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.

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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.

 

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.

 

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.

Why Christmas?

December 23, 2014

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I will meet with you alone
There is no greater moment
Than being in your presence
The secret treasure

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You delivered me
From the bonds of slavery
A prison inside

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My heart demands perfection
I can never measure up
To be able to please all
It’s impossible

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So I stand guilty
Behind the bars of performing
Looking for affirmation
So someone will see
I am a person of worth
My grief and losses scream out

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I have hidden faults
Secret ones that condemn me
I can’t measure up
Beliefs about me are a lie
I keep looking for relief

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I found in silence
Behind the condemnation
The noise of judgment stopped cold
When I looked in eyes
Of the Creator of life
Who showed me that He loved me

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Stillness is so hard
Because my own heart condemns me
I need to be held
Comforted like a small child
Held in the arms of my friend

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I found this unseen love
In stillness God came to me
I focused on His dear son’s
Compassionate love

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He knows each of us
With understanding He comes
He has chosen you
Knows your name and your pain
Says, “Your are my Beloved”

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I could be right about this
“You are Special and Beloved”
I’m not talking religion
But relationship

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Friendship that’s deep and lasting
A friend who will never leave
A joy that’s unspeakable
Love that cherishes

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This secret treasure
Is for all those who seek truth
Who decide to fight
Begin by caring for self
Take responsibility

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I have found the light
My soul searched with compassion
And the message, “I love you”
Comes with knowledge
Understanding the story
That God became a human

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I sing “Silent Night”
The reason for the Season
In stillness He comes

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Early morning reflections from Psalm 19

Christmas Conversation

December 22, 2014

I rise to see you

To come into your presence

Through faith I see love

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I am not a fool

The one who made the eye can see

The one who made the ear can hear

The beauty of life

The masterful creation

Speaks to the honest human

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Honest questions discovered

As one experiences life

Leads to a surprising joy

Of human greatness

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Taste and see the Lord is good

He will not “should” on your life

You’re responsible to seek

Search out what is true

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Most people react

Don’t look at the obvious

Look past the problem

Understand yourself and God

I discovered real friendship

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When you’re seventy

It is time to speak and say

Truth I have learned to live by

Brokenness and peace

The freedom of forgiveness

Joy that surpasses knowledge

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This painful process

I have sought to know what is true

Many failures and loses

Have taught me to listen well

In suffering I find found peace

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I have hurt many

I have been failed by many

There is one who has not failed

His love forgives me

And I forgive the others

Who I hope can forgive me

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My failures and yours

Will not stop me from loving

For I can give what’s given

Love the unlovely

That is in me and in you

It’s the work of God’s Spirit

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So when Christmas comes

It’s time to begin again

Remembering the Advent

Love Demonstrated

One human who made it clear

How to bring peace on this earth

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Reflections inspired by Psalm 20 and 50. May God’s peace be in you that sits above the circumstances. May the joy of Christ’s Presence fill you today.

Dedicated to Steve Brumfield 

The Future

December 21, 2014

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I can see the future me
In the story of His love
His kindness calls me to look
Through the lens of hope

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The past and the present blind me
I’ve looked through the lens of despair
Believe the lies handed down
From generations

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Where is the security
Restfulness you’re looking for
The feeling of a safe place
It was not in a place

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I found that peace in a person
Not in a church or in a group
Alone and in the quiet
Searching to be found

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Love came in stillness
Knowledge became my passion
Seeking to do good
To those I meet on the way
I found a fresh way to live

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“Stop grumbling and complaining”
Is what I said to myself
I began to be thankful
For the little things

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Gratitude opened the door
It gave me new eyes to see
The heart of God became flesh
In one man who loved

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Each person gets to decide how to respond to the injustices of life. There is remarkable, incomprehensible greatness in each person. That greatness arises when gratitude fills the soul because there is “nothing on this planet greater than a human being.” *  The story of Jesus and His love demonstrated in real life, real time, real flesh, real pain offered a promise that moves us through the dark times with real hope.

*Landon Saunders