*
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.

*
Tighten the strings of my heart
Draw near to me, Gracious Lord
I am yours to do as you will
Your joy – my center
*
I sense your divine power
Please deliver me from pride
I pray for humility
Love will rule my life
*
The lust for recognition
Deliver me from man’s applause
I want a pure heart, O God
Courage to do right
*
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
*
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
*
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
*
Let it be so!

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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.”

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

Five Decisions for Life

February 22, 2015

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

All the best on your journey.

*

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

My Biggest Challenge

February 20, 2015

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*
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

 *

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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
*
“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” is available at Amazon/Kindle for $0.99 cents.
http://www.coachinglifematters.com/delta-blues.html

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 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.

*

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

 

A Gentle Touch

February 7, 2015

*

I take refuge in the Lord
As a child I came to him
In the night I sought his help
Alone and crying

*

His gentle love came
In the silence tenderly
Her nurturing hands
Touched and held me with kindness
My grandmother knew how to care

*

Lost her at seven
And other dear ones who cared
Hatred won the day
Trauma entered my pathway
Loss of love ones became real

*

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

*

When I became big
I read this story of love
A gentle man came
His life attracted my soul
Compassion drew me to him

*

The little boy remembers
In the night I found comfort
This mysterious love came
Gently held my soul

*

I fell in love with Jesus
His kindness and compassion
Has healed my soul with wonder
Touched my soul with joy

*

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.”

*

This friendship calls me
To not believe “in” Jesus
But believe Jesus
Present and counting my tears
With His promise to help me

*

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!

*

Psalm 37 prompted these thoughts this morning. All the best on your journey.

He Counts Your Tears

January 26, 2015

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When I am afraid
I will trust in you, O God
It’s your words I trust
How can mortal man hurt me
In God I trust; I will not fear

*

Record my lament
You keep record of my tears
You even count them

*

You always get the blame God
For the suffering and the pain
It is man’s abuse of man
Where are you, “O man?”

*

In God I will trust
He’s the one with compassion
I see the heart of man hurt
Abuse and deceive
Give God the blame for lying
And not look in the mirror

*

You have delivered my soul
Met me in desperation
Given your presence of love
In stillness I find

*

I know the story
How God’s love became a man
He offered “abundant life”
I was skeptical
I looked closely at the man
A man of sorrows and grief

*

He met the lonely
The broken and abandoned
Was gentle and kind
Gave hope to the hopeless ones
I know I was one of them

*

I wept when I saw
The way he lived and he died
His personal touch
Reaches the most broken ones
He counts each person “Beloved”

*

I once was desperate. Now I meet with desperate people. I’m desperate again. This time I bring hope to desperate people. Every human being is precious and needs to know they count. I discovered a God who not only counts the tears but sees the person and is pursuing each one. They don’t need my answers but need someone who is present listening and giving what I can. Can God really be that close? Psalms 26, 56, 86, 116 and 146 opened a window to an awareness of someone who is there with love and understanding.

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.

You Are His Delight

January 7, 2015

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God searches the minds and hearts
Brings an end to violence
He makes the righteous secure
With forgiving love

*

Trust in the Lord and do good
Delight yourself in the Lord
The desires of your heart come
As surely as breath

*

Commit your way to the Lord
Trust in him and he will do this
His life will shine like the dawn
Break forth in your soul

*

Be still before God
Wait patiently for guidance
Stop all the fretting
It leads only to evil
History tells us this truth

*

Anger will kill you
The toxic part can destroy
Learn to channel it
By loving your enemy
The first place to start is you

*

The meek inherit the land
Flourish in relationship
Look to the best interest
Of those closest to you

*

The result will be peace
That passes understanding
So it is time to grow up
Be responsible
Stop blaming self and others
You hold the key to find life

*

God will hold you up
I know this is true for sure
I have tasted this
By practicing His Presence
Walking in the light of love

*

God delights in you
When you believe, wisdom comes
There is a future for you
His kindness and peace
Comes when you trust His love
Surrender all of the lies

*

These reflections from Psalm 37 come from choosing how I will process this life. There are many views of life one can take. I chose to trust the God David spoke of in the Psalms. As a result I discovered an unshakable life filled with hope in the midst of the worst possible circumstances. Psalms has been like a mother to me over the last fifty years. The promises in this book I have found to be true, practical and life giving beyond words.

*

My journey is told in the book “Delta Blues From Darkness to Light.” http://www.coachinglifematters.com/delta-blues.html

Joy Discovered

January 15, 2014

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Beauty in the brokenness

Out of the darkness the dawn breaks

Through death we see life reborn

Joy is discovered

~

What is it that needs to die

How can light come in the darkness

Why must I start with chaos

Is there a secret

~

You’re not a human doer

You are a human being

Question: How do I be me

Freedom is calling

~

Question your worldview

Who defines reality

Whose voice do you trust the most

That’s your decision

~

The question is not “What works?”

The question is “What is true?”

Whose voice can I truly trust?

Challenge core beliefs

~

The beliefs you adopted

To survive and be secure

To gain some significance

To have some control

~

Security/Survival

Searched for by the unconscious

Are developed by a child

By the time they’re twelve

~

Affection/Esttem

A real unconscious longing

In the heart of all

Will determine your actions

In the world you live

~

Power and Control

How others will perceive you

The image you will present

To hide the true self

A powerful protection

Is toxic as an adult

~

These beliefs were gifts

As a child when growing up

Now they are toxic

That leave the mind in chaos

Hidden idols that must die

~

Children: the best recorders

Are the worst interpreters

Unless stopped will define you

Keep you in darkness

~

You have been given a mind

You must train to think clearly

Face the struggle with courage

Who can set you free

~

These beliefs destroy

No one can measure up to

Be perfect and perform the best

Always be happy

~

Where do you begin

Choose to go against the lies

That have worked so long

Die to these and replace them

With the higher love of God

~

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

~

One Love Reaches In

December 26, 2013

 

Many things happen

That wound the souls of people

No one can fathom

Rejection from your parents

A soul that feels abandoned

 ~

One love reaches in

The Everlasting Father

Through His only son

To say how much he loves you

By giving His life for you

 ~

The Wonderful Counselor

Is given to each one who asks

Who surrenders to this love

Says, “Your will be done”

On earth as it’s in heaven

This has been tested and tried

 ~
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The man who fears is not made perfect in love.”  John – I John 4:15-18
 
“The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  Moses – Deuteronomy 33:27
 
“But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in our salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”  David – Psalms 13:5

 

Tears Water the Soul

July 13, 2013

 ~

Time for crying and laughing

There is a time for all things

Yes, grieving and believing

Tears water the soul

 ~

With joy we will rise

Out of the ashes we come

It’s a time to look closely 

At what matters most

 ~

In my deepest darkest time

When there was no hope to rise

I became aware 

Incomprehensible love

Swept my soul into the joy

 ~

I will concentrate

On listening to the person

Knowing their story

Understanding their world view

And what controls under stress

 ~

Who will call the shots

When I am in the crisis

Will I be prepared

To love as I have been loved

To give as I’ve been given

 ~~ ~

I have found a key*

That will unlock one’s story

I found God in the middle

Of each person’s life

A secret that’s been hidden

Ten thousand stories tell me

 ~

No one can fathom 

The intimacy of this love

One who counts the tears

Who knows and understands you

Who comes in your darkest hour

 ~

*The key is a tool that I use during my life coaching sessions.: Coaching: Life Matters

Psalms 56:8; Revelation 17:14; John 15:13-15; Romans 8:26,

Jesus Calling – Sarah Young

Friends in Flight

July 4, 2013

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We are friends in flight

We’ll follow the lead pilot

Our gaze riveted

~

Our mission is clear

Being empowered by love

Filled with compassion

Flying in tight formation

We enter with confidence

~

With the speed of light

We penetrate the darkness

With hope and real joy

In the midst of suffering

We break the pain barrier

~

Our Lead models how

He shows us how to be real

This kingdom treasure

Has awakened me to joy

I choose to sell all to find

~

Courage needed now

In radical discipline

Encouraged by this love

To move with real faith

Beside wisdom in the darkness

Showing trust in his Presence

~

Freedom for the prisoners

Sight for those who are blinded

Good news for those who are poor

Release the oppressed

~

He will lead us in

To accomplish His mission

Light penetrating darkness

Healing the soul inside out

Available to all who come

~

This writing is dedicated to Larry Malone, retired Navy Captain who flew a A-6 Intruder off the USS Enterprise during the Viet Nam War.  Larry models for me the healing process of a deep soul wound.  He along with many gave himself to war for our country.  He came out with a deep soul wound as result of the “death transactions” he was called to participate in as a young man.  They equipped him to fight but he was not equipped to deal with the internal wound that he came out with.  His story tells the healing process through the years.  

 ~

He is now a “friend in flight.” We fly as wingmen to the Jesus our lead pilot.  On this day when people of this nation celebrate the freedom, I honor Larry and so many who gave their lives courageously.  Larry returned to fight a different war, a war of the soul.  He now is fighting for the young men and women who experienced this deep “soul wound” he understands.  

 

Thank you, Larry, my friend in flight.

~

My friend Genma also highlighted Larry on her blog and radio show:

http://genmaspeaks.blogspot.com/2013/07/vietnam-navy-pilot-larry-malone-on.html 

The Big Question

July 3, 2013

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Two things offend God for sure

When we judge one another

And indulge in self hatred

Who gave us this charge

 ~

The higher love comes

Magnificent promises

For those who listen

~

Getting past yourself

Arising to behold God’s love

He knows your story

Decision each one can make

A painful but joyful choice

 ~

Thinking clearly brings power

It cuts through the distractions

Awakens a whole new world

From the inside out

 ~

Transformation can take place

Energy is ignited

When I decide to give thought

And take the action

 ~

Distractions follow feelings

Feelings are ruled by the mind

Winds of desire can destroy

Or they can give life

 ~

So the big question

Is what do I really want

The answer shapes the vision

Then the questions form

I follow seeking knowledge

Being shaped by the answers

 ~

Respect for myself

And for all those around me

Even enemies

Leads me to reconsider

And think about what matters

 ~

I will decide that

Not a generational

Relational lie

That will revolve around me

But revolves around life

~

Thank you, Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, for your thoughtful comments on the following passages.Luke 6:37; 2 Timothy4:8; Titus 3:4,5; Romans 8:1

http://www.coachinglifematters.org