In this episode, you'll meet Katie Wilkins: a wife, a mom to three young children (one is adopted), and a home school mom from South Carolina.

Katie has a unique story about the power of forgiveness. She shares with us how an unforgiving spirit can immobilize us, not only spiritually, but physically as well.

I met Katie a couple of years ago through our church, and we instantly connected. I'm adopted and she and her husband, Todd, have adopted a child. Katie and I both have experience with an unforgiving spirit related to sexual abuse, and we both have been healed and restored through Christ and the power of forgiveness. 

Katie also participated in a Bible study class I taught based on the book I've written called Unlocked Hearts, Unleashed Joy - Forgiveness Is the Key.

Being hurt or harmed comes in many different forms, and we all have to learn and practice the holy art of forgiveness. If we allow bitterness, anger, and even hate to take root in the soil of our hearts, it will begin to suffocate our joy and diminish our impact for Christ.

If you're interested in the book/Bible study/memoir mentioned above, you can find it on Amazon. Just click on the link.

I pray, as you listen to my precious friend share her story, that you will allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart in every corner to see if there's anyone you need to forgive or to ask forgiveness of. Once you do, you'll celebrate sweet freedom, and know immediately that the joy of Jesus has been unleashed in your heart. 

Keepin' it Real for Jesus' sake,


Though McKinsey Cook went to live with Jesus at the tender age of 20, the seed God planted in her heart has not returned void. Just two years before her tragic, single car accident, McKinsey had fully surrendered heart to Jesus Christ. She was living out a bold faith and had planned to return to Uganda to fulfill her dream of adopting 18 boys. Instead, God used her death to resurrect her mom, Amy's reluctant faith, and has since planted the seed in her mom's heart to move the dream forward with a torch of deep love and compassion for these children.

The McKinsey Foundation was started to provide a school for the children of the villages to attend to better their lives and to introduce them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of just 18 children that McKinsey had in mind, God has multiplied that number to 150 children presently being served through the foundation.

In the conversation, you'll also meet Samie, Amy's husband from Uganda. Together, surrendered to a calling on their lives that is miraculous to say the least, they are impacting lives beyond their wildest dreams for the glory of Jesus Christ.

To learn more about their story, visit

Keepin' it Real for Jesus' Sake,


In our very first episode we get up-close and personal with CEO, Jen Thompson of Lighthouse for Life about her faith, joy, struggles, and hope. January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and since Living Real Magazine supports this amazing non-profit/ministry, I elected to interview Jen to kick off our first season. If you would like to know more about the work of L4L or how to get involved, please go to

During our conversation, Jen references the following verse about joy (It's one of my favorites): 

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there if fullness of joy; at you right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11 ESV).

Our prayer for those listening is that you'll find real joy through a real faith in Jesus Christ. We also pray that you'll pray for L4L and all those involved, as well as those God will rescue from this horrific evil through L4L's obedience to Him.

To learn more about Living Real Magazine - Real Life. Real Faith. Real People., please visit

Please like this podcast and follow us. We would be most grateful.

Keepin' it real,


December 10, 2019

A Gift for You!

Merry Christmas from Living Real Magazine!

As we celebrate 10 years of sharing real stories of real people with a real faith in Jesus Christ, we are gifting you with something new and fresh! The Living Real Podcast. Melanie Shull, your host and Editor-in-Chief of Living Real Magazine, will have real and honest conversations about the struggles and challenges we face in everyday life and how we can overcome through our faith in Christ.

People are looking for authentic relationships and there's no one more real than the one we have in Jesus. We exist to encourage, cheer you on, and keep you grounded in the truth of God's Word.

Join us on the 10th of each month for an episode of The Living Real Podcast as we enter the next decade seeking to live real for Jesus' sake.