Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Hola from Janet Perez Eckles…Igniting Your Passion to Overcome

No landscape. No fancy doors. Not even a nice front. None of these are priorities for homes in La Paz, Bolivia. The wall you see in this picture is to guard the home. Every house has a protective barrier against thieves. Read More →

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This Christmas, I had the joy of speaking at many women’s teas and Christmas events. My message was on “Christmas Light” and it is based on our family’s Christmas Advent Wreath and Dinner and Dialogue traditionpam speak christmas ncc 2015. We use Isaiah 9:6 as the center of our celebration and conversation because it is the center of the hope and light we all enjoy because of Christ’s birth.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

This Christmas, which name of Christ are you leaning on? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or Prince of Peace?

Those same four names can lead us to creative ways to bless back those who have been a blessing to us during the past year. In doing so, we reflect the light of God’s love.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light (Psalms 36:9)

advent wreath candlesFor those who have blessed you, not just personally, but professionally, let’s look at 4 simple ways you can boomerang back some of the blessings that have been extended to you:

Wonderful Counselor: Give those who supported you a little support too. Send them a book (video, conference scholarship, a meeting with a mentor or counselor, a day away at a conference grounds for solace) that equips them for an upcoming important event in their life (marriage, birth of a child, care for a parent), or comforts or lends wisdom for a struggle he or she might be working through (that they may have shared with you).  This can be a fun way to express your creativity too. For example, we often give our book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,waffle spaghetti with ws book  and wrap it in a pasta bowl with spaghetti noodles, waffle iron with waffle mix and the utensils needed to cook these up. On occasion I have a friend in ministry close enough to send a fun gift to– like our Red Hot Monogamy book wrapped in a set of sheets, or in a basket of fun “hot items” like Red Hot candy, hot tamales, a gift card to a Mexican food café, or a collections of hot sauce bottles.

Mighty God: Offer to pray them through a difficult situation or circumstance. Send Bible verses, prayers,  or a Bible gift item with a verse they can hang their heart on to have hope. My friend, Lisa Copen, of Gutsy Goodness, has an invisible illness that keeps her in daily pain, yet she runs Rest Ministries to help others in pain and she also creates beautiful messages of hope on necklaces. During a difficult season in my life, God led me to Neh. 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Today, I wear that phrase to encourage me on a necklace Lisa made for me.

Everlasting Father: Good dads make life just a little bit easier. Perhaps your gift can help lighten the load or ease the work of someone who has eased your load. Options can include gift cards, but you can also add your logo (or theirs) to tools that people need for work as a small reminder that you care: usb drive, coffee mugs, water glasses, sticky note holders, coasters, desk accessories are all items we have receivedbrave book courage mug and given.  (Often your local Christian bookstore is a great place to find unique gift items with some deeper scriptural meaning– and it is a terrific way to thank your bookstore with your business!) For example, to go along with my book Becoming a Brave New Woman, I was able to purchase a coffee mug with a verse on courage on it to give to some brave women who had helped me be brave.

Prince of Peace: One of the best gifts you can give a leader is to enrich their own walk with God. You might give them a beautiful book mark, a new Bible, or a new devotional. The year A Couple’s Journey with God book was released, some of our friends got a copy of that devotional with some travel items like luggage tags, flight ticket holder and passport cover. Our book Devotions for Men on the Go and Devotions for Women on the Gocouple journey luggage tag have been given with items to keep those friends “on the go”: coffee gift card, coffee thermos or dark chocolate espresso bean candy; gas fuel card; or cute key chain or fitness item.

To gain creativity, think of your life, and a walk a mile in your own shoes and ask, “What would make my life easier, stronger or better?” Make a list of those items, then put on your friend’s tennies or heels and  walk through their life asking that same question. Chances are the circle of their life and the circle of yours will over lap and there may be items in your world or the books and resources of other author friends you know that could bless those around your ministry.

 

pam bill merry christmas sign 2013Pam Farrel, with her husband Bill, are the authors of 40+ books. including their newest 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman. They are the co-directors of Love-Wise.

 

 

 

 

 

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BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Holy Spirit, cultivate and proliferate your fruit in my writing.

Let love permeate my words.

Help me experience joy in the writing, and let my readers experience joy in reading.

Use my writing to spread shalom.

Give me patience in the writing.

Let goodness characterize what I write, and gentleness how I write it.

Make and keep me faithful to you, to the publisher, and to the reader from beginning to end, and let God-given self control guide my every thought, impulse, and decision as I write, revise, edit, and review, in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

TRLPLBob’s latest book is The Red Letter Prayer Life, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere.

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Wrestling the Dream-killer

Author, Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker http://www.diannebarker.com here, wondering…have you wrestled the dream-killer?

Weariness and its family—exhaustion, fatigue, disillusionment—are experts at destroying dreams. Their persuasive whispers can talk us out of doing what we believe God called us to do.

Authors battle weariness on many fronts. We begin a project with enthusiasm but time and trials slay our energy and our expectation.

Who hasn’t felt searing pain when an editor slashed hope of publishing the manuscript we penned in heart’s blood? Who hasn’t stumbled under the weight of marketing demands? Who hasn’t declared, “I give up!”

In such a place, questioning the worth of my work, I heard a soft voice in my spirit. “It’s good and God is in it.” I wrote a note and placed it at my keyboard to keep me focused.

Apostle Paul gave me another boost. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Steadfast is one of my favorite words. I found it in 2 Thessalonians 1:4. Paul bragged on the church for their “steadfastness (your unflinching endurance and patience) and your firm faith in the midst of all the persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions under which you are holding up.”

I found it in Matthew 16:24. Jesus explained to his disciples what following him involved. “If anyone desires to be My disciple let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to my example in living and, if need be, in dying also].”

I found it in the Hebrews commentary on Moses. “[Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

Steadfast. Fixed. Immovable. Unwavering. Never flinching. Holding staunchly to our purpose.

That’s how we wrestle the dream-killer.

Weariness does its most effective work in our thoughts, and that’s where we confront it. When the Lord gives an assignment, here’s our strategy:

  • Respond in obedience, knowing the path may be crooked and rough and our mission threatened by obstacles and detours.
  • Cling steadfastly to Christ, confident He will help us hold up under persecutions and crushing distresses and afflictions.
  • Remain firm in our position, never flinching, holding staunchly to our purpose.
  • Persevere in confidence, knowing in Christ we can abound—be plentiful, thriving, flourishing—for our labor is not wasted.

When you’re facing a rock wall with no way to pass, consider this. The Lord gathered up the waters of the sea so His people could cross on dry land. He fed them manna from heaven and gave them drink from a rock. Never doubt that He can split that stone and make a path for you.

Expect the dream-killer to visit again. But don’t give up. Challenge is dressed in opportunity.

(All Scriptures from The Amplified Bible.)

About Dianne Barker

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

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Janet Perez Eckles

Janet Perez Eckles

Hola from Janet Perez Eckles…Igniting Your Passion to Overcome

This past Friday, I figured out what to do to reach success.

“Okay, guys,” I announced to my 7- and 5- year old grandkids, “here is the game. Take this straw and blow on the cotton ball gently enough so it will stay between the two lines marked with masking tape on the floor.”

They both grabbed their straws, took turns, giggled and did their best.

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