Springs of Hope – A global Forum creating a new narrative for the Voice of Victims of Terrorism being held in Jerusalem March 1-4. 

*

A grandfather stood before the ISIS group and was given the option of denying his faith or watching his grandchildren be slaughtered in front of him.  He denied his faith and called his minister, Andrew White, to confess. “Will God forgive me?” This was his question. When the terrorist approached the children for them to deny their faith in Jesus or else die, they joined hands and said, “We cannot deny our Jesus. We love him.” Then, they each were killed.

*

This is the third day of the conference on Terror I am attending in Jerusalem. The sad reality is that we are sitting within the beginning of a movement that is coming to fruition. A group of people are intentionally killing men, women and children who do not agree with them. It is happening here before our very eyes.; just as the Holocaust happened. These are real people in real time. And, it demands a response from me, from us.

I was born during the Holocaust in 1942.  Here, I am meeting with the children of people who were born during this horrendous time or immediately thereafter. Their parents survived and lived with the trauma of PTSD.  And the impact afflicted on them as the children of Holocaust victims is and was horrendous. I met Peter (not his name) whose parents met in Auschwitz and married afterward. They all suffered and continue to suffer.  I do not know what I am going to do, but I am going to do something. 

*

What I am witnessing is that there are refugee camps with children who have had no food for a month. We can begin by getting them food. My new friend, Andrew White, who is the Anglican Vicar of Bagdad told the story of a little boy who heard him speak to his school. After school the boy brought him a dollar to help the children. He shared this with many people who want the children to be fed and asked them to began sending their dollars. If you are interested in joining me, in giving this Anglican Vicar a dollar for the children, the address of where to send your donation is: 

Address: Go to website www.frrme.org: To make a donation

*

You may also go online to discover information regarding Andrew, his remarkable life and the books he has written. He can no longer be in Bagdad or they will kill him. Although he remains in contact with those who are caring for one another and those in the refuge camps. He is truly on the front-line of this tragedy. His bodyguard was standing beside him as I talked with him. Andrew is the real deal, a man that can be trusted, and any and all monies donated will make it to the children. This I can assure you.

*

 We cannot sit by and do nothing. Please join me in praying for these people and  what you can do.  I can give a dollar and so can you. This, at least, will be an immediate start.

If you will, join me in sending dollars for food and care for those driven out of their homes and land and will likely never return.  I will not stand by and do nothing. It is something we can do now.  This is just the beginning.  

*

Consider sharing this tweet.

 

Advertisements

My Desire

February 25, 2015

*

As I prepare to enter the soul country of the lives broken by terror the Psalmist led me to write my response to these Psalms. 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Slow down and listen to the unseen voice of the Maker of the Heavens and the earth and get in touch with “Your Desire.”

*

My desire is to bring you
My life, my soul, my passion
Show me and teach me your ways
Guide me in your truth

*

You’re the healer of my soul
Lifted me out of the pit
Quenched my thirsty soul
In quiet I come

*

When I am silent
I remember my failures
My weaknesses I ponder
I hunger for you
You receive me with kindness
Your mercies draw me to you

*

When I draw near you
You always come with your joy
Incomprehensible love
Rooted in history
Promises that never fail

*

I choose to believe
This revelation of love
Confronts us humans
Who wander in wilderness
Looking for the face of God

*

I found the freedom
To live spontaneously
Meditate and consider
Accept my failures
And the failure of others
See through eyes of compassion

*

it’s fun to be free
To know I have the freedom
To choose what makes sense
Many voices are calling
I found one I can trust

*

The past affirms this
The present brings me His peace
The future I celebrate
Eyes opened by the Spirit
To see the unseen as the Real

*

How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015

*

The focus of the children
How beautiful and loving
Need direction from your word
Because you give life

*

Love awakens us to joy
Arising each morning to pray
I will listen first then speak
Respond to the truth

*

Truth always comes through kindness
Although at first it’s painful
To see the lies I live by
Keeps me in the darkness

*

What are the lies that destroy
Do I really want to know
It’s painful to discover
My own false beliefs

*

It takes courage to seek God
Not knowing what you will find
Can I believe He is real
Loves me as a son

*

Such beauty among the young
Fresh, alive and full of love
Put your hand on the children
Trouble lies ahead

*

We will focus on the joy
The promises and the friendship
Because there is certain hope
For those who believe

*

I won’t live in fear
God promised, “I’ll be with you
Never leave or forsake you”
Courage will follow
When your love is much larger
Than all the trouble around

*

I will set my mind
My heart and soul long for
The gift to live free
Focused on His greatest gift
His inexpressible love

*

I was asked to speak this week by Lael Caldwell who leads a “Round Table of Business Men and Women” on the topic of “How Do You Set Your MInd?” I chose to share this message with the Woodmont Hills family yesterday. If you would like a copy you can email me at terrysmith5@comcast.net and I will give you the address where you can order it.

Last night I sat with Charlotte at a “Sweetheart Banquet” and was served and entertained by a group of amazing young people. The above reflections come out of listening and responding to yesterday’s experience and the reading of the Psalms this morning. Psalm 9 and 39 along with meditating on John 15:1-17 was the focus this morning.

*

Setting my mind each day is absolutely the most important thing I do to take care of myself.

 

Music In My Soul

January 20, 2015

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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!

Path to Joy

January 15, 2015

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

My simple prayer to God is this.

*

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

*

These reflections come after reading Psalm 45 and Proverbs 15.

Good Conversation

January 13, 2015

*

Good conversation
Is available to all
Who will receive love

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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!

*

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

*

Forgiveness can come
When I see my own failure
Anger dissipates

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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.