Tony A. Smith

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A Letter To My Daughter

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“I know that one day soon you will have children and a family of your own.  I keep praying for that and I know GOD does have a great plan for your future.  I hope I have instilled in you a sense of what matters most in life.  When I am gone from this earth I hope you will reflect upon the life we have lived together.  I hope I will have left something you can hold onto that will last and that you can in some way transfer on to your own children.  I hope that you will be able to smile when you think about the times we had together.  Never forget that I love you my sweet, sweet daughter.  I know I have made some mistakes in my life.  I hope most of all that I have made a difference in your life.  I know you have made a difference in mine.  I love you forever my baby girl!”

This is a part of a letter I wrote a few years ago before my daughter was married; and now she is going to have a baby girl of her own to raise and care for.  GOD is good and he does answer our prayers in his perfect timing and in his perfect way!  And now, she has a chance to make a difference in the life of her own daughter.

 

 

Baby Girl Granddaughter

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Well …. we had the reveal party this past Saturday and look what popped out of the box!  Yes!!!! Little girl balloons, so it looks like my wife, Denise and I are going to have a little granddaughter in May.  GOD is great!  Now if I can just remember how to change those diapers….

 HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!!!

 

Cost of Air

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Being Happy

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“Once upon a time, there were four little girls, who had enough to eat and drink and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents…. and yet they were not contented…. these girls…. made many excellent resolutions; but they… were constantly saying, “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that”….So they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said,, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings, and be grateful.”

     “They decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were.  One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that she was a great deal happier with her youth. health, and good spirits than a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to have to go begging for it; and the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior.  So they agreed to stop complaining to enjoy the blessings already possessed.”

Written in the Book – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

True happiness is indeed something that comes from within and does not relate to what we have or don’t have.  It relates to what we make of the day and the time we are given.  I have found in my own life that I am happier when I choose to make the lives of others happier. Everything we have on this earth is a gift from GOD.  The very breath we breathe is a gift.  

This past weekend I was able to see my little grand baby on an ultra sound monitor at only 16 weeks old.  The little baby is 4 1/2 inches long now and weighs in at a whopping 5 ounces.  Yet, as small as our baby is – I saw tiny legs, arms, fingers, and toes moving around and legs kicking like a wild one already. Yes GOD breathes the very breath of life into each of us and what a precious gift a new life is.  I am thankful, and happy I have lived long enough after my widow maker heart attack to be able to see my little grand baby before even coming out of the womb.  

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When I was youngster growing up on the south side of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma we didn’t have much in the way of material things.  My brother and I got school clothes once a year which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts and 4 or 5 pairs of socks.  That was supposed to last us the whole year.  If we got holes in our jeans, Dad ironed on a patch or two to get us through until the next year.  There were many days we went without lunch and breakfast simply because we didn’t have enough money to make it to the end of the week.  I can remember being so hungry sometimes that I even thought about eating the crab grass in our front yard. Dad had an old Chevy that he paid $50 for that hardly ever ran.  Not having much though didn’t seem to bother us. We were content with playing baseball, hide and seek, freeze tag, and enjoying time with our friends.  Even if our stomachs were growling at us begging for food as we sat our desks in school, we were still happy for what we did have. 

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Sometimes when we start feeling down about ourselves, about what we don’t have, or how our life is going, it is best to start thinking about what we do have and in how many ways we have been blessed.  It might be time to look for ways we can be a blessing to others who cross our path.  That’s the path where true happiness can be found. It won’t be found covered up with things, but is waiting for you to find it where it’s been all along.  

GOD Winked

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Squire Rushnell is a former network television CEO of ABC who led Good Morning America to number one.  He is also a best-selling author of “When GOD winks at you”.  This is just one book in a series he has written about uncanny encounters, situations, and experiences people have had with GOD which he calls “GOD winks.”

In his book Rushnell says “GOD’S overall plan for you and me is so much bigger than our small, simple minds can possibly comprehend.  When we demonstrate our faith in him, he provides us with hope, and reassurance, revealing a portion of his plan for us.  Hope is a powerful force in life.  It’s like going into the kitchen, turning on a faucet and being surprised by the water pressure. You almost jump back, giddy that there’s so much energy pouring out.”

A few days ago I had what I believe is one of those “GOD winks” that Squire Rushnell speaks of in his book.  I had tossed and turned the better part of the night worried about things that are happening in my life with regards to family health, and finances, along with things that are happening with the elections and all of the uncertainty that surrounds change.

When I got up in the morning I was in the shower praying and crying out to LORD about what I was going to do and how things were going to work out.  I was totally frustrated and was just so uneasy with things that are going on. Then something uncanny happened.  In my mind, or in my spirit, I felt something say go to page 59 of the “Jesus Calling” book you have on the kitchen table and read it today. For those of you who are not familiar with “Jesus Calling”, it is a great little devotional written by Sarah Young that has touched the hearts of many. many people across the world.  My first thought was – “What?”, “Why would I want to read page 59?” I finished in the shower and decided to read page 59, and this is what page 59 said.

“I am leading you, step by step, through your life.  Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide your through this day.  Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy even precarious.  That is how it should be.  Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things.  When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine.  This, like all forms of worry is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.

Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me.  I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy the journey in My presence trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.”

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All I can say is “Wow”….. GOD really does hear us when we pray, and he really does care. I do believe it was the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD speaking to me.  He knows all about us and all we are going through and it matters a lot to him! I certainly believe he winks at us!

 

 

Troubles Everywhere

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Dream or Reality

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“Last night I woke up from a dream .. Or was it a dream?  For you see that’s where things start to get a little mixed up in my mind…  Let’s just say I had fallen asleep and when I was asleep I traveled to a place where I had been before when I had drifted away.  Not a physical place.  But a place where I was doing something that might be considered unusual.  At least I consider it unusual… You decide my friend…

When I say unusual, it was unusual in the sense that in this world, the visible world, no one that I know of does what I do.  And that is to propel yourself off the ground and to fly.. In my sleep state I was somehow flying feet first through the atmosphere at an extremely high rate of speed until suddenly for no apparent reason I toppled forward and was upright, and there right next to me in a big circle… There were probably 4 or 5 others that I can remember. Three girls and one boy…. Hovering above the ground in a circle bobbing up and down… not touching the ground but elevated some 15 to 20 feet above the ground. They were laughing….at each other…. as they touched close to the ground and then elevated again and again…first one.. then the other… as they stared at me with fascination.

I was amazed as to how the others could fly and propel themselves above the ground since I thought I was the only one.  A young man with a bright turquoise Polo shirt and jeans, short dark hair, and thin body was next to me. His demeanor seemed on the friendly side as he smiled at me.  I was curious as to how long he had been flying…and how far…”So how far have you flown” I asked.  He looked at me with his cold, blue eyes and whispered with his hand cupped to his mouth so as to make sure the others could not hear. I felt his hot breath in my ear.”To the outer edge of the Milky Way, and I’ve just gotten started.”, He said.  “How about you?”

I was shocked to  find there were others who could fly and propel themselves above the ground. I hesitated.  Then  I spoke as well in a soft whisper propping my head against his chest… Weeping with wet tears dropping from my face….I said, “I am very afraid since I have been flying for a long time and I have gone to the outer edges of existence.  I was terrified that I would never come back.  I saw things that were not of this world…many things that are somehow blocked from my memory now.  I told the one that sent me back that I would tell no one what I saw. All I can say is that the things I saw are not of this world and are more beautiful than you can ever imagine.”

In the past, to propel upward, I held my hands close to my legs and pushed down on the invisibility which seemed to elevate me above the ground.  The more I pushed down, the more I elevated. The higher I elevated, the faster I went until suddenly I was in space and then beyond. In my travels I saw an awesome display of millions upon billions of tiny lights spread out across the universes.  I first traveled to cities of the earth in what seemed like a few seconds. After mastering the earth and its surroundings, I ventured out ever further.  It’s funny, I thought nothing of it…..

The longer I was in deep space the more I started to fear not ever coming back.. Something pulled me back though….Not sure what it was.. But I knew I had to come back for something…I wanted more than anything to come back.. even though flying and traveling … pulled at me to continue even deeper into the outer darkness that enveloped my entire being.  The lights would always pull me towards them.

And then I started to wake again… to reality… or was the true reality when I closed my eyes and started to drift off… and then to elevate higher and higher… until I could once again see and feel those marvelous pinpoints of white light against the deep, pure blackness of all eternity.  Pulling at me… inviting me to come closer.. and closer… and closer… and yet further away from the physical….reality…Yet I knew there was more for me to do where I was … for now that is….

The more I pondered these thoughts that might seem insane to some, the more I started to think… Aren’t we all just points of light in this world, hovering above somewhere or flying somewhere. That “somewhere” being wherever GOD places us to be for a moment in time…… There is nothing to fear because the one who places us there is always near and always directs our path to where he has planned all along.  He is the one who connects all the points of life in all galaxies throughout all eternity and determines our destiny..  I guess you’ll have to decide now… was it a dream… or was it reality…??”

Kelly Ann Hayes

It kind of makes you stop and think doesn’t it?  Was it a dream, or was it reality?

 

Dream

Earl Nightingale

Keyholes

Keyholes

Remember when …………

Keyholes were really keyholes.

People went to drive-in move theaters outside and it only cost $2 a carload.  The speakers went on the side windows.  I can’t tell you the number of times my dad started to drive off with speaker still on the window.

Kids would play outside all day instead of playing all day with video games and on the computer.

The only dishwasher was the one with two hands.

The only frozen foods were the ones from leftovers.

There were no microwaves and you actually had to wait to eat your food.

Heroes were really heroes.

Man first landed on the moon.  There were some people who refused to believe it was true and still do.

The Vietnam war was finally over and Walter Cronkite stopped giving the body count on the evening news.

McDonald’s only had a hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, coke, and a milkshake on their menu.  Seems like it tasted better back then too…

Amtrak had the only search engine.

John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. were shot down.  Seems like the world changed in those moments…

You passed out Valentine’s Day cards to all your friends at school.

You just couldn’t wait to grow up.

Michael Jackson sang with the Jackson Five on American Bandstand.

The “Twist” was a dance and not something you did with your fingers to open a bottle of coke.

Sally Fields was “The Flying Nun” and then married Burt Reynolds after being chased by “Smokey”.

We first met a robot in “Lost in Space”. “That does not compute Will Robinson”.

Everyone wore bell bottom jeans and tie dye shirts.

The slinky and silly putty were our favorite toys.

Ronald Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down the wall.

Michael Jordan flew high with Chicago and then tried his hand at baseball.  That’s no bull.

Tom Landry coached “The Boys” and wore that funny hat.

Rubik’s cube became an impossibility.

Donald Trump wrote a book on negotiating.

The Miami Dolphins never lost a football game.

All you had to worry about was what color you were going to use and if you wanted chocolate milk or white milk and when it was time for a nap in Kindergarten.

Clara Peller first said “Where’s the Beef?” in a Wendy’s commercial.

The “Frito Bandito” would sing on and on about the bag of “Fritos” and how much he loved “Fritos” corn chips!

They banned cigarette ads from television.

The only television was a black and white and you had to actually turn a knob or two to get the channel and volume to change.

You wanted to slap “Nurse Ratchet” for being so mean to the patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

“Dominoes” became more than just a game you played with dots and became something you ate.

“Big Bird” got really big and “The Bird” was a professional baseball player that patted and picked the pitcher’s mound.

“Roller Derby” was popular.

“Cabbage Patch Dolls” and “Beanie Babies” became popular.

“Halloween” became a movie.

Garth Brooks sang his first song.

Horses could talk – “Mr. Ed” and “Frances the Talking Mule”.

Sinclair was a gas company with a green dinosaur.

Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose.

The Beetles were first seen on the Ed Sullivan show with their long, mop-top haircuts.

Johnny Carson went off the air.

There were only VHS and Beta recorders for movies.

Polaroid cameras were cool with the instant photographs that could be developed.

You could get a comic book for 15 cents.

Walmart didn’t exist.

You went to your senior prom.

You got your first car.

Kelly Clarkston won the first “American Idol” contest.

“Windows” became more than something you raised for fresh air.

The internet first became popular. I think Vice President Al Gore invented it didn’t he?

Punch cards were used for programming a computer.

Studying for a spelling test and memorizing the multiplication tables was the hardest thing you had to do in life.

You would play “Hide and Seek”, “Freeze Tag”, and “Marco Polo” with your friends.

Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Green Jeans, and Mr. Rogers always made you smile and Dudley Dooright was always doing something wrong.

Life was so much simpler with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and Foghorn and Leghorn.

You could always count on something good happening in Roy Rogers, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, The Rifleman, and Bonanza.

Children actually started their day with a prayer on the loudspeaker in public schools and then the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

It was okay to say “Merry Christmas” and “GOD” in public.

You first found out that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny were just made up storybook characters.

People used to go on picnics and spend time together as a family with a blanket and real food.

Ross Perot ran for President and then ran for the hills.  Should have stuck with EDS Ross.

You could only drive 55 mph on the highway.  Must have had something to do with peanut oil.

Atari and Intellivision were the only video games around and the Vic 20 was a computer that you could afford.

There was no Facebook.

Truman was put on the silver dollar.

Amazon was just a big river.

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie – “The Birds” made us all afraid of birds.

Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, and Green Acres made us laugh.

 

 

 

Moments

Beach Photo

My eyes are closed

Lying here in this warm sand

The crashing waves wash the tiny particles of sand covering my feet

The hands of the sun caress my face

The beach birds go about their own daily routine of begging and seeking what may be left behind

In these quiet moments I realize just how good it is to be alive

To sense the wonders of the created but more importantly the creator

The hard days don’t look so hard in moments like these when I stop the world to listen, to feel,

To sense his presence and what matters most of all

Moments pass

As do the days

Yet it is in the moments that we truly live and move and have our being

Fear not what tomorrow may bring but live this day he says

For today is the day I have given you

The world collides like the waves crash the shoreline again, then again, then again

Be still he says

And the waves disappear into the ocean of my vast love and care

Be still and know

Be still and know that he is

Be still and know that he is always

Be still and know that he is always there