Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I can't remember where I found this from, just that it was important enough for me to copy and paste it into a draft that I never got around to posting. I went back and read it today and realized how important this is for everyone to read and understand.


Past, present, and future.

We each have all three. When it comes to our past, we may enjoy looking back to savor its wonderful memories (something that becomes an increasing focus as we enter life’s later years). Or, all too often, we look back and dwell on our past mistakes, pains and sufferings, disappointments, and regrets. If, in the present, we spend too much time trying to live in the past—rehearsing what we should have done differently and obsessing over what actually did happen—we will make ourselves miserable.

When it comes to our future, we may enjoy planning for it, or to looking forward to accomplishments and milestones and happy experiences. But if, in the present, we spend too much time trying to live in the future—worrying about the awful things that may be headed our way, about possible threats to our pocketbooks, livelihoods, relationships, health, or even our continued existence—we will make ourselves miserable.

We can’t control or change the past.

We can’t control or change the future.

We can learn from the past; we can plan for the future. But we can’t live in either place.

All we have is the present. Our lives move through time so that all we can inhabit is a single moment. The present. NOW.

We are not what we WERE. We are not what we WILL BE. We are who we ARE.

No one has ever said it better for me than Helen Mallicoat:

I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly, my Lord was speaking!
“My name is I AM”...He paused...I waited...He continued.
“When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.”
“When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.”
“When you live in THIS moment
it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM.”


Though not exactly the same as the wonderful words above that I found, the "I Am" caught my attention and it reminded me of one of my favorite Christian songs by Nichole Nordeman called simply "I Am".

The song takes you through this woman's life, past, present and future and all the things that she needs and asks God to be for her and He responds very simply..."I Am".

God is everything we NEED Him to be for us. Shoulder to cry on. Person to rage at. Savior. Comforter. Healer. Father. Sounding board. Advice giver. Best Friend. He is BIG enough to be ALL for us and never leave us. Even when we can't raise our heads. When we are so weak or sick or spent or discouraged or grieved. When we have secrets that we don't think we can tell anyone else. When we don't think anyone understands. He is there. He IS...as He says..."I Am".

Pencil marks on a wall
I wasn't always this tall,
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed,
You watched my team win,
You watched my team lose,
You watched when my bicycle went down again,

And when I was weak unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said “Elbow healer, Superhero,
come if You can,” and You said “I am”

Only 16, life is so mean, what kind of curfew is at ten PM
You saw my mistakes, You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I’d never love again

When I was weak, unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said “Heart-ache Healer, Secret-keeper,
be my Best Friend” and You said “I am”

You saw me wear white, by pale candlelight,
I said forever to what lies ahead
two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
too much it might seem when it’s two AM

when I am weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name.
“Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-maker,
hold on to my hand,” and You say “I am.”

The winds of change,
And circumstance blow in and all around
us so we find a foothold that’s familiar,
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer

Life had begun, I was woven and spun,
You let the angels dance around the throne, who can say when,
But they’ll dance again, when I am free and finally headed home

I will be weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name
“Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and
the End, I am, yes, I am.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jeremy Koffel: 3/9/86-10/18/10

He was only 24 with his whole life ahead of him. If you saw him or looked at his pictures, he was always smiling, always in the middle of the crowd. He was an incredibly handsome kid. Beautiful smile. Sweet spirit. Generous heart. He loved just being out with friends and living life and enjoying it so this just...something like this hits hard.

Oscar and I got word earlier today that a very sweet young friend of ours was found dead on Monday after he hadn't showed up for work. We are in shock! I don't know. It hurts. It's perplexing. It makes me angry! It makes me sad. I just don't understand, you know?

I knew Jeremy for over 2 years, Oscar knew him for longer. They used to work together, go out together, have fun together. I met Jeremy when Oscar and I first started dating in 2008 and what struck me most was how much he loved to smile and how he always flirted with the PYT's (Pretty Young Things for those of you unacquainted with the Michael Jackson era songs) and enjoyed making others smile.

There's a couple of stories floating around out there, but we're not sure which one is true right now. What I DO know is that he had broken up with his girlfriend last week and apparently it hit him harder than anyone realized. The story floating around most is that he OD'd. Nobody had any idea he was doing drugs. He didn't talk about it, he didn't do them around anyone, the company he worked for has a very strict zero tolerance drug policy and did frequent random drug tests so, if that is the case, this is a real shock to everyone. And...if that IS the case we don't know if it was an accidental or on purpose OD.

Another story is that there was a GSW to the head, which would be a deliberate act and prone to almost 100% probability that it was not an accident.

Both are from sources within the company. It was co-workers who found his body. The last time anyone saw him, that we're aware of, was on Friday on the job, driving away to deliver some pipes.

I know in 2008 I was around a couple of times when he had had a little too much to drink and would literally cry into my shoulder for no more than a minute or two while I held him. I was one of those people he apparently felt comfortable enough around to let his guard down. I do know that he had some real demons in his past life that were chasing him, but he didn't like to talk about them and that was ok. Or so we/I thought.

We never, ever in a million years dreamed that something like this would happen. He'd broken up with other girls in the past and moved on.

I just can't get the chorus to the song out of my head that Blaine Larsen did a few years ago:

How do you get that lonely, how do you hurt that bad
To make you make the call, that havin' no life at all
Is better than the life that you had
How do you feel so empty, you want to let it all go
How do you get that lonely... and nobody know

How does a young man, a young woman, a teen...a child...an adult...get so lonely, feel so isolated and hopeless and helpless that they don't think there is anything left for them? Think nobody cares what happens to them? That the pain inside of them hurts just so damn bad that they're suffocating from it and can't think of any other way to stop it? How does it get that bad and nobody notice?

I have hurt that bad over one specific relationship and EVERYONE noticed. I felt like I would die from the pain and the grief, but I never wanted to actually die. It's hard for me to understand the suffering that one goes through that is so bad that they feel the only option is to just end it all. Death, unlike what some people like to believe, is NOT the end. When you die, that is the beginning of eternity. An eternity of living with your decisions. An eternity of either heaven or hell. An eternity of either no more sorrow or tears or pain, or an eternity of torment. Choose wisely what you will do today.

Oh, Jeremy, if only you knew how many people out there cared about you, liked you, loved you...would you have still done it? If you could see now, the grief that has spilled over in the wake of your decision, would that have changed your mind?

I read the comments those who love you have left on your FB wall. Dozens of them. Angry ones. Sad ones. Comments of disbelief. Comments of love. Of friendship. Of prayers and pleadings.

Jeremy...if you could see the pain your decision has caused to so many, would you have made the same one? Or would you have called and asked to come over, had a few drinks and cried it out on my shoulder like you used to?

We'll never have the chance to know now.

Days like today are exactly what the post below with the Prayer of Release are all about...

Jeremy Koffel
Sweet Friend
You Will Be Missed

WFW for October 20: I know the One in Whom I trust

One of my friends posted this beautiful prayer in a forum for someone who has been not only a cherished friend but also a spiritual mentor of mine for a long time and who is currently undergoing some major health issues that could possibly be very serious.

I felt like this painting perfectly illustrates the point of the prayer that she posted of just letting go. Of reaching the end of yourself and entrusting yourself to God and to His will for your life.

It especially spoke to me in light of all of Oscar's back problems that the doctor's can't find the cause of, even after 3 MRI's, epidural steroid injections, etc. He's finally scheduled for a CAT scan on November 2 – election day. Appropriate. In the meantime he works as he is able to and we pray for God's provisions for us and are very thankful for His grace and mercies toward us.

We, as a people, worry about so much in our lives because we take on the burdens of life that we were never meant to carry. We often forget, in our busy days, that God is to be the sole sustainer of us. We are to be completely dependent on Him and often times when we get to where we completely forget that and try to do it on our own, He will put us in a place where we have no choice BUT to depend on Him for ... everything.

Prayer of Release

I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. 2 Timothy 1:12 NLT

Heavenly Father, I release to you the burdens that I have been carrying, burdens that You never intended for me to carry. I cast all my cares upon You—all my worries, all my fears. You have told me not be anxious about anything, but rather to bring everything to You in prayer with thankfulness.

Father, calm my restless spirit, quiet my anxious heart, still my troubling thoughts with the assurance that You are in control. I let go of my grip upon the things I have been hanging onto, with opened hands I come to You. I release to Your will all that I am trying to manipulate; I release to Your authority all that I am trying to control; I release to Your timing all that I have been striving to make happen.

I thank You for Your promise to sustain me, preserve me, and guard all that I have entrusted to Your keeping. Protect my heart and mind with Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Father, may Your will be done in my life, in Your time, and in Your way.

Psalm 55:22: Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.
1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Matthew 6:25-34: 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Isaiah 26:3: You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Luke 11:2: So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Thy will, oh Lord, NOT mine, be done...

For other Word Filled Wednesdays please visit the Internet Café Devotions or drop by “The WFW portion of the Internet Cafe” to find out more about how to participate in Word Filled Wednesdays.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marriage Monday for October 11

The unexpected reaction...

Several weeks ago Oscar and I had a discussion in which he mentioned he'd never had a Bible of his own. He had one as a child, but it was a child's Bible. He has never had an "adult" Bible. So, for his birthday this past weekend I decided that my gift to him would be the Life Application Study Bible, so I got it in the NIV version (the version we use at church and the easiest one to read without all the "thee's" and "thou's", etc. that doesn't change the context of what is being said, plus it seems like it would be easier for someone with the severe dyslexia like he has to understand). I got it in a nice, soft, Italian leather with his name imprinted on the front in gold. I figured that would be nice for him to see his name on it and know that was HIS Bible, and looking inside the Bible I knew that the Life Application part of it was really going to be key for him.

So, we all went to dinner on Friday night before Emily had to go to her dad's for the weekend and I gave it to him there at the restaurant. I was completely unprepared for his reaction though. I was a little uncertain about giving it to him b/c my ex would have scoffed at and ridiculed a gift like that. With a little apprehension I watched as he opened it and immediately said, "Oh WOW!" with such excitement that one would think he'd been given a priceless heirloom. After that, he had to compose himself and he was speechless for a good while. He was fighting back tears and when he could finally talk he looked at me and put his hand over his heart and said, "You have absolutely...no idea what this means to me. Thank you!" He was excited to be able to use it for the first time yesterday in church and is so proud of it that he has told his family about it, told our pastor about it and showed it to him and he prefaced it by saying, "My wife loves me so much, she gave me my first Bible for my birthday!" That's how much such a simple gift, in my point of view, meant to him

I will never take such a thing as having had my own Bible(s) for years for granted again when faced with the reaction of Oscar to his first "real" Bible. He has had his nose in that Bible several times since Friday just looking at things and figuring out how it works with the Life Application part and you can tell that to him it is like water to a man on the verge of dying of thirst.

I have challenged my husband to read the Bible through, cover to cover, and I promised him that I would be doing the same thing, especially since, sadly I have never done the same myself. It is my prayer that as Oscar treasures the Bible he has been given, that our already awesome marriage will continue to grow and be strengthened in the Lord as we individually grow and are strengthened in our walks with Him. I am encouraged so far that we are on the right track.

You can find the Mr. Linky to other Marriage Mondays at Come Have a Peace.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

How much do you have to hate someone...?

I think this is an extremely important video to watch. This is Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame. He is an avowed atheist, yet this one encounter with a Christian man, who was genuine in his compassion and belief, really, deeply touched him and you can tell that he is still wrestling with the experience. He asks a very pointed, very simple, very profound, very IMPORTANT question...

"How much do you have to hate someone to believe that Everlasting Life is possible and not tell them?"

Mr. Jillette was truly in the presence of the Holy Spirit, I believe, during this encounter with this man and it did not leave him unaffected. You can tell from his physical actions. And the fact that he openly shares this is an eye opener too! It's a great way for us to see how we do have an impact and what we do and what we say does matter to those who are watching us. He was deeply touched and it's just hard not to wonder, how many nights does he go over that incident and no doubt, maybe kept the Bible and just thinking and debating? It's not about instant acceptance, it's about this...planting a seed and giving it to God and letting Him do the rest...that's the impact...not us...but God.

Praying that God really will grow that seed that was planted and allow him to come to a saving knowledge in Christ...the same as for Glenn Beck who is NOT an atheist, but still believes in a different God and Jesus (at the heart of his Mormon religion) than what we do. God changing powerful people can change the world, just through the actions of one person planting that seed.

It's convicting too because it makes one stop and really think: WHY are we afraid to share what we believe? Are we more worried about offending men than we are of offending our Father? Galatians 1:10 asks those very questions: "10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

I hope you are as affected by this video as I was.