Now That’s Funny! Pray with Your Neighbor (Michael Jr. Comedy)

Pray With Your Neighbor by Michael Jr Comedy via www.JeanWilund.com

It’s Friday. Whoo Hoo!

I’ve had an incredible week.

It’s been incredibly busy — code for too busy to blog.  

And incredibly fun — code for don’t feel sorry for me.

But it’s also been too long since I’ve connected with you all, so I thought we should reconnect with a good laugh.

Michael Jr. is my go-to guy for a laugh. Enjoy this short but hilarious video.


Pray with Your Neighbor

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Hurricane Softened Soil & Hearts

 Softened Soil & Hearts — We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane via www.jeanwilund.com

We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane

As soon as I made my plans, Hurricane Irma came and wrecked them. Thanks, a lot.

I’d planned to finish my Enoch blog posts last week, but then we had to jump into Hurricane Irma Readiness mode. My blog instantly became low priority. 

My heart breaks at the sight on the news of all those who lost so much in Irma — especially those who lost their lives. It’s devastating!

Thanks, Irma

I’m grateful to report, though, that we weathered Irma incredibly well. We only lost our power for a few hours. Long enough to remind me how much I depend on it. Thanks, Irma.

How did Abraham Lincoln read by candlelight every night? It’s hard. I had to get out my book-light, which wasn’t much brighter than a candle anyway. 

We almost lost a tree, too. Our Chinese Elm is now leaning at about a 45º angle. This is good, though, because it’s been growing at an 85º angle since the beginning. Thanks, Irma.

I kept meaning to straighten it out and stake it while it was still small, but one thing led to another. By the time I got around to it, the tree was rooted into the hard clay soil and unwilling to budge an inch. 

I thought about forcing it but was afraid of damaging the tree — maybe even breaking it. But now it’s just a mess. We’ve got to fix it. Its roots won’t survive being above-ground.

Fortunately, we can pull it up with ease because it’s now loose in the Irma-softened soil. We can give it a fresh start and new life.

Softened Soil & Hearts

Hurricane Softened Soil & Hearts — When a Hurricane actually did something good. www.jeanwilund.comWhen I told my friend Debbie about our poor tree, she pointed out how much our Chinese Elm is a picture of the work God does in our hearts.

Unless God softens the soil of our hearts, no outward pushing or pulling will move it without damaging it.

I’m probably guilty of hurting a few people with my well-meaning attempts to force their hearts to move in a direction I felt was best.

I’ve tried to help God rather than wait for Him to do the work only He can do.

Why do I keep forgetting I’m not God?

God’s Perfect Work

God’s work in our hearts is perfect. Only He knows best what we need.

Sometimes God sends a long, gentle rain to soften a heart.

He’ll speak to us through His Word or and open our eyes to a truth we’d missed or misunderstood. Painless.

Other times, He sends a rainstorm that breaks up the soil of our hearts in ways we wouldn’t have chosen.

Painful, but effective.

And then, when necessary, God sends an all-out hurricane to flood and blow against our hearts until they become putty in His hands.

PAINFUL, but perfect.

God’s Work in our hearts isn’t always fun. When it’s painful, let’s remember:

God never allows the storms to blow beyond what is absolutely necessary to cause our roots to grow deep into His marvelous love.

New Life — New Look

If my Chinese Elm continued to grow at an angle the roots couldn’t support, a strong enough storm would’ve eventually knocked it down to its doom.

With the soil now properly softened, we can give our tree new life that’s able to weather the storms to come.

We can give it a new look, too. A strong look, rather than looking like it’ll fall over if the wind sneezes.  

I’m thankful for the storms God has sent or allowed into my heart. He’s used each one to mold me more into the likeness of Jesus.  

Softened Soil & Hearts — We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane via www.jeanwilund.comI know I’ll never look just like Jesus. I’ve got too many twists and turns in my trunk. But that’s ok. My roots are now growing down into the soil of His marvelous love, and I’m filled with new life. 

And hopefully a new look — one that smiles more than it grumbles or grimaces.

My hope is when I’m old and gray (instead of just young and gray — or more accurately, middle-aged and gray) people will meet me and know what Jesus is really like.

At this point, I make Jesus look more like a Picasso painting. But He’s not done with me yet. More softening of my heart to come!

I’m Sorry

To those of you that I’ve hurt by my pushing and pulling, “Forgive me.” I hope you know it was only because I love you — or because I was temporarily an idiot.

And to those of you who’ve been hurt by other Christians who tried to force your heart to believe in Jesus or look like Jesus — on their behalf, I say, “I’m so sorry.”

And to those who are facing a Heart Hurricane, I say, “Embrace it.”

Hang on, but embrace it. Let God have His way with your heart. Let Him soften and move your heart to where it needs to be. If you don’t, one day a big storm is going to come and knock you flat. It may even break you.

An Encouraging Word From the Word

I now leave you with the incredible encouragement of Ephesians 3:16-20, one of my favorite passages in the Bible:

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 


Time to go finish the last part of my Enoch Walked with God and Had a Methuselah Moment blog posts. And to pray for those who are still feeling Irma’s ire. 


If you want to help victims of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey, Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision are great organizations. They provide help to many and are supported by donations.  

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Enoch Walked With God & Had a Methuselah Moment — You Can, Too! (Part 2)

Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 2 via www.JeanWilund.com

My Methuselah Moment

Ever had a Magic Moment, the kind that the Drifters sing about?

I have. But even better than a Magic Moment is a Methuselah Moment a moment in time when your walk with God changes forever. 

By that I mean, you walk with God. If you walk away from God, that moment would more likely be considered a Gomer Moment. I’ll have to write about that another time.

My first Methuselah Moment came when I first heard the Gospel message. I’d grown up hearing about Jesus. I celebrated His birthday every December and His resurrection every spring. I loved Him because every time we celebrated something for Him, I was the one who got presents.

Finally, in 1973, God drew me to Himself and led me to a summer youth camp where I heard the Gospel for the first time. I embraced it and began walking with God.

My next Methuselah Moment came when I saw The Red Thread — the presence of Jesus and/or His Work woven from eternity past into eternity future. 

The moment I saw a timeline showing Jesus woven through God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation, I was stunned. It was like I’d found the missing piece of Christianity that made Christianity stop seeming so hard. It changed my walk with God. Forever.

I saw God in a new light. Actually, in more light — as if a veil had lifted. I saw His heartbeat — Jesus.

I saw that Christianity isn’t about living a certain way and then going to heaven. It’s about Jesus. Everything from eternity past into eternity future is about Jesus Christ and His amazing love for the Father and the world. It all starts and ends with Jesus.

When I say it’s all about Jesus, don’t think I’m leaving out God or the Holy Spirit. They’re the inseparable three-in-one.

From first to last, it’s all about Christ, who lives to glorify God and is revealed by the Spirit.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
~ Revelation 22:13

Enoch’s Methuselah Moment

We don’t know what God said to Enoch, but I wonder if his Methuselah Moment came when he saw The Red Thread. There’s no written record that he “saw Jesus threaded through God’s plan for the world,” but we know from Jude 14-15 that he prophesized about Jesus’ Second Coming. And we know Enoch’s ancestors and descendants saw The Red Thread, even though the full reality of Jesus’ first coming remained a mystery.

Adam and Eve received the promise that Jesus would come to save the world from sin (Genesis 3:15).

Abel discovered the importance of the right sacrifice, which points to Jesus, the perfect and final sacrifice (Genesis 4:3-7; Hebrews 11:4).

After Enoch, his grandson Noah experienced the joy of being saved due to being counted as righteous through faith (Genesis 7:1; Hebrews 11:7).

Surely, as Enoch walked with God for 300 years, he came to know God’s heartbeat — that God would bring everything into unity under Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10) and give Him first place in everything (Colossians 1:18).

Walk Like Enoch

Enoch had a unique relationship with God in those days, but we have something he didn’t. We have God’s Word in written form — God’s Word, the Bible.

If we dig into God’s Word — and let it dig into us — it will change us.

To walk with God like Enoch, we must walk with the Word.

One of the best ways I’ve found to walk with the Word is The Red Thread Way.

I’ll post about that next, so please check back. 


Share this post and check back for our next look at Enoch’s Walk with God & Methuselah Moment. If you missed Part 1, Click Here.

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Enoch Walked With God and Had a Methuselah Moment — You Can Too (Part 1)

Enoch walked with God & had a Methuselah Moment (You Can, Too) Part 1 via www.JeanWilund.comEnoch Walked with God

I’m so glad Enoch walked with God instead of ran. I don’t run.

Unless someone is chasing me or there’s only one serving left of the Mint Moose Tracks ice cream. Or Hurricane Irma comes knocking on our door. I’m running then! Otherwise, I’ll stick to walking.

Besides, walking is biblical.

“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”
(Genesis 5:24 NASB)

Enoch walked with God, and then God just took him away. He didn’t have to experience death like the rest of us. Of course it took him 300 years of walking to get there. I wonder how many miles he racked up.

 

Enoch “obtained the witness” that he was “pleasing to God.”
(Hebrews 11:5 NASB)

Enoch walked with God and made it into the Hall of Faith chapter of Hebrews.

There you have it. Walking is biblical.

Yes, I know the Bible tells us to “run the race.” But I don’t want to talk about that now. Let’s learn to walk first.

Let’s discover the secret to how a Methuselah Moment led Enoch to such a close walk with God that, after 300 years, God said, “Enoch, We’re closer to My home now than we are to yours. Let’s just walk on home to Mine.”

Ok, God didn’t really say that. (At least it’s not recorded anywhere.)

But Enoch did walk with God in such a remarkable way, God made sure we noticed.

Who is this Enoch?

Enoch first appears in Genesis 5 in “the book of the generations of Adam” (Genesis 5:1-7).

As we read through the generations, a pattern emerges:

“When so-and-so had lived blank years, he fathered blah blah blah. So-and-so lived after he fathered blah blah blahblank years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of so-and-so were blank years, and he died.

The pattern repeats itself until we get to verses 21-24.

“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Now you see him, now you don’t because Enoch walked with God.

Enoch lived 365 years — a year of years — but he walked with God for 300 of them.

What happened during those other 65 years?

Who was Enoch walking with then? Did he walk alone? Or with his dog?

All we know is when Enoch was 65 years old he became the father of Methuselah, and it was at that point he began to walk with God.

Enoch had a Methuselah Moment. He had — a moment in time that marked his life between when he walked without God and when he walked with God.

What was so special about Methuselah?

Most people who know Methuselah, know one thing. He lived longer than any other human — 969 years.

Few of us probably know the meaning of his name, though.

Biblical scholars of old say Methuselah’s name most likely comes from the Hebrew word meaning “man of the dart” or “man of the sword.” Its full meaning might be, “When he dies, it will come.”

Sort of the original Field of Dreams except this dream would be a nightmare because the year Methuselah died, God sent the Flood.

Not every Bible scholar is as quick to connect Methuselah’s name to a prophecy of the flood. But honestly, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that after Methuselah was born, Enoch walked with God. Not before, but after.

Something changed in Enoch’s heart after Methuselah was born. Something so big he had a Methuselah Moment.

Enoch’s Methuselah Moment set him off on a journey with the Lord — a journey he never left. And one we should take.

What happened in that moment?

What did Enoch learn as he walked with God that we need to know? 

And how can we have our own Methuselah Moment?

We’ll look at these questions in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, read more about Enoch in Genesis 5, Hebrews 11, and Jude 14-15.


Share this post and check back for tomorrow’s look at Enoch’s Walk with God & Methuselah Moment.

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Wait. What? — Need Help Understanding the Bible?

Leiann Walther and Strong Hands Enterprises Helps You Understand the Bible via www.JeanWilund.com

“I’ve tried to read the Bible before, but I just don’t understand it.” 

How many times have you heard that? Or said it?

I get it. An IKEA instruction manual can sometimes make more sense than the Bible.

Sometimes. 

But never fear. God has not left us to decipher it by ourselves. Not only does He send His Holy Spirit to guide us in understanding, He’s also gifted many men and women with the ability to teach.

It’s important to note, however, that not every teacher out there has been gifted by God. Some teaching is just plain wrong. (Think Prosperity Gospel–Word of Faith teaching.)

But there are many wonderful teachers as well. Websites and podcasts can be our friends. Your local pastor can be even better. And a solid Bible study teacher is the cherry on top.

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite Bible teachers, Leiann Walther. Actually, I’ve already featured her before: 

So You Need to Teach A Bible Study but You Have No Idea How?
“Able to Teach” to the Rescue!

I’m featuring Leiann again because she’s recently updated her website, Strong Hands Enterprises, with even more great resources to help you understand the Bible.   

On Strong Hands Enterprises, Leiann offers

Audio teachings
Handouts
Downloadable studies
Resource suggestions
And much more

Great resources for both us learners and teachers. Check it out:

Strong Hands Enterprises


Leiann Walther with Strong Hands Enterprises via www.JeanWilund.comLeiann Walther is the author of many Bible studies and devotions. 

She received a Bachelors degree in Education & Bible and her Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from Columbia International University. She’s taught the Bible for over 30 years. 

For more information about additional seminars by Leainn Walther and Strong Hands Enterprises, click this link: Strong Hands Enterprises.


 

Help others understand the Bible, too, by sharing this post. Thanks!

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A Total Eclipse of Awe-Inspiring Faith & How to Find It

Total Eclipse of Awe-Inspiring Faith -- The One-Two Punch via www.JeanWilund.com

Ooh, Wow! Don’t Look at the Sun!

I think I said, “Ooh, wow!” and “Don’t look at the sun!” in my sleep last night.

If you watched the total solar eclipse, you know what I mean.

Ooh! Wow!

Especially if you watched it with small children.

Don’t look at the sun!

For about 2 1/2 overwhelming minutes, the moon utterly eclipsed our sun, a blazing ball of burning gas 400 times bigger than it.

That describes the faith I want. The faith I need all the time. A Total Eclipse of Faith.

The Awe of Eclipse

Viewing any solar eclipse is incredible, partial or total.

The moon blocking 90% of the sun is quite a sight. But 100%? That’s epic. Magical. Miraculous.

The birds and bees left my flower garden with the light and went to bed. Our street and porch lights came to life. The temperature dropped to an eery, comfortable coolness of evening. All for 2 1/2 minutes.

Then the moon shifted over a hair. The sun lit up the sky again. The birds and bees returned along with the blistering heat. 

All was as before — except for us. We stood in awe and wonder. Overwhelmed by the greatness of the experience.  

No photos or words do it justice. You have to experience it. And once you do, you’re Googling where the next one will be.

The next day I received a letter from a lady who’s struggling to fully surrender to God and hoping I had words to help. I related with her heart. Don’t we all share her struggle?

As I sat to write her, I suddenly saw the solar eclipse as a great illustration for surrender to God.

Most of the world lives outside the path of totality for a solar eclipse and longs to experience a Total Eclipse.

Likewise, most Christians live in partial surrender to God, but long for a total eclipse of faith — faith that eclipses all their fears, doubts, and rebellion.

Where Do You Live? 

I would imagine that many of us Christians live in at least 50% surrender to God.

We’ve trusted Him for our salvation and thank Him for eternal life. But for this present life, our faith is weak. It doesn’t make much difference in our daily lives.

We attend church. Maybe not every week, but more than some. We own a nice leather Bible, and if you’ll give us a minute, we can find it. 

We do Christian stuff, but knowing Christ doesn’t seem to have transformed us because we worry just as much as our neighbor.

Christ is our Savior, but not much more than that.

Hopefully, our faith will deepen, and we’ll move to more surrender. Maybe 75%?  

But we don’t know how to get it to 100%, so we struggle.

Partial faith is exhausting. If we don’t get some answers, we may move back to 50%, and eventually down to negligible faith. 

Oh, for faith to trust You more, Lord

How can we move our faith to where it eclipses all our fears, doubts, and rebellion?

I can’t speak for everyone, but two factors (a one-two punch) have allowed me to experience many amazing moments of a total eclipse of faith.

And the time between eclipses has shortened as I’ve learned to give my fears, doubts, and rebellion the one-two punch: Know and Obey God.

1. Know God

Any fears, doubts, or rebellion we hold are unfounded. God is always able to care for His children, and He does all things well. All things.

Since we can trust God enough to cause our fears, doubts, and rebellion to shrink in the face of who He is, why don’t we?

We’ll never trust anyone more than we know him.

We must come to know God — not just about Him.

Study the Bible, the Word of God. Look on each page to find Jesus and discover God’s character. Don’t study to know how to be a better Christian. Study to know God.

Learn His character. Treasure it in your heart where it will transform your faith in Him.

Check out my ever-growing list of posts on God’s Character.

The more we know God, the more our heart will believe we can trust Him, which leads us to the knock-out punch: Obedience.

2. Obey God

The more we know God, the more we’ll trust Him.

The more we trust Him, the more we’ll obey Him.

The more we obey Him, the more we’ll experience Him.

The more we experience Him, the more we’ll love Him,

The more we love Him, the more we’ll want to know Him more.

God reveals more light after we obey Him with the light He’s already given us.

Once we obey, we learn by experience that God is indeed everything He said He is. And we fall in love and grow in faith.

But it’s a process, like a total solar eclipse.

Bit by Bit, A Total Eclipse of Faith

Total Eclipse of Faith -- The One-Two Punch via www.JeanWilund.comBit by bit, as we obey, our faith will overshadow our fears, doubts, and rebellion until we enjoy a total eclipse of faith.

Then we’ll stand in awe and wonder at our Lord, the One who, by His kind grace, gives us faith. (Romans 12:3, Ephesians 2:8, I Timothy 1:13-14, Romans 10:17)

Pray and ask the Lord to give you a total eclipse of faith. Then obey Him in whatever He shows you to do, trusting Him to do in your heart what needs to be done. 

I wish I could say my faith is always at 100%, but each time I enjoy a total eclipse of faith, it inspires me to trust God more the next time. 

And unlike in a total solar eclipse, in a Total Eclipse of Faith, I can say, “Ooh, Wow! Look at the Son!”


Have you enjoyed a Total  Eclipse of Faith? Tell us about your experience. We’d love to hear it.

If this post encouraged you, I hope you’ll share it. There’s handy sharing buttons below:

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