Begin being still

July 28, 2009


Good conversation

Is what I look for each day

Begin being still

This helps me become aware

Of a larger loving voice


I’ve discovered that my eyes

Are the windows to my heart

My mind will give direction

In the “morning watch”


Temptations will come

To take advantage of me

So I’ll guard my eyes


I’ll choose the focus

Many voices are calling

Anxiety knocks


Fear of the future

And the many ways harm comes

Can rob me of the now


“As iron sharpens iron”                            

We each sharpen the other

Let us consider

And look for the perspective

That is the reality

Where are you focusing now?


written July 27, 2009

see Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 27:20


Undying passion

July 27, 2009

God defines His love
It came through His beloved
His compassion lives
I know His story
I know my story of pain
His story gives life
He walks with kindness
He is filled with tenderness 
His name is Jesus                  
Jesus speaks of love
He modeled it for us all
Where else can I go?
He suffered for me
He also suffered for you
I can’t comprehend
He is in pursuit
Love always wins when you see
Undying passion
written Fall 2008

God smiles

July 26, 2009

A human being
The greatest treasure on earth
God’s greatest delight
God smiles when He looks
At one who acknowledges
The gift of His love
Someone paid a price
To give us the greatest love
I search for this one
Celebration comes
When we come home to His love
You are worth it all
written Fall 2008

Joy is discovered

July 23, 2009

It has been my experience
I have heard thousands whisper
Their deepest desperate hurts
Light came in the dark
I met love at the bottom
This is a strange paradox
Going down led me upward
A mystery found
Life’s pain is like a furnace
The soul is refined by fire
Hope is born in the process
Joy is discovered
Why do some understand
And other’s don’t seem to see
I think I have a clue
Please consider this
Choose to see that you are great
A joy to behold
written August 29, 2008

The Story

July 21, 2009


I look with wonder

At the story I live in

Looking back I see the pain

That I grew up in

I found a “larger story”

Of flawed and broken people


I found hope in their stories

I saw them living in grief

I saw their flawed lives arise

And find a deep peace


Is there hope for me

I said in my deep despair

I found in me a longing

To know what is true

So I studied a story

The one much larger than me


Focus and discipline worked

As I narrowed where I’d look

To find someone to address

Real issues of life


The story I discovered

Is hidden in sacred books

I found sixty-six of them

Books of the Bible


I just had one big question

If there is a God, “Who is he?”

I will let the writers speak

Each one their own way

They were consistent

One theme always held the sway

A persistent joy


One problem that I’m seeing

So many are distracted

Not looking for what is true

But trying to please


And when life stopped me

I decided I would look

At a story much larger

Big enough to learn

There is hope in our failure 


The Bible when used

By many as a “rule book”

Will wreck a man’s soul


I want to know the story

Told by the ones who lived it

I found a larger story 

That connects with mine


The connection a surprise

With integrity I searched

Looking for some good answers

I felt I could trust


written June 27, 2009

Inspired by article about Barbara Brown Taylor (in The Tennessean on June 27, 2009). 

Your beauty

July 16, 2009

Your story is wonderful
Your familiarity
Blinds you to your own beauty
You must look closer
It takes a paradigm shift
A change of lenses to see
Pain as being a part of
Beauty in your life
It is in the silent night
There is a whisper of love
Heard only in the stillness
A quiet thunder
The chaos was a great gift
Looking back I clearly see
The pain caused me to search out
Love searching for me
© Terry S. Smith
August 29, 2008

Let love renew you

July 13, 2009

There is a rhythm of God
That runs deep from the inside
Come in and sit down with love
Let love renew you
The internal mystery
Must be developed by you
It’s a training you must decide
I’ve found the wellspring
Your vision is important
Decide where you are going
Make your plans with intention
Then be rigorous
My reason for discipline
Has captured my entire soul
I choose to awake with it
Deep love will rule me
Circumstances will not rule me
I will have no fear of death
I know what I am living for
Secure in His love
written October 13, 2008


July 11, 2009

Henri J.M. Nouwen is one of my favorite authors.
A poem from his book With Open Hands.
Hope means to keep living
Amid desperation
And to keep humming in the darkness.
Hope is knowing that there is love,
It is trust in tomorrow
It is falling asleep
And awaking again when the sun rises.
In the midst of a gale at sea,
It is to discover land.
In the eyes of another
It is to see that you are understood…
As long as there is hope
There will also be prayer…
And you will be held
In God’s hands.
from With Open Hands, Henri J. M. Nouwen

find rest

July 10, 2009


I am free to be myself

In the presence of a friend

There is no need to perform

It’s there I find rest


I’ve been trained to think

To watch closely for my friends

Who show up on time


Intimate friendship

Is where I have discovered

How to listen well


I had to face the darkness

Of my own self-centered life 

See the darkness of others

Before I could see


There are very painful truths

Places we seek to avoid

They’re plenty of distractions

That will block the light


When I’m with a friend

Who knows the truth about me

I find I can rest


That’s what God is like to me

It is based on truthful facts

A friendship over the years

That’s bigger than death


written July 10, 2009


seek wisdom

July 9, 2009


Educate yourself

Your responsibility

To use your mind well

You can be real smart

And ignorant at the same time

Information helps 


True information, that is

Every human can see

Given safety and good time

You’ll figure life out


There will come a time

In the life of all of us

You will know if you got it

Looking back you’ll see

The decisions that you made

Were right for you or wrong


So I hope you’ll look ahead

Seek wisdom with all your heart

Make insight your greatest goal

Read ancient Proverbs

Today I will celebrate

Sixty-seven years of life

I am still learning a lot

Surprised by the joy


written July 9, 2009 


I am not afraid

July 8, 2009


Written while in the Emergency Room.


Death may come today

It’s real and I can touch it

I am not afraid


My blood pressure was too high

They said it was dangerous

These kinds of things will kill you

I’m being tested


It is just a reminder

This body is wearing out

Death is one thing that happens

To male and female


I like who I am

That has not always been so

I’ve learned to forgive


It’s not easy to forgive

Yourself and all the others

Changing points of reference

Has opened my eyes


l thought I that I knew

Then I knew I did not know

I knew I was lost

Then someone found me searching

Eager to teach me real love


There is rest in real silence

I found it in the hallway

Waiting in the hospital

Listening to the sounds


Doctors, nurses giving tests

Explaining to me the risks

If I die I know the reason

Why I am not here


They do it with smiles

Taking the right precautions

Being kind and thoughtful

They are the real thing


My eyes are being opened  

Finding love pursuing me

It is a constant living truth

I cannot deny


July 6-7, 2009

pursue a life of love

July 7, 2009

Though it may cost you all you have
Seek understanding with passion
Make it a first priority
Insight will follow
Understanding links the past
With the present circumstance
Solitude will help you make
Future connections
We have just one life to live
I’ve decided to live well
Joy will be at my center
Peace will be at my goal
Pursue a life of love
Asses where you are
Be gentle in the process
written November 1, 2008

an examined life

July 6, 2009


I awake with a vision

Of who I will be today

I see the vision then go

Into the valley


It is a valley of tears

Of my own and the others

But with the tears there’s laughter

With vision there’s joy


Some think love is a feeling

Certainly it is a part

A flower brings a feeling

But the roots give life


The vision must be rooted

Like the roses of sharon

I found my roots in searching

For what is the truth


I found a person

Whose thinking I have trusted

He is my teacher


An examined life

I discovered a wonder

Of pain and surprise

Of pain because of evil

Of love rooted in a joy


Why do so few find this joy

Where are the people seeking

What really matters the most

There you’ll find freedom


Having the question matters

How can I love and be loved

Seeing life through love’s lenses

This has been my quest


You must want to know

With all of your heart and soul

What is the real truth


Answers will come, I promise

Take responsibility

For what it is that you believe

What you hold sacred


Today’s a good day

It depends on how you think

Not the circumstance

 written July 6, 2009 



July 5, 2009


This morning I shucked the corn

I stood amazed at each ear

It was all a perfect fit

How did that happen


We will have a good dinner

We will taste how good it is

The taste buds are amazing

How did that happen


The laughter at the table

Will come from the food and love

Family that cares and gives

How did that happen


The little children talking

Running all around the room

Feeling the safety and love

How did that happen


The secret is what matters

A love beyond our thinking

Comes from deep within our lives

How did that happen


We are here to celebrate

The life of one dearly loved

Who is special to us all

Her name is Missy


Missy was born on this day

Just thirty-nine years ago

It was on a Sunday morn

Love entered our life


There is wisdom in a child

Her eyes were large and deep blue

I knew that she was special

Delight to my eyes


My view was transformed

She quickly changed my life here

Giving us pure joy


His love made it happen


written July 5, 2009

for my daughter Missy


Internal Freedom

July 4, 2009


Liberty has come

Our country celebrates

Our freedom today


Finding this freedom

We think that it’s external

Let’s give it some thought


It’s more important

What I do in private space

Than in the public


I train to listen

To the inner voice of hope

Not trusting feelings


Feelings come and go

Controlled by circumstances

My life is bigger


Awareness and space

Are secret keys to my life

Gifts I give to me


When I do not choose

And act without thinking

I find I suffer

And those around me, also

Suffer in ways that are sad


Our forefathers suffered here

Inwardly they sought freedom

They searched their soul for answers

That rose from within


They followed their dream

We stand today in freedom

Because they had the courage 

To give up their lives


written July 4, 2009