AND THE WINNERS ARE……GIVEAWAYS!!

A HUGE thank you to all who shared, commented, and liked the posts both on the website and on the Facebook page!!!

Website Giveaway – God Still Speaks

Facebook Giveaway – Donna M.

I’ll be reaching out to both of you for your contact information so I can get your prizes sent out! OR you can send your contact info to mike .

***Just a note, your contact info will not be shared in any way. It will only be for the purpose of mailing your prizes.

Look for more content on both platforms soon.

Blessings to you all!!!

VOTD – What Should I Do?!?!?!

"Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise."

James 5:13 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Have you ever gotten to a point where you weren’t really sure where you could turn? Not sure what step was supposed to be next? How about a time when it seemed that everything in life was so chaotic that any choice you could make would certainly cause added stress or drama? Maybe I’m the only one. According to the world, there are a lot of options of where to turn. You could lose yourself in a bottle of drink or pills. How about numbing yourself with just getting lost in piles and piles of work? (That’s usually what I end up doing.) But according to God’s word, no matter where we find ourselves, those who are followers of Jesus should find themselves on their knees in prayer or lifting up holy hands in praise. Is this easy? Not at first. But as we make prayer and praise a habit, finding ourselves in the arms of our loving, heavenly Father not only becomes easier, but that is where we would rather be. If you are overwhelmed by the circumstances around you, let God know. (This email/post is hitting me in the heart as well, just so you know.) If life is going along smoothly, let the Father know. Praise Him when all is right and also when life seems all wrong. He will restore your hope and give you peace beyond what you could ever understand.

Prayer for today: Father, thank You for always holding Your mighty arms open and ready to embrace us. We know You are ALWAYS there for Your children. I pray that we would make it a habit to turn to You when life seems to be too much. That we would praise You when we wake up and all the way until we lie down to sleep. Please show us the parts of our hearts that we need to surrender and turn over to You. Thank You for loving us. We 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: The Humantra

VOTD – Get Up, Stand Up…

"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

Galatians 5:1 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: I will be honest. When this verse came up, I was super stoked since this is one of my top 10 faves. Throughout God’s word, there are numerous accounts where God does something that promotes, even urges some sort of action on our part. God freely gives us the freedom to choose to be His children or to belong to the world. We can’t have it both ways. But honestly, who would want to be chained back up to your life before you met Jesus. I would really like to say that no one would want to go back to their old lives, but it happens a lot. The old way is familiar and comfortable. A worldly life can certainly be more gratifying to our senses. With that said, what do you get from the world? Nothing more than heartache and hope lost. As the photo shows, we have to "Fight today for a better tomorrow." We need to stand firm on the faith and hope that God has given to us, His children. Just keep in mind that we aren’t just fighting for ourselves. No! We are fighting the good fight for our children and the generations to come. Standing firm against sin, especially sin that seems to flow from generation to generation can end with us. Our children and grandchildren don’t have to live through the things we have lived through. It isn’t too late. So, what is your plan? Are you going to "Get Up, Stand Up" (as a Bob Marley song says), or are you going to let the freedom that Christ ushered in through His work on the cross and resurrection just pass by?

Prayer for today: Father, today I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. I pray that we would lean on You for our strength to stand firm against the wiles of this world and that we would speak boldly the gospel of Jesus Christ! May You give us the words to speak and the wisdom on how to love the world as we draw closer to You? Please stir up the Holy Spirit within us and guide us along our journey towards Christlikeness. May you be glorified in all that we do. We 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: Markus Spiske

ADHD – Insomnia – From ADHD to Zzzz

ADHD Folks!

I just read this wonderful article on ADDitudemag.com that discusses the difficulty that folks (young and old/male and female) have falling and staying asleep. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with ADHD until I was in my early 20s and I have always struggled with sleep. Well, to be honest, not only falling asleep and staying asleep, but waking up as well. I’ll go through seasons where it is easy to fall asleep but the rest of the time, I just lie in bed getting frustrated that I can’t sleep. My body is usually ready to drift off into Beddy-bye Land around 10PM, but my brain has other plans. My brain usually doesn’t shut off until around 3AM. Yep, just a few hours before I’m supposed to wake up to get ready for work. Below is a quick 7-bullet point list from the ADDitudemag article.

BEFORE WE GET TO THE INFO, PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I merely have severe ADHD (Inattentive type).

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 before your bedtime
5. Melatonin might be helpful
6. Avoid napping
7. Maintain the same wake-up & bedtime schedule

I know personally, melatonin is not very effective in my system. I guess my body/brain metabolizes it too quickly. I only get about 3-4 hours of sleep. Then I’m awake again, but most of the folks I know that take it find melatonin very effective. I do have a fan that I use and it helps a lot.

I plan on trying several of these beginning tonight. I’ll give it a whirl and try to update next week on any improvements.

– Establish bedtime & wake-up times.
– Put away the devices

If you have had success with working with and through your ADHD, feel free to comment below. I know that I have a LOT to learn yet.

Photo credit: Andrea Piacuadio

Prodigal Mike ~Mike
Prodigal Thinker Blog

@ProdigalThinkerBlog on FB

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
Ariel M. – Hospitalized w/ COVID. (Drummer for the band Unspoken and co-worker’s husband)
Conan D. – Battling COVID on ventilator (my cousin-in-law)
Darrell B. – Battling cancer and other health issues
Delano family – battling COVID
Emily P. – difficulties w/ asthma – protection from COVID
Gary W. – Battling cancer
Harold C. – Health issues
Ilene W. – Health issues
Todd – Battling COVID in hospital

LIFE SITUATIONS

Victims of the flooding in Tennessee
Families in the wake of and recovering after Hurricane Ida

UPDATES

Shannon M – battling COVID – has vastly improved – thankful for prayers

UNSPOKEN REQUESTS

Aumie D

Frazier family

Gilbert family

Herring 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.

Blessings to you all.

Prodigal Mike ~Mike
Prodigal Thinker Blog

@ProdigalThinkerBlog on FB

VOTD – All You Need

"His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness."

2 Peter 1:3 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: This blows my mind!!! Not only does God accept us where we are, but as we continue to pursue Him, we are provided everything we need for life and right living. There are a few things here that bear pointing out. (And this may step on some denominational toes.) If God has given us everything we need to live lives of holiness/godliness, then is it possible to live a life without sin? (Our Nazarene friends would answer, yes.) But living a life of holiness and godliness would have NOTHING to do with our own desires or passions. We would choose to live our lives completely surrendered to God. I mean, between his two letters, Peter tells us, among many other amazing things, that we are a people that are set apart for God’s glory. How better for God to glorify Himself by forming and shaping us into His image through constant, devoted relationship with Him. Another thing that comes to mind is that by studying His word and being in prayer, we already have all we need. Our Father doesn’t wait to give us the biggest blessing of our lives until we have "earned" it or been in relationship with Him for a while. He knows that those who dedicate themselves to transforming their minds (and hearts) through the study of His word, the metamorphosis will happen in and through us…that is, if we choose to do so. The point that is read between the lines is that without His divine power, we are limited as to what we can do. This is the part of "free will" where we have to make a decision. We must choose one way or the other. Will God love you either way? Absolutely. But choosing to chase after the Father is so much more rewarding.

Prayer for today: Father, I thank You for loving us with this must hope-filled grace. I thank You for allowing us to choose You and to accept the love You have for us. I pray that we would live lives completely surrendered to Your heart and purpose for us. May You search our hearts and show us those things that stand in the way of fully living lives of holiness. 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…

Prodigal Mike~

Photo credit: Wendy van Zyl

VOTD – Goodbye old self

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Galatians 5:24 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Why is it so difficult to steer clear of sin? I mean, we are told in Galatians 5:1 that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. What makes worldly ways so tempting? I guess because sin (no matter what kind of sin it is) is usually instantly gratifying. We get to experience whatever high or distance or pleasure and we get to forget about the world around us. We can choose to be selfish and can put our problems on hold for a little while. Following Jesus is typically NOT instantly gratifying, probably because followers of Jesus are to consider others before themselves. True believers cannot live in a self-centered way and still serve God. The good news is that the trade off is so much better than living in sin. We can serve God by serving others. The satisfaction of serving someone else whether they act like they appreciate it or not, helps to create that positive reinforcement that fuels the next act of service to both God and our fellow humans. Over time, our passions and desires become a reflection of God’s passions and desires.

Prayer for today: Father, we praise You for making a way for us to serve You and Your kingdom. May You open our eyes to see opportunities to serve You by serving others around us. I pray that we would live boldly and speak clearly the gospel of Your son, Jesus. May You empower us to live lives that are pleasing to You. 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…

Prodigal Mike~

Photo credit: Vie Studio

Prodigal Mike ~Mike
Prodigal Thinker Blog

@ProdigalThinkerBlog on FB

Questions to get you thinking

So, I’m taking a bible course online to meet requirements toward ordination and in one of the books I’m reading from, there have been several questions that were asked. These questions have REALLY gotten this prodigal to thinking.

"Did Jesus ever intend on creating that company of followers we call "the church"?

"Did Jesus have anything to do with the formation of the Christian church? And if he did, how did he shape its special character?"

What are your thoughts? You can comment below or you can email me at mike – Just a quick mention, the comments are moderated and must be approved.

Link to the book

Photo credit: Keira Burton

VOTD – For better or for worse

"Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;.."

Joel 2:12 (NRSV)

Prodigal Thoughts: Did you catch that? God doesn’t need you to "fix everything" or "get your life straightened up" before you come to Him. The book of Joel was written about 800 years before Jesus came on the scene. (You can read more about Joel HERE.) A lot of things were going pretty badly around Judah and Jerusalem and God speaks through the prophet Joel words of encouragement and refuge. It really reminds me a lot of the hope that people need to hear, especially the victims of the recent flooding in Tennessee, victims of Hurricane Ida, the Afghan people, and so many others who are suffering such harsh loss and devastation. Our heavenly Father is telling His children that they can come to Him in their weakness and fragility. God is just waiting on us to turn our hearts to Him. The encouragement Joel speaks in chapters 2 & 3 speak of God restoring the land as well as our relationships with the Creator. So, did God make those things happen? By NO means! He lets nature take its course. Is the Father saddened by all of the tragic loss? Absolutely! I’m sure the eyes of our Father are wet with tears as He sees His children trying to put their lives back together and He stands ready…waiting on us to come to Him.

Prayer for today: Father, I pray for all of those around the world who are dealing with such tragic loss and destruction, but also for those who the situations of life have caused painful wounds and battle scars (physical AND emotional/mental). I thank You that You are standing at the ready for us to call out to You. I pray that we would better understand the importance of a hope-filled relationship with You and that we would turn our hearts and lives over into Your nail-scarred hands. I know that there is no part of our life that we cannot place in Your trust. We give all of this to You. Please glorify Your name and Your kingdom. 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…

Prodigal Mike~

Photo credit: Juan Vargas

GIVEAWAY EXTENSION!!!!

To allow more time for you to enter to win, we will now be holding the drawings on Friday, September 10th. Remember, a drawing will be held for each of the sites. Website & Facebook page.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES:

PRODIGAL THINKER BLOG: For each like and comment, your name (username) will be entered into the drawing. An additional way would be to head over to the FB page and follow there.

PRODIGAL THINKER FB PAGE: Your name will be entered for each like, comment, and share.

"May the odds ever be in your favor!" (Quote from Hunger Games)