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


My Desire

February 25, 2015


As I prepare to enter the soul country of the lives broken by terror the Psalmist led me to write my response to these Psalms. 25, 55, 85, 115 and 145. Slow down and listen to the unseen voice of the Maker of the Heavens and the earth and get in touch with “Your Desire.”


My desire is to bring you
My life, my soul, my passion
Show me and teach me your ways
Guide me in your truth


You’re the healer of my soul
Lifted me out of the pit
Quenched my thirsty soul
In quiet I come


When I am silent
I remember my failures
My weaknesses I ponder
I hunger for you
You receive me with kindness
Your mercies draw me to you


When I draw near you
You always come with your joy
Incomprehensible love
Rooted in history
Promises that never fail


I choose to believe
This revelation of love
Confronts us humans
Who wander in wilderness
Looking for the face of God


I found the freedom
To live spontaneously
Meditate and consider
Accept my failures
And the failure of others
See through eyes of compassion


it’s fun to be free
To know I have the freedom
To choose what makes sense
Many voices are calling
I found one I can trust


The past affirms this
The present brings me His peace
The future I celebrate
Eyes opened by the Spirit
To see the unseen as the Real


Five Decisions for Life

February 22, 2015


I need the tools
The ones that open the mind
To inexpressible joy
There’s a way to find peace
That passes understanding


Five decisions must be made
First a decision to live
Then don’t make friends with your pain
Are two essentials


Now you are ready
Take Responsibility
Stop blaming others and self
This is the big one
There’s no growth till this happens
Life begins with your beliefs


The past is a gift
You know what you don’t want
Or you know what you do want
Get a clear vision
Of who you are and what you want
Then you will know the questions


This is the big one
Decide you are worth fighting for
Yes, you are worth it
Your value is in being
You must learn to love yourself


So there are five gifts you must give yourself
1) Decide to Live
2) Decide to Not Make Friends with Your Pain
3) Decide to Take Responsibility
4) Decide to Get a Clear Vision
5) Decide You Are Worth Fighting For


All the best on your journey.


For more information go to http://www.coachinglifematters.com.

How Do You Set Your Mind?

February 9, 2015


The focus of the children
How beautiful and loving
Need direction from your word
Because you give life


Love awakens us to joy
Arising each morning to pray
I will listen first then speak
Respond to the truth


Truth always comes through kindness
Although at first it’s painful
To see the lies I live by
Keeps me in the darkness


What are the lies that destroy
Do I really want to know
It’s painful to discover
My own false beliefs


It takes courage to seek God
Not knowing what you will find
Can I believe He is real
Loves me as a son


Such beauty among the young
Fresh, alive and full of love
Put your hand on the children
Trouble lies ahead


We will focus on the joy
The promises and the friendship
Because there is certain hope
For those who believe


I won’t live in fear
God promised, “I’ll be with you
Never leave or forsake you”
Courage will follow
When your love is much larger
Than all the trouble around


I will set my mind
My heart and soul long for
The gift to live free
Focused on His greatest gift
His inexpressible love


I was asked to speak this week by Lael Caldwell who leads a “Round Table of Business Men and Women” on the topic of “How Do You Set Your MInd?” I chose to share this message with the Woodmont Hills family yesterday. If you would like a copy you can email me at terrysmith5@comcast.net and I will give you the address where you can order it.

Last night I sat with Charlotte at a “Sweetheart Banquet” and was served and entertained by a group of amazing young people. The above reflections come out of listening and responding to yesterday’s experience and the reading of the Psalms this morning. Psalm 9 and 39 along with meditating on John 15:1-17 was the focus this morning.


Setting my mind each day is absolutely the most important thing I do to take care of myself.


He Counts Your Tears

January 26, 2015


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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”


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.

Joy Discovered

January 15, 2014


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



Searched for by the unconscious

Are developed by a child

By the time they’re twelve



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


“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


“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



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.

Battles in the Secret Place

December 27, 2013


“Our battles are won and lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world….Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point–a great crossroads in our life.  From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest–our best for His glory.”         Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest


I’ll walk in the light

The first thing I’ll do is sit

In the secret place

One minute, ten or twenty

Alone contemplating love


How I interpret the facts

Will determine directions

Wisdom is needed the most

We are subjective


And who defines love

My lived experience speaks

That’s my decision

This is subjective, I know

One life captures my soul


Some things are true regardless

The sun rising and setting

The seasons will come and go

Death is a sure thing


Who speaks to the death

What about the injustice

I will make a decision

Consider the facts

Interpret them in some way

I’m responsible for that


“Since ancient time no one has heard,

no ear has perceived,

no eye has seen any God besides you,

who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”  Isaiah 64:4


“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  Jesus – John 15:5


“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”   David – Psalm 36:9


Delta Blues From Darkness to Light  speaks to inward battle in the secret place – my new book available now at www.coachinglifematters.com

One Love Reaches In

December 26, 2013


Many things happen

That wound the souls of people

No one can fathom

Rejection from your parents

A soul that feels abandoned


One love reaches in

The Everlasting Father

Through His only son

To say how much he loves you

By giving His life for you


The Wonderful Counselor

Is given to each one who asks

Who surrenders to this love

Says, “Your will be done”

On earth as it’s in heaven

This has been tested and tried

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The man who fears is not made perfect in love.”  John – I John 4:15-18
“The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  Moses – Deuteronomy 33:27
“But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in our salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”  David – Psalms 13:5



Finding what matters

I’ve discovered a secret

Being still and quiet

Listening in the morning

To the dawn chorus singing


I think about the reason

What is my purpose today

Recognizing reality

This may be my last


I will focus on one thing

Do the will of my Father

Be intentional and act

On the greatest truth


Love as you’ve been loved

Give as you’ve been given to

Little things mean alot

Give no strings attached


The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond

I John; Psalm 20; Luke 1:79

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

The Big Question

July 3, 2013


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


God the Initiator

December 16, 2012


I have heard his voice
The voice of the Beloved
My God and my friend


He speaks in the night
And comes to me by day
My part is to seek
To surrender all my heart
My mind and my soul today


He has already spoken
Through the life of his dear son
If you need more he will give
He knows what you need


I trust the one who loves me
Who kept silent at his death
And raised him from death to show
Everlasting love


I know my first love
There is no one to compare
Fifty one years I’ve followed
Stumbling in his arms
Only to discover this
God’s the initiator


God initiated his love by sending his only son. He need not speak again, but he does. He will come to you when you need him, in the way you need him. His voice speaks loudest in the sending of his only son into the world. I pray the world is listening. I pray I am listening. I pray the advent of his coming into the world means he comes into my heart like a fresh spring today.

Miracle Presence

November 14, 2012


I will listen to one voice
The one that can be trusted
He has been tested and tried
He heals all my wounds


This daily practice
Of choosing not to worry
Just because he said
“Don’t worry about your life”
“What does worry add to you?”

I have found a key
For healing and freeing men
Helping people move forward
Through obstacles
Understanding your own story
The richness of your own life


If you look within
The wounded places stand out
You survived the pain
Do you know the reason why
And where to find the healing


He knows your story
Understands right where you are
And offers healing
Who is this one who is present
Who makes a promise of life


Know his story well
Listen only to his voice
What he says is relevant
Connected and true
I know how much he loves me


I’ll be strong and courageous
I will not give in to lies
I’ll be kind and merciful
And love without end


Because Jesus loves
I’ll love you with the same love
Forgiveness at the center
Miracle Presence
I believe with all my heart
His resurrection power


Energy given
When I decide to believe
And act in obedience
Against my feelings
Then his healing touch will come
I drink the living water


“Faith needs to meet people where they live otherwise it is irrelevant.”  Glenn Hinson


For fifty-one years, I have asked the real hard questions about human relationships.  No one has made more sense to me about life than Jesus of Nazareth.  His teachings and the way he treated a person were contrary to the religion of his day.  They killed him for it.  They are contrary to the religion of my day.  What mattered to him was the person.  It will take your best mind to look carefully at your own story, and his story to make the connection.  The distractions of your own pain, and the distractions of others vying for your time and energy are formidable obstacles.  When Jesus said, “I came to give life and give it abundantly” I said he is either a liar, crazy or telling the truth.  I was in such a desperate state I was compelled to search out the facts of his story.  I wanted to know how he put his pants on, who he ran around with, what was important to him, because he gave a promise that was outlandish, but one I so desperately wanted to be true. 


Reflections this morning are from Jesus Calling , by Sarah Young as well as Luke 12:22-26, II Corinthians 10:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, John 4.


Who Are the Heroes?

November 12, 2012

On the front page of Newsweek dated, November 12, 2012, the headline is entitled, “The Heroes Issue”.  General Petraeus is recognized for his 12 Rules of  Leadership.  His fifth rule is: “We all make mistakes.  The key is to recognize them and admit them, to learn from them, and to take off the rear-view mirror-drive and avoid making them again.” 

“Life breaks everyone”

A line that is familiar

But some become strong


The human heart will judge you

Whether you are religious

Or just believe in yourself

On the twists and turns of life 

You’re wise to seek good counsel


The ones who can admit

Tell the truth about themselves

Come out from hiding

Hold themselves accountable

Then arise from the ashes


The General Petraeus 

A leader in the country

Told the truth about himself

Then resigned his job


Many condemn him

His own heart judges him most

How he handles this 

Will be the test of his life

King David can be of help


Power does corrupt

Pride makes one vulnerable

Easily deceived

Lust will dismantle the soul

Greed poisons the human heart


A leader has fallen hard

His great opportunity

Is to model now a way

To be forgiven


One way to escape

The deep judgment of your heart

Meet one that’s greater

Who knows your story so well

Who loves you like his own son 


General Petraeus, your story is not over.  God meets you with the same compassion he met David the King, the “woman at the well”, “the Centurion”, “the thief on the cross” and me.  I pray mercy reigns for you, your wife and your children.  Let the world see now, how a leader rises by the grace of God.

Ernest Hemingway stated: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up to us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”Romans 8:32, Psalm 51

With Great Joy I Move

October 13, 2012

With great joy I move
Not because where I go
But who is with me
On level ground I will stand
To the mountains I will go
To the valley I am sent
But never alone
I’ll not live in fear
Though evil is all around
I am confident
One thing I will seek
With my eyes fixed on beauty
A relationship of love
When the trouble comes
He keeps me safe with his peace
A song in my heart
I have seen the face of God
In the servant lives
Of those who have surrendered
Moses, David, and Peter
My confidence is in this
Each of these lives were broken
The light came through their failure
A love beyond words
God has been faithful
For generations it’s love
And, also, today
Looking back I can see it
Looking forward I claim it
Based on reflections from my own life, 
Psalms 26-30; Proverbs 6; and
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young