Hidden Surprise of Joy

January 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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Invitation

January 18, 2015

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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”

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Psalm 18 gives language to this love.

 

Secret Treasure

January 17, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I am Beloved.

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

 

Path to Joy

January 15, 2015

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Knowledge is priority
A cheerful heart leads the way
Secret things will come
When love’s received
When I get over myself

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Understanding is the path
Your story and the others
To do this I must listen
Search for the wisdom

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Insight comes to those
Who seek it with all their heart
Who have the courage to ask
Move outside the box
Of religion and the world
I focused on a person

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I sought the counsel
Of those who know how to love
Know how to be still and hear
Not fix me but help
Point to possibilities
Give respect and room to think

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Their cheerful look brought me joy
Good news brought health to my bones
Friendship born in acceptance
With laughter and song

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I will pursue righteousness
I will hunger for the truth
I will make love my focus
For myself and God

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God teaches me how to love
Brings me freedom to be me
Enhances those around me
Surprises with joy

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My simple prayer to God is this.

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I want to please you
To bring joy and love to you
Be light in the world

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These reflections come after reading Psalm 45 and Proverbs 15.

Good Conversation

January 13, 2015

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Good conversation
Is available to all
Who will receive love

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One person I will talk to
Is the one who initiates
Who reaches out with kindness
In the little things

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This person I discovered
Is willing to listen well
And is full of surprises
Begins in silence

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It’s hard to be still
The noise of the “to do” list
Imprisons my soul
And stops me from seeing me
And the one who loves me so

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I get sick of me
I’m the root of the problem
The one who loves me says “Stop!”
“Be still and listen”
The God who made you loves you
His only Son gave His life

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I decided to trust Him
Take His word rather than mine
Enter this love covenant
Respond to His gift

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He gave me His Spirit of Peace
The forgiveness I longed for
Conversation I needed
Based on a promise

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This resurrection promise
Has the power to change things
And restore my wounded soul
He knocks at the door

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It’s a daily thing
I practice with discipline
A choice I can make

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“Behold, I stand at the door”
Is the voice I’ll listen to
I will enter His Presence
And rest in His Love

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True words are powerful. They set a person free to be fully alive inside. I train to live from the inside out as a way of life. God, Creator of the Universe made us in His image. He made it clear by the love demonstrated through His Son that we are His priority. Every person counts with God. He always listens and responds uniquely to each person who calls out in response to His Love. I believe with all my heart that you are favored and Beloved. I could be right!

Awake Expecting

January 8, 2015

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Awake expecting
To hear things you need to hear
From your Creator
Speak to my heart, soul and mind
Let love dominate my life

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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

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You bestow honor
And glory on all of us
Made in your image
At conception it’s given
Love never stops pursuing

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My guilt is heavy
A burden too much to bear
Failure consumes me
Wounds fester and bring sickness
To my soul, body and mind

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I sit in mourning
Feeble and utterly crushed
This searing pain comes
I groan with anguish of heart
My longings lay before you

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My sighing is not hidden
“My heart pounds, my strength fails me”
The light has gone from my eyes
No friends are in sight

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Neighbors stay away
Traps are set to destroy me
Deception is all around
I’m blind to your light

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I’m like a deaf man
Whose mouth offers no reply
With no voice to speak

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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

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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

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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

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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

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These promises were fulfilled
Stated in Psalm sixty-eight
We would all do well to look
And believe His word

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Our God is a God who saves
Who daily bears our burdens
From him we escape from death
My heart fills with praise

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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.

Love Pours Down Like Rain

January 5, 2015

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I wait in expectation
Morning by morning I seek
To listen to your kind voice
To walk in the light

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Those who tell lies crush others
Homes are destroyed, children lose
The safety and love God gave
With two loving souls

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No word can we trust
Hearts are full of destruction
Only action speaks

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I found a place of refuge
Place I can be glad again
God can restore the real joy
Spread his protection

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Those who love your name
Will find a place to rejoice
When we seek a pure heart
Our eyes are opened
Love pours down like the rain
We experience God’s love

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Forgiveness from God
Is the greatest gift of all
Then we can forgive
The one we have hurt the most
The offense against our souls

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We wounded ourselves
Lied to ourselves and others
Miracles of forgiveness
Comes to those who will repent
Accept God’s love and give it

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God will run to receive you
Others will be unable
Celebrate this gift and give
Others time to heal

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Reflections from Psalm 5 with awareness of the Father-son relationship in Luke 15.
Your Story Matters http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

Worthless Idols

December 31, 2014

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The worthless idols
I can name them in my life
Easily deceive
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They led me down to the pit
My soul was trapped by these lies
Beliefs handed down to me
From generations
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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
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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
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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”
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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
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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 http://www.yourstorymatters2him.com

A Lifetime

December 30, 2014

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What lasts a lifetime
Something that will never end
It is God’s favor
He brought me up from the grave
And spared my life from the pit

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Anger is short lived
Weeping may last for a night
Rejoicing comes in the morning
Because God is near
Lifted me out of the depths
And he made my life secure

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When I feel secure
I realize this one thing
A love much larger than me
Establishes life
Gives me the impossible
Anchors my soul in the truth

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My wailing turned to dancing
My cry for mercy came true
I’m lifted out of the pit
Favored and Beloved

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I give you thanks forever
One day at a time I come
My eyes and heart are open
My mind is captured

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Healing always comes
It is God’s precious gifting
To those who believe
Accept His gentle favor
Sit quietly and be loved

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Dark times drive me to the light
A surprising thing takes place
When I’m honestly looking
My soul is refreshed

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These are my reflections from Psalm 30 looking back over these short seventy-two years. The dark times have driven me to light. Oswald Chambers is full of insights into this secret in his book “My Utmost for His Highest.” All the best to us all as we begin this new year. We are all favored.

Soul Maker

December 29, 2014

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No one understands
The depth of the human hurt
It is emotional
Runs deeper than the ocean
And higher than the heavens

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I can go so far
Confess my limitations
Say, “I’m unable”
To be there on that level
I cannot comfort you there

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I’ve tried that and failed
The deep places of the soul
Can only be helped
By One much larger than me
Only the “Soul Maker” heals

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This mystery discovered
In the depth of my despair
When my soul cried out
I had no language to speak
The inner groaning of my soul

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“Where is God,” I say
Why God if you’re really there
Do you let us suffer this
Desperate grief

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I asked, “Who are you?”
When I began to seek you
You came in the deep darkness
Brought light to my soul
Gave me new information
About you and about me

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Now I am hungry
Arise each morning to seek
Be still and listen
There’s someone who hears my cry
Who loves me as His dear son

*
Psalm 28:6
“Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield;
my heart trusts in him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
And I will give thanks to him in song.”

*
David speaks of where he found help!

Light

December 27, 2014

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To say I’ll walk in the light
Brings me joy and great sorrow
Because I can remember
And I am aware

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When I walked in the darkness
I was blind and did damage
To myself and other ones
This is the problem

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I lost some good friends
Who gave to me from the heart
I took and did not return
Give back the love gift
I know I’m hard on myself
That is still all about me

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Growing up is hard
When one misses the stages
Others will suffer
Maturing comes through the pain
The trials and the hardships

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What is good in me is this
I was looking for the light
Darkness is what held me captive
My tears called his love

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Confusion and the chaos
Growing up was the challenge
Navigating the losses
Is what each must do
No one escapes the darkness
No one can hide from the light

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Moments of silence
In the abandonment years
Came my life questions
Suicides, alcohol, grief
Love entered in little ways

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Pinholes of light came
Little kindnesses given
A smile and a gentle word
Of affirmation
Were the surprising moments
Were embraced with great delight

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Light brings the delight
Forgiveness breaks through with joy
For myself and the others
This love was revealed to me
Through the life of Jesus Christ

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He led with real compassion
His gentleness drew me in
Religion orchestrated
Making sure he died

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He died a horrible death
I cannot even fathom
The magnitude of this loss
Love it represents

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He is my pinhole of light
My failure as a human
Is connected to his death
And resurrection

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I have peace today
Forgiving myself right now
Forgiving others
Accepting the light of his love
And giving it to others

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I’ll make no demands on you
We can be a reflection
But not the reality
God is near to love

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These secret truths are revealed all along the way in the process of growing up and deciding to never give up! There is so much to learn on the journey and I hope to never stop learning. One thing I am determined to do is never stop moving toward the light even in the darkest hour. The movie “Unbroken” is a good example of light coming in the darkness and the power of never giving up. Love never fails. It must start with me and not the other person. Forgiveness opens the window of the human heart to the light of inexpressible joy!

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“Delta Blues From Darkness to LIght” can be reviewed on Amazon and is $0.99 cents on Kindle. It is my story of the painful but hopeful process of continuing to discover light.

^

A Christmas Gift

December 24, 2014

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I’ve received a gift
It’s the divine grace of faith
I offer myself
My mind will be your workshop
My heart will be your playground

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My soul flourishes
I will be God’s workmanship
His poetry in this world
Living with a fire
Accessing this deep friendship
Gift available to all

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Please form Christ in me
I will be engaged in truth
Feelings will not deter me
I accept your love

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Christmas Truth

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The littlest child
Hidden in a manger still
I sing “Silent Night”

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The light of the world
Coming down to bring real joy
Unending love given all
Who will believe it
Historically certain
It is verifiable

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Please consider this story
Don’t take others word for it
Religious or atheist
You can decide this

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Consider all things
Get all the information
Respect your judgment
Listen to your broken heart
Listen to the heart of God

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I’m given a mind
A heart, soul and a body
Time to consider
What is true – what is not true
I have chosen to believe

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The littlest child
Hidden in a manger
Was the Son of God
I am alive to live it
I am free to share the joy

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Death has no power
I have chosen where to stand
A resurrection
Has taken place in my soul
Both now and forever more

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Why Christmas?

December 23, 2014

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I will meet with you alone
There is no greater moment
Than being in your presence
The secret treasure

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You delivered me
From the bonds of slavery
A prison inside

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My heart demands perfection
I can never measure up
To be able to please all
It’s impossible

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So I stand guilty
Behind the bars of performing
Looking for affirmation
So someone will see
I am a person of worth
My grief and losses scream out

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I have hidden faults
Secret ones that condemn me
I can’t measure up
Beliefs about me are a lie
I keep looking for relief

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I found in silence
Behind the condemnation
The noise of judgment stopped cold
When I looked in eyes
Of the Creator of life
Who showed me that He loved me

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Stillness is so hard
Because my own heart condemns me
I need to be held
Comforted like a small child
Held in the arms of my friend

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I found this unseen love
In stillness God came to me
I focused on His dear son’s
Compassionate love

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He knows each of us
With understanding He comes
He has chosen you
Knows your name and your pain
Says, “Your are my Beloved”

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I could be right about this
“You are Special and Beloved”
I’m not talking religion
But relationship

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Friendship that’s deep and lasting
A friend who will never leave
A joy that’s unspeakable
Love that cherishes

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This secret treasure
Is for all those who seek truth
Who decide to fight
Begin by caring for self
Take responsibility

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I have found the light
My soul searched with compassion
And the message, “I love you”
Comes with knowledge
Understanding the story
That God became a human

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I sing “Silent Night”
The reason for the Season
In stillness He comes

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Early morning reflections from Psalm 19

The Future

December 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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I awake with a hunger

To be near the one who loves

Who will give me a fresh look

And teach me new things

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Remember where you came from

Touched by His loving kindness

No one can fathom this love

Another worldview

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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

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The beauty of this

Found in the relationship

You are taught by God

God himself is your teacher

Question: “Do you believe this?”

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It’s  been my experience

When I come with a hunger

To know what is reallly true

God surprises me

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I meditate on His thoughts

I decide what I believe

His story captures my soul

New energy comes

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Faith comes in my weaknesses

This love surpasses knowledge

His thoughts rekindle the fire

In my inner soul

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I’m introduced to friendship

I’m being chosen and loved

A friend who will never leave

Says, “Don’t be afraid!”

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I’m introduced to friends

I never knew I needed

Friends who share the same deep love

My community

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“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

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“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