Tag Archives: Christian

How to become a winner. | Janet Perez Eckles

11 Jul

Recently, I sat beside my dearest friend at a banquet presented by AWSA (Advanced Authors and Speakers Association) as I munched the yummy dish before me, I listened to the awards being issued to illustrious authors in various categories. There was even an award to singer, comedian, and author, Chonda Pierce.

And when the details were announced about the candidate for the BEYOND ME AWARD for modeling a “You first life in a me first world,” I was quite impressed by the description of that individual.

Suddenly, my friend elbowed me. “Stop eating.”

I gave her a puzzled look.

When my name echoed in the room as the winner, I tried to swallow, but it wasn’t easy as the excitement, surprise, joy and deep gratitude nearly choked me.

I did not deserve this award. And nope, contrary to what you might think, the award which is given to those who go “beyond themselves” to reach out to others didn’t define me. But rather it defined God’s grace and His loving nature.

That night I lay on the pillow of disbelief and gratitude. Not only was the award lovely, it served as the reminder to keep going, keep on believing, serving and hoping. Pressing forward through struggles, pain, hardships and disappointments. While we press on, in spite of the enemy’s discouraging whispers, we draw closer to the reward that has nothing to do with earthly recognition, but everything to do with God’s eternal rewards.

via How to become a winner. | Janet Perez Eckles.

via How to become a winner. | Janet Perez Eckles.

South of the Border~Part 1

15 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Bill Stars Plane

 

In the summer of 2002 our church here in Titusville, FL sponsored a construction project and trip to northeastern Mexico, to build houses for homeless people living in that area. A Christian family organization by the name of Only A Servant Ministries, Inc. (OSM) in San Antonio, Texas organizes the building project trips. Once the trip plans and funding have been finalized with a given visiting group, OSM coordinates locating the building sites, securing all the necessary local Mexican permits, and arranging for power and water to each building site. Then they clear the designated sites, dig the foundations, pour the slabs and buy all the necessary building materials for each visiting team they have arriving to build a very basic 16’ x 20’ house.   All of this is done ahead of the arrival date of the visiting groups, so that no time is taken away from the actual building time. They also schedule travel time to and from the building sites in Mexico, and arrange for all transportation, housing and food requirements for the visiting groups. It’s a huge coordination effort that they somehow managed to accomplish, sometimes as many as12-15 times each year. 1                                    For our particular trip, 23 of us left Orlando, FL on Saturday, and flew to San Antonio, TX where we were met by our OSM hosts, the Kennedy family. After we found all of our luggage, we had a quick lunch (nothing is very quick when you are dealing with 25 people) and then headed for the Singing Hills Retreat Center (about 45 minutes northeast of San Antonio), where we would spend the night. 2 After settling in, we had time to visit the Kennedy’s ranch compound (about 30 minutes from the retreat center), where we did some relaxing, and then some of our group helped prepare dinner for the large gathering (the Kennedys had 10 of their 13 children at home for that meal). After dinner, we had a wonderful time getting acquainted with everyone, before we headed back to the Retreat Center for a good night’s rest. 3 After breakfast Sunday morning, we traveled to the nearby Natural Bridge Park and attended a short church service in the park. After the church service, we toured the Natural Bridge Caverns, which were discovered in 1960, and get their name from the limestone slab bridge, which was formed when a sinkhole collapsed below it, and now spans the cavern’s entrance. These caverns are beautiful and said to be some of the largest commercial caverns in the United States. 4 After our tour, we stopped for lunch at the Alamo Café, and then took time for a short stroll on the famous River Walk which it is said evolved, over the years, from the aftermath of a 1921 flood of the San Antonio River. After that beautiful experience, we headed back to the Kennedy ranch for some free time. 5 Then, after dinner, our group all gathered around so Ken could give us a detailed pre-trip briefing about what we could expect during the next week’s activities. After the briefing, we were free to enjoy the serenity of the ranch and its surroundings before heading back to the Retreat Center and bed.

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—–To be continued—–

 

Texas Bluebonnets

15 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

                                                    

                                    

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Some of my family is from Texas – actually my brother and I were born in Dallas, but moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico when we were small children. But my mother’s mother (Granny) and her oldest daughter, Jessie, lived in San Antonio for many years.

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Consequently, I had known about the Texas Bluebonnets for longer than I really knew what they were.

4

 

Even though Fred and I lived in Fort Worth for many years, it wasn’t until we moved to San Antonio that I really knew about the Texas Bluebonnets. And they are AMAZING! They have been adopted as the state flower of Texas.

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On the internet I found this: As historian Jack Maguire so aptly wrote, “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat.” He goes on to affirm that “The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”  Well said.

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When Springtime comes to Texas – from the Dallas/Fort Worth area down to the Corpus Christi area – the Bluebonnets are in full bloom, from late March to mid-April. They are the most dainty, beautiful flower, and we’ve see just fields and fields of them – like a blanket of blue in some cases. I’ve been sent many pictures of them via e-mail through the years, and have enjoyed seeing them all.

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There is even one of Bluebonnets in the snow! Must have been a late storm – although Dallas/Fort Worth can have abundant snow in early Spring.

When we moved from San Antonio to Florida, I took some Bluebonnet seeds with me and planted them, hoping for some lovely spring flowers to remind me of Texas. No such luck! As I’ve just gleaned from google, they must be planted in the fall and have to have the wind, rain, and cold weather to make them leap forth in the Spring. And the panhandle of Florida just doesn’t have that kind of winter weather. Shucks! Oh well, I then planted strawberry plants and they did very well.

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But the Texas Bluebonnet is a source of great pride for Texas – as if they needed something else! And they are just a beautiful side of Texas that most don’t know about. I think a lot of people think of Texas as dusty, flat, and unimaginative. But it is full of great differences, including some of the most beautiful flowers in God’s creation.

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                       I’m just so glad I was able to see them, and enjoy their beauty.

 

For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

 

Three secrets to knowing God’s will.

14 Mar

Janet told me that watching the video, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” inspired today’s blog.

Five secrets to change and become a better person.

7 Mar

We all get comfortable, don’t we. I like my comfort zone.

How to find security. Five important steps.

28 Feb

Happy Saturday! How do you define security?

Life Is But A Minute

27 Feb

From my Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

 

When asked, “What is the greatest surprise

you have found about life?” Your response

will be, “The brevity of it”

 

I have lived to a ripe old age, but my

emotions are not ruled by a calendar page.

I am moved to tears by poignant moments in time.

I weep when others weep.

Laugh when others laugh.-

without reason or rhyme.

 

Yes, life is but a minute.

but eternity is in it…

Keep looking up, dear friend.

Christ is waiting at the cross for you.

His dearest desire is to communicate with you.

Life on earth is not the end.

 

John 9:4

“I must work the work of Him who sent me

while it is day. The night cometh when no

man can work.

 

Cross at sunset

Writing and Painting

23 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and ArtistWhen I started writing blogs for Old Things R-New and Rebekah Lyn Books, I was working on the novel, Go West and enjoying it immensely. Painting had taken a back seat and I thought I was over it. But people kept saying they liked my prints and the paintings on my walls and when I remembered how much I enjoyed splashing paint around. My fingers began to itch for a brush.

The more I painted, the more I neglected the things I thought I ought to be doing. I wrote out several long talks with the Lord asking how I could find time to paint and to keep up with my writing goals, as well and he gave me some new ideas.

Finally, my angel, and enabler Onisha and I sat at a table in the Target Starbucks and talked it over. I had also been writing paraphrases from the Bible and I wanted to illustrate them. Onisha suggested we serialize the novel and use it instead of blogs and she liked the idea of the Promise Posters too.

So now, I’m painting and writing and I’m having a wonderful time. If you see any Go West illustrations or Promise Posters you’d like to buy, they will be available as prints and note cards at www.creativeartworks.com. Come join me in my new big adventure.

“Posters and Cards of the Go West paintings will be available on Creative Artworks soon.

 

Knocked Down, But for Good Reason

20 Feb

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

Louise Gibson

 

My maternal instinct is to protect and nurture the young.

A new-born is so defenseless, you’ll agree.

So when I read an account of a newborn giraffe,

it disturbed the “mother” in me.

 

The giraffe is strange and homely creature in appearance,

and his movements are awkward and peculiar to see.

Giraffe child-birthing is so strange and so bizarre-

Why it is so is a mystery to me.

 

Gary Richmond wrote an article on giraffe calves

that caught my attention.

It offended my maternal instincts, to be true.

Allow me to share what little I know.

Let’s see how it resonates with you.

 

Gary had been invited to a zoo where a native giraffe

was about to give birth.  The anticipated moment was

not a disappointment.  A calf, a plucky male hurled forth,

falling ten feet and landing on its back. The mother giraffe

gives birth to its young standing up, and the distance from

the birth canal to the ground is about ten feet.

 

Are you still reading?  Think of this. Ten foot is about the

height for dunking a basketball, plus about four extra inches

So the calf falls out of its mother ten feet above ground

and landed on its back.  It lay there a few moments and

then, according to the story, it scrambled over to get its

legs underneath so that it could take a look around and

check out the world it had just entered.

 

The mother lowered her head to see the baby, then

she moved until she was directly above the calf.

About a minute passed and then came a shocking surprise.

The mother moved her great long leg outward and booted

her baby through the air.  The calf sprawled head over heels

across the ground puzzled and protesting.

 

The zoologist explained, “She wants him to get up-

and if he doesn’t get up, she is going to do it again.”

Sure enough, the process was repeated again and again.

And the struggle to rise was momentous. And as the baby

grew tired of trying, the mother would again stimulate its

effort with a hearty kick.

 

Amidst the cheers of the animal staff the calf stood up

and for the first time, wobbly to be sure, but there it stood

on its wobbly legs.  They were struck silent when the

mother knocked it off its feet again.

 

“To remember how it got up”. Doesn’t God nurture us

in just the same rough way sometimes?  And if we are

ignorant as to His methods and purposes, the actions can

seem cold and even cruel..

 

We finally struggle to our feet, and it seems we are kicked again.

But our Heavenly Father knows that love must be tough-

and it must take the long view.  God knows the world will

fall apart and we must be sturdy ourselves to stay on our feet.

 

Life has thrown us a curve, and it’s a hard thing for us

to cope with.  Even so Lord…praise Your blessed name.

 

baby giraffe

After Christmas…

5 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

 Judy Wills

Judy Wills

 

Christmas is such a joyous time.  I love the decorations – not only at our house – but also those that the neighbors put up.  Ours is rather tame compared to some of our neighbors, but that’s okay…….we have what WE enjoy!

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I love the season that reminds us that our Savior was born – to bring us life everlasting in His presence.  I’m sorry that society has made it into something so commercial, that so many people can’t see past the glitter to see God’s handiwork.  We received an e-mail from some friends who are working with Wycliffe Bible Translators, telling of some translators in Nigeria who were working on Luke 2:7, where “She [Mary] gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”  After pondering the word “manger” the locals used a word.  When the Wycliffe translator asked what that word meant, they said it was a “cradle” hung by ropes where the newborn could be laid and it could be swung.

The Wycliffe translator tried to get them to understand that was not what happened – that Jesus came in the lowest possible way, that it wasn’t just a matter of tradition. God expects us to find the words that express the original meaning as accurately as possible. Furthermore, this word tells us something profound about God.  “When He came to live among us and bring salvation to us, He came in the lowliest way possible. He did not come and sleep in a nice rope-hung cradle like every mother wants for her newborn.  Instead, He showed us his unbelievable humility.  So we need to find your best word for an animal feeding trough.”

Suddenly the one who had argued most loudly for the traditional term offered, “We feed our animals out of an old worn-out basket that is not usable anymore except to feed the animals. We have another word for it.” 

And so they used that word. 

That story reminded me of a man in our church who works on the Jesus film for the Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru).  He said that there was a translator working with the team in Africa going from village to village, and he would translate.  But it wasn’t until they took the film to HIS village, and he heard the story in his heart language that he finally understood the message of Christ!

God has made it so very easy for us to know and find Him.  In the “after-Christmas” we must hang on to the message that God sent his one and only Son to be born in the lowliest way possible, and grow into the man who would die for our sins, so we can live forever in His presence. 

How very great is our God!! 

 Psalm 8:9

Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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