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…]

Orlando, I’m so sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better.

Orlando, I'm Sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better via www.jeanwilund.com

Orlando, I’m so sorry!

I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. And I’m sorry for the many horrible reactions you’ve endured. We can respond better.

In fact, there are at least six ways we can respond better to tragedy, but first let’s briefly review the horrors that descended upon Orlando this past week. [Read more…]

Even When We’re Not, God’s Love Is LOYAL (by Lauren Daigle)

Click to view: Even when we're not loyal, God is. Watch Lauren Daigle's music video "Loyal" via www.jeanwilund.com

Loyal.


A perfect word for God’s love.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

We can run from God's love, but we'll never outrun it. #God's love is #Loyal @Lauren_Daigle Click To Tweet

Because of God’s faithful love, He’s always working in our lives and hearts to draw us to Himself.

And whatever God begins, He completes. He’ll never give up on us.

For I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 
~ Philippians 1:6

My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips.
~ Psalm 89:34

Do you need to stop running from His love and grace?

We can’t outrun them, so why try any longer?

Give in to His love and grace.

Run to them, wallow all up in them, and burrow down into them forever.

God’s love is loyal, even when we’re not. Amen!

Let Lauren Daigle’s song “Loyal” comfort you and inspire you today — and every day:

[Read more…]

When Life Comes Too Fast or Too Hard, Don’t Panic. Do This Instead.

When life comes too fast or too hard (and it will), don't panic. Do this instead. Look to Isaiah 43, and gain confidence & strength. (via www.JeanWilund.com)When life comes too fast and too hard (and it will), don’t panic.

Do this instead: Look to Isaiah 43.

May this letter to God, written as a response to His Words through Isaiah, give you the strength and confidence you need today.


Father God,

Life is coming hard and fast.

Where are You?

“Do not to be afraid,” I hear You say. “I’ve ransomed you and set you free.”

You paid the unimaginable price demanded. For me.

You call me by name and say, “You are mine.”

You say I’m precious to You, and You love me. 

You tell me You chose me and created me for Your glory.

Forgive me for doubting You. I’d lost sight.

But now I see.

WHEN I go through rivers of difficulty carried away by the fast, furious current, I will not drown because You, O Lord, are with me.

WHEN I walk through the fires of oppression from sin or heartbreak and pain in my soul, the flames will not consume me.

For You are the Lord, my God, the Holy One over me, my Savior.

I will not be afraid for You are with me.

No matter how far I may go from Your presence, You are always right there, gathering me back from the distant corners.

No one but You can predict a single day into the future, but You know every one of my days even before there was one.

You are the only God, and from eternity to eternity there is no other besides You.

No one can oppose You or stop Your mighty hand or reverse Your actions.

Your purposes for me will be accomplished because You have determined it by the strength of Your great, exceeding love for me, which can never be extinguished. 

The things You’ve done for Your people — for me — reveal unquestionably the power of Your love, strength and wisdom.

But all that’s nothing compared to what You’re about to do.

You’re doing something brand new.

Praise God, You’ve already begun.

You’ll make a pathway through my wilderness and rivers in my desert.

You will refresh me.

You’ve been exceedingly patient with me, God, not burdening me or wearying me with requests for me to honor You or obey You, even though those things are due Your Holy name.

Instead, I’ve burdened You and wearied You with my sins and faults.

When life comes too fast or too hard (and it will), don't panic. Do this instead. Look to Isaiah 43, and gain confidence & strength. (via www.JeanWilund.com)And yet, You, O God, have blotted them all out. You’ve cast my sins far from me.

You’ve chosen to forget them forever, just as if I’d never sinned.

You’ve granted this inconceivable kindness, not because of anything I’ve done or deserve, but solely because of Your great love for me.

It makes no sense to me, but how do I dare doubt You again? Your Word is true.

God, I praise You and fall at Your feet with gratitude.

Your faithfulness astounds me.

When the rivers of difficulty sweep over me (and they will), and the fires of oppression burn my very soul (and they will), I will choose to remember I belong to You.

I am Your child.

You won’t let me drown or be consumed.

O Lord, Let me rise every morning to serve and worship You.

Thank you, my Father, my God and my Savior.

I love you.

me

[Read more…]

Waiting & Wondering Are Agonizing. God is Amazing!

Waiting can be agonizing. Waiting and wondering can be torture. But God is absolutely amazing! He'll show up in ways and places you don't expect. (www.JeanWilund.com)

Waiting can be agonizing. Waiting and wondering can be torture. But God is absolutely amazing!

Yesterday God blew me away with His kindness and His ways in the midst of agonized waiting and wondering.

He doesn’t always answer me in miraculous ways. Sometimes He doesn’t seem to answer me at all. When He doesn’t, He’s no less amazing, loving, kind or powerful.

But when He does, I have to shout it out. So here it is:

I woke up yesterday with a heavy heart I couldn’t shake.

I tried.

I reminded myself of the wonderful truths of God’s sovereignty, kindness, and power.

How can a heavy heart stand in the face of that?

I’ll tell you: [Read more…]

Sometimes I Can’t Look Myself in the Mirror, and It’s Not Because of My Haircut ~ FLAWLESS by MercyMe

Click to listen to "Flawless" by MercyMe. The Cross Has Made You Flawless. Amen!

Sometimes I can’t even look myself in the mirror.

It might be because that new hair cut was a mistake, but usually it’s when the past jumps up to haunt me.

That “past” may only be a few seconds ago.

The past can pop up when a song on the radio transports me back to a moment in time I’d hoped to forget — forever — back when I was a much different person.

Or when I overhear a conversation about someone who did something to someone else that I’ve also done. My shame reminds me I could’ve been that person they were talking about.

Other times it’s when I knew I should keep my mouth shut, but refused. I said it anyway and can’t take it back.

My thoughts love to torture me over the sheer number of times I bring outright shame to the name of Christ through the countless things I say and do.

Guilt wants to crush me, but the cross has set me free. [Read more…]

When We Need Faith to Believe and Strength to Say AMEN! (by Steven Curtis Chapman)

Click to view: Give us Faith to Believe & Strength To Say Amen! Music video by Steven Curtis Chapman

Marco.

Polo.

When I call, God, You are there. AMEN!

It’s dark.

I AM the light.

When I can’t see, God, You light my path. AMEN!

It hurts.

I AM the comforter.

When the pain feels too much, God, Your grace envelops me. AMEN!

 

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
~ Psalm 41:13

 

You’ve given us Your life, Your love, and Your word.

Give us faith to believe.

AMEN.

Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you
that if you believe,
you will see
the glory of God?”
~ John 11:40

 

AMEN! [Read more…]

An Open Letter To My Children on Larry’s & my 30th Anniversary ~ Call It Grace (by Unspoken)

The Grace of Christ - It's nothing less than scandalous! Click to view music video "Call it Grace" by Unspoken.

Dear Bobby, Kaitlyn, Brittany & Carolyn,

As Dad and I celebrate our 30th anniversary, my thoughts turn to you, our beloved children and daughter-in-love.

If you only learn one thing from Dad and I and our 30 years together, I pray you learn about GRACE.

Grace sees all we are and all we’ve done and still chooses us.

Grace walks in when the world walks out.

Grace removes all fear — fear of punishment or rejection, even when we deserve it.

Thirty-one years ago, the grace and kindness of God brought your dad into my life.

His smile grabbed my attention. His grace captured my heart.

I first experienced it when a group of us were playing Keep-A-Way.

Your dad held the ball high in the air, taunting me in my shortness.

So I grabbed his shirt — his brand new shirt — and pulled.

Riiippp!

I stood frozen, horrified.

Your dad stood as the picture of grace.

His shoulders slunk, he yelled out an oscar-worthy, exaggerated, “Noooo!” — the way you’ve seen him do a million times– and then he laughed — as you’ve seen him do a million times.

Then he took off running with the ball again.

Grace.

It may seem a small thing, but to someone who continually needs and longs for grace, I was hooked. I knew I needed that — wanted that — for the rest of my life.

Larry & Jean Wedding B&WThe grace your dad has shown me these past 30 years has been nothing short of a miracle.

Some may even say Christ-like.

He would say he’s just passing on the grace Christ has shown him.

The grace Christ has shown him, me, you, us is literally scandalous.

More than anything in life, I pray you fully understand, experience, and embrace Christ’s grace.

That’s a little scary to wish because we never really understand something until we need it.

I understand it.

And I’m still learning to understand it more.

I wouldn’t dare to try and count the many times I should have received judgment but received grace instead.

Christ has been a bottomless well of forgiveness and love.

I pray you know that Christ’s grace reaches in and pulls you out of all judgment.

Has that sunk in?

There’s no judgment in grace.

Not even the fear of judgment.

No wagging of the head and extending grace despite your obvious guilt.

No penance asked for or even wanted.

No shame.

Just grace. 

Christ’s gift of grace pulls you into His arms and tells you He loves you — yesterday, today and forever — no matter what.

But, like all gifts, you can only experience it by taking it, receiving it, and embracing it.

Please don’t miss living a life filled with more love, joy, and contentment than you can even imagine.

And courage.

Yes, grace gives us courage.

It gives us courage to try again because it doesn’t point to our failures. It overlooks them and reminds us we’re loved.

Grace never gives up.

Larry & Jean at Luau 2015Today, Dad and I celebrate 30 years of a grace-filled marriage and life.

I pray you fully embrace a life of grace — the grace of Christ.

And I pray you spend the rest of your life with someone who’s also embraced His scandalous grace.

And that you’ll wrap each other in it every single day for as long as you both shall live.

Just like your dad has done for me.

I love you!

We love you!

~ Mom

[Read more…]