A Church


Me:  Those doors are beautiful!

Prodigal:  I agree.

Me:  Its important what is in a church too.


Give me a church where folks in the lurch

Are encouraged, then healed from above;

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,

And the truth is modeled in love.


Author Unknown


And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land.

Judges 6:9


Jennifer Van Allen




Me: Sometimes there is a lot going on.

Prodigal: Yes, but the Lord will guide us.

Cancer is found with loved ones.

One will make, and it and the other will not.

I will love both of them.

I will pray for both of them.

The days will have ups and downs.

The nights will be rested and restless.

There will be support and their will be loneliness.

There will be fear and courage.

There will be Jesus also.

With Jesus both journey’s will bring peace.

With Jesus both journey’s will have hope.

With Jesus we know that He will be with us every step of the way.

The focus is not on the outcome but on the one who we lean on during this time.

The Lord is able to make all things work together for good, and He is able to bring peace in any situation.

Cancer may be there, but my Lord is bigger than cancer.

My Lord can bring peace and happiness in every setting, with every name and with every diagnosis!

1 Peter 2:2-3

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation–if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Jennifer Van Allen



Self and God

Me:  What do you think will happen this weekend?

Prodigal:  I can’t say but I think God has this figured out and I need to trust.

Me:  Yes, we must serve Christ.

This is from Richard Bube

Man cannot serve both self and God.  The corruption of human nature produces a self-will which turns man against God and glorifies human ability rather than God’s grace.  Pride and selfishness are the characteristics of human nature which demands its own way in all things.  The first step toward serving God as He would have us serve Him, therefore, requires that we constantly and consciously put down the demands of self and surrender our desires to the Lord.

I find pride showing up when I am called to love.  Often times I want  love to be expressed toward me, and how wonderful I am.  Love sometimes means that your time is interrupted, and you humbly yourself to be there for someone.  Being there for someone takes time, and a heart that is a servant.  You can’t have the focus about yourself, and how great you are, and really serve another.  People see that your not really focused on them.  They can tell and really was there anything good that came out of that self focus?  Lord help me to love the way you first loved us, help me see very specific what actions I need to take this day.

Romans 10:9-10

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart hat God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Jennifer Van Allen



Imperfect Parents



Prodigal:  Look at the family of birds.

Me:  They are so pink!

Prodigal:  Yes, that is something different about them.

Me:  Lets share with parents because it is a tough job.


This is from the book Parents in Pain by John White.


We parents are imperfect.  We are imperfect not only in failing to do those things we can (which is blame-worthy) but in lacking some parental capacities entirely.  We can only give what we have.  We cannot give what we do not have.  So our children are bound to experience deprivation because they are born to imperfect parents in a fallen world.

Never pretend to your children that you are better than you are .  Let them know that you are a fellow struggler, one who may have known glorious victories but equally ignominious defeats…

I do not say you are to bare your soul to your children, or to reveal to them the horrors of every pit into which you have descended.  But where your conduct in the home has been blameworthy, be open about it.  They must not see in you a paragon of virtue but a redeemed sinner, one who goes on learning and who refuses to be discouraged by falls.  Give them someone to follow, not someone to worship.


Proverbs 13:24

He who withhold his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently


Jennifer Van Allen



My Hurt

Me: It’s quiet in here.

Prodigal: Perfect place to meet.

My arm hurt a little today. I could see the two marks that were not there before. Two lines from where the iron had burned me. The iron was hot, so the burns were deep. How did I handle the hurt? That is a story to be told.

I was at my friend’s and several of us were together to sew. I am working on my first quilt. I am more than half way done, and can really see the quilt begin to take shape.

One of the things I like about sewing is that I can visually see as my projects grow. I love it when the project is finished ,and I can hold it in my hand. I would like to have the quilt done before Christmas which means that I have to be focused.

I had started slow that afternoon, but had started feeling the groove of the sewing machine as the needle went over the fabric and connected the pieces. I was connecting this piece and completing this square. I could see the bottom row develop before my eyes. My motivation grew as my fabric came together with the hum of the sewing machine filling my ears.

Before I continue, I have to share with you about how with quilting you have to iron your pieces as your sew. You will sew then iron. So an iron is always on, and put in another spot to use when you need it. This is why the iron can be very hot.

I was ironing some pieces and my right arm touched the metal spot in two places. I knew I had burned it.

I didn’t take time to look and figure out if I should treat it or not. I did not want to stop. I did not want to look at my arm that was hurt. I had a plan ,and I wanted to finish. I did not want any interference.

I went back to sewing, and one of my friends pointed out that I had burned myself. I looked at it and it was bright red with marks. I was just working through the pain. She said it looked like it needed some attention. So another friend got some aloe from her plant, and some bandage, and doctored my arm. After the aloe was put on it, my arm did feel better. See my arm was hurt, and I did need to look to it.

I know some of you are thinking why not stop? It is just sewing? What is wrong with you that you can’t just tend to your arm when there were others to help, and their was aloe there. I didn’t think it mattered ,and I told myself I really was not that hurt. Admitting hurt, meant admitting that I had to do something about it. That maybe my pain was also due to an accident on my part. Thankfully my friends were there to help, and support me. Thankfully I was able to receive what I needed so that my arm could heal.

I want to say more though, see some of us don’t have marks on our arm that represent a burn. We have emotional hurts that were caused by another. We have told our self that it did not matter. We tell our self you don’t have time to deal with it. We also tell our self that we really do not hurt.

That emotional hurt does matter, and we have been hurt. We have a mark that has been left because of the hurt. There are people who will give us support, and resources that can help us. We just have to stop, and let them help us.

We think it doesn’t matter but God is saying that it does matter. He wants to heal us. He knows when we are hurt even if nobody else sees it. He knows that healing may be more important than the cleaning, the spreadsheets, the meeting and the organizing.

He just wants us to be still, and know that He is God. He wants us to take the time to hear Him. He will show us the people who can help heal us. In this time, we will not go without being hurt, but God will provide a way to heal that hurt.

Proverbs 20:22

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.

Jennifer Van Allen



Heavenly Shield


Me:  You have an outline around you Prodigal.

Prodigal:  It must be for protection.

Me:  I am sure it is and I will share about another story of protection.


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


In May of 1940 when the British army had been forced into total retreat and lay exposed on the sandy shore of Dunkirk, many miracles occurred.  Lying hopelessly exposed, pinned down by Nazi planes and heavy artillery, and armed only with their rifles, the brave troops were seemingly trapped by the channel with no place to turn for protection.  A British chaplain told of lying face down in the sand for what seemed an eternity on the shell-torn beach at Dunkirk.  Nazi bombers dropped their lethal charges, causing shrapnel to kick up sand all around him, while other planes repeatedly strafed his position with their machine guns blazing.

Although dazed by the concussions around him, the British chaplain suddenly became aware that in spite of the deafening roar of the shells and bombs falling around him, he hadn’t been hit.  With bullets still raining down about him, he stood and stared with amazement at the outline of his own shape in the sand.  It was the only smooth and undisturbed spot on the entire bullet-riddled beach.  His heavenly shield must have fit the exact shape of his body.


Psalm 91:4

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.


Jennifer Van Allen



Bold Love

Me:  That is bold getting that close to the vulture.

Prodigal:  There is no fear at the moment.

Me:  That is boldness!

This is from the book  Bold Love by Dr. Dan B. Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III

Bold love is not reckless or cruel.  It is not beating up another in the name of sharing or intervention.  Bold love is courageously setting aside our personal agenda to move humbly into the world of others with their well-being in view, willing to risk further pain in our souls, in order to be an aroma of life to some and an aroma of death to others.  Boldly loving another with the energy of Christ (Colossians 1:8-9)

We are very selfish.  Just think how you would rather serve and you would only serve when you get that recognition.  How about if you served and everyone ignored you, including the person who you served.  That is selfish when we serve only because we will get something in return.  How bold was Jesus love when He served and did not receive anything at all!

Mark 11:3

And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this?  Say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

Jennifer Van Allen