Archive by Author

What to do when life gets complicated.

22 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


July 21, 2017 reblogged


Sometimes we wake up, expecting a day just like any other. And, with no warning life gets complicated. Then what happens?

I was flying home to Orlando from Chicago. Seated beside me in the plane was a little girl. I turned toward her. “Are you traveling by yourself?”

“Uh huh.”

“What a brave girl,” I said. “You’re not scared to fly by yourself, are you?”

“A little. I have never flown before,” she said, chewing her gum with vigor.

“Flying is fun,” I said. “You’ll see how fast we’ll get to Orlando.”

I figured if I talked to her, she would be distracted and forget about being scared.

During the two-hour flight, I asked her questions and she opened up. We chatted over details about her friends, her pets and her excitement about visiting Disney World.

“Flight attendants,” the announcement sounded, “please take your seats; the seatbelt light is on during this turbulence.”

I leaned toward and whispered, “Do you know what turbulence is?”


“Turbulence is a mini roller coaster and we don’t have to pay extra for it.”

The plane shook and dipped. Then it stopped.

“It’s over,” she said, disappointment in her voice.

I laughed. “You don’t get much for free.”

The plane landed. “Have fun at Disney,” I said. “When people ask you about your first airplane ride, what will you tell them?”

She stopped chewing her gum. “I’ll tell them it was awesome.”

My plan worked. As long as she was hearing my voice and was focused on what I said, she forgot about her fear.

Jesus wants the same for you and me. His voice is constant. His words continue to echo. His promises are repeated over and over again.

But are we listening? When life gets complicated with sudden emotional turbulence, what do our ears hear and what does our heart feel?

During that shaking, it’ His voice we need to hear. It’s His promises we must believe. And it’s in His protection that we must find refuge.

If turbulence has complicated your life, God is speaking. He’s addressing you by name. And He’s calling you to the security of his flock.

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

When you hear His voice, you silence the whispers of terror. When you allow Him to know you, He’ll provide what you need. And when you follow Him, the path is secure and the journey is simple and uncomplicated.

Father, how often I fall into panic when life gets too complicated. I trust that you can do what I cannot do for myself. And you will bring order to my life and simplify the complications. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is complicating your life right now?


Video sneak peek:


Source: What to do when life gets complicated. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Avoid Premature Aging With One Word “Enthusiasm”

21 Jul

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders



It is not how long you have lived-
Nor how long you have left.
It is how much life you have packed into those years
So you are not feeling bereft.

Living is loving-
You can’t separate the two.
Loving is not conditional-
That’s how God created you.

Love is sincere-
It begins in your heart.
It is the fruit of the spirit.
He promises never to depart.

Love truly can’t be explained.
It is best shown in action.
Sacrifice yourself for the good of others.
Sincerity is a heartfelt attraction.

We are being transformed by our Creator
What an example He set for you and me.
Love in action, caring for others
prepares us for Eternity.

There’s Reading and Then There is READING

20 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Yesterday, I decided that husband and I needed to go on an “outing”. He had spent the early part of the week painting his workshop and we needed a change of scenery. Traveler’s Rest in Georgia is a historic plantation I had been wanting to visit so I went online and found the address and read all the pertinent information. I say I read it, but did I really? I must not have because when we arrived there, Traveler’s Rest was closed. A sign stated its hours to be Saturday and Sunday only. We walked up on the porch and marveled at the rough wood. The original structure was built in 1815. I wonder how many times the wood has been replaced. We took a few pictures and plan to return in August when our daughter comes for a visit.



We had packed a picnic lunch so we headed to Tugaloo State Park. We have passed the turnoff for the park many times but this was our first visit. The day was quite warm and my phone battery was low so I only took two pictures.  With lake front cabins and campsites it is a boating and fishing paradise! We ate our lunch under a pavilion overlooking the lake.



We enjoyed our adventure, roaming back roads and seeing new places. On the return trip, husband spotted a new Harbor Freight store so of course, we had to stop and shop! He found a couple of items he needed and I found a nice pruning  shear mounted on a long pole. Just what hubby needs to do the trimming I have been nagging  gently asking him to do.

You can bet I checked out the Traveler’s Rest website when we returned home. Sure enough, it clearly stated Saturday and Sunday. I guess there is reading and then there is reading. 

Life lesson: Never skim a webpage when planning a trip.

How to face painful moments. 

15 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Was this God’s way to teach us how to face painful moments?

Hubby and I, along with our dear friends, headed to North Carolina for a fun visit.

As we crossed from one state to another, the driver took instructions from the rest who did the navigating.

“Oh, oh…I see the red line, that means traffic coming up,” my friend said. “Let’s take a different route.”

For the next few minutes alternate routes were discussed, considered and explored to avoid “the red area” because after all, that meant traffic. And we were having none of that.

But before we knew it, we reached the dreaded “red zone.” And to our relief, the slowdown was slight, so very slight. All that fretting for nothing.

That’s what we humans do all the time, don’t we? We dread the red zone of adversity, the time when we might not be able to handle life. We cringe at the thought of reaching a place where we might be stuck in helplessness or in illness or in financial trouble.

So, worried about that day, we work hard to avoid that at all costs.

But all the while God is preparing the way for us to face those painful moments. He does this through His almighty, supernatural power; He’s already present at those upcoming “red zones” of life.

And that reassurance comes in two different ways:

He established a prerequisite for us to be safe, completely protected: “’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation’” (Psalm 91:14-16).

Since He knows the danger, keeping us safe is His promise:

“’Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze’” (Isaiah 43:2).

How lovely life becomes when we truly believe in these promises. And as we ride on the highway of life, we know God is ahead making the way, waving the green flag, and making sure that with His help, we will navigate through all the red-zones of life.

Father, guide me away from fear of the pain that tomorrow might bring. Guard me from the worry about what might happen. I invite you to be the driver of the vehicle of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What adversity are you dreading these days?


Video sneak peek:

How God helps us prepare for painful moments?

Source: How to face painful moments. ~ Janet Perez Eckles


14 Jul

From the Heart

Louise Gibson




People need people to validate their dreams.
No one is independent-
We all need someone, it seems.


A speaker needs a listener
to the language of his heart.
We all need recognition-
true listening is an art.


Do you truly sense the hunger
when a person speaks to you-
Or do you struggle with impatience
to express your point of view?


We may not all be Hemingways
or famous for our prose-
But the need for self-expression
is something everyone knows.

(Are you listening?)


Photo by Mike Giles on Unsplash



Heartache: 7 ways to conquer it.

8 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


July 07, 2017 reblogged

Sorry, no 911 to call. No emergency assistants available. And medical facilities are nowhere around.

My brother and I snuggled next to my Mom. We rode in the back of a truck. “When will we get there?” I asked her as my 10-year old mind anticipated fun moments in the tropical area of Bolivia.

But to get there, we risked our lives as we rode on the most dangerous road in the world. Should there be a car accident on the narrow mountains bordered with huge cliffs, fatalities are unavoidable. That’s the scene outside my hometown of La Paz, Bolivia.

One such accident took place recently, leaving a young man paralyzed. His family, American missionaries, sent prayer requests through cyberspace. Walking only moments earlier, paralyzed the next.

Why is it that tragedy barges unannounced? It catches us unprepared, vulnerable to its cruel claws.

I tasted that heartache years ago when the doctor said to my family and me “He didn’t survive the stab wounds he received.”

Losing my youngest son was unthinkable. I cried out to God, “Why?”

I found that kind of pain has no reason, but also learned that God’s peace has no limit.

Friends, if you or anyone you know is in the prison of pain, here are seven vows needed to conquer heartache:

  1. We count on His help, constant and never changing because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
  2. We silence words of self-pity or sorrow. “My lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:4a)
  3. We let go the grip on bitterness and instead, we reach up to Him. “In your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psalm 63:4b)
  4. Our heart may be broken, but our soul is intact. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” (Psalm 63:5)
  5. We thank God for the sweet sleep that will come because “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night because you are my help…” (Psalm 63:6)
  6. We claim His power, knowing where we find protection. “We sing in the shadow of your wings. Our soul clings to you…” (Psalm 63:7)
  7. We declare: Lord, we will not faint because “Our soul clings to you; your right hand upholds us.” (Psalm 63:8)

Father, I praise you for already knowing the help we would need, the comfort we would desire, and the reassurance we would call for. Thank you for going before us to prepare the healing and the restoration of our peace. I thank you in Jesus’ name, amen.

  • How long does heartache have to steal your joy?
  • What needs to change for you to accept His comfort?
  • In the silence of the night, what calms your soul?



Source: Heartache: 7 ways to conquer it. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What a Bargain!

7 Jul

From the Heart

Louise Gibson





God has not promised skies always blue,
But on His faithfulness you can depend.
He said He will never leave or forsake you.
His mercy has no end.


When your load is heavy
and you are feeling blue-
Look to Jesus, my friend.
There is help for you.


Jesus is waiting with a father’s love
His help and strength to give.
You have only to call on Him-
You will truly start to live!


Jesus said, “My peace I give to you”.
That is a perfect peace.
What a bargain. We give Him our burden.
He blesses as we release.





Bargains, Blooms and Heaven Too.

6 Jul

On the Porch
Onisha Ellis


Have you noticed as one gets older, that days seem to speed by and you can’t really remember where the last week went? Maybe if something exciting happens I can recall that, but for the most part, days and weeks are a blur.

As a child, I couldn’t imagine enjoying heaven where each day would stretch into eternity and I would be bored to tears singing praise songs. Now my quirky mind is wondering if the sensation of time speeding up is preparation for eternity. I can easily see myself  having no clue how long I have been there, that is a good thing, but I sure hope heaven doesn’t include endless repetition of the same eight to ten words like praise songs at church. Somehow I believe the songs will be more creative and glorious.

I did have some excitement last week. Big Lots has a bread rack with reduced prices. When we made our weekly visit to check out their choices, I was thrilled to find Artisan Bread by Sara Lee. I love this bread. It is the closest to home made taste that I have found. It’s too pricey for me to have often unless I find it at Big Lots so I stocked up!



Our Hydrangea continue to bless up with abundant blooms and I am enjoying them. Yesterday my husband cut some beauties to enjoy inside. While I was stripping off the leaves, I accidentally pulled off some small blooming branches. I looked around the dining and kitchen area for a suitable vessel and spied a small blue bowl and pitcher set.  We had given to  my husband’s mom as a souvenir of one of our trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It depicts Clingman’s Dome. Her birthday is this month, so I decided it was a perfect way to honor her memory. She raised five boys and loved them dearly.



Our July 4th celebration was on the quiet side. Our grandson came over in the evening to have supper with us and watch our neighbor’s fireworks.  It was good to have one on one time. He is growing up to be an interesting young man. The neighbor out did his previous years efforts. Of course the one that went awry was kind of exciting. Nothing like having a ball of glowing green fire heading straight at you!

It seems fireworks can be purchased as a boxed set, just like books!


My cousin, Diane Murphy passed away this week. I like to think of the heavens lighting up to welcome her home. She was dearly loved.


At her son’s wedding


2 Jul


Judy Wills




 Recently, Fred and I took a driving trip – something we hadn’t done in many years. When Fred mentioned it, I asked him if he was sure – I tend to fall asleep in the car! However, he was sure. Most of the places we go to visit are far enough away that we like to fly to them, rather than drive. But this trip was prompted by a situation we hadn’t heard of before.



Our son-in-law, Brian, found a really good “deal” here in Orlando – or Central Florida, to be exact. Seems that there are just too many rental cars in the Orlando/Central Florida area between Christmas and Spring Break. So the car companies were making a really good offer – rent one of our cars for $4.95 per day (you read that right – $4.95 per day) and you can drive it for a minimum of one day and up to 30 days – as long as you drop the car somewhere outside Florida! And most of the companies let the renters have the car with unlimited driving miles! And since I call my husband “my tight-fisted Scot” (said with a Scottish accent!) – it was an offer he couldn’t refuse!

So we signed up for a 16-day trip. Fred also said he would like for me to be able to see some of the girlfriends I had made along the way of our life, but hadn’t seen in many years. So we began planning our trip.



But before I begin our trip – I must tell you that, even though we hadn’t seen these people in many, many years – we had kept up with them, either via Christmas cards, or letters. We had not lost touch with them.

And so, when the time to start driving arrived, we picked up the car and started out. We drove from Orlando to Pensacola the first day – and that’s a long trip!

The next day we drove over to Pascagoula/Moss Point, MS, to visit a friend we hadn’t seen in over 50 years. She and her husband married the November before Fred and I married in June – 56 years ago! And we hadn’t seen them since. Her birthday is one day after mine, so we called ourselves “twins.” We had a nice lunch with them, then visited in their home for a few hours, then started on our trip north. We stopped in Meridian, MS that night, before heading up to Tuscumbia, AL the next day. There we visited for several days with my best and dearest friend in all this world. And just a side note – did you know that Helen Keller is from Tuscumbia? I didn’t know that until we visited there.


Credit Google Search and Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan


Four days following, we drove to Shreveport, LA for an overnight, before heading to Gladewater, TX the next day. There we visited a good friend I had worked with while Fred was in Seminary, in Fort Worth, TX, over 50 years ago. We hadn’t seen her and her family since 1974 when we moved to Panama City, FL from San Antonio, TX. After visiting with them for a few hours, we drove on to Fort Worth, TX. We spent a couple of days there, just re-visiting some of the places we had lived, worked and visited during the four years we lived there. In that time, we visited with the couple we had met on our Viking River Cruise in Europe (please see my post of February 21, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime – Part 4). It was so good to see them again. We found we had a lot in common with this couple, and thoroughly enjoy their company.

~~~~~~~~~~Ouch! will be revealed next week~~~~~~~~~~

Freedom, A Distant Desire

1 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Ouch! It hurt when I read the following:

“I will not read any of your books,” a reader wrote some months back when I presented my views about the not-so-hidden-agenda that drips from Hollywood.

But after I spread some salve on the scratches of my ego, I realized this person was flagging the trophy of democracy— including freedom of speech.

When I stood in that courtroom over thirty years ago, I lifted my right hand, and tears of gratitude trickled as I pled my allegiance to the United States of America.

Becoming a United States citizen was an honorable vow, a commitment and a promise that America would from then on hold my allegiance and my respect.

American freedom graced my life like a treasure. Not a freedom to indulge my own gain and desires, but a freedom that required responsibilities. Moreover, the realization that responsibilities call for commitment. Commitment requires courage. Courage begs wisdom. Wisdom requires truth. And upholding truth demands action.

Sadly, this writer believes we’ve taken action. But not toward upholding the freedom this country was founded on. But to freedom that is slowly opening the door to a prison of moral destruction.

We have the freedom to paint TV and theatre screens with vulgar scenes, words, and examples of behavior that ridicule God’s precepts. That freedom we do have. But will we have the courage to face the consequences?

Pushing God out of our courtrooms, schools and public entities does indeed shout freedom of speech. But do we have the commitment and diligence needed to pick up the pieces of a country veiled with darkness in the absence of God?

Freedom includes wisdom—not our own, but that of our creator. The same wisdom that fueled the founding fathers to birth a country that rose to be the most powerful and prosperous in the world.

But that prosperity, rather than evoking gratitude, brought false confidence and pride. It masked values and opened the door for discontentment, criticism and a free-for-all for financial gain at the expense of innocent eyes and ears.

Freedom of speech is like pouring rain—it can moisten parched land, or cause destructive floods.

And flooded we have become with distorted values, and violence that fills our kid’s minds excused as acceptable, lyrics that sing of horrific actions blaring over radio stations, even groceries stores displaying magazines that celebrate sin with luring headlines is as common as milk on the shelves.

Admirably, some parents still fight the battle, attempting to instill truth and morals in their kids. But when did freedom of speech become the enemy making those efforts more difficult every day?

My love and gratitude for America haven’t dwindled, nor my appreciation diminished. It’s that admiration that evokes fear as the wind roars announcing the destructive hurricane of corruption

We have freedom of speech handed to us. But do we have the valor to stop its abuse, to make a stand before we drown in the murky waters of sexual decadence? Like a frog in boiling water, we won’t realize its destruction until entertainment dripping with violence and blatant depravity cooks our conscience.

To the lament of most, that coveted freedom would then be but a distant desire.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Father, we need wisdom to seek you, your ways, your laws, your precepts and your freedom. Grant us a humble spirit to recognize without you, darkness awaits. But with your hand guiding, victory is ours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Will you join in prayer for America?


Video sneak peek:


Source: Freedom, A Distant Desire ~ Janet Perez Eckles

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