How I Handle Unsolicited Phone Calls…”Hello, You’ve Reached the Prayer Line.”

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“Hello, I’m calling with information about your order.” The woman’s voice on the other end of the phone was barely audible. I turned up the volume to better hear her and pressed my ear into the earpiece.

We talked for a few moments and then as I was getting ready to hang up, I hesitated. What if she were one of my children? I asked myself. How would I want this call to end?

“May I pray for you?” I offered. Then having her consent, my prayer went something like this:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I’m praying for this young woman like I would pray for my own daughter. She needs a better job. Would you please direct her to her dream job, and even if the application requirements are beyond what she currently possess, would you give her favor? Would you place her in a job where she can be trained and where she will be valued? Will you please provide her with a healthy environment where she works with people who are kind and ethical? Father I know that You’ve heard this prayer. I know that you love this young woman. So, I thank you in advance. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.”

The young woman’s voice was soft and tearful now. I could hear emotion in her words. She thanked me and she thanked me again when we finally hung up.

I admit, I haven’t always been as intentional during phone calls with sales people and with crooks. (About phone calls with crooks…I’ll tell you all about it in a day or two.)

Sometimes, I tire of phone calls from solicitors and scammers. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating that they call my phone. I get one or three of those types of calls most days.

That conversation with the sales lady inspired me. Her openness to what I had to say and her appreciation for the words that I prayed…all of that changed the way that I view calls from sales people today.

Why bother? You might ask. Because the person on the other end of the phone is someone’s son or someone’s daughter. I think about that when I see homeless people and when I read articles in the newspaper about another young person in prison. And I think about that when I get phone calls from strangers, asking for money, or trying to give me something that’s supposedly free.

Not too long ago, I picked up the ringing phone and held the receiver to my ear. “Hello, you have been selected for a free trip of your choice to one of our world class resorts.” These were her opening lines, and for the next three minutes the woman on the other end spoke so fast that my mind could barely keep up with her.

When finally she took a breath, I interrupted her memorized pitch. “Honey,” I said. “Can I ask you a question?”

She was obviously not used to questions in this setting. Momentarily, she hesitated and said, “Oh, okay.”

“Do you need prayer?”

“What?”

“You called my house and this is the number for prayer. Can I pray for you about anything…”

This is how I roll.

Pamela

How I Found Faith

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Faith: Photo by Vern Koefoed

Several years ago, two men escaped the prison in our city. Of all the places that they could’ve gone to, they hoofed it to my neighborhood and stole a neighbor’s car.

At the time, our very old dog, Spot, tried to be a watch dog, but her hearing and her body were beginning to fail. My husband and I knew that Spot’s days of scaring away escaped convicts were over.

It was obviously time to add another dog to our family; one that would look ferocious, bark to alert us, but would have a loving nature.

A long time ago, in another city far from where we now live, a dog from two doors down befriended me. This happened through kindness. I had noticed that her water bowl was empty on a day when the hot summer sun sizzled on the pavement. I gave her a bowl of cold water. From then on, we were friends for the rest of her life.

Though her owner claimed that she was half Doberman and half Labrador Retriever, she looked like a one-hundered-percent red Doberman. She had natural, floppy ears, a stubby tail and her name was Red.

After the cold water incident, Red began trying to find ways to get free of the rope that her owners had attached to her collar and to a tree.

I don’t recall if she chewed through it or slipped the collar off her neck. But, somehow, Red managed to get free of her tether. Day after day, while I was inside my home, I’d hear her bark, open the front door, and there on my step she’d greet me with with her big smile and with her stub happily wagging.

Then Red’s owners repaired their backyard gate, but this didn’t dissuade Red. She was a determined Doberman and she found another way out. She climbed over the fences between her yard and our yard! Imagine that!

After her owners saw that Red wasn’t giving up, one day the lady of the house brought her to us and asked if we’d like a new dog. Would we ever! My husband I were delighted to welcome Red to our family of two little boys and a baby girl.

Red was the best family dog. We all loved her very much. After several years, she suddenly became ill. Our hearts broke as we received the news from our veterinarian that she was going to die. That was a sad day for all of us.

Years later, two convicts escaped from our city’s prison. When my husband and I learned that they had stollen our neighbor’s vehicle, we decided that we needed a good watch dog. One that would also be a loving member of our family.

We thought of Red, of course.

My daughter was by this time a teenager. She and I began our dog search shortly before winter arrived in its fullness. We even went to Sacramento and visited dog shelters, walking the concrete hallways, looking for a half Doberman / half Labrador, female puppy.

 

To anyone but us, searching for that particular breed combination probably sounded unrealistic, but the memory of Red was still very much alive in our hearts. We knew that there would never be another Red, but we felt in our hearts that there would be another Doberman-Lab that we would love as much as we had loved her.

We reached out to Doberman rescue groups, and we read through the classified advertisements in the newspaper.

We searched for days, but were unable to find puppies, let alone the special mix that we wanted. So, disappointed, we headed home to Oregon through Redding, California.

While there, we stayed a night at a hotel. In the morning, I called the nearest shelter. This is where the story gets amazing. Are you ready for it?

I called Haven Human Society in Anderson, California. A pleasant sounding woman answered the phone. I asked, “Do you have any puppies?” She said that puppies don’t stay in the shelter long. They’re quickly adopted.

“But we do have a 5 month old female here. She’s half Doberman and half Lab. She’s really sweet. I don’t know why someone hasn’t adopted her yet. They just walk by her. They don’t even notice her.”

I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It was too wonderful. Could it be true? Or was there something wrong with the puppy? Maybe that’s why no one’s adopted her, I thought. Or maybe God had heard our prayers and had kept her there for us.

We hurried to the shelter. After we arrived, I asked why the owner turned the puppy over to them. The lady explained that the owner had purchased the puppy to be his therapy dog. But he no longer needs a therapy dog and is back to work. Since he doesn’t have time for her, he wanted her to have a new home.

The woman said, “Her name is Faith. Are you ready to go and see her?”

When I look at Faith, snuggled up on her dog bed, I’m reminded of that remarkable day when she came to live with us, and of the steps leading us to her, and of our Heavenly Father who made it all possible.

I think about the search. I had prayed often as I looked for her, had nearly given up, and I reflect on the hours that my daughter and I spent walking through shelters. I also think of Red–if she hadn’t adopted us, we never would’ve found Faith.

And I reassure myself (and you) that God’s love never fails. He’s with us. And He answers prayer.

Always have faith in Him.

Pamela Koefoed

 

 

What Would Your Life be Like if You Lived without Fear?

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Hey friends, have you ever imagined how your life would be different if you lived without fear? Of course, I’m not talking about healthy fear, which is meant to direct us away from real danger.

I posted this question on my Facebook page and am delighted to have several responses to share with you in today’s article. In a minute, I’ll share those with you.

But first…

What would you do that you’re not currently doing if you had no fear? I encourage you to think about it. I would love to see your answer. Feel free to write me in the comment box at the end of this article.

What Would Your Life be Like if You Lived without Fear?

  1. My life would be filled with abundant faith.
  2. I could only imagine that I would feel free. With that freedom would come boldness, encouragement, new relationships, and amazing prayer resulting in deeper faith.
  3. I would have peace, boldness, the thought of enough. I would feed the hungry, heal the sick and boldly go where few men have gone before.
  4. Perfect peace. Right relationships and community. And, of course fear’s opposite–love!
  5. The Lord would have my heart and I would watch His hand work things out.
  6. Unshakable faith that allows one to stand no matter what. I’d have hope through every storm or situation.
  7. I would exercise boldness to overcome.
  8. I would control problems by telling them how big my God is!
  9. One would become what God intended; at no one time would we fail to act in faith in line with God’s purpose, thus our lives would be full of wonders.

I love these responses. It’s a short list, but some common themes are among them. Did you spot them? Faith, boldness, peace, and meaningful relationships. All of these are very good.

You don’t have to wait another day to begin living with less fear. In today’s live video, I give two keys to living a life without fear. I’ve used these keys in my own walk out of trauma caused fear. These tools really work.

Can you imagine what it’s like to live without fear hanging over your life? It means that you will walk in what the Lord places before you. It means that you can have meaningful relationships. It means that your life will not be boring, because you’ll say yes to new opportunities.

You see, Jesus Christ came that we would have an abundant life (John 10:10). It’s God’s will for all of us to live the abundant life that He created.

Get free of fear. Don’t let it hang over you. Through the perfect love of God, you can be totally free from limiting, hindering fear. To help and encourage you, I’ve included the link to today’s live video class, How to be Powerful in Life. This is where you’ll find the two keys for living without fear.

 



How about you? I would love to know how your life would be different if you lived without fear.

God bless you. He deeply and eternally loves you.

Pamela


How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment

dscn19701.jpgDisappointments can turn a great day into a woes me day. They can transform a celebration into a wake, as we mourn a loss and disappointments can really mess up our plans.

Take a meaningful relationship, for example. I’ll always remember the day, the very hour, the very moment when one of my dearest friends cut off all of her friends from her life.

We were sisters in Christ. We had traveled in ministry together. We encouraged each other to a closer walk with God. We prayed for one another’s children. I could share my heart with her and she’d pray. She could tell me anything, because she knew that I would pray. We had planned a future in ministry together.

When she shut everyone out of her life, I assumed she didn’t mean me. What a shock to learn that everyone even meant me. I lived for a while in unbelief but, as the days passed, reality hit my heart and I wept as though my friend had died. This is why I say that disappointment can change a celebration into a wake.

How to Live without the Fear of Disappointment with Pamela Koefoed

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

Those of you who have been hurt by disappointments in relationships, you can either build a wall of protection around your heart or you can leverage the disappointment to move forward.

Those of you who’ve been frustrated by disappointing work or ministry experiences, you can either live without anticipating a fulfilling work or ministry experience or you can leverage the disappointments to propel you forward.

Those of you who’ve had more than your share of disappointments, you can play it safe by keeping your distance from what potentially could end up in another disappointment… if you choose.

But are you really safe?

I mean, think about it, if you’re staying in your “comfort zone” because of something you fear then you’re most likely not fulfilling your God created purpose, which means you’re not experiencing the abundant joy of a deeply satisfying life.

On today’s video, you can learn how to move from disappointment into the joy that the Lord has set before you, and you will obtain keys for a hope-filled life.

God wants your soul to be anchored in hope. Restore hope. Restore trust. Live the life that God designed for you. Live in abundant joy.

You are dearly loved,

Pamela Koefoed

 

 

Are we Supposed to be Embarrassed to be Christians?

Pamela

Writing is a joy, knowing I’ve touched a readers heart is a greater joy.

Christian shaming came into the limelight when Joy Behar, the co-host on ABC’s The View, mocked Vice President Mike Pence’s faith in Jesus. I just want to ask a straight out, blunt question…Are we supposed to be embarrassed to be Christians? Because I’m not.

I’m thankful. That’s what I am. And I’m optimistic about the future because of the continuing positive impact that Christians are having in my nation and around the world.

Let’s assume that Vice President Pence said that God speaks to him. Should he be ashamed of this? No! Absolutely not.

His own belief that the Lord hears his prayers and that the Lord sometimes replies is normal. Let’s look at it this way: we don’t think it’s bizarre for children to hear their father speak to them. It’s expected. We’re the children of God. What good Father doesn’t speak to his kids?

In reference to Vice President Pence’s faith, Ms. Behar said, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus, it’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.” She plowed ahead: “that’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

Vice President Pence isn’t crazy. He’s normal. And believing that God speaks to someone who is God’s child isn’t anything to be ashamed about.

One of the amazing things about Christianity that sets it apart from religions is this confidence that we are guided by God’s Spirit, that we hear Him in our hearts, and that He reveals His wisdom personally to us.

Christians throughout history believed that God spoke to them. And, throughout history, there have been people like Ms. Behar who accused Christians of being mentally ill because their claims sounded far too wild to be reality.

Anyone who reads the Bible will see that the claims of hearing God’s voice, made by modern day Christians, aren’t strange at all. The modern day believer’s testimony of their experiences with Jesus are actually quite bland and sedate in contrast with what some of our forefathers of the faith experienced and wrote about. By the way, those forefathers (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jesus, Peter, John and Paul to name a few) weren’t ashamed, either.

I will not be ashamed. I’m thankful.

 

Reverend Billy Graham, We’re Mourning

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Franklin and Billy Graham, Cleveland Ohio, June 1994, Wikimedia commons

Reverend Billy Graham, we’re mourning.

Our hearts are weighted with sadness. Even though we knew that this day would come, we refused it. And yet it has come. Oh, how we wish you could’ve stayed a little longer.

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you'”–Billy Graham.

 

I’m grateful, deeply grateful, to have been among the generations who heard you preach of God’s mercy, of His eternal love, and of His forgiveness for sins.

You were ‘America’s pastor,’ and you were gifted by God to draw us into the Savior’s arms. Millions of people heard the message of God’s grace that you preached. The stadiums were filled with people, with everyday people, working hard people, famous people, unemployed people, curious people, religious people, wealthy people and poor people–all needing God people.

We will miss you.

Thank you, Reverend Graham for loving us and for loving God so well…

“No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply”–Billy Graham.
I will miss you,
Pamela Koefoed