*
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
*
My mind is trained to listen
To the voices that speak truth
I see faces of children
Abandoned and lost
*
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
*
Bring your people together
Let’s stand with the voice of love
Let the little children come
There’s safety with Him
*
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

 

 

 

 

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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.

*

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. 

*

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.

 

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

*

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

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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

*

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.

 

Gift of Forgiveness

January 31, 2015

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Looking back I see
The blind spots in my own life
Born of ignorance
Then the intentional wrongs
They can be overwhelming

*

The blind spots are important
Learning points to remember
Because they are there I see
The damage I’ve done

*

I’m responsible
For the suffering of those
Given to my care
Children, family and friends
I found forgiveness with God

*

To face the truth about myself
Is a surprising gift to all
When love becomes the focus
And forgiveness reigns

*

I forgive myself
God chose to forgive my sins
My heart was broken
When I saw the price he paid
Incomprehensible love

*

I’ve sought forgiveness
From those I know I have hurt
From those I don’t know
I pray God covers us both
With gentleness and mercy

*

In stillness I come
I am focused on His love
With no one but God
I draw near seeking His mind
And I discover His heart

*

He has favored me
Claimed me as “His Beloved”
This promise given to all
Is sealed with His blood
Established by resurrection
Embraced by trust in His words

*

I practiced feeding this truth by reflecting on the words given in the Psalms this morning. Psalm 31, 91 and 121. The judgment of my own heart is so great that if I don’t establish who I trust in the morning I am manipulated by my worldview and the worldview of others who also hide behind the noise in the heart.

Move to the Light

January 3, 2015

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It is not easy
To be a human being
With all the trouble
With all the failure we share
We inflict on each other

*

Children suffer most
What they receive they will give
What they hear they speak
These cycles can be broken
A gift from the Son of man

*

Forgiveness – the miracle
It breaks the cycle of death
Opens the window to joy
Freedom to be you

*

When there are hard times
I’ll stop and evaluate
And move to the light

*

No darkness exists
When the light of life is there
The Son of man came
To give life abundantly
He did it being human

*

The movie “Unbroken” reveals the inhumanity to man. It illuminates the power of forgiveness in the midst of man’s inhumanity to man. Louis Zamperini’s overcoming reveals the greatness in a person who decides to never give up. He discovers the freedom to be Louis Zamperini. The book “Unbroken” reveals the rest of the story of how the move to total inner freedom came from forgiveness – the greatest miracle of his life.   I John in the New Testament tells how to “Move to the Light.”

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An unspoken dream
That is in everyone
A longing within
This dream articulated
In universal language

~

I had a dream as a child
I wanted a home with peace
An atmosphere of loving care
To celebrate life

~

Moments of oneness
I remember them so well
Laughter and playing
Learning a rhythm of joy
Experienced in the child

~

I got a glimpse of it
The first seven years of life
Playing ball with the neighbors
Being held with love

~

Children need a holding place
Of personal tender care
Where they feel safe and secure
Untouched by trouble

~

The home is the place
Where joy is at the center
Laughter the result
Forgiveness reigns all around
The freedom to discover

~

I will tell the world
That peace is within their reach
What you need first is desire
Then a clear vision
If it is there you will find it
Relationships that flourish

~

I’ll never give up
Living peace and sharing it
It is my great joy

~

Those who want to know
Who are searching with their heart
Will certainly find
It will take your best thinking
Then faith and courage to act

~

It is in practicing
The things that you know are true
You’ll discover more

~

There are daily practices
I’ve discovered on the way
That are essential to me
For living in joy

~

I awoke from a dream this morning, with my heart going out to the children who long to be held, and to experience home as a safe place.  I felt that safety as a little child, although my parents as teenagers did not know how to provide it.  There was extended family, (and neighbors) who provided this safety until  my family unit fell apart.  I believe there is a longing in everyone to find a place of peace where joy sits at the center.  I want to be a part of pointing the way to this authentic life that is available to all.  These reflections came out of my dream last night, and after meditating on Proverbs 20 and John 15.

© Terry S. Smith

 

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The following article and picture appeared on the front page of the Burlington Daily Times on December 24, 1985, in metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. 

 

A Christmas Story – December 24, 1985

 

A man painfully remembers: years of confusion, guilt, and learning to survive in a world where hate and fear consumed his childhood.

When he was seven years old, his mother stood on the hood of the car, kicked the windshield in and cursed the boy’s father to hell.

When the boy was eight, divorce and alcoholism robbed him of his mother.  The parent’s failure, anger, and hate tore the relationship apart and another family unit fragmented.

This is a story about a mother and son coming together after eighteen years, and about the One who stirred their hearts into a love that brought healing and hope to a once broken relationship.

~

Carol, Sid, Mama, Robert and Terry

~

I had always wondered about her.  She was beautiful, but many of my memories were painful, reinforced by my father’s hatred for her.  While I was growing up, he cut me off from anyone who cared about her.

Then during my last year of graduate school, I found where she lived, discovering that in a city of 600,000 people, I was driving past her house daily.

Should I go see her?  What would she be like now?  She would be forty-five years old.  Could I understand this woman who left four young children, never again to be involved in their childhood?

She didn’t know who I was when my wife and I knocked on her door in October of 1968.  But a new journey began.

Her story was hard.  She had married at sixteen, had three children before age twenty-one.  She married five times, was an alcoholic, and currently was living with a man who was not her husband.

She hated herself.  She had attempted suicide by cutting her throat, jumping out of a car going eighty miles an hour, and by putting a gun to her head and pulling the trigger.

But, the gun misfired.  It fell on the floor, blowing a hole in the wall.  She lived!

The reunion with her son helped her to realize she could start over again.  She began to fight!  But it was like trying to climb a greased slide.  My family — a wife and two babies — now included this woman, my mother, who, after wanting to die all these years, now had a desire to live.

The failure I experienced in my childhood caused me to pursue the field of counseling to learn how to live in relationships, and not make the same mistakes my parents made.   There had to be a way to live in this world and not be victimized by failure, anger, insecurity and guilt.

People can come back together and healing can take place in relationships.  But how?  How could this woman ever have forgiven herself for leaving her children?  How could the children have ever forgiven her for abandoning them?

As a family counselor in Burlington, I have chosen, for a model, one person in history who knew how to love and treat human beings.  I find very few people who have read his life.  Not many are willing to give and extend mercy toward those who hurt them.  Not many are willing to say: “I am wrong!”; “I am sorry!”; “Forgive me!”

The little baby whose birthday the world celebrates at this time of the year grew up to be a man.  He met a woman at the well who had been married five times and was living with a man not her husband.  The man at the well treated the woman with dignity, respect, consideration, and compassion.   It changed her life.

The angels announced at his birth that he has come to bring good tidings of great joy.  The woman at the well experienced it the day she met him.  I have tested it on the streets of the twentieth century and it holds today.  My mother found hope, forgiveness, and new beginnings because this man’s evaluation of human worth represented by the heart of the God and Father of us all.

Our challenge at this season is to look past the commercialism of Christmas.  To look beyond the religious ritual, and to sense the mystery of the One who came among us to demonstrate and to give a new quality of life.

I’ve just returned from a family wedding.  It was the first time in thirty-five years the family was together.  My mother flew back with us, and will celebrate her first New England Christmas with me and my family.  We realize that we owe this reunion to the One whose perspective on life continues to bring into a dark world hope and light.

Our hearts are full of thanksgiving as we celebrate the reality of his presence.

**************************************************

My mother died in the year 2000, at the age seventy-seven.  She experienced in her heart, soul, and mind, the joy of God’s peace.

~

Space

June 13, 2010

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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
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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.
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voice of the children

August 6, 2009

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Is anyone listening

To the voice of the children

They are broken tossed about

Searching for real hope

 

As a child I was confused

My parents I dearly loved

Failed at loving each other

Four children were lost

  

The child had no words

No one knew how to listen

The unconscious self arose

And helped me survive

 

The skills that I learned

And the love I did receive

Helped me find my way

 

There is wisdom in a child

They will respond to loving

When it’s real and authentic

My child remembers

 

Never under estimate

The wisdom that was given

Every child is amazing

Unique and beloved

 

I will fire that spark

Look deeply into the eyes

Ignite with a smile

 

I’ll learn to receive

When I look at a person

I will see the child

 

As a child I was drowning

The deep waters covered me

The neighbors rescued my life

I was their delight

 

A spacious place was given

They reached down and embraced me

And cared for me as their own

I remember well 

 
written August 6, 2009
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