Christmas Conversation

December 22, 2014

I rise to see you

To come into your presence

Through faith I see love

*

I am not a fool

The one who made the eye can see

The one who made the ear can hear

The beauty of life

The masterful creation

Speaks to the honest human

*

Honest questions discovered

As one experiences life

Leads to a surprising joy

Of human greatness

*

Taste and see the Lord is good

He will not “should” on your life

You’re responsible to seek

Search out what is true

*

Most people react

Don’t look at the obvious

Look past the problem

Understand yourself and God

I discovered real friendship

*

When you’re seventy

It is time to speak and say

Truth I have learned to live by

Brokenness and peace

The freedom of forgiveness

Joy that surpasses knowledge

*

This painful process

I have sought to know what is true

Many failures and loses

Have taught me to listen well

In suffering I find found peace

*

I have hurt many

I have been failed by many

There is one who has not failed

His love forgives me

And I forgive the others

Who I hope can forgive me

*

My failures and yours

Will not stop me from loving

For I can give what’s given

Love the unlovely

That is in me and in you

It’s the work of God’s Spirit

*

So when Christmas comes

It’s time to begin again

Remembering the Advent

Love Demonstrated

One human who made it clear

How to bring peace on this earth

*

Reflections inspired by Psalm 20 and 50. May God’s peace be in you that sits above the circumstances. May the joy of Christ’s Presence fill you today.

Dedicated to Steve Brumfield 

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Two Emotions Experienced

February 15, 2014

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As a Valentine gift, my book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Lightis free on Kindle: February 15-16, 2014.

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When I come into the light

Two real things happen to me

One of them is the great joy

The other is grief

 ~

The joy of being forgiven

The grief is the damage done

I meet the joy and sorrow

I’m broken by both

 ~

Looking back I can see it

I see the love that pursued me

I see the darkness I lived in

The joy and grief merge

 ~

I ask my children to tell me

What I failed to give to them

They are reluctant to say

They are being kind

 ~

But I know the truth

I could not give them something

That I did not have

 ~

I am forgiven

It’s ok to realize

I had direction

I did not have perfection

The truth can still help me grow

 ~

I live in my Father’s love

A gift I receive daily

We meet in private each day

His invitation

 ~

So joy and sorrow

Come with walking in the light

Love overcomes all

 ~

Hear his gentle words

He says, “Do not be afraid

My Peace be with you”

 ~

So sometimes I weep

With no language for the pain

For the hurt I caused

The compassionate Christ comes

Gives me His Holy Spirit

 ~

Yesterday I went to a prison to speak to the inmates as they begin a study of the Sermon on the Mount.  His words have brought me a way to practice how to live in the reality of both the sorrow and the joy.  His brilliant words practiced lead to real life.  They are using Jim Woodroof’s book ,“Famous Sayings of Jesus, that breaks open His teaching in Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

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My book, Delta Blues: From Darkness to Light  is highlighted today on my daughter Sara’s blog “A Spacious Place”.

www.coachinglifematters.org

Awake with Hunger

January 27, 2014

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I recognize Him

His presence in other ones

His presence in me

His power works in weakness

That is why I qualify

~

I awake with a hunger

To be near the one who loves

Who will give me a fresh look

And teach me new things

~

Remember where you came from

Touched by His loving kindness

No one can fathom this love

Another worldview

~

Taught me how to look at you

Taught me how to look at me

Teaches me how to live in joy

Controlled by His love

~

How you view yourself

With your head, heart and your gut

Is a transforming process

A life time journey

 Living one day at a time

A disciplined focus

~

The beauty of this

Found in the relationship

You are taught by God

God himself is your teacher

Question: “Do you believe this?”

~

It’s  been my experience

When I come with a hunger

To know what is reallly true

God surprises me

~

I meditate on His thoughts

I decide what I believe

His story captures my soul

New energy comes

~

Faith comes in my weaknesses

This love surpasses knowledge

His thoughts rekindle the fire

In my inner soul

~

I’m introduced to friendship

I’m being chosen and loved

A friend who will never leave

Says, “Don’t be afraid!”

~

I’m introduced to friends

I never knew I needed

Friends who share the same deep love

My community

~

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”   Moses – Deutoronomy 31:6

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“Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”   Peter – I Peter 3:4

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“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.”     Paul – 2 Corinthians 4: 6-7

~

“But he said to me, My grace(My favor and loving kindness and mercy) is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully), for my strength and power are made perfect in (your) weakness.  Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weakness and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”   Paul – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (Amp)

Dedicated to our family friend, Michelle

Leaning

January 22, 2014

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I’m leaning on you
In a world of unbelief
May we be like stars
That shine in the deep darkness
Beauty of your handiwork
~
I choose where I look
A secret discovery
Comes when I focus
I’ve learned just one thing matters
I have been surprised by joy
~
Be clear on one thing
Think it through with all you are
Your head, heart and gut
~
Purge your imagination
Truth is what I must pursue
Relationships are dying
Therefore, I will seek real love
And I found it in one man
~
He has ignited my soul
Refreshed me in solitude
Rekindled the fire in me
And guided my steps
~
His Spirit awakens me
His loving kindness comforts
His presence surprises me
Radiant love comes
~
Trouble will always be there
It’s the landscape of this world
It’s the reason God showed up
Became one of us
~
He gave a way to follow
Those who practice discover
The way of love is narrow
And few will find it
~
If you will practice these things
Recorded on that high hill
You’ll discover a new way
That’s certain and true
~
Sermon on the Mount
These famous sayings practiced
Matthew five, six and seven
Will show you the way
They tell about the one thing
They will bring light to your path
~
The book ,Famous Sayings of Jesus , by James Woodroof is the clearest writings of how practicing these teachings work out in real life.  A.A. (Alcohol Anonymous) practices these all over the world and millions of lives and families have been saved because these teachings are being practiced.
~
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make at right and plain your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (Amp)

 

Joy Discovered

January 15, 2014

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Beauty in the brokenness

Out of the darkness the dawn breaks

Through death we see life reborn

Joy is discovered

~

What is it that needs to die

How can light come in the darkness

Why must I start with chaos

Is there a secret

~

You’re not a human doer

You are a human being

Question: How do I be me

Freedom is calling

~

Question your worldview

Who defines reality

Whose voice do you trust the most

That’s your decision

~

The question is not “What works?”

The question is “What is true?”

Whose voice can I truly trust?

Challenge core beliefs

~

The beliefs you adopted

To survive and be secure

To gain some significance

To have some control

~

Security/Survival

Searched for by the unconscious

Are developed by a child

By the time they’re twelve

~

Affection/Esttem

A real unconscious longing

In the heart of all

Will determine your actions

In the world you live

~

Power and Control

How others will perceive you

The image you will present

To hide the true self

A powerful protection

Is toxic as an adult

~

These beliefs were gifts

As a child when growing up

Now they are toxic

That leave the mind in chaos

Hidden idols that must die

~

Children: the best recorders

Are the worst interpreters

Unless stopped will define you

Keep you in darkness

~

You have been given a mind

You must train to think clearly

Face the struggle with courage

Who can set you free

~

These beliefs destroy

No one can measure up to

Be perfect and perform the best

Always be happy

~

Where do you begin

Choose to go against the lies

That have worked so long

Die to these and replace them

With the higher love of God

~

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Paul – Philippians 4:7

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“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Matthew 14:30

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“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

 

You can find more information on this subject in my book:

Delta Blues: From Darkness to  Light  www.coachinglifematters.org

 

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Anchor Point

December 28, 2013

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I will choose an anchor point

A way to look at the world

A way to look at myself

And other people

~

There is a fresh spring

Of living water to drink

Each morning I arise with

A thirst for real life

~

There is a fresh joy

An intimacy given

To those who seek truth

The transcendent will show up

In surprising ways and times

~

Develop the discipline

Trust the process not yourself

Have faith in something bigger

And never give up

Looking for the unseen truths

That give insight to the soul

~

I build space, reflecting

I choose the focus of life

That’s a privilege I have

I will trust in someone

The question: “Who will that be?”

I’m responsible for that

~

The people were delighted

Seeing the wonderful things

Love demonstrated

For the broken and lonely

For the sick and afflicted

~

One man has captured my heart

He told about the mustard seed

That grew into a tall plant

How leaven changed things

~

Reflections written after reading Luke 13 out loud, and meditating on the following thoughts.

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“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever present help in trouble.

Therefore I will not fear, though the

the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the

heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with

their surging.”   Psalm 46:1-3

~

“Blessed are those who learned to

acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence.”  Psalm 89:15

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Question:  What are some surprising ways the transcendent has showed up for you?

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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
~

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
~

I’ll lead with forgiveness

Through the door of compassion

Touch you where needed the most

Give understanding
~~
There will be no obstacle

I can’t overcome in you

God does the impossible

For those who seek him
~

“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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Longings

December 17, 2013

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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

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“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

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“….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

 

Tears Water the Soul

July 13, 2013

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Time for crying and laughing

There is a time for all things

Yes, grieving and believing

Tears water the soul

 ~

With joy we will rise

Out of the ashes we come

It’s a time to look closely 

At what matters most

 ~

In my deepest darkest time

When there was no hope to rise

I became aware 

Incomprehensible love

Swept my soul into the joy

 ~

I will concentrate

On listening to the person

Knowing their story

Understanding their world view

And what controls under stress

 ~

Who will call the shots

When I am in the crisis

Will I be prepared

To love as I have been loved

To give as I’ve been given

 ~~ ~

I have found a key*

That will unlock one’s story

I found God in the middle

Of each person’s life

A secret that’s been hidden

Ten thousand stories tell me

 ~

No one can fathom 

The intimacy of this love

One who counts the tears

Who knows and understands you

Who comes in your darkest hour

 ~

*The key is a tool that I use during my life coaching sessions.: Coaching: Life Matters

Psalms 56:8; Revelation 17:14; John 15:13-15; Romans 8:26,

Jesus Calling – Sarah Young

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

The Big Question

July 3, 2013

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Two things offend God for sure

When we judge one another

And indulge in self hatred

Who gave us this charge

 ~

The higher love comes

Magnificent promises

For those who listen

~

Getting past yourself

Arising to behold God’s love

He knows your story

Decision each one can make

A painful but joyful choice

 ~

Thinking clearly brings power

It cuts through the distractions

Awakens a whole new world

From the inside out

 ~

Transformation can take place

Energy is ignited

When I decide to give thought

And take the action

 ~

Distractions follow feelings

Feelings are ruled by the mind

Winds of desire can destroy

Or they can give life

 ~

So the big question

Is what do I really want

The answer shapes the vision

Then the questions form

I follow seeking knowledge

Being shaped by the answers

 ~

Respect for myself

And for all those around me

Even enemies

Leads me to reconsider

And think about what matters

 ~

I will decide that

Not a generational

Relational lie

That will revolve around me

But revolves around life

~

Thank you, Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, for your thoughtful comments on the following passages.Luke 6:37; 2 Timothy4:8; Titus 3:4,5; Romans 8:1

http://www.coachinglifematters.org

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.

A pinhole of light

June 16, 2013

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A “pinhole of light”
Comes in the deepest darkness
Hope found me waiting

There’s a room of loss
In the heart of everyone
I go to the pain

Death cannot hold me
I am not afraid to live
A gift I receive

Joy is to my soul
What blood is to my body
This belief I hold

A certain unseen
Available to each one
Unspeakable love

Everyone has an amazing story. I believe each person is being pursued by inexpressible love. Make time to reflect. I am indebted beyond words to so many who have made that love real to me by the way they live. These things, along with my personal story, are discussed in my book “Delta Blues – Darkness to Life”.  It will be available in the fall. The introduction to my book is on my new web site:
http://www.coachinglifematters.org/delta-blues.html


Thank you, Landon Saunders for this deep true heart felt line I heard you speak 16 years ago: “Joy is to your soul what blood is to your body.” Thank you, Paul, for what you said from prison about not fixing our eyes on what is seen and but on what is unseen because what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. Thank you, Sarah Young for sharing your interpretation of Jesus’ invitation,”When you approach me in stillness and trust, you are strengthened.” Thank you Rebecca Greer for your words, “pinhole of light.” Your story inspires me beyond words.

Joy is my lived experience!

Joy and Pain

May 3, 2013

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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

The Invisible Factor

December 7, 2012

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Looking back I see
The invisible factor
In solitude I found it
A love without end
The people I hold sacred
Are the treasures of my life

~

Two things are invisible
Hidden wanting to be found
There are evil intentions
Then there are the good

~

What takes place in me
My emotions and feelings
My invisible thinking
Will direct my life

~

You will not see it
You’ll know it by my actions
There are no secrets

~

So I’ll guard my heart
I’ll decide where I focus
The gift that I have
Is I get to make the choice
I choose invisible joy

~

I am free to go
Follow the internal lead
Choose who I will trust
Looking back I am aware
Of a love who seeks me out

 

     Reflections written after meditating on the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:29-31; and Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:18; Colossians 2:2-3. and in Hebrews 11:27. The invisible factor will always rule the choices. No exceptions!

     I celebrate this morning I get to choose who it is that will be the most influential thinker in my life today. The book “Jesus Calling” is a good place to start. I have learned that I am powerless under my feelings. They will dictate the choices unless I recognized and understand where those feelings are taking me. The invisible lies must be exposed. Also, it helps to know where they come from. If you will train to think through your choices, to look down stream at where those choices are taking you, to seek help from those you see are living in joy, and to call on the One who brings this mysterious love, you will find your way to joy.

~