Islamic State


Prodigal:  I was just wondering about Islam with all the talk going on.

Me:  I was just reading about it so let me share.


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


The Doctrine of the Universality of Muhammad’s Message and Mission

First is the doctrine of the universality of Muhammad’s message and mission.  Sura 7:158–“Say O mankind I am an apostle of Allah unto all of you”–means that since all people need to be brought back to Islam, then Muslims are obligated to implement this goal by every means necessary.  The resulting political implications divides the world into two territories:  the land of Islam and the land of war.  The land of Islam is to be fully governed by the Islamic state armed with the Sharia law, and the land of war is to be subdued by every means necessary.


John 14:1

Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in Me.


Jennifer Van Allen

Religious Complexity


Me:  There seems to be a lot going on.

Prodigal:  Yes, there does.

Me:  We need to focus on Christ though


This is from the book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer


Every age has its own characteristics.  Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.  The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us.  In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world or nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.  The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and the proceed  in the way of simplicity.  Now as always God discovers Himself to “babes” and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent.  We must simplify our approach to Him.  We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few).  We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood.  If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.



John 10:11

I am the good shepherd The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.


Jennifer Van Allen



In His Presence


Me:  Prodigal, what are you talking to Freud about?

Prodigal:  Counseling.

Me:  I was just reading about counseling.  I will share.


This is from The Christian Counselor’s Manual by Jay E. Adams


The scriptures plainly teach, God holds each one of us personally responsible for his thoughts, words, and actions regardless of external pressures and influences:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

All blame-shifting and excuses will evaporate in that day before the searching gaze of the One whose eyes are “as a flame of fire.”  The sophisticated Freudian or behavioristic theories that now seem so conveniently plausible and that are used to justify and excuse men of their responsibility to God will be shown to be futile and false.  In His presence, men in anguish will wonder at the naivete that they once called sophistication.



Counseling is not wrong and of course it can help, but remember that the Lord is the best counselor so with His word and Holy Spirit you will get the best results.  Sometimes that result may mean that we have to look at our own sin.


John 6:35

I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.


Jennifer Van Allen


An Experience with God

Prodigal:  What do you think this day will bring?

Me:  I think God knows that answer but he always has something to tell us if we are willing to listen.


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


About a year ago I woke up early one morning and saw the strangest sight.  Condensation had collected on one of my bedroom windows.  Etched in the condensation were two perfectly drawn circles, joined at the center and looking exactly like wedding bands.

Staring at the design, I tried to come up with a reasonable explanation. I could not for the life of me figure out how two perfect circles could have gotten drawn into the condensation of my very-high-up bedroom window.

Later that day I went back to look at the window, but the hot afternoon sun had long since evaporated the moisture.  The wedding bands were gone.  For days I looked for their return, waking each morning eager to see them and ponder their existence.  But when the days turned into weeks I eventually stopped looking.

Then one morning they reappeared.  Only this time they were there for several mornings straight.  Each morning when my eyes would open, the  two etched wedding bands were the first thing I’d see.

On about the fourth morning, my heart started aching as I viewed the spectacle.  An urgency suddenly pushed through my chest.  I tried to brush it off, but couldn’t.  It was a conviction.  Not a condemning conviction.  Rather, a tender one.

A tender conviction to love my husband more intentionally.  And not just in the convenient ways.  But in the inconvenient as well.  In ways that take a little more thought….intentionality…and effort.  Ways that are easy to let stop when the everyday urgencies seem to take precedence or seem important.

I mentally made all kinds of promises and grand plans for a priority overhaul.  And for a few days, I did great.  But then life happened….lots of life.  The window circles soon disappeared and so did my resolve.  I slipped back into my comfortable, getting-by pattern.

Well, at the risk of starting to sound like a Hallmark movie, the circles are back.  I don’t want to sound presumptuous.  But the circles seem so perfectly drawn.  And so perfectly times.  Do you think that maybe, just maybe, love of the most divine kind has tipped down to touch an ordinary glass window?

I do.

And I’m equally convinced that God wants to speak to and reveal to you in your day-to-day life.  If only you will open up your heart to possibilities for Him to use everyday things to change you, grow you, strengthen you, and remind you of His amazing love….you will start to see Him.  You will start to hear Him.  You will get to know Him more deeply.  And you will want to follow Him more boldly.  And what a glorious sense of possibility that is!


John 8:12

I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.


Jennifer Van Allen

God Can


Prodigal:  Sometimes I am down.  I wonder what is going on with God’s ways.

Me:  Me too, but that is why we encourage each other.


This is from William Gurnall

God, can in fact, use His saint’ failures to strengthen their faith, which, like a tree, stands stronger for the shaking.  Times of testing expose the heart’s true condition. False faith, once foiled, seldom comes on again; but true faith rises and fights more valiantly, as we see in Peter.  Temptation is to faith as fire is to gold.  The fire not only reveals which is true gold, but makes the true gold more pure…Faith before temptation has much extraneous stuff that clings to it and passes for faith; but when temptation comes, the dross is discovered and consumed by the fiery trial…And here is all the devil gets:  Instead of destroying the saint’s faith, he is the means of refining it, thereby making it stronger and more precious.

Some times the test seems to last forever.  Sometimes you can see no good that can come of it.  But our job is to just stay focused on Christ.  He will do the refining.


John 6:47

Whoever believes has eternal life.


Jennifer Van Allen

Bricks to the Glory of God

Me:  This is a nice brick church.

Prodigal:  Yes it is!

Me:  I hope God uses it.


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


In one such case, the government granted a group of believers a swampland for church construction.  It took six months, but the Christians packed the marshy bog with fill dirt-wheel barrow by wheel barrow.  Once they prepared the site, they could not obtain any bricks to construct their building, so local officials permitted them to tear down a nearby unused nuclear missile silo, a relic of the Cold War in the Soviet Union.

When the believers started dismantling the silo and carrying the bricks away-again, wheel barrow by wheel barrow-one man found a fragile slip of paper, rolled tightly and stuck between two bricks.  The others gathered around as he carefully unrolled the old paper and smoothed it flat.

“These bricks,” he read out loud, straining to decipher the faded ink, “were purchased to build a house of worship.  But they were confiscated by the government to build a missile silo.  May it please the Lord that these bricks will one day be used to build a house to His glory!”

And so they were.


If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Matthew 21:22


Jennifer Van Allen


The Dark Room


Me:  That room is dark.

Prodigal:  Yes, it is.

Me:  Some light is needed.


Let’s image the beautiful Sun outside represents Jesus.  Let’s image the world full of sin as a dark room with no windows.  The room needs light.  You noticed to receive light, there have been placed beautiful wonderful lamps.  They are plugged in and they share light.  Some of the lights are brighter and some are darker.  They have different light bulbs in them.  Some burn out sooner and some last longer.  Some lamps are small and some are bigger.  They all shine light though. They also look amazing and beautiful!  There are ones with flowers, skinny ones, and fat ones and some are brand new and others are old.
 Then there is a small hole in the wall.  In a room full of lamps with light, it appears to do nothing.  In fact it may seem to be a flaw in the design.  Some of the lamps complain, why is it even there.  The lamps feel that it is not even coming close to sharing all the light that they are sharing.
The hole says nothing.  Consistently it remains in the room.  Some days are cloudy and barely any light from the sun comes through the hole.  Other days there is nothing but light that comes through.  The hole sometimes wonders can something so small and ugly and insignificance compared to the lamps really make a difference in the dark room.
But one day, there is a power outage.  All the beautiful and different lamps can share no light.  Their source is from their plug that is connected to the room.  The small hole is now the only light available.  On that day the sun is shining brightly and can be seen coming through the hole.   In that dark room where the lamps could no longer work, suddenly they focus on the hole.  This light was a little different because it had warmth there that is different than artificial light.  It’s source was from the sun. The sun has pure energy that never dies.  It is a source that is everlasting. This light could not be stopped by the power outage.
The hole just did what it was designed to do that day.  It didn’t want the lamps to look at it.  It was nothing but a hole and they didn’t look at the hole.  Instead the hole did what it was designed to do.  The focus of the hole was to let the light from the sun to shine through.  The focus was on the sunlight and the hole was just a vessel for the sun.
The lamps represents when we work in the flesh for the Lord.
The hole represents when we work through the Holy Spirit.
John 1:5
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
By:  Jennifer Van Allen



Prodigal:  Where are we?

Me:  I’m back at my ol’ stompin’ grounds.

Prodigal:  I love it!


This is from the book When Sinners Say I do by Dave Harvey


Paul is keeping our hope where it ultimately belongs–in Christ.  This life, friends, is not really about you and me at all.  It’s about God’s glory expressed through us.  In this waiting room, God promises sanctification, a pattern of God-glorifying overall spiritual growth brought about by the power of his persistent grace.  But in this life he does not promise to subdue every sin, strengthen every weakness, create unbroken harmony in your marriage, or cure every ailment.

If God fixed everything on the list you have now, don’t you think you would just make another list?  Then another list, and another after that?  What’s the end of that process?  Perfection, which we don’t get in this life.  That’s why we wait.  Perfection is coming.  Perfection will arrive when the Son of God returns and we dwell with him in the new heavens and the new earth.


It is a tough day isn’t it.  No, your life isn’t perfect but you would just like the landslide of problems to stop for just an hour.  Well, you may get mud all over you ,but you will make it.  You will stand after this and God will be praised after.  I am with you.


Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:21


Jennifer Van Allen

The Fall Years


Me:  What happened to your friend?

Prodigal:  She’s like a bicycle with no handlebars.

Me:  Well maybe she will find her way someday.


This is from the book Living on the Ragged Edge by Charles Swindoll


The late Canon C.H. Nash, who founded the Melbourne Bible Institute and trained a thousand young men and women for Christian service, retired from his principalship at the age of seventy.  At eighty, he received assurance from the Lord that a further fruitful ministry of ten years lay ahead of him.  This assurance was abundantly fulfilled During those years he was uniquely blessed in a ministry of Bible teaching to key groups of clergy and laymen–probably the most fruitful years of his life.  When he was nearly ninety, the author found him completing the reading of volume six of Toynbee’s monumental history as a mental exercise.

Mr. Benjamin Ririe retired as a missionary of the China Inland Mission when he reached the age of seventy.  When he was eighty he decided to learn New Testament Greek.  He became proficient in reading the Greek New Testament in his eighties.  At ninety, he attended a refresher course in New Testament Greek in a seminary.  When he was a hundred years old, he was present at a meeting at which the author was speaking.  In his pocket was a small well-worn Greek lexicon which he used to brush up on his Greek while traveling by public transport!


God has a life that is full of possibilities, so don’t think that this is the end.  Just because you are having a slow week.


Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.


Jennifer Van Allen



Me:  Who were y’all just talking to?

Prodigal:  A neighbor.  She’s so windy she speaks to ten words a second with gusts to fifty.

Me:  Probably should pray for her.


This is from the book How Firm A Foundation:  A Gift of Jewish Wisdom for Christians and Jews. by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein


Man is intrinsically pure since he was created by God, the embodiment of absolute purity and goodness.  The Jewish view of the nature of humankind stands in sharp contrast with the classical Christian one that suggests that as a result of Adam’s sin, all future generations of man became tainted with Original Sin.  In the Jewish view, sin is a human action, not a condition.  In the dominant Christian view, however, man is so caught up in his sinfulness that he lacks the ability for self-regeneration.  God, therefore, sent his only begotten Son into the world to die for man’s sin so that those believing in him might be saved.


Are we really pure as a Human race.  We lie more than just 30 years ago.  There are more suicides, more murders, and yet are we sure that we don’t need a savior to cover our sins.  Ask God if you are perfect with no sin.  He shows us all that we fall short of His glory.


1 John 5:15

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.


Jennifer Van Allen