Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

“Did you want a four or a seven-day Caribbean cruise?” the travel agent asked.

What a choice. Even one day on that luxurious cruise ship is enough to make me salivate with excitement. But recently, unfortunate cruising events broadcasted by the media brought that thrill a notch down.

Many feel pity for those passengers who found a nice cruise turn to a crazy nightmare. But when sailing in our own ship to success, the fate isn’t much different.

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Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Hey you sophisticated speakers out there. Have you ever found a surprise during a speaking engagement?

I did. And I thought I’d share it with you.

“Wow…that was a long day,” hubby said when I told him how my Saturday was.

“No, it wasn’t long,” I said. “It was lovely.”

 

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Hi there, Sherry Kyle here, writing from the central coast of California with a word of
Sherry Kyle photo encouragement for you on this Monday before we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Over
the last twelve years, I’ve taken writing classes, gone to conferences, been a
part of critique groups, have had a couple of agents, and several editors—each
person or workshop helping me to further my career as a writer. I’m grateful
for the writing friends I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and the writing
opportunities sent my way. I feel blessed to have signed five book contracts
with traditional publishers. I have much to be thankful for. And yet my attitude
isn’t always filled with appreciation for what God has done for me. 

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IMG_00049

Steve at 4 years old in 1976

My family on my paternal side is riddled with alcoholism. I call it the family plague. But this past year I’ve seen the Lord reach down and pull my younger brother up by the scruff of the neck and set him on the road to sobriety.

My 41-year-old brother, Steve, had no time for God. It was too painful to watch his life spiral out of control as he lived only for the next bottle of vodka. But before Steve would ever even think of God, I knew he had to reach bottom. About two years ago I began to pray that he’d reach that point, and reach it fast before all hope was lost.

The Lord answered those prayers. He allowed my brother to go down that long, long, destructive road, and at last he crashed.

He’d already lost two marriages, a home, and the opportunity to be a full-time dad to his two girls. But it wasn’t until he lost the love and respect of his youngest daughter that he finally woke up to what he was doing. It was when his fifteen-year-old Kristen wouldn’t return his phone calls or agree to see him that Steve finally realized he needed help.

That was only the start of the long road back to health. Even then, Steve kept returning to his addiction that held on to him like manacles around his wrists and ankles. But through prayer we began to see the release of my brother from this strangling hold.

We so often think of prayer as the last resort. But I’ve come to realize that prayer is not just that thing that helps us get things done—as if that were the inspiration behind our abilities and powers of persuasion.

Prayer is the work.

In the Book of Mark, chapter 9:14-29, we read that the Lord’s disciples were trying to release a young man from demon possession. This young man was so much like my brother, throwing himself into the fire.

Jesus had already given his disciples the authority and the training to cast out evil spirits such as afflicted this young man. But nothing they did worked. It didn’t even seem to matter how much faith they had. Jesus Himself was able to cast out the demon and set this young man free.

The passage concludes with Jesus’ words, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

Prayer isn’t the last resort according to Jesus. Prayer is the greatest work.

It is prayer and prayer alone that will cast the alcoholism from my brother. With God all things are possible.

 

IMG_00051

My brother, Steve, with my little girl Lana, when he was 12 in 1982.

 

 

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Donkey2You’ve heard the old adage, ‘cast your bread upon the waters and wait for it to come back to you’.

Well how about the adage, ‘looking for lost donkeys’?

Nope? Never heard of that one?

Lately I’ve been testing the waters to see what direction I should take with my career. Not being independently wealthy I need to bring in an income. I know, I know, who of us does not have financial difficulties? We all have our crosses to bear. Ooops, there’s another well-worn adage.

Thing is, we all have our stresses. And we all reach crossroads at frequent intervals where we have to make decisions—-will I go in that direction . . . or in this direction?

You may be looking for a job. Deciding on what college to attend. Deciding what direction God wants you to take in the writing of your next book, or speaking engagements. Perhaps your issue is health related. 

There’s an incident in the life of Saul that each time I read it, gives me comfort. The young Saul had no idea that God had chosen him to be the first king of Israel. He just figured he was an ordinary guy whose father was a farmer and owned a string of donkeys. One day those donkeys went missing, and Saul’s father sent him out to look for them.

Saul travelled through various areas, the hill country of Ephraim, passed through the land of Shalishah, etc., etc., etc. He looked for ages and all over the place. Saul could not find those donkeys.

I can connect with Saul’s long and unfruitful search for those financially strategic donkeys.

Funny thing is, God used that long and winding search to bring Saul to the prophet Samuel. The Lord had already revealed to Samuel that He had chosen Saul to be that first king. As Samuel unveiled this to Saul, he also told him that the donkeys he was searching for had been found and were already at home, and that God had a totally new direction for his life.

So, when you’re unclear about what direction to take in your life, or it seems that every iron you place in the fire doesn't get hot enough to provide for you, or you’re not sure which direction to cast your bread on the water, remember that God knows exactly where your lost donkeys are. He’ll bring them safely home in the right time.

The story of Saul and the lost donkeys is found in I Samuel 9

Be encouraged.

Christine Lindsay, www.christinelindsay.com

Author of the Award-winning, Shadowed in Silk

Chris 1

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