Capture Your Thoughts

As I spooned the browned hamburger into the strainer, steam billowed up in a white cloud. What was that? I remembered to capture the thought and held it for a moment before it evaporated.

I was jealous of someone.

***

Do you ever think these types of things?

Something really bad is going to happen.

I will never get and stay healthy.

My kids won’t be okay.

This anxiety will never completely go away.

I’m not good enough. (strong, skinny, pretty, etc.)

I’ll make a fool of myself.

I’m not adequate or educated enough to write a book. (insert your activity)

I won’t sleep well tonight.

I’m still angry with him and he doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.

I don’t want her to succeed.

My husband or kids might be in an accident.

My faith is weak and I don’t have enough.

Someone hurt me by what they said or did.

When you think these things, who is talking?….   Right.    Satan lies to us all the time, distracting us with negative thinking patterns. He wants to pollute our minds and influence us to carry out sinful actions. Your actions flow from the state of your attitude or heart.

***

My ears have been perking up lately when I hear a verse from the Bible about the mind.

Here are a few:

Eph. 4:22-24  “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Phil. 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

Phil. 4:8-9 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things…and the God of peace will be with you.”

1 Cor. 2:16 “We have the mind of Christ.”

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Matt. 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.”

2 Cor. 10:5b “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

 

I need to constantly clear my mind so I can think more like Christ. It’s impossible on my own, but He gives His Holy Spirit to fill me.

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After pouring the hamburger back into the pan, I placed it on the stove. All the access water and grease had been discarded. As I shook the spice container over the meat I sucked in a slow deep breath through my mouth and nose. My mind felt completely renewed once more. Instead of jealousy, now I had the desire to send a card of congratulations.

Do you know a bible verse about having a healthy mind? Please share it.

Posted in Bible, focus and being mindful, God's Holy Word, Holy Spirit, mind of Christ, new beginnings, old self/new self in Christ, Renewing of your mind, word of God | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

A sunbow blazed to the right of the lowering sun. Blue and white sections filled the sky, with orange and yellow horizontal ribbons. Waves rolled up foaming and reclining back. I continued to walk toward the lighthouse although darkness was drawing near. The sky was pretty but nothing too out of the ordinary. It was one of those evenings when the sky might just turn gray and pull up its covers for the night, but a certain anticipation drew me to walk a little farther.

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I had been asking God for guidance. Wondering why He wasn’t talking to me and praying He would reveal himself. Is the Bible the only way He speaks to me?

Please give me wisdom and show your power in my life. I need your presence.

The sun was almost at the horizon when vertical peach colored clouds approached from the south resembling angel’s flowing gowns. As this mysterious cloud mass moved toward the sun, the momentum had picked up. Indescribable shapes and colors were forming. Flocks of seagulls were rising and falling in excitement all around.

Following a bird, my eye caught what was happening in the eastern sky. The right side of a rainbow was rising up behind the sand dune. It became brighter and brighter and for a moment there was even a hint of a second rainbow. The reflection from the opposite sky was a blotch of peachy color. The bright clouds that intersected the rainbow transformed into the shape of a golden sword.

When my gaze returned to the west, the sky was exploding so gloriously, I actually experienced the term breathtaking. Making it a habit to see as many sunsets as possible, many have been amazing. But this one beat them all. I was totally overcome and fell to my knees in awe. Surprisingly, the Apostle’s Creed came to my lips. It begins, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit…”

I shivered as tears streamed down both cheeks. If this kind of beauty is possible on earth, I can’t even imagine how incredible heaven will be. The canopy wrapping around me on all sides felt like warm, strong arms.

One way God speaks today is in nature. The sky smiled in gentle silence but was a thunderous sound to my heart. God’s beautiful sunset tapestry reminded me he certainly was present and loves me more than I can fathom. His picture spoke a thousand words…

 

These photographs were snapped in the middle of my gasping. These pictures don’t do it justice but I hope you can get a message from God too. What is He saying to you today?

 

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Posted in beauty of nature, Bible, God, God our Father, God's faithfulness, heaven, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Lake Michigan, listen, listening prayer, nature's beauty, photography, prayer, rainbows, sunsets | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Plotting A Course

The hum of the motor was so loud that I couldn’t stay awake. The warmth of the sun and the calmness of the sparkling water was mesmerizing. My bookmark slipped onto the seat.

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It had been an early morning. We caught the Amtrak in Holland at 6:54 a.m. on a Saturday in mid-September. The mist and gray gave way to an orange glow out of the grimy window. Cliff and I chatted on the way to Union Station. After choosing a sandwich and a couple large water bottles we hailed a cab to the marina around 11 a.m. Michigan time. The cab driver aggressively delivered us to the marina where we had purchased the boat. Two Saturdays before, we had boarded the Silverton to check it out. Cliff had come a second time to do a survey on the boat. All things had met his approval so today we came to drive it home.

It was our “train to cab to boat” adventure. We had never taken a boat trip to or from Chicago before so this was all new territory for us. Boarding the boat, we dropped our two small bags we had taken along, found the keys, unhooked the electrical cord and the ropes, and simply began our trek. I felt as if we were stealing the boat. Asking a random man on the docks where the gas dock was, we proceeded along through the very large marina. Looming in front of us Willis tower and other skyscrapers stretched into the clear blue sky. The sun was bright and warm. No wind, no fog.

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The two tanks needed to be filled to the brim. The boat had been neglected for a long time, so we knew it would require repairs and much cleaning. I was on offense and defense with a large jug of spider killer and a brush I found. Right now we just wanted to get it home to the west side of Michigan. Cliff realized he would need to forego normal means of navigation, so he “plotted a course” on his phone. He set it toward St. Joseph to the northeast 65 miles.

The Chicago skyline slowly became smaller and smaller. We knew we were incredibly blessed with the weather. We’ve boated on Lake Michigan for 30 years and realize she can change in a big hurry. It can be a serene lake and then a beast searching for prey. The water was shining in small ripples like millions of diamonds. We could see the skyline for at least one and a half hours.

On the starboard side Cliff spotted what he thought was Gary, later New Buffalo, then Bridgman. We were still going in a northeast direction so we didn’t get very close to those cities. The temperature was around 85 degrees and we guessed the water to be between 60-65 even in the middle of the lake. Many of our gauges and equipment needed tuning so we didn’t have readings. We were thankful for the working refrigerator with sealed water bottles inside since we needed much more hydration.

We had thought we would have at least an hour when we couldn’t see any land, but there was really not much time we didn’t. You can’t see land from more than 20 miles because of the curvature of the earth over the horizon, even on a very clear day. So we were fortunate to have a crisp day and we stayed near enough to the edge of the bottom of the lake to keep land in sight.

After a couple hours we spotted St. Joseph. It seemed like we had it made now that we were on the west side of Lake Michigan. But it took a couple more hours before we were close enough to get a decent picture of it. We have boated on the west coast of Lake Michigan for so many years but we have never been that far south. After another hour we were near South Haven. We just kept coasting along. That’s when the roar of the motors just seemed to lull me to sleep. Cliff had set the “auto-pilot” of the boat, so all he had to do was watch for anything that might be in front of us. He didn’t even have to steer the boat. The radar wasn’t working either so he would stand up occasionally and kept a watchful eye.

Being able to read a book while riding in the front seat of a boat is very unusual. The book dropped down a few times and my eyelids were heavy. The sun was warm but not terribly hot. For much of the time the water was completely calm and flat. I didn’t move around much because the boat was dirty. The spiders were at bay for the time being and I was just hoping to get home without encountering any more of them. Soon we passed South Haven, then Saugatuck. Now we were really in familiar territory!

We had left Chicago at noon our time, and now at 6:30 p.m. we purred past the beloved Big Red Lighthouse of Holland, Michigan. She sure was a welcome sight! A half an hour later we were backing into our slip at the Yacht Basin Marina. Ah, to be home! The seven hour trip was long. It was an adventure but surely didn’t come without stress and concerns.

Cliff thought the boat sounded strange the last half hour. When we got into the slip and were tying up, he confirmed that we had run out of gas! You see, the gas gauge was another thing that didn’t happen to work.

We thank the Lord for his wonderful favor on the trip, the weather, and the blessing of the boat.

 

Posted in beauty of nature, boating, God's faithfulness, God's protection, Lake Michigan, Memories, nature's beauty, summer | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Unity Music Festival Ticket Give-Away!

A few days ago I announced it was coming….following are the rules/details to win a free ticket to Unity Christian Music Festival: http://www.unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/ Dozens of awesome bands!

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I have one three day pass to give to away!

It is worth $75.00 at the gate!

Please only enter if you will be able to come at least two of the nights. The first time you come through the gate, you receive a wrist band, then you are the only person who can enter with it-it’s no longer transferable. They don’t allow another person to use it on various nights, etc.

You will love the festival, it has a main stage with many bands, a teen stage, kids activities, speakers, very reasonable food booth prices, beautiful sunsets, and great family-friendly times of worship and praise enjoying the bands. Bring your lawn chair, and maybe one of those fan mister thingys to stay cool..

I am not going to go be a “policewoman” and count up your entries, so please be honest and let me know what you did. You are on the honor system. You must comment on my blog or Facebook author’s page, “Tablet of your Heart,”https://www.facebook.com/mjfolkert/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel   telling me what you did. (not on my personal page.) Those are the only two places I will be checking. When I post on my blog, it automatically goes to several social media sites, some of which I’m barely ever on, else I would spend all my time on those instead of writing.:)

Here’s the scoop:

Rules and details:

  1. You MUST tell me what you did on my blog or Facebook Author’s page. You will receive points for each thing you do, whether it is likes, tweets, shares, follows, email followers, pins, etc.
  2. If you have won in the last two years you are ineligible. You can know me, but not be related to me.
  3. Become an e-mail follower on my WordPress blog at https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com/ and comment, or on my Facebook author’s page, called “Tablet of your Heart” https://www.facebook.com/mjfolkert/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel to tell me your name if it’s not obvious, and what things you did. I will only check those two places for comments.
  4. You will receive one point for any social media plug,  FIVE points for becoming a NEW e-mail follower and commenting on this post on my blog, FIVE points for sharing a favorite story from my blog on Facebook.  https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com  That gives lots of chances for my current followers too. 🙂

Tuesday night, August 8, at 7 p.m., I will announce the winner on my blog– keep watching.

Everyone–BE NICE and FAIR! 🙂 I’ll make arrangements with the winner– most likely meet you at Unity Fest on the free night, Wednesday night, August 9, to hand you the paper ticket. It is good for one person, for all three nights.(August 10-12) HAVE FUN!!

GO!!

It’s all in fun! Hope you enjoy Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, Michigan August 9-12–see you there!

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Unity Fest is Coming Soon!

Are you planning to go to the Unity Christian Music Festival next week in Muskegon, MI?! The dates are August 9-12 this year.

Do you have your lawn chair, a friend or family member to go with you, your schedule cleared? Most importantly, do you have your tickets?

Summer of 2013 picture from my phone 363Last year it was such fun I’m giving a ticket away again! Get ready and keep watching. It’s good for all three days of the festival plus of course, the free day on Wednesday. Four days of over 20 bands, just on the Main Stage!

Every year the line-up astounds me. Check it out! On FREE night we get to hear Tenth Avenue North, and Love and The Outcome. Other nights Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Carrollton, Matthew West, Laura Story… lots of others.

If you haven’t attended before, there are two stages. One main stage, and one for teens with up and coming young bands, plus a huge area for kids to play, a tent with speakers and programs, and lots of reasonably priced food booths. Something for everyone!

Here’s the scoop: I’ll be posting in the next five days about the ticket giveaway, which if purchased at the gate, would be worth $75!! No entries yet please! I’ll detail the rules very soon. Stay tuned.

Here’s the link to the festival: http://www.unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/

 

Posted in Christian concerts, Give-Aways!, Lake Michigan, music, Unity Christian Music Festival | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Earthen Vessel

 

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Longing for you God, body’s failing, drags me down,

Old woman used to say I wanna go home.

Panic-stricken, weary and worn,

Hot coals rise up, ignite the dread.

Depths are constantly near,

Whispering lies I don’t want to hear.

Skipping beats in my chest,

A drum of tension raises.

Sleepless nights are fitful,

Toss and turn, hot and cold.

My mouth is parched and burning,

Neck is sore, foot is numb.

Fear laughs at me,

This earthen vessel, jar of clay.

Satan crouches, lies in wait,

Sneers in the corner, deems me prayerless.

Listen to my cries,

Hear me in the night.

Lord guard me close, right hand upholds,

When you lift me, I see the shore.

Sit in silence, Holy Spirit fills,

Clear my mind, whisper your love.

Father, on your lap, hold my hand,

The hope of things to come.

In quietness and rest is my strength,

The dark is pierced by light.

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Read 2 Corinthians 4:6-12

Posted in anxiety, fear, God's faithfulness, God's protection, healing, Holy Spirit, Hope, poetry, sickness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Play: A Five-Minute Friday post

Hi there! I’m linking up with the Five-Minute Friday community at: http://fiveminutefriday.com/2017/07/06/link-up-play/  It’s lots of fun and helps us to work our writing muscles.

Today’s writing prompt is: PLAY

GO:

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When I saw the writing prompt play, I thought it might be an easy topic for me, as we do a lot of playing especially in the summer. Many families might do picnics, camping, trips, and the like. My husband and I love to go on our boat. We slip our boat at a marina in our town, Holland, Michigan. We also spent a week at Grand Haven last week over the Fourth of July as we almost always do. We figured out that we have boated for approximately 30 out of our 33 years of marriage. We began after we were married about two years. We found the oldest, smallest boat we could possibly find, to accommodate our very small budget. It was a 15 foot, 1968 boat. We often say we “skied the wheels off that boat” as we skied and flew around in that little boat about every night in the summer for a few years, with my husband’s siblings. Then we bought an 18 foot boat and had that for some years. We then had our first son. Somewhere in there we didn’t have a boat for a couple summers. After that we played on a 21 foot boat when our two boys were very little. Every summer we began spending a week at Grand Haven on it. Then later we continued all the water sports with a 24 foot. What fun they had growing up with tubing and knee-boarding. About 7 years ago, we moved to a 31 foot and now we are empty-nesters. The boys call this an old man’s boat. We don’t care because my husband and I are really enjoying this time in our lives. Countless good times playing on boats with family and friends on Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.

 

STOP.

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Posted in boating, bringing up men, Family, Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung, Lake Michigan, Memories, seasons, summer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment