*
I met a master violinist in Jerusalem last night. I listened to her talk about how all the strings of the violin work together to make the beautiful music. Only one string cannot deliver the magnificence. They must all be tightened to the appropriate tension. When I awake in this morning I ask the Lord to tighten the strings of my heart that will join others in bringing the beauty of love to the hearts of those I meet today. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118

*
I am a single string
Seeking to be tuned to life
Tightened by the Lord
I want the sound of your heart
That’s tuned to the mind of Love

*
I will make music
I cannot do it alone
I am looking for other strings
Tightened by your love
Who are practicing daily
Tuned to the rhythm of joy

*
This discipline works
Orchestrated with others
Who are listening
To the director of Life
Compelled by the Master’s love

*
I am in the orchestra
Watching every move he makes
Moving with grace and rhythm
Surprised with the sound

*
All those who hear it
Cannot deny its beauty
Know it is from God

 

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Gift of Forgiveness

January 31, 2015

*

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.

The Father’s Touch

January 24, 2015

*

What do I yearn for
Where does my heart go when still
I will seek your face
When you appear I’ll see your face
I have set my heart on you

*

My weaknesses still cry out
The sadness-es all around
So many lost in nothing
My inner soul weeps

*

The little sparrow
Finds a place to rest and sleep
God knows what is happening
I’ll praise His greatness
Enter into communion
With my Father who loves me

*

You’re my sun and shield
Light to find my way today
Protection from enemies
Angels to attend
To all those who will trust you
Who seek you with all their heart

*

Your power’s displayed
You do the impossible
When you are trusted
You surprise with your answer
Light comes, love’s demonstrated

*

Trust takes away fear
Anxieties are dispelled
I’m surprised by joy
Your living presence reveals
A Father in touch with you

*

There is no trouble
That he does not understand
And promises to take action
Of all the voices
I can choose who I will trust
A gift from the Father’s touch

*

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

*

I arise with His Spirit
Renewed by Eternal Love
Accepted, forgiveness given
Live today in peace

*

Reflections after reading Psalm 24, 54, 84, 114 and Proverbs 24. Sarah Young speaks to the promises in the pain in her book “Jesus Calling.”

Hidden Surprise of Joy

January 19, 2015

*

There’s a hidden truth
Just like there is hidden sin
I’ve been blind to both of them
One crushes my soul
The other heals all my wounds
Love’s revealed to those seeking

*

My eyes were opened
When I discovered the truth
About me and God
Breaking down the barriers
Comes when all is in the light

*

His intimate eyes
Are seen by those who revere
Who are in awe of His love
I’ll never give up
Seeking what is real and true
I have been surprised by joy

*

In Psalm 19 it speaks of things hidden and things that are plain. In Psalm 33 he speaks of intimacy with those whose hope is in His unfailing love. These two Psalms read slowly and thoughtfully out loud take a person to the inner chamber of the soul. The mysterious place is where God dwells in the heart of everyone. Be still and listen.

*
Today is Charlotte’s birthday.   She is the treasured  surprised gift from God  and my deepest and cherished soul mate.  She brings the joy!

Secret Treasure

January 17, 2015

*

The exciting truth
It’s a treasure to be found
If you will but ask
With a heart longing to know
With your soul and mind engaged

*

We do not know what to ask
Until we get real quiet
That’s when I asked the question
What matters the most

*

When I look around
Watch the multitude looking
Bringing their passion
It is all about the “doing”
What is it I want “to do”

*

I am blinded by the doing
Confronted by the results
I discovered this secret
“Who am I” is first

*

Establish identity
Who are you; why are you here
Answer these questions
Look In the spiritual realm
Consider the unseen first

*

I’ll live from the inside out
I don’t have to prove my worth
A human being will do
When they know they count

*

Death is not bigger
Circumstances can’t destroy
Forgiveness will rule
Love overflows for yourself
And power to love others

*

I know this is true
“Who I am” I hold sacred
A friendship with God
It’s a secret gift of love
It took my best mind to see

*

I am Beloved.

*

You know, after fifty-four years of seeking, please consider, “YOU ARE BELOVED.” I write these haiku’s each morning reflecting on the past and looking to the future.   Looking both directions I find joy today.  I believe with honest reflection; seeking a knowledge of what is true; being willing to go outside the box of religion; overcome the arrogance of human pride that a person can find their way to real life and meaning. The Hebrew Scriptures particularly Psalms and Proverbs have mothered and fathered me. The real story of Jesus in the Gospels awakened me to a compassionate and gentle love. I make sure I have time to think each day and refuse to be driven by the “ought to” self doing and just take time “to be.” The treasured secret is this: God’s love is seeking you! I could be right!

 

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

*

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

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.”  
~

Two Strong Feelings

December 30, 2013

 

 

Two strong feelings come

One is great joy and laughter

The other “I feel afraid”

Help me trust in your love

Seek your will with all my heart

 ~

Where will this take me

A question I want to know

Give me your vision

Help me see the world like you

Show me where I can serve you

 ~

The Wonderful Counselor

The Prince of Peace is with me

The Everlasting Father

These great voices speak

 ~

Father shows no favorites

Each child is called to listen

Each one is beloved by God

The work: to believe

 ~

This new world clashes

The power to receive love

Accept forgiveness

As opposed to the judgment

Man gives to one another

 ~

The judgment we give

Will be the judgment we get

So be gentle with yourself

Go against the gods

That live in your unconscious

The ones you learned as a child

 ~

The unconscious arises

When the pressure of life hits

When the trouble really comes

Wisdom is needed

 ~

I will train to be ready

Consistent daily practice

Guard my heart with diligence

Out of it flows life

 ~

Reflections written after reading Luke 14 out loud and meditating on the following thoughts:

 ~

“Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust

who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.”  Psalm 40:4

 ~

“When I am afraid,

I will trust in you.

In God I trust, I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?”  Psalm 53:3-4

 ~

“Trust in the Lord at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is your refuge.”  Psalm 62:8

 ~

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  Isaiah 26:3-4

 ~

In the book,  Delta Blues From Darkness to Life,  the painful process of dismantling of these “unconscious gods” that keep us stuck are exposed and a process of deliverance is revealed in one man’s life.  You can read the reviews of the book at www.coachinglifematters.com.  All the best on your journey.

Soaking

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 Rhythm of Your Soul

August 25, 2011

~
The earth is filled with
The unfailing love of God
Therefore honor him
~
I bow in reverence
My joy is over flowing
His eyes are on me
~
My eyes are fixed on his love
This is a story I’m told
I’ve an unquenchable thirst
To know what is true
~
You must engage your thinking
Aware of your wounded heart
Find out that love pursues you
The unseen Spirit
~
We’ll focus on the person
Jesus Christ proclaimed this love
Be aware of your questions
Love is pursuing you
~
I dance to the tune 
A revelation of love
A rhythm of joy
~
Intimate eyes see
The beauty in creation
The secret silence
Is one you must fight for
Stop all the noise and listen
~
The beat of your heart
The rhythm of your soul calls
You have a voice in the day
Stop pleasing others
Get in touch with what you want
Take time today to like you
~
Terry S. Smith
© August 25, 2011
Contemplation on Psalm 33 and meditation on this statement: “What the mind cannot conceive, the heart can embrace.”  William Minninger
 
~
There is a dark night
That comes to each of us
Engages the soul
 
No one likes to feel helpless
Who would dare choose the darkness
Life is on the other side
That’s what I was told
That’s what I found to be true
It is a part of the journey
 
We’re all pushed to the limit
Desperation is the word
Time to listen carefully
To heart, soul, and mind
 
I’ll choose good people
Who will give me room to think
Believe I can make it
Who have tasted the darkness
And understand the process
 
I will ask for help
From those whose lives speak to me
Who have found joy
 
© Terry S. Smith
First posted February 2, 2010
 

The Calm

March 6, 2011

~

Looking back I see

Devastating decisions

That were destructive


My own and others

Forgiveness is what’s needed

Who is willing to give


Can my tears be seen

Are the cries of my heart heard

Looking back I know

In the stillness of the night

I heard a gentle whisper


“You are forgiven”

These words were sweet to my ears

Rooted in reality

There’s a place of rest

Where I found joy in the storm

The calm that brings certainty

~

© Terry S. Smith, First posted April 8, 2010

~

Cry of My Heart

December 6, 2010

~
I grew up in fear
My parent’s relationship
Was broken and dark
They were ill prepared to love
Hostility and hate came
~
Home – not a place of safety
Home – not a place where peace dwelled
Home – not a place where joy filled
A longing deferred
~
Fear was realized
Love was shattered by these two
Four children suffered
All around were broken hearts
~
Could the cycle be broken
Was there a way to find peace
Could there be love in marriage
And how does that work
~
I found a way to find life
I listened to my longing
Imagined family
Where there was great peace
~
Love and peace the atmosphere
I could see it in my mind
Then I set on my journey
Fifty years ago
~
My dream compelled me
Determined not to repeat
The story of my childhood
For my children’s life
They are grown now and can tell
The cycle has been broken
~
There are certain things
I have learned to hold sacred
And practice each day
Beliefs that refresh my soul
And give to others great joy
~
Seeking peace was a secret
It gave me the right questions
Then I practiced what I found
Voices I could trust
~
For my father and mother
Who were unable to give
I discovered larger loves
Who’ve been my teachers
~
I have learned to wait
To be strong and take heart
I discovered the goodness
And focus on truth
~
The cry of my heart 
Was heard by a higher love
I cannot explain
But in practicing his thoughts
I found my self comforted
~
My heart leaps for joy
Unexplainable friendship
That’s larger than death
Has given me confidence
To see what matters most
 ~
His words breathe life into me
My focus intentional
Introduces me to joy
His truth restores
 ~
© Terry S. Smith
December 6, 2010
 ~
Reflections written early in the morning after meditating on Psalms 26-29; John 15.
 

The heart of God

November 8, 2010

~
I see the heart of God
His passion overwhelms me
His despair was a choice he made
His heart turned to wax
~
It melted away in him
He felt no one heard his cry
He was poured out like water
He was all alone
~
He had no strength left
He lay in the dust of death
He was thirsty and broken
He cried out for help
~
People stared at him
Dogs surrounded his body
The lions came to devour
He was overwhelmed
~
I will not forsake my God
He did not despise my shame
He has seen my suffering
Not hidden his face
~
He heard me crying out for help
I’ll honor him with my life
The poor will eat and find rest
And be satisfied
~
I’ll kneel before him
One who chose to be like me
Proclaim him to those unborn
To my grandchildren
And their children I will speak
Our God, forever is love
 
© Terry S. Smith
November 5, 2010
Written while sitting by the fire, early in the morning, choosing to meditate on Psalms 20-25.