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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

Heartache: 7 ways to conquer it.

8 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

July 07, 2017 reblogged

Sorry, no 911 to call. No emergency assistants available. And medical facilities are nowhere around.

My brother and I snuggled next to my Mom. We rode in the back of a truck. “When will we get there?” I asked her as my 10-year old mind anticipated fun moments in the tropical area of Bolivia.

But to get there, we risked our lives as we rode on the most dangerous road in the world. Should there be a car accident on the narrow mountains bordered with huge cliffs, fatalities are unavoidable. That’s the scene outside my hometown of La Paz, Bolivia.

One such accident took place recently, leaving a young man paralyzed. His family, American missionaries, sent prayer requests through cyberspace. Walking only moments earlier, paralyzed the next.

Why is it that tragedy barges unannounced? It catches us unprepared, vulnerable to its cruel claws.

I tasted that heartache years ago when the doctor said to my family and me “He didn’t survive the stab wounds he received.”

Losing my youngest son was unthinkable. I cried out to God, “Why?”

I found that kind of pain has no reason, but also learned that God’s peace has no limit.

Friends, if you or anyone you know is in the prison of pain, here are seven vows needed to conquer heartache:

  1. We count on His help, constant and never changing because “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
  2. We silence words of self-pity or sorrow. “My lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:4a)
  3. We let go the grip on bitterness and instead, we reach up to Him. “In your name I will lift up my hands.” (Psalm 63:4b)
  4. Our heart may be broken, but our soul is intact. “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” (Psalm 63:5)
  5. We thank God for the sweet sleep that will come because “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night because you are my help…” (Psalm 63:6)
  6. We claim His power, knowing where we find protection. “We sing in the shadow of your wings. Our soul clings to you…” (Psalm 63:7)
  7. We declare: Lord, we will not faint because “Our soul clings to you; your right hand upholds us.” (Psalm 63:8)

Father, I praise you for already knowing the help we would need, the comfort we would desire, and the reassurance we would call for. Thank you for going before us to prepare the healing and the restoration of our peace. I thank you in Jesus’ name, amen.

  • How long does heartache have to steal your joy?
  • What needs to change for you to accept His comfort?
  • In the silence of the night, what calms your soul?

Janet

 

Source: Heartache: 7 ways to conquer it. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Freedom, A Distant Desire

1 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Ouch! It hurt when I read the following:

“I will not read any of your books,” a reader wrote some months back when I presented my views about the not-so-hidden-agenda that drips from Hollywood.

But after I spread some salve on the scratches of my ego, I realized this person was flagging the trophy of democracy— including freedom of speech.

When I stood in that courtroom over thirty years ago, I lifted my right hand, and tears of gratitude trickled as I pled my allegiance to the United States of America.

Becoming a United States citizen was an honorable vow, a commitment and a promise that America would from then on hold my allegiance and my respect.

American freedom graced my life like a treasure. Not a freedom to indulge my own gain and desires, but a freedom that required responsibilities. Moreover, the realization that responsibilities call for commitment. Commitment requires courage. Courage begs wisdom. Wisdom requires truth. And upholding truth demands action.

Sadly, this writer believes we’ve taken action. But not toward upholding the freedom this country was founded on. But to freedom that is slowly opening the door to a prison of moral destruction.

We have the freedom to paint TV and theatre screens with vulgar scenes, words, and examples of behavior that ridicule God’s precepts. That freedom we do have. But will we have the courage to face the consequences?

Pushing God out of our courtrooms, schools and public entities does indeed shout freedom of speech. But do we have the commitment and diligence needed to pick up the pieces of a country veiled with darkness in the absence of God?

Freedom includes wisdom—not our own, but that of our creator. The same wisdom that fueled the founding fathers to birth a country that rose to be the most powerful and prosperous in the world.

But that prosperity, rather than evoking gratitude, brought false confidence and pride. It masked values and opened the door for discontentment, criticism and a free-for-all for financial gain at the expense of innocent eyes and ears.

Freedom of speech is like pouring rain—it can moisten parched land, or cause destructive floods.

And flooded we have become with distorted values, and violence that fills our kid’s minds excused as acceptable, lyrics that sing of horrific actions blaring over radio stations, even groceries stores displaying magazines that celebrate sin with luring headlines is as common as milk on the shelves.

Admirably, some parents still fight the battle, attempting to instill truth and morals in their kids. But when did freedom of speech become the enemy making those efforts more difficult every day?

My love and gratitude for America haven’t dwindled, nor my appreciation diminished. It’s that admiration that evokes fear as the wind roars announcing the destructive hurricane of corruption

We have freedom of speech handed to us. But do we have the valor to stop its abuse, to make a stand before we drown in the murky waters of sexual decadence? Like a frog in boiling water, we won’t realize its destruction until entertainment dripping with violence and blatant depravity cooks our conscience.

To the lament of most, that coveted freedom would then be but a distant desire.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Father, we need wisdom to seek you, your ways, your laws, your precepts and your freedom. Grant us a humble spirit to recognize without you, darkness awaits. But with your hand guiding, victory is ours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Will you join in prayer for America?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKWLQLJBzMg&feature=youtu.be

 

Source: Freedom, A Distant Desire ~ Janet Perez Eckles

The best gifts of life.

24 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

His Way

 

 

 

Doesn’t it feel good when we help another person? A friend visited from Cuba and lamented on the condition of her hair. I took her hand. “Look, you don’t need to worry about fixing your hair,” I said. “We’ll go shopping and get you a lovely wig.”

She hugged me. “In Cuba, we could never afford a haircut, much less a wig…thank you!”

We walked in the store and she chose one to match her natural hair color. As she stood before the mirror, she put it on. Her gasps of delight were heard all through the store. “I don’t want to take it off, “she said. “I look so pretty.”

Then weeks later she wrote me from Cuba. “I’m sorry. I can’t wear the wig because the weather is so very hot here. I put it away in my drawer.”

Did she say she put the gift I gave her in a drawer? She sure did. And that’s exactly what the enemy (the devil) wants you and I to do. He wants us to –put God’s gifts in the drawer of our emotions.

When and how does he do that? He does it each time we face adversity, struggles, conflict, or bad news. He does it by distracting us so we forget God’s gifts.

And the gifts are many. Each one is suited for the situation we face. Each gift is prepared with the answer we need. Each is molded to fit the longing in our heart.

And when we receive them, unwrap them and use them, here are seven results:

  1. When unfair accusations create wounds, we’re protected as we say, I am free from any charge against me.” (Romans 8:31-34)
  2. When life seems uncertain and shaky, I have access to God through the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18)
  3. No painful experience is a match to God’s love. I cannot be separated from the love of God.” (Romans 8:35-39)
  4. The world’s evil cannot affect me because I am established, anointed, sealed by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
  5. When I feel confused about all that’s going on, I remember that all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
  6. When feeling empty and unable to give, my spirit is revived because I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. (John 15:16)
  7. When no one listens or has any advice, I may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)

Ready to pull out those gifts from the drawer of your heart? They’re yours. They’re ready to be used. They’re offering the power to ease the pain. To deliver you from strongholds. To bring peace to turmoil. And to erase fear.

Father, when life becomes so very difficult, help me to open my heart and receive these gifts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Which of God’s gifts will you unwrap today?

Janet

Video sneak peek: (fun, family traditions) https://youtu.be/11HB26idG-8

 

Source: The best gifts of life. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

One thing you must do to be truly happy

18 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

 

 

Last week, I followed my nightly routine and fixed myself a cup of chamomile tea; not sure why I filled it to the brim, but I did.

Funny thing is that those of us who are blind tend to bump into things, especially when we’re in a hurry. And that’s exactly what I did. As I carried it from the kitchen to the bedroom, I misjudged the door frame and my elbow caught the edge, causing my tea to spill out. UGH!

That’s what happens to all of us. When we experience bumps in life, whatever overflows in us will pour out. If we carry fear and we hear bad news, fear will spill out. When we harbor anger and someone doesn’t measure up to our standards, rudeness and anger will trickle out. When insecurities overflow, a defensive attitude will leak out. And before we know it, we stand in a puddle of unhappiness.

But there’s hope, and it comes in the vehicle called “change.” When faith, grace, patience, genuine love and gentleness overflow in our heart, no matter how hard the bump, these will spill out. “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Matthew 12:34b-35).

What we store in the heart is the determining factor between living a marvelous life or a miserable existence.

Father, grant me wisdom to analyze what fills my heart. Show me what I need to remove and replace. Reveal to me what I must store in order to please you; to bring honor and glory to you. Teach me how to store genuine love so it spills out to those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What fills your heart today?

Janet

Video sneak peek: https://youtu.be/uq9PG0FZjA4

 

To learn more about Janet, follow the link below to visit her website.

 

Janet Speaks

Looking for a motivational speaker? Learn how you can book Janet for your event. She is an international speaker.

 

Source: One thing you must do to be truly happy. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

When God seems so far away

3 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

 

 

(May 05, 2017)

 

I can’t believe hubby had the nerve to do what he did! He sat among executives around a large conference table for their weekly meeting. They all took turns sharing a bit of news about their life and family.

“Well,” hubby said, “this weekend Janet and I split up.”

Gasps spread around the room. They all know we’ve been happily married over 40 years.

Then he followed by saying: “Yep, I went to California, she went to Titusville and we both came home on Sunday.”

Funny guy, isn’t he?

But whether a joke or not, separation is devastating. I know firsthand. Years ago, sorrow had separated me from God. My sudden blindness at age 30 and the death of my youngest son pushed me far away from Him.

Drained by my heartache, I didn’t sense Him near. I didn’t hear His comfort or even felt that He cared.

Have you been there? Although our mind wants to believe, our heart refuses. And though we know God exists, His comfort seems distant.

What joy to write this for you. My fingers are dancing on the keyboard as a result of the peace that fills my soul. Here’s the reason: Jesus said:  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

He had His place. And I had mine. He claimed His role and named mine, too. When my foolish notion of finding answers on my own faded, peace came back, joy was born and freedom from sorrow swept through.

Father, I praise you because we don’t have to face this life alone. Thank you for promising we’ll bear fruit, find refuge, have a new beginning, and live with victory united with you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What are you trying to accomplish on your own?

Janet

 

Source: When God seems so far away. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to feel worthy. 

27 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

May 26, 2017

 

Memorial Day is what sparks not only memories of those who died in wars, but remembering special moments in life. A while back, my friend and I entered a hotel’s conference room, eager to receive nuggets of wisdom from each speaker. A loud buzz filled the room.

The special part for me was that Cecil Murphy was teaching the sessions—the illustrious author of over 100 books, including “Ninety Minutes in Heaven” which has been on the New York Times bestselling list for 130 weeks and has been translated into 37 languages.

I settled in my seat, anticipating the wisdom he’d pour out. And he did.

Once the first portion ended, I chatted with other writers, catching up. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice to my left. “Excuse me,” he said. “I just want to say hi.”

He took me by the arm, and gave me a big hug.

My delight turned to awe. It was Cecil Murphy! His warm gesture left me touched and ever so grateful. Yes, THE Cecil Murphy, the famous author actually remembered me after we first met five years ago!

Why do we have that reaction when someone of a great stature extends kindness toward us? Could it be we feel we’re unworthy or undeserving?

Okay, time to admit it. I’ll be the first. We often have that same notion when it comes to a connection with Jesus. We fall into that false idea that Jesus, the Lord of our lives, the King of kings might not be interested in lil’ ol’ me down here.

And with sentiments of unworthiness, we rationalize: His divine and awe-inspiring presence couldn’t be real. At least not really enough for me to have personal contact with Him.

How wrong we can be. What He wants is to know Him enough to feel comfortable to call upon Him. He so longs for us to whisper any need, any doubt, any insecurity. He’s not way out there in the universe somewhere; He’s right by us, watching our tears, hearing our sobs, reading our longings, and so, so very aware of our pain.

Personalizing this verse just a bit: “You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted (like the person reading this right now); you encourage them, and you listen to their cry” (Psalm 10:17 [NIV]).

Father, help me to let go feelings of unworthiness, for you make me worthy—with your unending love, your constant nurturing, and your trustworthy reassurance. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How close do you feel to Jesus right now?

Janet

 

Source: How to feel worthy. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

God, calm my storm

20 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

(May 19, 2017)

The experience was unique on my last trip home. The plane ride was bouncy and rough. I stretched out on the seat beside me in that 10-passenger small plane.

I must have dosed off because all of a sudden, I notice the engine slowing down, the plane seem to lose power. The engine turned way too quiet– a frightening kind of quiet. There was no one beside me to ask. A bit of worry knocked at the door. So I thought, “Lord, here I come, open those heaven gates.”

Suddenly, the plane stopped. Unable to see the surroundings, I had no idea we had landed. The change of the engine sound was because we were on the ground already.

Please make me feel good and tell me you did something silly like that, too. You assumed the worst when it was the best instead.

I don’t feel too bad, though. The disciples did something similarly as related in Matthew 8:23-26.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Father, forgive me when I lose my faith and doubt that you’re in my boat, present during my storms. Grant me wisdom and conviction to know I’m never alone, to be calm when the winds of disappointment, of heartache and fear blow fiercely around me. I will count on the safety of your presence in the storms of all sizes. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What storms are you facing today? Who’s in your boat.

Janet

 

Source: God, calm my storm. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What brings security for a mom?

13 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

God chose to bring me into this world on a cold spring morning in La Paz, Bolivia. My mom sat up on that old, unsteady bed in a worn-out clinic.

“The baby…the baby…it’s coming,” she shouted.

The woman looked up as she sat on a squeaky chair. She sipped her coffee. “Sorry, Señora. The midwife went home for lunch.”

With sweat beads on her forehead, my mom pressed her hand on her stomach. Tears fell and she anguished with no one to help her deliver me.

Finally, the woman put her cup down and went to the door. “Can anyone help?” she called out into the courtyard. “A baby is coming.”

The delivery started, and I was born lacking adequate medical care.

That first year, with me in her arms, she stood in long lines to get a loaf of bread and some wilted carrots. The recent revolution in La Paz had turned the economy upside down. Everything was scarce except for Mom’s love.

Years later, we followed the daily routine. I sat before her on a box we used as a stool. “Someday we’ll leave Bolivia,” she said as she braided my black hair.

That day came after four years of preparation to meet the U.S. Immigration requirements. We sold all we had. And Mother and Father worked night and day to earn enough money for airplane tickets.

And that airplane took us to a special place. As a young girl, Mom had read the Spanish translation of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” which took place on the shores of the Mississippi River. Her dream was to someday visit those places.

And that’s how St. Louis, Missouri, became the city where we began our new life.

But the adjustment to the unfamiliar territory in America wasn’t as beautiful as the stories in those books. My parents, my younger brother nor I read or spoke English. Unable to understand food can labels, we ate cat food, thinking it was tuna.

Sixth grade girls surrounded my desk, pointed at me, whispered to each other and giggled. My pierced ears in 1964 was an oddity causing astonishment.

But Mom set the example. Her job was hard on her emotions. She endured harsh treatment and humiliation. And her lack of fluency in English kept her there for many years.

She sat at the kitchen table, reading her Bible while tears flowed.

And through her strength, she nurtured us, protected us and taught us perseverance. All served to mold my childhood.

Decades swept by. And unexpectedly, I had to enter another unfamiliar territory. My blindness at 30 thrust me into a dark, terrifying world.

But like Mom, God’s Word gave me eyes to see beyond my blindness. With headphones on, I heard the Bible.

God’s strength fueled my days to do the tasks of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry while unable to see. When obstacles came, God promised me His grace would remove them and cover my mistakes.

I was born in a third-world clinic. But God ushered me into a first-class place where His riches are available. His blessings abound. And when my days as a Mom turn difficult, I ease into His arms to soothe my soul and bring security back.

To those dear moms, I hope you have the happiest Mother’s Day ever!

Janet

VIDEO OF THE WEEK SNEAK PEEK   https://youtu.be/O8lt7uWvSuw

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 brings security for a mom? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

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