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.

 

 

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!

 

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!

 

Grandpa Thanksgiving

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My wife Denise and I just found out we are going to be grandparents this summer. This has been the best Thanksgiving gift we could have ever received.  GOD is great and we can’t wait to see the new little blessing that is on the way.

This is our first one on both sides of the family so I am sure the little one will get an avalanche of spoiling. I am not quite sure I can wait until summertime though! There are so many things running through my mind about what I want to tell, teach, and do with our new grand baby.

Whether it’s a girl, or whether it’s a boy it makes no difference to me.  We are supposed to have some sort of a reveal party where that information, I guess is revealed? Something about blue or pink balloons popping out of a box. I know GOD has great things planned for this little one!

Someone asked me what I want to be called?  I don’t know, but I have a few months to think about that one.  I suppose I’ll be called whatever the grand baby ends up calling me.  They say the grand babies end up calling the grand parents whatever the first one starts calling them. That’s what happened with our daughter too.  Whatever happens, is fine with me.

We are looking forward to this new adventure in our lives.  I am sure it will be a great ride!

Unmasked

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“Step in as close as you can so that I can see you!  Now you know I can’t really see you with that mask on.  You’re going to have to take your mask off so that I can see who you really, really are.”

We all want others to love us and accept us for who we truly are yet we don’t live a life of transparency.  The person we are on the inside is not the image we portray on the outside.  Aren’t we all guilty of wearing masks to protect our true identity; to protect who we really are? We are afraid of being emotionally uncovered, and so we hide and crouch behind our masks that cover our deepest hurts and darkest thoughts that go rambling through our minds.

I suppose the mask has its proper place in our lives for a time.  But I believe also that great day we learn to live without a mask is the day we really live for the very first time.  It is in the removing of our masks that we find freedom.  We become free and are liberated by learning to love and accept ourselves by honoring who we truly are.

Sometimes people act the way they do because of what is anchored deep behind the mask.  We tend to look at the resulting action rather than what or who created the action.

I have received mercy, forgiveness, and kindness along my own life journey, none of which I deserved – but I am so very thankful.  Showing love and compassion beyond the borders of the mask is how we can really make a difference in this world, for what we often see on the outside is only a reflection of the mask.

May we all learn in time to remove our masks and to be thankful for others who have extended to us forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and compassion.

This Thanksgiving may we all be able to work on removing our  own masks, to truly see those who wear them, and of course to be thankful for others who have helped us to become better along the way.

 

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!

 

 

Waters of Time

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I call, and call his name but he’s not there

Sitting snug in his bright yellow chair

I lay on the cold sheets of my bed and just stare

Tears puddle run down my face

And my dad is just not in his place

Hoping for more time

Why I ask you, is life so unkind

Where is that soft, gentle voice

Why didn’t I get a choice

To keep him here

To keep him near

Footprints

Washed by the waters of time

Nothing can wash him from this heart of mine

I remember his whispering words that day

As he spoke from a smelly death bed, so they say

Cancer broke him down

As it does in many a town

“I’m proud of you my daughter

For the woman you’ve become

You haven’t climbed life’s ladder just to climb

Rung after Rung

Your purpose was “HIS” purpose

And for that, I’m mighty proud

Proud to call you my daughter

Because you’ve kept him number one”

“Help as many people as you can along the way

And make life a joy for all who stay

Those were his words, not mine”

I still think of him all the time

Footprints

Washed by the waters of time

Nothing will ever wash him from this heart of mine

 

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?