Awake Expecting

January 8, 2015

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Awake expecting
To hear things you need to hear
From your Creator
Speak to my heart, soul and mind
Let love dominate my life

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Human beings live
As reflections of your heart
We look just like you
No wonder you love us so much
Even though we have failed you

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You bestow honor
And glory on all of us
Made in your image
At conception it’s given
Love never stops pursuing

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My guilt is heavy
A burden too much to bear
Failure consumes me
Wounds fester and bring sickness
To my soul, body and mind

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I sit in mourning
Feeble and utterly crushed
This searing pain comes
I groan with anguish of heart
My longings lay before you

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My sighing is not hidden
“My heart pounds, my strength fails me”
The light has gone from my eyes
No friends are in sight

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Neighbors stay away
Traps are set to destroy me
Deception is all around
I’m blind to your light

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I’m like a deaf man
Whose mouth offers no reply
With no voice to speak

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The reason I love
God found me in this condition
Lifted me out of the hell
Came looking for me
He found me in the darkness
Gently led me to the light

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God is pursuing you now
Be still, focus and listen
Choose the voice you trust
One tested in history
Gave his life that we might live

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I confess my wrongs
My iniquity is great
I am troubled by my sin
Hated without cause
Slandered when I seek the good
O Lord, do not forsake me

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Lord, you are not far
In my darkest hour you came
Opened my eyes to see love
Touched my very soul
Gave me a language to hear
Your Spirit to know the joy

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These promises were fulfilled
Stated in Psalm sixty-eight
We would all do well to look
And believe His word

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Our God is a God who saves
Who daily bears our burdens
From him we escape from death
My heart fills with praise

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I will never forget where I came from and the darkness I lived and grew up in this world. Hope against hope was the surprise that is not only for me but is for everyone. These reflections came in response to Psalm 8, 38, 68, 98 and 128.

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You Are His Delight

January 7, 2015

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God searches the minds and hearts
Brings an end to violence
He makes the righteous secure
With forgiving love

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Trust in the Lord and do good
Delight yourself in the Lord
The desires of your heart come
As surely as breath

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Commit your way to the Lord
Trust in him and he will do this
His life will shine like the dawn
Break forth in your soul

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Be still before God
Wait patiently for guidance
Stop all the fretting
It leads only to evil
History tells us this truth

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Anger will kill you
The toxic part can destroy
Learn to channel it
By loving your enemy
The first place to start is you

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The meek inherit the land
Flourish in relationship
Look to the best interest
Of those closest to you

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The result will be peace
That passes understanding
So it is time to grow up
Be responsible
Stop blaming self and others
You hold the key to find life

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God will hold you up
I know this is true for sure
I have tasted this
By practicing His Presence
Walking in the light of love

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God delights in you
When you believe, wisdom comes
There is a future for you
His kindness and peace
Comes when you trust His love
Surrender all of the lies

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These reflections from Psalm 37 come from choosing how I will process this life. There are many views of life one can take. I chose to trust the God David spoke of in the Psalms. As a result I discovered an unshakable life filled with hope in the midst of the worst possible circumstances. Psalms has been like a mother to me over the last fifty years. The promises in this book I have found to be true, practical and life giving beyond words.

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My journey is told in the book “Delta Blues From Darkness to Light.” http://www.coachinglifematters.com/delta-blues.html

Love Pours Down Like Rain

January 5, 2015

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I wait in expectation
Morning by morning I seek
To listen to your kind voice
To walk in the light

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Those who tell lies crush others
Homes are destroyed, children lose
The safety and love God gave
With two loving souls

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No word can we trust
Hearts are full of destruction
Only action speaks

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I found a place of refuge
Place I can be glad again
God can restore the real joy
Spread his protection

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Those who love your name
Will find a place to rejoice
When we seek a pure heart
Our eyes are opened
Love pours down like the rain
We experience God’s love

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Forgiveness from God
Is the greatest gift of all
Then we can forgive
The one we have hurt the most
The offense against our souls

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We wounded ourselves
Lied to ourselves and others
Miracles of forgiveness
Comes to those who will repent
Accept God’s love and give it

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God will run to receive you
Others will be unable
Celebrate this gift and give
Others time to heal

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Reflections from Psalm 5 with awareness of the Father-son relationship in Luke 15.
Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

Early Morning Times

January 4, 2015

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My best questions come
In the early morning times
In quiet moments
I’m confronted with my life
My fears and anxieties

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I’m frightened sometimes by dreams
By realities of life
For others and for myself
My questions are hard

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What do I believe
I struggle with unbelief
About the world and the pain
How do I view me
And the big question is God
And the meaning of friendship

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I take the time to be still
To listen and contemplate
The puzzle of this journey
That involves my life

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In my early life
I learned to detach myself
To not feel the pain
My imagination flew
To a place where I felt safe

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I could settle down
With memories that were good
Of people who cared
Grandmothers and the neighbors
There was a secret comfort

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I found in the solitude
A forced abandonment pain
A feeling of helplessness
With no person there

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Solitary confinement
On the raft of shifting seas
With sharks all around
I was searching for answers
To understand and survive

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It was in this search
To find out who I can trust
I found a focus
Big enough to contain me
Give me perspective on my life

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No easy answers
But confidence I could find
The hidden love presented
By One I could trust
Who never failed to give love
To broken and lost children

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I am one of His
If I ask the question,”Why?”
I must ask then “Why not me?”
We all have a cross
His mysterious presence came
“Don’t be afraid, I’m with you”

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Reflections after reading Psalm 4, 34 and 64. Proverbs 4:7. I had no mother or father to guide my thinking or big enough to listen to the pain. I had no words to communicate. There was only silence and a simple prayer taught me. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.” There was a song I learned that I sang, “Jesus Loves Me” this I know. I chose as a child to hold onto this mysterious unseen love and to trust this unseen God. I grew up and learned his story and discovered there was One who was with me when I was unaware and the angels were attending. His love was there and looking back I can see. He brought me through it all with His angels attending. He will bring you through. In the midst of my unbelief I cry out confessing it and pray “Help my unbelief!

Worthless Idols

December 31, 2014

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The worthless idols
I can name them in my life
Easily deceive
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They led me down to the pit
My soul was trapped by these lies
Beliefs handed down to me
From generations
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It is good to name
The beliefs that will destroy
Turn from them as enemies
Their toxic darkness
Holds a person in prison
Until the light of love comes
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Moving to the light
Across the bridge of seeking
With an honest heart
Things that are true and noble
What is excellent and good
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The barriers rise
Awareness of the sickness
Awakened me to the problem
My soul was wounded
And needed the healing touch
Of the Master Physician
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Wound – Abandonment
The lie is I must fix it
In me and in the others
I sat with no hope
I turn away from idols
“Be good,” “Perform” and “Be Strong”
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Repent of the lies
Revoke them as enemies
Replace them with real truth
Truth that heals the soul
I’m a beloved son of God
Practicing living in the joy
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I have found a spacious place
In the morning when I rise
A friend to always greet me
Welcome me to hope
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These are reflections after meditating on Psalm 31. There is power in naming the enemies and becoming aware of the enemies that lie in the unconscious. With knowledge, stillness and reflecting on things true allows the Spirit to dismantle the powerful unconscious feelings that tell us we are not good enough. Name them, turn from them, revoke them and replace them with the truth “I AM BELOVED” each day. Joy comes in the day as we practice believing what is really true about us. This will lead us into a “spacious” place in our souls. All the best for a wonderful 2015.. Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

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

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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.”

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David speaks of where he found help!

Christmas Wonder

December 25, 2014

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I sit in wonder
Looking back I see it
Generational darkness
And pinholes of light
The tragedy and the pain
The sorrow that led to joy

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The relational chaos
Can be seen on the I-Phone
Looking for a connection
Missing the person

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With eyes on the hand
Holding the person captive
Not seeing my eyes
Longing for a connection
To be seen as a person

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I’ll lay the phone down
Turn it off and look around
Not miss the moment
The eyes and the warm embrace
Surprising moments of joy

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More information
Life lived vicariously
Technology is worshiped
Junk food of the mind
Robbing us connection
With the real and life giving

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I will text you now
And give an invitation
To come share a joy
Know the beauty of looking
In the eyes of the One who loves

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I have learned in the morning before I look at my I-Phone, turn on the computer and check my email to be still and look in the face of the Father who sees. The unseen is the real just like love. You know when it is not there and you know it when it is. Turn your mind, heart and soul to the One who can stop the noise and chaos and give you peace. Today people around the world are looking for gifts. One has been given you and you have only to be still, listen and believe. Readings this morning that has been helpful to me in stopping the “junk food” noise from generations are the following: “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Psalm 25:14 speaks of a God who will “confide in you” and Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.” Looking back I see the generational darkness and I now see the generational light revealed that day God was born in the world as a baby. May the real wonder of Christmas be yours today! Merry Christmas!

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

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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

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

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Christmas Truth

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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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

Dreams and Angels

January 11, 2014

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What do you do with your dreams

Have you seen your dreams come true

God spoke to men in their dreams

I’ll reflect on that

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Two groups heard an angel

They both came as a warning

Evil’s on the horizon

The Magi and Joseph

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What’s been your experience

We choose not to talk about

Dreams that  cause us to wonder

I think we should listen

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I hear the warning

Make plans to escape the test

Pay attention now

What’s happening around me

Who can interpret these dreams

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First, I ask God to help me

He promises to give wisdom

I have his divine nature

His clear promises

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We escape the corruption

When we ask him to come near

Focus on the promises

Reflect on His love

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The angels will come

And minister to our hearts

That’s why he sent them to us

I’ll train to listen

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Read out loud and reflect on Matthew 2.

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“Are not the angels all (servants) ministering spirits, sent out in the service (of God for the assistance) of those who are to inherit salvation?”   Hebrews 1: 14 (Amp)  Salvation is His healing Presence.

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“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of this dark world caused by evil desires.”  Peter – II Peter 1: 3-4

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“Devote yourselves to prayer; being watchful and thankful.”

Paul – Colossians 4: 2

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“Let be and be still, and know — recognize and understand — that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations!  I will be exalted in the earth.”  David  Psalm 46: 10 (Amp)

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Coaching: Life Matters

No One Can Fathom

July 6, 2013

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History tells us

The things that we need to know

Am I listening

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The wars, the innocent lives

The raw human suffering

With fear and trembling

But with confidence and hope

I will go with you leading

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I will enter the soul wound

Having been wounded and scarred

Broken by ill-equipped ones

Loved in the middle

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I’ll not lead with piety

I enter as a wounded soul

Aware of my own sorrows

Meeting in the pain

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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

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The God I know forgives me

He came to me in darkness

Showed me what a child is worth

Opened me to love

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Every soul I meet

Help me never to label

Or eliminate

Each person has a story

Each one is beloved by God

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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.

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

A pinhole of light

June 16, 2013

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A “pinhole of light”
Comes in the deepest darkness
Hope found me waiting

There’s a room of loss
In the heart of everyone
I go to the pain

Death cannot hold me
I am not afraid to live
A gift I receive

Joy is to my soul
What blood is to my body
This belief I hold

A certain unseen
Available to each one
Unspeakable love

Everyone has an amazing story. I believe each person is being pursued by inexpressible love. Make time to reflect. I am indebted beyond words to so many who have made that love real to me by the way they live. These things, along with my personal story, are discussed in my book “Delta Blues – Darkness to Life”.  It will be available in the fall. The introduction to my book is on my new web site:
http://www.coachinglifematters.org/delta-blues.html


Thank you, Landon Saunders for this deep true heart felt line I heard you speak 16 years ago: “Joy is to your soul what blood is to your body.” Thank you, Paul, for what you said from prison about not fixing our eyes on what is seen and but on what is unseen because what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. Thank you, Sarah Young for sharing your interpretation of Jesus’ invitation,”When you approach me in stillness and trust, you are strengthened.” Thank you Rebecca Greer for your words, “pinhole of light.” Your story inspires me beyond words.

Joy is my lived experience!

Joy and Pain

May 3, 2013

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This is a mixture
They seem to go together
A choice can be made
Joy and pain are “twin sisters”*
A surprised discovery
 
I began this life with joy
The pain was hidden from me
Then surprised me with vengeance
And joy sustained me
 
A well-spring of energy
Like living water it came
It found me in the despair
Offering me hope
 
The memory compelled me
I am larger than my pain
I discovered this secret 
Made in God’s image
 
This huge discovery came 
A love affair ignited
One that cannot be explained
Pursued by God’s love
 
There is great wisdom
Pay attention to questions
Reflect on your life
Give yourself to the seeking
God is searching to find you
 
He is running to meet you
With the deepest compassion
You find it in the story
Of God’s unique Son
 
 

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  Ephesians 3:16-17

 

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  Psalm 16:11

 

*I got the phrase “Twin Sisters” from a poem my wife Charlotte wrote years ago. 

 

For my nephew Kirk, on his birthday

Soaking

January 8, 2013

I’ll soak in your thoughts

Remember the things you say

Write them on my heart

Please light the flame in my soul

Let it burn for you today

 

I will enter your throne room

In quiet and wait for you

I am so slow to hear you

You words are simple

 

I’ll act on your words

Reflect, only you are God

I’ll light the candle of hope

Receive your mercy

Accept your peace in the storm

Receive your gentle presence

 

Gratitude fills me

I choose to believe the truth

He’s stored life for me

In the sight of all mankind

My cup overflows with love

 

“The words I speak are Spirit”

His words are light to my soul

I believe them like a son

Holding Father’s hand

Going out not knowing

Trusting He will lead the way

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My Utmost for His Higest – January 3

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – January 3

Psalm 31:19-20; John 6:33, 16:33; Psalm 97:2,3,20,11

 “When a man gets to God, it is by most simple ways—words.”  Oswald Chambers