Tag Archives: Faith

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.

 

 

The only way to be safe from troubles. 

21 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

Why did I give in?

Some years ago, my friends and I walked on the soft sand in the Cabo San Lucas beaches.

She elbowed me. “You’re going with us. C’mon, parasailing will be fun.”

I frowned. “You’re nuts. I’m not doing that,” I said. “Going up in the air with nothing underneath me? Ain’t happening.”

“You’ll love it.” She shook my arm and her voice grew with excitement. “C’mon where’s your sense of adventure?”

My sense of adventure was at home in Orlando, where it belonged—safe and secure.

With her nudging, a little tiny part of me said, “Why not…what could happen?”

I gave a long sigh. “All right, I’ll go.”

Once I was strapped in, the man placed my hands on the leather bands. “Hold on tight.”

Slowly, we were lifted up in the air and the wind lifted my hair. My friend giggled, oohed and aahed. Then she said, “Whatever you do, don’t fool with the metal hook.”

Ah! The hook. The one latch that connected the seat to the parachute. Should that hook come undone, or should I somehow open it and let the strap loose, I’d plop 30 feet into the Pacific Ocean and turn into an afternoon snack for the sharks below.

Crazy experience. But crazier is the fact that we’re also dangling above the tension of life. Almost daily we’re threatened by the teeth of anxiety that could devour our peace and bite into our confidence.

Knowing that, we should never, never undo the hook that connects us to the One who keeps us afloat. The One who sustains us above the fangs of adversity. The One who holds us beyond the reach of despair.

And when we’re safely connected to His power, we’re secure and protected from any and all dangers, threats or evil that hovers about. Nothing can touch us for “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-18).

In Him all things hold together. What relief, what freedom! Not in our efforts, our performance, our image, or our crazy ways. None of that holds our life together. It’s only the connection with Him who has the power to lift us above problems, struggles, and daily battles that can keep us secure and safe.

What are you connected to these days?

Source: The only way to be safe from troubles. | Janet Perez Eckles

Slaying the Giants In Your Life~ Destroying Discouragement

13 Jan

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

Can you recognize the enemy?
There’s a battle to be won.
Know what you are fighting-
Your armor is the Son!

 

There are three ways to live:
You can live out-
You can wear out,
or
You can burn out!

 

It’s erroneous to say
working too hard is burnout.
Working hard “at the right thing”
is what it’s all about.

 

Bring everything out of that “anxiety closet”
and expose it to the light.
When looked at as they truly are,
you can put them all to flight!

 

Emotions are treacherous advisors.
We need to be disciplined and stay on track.
Work can be wonderful therapy.
It will get your confidence back.

 

The biblical story of David
can turn your life around.
Get your slingshot ready-
“Discouragement”, you are going DOWN!”

 

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength.
A very present help in trouble,
Therefore, we will not fear.
Though the earth be removed
and though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Tho the mountains shake with its swelling.

 

cross-on-snow-covered-mountain

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 8

9 Jan

unique

Picture and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

 Day 8,

Unique

Genesis 1:27-28

 

Beloved,

I was lonely and wanted children and friends to keep me company. I wanted them to act as my hands and feet on earth.

Creating people is my favorite vocation. I carefully put each baby together in the mother’s womb to fulfill a special purpose. No two are alike, not even twins. The various gifts and talents are boundless.

Some of my people have gifts for music: I want them to compose, sing, and play instruments.

Some are engineers and artisans who know how to put things together, and how to fix them.

Some are caregivers, such as mothers and fathers, teachers, doctors and nurses, administrators and helpers.

Some can draw, some can garden, some will travel and some will stay at home.

Some think they can’t do anything at all, but they always can.

I love you whether you know your place in my plan yet, or not.

If you will let me, I will be delighted to show you what I created you to be.

 

 

The key to endure everything

7 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

What was I thinking? I only taught him half a lesson.

I held my 6-year-old grandson’s face in my hands. “Sweet boy. Before you go into a room and the door is closed, you need to knock, OK?”

I felt his head nod between my hands.

Later on, he followed my new rule. After a few quick knocks, he walked right in.

“Come here, sweet boy,” I said. “Nana forgot to tell you that you need to wait for someone to say, Come in before entering the room.”

My desire is for that beautiful boy to grow up in Jesus’ footsteps. To follow His lead. Emulate His ways and imitate Jesus’ sensitive nature.

And His sensitivity shows when He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 16:20).

He stands, waits and lingers at the door of our heart until we open it and say, “Come in.”

And that’s when a new beginning happens. With Jesus residing in our heart, we taste new freedom and rely in new power. We can face all the tomorrows. We endure all adversity. We walk through dark valleys, leave fear behind and welcome a New Year with confidence wrapped in the warmth of His security.

Have you heard Him knock at the door of your heart lately?

Source: The key to endure everything. | Janet Perez Eckles

What to do when our world turns upside down.

31 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

11-20-16-convertible-jan-e1478897209951Do I really want to do this? I thought. I sat in the back of a bright red, shiny convertible. As one of the winners of the alumni merit award for my alma mater, I was invited to ride in the homecoming parade.

At first, I was hesitant to do such a foolish thing. But as folks cheered and waved, I waved back. They cheered some more and I was delighting in connecting with the crowds lined along the side of the streets.

“Get the phone, Honey” I said to my hubby seated beside me. “Let’s get a live video on Facebook.”

The bright sun made it difficult to see the screen, yet he diligently followed through. He held the phone showing the scenery, the crowd and the decorated floats as I related the details of the event.

Later, we read this comment, “Looks like you’ve been partying a bit too much.”

Partying? What in the world did he mean? We quickly understood the comment when we saw the video. Goodness gracious, it was upside down!

Isn’t that like life? When we’re enjoying the experiences, thinking all is well, we find that unexpectedly, things happen, turmoil appears, suffering shows up and we find our world turning upside down with sorrow.

But when we know, truly know God, we can wave at the world, cheer our triumph and declare with shining reassurance these truths found in Psalm 23 – The Message Translation (MSG)

“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.” (Psalm 23:1)
“You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools to drink from.” (Psalm 23:2)
“True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” (Psalm 23:3)
“Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.” (Psalm 23:4)
“You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.” (Psalm 23:5)
“Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.” (Psalm 23:6)
What is your life missing these days?

Source: What to do when our world turns upside down. | Janet Perez Eckles

%d bloggers like this: