Such A Man As Paul

Prodigal: Remembering sometimes, what God gave us.

Me: Yes, that is the truth.

This is from the book The Soul Winner by C.H. Spurgeon

Such a man was Paul. I am not about to set him on a pedestal, so that you may look at him and marvel, much less that you may kneel down and worship him as a saint. I mention Paul because what he was, every one of us ought to be. Even though we cannot share in his office, not being apostles, and even though we cannot share in his talents or his inspirations, we still ought to be possessed by the same Spirit that motivated him. Let me also add that we ought to be possessed by it in the same degree.

Do you take exception to that? I ask you what was there in Paul, by the grace of God, that may not be in you? What did Jesus do for Paul more than He has done for you? He was divinely changed; so have you been changed if you have passed from darkness into marvelous light. He had much forgiven him; so have you also been freely pardoned. He was redeemed by the blood of the Son of God; so have you been–at least, so you, if you are truly such as your profession of Christianity makes you out to be.

Owing your salvation to Christ, being debtors to the precious blood of Jesus, and being quickened by the Holy Spirit, why should you not bear the same fruit the same sowing? Why not the same effect from the same cause? Do not tell m that the apostle was an exception and cannot be set up as a rule or model for more common folk, for I will have to tell you that we must be as Paul was if we hope to be where Paul is.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. Acts 16:26 (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: Just saying Hi today!

Me: Yes, it is a busy day, but just a quick hello is always a good thing!

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 11:20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight. (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

For Thyself

Prodigal: God is all around.

Me: Yes, He is always making things grow!

This is from St. Augustine.

Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: Jeremiah 32:38 (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

No Surrender

Prodigal: When the enemy under estimates God,,well….

Me: Yes, that is like a little league team playing against super bowl champions.

This is from Barlett’s Familiar Quotations

Sir Winston Churchill at a cabinet meeting during World War II was encouraging no surrender. He said, “I find it rather inspiring (to stand alone). Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16 (KV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: There is a time to sew and a time to reap.

Me: Looks like it is time to reap.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

When We Feel

Prodigal: It appears to be all dark!

Me: I can see why, but hold on, I will help clear your path.

This is from A.M. Toplady

When we in darkness walk,

Nor feel the heavenly flame,

Then is the time to trust our God,

And rest upon His name.

For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Think Rightly of God

Prodigal: If that don’t beat all, I got stuck.

Me: Don’t worry, it looks managable.

This is from The Divine Conquest by A. W. Tozer

We cannot think rightly of God until we begin to think of Him as always being there, and there first. Joshua had this to learn. He had been so long the servant of God’s servant Moses, and had with such assurance received God’s word at his mouth, that Moses and the God of Moses had become blended in his thinking, so blended that he could hardly separate the two thoughts; by association they always appeared together in Joshua’s mind. Now Moses is dead, and lest the young Joshua be struck down with despair God spoke to him with assurance, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Moses was dead, but the God of Moses still lived. Nothing changed; nothing had been lost. Nothing of God dies when a man of God dies.

And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 6:7 (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: Daggone if I don’t have more work to do today.

Me: It will get done, don’t worry.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs.

Click here to watch the video

Proverbs 11:18 The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. (NKJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Letter to a Stranger

Me: I like that message.

Prodigal: I thought you would.

Me: Here is one that you might like.

This is by Julian B. Motheral

Dear Someone Out There:

I wonder if you remember the night of June 9,1967, in Mayfield, Kentucky. I promise you I will never forget it.

You see, until that night, I could walk on moonlit nights with my wife. Until that night, I could run and play with my 14-month-old son. Until that night, I could support my family. I have been unable to do any of these things now for almost ten long years–ever since you put a bullet in my spine.

I’ll never forget how nervous you were that night in the service station. The barrel of the pistol you held in you hand was shaking so hard. I remember saying to myself, “You’re mighty nervous. This must be your first job.”

I can’t recall all the details of what happened after I gave you my day’s receipts. I seem to remember picking up your un from the floor where you had dropped it and struggling with you. Did you give me the concussion when you hit me with the pop bottle? Or have I just pieced these things together in an effort to explain all that happened that night.

I do remember being shoved toward the back room with my left arm twisted behind my back. I remember looking up at the clock as you shoved me into the back room. And I still can almost feel the gun barrel as you knocked me in the head again, and I fell to the floor.

I was through fighting. I lay there on the floor hoping you would leave. Why did you feel you had to bend over, place the gun barrel under my left side and try to kill me?

I remember that crashing sound and the blinding flash of light. Then darkness. When I woke up, you were gone. I tried to get to my feet, but from my neck down there was no feeling whatsoever. There was no pain at all. I was totally paralyzed. I was totally helpless. I was dying.

Only a few minutes had passed when three young boys came in and found me. I thought I had been screaming for help. They said I was only whispering.

I don’t remember the 150-mile ambulance ride to the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. I only remember in bits and pieces the 18 days I stayed there.

My 17-year-old wife had to face the doctors and be told, “We cannot remove the bullet. There is nothing we can do.” She brought me home to die.

I relived that night of the robbery over and over, and I would often awaken my family with my screams. I couldn’t even feed myself. I was a vegetable.

As I lay there in the hospital bed in the back bedroom of my parents’ home, I knew the feeling of crushing despair.

I remember once, when I had just taken 14 of my daily 42 pills, I looked over to the table by my bedside. On top of the table lay a pair of shiny scissors. If only I could reach them and plunge them into my heart it would be all over. Then I realized I couldn’t lift my hands to grab them. I couldn’t even kill myself.

Did you know I carried your bullet in my neck for over four months? Finally, I was taken to the Jewish Hospital in Louisville, and on November 3, 1967, the .22 caliber slug was removed from the center of my spinal column.

After the bullet was removed I returned to Mayfield. The doctors in Louisville told me I would never walk, that the most I could hope for was eventually to sit on the bedside with a special back brace and possibly be able to feed myself. I wanted more. I felt God could give me more. If left Louisville against doctor’s orders.

With a very painful scar on the back of my neck where the bullet had been removed, I began the long road back to normal life. If I wanted to turn in bed, I had to be rolled over and a pillow propped behind my back so I could remain on my side. I could sit in a chair for only a few minutes at a time, and then I had to be tied in place to remain upright.

I would have my wife and my parents roll me to the back yard and place me on wrestling mats laid on the ground. I would try to crawl and drag myself along the ground, and although it would take me 30 minutes to crawl 30 feet, at least I was moving on my own.

Now the pain was to begin. Pain such as I had never before experienced. My physical therapist told me I would begin to have all kinds of weird feelings in my arms, and later in my legs. He was right.

Even today, though I am now able to use a walker and drive my car with special hand controls, I still have little sense of touch in my hands and arms and now in my legs. Yet, there are times when I feel as though someone has just drenched me in scalding water. At other times my arms will itch until I feel I am going to climb the walls. And the constant pain I carry in my arms and hands helps me to pray.

I promised God, a few months after you shot me, that if He would only let me have enough feeling to know pain, I would never again complain. Even pain was better than no feeling at all. I’m afraid a few times I have failed to keep my promise. But then, I try to stop and realize where He has brought me from.

Since that night I have had a chance to really search through the Book I thought I knew so well. I found in the Bible there were truths I had never before seen. And when I applied to my life what those truths taught me, I was no longer a hopeless cripple, but a cripple with hope.

Do I forgive you for putting a bullet in my spine? By myself I couldn’t do it. Will power will not always work. But when I remembered Jesus on the cross. I found that I could pray as He would: “Father, forgive the boy who shot me, for he didn’t realize what he was doing.”

I believe that, and although I do not know your name, and my never know it, this letter is written to you. I want you to know you need have no fear of retaliation from me. With His help, I have forgiven you. I knew no other way to reach you. But know this. Not one day goes by that I don’t pray for you, that you may know the peace and happiness I now know.

Exodus 20:16

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Jennifer Van Allen

The Ancient Prophet

Prodigal: I wonder when this will stop.

Me: Till, then stay on your knees.

Prodigal: Amen

This is from the book The Finishing Touch by Charles Swindoll

The ancient prophet Micah isn’t exactly a household word. Too bad. Though obscure, the man had his stuff together. Eclipsed by the much more famous Isaiah, who ministered among the elite, Micah took God’s message to the streets….

Micah states exactly what many, to this day, wonder about pleasing God. Teachers and preachers have made it so sacrificial, so complicated, so extremely difficult. To them, God is virtually impossible to please. Therefore, religion has become a series of long, drawn-out, deeply painful acts designed to appease this peeved Deity in the sky who takes delight in watching us squirm.

Micah erases the things on the entire list, replacing the complicated possibilities with one of the finest definitions of simple faith:

He has told you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justice, to love kindness,

And to walk humbly with your God? (Mic. 6:8)

God does not look for big-time, external displays….What is required? Slow down and read the list aloud: To do justice….to love kindness….and to walk humbly with your God. Period.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Psalms 124:7 (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen