Secret Choices in Life

April 9, 2015

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There are only two choices
One is wisdom, one is folly
It’s a daily decision
It’s very simple
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This invitation
To choose the road you will take
You’re free to decide
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If you want to know just ask
Your Father’s glad to tell you
Is there anyone asking
You answer for you
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You can know which road
It is your freedom to choose
We all have been hurt
I’m no exception to this
We all get it in the neck
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There is a secret
To be found in both choices
They’re both inviting
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One will bring you understanding
Stolen water will taste sweet
Food that’s eaten in secret
Is so delicious
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This secret life leads to death
They don’t know the dead lay there
Folly’s guest will die quickly
And not remembered
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Understanding leads to life
Doing right adds to learning
Darkness of death is exposed
Years added to life
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Where do I begin
First, stand in awe of your God
Seek knowledge and good insight
God’s a real person
He knows my name and loves me
Even though I chose folly
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A promise I claim daily
God never forsakes those who seek
To know and find out the truth
About God and self
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Understanding comes
Love flourishes in secret
In stillness God comes
Embracing us in folly
Surprising us with real joy
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They’re no exceptions
In this world we will suffer
A reality
The world we build will shatter
The pressures are just too great
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Folly and wisdom
Which direction will you choose
You can medicate and die
Surrender and live
This love surpasses knowledge
Understanding will breathe life
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These reflections come after reading and meditating on Psalm 9 and Proverbs 9. I have a practice I do each day to tune my soul to the basic realities of life. I live my life in a day. “I number my days by one.” Bob Nelson   I practice the basic fundamentals of soul each day like a musician practices his instruments. I practice seeking understanding above all else or I find my soul deceived by my own pride, lust and greed that sit in the secret places inviting me to choose to feed their hunger. This daily practice of stillness has lead me to the secret place of joy where I have been surprised with an intimate friendship of Presence that is not based on my feelings. It is based on discovering what is true about the world, self, God and real friendship. Folly taste good in the moment. It leads to death. Understanding will breathe life. It leads to Joy.
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Proverbs has been my Father. Psalms has been my mother over the last 54 years.
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Proverbs 9:6 “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear (stand in reverent awe) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

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Be Still

February 16, 2015

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No one can imagine this
God is closer than your blood
Be still and know “I AM God”
Your friend and Savior

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The trouble looms large
The enemy is within
God knows and always will come
When we trust his love

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Death cannot conquer
Circumstances will not rule
Love comes when we trust
When I see me through God’s eyes
With compassion and mercy

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Reflections come after reading Psalm 16, 46, 76, 106 and 136. Plus Proverbs 16 and the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.

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I learned to read the Psalms and Proverbs daily for my life from my mother in the faith “Mama Sherrill Lynn,” God’s treasured gift from God to me and so many.

How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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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.

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

 

A Gentle Touch

February 7, 2015

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I take refuge in the Lord
As a child I came to him
In the night I sought his help
Alone and crying

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His gentle love came
In the silence tenderly
Her nurturing hands
Touched and held me with kindness
My grandmother knew how to care

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Lost her at seven
And other dear ones who cared
Hatred won the day
Trauma entered my pathway
Loss of love ones became real

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What can a child say
No words can explain the pain
There’s no one who hears me cry
Alone with my tears
I was held in the darkness
Looking back I can see it

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When I became big
I read this story of love
A gentle man came
His life attracted my soul
Compassion drew me to him

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The little boy remembers
In the night I found comfort
This mysterious love came
Gently held my soul

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I fell in love with Jesus
His kindness and compassion
Has healed my soul with wonder
Touched my soul with joy

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Fear and fretting blind
They will hide his compassion
Rob the soul of life
My God says, “Don’t be afraid!
I’ll not leave you desolate.”

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This friendship calls me
To not believe “in” Jesus
But believe Jesus
Present and counting my tears
With His promise to help me

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Every one has a story. I found that good reflection creates space to remember the past and look ahead to the future. I cannot define the future when my anxiety and fears keep me from seeing past the present. Whose words I trust when the trouble comes becomes my decision. I believe God is my friend and your friend. I will not allow my perception of him to be defined by the people who claim to be his followers or those who react to others perception. Religion fails and people fail. Looking back on the abandoned child the mystery of love showed up for me that is undeniable. I certainly can’t prove it nor can anyone disprove it. What the “trouble” did was caused me to get into a quest to know what is really true. Was the one who claimed “to give life and give it abundantly” a liar, crazy or telling the truth? I decided to be a seeker of what is real in this world and I found his teaching and the way he lived resonate with my deepest soul wound. I made it my aim fifty-four years ago to find out what makes sense in life because what happened to me as a child. I did not want the same thing to happen to my children. Psalms became my mother and Proverbs became my father. I found their words trustworthy and enlightening then and now!

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Psalm 37 prompted these thoughts this morning. All the best on your journey.

You Are His Delight

February 1, 2015

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What’s it take for man to see
A God who delights in him
Who’s smiling with arms outstretched
For those who fear Him

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Fear means one who stands in awe
Of love that’s demonstrated
Love and forgiveness lavished
On those who’ll receive

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Believing is the key
Knowledge is available
For those who will search
Who will hunger for the truth
Who long to know what is real

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God never forsakes
Those who seek with their whole heart
That is a promise
This revelation is true
It has been tried and tested

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“God wants me to see him, be with him and draw my life from His smile.” A. W. Tozer from his book “Pursuit of God.”

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For more read Psalm 31.

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.

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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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!