Tony A. Smith

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Christmas Has Done Me Good

scrooge

“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.

Israeli Gold – Free Days

ISRAELI GOLD JERRY M HILL EBOOK COVER

Jerry Hill

Jerry M. Hill

Check out this free book “Israeli Gold” on Amazon by new author Jerry M. Hill. This is a historical fiction book about the promised land of Israel brought to life by a modern-day time traveler – “Mark”.  Jerry’s book is full of adventure and brings to life the many places and prominent people throughout the land of Israel.

Mr. Hill has taught the Bible for more than 50 years and has traveled throughout the land of Israel. If you have never been to Israel before, but wanted to see what it looks like through the eyes of a time traveler – step on over at Amazon and pick up a free copy for the next 5 days until this coming Thursday!  Click the link below to take you directly to the book site.

ISRAELI GOLD

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!  

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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!

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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.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2015 Rhema

I am not sure why some people are afraid to say what day December 25th is when they place an X for the Christ part of Christmas.  I am also not sure why some people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas!  Isn’t that what December 25th is? Christmas is a day that changed the world forever.  Merry Christmas to everyone!  May GOD bless you and keep you. May the good LORD turn his face to you and be gracious to you. May he shine his face upon you and give you peace. Have a very Merry Christmas!

 

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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.”

Then Came The Son

Sunrise Broken Arrow  10 27 15

Then Came the Son

They say my eyes are always red

How would they like to be me instead

My mouth tastes salty and dry

I smell peppermint candy nearby

Grab a piece and give it a try

I hear the hands of the clock moving slow

Maybe its time to go

I clash and bash in this never-ending fight

Oh deep dark blanket of the night

All hope has vanished from my sight

Ice cold tears drop one by one to a puddle on the sheet of my bed

I turn one way, then another to rest my hair frazzled head

Worn with worry and the grip of life

There is too much in this strain and strife

I turn to face the sky

Reach up my hand and ask why

Why … Why….. Why….

Then comes the SON

The only ONE

A warm hand illuminated by some bright white light

Reaches down to mine in that dark night of fright

Cascading from heaven above

Pulsating and filling me with his pure love

Then came the SON

The only ONE

Altar Call

Baptist Church Oklahoma City

This old church used to be a Baptist church and is the one I first started going to when I was a kid in Oklahoma City.  Every now and then my brother Tim, and I would invite a few neighbor kids to go with us.  One Sunday morning we invited a friend named Lawrence who had never been to church before.  At the time I was in seventh grade and Lawrence was in the third grade.

That Sunday we sat in our normal seats which was about fifteen aisles from the front.  Lawrence sat between Dad and I, and Tim sat next to me on the outside seat.  Lawrence spent most of his time fidgeting and drawing snowmen on scrap pieces of paper with a pencil he found in a round holder in front of him.  He stopped drawing and moving around in his seat at the very end of the service when the pastor gave the altar call.  If you are not familiar with a Baptist church, most Baptist preachers in a Baptist church give an altar call and ask if anyone wants to come down to the front to be saved.  It is not just once in a while.  The altar call is every service.

The preacher started the altar call and asked if anyone wanted the LORD to save them and to come on down to the front if they felt led by the LORD.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when Lawrence got up out of his seat and walked to the front where the preacher was standing all alone.  When he got up to the front our preacher bent over to have Lawrence whisper in his ear.  The pastor was about six feet six inches tall so he had to lean over a good distance to get down to Lawrence’s mouth to hear what he had to say.

After hearing what he had to say, the preacher just leaned back up, smiled, and then pointed his long skinny index finger to the right hand set of wooden double doors which Lawrence quickly walked to and through to the other side.  The preacher continued on talking to wrap up the altar call and soon Lawrence emerged from the double door area and returned to his seat next to mine.  I wasn’t quite sure what he did up there so I leaned over and whispered in his ear , “What happened up there?”  Lawrence just looked back at me with a puzzled face and said, “I asked him where the bathroom was.”

At the end of the altar call the preacher said, “Folks we didn’t have anyone who found the LORD today, but we did have one who found out where the restroom was.”  Have a great week!

Life is Short

Heaven Is Real

GOD Never stops

GOD Never Stops