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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

 

 

 

 

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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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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

*

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.

 

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.

He Counts Your Tears

January 26, 2015

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When I am afraid
I will trust in you, O God
It’s your words I trust
How can mortal man hurt me
In God I trust; I will not fear

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Record my lament
You keep record of my tears
You even count them

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You always get the blame God
For the suffering and the pain
It is man’s abuse of man
Where are you, “O man?”

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In God I will trust
He’s the one with compassion
I see the heart of man hurt
Abuse and deceive
Give God the blame for lying
And not look in the mirror

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You have delivered my soul
Met me in desperation
Given your presence of love
In stillness I find

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I know the story
How God’s love became a man
He offered “abundant life”
I was skeptical
I looked closely at the man
A man of sorrows and grief

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He met the lonely
The broken and abandoned
Was gentle and kind
Gave hope to the hopeless ones
I know I was one of them

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I wept when I saw
The way he lived and he died
His personal touch
Reaches the most broken ones
He counts each person “Beloved”

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I once was desperate. Now I meet with desperate people. I’m desperate again. This time I bring hope to desperate people. Every human being is precious and needs to know they count. I discovered a God who not only counts the tears but sees the person and is pursuing each one. They don’t need my answers but need someone who is present listening and giving what I can. Can God really be that close? Psalms 26, 56, 86, 116 and 146 opened a window to an awareness of someone who is there with love and understanding.

Anguish Healed

January 25, 2015

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Overwhelmed with anguish
The pain and loss is so great
Does anyone understand
The devastation

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No friends to comfort
Loses of my dear love ones
Where is God who cares
Why is this happening now
Can anyone answer me

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The cry in the human soul
There are no easy answers
God promises to confide
In those who fear Him

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I cannot fathom
A God who lets this happen
Suffering and grief
What is it I am missing
Do I really want to know

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Truth hurts and it heals
The tragedy in my soul
Comes down to two things
I must face the truth about me
I must face the truth about God

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“Fear” does not mean “Be afraid”
It means I must face greatness
Of the love of God revealed
To my shattered soul

*

The consequences
Of the choices I have made
I am destitute
The poverty in my soul
Is hidden from all to see

*

The confusion inside me
With the unanswered questions
Were cleared up when I focused
On the love of God

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He promised to never leave
To meet me in my anguish
To forgive me of my wrongs
To renew and restore

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I will trust in Him
Gives victory over death
Carries my burdens

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Insight only comes
After one chooses to trust
The Giver of life

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May you be blessed by the Lord
Maker of heaven and earth
One who understands your need
Gave all to forgive

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These reflections will be enhanced by reading Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Sarah Young, an amazing therapist and teacher, offers insight to the anguished soul in her book “Jesus Calling.” 

The Father’s Touch

January 24, 2015

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What do I yearn for
Where does my heart go when still
I will seek your face
When you appear I’ll see your face
I have set my heart on you

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My weaknesses still cry out
The sadness-es all around
So many lost in nothing
My inner soul weeps

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The little sparrow
Finds a place to rest and sleep
God knows what is happening
I’ll praise His greatness
Enter into communion
With my Father who loves me

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You’re my sun and shield
Light to find my way today
Protection from enemies
Angels to attend
To all those who will trust you
Who seek you with all their heart

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Your power’s displayed
You do the impossible
When you are trusted
You surprise with your answer
Light comes, love’s demonstrated

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Trust takes away fear
Anxieties are dispelled
I’m surprised by joy
Your living presence reveals
A Father in touch with you

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There is no trouble
That he does not understand
And promises to take action
Of all the voices
I can choose who I will trust
A gift from the Father’s touch

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

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I arise with His Spirit
Renewed by Eternal Love
Accepted, forgiveness given
Live today in peace

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Reflections after reading Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114 and Proverbs 24. Sarah Young speaks to the promises in the pain in her book “Jesus Calling.”

Seeking

January 23, 2015

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God looks to see if any
Are seeking to understand
Who’re longing to know His heart
Who really love Him

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Some people are fools
Many say, “There is no God”
“There is no one who does good”
Fear paralyzes
They are overwhelmed with dread
Restore your people with love

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Let me be one who’s seeking
Who walks in the light of love
Who forgives betrayers
One who forgives self

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You alone understand me
Your Spirit is comforting
Explains to the Father’s heart
Meets me where I am

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Give me your vision
I am larger than my pain
Your love is greater
Than all the circumstances
Your promises restore me

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Creator of all
Master of all living things
You know what I need to learn
I sit in silence
Waiting with expectation
I pray you’ll find me watching

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Reflections after reading Psalm 23, 53 and 83 as I consider the world I live today, January 23, 2015.

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Dedicated to my friend, Rick Healy who is a “Seeker.”

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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Music In My Soul

January 20, 2015

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

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

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I draw near to God
A daily practice I’ve found
When I feel good or feel bad
He always comes near
That is the promise he made
One I choose to trust today

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The winds on the sea
Can toss the soul all about
The storm and the rain bring grief
I learned this one thing
When I’ve set my sail to seek
The storms have become a gift

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This mystery comes
To all and not just a few
Who choose to seek love
To be defined by what’s true
To align the soul with joy

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

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I interviewed a young musician years ago and asked him how he played the instrument so well. He said, “My coach is a concert violinist. Every day she pulls out her instrument and practices the basics until she gets the sound out of the instrument she wants. I do the same.” My instrument is my body. My soul holds the strings. I found the coach of life eager to train me to be loved and love. Psalm 20 holds promises I have found to be true. The music in the Psalms is what I train to practice. All the best!

Hidden Surprise of Joy

January 19, 2015

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There’s a hidden truth
Just like there is hidden sin
I’ve been blind to both of them
One crushes my soul
The other heals all my wounds
Love’s revealed to those seeking

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My eyes were opened
When I discovered the truth
About me and God
Breaking down the barriers
Comes when all is in the light

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His intimate eyes
Are seen by those who revere
Who are in awe of His love
I’ll never give up
Seeking what is real and true
I have been surprised by joy

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In Psalm 19 it speaks of things hidden and things that are plain. In Psalm 33 he speaks of intimacy with those whose hope is in His unfailing love. These two Psalms read slowly and thoughtfully out loud take a person to the inner chamber of the soul. The mysterious place is where God dwells in the heart of everyone. Be still and listen.

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Today is Charlotte’s birthday.   She is the treasured  surprised gift from God  and my deepest and cherished soul mate.  She brings the joy!

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!