started I will share from a book

When Sinners Say I do by Dave Harvey


Sin is crafty.  It is inherently deceitful.  The ultimate spiritual con game, sin stays in the shadows as it tries to control and take us captive.  But unlike a con man who merely wants to separate us from our money, sin wants to separate us from God himself.  Through its lies, sin presses us toward adopting a false perspective on our relationship with God.

Although we have been blessed by God, sin would have us think of ourselves as victimized by God.  That’s how sin works now.  That’s how it worked “in the beginning.”


The morning turned out with me focused on the evil actions of others.  That is when the sin started.  How is that  sin?  Well I did not focus on God’s blessings and also his promise.  That he would not leave me or forsake me.  That God has a plan, and evil is overcome.  Well there is a spiritual realm and a physical realm.  We do not know all that is going on but we do have to know that even if we suffer today then we do not suffer alone.


Psalms 85:2

You forgave the iniquity of your people, you covered all their sin.


Jennifer Van Allen

Freed From Fear


Me:  Wow Billy Graham began preaching on a corner here!

Prodigal:  I wonder if he was afraid or had anxiety?

Me:  I don’t know.  When God calls you, there can be a lot of emotions involved.


This comes from the book

Joy in Christ’s Presence by Charles Spurgeon


I have been lamenting my unfitness for my work, especially for the warfare to which I am called.  A sense of heaviness recently came over me, but relief came very quickly, for which I thank the Lord.  Indeed, I was greatly burdened, but the Lord comforted me with the words of Isaiah 43:1:  “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not.”  I said to myself, “I am what God created me to be and I am what He formed me to be.  Therefore I must, after all, be the right man for the place in which He has put me.”  We are in no position to blame our Creator or to suspect that He has missed His mark in forming an instrument for His work.  When we understand this , new comfort will come to us.


God you did it again!  What did He do?  He knew my heart, he knew where I need encouragement.  It warms the soul to think that God the powerful took just one minute to encouragement my soul this morning.  No wonder He should be worthy to be served!

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


Jennifer Van Allen


Getting Dirty

Prodigal:  Is Brady part of your family?

Me:  Yep, and I love him and my family!

Prodigal:  What do you like most about your family?

Me:  Well we’re just beans-and-cornbread kind of folks and not to fancy.  I kinda like that type of living.

Prodigal:  There is nothing wrong with that.


This is from the book Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst


Often we slip into judging others under the guise of being honest enough to say the hard things to a friend.  The Bible makes it clear that honesty is important–but so is prayerful consideration of how and when to say things.  Saying something hard to someone is not an off-the-cuff assignment.  We have to be willing to do life with this person for a while.  We have to get a little dirty on their behalf, get to know what their life is really like, and earn the right to have these types of conversations with them.


What a reminder to have compassion today.  To keep your mouth shut and pray more while your are listening.


Matthew 26:10

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman?  for she hath wrought a good work upon me.


Jennifer Van Allen

He Comes to Us


Me:  Prodigal, are you enjoying your hike?

Prodigal:  Yes being outdoors makes me think more about God.

Me:  Why don’t I share some thoughts about God.


This is from Bob Benson


He comes to us in so many ways–

Warmth when we are cold,

Fellowship when we are alone,

Strength when we are weak,

Peace when we are troubled,

Courage when we are afraid,

Songs when we are sad,

And bread when we are hungry.


I get so weary from the world’s voices.  People talk but do not have the wisdom of God.  They jump quickly to follow man’ s orders but ignore the commandments of Jesus to love one another.  Then I take my focus off God and where am I, weary again.  So I go to meet God to be reminded that He is my hope and my light.  God what would I do with out you?  I would be lost.


Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Jennifer Van Allen


Prodigal:  Will you buy this selfie stick for me!   I really really want it!

Me:  Why don’t you buy it?

Prodigal:  It would be best if you buy it for me!

Me:  Sounds like your itchin’ for something you won’t scratch for.


This is from the book by Slaying the Giants in your Life by David Jeremiah


This is a 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 pubic 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!”


If no one gives you applause. If no one thanks you in a crowd.  If no one sees the effort that went behind the service.  Then you are most blessed.  God has seen the heart and the reward will not be the approval of the people around you but the approve of the King Himself!


1 Samuel 3:19

And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.


Jennifer Van Allen

Focused On One Area

Me:  Howdy Prodigal!

Prodigal:  I am glad you came along, my friend is mad at me.

Me:  Don’t fret none ’cause she’ll soon get glad in the same dress she got made in.

Prodigal:  I hope so.

Me:  I know she will and while we wait I will share.


This is from Keith Miller


When we…focus our lives upon anything or any relationship that is not God, sooner or later we spoil it, and it will fail us.  For, in fact, we are not in control of life, and no thing or person can meet our deepest needs for security and fulfillment.


Relationships are good for us but they must all come under the umbrella of God.  We must submit our relationships and our lives under the direction that God wants us to go.  This can be very tough emotionally.  Who are the people who make us the most mad.  It is the people we love the most.  Yes, someone might be mad at you right now, but surrender them to God and let God soften their heart.


1 Corinthians 16:13,14

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.  Let all your things be done with charity.


Jennifer Van Allen

Purpose of Restoration


Me:  Howdy Prodigal!

Prodigal:  How are you today, I trying to finish up my chores this morning.

Me:  I was stopping by to share with you something I read.


This is from the book Fervent by Priscilla Shirer


Condemnation always leads to guilt-laden discouragement, while conviction–though often painful in pointing out our wrongdoing–still somehow encourages and lifts us, giving us hope to rebuild on.  The first makes you focus on yourself; the other points you to the grace and empowering mercy of Christ.


Sometimes we get confused when we feel condemnation.  We take on that negative emotion and think we are doing nothing right.  That is not from the Lord and it is a distractor to your day.  Speak to those closes to you so that they can help you sort the confusion and find God’s truth.


Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.


Jennifer Van Allen

Return to Love



Me:  Where are you going Prodigal?

Prodigal:  I am trying to find the right direction.

Me:  Maybe I can help.


1 John


11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.


The word of the Lord is that you have to return to Love which was in the beginning.  I am returning to love.  I will let the Lord guide me as I return to love.  So with that let me share my thoughts on love.


Thank you for all those who share your hurts with me, and trust me to be with you in compassion over your hurts and know that the Lord loves you even now.

Thank you for my wonderful family.  I have a family who loves me, no matter what I say.  They understand me and I feel very comfortable with them.  They support me in so many ways, I know they will not turn their back on me.

Thank you for my friends.  I have friends who always show me to focus on compassion, I have friends who always pray with me.  I have friends who put up with the down days and times.  They just support me through them.

Thank you for knowing you.  I have suffered, but in it I got to meet you and know the Lord our Savior better.  So how can I say all this was not worth it.  The interesting thing about you is that you grew me toward Christ.  Sometimes it was because I was mad but sometimes it was from your prayers, your studying of the word and it was also letting the holy spirit guide you.  I respect you for all that I have seen you do.  You did make a big difference in my life.

Everyone make sure that you know you are a sinner and that you need someone to pay for your sins and that is Jesus Christ your savior.  Call on Him and repent and you shall be saved in eternity.  Everyone be safe.




Jennifer Van Allen

Ministry with God’s Spirit

Me:  Prodigal, I don’t think you should be listening to him to much.

Prodigal:  I’m thinking He’s more slippery than a pocketful of puddin’.

Me:  Yes, and no good can come of that.

Prodigal:  Maybe an encouraging story will help.


This is from the book You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson


Billy Graham is coming to Caroni!”  At least that’s how we publicized the Friday night event around the village.  Darlene and I were on the Caribbean island of Trinidad for a summer of ministry, and the small local church–built on stilts to catch the ocean breezes–had come up with a big plan:  we had borrowed a projector and rented a Billy Graham feature for a free film night.

Each night leading up to the showing, church members gathered to pray that many would come.  And each night one of the newest converts, a teenager named Radha, told us he knew his father would never come.  “Jesus is not strong enough to bring my father.”  he said.  We all knew that his father was the village drunk and despised followers of Jesus.

Friday night arrived.  People kept filing up the stairs to the church.  By the time we kicked off with songs and stories, we had a nearly full house.

Then we heard him–Radha’s father standing in the street below swearing loudly at the church, everyone in it, and anyone named Billy Graham.  There was nothing to do but proceed.

A 14 year old girl stood to pray.  She begged God to help Radha’s father get through the door.  No sooner had she finished than we heard someone climbing noisily up the stairs.  Radha’s father stepped in, scowled at everyone, and took a seat in the back row.

I smiled at Radha, then introduced the film.  But when I flipped the switch, the unthinkable happened.

Nothing.  Only minutes before, the projector had been working perfectly.

I began sweating profusely and praying for God to help.  Several of us tried but failed to make the projector work.  Then, as we fiddled with the machine, Radha’s father stood, swore a blue streak, and stomped into the night.  Soon after, his distraught son left too.

What should I do–keep working on the projector or deal with Radha?  The Spirit’s nudge was clear.  Go see Radha.  Leaving the projector to another person, I went outside.

I found Radha underneath the church, leaning against a stilt.  He was sobbing.  “I knew it!”  he shouted at me.  “I knew my father would never find out the truth about Jesus.  Now he’s gone forever!”

Despite the turmoil I felt, I sensed the Spirit leading me to take a bold step.  “Radha,”  I said, “God was powerful enough to bring your father to the church the first time.  He is powerful enough to bring him back.  We are going to pray right now and ask the God of the universe to bring your father back, not only to watch the movie, but to meet Jesus tonight.”

My throat tight with emotion, I prayed a simple prayer of faith for Radha’s father.  Then the two of us walked back into the church.

But one look at Darlene’s eyes told me we were still in trouble.  The projector had been given up for dead.  People were getting ready to leave.

If ever we needed a miracle from God, it was now.  Walking to the front, I apologized for the disappointment.  Then I felt nudged to pray one more time.  “God, it’s Your turn,”  I prayed.  “We can’t fix the projector, but You can!”

Then, feeling foolish and afraid, I reached for the On switch.  Suddenly the projector whirred to life!  Everyone raised a shout.  God had demonstrated His power in a way we would never forget.

And He wasn’t done.  A few minutes into the movie, we heard footsteps on the stairs.  It was Radha’s father.  Without a word he walked in and took his seat again.

When the movie ended an hour later, I gave an invitation.  “If you want to put your faith in Jesus Christ like Billy Graham has explained, then would you please stand and come forward?”

The first to stand was Radha’s father.  With tears streaming down his face, he walked into the outstretched arms of his son.

That night a roomful of witnesses watched as the wind of the Spirit moved in our midst.  We watched as He contended mightily with unseen power and worked in the heart of an angry man to bring him new life in Christ.  And we watched as He showed his love and power to a doubting young man named Radha.

Ministry without the Spirit of God is merely our best efforts.  Ministry with the Spirit of God is the stuff of miracles.


Isaiah 10:3

And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far?  to whom will ye flee from far? to whom will ye flee for help?  and where will ye leave your glory?


Jennifer Van Allen


Prodigal:  As I am starting my day I would love some wisdom to stay focused on Christ.

Me:  Sometimes the days are shorter than a politician’s memory.

Prodigal:  HAHA, so true.

Me:  I do have some wisdom to share instead of just a quick laugh.


This comes from the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders


Because we children of Adam want to become great,

He became small.

Because we will not stoop,

He humbled Himself.

Because we want to rule,

He came to serve.



Galatians 4:28

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.





Jennifer Van Allen