Tag Archives: Encouragement

Rock Solid

17 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

I saw this on Amy Voskamp”s website Monday night. During a difficult period in my teens, I lost all confidence in myself. As I began to think on my past and what had precipitated my crisis, I realized that as I drew away from God, so my confidence fell away. Eventually I learned the only identity that mattered was my identity in Christ.

 

 

How to see God’s hand in our darkness

14 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Reblogged July 14, 2018

 

Some friends and I sat at a table in a local restaurant. “Hi Amy!” I said looking in the direction of my friend’s three-year old little girl. “Did you like your visit to Disney World?”

She didn’t answer.

“Honey,” her mommy said, “Mrs. Eckles can’t see. You have to say yes out loud, not just nod your head.”

We chuckled.

“Close your eyes,” her mom said. “That’s what Mrs. Eckles sees.”

We continued our visit, her mom and I chatted about silly stuff during the meal. Then suddenly Amy’s mom paused. “I’m sorry Amy; you can open your eyes now. And go ahead and eat your food.”

We hadn’t realized during the whole time we were talking, she still had them closed, and the plate of food, untouched, sat before her.

Setbacks and Disappointments

That reminded me when the sting of setbacks, the jolt of disappointment closed the eyes of my heart. And in the darkness of my pain, I missed God’s banquet set before me.

We all do that sometimes. The rehashing of negative details blocks the view. And dark memories of the wound cover the path to healing.

Blind to all that goodness, we test God’s patience. How often must He whisper, Open those eyes and check out the banquet of blessings I placed before you. Look at the possibilities. Take a peek at what I have prepared for you.

It’s all for us.

He offers and invites us to see what he designed. He longs to show us His hand at work right now. At this moment. In our current situation. And in the midst of today’s heartache.

In each of them, He’s preparing something new, something good and beautifully unexpected. He warns not to look back; but focus ahead. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Our days shine with hope, with fresh beauty, and with delight when we choose to perceive what God is offering.

Let’s Pray

Father, open my eyes to see beyond my circumstance, beyond the hurt. And instead, help me to look at the colorful horizon painted by your love for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What might God want you to see in the midst of your situation?

Janet

______________________________________

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.

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: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/encouragement/how-to-see-gods-hand-in-our-darkness.html

Janet Eckles Perez

 

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

Where’s My Bag?

30 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by SIght

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Reblogged June 30, 2018

If you’re like me, while traveling, your mind wonders with possibilities. Unable to see, I sometimes think about someone walking away with my bag or me grabbing someone else’s suitcase. Despite those thoughts flashing through at times, I still travel with no worries.

But, on one trip, that very thing happened. The plane landed, and armed with patience and chatting our time away, my friend and I sat in our seats waiting for other passengers to disembark. Suddenly, my friend calls out, “That’s my bag!”

Someone had slipped her bag from the overhead compartment and was pulling it away down the aisle.

Good thing she noticed. In addition to her laptop, she had stored valuable material she worked hours to create.

Promises from Psalm 103

Sad, isn’t it? When we least expect it, we can risk losing something critical, something that belongs to us, something we hold dear, valuable and essential. But in the airport of life, the truly crucial possessions of the soul that no one can take away are outlined in Psalm 103:

  • No one can rob our self-assurance because we always remember all God’s benefits-and He who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases.
  • No one can rob our hope because He redeems our life from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion.
  • Nothing can snatch our expectation for good things because He satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
  • No one can steal our strength when facing attacks because the LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
  • When feeling guilty or condemned, nothing can rob His love because the LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
  • Reassurance for mercy belongs to us because He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever.
  • His comfort is ours because He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him.
  • Freedom of forgiveness has our name written on it because as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

How’s that for good news? When traveling through life, have you marked all those attributes with your name? They belong to us; God meant for us to engrave them in the label of our heart. And if the enemy is trying to sneak them down the aisle of your life, claim them with all you got!

Let’s pray.

Father, thank you for your many promises. Thank you that we can use them to defeat the enemy. Thank you for being completely trustworthy, and full of mercy. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Janet

______________________________________

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.

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.

 

 

 

Janet Eckles Perez

 

Some say she should be the last person to be dancing. Her life is summarized in this 3-minute video: http://bit.ly/1a8wGJR

Janet Perez Eckles’ story of triumph is marked by her work as an international speaker, #1 best-selling author, radio host, personal success coach and master interpreter. Although blind since 31, her passion is to help you see the best of life.

www.janetperezeckles.com

God is with us, always and forever.

16 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

 

 

God is with us, always and forever.

Reblogged June 16, 2018

“May I take that out of your way?”

S-L-O-W  S-L-O-W  S-L-O-W

I hate when the waitress asks that question. That means those with whom we’re having dinner have finished their meals, and it’s a sign for me to hurry. Tough to do because chances are I’m still munching away and have a half-filled plate of food still in front of me.

Why I eat so slowly is a mystery I’ll never figure out. Some tease saying it’s because I talk too much during meals. But I have tried eating in silence. It didn’t work.

I’m still the last one to finish, wa-a-a-ay after everyone has ordered dessert, cups of coffee, and run out of conversation.

I guess I can ask for a doggy bag…but they always end up in the trash.

Our friends are too polite to complain. And hubby never expresses impatience. Take that back…one day he did say he’d bring a book to read while he waits for me.

He Will Always Stick Around

But no matter what, I know he’ll stick around with me until the end. He always has and I’m confident he still will.

God is also like that. He’s with us till the end—whether we’re in the middle of a conflict, writing a book, dealing with broken relationships, or just figuring life out—He’s with us till the end.

Why?

“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end” (Psalm 48:14).

So…if you’re wondering who’s going to stick by your side no matter what…here’s another promise for you:

“[God] In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102: 24-26).

Life changes, but He remains the same. People disappoint you, but His love still pulls you forward. Circumstances turn dark, but His light of hope still shines.

Let’s Pray

Father God, every one of us has felt alone at times…abandoned…without hope. But Praying you lean on Him till the end. But your Words to us through the Bible are clear: you are with us. You will be our guide to the end. May we lean on your promises to be with us always. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Janet

______________________________________

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.

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: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/god-is-with-us-always-and-forever.html

6 Steps to Bring Back Peace

9 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

 

6 Steps to Bring Back Peace

Reblogged on June 9, 2018

Very Carefully

New friends ask me, “Being blind, how do you put on your make-up?”

My answer is simple: I do it carefully.

After living with complete blindness for 33 years, I often forget my limitations. But trouble comes when getting ready to go out. I pry myself from endless tasks. At the last minute, I rush around like a crazy woman. I hop in the shower, slip on my robe and dash into my walk-in closet. Frantically, I slide hangers, looking for any outfit to wear.

How do I do this with no sight? It’s pretty simple. When I purchase an item, I store in my memory its characteristics—the texture, the shape of the neckline, buttons or length of sleeve. One light touch tells me what the item is. But when I’m in a hurry, trying to find the right outfit gets a bit tough. Not because I can’t see, but because I just have too many clothes. Way more than any blind gal should be allowed to have. The bar holding all those hangers is probably sagging from the weight.

A jammed-filled closet and a jammed-filled life.

Oh, how my jammed closet resembled my life—full of tasks of all kinds and sizes. Like a squirrel running from tree to tree, I’d dash from one task to another.

I had no choice—lots of people to please. Fueling that desire, even as a young girl, I tried to perform to win my parents’ and teachers’ approval. Later on, I wanted to please my family, my employer, and my friends. Phew! I thought that the only way to please myself was by pleasing them.

Have you been there? The pleasing craze explodes. We rush through life eager to make someone happy. And the level of stress and tension rises like the thermometer in Orlando’s summers.

So this season of our life, how about if we vow to cool off. God never meant us to live in the heat of tension. He gave one pretty refreshing directive: “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-37).

The 6 Secrets

When life sags from the weight of countless tasks, obeying His greatest commandment is the key to peaceful success.  Early In the morning as we slide our feet into our slippers, this is what should play in our head: Loving God means receiving His peace. And when the world robs it, here are six secrets to bring it back:

  1. Inviting Him into our day.
  2. Drawing wisdom from His word to place the correct order to our priorities.
  3. Presenting Him with our to-do list for His approval.
  4. Giving thanks in advance for glitches as we know He will resolve.
  5. Invite into our day moments of silence in His presence to refuel our energy.
  6. Inhale the aroma of His reassurance for calmness.

Deviating from His ways equals burnout. But obeying His greatest commandment ushers wisdom: To arrange priorities; to press forth when fatigued; to bring clarity when confused; to be calm when overwhelmed; and to know the warmth of His love.

The love that sparks a desire to please Him. To receive His rest. And to know His peace because “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” (Psalm 127:2, The Message Bible).

Let’s Pray

Father, the tension and stress of life are keeping me from experiencing your peace, which I so long for. I invite you into my day and look to you to bring the calmness and peace I seek. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Janet

______________________________________

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.

 

Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/6-steps-to-bring-back-peace.html

Three truths to hold on to when life stinks.

2 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

 

Three truths to hold on to when life stinks.

Reblogged June 2, 2018

“And you can now get mature manure,” the radio announcer said, “and you’ll have the greenest grass ever.”

Mature manure? Who ever heard of that? But as odd as its name, so was its effect.

It turns out that when you put this product on your grass, it protects it and produces a pretty nice-looking lawn.

Life can be stinky.

But don’t think for a minute that this kind of manure was limited to grass. That same material comes in by way of disappointment, sadness, self-pity, heartache, setbacks and even tragedy.

All are part of the manure of life. It stinks. It’s ugly. It’s unpleasant. And when spread over, the view isn’t pretty.

I know that first hand, trust me. When blindness set in when I was 31, my world stunk. And I sunk in the pit of smelly self-pity and discouragement. Hopelessness tried to cover me up.

Until one day, God poured grace, mercy and compassion upon my world. That’s when I knew that the mature manure of heartache produces a nice lawn of faith and strength.

Three Truths

Rather than sink in, I hung on to the rope that held three truths:

  1. In His ways, He will turn to me.
  2. In His timing, He will hear my cry.
  3. In His power, He will lift me up.

Instead of sorrow or grief, my soul sang: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth…” (Psalm 40:1-3).

Let’s Pray

Father, I do have the song of joy, the outlook of hope, and the eagerness to grow closer to you. In the lawn of life, I will not reject the pain or setbacks, but will know that you will use them to make my life better and richer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • What needs to be renewed in your life?
  • How often do you need to turn to God for help?
  • What do you need to stand on the solid rock of His Word?

Janet

______________________________________

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.

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.

What to do when facing impossibilities.

26 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

 

Reblogged May 27, 2018

 

What to do when facing impossibilities.

Memorial Day brings back memories of heroes as with gratitude, we recall their brave commitment to bring us victory.  But why do we forget the victory Christ has already won for us?

Do you remember this story?

One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” (Job 1:6-7)

Did he say the earth? Gulp. Friend, you and I are on that same earth on which he roams. And we need to watch out because:

 

“the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

 

He’s probably licking his lips, staring at us.

And when we’re alone, seated on our bed of self-pity, surrounded by walls of gloom, lamenting our impossible situations, we become more appetizing. We’re more appealing because we’re weighed down by negativity. And we’re weakened by moments of hopelessness.

I’ve been there.

And unaware of what an inviting prey I was, I was soon to be his spiritual lunch.

The giant I faced towered over me, reminding me of my frailty, whispering I was defenseless.

That’s the place the enemy wants us, walking into defeat and deceived in thinking that victory will only come when the impossible problem would be removed.

But often that doesn’t happen. Not to us and not to David. Instead, like our struggles, the giant stood firm, relentless and threatening.

Poor David?

No! Although a boy, he was scrawny, a bit of a shy kid, the youngest of his brothers and probably voted the “least likely to succeed” in the senior class of the local shepherd high school, yet God was with him.

Success was at work. David stepped forward and the size of his opponent didn’t infuse fear, but injected boldness instead.

Unprepared to face giants, he probably smelled of sheep wool and with mud caked on his sandals, he stirred God’s power within him.

We’re like that, too; we’re walking with shoes caked with discouragement, and possibly smelling of hopelessness.

And like you and I, David probably had to shoo off the enemy’s lies: that problem is too big, destruction is inevitable, the pain will be fierce, or you are doomed to lose.

And as he does today, the enemy presented opposition from all sides. People doubted David’s abilities, King Saul scratched his head with bewilderment, and when Goliath saw David’s size, he laughed.

But God smiled …

…because he prompted David to shed the armor King Saul had given him. The metals and chains were way too cumbersome for his thin body. Instead, he tapped into the power of the Lord.

It was the same power he had used to bring down those ferocious bears and lions. He had the weapon—not a rifle, a shotgun, a knife or sword. And he didn’t trust in the smooth rocks in his sling either. He trusted in a greater and mightier weapon—the power of God.

Have you faced those giants that loom over you?

They mock your courage and laugh at your faith? The lies from the enemy that fuel your fear.

The lies that say your 2-inch faith is no match for the 9-foot giant of impossibilities. The deception that repeats you’ll never see relief, healing or triumph.

We’ve all faced that at one time or another. And in desperation we slip on that armor—our own abilities, wisdom, and solutions. But dragging ourselves toward the battlefield, we find that human armor hinders us. It’s too heavy with pride.

That’s when you and I do what David did.

We shed that wrong armor and pull out our best weapon instead. David was bold as we should be, he’s defiant like we have to be, and he’s truthful to declare to whom belongs the victory.

It’s not the giant that threatens, but it’s the gigantic love God has for us that must fuel our courage.

That’s why David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty” (1 Samuel 17: 45).

Did you read that? The God David spoke about is not just any god, He’s the Lord almighty, creator of the universe, and immensely powerful.

Troubles can come from all sides bearing the sword of anguish, the spear of anxiety and the javelin of fear. But you and I come in the name of the Lord–with confidence, with resolve and trust that through Christ, the victory is already won.

And holding the smooth stones of faith, bearing the spiritual weapon of God’s faithfulness, we can face any giant of impossibility in the name of the Lord.

I had to make that choice.

In his devious craftiness, he lied to me when he said it would be impossible to find peace after my son was killed. But his lies are no match for God’s truth, to God’s power of restoring what was broken, to heal that which seared, and to defeat the giant who threatens our peace.

To the world, our problems seem gigantic, to God they are miniscule. They’re big when we see them with human eyes. They shrink when we see them through Christ’s eyes.

And as we gaze at our problem we have a choice: either to live hoping for blessings, or to bless the hope we already have in Christ.

 

Source: https://janetperezeckles.com/blog/victory/what-to-do-when-facing-impossibilities.html

%d bloggers like this: