Thursday, November 14, 2019

Happy Thursday reader!

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What's happening this month.

Some friends and I packed our suitcases and headed on a Caribbean cruise. As the ocean waves gently rocked the huge ship, I let my mind wonder, wishing to escape the storms of life. For a fleeting moment, I hoped the next port of call would be heaven. This way, I’d avoid the bombarding of life’s challenges and the fallen world’s cruelty.

I had a bit of Elijah in me. With the urge to run away, to organize a pity party and run till I collapsed in exhaustion.

But God’s voice resonated in me. His Word and the power of His truth erased all traces of wimp thinking. Instead, I was convinced the port of call He’s leading us to is one of courage, of bold faith, of resolve to conquer, the determination to overcome and the desire to triumph.

That’s why sweet anticipation replaces gloom. The divine Captain directs us to a port of call  known as grace. There He welcomes us with exciting beginnings, colorful adventures painted with the brush of His promises.

So, no matter what you’re facing, keep on sailing and keep on believing. He’s guiding your ship, and the ocean of His love will keep you afloat.

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This Month's Inspiration

“I wrapped an old jacket around me and slammed the door of my dingy apartment. At four in the morning, it was safer and easier to hit the crack dealer on the corner. I lived in a horrible home. Satan had taken my kids, my family, my home and my job.

I lived to find enough money for the next hit. And when high on whatever I smoked, I groaned and cried at God.

Where was He? Why did He leave me? I knew that answer. I wasn’t worth Him sticking around me—a drug addict, a loser and a sinner.

He’d left me. He’d gone from my home. I traveled looking for him. From state to state I went, but never found Him. And when darkness was just about to choke me, I gave one more cry till it seemed as if no more breath was in me. And when I had nothing, no apartment and no family, I wonder why I still lived.

That’s when God touched my withered soul and said, “I never left you…been right here by your side.”

With Pamela’s permission, I share her story. Her question about the absence of God is not rare or uncommon. When despair hits, we assume He’s left us. The reasons are many. Maybe it’s not addiction to crack but a crack in our heart that begs to be healed, or sin, or someone’s harsh admonition, or false condemnation.

Because of the above, we’re emotionally beaten and wounded, we slide away from God. Eventually, he becomes a distant concept. And from far away, He seems to be an abstract image. He seems silent and unaware of our despair.

But He’s not. He’s alive, vibrant and active! He’s still waiting, still calling, still loving and still hoping.

He’s hoping the child that ran away would ease back into His arms, nestle in His grace and listen to the truth: Humans are flawed, fickle, weak and often wrong. But God is forever loving, forgiving and forever our Father.

He is also “…gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (Psalm 144:7-9)

Pamela saw this very compassion first hand. She left her destructive ways behind, repented, and hope filled her once again as God restored her family. She now lives to serve Christ. And with unbridled boldness, she testifies to the pain of the past while living without Jesus. And now she tastes the peace that filters through with Him at the center.

As she shares her testimony with contagious courage, she repeats this verse: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

Will you embrace the kindness He offers?

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What's coming up?

I just finalized my travel details for a speaking engagement where I will have the honor of addressing a women’s conference in North Oregon. Anyone of you close to North Bend, OR? If so, plan to attend the conference. The dates are April 26-27. I’ll give more details as it gets closer.

Do you have an upcoming event? Here’s a SHORT VIDEO of what you can expect when you invite me to speak to your group.

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Another Book Review

(Reprinted from the Lyons Mirror-Sun review, by Mary Connealy)

“Janet Eckles book Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow—Overcoming Adversities in Life is a straightforward telling of a fascinating life. In a factual book that reads like great fiction, Jan Eckles takes us on a journey through the fires that forged her. Each challenge she faced might be enough to defeat any one of us. But Eckles puts her struggles into the hands of God and instead of being crushed, the pressure has turned her into a gem. Written in a warm, informal style, the book reads almost like talking to an old friend. It will pull you in and compel you to find out what happens next to this courageous woman, and how she finds a way to turn it all over to God and go on living life to the fullest.”

Interested? You can order it HERE.

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Prayer

Life can be tough. But God instructs us to turn to Him. I commit to join you in prayer for your requests. Please SEND ME your prayer requests.

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Until next month...

I pray your days are easy, your nights calm, and your  moments rich with God's Word to keep you joyful

...Janet