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How to Overcome This Hot Summer of Loneliness

22 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

August 21, 2020

Reblogged August 22, 2020

In the midst of chaos and even when crowded by unhappy people, the loneliness presses in. And As we pour out what burdens our heart, God listens, He observes and He repeats His promises.

These verses were sent to me years ago from an unknown author. And today they may echo what you feel in your heart. If so, the promises that follow will silence doubt and lift you up.

The Cry…

Lord, sometimes my days seem like an endless echo of distant drums

Tormenting my soul and whispering sounds of sorrow.

My hours pass like homeless beggars, aimlessly shuffling to and from searching for shelter.

I thirst for company, for comfort, for words to quench my parched soul.

Minutes drag and mock me with more sounds of loneliness like sips of bitter poison.

And the tomorrow’s laugh at what my destiny holds.

Will time creep by until I reach the end?

And though people all around crowd in on me still loneliness juts through like weeds in an empty and abandoned field.

But this morning, after a black sleepless night, a stranger visited me—

A glimpse of light from the horizon as if the sun rose within me.

Your Words Lord, the same ones that had been lost in the web of confusion broke free to brush against my soul.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. 

God’s promises for you:

Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you,for you will answer me. (Psalm 86:3)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. (Isaiah 54:14)

Prayer:

Father, I praise You for your attentive listening to my cries. I praise You because You give me the answer, the soothing my heart needs and the comfort my soul longs for. In Jesus’ name.

Has loneliness robbed your joy? Or has His love restored your soul?

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.

 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

Five ways to break through any crisis

8 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Pere Eckles

Reblogged August 8, 2020

August 7, 2020

“I’m so sick of this,” a friend said behind her mask, “can’t wait for this to be over.”

We can all relate, can’t we?

And to add to the frustration, many say this will get worse before it gets better. That’s not the news we want. Then again, there’s so much we don’t want, expect or deserve.

Though we may not deserve it, those under the heavy pressure of stress are divided in two groups.

Two Groups

The first group spends way too much time taking in the news. And ever so subtly, they’ve become addicted to social media. As a result, they invite fear, worry and anxiety to bed with them.

The second group lives in triumph. No matter how heavy gloom becomes, they know how to break it away.

This concrete driveway with shattered pieces is not the result of a jack hammer at work. What caused this broken cement are roots. That’s right, those of a large tree close to the driveway.

And when our own emotional cement weighs heavy upon us, the way to break through is by the force of God’s Word. His Word that has become deeply rooted in our hearts.

The stronger the root, the more power it has. And when crisis strikes, His Word, deeply planted in our heart breaks through any stronghold.

  1. Troubles increase, making us vulnerable, unprotected and when nothing seems constant or trustworthy, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
  2. When we’re attacked by disturbing news day by day, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
  3. Should nightfall catch us in tears, God whispers: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
  4. We may feel broken and worn out, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
  5. We have a promise that overcomes our problems, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 5:16)

No matter what we see painted as despair. No matter what we hear about dark prognosis. No matter how many masks we need to go through, all is temporary.

That’s because the unseen is what sustains us–God’s grace that holds us up. His love that sets us free. His hand that brings down walls. And when fear digs in deep, He echoes: My Word is your power and my joy is your strength.

Let’s Pray

Father, I confess the heaviness is often too much to carry, too difficult to bear. Yet I know Your strength is enough and the Word rooted in my heart breaks through the cement of doubt. In Jesus name.

What is weighing heavy on you these days?

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 shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

This uplifting message comes to you from JC Empowerment Ministries. JC Empowerment is dedicated to bringing the light of God’s Word into dark places. The ministry survives only through donations from readers like you. Please consider partnering with us through your tax-deductible support. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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

How to see God’s way out of our troubles.

18 Jul

REBLOGGED July 18, 2020

July 10, 2020

“So, I was with some friends preaching in South Africa,” a preacher said, “when a blind woman who sat at the front came up for prayer.

The preacher told her Jesus loved her and wanted to heal her blindness. He then placed his hands on her head and prayed. In that instant, her eyesight was restored.

Who could doubt God still performs miracles? Blind see again, lame walk again, cancer ends, emotions become healthy.

But what happens to those, like me—whom God didn’t heal? What could be the reason?

Whether physically or spiritually blind, we all have asked that same question. How often, in our desperate, aching heart we ask: why, when, and how?

Why, why, why…

As we try to understand, we wonder: Why would He allow us to enter such dark times, endure so much hardship and face so many painful moments? 

We take those questions to bed. They rumble in our minds during sleepless nights. Nothing makes sense. What went wrong? We lead lives that, by most standards would be considered good. We attended church every Sunday. And drawing strength from nowhere, we come up with activities to keep our kids busy. We silently endure the lay-offs. And we fret because the bank account mirrors our nearly-empty pantry and fridge.

But we’re full of questions like these:

  1. Why is God so far, distant and seemingly uninterested in the unfortunate state of our country and the world?

He is not only interested, but He’s involved. He hears our longing; He knows our questions and He has the answer: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

We can endure because He’s close. We can move forward because He keeps us from crushing into despair. And we wait in anticipation because He understands our broken heart.

  1. What about our broken plans? How can we bring back what we had before?

God sees our plans shattered to pieces before us. That’s why He reminds us of His own plans Those plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. They are to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

  1. What will happen tomorrow, or next week or next year?

In spite of the anxiety that blinds us from seeing a new horizon, His restoring power is at work to bring a new beginning:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

The streams of reassurance open the way to new horizons. In the desert of pain, He makes the way for healing and in the wasteland of grief He brings the warmth of His comfort.

  1. Where is He when we’re drowning in fear because of unexpected adversity? And where is He when we’re crossing through the fire of hopelessness?

He knows the precise place of our needs. He knows the spot where we hurt. And He is aware of the intensity of our suffering. And to it all, He whispers: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

There is hope.

Blindness, disease, heartache or financial hardship may invade our lives, but we’ll never drown in despair. And when the fire of fear draws near, it will never burn because He’s in the midst of our weakness. He’s at the moment we stumble, when anxiety visits, and even when danger lurks, He’s present with His protection.

He was present in that church in South Africa where Jesus chose to heal the blind woman. God didn’t heal my blindness, but He gave me 20/20 vision to see His hand at work. The same hand that is holding you, your situation, your silent loneliness, your pain and your heartache.

All He asks is for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. That’s when hope is born. Faith grows. And courage stands. The kind of courage that defeats all evil. The size of courage to simply believe. Believe that God will see you out of your troubles.

Let’s Pray

Father. Thank You for healing my unbelieving heart. Thank You for giving me eyes to see who You are, what You promise and how You guide.

What blinds you from seeing His hand at work?

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 shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

July 10, 2020

“So, I was with some friends preaching in South Africa,” a preacher said, “when a blind woman who sat at the front came up for prayer.

The preacher told her Jesus loved her and wanted to heal her blindness. He then placed his hands on her head and prayed. In that instant, her eyesight was restored.

Who could doubt God still performs miracles? Blind see again, lame walk again, cancer ends, emotions become healthy.

But what happens to those, like me—whom God didn’t heal? What could be the reason?

Whether physically or spiritually blind, we all have asked that same question. How often, in our desperate, aching heart we ask: why, when, and how?

Why, why, why…

As we try to understand, we wonder: Why would He allow us to enter such dark times, endure so much hardship and face so many painful moments? 

We take those questions to bed. They rumble in our minds during sleepless nights. Nothing makes sense. What went wrong? We lead lives that, by most standards would be considered good. We attended church every Sunday. And drawing strength from nowhere, we come up with activities to keep our kids busy. We silently endure the lay-offs. And we fret because the bank account mirrors our nearly-empty pantry and fridge.

But we’re full of questions like these:

  1. Why is God so far, distant and seemingly uninterested in the unfortunate state of our country and the world?

He is not only interested, but He’s involved. He hears our longing; He knows our questions and He has the answer: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

We can endure because He’s close. We can move forward because He keeps us from crushing into despair. And we wait in anticipation because He understands our broken heart.

  1. What about our broken plans? How can we bring back what we had before?

God sees our plans shattered to pieces before us. That’s why He reminds us of His own plans Those plans are to prosper us, not to harm us. They are to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

  1. What will happen tomorrow, or next week or next year?

In spite of the anxiety that blinds us from seeing a new horizon, His restoring power is at work to bring a new beginning:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

The streams of reassurance open the way to new horizons. In the desert of pain, He makes the way for healing and in the wasteland of grief He brings the warmth of His comfort.

  1. Where is He when we’re drowning in fear because of unexpected adversity? And where is He when we’re crossing through the fire of hopelessness?

He knows the precise place of our needs. He knows the spot where we hurt. And He is aware of the intensity of our suffering. And to it all, He whispers: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

There is hope.

Blindness, disease, heartache or financial hardship may invade our lives, but we’ll never drown in despair. And when the fire of fear draws near, it will never burn because He’s in the midst of our weakness. He’s at the moment we stumble, when anxiety visits, and even when danger lurks, He’s present with His protection.

He was present in that church in South Africa where Jesus chose to heal the blind woman. God didn’t heal my blindness, but He gave me 20/20 vision to see His hand at work. The same hand that is holding you, your situation, your silent loneliness, your pain and your heartache.

All He asks is for you to fix the eyes of your heart on Him. That’s when hope is born. Faith grows. And courage stands. The kind of courage that defeats all evil. The size of courage to simply believe. Believe that God will see you out of your troubles.

Let’s Pray

Father. Thank You for healing my unbelieving heart. Thank You for giving me eyes to see who You are, what You promise and how You guide.

What blinds you from seeing His hand at work?

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 shareFeel 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

How to Live a Worry-Free Life

4 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

REBLOGGED July 4, 2020

July 3, 2020

Back in 1970, my parents, my brother age 16 and I age 17 dismissed the 100 degree weather on that 4th of July in St. Louis. Our focus was fixed on that important day that would change our lives.

We entered the courtroom. A hush filled the air and the huge, red, white and blue flag reminded us of the honor we were about to receive.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

“Raise your right hand,” the immigration officer said.

We did, and with unwavering conviction we renounced our allegiance to Bolivia and pledged our allegiance to the United States of America. We were officially citizens. In awe of that privilege, fireworks of gratitude exploded in our hearts.

You might have subtly pledged a different kind of allegiance, too. Many have. As we face the turmoil that stirs in our world today, we make a pitiful allegiance to our emotions.

Have you been there?

On Sundays we worship. During the week we worry. On Sundays we pledge to believe, to obey and follow God. We commit to embrace his Word and hold on to His promises.

But when we hear another statistic about the virus or see images of the violence, our pledge to trust in God is broken. We then enter a foreign country where the language of fear is spoken. Before we know it, we become citizens of that land of worry.

How can that happen? 

God says not to worry, but we do. He repeats to trust in Him, but we doubt. He offers peace, but we dismiss it.

But the good news is that if we renew our allegiance to His instructions, we will speak the language of faith. It will express His strength, enough to sustain us. It will repeat of His love, enough to cover us. And of His grace to bring out the perfect outcome. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34).

And with worry in the garbage disposal of life, we sing, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

So why do we doubt, shake or fret? After all, we know:

Surely, he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. (Psalm 91:3-6)

No matter the bad news, the violence, the unrest, the division, or uncertainty, we are governed by Almighty God. We’re citizens of His Kingdom. And with Christ Jesus as the general in charge of our lives, we follow Him as He leads us to victory.

When we wonder if we’ll have enough for tomorrow, the wonder of His provision is enough for each day.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank you for the reassurance that You have me and my family covered for today and all our tomorrows. Thank You for the sleep that comes at night as you silence the turmoil around us. I praise you for the reassurance You whisper into my heart, removing worry from my mind. In Jesus name.

When will you begin your worry-free life?

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 shareFeel free to share Janet’s posts with your friends.

This uplifting message comes to you from JC Empowerment Ministries. JC Empowerment is dedicated to bringing the light of God’s Word into dark places. The ministry survives only through donations from readers like you. Please consider partnering with us through your tax-deductible support. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Let’s connect:

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

Dare to Expect a Brand New Beautiful Tomorrow

20 Jun

With these four promises, we can dare to expect a brand new, beautiful, tomorrow.

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 20, 2020

June 19, 2020

Were there dreams or nightmares that waited for me and my family in the U.S.? The ophthalmologist shined a bright light into my eyes. “She did inherit it,” he said to my parents and me. “You need to be prepared. There is no cure.”

He leaned back on his chair. “There’s no treatment or surgery. She’s only 13, She’ll not notice any effects till she reaches 60 or so.”

He was wrong.

At the very same time when I turned 30 and my father 55, bit by bit, the retinal disease robbed our sight.

In a matter of 18 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 a black curtain fell, stopping my life, covering me with fear and destroying the dreams for my future as a Mom to my 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old sons. And uncertainty about tomorrow kept me tossing in bed at night.

Perhaps like you, many are in that same bed of discouragement. Without warning, all changed. We’re stunned and blinded from seeing what tomorrow will bring. We ask over and over again how will we pay our bills? Will this pandemic ever end? And wonder if we will we ever show a smile instead of wearing a mask of gloom.

We will, and we can. I learned from my earthly father how to move forward, remove obstacles and conquer fear using the white cane of courage.

The Lesson

The lesson began a couple of decades prior to my father’s blindness. We still lived in Bolivia, our native land.

We sat at the table in our tiny, dark kitchen with a window overlooking the Andes Mountains. My uncle leaned toward my father. “You must be crazy to want to go to the United States,” he said, “you don’t know anybody and you don’t even speak English.”

He was right. But although my father didn’t speak English, he spoke the language of faith and tenacity. He left La Paz with an old suitcase, big enough for some of his second-hand clothes. And, with U.S. immigration documents in hand, he entered the Miami airport.

But he didn’t realize he was also entering into a life filled with days and months of hardship, ridicule because of his inability to speak the language, humiliation and intense loneliness.

But he pressed on. He worked night and day in manual labor and managed to save enough money for airline tickets for my Mom, my younger brother, 11, and me, 12. In 1964, we arrived in the land of opportunity where dreams come true. And while we emptied our suitcases, we filled our hearts with gratitude for the privilege of living in the U.S.

Decades swept by, my father is now in heaven, with full sight and with never-ending joy. And today, with my own joy, I celebrate his life.

We can all do the same.

With boldness, we can celebrate God, the heavenly Father who teaches what faith, courage and trust can do. He gives His word for victory and in the midst of a pandemic, He gives these four promises.

  1. Even while the virus of anxiety spreads. In the darkness of the situation, God, like a good father provides the promise that He will be a lamp to our feet and the light for our path (Psalm 119:105).
  2. Even when the economy fails but we don’t fail to bring our first fruits to him, He, promised to fill our baskets until they overflow (Malachi 3:10).
  3. When fear attacks, He gives the path to overcome it (Psalm 27:1-3).
  4. And when troubles pile up, He reassures He overcame all so victory is ours (John 16:33).

During any pandemic, living with joy is a daring attitude, but doable in all aspects. Although we cannot overcome the circumstances, we conquer what goes on inside us. We don’t see the problem; we gaze at the possibilities instead. We don’t dwell in the negative, we dive into God’s pure hope.

We can because even when we’re blinded by painful adversity, we can still set our eyes on His promises that are worth remembering, embracing and worth celebrating this Father’s Day.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for lifting the blinders from my eyes. Thank You for showing me what You are capable of doing even in the midst of the pandemic of fear and virus of discouragement. We praise you because in You, we’re more than conquerors. In Jesus name.

How about you, if you know Christ, do you dare expect a new, fresh, beautiful tomorrow?

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.

Let’s connect:

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

Live With Joy

13 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Onisha here, posting an exciting webinar that Janet will be hosting online Tuesday, June 16th at 8 pm Eastern Standard time. I participated in the webinar today and it was inspiring. Janet never allows her blindness to limit her ministry and love for God.

LIVE WITH JOY OVERFLOWING

EVEN IN THE MIDST OF CRISIS

Crisis seems to be all around us.  What if you could experience overflowing joy even in the midst of chaos?  How would that affect your life?  Your relationships?  Your work? Your health?  Janet Perez Eckles has endured devastating tragedies throughout her life including the death of her son, betrayal by her spouse, and the loss of her sight.  Instead of being overwhelmed by these events, she has forged a path straight through adversity and found a profound joyfulness on the other side!  She will be revealing the exact step by step blueprint of how she has conquered fear and now lives with joy overflowing!

Here is the link to the webinar page.  https://bit.ly/jperegister

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

Five habits that must go during the pandemic

6 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged June 6, 2020

June 5, 2020

Finally, a visit to the park. But as hubby, grandkids and I entered, the picnic tables were blocked off. Rope also surrounded the playground. What to do?

But a distance away, across the green grass, under a tree, a bench waited for us. We settled in and a soft breeze caressed our face.

“This is the life,” my granddaughter said.

I agreed. Before the quarantine, we took so much for granted and now, this visit in the warm sunshine became a new-found treasure.

Suddenly, the sun went behind clouds, the breeze turned to wind. Then something brushed my arm.

“Something fell on me,” I said to hubby.

“It’s a leaf. Remember, we’re under a big tree.”

As the wind shook its branches, one by one, a few leaves landed on me.

I tried to ignore them. But with each tickle from the leaf on my skin, I lifted it and between my fingers, I noticed their texture and shape—some firm and perfectly formed, others bigger, dry and withered.

The leaves were a reminder.

Those fluttering leaves reminded me of all that fell in my life—trials, pain, then joy, peace and contentment—each with its own texture and shape to impact my world.

The same thing has happened to many during this pandemic. Leaves of adversity have fallen. Although unexpected, they don’t discriminate. They land on all—rich, poor, black, white, good, not so good. All are affected in some way.

But not all sink in defeat. Those who thrive, persevere, and end up better than before do so not because of what they do. But because they avoid these five habits that turn to dangerous traps:

Trap No 1.      Wake up with thoughts of what’s wrong, what they’ve lost or what they might lose.

Trap No. 2.     Count on government to be the provider.

Trap No. 3.     Ponder about what life was like before the virus, lamenting their broken plans.

Trap No. 4.     Agree with social media posts that emphasize the gloom and repeat the pessimistic view.

Trap No. 5.     Enter into the habit of listening to the nightly news and take to bed what they just heard.

These snares have carried many to anxiety, worry, depression and some, as statistics indicate, to suicidal tendencies.

There’s a better way.

Conversely, those who are riding this pandemic on the vehicle of hope, with optimism and expectation, have developed a healthier spiritual immune system, bounce back from illness, and become stronger.

We can all do the same by learning to read, believe, internalize and trust in these four truths:

  1. When feeling alone with our problems, our uncertainty and insecurities, God turns it to confidence: “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6)
  2. In the midst of a crisis, pandemic or diseases, “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
  3. I will not be discouraged and will have restful sleep because as I go day by day, God made this promise, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
  4. No matter what destruction may threaten me and my family, “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.” (Psalm 46:2)

Our faith has to equal God’s help, ever-present and unwavering. And with full trust in Him, we declare the best will come, His shield will stand and

Let’s Pray

Lord, how often I let the world dictate my view, my thinking, and my attitude. I will change my habits and will embrace a solid belief in what You say rather than the gloom that echoes in the world. In Jesus name.

What habits do you need to change these days?

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

A Mom’s Confidence in the Midst of Chaos

10 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged May 10, 2020

I invite you, dear friends, to step away from the chaos and take a little time to relish in the oasis of God’s Word. Here’s a clear instruction, direct guidance and a beautiful promise. They’re all tucked in these verses:

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And tSleflhe peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Did you know the best way to enjoy sweet peace and confidence is by exercising your memory?

I did that recently. I remembered what God had done for me during that dreadful episode of my life when my eyesight closed in.

Here’s what happened.

I sat at the kitchen counter, wrinkled tissue in hand. I thought I had no more tears to cry. But they still flowed. With no warning, an incurable retinal disease robbed my eyesight. I sank in a dark pit of gloom and desperation. With no treatment surgery or medication available, hope vanished along with my motivation to continue with life.

At 31, that life had turned upside down, tormenting thoughts about my inability to care for my 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old sons kept me awake at night.

I dabbed my tears with the edge of my pillow case and asked God for answers. I begged Him to heal my blindness and for a hint of hope to come back.

He answered. He granted what was important. And He did so in an unexpected and a beautiful way.

One morning, I ran my fingertips along the side of the bed to find my way out of my bedroom. I followed the wall toward my 3-year-old’s room. His whimper echoed in the hallway. “I can’t find my puppy,” he said.

Once in his room, I extended my arms toward him, and kissed his chubby cheek. “We’ll find him.”

I lifted his blanket and my fingers found the soft stuffed animal.

But finding a simple item didn’t compare to the needs my sons would have as they grew up. They needed a Mom who could see.

Lord, help us, I prayed.

God had listened to my cry.

The day after that incident, Mom came to visit. She sat beside me on the couch. “This is what we’ll do,” she said. “I’ll move in with you.”

She squeezed my hand with her thin fingers. “I’ll be your eyes.”

Mom

Her words caressed my heart with gratitude.

She left her comfortable condo and moved in a room in our house. With her loving flexibility, we established a routine. Years swept by. Her hair is now snow white, and at 90 lbs. and 4’9” tall, her love is as big as the city we live in.

Selfless Love

More than taking on some chores for the family, she taught me the value of selfless love.

She just turned 91 and hasn’t lost the spark in her voice that exudes confidence in the Lord. It’s more evident now as we face the current circumstances that shake our world.

Her mind is sharp, and her faith is strong. Her trust, peace and joy remain.

And what remains in my heart is the desire to give that same gift to my own sons. In the midst of adversity could I imitate my Mom and live out Philippians 4:6?

My prayer has changed. Asking for healing of my blindness isn’t my main priority anymore. I placed these requests before the Lord instead:

Lord, grant me enough faith so my sons can see me praising God even when all falls apart. Help me to express gratitude for big and small things. Show me, Lord, how to erase fear and worry with my words that echo Your promises even when I cannot see tomorrow, will you show me how to embrace Your peace for today. And as my sons grow up and lead their own families, will You remind them life is not about seeing our surroundings, but allowing others to see the love in us.

I pray this Mother’s Day you find happiness in the gift of being a mom.

How can you find a way to change a prayer of despair into one filled with hope?

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

Trust in the Real Source

11 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged April 11, 2020

What was I thinking? Years ago, my house was filled with candles, all kinds of shapes, sizes and fragrances. But one day, I studied and became aware of their risk. I promptly removed them all when I realized the toxins they contain in their synthetic, chemically-laced harmful fragrances.The contrast was even more profound when a plant in our kitchen bloomed. The pretty honeysuckle flowers gave out a lovely fragrance, delightful, natural and real.

That scent lingered for days and days, filling the house with a delightful scent. Why would we enjoy fake candles when we have God’s creation?

But sadly, as life goes on, we also fall in the trap of enjoying and relying on fake things. We trust in our jobs, our health, our position, career, or our bank account.

But none of these hold any value when suddenly, life turns upside down and all seems to be falling apart around us. Like fake candles, they no longer have the scent of security anymore.

There’s Good News

What great news it is to know that among all the imitations, we have the authentic, genuine source of hope in God that blossoms in our heart.

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

No matter what the news reports, what the media repeats, what we read, what we find, or discover, God has the last Word. And when we carry these eight truths based on Ephesians 3, the fragrance of real hope fills our heart:

  1. God is above all we face in this world.
  2. God is our one and only hope.
  3. He’s shown His faithfulness during all plagues, devastation and destruction man has ever faced.
  4. God and God alone has the answers.
  5. God has the power to calm our heart and bring peace.
  6. God is the one and only provider of all.
  7. He is the one who will take us to triumph.
  8. God is the one and only source for confidence, calmness and victory.

Let’s Pray

Father, I know You delight when Your children put all their trust in You. Help me to please You as I silence fear and worry. Instead, remind me to find pure peace, calmness and confidence in Your restoring power that comes wrapped in Your love. In Jesus name.

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.

When you possess this, miracles are in the making.

14 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged March 14, 2020

March 13, 2020

My ten-year-old grandson got up from the dinner table, walked over to me and tapped my shoulder. “Nana, thank you. I love the noodles you made. But next time can you put a little less salt. I’ll still eat them, but I’m just telling you for next time, okay?”

I gave him a tight hug. So sorry,” I said, “it’s not what you expected.”

His heart of gratitude touched me. He could’ve complained and refuse to eat it, but he chose to thank me anyway and eat salty noodles.

That night I put my head on the pillow of shame. Unlike my grandson, if I didn’t receive from God what I expected, or not in my own timing, disappointment set in. And a sense of discouragement took the place of contentment.

Sadly, that discontentment is popular today. We have expectations and wait for God to serve the answer in the way we anticipate. And when that doesn’t happen, we wonder why. We question our faith. And our once complete trust in God isn’t complete anymore.

But God sees the full picture, including our sense of disappointment. What He’s looking for our gratitude for even little things. He’s expecting praises in everything. And He’s more direct in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 when He says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Give thanks in all circumstances? Even when we’re still in the same sorry situation, with no change for the better or with no solution either? God says Yes. Consider if these prominent folks in the Bible displayed discontentment.

What if…

What if Abraham became disappointed when God asked him to sacrifice his son. He would have missed his calling to be the father of many nations.

What if Moses allowed his weakness to diminish his trust in God? He would have missed his role to be the instrument to set the Israelites free.

What if David focused only on the punishment for his sin and failed to praise God for His forgiveness and redemptive love? He would have remained a poor-me-sinner relegated to obscurity.

And what if Noah would have succumbed to the ridicule of the people and stopped the building of the ark? He and his family would have also drowned.

What if fear and disappointment would have filled Paul during the episodes where he was beaten, tossed out and imprisoned? He would not have seen the world around him turn to Jesus.

You and I are no different. God sometimes gives direction for our journey but doesn’t reveal the reason for each stop. At times, God provides only small amounts of success to test our character. And sometimes, God brings about an answer contrary to what we asked to test our trust in Him.

No matter how many plates of salty noodles the world serves you, the test is on. Will you praise Him for what God has done? Will you thank Him for what He’s doing? And will you be bold enough to praise Him for what you know He will do?

If the answer is yes, then you’ll find how miracles come wrapped in gratitude.

Let’s Pray

Father, I thank you for your patience when I fail to trust in You completely. I praise You for forgiving me when I fail to thank You through all the stages of my journey. In Jesus’ name.

What miracles will your gratitude bring?

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

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