Secret Choices in Life

April 9, 2015


There are only two choices
One is wisdom, one is folly
It’s a daily decision
It’s very simple
This invitation
To choose the road you will take
You’re free to decide
If you want to know just ask
Your Father’s glad to tell you
Is there anyone asking
You answer for you
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
There is a secret
To be found in both choices
They’re both inviting
One will bring you understanding
Stolen water will taste sweet
Food that’s eaten in secret
Is so delicious
This secret life leads to death
They don’t know the dead lay there
Folly’s guest will die quickly
And not remembered
Understanding leads to life
Doing right adds to learning
Darkness of death is exposed
Years added to life
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
A promise I claim daily
God never forsakes those who seek
To know and find out the truth
About God and self
Understanding comes
Love flourishes in secret
In stillness God comes
Embracing us in folly
Surprising us with real joy
They’re no exceptions
In this world we will suffer
A reality
The world we build will shatter
The pressures are just too great
Folly and wisdom
Which direction will you choose
You can medicate and die
Surrender and live
This love surpasses knowledge
Understanding will breathe life
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.
Proverbs has been my Father. Psalms has been my mother over the last 54 years.
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.”

How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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.


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


Awake Expecting

January 8, 2015


Awake expecting
To hear things you need to hear
From your Creator
Speak to my heart, soul and mind
Let love dominate my life


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


You bestow honor
And glory on all of us
Made in your image
At conception it’s given
Love never stops pursuing


My guilt is heavy
A burden too much to bear
Failure consumes me
Wounds fester and bring sickness
To my soul, body and mind


I sit in mourning
Feeble and utterly crushed
This searing pain comes
I groan with anguish of heart
My longings lay before you


My sighing is not hidden
“My heart pounds, my strength fails me”
The light has gone from my eyes
No friends are in sight


Neighbors stay away
Traps are set to destroy me
Deception is all around
I’m blind to your light


I’m like a deaf man
Whose mouth offers no reply
With no voice to speak


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


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


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


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


These promises were fulfilled
Stated in Psalm sixty-eight
We would all do well to look
And believe His word


Our God is a God who saves
Who daily bears our burdens
From him we escape from death
My heart fills with praise


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.

One Word Challenge

January 1, 2014


A teachable spirit comes
When you focus on one thing
That one thing will guide your ways
Be clear what that is

What is the one thing
I know what it is for me
Bring it to one word
Yes, boil it down to one word
It’s the window to my soul
Join me and come up with yours
I’ll encourage you
No resolutions
Just one word to guide your heart
That will challenge your thinking

Inspire you to act
To do what is good and right
That will lead you to the joy

Last year my word was “action.” This year it is different. If you want to join me in this exercise, I would be delighted.   You can share yours if you please. Happy New Year and all the best to you on your journey, my friends.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:4
My word for the year is “Presence.”  


January 8, 2013

I’ll soak in your thoughts

Remember the things you say

Write them on my heart

Please light the flame in my soul

Let it burn for you today


I will enter your throne room

In quiet and wait for you

I am so slow to hear you

You words are simple


I’ll act on your words

Reflect, only you are God

I’ll light the candle of hope

Receive your mercy

Accept your peace in the storm

Receive your gentle presence


Gratitude fills me

I choose to believe the truth

He’s stored life for me

In the sight of all mankind

My cup overflows with love


“The words I speak are Spirit”

His words are light to my soul

I believe them like a son

Holding Father’s hand

Going out not knowing

Trusting He will lead the way


My Utmost for His Higest – January 3

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young – January 3

Psalm 31:19-20; John 6:33, 16:33; Psalm 97:2,3,20,11

 “When a man gets to God, it is by most simple ways—words.”  Oswald Chambers


The Mysterious

September 3, 2012

There is something inside me
That causes me to seek You
You placed that hunger in me
A longing I trust

It’s mysterious
Your invisible presence
I cannot prove it
But it’s undeniable
Head, heart and gut engaged

Each person is seen
No person is missed by You
This I am certain
Every cry is heard by You
The story I know tells me

I know I’m getting weaker
Physically I can feel it
Emotionally the losses
Drive me to my knees

I want to be strong
I have found a way to see
To not live in denial
Of my weaknesses
I discovered the secret
God’s power works in weakness

Our relationship will stand
When all of the others fail
Tested for generations
God’s passion to love

Insecurity hidden
Loneliness behind the mask
Fear paralyzes people
Who can provide peace

Only one gives true peace
It is available to all
Take time, listen well
His life speaks, his words follow
He prays now in heaven for you
He always lives to intercede for them.
Hebrews 7:25

Life Dance

January 31, 2010

I want to narrow my life
And be clear of my focus
Know exactly why I’m here
Be faithful to love
There is a rhythm of joy
A dance of life I will find
It has beautiful movements
Lovely to behold
Pay attention to detail
I will practice the basics
Concentrate on the movement
Until natural
All people can learn this dance
There are four steps you must learn
Awareness and intention
Will go along way
Add on to that attention
Then focus on attitude
Study these words carefully
And practice daily
Terry S. Smith
January 16, 2010


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.

your words

January 12, 2010

Reckless words will pierce the soul
Healing comes from wisdom words
Truthful lips always endure
Bring joy to the heart
A lie is detestable
It brings death and destroys you
Knowing what is true brings life
Today I’ll speak the truth
Actions speak the truth
Tell what you really believe
Don’t make light of it
It’s easy to twist words
To make them say what you want
You know if your are honest
And have seen all sides
Who you trust is important
Do not be afraid to ask
What is it I really want?
Then you’ll know your heart
© Terry S. Smith
January 12, 2010
Reflections after reading Proverbs 12, Psalm 56, and My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Words thoughtfully spoken
Will bring refreshment and life
To those who are listening
A mystical love
The truth will come near
When honest thinking is there
Love will always win
written November 1, 2008
A quote shared at the Heartbeat Retreat 2009
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, and musician (1875-1965)

voice of love

June 30, 2009

Wisdom is supreme
Understanding is the bridge
Compassion will rule
Thoughtful time alone with God
To listen and to follow
You will find direction
And your soul renewed
Good words bring entrance
To a soul searching for life
Find words that are true
Which voice do you listen to
Only you can decide that
The voice of love won my life
I pray it wins yours
written November 4, 2008

gift of love

June 19, 2009


The greatest gift I have received
Is a gift given to all
A relationship of love
That will never leave
This gift cannot be taken
A love deeply rooted here
Is undeniable life
Living water refreshes
Words make entrance to my soul
A love beyond words
Love always receives
No matter what the offense
That’s the miracle
If you’ve not received this love
You are not able to give
Examine yourself today
Receive love’s great gift
It’s a love that I tasted
The world around me stands still
It’s a love experienced 
By all the senses
Love must be defined
Where do we go for that one
You must make that choice
Unfailing love gives me hope
An unshakeable kingdom
Love demonstrated on earth
Much larger than death
So wait and be filled 
Love comes to those who seek it
That love is enough
written Winter 2009

Discover joy

June 17, 2009


Guard your mouth and tongue
This is the work of the heart
Some grief you’ll avoid
How one guards the heart
What practices do you use
They must be daily
A daily practice
Will help you secure your goal
And discover joy
Discipline is hard
It is a choice that I make
I discover joy
My mind is the place
Where I do battle for life
I choose the focus
There is always help
It is the great mystery
Of the unseen God

written August 21, 2008


Be Bold

June 7, 2009

My tongue has Power
Power to hurt or to heal
I will make that choice
A gentle answer
Will cause the harsh words to cease
Anger can be stilled
What do I pursue
My decision is final
What matters is you
Relationships soar
When I want what’s best for you
You want what is best for me
Happy hearts bring cheer
Downcast hearts hurt those around
Help us be aware
Words spoken with care
Make safety for those who hear
Love is discovered
Timely words give hope
A healing tongue refreshes
The soul leaps for joy
Be Bold with your love
Be Bold in giving your patience
Give compassion reign
written August 15, 2008