Archive by Author

The perfect guide to peace

21 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

The perfect guide to peace.

Reblogged April 21, 2018

 

Guide to the Appalachian Trail

I settled in the back seat of an Uber car the other day, folded my white cane, and stuffed it in my bag. As I usually do, I began a conversation with the driver.

As expected, we became friends. That’s because I ask questions that prompt them to share and keep sharing about their lives.

This last driver told me about his brother who wrote the guide for the Appalachian Hike. I learned this adventure can take from 5 months to 10 years to complete. Gulp.

But with his guide’s help, the hike is doable. In it, he details all the challenges, the best gear to bring, places to avoid, potential dangers, list of easier routes, best places to eat, how to find laundry mats, lodging, etc.

Whew! Sounds like more than I can handle.

The long hike called life.

But whether we like it or not, we’re all indeed, on a long hike called life. And the path is often filled with challenges, unexpected turns and obstacles.

The good news is that much like the guide for the Appalachian trail hike, God wrote the guide for us to follow and reach the destination called peace.

Not sure where you are on that hike? Or maybe peace is a foreign word in the midst of this world’s chaos?

Good news; the guide to find that peace is free, available and in the language any hiker can understand.

Let’s conquer obstacles.

With that guide in our hearts, we’re ready to conquer obstacles of any kind.

  1. We need a companion. We need encouragement. We need a comforting word. And desperately need someone to tell us that all will be okay. That’s why God’s peace comes through this truth: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted that have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” (Psalm 72:12-13)
  2. Oh, those difficult and unexpected turns of heartache that barge in. Most are out of our control. Some crash in because of other’s sins. Yet, God knows the oppression against our soul, and right when we cry out for help “He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)
  3. Fear visits. We fear we won’t make it to the finish line. When we grumble about the sorry turn of events and the unfairness, when we long for His presence, peace fills us because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
  4. Gloom hovers over. When no one understands. When most cannot help, peace conquers sadness. “You are sad, I’m listening, and I will save you from your troubles.” (Psalm 34:6)
  5. Helplessness invades. But God offers His peace through this invitation: “hen clouds of grief try to overtake you, ask Me for consolation and relief. Cry out to Me in your times of trouble, and I will save you from your distress.” (paraphrased from Psalm 107:19).
  6. Frustration won’t let up. When we walk in circles around the same mountain of adversity, tears blur our vision; the path looks crooked and rough. That’s when His guide instructs to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Better days are coming, hang on to the guide; The One who wrote it is with you. He never abandons or leaves you. And with Him by your side, there is no fear. There’s only strength for each step. Reassurance for every turn. And He ushers the peace that carries power.

Let’s pray.

Father, how often, with a restless heart, I’ve embarked on the hike with my own plans and my own map in hand. Forgive my prideful ways and grant me a heart of humility. Show me how to follow your steps, to allow your guide to lead me. And find peace as I learn to walk on the path you prepared for me. In Jesus name.

What guide are you using for your hike 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.

 

Source https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/the-perfect-guide-to-peace.html

What you need to do in order to live secure.

14 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

What you need to do in order to live secure.
Reblogged with permission 4/14/18
Mom held a broken piece of metal in the air. “Look at this,” she said.

She and my Dad had gone to get their car washed. And when they returned home, they found the car door handle had been broken. Those responsible, rather than admit their guilt, had tossed the piece on the driver’s seat.

With broken piece in hand, we headed back to the car wash.

“We have to view the video cameras,” the manager said. “Unless we see it, we can’t’ take responsibility.

End of story. They glued the piece back. Cameras come in handy, don’t they?

Real Life

But in real life, we’re all also watched, closely and constantly. He who watches us is the loving Father, with care in His hart, compassion in his approach and forgiveness in His plan.

I’m glad He’s watching, aren’t you? This way, we don’t have to remind him of how hard the journey is. Or we don’t have to point out the areas that need fixing. He already knows, and as He closely watches us in action, we can rest and declare out loud that He has this.

And since He has all under control, working to bring the perfect solution, we, in our busy world, in our flawed ways, have an important task–to pay attention to our heart. What does it contain? Our heart is what holds the emotions that can either break us or the emotions that keep us running the race to victory.

5 Coaching Points

And since that race run is fueled by our heart’s content, here are five coaching points right from God’s Word:

  1. Empty your heart of sin, or wipe out junk that doesn’t please God or resentment from the past because “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:19).
  2. Let go the material stuff, the superficial longings and desires of what you think your life should be. Instead, “…store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).
  3. Once dark emotions are tossed out, fill your heart with life-giving praises: “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).
  4. Though the darkest valley might cover your security, can you be bold enough to echo these words? “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me” (Psalm13:5-6).
  5. With unwavering faith, fill your heart with God’s truth and speak His promises upon your life. “LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Psalm: 16:5-6).

Complete security comes when we receive that delightful inheritance. And when our heart rejoices, the enemy retreats. When we search our heart, God speaks healing. When we guard our heart, evil flees. When we equip our heart with God’s Word, triumph is already there.

Let’s pray.

Father, thank you that right now, you’re watching my every move. You know well how often I let my heart be broken, shattered by adversity. But now I know that when it’s filled with what you tell me, my heart will not fear, my life will not be ruined. And my future will not be dim, but will be secure, hopeful and bright. In Jesus name.

Will you take time today and examine your heart?

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.

 

Source  https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/inspiration/need-order-live-secure.html

Road Trip~ Mesa Verde National Park

12 Apr

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

 

Day 13, September 19, 2017

Another beautiful morning at the condo in Pagossa Springs. After a day of feeling wonky, I felt better and ready for another day of exploring. Today our plan was to visit Mesa Verde National Park. A nice check off on my husband’s bucket list. But first, I need my coffee and quiet time.

 

Coffee at Mesa Verde

 

The drive to Mesa Verde took around an hour, maybe a little more. We weren’t in a hurry and I enjoyed the drive through Durango. I let my imagination roam to cowboys and the wild west. But the people of Mesa Verde pre-date the cowboys by multiple centuries.

From the National Park Service website:

Ancestral Pueblo People of Mesa Verde

About 1,400 years ago, long before Europeans explored North America, a group of people living in the Four Corners region chose Mesa Verde for their home. For more than 700 years they and their descendants lived and flourished here, eventually building elaborate stone communities in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Then, in the late A.D. 1200s, in the span of a generation or two, they left their homes and moved away. Mesa Verde National Park preserves a spectacular reminder of this ancient culture.

Once we arrived at the entrance to the park, it was another 2o miles to the museum which is a must stop. There you can pick up literature describing the drives and if you have an inclination to take a ranger guided tour, you can pay for your tickets there.

 

Before we made it to the museum, we made a comfort stop. The husband is an experienced outdoors facility judge, so we take a picture of the ones he rates. LOL.

 

Pam and I stayed in the truck!

 

Rebekah and her ever-present camera.

 

Along with picking up brochures and maps at the museum, we stopped in the cafeteria to pick up a necessary adventure supply, I had forgotten to pack.

 

I’ll leave it to you to imagine which one represents me!

 

The park contains over 5000 archeological sites across 40+ miles of roads. After leaving the museum, we chose one of the easy drives through the park. We were there in off peak season so places to pull over were readily available.  There were a lot of Pit houses preserved under shelters.

 

 

Eventually they moved from the Pit houses to tree houses, built into the overhang of cliffs. It must have been exhausting climbing up and down and dangerous as well. I couldn’t imagine a mother trying to keep her children safe. Then for unknown reasons around 1200 A.D. the people let, just disappeared.

Rebekah and her dad. They share a love of photography.

 

 

On a previous trip west we had planned to visit Mesa Verde but the park was hit with a serious forest fire.

 

 

It was a nice walk out to the fire observation tower.

As we were driving slowly along the Navajo Overlook, we felt as if we were being followed. Pam’s sharp eyes found our stalker.

 

 

 

Tree Houses

 

 

 

 

Pam and I taking a break while Mike and Rebekah snapped photos

 

Spruce Tree House

 

Spruce Tree House is a favorite ruin to explore as there is an easy walking trail for closer viewing. Unfortunately, the trail was under repair so we had to view it from this building, which in my opinion was more pleasant than walking!

 

 

We didn’t see all of the sites as we drove through the park. Dusk was approaching and we didn’t want to be driving on unfamiliar roads after dark. We enjoyed a quick meal back at the museum before driving down the mountain. Sunset would be a magical time to drive down, but we were a bit too early.

 

My shadow stalking me!

 

I found Mesa Verde a fascinating place. Echoes of ancient times seemed to whisper in the air. Why did they move into the cliffs and why did they abandon them in a mere hundred years? Where did they go?  The park website has some incredible photos and videos. I encourage you to visit it at NPS.gov

Masterpiece of God

10 Apr

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody
5 Apr

Onisha Ellis

On the Porch

 

I love this verse more every year.The boldness of the statement makes me feel brave. “For I am convinced that nothing can separate me from the love of God.  No wiggle room or hedging. I am loved by God and  N O T H I N G can change that.

 

For I am convinced

Dressmaker

2 Apr

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

 

 

Every fall before school started
Mother took me to The May Co.
In Denver where they had a
Perfume fountain in which I dipped
My fingers and got a stern look
From a clerk. Well, what’s perfume for?
And I’d had a bath before we got there.
We ordered clothes so that they came
To our small town at the foot of
The Sangre de Cristo range.
On the mail truck.

When Daddy was away in the war
Fabric was rationed.
So, Mother and Grandmother
Took old clothes from
The attic and made dresses and pants
For my brother and me.
One time I was so tired of standing
For pinning up hems that I
Ripped the a dress from top to bottom
And ran out of the room.

Many years later, I had a toddler daughter
Who needed pretty clothes.
Why don’t I make some?
Oh, because I can’t sew.
So I signed up for a night
Class at the high school
And left our daughter at home with her daddy.

Our sewing teacher came from Hungary
With an elegant accent.
With a long history of European Couture
She knew everything about
How clothes had to be assembled.
Rip instead of cutting to get a
Straight piece.
Lay the pattern just so…
To take up the least
Amount of material
Line a jacket with satin, and
Hem the lining separately
Above all, match the natches
(Which we called notches.)
Cut one garment at a time
Cheap ready-to-wear pieces are
Cut in piles with power scissors
Which make the drape warped
When sewn together
Sew in the new invisible zippers by
Hand, not on the Singer.
Innovation is fine, sloppiness is not.

Then Bill and I had a little boy and
When he was two
I made matching sailor suits
For him and his sister
From quality gray gabardine—
Wide collars with red rickrack
And stars in each corner.
I wished that Mother and Grandmother
Could see my work
But by then, they were far away.

Are You Sure You Will Go To Heaven?

31 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Are you sure you’ll go to heaven?

Reblogged March 31, 2018

 

Class reunions are so much fun…not. “Wow, you didn’t change a bit,” I heard a friend say.

But how can one not change during decades?

Of course, we change.

But we say state the “politically correct” thing. After all, we’re reuniting with friends from our youth. Those friends that joined us in the silly antics. They shared the insecurities that we try so hard to hide. Those friends who, long ago, sparked envy, and others brought comfort.

Reuniting with them is, can we say “interesting.”

Don’t Miss This Reunion

But there is one reunion no one should want to miss. The reunion that holds the glorious life after we take our last breath. The reunion that opens the door to the place where no more tears are shed. No more pain. No more sorrow or fear.

That reunion with Jesus makes life on earth bearable, doable and possible.

But really? You might be like a friend who voiced her doubt to me recently. She said, “There are many ways to heaven. I’m a good person, I never hurt anyone intentionally and I do my best to live right.”

Hmmm…how good is good-enough? And living right is right-enough?

Did you ever ask that question? What is the level of “goodness” in a person that opens the door to heaven for eternity?

Here’s the Answer

God so longs to reunite with us. That’s a fact. But one day, He shook His head as He observed our feeble attempts to get it “right.” (My personal paraphrase.)

As you can guess, He saw that, on our own, we never could obtain that “good enough” level to gain entry to heaven. So, He did the most amazing thing. He said again that He loves us so much that He sent a Savior to save us from eternal death. He said His name would be Jesus.

There you have Him. Jesus, the Savior, the one in whom we put out hope for life eternal. For a future secure after we close our eyes for the last time. The one who resurrected and is alive. And the One, the only One who promised that when we open our eyes again, we’ll be by His side, walking on the streets of gold. Forever whole and complete, overflowing with joy.

What do you think?

Is it time to celebrate? Resurrection Sunday holds that promise: death has no power over us. Gloom has no significance. And fear has no grip.

Let’s hold on to this truth because the expectation of that reunion with Jesus should keep us dancing in celebration.

That’s precisely God’s will. And when we do His will, we find comfort in this admonishment:

Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:21-22)

My Prayer for You

I pray that you, friend, haven’t gotten lost in the busyness of life. And distracted, you’ve been lured by other stuff that you forgot about “that day.”

Instead, I hope that you’ve chosen to open your heart to Jesus and invited Him in. Then you can be certain that as you go through life on earth, you’ll be secure. And in the next life, the sweet reunion with Jesus happens.

Until that day, store this promise in your heart: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).

The guest list to enter that House has specific names …is yours included?

Let’s pray.

Father, I don’t know the number of my days; show me how to do your will and to know you through your Word. Grant me wisdom and diligence to fill my heart with truth from Scripture and fill my days with your instructions. I ask for the freedom to live a life rich with the security that heaven is guaranteed for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What has kept you from knowing Jesus in a personal way?
  • Where will your courage come from to choose to follow Jesus as He instructs?
  • What security do you have that heaven awaits you?

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.

SOURCE: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/direction/are-you-sure-youll-go-to-heaven.html

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