Which to Choose?

Me: You look so small compared to your friend?

Prodigal: Sometimes small is just what you need.

I was home with my Dad. My Dad was sitting in his yellow chair by the t.v. One of the things that he loves to do is watch game shows. He will play along, and try to win the prize with the audience.

Sometimes He is real good at it. Today’s game show was Let’s Make A Deal. Some points of the game are that you get a chance to choose what “Deal” you would like. Several times in the show they will have a choice you have to make. The choice will be hidden. Sometimes it is behind a huge curtain, small evenlope, or a smaller box.

There is a risk in your choice. Because one of them might be a “zonk” which means you win nothing. The key is to stay away from the “zonk”. To win at the game the goal is to pick the option that has a car, vacation, or money.

I like to watch with my Dad because I like to guess along also. I have won so many imaginary games from my seat at home! As you watch the game, it is interesting to observe how people make their choices. Is the small box good, or bad? Is the large curtain good, or bad?

As we watch the show together, we see screams of delight, and other faces crestfallen to despair. It ends up being a great time together.

What would God say about our choices. Is He happy? I think we sometimes view God as saying we always have to take the small package to remain humble. Really God wants us to be humble no matter what the package looks like, or has in it.

This is why some receive fame, money, or leadership positions from God. They have been tested in their choices, in the small quiet private areas of their lives, and they remained humble. God may bless from choices, and decisions that were made.

Others are still trying to figure out pride. We may be humble to receive the gift, but we have to remain humble is the key. Too many times once the choice was made. God may bless a person. The person becomes prideful, forgetting God’s hand in the gift. At time’s, our pride caused it all to go away, because God wants us to remain humble with the choices that are made.

There are horrible testimonies of several pastors that have fallen over the years, because of pride. At one time they followed God, but different choices , and pride led them away from God.

The Lord knows how destructive pride is with our choices. It hurts our relationships with God, and with others. Our relationship with the Lord suffers because pride causes us to be independent from God. Our pride says we did this on our own, and we can keep this on our own. I don’t have to listen to God, or be close to him. Look at what I can do without God. The pride will continue to say our way is better, I know much more, and I deserve to have it my way.

This creates a lack of reverence for the Holiness of God. We refuse to live, and admit how much the Lord knows, gives us, and has a right to ask for obedience from us.

Pride in choices we make will also hurt our relationships with others because we began to be critical of others. We sense in some way we are better than them. We look down on them. We do not value their judgement, thoughts, or feelings. Our relationships start moving toward how they can follow my plans, my thoughts. We do not think how they could contribute to our plans, and our lives. We do not value their experiences, knowledge, or feelings.

When we have pride over others, it will always show up in how we treat them. At some point, the person will see that they have no value in your eyes. You are just a tool to assist them in their pride. The closeness, intimacy will completely break down under theses emotions.

As I was watching the game show Let’s Make a Deal, we can think life is like that. It is not. Right now you are worried about the choices to make. You ask yourself, will this be a “zonk”. The question God wants you to hear is, what will my heart be like with this choice. Can I praise God if I gain everything, or if this choice means I lose everything?

When we lose in our choice, but we can praise God. When we have a humble heart before God, and can say, “You know best because you know me!” Can we ever really make the wrong choice?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Jennifer Van Allen



Women Lovin’ Jesus

Me: This is the day the Lord has made!

Prodigal: Amen

Below is a video part of a video series in Proverbs. Please watch!

Click here to watch video

Proverbs 4:10

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall by many.

Jennifer Van Allen




Me:  I see you are walking in the forest.

Prodigal:  Yes, it has been nice.

Me:  Yes, sometimes that is a nice walk.

It has turned dark now.  The outline of the trees look threatening where once they had a calming effect.  I have been in the forest too long now.  I never thought it would take this long.  I never thought that the forest could get this dark.  I know the sun is out there, and will return, but how is that comfort when the darkness is overwhelming?

I started the path in the forest.  It seemed simple. It seemed short.  I knew it might take a while, but I had been on other journey’s.  I had made it, and gained strength.  So this journey should be shorter.  I had skills going in.  I didn’t realize that my skills could barely touch the overwhelming darkness that lasted too long.

I was hesitant at first.  I will not lie.  I had been on several journeys, and I was a little weary.  I did not want to start another journey so soon.  I was afraid of what it would take out of me.

I did not realize how right I was.  How much it would take out of me.  In the darkness you are left with nothing.  With nothing you have to face yourself.  There are no distractions in the darkness.  The distractions mean nothing after awhile.  You are left with not being able to avoid what is all around you.

I started the path, and the light was still there.  I could see patches of darkness in the forest, but somehow I thought they could be avoided.  Then I realized that the path took me straight to the depth of the darkness.

The darkness seems to take over at times.  Was there a time before the darkness.  Has the darkness really been here for this long?

Along the path seemed to point to an opening of light.  It seemed to say this was the end.  How many times did that happen.  Several, to the point it seems foolish to think that the end was there.  It was a brief time of less darkness, but I was still in the forest.  I was still on this path.

You know that this darkness in this forest cannot last forever.  It is hard to see that though.  The darkness plays with time, and hope.  You know this path has to end.  Will it end to another dark path.  How about a path with light.  Is that even for me?

You have questioned over, and over again, why not just leave the path?  Being lost is worse than any path in the darkness.  Your life turns messy quickly when you have no direction at all.

So you are in the darkness, knowing that this may be your path for a long time.  You know you have to stay on the path.

As the darkness suffocates you today.  As the darkness attempts to even make breathing difficult.  You focus on the end of the path, and the light that will surround you completely.  You know one day that will happen, and you know one day it will all make up for all the darkness.

For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word?  Who hath marked his word, and heard it?

Jeremiah 23:18

Jennifer Van Allen



More Lukewarm


Prodigal:  Sometimes we need to hear a message twice.

Me:  I need that a lot.

Prodigal:  God will show us what we need.

Me:  Amen, for that.


This is from the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan


LUKEWARM people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.  Just as the prophets in the Old Testament warned Israel that they were not safe just because they lived in the land of Israel, so we are not safe just because we wear the label Christian or because some people persist in calling us a “Christian nation.”


“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  (Matt. 7:21).

“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation” (Amos 6:1).


Jennifer Van Allen



Women Lovin’ Jesus

Me: Y’all are way out yonder.

Prodigal: Yep, but we are enjoying it.

Please watch the video below about Proverbs 4:9.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 4:9

She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Jennifer Van Allen



Evening Walk

Prodigal:  These cookies look so good!

Me:  We have some time before we can eat them.

Prodigal:  What shall we do?

Me:  I have a story.

This is from Donna Griffith

Mom and I always relied on one another.  I worked at a fast food restaurant, but before and after my shifts she served me the best home-cooked breakfasts and dinners a girl could want.  Plus she gave expert foot rubs, which came in handy.  But most of all I looked forward to our evening walks.

One evening we walked down the road to the first major intersection.  “Look both ways before you cross,”  Mom said.

“Always the mother hen,”  I replied.  Always trying to take care of me.  Just like I’m always trying to take care of her.  Lord, I wish we had someone to take care of both of us.

There weren’t any cars coming, so we stepped into the crosswalk.  Halfway across the street I heard screeching wheels.  A late-model sedan was barreling right for us.  There was no time to run. “Jesus,” I mumbled, braced for impact.

That’s when I felt them:  two strong hands on my upper arms.  The car was so close I could make out specks of dirt on the shiny front grille.  But the second before a collision happened, I was lifted into the air.  I felt a rush of wind as the car passed me.  Somehow I had been taken out of harm’s way just in time.

The next thing I knew I was sitting on the sidewalk across the street, the cook concrete under my palms.  Mom!  I expected to see her lying injured in the road.

But she wasn’t there.  Mom sat a few feet away from me.  “Are you all right?”  she asked.

“Yes,”  I said.  “How are you?”

She sat up straight, and took a big stretch.   “I feel fine, thanks to that man,”  she said.

“What man?”  I asked.

“The man who picked me up and carried me over here just as the front of that car brushed past me.  How on earth did you get out of the way in time?”

“The man who helped you must have had a friend.”

We looked around in either direction for our saviors, but there was no one in sight.  I was unsure about exactly what had happened,  but I’d never felt so cared for, so safe and secure, either.

1 Corinthians 11:7

A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

Jennifer Van Allen



What’s on the Inside

Prodigal:  Just dropped off my present.

Me:  It must have been big to have to carry it in that wagon.

Prodigal:  It was, and I hope it is enjoyable.

This is from the book Life Essentials:  Knowing God better, Experiencing God deeper and Loving God more by Tony Evans

When it’s all said and done, then, spiritual growth does not primarily depend on what is happening around you, but on what is happening inside of you.  Growth comes from the inside out, which is the way God designed all of His creation to function.  Full-grown oak trees don’t just appear.  Neither do full-grown Christians.  But all the requirements for growth are there.

Spiritual growth is the process of expanding and releasing what is on the inside so that it becomes visible on the outside.  What God often does is apply the heat and the pressure to bring about this release.  That’s why our greatest times of spiritual growth are almost always our times of greatest trial.

We cannot see the growth that is taking place day by day as we lean on Christ, and as we pray more, and more.  A habit is growing one that says I must turn to Him if I am to make it through this at all.  What a great habit that is to learn even if it seems difficult at the moment.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.  “Be careful,”  Jesus warned them.  “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Jennifer Van Allen



Women Lovin’ Jesus

Me: I’ll be doggone, if I didn’t forget something at the house.

Prodigal: We all have things like that happen.

Me: We can still continue with the video

Here is a video on the book of proverbs. I am discussing proverbs 4:8 today.

Click here to watch the video.

Proverbs 4:8

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

Jennifer Van Allen



Sometimes It Just Is

Prodigal: Well golly, I wasn’t expecting y’all.

Me: I just felt like you needed a visit.

Prodigal: Your probably right.

I had two cats. One was the mother, and one was her son. The mother cat named Faith came into my life when she was around 8-12 weeks old. She was found in an oil drum outside of a mechanic shop crying as loud as she could. She was very afraid.

I took her home, and took her to the vet. The vet told me she was born deaf. He showed me how she doesn’t move when noises are made. He also showed me how visual she was.

Faith had one litter when she was 8 months old. They were born in my house. One son was deaf. I immediately decided to keep him, and named him Happy. The other two were given to wonderful homes.

As the years went by, I noticed a difference between the two deaf cats. Faith was scared of anything sudden. Her deafness became a way to fear the world. Happy’s deafness made him not afraid of anything.

Without hearing, a lot of things became surprises in their world. If she closed her eyes, too sleep. The world changed around her without knowing. I could leave without knowing, I could come home. It could start raining, or get dark outside, and she would not know. Someone new could come over, and she would be surprised because she did not hear them. She would open her eyes, and it would scare her to see something so unexpected.

Happy though would be the opposite. He would close his eyes, someone new would be here, and he would be happy for the surprise.

I saw these patterns over, and over again everyday. Faith passed away, and she remained afraid everyday.

Happy remains happy over everything.

I couldn’t help, but see us in these two. I couldn’t help, but see that we respond to God in the same way.

God sees all, so it is almost like we are missing an extra sense, like we are deaf. We have surprises that show up. God was not surprised though. Some of us react in fear every time.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I think Faith early on in life had some experiences that were scary. Even though she had moved to a safe home, she could not let go of her fears.

We have all had some experiences that can create fear, but in truth. God is a safe place for us to go to. If we seek Him. If we go where he calls us to. We do not have to fear. We do not have to be afraid of what surprises show up that day or week.

Psalm 34:4

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

I know that surprises have happened. You don’t understand how they could have happened suddenly. Just like faith could not understand when she opened her eyes, and new people were suddenly there. God is not surprised though. He can see more. As long as we seek God, we really do not have to fear.

Happy would see the same people that showed up as a surprise, and he choose to feel no fear about the surprise. Happy trusted that where he was was safe.

God has you in a safe place. He will help you. He will help you step by step, and you are not alone.

Isaiah 41:13

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Jennifer Van Allen




Me:  Don’t fall prodigal!

Prodigal:  Pride comes before the fall.

Me:  That is right!

This is from the book Believe and Rejoice by James P. Gills, M.D.

A relinquished heart requires purity and separation from our base human attitudes, which are constantly within us regardless of how close we are to the Lord.  We frequently think we have the answer.  In fact, in our own egotism we think we are “the answer”  and frequently do not turn to Christ.

True humility results from submitting our lives to God and worshiping Him.  We are not humble by nature.  Humility is not something we can decide to acquire.  We become humble only as we love and follow Him.  And our submission to Him becomes all-consuming–affecting every part of our body, permeating us, and directing us.  Humility is reflected in our lives when we are molded by the Holy Spirit.

Please Lord make sure that I am submitted to you.  I know how quickly I can think I have the answer.  I also can think that your way is not what is best for me.  I just need you Lord.  I can’t even submit to you without your help today.

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Matthew 4:16

Jennifer Van Allen