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.

A Secret Hope

February 17, 2015


I can’t live off yesterday
The past can condemn my soul
My failures can overwhelm
I need a fresh start


Depression sets in
I cry out in my despair
My soul languishes


Although the good memories
Are there to console my soul
The judgment of my heart is strong
I look for relief


A drink, a song or a good joke
Can distract me from the pain
Lying down I remember
The noise of judgment


I arise to fill my life
With something to stop the noise
These things only medicate
They’re temporary


My search landed in the Psalms
With a King who failed his God
His family and his friends
He despaired for life


He discovered the secret
The unfailing love of God
Who forgives all those who come
Desperate for hope


The reflections were born out of meditation in response to Psalm 17, 47, 77, 107 and 127. If any of you would like to hear an audio reading of some of these Psalms, then message me your cell phone number and I will send it to you if you have a phone that receives audio. All the best!


A Focused Love

February 13, 2015


Each day brings trouble
Tragedy is around us
Suffering overwhelms us
Where can we find peace


My soul languishes
Fear and anxiety rule
Where can I find rest


I stand amazed when love comes
Light springs up in the darkness
Hope born in desperation
Our God hears our cry


Looking back I see
When I trusted God He came
Lifted the burden
Opened my eyes to see love
My greatest work is “Believe”


I’ll hope against hope
I’ve been given a reason
I’ll focus and understand
God became a man
Human in every way
He chose to suffer the pain


A personal gift
An intimate love given
Each person is known
Beloved, seen, heard and treasured
This is the heart of God known


Death cannot destroy
Joy sits above circumstance
The presence of love
In the life of everyone
Can be seen by looking back


Open our eyes, Lord
To see things that matter
Let gentleness rule
The way that we treat ourselves
And the way we treat others


Your unfailing love
Was demonstrated so well
In the life of your Son


No matter what the trouble I may face each day, I get to choose who sits at the center of my soul. With all the noise of the human tragedy around me my heart is drawn to one voice. It is the voice of love I will focus on today. That love is bigger than my circumstance. It is bigger than death. That love is worth dying for. That love will enhance every person I meet today. This love guarantees permanent, constant and continual growth. It is testable! I could be right! These reflections come out of meditating on the Psalms. All the best!

Can I Believe Your Delight

February 2, 2015


Can I believe you
That you take delight in me
It is so foreign
To the way I think of you
The God of the Universe


The tragedies of this world
Overwhelming suffering
Injustice screaming so loud
Where can I find you


The greatest surprise
When I focused on one man
One who claimed to be with you
Says he looks like you
Maker of the Universe
Calls himself the Son of Man


Filled with compassion
Touched the woman at the well
Offered her living water
Surprised with kindness
He knew her story so well
It changed the way she saw God


A song of hope comes
The pinhole of light comes through
I feel the tension
I choose to take the long view
His promises restore me


You light up my mind
When I focus on your love
Your presence comforts my soul
Your word restores me
Though circumstances fail
My feelings deny your care


You delight in me
I choose to trust in your words
You delight in me


Meditation on the Psalms each morning opens me up to a way to process the reality of life. The ups and downs of human behavior, my own and others is exposed. God enters in the noise of my soul and gives me a focus. In desperation I cry out and God comes in the stillness to comfort the human heart and gives a certain hope. I am surprised by His delight. Psalm 2, 32, 62, 92 and 122 give the long view.

Music In My Soul

January 20, 2015


There is music in my soul
I’ve trained to practice basics
My body is the instrument
My soul holds the strings


When the strings get tight
And stress gets unbearable
A surprising sound
When I surrender my soul
Music flows that brings comfort


I draw near to God
A daily practice I’ve found
When I feel good or feel bad
He always comes near
That is the promise he made
One I choose to trust today


The winds on the sea
Can toss the soul all about
The storm and the rain bring grief
I learned this one thing
When I’ve set my sail to seek
The storms have become a gift


This mystery comes
To all and not just a few
Who choose to seek love
To be defined by what’s true
To align the soul with joy


Freedom is the fruit
Peace passes understanding
My mind and heart are captured
Knowledge will illuminate
Hope is born in the darkness


I interviewed a young musician years ago and asked him how he played the instrument so well. He said, “My coach is a concert violinist. Every day she pulls out her instrument and practices the basics until she gets the sound out of the instrument she wants. I do the same.” My instrument is my body. My soul holds the strings. I found the coach of life eager to train me to be loved and love. Psalm 20 holds promises I have found to be true. The music in the Psalms is what I train to practice. All the best!


January 18, 2015


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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”


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


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


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


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


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.


Psalm 18 gives language to this love.


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.

Worthless Idols

December 31, 2014

The worthless idols
I can name them in my life
Easily deceive
They led me down to the pit
My soul was trapped by these lies
Beliefs handed down to me
From generations
It is good to name
The beliefs that will destroy
Turn from them as enemies
Their toxic darkness
Holds a person in prison
Until the light of love comes
Moving to the light
Across the bridge of seeking
With an honest heart
Things that are true and noble
What is excellent and good
The barriers rise
Awareness of the sickness
Awakened me to the problem
My soul was wounded
And needed the healing touch
Of the Master Physician
Wound – Abandonment
The lie is I must fix it
In me and in the others
I sat with no hope
I turn away from idols
“Be good,” “Perform” and “Be Strong”
Repent of the lies
Revoke them as enemies
Replace them with real truth
Truth that heals the soul
I’m a beloved son of God
Practicing living in the joy
I have found a spacious place
In the morning when I rise
A friend to always greet me
Welcome me to hope
These are reflections after meditating on Psalm 31. There is power in naming the enemies and becoming aware of the enemies that lie in the unconscious. With knowledge, stillness and reflecting on things true allows the Spirit to dismantle the powerful unconscious feelings that tell us we are not good enough. Name them, turn from them, revoke them and replace them with the truth “I AM BELOVED” each day. Joy comes in the day as we practice believing what is really true about us. This will lead us into a “spacious” place in our souls. All the best for a wonderful 2015.. Your Story Matters

Blue Christmas

December 23, 2014


This season brings awareness of deepest joy and unspeakable sorrow!   I think about my mother who for many Christmases sat in desperation at not being with her four children. She abandoned them when they were ten, eight, seven and two in 1950. I found her broken and devastated in 1968, eight-teen years later at the age of forty-five. Jesus’ story of meeting the woman at the well had inspired me to contact her. She had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. She spent Christmas with us in Boston in 1985, and her story and picture were on the front page of the newspaper on Christmas Eve, telling the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. People with hatred, guilt, shame, and broken relationships were at the heart of Jesus’ mission.


The experience with my mother created a desire in me to reach out with compassion, which is why I started Coaching Life Matters. Coaching Life Matters is committed to removing barriers to healthy relationships and restoring people to joy. We are a non-profit educational organization that chooses not to charge for our services. To learn more about the work we did in 2014 and our plans for 2015, please click the link below to read our December newsletter.



If you would like to know more about some of the stories of our work with veterans with PTSD,  Operation Stand Down, (an organization working with homeless veterans), and our work in the prison, you can view video clips in newsletter:


If you are already connected to Coaching Life Matters, we want to thank you for your continued support and encouragement in our work. If you are just hearing about us, please check us out and consider joining us in going “outside the camp.”


May your hearts be filled with hope, and if you are in despair, I pray you will find that “pinhole of light.” Special thanks to Boyle Investment Company, which donates office space for CLM to operate.


Wishing you the best Christmas and a joyful 2015.

Thankfully, Terry and Charlotte

The Future

December 21, 2014


I can see the future me
In the story of His love
His kindness calls me to look
Through the lens of hope


The past and the present blind me
I’ve looked through the lens of despair
Believe the lies handed down
From generations


Where is the security
Restfulness you’re looking for
The feeling of a safe place
It was not in a place


I found that peace in a person
Not in a church or in a group
Alone and in the quiet
Searching to be found


Love came in stillness
Knowledge became my passion
Seeking to do good
To those I meet on the way
I found a fresh way to live


“Stop grumbling and complaining”
Is what I said to myself
I began to be thankful
For the little things


Gratitude opened the door
It gave me new eyes to see
The heart of God became flesh
In one man who loved


Each person gets to decide how to respond to the injustices of life. There is remarkable, incomprehensible greatness in each person. That greatness arises when gratitude fills the soul because there is “nothing on this planet greater than a human being.” *  The story of Jesus and His love demonstrated in real life, real time, real flesh, real pain offered a promise that moves us through the dark times with real hope.

*Landon Saunders


December 17, 2013


Two things will anchor your life

The first is God does not lie

You can overflow with hope

Heaven is for real

The Holy Spirit

Gives you the power to see

And experience the hope

Overflow with joy

Anchored in reality

Illuminated by love


In marriage a struggle comes

Aware of the weaknesses

Others failings and my own

There’s war in the soul

What do I yearn for

What is my greatest longing

Is it for real love

The ever lasting friendship

Of the beloved who’s near


We unconsciously expect

For a person to provide

Those deep internal longings

It never happens


Only God can give

A deep soul rhythm of joy

And dance with the soul

Others can participate

Celebrate with you his love


There is a separateness

For there to be a oneness

A paradox discovered

When we come in trust


This is discovered

Through a life time of seeking

Making choices to trust him

With impossible

Circumstances we live in

We choose his voice to follow
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which (1) it is impossible for God to lie, (2) we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure……” Hebrews 6:16-18


“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13


“….we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently….” Romans *:23-25


No One Can Fathom

July 6, 2013


History tells us

The things that we need to know

Am I listening


The wars, the innocent lives

The raw human suffering

With fear and trembling

But with confidence and hope

I will go with you leading


I will enter the soul wound

Having been wounded and scarred

Broken by ill-equipped ones

Loved in the middle


I’ll not lead with piety

I enter as a wounded soul

Aware of my own sorrows

Meeting in the pain


In my darkest grief

Losses inexpressible

The darkest room in my heart

A gentle light came

A pinhole of light to give hope

There was joy to be found


The God I know forgives me

He came to me in darkness

Showed me what a child is worth

Opened me to love


Every soul I meet

Help me never to label

Or eliminate

Each person has a story

Each one is beloved by God


I’ll not live in fear

I will go with the light of love

With courage to act

With the power of presence

Staying close with compassion


I’ll be wise as a serpent

Gentle dove as my model

Courageous as a lion

Move forward ln light


The wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace will be our guide.  With the Spirit of sonship we will go where we are led.  His promises held high we go forward to meet the prisoners with a message of healing, hope and forgiveness.  As Moses led the way for the slaves in Egypt,  Jesus calls us to join him in bringing the light of life to those trapped in darkness.


Isaiah 9:6; Zecheraiah 9:9; Romans 8: 15-16; Exodus 3:5

Friends in Flight

July 4, 2013


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: 

Our Father’s Heart

June 17, 2013

The reason I’m here …

To reveal our Father’s heart

Good news for the poor

Freedom for the prisoners

He releases the oppressed


The blind will see the light

The sick will be healed at last

The lonely friends will have friends

His promises restore life

His forever love renews


Focusing on Jesus

I have trained to listen each day

My friend forever

I have no greater joy here

Than living with his presence


Enduring the pain

Incomprehensible loss

Grief that overwhelms

He holds me close to his heart

His love secures and gives hope


My lived experience says

I have a friend big enough

To enter my losses with love

And understanding


His compassion draws me

His story is compelling

What mattered to him captures

His mind is brilliant


He always sees the person

Religion has kept hidden

Incomprehensible love

That is in the now


I cannot fathom

The depth of our Father’s love

In silence I come

Laughter breaks forth in my soul

Joy enters the darkest room


The story revealed in the Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have focused me on a real man. The daily practice of choosing who would be the most influential person in my life (over the last fifty years) has led me to inexpressible joy. This is poetry from my soul. It comes out of a lived experience through pain.  This gift of joy is available to all.

Joy and Pain

May 3, 2013

This is a mixture
They seem to go together
A choice can be made
Joy and pain are “twin sisters”*
A surprised discovery
I began this life with joy
The pain was hidden from me
Then surprised me with vengeance
And joy sustained me
A well-spring of energy
Like living water it came
It found me in the despair
Offering me hope
The memory compelled me
I am larger than my pain
I discovered this secret 
Made in God’s image
This huge discovery came 
A love affair ignited
One that cannot be explained
Pursued by God’s love
There is great wisdom
Pay attention to questions
Reflect on your life
Give yourself to the seeking
God is searching to find you
He is running to meet you
With the deepest compassion
You find it in the story
Of God’s unique Son

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  Ephesians 3:16-17


“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  Psalm 16:11


*I got the phrase “Twin Sisters” from a poem my wife Charlotte wrote years ago. 


For my nephew Kirk, on his birthday