Christ is Calling us to Receive His Salvation. Here’s How.

How to Receive Salvation from sin through Jesus Christ (via www.JeanWilund.com)

If you’ve never chosen to trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to pay for your sin, or even really understood what that means, let me explain. 

First, we need to understand why we even need salvation. [Read more…]

Ridiculous Forgiveness — A Story You Won’t Believe (And a Song to Testify)

Ridiculous Forgiveness -- Watch a Story You Won't Believe & listen to "Testify" by Needtobreathe (via www.JeanWilund.com

What if the Unforgivable Happened to You?


If a crooked cop — who falsely arrested you and landed you in prison for four years — got hired to work side-by-side with you, what would you do? 

If you’re Jameel McGee, you’d hang out with him and be his friend even though you lost everything when he sent you to prison. [Read more…]

What Would I Write To A Younger Me? (Dear Younger Me – MercyMe)

Watch MercyMe's music video "Dear Younger Me." It made me wonder. What would I write to a younger me? I made myself laugh and think. Enjoy! (www.JeanWilund.com)

Dear Younger Me,

Don’t open that upper cabinet door in the camper!!! 

Big black ants will have built a colony of thousands in it.

If you open the door, they’ll pour out onto your head like a bad horror film.

It will sound like a rain storm and give you nightmares for years.

Don’t open that cabinet door!!! 

Love, 
Older Me

I should probably add to the letter not to let my sister tie me onto the back of the tricycle before we careen down our steep driveway.

Oh, and I’d better warn myself to watch out for the corner of the laundry chute door when playing hide-n-seek with the glow-in-the-dark ball.

If you don’t, Younger Me, Dad will sew up your eyebrow without anesthesia!

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention that day I skipped class in high school. If I hadn’t been skipping, I wouldn’t have hit my best friend’s VW bug with my dad’s car.

Younger Me, Stay in school!

Maybe I should just warn myself about every awful decision I’d make in the future — especially those I don’t want to think about ever again. They created scars. Some of them deep.

But they also brought me to the end of myself and to the grace of Christ. 

Some scars still hurt, though.

But they’ve helped rub off my harsher edges.

Needing grace and receiving it, softened me. I wouldn’t want to lose that.

My family wouldn’t want me to lose that. I’m hard enough to live with.

Should I Mess with the Past?

I’ve seen the movie Back to the Future enough to know it’s risky to mess with the past.

What if I changed it and never met my husband?

And then we wouldn’t have our three incredible children or wonderful daughter-in-law.

There’s no freedom from pain or regret that would be worth missing out on any of them.

Would I Even Listen?

Growing up, I didn’t have a letter from Older Me, but I did have a letter from the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13), and I didn’t always believe Him.

If I wouldn’t listen to the One who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), how likely is it I’d listen to my short-sighted self?

Nevertheless, if I could, I’d write a letter to Younger Me. It would just be shorter than I first imagined when I first imagined what I’d write to a younger me.

Dear Younger Me,

Memorize, believe, and live John 14:1.

Let not your heart be troubled.

Believe God. Believe Christ.

Then live what you say you believe. 

You’ll never regret it because God will never fail you.

Love,

Older You

PS — And don’t open the cabinet door in the camper. Get your sister to do it.

What would you write to a Younger You?

Now enjoy this music video Dear Younger Me by MercyMe.

Then share in the comments what you’d write to Younger You. I’d love to hear. Thanks!

[Read more…]

The Myth of Perfect Parenting ~ While My Child is Away ~ Part 3

The myth of perfect parenting. Learn how best to pray while your child is away in While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean Wilund

Have you fallen for the myth of perfect parenting? 

I did. But not for long.

After I woke up to the truth, I sank into a pit of despair, thinking I’m the reason my kids will go broke on therapy!

Mercifully, God rescued me from that pit.

The maddening myth of perfect parenting continues to haunt me occasionally, but I’m glad to no longer be a card-carrying member of that fantasy land.

Edie Melson woke up to the myth fairly early in her journey, as well.

In her latest book While My Child is Away: My Prayers for When We Are ApartEdie shares one of her less than finer Momma Moments. Bahaha! ?

The Myth of Perfect Parenting

Excerpt from While My Child is Away by Edie Melson

Coming into this parenting journey, my goal was to be perfect. Or at least I wanted to be as perfect as possible. I didn’t want anything I did—or didn’t do—to affect my kids negatively. It didn’t take long to figure out this wasn’t going to happen.

I remember one time in particular when I had the best of intentions. Our oldest child was born picky. He had certain likes and dislikes and nothing we tried to do could change them. One of the things he did not like was getting dirty, especially getting his hands dirty. This quirk even affected what foods he ate and how he ate. As a toddler, he refused to pick up any food that would get his hands dirty. This even extended to an aversion of handling things that had crumbs—like crackers and cookies.

This particular day I decided the time had come to introduce him to the fun that could be had by getting his hands dirty. I thought baking cookies would be the perfect way to sneak him into using his hands. I chose a recipe for sugar cookies that required working with the dough and getting messy.

He was fine with helping add the ingredients to the bowl to mix, but when it came time to sprinkle the counter with flour so we could roll out the dough, he balked. No way was he putting flour on his hands. In an effort to get him to loosen up, I flicked flour on myself to show him getting dirty was fun. He laughed, so I thought I’d take it one step further and flicked flour on him. Instead of more laughter, my act was met with howls of anguish as he fled the room. He barricaded himself into the bathroom until I promised no more baking. Definitely not one of my best momma moments.

Eventually he did lose his aversion to getting dirty, but it wasn’t anything I could take credit for. He grew out of it naturally.

Perfect parents don’t guarantee perfect kids. Whether the mistakes we make happen when they’re with us, or when they’re away from us, God can and will affect the outcome. I could have done every single thing right as a mother, and because of free will, any of my sons could have chosen the wrong path. How do I know this is true? Because God is perfect, and look how we turned out. He did everything right, but we still chose to go our own way.

I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

~ Romans 7:19 NLT


Read that last paragraph again.

Now write it out and frame it.

Now read it every day until the Lord calls us home.

There’s nothing so comforting as the truth.

And the truth is that God is in control.

Whew!


Parents Survival Kit

Have you entered to win the Parents’ Survival Kit?

It’s not too late.

Enter today and win:

a signed copy of While My Child is Away,

a fabulous journal, and 

a framed copy of Isaiah 65:24.

Is your child away? Learn how to best pray & enter to win this book. While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean Wilund

I’ll announce the winner in Friday’s blog post.

Will it be you?

How Can You Win?

Oh, so many ways to win!

1. Leave a comment = one entry (You may comment once each day.)

2. Subscribe to my blog = two entries

If you’ve already subscribed, leave a comment and let me know. You’ll automatically receive three entries — one for commenting and two for subscribing.

3. Tweet out each day’s tweet = one entry (Located online at the end of each blog post)

4. Share my Facebook post = one entry

Comment, Pin, Tweet, and Post on Facebook each day to rack up entries for a better chance to win.


Edie Melson, author of While My Soldier ServesEdie Melson is the mother of three grown boys and the author of several books, including While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With Loved Ones in the Military. A sought-after writing instructor, Edie serves as the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Connect with her on her blog The Write Conversation at www.EdieMelson.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Edie and her husband live in Simpsonville, South Carolina. [Read more…]

The Surprise Blessing of Desperation — While My Child is Away – Part 2

The Surprise Blessing of Desperation

Imagine sitting across from two of your kids as they describe waking up, floating in a river hours after having been struck by lightning and blown out of their kayaks.

Edie Melson lived that nightmare.

Read the excerpt here if you missed yesterday’s post.

Motivation to Pray

Edie and her husband have raised three boys.

Three boys.

Boys get blown out of kayaks.

They say, “Hey y’all! Watch this!”

Boys are motivation to pray.

I’ll never forget when my son and his friends started their own Fight Club.

They pummeled each other for fun until we parents complained about the broken bones and outlawed it.

I’ve got other stories, but fortunately none involve our son getting thunderbolted out of a kayak.

Edie and I talked about her journey to becoming a prayer warrior and writing her latest prayer book, While My Child is Away: My Prayers for When We Are Apart. 

Her story will encourage and inspire you.


Edie Melson, author of While My Soldier ServesEdie Melson:

I wanted to share my story to empower other people.

I write books on prayer now, but prayer for me didn’t come easily.

I thought I was really bad at it. I felt inadequate, like my prayers weren’t powerful enough to affect anything.

But I knew I had to pray.

The biggest thing was the desperation.

My kids needed prayer, and I couldn’t do anything but pray.

At that point, I didn’t realize that prayer was the best thing—the strongest thing—I could do.

I looked for books on prayers, but they were formal. And they weren’t my emotions.

One morning I called out to God in my quiet time.

The disciples asked You to teach them how to pray. Do it for me, too.

Everywhere I turned for the next six months, information just showed up. Scriptures would appear on billboards.

God finally got through to me that prayer wasn’t about the formality, the words, or the ways. It wasn’t legalistic. 

A huge weight fell off my shoulders. I can do this!

But I still felt awkward.

I began going through Psalms, inserting my children’s names in Scripture.

I began to write them out because I’m easily distracted.

This process of journaling and praying scripture for my children revolutionized my prayer life.

When I finally clued into the fact that the power in prayer didn’t rest in me or my words, it rested in God, the whole world opened to me.

All these prayers that were in me, waiting to come out in just the right way, started flowing because I finally got that it didn’t have to be perfect.

We want our prayers to matter the most with our kids.

Without realizing where the power in prayer comes from, we can dam up our prayers ourselves.

God wants us to be free and able to come to Him without feeling stressed.


The Surprise Blessing of Desperation

Desperation isn’t fun, but it’s a great teacher. It reaches us when logic and reason can’t.

God used desperation to clue me into the power of prayer, too.

With my kids far away, the only real power I still had to impact them was prayer.

Like Edie, I felt a desperate loss of control.

My desperation led to the surprise blessing of peace.

Peace comes whenever we let go of the need to control and choose to trust in and rely on God instead.

Fully trust in and rely on Him.

God knows all our kids’ needs, and He’s always good and faithful to work exactly as He knows best for their good and His glory.

And He knows how to move us from desperation to peace.

One helpful tool is Edie Melson’s Parents Survival Kit.

Enter to win it!

[Read more…]

My Lighthouse: Because a Stubby Nightlight Just Won’t Do

Seriously? We need a lighthouse not a nightlight! John 8.12 & My Lighthouse by Rend Collective via www.JeanWilund.com

 

Lighthouse or Nightlight?


I just spent a fabulous week in Cape Cod. So much beauty.

But seriously?

Some of their lighthouses are so stubby they seem more like a nightlight than a lighthouse.

My husband laughed and said it’s as if their lighthouses are barely whispering, “We’re over here.”

If I’m sailing in troubled seas, a stubby nightlight just won’t do.

A Drowning Woman


Early one morning, while Jesus taught in the Temple, t
he Pharisees and Scribes tossed a drowning woman at Jesus’ feet.

They’d caught her swimming in someone else’s waters, and now she was treading in a sea of trouble. 

Like a puny nightlight that can’t even protect our toes in the dark, the leaders revealed only partial truth. They reminded Jesus that the Law commanded anyone caught in adultery be stoned.  

Actually, they told Him, “Moses commanded us to stone such women.” They twisted the truth and spared the guilty man.

 

SOS: Stoning Or Salvation


After Jesus heard the woman’s accusers, He stooped down and wrote in the dirt.

Unimpressed, or maybe confused, the accusers pressed Jesus to condemn the woman. 

Jesus simply straightened up like a towering Lighthouse and said:

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Grace, love, and truth screamed through the darkness and offered salvation.

Then Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt again.

What did He write?

Scripture? 

The names of women these leaders would recognize in an incriminating way?

Who knows? But the impact can’t be missed.

One by one the leaders slithered off. 

The older men probably had more stone-able secrets they wished to keep hidden, so they scuttled off first. 

Flip Flopped


After Jesus spelled it out for them, their anticipated judgment flip flopped. 

The “righteous” men saw the Light and walked off, judged by their sins

The guilty woman saw the same Light and remained, saved from her sins.

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

The men could’ve fallen at Jesus’ feet and received the same salvation she did.

Instead, they preferred to slip off and drown in judgment rather than bow to Christ.

Safe To Shore


Jesus didn’t tell the guilty woman, “Go, and sin no more” and then He’d bring her safe to shore.

Nope. He gave her a full pardon upfront.

My Lighthouse Child Holds a LighthouseI’ve tread in many a troubled seas.

Sometimes I never saw the craggy cliff. Blind or careless, I slipped and fell off.

Other times I dove off headfirst.

And still other times, I was pushed.

It doesn’t matter how we got into trouble.

Jesus is a towering Lighthouse of salvation for all — the blind, the careless, the victim, and, yes, even the culprit.

Then Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the Light of life
(John 8:12, NASB).

We all make it safe to shore, free of guilt, if we look to Christ — our Lighthouse — and follow Him.

My Lighthouse by Rend Collective


As I read John 8:1-12, I couldn’t help but think of Rend Collective’s song My Lighthouse

I’ve featured Rend Collective before, but If you’re not familiar with this fun Irish band, I’m thrilled to introduce you to them.

They present God’s life-changing truth in their own quirky style.

Enjoy: [Read more…]