The Pharisees

Me:  How has your time been spent today with your friend.

Prodigal:  Good but he’s too good to scale his own fish.

Me:  Maybe I will share along those lines then.

This is from Brennan Manning

The Pharisees, who carried religion like a shield of self-justification and a sword of judgment, installed the cold demands of rule-ridden perfectionism because that approach gave them status and control, while reassuring believers that they were marching in lock-step on the road to salvation.  The Pharisees falsified the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper whose favor could be won only by the scrupulous observance of laws and regulations.  Religion became a tool to intimidate and enslave rather than liberate and empower.

Don’t stay in bondage.  There is freedom and joy and another way.

Psalm 50:1

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Congo

Me:  It is a great day to just walk and talk.

Prodigal:  I agree!

Me:  Sometimes we need to pause and let the sunshine down on us.

This is from the book

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

In Congo a few years ago, I was visiting a church school we had helped to build.  I noticed a little girl using a stick to draw in the sand.  She was about eight years old, and a bunch of kids were gathered around her.  As I drew closer, I saw she was tracing out math equations.  I found out that it costs two dollars a week to attend Christian school.  The rest of the kids just didn’t have that kind of money.  So that little girl would go to school in the morning, then gather the kids together in the afternoon and teach them what she had learned.  Needless to say, we provided scholarships for the rest of those children.

Sometimes we need to learn and then help others learn.

Luke 11:10

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

What Would You Have Me Do?

Me:  It is a stormy day out!

Prodigal:  Yes, I need to run for cover!

Me:  Good idea

This is from Helen Kelly who could not see, hear or speak.

For His sake:  I am but one, but I am one.

I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

What can do, I ought to do.

What I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.

Lord, what will you have me do?

Lord, what will you have me do?  Then in obedience and trust go and do it now!

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 51:12

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

The Internal Evidence

Prodigal:  The heavens that God created are amazing!

Me:  I will agree with that!

This is from the book How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit by A.W. Tozer

There is another kind of evidence.  It is the immediate evidence of the inner life.  That is the evidence by which you know you are alive.  If I were to prove that you weren’t alive, you would chuckle and go home just as alive as you are now and not be a bit worried about it, because you have the instant, unmediated evidence of internal life.

Jesus Christ wanted to take religion out of the external and make it internal and put it on the same level as life itself, so that a man knows he knows God the same as he knows he is himself and not somebody else.  He knows he knows God the same as he knows he is alive and not dead.  Only the Holy Ghost can do that.  The Holy Spirit came to carry the evidence of Christianity from the books of apologetics into the human heart, and that is exactly what He does.

You can take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the heathen in Borneo, or Africa, people who could never conceive the first premise of your logical arguments,so that it would be totally impossible for them to decided on logical grounds whether Christianity was of God or not.  Preach Christ to them and they will believe and be transformed and put away their wickedness and change from evil to righteousness and get happy about it all, learn to read and write and study their Bibles and become leaders and pillars in their own church, transformed and made over.  How?  By the instant witness of the Holy Ghost to their hearts.  This is the new thing that came, sir!  God took religion from the realm of the external and make it internal.

Our trouble is that we are trying to confirm the truth of Christianity by an appeal to external evidence.  We are saying, “Well look at this fellow.  He can throw a baseball farther than anybody else and he is a Christian, therefore Christianity must be true.”

“Here is a great statesman who believes the Bible.  Therefore, the Bible must be true.”

We quote Daniel Webster or Roger Bacon.  We write books to show that some scientist believed in Christianity:  therefore, Christianity must be true.

We are all the way out on the wrong track, brother!  That is not New Testament Christianity at all.  That is a pitiful, whimpering, drooling appeal to the flesh.  That never was the testimony of the New Testament, never the way God did things–never!

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

11 Kings  2:11

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Invisible Intervention

Prodigal:  Sometimes when I am all alone, I wonder if Angels are protecting me?

Me:  There really are angels.

Prodigal:  Do you have a story.

Me:  Yes,

This is from the book Where Angels Walk by Joan Wester Anderson

Corrie ten Boom helped hide Jews during WWII in Holland when she herself was put into a camp. Her sister died in that camp.  After the war, Corrie began a new career, opening homes for people who had been damaged by brutal treatment during the war, places where they could heal their bodies and minds.  To support her homes, she went around the world giving lectures.  It was not until 1959, however, that Corrie discovered the most significant “invisible intervention”  she had received.  She was revisiting Ravensbrueck as part of a pilgrimage honoring the ninety-six thousand woman who died there, when she learned that her own release had been result of a “clerical error.”  A week after she’d been granted freedom, all the women prisoners her age had been taken to the gas chambers.

And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:11

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

A Friend

Me:  What a pretty heart.

Prodigal:  Yes, we need to remember to show love to each other.

Me:  That is a good idea.

This is for you.  You are very special to me.  To others may you send this to your love one.

It isn’t enough to say in our hearts

that we like a man for his ways,

It isn’t enough that we fill our minds with paeans of silent praise.

Nor is it enough that we honor a man as our confidence upward mounts,

It’s going right up to the man himself,

telling him so that counts.

If a man does a work that you really admire

Don’t leave a kind word unsaid,

in fear that to do so might make him vain

and cause him to lose his head.

But reach our your hand,

and tell him “Well done,” and see how his gratitude swells.

It isn’t the flowers that we strew on the grave,

it’s the word to the living that tells.

Author Unknown

Thank you for choosing to be in my life!

And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD:  and they shall by my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

Jeremiah 24:7

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Being Left Alone

Me:  Are you alone?

Prodigal:  No, I have God.

This is from the book Facing Loneliness:  The Starting Point of a New Journey by J. Oswald Sanders

To be left alone without God is hell.  But to be left alone with God is a foretaste of heaven.

This statement alone can tell you a lot about if you have a relationship with the Lord.  Do we gain strength from our coffee or the Lord.  Does the help come in form of a much needed verse that gives you the energy to continue in weariness.

What helps you make it through the tough days?  Is is all the appreciation you get or is it that time alone with the Lord that gives you a foretaste of heaven.

How about the success it brings, does that motivate you?  Or is it when you worship God in a perfect timed song alone and it brings tears to your eyes because you cannot even start to image the joy of worshiping to the Lord in person one day.

How about the fact that it is a easy day, does that help you complete the to do list.  Or is it the fact that the to do list is overwhelming but God sends a peace that it doesn’t all have to happen today and He is with you.

What do you do when you are all alone?

Is it terrifying because you don’t have the Lord?

Or is it wonderful because you know that you get a glimpse of heaven on earth.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Morning Will Come

Me:  It seems so dark in here.

Prodigal:  I know I had to turn on this light.

Me:  God will always give light in darkness.

Brokenhearted….

How can I bear the pain?

So many plans….permanently interrupted.

So many dreams….shattered.

Hopes…dashed.

All gone.

Why?

Why this?

Why us?  Why me?

Helplessness…hopelessness…

Life will never be the same again.

Is it even worth living?

Where are you, God?

I’m right here beside you, my child.

Even though you may not feel my presence,

I’m holding you close under the shadow of my wings.

I will walk with you through this dark night.

Do not shrink from weeping.

I gave you tears for emotional release.

Don’t try to hide your grief.

Let it become for you a source of healing,

A process of restoration,

For I have planned it so.

Those who mourn shall be blessed.

I’ll be holding on to you,

Even when you feel you can’t hold on to me.

Seek my face, child of mine.

Receive my promise, impossible as it may seem now,

That joy will come in the morning.

It may take much time,

But I will heal your broken heart.

I know the night seems endless,

But MORNING WILL COME.

I have promised.

from the Haven of Rest

The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org