Tag Archives: Fear

When Hope is All You’ve Got

31 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Reblogged August 31, 2019

“Good morning everyone,” the TV announcer said. “Let me correct that. There is nothing good about this morning of September 26, 2004.”

Trying to maintain composure, we tracked Charley’s path. At first, the action outside was not much different than the usual storms in Florida. But we knew that this was no ordinary storm. It was a preamble of a dangerous hurricane

“Everyone grab a pillow and a blanket,” I said. I made a mental note of the supplies we would need: a flashlight, water and our cell phones. Grabbing the small transistor radio with fresh batteries; a bit of reassurance trickled in while huddled in our confined shelter.

As expected, the lights went out. The TV was silenced. In the dark, the rage of the hurricane became more audible. As the wind howled, it whistled as if to announce, “I’ve arrived.” Its ominous nature intensified our vulnerability.

Charley had a vicious and unique personality. It was capricious. First, giving the impression it was headed in one direction and then at the last minute, changing directions. It had its own madness as it ripped through neighborhoods mercilessly.

“Hush!” I ordered. I turned the volume up on the transistor radio I held on my lap. “Listen!” I added with urgency.

Our family huddled, attempting to tune out the loud roaring outside. We hung on each word coming from the radio, the only device connecting us to the outside world: “It’s headed for Orlando, the winds here are unbelievable. With the last moments of daylight, we could see the roaring winds snapping trees in half like pretzel sticks. In other areas, the trees were yanked with force, their roots entangled in blocks of cement tossed aside like toys. Some static interrupted his description. Then he continued trying to catch his breath: “The huge glass windows of buildings nearby moved in and out in a swaying motion, attempting to resist the fierce wind with no success.”

“Lord,” I cried out in my thoughts, “guard our family.”

Then the serenity of my prayers was interrupted with more reports. I appeared calm on the outside, but with every sound outside and every detail of the report, I wondered if God was indeed listening. I questioned whether He’d answer before the worst happened. I doubted if my words were appropriate enough to reach Him. And I was certain that my emotions were blocking my pleas to Him. The more I tried, the more the hurricane of doubt thrashed in my heart.

“Now the road is in total darkness,” the reporter said. “Even some traffic lights are gone.”

Without air-conditioning, our cozy area turned into a small oven. But safety replaced comfort. Charley’s rage grew closer. The strong winds thrust sporadic bangs, rattling our garage door. The hurling debris against our front and back doors as well as those slamming against the large windows gave the same sensation as a “tic…tic…tic” of a bomb. We knew it would strike, but didn’t know exactly when, nor did we know which window would burst or what part of the roof it would yank away first.

No one spoke. But suddenly I heard a strange noise.

“What is that scraping?” I asked.

“It’s my yogurt cup,” my mom said in her characteristic calmness. “It’s my bedtime snack,” she added with a matter-of-fact tone.

How can she eat at a time like this? Does she not realize the danger we’re in?

“My hope is in the Lord,” she said, “He will protect us. Do you think this hurricane is catching Him by surprise? He is always faithful. Hope in Him is all we have.”

I had heard those same words from the pulpit. They brought mild reassurance as I sense no danger in that pew surrounded by painted glass windows.

But now what painted my mind was images of us under a rubble of destruction.

Outside noises emphasized my imagination. We heard more banging and crashing outside. I changed my please: “Lord, I know you’re in control. I have the certainty that You will see us through. And I know that You will calm this storm in my heart and also outside. But my words still echoed with doubt.

Charley’s furious winds struck with more intensity in some areas, yanking off roofs like box tops, and the roaring winds hurled traffic lights, smashing them to the ground. Some fatalities were reported.

“The tracking shows Charley is now in Orlando’s downtown area,” the radio reporter announced. We all went silent to make sure that we’d heard the good news (for us, at least) correctly, then it was confirmed. Charley had moved north; it had finally passed us.

God did show up timely and swiftly.

We breathed a sigh of relief. And I gave a silent, Thank you.

We stepped out of our stuffy room and headed outside, glancing with disbelief at the mess, the debris and broken pieces of items from tree branches to trashcan lids, to unidentifiable items.

While we all gasped at the destruction, a deep yawn slipped from my mom’s lips, and she tossed her empty yogurt cup in the wastebasket. “There was no need to worry then; no need to worry now. God is in control. Good night everyone,” she said.

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:20)It was in the “waiting” that God worked in me—teaching me to trust in the midst of winds of fear. To be secure when I hear threatening sounds, and to rest secure when others blurt bad news, gloom, or warnings of destruction.

With renewed faith, gratitude removed the last of the dark clouds of the storm, and new meaning. My hope was in God, not in the circumstances or in those around me.

The next morning’s sun uncovered the radiance of God’s promises that He will answer our pleas, timely and swiftly. His faithfulness becomes visible not so much in the calmness of my life, but during the storms and emotional hurricanes that test my faith.

Let’s Pray

Father, as we face all storms that threaten our lives, we rest in the comfort of Your promises that You never abandon us, never leave us. But without fail, You shelter us with Your love and protection. In Jesus’ name I thank You. Amen.

What is testing your faith right now?

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.

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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

Seeds For Me

7 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Monday morning I was at the eye surgical center to have a laser procedure. The subject of being blind vs deaf came up as several of us awaited our turn. The consensus was that being blind would be the most devastating. i told them of my amazing friend (Janet who is our Saturday blogger) who does not allow blindness to stop her from fully living life. In the conversation I was able to talk about how strong faith in God enables one to face frightening challenges. Not a lot of witnessing but trusting seeds were planted for someone,  who didn’t know who to cling to.

Fast forward to Monday around 4pm. I was on the phone with a friend and noticed my vision in the eye that had  laser treatment was suddenly blurry.  I decided the eye just needed moisture so I put in drops. The vision was getting worse. How my thoughts ran to worry and fear! What if the doctor had botched my procedure. Eyes are not easy to fix once messed up. Then I remembered the conversation at the eye doctor. I prayed,

“Lord if I am going to lose my sight in this eye, I will trust you. If  you can lead Janet to overcome complete blindness, I know you will do the same for me.” 

It seems the seeds  I was hoping were planted at the doctor’s office, were the very ones I would need.

 

I called the surgery center and they suggested waiting until morning then they would work me in. Blurred vision was not a usual side effect of the procedure.Tuesday morning, my vision was clear. Tuesday afternoon the blurriness returned. I was worried! I have cornea transplants and was concerned the procedure may have triggered a rejection. Wednesday morning I called the doctor and was given a time to come to the office. Praise God my cornea was fine.  Not so good, my pressure was ridiculously high. My visual disturbance was the result of the elevated pressure and the doctor felt sure it was a temporary elevation and send me home with new drops.

Isn’t God the best?  Psalm 23:5 reads  He prepares a table before me. I never thought before that the table could be spread with  tools to enable me to stand firm in the presence of my enemies. Enemies like fear and worry. He leads us, He prepares us, He anoints us, and in the end we are followed by His goodness and mercy!

 

 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

 

Video highlights of Super Bowl Sunday sermon.

 

 

 

 

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Somewhere

2 Jun

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

 

Somewhere there’s a place for me-
A place I have a need to be.
A new plateau, a goal to meet-
Purpose, direction, without defeat.

 

Oh God, give me strength
to greet each day-
with a cheerful countenance.
Don’t let me sway.

 

Please let me focus
on the issues of life
That bring joy to others,
that relieve their strife.

 

To have victory over
the enemy called “Fear”-
The energy and stamina
to persevere!

 

Help! I Have Too Much Debt

25 Mar

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

Life can turn dark in so many ways. We were heading to church and Hubby rolled down his window. As he opened his wallet, he said, “There’s a woman with a sign that says, “My kids need to eat.”

Some put up signs and some sink in self-pity for lack of funds. But many more curse their situation. The same way the Israelites did.

Remember how they grumbled when they thought God had forgotten them? They were hungry and thirsty. And they even mumbled about going back to Egypt where they were slaves! Crazy thinking, in my opinion. But we’ve done the same thing—wish we were in a different place, maybe one we knew long ago. And we murmur our misfortune.

I’m here to challenge you:  Toss that grumbling out the window, cross-out those pitiful remarks from your vocabulary, and kick out negative thoughts that take away your peace.

And instead, celebrate Chanukah with me. (Please don’t tell me you know what that is…I didn’t, and feel a bit embarrassed about it.)

So I asked. And a precious Jewish friend who now loves Yeshua as her Savior and Lord explained it to me. After I read the explanation, I was so touched by the meaning and the significance that I deposited a huge amount of joy right into the bank account of my heart.

So, read on, take in the message, and ponder on the absolutely wonderful truth God is reminding you through the recount. Here it is:

Chanukah is the Jewish holiday of the festival of lights – where we celebrate when a tiny band of men called the Maccabees conquered the Greek army and recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks had desecrated the temple and all the Jews could find was one day’s worth of oil to light the eternal light – which must burn continually, according to the Lord’s command.  It takes eight days to produce the proper oil from the olives to use in the temple. But in faith, they used the little bit of oil – and it ended up lasting the full eight days – enough time to consecrate the new oil. It was a miracle all around – and that is why we light a Menorah, called a chanukiah – each day for eight days – to honor the Lord for his faithfulness and miracles!

Okay, you know God is the same yesterday, today and forever…do you think He’ll provide what you need? When you need it? And give you the oil, though meager it might seem, to last to cover the biggest bill in the pile?

God worked a miracle long ago…and He will now too. Not enough oil, but still, they lit the candles in trusting, not doubting, not wondering, not questioning—but in faith—and why shouldn’t we do the same?

Pray with me: Lord, I place the oil of faith before you. And I count on your Word, your promise and your provision to take care of all my needs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

What needs will you bring before the Lord today?

Janet

 

Source:  http://www.janetperezeckles.com/blog/inspiration/help-i-have-too-much-debt.html

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 15

27 Feb

fear-not

 

Picture and paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 15

Fear Not

Isaiah 43, Revelation 1:1-6

 

Beloved,

I’ll tell you how and why you’re afraid.

Then I’ll tell you how you are redeemed from fear.

You’re afraid when you don’t know what to do.

It may be difficult to admit that you are helpless and know nothing.

You start figuring. What will happen next?

How can you protect yourself and others?

This is how the world, the flesh, and the devil think and act.

Their thoughts are damaging.

You look at the past. Has anything like this happened to you or to anyone you know?

You go online to read everything that remotely applies to the problem.

You listen to the opinions of many counselors.

Some have solid ideas, but some harbor false perceptions,

You try to sort them out.

You remain in a state of the hyper alertness as though you were standing on a highway with cars whizzing by.

You fantasize about crashes, falls, accidents, hospital visits, and dying.

You invite guilt: what did you do to deserve this?

You ask if I am angry with you.

You slip in the miry clay and fall into self-pity.

Fear and worry kill your joy.

STOP

Breathe in Spirit

Be still and know that I Am God.

Thank me immediately.

That is my signal to go into action.

That is how I know you want my help.

You can do it from the start and skip all the nonsense.

It’s how I know you value kinship with me more than anything else.

I am able to make everything fresh.

I light your path, one step at a time.

It is the day of freedom, truth, and abundant life.

Watch for miracles. Give and receive love

Rejoice and be glad.

I give all the strength and wisdom you need.

I impart understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, reverence, and obedience: the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Taste and see that I am good.

How to Face Your Fear

8 Nov

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

gators-and-bird-edited

If you don’t learn how to face your fear it will grip your mind, body, and spirit. It will wage a war against you and your dreams. Know this need not be. Once you understand how you can dissipate fear, it shrinks and is no longer a threat.

The next time you’re in a scary place try the following exercises:

Do the things that frighten you.

Take one small step, then another. Action builds courage. Tell yourself, “This fear will pass.”

Unclench your jaw, soften your forehead, open your fists, slow down your pounding heart, and breathe. Learn to live in a relaxed state.

Fear is an illusion. We make up frightening stories about our past and our future and rehearse them until we are terrified. Our stories are often about the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Change the fearful stories you tell yourself. You can find safety by learning to live in the present moment. You always have the option to create new stories filled with positive expectations of the future.

Make fun of your fear by laughing at it. Really let it rip. Try and see how silly it is to hold back and give your power away to something that isn’t real!

Let go of looking stupid, feeling embarrassed, being ignored and facing rejection or failure. Accept failure as a part of life. Get through it and get over it.

Life can be brimming with good times of beauty and adventure or overwhelming with challenge and tragedy. Choose to stay present and breathe through it all. Be grateful for the varied landscape, hold onto your hat, and enjoy the ride.
BY TESS MARSHALL

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.

Melody

Who’s behind all your fear? 

6 Aug

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet's new book.

 

07-29-16 fear“I need my Xanax,” a woman said in the waiting room as we waited for my mom’s doctor appointment. “I can’t take the bad news anymore. The horrible stuff all around is too much.”

Although I didn’t comment because she was talking to the person beside her, I reflected on what she said.

It’s true that we’re living in hard times. We’re facing unprecedented violence. And to give us emotional indigestion, we’re viewing images of horrific tragedies. We watch this from our couch as we squirm with disbelief.

And when fear is eating us for lunch, Satan is licking his lips; we’re his prey, and we’re in his agenda as he takes care of the leftovers. But why should this catch us by surprise? Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10a).

Satan did come, and is here to intensify the pain. But only if we let him. He steals our peace; God brings it right back. He kills our joy, but only for the moment because In God we can have it again. He destroys our serenity; God ushers it back.

And no matter what the next headlines read, we know we’re on the winning side. We’re on the triumphant court and rather than being afraid or stressed, we face all this with a secure heart because Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).

What changes will you make to live the full and secure life Jesus offers?

 

Source: Who’s behind all your fear? | Janet Perez Eckles

Five mistakes that bring on regret. 

11 Jun

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

 

 

I woke up, and while still in bed, I stretched and yawned one night during my visit to Ecuador. As I pondered about the time, I had no way to find out. My cell phone didn’t work—no connection. Unlike here in the States, there was no land line phone to use to call for time.

Most of you who are sighted, would glance toward your phone or clock and know the exact time. Not so for this blind gal.

Surely it must be morning, I thought. So, I started my morning routine. But before getting dressed, I realized it must still be the middle of the night as I heard no birds singing.

Have you done the same? We all do it, don’t’ we? We take action and begin our routine at the wrong time. Even worse, we forge on without checking God’s timing. Without consulting His will. And without seeking His guidance.

Then when we’re in the middle of the journey, things begin to fall apart. That’s when we try to hide our regret, and, with a sorrowful look, we ask God for His input, His help and rescue.

Jesus told that very story in Luke 15. He relates how a young man chose to follow the recipe for bitter regret marinated in foolishness. And often we do, too. We go through these five stages:

  1. We follow our own intuition, our wisdom and whims. “….the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (Luke 15:13).
  2. Later, we evaluate the situation and scratch our head, wondering how we got there. “After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need” (Luke 15:11).
  3. We scramble, looking for an answer. “So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs” (Luke 15:15).
  4. We recognize our bad timing, our mistakes and our pitiful ending. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you’” (Luke 15:17).
  5. The glorious good news is God welcomes us back:  “The son came back home and…while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20 ).

The father delighted in the son’s return. God does the same. No matter the foolish path, the sad mistakes, the pitiful choices, we can always, always come back. God will run to meet us, throw His arms of compassion around us and give us the kiss of forgiveness.

What regret still nags at you today?

Source: Five mistakes that bring on regret. | Janet Perez Eckles

Three sure ways to overcome anxiety

6 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Eckles Perez

 

04-29-16 anxietyAs I slipped under the covers in the hotel room this past weekend, I sunk my head on the pillow and enjoyed a good night’s sleep. But I confess, years ago, I’d never be able to do that that—travel by myself, unable to see the surroundings, spend the night alone in a hotel in a strange city. And to add to the stress, I had to get up and deliver a keynote speech before influential folks. Before my blindness, that would never have happen. But when I learned to walk by faith and not by sight, life began to look good, and nights came with peaceful sleep.

I engraved in my heart these three keys which David gives in Psalm 27. They erased anxiety and fear.

  1. Recognize who holds our life, our troubles and our struggles: “The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
  2. Declare victory when the enemies that rob our peace and the intruders of anxiety attack: “When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.” (Psalm 27:2)
  3. We claim with confidence In God’s power, In His mighty strength and His faithfulness to bring the victory—the triumph even when we don’t see the answer: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” (Psalm 27:3)

What anxiety will you allow God’s Word to triumph over tonight?

Source: Three sure ways to overcome anxiety. | Janet Perez Eckles

What to do in the storms of life

16 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Eckles Perez

 

 

04-08-16 storms

 

Decades ago, while still in my hometown of La Paz, Bolivia, birthday celebrations were a big thing. With a handful of invitations, I ran from house to house on the dirt streets where my friends lived. Anticipation danced in my heart as I delivered them with pride because my Mom had designed them with colorful writing.

My parents gathered enough money to buy ingredients for a birthday cake. And the other treat at my 10th birthday party was made by mixing red Jell-O with evaporated milk. Since we didn’t have the luxury to own a refrigerator, Mom placed them outside, hoping the chilly night would make them gel.

And when my special day came, the friends who accepted the invitation, filed in through the worn, rusty gate of our house. They carried gifts. And in turn, I carry that memory in my heart.

Decade’s later invitations took a different meaning. During the storms of life, I ran down the dirt street of worry and self-pity. The only way to conquer all that was to extend an invitation to Jesus. He accepted and together we celebrated a restoring of my soul.

We can all do the same. But the invitation has to be specific:

• We invite Him into our storm.
• We invite Him into the heartache of the moment.
• We invite Him to share the disappointment in our marriage.
• We invite Him to share the longing for a solution.
• We invite Him into the diagnosis from the doctor.
• And we invite Him to be with us when we face the end of something we treasure.

When Jesus accepts the invitation, He shows up carrying the gift of His promises, colorfully wrapped in His love. They repeat: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Visit Janet’s website to read the rest of this story and to learn more about Janet and her ministry.  What to do in the storms of life. | Janet Perez Eckles

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