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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The Simple Truth

March 29, 2015

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There’s a simple truth
Hidden behind all the noise
We are born Beloved
This truth will always get lost
Because of the failure of man
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How to recover
That is my biggest question
I found the process
There are no easy answers
I now know where to begin
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Wounded souls cry out
The sick know that they need help
They are the ones who can hear
The desperate door
The one I avoided the most
Is the one that I walked through
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There are two commands
Love God, love one another
The secret is here
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We say we love God
I think we really mean it
There are two problems with this
The first: “Who is God?”
Second: “Who is my neighbor?”
Love them like you love yourself
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You cannot love God
If you do not love yourself
The place to begin
You must learn to love yourself
When all others forsake you
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There’s greatness in you
You are made in God’s image
You are wonderfully made
Beloved and cherished
You are larger than your pain
I learned this from my Teacher
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Others have forsaken me
My parents and friends left me
Talents, health, gifts failed me
That’s when love came
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Over the years of listening to thousands of stories of people searching for meaningful relationships, I found this one thing to be true. Until a person decides to accept their own greatness in the midst of the massive failure they feel from their own life and from how significant others have failed them, they will stay trapped in the darkness of desperation. There is a fire in the human soul that at some point will rise up and fight. It is my job, once a person decides to fight, to give those I meet the life tools I have discovered to build a “life that loves to happen no matter what happens.” History is full of lives that made this decision to live by walking through the doorway of desperation. The Master Truth I know to be true regardless of circumstances is this. “You are Beloved.”
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Proverbs 29:11; Psalms 59:17; 89:15; 89:26; 89:30-33
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http://www.coachinglifematters.com

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I cannot be far
From the world of suffering
My eyes are open
I can’t bear the pain alone
Can I believe that You are near
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My mind is trained to listen
To the voices that speak truth
I see faces of children
Abandoned and lost
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I’ll not sit silent
Show me what to do today
How can I respond
Take up a timely action
Give and make a difference
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We must do it together
Join hands as did the children
Link hands all around the world
Make love real today
Declare love larger than death
Hear the voice of the children
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Bring your people together
Let’s stand with the voice of love
Let the little children come
There’s safety with Him
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Reflections today after reading Psalm 19, 49, 79, 109 and 139; Proverbs 19. God declares His presence and love. Let us join Him today.
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Read Story on March 4, 2015 – Your Story Matters
Contact: http://www.frrme.org

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

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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. 

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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

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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.

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 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.  

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Consider sharing this tweet.

 

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I met a master violinist in Jerusalem last night. I listened to her talk about how all the strings of the violin work together to make the beautiful music. Only one string cannot deliver the magnificence. They must all be tightened to the appropriate tension. When I awake in this morning I ask the Lord to tighten the strings of my heart that will join others in bringing the beauty of love to the hearts of those I meet today. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118

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I am a single string
Seeking to be tuned to life
Tightened by the Lord
I want the sound of your heart
That’s tuned to the mind of Love

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I will make music
I cannot do it alone
I am looking for other strings
Tightened by your love
Who are practicing daily
Tuned to the rhythm of joy

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This discipline works
Orchestrated with others
Who are listening
To the director of Life
Compelled by the Master’s love

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I am in the orchestra
Watching every move he makes
Moving with grace and rhythm
Surprised with the sound

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All those who hear it
Cannot deny its beauty
Know it is from God

 

My Desire

February 25, 2015

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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.”

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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His Best “Yes”

February 23, 2015

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He gave His best “Yes”
It is always “Yes” with Him
Surprised by the joy

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I remember that big day
I recognized His passion
His personal love for me

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Fourteen and a half
Touched deeply by His great Love
I wept as I saw it
Hot tears flowed from my dark eyes
Cleansed and brought me into light

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No one can fathom
Words cannot express my heart
Compassion captured my soul
One man gave it all
My mind riveted on Him
Father never let me go

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Thirty thousand feet
Flying to Jerusalem
Remembering what happened
I’m still overwhelmed
Just fifty-eight years later
With inexpressible love

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I am going into darkness
I know I will find the light
Among the broken and hurting
That is where He lives

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The reason I am going to Jerusalem today is to attend a conference dedicated to being with those who have been victimized by terror in the Middle East. But those who are attending are coming from all over the world to meet with those searching for that pinhole of light that leads to the joy. The reflections of the day are coming out of Psalm 22. – A Psalm of David. God never took His eyes off of His Son.

Five Decisions for Life

February 22, 2015

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I need the tools
The ones that open the mind
To inexpressible joy
There’s a way to find peace
That passes understanding

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Five decisions must be made
First a decision to live
Then don’t make friends with your pain
Are two essentials

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Now you are ready
Take Responsibility
Stop blaming others and self
This is the big one
There’s no growth till this happens
Life begins with your beliefs

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The past is a gift
You know what you don’t want
Or you know what you do want
Get a clear vision
Of who you are and what you want
Then you will know the questions

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This is the big one
Decide you are worth fighting for
Yes, you are worth it
Your value is in being
You must learn to love yourself

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So there are five gifts you must give yourself
1) Decide to Live
2) Decide to Not Make Friends with Your Pain
3) Decide to Take Responsibility
4) Decide to Get a Clear Vision
5) Decide You Are Worth Fighting For

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All the best on your journey.

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For more information go to http://www.coachinglifematters.com.

My Biggest Challenge

February 20, 2015

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I’ll live with the scars
Of all my past failures
I won’t forget them
They have been my hard teachers
My joy is that mercy reigns

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I found the biggest challenge
Is to learn to forgive me
When others cannot forgive
The wrong I have done

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I cannot please men
Measure up to my own rules
I found a friend in Jesus
Looks at me with compassion
Gives what I do not deserve

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This relationship
I can’t explain to others
It’s a mysterious love
From another world
Love broke through a story
Real man in real time – real love

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

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He is the one I trust
No other one can bear it
My soul’s deepest pain
When I am alone I know
My Father’s hand is on me

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I arise with His power
Renewed by Eternal love
Accept forgiveness given
Live today in peace

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Reflections of the morning as the birds sing behind me in the bitter cold.

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When I read this “Haiku” to Charlotte she said “You make yourself sound like you were pretty bad.” I said, “I know that I have hurt people. I don’t remember ever intentionally hurting anyone. But looking back I see I have. I just take responsibility for my part in that hurt and I am very greatful for the kind forgiveness I have received from God and those I have offended.”

The Gentle Way of Love

February 18, 2015

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Light in the darkness
Peace in the midst of the storm
Joy larger than circumstance
Hope impossible
For those who believe in love
Death will have no hold on us

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Love demonstrated
A life well lived speaks loudest
I have decided
Today I will choose to trust
My heart, soul and mind in HIm

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I will name the enemy
The lie handed down to me
The empty dark way
My mother and father lived
And lost what really mattered

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You are who they lost
Without love at the center
Everything breaks down
Religion; psycho-babble
Are built on the empty way

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Love’s the foundation
Peace is the gift that’s given
Work of the Spirit
Modeled in one man who loved
Courageous, gentle and kind

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You’re loved by God
The master truth of God comes
To those seeking truth
Who have the courage to stand
Who believe they are worth it

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After winter spring will come
After death you will be raised
One came to overcome death
And give life to all

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Darkness called me to seek light
Pain called me to seek healing
Through failure came forgiveness
Love came through a man

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David, King of Israel stated: “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” Psalm 108:12
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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” is available at Amazon/Kindle for $0.99 cents.
http://www.coachinglifematters.com/delta-blues.html

A Secret Hope

February 17, 2015

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I can’t live off yesterday
The past can condemn my soul
My failures can overwhelm
I need a fresh start

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Depression sets in
I cry out in my despair
My soul languishes

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Although the good memories
Are there to console my soul
The judgment of my heart is strong
I look for relief

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A drink, a song or a good joke
Can distract me from the pain
Lying down I remember
The noise of judgment

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I arise to fill my life
With something to stop the noise
These things only medicate
They’re temporary

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My search landed in the Psalms
With a King who failed his God
His family and his friends
He despaired for life

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He discovered the secret
The unfailing love of God
Who forgives all those who come
Desperate for hope

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The reflections were born out of meditation in response to Psalm 17, 47, 77, 107 and 127. If any of you would like to hear an audio reading of some of these Psalms, then message me your cell phone number and I will send it to you if you have a phone that receives audio. All the best!
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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.

A Focused Love

February 13, 2015

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Each day brings trouble
Tragedy is around us
Suffering overwhelms us
Where can we find peace

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My soul languishes
Fear and anxiety rule
Where can I find rest

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I stand amazed when love comes
Light springs up in the darkness
Hope born in desperation
Our God hears our cry

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Looking back I see
When I trusted God He came
Lifted the burden
Opened my eyes to see love
My greatest work is “Believe”

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I’ll hope against hope
I’ve been given a reason
I’ll focus and understand
God became a man
Human in every way
He chose to suffer the pain

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A personal gift
An intimate love given
Each person is known
Beloved, seen, heard and treasured
This is the heart of God known

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Death cannot destroy
Joy sits above circumstance
The presence of love
In the life of everyone
Can be seen by looking back

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Open our eyes, Lord
To see things that matter
Let gentleness rule
The way that we treat ourselves
And the way we treat others

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Your unfailing love
Was demonstrated so well
In the life of your Son

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No matter what the trouble I may face each day, I get to choose who sits at the center of my soul. With all the noise of the human tragedy around me my heart is drawn to one voice. It is the voice of love I will focus on today. That love is bigger than my circumstance. It is bigger than death. That love is worth dying for. That love will enhance every person I meet today. This love guarantees permanent, constant and continual growth. It is testable! I could be right! These reflections come out of meditating on the Psalms. All the best!

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.