Archives for October 2015

Football, Fireworks, and a Big Green Piano

Click to read how God works in unexpected way, even Football, Fireworks and a Big Green Piano (by Leigh Ann Thomas via www.jeanwilund.com)

Have you found that God loves to teach us powerful lessons in the most unexpected ways and times?

My dear friend, and fellow Carolina Panther fanatic, Leigh Ann Thomas never expected what God had planned for her when she went to cheer on the Panthers.

I’m thrilled to introduce Leigh Ann to you now and let her share her bizarre and powerful experience with you. Her message gripped me. It will grip you, too.


Football, Fireworks, and
a Big Green Piano

by Leigh Ann Thomas

Every nerve-ending was fully engaged as I approached the massive football stadium in downtown Charlotte—home of the Carolina Panthers.

For most of the noisy throng pouring into the stadium, this was a typical Sunday afternoon amusement.

But not for this girl. Only my second-ever pro game as an adult, and wearing my new Panther’s t-shirt, I soaked in the sights, sounds, and smells like a kid at the county fair.

Tailgaters played corn-hole and tossed a football as smoke from their grilled hotdogs and sausages made my stomach growl. “Salesmen” held up hand-scrawled signs advertising extra tickets. Music of various styles and decibel levels floated from every direction.

In my over-fired brain, we were on track to having the best day ever.

After making our way through several security checks, my husband and I approached the gate and with a big silly smile, I handed the agent my ticket.

The last-hurdle-to-my-dreams gatekeeper scanned my ticket.

Then she scanned it again.

Um…and again.

Nothing.

She scanned my sweetheart’s ticket with the same results and then sent us to the ticket window to “clear up the confusion.”

Half an hour later we accepted the inevitable—our tickets were invalid.

All those nerve-endings felt weighted with disappointment—I was so close to seeing my Panthers!

We couldn’t afford to do business with the “salesmen” around the stadium, so we began the slow walk away from the game.

I looked over my shoulder as pre-game fireworks filled the air. The national anthem began and the fireworks display intensified. The crowd roared and I envisioned the mighty Panthers running through a fogged tunnel and onto the field.

As we walked through the downtown area, my sweet husband did his best to put a positive spin on the day. Maybe we could find a place to eat with a big-screen TV?

Not impressed, I commenced to sulk (which is not very attractive for a grown woman).

After a couple of blocks, my husband stopped mid stride. “Hey honey, look at that…it’s a piano.”

Indeed, there was a piano sitting outside in the middle of Charlotte, NC. With little-boy enthusiasm, he grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the crosswalk. “Come on and play for me…it’ll be fun!”

“Um…no. I don’t think so. That’s just…” I started to say “dumb” or “stupid” but I stopped at the look of eagerness on his face.

With a sigh, I crossed the street and sat down at the biggest, greenest piano I had ever seen and began to play a tune to humor my spouse.

The weather that day was pure southern magic with a touch of October cool and just enough sunshine to keep a jacket at bay.

Click to read how God works in unexpected ways, even through Football, Fireworks, & A Big Green Piano (by Leigh Ann Thomas via www.JeanWilund.com)With no printed music, I played from memory. I began with favorite hymns, then moved to a couple of childhood recital pieces. The breeze kicked up a notch and I closed my eyes as my fingers found the notes to a song I learned as a child…

He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea…He alone decides who writes the symphony…

And in that moment, I began to worship.

He lights every star that makes our darkness bright, He keeps watch all through each long and lonely night…*

The words of the song filled my heart as the notes drifted throughout the city block. The Holy Spirit began His work…

See, Child? The pleasures of this world will come and go…but worship of Me is eternal.

That afternoon, with the ballgame a distant roar, my sweetheart and I took joy in the moment, in each other, and in the crazy-fun of a big green piano. We laughed and giggled like kids and did manage to find a pizza place with a TV to catch the last quarter of the game.

I can’t even tell you who the Panthers played that day.

But the Lord used the experience to remind me of a couple of things:

Click to read about how God Works in Unexpected Ways, even through Football, Fireworks, & a Big Green Piano. (by Leigh Ann Thomas via www.JeanWilund.com) 1.   Without the right credentials, there was no way I could enter that football game.

It didn’t matter that my dad helped me obtain the tickets. My new Panther’s t-shirt didn’t matter one iota. The fact that I had driven three hours, spent money on a hotel, and was really excited meant nothing.

See where I’m going here? Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

When the reunions and celebrations begin on the New Heaven and the New Earth—with heavenly fireworks and incredible music—the only way to be invited in is to have the right credentials. Jesus. Only Jesus.

2.  And sometimes, God has other plans. 

If I dig in and insist on my own way, I may miss out on something better—something God-designed just for me. Am I willing to trust in His purposes?

My husband and I view our day of almost seeing a Panther’s game as an adventure and a treasure. We wouldn’t trade the unexpected joys for anything.

On track for the best day ever?

Absolutely.

Football, Fireworks, & a Big Green Piano - #God works in unexpected ways! #Faith&Football Click To Tweet

*Song-“He” by Richard Mullan, Jack Richards

Leigh Ann Thomas2Leigh Ann Thomas loves to pen devotional material, church worship drama, and short fiction. Her stories have won several awards and her latest work is included in the Southern Writers Short Story Edition 2015. She is the author of Time Out: A Quiet-time Devotional for Busy Moms and a columnist for AlmostAnAuthor.com. Leigh Ann blogs at leighathomas.com where she encourages others to live full lives in Christ.

Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains) by Crowder ~ Monday Music

Click to view video: Lift Your Head Weary Sinner by Crowder via www.JeanWilund.com

It’s human nature to run from God.

It’s God’s nature to run after us.

We build a fortress to keep Him away.

If we let Him too close, our walls would crumble.

We avoid His Word. It speaks of His great love for us. 

It draws us. We don’t dare open it.

We try to outrun God.

But He’s the Hound of heaven. His love will hunt us down. [Read more…]

Never Forget In The Dark What God Has Shown You In the Light (Praise Picture)

Never Forget in the Dark What God Has Shown You In The Light (Praise Picture)


You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
~ 2 Samuel 22:29 NIV

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
~ Matthew 24:35 NASB

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
~ Psalm 119:105 NASB

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
~ John 8:32 NIV

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NASB

 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
~ Ephesians 3:20 NIV


 

Never Forget In The Dark What God Has Shown You In the Light #Hope #Faith Click To Tweet

Your Great Name (by Natalie Grant) ~ Monday Music

Click to watch lyric music video "Your Great Name" by Natalie Grant

Natalie Grant is in Lexington, SC.

Not only will Natalie proclaim Christ’s great name tonight in Lexington, she’ll also join Lighthouse For Life and Northside Christian Academy to shine the light of hope into the scourge of human trafficking. 

It’s horrifying to learn that human trafficking is a booming business today, and that it’s not just in the darkest parts of the world. It’s in our own back yard, and children are its hottest commodity. 

No matter where you live, human trafficking is likely thriving near you, devastating the lives of those who’ve fallen victim to it. 

“Many of us believe slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. However, modern slavery, otherwise known as human trafficking, is a $32 billion industry that threatens to become the most profitable crime industry — surpassing illegal arms and drugs.” (Lighthouse For Life)

This depressing news could evaporate our joy, if not for the great name of Jesus. He’s the Light that shines into the darkness.

JESUS

In His name,

the lost are saved,
fear has no place,
and the weak are made strong

Jesus shines like a lighthouse, drawing all to Himself. He’s our refuge and strength. He’s not standing idly by as evil grows. He’s faithful to save and heal.

Natalie Grant, Lighthouse For Life, and Northside Christian Academy are teaming together today, October 19, 2015, to make a difference through the great name of Jesus. 

Please join me in praying for these ministries as they seek to combat human trafficking through “education, restoration, and empowerment.” 

To learn more about Monday night’s free event, click here: Natalie Grant comes to Northside Christian Academy to Highlight Human Trafficking. 

Encourage others in the power of the Great Name of Jesus by sharing this post. Thank you! 


Watch lyric video YOUR GREAT NAME by #NatalieGrant #Jesus #MondayMusic Click To Tweet


#NatalieGrant, #LighthouseForLife & #NorthsideChristianAcademy team up tonight to fight human trafficking. Click To Tweet

This Is Not The End (THE GLORIOUS UNFOLDING by Steven Curtis Chapman) ~ Monday Music

Listen to The Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman via www.JeanWilund.com

Floodwaters ripped through South Carolina recently.

Some survivors share stories of near-death experiences, miraculously rescued.

(See one survivor share his story below.)

Others were tragically discovered too late. 

Some have surrendered to a wake of hopelessness and despair.

Others have fallen to their knees and sung praises of gratefulness. 

Surely everyone has cried out, “Why?” [Read more…]

Fun Friday ~ Kick Off Your Weekend with a Funny Video: Run Dog! Rap!

Click to watch the funny video "Run Dog! Rap" by Melissa Yeomans via www.JeanWilund.com

Sometimes I just feel like laughing.

Adorable little boys running with big shaggy dogs make me laugh, so I thought I’d share a laugh with you for Fun Friday.

If you’ve watched even a few seconds of the news, you know we in South Carolina have been living through an historic 1,000 year flood. With all the tragedy that it’s brought, I thought we could all use a good, simple laugh.

There’s no deep spiritual theology in this video. In fact, there’s no theology at all, except that listening to this little boy rap and laugh will make your heart joyful, especially when coupled with his shaggy dog whose fur is flying in every direction. 

A joyful heart is good medicine,
But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
~ Proverbs 17:22
[Read more…]