Early Morning Times

January 4, 2015

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My best questions come
In the early morning times
In quiet moments
I’m confronted with my life
My fears and anxieties

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I’m frightened sometimes by dreams
By realities of life
For others and for myself
My questions are hard

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What do I believe
I struggle with unbelief
About the world and the pain
How do I view me
And the big question is God
And the meaning of friendship

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I take the time to be still
To listen and contemplate
The puzzle of this journey
That involves my life

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In my early life
I learned to detach myself
To not feel the pain
My imagination flew
To a place where I felt safe

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I could settle down
With memories that were good
Of people who cared
Grandmothers and the neighbors
There was a secret comfort

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I found in the solitude
A forced abandonment pain
A feeling of helplessness
With no person there

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Solitary confinement
On the raft of shifting seas
With sharks all around
I was searching for answers
To understand and survive

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It was in this search
To find out who I can trust
I found a focus
Big enough to contain me
Give me perspective on my life

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No easy answers
But confidence I could find
The hidden love presented
By One I could trust
Who never failed to give love
To broken and lost children

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I am one of His
If I ask the question,”Why?”
I must ask then “Why not me?”
We all have a cross
His mysterious presence came
“Don’t be afraid, I’m with you”

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Reflections after reading Psalm 4, 34 and 64. Proverbs 4:7. I had no mother or father to guide my thinking or big enough to listen to the pain. I had no words to communicate. There was only silence and a simple prayer taught me. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.” There was a song I learned that I sang, “Jesus Loves Me” this I know. I chose as a child to hold onto this mysterious unseen love and to trust this unseen God. I grew up and learned his story and discovered there was One who was with me when I was unaware and the angels were attending. His love was there and looking back I can see. He brought me through it all with His angels attending. He will bring you through. In the midst of my unbelief I cry out confessing it and pray “Help my unbelief!

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Best Friend Conversations

January 2, 2015

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Good conversation
Is a gift I want to have
With those I love most
I will include the stranger
And, also, my enemy

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Who will be my friend
I will be looking today
Ready to respond
Open to this adventure
Love with no expectations

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This I know is the hardest
For we wrong one another
Get offended easily
I know where to start

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I will start with me
The one I sleep with each night
This is the hardest
The one I offend a lot
I’m the one I hurt the most

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I found the secret
A way to forgive myself
To have a conversation
That’s gentle and kind
A way to love even me
In the darkness of my soul

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Ready for the ride
Mutual conversation
Is what I’m committed to
It’s the missing part
So I will not medicate
Keep doing the counterfeit

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I will like sleeping with myself
I have no choice about that
I will befriend my own soul
I’ll live in that joy

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I’ll take away the judgment
With real authenticity
I’ll train to forgive myself
And the one near me

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It is possible to live this. It is possible to overcome the darkness of the wounded soul and discover the joy. The impossible is possible when the deep soul decision is made to live and not die. Deciding to fight for my life is the most important decision I have made. I had to begin by caring about me. At that point I began to pay attention to my questions. Taking that responsibility has led me to discovering how to live in joy over the past fifty-three years. The pain, the reality of my own failure toward others and their failure to me is the most difficult road to navigate.

The best book I recommend to kick start this conversation was written by Jim Woodroof “Sayings that Saved My Sanity.” Write me and I will tell you how to get it. May all the best conversations take place for you in 2015. Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

Living In The Light

January 1, 2015

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Two important things
Knowledge and understanding
Will equal wisdom
Knowledge applied at right times
Will give power and freedom

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Waking up each day
Knowing a certain future
Anticipating real joy
Is a way to live
That is possible for all
Can be a daily practice

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Circumstances cannot rob
Take away this joy in me
It’s based on knowledge and wisdom
I”ll live in the light

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The world can hurt you
Sometimes it certainly will
I have found I have a choice
How I will respond
The power is in knowing this
Love is larger than all things

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Pride is within me
Along with lust and the greed
Basic things to all of us
There is an answer
To keep these from destroying
My soul, body and my mind

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The light in my soul
Will heal the wounded places
Received with great joy

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Happy New Year to those who choose to share this joy. I have chosen the word “light” to be my focus word this year. No resolutions just one word. This word brings clarity and understanding as I look into the heart of God through the light of His Son. May this be the best year of your life. One day at a time, walking after love, as revealed in the daily practice of interacting with the passion and compassionate heart of God, that is light to me. If you have chosen a word for the New Year, would you share that word with me in your reply? Thank you!

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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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

One Love Reaches In

December 26, 2013

 

Many things happen

That wound the souls of people

No one can fathom

Rejection from your parents

A soul that feels abandoned

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One love reaches in

The Everlasting Father

Through His only son

To say how much he loves you

By giving His life for you

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The Wonderful Counselor

Is given to each one who asks

Who surrenders to this love

Says, “Your will be done”

On earth as it’s in heaven

This has been tested and tried

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“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The man who fears is not made perfect in love.”  John – I John 4:15-18
 
“The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  Moses – Deuteronomy 33:27
 
“But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in our salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”  David – Psalms 13:5

 

Tender Vulnerable Times

December 23, 2013

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I’ll be with you in

Tender vulnerable times

That’s God’s promise
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Lightning of life will strike you

Leave a scar on your sweet soul

I will heal all of your wounds

Bring joy, make you whole
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I’ll lead with forgiveness

Through the door of compassion

Touch you where needed the most

Give understanding
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There will be no obstacle

I can’t overcome in you

God does the impossible

For those who seek him
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“The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis
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“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The writer of the book of Hebrews, chapter 13.
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“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he makes your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

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If  Christmas time makes you cry — this post is dedicated to you …
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No One Can Fathom

July 6, 2013

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History tells us

The things that we need to know

Am I listening

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The wars, the innocent lives

The raw human suffering

With fear and trembling

But with confidence and hope

I will go with you leading

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I will enter the soul wound

Having been wounded and scarred

Broken by ill-equipped ones

Loved in the middle

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I’ll not lead with piety

I enter as a wounded soul

Aware of my own sorrows

Meeting in the pain

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In my darkest grief

Losses inexpressible

The darkest room in my heart

A gentle light came

A pinhole of light to give hope

There was joy to be found

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The God I know forgives me

He came to me in darkness

Showed me what a child is worth

Opened me to love

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Every soul I meet

Help me never to label

Or eliminate

Each person has a story

Each one is beloved by God

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I’ll not live in fear

I will go with the light of love

With courage to act

With the power of presence

Staying close with compassion

 

I’ll be wise as a serpent

Gentle dove as my model

Courageous as a lion

Move forward ln light

 

The wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace will be our guide.  With the Spirit of sonship we will go where we are led.  His promises held high we go forward to meet the prisoners with a message of healing, hope and forgiveness.  As Moses led the way for the slaves in Egypt,  Jesus calls us to join him in bringing the light of life to those trapped in darkness.

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Isaiah 9:6; Zecheraiah 9:9; Romans 8: 15-16; Exodus 3:5

Just as He hears You

January 14, 2012

A woman who had spent all of her money on doctors, after being ill for twelve years, touches Jesus cloak.  A miracle happened as she cried out and reach out to Jesus.  The same happens today.  He hears us and always responds. God hears the human cries.  Click here to read the story.

A large crowd came to see him

He stood there on the sea shore

Jairus fell at his feet

“My daughter is dying”


“Will you come and heal?

She is only twelve years old”

He begged Jesus to come

“If you will put your hands on her

I know she will not die”


He left with the crowd

Traveling toward Jairus’ House

In the crowd was a woman

An outcast by law


Bleeding for twelve years

Unclean by purity laws

She suffered greatly

All of her money was gone

She touched the hem of his cloak


She touched his cloak and was healed

She could feel that she was clean

Whole from touching his garment

He could feel her touch


Jesus felt the power leave

His response was, “Who touched me?”

Everyone was silent

All were touching him


Then the silence was broken

This woman came forth and spoke

His gaze fell on the woman

She dropped to her knees


Shaking, fearful and amazed

“I am the one who touched you”

He listened to her story

He heard why she came


“Because you believe, you’re healed”

Go in peace now and stay well

He heard the cry of her heart

Just as he hears yours 

 
© Terry S. Smith
January 1, 2012
Dedicated to my Sara
 

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2011

 

There are many stories of kindness and heroism rising out of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, but you don’t hear many stories about the dogs that helped in the search for survivors.  On a recent trip to New Hampshire for the Heartbeat Retreat, I met an impressive man, Gary M. Jobes.  Gary was one of the fireman called to help with the rescue efforts.  He told me a story about the search and rescue dogs looking for survivors in the wreckage.  His words touched my heart, and I wanted to share the story he told me with you. 

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Rescue Dogs

 

The dogs moved through the Twin Towers, looking and searching.  They were trained to find living people.  The dogs were confused and disoriented because no living people were to be found;  they were only finding the dead.  The firemen quickly started hiding so that these highly trained dogs could be rewarded by finding someone alive. 

 

The dogs spent long hours searching, and their paws became cut and burned.  The firemen were approached by a shoemaker who offered to custom make leather boots for each dog to cover their injured paws so they could continue to search.  Each dog had its own fitted boots and a number so the shoemaker could make a new set as needed.  He created the protection the dogs needed to do their job.  The firefighters, dogs, and shoemaker worked together as a team to help our country on the tragic day when 2,974 hearts stopped beating. 

 

For the Hurting 

The shoemaker gave

A gift with no strings attached

An example to follow

 

His only desire

Was to give all that he had

To save the lost ones

And give the compassion needed

 
With appreciation to Gary M. Jobes for sharing this story.  (Used with permission.)  First posted September 11, 2009
 

Heard my Desperate Cry

July 24, 2011

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I know you love me
You heard my desperate cry
My life has been changed
 
You gave a vision
There is hope in your story
For the wounded ones
 
Trouble and sorrow
I was born in that chaos
Light in the darkness
Illuminated a hope
I arose from the ashes
 
Compassion drew me
A gracious and tender life
Invited me to peace
Found a place to rest my soul
A mystery I have lived
 
My words will be few
(except on my blog)
My life will tell the story
The way I live speaks loudest
Actions speak truth
What I say and what I do
When aligned will bring joy
 
I know how to live
Love delivered me to joy
Death is defeated
Tears will no longer blind me
Desperation is in the past
 
I have made a vow
To live, love, and give myself
To being present
With people who are seeking
To define reality
 
Relationships are rich
Because I have been on this quest
Listening to my questions
Honestly searching
Always growing and learning
Solitude the secret
 
God is who He is
Silence raises awareness
Of a sacred space
God speaks loud in the quiet
Are you willing to listen
 
© Terry S. Smith
July 23, 2011
Written after meditating on Psalm 116.
 

The Hidden Treasure

April 8, 2011

 
In times of trouble
You have always heard my cry
You, O Lord, keep me safe
 
Looking back I see
The unseen love pursuing
Now seen and experienced
Looking back I see
Faces of those who loved me
And touched me with compassion
 
Her tender voice calls
Her gentleness and kindness
Holding me safely
In her arms with greatest joy
Childhood memory that runs deep
Her name is Ina Roseberry
 
The love in her eyes
Seeing me with compassion
Giving me courage
To hold onto the vision
Of the unspeakable joy
Her name is Sherrill Lynn “Mama Sherrill”
 
You gave me my heart’s desire
You have satisfied my soul
I hunger for righteousness
I will see your face
 
A promise given
The future is in the now
Your unseen presence
 
Unspeakable joy
My eyes are open to love
In silence I hear
Knowledge invites me to look
Faith provides the lens to see
~
© Terry S. Smith
April 5, 2011
Reflections written after reading Psalms 16-20 and Proverbs 4.
 

Faithful

January 10, 2011

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I will not let fear rob me
Of the joy of God’s presence
Because He is faithful
He will not abandon me
 
Be still and listen
Go, spend time alone with God
He will come and teach
He meets you with compassion
Will give you the gift of faith
 
I cried in desperation
Looking for a place of peace
I found Him waiting
 
It’s a mystery
I proclaim with all my heart
A love that has endured
For all generations
The revelation of truth
 
He knows you by name
It is written on His hands
Just look at His son
He understands where you are
“Do not be afraid” – Believe
 
© Terry S. Smith
January 5, 2011
 
Morning reflections after practicing the mystery of His presence and meditating on Psalm 16. 
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