Friday, September 29, 2006

There's no place like home

Having slept in my own bed, I awoke feeling much better! Thanks for your prayers over the past few days. While I was sick in a very luxurious place......there's really no place like home!

Home: It's where we pray our prodigals will return to! As I sit in the warmth and comfort of my own bedroom I wonder if it is possible that we are all born pre-wired with a longing to come home to our Creator. While we are wandering in self-efforts, self-achievement, and self-focus, it really seems for each of us, there is a gnawing sensation, a calling, if you will, to come home. From today's Life Line Devotional:

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

The Joy of Communion

This February, I began a web-ministry in blogosphere: Partners in Prayer for Our Prodigals. It was through this outreach that I met an author, Linda L. Fulkerson, who has written a captivating book, The Prodigal Daughter. This is the moving story of a young woman who made a good start in life, but was enticed by the allurements of the world. (See Luke 15: 11-32) It is the hope-filled story of her return home.

When we share in Communion, we are celebrating our own return to home. Each of us has strayed—we have all been prodigals (Romans 3:23). If you read Linda’s book, you will feel her enthusiasm as she proclaims, by sharing her testimony, this simple, but profound truth: nothing can separate us from God’s love—his love is waiting to welcome us home.

This is the verse that Linda signs on the inside cover of her books. I am planning a trip to Denver, Colorado to meet another praying Mom and her recently-returned-to-home-prodigal son, Kevin. I wish I had more space to share this amazing story; I will simply tell you, after a decade of wandering, after two near death drug overdoses, several rehab failures and one Teen Challenge success, Kevin has returned home and is now praying for other prodigals! As soon as the reservations were booked, I e-mailed Linda to buy two, signed copies of her book that I could bring to Kevin and his Mom. When I received them in the mail recently, I peeked inside the front cover; she wrote: “Kevin, Welcome Home! Always remember Romans 8:38-39!” Linda further proclaims, “These verses have sustained me through my journey home!” Imagine my delight when, soon thereafter, I received this devotional assignment and my first writing project included these verses!

We should never underestimate joy! Because of God’s love for each of us, we will never be rejected by the Father; His arms are always waiting wide open. What touches me most about this assurance is that Jesus was forsaken by the Father—so we would never be rejected. The communion we share with the Father was provided at a deep, sacrificial cost (v. 32). And…because of this sacrifice, nothing can ever separate us from the love of the very One who paid the price!


Reflect on your own return to God; do you remember the joy you felt as you ran into the wide-open arms of your Heavenly Father? Seek the One who paid the ransom; the One who never forsakes those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). Celebrate each day as you live in joyful union with your Heavenly Father!

Today’s devotional was written by Diane Viere


Dawn said...

Thank you! It is going to be very hard on Mom. She is so devoted to him. She has aged so much in the last few days.

I love that you were able to get a devotional idea out of returning to your own bed; even after being in luxury there's nothing like it. I definitely believe that we have a pull to Jesus and home for eternity. That's the same concept, to me, as the "God-sized vacuum in our souls" that can only be filled by Him

I can't wait to meet you and read the book also. Did you have ANY fun in Florida??

C. H. Green said...

Isn't it wonderful how God is working in and through you with this ministry. I am constantly amazed at how he puts people together for His purposes.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Just the music would have made it worth the visit. xoxoxo

tam said...

Your words are like salve...calming and wonderful that you get to meet and be with Kevin and his mom!

So glad you were able to rest in your own tag onto what you were saying...can you just imagine what that bed feels like in Heaven? To rest in the presence of our Holy Father? In our permanent home?

Oh the pure adulation...

thank you for those reminders and thoughts...

God has blessed you with an amazing gift...

MugwumpMom said...

Oh, how I remember the night that Father welcomed me home! And I look forward to Him welcoming home my husband and son.

I'll have to check out that book. Your blog is wonderful and I'm glad you started this ministry.

Dawn said...

I went to Karly's site and she sounds like a very angry person, whose sole purpose for blogging is to discredit TC. Satan loves it.

Spookie the Warrior said...

I will join Linda in saying Welcome Home Kevin. I long for the day when my husband and my son return home to their Heavenly Father. What a celebration that will be!!

Karly said...


To better understand why I haven't posted your comment on my blog, please see the updates I have made so you will better understand.


Anonymous said...

My son has been enrolled at Teen Challenge Bonifay, FL since June 2006. It has been a rewarding and life changing experience for him. He had a two-week Christmas visit and a two-week "re-entry" visit back home with family. His reactions to situations and demeaner are entirely different than when he first enrolled and he is returning to the son we knew and loved as a child.

The ranch is regularly monitored by county agencies and suprise inspections are frequently carried out without incident. This is a military style camp with firm strict rules, but my son has flourished with the consistency and discipline with love.

I could not see sending my son to a facility that would use drugs to control him nor could I see the benefit of a psychobable facility to rationalize his behaviour.

This is just what he needed to get his head screwed on straight. There is a proper amount of discipline blended with classroom, bible study and mentorship. As students progress through the program and show improvement they are given the opportunity to lead and mentor the newer students.

Its not a facility with ex-military drill instructors harrassing the boys 24/7. Its Christian men held to high standards of integrity and peers of the boys who have demonstrated a level of trust and accountability. There are also a number of ladies in teaching and facilitating roles.

Further, the students are kept busy with regular chores and exercise. This is a working farm and they do supply some of their own food items. Its a good way to give a young man some responsibility and have him gain self-worth through accomplishment.

There is also free time for swimming or fishing in the lake, playing board games, chess, table tennis, weight lifting, horse riding, reading, etc. My son is teaching himself to play the accoustic guitar.

The students are rewarded for acheiving school goals with field trips. My son has gone deep-sea fishing on a coulple of occasions, for example. During the yearly rodeo, in town, a large number of the boys are allowed to attend. There are opportunities for community service and missions trips both in the states and outside the U.S.A. as well.

Yes, the phone calls are monitored via speaker-phone. I haven't seen the need to discuss anything that couldn't be overheard by a dorm full of boys and I've never been cut off.

My son is in the best shape emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually that he has ever been.

All in all, its a great program.

Anonymous said...

Bonifay, FL (West FL Teen Challenge Boys Ranch) regularly has volunteers, typically retirees who come and help out around the place living in RVs on site.

Here's a first hand account.

Not of This World said...

For those trying to make a decision about sending a loved one to Teen Challenge, voluntarily entering the program, or entering under court order.

Resource clearing house and place for testimonials both favorable and not.