Did you know these seven truths about your religion? | Janet Perez Eckles

22 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


cooltext206519742151781The best part of speaking before any group is what happens afterwards. Often folks stop and chat with me. This past week, that very thing happened.

A man shook my hand. “I was touched by your message,” he said, “and I just want to know how you deal with the fact that the disease with your eyes is hereditary?”

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Well, I have a disease. It’s hereditary, and I can’t let go the worry and total fear my child will inherit it. I’m afraid of the future.”

He paused. “And I don’t have any religion…don’t believe in much of anything.”

I wanted to give him a huge hug and whisper in his ear, “You don’t need a religion, you need a relationship with Jesus to set you free from that worry and fear.”

Forgive me for being presumptuous. But if you are one of those who believe that religion is the answer, here are seven truths to ponder upon:

  1. Religion offers rituals, Jesus offers a personal relationship.
  2. Religions can change; Jesus is the same today, tomorrow and forever.
  3. Religion works to win grace, Jesus becomes the grace we can work under.
  4. Religion doesn’t offer forgiveness; Jesus became the forgiveness for our sin.
  5. Religion offers no miracle; Jesus delights in performing them.
  6. Religion doesn’t take you to heaven; Jesus took the blame so we could enter it.
  7. Religions bind us; Jesus sets us free.

When we spend sleepless nights, we wring our hands about the uncertainty of tomorrow, and mistakenly, we go by the way of religion, that’s why Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

What rules your life these days—nothing in particular or a religion or a relationship with Christ, the Savior?

Source: Did you know these seven truths about your religion? | Janet Perez Eckles

If Calories Didn’t Count

21 Oct

From the Heart

Louise GibsonA photo by Ben White. unsplash.com/photos/4K2lIP0zc_k



‘”The two biggest sellers in any book store
are the cook books and the diet books.

The cook book tells you how to prepare
the food, and the diet books tell you how
not to eat any of it.”
Andy Rooney

If calories didn’t count. we could eat whatever
we wanted
and the number on the scales wouldn’t mount.
If calories didn’t matter and wouldn’t make us
gain a pound,
We could throw away our scales,
and forget about growing round.

“Which book is in YOUR hand? : -)

Louise Gibson

A Fair View

20 Oct


A Fair View…From a Volunteer

By Patricia Franklin



Our guest blogger, Patricia Franklin and her husband volunteered at the Colorado State Fair this year. These are her observations as seen in the Publication of Pikes Peak Citizens for Life newsletter:

I have been a volunteer at the  Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life booth for several years and would like to express what a positive impact it has had on visitors. This year, in fact, the display seemed to impress many people.



For more fetal baby models see:


Men, women, families, teens, and children were all interested in the display. The children loved the models and loved seeing how a baby grows. Boys as well as girls, asked to hold the 12 week models. Pregnant moms were excited to see how big their own babies were. I was particularly surprised and heartened by the number of men who commented, thanked, and encouraged us.

A man approached the booth, picked up a couple of 12 week models, and handed them to his two teenaged girls. I gave them a brochure, he pointedly said to them, “Read that!” as he handed me a donation.

One young man came up with several of his friends, saw the models and repeated excitedly, “My baby is 11 weeks old! My baby is 11 weeks old!” He hurried back to find his wife and brought her over to look at the baby models. His friends thoroughly enjoyed his outburst and enthusiasm.

Some men had tears in their eyes. One man with his wife and two teenage sons stopped, looked, and tearfully said, “I thank God every day for my sons.”

Several people asked, “How can anyone abort a baby,” or commented, “God bless you for your work.” Some from past years stopped by to give a donation.

The video stopped people in their tracks. Even mothers who already had children were excited and surprised that the baby in the film was opening its mouth, yawning, and sucking its thumb right in the womb.

A couple of men and a woman hurried up just as we were closing for the evening. They thanked us, took our hands, and prayed with us.

There’s really no other public venue where people have access to this type of information, and they are so pleased and grateful that it’s right out there for them to see and share with family and friends.

I just wanted you to know what an impact Pike’s Peak Citizens for Life have made on people’s lives. For me it is a blessing to be a small part of this experience.

List of Pro-Life Organizations.




My 2016 Mid-West Trip~Part 16

19 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 16 (Sunday)


I began the day with a nice drive west on I-10 from Mobile to Gulfport, Mississippi. Since it was Sunday, I didn’t expect any of the museums to be open, and most of them were not. But I wanted to take a look at their locations anyway. My first stop was to check out the Busted Wrench Garage & Museum there at Gulfport. The building was closed and very small, and didn’t look big enough to house a lot of cars. But, when I Googled the museum, I was surprised to see photos of a nice collection of beautifully restored cars that I missed.




Just down the road a ways was my next stop at the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum. Here again the museum was closed, and the building was not very large.   I could see through the window that they had a good sized model railroad layout, but not much room for anything else.




Next I drove a sort distance south of I-10 to check out the Gulfport Dragway strip. The fellow attending the entrance gate informed me that they had drag races on Wednesdays only, and no other races were scheduled for today. That made three closed attractions in a row so far today.




As part of the planning for this trip I had contacted my son about the possibility of meeting my granddaughter in Gulfport for lunch. Lacey is attending college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about 65 Miles north of Gulfport, and this would provide the perfect opportunity for us to meet and spend some time together. As it turned out, she was able to meet with me and we had a delightful lunch at Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach Restaurant on U.S. 90 overlooking the beach.




After lunch I took some time to drive around the beautiful Gulfport Marina, and took some pictures. There was a large ship tied up at the Gulfport docks, which looked like it might have been a cable-laying ship. I had never seen anything like it, and couldn’t figure out how it might work.




Then I headed west again on I-10 for New Orleans, LA. I tried the Cars of Yesteryear’s Museum in Metairie Louisiana, but here again they were closed.




Next I took on the 24 mile long Lake Pontchartrain Causeway from New Orleans to Madisonville. My objective was to visit the Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum.  This was a very nice museum filled with a large verity of local historical memorabilia.




Of course, there was also a considerable amount of information about the Civil War. This included a replica of the 2-man Confederate submarine CSS Pioneer (1861), which was a predecessor to the famous Confederate Civil War submarine, the CSS H. L. Hunley (1864). I had never heard of the CSS Pioneer and was surprised to discover that during initial sea trials, it sank with the loss of the crew of 2. After being raised and refitted for more sea trials, it was scuttled, for fear of capture, when the Union Army advanced on New Orleans in April of 1862.




More well-known is the Confederate Civil War submarine CSS H. L. Hunley, which was even more deadly than the Pioneer. During the sea trials of the Hunley, it sank on two different occasions, with the loss of the entire crew of 8 both times. Each time the submarine was raised, improved and refitted for more sea trials. Then finally, in February of 1864, when the Hunley was successfully used to attack and sink the Union ship USS Housatonic, it became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship during wartime. Unfortunately, the Hunley was lost, on that sorte the final time, taking all 8 crew members to their death, including the inventor Horace L. Hunley. Interestingly, I saw a full-scale replica of the CSS H. L. Hunley when I visited the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, AL just yesterday.




As I was leaving Madisonville I noticed a complex of unusual condos over-looking a small bay and marina. The owners had their living quarters on the second floor and underneath each condo was a protected slip for their private boat moorings. How convenient.




Driving North from Madisonville, back across that 24 mile Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, seemed to take a lot longer than it did going south. I was curious about the construction of the causeway and found the following details on Wikipedia. The two, 2-lane bridges that make up the Causeway qualify it, in the Guinness World Records, as the longest “continuous” bridge over water in the world, at 23.83 miles long. The two spans were built between 1955-1956 & 1967-1969, and the two causeway bridges are supported on 9,500 concrete pilings, and 40,000 cars cross the Causeway daily.



By the time I got to the motel, I was ready to relax and have some supper. I had enough of the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza left over from last night to satisfy me. Then I had a cup of Blueberry yogurt for dessert. That did the trick for my hunger, and I headed to the motel’s computer to check-in for tomorrow’s flight home.


—–To Be Continued—–


A Peck of Dirt

17 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites



Small child
Kneeling in the dirt,
Making mud pies
To crunch and grind
Between your teeth,
And swallow.


Draw a hopscotch pattern in the dirt.
With a stick from off the playground.
Throw ancient, broken glass
Onto a hopscotch square,
Pick-up broken glass
Balanced on one leg.


Eighth grade softball
With the other kids.
On a dirt diamond.
Never miss a ball.
Sit on it if you must.
Everybody bathe on Saturday.

It’s Music To My Ears

16 Oct


Judy Wills


Seems like I have always loved to sing. I vaguely remember being in the Christmas program in my 1st grade class, and sang a solo. I think it was….Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

I’m sure I sang in the children’s choir in our church. I don’t remember much about that. However, I do remember being in the youth choir in our church. And when I turned 17 years old, those of us that age, were allowed to sing in the adult choir. I was rather appalled to realize that some of those older women really needed to stop singing in the choir! And I made up my mind then and there that, when I got to that age, and if I found myself “warbling” like they were then it was time to stop singing in the choir!

I remember singing in my Junior High School chorus. Back then, Elementary school was 1st through 6th grade. Junior High was 7th through 9th grade, and high school was 10th through 12th grade.

I do remember singing solo’s in church – and not just in my home church, but in churches that Fred and I were members of years later.

But my best memories of singing came about during my High School days. I remember that we had to choose between singing in the chorus (or being in the band if that was our talent) or taking P.E. I chose music.   I was in the girls chorus all three years of my high school.

But there were two other groups within the music at my high school that I was interested in:  All-State Chorus and a hand-selected group they called Dreamers. I had to audition for each of those groups each and every year. The first year I auditioned for All-State Chorus, I had a cold and didn’t qualify. However, the final two years of my high school I was able to be a part of that group. High School choruses from all over New Mexico came to Albuquerque for the concert. We met in the University of New Mexico (UNM) gymnasium for rehearsals and the concert. As you might imagine, the acoustics were not the best, but we needed the space. And since Albuquerque was more-or-less central in New Mexico, it was always held there. What a fantastic experience that was!!



1959 All-State Chorus from my high school


But I think, outside of All-State Chorus, the best thing about high school and singing, was to be a part of Dreamers all three years of my high school. There were 12 of us each year – four voices on each part of a trio. We always had a great blend, even though many of the voices changed out each year, as some graduated. We traveled to sing for other group meetings around the city. It was great!



1959 Dreamers


Our chorus director was Arthur Loy. He was also the director for those of us in the All-State Chorus as well as the Dreamers. He had a great love for music, and his students, and the talent to direct us. He picked great songs for us to sing – some of the old great ones: Night and Day was one of my favorites. I was sorry to graduate and leave his tutelage.




As you can see, music has been a large part of my life. I am grateful.

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Psalm 96:1



When Do We Grow Old!

14 Oct

From the Heart

Louise Gibson





I woke up in the morning,
mind refreshed and full of hope.
There is so much I want to do-
all within my scope.


My mind is willing, my mind alert-
I’ll spring right out of bed.
My mind is saying, “Go girl”
but my back says, “Whoa” instead.


Ego! Yes, ego is the culprit
in this aging game we play.
I don’t mind saying “I’m 87″
But,” getting old??? “No way!”


“None are as old as those who
have outlived their enthusiasm”

Henry David Thoreau



Getting my Ducks in a Row~Part 2

13 Oct fullsizerender-3

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


We remained inside most of the day after the winds of the hurricane began to die down. Traffic lights were not working and we didn’t want to deal with the hassle driving would be. So Saturday we decided to venture out. We visited a friend and helped take down her boards and later in the day we drove to the marina. There were four sailboats that had washed ashore, but I only took pictures of two as the others were further away.

On the way home from our friends home we drove through a neighborhood where we once lived. It is an older subdivision with a lot of oak trees. I was fascinated with the moss that covered yards and the road, The hurricane stripped the tress so that some yards appeared to have gray snow on them. I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the moss as husband felt a tad odd taking pictures while people were in the yard cleaning up.


On our way home from the marina, we drove down “river road.” It has a name, but it has always been called this by locals. There was far less damage than I expected as the news had been warning of a storm surge. Thankfully they were wrong. When we were almost at the end of the road, we saw it was blocked by a tree and back tracked.


On Monday, we went to the local Target to get away from the house.  The third day after the storm passed, freezer cases remained almost bare.

I was nervous before the storm about not being able to board up. We were fine, no wind damage alt all.  I do think it would be a good idea to order some of the plylox to have on hand in the future.

One of the heart warming and encouraging results of the storm is the way churches reached out to help people, especially widows, single moms and the elderly prepare for the storm . We are blessed to have young pastors who have a heart of love for the community. On Sunday, instead of holding a service, they are meeting to go out into the community and aid in clean-up activities.

Monday afternoon was a big day for many of our residents. Power crews were able to restore electricity to homes that had been out since Thursday night. I was visiting with a friend when her power returned and there was a lot of whooping and hollering going on. Power company linemen are heroes in our community and we are thankful for every single one who left their families and came to our aid.

One thing was missing in the midst of this disaster. No one asked who one was voting for in the Presidential election. Neighbors talked to each other. They shared information and acts of kindness were the norm. This is who we are. This election period has brought out the worst in our country, but Hurricane Matthew a force of destruction,  brought out the best in us.


My 2016 Mid-West Trip Part 15

12 Oct

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Day 15 (Saturday)


It was a beautiful fall morning as I left Montgomery and headed south on I-65 for Mobile, Alabama.  My first stop was to visit the Foley Railroad Station Museum located just north of Oyster Bay in Foley, Alabama. This was a small museum with early Railroad memorabilia and a nicely restored collection of rolling stock.




In a separate building they had a large model railroad layout that fascinated adults and children alike. A High Point for many of the children was the small scale train that the museum provided for rides around the museum property. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a young child that didn’t like to ride in a small scale train like that.




Next I headed across Mobile Bay on I-10 to visit the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. This Memorial Park is made up of the battleship USS Alabama (BB-60), the submarine USS Drum (SS-228), a replica of the Civil War submarine H. L. Hunley, various types of Army, Navy & Air Force airplanes/vehicles, as well as an indoor aircraft pavilion. It’s a very nicely laid out attraction, but the outside display aircraft and vehicles need some help with protection from the elements. The aircraft in the aircraft pavilion are beautifully restored and very nicely displayed.




Next I checked out the Fort Conde (4/5th scale reproduction) located in downtown Mobile. According to Wikipedia, Mobile and its Fort Conde (originally called Mobille & Fort Louis de la Mobille) were founded by the French in 1702, and actually located some 27 miles north of its present location. Then after heavy damage by the flooding Mobile River in 1711, the town and fort were relocated to their present location.




Over the years (1702-1813) the region around Mobile was occupied by the French, British, Spanish, and finally the United States. There was a lot of construction going on around the fort, which made it difficult to access. I finally found a parking lot close enough that I could take a picture of the fort, but opted not to go inside today.




Down the street and around the corner was the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. There was a large group of Young mothers with their 2-4 year old children in hand, entering the center as I pulled up in front. I surmised, from the looks of things, that this was an “education day” for these kids and decided I did not want to share the experience with all that noise.




Not far from the science center I visited the Mobile Carnival Museum. This was a new experience for me. Not being a fan of the Mardi Gras, I did not think this would be a very interesting museum. As it turned out, this was probably the high point of my day. I never knew that the annual Carnival Celebration (Mardi Gras) is celebrated pretty much worldwide, and I had never heard of it being a big deal anywhere in the United States, except for New Orleans. Do I lead a sheltered life or what?




The Mardi Gras costumes, and history of the celebration, as explained to me by the museum tour guide, was astounding. The other fact that was hard for me to get my head around was that Mobile was the first city in the United States to celebrate Mardi Gras (1703). And all this time, to me, New Orleans (founded in 1718) was getting the credit for that. The tour guide also informed me that Mobile puts on about 35 Carnival type parades each year that draws an average of 1.5 million visitors. All this activity keeps an entire community industry busy, year around, designing and fabricating all the necessary costumes and floats. For an in-depth picture of the history of the Mobile Mardi Gras, I would suggest the book “Mardi Gras in Mobile “ by L. Craig Roberts, who just happened to be my tour guide today.




Next I visited the Continental Classic Cars collection located in west Mobile, only to discover that it was a private collection. However the owner, Dennis, was in his office and was gracious enough to show me his collection of automobiles. They consisted mostly of beautifully restored 1950s-1970s muscle cars, and a few classic hot rods.




When I told him I was disappointed not to be able to find more automobile museums in the Mobile area, he suggested I check out the Henderson Collection, which was not too far down the road. He said that Jim Henderson had a collection of over 100 beautifully restored cars, and that if I could catch him at his Mobile Lumber Company office, he might agree to give me a tour of his private collection. The lumber company office was closed and Greta and I tried diligently to find Mr. Henderson’s building, that houses his collection, but to no avail.




So, I called it a day and headed for tonight’s motel for some rest. On the way to the motel I spotted a Taco Bell and stopped to feast on a Mexican Pizza and a Beefy Chedder Crunchwrap Slider. The Slider was OK but, the Mexican Pizza with lots of Verde sauce to spice things up was much better, in my opinion.




—–To Be Continued—–




11 Oct

A life to Live

Melody Hendrix

Karma –  When people insult you, don’t take offense, don’t take it personally, but do listen to their words. They are telling you how they see the world, and they are telling you the exact negative qualities that they posses. “The Law of Mirrors” states that one can only see what’s in them, regardless if it is what is actually present in reality or not. Release the need to defend or try to explain to them that your’re not being whatever-nasty-insult-they’ve-thrown-at-you, but evaluate instead all of these insults, and realize that this is who they are. Then, decide if a person with those qualities is one who you’d like in your life or not.  Doe Zantamata
Watch your thoughts; They become words.
Watch your words; They become actions.
Watch your actions; They become habits.
Watch your habits; They become character;
Watch your character; It becomes your destiny.
Lao Tzu
You Teach people how to TREAT YOU
By what you Allow, what you Stop, 
And what you Reinforce.
Tony Gaskins



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.
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