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. [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…]

When Pain Is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom

When Pain is Like a Flower, Truth Makes Hope Bloom by Mekeishakay via www.JeanWilund.comEver met someone you’d like to have follow you around and talk for you?

All you’d have to say was, “Yeah. What she said!”

Blogger–and my new friend–Mekeisha has a way of explaining truth that leaves me staring at her dumbly.

When people stare at me like that, they’re trying to figure out what I’m babbling about.

People stare at Mekeisha because they’re mesmerized.

I want to grow up to be just like her.

I asked Mekeisha if I could rip a post off her blog and share it with you. She said, Sure – go for it!

I chose When Pain is Like a Flower because when she read it to my roommate Bethany and I at a recent speakers conference (Christian Communicators Conference–shameless plug), Bethany and I just stared, stunned.

I wish you could’ve been there. It would’ve been crowded in our hotel room, but you would’ve loved listening to her.

After you read Mekeisha’s post, go onto her blog (the link is at the bottom of this post) and leave her a comment, requesting she start streaming live readings.

Thanks! and Enjoy . . .  [Read more…]

Which to Choose: Football or Bonsai Gardening? – Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football

Fret over your football team so much you'd consider giving it up for bonsai gardening? You don't have to! Be conformed to Christ through football instead. via www.JeanWilund.comThis may be the year.

College Football has officially kicked off, and this may be the year that

. . . I rejoice whether my team wins or loses,

. . . I can watch an entire game without fretting,

. . . and I jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, I know. The last one is more likely to happen than the first two.

And the last one ain’t happening.

But it could.

And that’s what matters.

It could happen because God is in the business of transforming lives.

And that’s why I don’t have to give up football and take up bonsai gardening instead.

Last year I declared in my post I Can’t Watch! — Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football that this fretful football fan would change.

And I did.

Two years ago, I couldn’t watch my Tigers play the big games. I watched movies at the theater instead.

Last year, I watched every game. Not every second of every game, but every game.

Progress. I scored a touchdown.

But I confess, I haven’t won the game. Yet.

I’m still a football-fretter. But the game’s not over.

Crockpot Growth.

Spiritual growth sometimes happens in microwave fast spurts.

But usually it simmers to maturity like a crockpot.

Not being able to handle a football game is a spiritual matter. Read more about it here in that post I told you about before.

Confessions of a Fanatic Fan Conformed to Christ Through Football.

I haven’t given up my goal to be transformed into a relaxed football fan, content and peaceful no matter the outcome.

But there will be times this season when that resolve will be tested, and I may consider giving up football to take up bonsai gardening.

What battle are you waging?

Is your battle as silly as mine over fretting about football?

Or is it serious? The kind that should send you down to your knees, like fear over your child’s cancer diagnosis or arrest?

Or do you struggle with issues that send those who live with you down to their knees, like fits of anger or bitterness?

No matter what you’re facing, it’s not too silly or too serious for God.

Never Give Up

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57 ESV).

Whether we’re facing a goal-line on the football field or a drip-line in the ER, we can keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NASB).

God won’t just give us strength. He is our strength.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV).

Just Imagine

bonsai-316573_640Imagine what our life would be like tomorrow if we woke up, fixated on our all-powerful, loving God instead of our struggles.

We could facing losing a game without losing our joy or having to take up bonsai gardening.

We’d read the sports headlines and front page headlines without being consumed with worry.

We’d carry peace instead of burdens.

God is waiting to do this work in our hearts today. It starts with believing Him and His Word and walking in the truth we know.

This May Be The Year

This may be the year the Clemson Tigers win the National Championship.

Oh so close last year.

But even better, this may be the year we win the battle in our minds.

What victory will you enjoy this year?

Go For It!

And Go Tigers!

[Read more…]

Surrender, Pray, Rest (While My Child is Away – Part 5)

Isaiah 65-24 Surrender, Pray, Rest While My Child is Away via www.JeanWilund.com

Surrender, Pray, Rest

Surrender, Pray, Rest is my motto for life and parenting.

Surrender opens our ears to God.

Prayer opens our communication with God.

Rest opens God’s blessings on us through faith. [Read more…]

Do We Have To Not Care Whether We Live Or Die? “To Live is Christ” (by Sidewalk Prophets)

Music Video "To Live is Christ" by Sidewalk Prophets. (www.jeanwilund.com)

What does it mean “to live is Christ?” Does it mean we have to not care whether we live or die?

“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” 
~ Philippians 1:21

In the movie First Knight about the legend of King Arthur, Lancelot wins a sword fight in impressive fashion. (Watch the movie clip at the end of the post.)

His opponent, Mark, wants to know how he learned to fight with such skill:

Mark:         How did you do that? How did he do that? Was that a trick?

Lancelot:   No. No trick. It’s a way of fighting. 

Mark:         Could I do it? Tell me. I can learn.

Lancelot:    You have to study your opponent, how he moves, so you know he’s gonna do it before he does it.

Mark:           I can do that.

Lancelot:     You have to know that one moment in every fight when you win or lose. And you have to know how to wait for it.

Mark:            I can do that.

Lancelot:      And you have to not care whether you live or die.

Oh, wow. That last one’s a tough one:

And you have to not care whether you live or die.

I think I like the apostle Paul’s mindset better.

For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.

Paul doesn’t tell us not to care if we live or die. He tells us to be excited about both.

No matter whether Paul lived or died, he was good.

Lancelot resigned himself to either fate.

If he lives, great. If he dies, oh well.

Paul embraced both opportunities.

If he lives, great. If he dies, awesome.

Paul lived for something that overpowered his fears and despair and drove him to truly live.

If Paul gets to live, he gets to live for Christ. He gets to love what Christ loves and share the powerful truth of Christ with every breath, whether with words or deeds.

And if he dies, he gets to be with Christ face-to-face. Awesome.

Paul couldn’t lose.

This didn’t mean he couldn’t suffer.

Paul could’ve been the national champion of suffering. Here are just a few of his “struggles”:

  • Whipped five times with 39 lashes.
  • Beaten with rods three times.
  • Stoned and left for dead.
  • Shipwrecked four times.
  • Floated in the deep for a day and a half.
  • Bitten by a viper.
  • Survived an assassination plot.
  • Had a “thorn in his side” that God wouldn’t take away.
  • Arrested and imprisoned several times and for years at a time for preaching Christ.
  • Endured cold and without clothes.
  • Attacked by an angry mob.
  • Betrayed by his own people.

(Acts 9:23-29; Acts 13:50; Acts 14:5,19; Acts 15:11; Acts 16:23, 39; Acts 17:5-7, 10, 18, 23-14; Acts 22:24-29; Acts 23:1-8; Acts 23:33-27:2; Acts 27:14-28:1, 3-5, 13-15; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 6:3-20; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10; 2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Do You Have To Not Care Whether You Live Or Die? Read & find out and then watch music video "To Live is Christ" by Sidewalk Prophets. (www.Jeanwilund.com)He could either glorify Christ by living large or when he met Him face-to-face. Either plan worked for him. 

This wasn’t some “glass is half-full” positive mental attitude.

This was “the glass is overflowing” God-confidence.

It allowed him to endure things few of us will ever have to face and still enjoy peace in his soul, even when there was no peace in his circumstances.

At times Paul felt discouraged. Beat down. He even despaired of his life at times. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

But when life crushed him, he got back up to live another day.

To really live.

Not just exist.

Not just survive.

But live!

For most of us, we live without the fears Paul faced.

Sure, suffering will come. None escape it.

But whether we live or die, with Christ, we’re good. 

We’re free to live with abandon and enjoy life.

Sidewalk Prophets’ song “To Live Is Christ” is based on the apostle Paul’s infamous quote that brilliantly outshines the mythical Lancelot’s.

“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.” 
~ Philippians 1:21

This is what David Frey, one of the founding members of Sidewalk Prophets had to say about their song “To Live is Christ”:

“This verse lays it all on the line for us as a band. What does it mean to truly live?

“Some hold great stock in wealth, or status or other earthly things, but for us…we long to live a life chasing the heart of God.

“Each day is a continual battle to lay our lives down, and lift up Christ on high.

“This song has become our anthem.”

~ David Frey, Sidewalk Prophets

Enjoy Sidewalk Prophet’s music video “To Live is Christ”: 

[Read more…]