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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.

Anybody out there?!?

I know it has been a while since I have sent any updates or posts or communication. I assure you that I’m still very much alive and well. I hope that you are too and that God is continuing to keep His mighty hand of protection over you and your families.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been spending time asking God if this is a platform that He desires for me to continue or if there is something else (either to add on or to migrate towards). You see, I want to be as effective for the kingdom of God as I possibly can. At the same time, life seems to have gotten increasingly more busy and a bit more complex. Nothing bad, just… busy and complex.

If there is any way I can encourage you or pray for you, please let me know. If you have a prayer need, you can text it to (931)444-PRAY and it will come straight to me. You can also reply to this post/email.

God’s blessings on you, my friends.

Photo credit: Kristi Evans

Updates on Prodigal Thinker

So, I’ve been out of touch as of late. I’m sure that comes as no surprise for those who usually follow my website or read the email posts. In my time of "interweb silence", I’ve really been praying through the long-term purpose and mission of the Prodigal Thinker "ministry". (I’m not sure it would be called a ministry…) I would love to say that I have all of the details, but that would not be truthful. I’m just having to remain surrendered to what God is saying.

While my thoughts on particular verses or passages are quite fun to share, there are people who are hurting and need prayer. I have created a FB Prayer Group that is open to all where you can share your prayer requests and/or you can pray for others who need prayers. For those who are not keen on social media or if a prayer request is more of a confidential matter, anyone can send a text to (931)444-PRAY or (931)444-7729 and I will pray for the needs listed there.

If you will, please pray for God’s direction for this outreach. I would be most grateful.

God’s blessings on you all…

Photo credit: Samer Daboul

Prayer Needs for this week

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 an email to Mike . You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Aaron M – continued recovery from accident

Alyssa S – Friend’s mother passed away. Family overwhelmed and grieving

Becky C – Back pain and diabetes – seeking orthopedic doctor

Ben V – has two friends fighting cancer – Rachel (ovarian) & Sarita (breast cancer)

Christina A – mom’s kidney function worsening. Docs still not sure of the cause.

Dennis B – multiple health issues

Harald C – multiple health issues

Horace C – multiple health issues

Ilene W – multiple health issues

James & Diane B – multiple health issues

Joan M – multiple health issues (cancer)

Leia B – daughter’s childhood friend passed away

Melany J – father (81 y/o) fell and broke right hip & arm

Melisa A – Grandpa is very sick and in hospital. Prayers for comfort through healing or heaven.

Nelda U – multiple health issues

Richard C – continued recovery from West Nile Virus

Ryan M – recovery from motorcycle accident

Shanna R – Going through iron infusions – trying to figure out root cause

Stephanie N – praying that cancer treatments continue to work for her Papa

Teresa M – continued recovery after two surgeries on legs for pain

LIFE SITUATIONS

Bailey family – Still dealing with passing of Darrell

Cain family – were praying to find a house as they had already sold their current house and would be homeless within three weeks. God provided a home that exceeded their hopes.

Steve O – Leads a jail ministry in Alabama. Many volunteers and families have been attacked as a result of revival breaking out in the jail. Prayers for protection and continued revival.

Valorie Mc – Asking for wisdom on job move and anxiety surrounding the change

UPDATES

Charles B – upcoming radiation and chemo treatments

Cord Q – MRI complete – how to move forward with results

James P – lower leg (below the knee) had to be amputated due to bone infection

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Alice B

Aumie D

Kim O

Shirley R

Ted & Nelda G

Tony C

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.

PROGIDAL POST – Are you in a drought?

"I will satisfy the weary, and all who are faint I will replenish."

JEREMIAH 31:25 (NRSV)

PRODIGAL THOUGHTS: This verse is quite timely in my opinion. All facets of life have been demanding so much of my time and energy that I’ve just been in a season of drought. I’ve heard it said before that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Well, that’s pretty much where I’ve been over the last few months or so. Honestly, I’m not out of the proverbial woods just yet. I’m just in a better place than I have been. I just allowed myself to try to keep control for myself rather than fully rely on God for the rest and peace that I needed to maintain and move forward. (Laughs) You’d think after doing this for the last 20 years that I’d see the warning signs and spend what energy that I had left to make sure I leave everything in God’s hands. Well, I guess I haven’t learned that lesson yet.

If you are in an emotional/spiritual/mental/etc drought, don’t do what I have done. Let God do the heavy lifting and He will give you the rest and grace you need.

Need prayer? You can reply here. If this encourages you, feel free to share it. Feel free to reply with feedback as well. I’m always open to discussion.

God’s grace on you…

Photo credit: Adriaan Greyling

A Prayer for Today

Below is John Wesley’s "Covenant Prayer." I believe if more people would pray and live their lives in a selfless manner such as this, the world would be in a better state.

Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own, but Yours.
Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by You or laid aside for You.
Exalted for You or brought low for You.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and whole-heartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You are mine, and I am Yours. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.

PROGIDAL POST – If you know, you know…

"If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given to you."

JAMES 1:5 (NRSV)

PRODIGAL THOUGHTS: Over the years, this verse has become one of my top 10 "go-to" verses. Why? Well, let’s just say the older I get, the more I realize I don’t know, so I need a LOT of wisdom. Besides, I would rather ask for God’s wisdom than try to lean on my own, limited understanding. The way I look at it, God sees the bigger picture. He has the ability to look back at all of the details from the beginning of time and give us direction according to His plan and His hopes for us. I mean, I can barely remember what happened last week, let alone way back in the day. My world-view is very limited, but when we rely on God and His wisdom and guidance, we are able to have a greater understanding and insight into God’s will and how to face our life situations. I guess the question really boils down to this: Do we actually trust God to give us not only wisdom, but what we need on a daily basis to live out a life lived in holiness? What is standing in the way of trusting Him? What obstacles do we place in the way of walking closer with Jesus?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

Need prayer? You can reply here. If this encourages you, feel free to share it. Feel free to reply with feedback as well. I’m always open to discussion.

God’s grace on you…

Photo credit: Jean van der Meulen

Prayer Needs for this week

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 an email to Mike . You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Aaron M – recovering from motorcycle accident

Charles B – upcoming treatments

Christy H – biopsy scheduled for 02/17 – then specialist

Cord Q – heart issues

Dennis B – multiple health issues

Harald C – multiple health issues

Horace C – multiple health issues

Ilene W – multiple health issues

James & Diane B – multiple health issues

James P – another foot surgery 02/18

Joan M – multiple health issues

Juanita – COVID with high fever

Kim O – Surgery on leg/foot

Nelda U – multiple health issues

Ryan M – recovery from motorcycle accident

LIFE SITUATIONS

Felisha G – passing of grandfather

Bailey family – Still dealing with passing of Darrell

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Alice B

Shirley R

Ted & Nelda G

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.

PROGIDAL POST – Fools rush in?

"Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm."

Proverbs 13:20 (NRSV)

PRODIGAL THOUGHTS: This verse reminds me of the old adage, "Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future." I’m not really sure who coined the phrase, but it is a simple truth. If I am permitted, we could change up the words a little and it would speak directly to those who desire to follow Jesus. "Whoever seeks to be like Jesus becomes holy, but the lover of the world suffers harm." Notice that the verse does not say those who walk with the wise never have struggles. We learn to become wise by living the example of Jesus, remaining in constant communication, and by reading the word of God. We have to maintain our surrender to God’s will. Will difficult times come? Absolutely! But those who are walking with God and learning His ways, will be able to navigate (by God’s leading) through those difficult times and will look for God’s presence throughout the struggle. Whether we are aware or not, we so desperately need our heavenly Father…and not just on Sundays. We need His presence in our lives every! single! day! Will you join in on this journey?

Need prayer? You can reply here. If this encourages you, feel free to share it. Feel free to reply with feedback as well. I’m always open to discussion.

God’s grace on you…

Photo credit: John Nail

PROGIDAL POST – Is it love?

"We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another."

1 JOHN 3:16 (NRSV)

PRODIGAL THOUGHTS: What if this verse was all you had to share with someone who doesn’t know Jesus? If we didn’t have any other written words of the bible, how would you explain the gospel of Jesus Christ? For me, just using this one verse as a snapshot, it tells me that we never experience true, life-changing love until we begin to understand and live out the example of Jesus by sacrificing our lives for others. It is out of the giving that we are then refilled with love. That might be stretching the intent of the verse a bit, but when you read the other verses in 1 John, it makes sense. I know that I have been loved by my parents, my family, and friends. I know that I’m loved by my wife and my kids. That being said, God’s love is life-giving. When we are loved correctly by others, we are encouraged, given guidance (as needed), and are willing to do our best. But when God loves you, and you REALLY know that you are loved by the God of the universe, EVERYTHING changes! You aren’t just encouraged…you are empowered. You aren’t just given guidance…you are given a purpose and desire to follow God’s path. You aren’t just willing to do your best…you are willing to surrender your life for a life lived in servitude to Jesus Christ. Are you ready to live a life like that? A life laid down for your friends or even strangers for that matter. Join me on the journey…

Need prayer? You can reply here. If this encourages you, feel free to share it. Feel free to reply with feedback as well. I’m always open to discussion.

God’s grace on you…

Photo credit: Shamia Casiano

Prayer Needs for this Week

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 an email to Mike . You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Charles B – beginning chemo treatments soon

Charles – possible cancerous growth on eyelid, blind in other eye

Harold C – health concerns with older age

Ilene W – health concerns with older age

James P – health issues with diabetes and healing of leg/foot after surgery

Troy M – Just diagnosed with COVID-Omicron

LIFE SITUATIONS

Chuck’s family – wife passed away, was main caretaker of their special needs daughter

DeVine family – passing of my uncle-in-law

Woelk family – was killed along with his wife and son in his home

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Amanda F

Andrea P

Aumie D

Ayesha W
Christina A

CJ I

Darryl J

Donna M

Karina Y

Melisa A

Tony C

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.