Tag Archives: Faith

God, calm my storm

20 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

(May 19, 2017)

The experience was unique on my last trip home. The plane ride was bouncy and rough. I stretched out on the seat beside me in that 10-passenger small plane.

I must have dosed off because all of a sudden, I notice the engine slowing down, the plane seem to lose power. The engine turned way too quiet– a frightening kind of quiet. There was no one beside me to ask. A bit of worry knocked at the door. So I thought, “Lord, here I come, open those heaven gates.”

Suddenly, the plane stopped. Unable to see the surroundings, I had no idea we had landed. The change of the engine sound was because we were on the ground already.

Please make me feel good and tell me you did something silly like that, too. You assumed the worst when it was the best instead.

I don’t feel too bad, though. The disciples did something similarly as related in Matthew 8:23-26.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Father, forgive me when I lose my faith and doubt that you’re in my boat, present during my storms. Grant me wisdom and conviction to know I’m never alone, to be calm when the winds of disappointment, of heartache and fear blow fiercely around me. I will count on the safety of your presence in the storms of all sizes. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What storms are you facing today? Who’s in your boat.

Janet

 

Source: God, calm my storm. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

What brings security for a mom?

13 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

God chose to bring me into this world on a cold spring morning in La Paz, Bolivia. My mom sat up on that old, unsteady bed in a worn-out clinic.

“The baby…the baby…it’s coming,” she shouted.

The woman looked up as she sat on a squeaky chair. She sipped her coffee. “Sorry, Señora. The midwife went home for lunch.”

With sweat beads on her forehead, my mom pressed her hand on her stomach. Tears fell and she anguished with no one to help her deliver me.

Finally, the woman put her cup down and went to the door. “Can anyone help?” she called out into the courtyard. “A baby is coming.”

The delivery started, and I was born lacking adequate medical care.

That first year, with me in her arms, she stood in long lines to get a loaf of bread and some wilted carrots. The recent revolution in La Paz had turned the economy upside down. Everything was scarce except for Mom’s love.

Years later, we followed the daily routine. I sat before her on a box we used as a stool. “Someday we’ll leave Bolivia,” she said as she braided my black hair.

That day came after four years of preparation to meet the U.S. Immigration requirements. We sold all we had. And Mother and Father worked night and day to earn enough money for airplane tickets.

And that airplane took us to a special place. As a young girl, Mom had read the Spanish translation of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” which took place on the shores of the Mississippi River. Her dream was to someday visit those places.

And that’s how St. Louis, Missouri, became the city where we began our new life.

But the adjustment to the unfamiliar territory in America wasn’t as beautiful as the stories in those books. My parents, my younger brother nor I read or spoke English. Unable to understand food can labels, we ate cat food, thinking it was tuna.

Sixth grade girls surrounded my desk, pointed at me, whispered to each other and giggled. My pierced ears in 1964 was an oddity causing astonishment.

But Mom set the example. Her job was hard on her emotions. She endured harsh treatment and humiliation. And her lack of fluency in English kept her there for many years.

She sat at the kitchen table, reading her Bible while tears flowed.

And through her strength, she nurtured us, protected us and taught us perseverance. All served to mold my childhood.

Decades swept by. And unexpectedly, I had to enter another unfamiliar territory. My blindness at 30 thrust me into a dark, terrifying world.

But like Mom, God’s Word gave me eyes to see beyond my blindness. With headphones on, I heard the Bible.

God’s strength fueled my days to do the tasks of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry while unable to see. When obstacles came, God promised me His grace would remove them and cover my mistakes.

I was born in a third-world clinic. But God ushered me into a first-class place where His riches are available. His blessings abound. And when my days as a Mom turn difficult, I ease into His arms to soothe my soul and bring security back.

To those dear moms, I hope you have the happiest Mother’s Day ever!

Janet

VIDEO OF THE WEEK SNEAK PEEK   https://youtu.be/O8lt7uWvSuw

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Source: What brings security for a mom? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Two are Better Than One

14 Apr

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

People need people.
It is embedded in our soul.
Make reaching out to others
your foremost God-given role.

 

So simple, so painfully simple.
Two are better than one.
Two are more effective,
and, oh, so much more fun.

 

Friendships blossom over shared labor,
and we accomplish much more that way.
Open your heart to another.
See how it brightens your day.

 

Two are better than one for walking,
for if they fall, one will lift up his
companion.
But woe to him who is alone when
he falls, for he has no one to help
him up. Ecclesiastes 4:20

 

Two are better than one for working.
Two are better than one because they
have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

 

Painting by DiVoran Lites from Go West

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.

What to do when feeling trapped.

8 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Reblogged (March 31, 2017)

Sometimes God has a message for us in the oddest ways and even in the silliest situations. I pulled away from my computer and turned to hubby, listen to this story,” I said.

A baby camel looked up to his mother, “Mommy, why do we have these long eyelashes, these big hooves and a hump on our back?”

She turned to him. “God made us that way for a very special reason,” she explained. “Our large feet are to keep us from sinking into the sand.”

“Why the big eyelashes?” he asked.

“It’s to protect our eyes from the sand.”

“Why the big humps?”

“That is to store fat and have enough energy to go long distances in the hot desert!”

“I see!” The baby camel stretched his neck and looked up at his mother. “The large feet are to keep us from sinking into the sand, the long eyelashes are to keep the sand out of our eyes, and the humps are to store energy to travel…then what are we doing in this cage in the middle of a zoo?”

I have asked the same question. Like the camel, I had all I needed to enjoy life. I had desires and dreams, and prepared my wings to fly high to success. But instead, I found myself in a cage of grief and heartache. Pitiful really, and definitely not the place I thought I belonged. At the age of 30, my eyesight closed in completely. I lost my joy, my purpose, and my freedom. Bars of gloom and desperation surrounded me.

Inside that cage, I longed for days gone by. Days when I could see. Days when life still held promises for tomorrow.

Have you ever been there? Have you known that longing?

If you have, like He did with me, God might be whispering this powerful truth right into your soul: “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)

When looking forward, we see the freedom from past longings. When we choose to see outside our cage, we see His hand calling. And when we choose to use what God gave us, we can live in the richness of today.

Pray with me:

Father, I need your reminder each moment of each day that you created me for much more than what I see within my cage. Thank you for showing me the way to the freedom you offer, fresh with your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What has you trapped these days?

Janet

 

Source http://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog/what-to-do-when-feeling-trapped.html

 

Sleeping-Do Not Disturb

23 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Christmas 2015 I gave my husband a life altering gift and the interesting part is that I gave it to him on a whim. Here is the story.

Our granddaughter loves drawing  and painting so each Christmas we give her some form of art supplies. I usually pick them up through out the year when they are on sale. This particular Christmas, I realized that I had more gifts for her than our grandson and we all know that wouldn’t play well. What to do…? Then I remembered that my husband had been taking “night” art classes, as in while he was asleep. Apparently, the voice tone of painter Bob Ross lulled him to sleep. So on aforementioned whim I wrapped the art supplies and put them under the tree.

Christmas morning he was quite surprised when he opened the gift, but he thanked me nicely. Fast forward to January 29, 2016. He was bored and decided to pull out the art supplies and play with them. This is the result.

I think we were both shocked. His success set him on course to actively pursue learning about painting. He watches videos while he is awake! He is also mentored by our friend, DiVoran Lites. I think he is getting better with  every painting and sometimes I am stunned when I walk past his open door and see what he is creating. I particularly like this one he painted last week. I am thrilled with his newly discovered talent. He has always wanted to be able to capture life on canvas, but never dreamed he could.

All of this led me to wonder whether our sleep and or dreams do affect our waking life. I am beyond blessed to know without a doubt that God loves me. I have mused in the past on what my parents did to instill this into my heart. Looking back, I think it came to me while I was sleeping.  As a small child, I found church service made me sleepy, so I would lay my head in someone’s lap and take a nap while the good news of God’s love and Jesus plan for salvation was spoken. Plus, my parents attended a weekly prayer service that was held in someone’s home. They called them cottage prayer meetings.There would be a lot of singing and praying and I would find an out of the way place, my favorite being under a coffee table, and fall asleep. I have vague memories of feeling the  hymns wash over me as I drifted in the half awake/half sleep state.

Science tells us that sleep time is when the body repairs itself. So it stands to reason it can also be a time when our brain carries out its unique functions. Sleep matters and so does what we listen to while we sleep!

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 13

13 Feb

love

Picture and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

 

Day 13

Love

1 Corinthians 13

 

Beloved,

The greatest gift is love.

Love never gives up.

I want you to learn to love yourself,

And love others, too.

Love is contented with what it has.

Love does not walk around with its nose in the air.

Love doesn’t force others.

Love gives anger to Me so that it doesn’t explode onto people.

Love keeps going and giving.

 

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

We Have Someone In Our Corner

3 Feb

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

Life can be hard sometimes.
The skies are not always blue.
It helps to know there is someone
who will say, “I believe in you.”

 

We all need encouragement at times.
Things don’t always turn out as we plan.
But no matter what the challenge may be,
reach out to your fellow man.

 

A house is made of walls and beams-
a home is built with love and dreams.
The voice that everyone wants to hear
stems from a heart sincere and dear.

 

We do have someone in our corner who cares.
He welcomes “Come unto Me”.
When you have a burden it helps to share.
He holds the key to our destiny.

 

otter-love-on-ice

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 11

30 Jan

 

prayer

 

 

Day 11

Compassion

Romans 8:31

 

Beloved,

If I am for you, what experience or entity could ever win against you?

Stop trying to figure everything out and turn to me. Let me deliver My thoughts, goals, and rewards to you.

Compassion doesn’t originate in your bleeding heart. Compassion and empathy must come from me. My empathy, not yours. My love, not yours. Immersing yourself in me will make you buoyant.

Remember, when you don’t know how to pray, I am always inside your spirit praying for you and for your situation.

You may ask me what and how to pray and I will tell you. Now that’s a prayer I guarantee will be answered just right.

 

 

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