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5 steps to turn painful changes to a fresh, new beginning

27 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged February 27, 2021

February 26, 2021

Moving to a strange city kept me awake at night. Hubby and I had no choice. In preparation, I ran the palm of my hand across the kitchen cabinets to make sure all was packed away. With the last of the everyday dishes in a large box, I taped the lid closed and pushed it aside. But I couldn’t push away the tears of self-pity that attacked me. “Lord, I should be grateful my husband got a job. But why couldn’t it be here where all is familiar?”

The move was inevitable. Though the transition from sighted to blind years prior had been painful, eventually adjustment came.

But leaving our familiar home in St. Louis and moving to Orlando made me tense. Thoughts of a new territory, a new house, a new neighborhood, a new world kept me tossing and turning in bed.

During those sleepless nights, more questions swirled inside. Unable to see my physical surroundings, how would I navigate through the new house? Would I find friends who would accept me in spite of my blindness? Could I handle my emotions and still be a good Mom to my three young sons?

That same uncertainty might have visited your world, too. Maybe it’s not a sudden move or change from being sighted to blind. But instead, you’re facing an unfair life change, courtesy of the pandemic; one that’s painfully out of your control. The transitions could be from marriage to divorce, from health to debilitating illness, from financial comfort to unemployment, or from independence to limitations that choke your life.

But the transitions don’t have to choke your life. They can instead, usher a new, fresh beginning. They can bring to light the horizon where God has painted new, pleasant surprises.

That’s what happened to Ruth when she left the familiar. She fell into God’s perfect plan. That’s what happened to Joseph. Painful change revealed God’s hand at work. And sudden change caused Joshua to discover the source of his strength.

We can all join them in a wondrous outcome of life’s changes. Isaiah 43:18-19 highlights five steps to follow.

Step 1: “Forget the former things…”

Forget them, Lord? I argued. The former things were doable, pleasant and comfortable. But now the pending changes became the dark cloud that covered my security. The same thing happened in Ruth’s life. With no warning, she became a young widow. But rather than join the poor me club, she wiped away her last tear and headed into a new chapter. And even when Naomi tried to discourage her from making that daring transition, Ruth insisted. She clung to Naomi’s sleeve, and replied: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Don’t you just love Ruth’s boldness? She stepped into a huge change with gusto. The unknown she faced didn’t intimidate her, worry or made her doubt.

And because she did, she saw God’s plan unfold. She became no other than one of the ancestors of Christ, the Savior of the world.

Ruth faced change hoping for something better. God formed her life into something greater.

Step 2: “…do not dwell on the past.”

Is there a danger in dwelling on what once was, what we had, what we knew? Yes. Lamenting what once was is a lame way to face what’s ahead.

Joseph knew. Once his brothers threw him in the ditch and left him for dead, he could have sat at the bottom, sulking in a puddle of tears. And while lamenting his misfortune, he might have asked God over and over again why He allowed the change from what was comfortable to what now was painful. He should’ve cursed his brothers. And, he could have become miserable longing for what once was.

But he didn’t. Instead, he pulled out his weapon called faith. Rather than doubt, he believed. He carried his faith as God ushered him through more changes—from free to a prisoner. From respect to ridicule. From serenity to sorrow.

If Joseph had access to Instagram, he might have posted about his anger, resentment or bitterness for losing what he once had. Instead, he faced each stage of the ugly changes with faith in God’s faithfulness.

And that’s when God showed up with a victorious ending and a triumphant result.

Joseph relished in that victory. And with humility, he declared: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

Changes may seem threatening, difficult and uncomfortable, but faith is the vehicle that takes us to the destination God already prepared.

Step 3: “See, I am doing a new thing!” 

A new thing? Though I couldn’t see it, my physical blindness couldn’t be an excuse. It was my spiritual blindness that prevented me from seeing God’s hand at work, preparing, moving and crafting good things.

“Show me, Lord,” was my frequent prayer. I wanted Him to guide me to the next step—from labeling items, to walking through piles of packed boxes, to remembering the layout of the new house in Orlando.

Once the movers packed the boxes, furniture and clothing, the family flew to Florida.

And when He said in Psalm 119:105 that His Word would be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, His promise came alive.

He showed me how to memorize the path from room to room. To record in my mind the location of the walls, the furniture and the open spaces for me to walk through.

He did the same as I navigated through my fear, walking carefully through moments of worry. And He showed me to stay clear of stress and doubt. The path was wide, easy to navigate and the new house became a home.

Step 4: “Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Joshua could only perceive his weaknesses. When he faced the change from being a Moses follower to being the leader of God’s people, he lay at night on the pillow of his insecurities and perhaps during the day, he was taunted by the misconception that he was alone in the journey.

We do the same when an unexpected change rattles our peace. We ask: Do I have what it takes? Am I prepared? Will I succeed?

Those same questions might have stressed Joshua, too. That’s why God had to make it clear and with emphasis in His voice, He spoke to him: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

God’s order was clear then. And it’s clear now—not to be discouraged, not to fear or worry. And then comes the promise: God would be with us. In that unknown, God will be there. In the uncertainty, He will be there. With the change unfolding, God will be with us. When stepping into strange territory, God will be there, too.

And with God already present, that new chapter has to contain pages of fresh success and victory. It did for Joshua and it will for us too.

Step 5: “I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Ruth, Joseph or Joshua didn’t make a way. God did. And in the midst of the unknown, none of them made things happen. God did. None clung desperately to what they had. God helped them to let go.

He did the same with me. A couple decades have gone by since that time I packed up my kitchen and moved to a strange city. And with gratitude overflowing, I relish in each step through which He guided me. The new friends that adorn my life, and the way my sons flourished in the new place.

God did it all. And, in turn, I blossomed. What a fool I had been to resist the change when God was opening the door to beautiful surprises.

And that beauty shines through God’s promise for you and me in Isaiah 43:18-19. Dreaded changes turn to divine exchanges. God ushers new ways, new opportunities. Each lifts us higher, draws us closer and makes us better.

Let’s pray.

Father, I resolve that all changes wrapped in Your love will take me to places that will help me see you better and to know you more intimately. In Jesus’ name.

What change has rattled your life lately?

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

Seven things God wants you to see during this pandemic

13 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged February 13, 2021

February 7, 2021

I was in a bit of trouble This past Sunday morning after I got dressed, I slipped into a cute pair of boots and leggings to complement my black dress.

Well, I wasn’t sure if I had the right color combination of items. Since hubby wasn’t home, I did what any blind gal would do. I grabbed my cell, and told Siri to open the app called Be My Eyes. She did. And Siri read the screen to me. I pressed the button that said, “Call first available volunteer.”

I tapped the button and in seconds a real-live person answered. “Hello, my name is Sue, how can I help you?”

“Thank you,” I said. “Can you tell me if I have the right color combination for my outfit?”

I held my cell phone so she could see what I wore. And the sweet gal on the other end described exactly what I had on, colors and other details.

The Be my Eyes app is the greatest help ever! Blind folks can use this free service to read medication labels, identify pantry items, describe their surroundings. The list is endless. Truly, Be My Eyes is a welcomed freedom for the blind.

God wants to be that very thing for us.

He wants to be our eyes so we can see His hand at work in the midst of painful changes. He wants us to look closely at how His Word is coming alive in spite of every ugly event that barges into our life. He wants us to observe how evil is creeping up yet, under God’s watch, it’s heading to its sorry end. He wants us to see all that.

But do we? Sometimes not. We’re blinded by the fear, courtesy of the media. Blinded by worry about tomorrow, and by the anxiety that keeps us tossing awake at night.

But…what if we open the app in our heart to see these seven areas. There He traces the path for us to live as conquerors, confident and secure.

Seven things to see.

  1. He wants us to peek in the gift box wrapped in His love: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you peace as the world gives” (John 14:27a). But wait a minute, that gift comes with this instruction: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27b). With that peace there’s power. We have the power to make the choice to allow our heart to be troubled and be afraid, or to erase that troubled feeling together with its unfounded fear.
  2. God wants us to see how Jesus declared His mission: because “the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Isaiah 61:1), How often we end up in spiritual poverty, hungry for even a bite of hope. But Jesus came to preach the good news that satisfies us as we savor this delicious promise: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
  3. He wants us to recognize the world cannot put back together what was broken. But Jesus can, He says, “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” (Isaiah 61:1). If our heart is broken, He has the salve to heal. He has the love to put back what was taken. And He has the power to make us whole once again.
  4. He wants us to see the freedom, certain and lasting. He came “to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1). No more prisoners of panic attacks, no more feeling gripped by depression. He unlocked that prison cell with the key of His promise.
  5. God wants us to see He has a plan. He came “to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God…” (Isaiah 61:2). His favor will be upon those who trust in Him. No matter the injustice, the insults or attempts to silence us, His vengeance is prepared in His way and will be displayed in the precise moment.
  6. When we face the loss of a job, los of a loved one, loss of a relationship or even our health, God wants us to see that he came to fill the emptiness and “to comfort all who mourn…” (Isaiah 61:2). If mourning is filling our days, His comfort is here. If grief weighs heavy, His peace is constant. And if the heartache is too much, He eases the pain.
  7. When we fall apart and we’re surrounded by ashes of despair, He wants us to see that His mission is to bring a beautiful exchange: “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).

Can you look in the mirror and see the new you? The new perception of your life, of your situation and of your future? That’s because when we remove the blinders, we see a new and exquisite scenery. Then peace visits our nights. And during the day, this sings in our heart:

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart…” (Psalm 73:26).

Let’s pray.

Father, no matter how ugly and dark the world turns, I choose to see the scenery you painted before me. I see Your promises, Your mission and Your power to give me strength. In Jesus’ name.

What do your eyes see today?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

CLICK HERE for a one-minute inspirational video.

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Please 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

Is serving God the answer to our troubles?

30 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

Remember those days when Zoom was just a silly word? Remember those days when we attended conferences, public events, and concerts in person?

I recall those days. And during one of those conferences, I sat in the back row. The speaker approached the podium and began his talk with humor. But shortly into his story, he related something that made my nose wrinkle in disgust.

I turn to the friend beside me. “Did he say what I thought he said?”

He sure did. With a matter-of-fact tone he announced he made jewelry out of, are you ready…moose droppings!

Nope. I’m not kidding. (Friends, check the picture below to prove it.)

The art of creating these pieces of jewelry depends on the vision of the artist. He has the outcome and the end result in mind. The unpleasant material isn’t the focus, the end product is.

The same applies to the events of today. What we have to work with is not just stuff that stinks, but unpleasant events, shocking episodes, evil, lies and disturbing news all around.

But what are we going to do with it all?

The choice is up to us.

If while facing the not-so-pleasant situation of the world, we rebel against God, we create misery.

We ridicule His Word. We create our own pain. We disregard His call. We go to bed in despair and wake up desperate.

But on the other hand, if we face the same stinky situation and turn to God, security visits. If we choose to serve Him, peace reigns. If we choose to seek him, blessings pour. And if we obey His instructions, the ending brings triumph.

Here’s how God compares those who choose to forsake Him while driving down the road of pride. In contrast, He addresses the future of those who choose to serve Him.

“But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.

Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.

You will leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse; the Sovereign LORD will put you to death, but to his servants he will give another name. Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth; he who takes an oath in the land will swear by the God of truth.

For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” (Isaiah 65:11-16)

Jesus gave this same message when He said He overcame the trouble-filled world. And if He is our Savior, overcomer and redeemer, serving Him is the only option to reach the richness of life. Then He will restore. He will rebuild and redeem His own.

As servants we possess the peace few know. The confidence most seek. And the triumphant freedom everyone longs for. Christ’s servants live with the expectation that His hand will take us through, lift us up and shield us to the end.

Let’s pray.

Father, grant me wisdom to choose not to focus on the events, the chaos, the mess out there in the world. Show me to prepare my heart to love You more intently, to serve You more diligently and to trust in You more firmly. In Jesus’ name.

In view of today’s events, whom will you serve?

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

6 promises when you’re feeling overwhelmed

12 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged December 12, 2020

December 11, 2020

“Enough already.” Have you thought or said those words lately? Most of us have drawn dangerously close to that overwhelmed state because we’re saturated by the ugliness that paints the country and the world.

Anyone out there ready for a break from all this? Let’s change that mood and find a lighter topic. Here’s my friend’s lighthearted recount to give you a little humor in the midst of the gloom. She stepped into her mother-in-law’s house with a heart filled with the Christmas spirit and with an attitude of kindness. But here’s what she experienced. This is her unedited recount:

This humongous undertaking was under the guise of “helping” (really, read: doing it ALL myself). Put up ALL of her Christmas decorations: 2 full-size trees; a gazillion Santa’s she’s collected over the past 30-plus years of all shapes of sizes; 19 ceramic Christmas teapots (I counted); a dozen Beyer’s carolers, about 500 feet of lighted-green-fake-garland oh-so carefully placed around just about every piece of tall furniture, upper kitchen cabinets, fireplace mantle, even her grandfather clock. (I kid you not!) I could just feel the kilowatt numbers on the electric meter start spinning around like there’s no tomorrow!

Oh, I’m not even finished yet…THEN there was the placement of about 50 battery-operated assorted pillar, votive, and tea-lights on every table, the mantle again (it’s totally jammed between pillars, wise men and carolers), and inside the fireplace—don’t want to actually make a real fire these days, do we now?

I even had to place giant ball ornaments and stuffed-cardinals in ornamental trees (not even Christmas trees) around the house. Oh, yeah, I forget about placing her cutesy Christmas rugs all over the house, too! And my piece de resistance was converting a red, green, and white tablecloth into a shower curtain, using safety pins, so it matched her bathroom accessories.

Here’s a challenge for us. How about if we decorate with the same passion and detail, not our home, but our heart?

Six Promises for You

To avoid reaching the overwhelmed state of our mind, we first check out the divine storehouse of God’s Word. And one by one we pull out His promises. Here are six that deserve an important place:

  1. When broken relationships, strife or animosity bury our peace under the mountain of stress. Wrapped in love, Jesus gives us the perfect present: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to your peace]as the world gives” (John 14:27). The peace that comes when things work out is fleeting. The peace we get from others is false.  But Jesus’ peace when turmoil abounds is true, profound and permanent.
  2. When fear drains our strength, God says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). If He will uphold us, nothing can make us fall. If He is God, the Lord of all, what may happen doesn’t alter His promise. If He is indeed the Most High God, what changes come about will find us secure and confident in His protection.
  3. When media reports rob our sleep as we toss and turn at night, each new day rings in fresh hope and with holy boldness. We declare, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). We wait expecting His plans to be at work. We expect His truth to reign. And His Word never to return empty.
  4. When tension fills the air because of the uncertainty for tomorrow, we remember God is already present in all our tomorrows. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. For this moment, for today and for tomorrow, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Walking on that straight path, firm and secure keeps us from the detours of negative emotions.
  5. When income has dwindled, bills pile up and we join the “financially anxious” club, God’s voice is stern: “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:27-31). Anxiety rises only and only when we forget that God knows. He knows what we need, what we lack, what we miss and what we desire. Our “wants” may come last, but our needs are what He meets first. The secret to get them? Seek Him first above all.
  6. If what we face seems impossible. If what we tried got us nowhere. And even what others did for us brought no results, God’s reminder echoes in Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” That promise brings the glow of hope into our Christmas. The best present to give to yourself is to believe, truly believe that If all things are possible with God,” your situation is too.

But we know none of the promises can be ours. None can be at work. None can make any sense without the power of God expressed by His unending love. He put that love in a crib and named Him Jesus.

Because of Jesus, we’re not overwhelmed. We embrace His Word, believe His power and decorate our life with the color of His promises.

Let’s Pray

Father, this Christmas is different than others. Gloom seems to rule. But we know that Jesus was born, to grow up, to become the light, to bring salvation and to conquer all. We sing the Christmas carol of gratitude with new hope and new confidence. In Jesus’ name.

What decorates your life 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.

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

Six vital steps to take when diagnosed with COVID-19

14 Nov

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged November 14, 2020

November 13, 2020

“I’m in the hospital,” my friend emailed me. “I have COVID-19.”

My heart sunk.

Many recover. Many have few symptoms. And others test positive and have no symptoms at all.

So, what do we do when we learn a dear friend is in the hospital? Most would pray. I did. But are we praying out of our emotions or out of our convictions? Are we pleading out of fear? Or declaring God’s power out of faith? Are we trembling before an intimidating giant, or are we declaring that Almighty God is greater than any threat?

If we give the wrong answer, doubt turns to anxious moments. We secretly question God’s ability to rescue us. When dark diagnosis comes our way, we question why He didn’t prevent it. And when symptoms persist, we feel abandoned.

So once again, we get on our knees as we were taught. We begin to plead, beg, and ask over and over again. And when no answers come, His silence spurs more anguish rather than peace.

Six Vital Steps

But whether we face COVID-19 that attacks our body, or a virus that attacks our soul, a drastic change occurs, clarity begins, and faith increases when we follow these six steps:

  1. Readjust our priorities. If we seek the answer to our prayer with more passion than we seek God Himself, His patience rather than answers is what will be at work. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
  2. Resist the temptation to recite memorized, perfect prayers, with lovely words and deep insight. God simply wants the genuine expression of our heart. And most of all, “…when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7)
  3. Recognize that sometimes we don’t know how to pray or what our requests should be. So, we can freely ask for Him to show us what to pray for. And confident that He’s listening attentively, whisper to Him, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
  4. Remember that His answer is always in His timing, not ours because a thousand years in God’s sight are like a day that has just gone by. (Psalm 90:4)
  5. Relish in the fact that while we wait, He’s working in us, in our heart, in our situation because, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
  6. Remove anxious thoughts. In the silence of the moment and in the power of His presence, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Why follow these steps? Because “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14–15)

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for showing me how to pray with the certainty that You are indeed watching, listening, and observing each step I take. Grant me the wisdom to recognize You are vigilant of my every move. In Jesus’ name.

How will you renew your trust in Almighty God to work in your situation?

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

Four promises God makes during the pandemic of our troubles.

31 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged October 31, 2020

October 25, 2020

My hands grew sweaty and my heart beat fast. I did my best in my task as a novice Spanish interpreter in that courtroom decades ago.

Then the unexpected happened.

“Mrs. Eckles, approach the bench,” the judge said after he announced a recess during one of the sessions.

Gulp. He’s calling me, Wasn’t I doing a good job? I stood and took a few hesitant steps toward him, expecting a reprimand.

I swallowed hard and looked in his direction. “Yes, your honor,” I said.

“I’m also bilingual,” he said in a calm voice, “and I’m impressed with your high level of accuracy and your professionalism.”

I fought the urge to jump high and cheer. But instead, I gave a shy smile, “Thank you, your honor.”

Facing the Divine Judge

On a greater scale, the question for all of us is: what will we do when we face the Divine Judge? Will we tremble? Or will we approach Him with love and wonderful expectations?

Until we meet Him face to face, we can practice our reaction now. In these tough times that press hard, we can anticipate all the good He offers in the courtroom of life. We hope for His hand to resolve our problems, for His grace to cover us during the Chaos. And during the pandemic of fear, we expect to hear His voice.

And we will, should we choose to, be still and listen. The good news is that His approach isn’t one of a ruthless judge, but one of a loving Father.

And that love is active. When we take the wrong path, He disciplines. Rather than scolding, He gives reassurance. Rather than apathy, He corrects our ways. Rather than punishment, He extends mercy. And instead of condemnation, through His Son Jesus, He offers forgiveness.

Four Promises

That’s why we wake every morning embracing what He offers. And before we sip our coffee, we serve these four promises to feed our soul:

  1. Should uncertainty rattle our nerves, we offer Him our complete trust as we declare: “in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11)
  2. And when trials weigh heavy, we lift our head and with audacious faith, declare: “two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. (Psalm 62:11-12)
  3. When discouragement leaves us weak, our lips repeat His promise: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
  4. When frightened by natural disasters, violence or unrest, we remember what God said through Moses: 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 14:13-14)

Let’s Pray

Father, in the stillness of Your presence is where we find our refuge. In Your love we find peace. And In your promises is our trust. Thank You for never failing us. In Jesus name

What is God saying to you in the pandemic of your troubles?

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.

If you enjoyed these moments of inspiration, consider supporting JC Empowerment Ministries. We keep going, keep inspiring and keep bringing Jesus light into the darkness only through your cheerful tax-deductible giving. It’s simple. Just hop over to this LINK. https://janetperezeckles.com/about/non-profit-tax-exempt-authorization-letter

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Janet Eckles Perez

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

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Dealing with Fear?

10 Oct

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Dealing with Fear? Psalm 23 brings back all the reassurance you need.

Reblogged October 10, 2020

October 9, 2020

I sat at my computer ready to finish an article the other night. But I confess, rather than get to my task, I slipped over to check my inbox. And this message from a friend popped up:

“The alarm company called at 3:30 this morning. Our jewelry store had a break-in. A thief, expert in computers, managed to bypass our alarm system, break the door window, and reach in to open the door from the inside.

But he was in for a surprise. He wasn’t aware we have a secondary alarm system installed. It went off scaring him out.”

A second alarm? What a great idea. When it comes to protecting something valuable, wise people double their protection.

But often we don’t do that.

As a result, we end up vulnerable to any emotional and spiritual break-in. They take place because we failed to set up adequate protection.

We’re just too busy engaged in watching the screen, reading headlines, checking others’ posts on social media, turning angry at comments that don’t align with our thinking. No wonder we need coffee to wake us up in the morning, Tylenol to get rid of the throbbing headache, and a glass of wine to help us sleep.

But who could blame us? Life is tough. And there is one being that makes sure it’s tougher, more painful and ugly.

God identified him as the evil one. And today, some say that Satan has become more intense in his attacks. Could it be that while we’re busy with other things, he managed to trip the first alarm and has made his way in?

Even if he did, we can learn from David. Although he was a mighty king, a hero, and a brave warrior, sometimes he stepped out unprotected and slipped into the cliff of destructive sin. Other times, he was depressed and desperate.

And in that desperation is when he installed in his heart a second layer of protection—he tapped into God’s power through His promises.

Our declaration to combat fear.

And when he did, there was no shyness or hesitation. He crushed the enemy with his courageous declaration in Psalm 23. His assertion of God’s promises was bold and audacious. And ours should be, too, as we make David’s words our own: With unwavering faith we declare:

  • No matter what chaos surrounds us, we will lack nothing. We will not be without. God will meet our needs, provide and supply all because “The LORD is our shepherd, we shall not be in want.” (Psalm 23:1a)
  • When we drag our feet through the mud of adversity, exhausted by the weight of our burdens, “He promises His strength and makes us lie down in green pastures…” (Psalm 23:1b)
  • We will not trudge through the rough waters that flow through the river of fear, anxiety or worry because “He leads us beside quiet waters…” (Psalm 23:2)
  • Although our soul may be discouraged and dim, we will still rejoice because in His unending love and mercy “He restores our soul.” (Psalm 23:3)
  • We’re not paralyzed by fear, but follow God’s instructions, believe His promises and hold His hand firm because “He guides us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
  • No matter the discouraging and unwanted medical diagnosis, we still assert with passion because “Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil…” (Psalm 23:4)
  • We push away gloom because even in the midst of sorrow, we’re never alone or abandoned. Therefore, we declare, “For you are with us; your rod and your staff, they comfort us.” (Psalm 23:4)
  • Many ridicule our faith, insult our convictions and fiercely attack our beliefs. But we assert, “You prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies. You anoint our head with oil; our cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)
  • With unbridled boldness, we climb to the rooftops, grab the largest megaphone and declare: “Surely goodness and love will follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

We’re living in urgent times. We can’t afford to be mousy about our convictions or shy about claiming the power of God’s Word. Rather, we embrace profound reassurance and audacious boldness. And with that confidence, we’re already victorious. This truth must dominate our every thought, word and attitude. They did for David as he tasted reassurance when God lifted him from that dark valley. Why wouldn’t God do the same for us?

Let’s Pray

Father, because of the power of Your Word, I can rest at night, trust during the day and see Your hand at work. No matter the mess in the world, I shall be confident and reassured. In Jesus’ name.

What portion of Psalm 23 was written for you?

Janet

______________________________________

Did you know I wrote a book filled with words of encouragement, uplifting thoughts and illustrations of real-life triumph to empower you? Its title, Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life. You can get it HERE.

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

10 steps to help you never, never fear

26 Sep

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblogged September 26, 2020

September 25, 2020

In bad times, we need to get bold. And that’s what I did. I got a bit bold and wrote my grown sons this letter. Since you are my inspirational family, may I share it with you?

It’s based on Psalm 33. Each verse seems to have been written for all of us to address what we’re going through.

I invite you to put aside your burdens, inhale His Word and refresh your soul with God’s reassurance.

Dear Jason and Jeff,

Through the years, I did my best to show you how to fight through the journey. You saw how life can turn painful, ugly and ever so devastating at times. But you saw me persevere and live triumphantly. Yes, although blind, I taught you to see truth through lies, beauty through the dark side and victory through heartache.

Now, the whole country and the world seems to be in that blind state where no one sees the solutions, what path to take, what to follow or how-to bring peace back.

10 Important Steps

No one knows, but God does. No matter how stressful our days seem or restless our nights become, God has the only answer. Each time you read bad news, listen to predictions of gloom or watch events that threaten to rob your security, follow these ten steps:

  1. Do not engage in arguments, people in the news distort the facts, exaggerate, and often hide the truth. But control your words, remain strong in the security of God’s Word “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 33:4)
  2. Violence, hatred or evil will not touch you because God’s promise of His unending love is your tower of strength. “The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” (Psalm 33:5)
  3. Although many ridicule, reject and disregard the God of the Bible, they foolishly forgot the power He possesses. But you be diligent in remembering: “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.” (Psalm 33:7)
  4. Do not fear what might happen, what evil men threaten to do. Do not heed the world’s voices. Instead, have a reverend fear of God. What does that mean? It means we possess a fear of not pleasing Him, offending Him or dismissing His Word. That’s why He says, “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:8)
  5. Do not be concerned about what nations plan or threaten to do because “The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.” (Psalm 33:10)
  6. When you invited Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, God’s plan for you to spend eternity in heaven is guaranteed. And while still on earth, your own plans might not be fulfilled, “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)
  7. Draw courage to stand for His truth before others and before nations. Ant thus, you will be blessed and can claim your inheritance. because “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)
  8. Live with His truth as your guide. Think of His promises as your foundation. Speak of His power as your strength. Offer Him a clean heart because “From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth-he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” (Psalm 33:13-15)
  9. Recognize your weakness without Him. Be wise enough to trust in Him and Him alone because “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.” (Psalm 33:16-17)
  10. Celebrate that God’s eyes are upon you, protecting and guarding you. Others may fear death, famine and tribulations,” But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)

With each moment that passes, each day that goes by, we never, never fear or become restless because as he told the Israelites in Exodus 14:13, God will fight our battles, we need only to be still. We never, never become anxious. Instead, with calm hearts, we “wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:20)

Let’s Pray:

Lord, thank you; though we don’t deserve it, you set us apart to live in the triumph of Your promises and in the victory of Your plans. In Jesus’ name.

Which of God’s promises fills your heart 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.

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 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

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