How to turn our ugly past into a beautiful future.

19 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

August 18, 2017 Reblogged

Why do we look behind and long for what we had yesterday to come back? We wish we could roll back time and go back to days where life was easier. Have you done that? God knows we all do at times.

“Okay, here’s another box full of VHS tapes,” Jessica said. She’s my teenage friend who comes to help out as she’s earning funds for a mission trip.

“Can you read the label on some of the?” I asked.

As she read the content of those tapes, my mind went back to that time when my two younger sons were in diapers, and I was living a “normal” life. I had eyesight back then. And with not a care in the world, I’d pack all three of them in the back of the car and zip to the store or appointments, or to the park.

What a long road it had been as I transitioned from full sight, living a full life to being blind, completely blind and terrified.

But before my physical darkness turned to emotional darkness, this verse came alive in me: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18).

How beautifully He had brought streams of hope in the wasteland of my blindness. When I cried to understand why, instead of an answer, He gave me peace, sweet peace.

When I grumbled with frustration after burning my finger when cooking, God soothed my pain when my boys asked for seconds.

I also brought back memories of the times when hubby and I would go out to dinner and he didn’t have to lead me by the hand, but what joy when God took me by the hand and led me to the banquet He had prepared for me.

And what a privilege to be able to write these lines and remind you to look at the present and gaze at God’s power that’s making a way in your desert and creating streams of hope in your wasteland.

Father, help me to focus on the good of the present, on the blessing of the moment. On the new things you’re still doing. On the gift of your provision as my eyes read this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How will you overcome the past to see the new beginning?

Janet

Video sneak peek: http://bit.ly/1JodQQQ

Source: How to turn our ugly past into a beautiful future. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Comparisons- Helpful or Damaging?

18 Aug

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

 

When we compare, we want to be the best.
The paradox of “fit in and stand out.”
Comparison is the thief of happiness.
Acceptance of our self and others is what
Life is all about.

 

Be kind to yourself.
Accept yourself for who and what you are.
It will relieve that inner strife.
In God’s eyes, you are already a star.

 

Take time for creativity.
It’s important to your well being. don’t you see
Is achieving and competing truly deserving of
all your attention and energy?

 

Have you made achieving too important
and creativity as no longer of value?
Re-think your priorities, be kind to yourself
You will be a much more contented you.

 

“Why do we struggle to be something we
are not when God created us to be a
unique flower in His garden?”

 

Photo credit Judy Wills

Are You Traveling to View the Solar Eclipse

17 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Wednesday at breakfast with friends, the discussion naturally turned to the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. Our small town in North Carolina is in the path of totality. Two weeks ago before we left to spend some time in Florida, the eclipse conversation centered around who had family coming and where to get protective glasses. It was relaxed and casual conversation.

 

Wikimedia.org

This week the conversation was completely different as my friends shared the stories they had been hearing about the event and the crowds. I decided it would be good to share some thoughts from a local for those traveling to view the eclipse.

The most surprising thing I learned was that some restaurants would not be opening on Monday citing not enough freezer space to stock up and uncertainty of staff’s ability to get to work.

SUGGESTION ONE: DON’T DEPEND 100% ON PURCHASING MEALS IN RESTAURANTS. BRING SNACKS, PROTEIN BARS, FRUIT ETC. IF YOU ARE SPENDING THE NIGHT, BRING A COOLER WITH MILK, JUICE  AS WELL AS BREAKFAST FOODS LIKE CEREAL OR POP TARTS. DON’T FORGET PAPER PRODUCTS LIKE BOWLS, CUTLERY AND PAPER TOWELS. 

There are rumors that some accommodations are charging exorbitant rates, if you can find a room at all.

SUGGESTION TWO: IF YOU DON’T HAVE RESERVATIONS, DECIDE WHAT YOUR OPTIONS ARE. WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SLEEP IN YOUR CAR?

I am already seeing signs advertising their parking fees. A local flea market is charging $6.00 to park and another business is charging $20.00. I will not be surprised to see higher prices on the day.

SUGGESTION THREE: BE PREPARED FOR UNEXPECTED EXPENSES SUCH AS PARKING. I SUSPECT LOCAL ATM MACHINES WILL BE DEPLETED QUICKLY.

Our community is having fun events including a free concert by Mountain Faith, but as we discussed the predicted crowds and clogged roads, the consensus at the table was that we were are all staying home to view the eclipse. If we get brave, we may venture out for some of the activities on the weekend.

SUGGESTION FOUR: KEEP YOUR GAS TANK TOPPED OFF SO THAT YOU WON’T HAVE TO WORRY IF YOU ARE CAUGHT IN SLOW MOVING TRAFFIC.

One article I read about the eclipse made three very practical points. It is August and it will be hot.Dress accordingly including sunscreen. You will need water and you will also need to consider the lack of bathroom facilities, especially in roadside parking. i am not sure how to remedy the last one.

SUGGESTION FIVE: BE SURE TO BRING ENOUGH WATER TO MAKE IT THROUGH A WARM DAY AND SCOUT OUT BATHROOMS NEAR YOUR VIEWING AREA.

I hope you don’t mind the caps and bold lettering in my suggestions. I did it for those who need a quick read, without the chatter. I am excited about the eclipse. I already have commemorative T-shirts for my family and will be stocking up on groceries for our family members who begin arriving tomorrow. I  feel incredibly blessed to be living in the path of totality. Wherever you view the eclipse, savor the time with family and friends, make memories and keep in mind that even stressful bumps in the experience often turn into favorite family tales.

 

Click her for More tips from our county Facebook page.

 

Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park

15 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Smoky Mountains in the fall.

 

                  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activities-  Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee.html

I haven’t traveled outside of Florida much, but I will say that The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Being a native Floridian, a flatlander, I was overwhelmed by the mountains and the colors, the rocky creeks and the music of the water flowing over the rock.

 

 

Strangely what I loved the most is looking out and seeing the mesmerizing design from the abstract lines created by the shapes of each mountain and valley. And how each layer is a distinct shade and color. The morning sun outlining it all.  Almost Heaven is the feeling that comes over me. The crisp air awakening my senses. I feel so close to God being in the spectacular beauty of His handiwork. This place the finest candy for my eyes. The images etched in my soul forever.

 

 

We stayed in Gatlinburg, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find lots to do if you have kids. It is similar to I-Drive in Orlando. It is also the gateway to 441 the main road through the mountains.

 

 

 

My favorite place here is Roaring Fork, a driving nature trail. This is a must. You drive through it, stopping all along the beautiful creek that runs along most of the way. There are many places to park and hike to falls. This is like all of the Smokies in one gorgeous road through Heaven.

 

 

Also along Roaring Fork are historic buildings.

 

 

 

You can explore them. It’s amazing to see how the people lived. At the end of the trail is a little store you can by goodies.

There are so many beautiful places, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. If you are going there, be sure to do your homework first, make a plan especially if you plan to visit some falls. There are some right on the road and there are some that are very difficult to get to.

Our first stop every morning is one of the few places you can enjoy a sunrise. Newfound Gap.

 

 

It’s an overlook with restrooms and an entrance to the Appalacian Trail.

 

 

Take a walk on this beautiful trail. It’s just beautiful and so are the people you may meet traveling on it.

 

 

Clingmans dome is a popular stop. This tower is at 6643 feet which is the highest point in the smoky mountains national park. The view is spectacular, but the climb up is very difficult. It is a nice paved walk, but half a mile and very steep.

 

 

 

If you go to Cherokee, be sure to stop at Ocoaluftee visitor center. There is a lot there to see.

 

You can walk the short trail to the river, see historic buildings and you may see some elk in the field by the highway. Also near by is an easy walk to Mingus Mill. It is a working grist mill where you can buy goodies such as freshly ground corn meal.

 

 

There are so many wonderful waterfalls. Many are not easy to get to. So check them out first according to which ones will fit you physically. They are all different and most are challenging to get to.

 

 

 

 

Wildfires in the beginning of this year destroyed a lot, but it is already healing and open to tourism.

Please join me next week. We are going to New Hampshires White Mountains.

 

 

Not an Angry God

14 Aug

Comforter

by

DiVoran Lites

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 3

13 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Circuitous travel, continued – last time I told you about how much we had enjoyed our time looking around the ruins of Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, England. In preparing for today’s episode, I found more pictures of Fountains Abbey, and would like to share some of them with you. If you ever get to England, this is a really neat place to visit.

 

Most of our day, following our stay overnight in Durham, was traveling. I have no pictures that we took of Durham, or Newcastle – and none until we arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here are a couple pictures of our room in the St. Valery’s Guest House.

 

 

 

It was a lovely place, and we stayed several nights there. It was managed by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Shannon. We had the good fortune to look out our room window one morning to capture this. They were still using a horse-drawn cart to deliver milk! Wonderful!

 

 

One funny incident – perhaps not funny at the time – happened there: One morning, Karen got up early and went to get her shower, before Janet woke up. When Karen went to go back into her room – the door was locked! And she had forgotten to take a key with her!! Since the girl’s room was next to ours, Fred began knocking on the wall next to their room, and eventually began knocking on the door, hoping to wake Janet up. After an excruciating 45 minutes of knocking, Mr. Shannon came up the stairs and asked if there was a “problem.” Fortunately, he had a key and let Karen in the room. Janet looked up, bleary-eyed and confused – and had not heard a single knock! She was a really hard sleeper! Karen never forgot the key after that!

The following morning we took a bus tour to St. Andrews. It was, essentially, an all-day tour, lasting from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Fred is a great fan of golf, so this was to be a special tour for him – to see where golf originated.

While there is some controversy about the origins of golf, I gleaned from Wikipedia:   The modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II’s banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503-1504: “For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with”. To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, which is certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

How to find true love.

12 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

August 11, 2017 Reblog

Looking for love in all the wrong places. Remember that song popular a few years back? The lyrics resonated with millions because they probably did that very thing.

The other day, I looked in hubby’s direction, fist planted on my hip. “You mean you wouldn’t get up in the middle of the night and, knowing that noise scared me, you wouldn’t take care of it?”

“Well,” he paused, “I might have maybe when we first got married. But After 41 years of marriage, I don’t know.”

I tried to give him a hateful look. But he didn’t give me a chance because he gave me a quick kiss on my cheek. “Only kidding,” he said.

Ha! Maybe not. The truth is that through our marriage, our love has changed. It resembled the seasons of the year. Some years saw the freshness of spring as we began a family—joy blended with the exciting stage of parenthood. The summer brought the warmth of affection, particularly when things went well. And even coldness in the winters when we both needed to grow, mature and learn.

Yes, hubby and I have experienced all levels of love, all forms, and in various intensities.

Our love changed because we’re only creatures in the learning mode of life. Not so with Jesus. He loved us even before we could be called His children. He loved us enough to die for us. His love didn’t diminish when we shrugged at His instructions and went our own way. And His love remained constant even when fear threatened to consume us. Could we say Jesus is the only true love, ready to defend us when noises of adversity scare us?

We can count on the fact that His love never changes, never wavers, and, joy of joys—never, ever will it leave us.

And if that weren’t enough, that true love carries the promise that we’ll be filled with the fullness of God. So “…you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Father, I praise you because I no longer have to keep looking. Your love is mine. And for me, that’s enough. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What kind of love fills your life today?

Janet

Video sneak peek:  https://youtu.be/bEoyJynuTZA

 

Source: How to find true love. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Our Life is Meant to Be

11 Aug

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

 

May you always remember
God is in control.
He has a plan for your life.

 

Listen with your heart
As he leads you.
You will ward off the strife.

 

The events in our life
Are meant to be.
There is a peace that
Can be found.

 

The challenges are many
Diligence is profound.

 

We may not have chosen
The path we are on,
But trust it was meant to be.
God works in mysterious ways
As he plans our destiny.

 

There is a peace that can be found,
Know God has a plan for our life.
Keep your faith strong in him.
You will ward away the strife.

 

.

Florida Travel Moves North

8 Aug

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Savannah, Georgia

Exploring Savannah was so exciting. There is so much to see. So many wonderful restaurants and so much history. And of course it is an artist and photographers paradise.

 

 

On River Street, in the heart of historic Savannah, you’ll find everything from sweets to teddy bears, Harley Davidson apparel, and art galleries housed inside restored Cotton Warehouses. The working harbor—filled with ships of all kinds, horse-drawn carriage rides and street performers add to the enticement of this idyllic waterfront locale.

 

 

Stop in for a bite at any of 21 restaurants or simply enjoy the scenery.

Historic River Street, paved with 200-year-old cobblestones, runs along the length of the Savannah River.

 

 

The Port of Savannah is a major U. S. seaport. Savannah had a record year in fiscal 2007, becoming the fourth-busiest and fastest-growing container terminal in the U.S.

 

 

Once lined with warehouses holding King CottonWalk along the Savannah River;  Picture horse drawn wagons loaded with bails of cotton brought to be bid on, sold and unloaded here.

 

 

Follow the link below to discover the many things there are to do in Savannah.

https://www.trolleytours.com/savannah/attractions

Another place that is interesting is Bonaventure Cemetery.  The entrance to the cemetery is located at 330 Bonaventure Road. The peaceful setting rests on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River, east of Savannah. This charming site has been a world famous tourist destination for more than 150 years due to the old tree-lined roadways, the many notable persons interred, the unique cemetery sculpture and architecture.

 

 

We are now headed to Tybee Island only 18 miles away. But we are going to make a stop at Fort Pulaski. It’s on the way.

 

in 1862 during the American Civil War, the Union Army successfully tested rifled cannon in combat, the success of which rendered brick fortifications obsolete. The fort was also used as a prisoner-of-war camp.

 

The brick and honey comb interior is stunning.

 

 

 

On our way again to Tybee Island we go over Lazaretto Creek. We can see the marina below.

 

http://www.tybeeislandmarina.com/

 

 

Tybee Island Light

Tybee Island is a barrier island and small city near Savannah, Georgia. It’s known for its wide, sandy beaches, including South Beach, with a pier and pavilion. In the island’s north, Fort Screven has 19th-century concrete gun batteries and the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum.

 

 

Swings found along the Tybee Island beach offer a great spot to relax and take in the views.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g35328-Activities-Tybee_Island_Georgia.html

 

 

Besides the beach there are quaint shops and restaurants. It’s a great destination.

Visit me next week for a visit to the mountains in fall. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Smoky Mountains at sunrise.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Give Us Wisdom

7 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

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