Me: We seek the Lord who will give us the decisions that we need.
Prodigal: Then what?
Me: We take action.
This is from the book Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders
When all the facts are in, swift and clear decision is the mark of a true leader. A visionary may see, but a leader must decide. An impulsive person may be quick to declare a preference; but a leader must weigh evidence and make his decision on sound premises.
Once sure of the will of God, a spiritual leader springs into action, without regard to consequences. Pursuing the goal, the leader never looks back or calculates escape strategies if plans turn sour. Nor does a true leader cast blame for failure on subordinates.
But now ye rejoice in your pride: all such rejoicing is evil.
Me: Yes, she does and maybe I can help them with their relationship.
Prodigal: Yes, I want their relationship to last.
This comes from the book The Intimate Mystery by Dan Allener and Tremper Longman III
Marriages don’t grow simply because both spouses age. Growth is intentional, demanding and utterly surprising. It requires space and time. It will not happen without the focus of a gardener who tends, nurtures, weeds, waters, fertilizes and then repeats the same process endlessly. Growth happens because it is desired.
There are different times of growth, some of them are spiritual and then some are an emotional growth. We love and are patient with others when the growing process is present. We also pray for them. From an outside point of view it may seem like nothing is happening, but the Lord is working on the heart.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Prodigal: How do we continue with the story of Christmas.
Me: Jesus was about love, so we love.
Prodigal: That can be tough with certain people.
Me: Yes it can be, but we can still love.
This is from the book Bold Love by Dr. Dan Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III
Before entering a war, we need to enter the heavenly realm, asking for help. We are to pray to the Father to act on behalf of our enemies; we are to pray for God to work in our enemies’ lives, to restrain evil, to deepen consciousness of harm, to destroy their arrogance so that life and grace might flourish. We are equally to pray for wisdom and all that blocks the development of wisdom in our life. Wisdom must be developed to learn how to apply truth to the different situations and people we encounter.
The devil is looking to cause divisiveness among us. He would like to cause problems with races, ages, denominations, appearance, financial, even spiritual maturity. He wants you to look at others as an enemy so you do not focus on Satan being the real enemy. Because if Satan is the real enemy then with prayer and the Lord’s will that person may turn into a friend. That is difficult to understand and accept sometimes because of our feelings. You were once an enemy of God though…and now you are found. Others prayed for you when you were an enemy of God, you can do the same.
And you shall love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
Prodigal: Yes, I cannot wait to eat good food, be with good people and remember Jesus.
Me: I agree!
This is from the book Angels and Miracles by Amy Newmark
I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming as Christy and I sped down the road with the “Just Married” sign flapping behind us. Who would have believed that our wedding day would end like this, I thought, as I glanced at my beautiful bride still dressed in her wedding gown.
As the miles faded behind us, I relived that initial moment of shock when I saw the police car coming up the long driveway of my uncle’s estate where we were holding our outdoor wedding and reception. At first, I’d thought it was a joke that my brother, our best man, was playing on me, but I soon realized this was no joke. The officer was looking for me.
Leaving my place at the table, where Christy and I were enjoying the savory barbecued meat and other delicacies, I’d gone to find out what the officer wanted. He handed me a piece of paper with a woman’s name and phone number on it. “You’re supposed to call this number as soon as possible.”
The woman’s name meant nothing to me and I wondered again whether this was a joke. “But I don’t know this woman.” I protested. “Why should I call her? We’re in the middle of our wedding reception!”
“The message is from your dialysis unit. They asked us to deliver it because the phone number here is unlisted.”
The only message important enough to interrupt our wedding would be that the hospital had a kidney for me. I’d been waiting for a kidney transplant for five years.
As we walked into the house to make the call, I couldn’t help but think of all the times the hospital had called me with good news, only to find out later that for some reason or other, the surgery could not take place. I didn’t want to interrupt our wedding for another false alarm.
The hospital assured me that they had a kidney for me, but they added, “Your blood work on file is a day older than required so we’ll need to do new blood work to be sure the kidney is a match.”
“I’m at my wedding,” I interrupted. “Do I have to come right now?”
“The sooner, the better.”
“What do you want to do, Christy?” I asked my bride. “It could be another false alarm.”
Christy looked at me and smiled. “Of course we’re going! Why are you even asking?”
So here we were, on our way to the hospital, while our guests and families continued to celebrate at the reception without us.
Life on dialysis hadn’t been easy. It meant getting up at 5:30 am three days a week to spend five or six hours at the dialysis unit, then coming home and sleeping a lot. It meant watching what I ate and how much I drank, and sometimes getting itchy and puffy.
Unpleasant as that sounds, I’d reached the point where I was content with my circumstances, but was it fair to ask someone else to adjust to that kind of life? I couldn’t hold a full time job, and with all my limitations, I didn’t think I’d make a very exciting husband.
Meanwhile, Christy was a rock. Her faith never wavered. “By our honeymoon, you’ll have a new kidney.” she kept telling me.
The last time they’d called me to come to the hospital, they’d taken me off the transplant waiting list because my white blood cell count had been too low. I wasn’t sure if they had even put me back on the list later after my blood work checked out. Our honeymoon was to be two months after the wedding. I was so afraid Christy was going to be disappointed.
I glanced at my wife sitting in the passenger seat, a serene smile on her face. Apparently, someone had put me back on the list.
It was a strange trip, with my emotions vacillating between excitement and fear of being disappointed. When we finally arrived, and walked into the hospital in our wedding garb, I couldn’t resist saying to the receptionist, “We’d like the Honeymoon Suite, please.”
One of our guests had called the television stations and, after the lab did my blood work, the reporters and cameras started hunting us down on the ninth floor–the floor for celebrities and transplants.
Our parents and pastor arrived, too, as we continued to wait for the final word. Was the kidney a match?
I kept asking the nurse, “Any word yet?”
Finally at 8:00 p.m., she came in and said the words we’d all been waiting to hear, it’s a go!”
Our pastor jumped out of his chair shouting, “Praise the Lord!”
Always before, when we’d reached this point, as we parted at the operating room doors we’d say, “If something should go wrong during surgery, I love you.” Tonight our faith was so strong, Christy just said, “Sweet dreams,” as they pushed me through the doors.
Our pastor summed it up well when he said, “Jesus performed His first miracle during an interruption at a wedding, but for Dwight and Christy, He interrupted a wedding to perform a miracle.”
2 Timonthy 4:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
This is from Bold Love by Dr. Dan Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III
Love is never weak, nor is true strength ever lacking in tenderness. When someone gives love, it should be with a strength that does not fear the loss of the relationship. When someone is strong, it should be with a tenderness that does not use fear to intimidate. If we want to feed our enemy, then we must freely and wisely offer her tenderness and strength. The proportion of strength to tenderness, or vice versa, may be different for every person or situation we encounter, but in any case, there will never be a total eclipse of one over the other.
1 Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded though faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
This is from Who Switched the Price Tags? by Anthony Campolo
Tony Campolo tells a true story of a Jewish boy who suffered under the Nazis in World War II. He was living in a small Polish village when he and all the other Jews of the vicinity were rounded up by Nazi SS troops and sentenced to death. This boy joined his neighbors in digging a shallow ditch for their graves, then faced the firing squad with his parents. Sprayed with machine-gun fire, bodies fell into the ditch and the Nazis covered the crumpled bodies with dirt. But none of the bullets hit the little boy. He was splattered with the blood of his parents and when they fell into the ditch, he pretended to be dead and fell on top of them. The grave was so shallow that the thin covering of dirt did not prevent air from getting through to him so that he could breathe.
Several hours later, when darkness fell, he clawed his way out of the grave. With blood and dirt caked to his little body, he made his way to the nearest house and begged for help. Recognizing his as one of the Jewish boys marked for death, he was turned away at house after house as people feared getting into trouble with the SS troops. Then something inside seemed to guide him to say something that was very strange for a Jewish boy to say. When the next family responded to his timid knocking in the still of the night, they heard him cry, “Don’t you recognize me? I am the Jesus you say you love.” After a poignant pause, the woman who stood in the doorway swept him into her arms and kissed him. From that day on, the members of that family cared for that boy as though he was one of their own.
Ye have condemned and killed the good man and he doth not resist you.