My Biggest Challenge

February 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Focused Love

February 13, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Gentle Touch

February 7, 2015

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I take refuge in the Lord
As a child I came to him
In the night I sought his help
Alone and crying

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His gentle love came
In the silence tenderly
Her nurturing hands
Touched and held me with kindness
My grandmother knew how to care

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Lost her at seven
And other dear ones who cared
Hatred won the day
Trauma entered my pathway
Loss of love ones became real

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What can a child say
No words can explain the pain
There’s no one who hears me cry
Alone with my tears
I was held in the darkness
Looking back I can see it

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When I became big
I read this story of love
A gentle man came
His life attracted my soul
Compassion drew me to him

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The little boy remembers
In the night I found comfort
This mysterious love came
Gently held my soul

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I fell in love with Jesus
His kindness and compassion
Has healed my soul with wonder
Touched my soul with joy

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Fear and fretting blind
They will hide his compassion
Rob the soul of life
My God says, “Don’t be afraid!
I’ll not leave you desolate.”

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This friendship calls me
To not believe “in” Jesus
But believe Jesus
Present and counting my tears
With His promise to help me

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Every one has a story. I found that good reflection creates space to remember the past and look ahead to the future. I cannot define the future when my anxiety and fears keep me from seeing past the present. Whose words I trust when the trouble comes becomes my decision. I believe God is my friend and your friend. I will not allow my perception of him to be defined by the people who claim to be his followers or those who react to others perception. Religion fails and people fail. Looking back on the abandoned child the mystery of love showed up for me that is undeniable. I certainly can’t prove it nor can anyone disprove it. What the “trouble” did was caused me to get into a quest to know what is really true. Was the one who claimed “to give life and give it abundantly” a liar, crazy or telling the truth? I decided to be a seeker of what is real in this world and I found his teaching and the way he lived resonate with my deepest soul wound. I made it my aim fifty-four years ago to find out what makes sense in life because what happened to me as a child. I did not want the same thing to happen to my children. Psalms became my mother and Proverbs became my father. I found their words trustworthy and enlightening then and now!

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Psalm 37 prompted these thoughts this morning. All the best on your journey.

Leaning

January 22, 2014

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I’m leaning on you
In a world of unbelief
May we be like stars
That shine in the deep darkness
Beauty of your handiwork
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I choose where I look
A secret discovery
Comes when I focus
I’ve learned just one thing matters
I have been surprised by joy
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Be clear on one thing
Think it through with all you are
Your head, heart and gut
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Purge your imagination
Truth is what I must pursue
Relationships are dying
Therefore, I will seek real love
And I found it in one man
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He has ignited my soul
Refreshed me in solitude
Rekindled the fire in me
And guided my steps
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His Spirit awakens me
His loving kindness comforts
His presence surprises me
Radiant love comes
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Trouble will always be there
It’s the landscape of this world
It’s the reason God showed up
Became one of us
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He gave a way to follow
Those who practice discover
The way of love is narrow
And few will find it
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If you will practice these things
Recorded on that high hill
You’ll discover a new way
That’s certain and true
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Sermon on the Mount
These famous sayings practiced
Matthew five, six and seven
Will show you the way
They tell about the one thing
They will bring light to your path
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The book ,Famous Sayings of Jesus , by James Woodroof is the clearest writings of how practicing these teachings work out in real life.  A.A. (Alcohol Anonymous) practices these all over the world and millions of lives and families have been saved because these teachings are being practiced.
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“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make at right and plain your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (Amp)

 

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

Our Father’s Heart

June 17, 2013

The reason I’m here …

To reveal our Father’s heart

Good news for the poor

Freedom for the prisoners

He releases the oppressed

 

The blind will see the light

The sick will be healed at last

The lonely friends will have friends

His promises restore life

His forever love renews

 

Focusing on Jesus

I have trained to listen each day

My friend forever

I have no greater joy here

Than living with his presence

 

Enduring the pain

Incomprehensible loss

Grief that overwhelms

He holds me close to his heart

His love secures and gives hope

 

My lived experience says

I have a friend big enough

To enter my losses with love

And understanding

 

His compassion draws me

His story is compelling

What mattered to him captures

His mind is brilliant

 

He always sees the person

Religion has kept hidden

Incomprehensible love

That is in the now

 

I cannot fathom

The depth of our Father’s love

In silence I come

Laughter breaks forth in my soul

Joy enters the darkest room

 

The story revealed in the Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have focused me on a real man. The daily practice of choosing who would be the most influential person in my life (over the last fifty years) has led me to inexpressible joy. This is poetry from my soul. It comes out of a lived experience through pain.  This gift of joy is available to all.

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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“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
 

The Mysterious

September 3, 2012

There is something inside me
That causes me to seek You
You placed that hunger in me
A longing I trust

It’s mysterious
Your invisible presence
I cannot prove it
But it’s undeniable
Head, heart and gut engaged

Each person is seen
No person is missed by You
This I am certain
Every cry is heard by You
The story I know tells me

I know I’m getting weaker
Physically I can feel it
Emotionally the losses
Drive me to my knees

I want to be strong
I have found a way to see
To not live in denial
Of my weaknesses
I discovered the secret
God’s power works in weakness

Our relationship will stand
When all of the others fail
Tested for generations
God’s passion to love

Insecurity hidden
Loneliness behind the mask
Fear paralyzes people
Who can provide peace

 
Only one gives true peace
It is available to all
Take time, listen well
His life speaks, his words follow
He prays now in heaven for you
 
He always lives to intercede for them.
Hebrews 7:25

Unexplainable Gift

April 18, 2012

I have learned to hide
In the shadow of your wings
You’ve lifted my heart to joy
I cannot explain
I’m an ordinary man
A broken human being

When I look back my heart’s sick
I see my failure and pride
Lust for affirmations
Longing for power
I repent again today
I am new every morning

Each morning I rise
Praise God for his massive love
One who lives by his Spirit
In those who repent
Those who accept forgiveness
Who accept undying love

A gift I cannot explain
It defies logic of men
But I know one thing
I was shattered in pieces
And now I am whole again

I will seek the truth
That is a choice I can make
It is the one thing
That I have done and will do
It has brought light to my eyes

I’ve lived close to death
I have watched my love ones die
I’m angry at death
I hate it with all my heart
Only truth has brought me hope

Men’s religion has failed
A cloud, a veil hides the truth
You must look deeper
Search for yourself the answers
You will find if you will seek

Reflections written after meditating on Psalm 31; Proverbs 7; Jesus Calling; My Utmost for His Highest – 4-7-12.

When I rise in the morning, I can now visualize the places I have read about for over 50 years.  I am in Jerusalem.  I have been to the Sea of Galilee.  I have stood on Mount Carmel.  I have been to the synagogue Jesus taught in Capernaum.  I have stood on the mountain where he explained who the really happy people are (Sermon on the Mount).  I have looked up at the stars over the Sea of Galilee where he knelt before dawn broke.  I have seen these places and marveled.  What is happening inside me is a feeling of having brought the one in me (Jesus) to a most familiar place.  It has made my heart glad. 

As I have been seeking the truth about life, I have found nothing to compare with the teachings and life of the man from Nazareth.  His friendship defies human logic.  His life and resurrection have been made real as I have sought what is true.   I wanted to know who speaks to the real human struggle around the universal issues of life (death, despair, guilt and fear).  I have been led to the One relationship that brings me hope, peace, forgiveness and joy.  A daily practice continues to surprise me with new things. 
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It is Resurrection morning, we just walked back from one of the gardens outside of Jerusalem where some say Jesus rose from the dead.  There was a sunrise service with about 1500 people from every nation.  We arrived early, so we had time to read and remember.
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Dawn Breaks with Life
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The dawn is breaking
In the garden where he rose
Many gather to worship
Taking their pictures
Did you know it would be like this
Each one coming to worship
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After reading all the accounts of the Resurrection
I wrote:
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At the beginning
There were only a few there
The women were first
But the men did not believe them
The women say – ran to tell
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They ran to the tomb
To see for themselves what was true
There the empty tomb
Angels spoke resurrection
He’s not here, He’s risen
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We worship God who’s alive
Each person invited to come
One with the Father of all
His son died and rose
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Let me join you, Lord
In giving life to this planet
Help me point them to your love
God becoming man
In the person of Jesus
A joy much larger than death
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It was impossible for death to hold Jesus.  It is impossible to death to hold us.  Jesus lives in you.  We are invited to a life of joy because of the living Christ in us.  Do not be afraid or anxious.  God is with you.  Peter said in Acts 2:24 “… it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”  That same promise belongs so us. 
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You are everything to God.  Be still and invite Him to come and hold you.  He always comes and sends his angels to join Him.  Psalm 91
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Surprised by Joy

March 29, 2012

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Take time to listen
There are words that bring you light
Jesus is calling
 
There is a fresh drink
Each morning that I arise
Go to the wellspring of joy
A relationship
Peace passing understanding
Hidden for you to find
 
Create space each day
On your knees and in the word
Go there and engage your mind
Be still and listen
You will be surprised by joy
 
In honor of Ty Osman II, who was full of joy. 
Ty joyfully served orphans.  You can continue his work.  Click here to learn more.
 

A Love Without End

February 18, 2012

A love without end
A deep abiding friendship
With the one who gives life
A daily rhythm given
To the dance of joy
 
Just because you don’t feel it
Doesn’t make it not true
Don’t let unfamiliarity rob you
Of knowing Jesus’ story
 
God hates hypocritical religion
With all its self-righteousness
Bringing judgement on others
 
Jesus came to love
He said, “I came to give life
And give it abundantly.”
I decided to test it
Fifty years ago
 
Love in action speaks
Much louder than empty words
I focus on his actions
Love demonstrated
 
Taking time for quiet stillness
Today as I contemplate
A deep rhythm of the soul
Helps me live in peace
 
One moment in time
He gave it all to set us free
A love without end
 
Terry S. Smith
February 14, 2012
 

We are not alone

January 20, 2012

You can watch Jesus’ movements in the recording of His behavior in the fourth and fifth chapters of Mark.  This poem is written from the perspective of Jairus a synagogue ruler. 

We felt all alone

Our daughter was dying

Helpless and despairing

I went looking for Christ

Believing Jesus could heal

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I felt hope when Jesus said

“I will go with you and help.”

The crowds pressed as we traveled

Suddenly he stopped


He looked all around

We were running out of time

He healed a woman

The words came like a dagger

“Your daughter is dead.”


He turned and looked straight at me

“Don’t be afraid, just believe.”

When we reached our home, I saw

Weeping and wailing


Jesus said, “She is sleeping.

She is not dead.”  They all laughed

He made everyone leave

Except us, the parents


Three of his disciples stayed

Peter, James, and John watched him

Jesus touched her and spoke this

“Little girl, get up!”


She opened her eyes

Arose and began to walk

Marvelous astonishment

“Don’t tell anyone.”

He told us to give her food

Because he knew she was hungry


Who is this that calms the storms

Who cast out wicked demons

Who heals all the diseases

And raises the dead

The twelve year old girl was raised from the dead.  You will be raised from death.  I will be raised from death. Jesus spoke to life and death.  Your love ones will be raised.  No one else I know speaks to real life issues like Jesus. 

He rules nature

He rules the demons

He heals all our diseases

He rules over death

You are not alone.  God sees you.  He hears you.  He listens to your cry.  Nothing is greater than God demonstrating his love by giving his only Son to live in you.  You are his joy.  My job is to hear him; receive his love; meditate on His teaching and act on the things he teaches me.  In doing this I have discovered inexpressible joy.

© Terry S. Smith
January 2, 2012
 

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