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

*

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

*

My wailing turned to dancing
My cry for mercy came true
I’m lifted out of the pit
Favored and Beloved

*

I give you thanks forever
One day at a time I come
My eyes and heart are open
My mind is captured

*

Healing always comes
It is God’s precious gifting
To those who believe
Accept His gentle favor
Sit quietly and be loved

*

Dark times drive me to the light
A surprising thing takes place
When I’m honestly looking
My soul is refreshed

*

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.

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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

*

I can go so far
Confess my limitations
Say, “I’m unable”
To be there on that level
I cannot comfort you there

*

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

*

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

*

“Where is God,” I say
Why God if you’re really there
Do you let us suffer this
Desperate grief

*

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

*

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

*
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.”

*
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

*

When I walked in the darkness
I was blind and did damage
To myself and other ones
This is the problem

*

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

*

Growing up is hard
When one misses the stages
Others will suffer
Maturing comes through the pain
The trials and the hardships

*

What is good in me is this
I was looking for the light
Darkness is what held me captive
My tears called his love

*

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

*

Moments of silence
In the abandonment years
Came my life questions
Suicides, alcohol, grief
Love entered in little ways

*

Pinholes of light came
Little kindnesses given
A smile and a gentle word
Of affirmation
Were the surprising moments
Were embraced with great delight

*

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

*

He led with real compassion
His gentleness drew me in
Religion orchestrated
Making sure he died

*

He died a horrible death
I cannot even fathom
The magnitude of this loss
Love it represents

*

He is my pinhole of light
My failure as a human
Is connected to his death
And resurrection

*

I have peace today
Forgiving myself right now
Forgiving others
Accepting the light of his love
And giving it to others

*

I’ll make no demands on you
We can be a reflection
But not the reality
God is near to love

*

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.

^

A Christmas Gift

December 24, 2014

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I’ve received a gift
It’s the divine grace of faith
I offer myself
My mind will be your workshop
My heart will be your playground

*

My soul flourishes
I will be God’s workmanship
His poetry in this world
Living with a fire
Accessing this deep friendship
Gift available to all

*

Please form Christ in me
I will be engaged in truth
Feelings will not deter me
I accept your love

*

Christmas Truth

*

The littlest child
Hidden in a manger still
I sing “Silent Night”

*

The light of the world
Coming down to bring real joy
Unending love given all
Who will believe it
Historically certain
It is verifiable

*

Please consider this story
Don’t take others word for it
Religious or atheist
You can decide this

*

Consider all things
Get all the information
Respect your judgment
Listen to your broken heart
Listen to the heart of God

*

I’m given a mind
A heart, soul and a body
Time to consider
What is true – what is not true
I have chosen to believe

*

The littlest child
Hidden in a manger
Was the Son of God
I am alive to live it
I am free to share the joy

*

Death has no power
I have chosen where to stand
A resurrection
Has taken place in my soul
Both now and forever more

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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

Two Emotions Experienced

February 15, 2014

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As a Valentine gift, my book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Lightis free on Kindle: February 15-16, 2014.

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When I come into the light

Two real things happen to me

One of them is the great joy

The other is grief

 ~

The joy of being forgiven

The grief is the damage done

I meet the joy and sorrow

I’m broken by both

 ~

Looking back I can see it

I see the love that pursued me

I see the darkness I lived in

The joy and grief merge

 ~

I ask my children to tell me

What I failed to give to them

They are reluctant to say

They are being kind

 ~

But I know the truth

I could not give them something

That I did not have

 ~

I am forgiven

It’s ok to realize

I had direction

I did not have perfection

The truth can still help me grow

 ~

I live in my Father’s love

A gift I receive daily

We meet in private each day

His invitation

 ~

So joy and sorrow

Come with walking in the light

Love overcomes all

 ~

Hear his gentle words

He says, “Do not be afraid

My Peace be with you”

 ~

So sometimes I weep

With no language for the pain

For the hurt I caused

The compassionate Christ comes

Gives me His Holy Spirit

 ~

Yesterday I went to a prison to speak to the inmates as they begin a study of the Sermon on the Mount.  His words have brought me a way to practice how to live in the reality of both the sorrow and the joy.  His brilliant words practiced lead to real life.  They are using Jim Woodroof’s book ,“Famous Sayings of Jesus, that breaks open His teaching in Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

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My book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Light  is highlighted today on my daughter Sara’s blog “A Spacious Place”.

www.coachinglifematters.org

Awake with Hunger

January 27, 2014

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I recognize Him

His presence in other ones

His presence in me

His power works in weakness

That is why I qualify

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I awake with a hunger

To be near the one who loves

Who will give me a fresh look

And teach me new things

~

Remember where you came from

Touched by His loving kindness

No one can fathom this love

Another worldview

~

Taught me how to look at you

Taught me how to look at me

Teaches me how to live in joy

Controlled by His love

~

How you view yourself

With your head, heart and your gut

Is a transforming process

A life time journey

 Living one day at a time

A disciplined focus

~

The beauty of this

Found in the relationship

You are taught by God

God himself is your teacher

Question: “Do you believe this?”

~

It’s  been my experience

When I come with a hunger

To know what is reallly true

God surprises me

~

I meditate on His thoughts

I decide what I believe

His story captures my soul

New energy comes

~

Faith comes in my weaknesses

This love surpasses knowledge

His thoughts rekindle the fire

In my inner soul

~

I’m introduced to friendship

I’m being chosen and loved

A friend who will never leave

Says, “Don’t be afraid!”

~

I’m introduced to friends

I never knew I needed

Friends who share the same deep love

My community

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“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”   Moses – Deutoronomy 31:6

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“Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”   Peter – I Peter 3:4

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“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”     Paul – 2 Corinthians 4: 6-7

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“But he said to me, My grace(My favor and loving kindness and mercy) is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully), for my strength and power are made perfect in (your) weakness.  Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weakness and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”   Paul – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Amp)

Dedicated to our family friend, Michelle

Joy Discovered

January 15, 2014

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Beauty in the brokenness

Out of the darkness the dawn breaks

Through death we see life reborn

Joy is discovered

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What is it that needs to die

How can light come in the darkness

Why must I start with chaos

Is there a secret

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You’re not a human doer

You are a human being

Question: How do I be me

Freedom is calling

~

Question your worldview

Who defines reality

Whose voice do you trust the most

That’s your decision

~

The question is not “What works?”

The question is “What is true?”

Whose voice can I truly trust?

Challenge core beliefs

~

The beliefs you adopted

To survive and be secure

To gain some significance

To have some control

~

Security/Survival

Searched for by the unconscious

Are developed by a child

By the time they’re twelve

~

Affection/Esttem

A real unconscious longing

In the heart of all

Will determine your actions

In the world you live

~

Power and Control

How others will perceive you

The image you will present

To hide the true self

A powerful protection

Is toxic as an adult

~

These beliefs were gifts

As a child when growing up

Now they are toxic

That leave the mind in chaos

Hidden idols that must die

~

Children: the best recorders

Are the worst interpreters

Unless stopped will define you

Keep you in darkness

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You have been given a mind

You must train to think clearly

Face the struggle with courage

Who can set you free

~

These beliefs destroy

No one can measure up to

Be perfect and perform the best

Always be happy

~

Where do you begin

Choose to go against the lies

That have worked so long

Die to these and replace them

With the higher love of God

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“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Paul – Philippians 4:7

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“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Matthew 14:30

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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

 

You can find more information on this subject in my book:

Delta Blues: From Darkness to  Light  www.coachinglifematters.org

 

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Two Strong Feelings

December 30, 2013

 

 

Two strong feelings come

One is great joy and laughter

The other “I feel afraid”

Help me trust in your love

Seek your will with all my heart

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Where will this take me

A question I want to know

Give me your vision

Help me see the world like you

Show me where I can serve you

 ~

The Wonderful Counselor

The Prince of Peace is with me

The Everlasting Father

These great voices speak

 ~

Father shows no favorites

Each child is called to listen

Each one is beloved by God

The work: to believe

 ~

This new world clashes

The power to receive love

Accept forgiveness

As opposed to the judgment

Man gives to one another

 ~

The judgment we give

Will be the judgment we get

So be gentle with yourself

Go against the gods

That live in your unconscious

The ones you learned as a child

 ~

The unconscious arises

When the pressure of life hits

When the trouble really comes

Wisdom is needed

 ~

I will train to be ready

Consistent daily practice

Guard my heart with diligence

Out of it flows life

 ~

Reflections written after reading Luke 14 out loud and meditating on the following thoughts:

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“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust

who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.”  Psalm 40:4

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“When I am afraid,

I will trust in you.

In God I trust, I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?”  Psalm 53:3-4

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“Trust in the Lord at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is your refuge.”  Psalm 62:8

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“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  Isaiah 26:3-4

 ~

In the book,  Delta Blues From Darkness to Life,  the painful process of dismantling of these “unconscious gods” that keep us stuck are exposed and a process of deliverance is revealed in one man’s life.  You can read the reviews of the book at www.coachinglifematters.com.  All the best on your journey.

Tears Water the Soul

July 13, 2013

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Time for crying and laughing

There is a time for all things

Yes, grieving and believing

Tears water the soul

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With joy we will rise

Out of the ashes we come

It’s a time to look closely 

At what matters most

 ~

In my deepest darkest time

When there was no hope to rise

I became aware 

Incomprehensible love

Swept my soul into the joy

 ~

I will concentrate

On listening to the person

Knowing their story

Understanding their world view

And what controls under stress

 ~

Who will call the shots

When I am in the crisis

Will I be prepared

To love as I have been loved

To give as I’ve been given

 ~~ ~

I have found a key*

That will unlock one’s story

I found God in the middle

Of each person’s life

A secret that’s been hidden

Ten thousand stories tell me

 ~

No one can fathom 

The intimacy of this love

One who counts the tears

Who knows and understands you

Who comes in your darkest hour

 ~

*The key is a tool that I use during my life coaching sessions.: Coaching: Life Matters

Psalms 56:8; Revelation 17:14; John 15:13-15; Romans 8:26,

Jesus Calling – Sarah Young

No One Can Fathom

July 6, 2013

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History tells us

The things that we need to know

Am I listening

 –

The wars, the innocent lives

The raw human suffering

With fear and trembling

But with confidence and hope

I will go with you leading

– 

I will enter the soul wound

Having been wounded and scarred

Broken by ill-equipped ones

Loved in the middle

 –

I’ll not lead with piety

I enter as a wounded soul

Aware of my own sorrows

Meeting in the pain

 –

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

 –

The God I know forgives me

He came to me in darkness

Showed me what a child is worth

Opened me to love

 —

Every soul I meet

Help me never to label

Or eliminate

Each person has a story

Each one is beloved by God

 –

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.

 –

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

Friends in Flight

July 4, 2013

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We are friends in flight

We’ll follow the lead pilot

Our gaze riveted

~

Our mission is clear

Being empowered by love

Filled with compassion

Flying in tight formation

We enter with confidence

~

With the speed of light

We penetrate the darkness

With hope and real joy

In the midst of suffering

We break the pain barrier

~

Our Lead models how

He shows us how to be real

This kingdom treasure

Has awakened me to joy

I choose to sell all to find

~

Courage needed now

In radical discipline

Encouraged by this love

To move with real faith

Beside wisdom in the darkness

Showing trust in his Presence

~

Freedom for the prisoners

Sight for those who are blinded

Good news for those who are poor

Release the oppressed

~

He will lead us in

To accomplish His mission

Light penetrating darkness

Healing the soul inside out

Available to all who come

~

This writing is dedicated to Larry Malone, retired Navy Captain who flew a A-6 Intruder off the USS Enterprise during the Viet Nam War.  Larry models for me the healing process of a deep soul wound.  He along with many gave himself to war for our country.  He came out with a deep soul wound as result of the “death transactions” he was called to participate in as a young man.  They equipped him to fight but he was not equipped to deal with the internal wound that he came out with.  His story tells the healing process through the years.  

 ~

He is now a “friend in flight.” We fly as wingmen to the Jesus our lead pilot.  On this day when people of this nation celebrate the freedom, I honor Larry and so many who gave their lives courageously.  Larry returned to fight a different war, a war of the soul.  He now is fighting for the young men and women who experienced this deep “soul wound” he understands.  

 

Thank you, Larry, my friend in flight.

~

My friend Genma also highlighted Larry on her blog and radio show:

http://genmaspeaks.blogspot.com/2013/07/vietnam-navy-pilot-larry-malone-on.html 

Miracle Presence

November 14, 2012

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I will listen to one voice
The one that can be trusted
He has been tested and tried
He heals all my wounds

~

This daily practice
Of choosing not to worry
Just because he said
“Don’t worry about your life”
“What does worry add to you?”

I have found a key
For healing and freeing men
Helping people move forward
Through obstacles
Understanding your own story
The richness of your own life

~

If you look within
The wounded places stand out
You survived the pain
Do you know the reason why
And where to find the healing

~

He knows your story
Understands right where you are
And offers healing
Who is this one who is present
Who makes a promise of life

~

Know his story well
Listen only to his voice
What he says is relevant
Connected and true
I know how much he loves me

~

I’ll be strong and courageous
I will not give in to lies
I’ll be kind and merciful
And love without end

~

Because Jesus loves
I’ll love you with the same love
Forgiveness at the center
Miracle Presence
I believe with all my heart
His resurrection power

~

Energy given
When I decide to believe
And act in obedience
Against my feelings
Then his healing touch will come
I drink the living water

 ~

“Faith needs to meet people where they live otherwise it is irrelevant.”  Glenn Hinson

 

For fifty-one years, I have asked the real hard questions about human relationships.  No one has made more sense to me about life than Jesus of Nazareth.  His teachings and the way he treated a person were contrary to the religion of his day.  They killed him for it.  They are contrary to the religion of my day.  What mattered to him was the person.  It will take your best mind to look carefully at your own story, and his story to make the connection.  The distractions of your own pain, and the distractions of others vying for your time and energy are formidable obstacles.  When Jesus said, “I came to give life and give it abundantly” I said he is either a liar, crazy or telling the truth.  I was in such a desperate state I was compelled to search out the facts of his story.  I wanted to know how he put his pants on, who he ran around with, what was important to him, because he gave a promise that was outlandish, but one I so desperately wanted to be true. 

 

Reflections this morning are from Jesus Calling , by Sarah Young as well as Luke 12:22-26, II Corinthians 10:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, John 4.

 

Living with the Unseen

September 20, 2012

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The unseen darkness will lie
The unseen light will give life
I choose what I will look at
I’ll listen to Him
 
His words bring me life
I meditate and draw near
My gift is that I can choose
God’s Spirit follows
When I practice believing
His words above all others
 
I see the unseen
Looking back I’ve come to see
All things pass away
My memories I can see
They are the things that are real
 
When I trust in God
I cannot be defeated
Death itself cannot destroy
All the fear is gone
I live with a living hope
An inexpressible joy
 
Some memories give me life
Some memories bring me death
Years of trusting God each day
Brings healing and hope
 
This is a practice 
Focusing on what is true
Jesus comes to teach
Personal and intimate friend
He’s always glad to see me
 
I bow in reverence
I look at me through His eyes
I accept His love
 
Proverbs 20:24, II Corinthians 4:17, 18,
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
 

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