Tag Archives: Christian living

Transition to Maine~Part 3

24 Aug


Judy Wills



In addition to setting up house at Loring AFB, we started looking for a church home. There weren’t very many Southern Baptist Churches in that area – actually only one – so we scoped it out. They didn’t have their own building, and were meeting in the Odd Fellows hall in Caribou. It wasn’t ideal, especially on the Sundays after the Odd Fellows had been having a party on Saturday night with beer flowing freely. We frequently had to clean up the hall before we could hold our services on Sunday. (Fred and I were only in Maine for 13 months, and after we left, the church rented space on Sundays from the Knights of Columbus. Several years after that, they built their own building). However, the church was strong and the fellowship was tremendous. One of the best things we found in the churches we were in that had a large military membership – the rank came off when we walked through the door. We were all just fellow believers in Christ. We met many people there who became good friends, and some we’ve even retained contact with throughout the years. We’ve also had the pleasure of meeting up with them when they have come down to Orlando for their time at Disney. That’s such a joy!




The Weather Detachment that Fred was assigned to was a fairly cohesive group, as well. He started in working right away. Loring AFB was a first-defense base with bombers, aerial refueling and interceptor aircraft stationed there. One section of the base was on constant alert. Loring was the closest U.S. base to Europe and U.S.S.R.

Loring AFB was named in 1954 posthumously for Major Charles J. Loring, Jr., USAF, a Medal of Honor recipient during the Korean War. During the morning of 22 November 1952, he led a flight of F-80 Shooting Stars on patrol over Kunwha. After beginning a dive bombing run and getting hit, he entered into a controlled dive and destroyed a Chinese gun emplacement on Sniper Ridge which was harassing United Nations troops, by deliberately crashing his aircraft into the emplacement.


Public schools in Aroostock County started in August. They were in session for three weeks then broke for two or three weeks for the potato harvest. Local farmers hired students and airmen looking for some extra money to help with the harvest. Then school resumed.

There was only pre-kindergarten through elementary grades on base – other grades/schools are in town. Karen was able to attend a part-time pre-k there. She got to ride a bus to school and was thrilled. Unfortunately, Fred and I were in tears to see her go!

Busy,Fun and Throw Back Thursday

7 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

Onisha Ellis

This past week was fun and busy. My aunt and cousin came to visit. We ate a lot of food and especially dessert! My aunt is a great cook and I try to learn something from her whenever we are together. My cousin is a talented crafter. I shamelessly took advantage of her to get some bows made for Christmas. In addition, she learned how to make those ruffled scarves that are so popular and she made two of them for me. Don’t tell Rebekah, but they are for her.

photo photo 1

The last Sunday they were with us, I suggested a Sunday afternoon drive. Does anyone remember doing that back in the 1950’s? We had a delicious buffet lunch in Franklin at The Boiler Room, then loaded up in Mike’s truck and headed for the hills.

We decided to take one of our favorite quiet drives, Balsam Mountain road off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a one-way drive through natural forest. It does not have spectacular vistas but it is perfect if you want the whole woods experience without snakes and bugs. Just before the entrance to the drive is a fantastic picnic area. Fantastic if you like a quiet picnic in what looks like an enchanted forest. The tables are big stones set on stones with logs for benches. We loved it. Next we left the picnic area and began the drive.

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Time to wrap up this post. We are going to a picnic tonight by the creek of someone at church. Since today is Throw Back Thursday I will add  that  thirty or so years ago, I was busy with another creek bank. My friend Sharon and i worked with the children in our church on a musical, “Down by the Creek Bank” My favorite line from the play is “aren’t the stars pretty?”. I’m not sure I can stay awake long enough to view the stars tonight!

The Art of Living the Bible

4 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and ArtistAt one time in history it was essential that educated people knew and understood the Bible, especially writers. It is still necessary for Christian writers because we are teachers whether we think of ourselves that way or not.

We can get anything from the Bible we want. If we’re militant, the military is there. If we regularly stress with too much work, we can find more work and pressure in the Bible. If we’re tired of driving our lives in the fast lane, we can find peace on almost every page of the Bible. It’s all in how we perceive it.

In addition, we can find various ways, to read the Bible. Seminary students must study the Bible as a textbook, a history book, a literature book, and a language book, but as open-minded writers, we are free to read it any way we want, especially if we ask the Spirit of Christ to guide us into understanding.

This is my favorite way to utilize its wisdom at this time in my life.

Every year I buy a small, page-a-day Bible verse calendar, and each day I tear off the page and splack it to a new journal page. I then use it as a prompt. I get out a Bible and write out the verses using four criteria.

  1. Write from the point of view of the author, which is God, not man.
  2. Write in the present tense. For instance if it says, I am going to bless you, write, I bless you now.
  3. Don’t dwell on descriptions of sin. Jesus has already atoned for our sins and shortcomings. We’re interested now in going ahead with Him.
  4. Write down things that expand the passage to your satisfaction. (Judge these things against the rest of the Bible.)

In this way, I receive revelation and insight and welcome many joyful surprises. Here’s a sample from Ecclesiastes 3:11. This book of the Bible tells repeatedly how futile it is to live out of our own intellect instead of following the Spirit of Christ.

My Beloved Child, I made everything beautiful for its time. One flower, one butterfly, one tree—although impermanent, is beautiful in itself–nothing added. So are you. Love and work are my gifts to you.

Stop trying to fix the past or re-live the good times. Stop Worrying about the future. Nothing your imagination makes up is going to happen, but if something seemingly bad happens, you won’t have known about it in advance. Relax, do your jobs, always try to love and forgive. “One handful of peaceful repose is worth two fistfuls of worried work.” (Direct quotation)

Here’s another quotation, this one from artist advocate, Jill Badonsky from her book, The Muse is in. “Everything in life is art. From how you walk and how you smile at a stranger to how you love someone and the way you choose to feel. It’s art.”

2 Timothy 3:14 in The Message says:

There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word, we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

What is your protocol for absorbing the Word of God these days?

Winning Against Worry

27 Jun

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders




All the water in the world,
however hard it tried,
could never sink a ship
unless it got inside.
All the hardships of this world
might wear you pretty thin-
But they won’t hurt you one least bit
unless you let them in.


Lord, why did it take so long
to reach this plateau-
to savor the moment I am in?
An acceptance of things I cannot change
has wondrously eased my chagrin.


The “serenity prayer” holds such wisdom-
Simply apply it to your heart.
God has not promised skies always blue,
But from our heart He will never depart.


There is no use in carrying around “worry and regret”.
They only weigh you down.
Always keep yourself open to hope and to love.
A smile will replace a frown


Make these words your battle cry
as you take on the Giant of Worry.
Louise Gibson

“Don’t dwell on tomorrow’s stress
Jesus told us that “tomorrow will take
care of itself.” (Mathew 6:24)


“Look inside, be kind to yourself”
Psalm 63:3 “Thy loving kindness is better than life.”


” The night doesn’t last forever,
and tomorrow will surely come.”

“Worry about nothing-
Pray about everything”

“When God pushes you to the edge,
trust Him fully, because only two things can happen.
Either He will catch you when you fall,
or He will teach you how to fly”.
Author unknown

Another Serendipity

8 Jun


Judy Wills



We’ve had so many “serendipity” times happen in our lives. I’m convinced that they are God’s way of giving us some unexpected joy in our lives. So while I call them serendipity, I really know better.

This one happened some time ago, while we were living in Virginia. There was a Taco Bell where Fred and I liked to eat, about five minutes from our house. We stopped there often. One time, during the summer, we stopped, and noticed that the doors were standing open. Uh-oh – that’s not a good sign! Sure enough, the AC was off. There were no other customers in the store, so we had the place to ourselves.

The manager actually waited on us himself. He had on a long-sleeved white shirt, tie, and his sleeves were rolled up – but rolled under, rather than up. I commented on the AC and on how his sleeves were rolled the way our son-in-law rolled his. Then I asked why he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt in that heat. He said that he wanted to look professional, and that was his work “uniform.” The conversation went on a while, then he asked us for our order. He then “fiddled” with the register a bit, and when he gave me the total – it was at least $1.00 less than usual. When I questioned him about it, he just grinned at me, so I said, “should I just take it and run with it?” and he nodded yes.

Every other time we were in that Taco Bell, if he was at the register, the total would be less. We never asked for nor demanded that we get a discount, but only when he was working, did we get the discount. We always waved, smiled, or spoke to him.

Neat story, however, that’s not the end of it. Some years later – after we had moved to Florida – we were back in Virginia visiting. We had flown into the airport in Norfolk that time, and we were driving back to Norfolk for our return trip. We took a wrong exit and were fussing at each other about how to get back to the right place. We saw a Taco Bell up ahead, and decided to stop for lunch.

I ordered, then took the drink cups over to fill at the machine. When I was done, Fred said, “look who’s here.” I looked up and saw this same man bringing our food on the tray to the counter, with a confused look on his face, as if to say “where have I seen this order before?” (My order was rather unique) Then he looked up and saw us and grinned from ear to ear. Seems he had gotten a lateral transfer and was now working in Norfolk. It was actually a promotion for him, as it was much closer to where he lived, so he saved in time and gas money. We spoke for a short time and renewed acquaintances.

Just think……….if we hadn’t taken the wrong exit, we would never have known that he had transferred and where he was then working.

Just a little thing, but it filled us with joy. It’s been a fun remembrance for us.





After Easter “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley”

26 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

DiVoran and David Bowers

DiVoran and David Bowers

My brother and I on Easter circa 1949. Mother made the dark blue and white dotted Swiss dress for me. David wore that sweater all winter for several winters. This story isn’t about us; it’s about this past Easter many years later.


Do you like routines and schedules? I like them so much I plan carefully so that they won’t go agley, as Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, put it:The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley.” (“To a Mouse”)

People in our church want me, as the children’s Sunday school teacher to put on an Easter egg hunt every year. So I bought the eggs last year. We already had the baskets to gather them into. I got the candy in the last weeks before Easter, but had to go back for more. I spent an hour or two putting candy in the eggs.

The plan was to go out on the playground during adult Sunday school and “hide” the eggs, but when we left the house, a misty rain was falling onto the windshield of the car and my plans began  to go agley so I asked Bill to be praying about what I should do. He surprised me by praying that the rain would stop in time for the hunt. But, still, when could I hide the eggs?

In the middle of praise team practice, I recalled that I hadn’t brought my camera. I didn’t want to miss taking pictures of the beautiful children in their Easter finery, so I asked Bill to go home and get it. I could hide eggs while he was gone.

It had stopped raining by the time praise team practice was over, but three feisty boys were using the playground and I didn’t want to make them go inside. I decided I’d just let them and the two girls who had arrived hide the eggs with me.

The girls and I walked out and I started to get the eggs out of the trunk of the car, but guess where the car was? It was with Bill going home to get the camera. The girls and I went back inside. Church started. We’d have to make do with the kids hiding the eggs during the time they were supposed to be hunting for them. Finally, it was time. By now, we had five girls and three boys. It seemed everyone was having a good time except for Trivona. She’s being reared by an aunt who loves her and who is a capable and efficient person.

“Why do we have to hide our own eggs,” Trivona asked.

“It’s fun, isn’t it?” I asked hopefully.

“The Easter egg hunt we went to yesterday was more fun—the children didn’t have to hide their own eggs,” she answered.

“It’s a long story.” I patted her head patronizingly.

She looked up at me with interest in her big brown eyes.

“You don’t want to hear the story do you?”

“Yes I do.”

“Oh, well…” I told it all, the rain, the car.“Is that a good story?” I asked when I finished.

“No,” she said.

“Oh, then I’m sorry I told you,” wishing I hadn’t bored her.

“It was a good story,” she said carefully, “but if you plan better next time, the children won’t have to hide their own eggs.”

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14.

Someday maybe Trivona will read Robert Burns and surely, then, she will understand.

Janet Perez Eckles~ Finding Lasting Satisfaction

17 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
Janet Perez Eckles

Have you ever been happy with yourself, totally satisfied? I felt that way a few weeks ago when I re-wrote the first chapter of the novel I had just completed. The story, engaging and the characters, sassy and insightful. The end product was, well, a masterpiece (pride aside, of course).

Then it happened. I got it back from the editor. I swallowed hard and my shoulders drooped with disbelief. The whole thing was riddled with corrections, questions, and endless suggestions for improvements. I cringed, but accepting the changes was imperative because the editor had in mind a great product and a better story. She outlined her plan for results that, no doubt, would shine.

Read the rest of the story at Janet’s blog. I promise you,it is worth the click! : http://www.janetperezeckles.com/finding-lasting-satisfaction/#sthash.Fv2yEtyg.dpuf

The book of our life has a happy ending when we leave the planning and the plot to the God of the universe because “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Janet Eckles Perez





Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

What Makes God Anxious

8 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

What makes God anxious?  The word anxious tends to make one think of anxiety but I never thought to  link the words anxious and God together.

This morning, I read a devotional by David Wilkerson titled “The Blessings of Goodness” The scripture that really stood out for me was Isaiah 65:24

It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will “hear”.

David Wilkerson explained “This verse provides us with an incredible picture of our Lord’s love for us. Evidently He is so anxious to bless us, so ready to fulfill His loving-kindness in our lives, that He cannot wait for us to tell him our needs. He jumps in and performs acts of mercy, grace and love toward us before we even ask-and that is a supreme pleasure to Him”

Imagine, God  can hardly wait to  provide for us! Can you recall a time when God had already placed someone or something in your life before you even knew you had a need? I have and it thrills my heart, every time.

Overcoming Fear of Snakes

26 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

04-25-14 lizardI’m a rare bird. I’m not afraid of snakes, not really. Could it be that I don’t see them?

The other day this was put to the test. My 6-year-old granddaughter jumped on my lap. “Nana! There is a huge lizard on the carpet.”

Huge lizard? She likes lizards and she usually guides my hand to grab them by the tail (catching them happens to be a common thing in Florida).  But this “huge” lizard might in reality be a snake.

So what does a logical, collected and calm blind Nana do? I grabbed my most effective and best weapon—a broom. “Quick, honey. Guide Nana to the place you see it and I’ll sweep it away.”

After many diligent but futile efforts of chasing that reptile under the toy box, under the clothes hamper, inside the closet, we gave up.

Not knowing where it would appear next, peace for the day slithered out, too.

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Life is going along fine and then suddenly something appears unwanted, unexpected.

-Read more of Janet’s encouraging message  at: http://www.janetperezeckles.com/overcoming-fear-of-snakes/#sthash.cZS4KpdS.dpuf

His Way

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

How to Overcome Insecurities

12 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
Janet Perez Eckles

As a teenager, I wish I had known how to overcome not only insecurities, but self-doubt and timidity, too. Like my monogrammed purse, I carried them everywhere. You would expect that at my age, I would have conquered them. Not so.

“It’s upside down, hanging on the pole,” hubby said as he stood looking out the patio door. “It ate all the bird seed.”

“What did?” Curiosity sparked in me.

When he told me it was a possum, I cringed. Although they’re God’s creatures, I dislike them more than a little. They rip our garbage bags, eat the eggs cute ducks lay, and ruin our yard. And to make it more disgusting, the bird seed we prepared for the birdies were now feeding the very creatures I so dislike. Yuck!

But sadly, that wasn’t the only time I fed something I disliked. I had been a pro at feeding my insecurities with lies—my friends won’t accept me if I say something wrong. Why try something new, I’ll surely fail.

– See more at: http://www.janetperezeckles.com/how-to-overcome-insecurities/#sthash.s4DLVaLv.dpuf

His Way







Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you

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