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Help! I Have Too Much Debt

25 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Life can turn dark in so many ways. We were heading to church and Hubby rolled down his window. As he opened his wallet, he said, “There’s a woman with a sign that says, “My kids need to eat.”

Some put up signs and some sink in self-pity for lack of funds. But many more curse their situation. The same way the Israelites did.

Remember how they grumbled when they thought God had forgotten them? They were hungry and thirsty. And they even mumbled about going back to Egypt where they were slaves! Crazy thinking, in my opinion. But we’ve done the same thing—wish we were in a different place, maybe one we knew long ago. And we murmur our misfortune.

I’m here to challenge you:  Toss that grumbling out the window, cross-out those pitiful remarks from your vocabulary, and kick out negative thoughts that take away your peace.

And instead, celebrate Chanukah with me. (Please don’t tell me you know what that is…I didn’t, and feel a bit embarrassed about it.)

So I asked. And a precious Jewish friend who now loves Yeshua as her Savior and Lord explained it to me. After I read the explanation, I was so touched by the meaning and the significance that I deposited a huge amount of joy right into the bank account of my heart.

So, read on, take in the message, and ponder on the absolutely wonderful truth God is reminding you through the recount. Here it is:

Chanukah is the Jewish holiday of the festival of lights – where we celebrate when a tiny band of men called the Maccabees conquered the Greek army and recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks had desecrated the temple and all the Jews could find was one day’s worth of oil to light the eternal light – which must burn continually, according to the Lord’s command.  It takes eight days to produce the proper oil from the olives to use in the temple. But in faith, they used the little bit of oil – and it ended up lasting the full eight days – enough time to consecrate the new oil. It was a miracle all around – and that is why we light a Menorah, called a chanukiah – each day for eight days – to honor the Lord for his faithfulness and miracles!

Okay, you know God is the same yesterday, today and forever…do you think He’ll provide what you need? When you need it? And give you the oil, though meager it might seem, to last to cover the biggest bill in the pile?

God worked a miracle long ago…and He will now too. Not enough oil, but still, they lit the candles in trusting, not doubting, not wondering, not questioning—but in faith—and why shouldn’t we do the same?

Pray with me: Lord, I place the oil of faith before you. And I count on your Word, your promise and your provision to take care of all my needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What needs will you bring before the Lord today?

Janet

 

Source:  http://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog/inspiration/help-i-have-too-much-debt.html

The bright side of disappointment.

18 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Why does bad news come at the worst times? A while back, I sat at my computer, my fingers dancing on the keyboard when hubby walked in. “You won’t believe this…but it’s 95% certain I can’t go.”

He’s got to be kidding! We planned this vacation for a year; it was paid for in full. We looked forward to a bit of rest, a little distraction, fun times to renew our body and soul. This time away was God’s gift to us. Really, it was.

“You’ll have to find someone else to take my place,” he said.

I hate these kind of surprises. I blew out a long breath and, dropped my head on the back of my chair. Why does life have to be complicated by broken plans?

Maybe you’re going through that right now. Not something insignificant as spoiled vacations. But maybe someone let you down. Or maybe the answer you received left you numb with shock. Or even worse, what you thought would work, just ended in disaster.

But sadly we add to the disaster when we, on our own, try to swallow our pain, hold our chin up and attempt to deal with life’s disappointments.

We can’t. Rather, what we can do is look up and read the message that God writes with His love, bringing the bright side of any disappointment because each could be His new appointment. Those broken plans become His opportunity to bring new, better ones.

And here’s His reason: “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

In His ways, a better path is revealed. In His path, a new direction appears. And in His way of thinking victory is in the horizon.

Pray with me: Father, I release my broken heart, my disappointment, and I welcome the solution and wait in expectation at your hand at work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What disappointment in your life will become God’s opportunity to do great things?

Hey friends, can you give me your feedback? Do you want me to include the prayer for you and the questions at the end? Or do you prefer shorter inspirational truths?

I delight in meeting your expectations.

Janet

 

Source: The bright side of disappointment. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

The secret to peace is in the still of the moment. 

11 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

(March 3, 2017)

 

Who, me? It’s not my fault…we sometimes want to say. Blaming someone else for our sorry situation can be so tempting. When we mess up, pointing at another promises to be the easy way out.

That’s what the Israelites did.

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. Goodness gracious, where is Moses when we need him? 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 to be rescued.

But no one is there to do the rescuing. And when peace is gone, like those Egyptians, stress and anxiety come after us, threatening to ruin our day.

But should Moses show up in the midst of social media frenzy, He might use tweets to remind us: “The Lord will fight our battles; all we have to do is be still.”

That’s because in the still of God’s presence is when our nights know His peace. 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.

Can you tell me, in the midst of your hectic life, what keeps you from being still?

Janet

 

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Source: The secret to peace is in the still of the moment. | Janet Perez Eckles

Three secrets to make your day shine. 

4 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

A group of friends and I chatted during lunch at an Asian restaurant last Sunday. After we finished, the usual thing happened.

A waitress approached the table with a tray. “Fortune cookies for you,” she said with a lovely accent.

Although I don’t believe in that stuff, I took one. And it read: The worst lies you hear are those you tell yourself.

Oh my, for the first time this silly cookie contained a true statement. How many times have I done that? Have you? We goof at something and what comes out, “Oh, what an idiot!” we say to ourselves.

If that becomes a habit, what happens then is those negative words we utter turn to the attitude we embrace. And that attitude turns to the course we take. And sadly, the course can take us to a not-so-pleasant destination.

But here are three secrets to change that in order to make our days shine.

  1. We acknowledge the harm in those lies we say about ourselves. And recognize where they come from.

Jesus said: “He the devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

  1. We ask God to transform our words.

“Set a guard over my mouth, O lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

  1. We commit to change our words to reflect who we truly are.

“My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long…” because as the psalmist says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 35:28 and Psalm 139:14)

Next time we open a fortune cookie, we might find silly nonsense. But when we open God’s Word, we’ll find His truth, powerful truth worth replacing the negative words we’re tempted to say about ourselves.

Let’s celebrate the change because when praises, edifying words and positive comments flow from our lips, the enemy is silenced, our attitude is transformed, resulting in pleasantly sweet days.

What words have you been telling yourself lately?

Janet

Source: Three secrets to make your day shine. | Janet Perez Eckles

The three secrets of a real winner. 

25 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

We all want to win, to triumph and reach success. But if you fail in these three areas, winning might not come your way.

The lady in this picture with me is sweet as can be. But inside, there’s a tenacious, driven woman. Not only is she a mechanical engineer with a successful career, but she happens to be a NASCAR driver.

“Tell me,” I said, “what did you have to worry about the most while on that racetrack being the only woman driver?”

“Other drivers,” she said. “I had to guard myself against drivers who were aggressive; against those who were vicious and against those who sometimes were spiteful.”

Not only that, but under those freckles and red hair, is a wise woman who knew the three secrets of a winner:

  1. Know your enemy.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Be aware at all times.

With this simple strategy, she took home many trophies.

And so can we. During our own race of life, the Bible says, “Take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Devil’s schemes? Goodness gracious the battle isn’t against that relationship that ended in heartache? It’s not against the husband who walked away? It’s not against the conflict that divides the family? It’s not in the stress that drains us each day? Or the illness that brings on fear?

Not at all! “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Although this sounds intimidating, there’s no need to fear. With a dance of reassurance in our step, we move forward as we know the enemy and his schemes, we’re prepared, and we are aware. Thus, we go ahead and pick up our trophy.

Driving the vehicle of confidence when fighting against those forces of the dark world, God almighty and powerful, brings on the victory. As we battle against all the unseen evil forces, His power shields, protects and guards against the influences of fear, loneliness, worry and sorrow.

We then head to the finish line, winners, triumphant and victorious.

No matter what you’re facing, are you boldly declaring your victory?

Janet

Source: The three secrets of a real winner. | Janet Perez Eckles

Be sure to check out Janet’s Amazon author page.

Want to be successful? The secret is to know when to celebrate. 

18 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

(February 10, 2017)

Is he ever a type A personality! Driven, zealous, bold, and often forceful. I’m talking about Paul’s commitment to win souls for Christ.

Can’t help it, but often he moves me with his unwavering faith, and he wins my admiration for his endurance. But sometimes he baffles me with some statements he makes, like this one: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

He delights in weakness? In suffering? Boasting about our weakness is an insane contradiction to the world’s standards where we need to appear strong, in control, all together, and have our success shine before others.

Paul shouts the total opposite. But a little pondering brings logic to his thinking. Boasting in areas in which we’re weak brings us to our knees to recognize our vulnerability, our powerlessness, and our feeble ways. And voila! That’s when God’s power bursts through with His ability to do the impossible, level walls of opposition, and remove hurdles we never could on our own.

Celebrate with me; let’s dig out those weaknesses, insecurities, the I-don’t-measure-up feelings, and toss out the inhibitions they caused. And with Paul’s same boldness, wait in expectation for God’s power to be made perfect in them.

How quickly will you celebrate your weaknesses?

Janet

Source: Want to be successful? The secret is to know when to celebrate. | Janet Perez Eckles

Three steps to getting your prayers answered.  

11 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

February 3, 2017

I really don’t want to walk in the rain, I thought.

“C’mon let’s go anyway,” hubby said as we walked out the front door. The wind was blowing and a few sprinkles came down.

I hesitated but relinquished to his insistence. “The sun will come out; trust me,” he said.

I held his hand as we made it to the driveway. “Wait a minute,” he said as he opened the car door, “let me grab the umbrella from the trunk, just in case.”

Umbrella? I thought he was confident it wouldn’t rain. I thought he was acting in faith that the sprinkles would stop. His words said one thing, but his actions said another.

We do that too, don’t we? We declare we have faith God will take care of the situation. We just know that our trust is complete. But as we claim to believe God will show up and solve all our needs, our actions tell a different story.

And when we do our best to walk on that faith, something inside whispers doubt. And next, we focus on the circumstances urging us to act contrary to what we said we believe.

But there’s help. If you’re walking in a downpour of conflict or disappointment, in 1John3:14-15 are nestled three powerful ways for you to walk through any circumstance with confidence, secure and firm.

Step 1:  “…our trust isn’t placed in things of this world, in the situation or in others. Not at all, this is the confidence that we have toward him [Jesus]…”

Step 2:  We know to ask not according to our whims, but according to God’s will, “…that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

Step 3:  Sleep comes easy at night because with renewed confidence, we declare: “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Do you believe in this truth…or are you holding onto the umbrella of doubt?

Janet

Source: Three steps to getting your prayers answered. | Janet Perez Eckles

 

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Three truths to keep you from giving up.

4 Feb

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

(January 20, 2017)

I can’t help it, I’m just nosy as can be. During one of the events in my trip to Cuba, I sat beside one of the ministry leaders.

“What part of Cuba do you come from?” I asked.

“Santiago de Cuba,” she said with joy in her voice.

As I shooed flies and fanned myself to create a bit of breeze in that intense humid heat, I bombarded her with questions. In the typical passion-filled Cuban style, she answered them all. Here is the summary:

She traveled 33 hours with an 11-month-old son in her arms. The trip began in a dilapidated car, springs protruding from the seat. No luxuries such as air conditioning, thus, the opened windows let all the dust in from the dirt roads. The roof was metal making the blistering heat more intense.

“How long was the trip in that car?” I said.

“Twelve hours to our first stop.”

She and the family and other families had to sleep on the cement floor of the terminal so as not to miss the first morning’s chance for transportation to the next stop. This time it was in an old truck in same conditions as the car.

Thirty-three hours later the families arrived accompanied by dozens of others who came from remote parts of Cuba to attend the event.

I was stunned. Not only at the hardship that no one in the States would even consider enduring. But I was amazed at the joy she exuded. Not a word of complaint. No words of “poor-me.” No tone of frustration. Only joy in her laughter. A sweet spirit in her willingness to serve us visitors. Imagine that. Us, who arrived in Cuba seated comfortably in a jet.

“I’m amazed at your perseverance,” I said.

She chuckled. “We love to do what God calls us to do. And the way to serve Him is to travel where we can minister to more people. That’s our reward.”

Her reward? That’s what keeps them going. The end result that keeps them energized. And the final accomplishment that gives them the strength to endure it all.

Shame on me. While on the rough road of life, the reward is often the last thing I think of. How about you?  When we find ourselves riding in a dilapidated car of heartache, we want to give up. When we’re melting in the heat of broken relationships, we want the comfort of reassurance. Or when we find ourselves sleeping in the cement floor of pain, we cry out to be freed from the torment.

Thank you God! For He has three steps to keep us moving forward in the vehicle of perseverance:

  1. No matter what you’re facing, give it all you got—the faith to believe, the commitment to endure and the strength not to give up because God said: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”
  2. Although you may not see the results, the changes or the solutions yet, joy still bubbles inside… “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
  3. Your efforts are not for the benefit of the other person or to change the circumstance; rather, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23

If we do it all for Him, freedom comes. If we focus on His reward, the journey is doable. And if we know God is with us, no matter how rough the journey, confidence increases, and peace comes back once again.

What will happen if you focus on God’s reward during your journey today?

Janet

 

Source: Three truths to keep you from giving up. | Janet Perez Eckles

The only way to be safe from troubles. 

21 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Why did I give in?

Some years ago, my friends and I walked on the soft sand in the Cabo San Lucas beaches.

She elbowed me. “You’re going with us. C’mon, parasailing will be fun.”

I frowned. “You’re nuts. I’m not doing that,” I said. “Going up in the air with nothing underneath me? Ain’t happening.”

“You’ll love it.” She shook my arm and her voice grew with excitement. “C’mon where’s your sense of adventure?”

My sense of adventure was at home in Orlando, where it belonged—safe and secure.

With her nudging, a little tiny part of me said, “Why not…what could happen?”

I gave a long sigh. “All right, I’ll go.”

Once I was strapped in, the man placed my hands on the leather bands. “Hold on tight.”

Slowly, we were lifted up in the air and the wind lifted my hair. My friend giggled, oohed and aahed. Then she said, “Whatever you do, don’t fool with the metal hook.”

Ah! The hook. The one latch that connected the seat to the parachute. Should that hook come undone, or should I somehow open it and let the strap loose, I’d plop 30 feet into the Pacific Ocean and turn into an afternoon snack for the sharks below.

Crazy experience. But crazier is the fact that we’re also dangling above the tension of life. Almost daily we’re threatened by the teeth of anxiety that could devour our peace and bite into our confidence.

Knowing that, we should never, never undo the hook that connects us to the One who keeps us afloat. The One who sustains us above the fangs of adversity. The One who holds us beyond the reach of despair.

And when we’re safely connected to His power, we’re secure and protected from any and all dangers, threats or evil that hovers about. Nothing can touch us for “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-18).

In Him all things hold together. What relief, what freedom! Not in our efforts, our performance, our image, or our crazy ways. None of that holds our life together. It’s only the connection with Him who has the power to lift us above problems, struggles, and daily battles that can keep us secure and safe.

What are you connected to these days?

Source: The only way to be safe from troubles. | Janet Perez Eckles

How to turn your weaknesses into strengths

14 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Guilty. Self-pity nearly won. There was a time in my life when I felt unworthy and useless like the pulp my juicer spits out. Memory of that season rushed in when my friend and I had lunch last week.

“You won’t believe it,” she said.., “After I juice, I use the pulp to sprinkle on my salads…it turns out delicious!”

She didn’t discard the pulp, rather, she put it to good use. God did the very same with me. When blindness struck at the age of 31, I thought my life was over. I thought I’d be relegated to stay inside my four walls, empty of achievements and like useless pulp, ready to be dumped in the garbage disposal of life.

Did you ever have moments like that? Feeling like your value, your purpose and your passion is dry? We all have. But when God is in the midst, He uses what little we may have, what flaws we display, what mistakes we made or how low we feel. He crafts something deliciously beautiful.

That’s because no matter how we try to overcome our weaknesses, God is trying to turn them into strengths. He uses our weaknesses to make great things. He molds sad circumstances to success. And He turns our losses into gain.

He did that with me. I had asked God to remove my blindness. He didn’t. Instead, He turned my physical blindness into 20/20 spiritual vision.

In a different way, Paul also encountered adversity, painful and unpleasant, He confessed:

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12: 8-10).

What weakness of yours will you delight in?

Source: How to turn your weaknesses into strengths. | Janet Perez Eckles

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