The Edmund Fitzgerald Shipwreck

As my husband and I drove to see huge waves on Lake Michigan today, we thought about this story I wrote about the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck.

Tablet of your Heart

“The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy

With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin

As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland

Then later that night when the ship’s bell rang
Could it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale…

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The Country I Grew Up In

I miss the country I grew up in. I went to elementary school in the small town of Hamilton. Mrs. Ferris sat down on the piano bench after lunch and taught us every word of the Star Spangled Banner and other patriotic songs. Our music teacher pushed her cart into the classroom twice a week to teach us a tune about a time for everything from Ecclesiastes, describing how she and her husband gathered stones together.

Since my mom died during that school year, my second grade teacher became a mother figure in my life Reading seemed like a foreign thing when others were up at the front table, while we worked in phonics books and printing pages at our desks. The inkwells our parents used were carved into the top, but we used modern #2 pencils. The chalk dust slid down our throats as we sipped from the white drinking fountain in the room. Those bar-b-q sandwiches and chocolate milk on Fridays were savory treats.

Each Wednesday afternoon after the school bell rang, a few friends and I waved as we walked past our bus driver, from school to our church for Catechism. We spent a nickel or a few pennies on pieces of candy at the Thrift Store, the Food Center, and Ken and Addy’s gas station during that half mile. We spent half of the precious quarter our parents gave us for the offering, giggling on our way.

When we arrived at church, we often had a few moments to slide under the pews in our sanctuary and play minister, “marrying” someone at the pulpit with that giant, gold-trimmed Bible. After our patient Reverend Nieuwsma rounded all of us rowdy kids into a classroom, he attempted to teach us the Heidelberg Catechism, we placed the remainder of our coins into the weaved basket. After another hour, we skipped out to show our fresh stickers on our little books to our parents as they talked with their friends out in the parking lot.

I’m still best friends with several of those dear schoolgirls to this day. We began in the nursery in that big brick church. At four years old, a few very fuzzy memories form, like going one step at a time, holding hands, down the back steps with Shellie on our way to Sunday School after church. Neighbors and lifelong friends all around diminished worry about signing us in and out or wearing stickers on our backs. Sitting in the front row in the brown tiled room, on those tiny wooden chairs, participating in the singing contests of, “I’ll be a Sunbeam for Him” and “Doo-Lord oh Doo-Lord, oh do remember me!” and especially, “Praise Ye the Lord – Hallelujah!” We gathered cross-legged and squirming as Mrs. Haakma moved the flannel pieces of Jesus, rainbows, or lions in the den.

Hot steam rose from our meat and potatoes together with our families, partaking in prayer at the beginning, Bible reading and prayer at the end. On Saturday nights, the hot water was heated for the last baths, while most gathered around the Carol Burnette Show for a good belly laugh before sinking into the fresh sheets off the clothesline.

On cool starry fall nights, I sat on the pile of corn going into the dryer pit, and watched the billows of dust rise up into the dark. My nostrils filled with fresh air as I dreamed, without worry of harm or danger. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, a big brother or dad had their eye on me as they drifted in and out of the farmyard in their pickups or tractors. A purring kitten was usually cradled in my arms whenever I was on that yard. God always listened as I climbed over hedgerows to pick flowers and spoke through the bubbling creek in the gullies.

Do you remember the way we took turns swirling the jump rope while we sang our little ditties? Laughing with friends on the bumpy bus ride, gripping your plastic Barbie lunch pail? Drawing pictures of the elementary school addition, sitting on the heater as our little dresses blew up into a dome?

With each new year, more dear friends were added as locker mates, science lab partners, at slumber parties, tennis teams, band trips, “We are the Champions,” in the Pep Band, or the clatter of a ski club bus ride. Grooving in the car, singing girls through McDonald’s, the Country Kitchen ice cream sundaes, riding down the “strip” at the Ottawa Beach. Waiting in line outside the Park Theatre to see the new movie “Grease?” Marching to “Hail to the Victors,” in the Tulip Time Parade behind President Ford as Mr. Smart eyed our straight rows? Teenage girls who shopped downtown Holland in the evening without cell phones and didn’t always make it back home at acceptable hours, didn’t throw our parents into tail spins.

I’ll take the smile of the small town grocery store cashier calling, “Hi there Myrna!” The Memorial Day parade where friends threw candy to my little boys, as they stood with their decorated bikes at the tail end of the procession. I’ll take the nosy church lady knowing all about my business instead of big city people who don’t know their neighbor’s names. The country pastor at the ball game, the local banker in the Sunday School class, was normI apphe institutions were intertwined in a natural, patriotic, Bible-based way.

Part of the phenomenon of having lifetime friends could be because of the area I grew up in, and the fact that I haven’t moved too far away. I still live only about 10 miles from that same elementary school today. Some would mock this and say I didn’t get out in the world and accomplish anything, and how great it is to go around the world. Why do I care about that? My life’s been very fulfilling and I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Mind you, I didn’t appreciate all these things about my childhood or even my young adult years at the time. It has taken more years for the value to really sink in.

I’ve traveled a majority of the states in America, some by car and some by plane. I went to college away from home for four years. I taught elementary school for twenty-seven years, and had a family. I’ve done some mission trips in other states and even a couple other countries. I appreciate the values of our old Christian church, the hymns we sang, and those precious patriotic refrains. Most of the values and experiences the big city offers aren’t my cup of tea. Many of the changes in our world since I was a child aren’t exactly good changes. Sometimes I long for a return of those old fashioned community values.

My four remaining siblings all live within 10 miles from me today. My best friends from childhood are mostly nearby too. One of the best things about those rare and golden lifetime friendships is that they share my faith in Jesus.

I’ve made many other friends in the following years or adulthood, statewide, nationwide and around the world, which is silver, but lifetime friends are golden. Jane used to sing to me, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold!”  I believe that was another gift from Mrs. Parsons with her little portable marimba on her cart.

In later years, my boys rode their bikes to the nearby elementary school, where I also attended, to climb the dome without fear of kidnappers. My boys got to climb the gullies behind our house and pick flowers to bring them home to mom just like I did. Why do some proclaim, “such a boring sheltered life,” or “you haven’t experienced the world?”

I consider myself incredibly blessed to know what a fabulous country we live in. If you call me a country bumpkin that’s compliment. We cling to our American values of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.

When the Star Spangled Banner plays my eyes cloud up, joy for our opportunities and freedom in our beloved United States of America.

God bless America!

Posted in Childhood, faith, faithful members of our community, Family, Farming, God bless the USA, God our Father, God's faithfulness, Hymns, listening prayer, Mrs. Marguerite Miller, music, Patriotism, piano playing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Spiritual Battle

I think it is our responsibility as Christians and pastors to do our homework and to be involved in our political processes. Leaders such as Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Sean Feucht, Michael W. Smith, Daney Gokey, Pastor Greg Locke, Mario Murillo, Robby Dawkins, Jonathan Cahn and others should be leading and praying for God’s will in the public square. I’m very thankful they are. They aren’t afraid of losing their tax-exempt status or the approval of man, and are a great example to us, as most leaders of our churches have not led during this extremely difficult time. Here’s a passionate call from Mario Murillo on his blog. https://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/2020/09/

Robby Dawkins and Mario Murillo video – it’s long, the whole thing is great, but a powerful point is between 31:00 – 38:00. For millennials and leaders to wake up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itHCyvZhPYo&t=2666s try this one.

Suicides, depression and loss of businesses have skyrocketed. Why are church doors still mostly closed or limited? If you do research and listen to what is actually happening you would see that President Trump’s actions and policies are the exact opposite of racism. He meets often with round tables full of Blacks, Hispanics, parents, leaders, etc. He listens and they are very adamant about how much his policies have affected them in positive ways.

Many people who came from other countries with communist regimes are incredibly thankful to be here to raise their families and run their businesses and do not want our country to adopt the left-wing democrat policies to change our country into what they escaped from. Maximo Alvarez tells a touching story about his family escaping from Cuba. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJnShBMG3uY

Listen to what the Blacks say, such as David Harris Jr., John James, Candace Owens and others. They also want to be called Black, not African American, by the way! Don’t take it from me. Take it from them. Here’s a speech by Candace Owens last year. https://rsbnetwork.com/2019/03/highlights-cpac-2019-day-2/

Why would FB and other social medias censor people with Christian or opposing views on covid, or doctors who speak about their data? The left is always crying about listening to the science. Well, then listen to the science! Why is their view much higher or truthful in their mind? Why are so many cities with democrat leadership allowing rioting, chaos, murder and looting? The democrat party of today is not the “good ole’ boys club” many were aligned with even 20 years ago. The radical Marxists have taken it over. Do you really want to stay in alignment with them?

If you condemn Trump on his personality, that’s fine. If a personality means more to you than your values that’s your choice. I’m glad that Paul was finally accepted by the New Testament disciples after his conversion, considering he was formerly a murderer of Christians, and then the Holy Spirit inspired him to write much of the New Testament. I’m glad people don’t judge me on my past sins.

Trump does have a pit bull personality, and a strong business mind. That is what our country needs right now. I don’t know exactly where his heart is with God, that is between him and God. Don’t look at me with sarcasm in your words, “Trump is a racist jerk.” That is simply not true. I challenge you to follow him around even for one day and watch, on an unbiased station or YouTube channel. The media of today is largely biased to the left side and do not report all the good things Trump is doing. This is a spiritual war and really doesn’t have as much to do with Republican or Democrat as it does with lies and power. Trump is by no means perfect and none of us are.

Many prophets and pastors share how God has anointed Trump for such a time as this and he is using him for his purposes whether you like it or not. I for one am not going to mess around with who God has anointed!

The bureaucracy and corruption of big government has gone too far. If you think it’s okay to pull a living baby out of the mother’s womb or even inject something into the baby after birth to kill them, then that is your decision. If you think it’s okay to censor people, close the Church doors, and promote sex and human trafficking, that’s your choice. Each person has to answer to God for what they choose. For many, pride gets in the way of common sense and voting your values.

It seems this election is the most important one in history. It is the fork in the road. Do you want socialism and the slippery slope towards communism, or do you desire to keep our country based on the Christian principles it was founded on? And don’t tell me it wasn’t founded on those principles. God has recently been removed from schools and the Ten Commandments are disappearing from our courthouses and monuments. The founding fathers weren’t perfect either but the Constitution was based on Christian principles and values. True history and government should again be taught in our schools and the Pledge of Allegiance recited.

If people want to be united in Christ, then look at the facts and our mandate to spread the gospel and adhere to values of life, love and unity. I also think many will be surprised how many “good and decent men and women,” will soon be exposed for the atrocities they have been supporting or involved in. God will win! This is very long and I refuse to fight with people on FB so I placed it on my blog instead of answering the never-Trumpsters. We do not not spew hate and racism. We love others and want you to come along. We are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of this dark world, as in Ephesians 6.

If you want to write opposing views then place it on your space on your profiles or blogs. I pray the Holy Spirit would fill the hearts and minds of all, and their eyes would be unblinded and opened to the TRUTH.

It’s scary to speak out because I will get shamed for standing up, and I do not pretend to be an expert on politics. I’m convicted that I cannot remain silent anymore. This reminds me of the book of Esther. I’m not in a royal position but I do have a small platform which the Lord has given me to speak so He wants me to use it.

Mordecai spoke to his niece Esther about the persecution of her people.

Esther 4:12-14 “Do you think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape? For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

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The Return

What an exciting time to be alive! I watched a gathering of believers at the mall in Washington D.C. on livestream called The Return. It was a day of repentance for our country and people. Jonathan Cahn, the author of the book series, The Harbinger, organized this day. Hundreds of thousands of people singing, listening, preaching, declaring, and praying on their knees today! They estimated that tens of millions of people around the world were tuning in on the simulcast. So encouraging and wonderful!

Some of the topics brought out, were the travesty of abortion, hatred, racism, all lives matter, churches, education, pastors, genocide, sex and human trafficking. They prayed about teaching Christian values in our schools along with factual history. Many blew shofars throughout the day. Speakers and pastors from all across the globe came together for this day of prayer and repentance individually, for our country and in our world.

One of the main focuses of the day was the Bible verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14 when God said,

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

This beautiful promise crosses all centuries and spans the ages even for the grafted in, adopted Gentiles of today.

At one point,  leaders, pastors, staff and those in attendance were all on their knees in repentance. One thing they did was to declare the Lord’s will be done and revival to come to the nations around the world as they faced to the west, north, south, and east. Artists such as Michael W. Smith, and Danny Gokey led in worship singing. Pastors James Dobson, Franklin Graham, and Anne Graham Lotz and other prayer leaders from across the globe. Ben Carson gave a stirring message and prayer.  At one point they read a proclamation from our President Donald J. Trump in support of the gathering and confirming the importance of our country to return to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and Christian principles in our schools and justice system.

The last seven months has been a time like no other. People have been full of fear, health scares real and contrived, rioting in the streets, people being persecuted, shutdowns of schools, businesses and churches, dishonesty in the media, missed holiday celebrations like the Fourth of July, delayed medical procedures, cancelled vacations and conferences, inability to visit and mourn the loss of family members, and so many other stressful events. It’s been a harrowing time in a lot of ways. Now it’s like a cool stream running down to be able to experience the verge of huge revival. Sean Feucht, a world-wide worship leader, has been holding Riots to Revival gatherings in major cities for months. Hard times are turning into times of healing rain.

Unity was stressed, all races and peoples to come together and not let the evils of the day separate us. The condemnation of riots and evil plans of socialism which has even infiltrated our nation’s leaders and churches. To our dismay, even some who call themselves Christians condone these evil atrocities. My heart aches as I’ve witnessed friends and acquaintances reveal their true colors.

Satan is working overtime to blind the eyes of people to the truth because he is desperate. He is defeated and will receive his final ruin in God’s timing. It is a spiritual war for the soul of our nation and it’s biblically crystal clear who to vote for if you love our country and it’s biblical origins. One must not get hung up on a candidate’s past sins or assumed personality flaws. It is important to educate yourself by alternate sources and look at the policies, watch for yourself what is really happening instead of believing the lies and bias of the major media outlets. Drop the pride, research with an open mind, and pray that truth will be revealed to you. God will show you the truth if you ask Him. There’s so much more at stake this year than there ever has been in the history of our country.

Washington D.C. was invaded today with many thousands worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings and miracles are happening! It is such an exciting time in our country. I feel honored to be alive during this time in our history! Some prophets predict we will see two billion people come to the Lord in the next ten years. Chills came over me sensing the moving of the Holy Spirit.

As this gathering was culminating, the President announced his nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States of America on a separate broadcast. God’s timing is perfect during this important period. This candidate is a pro-life woman who vows to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. I’m so full of hope and joy today! I pray you are too! It’s the age of return to the Lord Jesus Christ!

At the end, the seven trumpets were proclaimed. Each time they announced the next one, everyone blew their shofars.

  1. Unleashing of God’s power on the earth.
  2. The power of breaking down of strongholds and walls.
  3. The power of the return and repentance, all those who need to come back to God.
  4. The power of salvation, redemption, the gospel to break forth.
  5. The power of anointing on the people of God, the power of victory, the power of the Holy Spirit like in the book of Acts.
  6. The power of revival, and the power of the Holy Spirit, showers of outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  7. The power of the will of God, beyond what we know for our lives and our nation. More than we can imagine. Let Your Will Be Done! 

Final blasts of shofars were heard, hands raised, the people shouted!

The ending hymn, Marty Goetz sang “. . . Exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or imagine.  All of the glory to You! . . .”

The Aaronic blessing was given, go out to the ends of the earth in witness to our Lord!

“Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:23b–26).  

Right in Front of the Capital. A National and Global Day of Revival and Repentance. Powerful Day!!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you missed The Return, go online to watch it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw3QbqvXqVc

To learn more or order Jonathan Cahn’s books:

http://www.theharbinger-jonathancahn.com/About/

Posted in abortion, election 2020, healing prayer, Holy Spirit, human trafficking, Patriotism, prayer, sex trafficking, value of all human life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Child Cries

Can you hear her? The echo of the pathetic scream pierces through the tunnel. In a rat-infested cage she moans in pain.. She clings to the back corner as the footsteps of a handler approaches. The cold hand grabs her by her hair to drag her to another room. A man comes to her to use her in despicable ways. She’s left exhausted in her puddle of blood. Sometime later she wakes in the drafty hall. It wasn’t just a bad dream, it’s her reality every day. She’s never known a loving family or a clean, cozy bed.

A cold counter in the back room. The mother, the nurse, and the doctor closed the door behind them. Can you hear him? Tears stream down onto his bare skin. Moments before, he was warm and secure inside the womb. Now his skin is turning hard and blue. It’s a struggle to breathe. Finally, the quiet darkness closes in. His heartbeat slows to a stop.

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The locked door of the closet muffles the voices beyond. It’s a short break from the whip but she’s being hit in her heart even now. Her anxiety is raging up through her chest and throat. She falls over in exhausted, restless sleep but constantly aware of the moment the door will again open. The shouts and foul language ring in her ears as many days and weeks before. She hears a crash and loud stomping gets closer and closer. The doorknob clicks.

The train whistle blows long and low. His head bobs up and down in the baggage compartment. This morning he sat with his loving mother in the train station. The last thing he remembers is a large gloved man gagging his mouth with rags and being stuffed into this suitcase. Rumbling and jostling around until he woke here in the dark case. He tries to cry but his mouth is too full. Desperation overcomes him as his body soaks with sweat.

Can you hear him? Can you hear her?

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A Reset

I implore my Heavenly Father to hear my prayer tonight. The events of the last five months brings me to an awareness that we need a reset on many things. We need to reset the laws on caring for babies in the womb and the elderly. On universities, colleges, seminaries, churches, and pastors. On the faith of our children like the fire in their souls they had when they were eight years old in Bible School singing “Father Abraham had seven sons” at the top of their lungs. A reset on our government. A reset on our governor, senators, and legislators statewide, and nationally. A reset of truth. Prayer for the President and Vice President to have Holy Spirit encounters to receive wisdom from on high. That all darkness and evil is exposed. The light will dispel all darkness. The darkness cannot hide. Lies will be laid bare for all to see. Guide our elections with your hand Lord God, so there cannot be any fraud or corruption. The upcoming generation will be taught, believe, and live in the truth.

 

Reset the schools to teach government, honesty, and history once again. I pray the Pledge of Allegiance will be said by every school child every single school day. Return prayer to the classrooms. May the children know the truth that our country began on Christian principles. That those principles would once again prevail. I pray the teachers will do what is right and stand up to the lies of unions demanding unreasonable things. Open the eyes and ears of the youth and millennials to love our country and desire to speak the name of Jesus. That the lies of Satan will no longer spread. Give dreams and visions to the university professors to change their rhetoric. I call for a reset of the mainstream media, that they will once again bring us news without bias and lies. Break the dam of hate, jealousy, and evil. That the doctors speaking truth will be heard and spread throughout the land. Prevent the medical boards and pharmacists from harming those truth-speaking doctors. I pray against the rioters and those who fund them that they will fail. That they will run out of money and determination. May they devour one another with their hate and weapons. May hate dissolve altogether. Be with the law enforcement officers and military who so bravely serve. Bless our beautiful American flag and help us all to honor it with our songs and anthems.  May we once again wave the American flag proudly.

 

I pray that any remnants of the Coronavirus evaporate to bring a reset of our health. A reset for our economy in America. A reset to the minds and souls of many who are depressed, lonely, and broken. A reset to the sex trafficking ring. Turn them completely inside out to exposure. May the innocent souls of women and children escape, and the dark tunnels collapse on top of the evildoers and Satan worshipers. That those victims will heal in mind, body, and soul. May all skin tones look the same to us and that people would love and care for their fellow man. Reset our Constitution to stand firm. May the judges and leaders follow it and not promote their own agendas of immorality. Strike down all who want chaos or evil. Fill them with the bravery to know and follow the truth. May we know the truth and the truth will set us free. Bind the spirit of fear. Lead us into repentance individually and as a nation. Forgive us and lead us Lord Almighty. Fill us with your Holy Spirit’s fire of love and truth. God bless America!

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God Is With Us

We live in a troubled world with the Covid19 virus. On top of a pandemic, riots, social and racial unrest, violence, breakdown of the family, abortion, geronticide, fear of meeting for church services, domestic terrorism, the attempt to erase our history and values, mobs of young people trained in violence, hatred, and greed all contribute to the chaos. It’s easy to get discouraged. Every day there are news stories which come cascading out like a waterfall threatening to drown us. Things are happening so fast that yesterdays news might as well be last year’s news. The cycle is relentless with YouTube videos of news, pastors, prophets, and radio hosts. The next story might bring relief, the next story might bring truth, the next story might justify my belief, the story might ease my anxiety, the radio host might prove what I want the world to know and believe.

I’d like to scream what I believe from the mountaintops, but the mainstream media oozes out just enough fear and threat to paralyze me. I’m often silent and fearful and don’t want to rock anyone’s boat. The backlash on social media, my blog, or in person might be difficult. Those who don’t hold the same views on anything—it could be racial relations or the virus or world issues, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t agree with that narrative, you are immediately called a racist, selfish, or completely ignorant. Freedom of speech seems to be completely gone. My close writer friends and I are aware of this and discuss the need to be bold and courageous. If I go one step further outside this circle, into the greater community of Christian based writers, I am hearing things that make me sad. There seems to be a line crossed where many take a stand on issues with a pious, “this is what Jesus would do”  or “this is the more loving way,” type of attitude. Many say those who stand for traditional values are low informed, self-righteous ignorants and they are the enlightened ones.

After I complain about the lack of people to stand up for righteousness, I often crawl back into my safe place of complacency and procrastination. A voice says, don’t write. Just keep watching. Keep your mouth shut. Who’s voice do you think that is? Some family, relatives and friends do not agree with me. They have their minds set on the color or letter of their party with no intention of listening to common sense. I think most people are doing what they see as right in their own eyes, but I am utterly stumped on how many people can actually justify their positions even in their own minds. I am at a loss how even some Christians can lay the open Bible next to their positions and honestly be okay with what they are saying.

I may have lost some friends by putting these thoughts out in public but I hope and pray it makes people think about what is really going on. Do you love our country of America or not? I wish the people who don’t love our country would go start their own somewhere else instead of ruining this one. I don’t mind if the president has rough edges and a less than perfect personality. Is that really important? There’s too much at stake. He is a “King Cyrus” of our modern day and is standing up for Christians and their values. Many Christians and pastors are timid and are not lighting their torch and running with it.

What kind of country do you want your children and grandchildren to have?  Do you want them to have a free country where you work out problems and discuss issues or a country where there will be a powerful few who dictate what you can do, where you can go, what you wear, how you live, or who or how you worship. This weekend is the fourth of July. Will we be able to celebrate the freedoms we have or is this a day that is a foreshadowing of what our lives will be like?

God is the only one in this world that’s completely reliable and faithful. He will be with us through this challenging and strange period of time. Let’s bring back all those wonderful patriotic hymns and songs. Pray we won’t be intimidated by the angry mob. Who will stand arm in arm with all races and colors in solidarity for our country and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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Be Bold and Courageous

There’s something that has been percolating in my mind for weeks. After I met some friends for prayer in the park on the National Day of Prayer, I rode my bike past some tulips and a sign with a story about the Dutch immigrants who came to Holland, Michigan in 1847 with Reverend Van Raalte. I’ve seen these type of signs around the city my whole life and haven’t paid too much attention to them. My ancestors traveled from the Netherlands to escape tyranny and came to America for freedom of worship. One part of the story mentions that the believers often had hardships. I’ve heard these stories, but the word that caught my eye, was illness. Even when many of them were sick they continued to go to church and worship. America was formed on the basic morals of the Bible, so this is where they wanted to live. Our country has been sliding downward morally. We have a chance to turn the hearts of the people back to Godly morals and values. We can’t continue to hide.

 

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Today, my husband and I attended a nearby church in person for the first time in almost three months. It was one of the few that we heard of that were going to come back together inside the church building. No, it’s not about a building. It’s about gathering with fellow believers to worship God, worship and pray. There’s power in the gathering of believers. It wouldn’t matter if we met in a garage, in a park, or a warehouse. Yes, the Lord wants us go out into the world to be the Church out there, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t regularly meet together. This promotion of being “the scattered church,” is not biblical, and doesn’t show courage and boldness in meeting together in Christ. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

 
We need the congregation now more than ever. Fear has taken over most people. The first few weeks we didn’t know what we were dealing with, but we must not cower in fear anymore. Satan loves to use isolation and fear to stir up horrible results of depression, anxiety, loss of businesses and violence.

 
In the last few days, satan is working through many people to cause them to sin using violence. We must resist and not allow him to continue to use us for his pitiful intentions. He wants to kill, steal and destroy, as in John 10. We must not let the issue be skin, but the issue is sin. I’m calling it out. We need to work on racial relations but there are those who are using a tragedy for an excuse for violence and rioting. It’s not the way to solve problems and is just causing much more hurt and pain. We must turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of our individual, Church, and national sin.

 
If the spiritual forces of evil can keep us from attending church, they certainly aren’t going to encourage it later. Don’t be fooled. Stand up!! California might have lost their opportunity for now, but I believe God will overcome. In most places we received the green light from our president that church is essential and we should run to unlock the doors. Some debate whether or not they should open up, or how to do it without offending people. The first ploy of the devil, of scaring people with the virus is way past. We need to please God, not men. Being Christians our whole lives, my husband and I can slowly claw along with the Lord’s help so far. But how are those doing who are new Christians, or have mental, financial, or physical issues or don’t even know Jesus?

 
“If my people, which are called by my name, and humble themselves and pray, then He will hear from heaven, and heal our land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

 
Thank you to the leaders and pastors that are leading in peace. We must rise up in the love of God with boldness and courage. If we don’t do that now, it will be too late. There’s too much at stake and I don’t think many people take that seriously enough. Many died to defend our freedoms. Let’s not let radical unbiblical ideas take over our land.

 

Ephesians 6 calls us to fight with all the parts of the armor of the Holy Spirit. We must stand to fight these forces of evil trying to overtake us and our beloved America. I pray that this fourth of July will be a day when we can celebrate our freedoms in our United States of America to worship and speak freely.

 

Posted in Coronavirus, courage, fear, Netherlands, sickness, Worship | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Book Release – Available Now! Daughters of Hope: Thriving after Mother Loss

I recently released my new book called, “Daughters of Hope: Thriving after Mother Loss.” The book is part memoir, where I share about the passing of my mother when I was a young girl. I also interviewed twenty-seven women of various ages and walks of life, about the loss of their mothers, and wrote their touching stories.

Many women have common feelings of abandonment or isolation when they experience this loss. Each one desired to send a message of hope to a hurting world. These accounts make it clear that you miss your loved one and grieve, but in a different way. We have hope that comes from knowing Christ and His promise of eternal life.

This book offers solidarity for the hurting so they don’t have to walk this journey alone. It’s a great resource for book clubs or bereavement groups, and includes discussion questions and other valuable resources. It may assist any grieving person, not only a daughter who has lost a mother. This book points to God’s promises of comfort, peace and eternity with Him as the true source of healing and hope in facing grief.

front cover

To order from Amazon click here 

An option available, is to have the book sent directly to a friend or family member’s address. Mother’s Day is in a few weeks, Sunday, May 10, and this book would be a thoughtful gift. I’d also appreciate an honest review on Amazon, after yours is shipped, so that it displays as a “verified purchase.” This helps make the book visible to more people.

I’m also hoping it will be available soon at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and other local bookstores.

The book release party I had planned for next week Thursday, April 23, obviously is cancelled because of all the restrictions for COVID-19. I am considering doing an online party if there’s enough interest. Possibly a Zoom meeting, which can host many people, who can attend with video or just audio. A Facebook Live doesn’t allow for as much interaction. Another possibility is holding a book signing this summer, because many readers would like their book autographed. When the stay at home orders are lifted and life begins to return to more normal patterns, I’ll make additional plans and let you know.

Thank you! I appreciate all the encouragement and support! I hope you enjoy the book.

Posted in Book Release 2020, Daughters of Hope: Thriving after Mother Loss, Death, First published book, Grief and loss, heaven, Hope, Mom, mother loss, Mother's Day, Motherless Daughters, New Book 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Think On These Things

How are you doing? I feel like I’ve been spinning on a child’s toy top. I’m still in a daze with the immense challenges we’ve experienced in our country in just two weeks. As all of you know, in a matter of days, our world has drastically changed. This world-wide pandemic called, COVID19, or Coronavirus, has now placed it’s ugly hands on the USA, and many other countries. To be honest, I’ve struggled at times. I’m prone to anxiety anyway and this has been a battle. One hour I’m okay, the next hour I have a hard time drawing a deep breath.

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A mere two weeks ago many thought this disease couldn’t last long or touch us in personal ways. Each day, and each hour, new developments flooded in. By the middle of last week, colleges and universities began closing, going online for the rest of the semester. Major sports organizations shut down. Thursday and Friday all Michigan school districts closed. Last weekend we were told to keep gatherings under 250, then 100, now ten people. The first confirmed case in our small city came early this week.

 
“Social distancing” is a new term to most people, as we’re told to keep six feet away from others. The governor’s order by mid-week closed all restaurants and bars in Michigan for dining in. Some fear-mongering reports are negative with the sky is falling attitude. Others are calm and reassuring, but this is uncharted territory no one has ever waded through before.

 
Health care workers are stressed to the max. Unnecessary surgeries are put on hold, pregnant ladies face difficulties for appointments and deliveries. Even spouses aren’t allowed inside with a hospital patient. It’s lonely for the critically ill or rehabilitation patients, without visitors.

 
Life is suddenly different. We’ve had privilege for a long time. Our parents were part of the Greatest Generation, who lived through the Great Depression or WWII. We certainly aren’t afflicted to the level they were. My generation had a prosperous life which made it look easy to our kids, the millennials. For many of them this could be their first real hardship.

 
This whole thing reminds me of 9-11. That was a time when the world as we knew it profoundly changed. I’m an introvert at heart, but this is way beyond. I miss my peeps and normal routines and activities, the daily markers to keep us in step. Humans need humans.

 
Every day, more things are being postponed farther into the future. When I see another “cancelled” notice in emails and on Facebook posts, my heart drops a little bit more. Even most church services are online or moving to much different formats. I see the president or the governor on TV, and think, now what? What are health experts trying now, new therapies, how many tests, how many sick, how many died, how many hospital beds, how many ventilators….. on and on and on!

 

STOP!!!!! It has to be a bad dream. Let me off this spinning top!

 
Breathe deeply.

 
Relax.

 
For some reason, God placed us all at home. He knows what’s happening because He is an omnipresent and omniscient God. He never promised us a perfect life. In fact, the Lord promised in this world we would have trouble, but He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) The fact is, we live in a sinful world which includes sickness and death.

 
This quieter time can be wasted, or used as an opportunity. If you’re prone to any kind of depression or anxiety, this is a very challenging period for us, but we can overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit. He wants us to draw near to Him.

 
Here are things I’m doing or have heard about, to combat negativity during this strange era when most of us have to sit home.

 
1. Pray, pray, PRAY—alone or with whomever you’re “quarantined” with. Pray warfare prayers, praise, supplication and listening prayers. This is a good time to get your prayer book/journal organized. Pray for doctors, nurses, health care workers, police, fire, and emergency workers. Pray warfare putting on the armor of God. Pray to Jesus for healing of our people and our bodies.

 
2. Pray for our president, vice-president, governor, medical experts, the presidential coronavirus task force team—for wisdom, discernment, and health. Put aside political opinions during this critical time.

 
3. Read the Bible. Get going on your Bible study, or begin something new online. Memorize verses and passages.

 
4. Catch up on all those books, e-books, kindle books you’ve had on your list for a long time.

 
5. Turn off your TV! I can only stand the news about one hour per day. The media creates fear, don’t buy into it. That background noise will only imbed negative thoughts. Guard your heart and mind.

 
6. Love the ones you’re with. Practice kindness, good deeds, patience.

 
7. If you’re a young mom—you don’t have to create a utopian homeschool for your kids. Relax and do what you can. Especially READ to and with them.

 
8. Classes, virtual national parks, zoos and museums online can teach you something new, or educate your children. Learn a language or a musical instrument.

 
9. Order online books and resources from your local library.

 
10. Write letters to lonely people, such as nursing home residents and send them in the mail. Facetime with parents, grandparents or elderly neighbors. If they don’t use that technology, make actual phone calls.

 
11. Texts, Facetime, Facebook live, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, photos or videos are all ways to keep in touch. We are fortunate to have so many means of communication.

 
12. Talk to your neighbors from a good distance across the yards and driveways.

 
13. You can journal, write stories, rake the yard, haul wood, ride bike, take a walk, scrapbook, clean house, cook, freeze some meals, bake, sort out closets, gather for Goodwill, play games, create a family theater production.

 
14. Find good podcasts of sermons, pastors, church services, Christian artists on You-Tube, movies and videos with positive values, praise music on your phone, radio or TV.

 
15. Use a diffuser with calming oils, take baths, do “Christian yoga” online, relaxation exercises and deep breathing techniques.

 
16. Fast and pray about this virus. I wrote a story specifically about fasting here: https://myrnafolkert.blog/?s=fast

 
17. Speak life to yourself and others. If it’s not helpful then don’t say it, text it, or send it. No one needs more negativity right now in any form.

 
I’ve had this verse on my mind this week:

 

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally brothers and sisters, 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 about these things.”

 
Reach out to others, speak honestly and don’t isolate too much. Let someone know if you are anxious or depressed. We’re in this together. The Lord will get us through because He promises He will never leave us or forsake us. Be encouraged friends!

 
Aren’t we going to have a wonderful celebration when this disease is over?

 

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Posted in anxiety, Coronavirus, fasting, fear, God's omniscience, God's presence, God's protection, Hope, prayer, Renewing of your mind, sickness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments