Tony A. Smith

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Painting For You

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Priceless Gifts

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Christmas is a time for being with family, good food, giving gifts, and celebrating the birth of Christ. Let us not forget though, that some of the most meaningful gifts we can give come from our heart and need not cost anything at all.  Here are a few of those …..

– Shovel snow off your neighbors sidewalk and driveway.

– Rather than give advice to someone, ask for some.

– Open the door for someone else.

– Read stories in your local library to children or seniors who can’t.

– Help in your local nursing home by  just visiting and talking with some of the residents there who never have anyone to come and visit them.

– Let someone go on ahead of you while in line at the store.

– Give away some of your secret and most favorite recipes to your friends.

– Visit the Humane Society and adopt an animal if you can.

– Smile whenever you can at others. You never know how much you may change their day or outlook on life.

– Save up some fabric scraps and give them away to someone who quilts.

– Write a letter to the editor agreeing with his views on something.

– Volunteer to be a bell-ringer at your local Salvation Army.

– Write a letter to your friends you haven’t talked to in a long time and see how much it means to them.

– Say please and thank you whenever you are given the opportunity.

– Pick up after yourself around the house, and give others who usually do it a break.

– Say you’re sorry when you need to and forgive others when they do the same and are sincere.

– Call your family members on the phone just to tell them you love them.

– Tell someone you are proud of them.

– Be a mentor to a young person and show them the way to go.

– Take a cancer or dialysis patient to their treatments if they have no one who can help out.

– Volunteer to babysit for parents with a newborn baby to give them a night out once in a while.

– Pray for those who need prayer.

– Bake a cake or pie and take it to the new neighbors on the block.

– Don’t hold a grudge more than 12 hours and try to reconcile differences before the sun goes down each day.  It will give both of you a good nights rest!

– Give yourself a gift by not worrying.  It ends up getting you nowhere in the long run.  Most of the stuff we worry about never comes to pass anyway. Worrying is just a changeless proposition.

Christmas Has Done Me Good

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“What’s Christmastime…. but a time for paying bills without money, a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer, a time for balancing your books?…. If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with “Merry Christmas:, on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.  He should!”  so says.. Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

But shall we let the story stop there? I say not…. And with that,  this is how Scrooge’s nephew replies………. “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited.  I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmastime…. as a good time, a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut up hearts freely…. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pockets, I believe it has done me good, and will do me good.”

 

May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

 

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M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S !

M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S!

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M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S!!

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THE SAVIOR HAS COME!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

My prayer for you is that Christmas has done you good, and will do you good this year. Someone was born over 2000 years ago that has done us all good and will continue to do us good…. And for that, I am so very, very thankful this Christmastime.  May you  and your family have a most blessed Christmas!

I know this is a tremendously hard time of year for some who have lost relatives or friends.  It can be a time of overpowering sadness and depression, as the thoughts of those who have gone on ahead of them in this life catapult in as a tidal wave of memories that wash their feet out from under them.  Try to remember those who are alone this Christmas season, not only from a physical perspective, but from an emotional perspective as well.  Show them you care, and let them know it is okay to talk about those who have gone on ahead, and how much their loved ones meant to them, and that they are stilled missed. A gentle pat on the hand, a soft hug, and just being a listener that really cares… goes a long,long way. It is something they need to do, for each time they talk of them, it brings a certain amount of healing. Help them heal..  Gone from our sight… but forever with us… especially at Christmastime.

Family Time

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Have you ever heard people say that the family who sits down to eat a meal together around the table sticks together through thick and thin?  Too often we are so busy being busy with work, running to soccer practice, or dance, or baseball, or football, or another meeting, or shopping, or playing on the computer, or talking on the phone, or texting,  or combing our hair, putting on makeup, or whatever, that we don’t take the time to sit down at the dinner table and reconnect with each other.  There are many who never sit down together and break bread due to overwhelming schedules of life.  It’s a pretty sad shame too, since there are many benefits to eating together as a family if you can fit it in your schedule.  Now I’m not talking about sitting around the television in the living room with a television tray full of food.  I am talking about honest to goodness “Pass me the potatoes please, and how was your day”? conversation.

There are so many benefits that result from being able to eat together and look one another in the eye and actually hear each other breathe.  There was a study done by John Sandberg and Sandra Hofferth entitled “How American Children Spend Their Time,” which was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family which found that having family time meals on a regular basis results in fewer behavioral problems.  According to an article published in 2006 in “New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development”, family time dinners are even more important from a vocabulary standpoint than being read to.  It was found that young children learn 1000 rare words at the dinner table in comparison to only about 145 words from parents who read books out loud to them.  It only makes sense that there is more focus at the dinner table and obviously more comprehension.  No television, no phones, no computers, no noisy noise for a few minutes…. Sounds too good to be true……..but something you might get used to… right?

Being able to sit down and eat together as a family gives you a sense of belonging, and reminds you that you don’t have to face this old world on your own. It’s important especially for young children to give them that sense of security as often as we can.  So if you want to do something good for your family that will last and last, encourage everyone to try to sit down at the table at least for a few minutes, at least once or twice a week if you don’t already. It will make all the difference in the world. Children will remember those times for years to come, as they try to instill the same values, and quiet times in their own families that they were taught and can recall made a difference in their own lives and upbringing. Bind the family together and wrap them with the minutes of together moments forever. “So that’s what breathing sounds like?” Honest to goodness!

 

 

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.

 

 

60 Thoughts For My Granddaughter

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I have been thinking about writing a new book in honor my granddaughter who will be born this May.  The title I am kicking around is called “60 Thoughts For My Granddaughter”

I am not sure where to take it or exactly what to say quite yet, but I know I want to leave some life lessons for her.  I also want to introduce some humor I think for things that new grandpas have to learn along the way, maybe some things they have forgotten and need to relearn.  I am not quite sure yet, but I have been doing some thinking along those lines.

What do you think?  If you have any ideas or thoughts about what I can include, let me know as I just started to try to build this in my mind now.  I welcome any and all suggestions!

 

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.  

United Heart of America

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Well it’s been a few weeks since the election of our 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump,  and there are still those interested in pursuing a recount of votes – like Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party.

While it is true that Hilary Clinton does now lead in the popular vote by 2,357,260 votes with the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania still busy recounting votes, Donald Trump is way ahead in the electoral college by a whopping 104 electoral votes.

We all know that the electoral college is the vote that really counts in electing the President as was set up by the Founding Fathers of America under article 2, section 1 of the United States Constitution. There are a total of 538 electors which are based upon the number of members of congress per state.  The exception is the District of Columbia which has the number of electors of the smallest state which is currently 3. Two-hundred seventy electoral votes are needed to elect the President, or which Donald Trump has 306 already.  Some argue that the electoral college is not a fair system and should be eradicated.  My argument to that insane comment is that there would be no fair balance between the smaller states and larger states in voting for the President if it was abolished.

When I was going to elementary school, there is something we did every single day of school before we would start our day.  We would stand up beside our desks, place our right hand over our hearts, face the United States flag of America positioned in the corner of the room,  and boldly say these words.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Hilary Clinton has already conceded, and it looks as if she does not, and will never have enough electoral votes to win the election, in spite of her lead in the popular vote. Nothing will change the outcome of Donald J. Trump officially becoming our 45th President of the United States in January 2017.

No matter how much we protest in the streets or pout, or want to move to another country, nothing will change the outcome.  Division gets us nowhere as a country. We as Americans need to unite behind our flag and President and move forward as a nation of one now.  We have much to accomplish to make our country even better than it is now!