Coming to the Cross

Me:  How are you doing today Prodigal?

Prodigal: I have a fun weekend planned!

Me:  Are you excited?

Prodigal:  I could hallelujah the countryside!

Me:  Sounds like a fun time!


This is from the book Voices of the Faithful by Beth Moore


Kaili felt he had no choice but to be in a gang.  Most Miao villages are safe, but his town in Southwest Asia was not.  He had been robbed and threatened too many times.  As part of a gang, though, things were looking up.  The other gangs feared him, for he was a fighter.

To be Miao meant that Kali grew up in a family who worshiped their ancestors and lived in fear of evil spirits.  He never heard the name of Jesus or knew of His power.  But that was about to change.

One night, in a dream, Kaili saw a cross by the river.  He picked it up, and a beam of light fell upon him from heaven.  He began to dance in it.  The next day after the dream, Kaili’s roommate came in holding a cross.  Kaili exclaimed, “You found that by the river, didn’t you?”

He had!  Kaili asked if he could have the cross, and he set out to discover what it meant.  Then one night, he had another dream.  A tall angel came to his door and told him the message of the cross.

Not long afterward, there came a knock on Kaili’s door.  When he opened it, a tall foreigner was standing there.  Kaili exclaimed, “You’re the one!  Tell me how I can know the message of the cross!”

Kaili gave his life to Christ and has led many gang members to Him.  Together, they’ve started a new “gang” of Miao Christians who are leading others to Him.


So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.

Mark 11:24


Jennifer Van Allen

Risky Living


Me:  Prodigal, I like your sign!

Prodigal:  Yeah, not living in the south can be risky living!

Me:  I am not sure about that but I did just read something on risky living.


This is from Jamie Buckingham

This is what “risky living” is all about.  A person can seek the kingdoms of this world or the kingdom of God.  If he chooses this world he will go after things:  houses, real estate, position, reputation, popularity, sensual gratification–all the things the world calls security.  Or, he can seek the kingdom of God, risking everything on Jesus’ promise to bring us into happiness and maturity.


Do not get distracted today.  When God wants us to follow Him, then the devil comes along and quickly shows us something shiny to distract us.  Pray and ask for wisdom and do not become impulsive.


Proverbs 12:3

No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.


Jennifer Van Allen

The Carbon Atom


Me:  Did you have fun at the party!

Prodigal:  I had a ripsnortin’ good time juggin’ and jawin’ with the kin at the shindig.

Me:  Me too!


This is from the book Rx for Worry A thankful Heart by James Gills M.D.


Dr. Swenson explains the existence of the carbon atom as an example of seemingly impossible odds for life as we know it.  One Christian chemist called the carbon atom “God’s autograph.”  Carbon is the fourth most common element in the universe and all of life that we have discovered is carbon-based.  It is the only element that has the properties needed for supporting the richness of life as we know it.  Using hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and other element that has the properties needed for supporting the richness of life as we know it.  Using hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements, it can form an infinite number of compounds.  Scientists have measured over one million existing carbon compounds.  Many thousand of these are vital to life processes.  Carbon is unique among all of the elements; no other element can form the chemical bonds in carbon.

Yet, the formation of the carbon element is so unlikely that it should not be able to exist.  Consider this simplified explanation of its formation.  To form a carbon atom requires first that 2 hydrogen come together to form a helium.  Then two helium come together and form a beryllium.  This beryllium compound is very unstable–it last only for a billionth of a billionth of a second.  In that tiny fraction of time, in order for a carbon atom to form, another helium needs to attach itself to the unstable beryllium.  And it can’t be just any helium in the area.  The nuclear energy levels, or resonance, of the helium needed to attach to the beryllium must be precisely matched in order to form on carbon atom.  Imagine all the carbon atoms required to from the basis of all of life as we know it meeting those exacting requirements for each of their formation.


Proverbs 22:12

The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthrown the words of the transgressor.


Jennifer Van Allen

The Warrior’s Prayer

Me:  I don’t know if you should get on a train that is off’s it’s track.

Prodigal: You need to peddle your own produce.

Me:  I guess it is none of my business.  Let me just offer up a prayer instead.


Heavenly Father,

Your warrior prepares for battle.

Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!

I put on the Girdle of Truth!

May I stand firm in the truth of Your word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.

I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness!

May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain in pure and holy,

protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.

I put on the Shoes of Peace!

May I stand firm in the Good News of the Gospel so Your peace will shine through me

and be a light to all I encounter.

I take the Shield of Faith!

May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit

so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.

I put on the Helmet of Salvation!

May I keep my mind focused on You so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.

I take the Sword of the Spirit!

May the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands

so I can expose the tempting word of Satan.

By faith your warrior has put on the whole armor of God!

I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory.



Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our  spirit, that we are the children of God:


Jennifer Van Allen

Why You?

Me:  Are you enjoying cooking?

Prodigal:  Yes, but my friend likes to tell me their preference.

Me:  What do they want?

Prodigal:  They said they like their steak so rare that they should just walk the meat through a hot room.

Me:  That is kinda risky, but people can choose their own preference.


Today’s reading comes from Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders


Once Saint Francis of Assisi was confronted by a brother who asked him repeatedly, “Why you?  Why you?”

Francis responded, in today’s terms, “Why me what?”

“Why does everyone want to see you?  Hear you?  Obey you?  

You are not handsome, nor learned, nor from a noble family.  Yet the world seems to want to follow you,” the brother said.

Then Francis raised his eyes to heaven, knelt in praise to God, and turned to his interrogator:

“You want to know?  It is because the eyes of the Most High have willed it so.  He continually watches the good and the wicked, and as His most holy eyes have not found among sinners any smaller man, nor any more insufficient and sinful, therefore He has chosen me to accomplish the marvelous work which God hath undertaken; He chose me because He could find none more worthless, and He wished to confound the nobility and grandeur, the strength, the beauty and the learning of this world.”


Praise and Glory to the Host of Heavens as to the one who is worthy to be obeyed!


1 John 4:9

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.


Jennifer Van Allen

Evidences of the Truth


Me:  There is some truth in that sign.

Prodigal:  I agree completely.

Me:  I was reading some other truths.


This is from Dwight L. Moody


The world has yet to see what God can do through one man fully committed to Him.


I started to imagine what this man would look like as I read the words.  With out much thought my spirit began to give answers.  You could not punish this man.  See punishment from God would be much worse than man’s punishment.  You could not bribe this man.  A bribe would lose flavor quicker than ice melting on the 4th of July in Florida.  You could not persuade with guilt.  He knows he is forgiven by Jesus himself.  This man would stand out because he would have no secret agenda’s that you would have to guess.  No his agenda would be all about Christ.  You would see that in his wisdom and his love.  You would see that when he would stand for truth.  You would see that as he suffered for truth.  You would see that in his prayers, he prays for all.  What could God do with such a man.  Well he could do the impossible of course!


1 Peter 3:12

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers:  but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.


Jennifer Van Allen

A Great Pastor


Me:  Have you finished praying?

Prodigal:  Yes, I have.

Me:  I will share about prayer.


I always give all the glory to God, but I do not forget that He gave me the privilege of ministering from the first to a praying people.  We had prayer meetings that moved our very souls, each one appeared determined to storm the Celestial City by the might of intercession.–Charles Spurgeon.


I can remember a prayer meeting that happened in our church that I probably will not forget or maybe not for a very long time.  Once a month I attend the prayer meeting and had been going for years at this point.  Something was different about this meeting though and I was interested in how it was going to turn out.

We had just hired a new pastor in the church named Jeff Doyle and he was leading the prayer part of the night.  I was a little curious of what he was going to do.  So I was taking notice of all that was taking place.  The whole time was devoted to praying scripture.  Jeff had picked out the scripture to pray.  We started out as all of us praying the same scripture chapter and calling on God to hear us and be guide us in our directions and lives.  It was comforting to hear us all pray together.  Some voices were loud an manly and others were feminine and almost a whisper.

We then broke into little groups of 4-5 people and we were again asked to pray another passage.  It was even more intimate to prayer the scripture together in small groups. I was near the back of the sanctuary with the 4-5 people in my group.  My head was bowed and my eyes closed as I listen to the scripture being prayed.  We were taking turns and it happened not to be my turn so, I was listening to those sweet words of God.

SCREECH..Then it happened the lights went out and a loud screeching noise happen.  In that split of a second I thought Jesus had shown up and I let out a little scream.  My heart was racing and I opened my eyes to look around.  I quickly heard everyone was quiet and I saw how others were also looking around.  This is something that had really got the attention of EVERYONE for a least a short time.

It seems something had happened with the sound system and Jesus had not shown up.  Or did He?  See I can’t tell you what happened with that sound and where it came from that night. I just know that nobody was hurt and nothing burned down.

But I know for me that praying the scripture with brothers and sisters in Christ and the living Word being spoken with humble hearts of love toward our creator meant that He was there.  My spirit new it and that is the type of Lord that we serve.  He is in prayer meetings, in living rooms, in offices and with us in our cars.  He was in that prayer meeting and He will be with you in the future.

Jeff thank you for your service and for the time your family was with us.  May God bless you and your family in the next journey of your life.


“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
—Zephaniah 3:17


Jennifer Van Allen

Letting Go


Me:  Look at all those gifts!  Can you afford all that?

Prodigal:  I guess that’s where the shoe pinches the toes.

Me:  Well I hope you still have fun with the family.

Prodigal:  Lets share something encouraging.


To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization that I don’t control another.

To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome if not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a humans being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes and to cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future.

to let go is to fear less and love more.


Author unknown.


Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.


Jennifer Van Allen



Give Me Strength


Me:  Those are beautiful flowers!

Prodigal:  I agree, I like to garden.

Me:  While you tend to the flowers, I will tell you a story.


This is from the book Night Light by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson


I’m reminded of a story about an elderly woman who had lost her husband, George, some years earlier in an automobile accident.  Theirs had been a long and happy marriage, and she missed him terribly.  When she suffered a broken leg, she felt more confined and alone than ever.  One particularly blue day, she found herself longing once again for her husband’s company.  She sat in her living room and began to weep.  “Dear God,” she prayed, “please give me the strength to get through this hour.”

Get your Bible, a quiet voice inside her said.  But her Bible was in the bedroom, and, with her leg in a cast, she thought it would be too hard to retrieve.  Then she remembered a small travel Bible on a nearby bookshelf.  She reached for it and turned the pages to find a favorite Scripture.

Suddenly a letter fell into her lap.  She carefully unfolded the yellowed pages.  It was a love letter from George.  In it, he expressed his deep affection for her.  His words of comfort were straight to her lonely heart.

In the back pages of the Bible she found more notes from George.  He had written them in the hospital while awaiting an operation, apparently fearing he would not return home.  After he recovered, the notes were forgotten.

That woman spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the company of her husband’s letters and in the certainty that the Lord cared for her.


In his word I put my hope

Psalm 130:5


Jennifer Van Allen

Natural Man


Prodigal:  Who is that pretty young lady?

Me:  She is my niece.

Prodigal:  She is pretty but she is so skinny she ain’t even fryin’ size.

Me:  It does not matter her size because I love her.


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


According to scripture, the natural man (or woman) remains rooted and tied to this world.  He has not experienced the realities of God’s spiritual realm, nor is he aware of the significance and greatness of those realities.  The things of God are foolishness to him because, without having his spirit made alive to God, he pays attention only to his sense perceptions.


Prayer will help our spirit become aware of the spiritual realm.


1 Corinthians 16:18

For they have refreshed my spirit and yours:  therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.


Jennifer Van Allen