Tony A. Smith

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Baby Girl Granddaughter Photos

granddaughter

Just wanted to share a quick photo of my granddaughter from 4 weeks ago.  This was done on an ultrasound machine in Arkansas and they say baby girl was 21 weeks and 5 days old at this point. The doctors were apparently concerned about low amniotic fluid and other complications which requires my daughter to give herself shots in her stomach area every day during the pregnancy. The medical team highly recommended that further testing be done because of the high risk.

We had been praying for her prior to the ultrasound test at our church and all along for good health.  My daughter was sleeping with her prayer cloth on her from the church every night.  We believe in Acts 19: 11-12 and the use of prayer cloths or handkerchiefs in our church. “According to Acts 19:11-12 “And GOD was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick and their diseases left them and evil spirits came out of them.”  When my daughter and granddaughter were tested they say everything was perfectly normal and the medical staff could find nothing wrong.  

Praise the LORD!  All is well!  She is a perfectly healthy little girl.  Please keep baby girl and my daughter in your prayers. 

Tremble

indian-oklahoma

REACHING OUT

Reaching Out in All Directions

Look at this tree how it just keeps reaching out.  It kind of looks like it is just trying to grab as much sky as it can and just keeps reaching out!

Have you ever thought about how powerful words are and how you can make a difference in someone’s life just by the words that come out of your mouth if you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you.

Stop and think about GOD and how he created the earth we live on. Before he created the visible world we live in there was just a spirit world.  There was absolutely nothing that could be seen.  He created all that there is with just his words.  Just by speaking!

You as a believer have a part of GOD’s spirit living inside of you. So your words have power every time you speak them, whether in a negative sense or a positive sense.  So be careful with your words!

When Christ died on the cross for you and me, he died for our sins which represents the vertical part of the tree he was nailed to.  He spread out his arms and hands for us horizontally as well.  I believe that he is telling us by reaching out his hands that he wants us to be his hands to help bring others to him. 

So “reach out” and let your words and your hands be used to bring others to him wherever and whenever you can and remember the last words Christ spoke when he was on this earth.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Acts 1:8-9 KJV

Thirty-Nine

Cloud 39

There are a total of 39 major disease categories known to exist according to the World Health Organization.  Those diseases are as follows.

Infectious disorders, infertility disorders, neoplasms, perinatal conditions, endocrine disorders, skin and subcutaneous disorders, nutritional disorders, musculoskelatal, connective tissue disorders, fluid and electrolyte disorders, congenital anomalies, inherited metabolic and immune disorders, nonspecific abnormal findings, hematologic disorders, other and unspecified mortality and morbidity, Psychiatric disorders, injuries, substance abuse, poisonings by drugs, medicaments, and biologicals, neurological disorders, ENT and eye disorders, effects of foreign body entering through orifice, cardiovascular disorders, toxic effects of substances, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and lymphatic, other disorders and unspecified effects of external causes, certain adverse effects not elsewhere classified, respiratory disorders, complications from a procedure or device, dental disorders, complications of medical care, digestive system disorders, genitourinary disorders, gynecological disorders, factors influencing health status and contact with med care, breast disorders, health services (V Codes), pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium, morphology of neoplasms (M codes)

Isaiah is perhaps one of the greatest prophets in the Bible.  Almost one- third of the chapters of this book of the Old Testament have prophecies about Jesus Christ that talk of the first and second comings of Jesus.

In Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV – Isaiah writes the following words. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

It is interesting to note that Isaiah talks of Jesus and wrote these words some 750 years before Jesus even came into existence.

flagrum_romano

It is common knowledge that Jesus was flogged or lashed 39 times before his crucifixion as was the Jewish custom.  Those being flogged were to be lashed no more and no less than 39 times.  And those doing the flogging were to do it with such extreme force that if there was to be a 40th lash, then the victim would surely die.  Holding back was not something that a Roman lictor wanted to do for they themselves would receive punishment.  Each lictor; as they were so-called would take turns, one on each side of the victim, as they inflicted the harsh punishment.  The instrument used to inflict the punishment was called a flagrum which was really a short whip.  It consisted of several braided leather thongs with iron balls and sharp pieces of sheep bones tied at various intervals. The clothing was removed, hands were tied whereupon the scourging or flogging commenced. First one side, then the other side of the back would be smashed with the flagrum as the leaded balls dug deep into pieces of mutilated flesh.  The flogging resulted in deep contusions that would tear and rip the skin creating lacerations and quivering  ribbons of bleeding pulsating muscle and skin.  Many of those who were flogged went into shock and never survived long enough to even be crucified. The pain was tremendous!  

419px-William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_The_Flagellation_of_Our_Lord_Jesus_Christ_(1880)

In the new testament Psalm 103 the Bible states the following. “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”

Isn’t it interesting to note that Jesus was lashed 39 times before being crucified.  And isn’t it even more interesting that there are 39 different types of diseases.  Jesus heals all our diseases according to scripture and took a lash for each one. He heals and forgives everything!

002-jesus-crucified

The number 39 also relates to the hours in which Jesus hung on the cross.  Jesus hung on the cross from the 3rd to the 9th hours.  There are also 39 books in the Old Testament of the Bible.  If you look further at the Old Testament of the Bible you will also find that the last word in the last book of the Old Testament (Malachi) is the word “curse“.  Jesus died to save us from the curse and to heal us. 

Malachi 4:6 KJV

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse“.

Looking further at the correlation of the “law of sin and death” and the number 39 again we can turn to the Old Testament in Genesis 2:16-17. GOD uses 39 words to set forth the “law of sin and death”. 

Genesis 2:16-17

“And the Lord God commanded the many saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. “

Yes, if you count all of the words of the “law of sin and death” they do in fact add up to the number 39!  The word impurity is also used a sum total of 39 times in the Bible. 

It’s mysterious as to how all these numbers add up.  I guess we really shouldn’t be surprised though since GOD had it all planned out from the very beginning with the number 39, and I am very glad he did.

Great Memory

NASA Hubble Space Photo

NASA Hubble Space Photo – Nebula in Milky Way Galaxy

How many names can you remember of the people you have met in the past?  I have a hard time remembering the names of someone I met even a few months ago.  I do much better remembering faces.  I know there are little tricks and tools you can use to remember names to associate with the faces, but I just never really learned those tricks.

Can you imagine being able to remember more than 150 sextillion names?  Yes, that’s 150,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 names!  There are more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy which is known as the Milky Way.  There are also probably more than 150 billion galaxies outside of the Milky Way.  The Sun is 93 million miles away from planet Earth.  The closest star to us is Alpha Centauri which is really a triple star system that is bound together by gravity.  Alpha Centauri is 4.24 light years away from us or approximately 25 trillion miles.  That just gives you the magnitude of our galaxy alone and how big GOD really is.

 GOD created all of the stars and all of the galaxies in existence.  In Psalm 147:4 KJV it is written “He telleth the number of the stars, he calleth them all by their names.”  All I can say is wow!

 

Human T Cell

Human T Cell – NIAID – Wikimedia Commons

Scientists have determined that an average person weighing approximately 154 pounds has roughly 70 trillion cells. Yes, that’s 70, 000,000,000,000 cells in one single human body.  There are approximately 7.125 billion people on planet earth today or approximately 5 octillion human cells in existence.  GOD created every cell just like the stars and knows about every cell.  “I will praise him; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works, and that thy soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 = KJV.

What a big and amazing, all-knowing, all-powerful GOD!  He is so big and great, and yet he cares and knows about each of us and what we are going through at every moment in our lives. He knows about every single cell. He knows each or our names and has inscribed them on the palms of his hands.  He cares about our welfare and has great plans for us just like all of his creation.

Peace and Destruction

This is a peaceful scene of a Japanese fisherman fishing off a bridge in the mountains.  This hand painted and signed Japanese silkscreen painting has something that is not so very peaceful associated with it though.  As a matter of fact it is the opposite of peace and relates to utter and complete evil. and destruction.  Perhaps you will be able to understand what I am referring too with a little more information to follow here.

The painting was given to my father-in law by an architect in Detroit, Michigan many years ago when he was working with him on some projects as a contractor in the Detroit area.  My father-in law, Albert Petrucci was close friends with an architect named Minoru Yamasaki who gave him this painting at the conclusion of one of the projects they worked on together.  Minoru came to Detroit in 1945 and started out working for a firm called Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, and then went on to form his own firm called Yamasaki & Associates.

Minoru Yamasaki is best known for the design of the original twin towers called the World Trade Center towers in New York City.  At one time, the towers were the tallest in the world at 1368′ and 1362′ tall.  The towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001 when al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist flew American Airlines planes into the buildings. The buildings stood for more than 30 years and were leveled within 1 hour and 42 minutes on that fateful day when almost 3000 people were murdered.

wtc-9-11-small

John 10:10 KJV

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 14:27 KJV

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, nether let it be afraid. 

 

Cardboard Signs and Doritos

Homeless Corner

A few days ago I took a drive up to a local convenience store by my house to buy a soft drink and a bag of Doritos.  I don’t know what it is, but every now and then I just have this craving for a Pepsi and a bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos.  There is just something about that combination that I really like.  Maybe it’s all that salt, caffeine, and sugar that keeps me coming back.  Why do they have to place all those Doritos bags on the end of the aisles where they are constantly whispering my name the second I walk in the door anyway?  Just like they place all those toys for the Happy Meals at McDonald’s right at the kids eye level to try to entice them to scream at their parents until they get what they want.  I usually sit in the car as soon as I make my purchase, eat the whole bag of Doritos and gulp down a 32 oz Pepsi.  It is like a special treat since we usually don’t keep that type of so-called junk food around the Smith house.

This time I had my car parked up near the front of the store just outside a Red Box movie location when two guys walked up close to my car with scummy looking backpacks on.  I didn’t think much of it at first until I happened to glance up after polishing off my last Dorito and I see a young man who looked to be about 16 years old waving to me with his left hand and trying to talk to me.  I had the windows rolled up so I couldn’t hear what he was saying and to tell you the truth, I was really just trying to ignore him because I pretty much figured he was homeless and he was trying to ask me for some money.  This kid looked pretty clean-cut but the older guy he was with looked real dirty, had a long stringy tangled up beard, and his clothes were pretty well disheveled and wrecked out just like the baseball cap on his head.

The young kid kept motioning to me and I pretended not to see him as I kept my head down, put my truck in reverse and pulled out of the parking lot.  I am not sure why I pulled out so fast without even offering him a single dollar, but I did.  Maybe I wasn’t sure of what he would do, or maybe I was not sure what the other guy with him might do but I left anyway and headed back to my house which was only about a block or so away.  As I drove down the street to my house, the Holy Spirit started dealing with me, and asking me why I didn’t help those two guys when I had a chance. I only had ten dollars with me at the time, but I could have given them at least a few dollars.  I stopped before I got home, turned my car around and went back to the Red Box location to see if the homeless guys were still there and they had already left.

Yesterday while I was on the way to an office store I pulled up to a red light just before the freeway on ramp and there she was. The sun was shining bright and I had the music turned up loud.  All I wanted to do was to get to the store and get back home.  I couldn’t avoid her though since I was at the front of the line and she was standing only about 15 feet from me.  Her hair was long, grey, and a total mess as it blew haphazardly in the wind. Her clothes were dirty and crumpled all over.  In her withered, rough hands she held a cardboard sign that read “Homeless  and Hungry Please Help – GOD BLESS YOU”.  She looked to be about sixty years old.  My windows were rolled up again.  I opened my wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill, turned down the radio, rolled down the car window  and motioned for her to come over with my hand hanging over the edge of the door.

She approached the car and we just stared at each other for a few seconds without saying anything as I gave her the five dollars.  I broke the silence and asked her if she was okay.  “What an ignorant question to ask someone who is homeless?” I thought after I had already blurted out my stupidity.  She stared back at me deep into my eyes and with a mouth full of missing teeth said ” I don’t have a home now and I was beat up”.  I grabbed her rough hand, held it in mine and said, “What’s your name?”  “Donna”,  she said.  I replied – “Donna I’m sorry, I will pray for you.”  “Thank you so much”, she said.  And with that she walked back over to her position she was in where she was pleading with her sign for people to help her.  I rolled up the window since the light was getting ready to change and she glanced over at me. Just then I could see her mouth say the words – “Thank you”, as I put my foot on the gas and pulled off.

I made it to the Staples Office store which was only a few blocks from where Donna was standing and pulled into the parking lot. With tear drops wetting my eyes I bowed my head down on the steering wheel and prayed for Donna.  I realized in that moment that it could be me or anyone for that matter.  We are all only just a few paychecks or sicknesses away from standing on a street corner just like Donna.  I know I should have done more.  So many times in the past I’ve driven on by the homeless and tried to ignore them as if they were invisible.  Thank you LORD for making me see those I have made invisible with my own eyes and for giving me another opportunity to help those in need.  All we have belongs to you anyway GOD and we are just managing what you give us.

 

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also himself shall cry, and not be heard.

Proverbs 21:13 KJV

Israeli Gold

ISRAELI GOLD JERRY M HILL EBOOK COVER

Check out this new historical fiction book by Indie author – Jerry M. Hill on Amazon available as a kindle and paperback at the following link – Israeli Gold .  This book will keep you guessing all along with its many twists and turns!

“Gold…. What exactly is gold?  Why have men always sought after it?  Well, here is a brief description of its characteristics.  A fairly soft, heavy, ductile, corrosion-resistant, malleable metal.  It is opaque with bright metallic luster.  It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.  It is used as an international monetary standard, in jewelry, for decoration and for plating.

Long before the modern age gold was sought after because of its rarity and beauty and workability.  It has been used for money, cast objects, inlays, overlays and as a symbol of wealth.  Over the centuries gold has been used a hedge against inflation or devaluation of other commodities.  In many less developed countries today gold is worn as a necklace or other jewelry to contain ones primary wealth.  If you need to “bug out” it’s there with you.

Gold is mentioned more than any other metal in the Bible.   It is used to express beauty, purity, splendor and value.  The New Jerusalem is described as being made of gold.  Jesus said, “Buy of me, gold tried in the fire”.  It is a symbol of purity, of being unchangeable, of immutability.  “For I am the Lord, I change not, therefore ye son of Jacob are not consumed”, Malachi 3:6.  Follow Mark’s journey as he seeks the treasure.

The story begins the day before a planned backpacking/prospecting trip to Mexico.  Mark, the primary character, is having difficulty falling to sleep.  His mind is wandering back to a trip he and his wife had made to Israel two years previously when sleep finally comes.  He awakes at the oar of a first century slave ship off the coast of Caesarea.  After a lashing and violent confrontation with the ship’s company he is able to escape by jumping overboard.  In the rapidly approaching darkness he finds himself treading in salt water, unable to see a shoreline and ship slipping from view.  The backpack, which had been left next to his bed, was looped over his arm as he left the ship now helps him to stay afloat.”

Letters of Our Life

Letters of Our Life

There have been some outstanding tapestries that have been woven over the course of human history.  One such tapestry is that of the “Apocalypse” which shows scenes of Revelation from the bible, and is some 459 feet in length.  The people in our life become part of a beautiful tapestry carefully filled in by GOD over time.  Our lives are influenced and changed by our friends, roommates, family members, teachers, neighbors, and coaches.  We are what we have received as a gift from others.  Even our spiritual lives are a gift from GOD.  Gradually over time we are perfected into the person we eventually become.  All the voids of our tapestry are filled in with what we experience and learn, or have to go through in life.  Nothing is happenstance in life as the loom and threads remain in the very capable hands of the weaver and creator of all life.

Similar to a tapestry, each important moment of our life represents a letter.  Our life is made up of a collection of letters that in the end becomes a book which tells the story of our life.  The story has been written in advance by GOD.  Our story is made of a series of letters with many parts.  The errors of any misspelled words are corrected, scratched out, and replaced with words that are a better fit.  Sometimes our letters are rewritten or influenced by others in some way.  A few sentences are changed around here and there until the final draft is complete.  Mistakes are made and we learn from them while adding yet more words to our final story.  In the end the letters of our life are finalized.  They are bound together to form a book with a beautiful cover wrapping the contents in magnificent splendor.

A Glove With Holes

Cardinal

I first started playing baseball as a youngster in Oklahoma City in first grade for the Crooked Oak Cardinals.  The first game I played they started me at shortstop between second and third base.  The coach said I did a good job since one of the first balls that was hit by the opposing team was a high fly ball which ended up landing right on top of my head. The hat cushioned the blow a bit, but my head still throbbed for the next several innings.  The coach just smiled and said “Way to use your head Tony.”

I loved everything about baseball. I loved the sound of the ball coming off the bat with that cool cracking sound. I loved kicking the red Oklahoma dirt in other kids faces and spinning around in circles when waiting on the batter to finally hit the ball.  I loved that chattering sound that the coach taught us all to do when the opposing batters were trying to hit the ball when we were in the field.  “Batta Batta Batta … Come on batta batta batta…… swing…. “.  I loved just getting together with my friends and having fun.  I loved how we would go for ice creams after the games sometimes.  But the thing I loved the most about baseball was the smell of the glove that I had to always keep on my left hand when we were in the field.  I would place my glove on my face when we were in the field just to get some extra sniffs of that awesome smell of leather.  There is just something about the smell of rawhide leather and playing baseball.  I don’t believe there is anything much better in this world, do you?

Baseball_glove_front

When I first joined the Crooked Oak Cardinals to play baseball, the coach told us to all go buy baseball gloves at the store. But he also told us to make sure we bought a glove that didn’t have any holes in it.  They passed out some white shirts that day that had these real pretty red Cardinal birds on them.  The only thing I needed was my baseball mitt. Dad took me to the sporting goods store one day after work so that I could get my glove before we started practicing the next day.  We finally found our way to all the baseball stuff and it looked like a lot of other people had the same idea that day.  The aisles were filled with adults and little boys my age.  Dad and I started looking at gloves together.  He picked up one and said, “How about this one son?”  I looked it over and tried it on my hand. “This looks like it fits Dad.”, I said. “There is a problem though.” “What’s that son?”  “This glove has holes in it and the coach said to not get a glove with holes in it.”  There were holes everywhere in the glove that I saw.  There were holes in between the fingers, and holes where all the laces went through, and holes in the web thing that catches the ball.  The worst part of all was that every single glove in the entire store had holes in it.  Dad just smiled at me and said, “This glove will be okay son, that’s not what your coach meant.”  There was another father standing nearby, and he just grinned at Dad and said.”You don’t want to have a glove with holes in it now do you?”  I wasn’t very happy to be leaving the store with a mitt with holes in it that day.  It wasn’t until later that I found out that what Coach had said was just a joke.  After all, how can you catch any baseballs that come your way with a glove that has holes in it?

That’s how life is too.  Our life can have holes and never gets filled up the way it should.  Aren’t we all searching for something to fill up our life?  We desire to be peaceful, comfortable, and to know where we are going in life.  GOD made us for himself and we will never be complete and full apart from the LORD.  We will always have a glove with holes in it when we are separated from GOD.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified Bible

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time.  He has also planted eternity (a sense of divine purpose) in the human heart (a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except GOD) yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what GOD has done (his overall plan) from beginning to end.

GOD set eternity in the heart of man.