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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I cannot be far
From the world of suffering
My eyes are open
I can’t bear the pain alone
Can I believe that You are near
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My mind is trained to listen
To the voices that speak truth
I see faces of children
Abandoned and lost
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I’ll not sit silent
Show me what to do today
How can I respond
Take up a timely action
Give and make a difference
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We must do it together
Join hands as did the children
Link hands all around the world
Make love real today
Declare love larger than death
Hear the voice of the children
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Bring your people together
Let’s stand with the voice of love
Let the little children come
There’s safety with Him
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Reflections today after reading Psalm 19, 49, 79, 109 and 139; Proverbs 19. God declares His presence and love. Let us join Him today.
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Read Story on March 4, 2015 – Your Story Matters
Contact: http://www.frrme.org

 

 

 

 

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!

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I met a master violinist in Jerusalem last night. I listened to her talk about how all the strings of the violin work together to make the beautiful music. Only one string cannot deliver the magnificence. They must all be tightened to the appropriate tension. When I awake in this morning I ask the Lord to tighten the strings of my heart that will join others in bringing the beauty of love to the hearts of those I meet today. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118

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I am a single string
Seeking to be tuned to life
Tightened by the Lord
I want the sound of your heart
That’s tuned to the mind of Love

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I will make music
I cannot do it alone
I am looking for other strings
Tightened by your love
Who are practicing daily
Tuned to the rhythm of joy

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This discipline works
Orchestrated with others
Who are listening
To the director of Life
Compelled by the Master’s love

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I am in the orchestra
Watching every move he makes
Moving with grace and rhythm
Surprised with the sound

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All those who hear it
Cannot deny its beauty
Know it is from God

 

My Desire

February 25, 2015

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As I prepare to enter the soul country of the lives broken by terror the Psalmist led me to write my response to these Psalms. 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Slow down and listen to the unseen voice of the Maker of the Heavens and the earth and get in touch with “Your Desire.”

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My desire is to bring you
My life, my soul, my passion
Show me and teach me your ways
Guide me in your truth

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You’re the healer of my soul
Lifted me out of the pit
Quenched my thirsty soul
In quiet I come

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When I am silent
I remember my failures
My weaknesses I ponder
I hunger for you
You receive me with kindness
Your mercies draw me to you

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When I draw near you
You always come with your joy
Incomprehensible love
Rooted in history
Promises that never fail

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I choose to believe
This revelation of love
Confronts us humans
Who wander in wilderness
Looking for the face of God

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I found the freedom
To live spontaneously
Meditate and consider
Accept my failures
And the failure of others
See through eyes of compassion

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it’s fun to be free
To know I have the freedom
To choose what makes sense
Many voices are calling
I found one I can trust

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The past affirms this
The present brings me His peace
The future I celebrate
Eyes opened by the Spirit
To see the unseen as the Real

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The Gentle Way of Love

February 18, 2015

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Light in the darkness
Peace in the midst of the storm
Joy larger than circumstance
Hope impossible
For those who believe in love
Death will have no hold on us

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Love demonstrated
A life well lived speaks loudest
I have decided
Today I will choose to trust
My heart, soul and mind in HIm

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I will name the enemy
The lie handed down to me
The empty dark way
My mother and father lived
And lost what really mattered

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You are who they lost
Without love at the center
Everything breaks down
Religion; psycho-babble
Are built on the empty way

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Love’s the foundation
Peace is the gift that’s given
Work of the Spirit
Modeled in one man who loved
Courageous, gentle and kind

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You’re loved by God
The master truth of God comes
To those seeking truth
Who have the courage to stand
Who believe they are worth it

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After winter spring will come
After death you will be raised
One came to overcome death
And give life to all

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Darkness called me to seek light
Pain called me to seek healing
Through failure came forgiveness
Love came through a man

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David, King of Israel stated: “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” Psalm 108:12
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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” is available at Amazon/Kindle for $0.99 cents.
http://www.coachinglifematters.com/delta-blues.html

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.

I Will Set My Mind

February 4, 2015

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I will set my mind
The freedom I have each day
A love without end
No one can fathom this love
You are beloved beyond words

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The Master Truth Speaks
You are His Beloved Child
A truth I am certain of
A free gift from God
This gift is for all people
The condition is “Believe”

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Yes, you have a part
To decide to receive it
To believe with all your heart
Engage your being
Heart, soul, mind and strength
I have been surprised by joy

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No one’s excluded
This treasure that is hidden
Waiting to be found
I decided to seek truth
Found unconditional love

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It will take your best thinking
Knowledge is at the center
Honesty to discern truth
Trust to follow Him

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Religion can deceive
Pride can hide the path to love
Lust keeps me at the center
And power can kill
My mind wants to know what’s real
I have the freedom to choose

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Lael Caldwell leads a round table of business people who are committed to helping each other be the best they can be. She asked me to speak about setting the mind each day to live life that is joyful, free and productive in this world. There are five things I do each day to live a life that’s  life giving.  The Name of this group she calls “Define, Align and Achieve.” Reflection on the meaning of Love is the first one. Reading of Hebrew poetry and getting advice from Solomon in Proverbs sets my mind for the day. I would love to hear ways that you set your day that brings life to you and those around you. By the way the fruit of setting my mind each day is I laugh more, cry when appropriate, don’t take myself too seriously and see the beauty in each person I meet. Psalm 4 and Proverbs 4 has some real secrets I have found.  All the best!

Anguish Healed

January 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Believe

January 21, 2015

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“I believe in
Christ,
like I believe
the
sun
not because
I can see it,
but by it
I can see
everything”
     C. S. Lewis

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Understanding leads to life
Knowledge will help get you there
Seeking with all of your heart
Will let the light come
Proverbs 21:16

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I know what to seek
It is righteousness and love
It leads to prosperity
With life and honor
Relationships will flourish
Real friendships are developed
Proverbs 21:21

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The word righteousness is not self-righteousness but it is the commitment to the best interest of the other person and justice for all.The book of Proverbs has fathered me giving counsel and insight into love, money, sex and power.

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Victory will come
Accessing a private time
Wisdom will be discovered
In stillness I come
Waiting with expectation
For the healing light of love
Proverbs 21:31

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Music In My Soul

January 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Secret Treasure

January 17, 2015

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The exciting truth
It’s a treasure to be found
If you will but ask
With a heart longing to know
With your soul and mind engaged

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We do not know what to ask
Until we get real quiet
That’s when I asked the question
What matters the most

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When I look around
Watch the multitude looking
Bringing their passion
It is all about the “doing”
What is it I want “to do”

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I am blinded by the doing
Confronted by the results
I discovered this secret
“Who am I” is first

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Establish identity
Who are you; why are you here
Answer these questions
Look In the spiritual realm
Consider the unseen first

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I’ll live from the inside out
I don’t have to prove my worth
A human being will do
When they know they count

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Death is not bigger
Circumstances can’t destroy
Forgiveness will rule
Love overflows for yourself
And power to love others

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I know this is true
“Who I am” I hold sacred
A friendship with God
It’s a secret gift of love
It took my best mind to see

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I am Beloved.

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You know, after fifty-four years of seeking, please consider, “YOU ARE BELOVED.” I write these haiku’s each morning reflecting on the past and looking to the future.   Looking both directions I find joy today.  I believe with honest reflection; seeking a knowledge of what is true; being willing to go outside the box of religion; overcome the arrogance of human pride that a person can find their way to real life and meaning. The Hebrew Scriptures particularly Psalms and Proverbs have mothered and fathered me. The real story of Jesus in the Gospels awakened me to a compassionate and gentle love. I make sure I have time to think each day and refuse to be driven by the “ought to” self doing and just take time “to be.” The treasured secret is this: God’s love is seeking you! I could be right!