Archive by Author

How to celebrate a father’s legacy

15 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 15, 2019

At the very same time when I turned 30 and my father 55, the retinal disease began to rob our eyesight.

In a matter of eighteen months, our vision closed in completely, leaving us in darkness with no trace of shadows, color…only a dark gray nothing.

My world crumbled…

…as the black curtain fell, destroying the dreams my husband and I had for us and for our 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old sons.

But when I turned to God for hope and strength, He responded by opening my eyes to see a new revelation—the insight my father had given me.

My father had not only passed on to me the gene that caused my blindness, but also the example of living with determination and tenacity.

Only a couple of decades prior, my family and I lived in Bolivia, our native land. At that time, he defied the family’s opposition to move to America. Instead, he and Mom worked non-stop to satisfy the requirements imposed by the U.S. Immigration Department to enter the country legally and establish residency.

My father persevered.

Once in the states, my father overcame humiliation, intense loneliness, helplessness and uncertainty. But determined to succeed, he got a job unloading trucks. He endured ridicule because of his lack of fluency in English, but he pressed on. And he managed to gather enough money for the basics—rent a small apartment, buy modest furniture from thrift stores and put a down payment on a car. Nine months later, he sent airline tickets for my mom, my brother and me.

He demonstrated that humility is crucial to success. My father is in the glory of heaven now. And this Father’s Day I celebrate the qualities that define his legacy.

Like a baby takes its first steps holding tight to his father’s hand, my dad held onto God as he stepped from the comfort of our hometown in Bolivia to the unknown in a foreign land.

Confidence in God.

I did the same as I stepped into the unfamiliarity of a sightless world. Holding onto God’s hand, I gained confidence and learned the language of appreciation.

Gratitude is what my heart sees. Thankfulness for God’s promise that when in the dark land of discouragement, in a place unfamiliar, and when the path is unknown, His Word shall always be a lamp for my steps, and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

With that light shining the way, I celebrate my heavenly Father’s provision and my earthly father’s perseverance.

Both allowed me to gaze at the beauty of life when choosing to see through the eyeglasses of gratitude.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for the lack of physical sight that opened my spiritual eyes. Now I see my life through the window of gratitude. In Jesus name.

What blinds you from living with gratitude?




Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video:

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

Goodbye Rain, Hello Sunshine

13 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I enjoy rainy days, in fact I generally prefer a rainy one to a sunny, hot day, but I was tired of the week of rain we just experienced. Mind you, I am thankful we didn’t receive the dangerous amount that some folks had, but still, I was ready for some sunshine and shine it did yesterday.

The soft winds held the perfect touch of chill and spending time on the porch enjoying the hummingbird antics was delightful. Another delight was discovering the Gold Finches had returned and were busily munching away on the feeder.

My aunt and cousin are visiting and we have been enjoying our porch time. We moved a deck chair with a cushion onto the porch and I am looking forward to lounging while sipping coffee and enjoying my daily quiet time.

Another thing I am looking forward to is seeing David Holf and Josh Goforth at the performing arts center in August. Their specialty is mountain music.

“Four-time Grammy Award winner, David Holt and rising acoustic music star and Grammy nominee, Josh Goforth join together to bring to life the joy and spirit of old-time mountain music and stories. Between them, the combine the virtuosic sounds of guitar, banjo, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin, and a world of exciting rhythm instruments from hambone (body slapping) rhythms, to spoons, stump-fiddle, rhythm bones, jaw harp and even paper bag. It is a program of songs, stories and amazing musicianship that will appeal to all ages. ” Great Mountain Music dot com

Are you looking forward to anything special this summer?

The Road to Joy

12 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I read this in Jesus Always a few days ago.

Nurture well your thankfulness for it is the royal road to Joy.

I saw this photo on Pixabay and it brought to mind that beauty and joy can be found even when our path seems hard, even treacherous.

One thing you need to remove in order to live with confidence

8 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


  Sometime ago, a reader wrote: Dear Janet, I am so very grateful for having known about your site. Indeed, I would like to know what gives you confidence through each day. Thank you. –Rhoda My response: Dear Rhoda, Thanks for that interesting question. I’ve been asked all kinds of questions from How do you put on your make-up? to How do you write books? But no one has ever asked me what gives me confidence.

Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago, I was in California attending a writer’s conference. A friend jokingly asked, “Do you want to drive my car?” “Yes,” I said with a daring look. “Are you sure?” “No,” I said, “The question is are YOU sure you want me to drive your car?” She chuckled. “Why not?”

“Okay, here we go.”

Using my fingertips, I felt my way to the driver’s side and opened the door. With a few attempts, I found the ignition, inserted the key, started the engine, and changed gears. Her job was to give me verbal instructions. Not having any sight at all, driving a car had remained but a dream. So, there I was, a bit nervous, but with a grin I couldn’t hide. I gripped the steering wheel, pretending to be in control, I listened to my friend. “Keep it straight now, a little to the left, now to the right just a bit, not much.” A tad risky, I admit. But oh, what fun! The reason I was able to drive her car was because she was with me seated to my right on the passenger’s seat. She became my eyes. I trusted in her ability to direct me, to tell me what to do, when to turn and when to slow down.

The road of life is the same.

We’re blind to what’s next. We can’t see tomorrow or what’s around the corner or what the future holds. The uncertainty sparks worry. And worry brings on restlessness. And restlessness produces anxiety. Before we know it, we sit at the doctor’s offices learning we have ulcers. King David probably had them too. And driving the vehicle of pride, he followed his own whims, desires and cravings. The not-so-pleasant details are related in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. In his feeble kind of wisdom he made crazy decisions. He failed. He sinned and brought heartache for all. Sometimes we do the same. Like David we settled in the vehicle of pride, press the accelerator, zoom ahead only to find the cliff of disappointment. And once broken we shake our head, look at the mess and wonder what happened. But although David made a mess too, he saw the sign, “Humility, next stop.” He pulled over. He shed that destructive pride.

David came to his knees, asking God for forgiveness. The Lord did.

Once forgiven, David welcomed a new kind of confidence and declared: “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:7-8). He was confident because he trusted, not in his feelings and desires anymore, but in God’s power. He was confident not because he could take charge but because he let God direct his life. If you’re reading this, you’re probably sighted. But, God, who knows what you don’t see, offers to sit by your side, infusing confidence for the road of life. To fill you with reassurance as you take sharp corners of heartache. To give you the wisdom to avoid cliffs of destruction and to whisper the reassurance to overcome barriers.

Let’s Pray

Father, may all traces of pride be erased from my heart, from my thoughts and my approach to life. I welcome the true confidence found In You and in Your direction. In Jesus name. What do you have to remove in order to live confidently? Janet ______________________________________ Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE. CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video. Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE. Please share: Feel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.  
Janet Eckles Perez
Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.  

The Mixer Trick

6 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We have family coming to visit today. I am looking forward to their arrival and have been making mental meal plans. Yesterday I put a Boston Butt in the crock pot and today I will make Eastern North Carolina pulled pork, along with cole slaw and some red skin potatoes. We won’t be able to eat the potatoes since we are eating low carb, but I will enjoy fixing them. For dessert I made a strawberry cream pie drizzled with chocolate ganache. We can eat that!

I’m not a gifted drizzler.

Once the pork was fork tender, I let it cool then placed it in the bowl of my stand mixer. In less than 2 minutes the pork was shredded. How amazed my mom would have been at the ease of shredding the meat!

In her final years, my mom spent a good bit of time at our home recovering from hospital stays due to her COPD. She would sit at the kitchen table as I cooked our evening meal and we would talk about all kinds of things. Growing up with 11 brothers and sisters, she had a lot of stories to tell.

Often during these visits we would make barbecue together. I would place the cooked Boston Butt between us on the table and we would each cut off a chunk and begin to cut it into smallish cubes. Alone, it was a tedious task but working together the time flew by. Sweet memories. Memories we wouldn’t have made if I had known about the mixer trick.

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Humbled and Encouraged

5 Jun

Reblogged June 5, 2019 from Rebekah Lyn Books

I am humbled and encouraged when I see the way God works in my life. 

My last book, Destiny’s Call, launched without much fanfare and has limped along at an unsatisfying pace. For a variety of reasons I haven’t put forth much effort to market this new venture, so I’m not complaining about the slow progress, but I had been feeling rather discouraged. Then, a few weeks ago, a friend mentioned a new christian bookstore had opened in town. I immediately went to check it out.

It’s a lovely shop, but I was surprised when I first walked in and didn’t see any books. There were unique children’s games, collectible figurines, and a variety of other gifts. Along a back wall there was a large variety of Bibles and then in one corner was a bookshelf with a dozen or so books. 

It was the middle of the day and not very busy so the owner, Nadia, started talking to me, telling me they’d only been open about a week and sharing some of the plans she and her husband, Sam have for the store. Nadia has an infectious energy that draws people in. She mentioned she wants to work with local vendors so the shop will have unique items rather than things that can be found in any box store. 

I felt so comfortable talking to her that I, without a single hesitation or gulp of fear, asked if she was interested in working with local authors. She emphatically agreed that she was and I took a few minutes to tell her a bit about myself. When she asked if I would mind leaving her a copy of one of my books for her to look at, I was thrilled to tell her I had some in the car and I would run get one for her. 

Of course I gave her Undaunted, since it is a local story. Nadia and her husband, are still relatively new to town, and Jessie Cole’s story is a great way to learn about the history of the community. 

Within 48 hours, Nadia had emailed me to say she would be very interested in working with me. We quickly set up a plan and my books now appear on her shelves alongside several other local authors. 

As soon as I walked out of the store that first day, before we even had an agreement, I felt God at work. Energy filled my heart and the discouragement that had weighted me down for months lightened. 

Having made a connection with a couple who have a bold love of God and a desire to serve our community encourages me that a spirit of service and fellowship will fill our streets, our businesses, our churches, and our homes. I feel like God has big plans in store for Nadia and Sam and I am honored that my books may be a part of that journey for them. 

If you live in Titusville or you come to see a launch, be sure to stop in and say hello to Nadia (and Sam if he’s there) at New Beginnings Christian Bookstore in the Titusville Mall on US 1. 


3 Jun

My Take

Thea’s Post 

Scribe- DiVoran

I have been asking Ma when I could tell my stories again. One of her friends even asked about Meow-Me! Finally, she is finished with all that baby book nonsense and can focus on Meow-Me.

I’ll start by telling you about the room we are in right now. Sometimes Ma calls it the office, sometimes the scriptorium, and sometimes the sanctuary because she does her quiet time here in the winter. In summer, we get to go out on the porch early in the morning when the Sand Hill Cranes fly over honking their horns. 

Sand Hill Cranes  Pixabay

I like pillows and chairs, and blankets, and rugs. I liked the taste and texture of Ma’s birch-cloth sheets, but every time she catches Me pulling at them with my teeth she yells. “No!” I must say she did a good job patching them. She likes them more than any sheets she’s ever had because they are pale green and soft. Now they contain perfect memories of Meow-Me forever. I realize that she likes me a lot better than she does those ole sheets.

A while back I decided to spend all night on the porch watching the action and listening to the night sounds. Several of the noises were scary, but the worst one went like this: whoo-whoo-whoo. Ma tried to assure me that it was only a night-bird, but something told me it was not safe to connect with it. Nothing can get me when I am safe on the porch. 

Ma has an office chair and sometimes she rolls it over to another chair so she can pet me. I refuse to get in her lap, and I still don’t like to be picked up so this works.

None of the chairs in our house are big enough for both of us and neither is her lap. 

In the evening we have snacks. I like my Greenies. They are supposed to clean my teeth. Ma throws one at the wall and when I hear it hit I run to find it while she is hiding the rest in the folds of the red blanket. 

Two of my playmates are called rugs.They are thick and stiff but pretty and can survive a whipping with my back claws. 

I hear talk of cutting claws again. One of them holds me while the other snips. I try to get away, but I am no match for giants. I think they are cutting them because of a few small holes in the porch screen. Really, all she has to do is to fix the holes with packing tape.

It’s good to finally to talk to you again. Thank you for reading. Here’s a nice big purr for you PUURRR. I’ll be back. 

Meow, Me 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Seeking Peace-In Thankfulness

31 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We spent the past week unpacking and organizing after our migration to our beloved Western North Carolina from Florida. I describe our move as migration because like sparrows and Painted Buntings, we move between the same locals each year. More deep cleaning than deep thinking going on.

As I sat on our back porch this morning and read through the day’s devotional, I focused on choosing overflowing thankfulness. Thankful for what I have and thankful for what I don’t have, and trusting in God’s promises.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. COLOSSIANS 2:6–7

Love God’s unfailing love and mercy centers my emotions.

Joy When I choose joy, thankfulness will overflow.

Peace As my heart and mind embrace thankfulness, peace replaces agitation and fear.

Be Made New

29 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

  • Ephesians 4:22-24 New International Version (NIV)

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Remembering the Wahoo

27 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My Uncle Howell’s submarine, the Wahoo went missing during WWII. It wasn’t until years later the submarine remains were found. By then, all of his family had passed away without having closure. I remember and honor him and all of those who lost their lives on the Wahoo during the grueling battle.

%d bloggers like this: