Archive by Author

Thanksgiving

25 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

From our homes to yours we wish you a blessed and joyful filled day.

Our God is not a fragile God.

20 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

Psalm 139:1-2

How cool and thrilling is this truth? In a world where more and more, people are cautious about sharing their thoughts, we have a God who welcomes them. In fact, he already knows them!

Our God is not a fragile God. He can handle my thoughts and even better he won’t turn away from me. Or in today’s lingo, He won’t ghost me.

In fact, I believe that God delights when I talk with Him about the not so pretty thoughts…Impatience thoughts, angry thoughts, fearful thoughts and yes vengeful thoughts.

If I give God a chance to get a word in edgewise, He will direct my thoughts to His thoughts.

Our pastor created a graphic to encourage us to pray daily for those who don’t know God. This morning in my quiet time, I began to think about people who fall into the annoying category. So this morning I prayed “give me eyes to see the people who tick me off as you see them .” One can substitute any situation. The hardest for me, is to see as He sees the ones who hurt me and reject me.

Yesterday during lunch with friends we were bemoaning our memory lapses. I jokingly said ” I ask God to remove the memories and things that tick me off and that’s why I don’t have much memory left!” I am definitely a work in progress!

Overcoming fear of suspension bridges one tiny bridge at a time. LOL

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

2021 Road Tripping to Arkansas-Rattlesnake Saloon

19 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Tuscumbia Alabama

The day’s adventure beginning with Little River Canon Preserve had taken longer than planned. We arrived at our hotel in Tuscumbia feeling tired even though I had eliminated an anticipated stop. Hotel check in was disconcerting as the lobby was very small making maintaining distance a challenge. Once it was our turn, the front desk worker was rather abrupt, almost rude. A rarity as we have been fortunate with this chain hotel. I don’t know if she was feeling stressed or if she was just not a happy person.

Our room was equally disappointing. It definitely did not reflect the bright, cheery pictures online. When I noticed the mildew, maybe mold in the top window frame I was almost ready to leave, but we were just too tired. I barely remember that we ate supper at a Cracker Barrel.

We did sleep well that night. A plus for starting off a new day. The hotel’s breakfast was a grab and go bag, which we can’t eat and after the previous morning’s smoking mini griddle event I wasn’t eager to try that again. Fortunately there was a Waffle House, or maybe a Huddle House in walking distance. ( I get confused about which one as they are very similar.)After a short wait we were seated with nice, hot coffee delivered in record time. The day was looking good. Back at the hotel, the front desk was staffed with a very helpful and kind man.

A totally different experience from the night before and a good start to the day’s adventure, lunch at the Rattlesnake Saloon. A cousin who loves to travel backroads told us about this fascinating restaurant built in a cave than once was used as a pig pen! It sounded so unique, we had to visit it.

Their daughter, Theresa, spent 6 months road tripping and sleeping in her car and visited there a couple of weeks ago. She created this video for her You Tube channel and gave me permission to share it.

The saloon is unique in every way. Transportation down to the saloon cave is in the back of a customized pick up truck. Of course, one could walk down to the saloon but at our age, we will choose the ride!

The menu consisted of sandwich baskets. My husband ordered pulled pork and he said it was good, not exceptional, but good. I was surprised to learn that all of the food was prepared on site. The day we were there they even had live music!

Here is an excerpt from their webpage:

“The Saloon took just 49 days to construct before opening on Labor Day weekend in 2009. Since its opening, it has been featured in magazines, music videos, and tv shows and has become one of the top attractions in the area. So far our guestbooks show visitors from all 50 states and over 30 other countries have stopped at the Saloon.”

In due course a trip to the facilities was in order. I entered with some trepidation. Would it be clean? The interior walls were covered in rough wood but the back wall was one of a kind… the cave! And yes the facilities were clean.

Looking back, I wish we had visited the gift shop. Even if I didn’t purchase a thing, I have a feeling their souvenirs would be as creative as the saloon.

We rode the truck back to the parking lot which we now noticed was filled with horse trailers being unloaded. There were some beautiful horses! Along with the saloon the property has extensive trails for horseback riding and ATVs plus a campground with full hookups. The following weekend they would be hosting a mule event with people coming from across the country to show their mules. THAT I would have liked to see.

Then it was back on the road to our next night’s stop, Olive Branch, Mississippi. A town just across the border from Memphis, Tennessee and the Elvis Presley estate.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue 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.

God Said He Will Never Do This…

13 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged November 13, 2021

November 12, 2021

It seems like a lifetime ago when my good friend and I sat at a park bench while our toddlers played in the sandbox. We shared details of our hectic days and even chatted about stuff that intimidated us.

Are you kidding?” I said, “I could never travel to another country by myself and stay in a hotel alone. No way!”

“I wouldn’t either,” she said.

God was listening. And He was probably smiling. “If they only knew….”

Well, I had no clue that my eyesight would be gone only two years later. I never expected blindness at 31. I never imagined caring for my three little boys with no sight at all.

Eventually, I pushed aside all the never reflections that focused on the negative. Instead, for the decades that followed, I saw the supernatural way in which God erases fear and with the pen of His love, writes faith in our hearts.

That’s why years after that day in the park bench with my friend, my attitude changed. Because of God’s grace, I’m able to travel across the country alone and feel comfortable in hotel rooms by myself.

So…never say never.

Another kind of never.

But you and I need to check out another kind of never. God speaks it. He does so with a divine force. With a mighty strength. With His voice that thunders through the walls of our soul.

Here are five places where He repeats His never promises:

No. 1. When another shocking news strikes and makes you stumble with worry, He will rescue you, “and he will sustain you; he will NEVER let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

Father, I will count on Your hand that sustains me so I will never fall. I will trust on Your love that surrounds me so I’ll never be defeated.

No. 2. When you fret about the future because your security is shaken. That’s when your thoughts turn to Him and that’s when your lips can echo the psalmist’s words: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will NEVER be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).

Father, I vow that no matter the situation, the pain or heartache, I will not be shaken. I will stand firm because You are my stronghold and my ever-present help in trouble.

No. 3. If those you love turn their back and fail you. And if you taste the bitterness of rejection, confidence still surrounds you “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will NEVER forsake his inheritance” (Psalm 92:14).

Father, comfort fills me knowing that You never reject me. Even with my sins from the past, the failures of yesterday and flaws that I still have, you still call my name and you still count on me as Your inheritance, one You will never, never forsake or abandon.

No. 4. When the army of adversity attacks you, leaves you confused or discouraged, God has the same never promise for you as He did for Joshua. “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

Father, like Joshua, I sometimes feel I’m heading toward unfamiliar territory. I’m about to face unknown dangers and fear I’ll encounter enemies seemingly more powerful and me. But I choose to receive Your promise that no one can stand up against me. You will be with me and no matter what happens at the other side of adversity, you will never leave me.

No. 5. When consolation is nowhere to be found. And your heart hungers for encouragement, and your soul thirsts for reassurance, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will NEVER go hungry, and he who believes in me will NEVER be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Father, you know my heart, you see my ways and You know also my thoughts. And I wait in expectation for what my heart longs for, you will fill. And what my soul desires, you will satisfy. I drink of Your living water that revives me and gives me fresh hope.

A Question to Ask Yourself

Which of God’s promises will you make your own today?

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: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

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.

www.janetperezeckles.com

2021 Road Tripping to Arkansas-Little River

11 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

We follow a low carb Keto diet and hotel breakfasts can be iffy, especially in the era of Covid. Before the trip I baked some low carb muffins for my breakfasts. My husband is an eggs and bacon kind of guy, so I practiced cooking a scrambled like egg in my Dash griddle. He approved the taste and texture, and I had a plan, except maybe I forgot to test one thing…

As I made his first on the road breakfast, I added a bit of butter to the griddle to give him some extra flavor. Mistake. Butter on a griddle smokes and my practical husband pointed out that I was going to set off the fire alarm. No more butter on the griddle, lesson learned.

Our destination for this day was Little River Canyon National Preserve near Fort Payne, Alabama. From their website:

Little River is unique because it flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities. Natural resources and cultural heritage come together to tell the story of the Preserve, a special place in the Southern Appalachians.

NPS.gov

What a gem! I learned of it from a short blurb in a magazine touting the waterfalls of north east Georgia and was pleased to see that it would fit nicely into our road trip. At the information center we learned the details of the scenic drive and were given a very helpful brochure. Our first stop was a beautiful, handicap accessible waterfall.

I regret not taking more pictures on the 11 mile drive. I really think I did. I have a sneaking suspicion that my compulsive need to delete photos from my camera, after downloading may have come into play. Or, I can go all conspiracy theory and blame their absence on the C.I.A.

The canyon was pretty amazing, not Grand Canyon amazing, but awesome. There were some kayakers but they were so far down, my camera did pick them up.

One stop was an area where eagles were known to soar, but sadly, we didn’t see any.

After we left the Preserve, we made our way to the next stop on our trip, Tuscumbria, Alabama. We chose backroads over interstate highway and we definitely wandered. Bathroom facilities seemed to be non-existent. When we finally arrived in a community with a fast food restaurant, Burger Kind, we exited the car and made a dash for the facilities. Burger King restrooms are not always well maintained but thankfully, this one was. We decided to combine the stop with lunch and were pleasantly surprised with their efficiency.

Back on the road we congratulated ourselves for our stop as we didn’t see any other places or businesses for several miles. Then we began to see large warehouses and an assortment of carpet and flooring manufacturing. Wow, who would have thought so many businesses would be in the middle of nowhere. Then we saw signs for an interstate and it made sense. Perfect access for trucking their goods. On the other side of the interstate was a Bus-ees, a mega gas station with almost anything you can think of to eat, drink or buy just for fun. It was packed with drivers from the interstate! I can testify that But-ees has THE nicest restrooms I have ever had the opportunity to visit. LOL

Photo credit:Flickr

Eventually, we did leave the back roads for the interstate. My ears were weary from the GPS directing us to turn left at the next stop sign then continue on…blah, blah blah. Fortunately, the interstate traffic was minimal and it was a pleasant drive to our nights lodging in Tuscumbria.

Veteran’s Day

I’ve been thinking a lot about veterans this week. I realized how many stories and memories are being lost. I was fortunate that my dad spoke of his WWII service, but as I age, I have so many more questions for him. I only knew one person who served in Korea and I wish I had asked him more about his experiences. Of course, he wasn’t very happy about being called up after being discharged, so while his story wouldn’t necessarily have been positive, it was his story and I wish I knew it. As we honor our Veterans this week, if the opportunity arises, ask them to tell their story.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue 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.

Thoughts

7 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Greetings friends. Judy usually posts on Sunday but she is busily completing an afghan for a friend. If you remember she wrote about her long time delight in afghans and the love that goes into each one she creates.

I have zero skills with crochet or any crafts, but this week, I just happened to have created a tiny video for a Bible verse that is dear to my heart. So many times I just don’t understand life and this verse always brings me peace and confidence. May it do the same for you.

As an FYI, You Tube chooses the video suggestions after this one plays. Does anyone know how to disable that?

2021 Road Tripping to Arkansas

4 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Day 1 Scottsboro Alabama

On September 24th my husband and I loaded up our truck and set off from our home in Western North Carolina on a three week road trip to Arkansas. Why Arkansas, you might ask? Well, we had never explored the state and a friend who would join our journey in Arkansas, offered to share her time share week with us.

It was a beautiful day to begin our journey and we chose the slow route on US 76 through Northern Georgia. We decided to stay on back roads once we entered Tennessee, avoiding the traffic and interstate of Chattanooga.

Scottsboro, Alabama boasts a fun store, Unclaimed Baggage. The company buys bulk lots of unclaimed baggage and freight from airlines. Basically one is buying someone else’s clothes and gear. We have been there twice before and have found bargains. On this day, we struck out, but it was a fun break from being on the road.

On previous visits to Unclaimed Baggage we didn’t spend any time in the town of Scottsboro, but this trip we had decided to spend the night. In part so that we could explore and also because we were limiting our daily travel to around 6 hours. After checking into our hotel we were ready to eat. Searching online for a place to have supper, I found a restaurant that looked promising. The phone GPS did a fine job routing us and we arrived with no problems. On the way I was surprised to see how pretty the area was with beautiful Lake Guntersville and distant hills. Hugely different from the dismal original downtown.

Photo Credit created by dji camera at Alabama.travel

I chose tonight’s restaurant due to it’s funky name, 50 Taters and excellent reviews. What a great southern name! My meal goal on this road trip was to eat in as many local establishments as possible. Little did I know how necessary this was going to become. The business began as a food truck specializing in 50 ways to load a baked potato and I wasn’t expecting the huge menu. Another fun thing about this restaurant is our table for two was made from an old Singer sewing machine!

We decided to share a BBQ platter and it was delicious! The wait staff were friendly and fast and seemed happy to be there.

When we finished our meal, we decided to go back to our hotel for an early night. I didn’t want to tire my hubby on our first day of the trip.

November 4, 2021

Last week we drove to South Carolina to deliver chicken soup to a friend. We decided to add a little adventure to the familiar drive along US 76 west to enjoy the delayed Fall foliage. We stopped at the Bull Sluice put in on the Chataooga river and I walked down to the beach.

I was a little disappointed with the amount of color but it was a steep walk down the path to the water and I didn’t trust my ability to make it back up if I went any further.

As I began up the return path, I felt some anxiety. There was no one to help me and my husband definitely should not try to rescue me. As my concern increased, I decided to check my heart rate on my fitness watch. 117. Not bad. I’m ok. I can do this. I began counting my steps, finding that 40 steps was my limit before I needed to rest. And so I made it up the trail, 40 steps at a time.

Afterwards, I reflected on how easy it is to become discouraged. I gained two pounds this week, I lost my cool with someone on Twitter, or when will this pandemic ever end? I need to realize life’s problems can be approached by just taking “40 steps” at a time.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue 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.

Covid Impressions from our Road Trip

19 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

September 24th my husband and I set off on a three-week road trip. Due to my husband’s health challenges we chose to do a fairly short trip in miles,  over an extended time period.

 I will be writing about the places in we visited in future blogs. Today is just about Covid and it’s effects on travel. 

We began our trip in Western North Carolina and our first overnight was in neighboring Alabama. According to news reports Alabama had a low vaccination rate and high Covid numbers. Our small town was enduring a rise in Covid numbers and although not mandatory many were wearing masks when out in the community. To my surprise only a handful of the Alabamians that we saw seemed to feel masks were needed. We chose to take our meals in local restaurants when possible, and they seemed to have adequate and cheerful staff.

After Alabama we moved on to northern Mississippi, very close to Memphis, Tennessee. Once again, low mask use but unlike Alabama, finding restaurants that were staffed well was a challenge. One evening we tried two national chain restaurants. One had an hour wait due to lack of staff, the other wasn’t allowed to seat diners unless the hostess cleared all of the tables first. No one was busing tables. Kind of gross actually. We said no thanks and moved on. Another restaurant was drive through only. After three tries we found a local restaurant that was open, staffed, clean and the smoked beef brisket was delicious. Most disturbing, in the chain restaurants, I sensed a feeling of dark heaviness.

We traveled further west to Arkansas. We like to stop at McDonalds on road trips as they usually have clean restrooms but several of them were drive through only, although their bathrooms were open.( Travel tip-chainstore pharmacies tend to have adequate restrooms as well)   Once we arrived at our VRBO in Arkansas we set out to explore the town. We found an excellent BBQ restaurant where one orders at the counter and the food is brought to your table in disposable  containers. When finished, the diner throws containers, cups etc into the garbage. The food was good and the atmosphere was cheerful. Masks were worn but not in great numbers. We drove through a high tourist area and there were a lot of people exploring historic sites and checking out shops.

Our next destination was in north central Arkansas. When we arrived at our rented time-share the road was blocked due to the communitie’s October Fest. We spent a week exploring the area and except for one crafter, no one seemed concerned about Covid. Shops and restaurants were open. Staffing was not optimal but it was adequate.

The first legs of our road trip were fairly short due to my husband being the driver and tiring easily. A week into the journey our daughter and a friend flew into Arkansas to share our trip. Fortunately our daughter was able to help my husband with the driving as we traveled to Franklin, Tennessee to tour an historic home from the Civil War era.

Masks were not required. After leaving the historic home we had planned to indulge in Krispy Kreme( Husband’s vice) doughnuts and coffee. Sadly the indoor seating was closed and a limited variety was available in the drive through. We made the best of it by finding a shady place to park and enjoy our treat. Then it was on to Kentucky, our final leg of the trip.

During our McDonald’s stops we found it interesting that most that allowed inside dining had disabled the self ordering kiosks to prevent the spread of Covid. Imagine our surprise when a McDonald’s in Kentucky asked customers to use the kiosks to prevent spread. We visited The Ark Encounter and The Creation Museum and masks were worn by around 25% of the people. The Ark philosophy was for guests to respect individual decisions.  We found restaurants open and staffed.

Now that I have talked about masks and restaurants, I want to mention hotels. Consistently the hotels appeared to be understaffed with the front desk clerk working on folding towels and managing the breakfast room. I’m not sure how they didn’t lose their minds. More than once we saw housekeeping trying to clean rooms with a small child in tow. 

If you are pondering a road trip, I would encourage you to do it. Life has to go on. Take the precautions that will make you feel secure and safe. We wiped down our rooms with alcohol  wipes and used hand sanitizer obsessively.

Take your spirit of adventure. Some places will delight but others may be different, but isn’t different part of the adventure?  We usually opt for free outdoor activities over crowded  indoor ones. That made it easier to manage our expectations.  Find joy in being with people you love. Build memories to savor.

A Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

I'm a winner

After 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  

My 2021 goal is continue touse 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.

Five Promises to Keep You Secure

11 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged September 11, 2021

September 10, 2021

We can’t blame him. At one time or another, you and I did it, too. And sometimes we can’t even figure it out. Was it simply a shortcoming? Was it jealousy, envy or sorry self-pity?

This scenario plays out in the prodigal son’s story. We all know it. One day he packed foolishness in his suitcase and took off to relish in a wild life.

Eventually, life wasn’t pretty anymore. And like most of us, when life tastes bad, we want to go back to what we had before.

That’s what the prodigal son did. He went back home, remorse weighed heavy in his heart. And when his father saw him coming, he dashed to meet him. He kissed him and called for a celebration.

But not everyone gave him a cheery welcome. His older brother pouted. In his heart and mind his resentment might have repeated, “not fair, it’s just not fair.” In Luke 15:31 the older brother reminds his father how he was the good son, stayed by his side, worked and obeyed him. But there were no celebrations for his efforts. And now that the foolish brother comes back, a party is being prepared. Not fair.

You’ve been there, haven’t you?

You see others being celebrated with blessings. They seem to have an easy life. They have no problems compared to you. Unlike you, they don’t even serve the Lord, yet they live untouched by troubles.

Sometimes we can’t resist the temptation to scratch our heads and complain. “God, you celebrate their lives with good things, why is mine sorrow-filled instead?”

To this good question, the Father gives the answer. It’s filled with profound wisdom. And within it, He brings down the walls of self-pity and shakes out all traces of the poor-me attitude. “’My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’” (Luke 15:31)

What God Offers

Is God saying that to us too? Can all that God has and offers be ours too? When we see what we’re missing. When we focus on what others have and feel we have nothing at all, God hears our heart. With His fingertip, He lifts our chin and says, “But all I have is yours.”

Those are God’s words that should echo in our soul. And because we receive, believe and embrace what He offers, our security is solid and our confidence firm.

And even when the craziness of this world turns to the chaos that robs our security, God reminds us of His love-filled reassurance, His promises and direction. In them is the secret of our security that transcends headlines, social media postings and shouts from dark places. We silence them all with His reassuring truths:

  1. God’s help. “So, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so, I will have no fear.” (Hebrews 13:6) Lord, when You are our helper, we can conquer mountains, bring down walls of anxiety and delight in the truth that You already overcame the world.
  2. God’s guidance. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 In the darkness of the unknown, I trust the light you shine for each step I take. I walk confidently under the light of Your secure guidance.
  3. God’s strength. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Lord, with Your promise that You will strengthen and sustain me, my tears stop, my doubt leaves and my worry ends.
  4. God’s security. “… neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38) Lord, nestled in Your love, I can sleep with peace in my heart, with confidence in my thoughts and with expectation in my soul.
  5. God’s protection. “’Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’” (Psalm 12:5) Lord, many seem set out to hurt us, to oppress our values, and harm us, but You are our defender. You are our shield and strong tower to guard us.

Let’s Pray

Father, today is the day I will recognize what You have for me. I will receive the reassurance, the confidence and the security that is found in You. I embrace it to face any attacks, to remove mountains of fear and to restore the peace within me. In Jesus’ name.

What threatens your security today?

Janet

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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.

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Janet Eckles Perez

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

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.

www.janetperezeckles.com

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