Worthless Idols

December 31, 2014

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The worthless idols
I can name them in my life
Easily deceive
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They led me down to the pit
My soul was trapped by these lies
Beliefs handed down to me
From generations
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It is good to name
The beliefs that will destroy
Turn from them as enemies
Their toxic darkness
Holds a person in prison
Until the light of love comes
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Moving to the light
Across the bridge of seeking
With an honest heart
Things that are true and noble
What is excellent and good
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The barriers rise
Awareness of the sickness
Awakened me to the problem
My soul was wounded
And needed the healing touch
Of the Master Physician
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Wound – Abandonment
The lie is I must fix it
In me and in the others
I sat with no hope
I turn away from idols
“Be good,” “Perform” and “Be Strong”
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Repent of the lies
Revoke them as enemies
Replace them with real truth
Truth that heals the soul
I’m a beloved son of God
Practicing living in the joy
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I have found a spacious place
In the morning when I rise
A friend to always greet me
Welcome me to hope
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These are reflections after meditating on Psalm 31. There is power in naming the enemies and becoming aware of the enemies that lie in the unconscious. With knowledge, stillness and reflecting on things true allows the Spirit to dismantle the powerful unconscious feelings that tell us we are not good enough. Name them, turn from them, revoke them and replace them with the truth “I AM BELOVED” each day. Joy comes in the day as we practice believing what is really true about us. This will lead us into a “spacious” place in our souls. All the best for a wonderful 2015.. Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

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A Lifetime

December 30, 2014

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What lasts a lifetime
Something that will never end
It is God’s favor
He brought me up from the grave
And spared my life from the pit

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Anger is short lived
Weeping may last for a night
Rejoicing comes in the morning
Because God is near
Lifted me out of the depths
And he made my life secure

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When I feel secure
I realize this one thing
A love much larger than me
Establishes life
Gives me the impossible
Anchors my soul in the truth

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My wailing turned to dancing
My cry for mercy came true
I’m lifted out of the pit
Favored and Beloved

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I give you thanks forever
One day at a time I come
My eyes and heart are open
My mind is captured

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Healing always comes
It is God’s precious gifting
To those who believe
Accept His gentle favor
Sit quietly and be loved

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Dark times drive me to the light
A surprising thing takes place
When I’m honestly looking
My soul is refreshed

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These are my reflections from Psalm 30 looking back over these short seventy-two years. The dark times have driven me to light. Oswald Chambers is full of insights into this secret in his book “My Utmost for His Highest.” All the best to us all as we begin this new year. We are all favored.

Soul Maker

December 29, 2014

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No one understands
The depth of the human hurt
It is emotional
Runs deeper than the ocean
And higher than the heavens

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I can go so far
Confess my limitations
Say, “I’m unable”
To be there on that level
I cannot comfort you there

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I’ve tried that and failed
The deep places of the soul
Can only be helped
By One much larger than me
Only the “Soul Maker” heals

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This mystery discovered
In the depth of my despair
When my soul cried out
I had no language to speak
The inner groaning of my soul

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“Where is God,” I say
Why God if you’re really there
Do you let us suffer this
Desperate grief

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I asked, “Who are you?”
When I began to seek you
You came in the deep darkness
Brought light to my soul
Gave me new information
About you and about me

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Now I am hungry
Arise each morning to seek
Be still and listen
There’s someone who hears my cry
Who loves me as His dear son

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Psalm 28:6
“Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield;
my heart trusts in him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
And I will give thanks to him in song.”

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David speaks of where he found help!

Light

December 27, 2014

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To say I’ll walk in the light
Brings me joy and great sorrow
Because I can remember
And I am aware

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When I walked in the darkness
I was blind and did damage
To myself and other ones
This is the problem

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I lost some good friends
Who gave to me from the heart
I took and did not return
Give back the love gift
I know I’m hard on myself
That is still all about me

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Growing up is hard
When one misses the stages
Others will suffer
Maturing comes through the pain
The trials and the hardships

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What is good in me is this
I was looking for the light
Darkness is what held me captive
My tears called his love

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Confusion and the chaos
Growing up was the challenge
Navigating the losses
Is what each must do
No one escapes the darkness
No one can hide from the light

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Moments of silence
In the abandonment years
Came my life questions
Suicides, alcohol, grief
Love entered in little ways

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Pinholes of light came
Little kindnesses given
A smile and a gentle word
Of affirmation
Were the surprising moments
Were embraced with great delight

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Light brings the delight
Forgiveness breaks through with joy
For myself and the others
This love was revealed to me
Through the life of Jesus Christ

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He led with real compassion
His gentleness drew me in
Religion orchestrated
Making sure he died

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He died a horrible death
I cannot even fathom
The magnitude of this loss
Love it represents

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He is my pinhole of light
My failure as a human
Is connected to his death
And resurrection

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I have peace today
Forgiving myself right now
Forgiving others
Accepting the light of his love
And giving it to others

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I’ll make no demands on you
We can be a reflection
But not the reality
God is near to love

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These secret truths are revealed all along the way in the process of growing up and deciding to never give up! There is so much to learn on the journey and I hope to never stop learning. One thing I am determined to do is never stop moving toward the light even in the darkest hour. The movie “Unbroken” is a good example of light coming in the darkness and the power of never giving up. Love never fails. It must start with me and not the other person. Forgiveness opens the window of the human heart to the light of inexpressible joy!

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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” can be reviewed on Amazon and is $0.99 cents on Kindle. It is my story of the painful but hopeful process of continuing to discover light.

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Christmas Wonder

December 25, 2014

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I sit in wonder
Looking back I see it
Generational darkness
And pinholes of light
The tragedy and the pain
The sorrow that led to joy

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The relational chaos
Can be seen on the I-Phone
Looking for a connection
Missing the person

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With eyes on the hand
Holding the person captive
Not seeing my eyes
Longing for a connection
To be seen as a person

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I’ll lay the phone down
Turn it off and look around
Not miss the moment
The eyes and the warm embrace
Surprising moments of joy

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More information
Life lived vicariously
Technology is worshiped
Junk food of the mind
Robbing us connection
With the real and life giving

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I will text you now
And give an invitation
To come share a joy
Know the beauty of looking
In the eyes of the One who loves

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I have learned in the morning before I look at my I-Phone, turn on the computer and check my email to be still and look in the face of the Father who sees. The unseen is the real just like love. You know when it is not there and you know it when it is. Turn your mind, heart and soul to the One who can stop the noise and chaos and give you peace. Today people around the world are looking for gifts. One has been given you and you have only to be still, listen and believe. Readings this morning that has been helpful to me in stopping the “junk food” noise from generations are the following: “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Psalm 25:14 speaks of a God who will “confide in you” and Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Looking back I see the generational darkness and I now see the generational light revealed that day God was born in the world as a baby. May the real wonder of Christmas be yours today! Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Gift

December 24, 2014

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I’ve received a gift
It’s the divine grace of faith
I offer myself
My mind will be your workshop
My heart will be your playground

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My soul flourishes
I will be God’s workmanship
His poetry in this world
Living with a fire
Accessing this deep friendship
Gift available to all

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Please form Christ in me
I will be engaged in truth
Feelings will not deter me
I accept your love

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Christmas Truth

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The littlest child
Hidden in a manger still
I sing “Silent Night”

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The light of the world
Coming down to bring real joy
Unending love given all
Who will believe it
Historically certain
It is verifiable

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Please consider this story
Don’t take others word for it
Religious or atheist
You can decide this

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Consider all things
Get all the information
Respect your judgment
Listen to your broken heart
Listen to the heart of God

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I’m given a mind
A heart, soul and a body
Time to consider
What is true – what is not true
I have chosen to believe

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The littlest child
Hidden in a manger
Was the Son of God
I am alive to live it
I am free to share the joy

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Death has no power
I have chosen where to stand
A resurrection
Has taken place in my soul
Both now and forever more

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Blue Christmas

December 23, 2014

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This season brings awareness of deepest joy and unspeakable sorrow!   I think about my mother who for many Christmases sat in desperation at not being with her four children. She abandoned them when they were ten, eight, seven and two in 1950. I found her broken and devastated in 1968, eight-teen years later at the age of forty-five. Jesus’ story of meeting the woman at the well had inspired me to contact her. She had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. She spent Christmas with us in Boston in 1985, and her story and picture were on the front page of the newspaper on Christmas Eve, telling the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. People with hatred, guilt, shame, and broken relationships were at the heart of Jesus’ mission.

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The experience with my mother created a desire in me to reach out with compassion, which is why I started Coaching Life Matters. Coaching Life Matters is committed to removing barriers to healthy relationships and restoring people to joy. We are a non-profit educational organization that chooses not to charge for our services. To learn more about the work we did in 2014 and our plans for 2015, please click the link below to read our December newsletter.

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http://coachinglifematters.org/resources/Newsletter-Dec-2014.pdf

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If you would like to know more about some of the stories of our work with veterans with PTSD,  Operation Stand Down, (an organization working with homeless veterans), and our work in the prison, you can view video clips in newsletter:

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If you are already connected to Coaching Life Matters, we want to thank you for your continued support and encouragement in our work. If you are just hearing about us, please check us out and consider joining us in going “outside the camp.”

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May your hearts be filled with hope, and if you are in despair, I pray you will find that “pinhole of light.” Special thanks to Boyle Investment Company, which donates office space for CLM to operate.

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Wishing you the best Christmas and a joyful 2015.

Thankfully, Terry and Charlotte

Why Christmas?

December 23, 2014

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I will meet with you alone
There is no greater moment
Than being in your presence
The secret treasure

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You delivered me
From the bonds of slavery
A prison inside

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My heart demands perfection
I can never measure up
To be able to please all
It’s impossible

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So I stand guilty
Behind the bars of performing
Looking for affirmation
So someone will see
I am a person of worth
My grief and losses scream out

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I have hidden faults
Secret ones that condemn me
I can’t measure up
Beliefs about me are a lie
I keep looking for relief

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I found in silence
Behind the condemnation
The noise of judgment stopped cold
When I looked in eyes
Of the Creator of life
Who showed me that He loved me

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Stillness is so hard
Because my own heart condemns me
I need to be held
Comforted like a small child
Held in the arms of my friend

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I found this unseen love
In stillness God came to me
I focused on His dear son’s
Compassionate love

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He knows each of us
With understanding He comes
He has chosen you
Knows your name and your pain
Says, “Your are my Beloved”

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I could be right about this
“You are Special and Beloved”
I’m not talking religion
But relationship

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Friendship that’s deep and lasting
A friend who will never leave
A joy that’s unspeakable
Love that cherishes

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This secret treasure
Is for all those who seek truth
Who decide to fight
Begin by caring for self
Take responsibility

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I have found the light
My soul searched with compassion
And the message, “I love you”
Comes with knowledge
Understanding the story
That God became a human

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I sing “Silent Night”
The reason for the Season
In stillness He comes

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Early morning reflections from Psalm 19

Christmas Conversation

December 22, 2014

I rise to see you

To come into your presence

Through faith I see love

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I am not a fool

The one who made the eye can see

The one who made the ear can hear

The beauty of life

The masterful creation

Speaks to the honest human

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Honest questions discovered

As one experiences life

Leads to a surprising joy

Of human greatness

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Taste and see the Lord is good

He will not “should” on your life

You’re responsible to seek

Search out what is true

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Most people react

Don’t look at the obvious

Look past the problem

Understand yourself and God

I discovered real friendship

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When you’re seventy

It is time to speak and say

Truth I have learned to live by

Brokenness and peace

The freedom of forgiveness

Joy that surpasses knowledge

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This painful process

I have sought to know what is true

Many failures and loses

Have taught me to listen well

In suffering I find found peace

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I have hurt many

I have been failed by many

There is one who has not failed

His love forgives me

And I forgive the others

Who I hope can forgive me

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My failures and yours

Will not stop me from loving

For I can give what’s given

Love the unlovely

That is in me and in you

It’s the work of God’s Spirit

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So when Christmas comes

It’s time to begin again

Remembering the Advent

Love Demonstrated

One human who made it clear

How to bring peace on this earth

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Reflections inspired by Psalm 20 and 50. May God’s peace be in you that sits above the circumstances. May the joy of Christ’s Presence fill you today.

Dedicated to Steve Brumfield 

The Future

December 21, 2014

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I can see the future me
In the story of His love
His kindness calls me to look
Through the lens of hope

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The past and the present blind me
I’ve looked through the lens of despair
Believe the lies handed down
From generations

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Where is the security
Restfulness you’re looking for
The feeling of a safe place
It was not in a place

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I found that peace in a person
Not in a church or in a group
Alone and in the quiet
Searching to be found

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Love came in stillness
Knowledge became my passion
Seeking to do good
To those I meet on the way
I found a fresh way to live

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“Stop grumbling and complaining”
Is what I said to myself
I began to be thankful
For the little things

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Gratitude opened the door
It gave me new eyes to see
The heart of God became flesh
In one man who loved

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Each person gets to decide how to respond to the injustices of life. There is remarkable, incomprehensible greatness in each person. That greatness arises when gratitude fills the soul because there is “nothing on this planet greater than a human being.” *  The story of Jesus and His love demonstrated in real life, real time, real flesh, real pain offered a promise that moves us through the dark times with real hope.

*Landon Saunders