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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
*
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
*
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
*
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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His Best “Yes”

February 23, 2015

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He gave His best “Yes”
It is always “Yes” with Him
Surprised by the joy

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I remember that big day
I recognized His passion
His personal love for me

*

Fourteen and a half
Touched deeply by His great Love
I wept as I saw it
Hot tears flowed from my dark eyes
Cleansed and brought me into light

*

No one can fathom
Words cannot express my heart
Compassion captured my soul
One man gave it all
My mind riveted on Him
Father never let me go

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Thirty thousand feet
Flying to Jerusalem
Remembering what happened
I’m still overwhelmed
Just fifty-eight years later
With inexpressible love

*

I am going into darkness
I know I will find the light
Among the broken and hurting
That is where He lives

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The reason I am going to Jerusalem today is to attend a conference dedicated to being with those who have been victimized by terror in the Middle East. But those who are attending are coming from all over the world to meet with those searching for that pinhole of light that leads to the joy. The reflections of the day are coming out of Psalm 22. – A Psalm of David. God never took His eyes off of His Son.

Be Still

February 16, 2015

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No one can imagine this
God is closer than your blood
Be still and know “I AM God”
Your friend and Savior

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The trouble looms large
The enemy is within
God knows and always will come
When we trust his love

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Death cannot conquer
Circumstances will not rule
Love comes when we trust
When I see me through God’s eyes
With compassion and mercy

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Reflections come after reading Psalm 16, 46, 76, 106 and 136. Plus Proverbs 16 and the book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.

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I learned to read the Psalms and Proverbs daily for my life from my mother in the faith “Mama Sherrill Lynn,” God’s treasured gift from God to me and so many.

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

*

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

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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

*

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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”

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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.

Invitation

January 18, 2015

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An Invitation
A way to live that makes sense
Thoughts to consider

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A way to live that brings peace
A way to live that brings hope
A way to live that brings joy
The freedom to love

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That’s what I looked for
As a child what I longed for
As a man I came searching
Found the great surprise
My God was looking for me
Gives inexpressible love

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Yes, it’s experiential
The door way is on the bottom
In the brokenness He comes
Seeking to comfort
In my personal despair
He gives the greatest blessing

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Comfort in the loss
Forgiveness in betrayal
Compassion and love
For me and for the others
The massive failure we feel

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Those who betrayed me
And for the ones I betrayed
Inexpressible
Love given to each of us
With gentleness and mercy

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Knowledge is what I needed
Hidden information came
Brought certainty to this love
My mind was captured

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I chose to believe
My heart leaped with the wonder
Incomprehensible love
Was revealed through one
Who chose to be one of us
And offer “abundant life”

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This love is hidden
Ages and generations
Have discovered this
God is closer than your blood
He is the air that you breathe

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God’s my friend, indeed
I come each morning seeking
To stay close to him
Find healing in His counsel
He reminds me who I am

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Chosen and Beloved
Favored and given his peace
Empowered by His Spirit
To see and bring hope
To proclaim with compassion
His personal love for all

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It’s time to come out
Reveal everlasting love
God loves you personally
Not talk but action
Each day you can meet with Him
Receive His love and give it

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These words are not an invitation “to church” or “religion.” These are words born out of a quest I began fifty-four years ago. God is real! God is present! And He loves you! In silence I began this quest seeking to know if this love was real. I found these words “abundant life.” I found these words not only true but beyond my imagination. God is my friend. God is your friend! We can meet with Him daily and interact on the deepest soul level. I always honor my questions. He has always kept His promises.

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Psalm 18 gives language to this love.

 

Light

December 27, 2014

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To say I’ll walk in the light
Brings me joy and great sorrow
Because I can remember
And I am aware

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When I walked in the darkness
I was blind and did damage
To myself and other ones
This is the problem

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I lost some good friends
Who gave to me from the heart
I took and did not return
Give back the love gift
I know I’m hard on myself
That is still all about me

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Growing up is hard
When one misses the stages
Others will suffer
Maturing comes through the pain
The trials and the hardships

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What is good in me is this
I was looking for the light
Darkness is what held me captive
My tears called his love

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Confusion and the chaos
Growing up was the challenge
Navigating the losses
Is what each must do
No one escapes the darkness
No one can hide from the light

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Moments of silence
In the abandonment years
Came my life questions
Suicides, alcohol, grief
Love entered in little ways

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Pinholes of light came
Little kindnesses given
A smile and a gentle word
Of affirmation
Were the surprising moments
Were embraced with great delight

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Light brings the delight
Forgiveness breaks through with joy
For myself and the others
This love was revealed to me
Through the life of Jesus Christ

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He led with real compassion
His gentleness drew me in
Religion orchestrated
Making sure he died

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He died a horrible death
I cannot even fathom
The magnitude of this loss
Love it represents

*

He is my pinhole of light
My failure as a human
Is connected to his death
And resurrection

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I have peace today
Forgiving myself right now
Forgiving others
Accepting the light of his love
And giving it to others

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I’ll make no demands on you
We can be a reflection
But not the reality
God is near to love

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These secret truths are revealed all along the way in the process of growing up and deciding to never give up! There is so much to learn on the journey and I hope to never stop learning. One thing I am determined to do is never stop moving toward the light even in the darkest hour. The movie “Unbroken” is a good example of light coming in the darkness and the power of never giving up. Love never fails. It must start with me and not the other person. Forgiveness opens the window of the human heart to the light of inexpressible joy!

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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” can be reviewed on Amazon and is $0.99 cents on Kindle. It is my story of the painful but hopeful process of continuing to discover light.

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Tender Vulnerable Times

December 23, 2013

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I’ll be with you in

Tender vulnerable times

That’s God’s promise
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Lightning of life will strike you

Leave a scar on your sweet soul

I will heal all of your wounds

Bring joy, make you whole
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I’ll lead with forgiveness

Through the door of compassion

Touch you where needed the most

Give understanding
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There will be no obstacle

I can’t overcome in you

God does the impossible

For those who seek him
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“The great thing to remember is that though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” C.S. Lewis
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“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The writer of the book of Hebrews, chapter 13.
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“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he makes your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6

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If  Christmas time makes you cry — this post is dedicated to you …
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Faithful

January 10, 2011

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I will not let fear rob me
Of the joy of God’s presence
Because He is faithful
He will not abandon me
 
Be still and listen
Go, spend time alone with God
He will come and teach
He meets you with compassion
Will give you the gift of faith
 
I cried in desperation
Looking for a place of peace
I found Him waiting
 
It’s a mystery
I proclaim with all my heart
A love that has endured
For all generations
The revelation of truth
 
He knows you by name
It is written on His hands
Just look at His son
He understands where you are
“Do not be afraid” – Believe
 
© Terry S. Smith
January 5, 2011
 
Morning reflections after practicing the mystery of His presence and meditating on Psalm 16. 
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Be still and listen

October 19, 2010

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The Lord has made my way firm

He promised and he’s done it

I find joy every morning

No one can steal it

~

Growing up is hard

I know what it is to flounder

To not know my way

To want someone to hold me

To let me know I am loved

 ~

I lost my love ones

Ones who promised to be there

Human failure came

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They were ill-equipped

To do what they promised

Then they were vulnerable

Guilty and shameful

They felt judged and condemned

No hope for recovery

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A wave of sadness

Comes over me in dark times

My grief is overwhelming

Where can I find God

I feel broken and alone

I have no language to speak

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I am looking for someone

Big enough to secure me

Someone able to love me

Just the way I am

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Anxiety will hurt me

Keep me from seeing the truth

Create false reality

Put feelings in charge of me

Cause me to believe a lie

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Be still and listen

You are larger than your pain

You are beloved and treasured

Focus and believe

Trust the One who gave his life

Rose from the dead and is near

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No one person can fill me (you)

I found that it takes three

Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Who delight in me (you)

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They understand and can feel

Give you what you are needing

Listen and respond in love

With great compassion

 ~

© Terry S. Smith

October 17, 2010

Meditation written after reading Psalm 37.

Dedicated to my new friends in Virginia.

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Living Free

October 1, 2010

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I will look for what’s fair
I will not speak to quickly
I will listen for all concerned
I will not fear death
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Pride has been my enemy
Hidden in my unconscious
It can breed self-righteousness
A snake in the grass
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An angry man will destroy
A man of peace will bring life
To be angry is not wrong
How you speak can be
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Patience with yourself
Will help you with compassion
The door way to life
You cannot give to others
What you cannot give yourself
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Forgiveness – the miracle
The greatest that’s known to man
This is the hidden secret
The basis of love
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Forgiving yourself
A most difficult challenge
The truth will free you
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It’s like a fresh drink
That is received in the heat
A cool drink that refreshes
It’s living water
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© Terry S. Smith
September 28, 2010
Meditations written after reading Proverbs 29 and John 15.
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light into darkness

October 29, 2009

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Bringing light into darkness
Letting kindness be the rule
Gentleness and compassion
From a higher love
 
Relationships will suffer
Until anger is addressed
Honestly and sincerely
In a timely way
 
I still have many questions
But now I know what matters
I want to know how to love
Myself and others
 
© Terry S. Smith
written October 29, 2009
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Compassion

September 18, 2009

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When I do my best

Sometimes it is not enough

My humanity fails me

It is the place I learn the most

I have learned to forgive me

 

Looking back I see

My ignorance saddens me

Remembering those I hurt

With good intentions

I did not know their story

I’ve learned to say, “I’m sorry.”

 

When I learned a person’s story

My heart overflows

With compassion and respect

For their journey in this life

 

I have laid down my judgment

And picked up compassion

I learned when I judge myself

I’m judgmental of others 

 

Seek understanding

A secret few comprehend

Listen first, talk last

 

© Terry S. Smith

written September, 18, 2009

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Undying passion

July 27, 2009

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God defines His love
It came through His beloved
His compassion lives
 
I know His story
I know my story of pain
His story gives life
 
He walks with kindness
He is filled with tenderness 
His name is Jesus                  
 
Jesus speaks of love
He modeled it for us all
Where else can I go?
 
He suffered for me
He also suffered for you
I can’t comprehend
 
He is in pursuit
Love always wins when you see
Undying passion
 
written Fall 2008
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voice of love

June 30, 2009

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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
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