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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.

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.

Amen.

VOTD – Time keeps on ticking…ticking…ticking…

"The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance."

2 Peter 3:9 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Our old friend Simon-Peter is writing to the Jewish folks that had been spread throughout the land with a target of those in Galatia and Asia, or what we now call Turkey. He is writing to remind God’s people that our Heavenly Father has not gone back on His promise of the second coming of Christ Jesus. Instead, God is giving all the opportunity to turn from their worldly ways and to come to know Him who has loved them from the beginning of time. When I first realized what this verse was revealing about the heart of the Father, it didn’t sit very well with me. Why? There was still a lot of brokenness in my heart and I honestly didn’t want those who had hurt me to have a chance to repent. I know. It wasn’t very Christianly of me. It wasn’t until several years later when God had been working on and helping me deal with my past that verses like this didn’t cause me to become irritated. Thankfully, our Father is lovingly, patient with us as we grow and mature in our relationship with Him. He desires the same for the rest of His children who have gone astray or lost hope. What are some things we can do to help reach out to others in order that they learn more about our Father and hopefully begin a relationship with Him?

Prayer for today: Father, I am so thankful that You constantly hold out hope for us. That You love us so deeply that You desire for even the most wayward child to return home to You. I pray that we will learn to love others as intensely as You love them and that we would not hold back the message of truth and hope that is the message of Jesus Christ. I love you, Papa. Amen.

Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. 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: Samer Daboul

VOTD – Breaking of the Bread

"Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

John 6:35 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Why would Jesus say something like this? If you have been around the church a bit, you’ve probably heard this verse. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but after quite a few years, I think I have a little better grasp. Jesus was trying to teach those around him that he is the sustainer of life. Do you need to eat? Of course! But spending time with God by reading His word, praying, and serving Him, your life will be full and will be a source of peace and satisfaction. Also, I think Jesus was probably hinting at the fact that his body would have to be broken, just like bread is broken during communion. God is our sustainer and the finisher of our faith and just like the Father, the Son gave his life so we could have life to the fullest.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for giving so much, sacrificing so much just so our sin could be washed away and we could be redeemed into Your royal family. I pray that we would not enter into our relationship with You lightly, but with as much devotion, surrender, and sacrifice as we are able to give You. I pray that You would open our eyes to see ways that we can live more devotedly and to carry the message of hope through Jesus Christ to all of those who will listen. I love you, Papa. Amen.

Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. 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: Pixabay

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 me a message through Facebook. You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Alice P. – enlarged liver
Anne H. – Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Barbara – Recovering from surgery on 10/12

Brian M – Health and safety for family

Darrell B. – Battling cancer and other health issues

Harold C. – Health issues arising from surgery

Ilene W. – Health issues – stomach

James P. – Has cellulitis in foot

Judy B. – multiple health issues and battling an infection in brain stem

Melinda C. – healing from debilitating migraines

Nelda U. – Ongoing health issues

LIFE SITUATIONS

Family of Estelline S – mourning her passing

Wallace family – Gary passed away 10/14 after battling stomach cancer.

UPDATES

Ayesha W – Still waiting on negative COVID tests

Buzz D. – Procedure went well. Resting at home-healing

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Frontline workers treating those with COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

The Afghanistan situation

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 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 me a message through Facebook. You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Alice P. – enlarged liver
Anne H. – Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Brian M – Health and safety for family

Buzz D. – Having a heart procedure on Friday (10/08)

Darrell B. – Battling cancer and other health issues
Gary W. – Battling cancer
Harold C. – Health issues arising from surgery

Ilene W. – Health issues – stomach

Judy B. – multiple health issues and battling an infection in brain stem

Melinda C. – healing from debilitating migraines

LIFE SITUATIONS

Anita C – prayers for friend – spiritual healing

Dani O – prayers for friend’s baby diagnosed with botulism

Felicia G – prayers for community – tragic loss of a school teacher

Katie M – student at her school committed suicide

Mary K – prayers for friend’s baby – born with no heartbeat, but resuscitated. Possible brain damage and may not survive

UPDATES

Teresa B. – Recovering from COVID

Shawn B. – Recovering from COVID

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Annette B

Aumie D

Donna M

Frazier family

Mary O

Mickie H

McManus family

Sasher Family

Troy M

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Frontline workers treating those with COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

The Afghanistan situation

The wildfires in Western US

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.

VOTD – Colossians 3:16

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God."

Colossians 3:16 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: You know, sometimes God sets things in order for your benefit that just make your jaw drop. This week has been one of those times. The Prodigal family has been on vacation and, to my amazement, a close friend of mine and his family were in the same area. I haven’t seen this guy for what seems to be about 7-8 years. Back about a decade ago, we were inseparable. Not only did we work together, but we led worship together, hung out together, and searched after Jesus together. He was a brother and a spiritual mentor. I couldn’t have imagined life without him being there. Well, life happened and the paths that we were on took us in different directions. Today, we sat down with one another and just talked about life, the ups and downs. Why do I mention this in a post? Well, one reason is that I am still excited that we got to hang out, even if it was only about an hour. But the main reason is that I could tell the Holy Spirit in both of us was at work. Christ seemed to be in the room. I am a better person as a result of my friend’s journey toward Christlikeness, but when this scripture says "teach and admonish one another in all wisdom", my friend, my brother is one that I know would set me straight if I was faltering. He will also encourage when he sees the hand of God working in my life. It is a wonderful gift to find others who are devotedly seeking Jesus that you can "run the race" with in life.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank you for all of my friends here. I pray for each of them, that You would encourage those that need encouragement and guide those that need Your direction. We humbly surrender our lives for the sake of Your name and ask that You would send us into the world that so desperately needs to know more about You. May You grant us the grace we need to extend the grace to others who have tried to derail us from the faith. After all, You love them just as much. I love you, Daddy. Amen.

Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. 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: Charlotte May

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 me a message through Facebook. You are prayed for and loved, my friends.

HEALTH ISSUES

Alice P. – enlarged liver
Anne H. – Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Brian M – Health and safety for family

Conan D. – Battling COVID on ventilator – had a stroke this week as well
Darrell B. – Battling cancer and other health issues
Gary W. – Battling cancer
Garzon family – Recovering from COVID

Harold C. – Health issues
Ilene W. – Health issues

Micah M – has had stomach bug for a couple of weeks

Shawn B – Battling COVID

Teresa B – Battling COVID

LIFE SITUATIONS

Anita C – prayers for friend – spiritual healing

Dani O – prayers for friend’s baby diagnosed with botulism

Felicia G – prayers for community – tragic loss of a school teacher

Katie M – student at her school committed suicide

Mary K – prayers for friend’s baby – born with no heartbeat, but resuscitated. Possible brain damage and may not survive

UPDATES

Ariel M – now recovering at home from COVID

Ayesha – recovering from COVID. Mom passed away with COVID

Conan D – entered his final sleep last week.

Shannon M – recovering from COVID pneumonia

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Annette B

Aumie D

Donna M

Frazier family

Mary O

Mickie H

McManus family

Sasher Family

Troy M

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling or recovering from COVID

Frontline workers treating those with COVID

Those who need salvation (love/hope of God)

The Afghanistan situation

The wildfires in Western US

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.

VOTD – Persevere in Prayer

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer."

Romans 12:12 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Sometimes I like to really dig into the wordology of verses like this one. Just by reading a short verse, I have the temptation to just gloss over it, thinking that I fully understand the depth of its meaning. So, here goes. "[Feel/show great joy or delight] in [your feelings of desire and expectation], [be able to accept or be tolerant] in [times of pain, distress, or hardship], [continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success] in [your solemn requests for help or expression of thanks addressed to God]." WOW!!! Had I not taken the time to really slow down so I can better understand rather than glossing over the verse, I would have missed the power of God’s word. I think the portion of this verse that stands out to me the most is persevering in prayer. Initially, I was thinking about 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where the church folks at Thessalonica were told to pray without ceasing. But this is different. This is praying, even when there seems to be little or no chance of things changing. In my last post, I mentioned that I had a cousin that had passed away due to COVID. In the last six weeks or so, I think I have had around 8 people that I have personally known that have passed away, either due to COVID or cancer, or something else. Did I pray for those folks? By all means, yes! Did I think that God would answer? I knew He would answer the prayers in a manner that would glorify Himself and draw others to Him. Does that mean my prayers failed or that God just hit the mute button on my prayer channel? Nope! He was listening and He responded. He just answered the prayers in a different way that I personally had hoped. So as a result, my prayers have changed. They are now focused on the families of those who have lost loved ones. Just because God answers our prayers with a different outcome than what we pray, doesn’t mean we should stop praying. Perhaps, we should pray that God would stir the Holy Spirit within us so we know how to pray. I know that may not be very comforting to some. I can totally understand that. I don’t fault you or judge you in any way. I just simply pray for you and I trust our heavenly Father enough to know that He will answer our prayers in a just and hope-filled manner.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You so much for giving us a way to directly be connected to You. Thank You for sacrificing Your son, so we could have a relationship with You, the Creator of all things. I thank You that Your ears are not deaf and that You hear our prayers. I simply pray that when we pray, I hope that You will prepare our hearts and minds for what You have in store. And when we don’t understand why our prayers are answered in a certain way, I pray that You would help us to see Your heart and that You would guide us through that time. I love you, Papa. Amen.

Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. 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: Sebastian Voortman

VOTD – God’s eyes are wet with tears

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: I’m really holding on to this verse today. I learned that a cousin-in-law passed away due to COVID. No, I’m not going to get political or talk about whether to get vaccinated or not. No, today’s post is not only about God comforting us, but the importance of telling others you love them. As Christian brother of mine told me in the past that he is confident that ‘God’s eyes are wet with tears for the mourning, hurting, and the broken.’ (I also need to mention that my Christian brother learned this from one of his mentors.) God isn’t weeping because of the loss of life, but because of our broken hearts. It’s like when a child gets their feelings crushed and you pick them up and hold them and as you are comforting them, you begin to cry because of their broken heart. Same concept. Another dear Christian friend of mine told me a few months ago that she pictures God sitting in a big rocking chair and when we come to Him, He picks us up, sets us on His knee, and wraps His loving arms around us until we feel better. Oh, what beautiful pictures these two thoughts paint. Pictures of hope and love. Dear friends, that is what we are supposed to be to all around us, especially those closest to us. As we don’t really know how long we have on this spinning ball of dust, please make it a point to share that hope and love. Make every opportunity to forgive others and love them.

Prayer for today: Daddy, my heart breaks today. All of the death and grief, not just what I’m dealing with, but everyone. I’m thankful that You give us hope and you comfort us when we are dealing with tragic events. I’m thankful that You remain steadfast in Your love and Your devotion to staying close by our sides. I pray, Daddy, that You would heal the broken-hearted. Tend to those who are hurting. Allow us to see that we have opportunities every single day to speak Your truth in love and grace. I pray that we would have the boldness to love others like You love them. I love you, Papa. Amen.

Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. 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:

UPDATE: ADHD – Insomnia – From ADHD to Zzzz

IT’S TIME FOR AN UPDATE!!!!

About two weeks ago, I posted an article I read from ADDitudemag.com about the struggle to sleep. You can read my initial post HERE.

So I said I was going to try a couple of the suggestions and give some feedback… So here goes!

ADDitude Mag suggested the following to help wind down for sleep.

1. Maintain the same bedtime each night.
2. Eliminate caffeine after 2PM
3. Try some white noise (box fan, vent fan, etc)
4. Turn off all devices 30-60 minutes before your bedtime
5. Melatonin might be helpful
6. Avoid napping
7. Maintain the same wake-up & bedtime schedule

I chose to try options #1 and #4.

Maintain the same bedtime routine

I started trying this the night of my post. So, instead of going to bed when my brain would shut down, I went ahead and set it up where I plan on going to bed between 10:30 PM and 11:00 PM. This has actually worked pretty well so far. The weekends usually get me out of my regular routine, so that is the biggest struggle for me. I’m still trying to do better about waking up around the same time, but I have noticed that I do wake up a little easier and more ready to get my day started. So, I’ll chalk that up to success.

Put away the devices

This has helped a lot as well. I do still have to take my phones to my bedroom due to the nature of my day job. If it rings, I HAVE to answer it no matter what time it is. But with a Samsung phone, I have set up some Bixby routines that automatically change my settings at specific times. So, at 9:30 PM, my personal phone goes quiet. I might still gaze at my phone a little, but it is very limited.

So, what is next???

Since I’m one of those that has a VERY difficult time waking up. I have around eight different alarms (between my personal phone and work phone), but I still have difficulties. I guess I just haven’t found the best method or sounds that will help me wake up on the first alarm. So, I’m going to research and try out some different methods to get me out of bed.

Hopefully, within a few weeks, I’ll find that perfect method of waking up.

Photo credit: Markus Winkler