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How do we receive God’s reward?

16 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

 

 

 

How demanding life can be! You know what I mean, right? We follow that same routine—trying to catch our breath as we rush through the day, meeting everyone’s needs. Where is the reward?

My answer came through my brother and his wife Lois who were our house guests for a few days.

One evening I knocked at the door of our guest room.

“Come in,” Lois said.

I walked in and felt the ironing board. “What are you ironing?”

“The table runners we bought.”

“You don’t have to.” I protested, “You did more than enough: cleaned, rearranged, shopped and even painted a table for me.”

“I don’t mind,” she said.

She didn’t mind because that’s what she does. Anything she tackles is done quietly, with no expectation. She helps in a silence that screams kindness and pure love.

Why can’t I be that way? Secretly, I look for recognition or at least a faint sign of appreciation.

Can you identify? You just wiped the kitchen counter and cleaned the floor for the umpteenth time. But no applause from anyone.

You did the third load of laundry. No one noticed. Paid the bills with stress cramping your stomach, and no appreciation there either.

And while at work, the extra load of tasks is completed, but the boss gives no recognition. You even smile at the cashier at the store but it goes unnoticed.

Sigh! Do we just keep on giving and giving? Is there any hint of satisfaction or return for our efforts?

God has the answer:

“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4)

Father, in the secret of my heart I want to be recognized and I look for rewards. Change my heart and grant me humility to do all in the quietness of love. May my actions be for your eyes only. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What reward can you expect from the Lord today?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://youtu.be/UeRRk9hjH5Idoing

 

Source: How do we receive God’s reward? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Ten Inspirations for Grandparents

9 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

September 8, 2017

Inspiration to be a good grandparent is simple—as long as we have love, we have what it takes.

“C’mon sweet baby,” I called to my 2-year-old granddaughter.

With quick steps, she came. And as she stood with her back toward me, I carefully pinned the bells to her blouse, which she told me was pink.

The sound of those bells helped me keep track of her. She might not have understood her Nana was blind. Or maybe she did. What’s important is she knew that we don’t need eyes to love, to guide and to teach.

Time swept by way too fast. She’s 9-years-old now and her brother 7. They both run to me for hugs. But neither needs bells anymore as they answer when I call.

But the call for a grandparent is different. It’s to enrich their lives no matter what we have or what we lack.

Here are ten treasured moments that create that special bond:

  1. The stories we tell about Jesus equips them to face a cruel world.
  2. The embrace we offer carries the warmth of security.
  3. The comfort we impart can soothe their soul when disappointment barges in.
  4. The wisdom drawn from God’s Word fills their mind as they make decisions for life.
  5. The example to persevere, to endure and to give teaches them to do the same.
  6. The guidance we provide keeps them from the pitfalls of life.
  7. The acceptance with love unconditional mends the rejection of the world.
  8. The time we spend with them multiplies the love.
  9. The patience we display brings security to their soul.
  10. The praise we express deepens their confidence and worth.

Grandkids learn from what we do, what we say and how we love.

Appreciate that gray because “gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” (Proverbs 16:31)

Even if you’re not a grandparent, there may be someone in your life who hungers for what you have to offer.

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://youtu.be/89drJoQ0VCQ

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.

 

Source: Ten Inspirations for Grandparents ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What is the correct way to pray? 

2 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

 

 

September 1, 2017 Reblogged

 

Do I pray too quick? Too long? Not enough words? Too many words? Is my heart in it? What is the correct way to pray?

How much we labor in our prayer time has nothing to do with Labor Day. I just heard a pastor teach about this topic. And admittedly, a few of us squirmed because his words stirred a bit of guilt.  And, goodness, his message elbowed us out of our comfort zone.

“When we ask God for blessings,” he said, “we often repeat mousy petitions.”

Mousy petitions? He explained the prayers we blurt out often carry doubt. We lack the reassurance that God will grant what we ask. They repeat the circumstance, not the victory we can count on. They mention the dark side, and fail to declare the victory that comes in His answer.

And when we ask, we forget to give thanks. We forget to anticipate He will answer. We overlook the mighty way He can exercise His power.

So, what’s the best way to pray? With boldness, with conviction, with authority, with firmness and with holy audacity.

The number of words we use doesn’t matter. Or the flowery expressions either. But, what does matter is the complete faith, the firm authority because of Jesus that makes the difference.

They did for John and Peter. They saw the beggar at the entrance of the temple. “Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk. Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God’” (Acts 3:6-8).

Why did Peter take the man by the hand? Because he was sure he could get up. Because he declared it in the name of Jesus. Because he counted in Jesus’ power at work. Because he was confident Jesus was working through him. And because he knew the man’s crippled legs were no match to Jesus’ healing power.

Father, remove doubt from my prayers. Instead, show me how to pray with conviction, authority, and boldness as I ask in the name of Jesus’ amen.

What level of certainty do your prayers have these days?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://youtu.be/89drJoQ0VCQ

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.

 

 

Source: What is the correct way to pray? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to find God’s direction.

26 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

Reblogged August 25, 2017

Why do we let our emotions lead our path? When we do, we’re let down. So, how do we find the direction God has for us?

Sometimes I have the satisfaction of volunteering as a Spanish interpreter for events held by non-profit, Christian organizations.

I slipped off my headphones, and pulled away from the mic. “It’s lunch time,” I said to my friend who worked alongside me.

She grabbed her purse from under the table. “Let’s go.”

I held on to her arm and we headed through the maze of corridors behind the stage, looking for our lunch room.

As we turned the corner, a delicious aroma wafted from our right. “Hmm…smells like cheesy pasta.”

“Yes,” my friend said, “I think I smell steaks, rich sauces, and fresh baked pastries too.”

We paused for a second. Our mouths watered. But, we had to press on. That banquet was reserved for the celebrities, singers and famous folks.

The lunch area assigned to the workers like us was located around the corner, and down another hallway.

We entered the room. On a table in the corner, we found a few cardboard boxes; each held a lonely half-frozen sandwich, chips, and a cookie.

As I unwrapped the sandwich, my taste buds protested longing for that delicious fresh gourmet food reserved for someone else.

I fought envy; I really did because a bit of covetousness waited on the plate in my heart.

But right before I took a bite, the greatest thing happened. My friend and I settled at the table. And as we greeted others, we found friends we hadn’t seen since the year before. In seconds, we re-connected, shared stories, laughed, and learned details about those we met for the first time. What a hoot! We teased, and just talked.

We took part of a greater banquet as we delighted in the laughter, simplicity of friendship, and the love between colleagues and friends.

No doubt, when my friend and I had paused close to that banquet room, God was motioning to us, “C’mon, I have something better,” He might have said.

He’s saying the same to you. You might think you know what you want. But follow me, He invites, come this way where the best is waiting for you.

You don’t know. You might not recognize it, nor do you expect it. But I, in my Sovereignty

Have reserved what you need, prepared it and have it ready for you.

He might be speaking to you right now when He says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you…For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does” (Psalm 32:8 and 33:4).

And since what He does is perfect, will you trust and wait for His perfection to be revealed to you?

Father, forgive the times of my eager desires. Forgive the restlessness that fills me when I want what I think is best. Grant me peace as I wait. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Are you willing to wait and receive God’s direction?

Janet

Video sneak peek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTxcMURmspA

 

Source: How to find God’s direction. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to turn our ugly past into a beautiful future.

19 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

August 18, 2017 Reblogged

Why do we look behind and long for what we had yesterday to come back? We wish we could roll back time and go back to days where life was easier. Have you done that? God knows we all do at times.

“Okay, here’s another box full of VHS tapes,” Jessica said. She’s my teenage friend who comes to help out as she’s earning funds for a mission trip.

“Can you read the label on some of the?” I asked.

As she read the content of those tapes, my mind went back to that time when my two younger sons were in diapers, and I was living a “normal” life. I had eyesight back then. And with not a care in the world, I’d pack all three of them in the back of the car and zip to the store or appointments, or to the park.

What a long road it had been as I transitioned from full sight, living a full life to being blind, completely blind and terrified.

But before my physical darkness turned to emotional darkness, this verse came alive in me: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 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 43:18).

How beautifully He had brought streams of hope in the wasteland of my blindness. When I cried to understand why, instead of an answer, He gave me peace, sweet peace.

When I grumbled with frustration after burning my finger when cooking, God soothed my pain when my boys asked for seconds.

I also brought back memories of the times when hubby and I would go out to dinner and he didn’t have to lead me by the hand, but what joy when God took me by the hand and led me to the banquet He had prepared for me.

And what a privilege to be able to write these lines and remind you to look at the present and gaze at God’s power that’s making a way in your desert and creating streams of hope in your wasteland.

Father, help me to focus on the good of the present, on the blessing of the moment. On the new things you’re still doing. On the gift of your provision as my eyes read this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How will you overcome the past to see the new beginning?

Janet

Video sneak peek: http://bit.ly/1JodQQQ

Source: How to turn our ugly past into a beautiful future. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to find true love.

12 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

August 11, 2017 Reblog

Looking for love in all the wrong places. Remember that song popular a few years back? The lyrics resonated with millions because they probably did that very thing.

The other day, I looked in hubby’s direction, fist planted on my hip. “You mean you wouldn’t get up in the middle of the night and, knowing that noise scared me, you wouldn’t take care of it?”

“Well,” he paused, “I might have maybe when we first got married. But After 41 years of marriage, I don’t know.”

I tried to give him a hateful look. But he didn’t give me a chance because he gave me a quick kiss on my cheek. “Only kidding,” he said.

Ha! Maybe not. The truth is that through our marriage, our love has changed. It resembled the seasons of the year. Some years saw the freshness of spring as we began a family—joy blended with the exciting stage of parenthood. The summer brought the warmth of affection, particularly when things went well. And even coldness in the winters when we both needed to grow, mature and learn.

Yes, hubby and I have experienced all levels of love, all forms, and in various intensities.

Our love changed because we’re only creatures in the learning mode of life. Not so with Jesus. He loved us even before we could be called His children. He loved us enough to die for us. His love didn’t diminish when we shrugged at His instructions and went our own way. And His love remained constant even when fear threatened to consume us. Could we say Jesus is the only true love, ready to defend us when noises of adversity scare us?

We can count on the fact that His love never changes, never wavers, and, joy of joys—never, ever will it leave us.

And if that weren’t enough, that true love carries the promise that we’ll be filled with the fullness of God. So “…you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Father, I praise you because I no longer have to keep looking. Your love is mine. And for me, that’s enough. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What kind of love fills your life today?

Janet

Video sneak peek:  https://youtu.be/bEoyJynuTZA

 

Source: How to find true love. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Avoid this mistake when looking for fulfillment.

5 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

August 04, 2017 Reblogged

We don’t need statistics to know that millions of people live aimlessly without fulfillment, purpose or meaning. But there is an answer—simple and doable.

My brother and sister-in-law, Lois, visited a few weeks ago. As usual, Lois and I did a little shopping. And it’s always, always a super fun adventure.

Why? Well, there’s a unique thing about us: Lois is deaf. And, as you know, I’m blind (yup, totally).

I held her arm as we walked through aisle after aisle in Hobby Lobby, looking for a specific item.

“There’s a store clerk,” Lois said.

Whew! Finally, the help we need, I thought.

“It’s over there where that lady is turning,” the clerk said.

Well, those instructions didn’t help. I couldn’t see where she was pointing. And Lois couldn’t read her lips as the store clerk wasn’t facing her.

What disappointment!

We couldn’t blame the clerk. She had no clue she was addressing two gals, one deaf and the other blind.

Our mistake was to count on someone who didn’t know our needs or limitations.

We all do that in life, right? Mistakenly, we count on someone to give us the answer, provide the solution, point us in the right direction, or fill our needs. But because they don’t know us, they simply cannot.

Here is a test. Have you made any of the mistakes below?

  • You seek a job, expecting it will provide financial security.
  • You look to your spouse, hoping they will bring joy.
  • You look to the success of your children, expecting you’ll find gratification.
  • You look for relationships, hoping to fill the emptiness.
  • You seek health, hoping you’ll live longer.
  • You take a risk, hoping you’ll find success.
  • You seek the perfect position, expecting to find satisfaction.
  • You write the next book, hoping to change lives.
  • You find good works to do, expecting to please God.
  • You save and save, hoping that will make tomorrow secure.

If you made even one of these mistakes, disappointment is about to knock at your door.

That’s because none of the situations above are constant; they’re not reliable, consistent or dependable. They’re not as trustworthy as God’s word and promises.

They can’t provide what only God can. They don’t fill the void only God promise to fill. They don’t bring the fulfillment or meaning found only in Him.

Are you ready for the good news?

Although things in this world are pitifully imperfect, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:31-32).

If God is our refuge, why worry about our protection? If He’s our rock, why think we’re weak? If His word is flawless, why look for meaning anywhere else? If He’s our shield why fear? And if He’s perfect, why doubt His fulfillment for our soul is perfectly designed?

Father, I confess that my wounds, disappointments and grief are a result of placing my trust in other things, people or circumstances. Transform my mind and heart with the truth that you and you alone can fill me. In Jesus name, amen.

How can you correct the mistakes you made in seeking complete fulfillment?

Janet

Audio sneak peek: https://thegoodlifehawaii.com/janet-perez-eckles/

 

Source: Avoid this mistake when looking for fulfillment. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How long will God take to answer my prayer?

29 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

July 28, 2017

 

We pray, we ask and we beg, but still no answer. Have you ever wondered, “Is God there? If He is, why doesn’t He answer my prayer? How long, Lord?”

We’re not alone; the Israelites join us in that grumbling.

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14: 10-14)

Have you ever complained like that? I have. And that’s because we’re deep into our own struggles. We end up terrified like the Israelites. We grumble in the hot desert of frustration. And as we trudge through the dry land of conflict, of uncertainty and nervousness, we desperately look for God’s answer, a clear path, a solution; we look to be rescued now.

But no one is there. And we have our own Egyptians called stress and anxiety that chase us, threatening to ruin our day.

But if Moses were alive today, he might post a message to all of us, “Do not fret, God will fight your battles. His answer is already here. You need only to be still.”

That’s because it’s in the still of His presence that His peace can fill our nights. In the still of our heart is when His whisper brushes through. And in the still of the moment is when we see His promises come alive.

Father, calm my heart, whisper your answer into my longing. Silence the distractions so I can see your answer to my prayer. In Jesus name. Amen.

Can you tell me, in the midst of your hectic life, what keeps you from being still enough to hear His answer?

Janet

Audio sneak peek: http://www.artistfirst2.com/ArtistFirst_Sweet_Talk_2017-07-19.mp3

 

Source: How long will God take to answer my prayer? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What to do when life gets complicated.

22 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

July 21, 2017 reblogged

 

Sometimes we wake up, expecting a day just like any other. And, with no warning life gets complicated. Then what happens?

I was flying home to Orlando from Chicago. Seated beside me in the plane was a little girl. I turned toward her. “Are you traveling by yourself?”

“Uh huh.”

“What a brave girl,” I said. “You’re not scared to fly by yourself, are you?”

“A little. I have never flown before,” she said, chewing her gum with vigor.

“Flying is fun,” I said. “You’ll see how fast we’ll get to Orlando.”

I figured if I talked to her, she would be distracted and forget about being scared.

During the two-hour flight, I asked her questions and she opened up. We chatted over details about her friends, her pets and her excitement about visiting Disney World.

“Flight attendants,” the announcement sounded, “please take your seats; the seatbelt light is on during this turbulence.”

I leaned toward and whispered, “Do you know what turbulence is?”

“Nope.”

“Turbulence is a mini roller coaster and we don’t have to pay extra for it.”

The plane shook and dipped. Then it stopped.

“It’s over,” she said, disappointment in her voice.

I laughed. “You don’t get much for free.”

The plane landed. “Have fun at Disney,” I said. “When people ask you about your first airplane ride, what will you tell them?”

She stopped chewing her gum. “I’ll tell them it was awesome.”

My plan worked. As long as she was hearing my voice and was focused on what I said, she forgot about her fear.

Jesus wants the same for you and me. His voice is constant. His words continue to echo. His promises are repeated over and over again.

But are we listening? When life gets complicated with sudden emotional turbulence, what do our ears hear and what does our heart feel?

During that shaking, it’ His voice we need to hear. It’s His promises we must believe. And it’s in His protection that we must find refuge.

If turbulence has complicated your life, God is speaking. He’s addressing you by name. And He’s calling you to the security of his flock.

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

When you hear His voice, you silence the whispers of terror. When you allow Him to know you, He’ll provide what you need. And when you follow Him, the path is secure and the journey is simple and uncomplicated.

Father, how often I fall into panic when life gets too complicated. I trust that you can do what I cannot do for myself. And you will bring order to my life and simplify the complications. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What is complicating your life right now?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://youtu.be/UeRRk9hjH5I

 

Source: What to do when life gets complicated. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to face painful moments. 

15 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Was this God’s way to teach us how to face painful moments?

Hubby and I, along with our dear friends, headed to North Carolina for a fun visit.

As we crossed from one state to another, the driver took instructions from the rest who did the navigating.

“Oh, oh…I see the red line, that means traffic coming up,” my friend said. “Let’s take a different route.”

For the next few minutes alternate routes were discussed, considered and explored to avoid “the red area” because after all, that meant traffic. And we were having none of that.

But before we knew it, we reached the dreaded “red zone.” And to our relief, the slowdown was slight, so very slight. All that fretting for nothing.

That’s what we humans do all the time, don’t we? We dread the red zone of adversity, the time when we might not be able to handle life. We cringe at the thought of reaching a place where we might be stuck in helplessness or in illness or in financial trouble.

So, worried about that day, we work hard to avoid that at all costs.

But all the while God is preparing the way for us to face those painful moments. He does this through His almighty, supernatural power; He’s already present at those upcoming “red zones” of life.

And that reassurance comes in two different ways:

He established a prerequisite for us to be safe, completely protected: “’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation’” (Psalm 91:14-16).

Since He knows the danger, keeping us safe is His promise:

“’Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 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).

How lovely life becomes when we truly believe in these promises. And as we ride on the highway of life, we know God is ahead making the way, waving the green flag, and making sure that with His help, we will navigate through all the red-zones of life.

Father, guide me away from fear of the pain that tomorrow might bring. Guard me from the worry about what might happen. I invite you to be the driver of the vehicle of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What adversity are you dreading these days?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EnobbFT3QeE

How God helps us prepare for painful moments?

Source: How to face painful moments. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

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