VOTD – Welcome to God’s House

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long,"

Psalms 23:6 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: This verse is the final thoughts of Psalm 23 and it comes within a verse or two of "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for [God is] with me; [His] rod and staff- they comfort me." David does not hold back regarding his love for his heavenly Father. His confidence in the Father’s ability to provide comfort and peace for him is amazing. In my experience, when life throws it’s hellish punches, I would start back-stepping and would worry what the outcome would be. Would I make it through this spiritual fisticuff or would the enemy get the best of me? I had it all wrong. If we are fully surrendered to the Almighty God, we can actually remain calm. Like it says in Exodus 14:14, "The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to keep still." While He is fighting our battles, we can lie down in green pastures and rest in Him who is stepping in on our behalf. Can life become overwhelming? Well, of course, but that doesn’t mean that we have to wave our little white flags in surrender. If we have already surrendered to God, we can’t really surrender again, can we?

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for being everything we could ever need. You are our provider and sustainer and Your love never fails or falters. I pray that we, as Your children, would come to the understanding that remaining in surrender to You can give us peace of mind and provide rest like nothing else. May You open our eyes and our hearts to know You more and more each day. I pray that we would find rest in Your love and power. May we be quick to give You praise for all things we face in our lives and invite You on a daily basis to be our constant and our guide through this life. 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: Eberhard Grossgasteiger

VOTD – What’s it mean?

So, it has come to my attention that the title of my posts could cause some confusion. When the interwebs were searched, it could stand for "Village of the Damned" (the movie), "Valley of the Dead" (a NetHack game), or my favorite, "Valley of the Doughnuts" (a website).

SO, WHAT DOES VOTD MEAN?!?

It stands for "Verse of the Day."

I used to have "Verse of the Day" in the subject line on each post, but decided to shorten it up a bit. I guess I could always add a #hashtag or something.

What are your thoughts?

Photo credit: Amed Akachda

VOTD – Springs of Life

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: I must admit, between being raised in the South and my ADHD going on a rampage today, when I read "Keep your heart," I automatically thought of "Bless your heart." This can be either a phrase of encouragement or complete sarcasm. Thankfully, this verse is encouraging us. How often do we consider what we allow entrance into our lives and our souls? Of course, there are those that do this in a legalistic manner and "ban" any sort of content that would be opposed to their beliefs. Obviously, this verse is a reminder for us that we should constantly monitor not only what is in our hearts, but also the intent behind our words and actions. This will help to make sure that we are out of the way when God chooses to speak to others through us.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for Your words of wisdom and guidance that have been written down for us to study and direct our lives. Thank You for providing the perfect example of what our lives should look like on a daily basis. I pray that we would take these words to heart and be cautious of not only the contents of our soul, but how those bear fruit in our lives. I pray that no matter if we are out in public or in the comfort of our homes, our words and actions would be pleasing to You like an incense offering. May You help us be aware of those things that need to be filtered out so You can shine Your light through us. 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:

VOTD – LOVE = No Fear

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love."

1John 4:18 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: At the first reading, this verse reminds me of when I first met my wife. I knew on our first date that we would be married. (Thankfully, she had that same feeling.) Our love for one another was so powerful that I felt I could do anything! I could conquer the world…or at least the southeast US. The amazing thing is that God’s love for us is so intense and so powerful that the love that we have for our fellow humankind would seem like an acquaintance-type relationship. Not that we could ever fully understand or feel the depth of our Father’s love for us, but what if we constantly lived in a manner where we pursued God’s love as our main focus of each day. To better comprehend His love for us. How would that change our daily lives? Also, if perfect love casts out fear, then could we safely say that perfect love can make us fearless? God’s perfect love helps us to be confident and bold and with the Holy Spirit guiding us and stirring our hearts, there is really nothing we couldn’t overcome, right? Are you ready for that kind of life? I mean, people ridiculed Jesus for living like this. It just plain freaked people out. The apostles and the Jesus followers lived with the same ridicule, yet they still love recklessly. Who’s with me?

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for loving us so incredibly much just the amount of love You have for us would fill and overflow even the deepest seas. There is no way we could ever fathom the level of love and grace that You have stored up for us. I pray that You show us how to accept Your love and grace, and that as we do, that it would pour out of every fiber of our being. That it would be unmistakable that the source of our love and grace could only be You. I pray that You would give us the eyes to see and the heart to love those around us that the world has claimed are unloveable. May we see hearts changed as a result of the love You pour through us into others. I pray that we make you proud. 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: Shamia Casiano

VOTD – Rescued from Afflictions

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all."

Psalms 34:19 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: In the bible app I use, the heading for Psalm 34 is "Praise for Deliverance from Trouble" – of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out and he went away. Being honest, I had to look up what "feigned" actually means. Basically, David "pretended" to be crazy so Abimelech would put him out of the kingdom. He must have been in a pretty bad situation to make this up. In fact, there is another account of this in 1 Samuel 21, where David had been running and hiding from King Saul, who was trying to kill David. When I think about this verse and the background of the incident, David was being cautious, but his hope was solely in God. As Abimelech was a priest, David knew that there were some provisions that he would be able to receive as he was still hiding. I mean, David had to have some nerve to make such a scene in King Saul’s kingdom when there were head-hunters everywhere trying to find him. It seems David has/is reflecting on how God has taken care of him so far and prevented injury and/or death so far. The hand of God has saved David’s life over and over again and David penned a song about how amazing God is. What if we lived with hope and faith in what God can do in and through our lives? How would that change our day-to-day interactions with others? Not that we should go around stirring up trouble, but knowing that as we are living in a manner that is Christlike and that our Heavenly Father upholds the righteous.

Prayer for today: Father, You truly are mighty and worthy of praise. Even when we are facing our most desperate times of need, You are there. You continue to guide us on a path that was paved by Your Son and that will lead others toward Your loving and welcoming arms. May we appear a bit crazy from the world’s standards as we live our lives in surrender to You and fueled by the compassion and grace you have extended to us. 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: Andrea Piacquadio

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

Darrell B. – Battling cancer and other health issues

Harold C. – Health issues arising from surgery – Change in living situation

Ilene W. – Health issues – stomach

Jessica W. – Chronic back pain and migraines

Melinda C. – healing from debilitating migraines

Nelda U. – Ongoing health issues

LIFE SITUATIONS

Mickie H. – emotional support – upcoming anniversary of beloved husband’s death from COVID

Shipley family – loss of loved one

UPDATES

James P. – Has cellulitis in foot – Recovering from infection at home.

Judy B. – multiple health issues – situation is improving

Shawn B. – Fully recovered from COVID

Teresa B. – Fully recovered from COVID

Ayesha W – Recovered from COVID and back to work – Prayers for emotional support from the passing of her mother due to COVID.

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Christina A.

Donna M.

Tony C.

ONGOING PRAYERS

Those battling, recovering, or grieving losses 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.

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.