Five Minute Friday–Eat

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung for her five minute Friday. It is http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/  Every Friday she posts a word, and bloggers are welcome to do a five minute free-write on the topic and then link up with other bloggers on her site. After you write and link up you’re also supposed to go to the person who was just before you and give them encouragement of some kind. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m going to try it tonight. Hope it works, it sounds like fun!

EAT

The topic immediately reminds me of the bible passage we are studying in BSF this week. Jesus had just talked to the woman at the well in John 4. He had a discussion with the Samaritan woman at a well and after Jesus reveals some things about her life,  He even tells the woman who He is. She immediately runs to tell the whole town about Jesus. While he had been talking to the woman, Jesus’ disciples were buying food for all of them. When they returned, the disciples urged Jesus to eat.

Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples were confused and wondered where He had gotten food while they were gone. They were only thinking about physical food. Jesus was thinking about spiritual food. He was filled with joy that the woman believed in Him and it was even causing the town’s people to come out to see who He was and listen for themselves. It makes me think that I need to be filled with joy when I witness to someone and they show interest in Jesus. I need to be more Christ-like.

STOP.

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A Prayer On the Shore

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Quench my thirst, Living Water.

Help me trust you God, when I doubt.

Remind me of your faithfulness.

Enable me to be your vessel of healing.

Advise me with Your Holy Spirit.

Ease my anxiety when I feel can’t make it.

Give me faith when I am fearful.

Attend to me when I am downcast.

Lend me Your ear when I cry.

Enjoy my praise when I sing to you.

Wind and waves obey you.

Hear me when I talk with you.

Send your angel armies when I feel defeated.

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Smile when I return to you.

Heal my loved ones when I plead.

Accept my thanks for your sacrifice.

Forgive me when I fail.

Release everything that needs to be relinquished.

Laugh with me when I’m elated.

Comfort me when I mourn.

Convict me when I need to forgive.

Reveal things I need to see.

Guide me with your right hand for decisions.

Direct my mind and words to follow Your will.

Protect me from evil I need to rebuke.

Rejoice over me with singing.

Hold me when I’m lonely.

Fill me with a sound mind.

Make my crooked places straight.

Give contentment in the desert place.

Teach me to be compassionate.

Assist me to proclaim Your mighty works.

Fill me with love at all times.

Streams of abundance flow.

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Posted in anxiety, beauty of nature, boating, faith, fear, focus and being mindful, forgiveness, God's faithfulness, healing, healing prayer, Holy Spirit, Lake Michigan, love, nature's beauty, prayer, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Mother’s Desperate Vigil…

 

Hunched over on my knees, I raise my head. I scan the western horizon praying that I’ll wake from this nightmare. The gut-wrenching fear would pass. Oh, that all this would be a terrible mistake.

Please Lord, oh please don’t allow it to be true.

I don’t even know how I got here. The sand is burning my feet. A mixture of tears, sand and sweat run down my face. I sense there are hands on my back and arms. Someone is whispering something about hope. I’m offered a plastic water bottle. I decline-I don’t want to miss the moment. Grains of sand grind as I try to swallow.

My eyes fill with tears again and I let my body fall prostrate. I grab one of the hands near me and squeeze it so hard it’s punctured. I raise my head a bit rubbing the blue and green spots out of my eyes. There’s not a cloud in the sky. How dare it shine so brightly tonight? I bang my bloody fist on the sand.

Many police cars are parked on the edge of the parking lot behind me, their blinding blue and red lights circling. Several coast guard boats are trolling slowly in front of me. The sun sinks lower, the water smooth like glass now. My mind reenacts the last hours again…

What if I had done something differently? What if I had said no? What if I would have called out at the right time? Guilt begins piling up like a sand-drift. A wave of fear falls over me. A ripple of panic wells up from the deep depth of my gut. Faith in a miracle is stuffed deep in my soul, but can’t quite come to the surface.

Then above me is the roar of a helicopter as it rushes from the east. It tears into my heart. Its presence makes the tragedy seem so true. Along with its intrusion, it brings a hope of removing the pain. The noise as it swoops over the piers takes my breath away.

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The sunset has never been so plain. So sinking. The sun just slowly disappears without a trace of fanfare. The noise is deafening now. A friend is speaking something into my ear. My thoughts are in the water as the dusk settles in. The air remains stifling hot. The humidity lays on my skin and mixes with my tears and sweat.

A guttural sound emits from deep within me, which I slightly recognize. It’s a travail that I recognize from the birth, eighteen years ago. All the days following were adventurous. Could the pain again be followed with joy?

I begin to shiver as the full strawberry moon rises out of the corner of my eye on my left. The dampness of the last hours and the slight breeze as the helicopter circles again bring me a cool chill of sorrow.

Dear God, can you? Will you? Someone covers me with a heavy blanket. I rebel against the warmth and rise to my full height with my hands on my hips.

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Moving closer to the water, I strain my ears now, willing that I hear a cry of victory. The beach had always been such a joyful and peaceful place. Tonight it was holding my most precious possession.

I knew she wasn’t mine. But she was mine. Oh God please!

Would the darkening cool water release her? Blurry-eyed, I keep striving to see a glimmer of hope. Something to hear. Something to see…

Through the moonlight, I see a group of people near me in a circle of prayer. Two are still on each side of me. The western sky still holds a slight orange.

I realize I am grasping a shirt to my chest with all my strength. It’s damp with sunscreen and her sweat. It smells like the sweetest perfume.

Dear God of miracles, bring me one tonight, and I’ll never ask you for anything else again for the rest of my life.

Again I fall to my knees with a heaving cry. I hold the shirt to my face as I lower it to the ground.

The swish of angels’ wings mix with a huge comforting voice as He holds my shoulders, “I will be with you through this.”

 

(Disclaimer: This story is fictional and based on the imagination of the author. It is not factual in nature.)

Posted in Death, Family, fear, fiction, God's faithfulness, Grief and loss, heaven, Hope, prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Focus and Be Mindful

IMG_5840I’ve been learning something from readings I’m doing. The practice of mindfulness is not a new-age or mystical belief. It’s a practice which Jesus taught. Be mindful. Watch and pray. Do not worry, for today has enough worry of it’s own. He told his disciples to pray and be aware while he prayed in Gethsemane.

One way to be mindful, is to focus on a sense, such as being very mindful of all the sounds around me as I breathe deeply from deep in my gut. I could concentrate on all the things I see around me, like the thousands of colors that God displays each day. It keeps my mind busy so that there isn’t as much room for anxious thoughts to sneak in.

 

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I always thought that the verses in Phil. 4:6-7, were a command not to be anxious. They’ve always been favorites of mine and I have memorized them and cling to them quite often. But in thinking and praying more about it, a revelation came to me about those verses.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If we were instantly rid of all anxious thoughts, then why would it say, WITH petition? We wouldn’t need to petition God about anything if we didn’t need him. We need some healthy fear or we’d be robots. Don’t forget thanksgiving! He does so much in my life every day and I need to realize and be thankful for the positive things. And, would we need to present our requests to God if everything always went perfectly? And that peace…we need His peace. It transcends ALL understanding–no one could understand why we receive total peace sometimes. The peace He gives guards your HEART and your MIND to make the body, soul and mind work together the way He designed it.

Just some thoughts of mine that I’m realizing. I hope it makes some sense to you. I hope it helps you. Blessings on your day.

 

 

Posted in anxiety, fear, focus and being mindful, nature's beauty, prayer, trust in God | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Free Unity Festival Ticket-Rules

Hi there friends!

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 now worth $70.

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 will receive points for each thing you do, whether it is likes, tweets, shares, follows, email followers (I especially LOVE!), pins, etc.
  2. Become an e-mail follower on my WordPress blog at myrnafolkert.wordpress.com and comment, or on my Facebook author’s page, called “Tablet of your Heart” to tell me your name if it’s not obvious, and what things you did. I will only check those two places for comments.
  3. You will receive one point for any social media plug, and FIVE points for becoming a NEW e-mail follower and commenting on this post on my blog! I love to have followers on the WordPress blog! https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com  That gives you a lot more chance of winning, but also gives my current followers many chances.
  4. Tuesday night, August 10, at 7 p.m., I will announce the winner– keep watching.
  5. Everyone–BE NICE and FAIR! 🙂
  6. I’ll make arrangements with the winner– most likely meet you at Unity Fest on the free night, Wednesday night, August 10, to hand you the paper ticket. It is good for one person, for all three nights.(August 11-13)
  7. HAVE FUN!!

    GO!!

It’s all in fun! Hope you enjoy Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon, Michigan August 10-13–see you there!

*Disclaimer: I’ve not received any kick-back from Unity Festival. It is a ticket that I purchased, and it’s given away completely free and clear to one person. I do this to bless a family or person, and to create more networking.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christian concerts, Give-Aways!, music, Unity Christian Music Festival, Worship | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unity Fest is coming! Are you ready?

Hi there friends!

Are you planning to go to the Unity Christian Music Festival next week in Muskegon, MI?! Do you have an afternoon or some evenings off from work Wednesday August 10 through Saturday August 13?

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? Check it out! Here’s the link.

http://www.unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/Summer of 2013 picture from my phone 363Last year it was such fun, I’m doing it again! Get ready and keep watching. I’m giving one ticket away. It’s good for all three days of the festival plus of course, the free day on Wednesday. Four days of over 25 bands!

Every year the line-up astounds me. Check it out! On FREE night we get to hear Chris Brooks(speaker), Josh Wilson and Francesca Battistelli. Other nights are Building 429, Sidewalk Prophets, Meredith Andrews, Red, Hawk Nelson, Newsboys… 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!

Friday night blows me away with my new favorite band, For King and Country! This is one of my favorite songs with the video:

It’s amazing to worship out on the beautiful lake shore. I’ve gone to this incredible festival for most of the 16 years it’s been there.

Here’s the scoop: I’ll be posting in the next five days about the ticket giveaway, which if purchased now would be worth $70!!  So keep your eyes open!

No entries yet please! I’ll detail all the rules very soon. Get ready!


 

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Take a First Step-Follow Your Call

The pink petunias in front of me emit an earthy smell. I don’t often write in this spot, but it’s quiet and inspirational. From just inside the clubhouse balcony, I see the lake slightly rippling; sailboat masts stand still. The American flag lazily flaps and occasionally hangs limp. It’s a Saturday afternoon in late July, cloudy, very humid, sometimes cool.

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My husband and I spend much time on our boat, or at our marina pool near Lake Michigan’s shore. We have the empty nest; our “kids” are on their own, and we’re pre-grandchildren. My hectic world of teaching long past. My husband still has a “real” job.

Sometimes I guilt myself about not “doing” more, like church and community volunteering. But I realize this is a sacred, privileged time which won’t last. That inner “should” voice wants to torment, but I remembered an important turning point this spring.IMG_6078

My spiritual and writing life took a right turn, as a friend challenged, and spoke words of wisdom to me. Our paths crossed through a unique series of events. She’s my unofficial writing mentor, by the Lord’s design.

As cold rain pelted the windows in April, she said, “Myrna, if you feel God calling, you need to shrink your world, especially while writing this first book.”

She raised her hands, lowering them between us, as if holding a baseball.

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“It must be God, your closest family and friends, and your writing.”

Placing both hands over mine, her blue eyes pierced through me like I was transparent. This beloved woman said, “Myrna, you need to follow the call. Take a first step.”

I squirmed because she kept using my name. She asked a very pointed question, “Myrna, what does your devotional time look like?” Cupping my brow, I confessed wasted time on my phone, sleeping in, errands, and scatter-brained rabbit trails. She got dead serious.

This dear experienced author friend was sent to speak the truth in love. She felt led to sacrifice another activity, to allow the Holy Spirit’s still small voice to work into me.

I intentionally took a first step the very next morning. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, my phone is off in the morning until after I have meaningful time with God. The length varies greatly. No matter how long our session is, He redeems the time, allowing me to accomplish necessary activities the rest of the day.

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I’ve had “quiet times” most of my adult life-sometimes just another “should.” Because I’m human, I will fail, but God will not. The desire and accountability is stronger. Now I hunger without this food for my soul.

The next step is finding that perfect writing time, being an inspirational writer, who is a late night person.

I love my Lord, my life, my mentor friend, my very supportive husband who believes in me and my writing, best friends, and church friends who encourage. The Holy Spirit will lead in His timing; I just have to trust and obey.

Posted in beauty of nature, boating, follow your call, God's faithfulness, Holy Spirit, nature's beauty, new beginnings, saying yes or no, taking a step, time organization, trust, writing, writing mentor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments