Joy and Pain

May 3, 2013

This is a mixture
They seem to go together
A choice can be made
Joy and pain are “twin sisters”*
A surprised discovery
I began this life with joy
The pain was hidden from me
Then surprised me with vengeance
And joy sustained me
A well-spring of energy
Like living water it came
It found me in the despair
Offering me hope
The memory compelled me
I am larger than my pain
I discovered this secret 
Made in God’s image
This huge discovery came 
A love affair ignited
One that cannot be explained
Pursued by God’s love
There is great wisdom
Pay attention to questions
Reflect on your life
Give yourself to the seeking
God is searching to find you
He is running to meet you
With the deepest compassion
You find it in the story
Of God’s unique Son

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  Ephesians 3:16-17


“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  Psalm 16:11


*I got the phrase “Twin Sisters” from a poem my wife Charlotte wrote years ago. 


For my nephew Kirk, on his birthday

Thank you God

May 4, 2012

It is a hidden treasure
Knowledge of the living God
With it comes understanding
And wisdom to live
Thank you, I can understand
What it means to fear you, God
You have promised if I will search
I can know your heart
For every good work
What you need is provided
You’ll abound with provision
God’s heart will be seen
The human heart will be drawn
In relationships of love
Victory is yours
In what really matters most
When righteousness is pursued
And love is the aim
This is the promise given
You will abound in His Grace
Meditations after contemplating Proverbs 2 and II Corinthians 9:8.
His tongue brings healing
The fruit of the tree brings life
Deceitful words crush

The lips of the wise
Spread knowledge and bring real hope
Pursue righteousness
You will find how loved you are
What delight in you God has

A cheerful heart celebrates
Sees the beauty, finds the hope
She cannot be defeated
Love’s at the center

A man of understanding
Listens with great compassion
Seeks counsel for direction
Then obeys the Lord

His path will be straight
Find joy in giving true words
A timely reply

Her path leads upward
He’ll climb every mountain
Joy will lead the way
Courage, wisdom and compassion
Death itself will be destroyed

The Lord listens to prayers
Those who seek with all their heart
Revere the Lord above all
Joy will fill your heart

Written in Jerusalem, April 16, 2012
How much better to get wisdom than gold, understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16

Dedicated to my granddaughter Maia, on her ninth birthday

Mark Your Life

December 18, 2011

Mark your life with joy
Mark your life with vision
Mark your life with love
Mark your destiny with hope
Defeat the past with courage
Trouble is reality
Joy the antidote
I need a fresh wind
Rekindle the fire in me
Set my heart aflame
I will command joy
I have learned to use my mind
I will decide what I think
About life and death
Despair, guilt, shame, fear are gone
When I set head, heart, and gut
Who decides your destiny
Who will decide your future
Who speaks to the real issue
We all want to know
“Religion” fails us
Humans construct it with care
Why does it bring death
The human heart feels judgment
Forgiveness not practiced
Acceptance and love
The keys to relationship
Given free to all
Who seek to know what is true
Who seek to know what matters
I’m being transformed
My joy is larger than pain
Our lives are sacred
A treasure to be shared
The journey grows richer with time
I cannot explain
The joy I live with each day
Eternal friendship
Wisdom can be found
Mark your story with knowledge
What’s appropriate
And how to treat a person
Made in the image of God
“My hands off – heart in”
That means I’m not in control
I will do what I can do
Leave the rest to God
Seek wisdom with all my heart
And wait for the clarity
I am just a man
Ordinary one at that
Aware of my own greatness
Just because I am
With all my failures and sins
I discovered I am loved
So I will show up
I will mark my life with Peace
Like leaven that makes bread rise
A sweet aroma of joy
Will fill up my soul
© Terry S. Smith
December 17, 2011
“I came to give life and to give it abundantly.” Jesus
“Never, never, never give up!” Winston Churchill 
“Nothing in the World is as Important as a Human Being.” Landon Saunders
With thanks to Natalie Allan for sharing, “My hands off – heart in.”

Overcoming Pain

May 28, 2011


I live in a the world of real suffering.  People hurt one another.  Parents fail children.  Children fail parents. Husbands fail wives.  Wives fail husbands.  Friends fail friends.  How does one recover when one gets it in the neck?  We all experience massive losses.  The only choice I have is how I will respond to the false things in others and the false things in me.  


The following represents thoughts I have learned that have helped me get back up and never give up no matter what happens.  The one relationship I have come to trust is the relationship where love was made real by God.  God defined himself in His son who chose to become nothing, chose to die, and defeated death.  He invites us to come and find comfort from him when betrayal has marked our lives.  I commend these thoughts to my friends to take heart when in deep pain.  God is near to comfort, bless, and help you overcome your greatest losses. 

I will blame no one

A truth I have learned

It’s a waste of time

Generations fail

It’s the empty way I’m handed

No one will escape

The question is “What will I do?”

I’ll choose bitterness or life

I’ll not live in fear

It is a theif in the night

Comes unexpected

And I’m not ready to fight

Fear robs one of His presence

I’m the only one

Who decides how I’ll respond

With vengance or love

With judgment or with kindness

Judgment will belong to God

It is a relief

That someone knows all the truth

His mercy will reign

He knows just how you see it

He knows what you do not know

Moments when we are tested

There is always room to fail

God’s love will not shift on you

He is not like us

I will give mercy

To my greatest enemy

As God gave mercy to me

I will give away

It is who I want to be

His Spirit will give me love


© Terry S. Smith
May 27, 2011 

The Unseen Gift

May 2, 2011

Help me understand
What it means to fear God
To have a knowledge of God
Do not be afraid
His gentleness and kindness
Will teach you to stand in awe
His Divine Power
Will provide all of your needs
Magnificent promises
Will restore your joy
You will escape corruption
Your life will be filled with hope
The Lord gives wisdom
You will hunger for knowledge
Your faith will increase
Self-control will mark your life
Forgiveness and love controls
What is right and just
Faithfulness and loyalty
Integrity above all
Lived with compassion
It’s speaking the truth in love
This takes practice and training
I do just one thing
As I rise in the morning
I seek to listen
To the voice that brings me joy
Twenty-four seven He loves
Understanding guards my life
I’ve discovered the secret
This secret found me seeking
I’m never alone
It’s an unseen gift
By faith I have discovered
A love without end
Faith, goodness, knowledge
Practicing what I have learned
Has given me hope
I will persevere and train
And I will never give up
No one can deny
When they’ve experienced love
It changes the way I look
At myself and at the world
©Terry S. Smith
Meditations written after reading Proverbs 2, Psalm 121,


November 22, 2010

Who is this God, my Father
He is mighty in power
No limit to His insight
His understanding
He heals the brokenhearted
And He binds up the wounded
He knows the number of stars
Each of them by name
Listening and gentleness
Understanding your story
Then focusing on God’s story
You’ll find peace and hope
Come out of the pit
Open my eyes to what’s true
The unfailing love of God
Will be my delight
It’s where I place my hope
Lead me to those who are seeking
Each person is free to decide
But He will sustain the humble
I have chosen to listen
Focus on true love
I need wisdom & insight
I seek it with all my heart
I’ll define myself
By the one who gives me life
Who demonstrated His love
© Terry S. Smith
October 30, 2010
Reflections written after mediating on Psalm 145-147.  “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3

Shelter and Safety

November 19, 2010

I will dwell in Your shelter
I will rest in Your shadow
You are the Almighty
You are my refuge
In you I will trust
Cover me with Your feathers
Save me from the fowlers snare
Deadly pestilence
Your faithfulness is my shield
There’s no terror in the night
Do not be afraid
You are under His great care
The wicked will be punished
You’ll see with your eyes
That no harm will befall you
He will command His angels
Angels will lift you
They will hold you in their hands
Because you love Him
He’ll rescue and protect you
From all the trouble that comes
There is a promise
Given to you by your God
Will you believe him
He has delivered my life
I have tasted and seen it
He has given me honor
And a life that’s long
I love his teachings
They bring life to my being
My soul rests in him
Each morning I arise
I seek to engage his love
I draw near to him in faith
Waiting to hear him
I want to see You
I want to rest in the truth
I want to live free
I will give my life to You
It is You I will obey
Your love compels me 
I only want one thing
To be close to You
You are the giver of life
Who is able to give love
I will focus
On the one who gives me life
Reorient my thinking
My soul will be filled with light
And illuminate my way
I’ve no other love
That can compare with my God
He came in the flesh
Experienced my despair
And he invites me to come
In the morning You love me
In the night You give me rest
I have no fear of dying
The future’s certain
I will sing a song of joy
A lasting relationship
That gives insight and wisdom
To love and be loved
No one can compare
With the love I’ve come to know
A love that is for each one
A choice you can make
Be still and listen
Meditate and gain knowledge
I need perspective
I am tossed about with fear
Anxiety kills
There is one voice that calms me
The one who made the eye sees
The one who made the ear hears
He is able to calm you
His voice above all others
Is the one I choose
“My foot is slipping”
Your love, O Lord, supports me
When anxiety was great
You comforted me
I will obey your thinking
For I trust in your great love
© Terry S. Smith
November 19, 2010
Meditation written after reading Psalms 91-95, Proverbs 19, John 15, and Colossians 3.
Dedicated to my sister Carol, on her birthday.

Renew and Restore

September 24, 2010


Finding a clear path

To do what is right and just

Is the path I want


Get understanding

Make it your priority

Otherwise you’ll find yourself

Living in darkness

Not knowing which way to go

Filled with fear and judgment


Guard your mouth and tongue

You’ll avoid calamity

Be clear on what you focus

A secret to know

Whatever that focus is

Will only grow much larger   *       


Give thought to your ways

Your feelings can deceive you

Fear will rob your life

Bitterness is a cancer

That will spread through your body


Seek wisdom and clear insight

When desperate, come to God

One who loves without limit

Has power to rescue


Insight never comes

Before you choose who you’ll trust

You must use your mind

Decide who is trustworthy

Then have the courage to act


Anxiety kills

Is blinding and harmful

A doorway to death


“Do not be afraid”

Three hundred and sixty-five times

Spoken by your God

This is a voice of promise

That renews and restores life


© Terry S. Smith

September 21, 2010

 Meditations written after reading Proverbs 21; John 15; Colossians 3.  (* Inspired from the quote: “Whatever you focus upon, increases.”  Andy Andrews The Noticer p.13.)

a place of peace

September 20, 2010


You will feel better

When you choose a cheerful heart

It’s good medicine


Circumstances will rob you

If you let them control you

Others make expectations

You must meet their needs


How absurd is this

To make you responsible

To meet all their needs


If you cover an offense

You promote genuine love

If the matter’s repeated

Separation comes


A person of knowledge

Will measure words carefully

Stay even tempered

Understanding will guide you 

A loving presence brings life


I will hold my tongue

Pay attention to others

Listen carefully

I am choosing to respond

To love when misunderstood


I will not react

This is the way of a fool

A way I have lived


There’s a place of peace

That passes understanding

That’s bigger than death


Christ has arisen

He offers each one his peace

Forgiveness and love


Do not be afraid

There is no reason for fear

You’re beloved by God


© Terry S. Smith

September 17, 2010

Meditations written after reading Proverbs 17 and John 15.


June 13, 2010

Children need their space
Room to make their own mistakes
Where it’s safe to fail
Letting go is hard
You’ll need wisdom and power
A daily practice
Let go of the reigns slowly
But you must learn to let go
You’ll decide if you believe
That God is loving
Your message must be 
I believe in you today
My love will always be there
You have room to fail
You don’t have to be perfect
I will love you regardless
Remember the daily practice
God is eager to teach you
He will come if you will ask
Do you believe this
Peace will come from God
It is not the children’s job
To give that to you each day
That you must discern
Set your boundaries clearly
Then trust God and laugh a lot
© Terry S. Smith
June 13, 2010
Written after meditating on Psalm 61-65, and Proverbs 13 & 24.  A blessing for the parents whose children are graduating into the adventurous world of the teenage years.
I’m looking for direction
I’m waiting at the doorway
I’m listening for your voice
The voice of wisdom
Where can I find this wisdom
It is a search each must take
Your life will depend on it
Decide what you want
I know I desire to live
Love and joy at the center
Where relationships flourish
I know what I want
Since I made the decision
To look outside my feelings
Get input from wiser souls
My life is enriched
Want only good for others
Is the first piece of advice
Start with being kind to self
Decide you’re worth it
There is a book of wisdom
Penned three thousand years ago
It’s called the book of Proverbs
I read it daily
© Terry S. Smith
March 8, 2010
Written after meditating on Proverbs 8, and Psalm 37.


February 23, 2010

I’m given to gluttony
I wish it were not so true
It has affected my health
Food is for fuel
When you sit to dine
Note well what is before you
Is it what you need
Don’t wear yourself out searching
To get rich with this earth’s goods
They fly off like the eagle
False security
I’ll seek instruction
Looking for words of knowledge
About how to live
The truth sets you free
Wisdom and understanding 
Come with discipline
Precious in the sight of God
Is the death of His dear ones*
I want to be your servant
Precious in your eyes
You have freed me from my chains
From pride, lust, greed, and despair
Your love embraced me in these
I am filled with joy
I’m thankful today
To be alive and aware
Of who gives me life
The Lord is with me
I will never be afraid
Of what man can do to me
My God is loving
I found him running to me
In quiet I can see him
© Terry S. Smith
February 23, 2010
*based on Psalm 116:5


February 4, 2010

Where can I find the knowledge
To live a life that is full
The answers are not easy
I need real wisdom

What are my questions
They are formed in quietness
I listen for them

Nature speaks to me
The birds, trees and animals
Speak of higher love
This knowledge makes me bow down
I am in awe of this world

Nature has order
It is not so with mankind
What is the problem
A basic question answered
This one I have studied well

Discipline and honesty
I have sought to know what’s true
My responsibility
To search and find where is peace
I have been surprised by joy

Jesus Christ has made God known
Compassion and gentleness
To the broken and lonely
His love was revealed

The truth just tastes good
When you hear it you know it
It has a clear ring

It meets all the tests
Bigger than circumstances
Much larger than death
It must be worth dying for
The ones important to me

My standard is high
This truth will enhance each life
It guarantees  growth
Knowledge is what I’m seeking
About personality
Jesus became my focus
I studied his life
© Terry S. Smith
February 1, 2010
Today is my daughter Sara’s birthday.  You are invited to read funny things that my grandchildren say on her blog.
“A Spacious Place”


January 13, 2010

Heritage – a striking word
Is something that we all have
Others will ponder
My children reflect
They know the good and the bad
When I am gone they will see
Remember the truth
Of the way I live my life
Inspires me to wise choices
Do not speak rashly
Those words will cut the heart out
Of the little ones
Trustworthy envoys
Will bring healing to the soul
Joy to the hurting
Emotional, Spiritual
Consider these three
Process with integrity
This relationship journey
Seeking truth on every front
Do not be afraid
Thinking, feeling and loving
Integrate all three of these
With those living close to you
You’ll discover joy
Loneliness can be a gift
I’ll surface the heavy rocks
That are weighing down my soul
Direction can come
Do not be afraid
To ask the real hard questions
You were built for joy
Those of us who know the pain
Who still live in it today
Can listen and understand
And offer you hope
© Terry S. Smith
January 13, 2010
Written after meditating on Proverbs 13,  Psalms 61-65, and My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers.