Archive by Author

Can you pass this test on how to get rid of worry?

22 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Reblog April7, 2017

 

We sat for lunch outside the Christian camp. And a warm Cuba breeze brushed through. I shooed a fly, and then another and another. “I’m used to this,” I said to my friend beside me. “When my family and I lived in Bolivia, flies buzzed all over. No one complained. We accepted the nuisance as part of life.”

And although in the United States, flies have no place, worry does. Its effects buzz around and show up no matter how often we try to shoo them away.

Here’s what I discovered: Worry is a language, a specific way of communicating with God. Our worry talks to God. Which of these is your worry telling God?

  • You are not capable of resolving what causes me fear.
  • You are not able to rescue me on time.
  • You are not aware of the details of my situation.
  • You are not able to heal my hurting heart or restore my broken plans.
  • You are not powerful enough to protect me from the evil one or from his lies.

If you checked at least one, you got a low score as you’re talking the language of worry…unacceptable to Him and destructive to us.

Worry-talk contradicts God’s Word and discounts His promises.

But what if we use the language of faith? We would speak of God’s strength. We would declare of His mighty power to correct the wrong, to heal the wounds and to soothe the pain.

Believing He can, we in turn can shoo worry away, bringing peace back. And once in the place of peace we repeat what God has been saying through the ages. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).

If we listen, we’d be singing, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust…” (Psalm 91:2b)

Pray with me: Father, Thank you that my worry dies in the truth of your Word. Thank you for that freedom. Thank you for your power at work in me to live with reassurance instead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What has been worrying your heart lately?

Janet

 

Source: Can you pass this test on how to get rid of worry? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Stop That Thief

21 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

His name is “Loneliness”.
He steals our contentment.
I didn’t recognize his strategy
until I suffered from resentment.

 

Being alone is not always a choice-
Circumstance plays a role.
Prepare your heart for the inevitable.
Prevent it from taking a toll.

 

Use your ‘alone time’ as a blessing.
Plant the seed of creativity and watch it
grow.
You may amaze yourself.
You are far more talented than you know.

 

Church in the Wildwood by DiVoran Lites

12 ways to overcome sorrow.

15 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Everyone celebrates Easter Sunday, but for so long, I was stuck on the Friday, the day of sorrow, the day of pain and the day of darkness. It was because the death of our son, Joe, had covered us with the veil of grief.

But one spring, right before Easter, healing came. It arrived with Christ’s example as He also dragged the cross of His own sorrow. He bled his pain.

Without complaint, sorrow scraped his heart too. And then nailed on the wood, he tasted the bitterness of betrayal mixed with the hardship of injustice.

Why did He not fight? Beg for freedom from the cross? Or curse His fate?

The answer nearly exploded in my heart. Because He knew glory awaited Him. He was certain eternity was his. And He counted on heaven.

“I want the same,” my soul cried out. And God heard my plea.

So with the celebration of the resurrection of hope, and the rebirth of my joy, came a new beginning – my own Easter Sunday. And while wearing the new outfit of healing, of joy and renewed gusto, I got busy creating a new joy-filled life.

When the day comes and my chair is empty at the dinner table, celebrating Easter, what will my family say about my life? While they scoop up a second helping of mashed potatoes or more slices of honey-baked ham, will they remember the way I dreaded my Calvary or will they recall how I lived my Easters?

How about you? Have you reached your own Easter of triumph for others to see? Whether sorrow or serenity, we’re subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on our own portrait. The one our family will hold in their hearts.

And for the Easters to come, the portrait will display the life we lived, the values we held and the conviction that danced in our heart when we answered:

  1. Did we sink under the weight of our cross?
  2. Did we keep moving with the strength of hope?
  3. Did we relish on our own Easter of joy?
  4. Did we choose to see life beyond circumstances, or did circumstances see us to despair?
  5. Did we face challenges with determination, or did we allow them to determine our destiny?
  6. Did we look for tomorrow with passion, or did momentary trials rob the passion for today?
  7. Did we reach out to others to encourage them, or did our own discouragement reached out to hold us back?
  8. Did we live life rich with God’s reassurance, or did we live empty of His grace?
  9. Did fear steal our joy, or did God’s joy erase all fear?
  10. Did we do things for our own interest, or did we first take interest in God’s ways?
  11. Did we follow our plans, or did we first plan to follow God’s path?
  12. Did we fret over petty things, or find the power of God’s precepts?

No matter what the answer, there is no cross of pain that can hold us down; no suffering that can hold us back because Jesus is alive. And with passionate Love He declares, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Father, I thank you for the triumph. And I pray your everlasting love nourishes my desires, goals and dreams. I ask for wisdom to leave a legacy that honors you, resonates with my children’s children, and reflects my obedience to your precepts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Janet

 

Source: 12 ways to overcome sorrow. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Two are Better Than One

14 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

People need people.
It is embedded in our soul.
Make reaching out to others
your foremost God-given role.

 

So simple, so painfully simple.
Two are better than one.
Two are more effective,
and, oh, so much more fun.

 

Friendships blossom over shared labor,
and we accomplish much more that way.
Open your heart to another.
See how it brightens your day.

 

Two are better than one for walking,
for if they fall, one will lift up his
companion.
But woe to him who is alone when
he falls, for he has no one to help
him up. Ecclesiastes 4:20

 

Two are better than one for working.
Two are better than one because they
have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites from Go West

Just One Quarter

13 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I think there is magic in the quarters used for the Aldi grocery store carts. I wouldn’t say there is enough magic to bring about world peace, but for brief seconds in time, people in the parking lot stop and smile at each other.

What brings about this spontaneous camaraderie?  The simple exchange of a quarter as the departing shopper offers their cart to someone heading into the store. Sometimes no quarter is exchanged as people decide to pay it forward. In the current climate of anger, I enjoy these simple moments of kindness inspired with just one quarter.

Photo credit OnMilwaukee.com

 

You might want to visit the blog Ten Reasons to Dig Aldi.

What to do when feeling trapped.

8 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Reblogged (March 31, 2017)

Sometimes God has a message for us in the oddest ways and even in the silliest situations. I pulled away from my computer and turned to hubby, listen to this story,” I said.

A baby camel looked up to his mother, “Mommy, why do we have these long eyelashes, these big hooves and a hump on our back?”

She turned to him. “God made us that way for a very special reason,” she explained. “Our large feet are to keep us from sinking into the sand.”

“Why the big eyelashes?” he asked.

“It’s to protect our eyes from the sand.”

“Why the big humps?”

“That is to store fat and have enough energy to go long distances in the hot desert!”

“I see!” The baby camel stretched his neck and looked up at his mother. “The large feet are to keep us from sinking into the sand, the long eyelashes are to keep the sand out of our eyes, and the humps are to store energy to travel…then what are we doing in this cage in the middle of a zoo?”

I have asked the same question. Like the camel, I had all I needed to enjoy life. I had desires and dreams, and prepared my wings to fly high to success. But instead, I found myself in a cage of grief and heartache. Pitiful really, and definitely not the place I thought I belonged. At the age of 30, my eyesight closed in completely. I lost my joy, my purpose, and my freedom. Bars of gloom and desperation surrounded me.

Inside that cage, I longed for days gone by. Days when I could see. Days when life still held promises for tomorrow.

Have you ever been there? Have you known that longing?

If you have, like He did with me, God might be whispering this powerful truth right into your soul: “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)

When looking forward, we see the freedom from past longings. When we choose to see outside our cage, we see His hand calling. And when we choose to use what God gave us, we can live in the richness of today.

Pray with me:

Father, I need your reminder each moment of each day that you created me for much more than what I see within my cage. Thank you for showing me the way to the freedom you offer, fresh with your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What has you trapped these days?

Janet

 

Source http://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog/what-to-do-when-feeling-trapped.html

 

You Can Be Alone- Without Feeling Lonely

7 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

People need people-
It’s embedded in our soul.
But to be contented when by yourself
Is a God-given role.

 

” My peace I give to you”,
proclaims the Lord of Glory”.
Christ is our sufficiency.
It’s an oft-repeated story.

 

Christ advises, “To have friends,
show yourself friendly.”
Who can resist a smile?
And look at the person straight in the eye.
It will be worth your while.

 

 

Three reasons why you can’t let go.

1 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Hubby and I agreed to get a brief video done. So I reached for my purse. “Wait a minute,” I said, “let me put on some lipstick before you begin.

Why can’t I toss vanity out the window? But dare I say that we all have a trace of that from time to time.

Some of us are way too appearance-conscious. We dress well to look sharp, wear black to look thin, fix the hair so we look young, and dress down to look cool.

And beyond how we look, we strive to do what might be impressive. We try hard to reach the top, we get busy to do good stuff or even go places to rave about what we did.

Those efforts aren’t bad, unless they rule our lives. Or unless they stir electric signals to the brain, keeping it awake when it should be resting.

At an Access Life event for folks and their families living with disabilities, a sort of strange animal taught me a big lesson about total trust and rest.

A friend put a “turin” in my hands. No misspelling there. This sort of weird little creature is half turkey and half chicken. The body of a chicken, the neck of a turkey and the head of a chicken. Since I’m not able to “see” it, I imagine it to be a sort of ugly creature.

But does it even show concern about its looks? You tell me. As I held it, it fell asleep. It had no clue a blind woman was holding it. It didn’t care how it looked, what appearance it displayed or even care about who took its picture. It showed no worry about others staring at her.

Why can’t we be like that? Why can’t we rest in peace just the way we are—with failures that might be known. With flaws that stand out. With weaknesses that are evident, or things left undone? And in face of it all, we, dare to live in complete trust. In total peace. And undisturbed confidence, the kind of confidence that we too fall asleep in God’s arms.

But we can. And here are three steps to enjoy sweet sleep in those long nights:

  1. Smile at the image in the mirror. Admire God’s creation and repeat: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) If He made us wonderfully, why fret about our body?
  2. No matter what happens, what doesn’t happen, we rest, fully and completely because of where we are: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2) With Him as our fortress and refuge, worry and tension can’t exist.
  3. Let go what is yet undone. The work God is doing in us is not completed. The plans He has for us are still in action because God’s Word says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) If God prepared the work, He’s mighty enough to show us the way to accomplish it.

Father, when restlessness robs our sleep, may we recognize that your kindness, your nurturing and protection is enough to grant the calmness of our thoughts, the peace in our heart and the serenity for our days. We will claim full rest each night, in Jesus name, we declare. Amen.

  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • Do your thoughts align with God’s Word?
  • How do you find restful sleep?

Janet

 

 

Source: Three reasons why you can’t let go. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Are You a Pillar or a Caterpillar?

31 Mar

From the Heart 

Louise Gibson

 

The pillars are a strong foundation
in any relationship.
On their strength we do depend.
The caterpillars crawl in and out,
failing to connect.
They dream to be a butterfly in the end.

 

God created all of us,
and He did it all with vision.
I don’t have your attributes-
That was God’s decision.

 

I will strive to be the best I can
with what God has allotted me.
To be more like our Maker,
That is our destiny.

 

As Sweet as Perfume

30 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

On Monday we had the fun of an impromptu friends reunion of the members of the Park Avenue Baptist Church Young Married Sunday School class. Of course, someone had to mention that five of us were turning seventy this year! How can that be? One friend made an excellent point as we marveled over this milestone. She observed that we look much better at seventy than our parents did. We laughed and agreed. In the interest of full disclosure, I must mention that I am the baby of the group! All too soon it was time for everyone to move on and resume their busy lives, but for a brief afternoon we laughed and shared our lives. I would say it was just like the old days but I believe it was better!

Wednesday was another fun day. but it was scheduled. Lynn and I have known each other even longer than my Young Married friends.We met in the tenth grade and remained in touch throughout the years. She and her husband recently relocated to Florida and  live two hours from us. We decided to meet half way for lunch at  De Leon Springs State Park. We camped there during the child rearing years and I had been longing to revisit it and I was sure my nature loving friend would enjoy it.

The park, set on the land of an old plantation, has a unique restaurant, the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House. Pancakes are their specialty but they also serve salads and sandwiches made with homemade breads.

  Their website describes it this way:

“Each of our tables are equipped with a griddle and we bring you pitchers of homemade pancake batters (both a stone-ground mixture of five different flours and an unbleached white flour) you pour them on and flip them over right at your table.”

From their website

After our lunch we walked around the springs area then Lynn and I  settled down under a covered pavilion to catch up while the men people watched near the spring , talking as men do, solving the problems of the world.

We enjoyed both the company and the scenery. It was a beautiful day, with a gentle breeze. I look forward to visiting again.

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT

 

 

 

Did you know that DiVoran’s first novel is set at De Leon Springs?

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