Tag Archives: Faith

Dwelling in the Heavenly Realms

23 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Matthew 6-13

Our Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms, may the glory of your name be the center on which our lives turn.

Manifest your kingdom realm, and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled in heaven.

We acknowledge you as our Provider of all we need each day.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.

Rescue us every time we face tribulation and set us free from evil. 

For you are the King who rules with power and glory forever. 

Amen

Photo Credit:Pixabay

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Thoughts

16 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Isaiah 55:8-11

Photo Credit:Pixabay

My thoughts, says the Lord,

Are not like yours.

As high as the heavens are above the earth, 

So high are my ways and thoughts from yours.

My word is like the snow and the rain that come down from the sky to water the earth.

They make the crops grow and provide seed for planting and food to eat. So also will be the word that I speak; it will not fail to do what I plan for it; It will do everything I send it to do. 

You will leave Babylon with joy; you will be led out of the city in peace. The mountains and hills will burst into singing the trees will shout for joy.

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Church-Part 13

15 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’ve mentioned in previous musings that we moved from Dallas, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1945.  We moved so my Dad could become the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the New Mexico Baptist Convention.  He stayed in that position until he retired in 1961.  

I’ve never known just why he moved to New Mexico, or if he had been invited by the New Mexico Baptists to come to that position.

I think I’ve mentioned before that there was a family we knew living in Deming, New Mexico.  I didn’t know for a long time how our family knew that family.  I do remember that, when I was old enough, I would ride the bus by myself the four hours it took to go to Deming and spend several weeks with that family.  They had a daughter, Ruth Anne, who was my age, and we got along famously together.

Ruth Anne and me on the Ferris wheel – NM State Fair 1955

Ruth Anne at the NM State Fair 1955

From the Deming newspaper – 1954

In fact, one summer I would go to Deming, and the next summer she would come to Albuquerque and stay a couple of weeks with us.  It was a great friendship, and we still are in contact today.  More on that later.

While Ruth Anne and I have discussed this, neither of us knew just how our families got to know each other.  As it turns out, Ruth Anne’s father and my dad both grew up in Louisiana, attended the same college, and played college basketball together!  WOW!  Small world, indeed.

Ruth Anne’s father 1955

And so, in thinking on this one day, I wondered whether or not Ruth Anne’s father had anything to do with my father taking the position in New Mexico.  Ruth Anne’s father was highly involved with the New Mexico Baptists at that time, and so the possibility of him recommending my dad to the Board is a great possibility.  However, since both of our dad’s are gone, neither of us know whether or not that is how it all came about.  I don’t know whether the Baptist Convention of New Mexico would have that information on file or not.  I still wonder about it, however, from time to time.

Fred and I ran into Ruth Anne and her new husband, Charles, when we were all attending the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1960’s.  We became fast friends all over again.  Ruth Anne and Charles went on to be missionaries to Malaysia, and now, retired, live in Colorado, continuing to do what they can with the Colorado Baptist Convention.

Back in 2014, Fred and I took a Southwest trip with Karen and Brian, and early in that trip, we stopped overnight with Ruth Anne and Charles.  Nothing like renewing old friendships, and making new ones (for Karen and Brian).

2014 – Colorado – Charles, Fred, Ruth Anne, Brian, Karen

At one point, our church here in Orlando had a pastor who was from the Philippines.  During his tenure, Charles, Ruth Anne and a grandson of theirs made a trip to Orlando.  We met them, took in Medieval Times Show, and just visited with them.  On Sunday evening, heading back to their hotel, I mentioned that we had this new pastor, Ramel Cuenca.  Both Charles and Ruth Anne sat straight up in their seats and said, “Ramel Cuenca!!”  Turns out, they were all in language school together before heading out to their mission field – Charles and Ruth Anne to Malaysia, Ramel and Sherry to Indonesia.  We drove to the church and Charles was out of the car like a shot!  Ramel was at the front doors of the church, greeting people as they were leaving.  As Charles strode up to him, Ramel looked up and said, “where did YOU come from??”  A happy reunion.

If it weren’t for “church,” I doubt if any of this would have happened.  Thank you, LORD, for church.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Wisdom and Discretion

9 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Proverbs 3:21-26

My child, let them not depart from your eyes—-

Keep sound wisdom and discretion; 

So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck.

Then you will walk safely in your way, 

And your foot will not stumble. 

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet. 

Do not be afraid of sudden terror,

Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; 

For the Lord will be your confidence,

And will keep your foot from being caught. 

Photo Credit:Pixabay

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Church-Part 12

8 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I’m going to digress a bit from “church” here – and yet, it is all related.  As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, church was a very real part of my life…ALL my life.  I have vague memories of our church in Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Church),

Credit to Google Search and FBC Dallas website

but just snippets – smells (Pine-Sol), 

Credit Google Search

the checker-board floor tiles (black and white), 

Credit Pixabay

and Miss Bertha, the nursery lady who would take me on her lap and read a story.

Scanned from the front of her book

But since we moved to Albuquerque when I was not quite four years old, my main memories of “church” was our church in Albuquerque (First Baptist Church, on the corner on Broadway and Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66).  I literally “grew up” in that church.  I have fond memories of the friends I made there – some I still am in contact with.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque Google search

But in this particular posting, I would like to tell about a camp that both my brother, Bill, and I attended each summer when we were old enough to attend.  If you remember, my father was the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the Southern Baptists – that’s why we were in Albuquerque.  All of the “heads” of different departments of Southern Baptist life in New Mexico were headquartered in an office building in Albuquerque.

The Baptist Building – 1954 – main entrance

The Ministry Heads – 1954 – Daddy is on the left, standing

One of those departments was the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU).  That lady was Miss Eva Inlow.  Miss Inlow’s father had started a camp in the mountains East of Albuquerque, for young people (teenagers) from all over the state, and it was called Inlow Youth Camp.  I remember looking forward to going to Inlow Youth Camp each and every summer when I was old enough.  I don’t remember that Bill and I ever attended at the same time.  I suspect the camps were geared to specific age groups at different weeks.

I googled Inlow Youth Camp and this is what came up:

Credit Google Search and Inlow Baptist Camp website

Inlow Baptist Camp, started in 1941, is nestled in the beautiful Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico. Inlow is a rustic retreat from the distractions of everyday life. The woodsy surroundings offer a beautiful place to worship, fellowship, relax and learn. Summer at Inlow is a pleasant atmosphere for youth camps and family camping. Fall, winter, and spring each have a different flavor for church retreats, youth camps, staff training, picnics and meetings. Inlow is a ministry of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

I’m glad to see that it is still in operation, and has expanded it’s ministry.

We slept in cabins, on bunks.  I’m sure they had showers, but I don’t remember them.  I do remember quite well the latrines – outhouses with four or five “holes”.  A funny memory for sure, and none too pleasant when we had to clean them!  There was a “store” where we could purchase snacks if we had the money for them – we had a “bank account” set up by our parents with whatever cash they wanted us to have.  There was a dining hall.  But my biggest memory was the chapel or church building.  We had church services there every day, and Bible study times there.  We had counselors to lead those times, as well as to be shoulders to cry on, and watch over us in the cabins.

There were all kinds of outdoor activities to be held there, as well.  I remember running a race around the campground – and probably coming in last…I wasn’t a very fast runner!

But it was a wonderful time in my life.  Here is a picture of a group of us sitting by our church, waiting for our ride to camp.  I’m not in this picture, but I loved all these kids.

And here are more pictures of our time at Inlow Youth Camp:

Two of my best friends

That’s me…and my best friend

Some of the boys – not all from our church

Some of the girls and counselors

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Five Steps to Keep Depression Out

7 Jan

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Reblog Janet Perez Eckles

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” my friend said as she tapped my arm. “I can’t believe I asked if you saw that movie. I keep forgetting about your…”

I laughed. “Of course, I saw it,” I said, “even without eyesight, I can still enjoy the dialogue, plot, message and story line.”

I confess though, learning to enjoy movies while blind took time. When I first lost my sight, I feared my life would be so insanely limited, I’d spend my days with wrinkled tissue in hand seated on my sofa of self-pity. But when Jesus opened the eyes of my heart, all changed. I embraced courage to try new things, to explore options, and to plunge into areas that some view as seemingly illogical.

It’s in our praises…

In the middle of today’s mess, God is also asking us to do something a bit illogical. When disturbing thoughts invite depression, He provides the answer. The solution isn’t so much in persevering during trials, or persisting during tough time. Rather, it’s in our praises…at all times.

But how can we manage that? Praise Him when things crumble around us? Praise Him when all seems out of control? Praise Him when pain never stops?

Like the blind going to the movies, the concept of praising God when the chains of despair grip tighter defies logic. But these men in the Bible did that very thing: Joseph, when unfairness shook him. David, when he faced his sin. Nehemiah, when he saw destruction. Elijah, when fear gripped him. Paul, when he was in chains.

None of them demanded explanations. Instead, they had blind obedience to God when He directs to praise Him…in the bad, the ugly and the sad. Each of them came out triumphant before depression pressed in. That’s because they knew that although God doesn’t give explanations, He gives promises.

And as each one prevailed back then, they will prevail today as well. Even as we’re caught in a spiritual, destructive war. We march to the battlefield with confidence by our side because we possess the most powerful weapon to prevent depression—to praise God. Praise His Holy name. Praise Him for what He’s done and praise Him for what He’s about to do.

Five Declarations

What will He do and when? We don’t know. But while we wait, let’s get bold. No matter how upside down this world gets or how deep our personal distress, we’ll not retreat. Instead, we’ll recharge our courage to make these five declarations:

  1. Should my efforts fail, my ways end up wrong, and my plans fall apart, depression or sadness will not come near me because “my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever” (Psalm 44:6-8).
  2. The world may turn darker and become hopeless, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long” (Psalm 71:14-15).
  3. No matter what bad news rattle my world, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1).
  4. Even when my life didn’t turn out as I wanted, “I will praise you “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You” (Psalm 63:3-4).
  5. I will silence words of negativity, pessimism or gloom. Instead, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You…” (Psalm 71:23).

Dare I admit that through my blindness I praise Him? Not because I like being blind but because His healing is already mine. Whether it manifests itself today or in heaven, I spend my days singing the melody of praise as it ushers in a colorful portrait of joy.

Maybe blindness isn’t what turned your world dark, but whatever it is, victory is yours when you remember that when your lips praise the King of kings, lamenting or complaining end. When in your mind you Praise Him, negative thoughts vanish. When your habit becomes to praise Him, depression cannot come in. You become a triumphant warrior as you stand under the banner of praise.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for showing me the way to guard against depression, anguish and distress. My lips, mind and life will learn to praise You in all things, at all times and in all ways. Thank You for the security we find in Your promises. Amen.

Are you willing to begin the new year with a habit of praise?

Janet

It’s my joy to have you as part of my inspirational family. Please feel free to share today’s post with others.

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I also invite you to visit my WEBSITE.  You’ll find more inspirational blogs along with my story, books, and videos. You’ll also learn the passion and mission of JC Empowerment ministries.

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

Perfect Peace

2 Jan

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Isaiah 26:3+

You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in You.

Trust in the Lord forever; he will always protect us. He has humbled those who were proud. 

Lord, you make the path smooth for good people; the road they travel is level. 

We follow your will and put our hope in you; you are all that we desire. 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Shouts of Glory

26 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Psalms 148:1-7

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Let the skies be filled with praise and the highest heavens with the shouts of glory!

Go ahead—praise him, all you, his messengers!

Praise him some more, all you heavenly hosts!

Take it up even higher up to the highest heavens until the cosmic chorus thunders his praise!

Let the entire universe erupt from nothing to something. He spoke and created it all. 

He established the cosmos to last forever, and he stands behind his commands so his orders will never be revoked.

A little Christmas humor.

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Christmas 2022

25 Dec

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

To quote myself from 2016…..

Christmas, Christmas, Christ-mas….in the air…  If you are ever at Walt Disney World, and EPCOT in particular in the Christmas season, stop by and hear the Voices of Liberty in the American Pavilion.  The singers are dressed in Dickens-themed attire, and their songs are all Christmas, as well as a few Hanukkah songs.  Totally delightful!

Picture by Judy Wills

And now to 2022 – it’s been far too long with the Covid pandemic for Christmases to be as joyful and filled with joy as previous years.  But this year promises to be more.  And for that we are grateful.  

Our church is more filled this year than it has been the past two years – and we are grateful.  Our Sunday School classes are ramping up with more attending to learn the Word of God – and we are grateful.  While we don’t have a Minister of Music in our church, we still have music – and we are grateful.

Our church building/Sanctuary has undergone some renovation this year.  Here is a picture of the original way it was – pews and old blue carpet.

2008 – Picture by Judy Wills

Here it is newly renovated – chairs and carpet squares.

As I mentioned last time, we have Cast members from Disney who give of their talents to decorate our building.  Here are a couple of pictures from past years and this year:

2013 – Picture by Judy Wills

2022 – Picture by Judy Wills

2022 – Picture by Judy Wills

I am grateful to be living in a free country, where I can go to church and worship with fellow believers.  We are free to worship as we feel God wants us to worship.  I am not afraid or ashamed of my beliefs.  I am grateful to have the freedom to say these things.  May that always be true for this country.

Also from 2016…

As we all know, the future is in God’s hands…and His plan for our lives is so much better than anything we could devise for ourselves…..  We will continue to share the Good News of Christmas with those we meet and love – that God sent His one and only Son to this earth as a baby, so that He would die on a cross for our sins, but, miraculously, by the Hand of God, be raised from the dead and grave, to give us eternal salvation. 

GOD IS AMAZING!!  And He is LOVE.  And He is PEACE.   And He is JOY.  And He is all of those things, and more, in this life, with the promise of eternal life with Him.  How great is that??!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Mighty Warriors

19 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Ps. 45:3-4 TPT

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Now strap your lightning sword of judgment upon your side, O mighty warrior, so majestic!

You are full of beauty and splendor as you go out to war! In your glory and grandeur, go forth in victory!

Through your faithfulness and meekness, the cause of truth and justice will stand. Awe-inspiring miracles are accomplished by your power, leaving everyone dazed and astonished!”

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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