Tag Archives: Hope

How to face painful moments. 

15 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


Was this God’s way to teach us how to face painful moments?

Hubby and I, along with our dear friends, headed to North Carolina for a fun visit.

As we crossed from one state to another, the driver took instructions from the rest who did the navigating.

“Oh, oh…I see the red line, that means traffic coming up,” my friend said. “Let’s take a different route.”

For the next few minutes alternate routes were discussed, considered and explored to avoid “the red area” because after all, that meant traffic. And we were having none of that.

But before we knew it, we reached the dreaded “red zone.” And to our relief, the slowdown was slight, so very slight. All that fretting for nothing.

That’s what we humans do all the time, don’t we? We dread the red zone of adversity, the time when we might not be able to handle life. We cringe at the thought of reaching a place where we might be stuck in helplessness or in illness or in financial trouble.

So, worried about that day, we work hard to avoid that at all costs.

But all the while God is preparing the way for us to face those painful moments. He does this through His almighty, supernatural power; He’s already present at those upcoming “red zones” of life.

And that reassurance comes in two different ways:

He established a prerequisite for us to be safe, completely protected: “’Because he loves me,’ says the LORD, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation’” (Psalm 91:14-16).

Since He knows the danger, keeping us safe is His promise:

“’Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze’” (Isaiah 43:2).

How lovely life becomes when we truly believe in these promises. And as we ride on the highway of life, we know God is ahead making the way, waving the green flag, and making sure that with His help, we will navigate through all the red-zones of life.

Father, guide me away from fear of the pain that tomorrow might bring. Guard me from the worry about what might happen. I invite you to be the driver of the vehicle of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What adversity are you dreading these days?


Video sneak peek: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EnobbFT3QeE

How God helps us prepare for painful moments?

Source: How to face painful moments. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

How to find triumph in tragedy

24 Dec

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles


My son Joe’s empty stocking on the fireplace seared my heart. It had been twelve years since Joe’s tragic death.

Christmas no longer called for a celebration. Not anymore. Not when you have a vital part of your life missing. Festivities don’t have the joy they should.

And Christmas trees don’t emanate the usual scent.

Actually, my days needed to erase the Christmases, the birthdays, the holidays—all ushered pain rather than delight. They reminded me of what I once had and now what was gone.

The world celebrated, greetings of good wishes filled the room. But when tragedy turns your world upside down, no amount of cheer can bring clarity to the fog of sadness.

Strange, though, often, it’s the scorching pain that forces our eyes to open to a bigger picture. It did for me as I rewound memories of past Christmases.

Years ago, when our three sons, including Joe, were still young, I focused on providing a perfect Christmas; a perfect tree to wrap a perfect celebration. As a result, little things tended to roil in me such as a light strand that refused to shine because of a burned bulb. Annoyed at the glitch, I promptly set off to resolve it. I fussed, I rearranged, plugged and unplugged until frustration grew hot in me.

How foolish and silly. I focused on that one bulb, dismissing the glow of the star atop the Christmas tree.

I’ve done the same with light bulbs that burned in my life—from broken relationships to shattered plans. Exerting tons of energy trying to fix them, I missed Christ, the newborn King—the star that gave significance to my life. The star that covers shadows of gloom and sorrow.

Joe’s memories changed—his sweet smile, his tender hugs and his sense of humor now sit atop of my life, casting off that glow to bring back the joy.

To remind me that he’s not gone, not from my heart, not from my mind, nor have the images of his spunky self vanished.

When that void in our heart aches to be filled, it’s Christ’s star of comfort that makes it whole. When bitter sorrow robs the spirit of Christmas, it’s the star of His everlasting love that whispers joy. When a health diagnosis shakes our world, it’s His star of reassurance that shines the certainty of new tomorrows. When our finances rob our security, it’s the star of God’s provision that ushers the radiance of reassurance. It’s the same star that never loses the brilliance of hope. The hope that, through Christ, tragedies turn to triumph.

Source: How to find triumph in tragedy. | Janet Perez Eckles

How to use your sad yesterdays for a bright tomorrow.

23 Jul

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

07-15-16 Faith

Meet Faith


Hubby and I sat in the family room as we visited friends in their condo on the beach. Suddenly lights began to flicker. Then electricity went out for a few moments. I sat on the couch while all dashed out to the balcony to see the cause.

What they saw was a fire burning in one of the nearby electric transformers. Fire trucks and police rushed to the scene and took care of the situation bringing safety back.

But the fire was the hardest on a large dog. The fire burned her front yard and the experience scared her so much she won’t walk into the house. The owner has to carry her inside and give her Benadryl to keep her calm. Interestingly enough, this fearful dog’s name is Faith!

Experiences can do that to dogs and to us, too. We sometimes experience the fire of rejection that aches or the fire of disappointment that leaves its mark. We may experience the fire of wounds that sear or the fire of abuse that leaves its scars. Or and even the fire of cruel words that still echo in our head.

All are real and often build a thick wall, keeping us from the happiness and the freedom of joy that can be ours today.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what God has to say to you and to me when it comes to past experiences of fires of yesterday that smolder in the crevices of our heart:

“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 43:19)

And refreshed by that stream of His love, He will carry you through the front door to the new dwelling where He houses these promises: “I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1b-2)

What past experiences is God asking you to leave behind?


Source:  How to use your sad yesterdays for a bright tomorrow. | Janet Perez Eckles


Have you been to Legoland? Janet shared this story in her newsletter:

With backpack filled with snacks and bottles of water, hubby and our two grandkids filed through the entrance to Legoland. And what do we encounter first? A roller coaster which sent the little ones into the excitement mode.

They pulled my hand. “C’mon, Nana, you have to come with us!”

This blind Nana does not do roller coasters. But I wasn’t quick enough with my excuse.

“Nana,” my six-year-old grandson said, “you don’t have to be afraid, and Papa is going to sit right next to you.”

And he did. I shook, and jerked from side to side as the ride took sharp turns, rose up and came down again. But, I smiled because I was beside my strong hubby.

If you happen to be on the roller coaster of life, shaken up with heartache or worry, God is beside you, strong enough for you to hold on to so you can feel secure.

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Simple quiz to see how you handle fear

16 Jul

Walking by Faith Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way

LostWhat joy, the plane landed a bit earlier in Quito, Ecuador. My friend would be waiting for me and we’d be on our way to our week of ministering to those affected by the earthquake.

The airport employee who guided me out of the plane grabbed my bags and led me toward the exit of the airport. Then he asked, “What does the friend who’s picking you up look like?”

I leaned on my white cane and gave a silly grin. Although I met her during her visit to the states, being blind, I had no clue what she looked like.

“Don’t worry,” I said, “she’ll recognize me and we’ll be on our way.”

We waited. And we waited. No friend. Then logic filed in my head. What if, since I’ve been traveling so much, I ended up in the wrong country, or arrived on the wrong date.

“This is Ecuador, isn’t it?” I asked, sort of joking.

Whew! He said it was. At least it was the correct country. But with no one there to meet me, I had to decide what to do. I couldn’t use my cell phone; it had no service in a foreign country.

Here’s when we have the choice—whether we allow fear to rule us or faith empower us.

I chose the latter because of this test I gave myself. And I invite you to take it too:

  • Is God aware of our every glitch?
  • Is He faithful when we encounter unexpected circumstances?
  • Is His faithfulness active even when we fail?
  • Does His answer come in ways we never predicted?
  • Is His protection available no matter where we are?
  • Does He warn what to do about fear, worry and anxiety?
  • Can I rest, knowing His hand is upon me no matter if I’m blind, deaf or crippled?

King David might have taken this test because he declared: ”The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

I passed the test, then gathered my suitcases around me, plopped in a chair near the exit and relaxed while I waited. If you also answer “yes” to all of the above, you’re on the way to a life of faith. And if you recognize His promises as you answered the questions, you’ve arrived at a place where faith rules, where peace reigns, where your steps are firm. And best of all, even when circumstances don’t change, your heart is secure, your thoughts are calm and His answer is sure to come.

And my answer indeed came. My friend had received wrong information from the airline, telling her the plane was delayed for three hours. Eventually she sent someone to pick me up from the airport. And although I didn’t know this person, I still trusted—not so much in her as she was a stranger, but I trusted in god who is truly trustworthy.

How about you? Are you at a place strangely painful? What does the test reveal about your fear, about your faith?


Source: Simple quiz to see how you handle fear. | Janet Perez Eckles


This message from a friend took my breath away. She was recently diagnosed with last stages of leukemia. And she writes:

“My heart has been blessed. My mind is at peace, my direction for ministry is more clear. God heard and is answering. Thank you. I do have a spirit of joy and peace. Even laughter! I smile thinking I get to go to Heaven first. I’ve always loved winning a race. Ha! I’ll beat you there! In reality, I’m not giving up and I am trusting for a miraculous healing and that God will continue to teach me lessons I can share with the world. What a thrill it is to be a servant of the King!”

After reading this note from her, I reflected on my reaction should a doctor tell me I only have a few months to live. How about you? How would you react?

Three things we must do when our world turns dark. | Janet erez Eckles

28 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

His Way


That short hour the other night without electricity reminded me how wimpy I had become. Back in Bolivia where I was born, electricity and water only lasted till noon. And we adjusted, thought of it as normal and never thought to complain.

“Honey!” I called to my hubby the other night, “the phone is dead.”

“Everything is dead,” he said. “The electricity went out.”

You see, for this blind gal, the fact there are no lights is no big deal. But when the phone or the computer don’t work…that’s major stuff.

My lights went off recently in a different way. I witnessed one of my closest friend suffer with a sorrowful situation with her family. Adversity seemed to darken her life with no warning. And her heartache and worry became mine. We prayed together on the phone and we asked for God’s intervention. As we did, God used the centurion’s story to remind me of the three truths to cling to when darkness hovers:

  1. Jesus is attentive to our own sorrow, to small and big details, as well as when we pray for others. “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.’” (Matthew 8:5)
  2. If we turn to Jesus, place all that aches before Him and wait; we’ll find He’s willing to answer. “He said to him, ‘I will go and heal him.’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.’” (Matthew 8:8)
  3. Jesus observes our level of trust, our belief and our faith. “When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you the truth. I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.’” (Matthew 8: 10)

How much faith will you have as you place all your requests before Jesus?


Source: Three things we must do when our world turns dark. | Janet Perez Eckles



How to heal from shame: three truths.

30 Apr

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Eckles Perez


I gasped when I read this headline: “Chinese Woman Mistakes Airplane Exit as Bathroom, Deploys Evacuation Slide.”

Her mistake was all over the news. The process to put back the slide in place delayed the flight for hours. Her passport was confiscated and she probably went home with a suitcase filled with embarrassment.

That’s what the world does, relishes in pointing out faux pas. The news emphasizes mis-spoken words, actions and mistakes.

If the adulterous woman scenario took place today, Tweets about her affairs would be all over the News. And details of her shame would be blasted throughout the internet. But they didn’t have cell phones then. Instead, they had rocks to stone her with. And right when they were about to begin, Jesus asked which was without sin. They probably broke out in sweat as they dropped their stones on the ground.

Because of Jesus’ presence, things turned out differently. And since He’s alive now, and powerful, loving, and forgiving as back when He walked on earth, when shame tears our insides, the end is glorious.

Three things He does when we stand facing our shame:

He hopes we stand still, lift our face to see Him and not try to run away.
He states His forgiveness.
He gives the advice for freedom.

“…with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

‘No one, sir,’ she said.

‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (John 8:9b-11)

No matter how much we try, we’ll end up pulling wrong doors as the Chinese woman. Or head down the wrong path, make huge mistakes, or do something that makes us blush just thinking about it. That’s Okay, we can rejoice because Jesus doesn’t condemn, blame or accuse…He simply forgives.

Any shame or regret hiding in your heart today?

Source: How to heal from shame: three truths. | Janet Perez Eckles


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Hope Looks Up

25 Jul

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders

The natural flight of the human mind
is not from pleasure to pleasure,
but from hope to hope.
Samuel Johnson

Lord, when I wake up in the morning
my first thought is of You!
This day is truly a blessing.
What would You have me to do?

The day may be disguised as ordinary,
but extraordinary things happen with you
You are our reason for living, Lord.
We find our purpose and strength in You.


Green and pink paintingpng

Know God, Know Hope No God, No Hope

11 Jul

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders


What a difference the spelling makes.

To know Him is to love Him, and others.

To love Him is to serve Him,

as we reach out to our brothers.


If you have yet to meet Him,

here is all you have to do.

Confess you are a sinner-

He’s waiting at the cross for you.


Hang on to hope, as on Jesus you wait.

“I will go before you and make

the crooked paths straight”. Isaiah 45.


No God  –  No hope,

I can’t imagine such a scenario.

Why?  My heart is too full of love,

since Jesus I came to know!

“Therefore, having been justified by faith,

we have peace with God through our

Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have

access by faith into this grace in which we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:1,2




Persistence and Prayer Rout Worry

4 Jul

From My Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders



I am reminded that an old saint was asked.,

‘Which is the more important,

reading God’s word or praying?”

To which he replied,

“Which is more important to a bird,

the right wing or the left?”

A. W. Tozer.


Pray without ceasing  1 Th. 5:17




A river cuts through rock,

not because of it’s strength,

but because of its persistence.

Jim Watkins actor born 1944


I, too, want to forge ahead.

I’ll keep my eyes on Jesus

and His never failing assistance.


There is no use in carrying around “worry “and ” regret”,

they only weigh you down.

Keep yourself open to “hope” and to “love”.

A smile will replace a frown.


Come unto me

I Am So Sorry

9 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I would like to apologize to everyone who made their grand announcement “I just finished building my new website, come take a look” and I just yawned or if I was feeling generous I gave it a tweet. I had no idea what you were saying, how much work and creativity you had expended. I’m so sorry.Computer

I had no idea what building a website involved until I decided to give it a try. I am attempting to build a wonderful site to showcase the work of Rebekah Lyn and DiVoran Lites, both of whom are dear to me, one as daughter the other as Spiritual mentor and precious friend.  They are fine writers who tell great stories of faith adventure and hope.

I would still be stuck in Word Press tutorial 101 if God had not sprinkled Lynn into my life. We met in tenth grade and became life-long friends. Little did I know as we passed notes in class, giggled about boys and all those other things high school girls do, that she was going to be my life line for this website building adventure.

I think I might begin calling her my Philippians 4:19  friend,

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