Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shine with JESUS

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.....

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:1-7 (NASB)

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (NASB)

Shine, Jesus, Shine - Hillsong

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Wander, Wait, Watch

Those who wander to a distant land, 
Drawn by a longing misunderstood,
Follow a path away from home, away from soul’s shelter. 

Rocky and muddy, potholes and hills,
The footpath challenges every step. 
Bent on self-satisfaction while roaming, 
Yearnings for fleeting attractions lure
To a place unknown.

In due time, the stray accumulates filth, disease, pain,
As it attaches and latches 
In and around 
Body and soul.

Unsettled and still moving further away, 
Lacking solace,
Seeking relief—

The road ends.

Barely alive, a cry goes out, 
Reaching God’s ears, touching His heart.
A prayer for forgiveness, an offering of grace.

Reasoning returns to the senses.
Love and need flood the body’s core.
Life fills the inner being. 

Passion puts one foot in front of the other
Until running in the direction of home. 


Those who wait with bated breath on the home front
Suffer anxiety and separation, 
Bury pain deep within 
While striving for normalcy. 

Unexpectedly a sight, a smell 
Unveils memories of the wanderer, 
Once a sweet innocent child, 
And tears flow. 

Yearning for reunion, wrapped in a merciful hug,
On and on the wait drags out,
Slumped shoulders, heavy heart
Awaits the return back home.

All the while……

The Lord watches the wanderer.
He understands the one who waits.
He loves both parent and child.

He knows rebellion’s rejection,
His humanity bore agony and grief.
Yet wrapped in divinity, pain He defeated.
Through prayer’s power, He healed.
Gracious mercy poured into lost people.
Peace infused troubled hearts. 

Run to Him in your waiting.
Kneel before Him with humility.
Receive love and give thanks in your sadness.
Offer Him a sacrifice of praise, 
Even while tears flow.

And wait.
Lift up daily prayers.
Say His Name, Jesus.
Stand on His promises.

Look off in the distance 
And wait in love.
One day the vision of your returned prodigal
Will gladden your heart and comfort your soul.

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 (NASB)

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)

"Clean" by Natalie Grant ---

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the washing of your sacrificial blood. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the clean dressing of Jesus' robe of righteousness. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for the power of your presence in everyday living. In Jesus' holy name, AMEN.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Straying Sheep

My people! Their oppressors are children, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray and confuse the direction of your paths. Isaiah 3:12 (NASB)

For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are brought to confusion. Isaiah 9:16 (NASB)

Confused people crowded into the theater in Ephesus (Acts 19). Loud shouts lured them inside and most had no understanding why. They simply followed others into a den of disorder. Imagine the mayhem in a building smoldering with mob mentality. 

The truth is—confusion leads to uncertainty leads to doubt leads to disorder leads to upheaval leads to turmoil leads to a muddled mess. Everything around screams chaos and bewildering thoughts ask, “Where am I? How did I get here?” 

And God answers through Isaiah declaring, “all of us like sheep have gone astray, turning to our own way.” We wander like lost sheep, confused and misled. We need a loving Shepherd to guide us onto the right path. 

The Bible tells us we have a Shepherd—it’s a favored attribute of God. While Jesus lived on earth, He demonstrated the characteristics of a merciful and gracious shepherd. He even told parables about lost sheep and a devoted shepherd, a prodigal son and a loving father—these stories He used to illustrate our human nature and His divine character. If God is so good and loving to us, then why don’t we follow Him? 

Answers exist in the comparison of humans and sheep. As you read the following description of sheep and their actions, consider the similarities we humans share with sheep. 

  1. Sheep are smart. It’s been stated that sheep are dumb, but some of their qualities have  proven their intelligence. (I don’t think our Savior would compare us to dumb animals, after all He created us in His image. And yet He gave us free will, therefore our choices.)
  2. Sheep instinctively react to situations.
  3. Sheep follow other sheep. 
  4. Sheep flock together because they’re social animals.
  5. Sheep have good memories.
  6. Sheep are prey instead of predators and flee instead of fight. They are defenseless and panic because of fear. 
  7. Sheep have keep senses, making them aware of predators.
  8. Sheep have a high tolerance for pain, preventing vulnerability to predators.
  9. Sheep run from danger, and may congregate in large numbers for protection.
  10. Sheep need a shepherd because they are directionless and wander, unless in a pack.
  11. Sheep wander when food is scarce, well-fed sheep don’t wander.
  12. Sheep follow the hand that feeds them.
  13. Sheep get restless and are tormented by bugs; if bugs go undetected, they multiply and cause blindness.
  14. Sheep are helpless if they fall down; they need a shepherd’s help. When a sheep is cast down, it’s possibly due to a a heavy coat needing to be sheared. Everything a sheep comes in contact with (dirt, filth, burrs, sticks, bugs, etc.) attaches to the oil, or lanolin, on a sheep’s wool and weighs it down. Even though shearing is hard work for both sheep and shepherd, it frees up the sheep of all the stuff clinging to its fur. 
  15. Sheep are great followers. They know their master’s voice—they recognize their shepherd by the sound of his voice. 

Wow! Spiritual depth resides in these facts. No wonder Jesus told a parable about lost sheep. They wander, follow, and fear—so do we. Their fur picks up dirt and junk—our eyes and ears pick up filth if we’re not focused on our Father God. Bugs torment them and cause blindness, if undetected—the garbage we allow into our hearts and minds will blind us to God’s Truth. Shearing away their wool and all the stuff in it cleans and frees them up—allowing God to clean us will free us of the chains that bind. Wow again. 

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. Psalm 119:67 (NASB)

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments. Psalm 119:176 (NASB)

We definitely need a Shepherd to guide us. Thankfully we have one and His name is Jesus Christ. He offered His life for us. He’s given His Word to us. When we read His Word and meditate on its meaning for us, He fills us with His Holy Spirit. When we drop to our knees and cry out to Him, He hears and answers us. When we offer thanksgiving and praise in the midst of storms and fear, He blesses us with His strength and peace. In other words, when we are well-fed on the Word of our Heavenly Father, we will not wander away from Him. The only hunger we’ll experience is the desire for more of Him. Sound a little like sheep?

We are like sheep gone astray, but like sheep we know our Shepherd’s voice. He created us, He loves us, and He calls out to us. Are we listening so as to follow Him? Or are we wandering away because of distractions we’ve allowed into our lives? It’s our choice; He gave us free will. What will we choose? 

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord. Psalm 23 (AMP)

Lord God, You are my Savior and Shepherd. You bought me with a price, the price of your life’s blood poured out in loving sacrifice. If you would die for me, how can I doubt your Presence with me everyday? You said You are Immanuel, God with us. You are a God of promise. You guarantee Your Word in all aspects of my life. You are the God of covenant and commitment.

Then why do I doubt? Why do I look anywhere else but to You? Because I’m easily led when excitement walks by. Because I follow the latest fads when everyone is doing it. Because I listen to the sounds of satisfaction when someone pricks my ears with my own desires, giving the  loudest voice my attention. Because I don’t understand commitment, a long-lasting oath. Frequently I choose the easy way out. I don’t want to work for it. I just want to do what I want to do. I won’t hurt anyone. Why do I need to follow any rules?

And suddenly my selfish desires have taken me where I didn’t think I would go. I’m walking in a direction unknown to me. What am I doing? I’m lost and alone. Help me, God! Come quickly, Lord. I need You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (HCSB)

For more information on sheep, go to

May these versions of the same hymn bless you with peace and joy - "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us".........

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Clouds of Confusion

So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together. Acts 19:32 (NASB)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV)

Maybe the sun shone brightly in Ephesus, but cloudiness definitely muddled the minds of its citizens. Paul’s declaration about man-made gods not being gods rattled some Ephesians. Out in the streets, sounds of selfishness and greed thundered. Fanatical shouting attracted a crowd of confused people. And a war in the heavenlies raged. 

This chaotic scene occurred during the apostle Paul’s third missionary journey to spread the gospel. After Paul arrived in Ephesus, God performed amazing miracles through him which added to the number of believers of the Way (name for belief in Jesus as the way to human flourishing). As faith in Jesus Christ increased, evil accusations against the faith escalated. When Paul spoke truth, physical and spiritual battles intensified.

Fear prompted angry shouts after Paul proclaimed one God, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Way disrupted a way of life. The Way broke the prospect of prosperity. The business of fashioning silver shrines for the worship of false gods filled the pockets of many craftsmen with mass finances. Idol worship provided a lucrative business for the artisans of Ephesus.

What if the world turned away from idol worship and the goddess Artemis was dethroned? What if the vocation of producing man-made shrines collapsed altogether? Losing money and appearing disreputable incensed the silversmiths. Growing rage among the business owners lured curious people to join their unrest. Confusion infused the city and a mob pressed into a theater where rebellious shouts of “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” lasted two hours. Discontent ran rampant throughout Ephesus while the disciples protected Paul from the hands of enraged individuals. Eventually the city leaders dismissed a quieted crowd and Paul journeyed to more lands with the gospel. 

Similar battles has been set on repeat for generations. When selfish motives dominate and intensify, misguided wanderers follow the loudest voice. The flourishing Way of life through Jesus our Peace gets muffled in the midst of murkiness and noise. Upheaval and uncertainty guide decisions. God’s Way gets pushed aside as people hunt for a more palatable truth to suit their own desires. You can trace this path all the way back to Adam and Eve.

But why? Why be lead astray? Why deviate from God’s good path and follow anyone or anything in the wrong direction? Because we all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way (Isaiah 53:6).

The nature of our wandering reoccurs throughout Scripture. Jesus specifically addresses the issue in several of His parables as He tells about lost sheep and a prodigal son. He even names Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for us, His sheep. 

Yes, Jesus compares us to sheep for many reasons. At times we wander aimlessly like sheep without a shepherd. At times we follow the crowd like sheep follow other sheep. At times we allow fear to herd us together in packs like sheep congregate in large numbers for protection. Sound familiar? Have you ever behaved like a sheep? Have the clouds of confusion drawn you to places you really didn’t want to go? The Ephesians did it and so do we. 

But don’t despair. You have a Shepherd who loves you. He desires to show you the way, away from idols and confusion, to a flourishing life of peace. 

Wander back here next week with the purpose of discovering the similarities between humans and sheep, shepherds and the Good Shepherd. Hopefully we’ll gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our Savior who longs to lead us in the path of righteousness to green pastures and quiet waters. 

In the meantime, move away from the noise and listen for His Voice. It won’t be the loudest one, but it’ll be the most pleasing. 

“Stand silent! Know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation in the world!” Psalm 46:10 (TLB)

“Come, follow Me,” Jesus said. Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

Listen to "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns.....