I Asked


Me:  I wonder who else has been in these parts?

Prodigal:  I wonder what people were thinking as they looked around.

Me:  Here is a poem from an unknown Confederate soldier.


I asked God for strength that I might achieve.

I was made me weak that I might learn humbly to obey.


I asked God for health that I might do great things.

I was given infirmity that I might do better things.


I asked for riches that I might be happy.

I was given poverty that I might be wise.


I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.


I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.

I was given life that I might enjoy all things.


I got nothing I asked for

but everything I had hoped for…


Almost despite myself

My unspoken prayers were answered.


I’m among all men am most richly blessed.



Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28


Jennifer Van Allen




























Me:  Prodigal, you look mad?

Prodigal:  If that guy come around me one more time I’ll hit him in the Adam’s apple so hard he’ll be spittin’ cider for a week.

Me:  Maybe we need to look at forgiveness, which is what Jesus is all about.


This is from the book Beyond Opinion Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias


In Islam, the highest sacrifice is not that of self-denial for the good of others but of self-sacrifice for the sake of Allah in killing his enemies.  The benchmark of true believers is not their ability to love their enemies but how much they can hate them, even if they are their own parents, children, brothers, or kinsmen.  Allah has declared his enmity with them forever and ever if they resist him and Muhammad.


We know Jesus so we try to live like Jesus.  Love your enemies.  This means you will live by the spirit and not the flesh.


Ezekiel 14:23

And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD.


Jennifer Van Allen







Me: What a nice day on the beach!

Prodigal:  I agree!

Me:  We all need to just look around us and enjoy the day.


This is from the book Psalm 91 by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angelia Ruth Schum


C.B. Morelock, a war corespondent in World War II, reported an unexplainable and miraculous occurrence:   sixty German aircraft strafed more than four hundred men who were pinned down on the sandy Dunkirk beaches without the benefit of anyplace to take cover.  Although the men were repeatedly attacked by machine guns and bombed by enemy aircraft, not one single man was hit.  Every man in that group left the beach without a scratch.  Morelock stated, “I have personally been told by Navy men who picked up those particular survivors from Dunkirk, that the men not only recited Psalm 91, but they shouted it aloud at the top of their lungs!”


Psalm 30:1

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.


Jennifer Van Allen





Reflections on the Author of the Quran


Me:  How is it out there?

Prodigal:  It’s hotter than a burnin’ stump.

Me:  Try to stay in the shade then!


This is from the book Beyound Opinion Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias


Unlike the Bible, the Qur’an has no historical authentic document that can witness to its literary reliability or to its historical authenticity.  Its followers claim divine origin from the eternal table.  They also claim that the Qur’an has come to perfect the Bible by adding to it.  Yet the Qur’an’s teachings contradict the very biblical teaching it claims to have come to complete.  It does not teach anywhere the Ten Commandments, remains inconsistent with its own teaching, and at best portrays a totally different nature.

And there is the character of its author:  Allah.  As described in the Qur’an, Allah is not a covenant-making god, for if he were to do that it would diminish his absolute authority and might find him subject to his creatures due to such a covenant.  As portrayed, he is master of deception.  He contradicts himself and justifies that by calling it abrogation, meaning the replacement of earlier revelations with latter ones as they were out of date and no longer applicable–all within a period of twenty-three years.

All non-Muslims are Allah’s enemies, with specific emphasis on Jews and Christians.  He commands the followers of his prophet, whom he calls Muslims, to kill them and regard all non-Muslims as profane.


Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”


Jennifer Van Allen



Foundation Stone


Prodigal:  Cole is very sweet!

Me:  I agree with that but that boy sticks to his mama tighter than wallpaper.

Prodigal:  He is still fun to be with.


Today’s story is found in the book Great Women of the Christian Faith by Edith Deen


Pandita Ramabai built a church and put this on the foundation.

Praise the Lord.  Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit, saith Jehovah of Hosts.  That Rock was Christ.  Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.  That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace.

September 20,1899


2 Timothy 1:7

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


Jennifer Van Allen



Miracle in Gujarat

Me:  I think it is going to be a nice day.

Prodigal:  I agree!  Why don’t you share a story


This comes from the book  The God Who Hung on the Cross by Dois I. Rosser Jr. and Ellen Vaughn


In some parts of the world, building churches is not just a physical challenge, but a spiritual one.  In the Gujarat state of India, militant Hindus set themselves against 40 congregations in a mountainous area where the Christian community had grown by 400 percent in the last few years, with new churches built all over the countryside.

Backed by fanatical sources, Hindu activists came to the area to intimidate Christians and halt the growth of the church however they could.  The believers learned that the Hindus had called for 500,000 people to come to the rally for the purpose of identifying Christians and forcing them to become Hindus.  Hindu leaders went to each home in the area and asked if the occupants were Hindus.  If the people said they were, then a flag was put up in front of the house.  If the answer was no, then they were told to denounce their faith in Christ and embrace Hinduism.  If the Christians refused, the leader would pronounce a curse on the family and leave, with no flag in front of the house.

To those of us in the U.S., this situation sounded like a scene from the Old Testament.  We joined together with Christians all over India earnestly praying for our brothers and sisters in Gujarat.  The local pastors came together crying out to God to work in their midst.

The hours went by.  In the U.S., we didn’t hear anything for several days after the Hindu rally.  Then, finally, an anti-climactic email arrived from our partner in Gujarat, saying simply that the Hindu rally had been an absolute flop, and that no Christians had been forced to be re-baptized as Hindus.  God had intervened!


John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

Jennifer Van Allen



Submit To One Another


Me:  Thinking about a date?

Prodigal:  Yes, I am.

Me:  I was just reading about marriages and hopefully this will help.


This is from the book  The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller


So only if you have the ministry of the Spirit in your life will you be fully furnished to face the challenges of marriage in general.  And only if you are filled with the Spirit will you have all you need to perform the duty of serving your spouse in particular.  In verses 22-24, Paul says, controversially, that wives should submit to their husbands.  Immediately, however, he tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and “gave himself up for her” (25), which is, if anything, a stronger appeal to abandon self-interest than was given to the woman.  As we shall see, each of these exhortations has a distinct shape–they are not identical tasks.  And yet each partner is called to sacrifice for the other in far reaching ways.  Whether we are husband or wife, we are no to live for ourselves but for the other.  And that is the hardest yet single most important function of being a husband or wife in marriage.


So you are facing someone who is stubborn today.  Well remember we love even during stubbornness.  We love, even when there is no appreciation.  That stubbornness is what made sure you also are together this day.


Proverbs 21:17

Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.


Jennifer Van Allen



Belt of Truth


Me:  Nice Armor!

Prodigal:  It is my spiritual armor.


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


The first piece of armor provided by the Captain of our salvation is “the belt of truth.”  The robe or loose clothing of a soldier in the Roman era needed to be tucked in and secured by the belt that also held his sword.  This “girding of the loins” speaks of reigning in a mind and heart with loose, foolish, and wayward thoughts and desires by embracing the Son of God as Lord.  As a “good soldier of Jesus Christ,” we march under His banner, not our own wearing this belt of truth.


Psalm 33:6

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth  all their host.


Jennifer Van Allen




Walking On Water


Prodigal:  I tried some of your muffins?

Me:  What do you think?

Prodigal:  That possum’s on the stump!

Me:  Thank you!


This is from the book  God’s Generals by Roberts Liardon

In January of 1908, Lake began to pray for the needed finances to take the Africa trip.  Tom joined with him, and they determined the trip would cost $2,000.  They had been praying for a while when Tom got up and slapped Lake on the back, saying, “Don’t pray anymore, John.  Jesus told me just now that He will send us that $2,000, and that it will be here in four days.”

Exactly four days later, Tom returned from the post office and three four $500 drafts on the table.  “John here is the answer!”  Tom shouted.  “Jesus has sent it.  We are going to Africa!”

Just as the Lord proclaimed, in April of 1908, the group left for Africa.  The team was made up of Lake, Jennie, their seven children, Tom and three of his companions.  One of Tom’s companions had lived in Africa for five years, could speak Zulu, and would serve as interpreter.  They bought their tickets, but had no extra money for the expenses of the trip.  Now God’s one-time millionaire would learn how to fully trust Him.  He had only $1.50 in his hand.

And as Lake obeyed, the Lord miraculously provided for the team.  The immigration laws of South Africa required each family that arrived to have at least $125, or they wouldn’t be permitted to leave the ship.  And as they pulled into the port, Lake had no money.  So Jennie looked at him and said, “What are you going to do?”

Lake responded, “I am going to line up with the rest.  We have obeyed God this far.  It is now up to the Lord.”

As he stood in line, ready to explain his dilemma, a fellow passenger tapped him on the shoulder and called him to the side.  He asked Lake a few questions, then handed him two money orders, totaling $200.

“I feel led to give you this to help your work.”  the stranger said.  If you’ve heard from God, then step out in bold aggressive faith.  He’ll be there to meet you every time.


Lamentations 3:58

O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.


Jennifer Van Allen



Christianity and Hinduism


Me:  How are you doing Prodigal?

Prodigal:  I feel like I was born tired and suffered a relapse.

Me:  Week has been that long?

Prodigal:  Yep, so go ahead and do your part, while I listen.


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


This is from Pandita Ramabia an Indian Christian Missonary


While the old Hindu Scriptures had given us some beautiful precepts of loving, the new dispensation of Christ has given us grace to carry these principles into practice, and that makes all the difference in the world.  The precepts are like an engine on a track, beautiful and with great possibility.  Christ and His Gospel are the steam, the motor power that can make the engine move.


Jesus makes the difference between  real relationship with the Lord and just religion that is based on rituals.


Jeremiah 31:35

Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar. The Lord of hosts is his name.


Jennifer Van Allen