Resolutions for Avoiding Misery

 

Me: How’s your friend?

Prodigal:  She’s a wild boar wearin’ lace.

Me:  Maybe this will help you.

 

Choose to love—rather than hate

Choose to smile—rather than frown

Choose to build—rather than destroy

Choose to persevere—-rather than quit

Choose to praise—rather than gossip

Choose to heal—rather than wound

Choose to give—rather than grasp

Choose to act—rather than delay

Choose to forgive—rather than curse

Choose to pray—rather than despair.

 

 

Psalm 140:6

I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

That Won’t Ever Change

Prodigal:  I really want this selfie-stick.

Me:  Chickens don’t hop into your mouth already fried.  You are going to have to work for it.

Prodigal:  I guess you are right.

Me:  Speaking of hard work let me share about parenting.

 

This is from the book Undone a Memoir by Michele Cushatt

 

This is the true test of parenting, when you find your child in a mess of their making and you have to decide whether you’ll guard your heart and keep him at arm’s length, or love him in the middle of it.  Not agree with him, condone his behavior, or rescue him.  Maybe not even like him.  But there is strength in the person who digs deep to both disagree and love with equal passion.  To make convictions known, maybe even say goodbye.  But who, at the end of all the tough decisions, has the guts to say, “I love you. And that won’t ever change.”

 

Psalm 138:3

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodgialpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

The Pit

 

Me:  Prodigal you look depressed.

Prodigal:  I am.

Me:  What are you going to do?

Prodigal:  I’m still waitin’ for the parade to come marchin’ down my street.

Me:  Maybe this will help.

 

The Pit

 

A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.

A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said:

“I feel for you, down there.”

An OBJECTIVE person came along and said:

“It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”

A PHARISEE said:

“Only bad people fall into a pit.”

A MATHEMATICAN

calculated how he fell into the pit.

A NEWS REPORTER

wanted the exclusive story on his pit.

A FUNDAMENTALIST said:

“You deserve your pit.”

An I.R.S. man

asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A SELF-PITYING person said:

“You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen MY PIT!”

A CHARISMATIC said:

“Just confess that you’re not in a pit.”

An OPTIMIST said:

“Things could be worse.”

A PESSIMIST said:

“Things will get worse!”

JESUS, seeing the man, took him by the hand and LIFTED HIM OUT  of the pit.

 

–source Unknown

 

Psalm 135:3

Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Take Another Step

Me:  He took off running!

Prodigal:  If he were any faster he’d catch up to yesterday.

Me: If we continue eventually we will catch up with him.

 

This is from the book With Christ in the Garden by Lynn James Radcliffe

 

In the early days of aviation a pilot was flying over the Andes.  Something went wrong.  The plane was forced down in a blizzard.  He managed to land on a well-nigh inaccessible glacier high on the forbidding slopes.  Fortunately he was not seriously injured.  He stayed in the shelter of the plane until the blizzard blew itself out.  Then, taking such scanty provisions as he had, he tried to climb down and reach civilization.  At the critical point, benumbed by cold and weakened by hunger, he sank down in despair in the shelter of a great rock.  Then he thought of his wife and children and how, in this remote place, even his body would never be found.  He staggered to his feet.  Then slowly, but with dogged determination, he took the first step, and then the next, and kept on walking for two days until a rescue party came upon him.   Later, in looking back, he said, “What saves a man is to take the next step, and then another, and then another.”

This is the high wisdom of following our Master.  We shall not make spiritual progress in one giant stride; it comes a day at a time, the next step, “a little farther.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:1

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Thirty Attributes of the Lord

 

Me:  That tree looked like it got knocked down during a storm.

Prodigal:  Yeah,  but the roots are still providing home and cover for the small animals of the forest.

Me:  That reminds me of how the Lord is our hiding place.

Prodigal:  He is?

Me:  Yes, and he is a lot of other things too.

 

This is from the book Finding Peace for Your Heart by Stormie Omartian

 

Thirty Attributes of the Lord

He is my Restorer (Psalm 23:3)

He is my Comforter (John 14:16)

He is my Strength (Isaiah 12:2)

He is my Redeemer (Isaiah 59:20)

He is my Hope (Psalm 71:5)

He is my Patience (Romans 15:5)

He is my Truth (John 14:6)

He is my Resting Place (Jeremiah 50:6)

He is my Overcomer (John 16:33)

He is my Light (John 8:12)

He is the Power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)

He is my Bread of Life (John 6:35)

He is my Fortress (Psalm 18:2)

He is my Refuge from the Storm (Isaiah 24:4)

He is my Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)

He is the Author of my Faith (Hebrews 12:2)

He is my Deliver (Psalm 70.5)

He is my Counselor (Psalm 16:7)

He is my Peace (Ephesians 2:14)

He is my Rewarded (Hebrews 11:6)

He is my Shield (Psalm 33:20)

He is my Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)

He is my Purifier (Malachi 3:3)

He is my Hiding Place (Psalm 32:7)

He is my Shade from the Heat (Isaiah 25:4)

He is my Refiner (Malachi 3:2-3)

He is my Resurrection (John 11:25)

He is the Lifter of my Head (Psalm 3:3)

He is my Stronghold in the Day of Trouble (Nahum 1:7)

 

 

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.  From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Waking up in the Morning

 

Me:  It is a wonderful thing to take a walk outside after breakfast and time with the Lord.

Prodigal:  I agree, there is something about starting your morning with the Lord that  is a good thing.

 

This is from the book Joy in Christ’s Presence by Charles Spurgeon

 

When you wake up in the morning, come to Christ in an act of renewed communion with Him.  All day long, keep on coming to Him even while you are occupied with the affairs of this life.  And at night, let your last waking moments be spent in coming to Jesus.  Come to Christ by searching the Scriptures, for you will find Him there on almost every page.  Come to Christ in your thoughts, desire, aspirations, and wishes.  In this way, the promise of the text will be fulfilled for you:  “I will give you rest.”

 

Even when we are weary, even when we can barely keep our eyes open, there is always hope with Christ.  We have those days when coffee, soda and an energy drink, still do not give us that energy that we need.  We then turn to Christ.  We may not get a burst of energy that allows us to only sleep for an hour but we get enough energy to make it through the next five minutes and then we get another burst of energy to last five more minutes and then before you know, Christ was with us all day long and we made it through.

 

Mark 4:40

Why are ye so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org.

 

The Only Solution

 

Me: Are you ready for the test?

Prodigal:  I hope so.

 

This is from the book The Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley

 

One of my more memorable seminary professors had a practical way of illustrating the concept of grace for his students.  At the end of his evangelism course he would hand out the exam with the caution to read it all the way through before beginning to answer it.  This caution was written on the exam as well.

As we read through the exam, it became unquestionable clear to each of us that we had not studied nearly enough.  The further we read, the worse it became.  About half-way through, audible groans could be heard throughout the lecture hall.  By the time we were turning to the last page, we were all ready to turn the exam in blank.  It was impossible to pass.

On the last pages, however, there was a note that read, “You have a choice.  You can either complete the exam as given or sign your name at the bottom and in so doing receive an A for this assignment.”

Wow! We sat there stunned.  “Was he serious?  Just sign it and get an A?”  Slowly, the point dawned on us, and one by one we turned in our tests and silently filed out of the room.  It took the rest of the afternoon for me to get over it.  I had the urge to go back and check with him one more time to make sure he was serious.

When I talked with him about it afterward, he shared some of the reactions he had received through the years as he had given the same exam.  There were always students who did not follow instructions and began to take the exam without reading it all the way through.  Some of them would sweat it out for the entire two hours of class time before reaching the last page.  Their ignorance caused them unnecessary anxiety.

Then there were the ones who would read the first two pages, become angry, turn in their paper blank, and storm out of the room.  They never realized what was available.  As a result, they lost out totally.

One fellow, however topped them all.  He read the entire test, including the note at the end, but he decided to take the exam anyway.  He did not want any gifts; he wanted to earn his grade.  And he did.  He made a C+, which was amazing considering the difficulty of the test.  But he could have easily had a A.

 

Galatians 1:10

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Life Transformed

 

Me:  I am enjoying out time together. I am so happy that you found time for me!

Prodigal:  It is good for us to stop from our busy days and just soak in the grace of Jesus.

 

This is from the book Soren Kierkegaard’s Christian Psychology:  Insight for Counseling and Pastoral Care by C. Stephen Evans

 

As Kierkegaard saw it, Christianity is not primarily a matter of intellectually knowing or believing certain doctrines, nor is it primarily having certain momentary feelings or experiences.  It is a way of living, or, as Kierkegarrd himself preferred to put it, a way of existing.  It is certainly true that Christians believe some things which non-Christians do not, so the doctrines of faith are not unimportant.  But the crucial thing to see is that Christians do not merely believe with their heads; they believe with their hearts.  This means that the doctrines of Christianity are only truly believed when they are capable of moving the person to action, for it is our actions that the whole person is revealed.  To  believe that Jesus is Lord in the Christian way is not merely to assent to a proposition; it is to have your life transformed in a radical manner.

 

Action is what needs to take place at this time.  How do people know how Christ transferred your heart?  They need to see that now.

 

Galatians 1:4

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org