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Four Ways God Turns Trials to Triumph

3 Feb

Waking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

February 2, 2018

Reblogged February 3, 2018

He’s got to be kidding.

I turned toward a new friend seated beside me during a writer’s conference. He’s got to be kidding! Did I hear him right? Did he say what I thought he said?

Those questions ricocheted in this crazy chica’s head when I heard him described what he did on the side.

I let out a quick gasp as he related, with a matter-of-fact tone, that he made jewelry out of, are you ready? …moose droppings!

I pinched my nose. “Tell me this is a joke,” I said.

“Nope.”

Being from Alaska, he explained the process. And I tried really tried to understand this craft. My imagination went wild with not-so-pleasant images.

 

Our Own Trials

But, amigos got to spill it all. This brought to mind the yucky droppings of trials that had paraded through my days—blindness, my son’s death, the struggles of sorrow—all gave my life a bad smell of heartache.

But viola! God turned the trials to triumph as He saw beyond the pain, the sin, the ugly scenes and transformed it all to a shining jewel for His glory.

No, amigos, don’t you think for a minute I’m saying this chica is a jewel. But the triumph God ushered certainly is.

Your triumph is waiting for you too. In the horrible, ever-present battle you’re facing, He’s got his tools and is at work too. He is at work to clean, shine and make it glow.

Four Things

And during the process, all you have to do is:

…receive the joy for the moment. The joy that comes because you know He’s in control. The joy that resonates even when we don’t see the end result.

…choose gratitude in expectation of what He will do.

…look back at ways He transformed other smelly circumstances in the droppings of life.

…spray the perfume of repentance on that smelly sin. When He’s done He will showcase His victory in you.

Life sometimes does stink. But no matter how unbearable the stench of sin or sorrow is, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Let’s Pray

Father, from a discarded soul, tainted with sin, smelling of pride, you polished life, beauty and sparkle through your son Jesus. Thank you that our life now has a glow of salvation, of freedom, of joy and hope. In His name we thank you. Amen

  • What painful situation stinks in your life now?
  • What will it take for you to allow Him to turn your trials to triumph?
  • What keeps you in the same rut?

Janet

 

Source: http://janetperezeckles.com/blog/encouragement/four-ways-god-turns-trials-triumph-2.html

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.

Road Trip~Denver, Colorado to Rocky Mountain National Park

21 Dec

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Day 8 September 14, 2017

We got up early, excited to pick up our daughter and family friend, Pam at the airport and begin this portion of our trip. Our daughter’s home was still without electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma so Rebekah had made arrangements for her cat, Mia, to stay with Pam’ daughter until the power came back on. She had managed to shift the food in her freezer to another friend’s home that had electricity and room for the food.

 

 

Arriving flights at the Denver airport was frustrating as they would not let us stop the car long enough for our party to get their luggage and walk to our meet us. I feel like they were going to arrest me for asking for an extra minute! However, we finally connected and headed off to find some breakfast and coffee for the travelers who had to be at the Orlando airport at 3 am.

Once we were caffeinated we set our GPS for Rocky Mountain National Park and began our Colorado adventure .The drive to Estes Park situated at the entrance to the park would take somewhere between one and one half to two hours.

 

A cute town, but enjoying nature was our goal today. Attribution: Frans-Banja Mulder

 

From the National Park website:

Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road – which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds – along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top!

At one stop we saw this gorgeous bird in a tree. Rebekah took a few shots of it. Does anyone know what type of bird it is? It looks like a type of Jay to me.

 

That smile won’t last long on this trip!

 

One of our first stops was to explore a boardwalk. As Rebekah, Pam and I strolled down the walk, Rebekah began to feel queasy. It seems the combination of altitude change from sea level to over 10.000 feet was not settling well. It is possible the day and nights of Florida heat with no air conditioning weakened her body’s ability to adjust.

 

Looking a little pale

 

I thought maybe lunch would perk her up so we began to look for a picnic area. Every time we found one, it was full. Finally we turned down a side road that lead to a horse camp. It was closed for the season and we had the whole area to ourselves!

 

 

As we drove higher in the mountains, we reached a tundra like area. Pretty even in its bareness. The views from there were lovely.

 

 

Rebekah was too nauseous to leave the car and spent the rest of the drive with her head down, resting her forehead on the back of the front seat. She gave me her camera and asked me to video the scenery she was missing.  Pam was a trooper. It can’t have been fun to ride next to someone who was being sick.

Colorado fall is famous for its Aspen trees. We assumed we were too early for the color but there were several patches scattered across the mountains.

 

 

 

It had been a long day for our Florida folks, so we decided to skip one of the other drives in the park. We made it back to our hotel in Denver in time to have supper at the welcome buffet. Rebekah  retired to her room with tea and crackers.

 

It’s in the Air!

17 Nov

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

author of Window Wonders

 

 

 

Something stirred in my soul today,
an excitement deep within.
The “Little Kid” in me wants to express herself.
“It’s holiday time again!”

 

There is something so special in the air,
It reaches down deep within our soul.
To glorify Christ in all that we do
should be our ultimate goal.

 

Look up. Around, and deep within.
His presence is truly made known.
How comforting it is for us to know
God is always “on His throne”.

 

Our mission on earth is to glorify Christ.
Our actions speak volumes. that’s true-
Think carefully before you speak.
Let others see Christ in you.

 

Let Others See Jesus In You by Eliza E. Hewitt

 

For the Love of Florida’s Butterflies

7 Nov

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

I thought I would do another series for a few months. I would like to share with you a true earth treasure. The butterfly.

 

 

A little creature that whispers Gods glory and gospel. The apostle Paul says we are works in progress and that our transformation from the old to the new is a struggle. All of creation is overflowing with living attributes paralleling the divine principles of life and struggle. Look at the transformation of the butterfly from egg to larva to butterfly, a supreme work of nature.

 

Monarch

 

It wasn’t until my admiration for them turned to passion that I wanted to photograph and learn the details of a butterflies life. It wasn’t just their magical beauty in my garden that thrilled me, but their life story. The one our God  wrote for them. Oh, what they go through to live and multiply. I call their life cycle “from mushy to majesty”.  The marvel of metamorphosis.

 

 

Sit in my butterfly garden with me in the weeks to come. I would like to share with you how you can enjoy butterflies in your yard, how to photograph them and to enjoy their beautiful story. Each week I will showcase a different Florida butterfly.

I am going to start with information about planting a successful butterfly garden next week. Then show you how to enjoy their entire life cycle by raising your own. The first butterfly showcase will be the Monarch since they are the most well known and are the easiest to attract and raise.

See ya next week.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Road Trip~ Fort Smith, Arkansas to Amarillo, Texas

2 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 10, 2017 Day 4

September 10 marked our second day of loading and unloading the truck. Since we were carrying sandwich makings for our daily picnic and other items needing to be kept cold, we had to carry in our coolers too.  What is all that stuff?

 

 

Our route today on Interstate 40 would take us through the rather monotonous plains of Oklahoma. Fortunately, On a previous trip out west my husband had his heart set on seeing the landscapes that were settings in the cowboy western movies of his youth. Unfortunately, our RV broke down and we had to forego stops to get back on schedule for our camping reservations.  I had a surprise planned for my husband on this leg of the trip.  A picnic in a cowboy canyon!

The tiny town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population 3,220, and is the home of Red Rock Canyon State Park. According to their website:

Red Rock Canyon was once a stop on the famous California Trail. Now visitors can enjoy this beautiful western Oklahoma oasis without bringing the Conestoga wagon. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a great place to hike, climb, or explore. Bring the family or bring the whole wagon train!

The timing of our arrival was perfect. We were ready to get off the interstate for gas as well as lunch. Driving into the park we began a sharp descent into the canyon. I was amazed at the abrupt change in the landscape and my sweet husband was thrilled to finally experience cowboy rocks!

 

 

Our daughter noticed that I seem to snap pictures of my husband  while he is chewing. It wasn’t intentional….honest.

 

 

After our picnic, we returned to Interstate 40, excited for our first glimpse of Texas. I am not a fan of hot weather, so all of our previous trips west took a northern route. Not the greatest picture, taken by my phone through the windshield.

 

 

I was surprised at the number of wind mills in Texas! There were acres and acres of them. We ended our day in Amarillo, Texas and I was ready to try some authentic Texas barbecue. I asked at the front desk and they recommended Dyer’s. It was hard to find as it is located in one of those shopping areas where the businesses blend into to setting.

 

Photo credit Yelp Review

 

We enjoyed the atmosphere and ordered a three meat plate. It was all delicious and I particularly liked their brisket and onion rings.The servers were friendly and their sweet tea was as good as my mama’s, strong and sweet.

 

Not chewing this time!

 

After supper, I spoke with our daughter on the phone. She had decided to ride out the storm in her home….alone. Hurricane Irma would be passing over her home in the evening hours. I knew I would not be getting much sleep.

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 3

13 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Circuitous travel, continued – last time I told you about how much we had enjoyed our time looking around the ruins of Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, England. In preparing for today’s episode, I found more pictures of Fountains Abbey, and would like to share some of them with you. If you ever get to England, this is a really neat place to visit.

 

Most of our day, following our stay overnight in Durham, was traveling. I have no pictures that we took of Durham, or Newcastle – and none until we arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here are a couple pictures of our room in the St. Valery’s Guest House.

 

 

 

It was a lovely place, and we stayed several nights there. It was managed by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Shannon. We had the good fortune to look out our room window one morning to capture this. They were still using a horse-drawn cart to deliver milk! Wonderful!

 

 

One funny incident – perhaps not funny at the time – happened there: One morning, Karen got up early and went to get her shower, before Janet woke up. When Karen went to go back into her room – the door was locked! And she had forgotten to take a key with her!! Since the girl’s room was next to ours, Fred began knocking on the wall next to their room, and eventually began knocking on the door, hoping to wake Janet up. After an excruciating 45 minutes of knocking, Mr. Shannon came up the stairs and asked if there was a “problem.” Fortunately, he had a key and let Karen in the room. Janet looked up, bleary-eyed and confused – and had not heard a single knock! She was a really hard sleeper! Karen never forgot the key after that!

The following morning we took a bus tour to St. Andrews. It was, essentially, an all-day tour, lasting from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Fred is a great fan of golf, so this was to be a special tour for him – to see where golf originated.

While there is some controversy about the origins of golf, I gleaned from Wikipedia:   The modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II’s banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first recorded in 1503-1504: “For golf clubbes and balles to the King that he playit with”. To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, a links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. Golf is documented as being played on Musselburgh Links, East Lothian, Scotland as early as 2 March 1672, which is certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Reflections

12 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

What does a mother say to her children
at the end of her days-
Those she has loved in so many ways?

 

“Oh, what joy I felt in my heart
when I was informed that new life
had its start.

 

Each of you was a blessing from above-
a gift of God-
the symbol of love.

 

Each is unique-
Not one is the same.
You are loved and admired
for who you are; what you became.

 

Your talents are many-
Thank God for each one.
They will nurture your being
when the day is done.

 

God will supply the strength
to face each new day-
I will be with you in spirit
every step of the way.

I Love you.

Mom”

 

 

Footnote:

Quote from Max Lucado:

“God knows that we are only pilgrims and that eternity
is so close that any “Good-bye” is, in reality, a
“See you tomorrow”.

 

 

 

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 9

23 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

More random memories….

 

A fun memory is of the winters in Albuquerque. It can get quite cold there,

 

 

and when the milkman delivered the milk to our back door – we would find that the liquid had “frozen” and the cream on top had pushed the cardboard liner out of the neck of the bottle, and it was standing several inches above the top of the bottle – with the paper cover on top! We always got a laugh out of that!

 

Daddy shoveling a pathway to the street.

18″ of snowfall this time.

 

While there was a doorbell button outside the front of the house, if one passed through the screened area, then you had to knock on the wooden front door to enter the house proper. Another interesting point is that there was also a doorbell button at the back door of the house! I had never seen that before – or since. It had a little different tone to it, so we knew someone was at the back door, rather than the front door.

I remember there was a huge weeping willow tree in the back yard. I remember it, especially, because when it was time for me to get a spanking, my parents made me go out and “pick out” the “switch” with which I was going to get my spanking! And if the switch wasn’t to their liking, then I had to go get another one! Fortunately, I don’t remember getting too many “switches” like that! When my parents put in the concrete fence, they moved the clothes lines to behind the garage – and it gave the back yard much more open space. And the weeping willow tree was gone!!

I remember starting piano lessons the day I started first grade. I would ride the bus from near our house to my piano teacher’s house – by myself at age six – clear across town. Of course, “across town” wasn’t too long a ride then. It was somewhere around 10+ miles travel. And remember – times were simpler then – and safer. My parents had no problem with my riding the bus by myself. It was a great adventure for a 6-year-old child!

 

Me at our old upright piano – notice my hair in pigtails!

 

Eventually, my teacher persuaded my parents to let her come to our house and teach the “northeast heights” students at our house. She wouldn’t charge for my lessons. So my parents purchased our new piano (which I still have), and the lessons began.

 


Our beautiful new piano

 

For the most part, I think my parents were glad to have them there. The only time they didn’t like it was when one of the students put an apple core down the toilet and plugged it up! What a mess that was!

 

I seldom saw my mother afraid of anything, but one time I did, and we had a good laugh out of it – after she calmed down. I’ve written about our cats – and especially the one who stayed with us the longest, Boots, or Bootsie, if you were baby-talking to him. He was a good old cat, and we really loved him. He was both an inside and outside cat, and back in those days, cats were not declawed, so he had his full complement of claws. For many years, Daddy had an apricot tree back behind the garage. Boots would go out and just sit and wait for the birds in the tree. Eventually, he would catch one. I never saw him actually catch the bird (my brother, Bill, says that he would shoot the birds with his bb-gun, and then Boots would pounce on it), but then Boot would bring it to the back door and just yowl until one of us – usually Mother – would find it, praise Boots for being such a good boy, and then he would kill and eat the bird.

 

Bill, myself and Boots

 

All that story to say that, there was one evening, after dark, Mother and I were coming home. As she parked the car in the driveway, we thought we saw “something” streak up and over the fence onto the patio. But neither of us were sure. That is, until she opened the back door – and in ran a mouse! Mother was absolutely dancing from foot- to-foot trying to get away from that mouse!! The funniest thing then happened: Boots came out of nowhere – and that mouse ran right into his mouth!! All you could see was that tale swinging back and forth! He took it outside – after we had praised him effusively – and made quick work of that mouse. And that is the last mouse we ever saw in our house!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 21

10 Apr

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 21,

Real Love

1 John 3:18-20

 

Beloved,

 

Humans talk a lot about love. But do you know what love is?

Get ready to practice my definition of love so you’ll know when you see the real thing.

One of the big things you need to know is that being hard on yourself blocks love for you and through you.

Self-criticism, guilt, and going over the past to see what you’ve done wrong goes against my idea of love.

If I want you to know something about yourself, I will tell you, no need to dig around and hurt yourself.

My conviction is timely and gentle. It will come as a relief, not as a tirade.

I am so much greater than your perceptions, worries, and judgements.

I know everything about you and that’s a lot more than you know about yourself.

Once you start putting your thinking under my control and stop condemning yourself, you are free and bold before me.

That’s when you experience the presence of my Holy Spirit flowing through you and setting things right.

That’s when you begin receiving whatever you ask in My name.

That’s when you can love others without judging them.

Three reasons why you can’t let go.

1 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Hubby and I agreed to get a brief video done. So I reached for my purse. “Wait a minute,” I said, “let me put on some lipstick before you begin.

Why can’t I toss vanity out the window? But dare I say that we all have a trace of that from time to time.

Some of us are way too appearance-conscious. We dress well to look sharp, wear black to look thin, fix the hair so we look young, and dress down to look cool.

And beyond how we look, we strive to do what might be impressive. We try hard to reach the top, we get busy to do good stuff or even go places to rave about what we did.

Those efforts aren’t bad, unless they rule our lives. Or unless they stir electric signals to the brain, keeping it awake when it should be resting.

At an Access Life event for folks and their families living with disabilities, a sort of strange animal taught me a big lesson about total trust and rest.

A friend put a “turin” in my hands. No misspelling there. This sort of weird little creature is half turkey and half chicken. The body of a chicken, the neck of a turkey and the head of a chicken. Since I’m not able to “see” it, I imagine it to be a sort of ugly creature.

But does it even show concern about its looks? You tell me. As I held it, it fell asleep. It had no clue a blind woman was holding it. It didn’t care how it looked, what appearance it displayed or even care about who took its picture. It showed no worry about others staring at her.

Why can’t we be like that? Why can’t we rest in peace just the way we are—with failures that might be known. With flaws that stand out. With weaknesses that are evident, or things left undone? And in face of it all, we, dare to live in complete trust. In total peace. And undisturbed confidence, the kind of confidence that we too fall asleep in God’s arms.

But we can. And here are three steps to enjoy sweet sleep in those long nights:

  1. Smile at the image in the mirror. Admire God’s creation and repeat: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) If He made us wonderfully, why fret about our body?
  2. No matter what happens, what doesn’t happen, we rest, fully and completely because of where we are: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2) With Him as our fortress and refuge, worry and tension can’t exist.
  3. Let go what is yet undone. The work God is doing in us is not completed. The plans He has for us are still in action because God’s Word says, “For 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) If God prepared the work, He’s mighty enough to show us the way to accomplish it.

Father, when restlessness robs our sleep, may we recognize that your kindness, your nurturing and protection is enough to grant the calmness of our thoughts, the peace in our heart and the serenity for our days. We will claim full rest each night, in Jesus name, we declare. Amen.

  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • Do your thoughts align with God’s Word?
  • How do you find restful sleep?

Janet

 

 

Source: Three reasons why you can’t let go. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

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