Archive by Author

It’s Not About You

24 Feb

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

God loves you because of who God is.
not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
He can give you a peace this week
that surpasses all you ever knew.

 

Life does present its challenges-
of this we are all aware,
but the Lord is there throughout it all
to comfort in our despair.

 

Seeing past the pain of the present
is a recommended state of mind.
God lifts us up above our circumstances
and gives us “vision” of a special kind.

 

Are you going through a rough place?
Don’t give up in despair.
Look to Him who created you.
His presence is always there.

 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication, with thanks-
giving, let your request be known unto God,
and the peace that passes all understanding
will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus,
our Lord.” Philippians 4:6

 

ocean-lighthouse

 

Want to be successful? The secret is to know when to celebrate. 

18 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

(February 10, 2017)

Is he ever a type A personality! Driven, zealous, bold, and often forceful. I’m talking about Paul’s commitment to win souls for Christ.

Can’t help it, but often he moves me with his unwavering faith, and he wins my admiration for his endurance. But sometimes he baffles me with some statements he makes, like this one: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

He delights in weakness? In suffering? Boasting about our weakness is an insane contradiction to the world’s standards where we need to appear strong, in control, all together, and have our success shine before others.

Paul shouts the total opposite. But a little pondering brings logic to his thinking. Boasting in areas in which we’re weak brings us to our knees to recognize our vulnerability, our powerlessness, and our feeble ways. And voila! That’s when God’s power bursts through with His ability to do the impossible, level walls of opposition, and remove hurdles we never could on our own.

Celebrate with me; let’s dig out those weaknesses, insecurities, the I-don’t-measure-up feelings, and toss out the inhibitions they caused. And with Paul’s same boldness, wait in expectation for God’s power to be made perfect in them.

How quickly will you celebrate your weaknesses?

Janet

Source: Want to be successful? The secret is to know when to celebrate. | Janet Perez Eckles

Practice Love

17 Feb

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

 

If you practice love,
you can change the world around you.
Try a little spiritual surgery.
It’s amazing what Christ can do.

 

Everything in life happens for a reason.
God wants to conform us to the image of His Son.
When confronted with life’s problems,
remember the battle has already been won.

 

“Christ in you the hope of Glory”.
It is not a new theory.
It truly is an old, old story.
It rejuvenates the weak and weary.

 

Our lower self concentrates on the “Me”
Our higher self is all about giving.
When you kneel at the Cross of God, our Savior,
that is when you truly begin living.

 

All of us are individual expressions of God.
We are channels of His love.
When we reach out to help our fellow man,
our eyes are directed to God above.

 

“We are His workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works.”
Ephesians 2-10

 

sunset-cross-and-water

Photo credit Wunderground Photo

Fishing Therapy Part 2

16 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Because my brain begins racing as soon as I wake up, I have asked God to give me a scripture or song to start my day in a grateful mindset. Last Thursday morning I was given the word joy. My first thought was oh boy, what will I face today that I need to count it as joy.

 

We had planned to try out the fishing at Port Canaveral but I wasnt feeling  energetic so we changed our fishing plans and went back  to the park close to home.

A beautiful family from Ecuador stopped by to talk and we enjoyed communicating with my high school Spanish and his pretty good English. Then they went to have lunch under the pavilion.

 

boatramp-pavillion

 

A few minutes later, the little boy around 4 yrs old and his sister around 8 came running up to me with big smiles. The little guy had a fresh chocolate covered glazed donut in his hand for me. God’s joy gift can come in many forms, today it was in smiles and my favorite donut!

This fishing trip resulted in actually catching some fish. I caught a whiting, which is my favorite for eating, a silver trout and my husband caught a speckled trout. We didn’t keep them as they were too small, but it was fun catching them. Even though we tried to be gentle, the trout after swimming away, showed up floating on the water, I wanted to believe it was resting  and I was upset when the gulls tried to make it their lunch.

The fishing reel I use is a bait caster and over twenty years old. It is having some problems. I think I am going to go back to my favorite reel for fishing in the river, a Zebco 33. It’s kind of like having a reunion with one’s first love.

Something scary did happen during our outing. I had placed my phone in the drink holder of my bag chair so I could listen to the radio. It was very windy and when I stood to reel in my line, a gust blew my chair over and my phone went flying towards the water. My heart sank. Then I realized I could faintly hear my phone and when I looked over the side, I saw my phone lying on a boulder. My husband went down on the rocks and retrieved it. I feared the screen would be broken but it was fine. I thanked God for this and added another item to my lessons learned list.

This week we won’t have a chance to fish. I will miss it.

Three steps to getting your prayers answered.  

11 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

February 3, 2017

I really don’t want to walk in the rain, I thought.

“C’mon let’s go anyway,” hubby said as we walked out the front door. The wind was blowing and a few sprinkles came down.

I hesitated but relinquished to his insistence. “The sun will come out; trust me,” he said.

I held his hand as we made it to the driveway. “Wait a minute,” he said as he opened the car door, “let me grab the umbrella from the trunk, just in case.”

Umbrella? I thought he was confident it wouldn’t rain. I thought he was acting in faith that the sprinkles would stop. His words said one thing, but his actions said another.

We do that too, don’t we? We declare we have faith God will take care of the situation. We just know that our trust is complete. But as we claim to believe God will show up and solve all our needs, our actions tell a different story.

And when we do our best to walk on that faith, something inside whispers doubt. And next, we focus on the circumstances urging us to act contrary to what we said we believe.

But there’s help. If you’re walking in a downpour of conflict or disappointment, in 1John3:14-15 are nestled three powerful ways for you to walk through any circumstance with confidence, secure and firm.

Step 1:  “…our trust isn’t placed in things of this world, in the situation or in others. Not at all, this is the confidence that we have toward him [Jesus]…”

Step 2:  We know to ask not according to our whims, but according to God’s will, “…that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

Step 3:  Sleep comes easy at night because with renewed confidence, we declare: “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Do you believe in this truth…or are you holding onto the umbrella of doubt?

Janet

Source: Three steps to getting your prayers answered. | Janet Perez Eckles

 

Janet’s devotional, Contagious Courage: A 30-Day Journey to Overcoming Stress and Anxiety is reduced to 99 cents and is part of a promotion that is giving away an Amazon Kindle Fire or $50.00 in cash through Pay Pal. Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter 

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Vist Rebekah Lyn Books to view more discounted books.

If you prefer a  Spanish or Portuguese version they are on sale too!

 

Make This Your Battle Cry

10 Feb

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

I have to be me!

I am fighting a battle of resistance.
I have to be me, in spite of insistence.
The world is doing its best night and day
to alter my thinking, to follow its way.

 

Commercials tell me what I should buy.
Etiquette dictates the “how” and the “why”
Experience has proven to be my friend.
My values I no longer have to defend.

 

Don’t try to make me an image of you.
It is so refreshing to have one’s own view.

 

stocksnap_oyeoxdi78k-2

 

Fishing Therapy

9 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My family ended up in Florida on the advice of my dad’s doctor. I know, you folks who are digging out of the snow today are wishing your doctor would advise the same. Sorry, but this was 1954 and doctors at time recommended salt air for people with bad lungs. Now they give you an inhaler.

Back in January when we were in North Carolina, my husband came down with a sinus infection that left him with a harsh and lingering cough. After we arrived in Florida for the winter, I decided to try the old-fashioned remedy that worked so well on my dad, Fishing Therapy. When we moved to Florida in the early 1950s, my dad found work in Orlando. It was not close enough to the coast to get benefit from the salt air so for almost every weekend in my memory, we loaded up the car on Friday night or early Saturday and drove to the east coast to fish. It seemed to help my dad, so why not try it on my husband?

We decide our first therapy session should be someplace that would not require a lot of walking so we settled on a park at the local marina. We didn’t catch a single fish but it was a beautiful day and the salt air was wonderful.

There were a number of sailboats anchored offshore and beyond the bridge the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building can be seen.  There’s something about the joining of high-tech space flight and nature that fills me with wonder and contentment.

I saw these birds in the boat ramp parking lot as I was on my way to the facilities. Something about them flocking together in the parking spaces tickled my sense of humor.

bird-parking-lot

We enjoyed our day and I think it helped with his breathing, so we embarked on a second therapy session, this one at a park closer to home. The wind was brisk and cool, which I love.  As a child, both my husband and I had spent many hours fishing and playing at this spot when it was a wide open space with no facilities. I must say I do appreciate the comfort of a restroom.

I caught a tiny fish and a blow fish. My husband caught three horseshoe crabs.

 I had my heart set on having fresh fish for our supper and this day’s catch wouldn’t feed Rebekah’s cat, so after cleaning up, I went to our local fish market, Wild Ocean. They were out of the type of fish I wanted, so I changed my plans and bought two pounds of Cape Canaveral large white shrimp. Oh my, they were good!

The entire front wall of the store is covered in a this mural. If you should be traveling on US Highway 1 be sure to stop in Titusville and check out the murals downtown. You might want some fresh seafood too. Wild Ocean will cook it for you. Take a look at their menu.

mural-at-wild-ocean

Three truths to keep you from giving up.

4 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

(January 20, 2017)

I can’t help it, I’m just nosy as can be. During one of the events in my trip to Cuba, I sat beside one of the ministry leaders.

“What part of Cuba do you come from?” I asked.

“Santiago de Cuba,” she said with joy in her voice.

As I shooed flies and fanned myself to create a bit of breeze in that intense humid heat, I bombarded her with questions. In the typical passion-filled Cuban style, she answered them all. Here is the summary:

She traveled 33 hours with an 11-month-old son in her arms. The trip began in a dilapidated car, springs protruding from the seat. No luxuries such as air conditioning, thus, the opened windows let all the dust in from the dirt roads. The roof was metal making the blistering heat more intense.

“How long was the trip in that car?” I said.

“Twelve hours to our first stop.”

She and the family and other families had to sleep on the cement floor of the terminal so as not to miss the first morning’s chance for transportation to the next stop. This time it was in an old truck in same conditions as the car.

Thirty-three hours later the families arrived accompanied by dozens of others who came from remote parts of Cuba to attend the event.

I was stunned. Not only at the hardship that no one in the States would even consider enduring. But I was amazed at the joy she exuded. Not a word of complaint. No words of “poor-me.” No tone of frustration. Only joy in her laughter. A sweet spirit in her willingness to serve us visitors. Imagine that. Us, who arrived in Cuba seated comfortably in a jet.

“I’m amazed at your perseverance,” I said.

She chuckled. “We love to do what God calls us to do. And the way to serve Him is to travel where we can minister to more people. That’s our reward.”

Her reward? That’s what keeps them going. The end result that keeps them energized. And the final accomplishment that gives them the strength to endure it all.

Shame on me. While on the rough road of life, the reward is often the last thing I think of. How about you?  When we find ourselves riding in a dilapidated car of heartache, we want to give up. When we’re melting in the heat of broken relationships, we want the comfort of reassurance. Or when we find ourselves sleeping in the cement floor of pain, we cry out to be freed from the torment.

Thank you God! For He has three steps to keep us moving forward in the vehicle of perseverance:

  1. No matter what you’re facing, give it all you got—the faith to believe, the commitment to endure and the strength not to give up because God said: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”
  2. Although you may not see the results, the changes or the solutions yet, joy still bubbles inside… “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
  3. Your efforts are not for the benefit of the other person or to change the circumstance; rather, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23

If we do it all for Him, freedom comes. If we focus on His reward, the journey is doable. And if we know God is with us, no matter how rough the journey, confidence increases, and peace comes back once again.

What will happen if you focus on God’s reward during your journey today?

Janet

 

Source: Three truths to keep you from giving up. | Janet Perez Eckles

We Have Someone In Our Corner

3 Feb

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

Life can be hard sometimes.
The skies are not always blue.
It helps to know there is someone
who will say, “I believe in you.”

 

We all need encouragement at times.
Things don’t always turn out as we plan.
But no matter what the challenge may be,
reach out to your fellow man.

 

A house is made of walls and beams-
a home is built with love and dreams.
The voice that everyone wants to hear
stems from a heart sincere and dear.

 

We do have someone in our corner who cares.
He welcomes “Come unto Me”.
When you have a burden it helps to share.
He holds the key to our destiny.

 

otter-love-on-ice

I Have Questions

2 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

On a recent shopping trip to our local produce market, I found Kiwi on sale, 10 for $1.00. As I chose ten of them, I joked with the man putting them out that if I ate all ten of the kiwi super fruit, I would live to be 150 years old. It seems that I get emails everyday touting the latest superfood. But I have questions. How many of the “super foods” does one need to eat, to be super?

fruits

During blueberry season this past year, I purchased two quarts from a local berry farm. I think I may have eaten almost a quart the first day. A week later I had some scheduled blood work and the results were the best I have had in years. Does this mean I need to eat a quart of blueberries a day?

I visited the American Heart Association page and it listed some super foods but except for fruits and veggies, It didn’t tell me how many servings I would need to be super. They recommend 4 ½ cups Fruits and veggies. I can do that!

From there, I decided to give WebMd a shot at enlightening  me.  The second food on their list is blueberries. It seems I over did it eating a quart of them. WebMd recommends ½ cup per day. If I eat them every day, they will lower my risk of heart disease, cancer and inflammation. They also mention them being helpful in weight loss. I can debunk that one.

Tea is a listed super food. I guess it makes sense to provide a beverage to wash down all these things I need to eat. Does it make a difference if it is hot or cold? I do live in the south, so this is an important question.

Let’s talk about fish. It seems I need to eat 2-3 servings per week of salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines. How do I determine a serving?  Sardines are a lot smaller than salmon and mackerel.

Speaking of fish, tomorrow is THE DAY. The universe has aligned, the winds are perfect, the temperature not too hot and we are going fishing! We got our resident fishing license renewed last week, put new line on our poles and we are ready! Now I just have to figure out if the fish we catch qualify as a super food since they won’t be caught in cold water.

Like I said, I have questions.

PS How could I have forgotten this? DARK CHOCOLATE is a super food! There was a caution against eating it in large quantities. Gee, this is one instance when a vague guideline makes me happy, happy.

cat-with-glasses

How do you manage to fill your daily meals with super foods?

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