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Why “Prodigal Thinker”?

A “Prodigal” is someone who spends resources freely and recklessly.

I gained my inspiration for “Prodigal Thinker” from the parable found in the bible in Luke 15. One of the sons asks his father for his inheritance before his father’s death. (Almost to say that he didn’t care if his father was dead or not.) The father granted the request and the son left and spent his inheritance frivolously. The son finds himself living among pigs and thinks to himself that perhaps he could return to his father’s house as a servant but figures he would never be restored to his previous status. When the son returns, his father runs out to greet him, welcomes him home, wraps a robe around him (restoring him as his son) and throws a huge celebration. I am just like that prodigal son. I ran away from God’s arms and wasted huge portions of my life living outside of God’s plan for my life. Thankfully, I came to my “rock bottom”. A pig sty of an existence, but God welcomed be back into His Kingdom, back into His arms. Now, my hope is that I can share, give freely, of the love and grace that I have received.

PROGIDAL POST – YOU SAID WHAT?!?!?!?!

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."
Psalms 19:14 NRSV

So, for those that don’t know, I work a secular job in the manufacturing field. Why do I mention it is a secular job? Well, the language that is freely spoken throughout the plant is, well, I’ll say it is "colorful" to say the least. When I first started working here I was overwhelmed with the obscenities that were just so casually handed out with each statement. Over time, I hear the words, but I’m not really phased by the language. Am I judging those who speak in that manner? Absolutely not. My desire is to love each person as God has shown me love. No exceptions.

I mention this because for most of the folks I’ve encountered, when they find out that I am a follower of Jesus, they IMMEDIATELY change how they speak and act. They "clean up" their language and how they respond. Honestly, this hurts my heart more than the language. Why? Let me ask this… Does our heavenly Father require us to get all cleaned up (language/actions/habits) before we can seek Him? Goodness, no!! He accepts us as we are, where we are. He doesn’t focus on our failures. He focuses on the steps we are making toward Him, toward Christlikeness. With time in close relationship with Him, through grace and the amazing work of the Holy Spirit, those things that we feel we need to "clean up" will fade away.

If you have been told or been made to feel that you are lower than pond-scum and that you have to get right before you can even try to talk to the Creator, I’m sorry. You weren’t told the Truth. There is grace that God gives, grace that even goes ahead and prepares the path to salvation in our hearts and lives. If you want to know more about that, HERE is an article about "prevenient grace." When I found out about this grace, it was a total game-changer for me. If you have questions about it, just reach out. My details are below.

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: PIXABAY

~PRODIGAL MIKE

PROGIDAL POST – Turning over a new leaf

"Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,"

ACTS 3:19 NRSV

I received the verse above in my email inbox today as the "Verse of the Day" from Bible.com and I was suddenly hit with a multitude of thoughts (my thoughts usually show up as pictures). Within a few seconds, I thought about the new year > new year, new seasons of life > repentance > turning away from sin > a.k.a. "Turning over a new leaf." (Strange thought process, I know, but hey, that’s just how my neuro-divergent brain operates.) So, this verse got me thinking about my personal experience with repentance that led to asking Christ into my life. I remember the waves of grace and forgiveness that I experienced (and still do experience). That overwhelming feeling of a life not lived as close to the example of Christ, the frustrations of the world and my response to it, and the guilt and shame I feel for allowing my focus to be diverted from our heavenly Father. Yes, THAT overwhelming feeling, when in the face of grace and forgiveness, just slowly melts away…over and over again. That is the work of the Holy Spirit working on you and through you.

Are you overwhelmed? Are you stressed? Anxious? Feeling alone? Not able to find the words to pray? As we face this new year, what if we turned to our heavenly Father who is eagerly awaiting an intimate relationship with us rather than turning to the world, or turning inward? The Father tells us that He will not only wipe out our sin, but if we feel burdened, He will trade with us as His burden is light. Also, your brothers and sisters in Christ can also help share the burden with you, this way you are not overwhelmed and become discouraged. Our Creator is ALWAYS with us and when we can’t find the words to say/pray, the Holy Spirit speaks in groans on our behalf. Let’s not forget Jesus. Not only did he face all of the same temptations for sin and for feeling the same way we do when the world tries its best to beat us down. He overcame all of those things and showed us how to follow suit.

So, how can I help you? How can I pray for you or encourage you? I’m here for you…

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: Life of Pix

~PRODIGAL MIKE

PROGIDAL POST – Connection between respect and serving others

So, I was having a "dude chat" with my two sons last night. It was a really cool time where I removed the proverbial "dad hat" and just hung out with these two awesome fellas who are growing up WAY too fast. Each of us were sharing things from our hearts that trouble us, hurt our feelings, and different ways we deal with the pressures of life. The conversation was spurred on as I’ve been reading this book called "Better Dads, Stronger Sons", written by Rick Johnson, over the last few days or so. The contents of the book really has me thinking. I will say that I learned a while back that reading a book is good, but the content needs to be viewed through the word of God. If certain ideas or thoughts don’t line up with God’s word, then those portions are "take it or leave it."

One point that I focused on last night was the connection between respecting others and serving others. Unlike what many of the social media platforms seem to impress on us, it is completely possible to respect someone without agreeing with their life choices. Each of God’s children are called to go out and make disciples and part of that is living a life that is a reflection of Christ’s example. Jesus ate with and hung out with sinners, people who were living in sin and against God’s laws, but Jesus didn’t let others’ sins keep him from showing them compassion and love. He looked beyond the sin, into the hearts/souls of those who surrounded him. That doesn’t mean he agreed with their way of life. I mean, he laid his life down for ALL OF US! Even before we knew the heavenly Father. So the question I posed to my boys was something like this: "Can you serve others in a manner that is reflective of Christ’s example without respecting them?" Immediately, I saw the gears in their heads start to turn. I could tell they were really thinking about this concept, trying to make sense of it, and how it applied to how they serve their family. We chatted a little more and I just encouraged them to think about it for the next day or so until I can read some more of the book. (I’m an extremely slow reader.) They both seemed pretty excited about our next "dude chat." I’m pretty excited about it too.

What are your thoughts on this idea? My only guidance on this idea about respecting others is this… We will NEVER look into the eyes of a man/woman/child, that God doesn’t love unconditionally, whether they love Him back or not.

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: ARTEM PODREZ

~PRODIGAL MIKE

PROGIDAL POST – NEW YEAR – SAME ME

Hello there, my friends and followers.. my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here we are at the end of 2022 and I would like to thank all of you who continue to read along and follow my journey. That is, WHEN I post something. In the past, I have used this format as a sort of journal of my life and the things that I am learning as I do my best to continue on the path toward a Christlike life. I am looking forward to what God has in store for my family and I in the new year. I will do my best to share those things that I’m learning as often as I am able to type things out in a sensible manner.

I will continue to pray for you all and hope that God will continue to bless all of us and shine His light upon us.

Here’s to a new year! Blessings, my friends.

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: Anna-Louise

~PRODIGAL MIKE

Prayer Needs – Week of 11/23/2022

HELLO FRIENDS!

BELOW IS A LIST OF PRAYER NEEDS AND UPDATES IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN IN PRAYER. IF YOU HAVE PRAYER NEEDS OF YOUR OWN, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW. YOU CAN REPLY HERE OR SEND A DIRECT MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK. PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE PRAYER FOR AND LOVED, MY FRIENDS.

ONGOING PRAYERS

THOSE WHO NEED SALVATION (LOVE/HOPE OF GOD)
THOSE NEEDING HELP WITH MENTAL HEALTH
THOSE SERVING AS FIRST RESPONDERS
STUDENTS/TEACHERS/STAFF ALL SCHOOLS AGAINST VIOLENT ATTACKS
THOSE WHO SERVE OUR COUNTRY (GOVERNMENT / POLITICAL PARTIES) FOR GOD’S WISDOM AND DIREC-TION TO LEAD
THE CHURCH (WORLDWIDE) THAT WE WOULD RETURN TO THE HEART OF THE FATHER IN WORD AND DEED

PROGIDAL POST – Fruits of the Spirit Series

Blessings and greetings to you, legends of the Faith!

I know it has been some time since I’ve posted regularly whether you are receiving this as an email or reading on the ProdigalThinker website. I’ve already begun putting together a series of posts on the topic of the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Each week, the posts will focus on one “fruit” or attribute with hopes that we will all have a broader view of how our Heavenly Father can grow these fruits in our daily lives.

So stay tuned!!!

If you ever need prayer, you can reply to this email or catch the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group on Facebook. You are loved and prayed for, my friends.

Photo Credit: Luis M. Santos

Prayer Needs – Week of 11/02/2022

Hello friends!

Below is a list of prayer needs and updates if you would like to join in prayer. If you have prayer needs of your own, please feel free to let me know. You can reply here or send a direct message on Facebook. You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

Those who serve our country (all first responders, government, and political parties for God’s guidance and direction to lead)

The Church (worldwide) – that we would return to the heart of the Father in word and deed.

Prayer Needs as of 10/25/2022

Hello, champions of the faith!

I’m trying a little bit of a different method of delivery for the prayer needs. This way if you should feel led to print this out as a reminder of the prayer needs, that is now an option.

As always, if you or anyone should need prayer, feel free to let me know. You can reply here or, if you’re on facebook, you can join the Prayer Requests – Prodigals group or just message me directly.

Please know that you are loved, accepted, and have been covered in prayer.

Blessings!

~M

PRAYER NEEDS 10.25.2022.pdf