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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The Simple Truth

March 29, 2015

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There’s a simple truth
Hidden behind all the noise
We are born Beloved
This truth will always get lost
Because of the failure of man
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How to recover
That is my biggest question
I found the process
There are no easy answers
I now know where to begin
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Wounded souls cry out
The sick know that they need help
They are the ones who can hear
The desperate door
The one I avoided the most
Is the one that I walked through
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There are two commands
Love God, love one another
The secret is here
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We say we love God
I think we really mean it
There are two problems with this
The first: “Who is God?”
Second: “Who is my neighbor?”
Love them like you love yourself
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You cannot love God
If you do not love yourself
The place to begin
You must learn to love yourself
When all others forsake you
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There’s greatness in you
You are made in God’s image
You are wonderfully made
Beloved and cherished
You are larger than your pain
I learned this from my Teacher
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Others have forsaken me
My parents and friends left me
Talents, health, gifts failed me
That’s when love came
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Over the years of listening to thousands of stories of people searching for meaningful relationships, I found this one thing to be true. Until a person decides to accept their own greatness in the midst of the massive failure they feel from their own life and from how significant others have failed them, they will stay trapped in the darkness of desperation. There is a fire in the human soul that at some point will rise up and fight. It is my job, once a person decides to fight, to give those I meet the life tools I have discovered to build a “life that loves to happen no matter what happens.” History is full of lives that made this decision to live by walking through the doorway of desperation. The Master Truth I know to be true regardless of circumstances is this. “You are Beloved.”
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Proverbs 29:11; Psalms 59:17; 89:15; 89:26; 89:30-33
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http://www.coachinglifematters.com

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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

 

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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My Biggest Challenge

February 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015

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The focus of the children
How beautiful and loving
Need direction from your word
Because you give life

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Love awakens us to joy
Arising each morning to pray
I will listen first then speak
Respond to the truth

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Truth always comes through kindness
Although at first it’s painful
To see the lies I live by
Keeps me in the darkness

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What are the lies that destroy
Do I really want to know
It’s painful to discover
My own false beliefs

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It takes courage to seek God
Not knowing what you will find
Can I believe He is real
Loves me as a son

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Such beauty among the young
Fresh, alive and full of love
Put your hand on the children
Trouble lies ahead

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We will focus on the joy
The promises and the friendship
Because there is certain hope
For those who believe

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I won’t live in fear
God promised, “I’ll be with you
Never leave or forsake you”
Courage will follow
When your love is much larger
Than all the trouble around

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I will set my mind
My heart and soul long for
The gift to live free
Focused on His greatest gift
His inexpressible love

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I was asked to speak this week by Lael Caldwell who leads a “Round Table of Business Men and Women” on the topic of “How Do You Set Your MInd?” I chose to share this message with the Woodmont Hills family yesterday. If you would like a copy you can email me at terrysmith5@comcast.net and I will give you the address where you can order it.

Last night I sat with Charlotte at a “Sweetheart Banquet” and was served and entertained by a group of amazing young people. The above reflections come out of listening and responding to yesterday’s experience and the reading of the Psalms this morning. Psalm 9 and 39 along with meditating on John 15:1-17 was the focus this morning.

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Setting my mind each day is absolutely the most important thing I do to take care of myself.

 

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!