Secret Choices in Life

April 9, 2015

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There are only two choices
One is wisdom, one is folly
It’s a daily decision
It’s very simple
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This invitation
To choose the road you will take
You’re free to decide
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If you want to know just ask
Your Father’s glad to tell you
Is there anyone asking
You answer for you
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You can know which road
It is your freedom to choose
We all have been hurt
I’m no exception to this
We all get it in the neck
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There is a secret
To be found in both choices
They’re both inviting
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One will bring you understanding
Stolen water will taste sweet
Food that’s eaten in secret
Is so delicious
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This secret life leads to death
They don’t know the dead lay there
Folly’s guest will die quickly
And not remembered
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Understanding leads to life
Doing right adds to learning
Darkness of death is exposed
Years added to life
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Where do I begin
First, stand in awe of your God
Seek knowledge and good insight
God’s a real person
He knows my name and loves me
Even though I chose folly
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A promise I claim daily
God never forsakes those who seek
To know and find out the truth
About God and self
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Understanding comes
Love flourishes in secret
In stillness God comes
Embracing us in folly
Surprising us with real joy
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They’re no exceptions
In this world we will suffer
A reality
The world we build will shatter
The pressures are just too great
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Folly and wisdom
Which direction will you choose
You can medicate and die
Surrender and live
This love surpasses knowledge
Understanding will breathe life
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These reflections come after reading and meditating on Psalm 9 and Proverbs 9. I have a practice I do each day to tune my soul to the basic realities of life. I live my life in a day. “I number my days by one.” Bob Nelson   I practice the basic fundamentals of soul each day like a musician practices his instruments. I practice seeking understanding above all else or I find my soul deceived by my own pride, lust and greed that sit in the secret places inviting me to choose to feed their hunger. This daily practice of stillness has lead me to the secret place of joy where I have been surprised with an intimate friendship of Presence that is not based on my feelings. It is based on discovering what is true about the world, self, God and real friendship. Folly taste good in the moment. It leads to death. Understanding will breathe life. It leads to Joy.
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Proverbs has been my Father. Psalms has been my mother over the last 54 years.
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Proverbs 9:6 “Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear (stand in reverent awe) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

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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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In the face of terror one feels the powerlessness like no one can imagine. I am sitting among people who have lived it this week in Jerusalem. Last night I met a man and his 25 year old daughter. She was kidnapped in France when she was only three years old. It was seven years before he and his wife were able to get their daughter home.   “All to Bring Victoria Home” by Delwyn Jones Schmidt –  check Amazon.

As I read Psalm 32 and 62 this morning David reminds us that there is only one place to go to when the terror man comes upon man. Then I listened to the story of a man whose parents met in Auschwitz in Poland. Both his parents lost most of their love ones, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers in the camp. Incomprehensible!!! I experience the joy in both of these people. In reflecting on these Psalms I found a place to go that is helping me keep perspective by setting my heart, mind and soul on the giver of light and life. David the Psalmist led me there in reading Psalm 32 and 62.

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Tighten the strings of my heart
Draw near to me, Gracious Lord
I am yours to do as you will
Your joy – my center
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I sense your divine power
Please deliver me from pride
I pray for humility
Love will rule my life
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The lust for recognition
Deliver me from man’s applause
I want a pure heart, O God
Courage to do right
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I am powerless
Deliver me from man’s greed
Fill me with your peace
May compassion flow through me
The light of your presence seen
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God says:

“I will instruct you
And teach you the way to go
I will counsel you
My eyes will be fixed on you”
There’s no greater joy than this
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You’re my hiding place
The giver of love and life
Your promises renew me
Your light breaks the dawn
Brings hope in the darkest times
You count my tears; I’m refreshed
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Let it be so!

Healing Process

February 26, 2015

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There is a healing process
For those aware of the wound
Who name the lie adopted
This deep soul cancer

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When a person is ready
Desperate for the healing
Then choose to fight for your life
And Renounce the lie
Revoke the insidious
Darkness with the light of life

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The Secret hidden
To be discovered by all
Who are seeking truth
You are the “Beloved of God”
Healed and made whole by this love*

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Replace the lie that’s hidden
Believe in the love that’s given
With all your heart, soul and mind
This mysterious joy

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This revelation of love
Made clear in your own story
Remembering the times
You arose above the pain
Finding greatness in your soul

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I choose to respond
Feed the Master Truth of Love
Daily focus on this light
Move with intention
Toward this pinhole of light
This inexpressible joy
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I know this process is true
I live it each day of life
Like a mirror I reflect
Unspeakable love
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At the heart is forgiveness
For myself and enemies
For my parents and dear friends
Who’re only human
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Yes, it is a choice
Feelings will not dominate
My heart is open
I’ll choose to respond daily
I’ll receive love and give it
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The death of these lies
Is a painful decision
The lies are so familiar
Only His love compels me
To trust love larger than me – (love demonstrated)
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This is a process of deliverance from myself. When man is at the center destruction follows. This does not need to be proven. Look at past history; look at the present; you can know the past will dictate the future unless man discovers the greatness of real love.
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That love must begin by training to love you so you will then know how to love others. Light the fire in your own soul by turning from the lies handed down to us from generations. When feelings dominate, death follows. When truth dominates freedom follows. Choose love and forgiveness and Joy follows.

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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Five Decisions for Life

February 22, 2015

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I need the tools
The ones that open the mind
To inexpressible joy
There’s a way to find peace
That passes understanding

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Five decisions must be made
First a decision to live
Then don’t make friends with your pain
Are two essentials

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Now you are ready
Take Responsibility
Stop blaming others and self
This is the big one
There’s no growth till this happens
Life begins with your beliefs

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The past is a gift
You know what you don’t want
Or you know what you do want
Get a clear vision
Of who you are and what you want
Then you will know the questions

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This is the big one
Decide you are worth fighting for
Yes, you are worth it
Your value is in being
You must learn to love yourself

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So there are five gifts you must give yourself
1) Decide to Live
2) Decide to Not Make Friends with Your Pain
3) Decide to Take Responsibility
4) Decide to Get a Clear Vision
5) Decide You Are Worth Fighting For

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All the best on your journey.

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For more information go to http://www.coachinglifematters.com.

A Secret Hope

February 17, 2015

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I can’t live off yesterday
The past can condemn my soul
My failures can overwhelm
I need a fresh start

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Depression sets in
I cry out in my despair
My soul languishes

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Although the good memories
Are there to console my soul
The judgment of my heart is strong
I look for relief

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A drink, a song or a good joke
Can distract me from the pain
Lying down I remember
The noise of judgment

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I arise to fill my life
With something to stop the noise
These things only medicate
They’re temporary

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My search landed in the Psalms
With a King who failed his God
His family and his friends
He despaired for life

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He discovered the secret
The unfailing love of God
Who forgives all those who come
Desperate for hope

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The reflections were born out of meditation in response to Psalm 17, 47, 77, 107 and 127. If any of you would like to hear an audio reading of some of these Psalms, then message me your cell phone number and I will send it to you if you have a phone that receives audio. All the best!
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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.

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.

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!

Move to the Light

January 3, 2015

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It is not easy
To be a human being
With all the trouble
With all the failure we share
We inflict on each other

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Children suffer most
What they receive they will give
What they hear they speak
These cycles can be broken
A gift from the Son of man

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Forgiveness – the miracle
It breaks the cycle of death
Opens the window to joy
Freedom to be you

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When there are hard times
I’ll stop and evaluate
And move to the light

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No darkness exists
When the light of life is there
The Son of man came
To give life abundantly
He did it being human

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The movie “Unbroken” reveals the inhumanity to man. It illuminates the power of forgiveness in the midst of man’s inhumanity to man. Louis Zamperini’s overcoming reveals the greatness in a person who decides to never give up. He discovers the freedom to be Louis Zamperini. The book “Unbroken” reveals the rest of the story of how the move to total inner freedom came from forgiveness – the greatest miracle of his life.   I John in the New Testament tells how to “Move to the Light.”

Best Friend Conversations

January 2, 2015

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

Light

December 27, 2014

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To say I’ll walk in the light
Brings me joy and great sorrow
Because I can remember
And I am aware

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

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I lost some good friends
Who gave to me from the heart
I took and did not return
Give back the love gift
I know I’m hard on myself
That is still all about me

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

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

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Confusion and the chaos
Growing up was the challenge
Navigating the losses
Is what each must do
No one escapes the darkness
No one can hide from the light

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

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

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Light brings the delight
Forgiveness breaks through with joy
For myself and the others
This love was revealed to me
Through the life of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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These secret truths are revealed all along the way in the process of growing up and deciding to never give up! There is so much to learn on the journey and I hope to never stop learning. One thing I am determined to do is never stop moving toward the light even in the darkest hour. The movie “Unbroken” is a good example of light coming in the darkness and the power of never giving up. Love never fails. It must start with me and not the other person. Forgiveness opens the window of the human heart to the light of inexpressible joy!

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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” can be reviewed on Amazon and is $0.99 cents on Kindle. It is my story of the painful but hopeful process of continuing to discover light.

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Joy Discovered

January 15, 2014

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Beauty in the brokenness

Out of the darkness the dawn breaks

Through death we see life reborn

Joy is discovered

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What is it that needs to die

How can light come in the darkness

Why must I start with chaos

Is there a secret

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You’re not a human doer

You are a human being

Question: How do I be me

Freedom is calling

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Question your worldview

Who defines reality

Whose voice do you trust the most

That’s your decision

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The question is not “What works?”

The question is “What is true?”

Whose voice can I truly trust?

Challenge core beliefs

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The beliefs you adopted

To survive and be secure

To gain some significance

To have some control

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Security/Survival

Searched for by the unconscious

Are developed by a child

By the time they’re twelve

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Affection/Esttem

A real unconscious longing

In the heart of all

Will determine your actions

In the world you live

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Power and Control

How others will perceive you

The image you will present

To hide the true self

A powerful protection

Is toxic as an adult

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These beliefs were gifts

As a child when growing up

Now they are toxic

That leave the mind in chaos

Hidden idols that must die

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Children: the best recorders

Are the worst interpreters

Unless stopped will define you

Keep you in darkness

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You have been given a mind

You must train to think clearly

Face the struggle with courage

Who can set you free

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These beliefs destroy

No one can measure up to

Be perfect and perform the best

Always be happy

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Where do you begin

Choose to go against the lies

That have worked so long

Die to these and replace them

With the higher love of God

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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