Tag Archives: Jesus

My Sin

30 Mar

Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us. Galatians 1:4

 

 

I  sin daily yet He loved me so deeply that He took on my sins to himself. Amazing love.

The Shadow Knows

23 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites

1

When we’re young we think adults know everything. While we’re in that stage, we’ll follow almost anyone who is nice to us. It takes many years to begin to realize that people don’t know as much as we think they do.

Take for instance our relationship with God. You see and hear all kinds of things about how we should think and behave, and what we should believe. The more mature we grow, however, the less apt we are to believe just anything. We come to a place where we want to know God for ourselves. We want Him to teach us and answer our questions. Oh, I’m not talking about Christ being God’s Son and dying for our sins. That’s basic. No, it’s more like traditions and rites, and conjecture about what He actually wants from us and what he is like.

Who really does know everything? The Shadow Knows of course, but who is the shadow?

DiVoran and David Bowers

David and DiVoran Bowers

First of all, he was the alter-ego of a man named Lamont Cranston, and the hero in the radio program, “The Shadow.” In the 40s my little brother and I loved to listen to that program. To keep us out of their hair at the restaurant on Sunday afternoons our parents bought a radio and installed it in the living room of our duplex at the end of the street. We didn’t have a working kitchen because the kitchen held our bunk beds. So dad bought us a new- fangled pop-up toaster. Every week our parents gave us a loaf of Rainbow bread and sent us home to listen to the Sunday afternoon programs.

When we had polished off the toast, we found our toys and laid them out in preparation for moving them around. David took each tiny horse, each cow, and each section of rail fencing and placed it exactly where he wanted it.

I pulled out Mother’s little dolls and the clothes she and her Grandmother had made for them in the late twenties.

We listened happily and when, “The Shadow,” came on we paused to listen to his voice. One phrase I never forgot from “The Shadow” was: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”

The Shadow

“A figure never seen, only heard, the Shadow was an invincible crime fighter. He possessed many gifts which enabled him to overcome any enemy. Besides his tremendous strength, he could defy gravity, speak any language, unravel any code, and become invisible with his famous ability to “cloud men’s minds.” (Thanks to the website, Old Time Radio World.)

So now we knew someone who really did know everything, and somehow, we had a profile of God. We could trust the Shadow because he always did the right thing and he protected people and their children. In the end, though, we were open to being friends with someone who possessed all the Shadow’s abilities and much more. We chose to worship Jesus.

Now that we’re grown-ups, we think we might know a thing or two, but we still come against questions we can’t answer. That’s when we have to say, “The Shadow knows.” We mean God, or course. He is sufficient for any need we have.

Peace Be Still

1 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Peace Be Still

Jesus always told stories when he spoke to his followers.

I’m into stories, have been since I was born. My mother told true stories and made up some. Grandmother told stories about her life, too. Before he went away to war and later when he grew old, Dad told stories about his. His stories stopped during my childhood because he suffered from what is now called PTSD.

I married a man who tells stories about his adventures every day, our grown children tell stories and so it goes. Stories and the need for them will never die. I thank God that I come from a story-telling family. I’m convinced there is no better way to learn the vital things of life.

It seems possible to imagine myself present as a child in a story about one of Jesus’ miracles. See if you can put yourself into it with me.

Father and Mother took me up on the mountain to listen to the master. He told us things about how to be happy. Wildflowers grew all over the mountain spreading their fragrance over the crowd like a blessing. I stood in the boat next to Jesus as he taught from there. I wanted to sing and dance with joy, but, alas, there was no room for that in the small boat.

When the teaching was over, the master asked the fishermen to take him across the lake. The sail filled with wind and we flew right along across the water next to a low-flying seagull. I looked around for the master and finally found him sleeping at the back of the boat. I was tired from all the excitement and the fresh air, so I lay down nearby. I thought about the wonderful day and looked at the white clouds in the blue sky. I too, fell asleep.

I awoke to rain in my face, black skies, and a bad feeling in my tummy. The fishermen were shouting and I saw that they were afraid. I’d never seen big rough men show fear before. Two wrestled to get the sail down while two others tried to bail out the water coming over the side in waves. One of the men came back and shook the master’s shoulder to wake him.

“Don’t you care that we’re all going to die!” he shouted.

By now I was hanging onto the anchor so I wouldn’t be washed out of the boat and into the sea.

The master rose and made his way to the bow. He held his hand up commanding, “Stop. Be quiet. Peace! Be still.” His voice carried through the storm. We all heard it. Suddenly the sea was calm. The sun came out. The bailers finished bailing. The sail went up again. Soon the work was done and we were on our way.

“Why were you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith?” said the master.

“Who is this man that wind and sea are at his command?” said one of the men.

I almost raised my hand to answer, but then thought the men might not like a child telling them something they didn’t already know. Someday, perhaps I will tell the story of this day so others may hear and know him too.

Mark 4

If you want to see the ancient fishing boats, Google Bible fishing boats. The pictures are beautiful.

 

 

You might enjoy this book: The Power of Personal Storytelling 

 

 

Christmas and Me

21 Dec

My Take

DiVoran Lites

The Christmas Gift

 

We’re more or less skipping Christmas this year. I’ve told several people when they ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Asking is one of the thing good Americans do. But I’m going on with my daily routines, not because of the so called commercialism a lot of folks love to rave about, but because of the time and work that’s needed to fulfill the requirements and expectations of the holiday. I know a lot of people glory in those things, and I hope everything goes smoothly and well, for them.

We grass-root Americans are the cream of the crop, the salt of the earth, but we may have one or two weaknesses. One weakness may be to expect others to be like us. That’s the downside of tradition. The upside is lovely celebrations, being together with people you love, color, movement, music, gifts (if you need or want something and the givers choose correctly.)

The first four people I said no to when they asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” gave me agreeable and kindly responses like, “I wish we could do that.” Those were men. One dear man asked if we were changing religions, though. I told him we weren’t skipping Jesus, not at all. The women gave a little different answer depending on whether they had children or grandchildren. Those selfless people struggle to do their best to make a memory and they love it and feel good about what they have accomplished. I do not begrudge them.

I did my best to make Christmas magical when our children and grandchildren were growing up. I bought them presents with money Bill earned, I put up a tree, and I baked. I was a good daughter and sister, too. I bought and sent packages to California and New Mexico and I spent hours writing Christmas cards with messages in them. The year I noticed that I was busy most of every day of December I began to think about slowing down. There were other things I’d rather be doing. For some, I know, the work of Christmas is a joy and I say God bless you in every endeavor. I know what fun those things can be.

This year I thought I’d watch Christmas movies to get me in the mood. Wouldn’t, “Are you in the in the mood for Christmas,” be a more telling question than are you ready for Christmas? Some people are in the mood and some aren’t, but why should anybody have to measure up to someone else’s perceptions about it? Let each of us know God and know ourselves and do what is right for us and our families.

Over the years, I’ve quit baking, reduced the number of gifts, and slowed down on decorating. This year I’m doing none of those things. This is the happiest and lightest Christmas I’ve ever had. Mostly I’m loving the music and other people’s decorations, we’re not so much into sweets anymore, but I don’t care what others think or do. I’m mature enough to make up my own mind what to focus on.

Even with all the conflict, I do thank God for giving His son, Jesus Christ, to walk with us through our time on earth and to forgive our trespasses… I do love Jesus. He is the greatest gift we could ever have received, and I’m satisfied with all the blessings he has given us, especially our friends and family. Please don’t judge us and we won’t judge you. We wish you a wonderful Christmas. And by the way, we’re grateful for every good (and bad) thing that comes our way, including any opportunity to show love to others.

Romans 12:2The Message (MSG)

Place Your Life Before God

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Top ten Christmas Hymns

Five Keys to Make This New Year Happy

28 Dec

“We play games every night,” my friend said. “We’re miles apart but we spend time enjoying a game online. It’s great fun.” Imagine that. Sharing time online, playing, enjoying and connecting with loved ones without having to hop in an airplane.

“How cool is that!” I said. “It’s like being close to the person, interacting and enjoying the cyberspace company.” I pondered on what my friend shared. And since I have the habit of trying out what I hear is fun, interesting or enjoyable, I decided to check out this new pass-time.

Sadly, I lack the time to play games. So I thought I’d try my own version of online connection. I’d connect with God, with His Word and with His guidance on a more intimate level.

Here are five ways I plan to connect with Him in the cyberspace of His love.

1. When He makes the first move to open the door to serve Him, I respond with no reservations.

2. When He moves a tough situation my way, I respond by seeing the possibilities, not the obstacles.

3. When He makes the move to bless me, I’m quick to move into the gratitude mode.

4. When He seems silent and makes no move to answer my prayer, I respond with gratitude anyway.

5. When He moves, displaying His discipline, I respond with requests for wisdom to learn.

Maybe I’ll begin that game before the New Year. I’ll make the first move: “…Cast my cares on the LORD…” and He will respond with His promise: “He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall” (Psalm 55:22).

Father, for this New Year, I plan the online connection with you to be rich, my efforts to be rewarding and my satisfaction, profound. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• With whom are you connecting lately?

• Who brings the satisfaction that fills your soul?

• What new connections will this New Year bring?

Legacy

Janet Perez Eckles,

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

What Is Your Legacy

16 Nov

“Do you remember how Joe would make us laugh with his silly comments?” I said to my sons at the dinner table the other day. They affirmed. And we all laughed remembering his wit, his unique insights and his gusto for life.

As I relish on my son Joe’s sweet memories, I reflected on the memories I, myself would leave behind. How about you? Do you ever wonder what will people remember you by? What will your children’s children talk about when your name comes up? Will they know what you wanted them to know?

In good times and bad, we’re subtly creating a legacy, weaving memories and painting strokes on the portrait our family will hold in their hearts. The portrait will display the life we lived, the values we held, the dreams we made come true, and the answers to these questions:

  • did we choose to see life beyond circumstances, or did circumstances see us to despair?
  • did we face challenges with determination, or did we allow them to determine our destiny?
  • did we look for tomorrow with passion, or did momentary trials rob the passion for today?
  • did we reach out to others to encourage them, or did our own discouragement reach out to hold us back?
  • did we live life rich with God’s reassurance, or did we look to insure our own way?
  • did fear steal our joy, or did God’s joy erase all fear?
  • did we do things for our own interest, or did we first take interest in God’s ways?
  • did we follow our plans, or did we first plan to follow God’s path.
  • did we fret over petty things, or find the power of God’s precepts?

No matter what the answer, “…from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children’s children-with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts” (Psalm 103:17-18).

Father, I pray your everlasting love nourishes my desires, goals and dreams. I ask for wisdom to leave a legacy that honors you, resonates with my children’s children, and reflects my obedience to your precepts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

• What memories will you leave behind?

• What do you want to be remembered by?

• What would you change if you knew tomorrow was your last day on earth?

Janet

Legacy

Janet Perez Eckles,

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…

My website in English

En Español

My story (video)

Inspirational video  just for you.

Where is Papa?

12 Oct

“Where is Papa?” my sleepy 5-year old granddaughter said the moment she opened her eyes in the morning.

“Papa already left for work,” I said, grinning at her love for her Papa.

“I want to be with him…I just want a hug from him. I love him so much,” she said.

After the sweetness of the moment faded, a not-too-sweet reminder came to mind. What about me? Do I ask for my Father’s presence the first thing in the morning? Rather than my soul longing to be with God, in His presence and to seek His company, my thoughts often turn elsewhere. How different it would be if I did wake up each morning with a yearning to be held by Him. To be reassured by Him. And to be guided by His grace.

God knows that weakness. He knows how we begin our day by letting worry nag. How we allow stress to creep up. And how we give in to restlessness. But because He also knows how deeply we want peace, security and victory at every stage, He gives His direct instruction: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Father, I confess that worries fill my head when I wake up. I have been a fool to seek you only when troubles com, when challenges show up or gloom threatens to step in. I ask that you give me wisdom to first choose my thoughts and fill them with you every morning. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  • What fills your mind when you open your eyes in the morning?
  • What longing fills your heart?
  • What is the order of your priorities lately?
Papa

Janet Perez Eckles

Grateful for the privilege of inspiring you…
My website in English
En Español
My story (video)
Inspirational video  just for you.

Old Age is Not the End

11 Oct

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

author of Window Wonders


How do you measure life, my friend?

Life on earth is not the end.

God fashions us with a Master Plan

to love and care for our fellow man.

 

Reach out and touch another soul-

a kind deed can be your goal.

Hearts are lifted from daily care

by sincere concerns and heartfelt prayer.

 

I yearn to hear a friendly voice,

to see a smile or two.

I know that God hasn’t changed,-

I see His love in You!

Investigating Family Ties~Part 3

7 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Mother’s other grandmother was Florenda Jane Bingham Bedell Britton. Anyhow, Florenda Jane was born April 6, 1847. When Dora was six years old Author, Poet and Artistand her grandmother came for a visit, she came to Dora’s room every night and they kneeled by the bed and prayed together. That TLC, Mother said, was what helped her want to become a Christian later in life. Florenda Jane belonged to the Church of God Holiness. I assume from the name they were what we now call charismatic. Florenda Jane died December 28, 1936 at eighty-nine years of age. I was born two years after she died. I wish I had known her. We’ll all sit down and have a fine chat in Heaven some day. Please join us when the time is right.

One of my mother’s grandfathers was Ezra Marshall Bedell. He was born in Syracuse New York in 1844. During the Civil War he was taken prisoner for eight years.

This brings us to Mother’s parents, Mabel and Roger Bedell. They lived on an apple ranch just outside town and settled in to raise apples, vegetables, chickens, a few cows, a son, and two daughters. Roger was manager of the Gas Company from 1917 until the town got electricity. They made water gas. The formula came down through the family, but I’m glad I don’t have to make it in order to have lights and cooking fuel. If the light over the dining room table began to dim, it was time for Roger to get the machines going again.

During the Great Depression, relatives who needed a place to stay came and went. My family has a history of feeding other people. I imagine if you investigate, your family does too. In those days, if you had food, you shared it. Now you can share knowledge with your children about their ancestors. It will make them stronger and more self-confident, especially if they hear stories about how their relatives loved and served Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Choices

2 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

DiVoran Lites

Doesn’t it drive you nuts when you decide to do something and you get so many choices you can’t make up your mind? For instance we recently changed cable systems and it seems the new one has even more choices of channels than the old one. They are up into the thousands now. I hear you can delete some of the channels and someday I may do so if I ever care enough to bother. I have found, “The Waltons,” and, “Little House on the Prairie,” and those should last me a while.

What about choices on our computers? We can do things one way or maybe we’d rather do them another way. The only trouble is, it seems to me as if sometimes one way works and at other times that way doesn’t work at all. Sound confusing? Think of the state of my poor mind.

Today I was browsing through a magazine that had pictures of several different kinds of artisan salt in it among them: Black, Red, and fleur de sel. By the way, new research is debunking the 100-year-old-idea that salt is supremely bad for everybody. Thank heavens. Anyhow, I might send away for the fleur de sel some day. Here is its description: fleur de sel is the caviar of salt (but honey, I wouldn’t eat caviar if you paid me, oh well, never mind.) It goes on: “made from the delicate crystals that blossom on the surface of crystallizing sea salts; delicate flavor; violet-like aroma: maintains integrity on wet foods. Now that sounds lovely and exotic, doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t want fewer choices in the world, I’ll muddle through the way things are. But how about religions? We have the Christic religions. That is an entirely new word for me that means what we once called Christ-centered. Or at least I assume from the context that’s what it means. Then we have Zen Buddhism, Hinduism. Humanism (yes, I do call that a religion), and a whole bunch more and within each they have denominations and branches galore. I’ve read a bit about some of them and I see some good things in some, (some really scary things, too), but the precepts that seem right and good to me are right there in the Christian Bible too. They were probably there first. To be more specific I like the Zen idea of being in the moment, but I know we have lots of scriptures that tell us the same thing. Jesus Himself did only one thing and I know he was paying attention when he did it. What did Jesus do? WDJD? He did whatever He saw His Father in Heaven doing at any given moment. And with this, I come to the crux of my rant. I keep coming back to Jesus every time I see another choice of religious precept. He is the one and only the all-in-all, the master, the bread, the salt. He is everything to me and will be everything to anybody who wants Him even a little bit. Then He and the Holy Spirit within us can help us make our choices, large and small, a very present help in trouble and in daily life. Psalm 46:1

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