Archive by Author

Are Free Rangers Happier?

21 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Our home in North Carolina is in a rural setting. We may have leash laws for dogs, but if so, they are not enforced. I have spoken several times about our porch dog, Gus. He belongs to a neighbor and is a “free ranger.” He roams our small subdivision making sure that his territory is secure from invaders. He misses his family while they are away at work so he spends the day visiting with us on our porch or waiting by the door of my husband’s workshop. I took the picture through the screen of Gus waiting on my husband to climb the steps from the workshop.

 

There is also a pack of dogs that roam the main road. They don’t cause any problems for us but they aren’t friendly either. Then there is the very annoying small dog that lives less than a quarter of a mile away. It is a car chaser. It takes all my will power to not stop when it takes off after me. I really don’t like the idea of hitting an animal. I drive on, hoping I won’t hear a clunk. For a time it stopped chasing cars while it nursed an injured leg. I was hoping the animal learned a lesson but alas, it is back to chasing again.

In Florida there are strict leash laws and I haven’t seen a “free ranger” in years. I see neighbors briskly waking their pets and we have a nice dog park so that the animals can socialize.

I wonder sometimes if we are being kind to our animal friends by keeping them locked inside. Yes, they are safe and will most likely live a longer life, but at what cost? The free rangers appear happier.

Now before you become outraged, I know that having free ranger dogs roaming our streets would be a safety issue. I do see a parallel here between those who want to live as free rangers versus those who feel it is better to allow an entity such as government to protect them and provide for their needs. For me, I would choose to live as a well-loved free ranger who has the freedom to come and go, yet has a soft bed to come home to at night.

 

Our pastor shared a very good message on Sunday, titled Something to be Thankful For.  I like the music in the highlights video.

 

 

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.

Tying Flies

19 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

i spent Monday, thinking about my Tuesday post. I was hoping to share something humorous, but it’s hard to find humor these days without a political spin. Monday evening I came across a posting by my North Carolina neighbor giving instructions on how to tie the CDC Carrot Nymph. My first thought was is he working for the CDC? (Centers for Disease Control) On second thought, I decided that carrots and nymphs probably weren’t disease related.

I knew my North Carolina neighbor, Gordon, was a fishing guide in the Smoky Mountains, but I had no idea he had a YouTube channel!

 What could be more fitting for a blog that celebrates the past and future than a post about the timeless art of tying fishing flies? According to  Fishing Museum  http:

“The first mention of fly fishing is in The Treatyse of Fishing with an Angle, published in 1496… . If you want to read more about The Treatyse visit the “origins” page“.

 

So, if any of our readers like fly fishing, here is one of my neighbor Gordon’s videos.

 

 

Should you be interested in a fly fishing trip in our beautiful Smoky Mountains, visit Gordon on his website for information.

 

TURNING STONES FLY FISHING

Five signs the person you’re dating is not your future spouse

16 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Some months ago, three college friends and I sat in a hotel lounge, chatting about our younger days. “What was I thinking? The signs were all there, telling me he was Mr. Wrong,” one of them said as she sipped her latte. “I didn’t see the red flags ‘cause I was too busy being in love with the idea of being loved.”

“Me too,” my other friend said. “Why didn’t someone write the book on how to find the man of your dreams?”

All four of us chuckled.

We graduated from the same college, lived in the same dorm. And, though none of us would admit that ever so secretly, , we shared a slight restlessness about finding the right man. We attended classes but in that college campus, the temptation to  study the male  population was alive. ,

And in the process, , the search was fun. But at times high expectations ended up in deep disappointment. And other times, the “love” we chased ended up with heartache chasing us instead.

But even with a few scars, we made it through. And now after visiting the ugliness of divorce, we possess a wealth of insight. Most of which comes from experiences lived, episodes endured and lessons learned in the classroom of pain.

How different our lives would have been if we, as single women, had the wisdom to seek God first, and heed these signs.

Sign No. 1: He allows his romance to turn into physical roaming.

And with soothing words, he attempts to invade the boundaries you clearly established more than once. Yet time and time again he insists, whispering he’ll love you forever hoping you’ll give in. Caution: that’s his testosterone talking, not a man of integrity who values and respects you. That’s when Satan goes into action repeating, “You’ll lose him if you don’t give in.” False. You’ll only lose your own integrity and gain the heartache that disobedience brings.

Time to assess: Should you fail in this area, God will forgive when you ask. He will grant you renewed clarity and peace. And with confidence, you can declare: “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.” (Psalm 66:17-18)

Sign No. 2: His sincerity is questionable.

When you speak of your Christian convictions, he agrees with you. When you invite him to visit your church, he goes along. But when you ask him to pray with you, he squirms. Or when discussing deeper issues regarding spirituality, he is ambiguous and distant. Warning: he might be going through the motions to win you over. This red flag needs to fly high reminding you he’s not the spiritual leader, the kind you need should marriage plans appear in the horizon.

Time to assess: Be true to God first and be sincere in your asking for His guidance to identify the strong spiritual leader with sound convictions and good character to be your future husband. Then confidently repeat, “Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere.” (Psalm 143:8-10, The LB-Paraphrased)

Sign No. 3: Others are warning you.

You think he’s the one because he “makes you feel so good.” But those around you who know you well and whom you respect give you warnings. They point out flaws you overlook because you’re so much “in love” that you’ve become deaf to their wisdom.

Often feelings can be wrong. And emotions can blind one from seeing potential pitfalls.

Time to assess: Your own path to happiness might not be God’s way to bring you lasting joy. Reflect on the advice given, and no matter how well-defined your plans are, welcome wise counsel from those who love you because “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)

Sign No. 4: Criticism becomes a pattern.

Sometimes you might mistake humility and patience when he is free with harsh criticism toward you and others. But when experiencing this during dating, it might be a sign of potential emotional abuse only to increase after that wedding day.

Time to assess: Because you are the daughter of the King, you mustn’t endure painful words, insensitive treatment or even rudeness. Expect to be treated with upmost respect because you know who you are—the masterpiece in God’s hands as you declare: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Sign No. 5: He’s in the red.

Although money or finances are not the No. 1 aspect of a relationship, it is the No. 1 reason for divorce. And if marriage is a possibility with the man you’re dating, observe his attitude toward money, his spending habits and his commitment to tithe. Each will give you clues on what to expect should you become his wife. If he’s a creature that flings credit cards at every turn, that’s your clue to dig a little deeper. Otherwise, entering into marriage with debt, money issues and financial troubles will surely have you walking down the aisle toward the altar of disaster.

Time to assess: What does he treasure? What is he storing in his heart? This is the standard by which you must measure him: “… 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)

Whether you’re 20 or 60 years old, or whether it’s your first date or you’re about to send out wedding invitations, bring your girlfriend with you. Her name is “wisdom.” God’s wisdom will help you answer these two vital questions: Does this man love God more than he loves me? And do his words, actions, attitude, demeanor, dreams and character reflect this conviction?

The answer to these questions will determine whether decades later you’ll be drinking the latte of regret or sipping the fresh water of true happiness.

(The above writing by Janet Perez Eckles was first published by Crosswalk.com)

Let’s Pray

Father, show me the path you need me to take, grant me wisdom to recognize Your guidance and Your plans. In Jesus name. Amen.

What is God showing you during your  current relationship?

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.

Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/five-signs-the-person-youre-dating-is-not-your-future-spouse.html

 

 

 

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

Seeking Peace-Annoying Opportunities

15 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

This has been an interesting week. I’ve been musing about the positive aspect of annoying people. I’m talking about a wide spectrum of people from a spouse to the driver who cuts you off in traffic, or even more annoying the one who pulls out in front of you, then drives 15 miles per hour under the speed limit.

I believe God knows all and there is nothing that happens in my life that is a surprise to him. In the same way that he knows all, he knows me, with  my weaknesses and strengths. If I am driving down the road  and God said prayer for that person in the blue car next to you, I would question whether I was hearing from God or imagining it. But if that person cut me off in traffic, I would certainly be thinking strongly about them.

 

 

But hey, God got my attention and in my seeking peace quest, I am learning to turn my angry/annoyed thoughts to prayers for them. At this time, I am about 1%  successful.

Every annoyance is an opportunity. My days are filled with opportunity, how about yours?

 

Love: Love extends grace.

Joy: Joy is always available to me. I need to pursue opportunities to be joyful.

Peace: I have peace when I don’t make myself the center of my attention.

Informed or Transformed?

12 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Today is shaping up to be a busy one starting out with volunteering at Compassion House food pantry but I wanted to take a moment to share this.

 

“We can know the right words yet never be changed. This is the difference between information and transformation”-AW Tozer

 

 

A thank you to Melody Hendrix who generously shares her photos with me.

The Best Valentine’s Gift

9 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Reblogged February 9, 2019

I struggled in the kitchen, trying to find the box of cereal for my 3, 5, and 7-year old sons’ breakfast. At age 31, my sudden blindness had darkened my world in all aspects.

Everything in life became more difficult.

My parents observed and with tears, they expressed their concern. But I kept my anguish from them, hoping to avoid intensifying the pain they felt for me.

Then one day, my mom sat beside me on the couch, held my hands in hers and said, “What would you say about your father and I moving in with you? I can help you with the boys.”

I sighed with gratitude. My sons would be thrilled. And my husband pleased to have her help.

The transition for them wouldn’t be easy as they would gaie up their spacious condominium. Once with us, she and my father would be living in tight quarters in our home, but I knew their love could fill a football field. There would be enough to overcome all the inconveniences.

And so, they moved in.

We all began the adjustment period, stressful at times, but my mom’s delicate demeanor and caring nature made it easier for all of us to re-establish our roles.

Mom could have shown her love and support for me in many ways. But looking back, her sacrifice made Jesus’ words come alive for me: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

 

 

Her Jesus-kind-of-love renewed my hope and fueled my desire to move forward. And the fact someone loved me enough to sacrifice for me sparked a new perception of my blindness.

My blindness wasn’t a handicap anymore.

It became a hope-filled adventure instead. Years later, through God’s grace and her support, my life has been filled with success, both personal and professional.

But this lesson she taught ever so tacitly, is the best reward:  Seeing our physical surroundings isn’t as important as being willing to see beyond our own comfort and help those who need us most.

She still lives out that conviction.

Today, at 90, she continues strong, providing much more than physical assistance with the household chores. She radiates the power of love that dispels any darkness.

Like a priceless treasure, I have tucked her gift away in my heart. It’s laced with golden strings of gratitude.

Let’s Pray

Father, teach me how to give, how to show and reflect Your love even when it’s difficult, unfamiliar or inconvenient. Show me how to give the love that adds value to those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Do you know anyone who needs the gift of your love?

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

Seeking Peace-State of the Union

8 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

I am pleased, thrilled actually, that I made it through the State of the Union speech without mental fireworks. Much of what we see on the news are selectively chosen sound bites to put forth the narrative of the outlet. Sound bites are deceptive and I shudder to think how sound bites of my words could be contrived to say something completely different from my intentions.

Sound bites don’t require a media outlet to feed our brains.

We do it to ourselves when we mentally replay out of context words from conversations. It seems to be easier to focus on negative words than the positive ones.

Okay, back to the SOTU speech. The things that steal my peace are usually not the words spoken but all the standing or not standing, clapping or not clapping.

 

 

 

The SOTU is supposed to be serious, not a drama show. I try to watch speeches live to avoid sound bites deception and I did watch this speech live, BUT I did not watch the screen.  I highly recommend this method!

 

Love: Love finds a way to not feed anger. (I am a work in progress. Blew it big yesterday)

Joy:  Joy is like pouring water on a fire.

Peace: Our church posted this verse on their Facebook page.

 

 

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