Gift of Forgiveness

January 31, 2015

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Looking back I see
The blind spots in my own life
Born of ignorance
Then the intentional wrongs
They can be overwhelming

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The blind spots are important
Learning points to remember
Because they are there I see
The damage I’ve done

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I’m responsible
For the suffering of those
Given to my care
Children, family and friends
I found forgiveness with God

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To face the truth about myself
Is a surprising gift to all
When love becomes the focus
And forgiveness reigns

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I forgive myself
God chose to forgive my sins
My heart was broken
When I saw the price he paid
Incomprehensible love

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I’ve sought forgiveness
From those I know I have hurt
From those I don’t know
I pray God covers us both
With gentleness and mercy

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In stillness I come
I am focused on His love
With no one but God
I draw near seeking His mind
And I discover His heart

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He has favored me
Claimed me as “His Beloved”
This promise given to all
Is sealed with His blood
Established by resurrection
Embraced by trust in His words

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I practiced feeding this truth by reflecting on the words given in the Psalms this morning. Psalm 31, 91 and 121. The judgment of my own heart is so great that if I don’t establish who I trust in the morning I am manipulated by my worldview and the worldview of others who also hide behind the noise in the heart.

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He Counts Your Tears

January 26, 2015

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When I am afraid
I will trust in you, O God
It’s your words I trust
How can mortal man hurt me
In God I trust; I will not fear

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Record my lament
You keep record of my tears
You even count them

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You always get the blame God
For the suffering and the pain
It is man’s abuse of man
Where are you, “O man?”

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In God I will trust
He’s the one with compassion
I see the heart of man hurt
Abuse and deceive
Give God the blame for lying
And not look in the mirror

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You have delivered my soul
Met me in desperation
Given your presence of love
In stillness I find

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I know the story
How God’s love became a man
He offered “abundant life”
I was skeptical
I looked closely at the man
A man of sorrows and grief

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He met the lonely
The broken and abandoned
Was gentle and kind
Gave hope to the hopeless ones
I know I was one of them

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I wept when I saw
The way he lived and he died
His personal touch
Reaches the most broken ones
He counts each person “Beloved”

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I once was desperate. Now I meet with desperate people. I’m desperate again. This time I bring hope to desperate people. Every human being is precious and needs to know they count. I discovered a God who not only counts the tears but sees the person and is pursuing each one. They don’t need my answers but need someone who is present listening and giving what I can. Can God really be that close? Psalms 26, 56, 86, 116 and 146 opened a window to an awareness of someone who is there with love and understanding.

Anguish Healed

January 25, 2015

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Overwhelmed with anguish
The pain and loss is so great
Does anyone understand
The devastation

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No friends to comfort
Loses of my dear love ones
Where is God who cares
Why is this happening now
Can anyone answer me

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The cry in the human soul
There are no easy answers
God promises to confide
In those who fear Him

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I cannot fathom
A God who lets this happen
Suffering and grief
What is it I am missing
Do I really want to know

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Truth hurts and it heals
The tragedy in my soul
Comes down to two things
I must face the truth about me
I must face the truth about God

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“Fear” does not mean “Be afraid”
It means I must face greatness
Of the love of God revealed
To my shattered soul

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The consequences
Of the choices I have made
I am destitute
The poverty in my soul
Is hidden from all to see

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The confusion inside me
With the unanswered questions
Were cleared up when I focused
On the love of God

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He promised to never leave
To meet me in my anguish
To forgive me of my wrongs
To renew and restore

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I will trust in Him
Gives victory over death
Carries my burdens

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Insight only comes
After one chooses to trust
The Giver of life

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May you be blessed by the Lord
Maker of heaven and earth
One who understands your need
Gave all to forgive

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These reflections will be enhanced by reading Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Sarah Young, an amazing therapist and teacher, offers insight to the anguished soul in her book “Jesus Calling.” 

The Father’s Touch

January 24, 2015

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What do I yearn for
Where does my heart go when still
I will seek your face
When you appear I’ll see your face
I have set my heart on you

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My weaknesses still cry out
The sadness-es all around
So many lost in nothing
My inner soul weeps

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The little sparrow
Finds a place to rest and sleep
God knows what is happening
I’ll praise His greatness
Enter into communion
With my Father who loves me

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You’re my sun and shield
Light to find my way today
Protection from enemies
Angels to attend
To all those who will trust you
Who seek you with all their heart

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Your power’s displayed
You do the impossible
When you are trusted
You surprise with your answer
Light comes, love’s demonstrated

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Trust takes away fear
Anxieties are dispelled
I’m surprised by joy
Your living presence reveals
A Father in touch with you

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There is no trouble
That he does not understand
And promises to take action
Of all the voices
I can choose who I will trust
A gift from the Father’s touch

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I have fallen many times
Failed to trust, done it my way
Suffered the consequences
Felt desperation

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I arise with His Spirit
Renewed by Eternal Love
Accepted, forgiveness given
Live today in peace

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Reflections after reading Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114 and Proverbs 24. Sarah Young speaks to the promises in the pain in her book “Jesus Calling.”

Seeking

January 23, 2015

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God looks to see if any
Are seeking to understand
Who’re longing to know His heart
Who really love Him

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Some people are fools
Many say, “There is no God”
“There is no one who does good”
Fear paralyzes
They are overwhelmed with dread
Restore your people with love

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Let me be one who’s seeking
Who walks in the light of love
Who forgives betrayers
One who forgives self

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You alone understand me
Your Spirit is comforting
Explains to the Father’s heart
Meets me where I am

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Give me your vision
I am larger than my pain
Your love is greater
Than all the circumstances
Your promises restore me

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Creator of all
Master of all living things
You know what I need to learn
I sit in silence
Waiting with expectation
I pray you’ll find me watching

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Reflections after reading Psalm 23, 53 and 83 as I consider the world I live today, January 23, 2015.

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Dedicated to my friend, Rick Healy who is a “Seeker.”

One Definition of God

January 22, 2015

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He’s gentle and kind
Like a Mother and Father
All wrapped up in One

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My mother left me
Abandoned her four children
She was very sick

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God knows the trouble
Each of his children will face
He comes seeking you
My challenge is consider
He called himself “Son of “Man”

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Don’t let religion block you
The hypocrisy and lies
The real God loves you dearly
Remember this truth
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This definition of God is out of fifty-four years of seeking to know the mind of God through meditation and reflection on His Story. I have chosen to live in response to the mercy and love revealed through the window of His story in the Bible. God’s gentle hand is on you and is close to hear and respond to your deepest needs.

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The following poem is an excerpt from the book “A Transplanted Soul” by Charlotte B. Smith

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“…..when the Son of Man comes, will he find
faith on the earth.” Luke 18:8

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Let that be me, Lord

one who continues to pray
and doesn’t give up
one who keeps my heart
turned toward you
Help that be me, Lord

 

Let that be my children
and my grandchildren,
my descendants as long
as my line shall last

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Let them be found faithful
to the end,
Oh, Lord, that you will find faith on the earth!

 

This is my prayer, Lord,
that I send up ahead
on their behalf….

1-10-2010

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I Believe

January 21, 2015

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“I believe in
Christ,
like I believe
the
sun
not because
I can see it,
but by it
I can see
everything”
     C. S. Lewis

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Understanding leads to life
Knowledge will help get you there
Seeking with all of your heart
Will let the light come
Proverbs 21:16

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I know what to seek
It is righteousness and love
It leads to prosperity
With life and honor
Relationships will flourish
Real friendships are developed
Proverbs 21:21

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The word righteousness is not self-righteousness but it is the commitment to the best interest of the other person and justice for all.The book of Proverbs has fathered me giving counsel and insight into love, money, sex and power.

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Victory will come
Accessing a private time
Wisdom will be discovered
In stillness I come
Waiting with expectation
For the healing light of love
Proverbs 21:31

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Music In My Soul

January 20, 2015

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There is music in my soul
I’ve trained to practice basics
My body is the instrument
My soul holds the strings

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When the strings get tight
And stress gets unbearable
A surprising sound
When I surrender my soul
Music flows that brings comfort

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I draw near to God
A daily practice I’ve found
When I feel good or feel bad
He always comes near
That is the promise he made
One I choose to trust today

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The winds on the sea
Can toss the soul all about
The storm and the rain bring grief
I learned this one thing
When I’ve set my sail to seek
The storms have become a gift

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This mystery comes
To all and not just a few
Who choose to seek love
To be defined by what’s true
To align the soul with joy

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Freedom is the fruit
Peace passes understanding
My mind and heart are captured
Knowledge will illuminate
Hope is born in the darkness

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I interviewed a young musician years ago and asked him how he played the instrument so well. He said, “My coach is a concert violinist. Every day she pulls out her instrument and practices the basics until she gets the sound out of the instrument she wants. I do the same.” My instrument is my body. My soul holds the strings. I found the coach of life eager to train me to be loved and love. Psalm 20 holds promises I have found to be true. The music in the Psalms is what I train to practice. All the best!

Hidden Surprise of Joy

January 19, 2015

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There’s a hidden truth
Just like there is hidden sin
I’ve been blind to both of them
One crushes my soul
The other heals all my wounds
Love’s revealed to those seeking

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My eyes were opened
When I discovered the truth
About me and God
Breaking down the barriers
Comes when all is in the light

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His intimate eyes
Are seen by those who revere
Who are in awe of His love
I’ll never give up
Seeking what is real and true
I have been surprised by joy

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In Psalm 19 it speaks of things hidden and things that are plain. In Psalm 33 he speaks of intimacy with those whose hope is in His unfailing love. These two Psalms read slowly and thoughtfully out loud take a person to the inner chamber of the soul. The mysterious place is where God dwells in the heart of everyone. Be still and listen.

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Today is Charlotte’s birthday.   She is the treasured  surprised gift from God  and my deepest and cherished soul mate.  She brings the joy!

Invitation

January 18, 2015

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An Invitation
A way to live that makes sense
Thoughts to consider

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A way to live that brings peace
A way to live that brings hope
A way to live that brings joy
The freedom to love

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That’s what I looked for
As a child what I longed for
As a man I came searching
Found the great surprise
My God was looking for me
Gives inexpressible love

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Yes, it’s experiential
The door way is on the bottom
In the brokenness He comes
Seeking to comfort
In my personal despair
He gives the greatest blessing

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Comfort in the loss
Forgiveness in betrayal
Compassion and love
For me and for the others
The massive failure we feel

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Those who betrayed me
And for the ones I betrayed
Inexpressible
Love given to each of us
With gentleness and mercy

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Knowledge is what I needed
Hidden information came
Brought certainty to this love
My mind was captured

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I chose to believe
My heart leaped with the wonder
Incomprehensible love
Was revealed through one
Who chose to be one of us
And offer “abundant life”

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This love is hidden
Ages and generations
Have discovered this
God is closer than your blood
He is the air that you breathe

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God’s my friend, indeed
I come each morning seeking
To stay close to him
Find healing in His counsel
He reminds me who I am

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Chosen and Beloved
Favored and given his peace
Empowered by His Spirit
To see and bring hope
To proclaim with compassion
His personal love for all

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It’s time to come out
Reveal everlasting love
God loves you personally
Not talk but action
Each day you can meet with Him
Receive His love and give it

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These words are not an invitation “to church” or “religion.” These are words born out of a quest I began fifty-four years ago. God is real! God is present! And He loves you! In silence I began this quest seeking to know if this love was real. I found these words “abundant life.” I found these words not only true but beyond my imagination. God is my friend. God is your friend! We can meet with Him daily and interact on the deepest soul level. I always honor my questions. He has always kept His promises.

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Psalm 18 gives language to this love.

 

Secret Treasure

January 17, 2015

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The exciting truth
It’s a treasure to be found
If you will but ask
With a heart longing to know
With your soul and mind engaged

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We do not know what to ask
Until we get real quiet
That’s when I asked the question
What matters the most

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When I look around
Watch the multitude looking
Bringing their passion
It is all about the “doing”
What is it I want “to do”

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I am blinded by the doing
Confronted by the results
I discovered this secret
“Who am I” is first

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Establish identity
Who are you; why are you here
Answer these questions
Look In the spiritual realm
Consider the unseen first

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I’ll live from the inside out
I don’t have to prove my worth
A human being will do
When they know they count

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Death is not bigger
Circumstances can’t destroy
Forgiveness will rule
Love overflows for yourself
And power to love others

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I know this is true
“Who I am” I hold sacred
A friendship with God
It’s a secret gift of love
It took my best mind to see

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I am Beloved.

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You know, after fifty-four years of seeking, please consider, “YOU ARE BELOVED.” I write these haiku’s each morning reflecting on the past and looking to the future.   Looking both directions I find joy today.  I believe with honest reflection; seeking a knowledge of what is true; being willing to go outside the box of religion; overcome the arrogance of human pride that a person can find their way to real life and meaning. The Hebrew Scriptures particularly Psalms and Proverbs have mothered and fathered me. The real story of Jesus in the Gospels awakened me to a compassionate and gentle love. I make sure I have time to think each day and refuse to be driven by the “ought to” self doing and just take time “to be.” The treasured secret is this: God’s love is seeking you! I could be right!

 

Relief or Healing

January 16, 2015

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Where are you God in my pain
I can’t hear you or see you
My grief and fear are mixed
I’m broken inside

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Who will come and help
I cry in desperation
Can you hear me, God
The silence is deafening
In unbelief and belief

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You said for me to “Be Still”
And know that you are God
My anxiety blinds me
My fear imprisons

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I need you to come
Keep your promises you gave
I am overwhelmed
There is no one to comfort
My body and soul feel dead

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I need a resurrection
You understand all my grief
You meet me with compassion
I will wait for you

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You always come at right times
My soul is refined by fire
False thinking I’ve depended on
No longer secures

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I stand waiting for relief
Your comfort is far away
That is the way I’m feeling
I find no relief

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“I have come to heal
To bring hope to the hopeless
Freedom for the prisoners
Give sight to the blind
Bring good news to the poorest
Give all the captives freedom”

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Healing instead of relief
Is the promise He’s given
With mixed feelings do we hear
Choose who we will trust

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Reading Psalm 16 and 46 reveal a narrow path of hope. We all find ourselves at some time in the spot these reflections communicate. When I decided that I did not want relief but I wanted healing above all, a pinhole of light entered my world. I chose to move toward that light with trust and hope to make it through the storm I was in at the time. We all think no one understands. That is a lie. There is One who does and comes to bring that healing that only He can give. I choose to “Be still” trusting His words today. 

Path to Joy

January 15, 2015

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Knowledge is priority
A cheerful heart leads the way
Secret things will come
When love’s received
When I get over myself

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Understanding is the path
Your story and the others
To do this I must listen
Search for the wisdom

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Insight comes to those
Who seek it with all their heart
Who have the courage to ask
Move outside the box
Of religion and the world
I focused on a person

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I sought the counsel
Of those who know how to love
Know how to be still and hear
Not fix me but help
Point to possibilities
Give respect and room to think

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Their cheerful look brought me joy
Good news brought health to my bones
Friendship born in acceptance
With laughter and song

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I will pursue righteousness
I will hunger for the truth
I will make love my focus
For myself and God

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God teaches me how to love
Brings me freedom to be me
Enhances those around me
Surprises with joy

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My simple prayer to God is this.

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I want to please you
To bring joy and love to you
Be light in the world

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These reflections come after reading Psalm 45 and Proverbs 15.

Good Conversation

January 13, 2015

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Good conversation
Is available to all
Who will receive love

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One person I will talk to
Is the one who initiates
Who reaches out with kindness
In the little things

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This person I discovered
Is willing to listen well
And is full of surprises
Begins in silence

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It’s hard to be still
The noise of the “to do” list
Imprisons my soul
And stops me from seeing me
And the one who loves me so

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I get sick of me
I’m the root of the problem
The one who loves me says “Stop!”
“Be still and listen”
The God who made you loves you
His only Son gave His life

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I decided to trust Him
Take His word rather than mine
Enter this love covenant
Respond to His gift

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He gave me His Spirit of Peace
The forgiveness I longed for
Conversation I needed
Based on a promise

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This resurrection promise
Has the power to change things
And restore my wounded soul
He knocks at the door

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It’s a daily thing
I practice with discipline
A choice I can make

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“Behold, I stand at the door”
Is the voice I’ll listen to
I will enter His Presence
And rest in His Love

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True words are powerful. They set a person free to be fully alive inside. I train to live from the inside out as a way of life. God, Creator of the Universe made us in His image. He made it clear by the love demonstrated through His Son that we are His priority. Every person counts with God. He always listens and responds uniquely to each person who calls out in response to His Love. I believe with all my heart that you are favored and Beloved. I could be right!

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Being an over-comer
Is different than healing
Forgiving is the secret
Narrow road to life

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Forgiveness can come
When I see my own failure
Anger dissipates

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I would like to disappear
And escape the human pain
I find there is no exit
I am powerless

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No one can see this
My lot is to be alone
Overcoming doesn’t work
I’ve come to the end
Getting past the hard issues
False sense of nobility

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This layer of bitterness
Can stay hidden in the church
These deep personal wounds
Cut me to the core

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My soul is wounded
Spiritualizing the problem
Burying the grief
My soul wound has been hidden
Hiding behind the “false self”

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I am not strong and noble
I do not have the resources
I can no longer overcome
I need to be free

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It will take courage
To face the personal lies
With a mind that’s clear
With personal surrender
With patient love freedom’s born

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The journey to authentic forgiveness undoubtedly is the most treacherous path of the human soul. “There is a difference in overcoming wounds and forgiving from the heart.” (Anonymous) I found in surrendering to real love, facing my own humiliating shame with a friend who knows and can point me to a love relationship larger than my “false nobility.” There is freedom I have longed for in this world. It is available to all who seek and discover the patience and love of the mysterious Creator of Life.