Real Contact with Jesus

Me: Well that’s mighty nice of you, to bring others round today.

Prodigal: It is the season to remember service to others.

Me: That is something we can all try to do.

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

I suppose that we sometimes get nearer to Christ when we think we are at a distance than we do when we imagine we are near Him, for we are not always exactly the best judges of our own spiritual states. We may be very close to the Master, and yet we may be so anxious to get closer that we feel dissatisfied with the measure of grace that we have already received. To be satisfied with self is not a sign of grace, but to long for more grace is often a far better evidence of the healthy state of the soul.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you (John 15:9)

Jennifer Van Allen

I Was

Prodigal: Sometimes we need to just have more action.

Me: That is true.

I was hungry

and you formed a humanities club

and you discussed my hunger.

Thank you.

I was imprisoned

and you crept off quietly

to your chapel in the cellar

and prayed for my release.

I was naked

and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

I was sick

and you knelt and thanked God

for your health.

I was homeless

and you preached to me

of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.

I was lonely

and you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy;

so close to God.

But I’m still very hungry

and lonely

and cold.

So where have your prayers gone?

What have they done?

What does it profit a man to page through his book of prayers when the rest of the world is crying for help?

Author unknown.

Proverbs 12:19

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: Working to the bone today.

Me: Yes, and here is something to help you.


Forget Everything And Run


Face Everything and Rise

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

Click here to watch the video

Proverbs 10:1

The proverbs of Soloman: A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother. (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Mara is My Name

Me: Hello, what is your name?

Prodigal: His name is not Mara.

Me: Well after reading let’s make sure of that.

Hi Mara!  What your name is not Mara?  

Mara is found in the bible in Ruth 1:20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them.  “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.  Why was Naomi bitter?  Her life did not look like she had imagined it.   

At this point in her life, she should have been with her husband and her two sons.  She could even imagine the happiness that would fill her heart with waiting for her first grandchild.  That was not her life though.  She had no husband and no more children. 

She was bitter. 

Bitterness is feelings of anger or hurt because of a sense of unfair experiences that have happened. 

When we get married there is a dream.  We often imagine in our mind all the wonderful memories we will make during our life together.  We don’t imagine the struggles that will take place in between those memories we make. 

You have married a sinner and you are a sinner.  Add being together in commitment for 50 years in a sinful world, that will equal your struggles. 

One day after one event though you had enough.  You were tired of the unfair experiences.  Your heart began to keep locked away a part that was bitter.   

Now you tell yourself you will deal with that bitter heart, when your spouse deals with his sin.  My dear friend the Lord is saying, I deal with each of my children separately.  Your bitterness is really against me. 

Your bitterness is saying that God did not keep His promise.  The promise that you can have joy.  That doubt brings whispers when you go to sleep.  When you are putting the dishes away.  They began sometimes as you are pouring the milk in the glass.  The bitterness grows silently, in its tucked away spot.  The dark cloud in your heart whispers, is God like those men that I have seen? 

Maybe you could be called Mara?  Maybe it is difficult to say that?  But if that is your name, God already knows.   

The Lord answers with a heart of compassion. Come to me my daughter, so I can make you white as snow.  He is saying I need to clean you up.  You can be clean no matter what sinful behaviors your husband has been participating in this week.  You can feel joy because I am loving you. 

The Lord can be trusted and cleaning your bitterness is the good that the Lord has for you. 

Lord help us.  Help us to see bitterness that has taken form in our hearts. Help us to repent.  Lord help us to be as white as snow. Bring us that joy that you promised.  The promise that can happen in our imperfect lives. 

Jennifer Van Allen 

My Self

Prodigal: Look I am a strawberry!

Me: I kinda like you as a pig!

Prodigal: Yeah, I kinda like me as a pig too!

This is from the book Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey

I believe God has a similar goal for all of us, that we become more ourselves by realizing the “selves” God originally intended for us. The Rabbi Zusya concluded, “In the world to come I shall not be asked: “Why were you not Moses?” I shall be asked: “Why were you not Zusya?” Quietly, persistently, the Spirit coaxes me to be neither Moses nor Zusya, but Philip Yancey, a flawed personality in whom God can assist every willing person on earth in that custom process. It begins with trust in God’s best for me, a confidence that God will liberate my true self, not bind it.

Who we are is unique and loved by God. He knew us first! We will see Him in the end. God loves how you are made! Now, it is your turn to love how you are made.

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 1:31

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: There is always something to be thankful for.

Me: Yes, there is….

This is a video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 9:18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell. (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen


Prodigal: I am a little unsure of where to go today?

Me: I know, but remember that the Lord is with you.

Prodigal: I think that is the key about today.

This is from the book Parenting: From Surviving to Thriving by Charles Swindoll

Divine punishment, on the other hand, is a very real product of sin; however, it does not come by way of natural consequences, but by supernatural wrath. It doesn’t come indirectly through the world, but directly from God Himself. The arrival of Jesus Christ on earth began a new era, an age of grace. When Christ died on the cross. He took our sins upon Himself and endured the wrath of God on our behalf. If you have accepted His gift of grace by believing in Him, you will never experience the wrath–the divine punishment–you deserve. In grace, Jesus took it all and left none for you. None.

If, however, you choose to trust in your own goodness or hope that your good deeds will somehow purify or counteract your bad behavior, if you reject His free gift, God’s wrath waits for you. When you die, or if the Lord should return before then, you will surely suffer divine punishment for your sins. But not before. Even though you continue to live in rebellion, the Lord uses the consequences of your sins and poor choices to teach you, all the while extending to you the offer of fellowship with Him.

God does not cause sin and He does not ordain evil. But He will use the sad results of sin and poor choices for His own purposes.

Clean your hearts and maintain that right relationship with the Father. Now is the time because decisions are needed to move forward.

Matthew 5:18

For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Jennifer Van Allen

A Formula

Prodigal:  I love this cornbread!

Me:  Is it really love?

Prodigal:  YES, it is real love!

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

Love is dependent on forgiveness.  A formula can almost be structured from this concept.  The extent to which someone truly loves will be positively correlated to the degree the person is stunned and silenced by the wonder that his huge debt has been canceled.  Perhaps another way to say it is that gratitude for forgiveness is the foundation for other-centered love.

A hint may now be offered as to why grace is so demanding in its free offer–all that’s required in response is stunned silence and overwhelmed gratitude.  A stunned and grateful heart is free to love because it has been captured with the hilarious paradox that we are unlovely but loved, and unable to love but free to try without condemnation.  And all efforts to love are made lovely and useful by a great Lover who superintends all our bumbling efforts and turns the dross of mixed motives to the gold of eternal intentions.

It all starts at the cross.  We hear that over and over again.  When we want to be a better spouse, friend, relative, co-worker.  We try and we fail.  We beat our selves up for it.  When what we really need is to begin at the cross instead of ourselves.

And walk in love, as Christ also loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.

Ephesians 5:2

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: When God is glorified, Satan is horrified.

Me: Amen!

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 9:17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

By the Smallness of Your Life

Me: Your friend there is mighty tiny.

Prodigal: Smallness does not matter with God.

This is from the book The Vision of His Glory by Anne Graham Lotz

Years ago in a rural, Scottish village, the pastor of a small church was asked to resign. The ruling board of his congregation had evaluated the fruit of his ministry and could find nothing that seemed significant. No baptisms had been held the previous year, no conversions had been recorded, and only one response to a sermon could be remembered.

That single response had taken place one Sunday when the offering plate had been passed. A small boy had put the plate on the floor then stepped into it. When asked for an explanation, he had no money to give God, he wanted to give himself. He had been reprimanded for disturbing the order of worship, and the entire incident had been all but forgotten.

But the little boy did not forget he had given his life to God. While the church had considered his action disruptive and insignificant, God had accepted and honored it as being very significant.

The small boy who had stepped in the offering plate to give his life to God because he had nothing else to offer grew up and lived out his commitment. He became a great pioneer missionary-statesman used of God to change the course of individual lives, tribes, and nations in southern Africa. His name was Bobby Moffat. He was a man who overcame the smallness of his life by giving Himself totally to God, keeping his focus on Christ.

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