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


Living with the Unseen

September 20, 2012

The unseen darkness will lie
The unseen light will give life
I choose what I will look at
I’ll listen to Him
His words bring me life
I meditate and draw near
My gift is that I can choose
God’s Spirit follows
When I practice believing
His words above all others
I see the unseen
Looking back I’ve come to see
All things pass away
My memories I can see
They are the things that are real
When I trust in God
I cannot be defeated
Death itself cannot destroy
All the fear is gone
I live with a living hope
An inexpressible joy
Some memories give me life
Some memories bring me death
Years of trusting God each day
Brings healing and hope
This is a practice 
Focusing on what is true
Jesus comes to teach
Personal and intimate friend
He’s always glad to see me
I bow in reverence
I look at me through His eyes
I accept His love
Proverbs 20:24, II Corinthians 4:17, 18,
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Mark Your Life

December 18, 2011

Mark your life with joy
Mark your life with vision
Mark your life with love
Mark your destiny with hope
Defeat the past with courage
Trouble is reality
Joy the antidote
I need a fresh wind
Rekindle the fire in me
Set my heart aflame
I will command joy
I have learned to use my mind
I will decide what I think
About life and death
Despair, guilt, shame, fear are gone
When I set head, heart, and gut
Who decides your destiny
Who will decide your future
Who speaks to the real issue
We all want to know
“Religion” fails us
Humans construct it with care
Why does it bring death
The human heart feels judgment
Forgiveness not practiced
Acceptance and love
The keys to relationship
Given free to all
Who seek to know what is true
Who seek to know what matters
I’m being transformed
My joy is larger than pain
Our lives are sacred
A treasure to be shared
The journey grows richer with time
I cannot explain
The joy I live with each day
Eternal friendship
Wisdom can be found
Mark your story with knowledge
What’s appropriate
And how to treat a person
Made in the image of God
“My hands off – heart in”
That means I’m not in control
I will do what I can do
Leave the rest to God
Seek wisdom with all my heart
And wait for the clarity
I am just a man
Ordinary one at that
Aware of my own greatness
Just because I am
With all my failures and sins
I discovered I am loved
So I will show up
I will mark my life with Peace
Like leaven that makes bread rise
A sweet aroma of joy
Will fill up my soul
© Terry S. Smith
December 17, 2011
“I came to give life and to give it abundantly.” Jesus
“Never, never, never give up!” Winston Churchill 
“Nothing in the World is as Important as a Human Being.” Landon Saunders
With thanks to Natalie Allan for sharing, “My hands off – heart in.”

Awake with Awareness

November 20, 2011

I don’t want to change the world
I want to be changed by You
The darkness in me is great
Your light exposes

When I see Your face
And I know that You see mine
Your love cuts through me
My shame and guilt are removed
I’m overwhelmed by Your love

As long as I’m in the flesh
I awake with awareness
My humanity can rule
If I allow it

I have a choice to be loved
To accept his forgiveness
To face the truth about me
The truth about God

I am changed by His story
His teachings have saved my life
I want to know Your love more
Live by Your Spirit

Looking back I see failure
My ignorance grieves my soul
To begin each day with love
Is my only hope

I will look forward
Eyes fixed on the Beloved
Hungry to know Him better
Eager to obey
The one who loves without end
My friend, my Savior, my Lord

I come this morning
Purify my heart, dear Lord
Open my eyes to see You
I cannot fathom
How near and dear Your love is 

© Terry Smith
November 4, 2011

The Real Secret

June 5, 2011

I say to the Lord
Preserve me, you’re my refuge
It is you alone
Who will provide happiness
You’ve given marvelous love
God waited for me
To hit the bottom and come
I chose to surrender now
My judgment and pain
To the one who understands
Who became fully human
There’s no one but God
Who’ll show me the path of life
My heart rejoices
A decision based on hope
I arise from the ashes
The Lord gives counsel
He’s qualified to do that
At night he will direct me
I’ll keep him in sight
Even when I don’t feel him
Sometimes my feelings will lie
You’re my portion and my cup
You give me the living water
Your words make me your delight
I believe your word
I have found you are enough
You are the one who made me
And meets me with compassion
I need your mercy
You, Lord, are my lamp
God, you light up my darkness
You break through the barriers
Lord, you scale the wall
I accept you as my shield
I find my refuge in you
© Terry S. Smith
June 3, 2011
Meditations written after reading Psalm 13, 16-19 and the book “Safe Within Your Love”, by David Hazard.
Dedicated to my precious daughters, Sara, Melissa, Margaret, and Elizabeth.

The Unseen Gift

May 2, 2011

Help me understand
What it means to fear God
To have a knowledge of God
Do not be afraid
His gentleness and kindness
Will teach you to stand in awe
His Divine Power
Will provide all of your needs
Magnificent promises
Will restore your joy
You will escape corruption
Your life will be filled with hope
The Lord gives wisdom
You will hunger for knowledge
Your faith will increase
Self-control will mark your life
Forgiveness and love controls
What is right and just
Faithfulness and loyalty
Integrity above all
Lived with compassion
It’s speaking the truth in love
This takes practice and training
I do just one thing
As I rise in the morning
I seek to listen
To the voice that brings me joy
Twenty-four seven He loves
Understanding guards my life
I’ve discovered the secret
This secret found me seeking
I’m never alone
It’s an unseen gift
By faith I have discovered
A love without end
Faith, goodness, knowledge
Practicing what I have learned
Has given me hope
I will persevere and train
And I will never give up
No one can deny
When they’ve experienced love
It changes the way I look
At myself and at the world
©Terry S. Smith
Meditations written after reading Proverbs 2, Psalm 121,


April 23, 2011

To read the true story this poem is based on click here.


Mary and Martha

Their hope did not come

When they wanted Him to come

They were grieving and broken


Jesus disappointed them

He did not come when they called

He did come with a surprise

With power and love


He came to them right on time

To teach them new things of God

They knew He was their good friend

They knew He was God


“Your brother will rise to life”

His presence revealed this truth

He wept when He saw Mary

He knew her name well


Yes, He knows your name

He also weeps for you now

He knows your story and your grief

He is here for you


He asked for Mary

She heard Martha whispering

“The teacher is calling you”

To come and see Him


He is calling you

Do you hear His whispering

His voice can be heard

Use both heart and mind

And focus on His story


Dedicated to our special family friend Michelle.

First posted on my daughter Sara’s blog “A Spacious Place”.   


March 16, 2011

I see your handprints
Looking back I sit in awe
Your gentle hand led
Me out of captivity
Into a world of freedom

In my anguish I cried out
There was no comfort for me
No one saw how desperate
How broken I was

I longed to find peace
To feel the presence of love
To find the understanding
Someone to listen 
My search born of emptiness
In the prison of my shame

A deep loneliness
A soul shattered by my guilt
With no one I could turn to
No language to speak
The years of abandonment
Unspeakable grief lingered

I felt like I was nothing
My failures condemned my soul
My heart confirmed my no hope
No one could help me

I remembered her
My grandmother on her knees
The joy of her love
Her delight when she saw me
The light of love in her eyes

The light I wondered
That twinkle of joyfulness
I knew God was real
I could feel him in her touch
I knew she deeply loved me

My struggle was to believe
That there was a higher love
My thirst to find out the truth
Find a way to live

She opened the door
Her kindness drew me to search
Knowledge is what I needed
My hunger increased
Something in me was driving
Something larger than my pain

I went to the mountain
Got a vision of the peace
Saw joy inviting
An invitation to love
To receive it and give it

My mom and dad were clueless
I did not know why they raged
Or why they could not see me
Now I understand

My search for insight
My longing to understand
My hunger to not repeat
Find a way to peace
Give my children faithful love
Created a great passion

This longing marked me
A fire to discover joy
A mystery ignited
Determination to know
How to be loved and to love

Meditations written after interacting with the thoughts in Psalm 77 and Proverbs 16.
© Terry S. Smith
March 16, 2011


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



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.


Thankful with all my heart

November 25, 2010


What I seek with all my heart

Is what will control my life

I will decide what that is

What matters most


Relationship wins

What do I hide in my heart

Be aware of this

Secrets will rule under stress

The light of life brings healing


I will hide your words

At the center of my life

They are words of love and hope

Demonstrated well

By one compassionate life

Full of grace and forgiveness


No one can compare

I’ll meditate on what’s true

It is hidden to be found

Only those wanting

To find out the real thing

Will recognize God’s presence


I’ll open my eyes

Look carefully at what’s true

Decide to follow


A simple life speaks

His words are my treasured gifts

They breathe life in me


I memorize them

They are written on my heart

Unleash imaginations

Reveal the real world

When I examine His life

My soul rises to the joy


His teaching practiced

Has given me wings of joy

Soaring over circumstance

Of daily drama

Given by generations

Handed down through the darkness


A fish out of water

A bird put under water

Will soon die quickly


Water for the fish

Open air is for the birds

God’s word is for man


When out of their element

All will have trouble breathing

And will surely die


I have learned the joy

When I practice His teaching

I am captured by His love

I’m close to His heart

He came to me in despair

His story delights my soul

I run in my heart

My body is breaking down

My life is renewed

Internally I seek Him

The morning brings me great joy


His guidelines are giving life

In trust I seek to obey

I discover mystery

When I act on truth


I experience my God

As my friend and companion

When I let his words run deep

Meditate and act


An intimate connection

Takes place in the human soul

When I accept forgiveness

From my Creator


I love His guidelines

They have taken the load off

Today I run after them

They’ve set my heart free

To live in a present joy

© Terry S. Smith

November 25, 2010


Reflections written after meditating on parts of Psalm 119.  To live in joy one must train on all three levels of personality – head, heart, and gut.

The body is a beautiful instrument of God, and we must practice the fundamental guidelines to discover the sound of joy that lives in the soul.

Because He loved me on the dark side of my soul, I am compelled by His love to seek to practice obeying and living in His presence each day.


my quest

September 6, 2010

A train wreck, then a crisis
Each day on television
Lives shattered, then a movie
That tells it again
We keep telling the story
Feed our minds with the same things
Doing the same things over
Hoping things will change
When will we stop and listen
Seek understanding and peace
From the One who can give it
Divine intervention
You say, I don’t believe it
Can life be different
The cycle keeps repeating 
There is nothing new
I beg to differ
As one who was handed death
Loneliness and despair
Abandoned by mother
A father who had no hope
A life traveling in darkness
I engaged my mind
Read ancient proverbs each day
Looked for those who were living
Studied history
I sought out understanding
From those who wanted to live
Poetry read in the Psalms
Of a king who failed in life
Murdered, stole, and filled with lust
Was restored to joy
You say it can’t be
It is not real, it’s a crutch
That’s the way you see
There may be information
Outside the box of your world
No one escapes pain
We all “get it in the neck”
I’ll choose how I will respond
A gift that we have
Otherwise I am a robot
I discovered I can think
I want to know who speaks
To the deepest hurt I have
That has been my quest so long
A longing fulfilled
Yes, there is real hope
Delightful inheritance
Bigger than the grave
A spirit world does exist
It will take your best thinking
To not react but inform
Be responsible
I experience true love
Not just in the spirit world
The Proverbs have fathered me
Psalms have mothered me
Strange combination
A secret that I have found
Two kings led with failure
Recovered with hope
Advice born out of real life
So very similar to mine
Psalms and Proverbs
Please meditate on these words
Each person chooses
The path that they are taking
It is the freedom we have
Darkness was turned into light
Help came flooding to my soul
I have found a “spacious place” 
In early morning
Even if it cost all you have
Get understanding for life
Embrace wisdom and find honor
Joy for the journey
© Terry S. Smith
September 4, 2010
Written after meditating on Psalm 16-20,

Souls refined

June 22, 2010

Life’s pain is like a furnace
The soul is refined by fire
Hope is born in the process
Joy is discovered
Those of us who know the pain
Who still live in it today
Can listen and understand
And offer new hope
© Terry S. Smith
Dedicated to A. Thomas

Be still

January 8, 2010

We all need a hiding place
To be quiet and be still
Where safety is all around
And you hear a song
The song is a song of hope
Of deliverance and peace
My soul leaps for joy
My heart overflows
A different beat
Rooted in the joy of love
That’s larger than life
Why can’t I hear it
The distractions are many
The voices are just too loud
I’ll learn to be still
I will train to listen well
I will choose the voice of truth
The snare comes in pleasing men
Giving others the power
Expecting them to give me
The life that I want
I’ll not live in deception
I’ll not live my parent’s way
They lost their relationship
And we all suffered
It’s never too late
To start all over again
You are forgiven
Terry S. Smith
January 7, 2010


December 17, 2009

Christmas season brings the lights
Lighting it up with hope, joy
Looking to give and receive
The Light of the world
Light within is the answer
Many walk in dark places
Confused and afraid of the night
Because they can’t see
There is a presence
Given to all who believe
A love without end
Where can I find peace?
The most important question
Asked when I was young
Wisdom is what I needed
Insight to find a new way
A longing for what is true
A way to find peace
© Terry S. Smith
December 16, 2008


October 31, 2009


I’ll never give up

Seeking to know what will work

To enhance this life

To make things better for all

Seeking how to live with joy


I’ll begin with me

I’ll learn to care for myself

In all dimensions

Then I will share with others

With those who want to listen


There are five things I need

Awareness of greater love

Food to eat and forgiveness

Leadership and hope


These I seek each day

I live in discovery

In each of these areas

Because I focus


My answers don’t satisfy

Those looking for a quick fix

But those who will choose to search

Will certainly find


Finding others who’re seeking

Working with the same questions

Makes the journey much lighter

Friendships develop


© Terry S. Smith

October 27, 2009