Best Friend Conversations

January 2, 2015

*

Good conversation
Is a gift I want to have
With those I love most
I will include the stranger
And, also, my enemy

*

Who will be my friend
I will be looking today
Ready to respond
Open to this adventure
Love with no expectations

*

This I know is the hardest
For we wrong one another
Get offended easily
I know where to start

*

I will start with me
The one I sleep with each night
This is the hardest
The one I offend a lot
I’m the one I hurt the most

*

I found the secret
A way to forgive myself
To have a conversation
That’s gentle and kind
A way to love even me
In the darkness of my soul

*

Ready for the ride
Mutual conversation
Is what I’m committed to
It’s the missing part
So I will not medicate
Keep doing the counterfeit

*

I will like sleeping with myself
I have no choice about that
I will befriend my own soul
I’ll live in that joy

*

I’ll take away the judgment
With real authenticity
I’ll train to forgive myself
And the one near me

*

It is possible to live this. It is possible to overcome the darkness of the wounded soul and discover the joy. The impossible is possible when the deep soul decision is made to live and not die. Deciding to fight for my life is the most important decision I have made. I had to begin by caring about me. At that point I began to pay attention to my questions. Taking that responsibility has led me to discovering how to live in joy over the past fifty-three years. The pain, the reality of my own failure toward others and their failure to me is the most difficult road to navigate.

The best book I recommend to kick start this conversation was written by Jim Woodroof “Sayings that Saved My Sanity.” Write me and I will tell you how to get it. May all the best conversations take place for you in 2015. Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

Advertisements

Blue Christmas

December 23, 2014

*

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.

*

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.

*

http://coachinglifematters.org/resources/Newsletter-Dec-2014.pdf

*

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:

*

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.”

*

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.

*

Wishing you the best Christmas and a joyful 2015.

Thankfully, Terry and Charlotte

Why Christmas?

December 23, 2014

*

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

*

You delivered me
From the bonds of slavery
A prison inside

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

Early morning reflections from Psalm 19

Dreams and Angels

January 11, 2014

~

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

~

Two groups heard an angel

They both came as a warning

Evil’s on the horizon

The Magi and Joseph

~

What’s been your experience

We choose not to talk about

Dreams that  cause us to wonder

I think we should listen

~

I hear the warning

Make plans to escape the test

Pay attention now

What’s happening around me

Who can interpret these dreams

~

First, I ask God to help me

He promises to give wisdom

I have his divine nature

His clear promises

~

We escape the corruption

When we ask him to come near

Focus on the promises

Reflect on His love

~

The angels will come

And minister to our hearts

That’s why he sent them to us

I’ll train to listen

~

Read out loud and reflect on Matthew 2.

~

“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.

~

“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

~

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

Paul – Colossians 4: 2

~

“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)

~

Coaching: Life Matters

No One Can Fathom

July 6, 2013

 –

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

 ~

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 

The Soul Wound

June 28, 2013

No one knows the pain
Of the soul wound of others
But I can listen
 
I will not give up
Seeking to participate
In loving others
 
Only two commands matter
Loving God is the first one
Loving each other is next
Give me a pure heart

The deepest soul wound
Unspeakable tragedy
Is understood by your God
He shares the same wound

Betrayed by his friends
Who thought they knew who they were
Jealousy and strife
They were awakened by love
Friendship indescribable

This story I tell
After listening to the wound
The soul wound fully expressed
Given space to heal
In the safety of true friends
Peace passes understanding

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.

A pinhole of light

June 16, 2013

~
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

~
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

Who Are the Heroes?

November 12, 2012

On the front page of Newsweek dated, November 12, 2012, the headline is entitled, “The Heroes Issue”.  General Petraeus is recognized for his 12 Rules of  Leadership.  His fifth rule is: “We all make mistakes.  The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear-view mirror-drive and avoid making them again.” 

“Life breaks everyone”

A line that is familiar

But some become strong

~

The human heart will judge you

Whether you are religious

Or just believe in yourself

On the twists and turns of life 

You’re wise to seek good counsel

 

The ones who can admit

Tell the truth about themselves

Come out from hiding

Hold themselves accountable

Then arise from the ashes

 

The General Petraeus 

A leader in the country

Told the truth about himself

Then resigned his job

 

Many condemn him

His own heart judges him most

How he handles this 

Will be the test of his life

King David can be of help

 

Power does corrupt

Pride makes one vulnerable

Easily deceived

Lust will dismantle the soul

Greed poisons the human heart

 

A leader has fallen hard

His great opportunity

Is to model now a way

To be forgiven

 

One way to escape

The deep judgment of your heart

Meet one that’s greater

Who knows your story so well

Who loves you like his own son 

~

General Petraeus, your story is not over.  God meets you with the same compassion he met David the King, the “woman at the well”, “the Centurion”, “the thief on the cross” and me.  I pray mercy reigns for you, your wife and your children.  Let the world see now, how a leader rises by the grace of God.

Ernest Hemingway stated: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up to us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”Romans 8:32, Psalm 51

 
 
 
This past Friday, I had the sad honor of speaking at the funeral of young Ty Osman. 
 
Four questions I addressed:
 
1. What would Ty want you to know?
“I never tasted death.  I moved from life to life.”

2. What would Ty want you to do?
“Remain aware that what matters most is a person.”
 
3. What would Ty want you to feel?
“Feel and believe that God passionately loves you.”
 
4. Who would Ty want you to be?
“Be someone who practices being in the presence of God.”
 
These are four moments that I shared in connection with each question:
 
1. The moment Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11).
 
2. The moment Jesus revealed he was aware of the sick woman (Mark 5).
 
3. The moment Jesus compassionately said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, only believe!” (Mark 5:36)
 
4. The moment I sat with Ty at midnight and I listened to him share  his heart (July 13, 2011).  I told Ty that if I had five minutes to live, and could only tell him one thing, it would be this:  “Go into your room and close your door and pray to your Father, who is unseen …  Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  — Jesus  (Matthew 6:6-8)
 

Here are three things Ty focused on each day:
 
 Kneeling to pray.
Reading the devotional book the Jesus Calling.
Listening to God by reading the Bible.
 
You are invited to develop these spiritual habits in your life. Many people have been inspired by Ty’s life and faith and are now adding Ty’s routine to their day. 
 
Ty Osman II leaves us a legacy of joy that he is living right now.
 
~
Our hearts are broken
Ty Osman our beloved
Has gone – left a gaping hole
Our grief overwhelms
How can you heal the pieces
Of our souls that are shattered

We don’t understand
Why his life was taken now
We are angry, sad and torn
Who gets the blame here
We thought you would protect him
Where were your angels this time

I did protect him
I gave him what he wanted
A life eternal
His purpose fulfilled
He has made my presence known

I knew him better than you
I loved him more than you did
I made him in my image
Just like I made you

I never promised
That  you would not see trouble
What I promised you is this
I’ll never leave you
Death cannot destroy your life
You believe in me, you will not die

He heard my calling
He listened to me as a son
Ty spent time with me

We would daily meet
He struggled with perfection
He thought he must be good
For me to call him my son
I met him in his weakness

He chose to believe what mattered most.

The memories that we have
Treasures that last forever
Living with moments of joy
The look in his eyes
 
The joy that he shared
With passion to serve others
A young life that saw
The vision of love for all
Compelled by friendship with God
~
 
                                      Ty Osman
 

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
 
~
A fresh spring of joy
Rivers of living water
Come pouring down on our lives
His living presence
Coming in the little things
Making us aware of love

I rise seeking God
Out my window it is dark
The breaking of dawn
Calls me to remember this
God is waiting to be praised

I will wait on God
I seek Him with all my heart
I ask His gracious Spirit
Make your words my joy
With my mind engaged I come
Help me be ready to act

The following comes from the reading of Luke 24:13-25 and Henri Nouwen’s reflections on Jesus meeting the two on the road to Emmaus.  Henri Nouwen structures the five movements in this conversation: loss, presence, invitation, communion and mission.  He identifies these as the five main aspects of the Eucharist celebration.

This is a movement 
“Resentment to gratitude”
“Hardened heart to grateful heart”
Invited to come
Experience and affirm
His living presence with us

I will celebrate 
This movement in my body
The temple of God
The miracle of God’s choice
To live and dwell in my soul

Jesus is walking by you
Just as he did on the road
They did not recognize Him
Open our eyes, Lord

Their eyes were downcast
He asked “What are you thinking?”
They spoke the truth they could see
Despair ruled their hearts
Their dream was shattered
When Jesus spoke their hearts burned
But still they could not see Him

They listened to history
He explained from the prophets
This story that they were in
And about Himself
He prayed and he broke the bread
God comes to us in prayer

I know I’m like them
Circumstances will dictate
Unless I learn this lesson
When I pray He comes
My eyes are opened with faith
I choose who I will believe

I come this morning
The dawn is breaking today
You know my story
And thankfully I know yours
Let the light of life shine through

I will go forth with a message
A friendship available
Given to all who believe
Help me make you known

I pray you all are aware today that God is near you, and that you receive the gift of His presence, just as the two on the road to Emmaus had their eyes opened.  When you pray, God will open your eyes.  You will remember how your hearts burned when He walked beside you, when you were unaware of the reality of His kind presence.

Merry Christmas, blessings and peace.
With love,
Terry and Charlotte
December 24, 2011
Dedicated to the Servants of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee
~
 
For “A Christmas Eve Story” from my past
 click here
~
~