Tony A. Smith

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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

My Letters From the Heart

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.

Adversity

 

Public Domain

Public Domain

Remember that often adversity is a blessing in disguise and is certainly the greatest character builder.

Fred Koch

 

The Shadow

The Shadow Tony A Smith

The Shadow

The shadow casts a glance

It’s really not just happenstance

They come and see me every now and then

Wish I could touch them again

They leave me a flower or two

There’s nothing I can do

Some live life to die

Others die to live life

Oh; the shadow is cast in the end

For you see, life doesn’t let you pretend

The days, they come and go

Like the wind, the rain, and snow

Footprints in the sand

Oh, they sure don’t last long

In the heart; that’s where they’ll stand

So shine your light while you can

May the shadow guide your fellow man

Some die and live

Some live and die

The shadow never questions why

When I visited the Fort Gibson National Cemetery this morning where my step-father is buried, these are the thoughts that came to my mind.  Yes, the light we have within us does cast a shadow that will long be remembered when we are gone.  The shadow is cast from the light within and remains.  A shadow is not made up of just darkness, but emanates from the source within.  May your light shine bright and may those who follow behind know the legacy of your shadow and the light you leave with them. 

Broken Communication

Broken Cell Phone

If you have an argument with your spouse or friend probably the best thing you can do to get back at them for how they treated you or mistreated you is to not talk about the issue and give them the old silent treatment. The silent treatment seems to really get them where it hurts doesn’t it? You are in charge of when and if you will ever talk to them again and you are controlling them instead of them trying to control you.  The communication between you is broken for good and there is no way that it can be repaired if it is as bad as the cell phone in the picture above that has been smashed by a car.  Wouldn’t you agree that there is really no chance for the lines of communication to be opened back up if it’s as bad as this?  The best thing to do is to carry the troubles to bed with you, turn away from your spouse and just stare at the wall until you go to sleep in silence.

I hope you know that I am not serious.  My wife and I have been married for the past 33 years and I can assure you that using the old “silent” treatment routine does not work and ends up only harming you and your spouse/friend. We don’t usually have many disagreements now, but when we do we are quick to apologize to each other.  I can’t stand going to sleep if we are still in a scrapping mode and I know she can’t either.  Sometimes she apologizes first and sometimes I do.  I think the biggest thing that gets in the way is pride.  The longer we have been married, the more we have learned to put each other above our own interests.  We are now able to love each other more since we buried that old nasty pride in the grave.

 

 

 

All That Matters

John Wooden Oklahoma

The Things We Say

I'm Dog Tired

Have you ever stopped to really pay attention to some of the things we say in our day-to-day conversations?  Now some of them I can half-way understand, but some phrases we use should just not be said at all!  They don’t make a lick of sense.  Whatever that means?  Take a look at these phrases and let me know if you feel the same way.

  • My dogs sure are tired. ( I suppose that means feet – but why not just say feet?)
  • Why do they call it a hot water heater?  (Isn’t hot water already hot?  Why heat it up again?)
  • Lawyers, dentists and doctors all seem to practice what they do.  (I don’t know about you, but I think I would much rather go to someone who wasn’t still practicing at what they do.)
  • Menopause – (Now really, what does that have to do with men?  The only thing I can think of is we are the ones that get griped at if the temperature is not right in the house.)
  • I think I’ll go jump in the shower. (Really!  Don’t you think you could get a lot cleaner if you weren’t jumping all around in the shower?)
  • Do you want to run to the store with me? (Why is it when you ask me to run to the store that you end up taking the car?  Just tell me I don’t need to go get my running clothes on to run the five miles to the store and back.  By the way, how are you going to get all that stuff you buy back to the house?)
  • Now tell me what is a bait and switch?  (Why would you want to spank your minnows before you put them on the line to fish?)

Now that's the cat's meow

  • Okay so what is it with the term CAT scan?  (Most cats I have ever seen end up sleeping most of their life and don’t have much time with their eyes open to scan anything.)
  • That movie was the cat’s meow.  (The movie had nothing to do with cats or meowing!)
  • My dog is a good watchdog!  (Okay – well keeping time I guess is important but most people use their iPhones for that now.)
  • He was sitting on the fence in that conversation.  (I just hope the fence didn’t have barbed wire at the top.)
  • She was a real card shark.  (Is that a shark that eats bloody cards or what?)
  • So tell me what does partly cloudy mean?  (Is that different from partly sunny?)
  • He said he was all fired up and ready to play ball.  (Okay – I suppose we should bring some fire extinguishers or at least have your finger on the ready to call 911 on your cell phone.)

Fat as A Pig

  • I ate so much I am as fat as a pig.  (So why pick on pigs.  Aren’t there other animals that are bigger like cows, whales, bears, and walruses to name a few.)
  • She was as big as a barn.  (Why pick on barns?  I know there are other buildings that are much bigger.)
  • Take a picture, it lasts longer.  (I get it, quit staring at me)
  • Can you please cut to the chase?  (I think this referred to the old silent films where they had chase scenes and they were the best part.  How many people do you know that have ever even seen a silent film?)

That's No Bull

  • That’s no bull.
  • Full as a bull.
  • The check is in the mail.  (Don’t a lot of people online or by credit card now?)
  • Crazy as a loon. ( So how do you determine if a loon is crazy? – Is there some sort of  psychological testing that can be done on birds?)
  • The lights are on but no one is home. (It seems like that sure would waste a lot of electricity to me unless you were trying to fool the burglars for some reason not a bad idea.)
  • He was a few cards short of a full deck. (If that is the case, then why even have a card game?)
  • She was barking up a dead tree.  (Is that different from barking down a dead tree or barking at a dead tree?)
  • I’m on the clock. (If you are on the clock it is probably worthless now!)

Sweet Dreams

  • He was preaching to the choir. (I thought the choir needs preaching just like everyone else?)
  • She was a real corker. (What?)
  • I see his lips moving but he’s not saying anything worthwhile. ( I get it! You are talking about a true politician.)
  • Don’t let the cat out of the bag? (Now who in their right mind would put a cat in a bag to begin with?)
  • Happy as two peas in a pod.  (How do you determine the happy factor for peas?)
  • He was half a bubble off.  (If it’s not level then try to level things up – if that doesn’t work, get a new level.)
  • They said the new iPhones were selling like hot cakes.  (I suppose hot cakes generally sell fast,  at least at IHOP unless it is a slow day?)
  • Time to hit the hay.
  • Sweet dreams.

Help! I’m Stuck

Ponderosa_elevator

The largest elevator manufacturer in the world is Otis Elevator company.  Otis was founded way back in 1854 by Elisha Otis in Yonkers, New York.  Otis carries the equivalent of the world’s population on its elevators every 9 days.  Yes, seven billion people travel on Otis Elevators every nine days.  If you have ever been to the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State building then you have most likely ridden on an Otis elevator.  Sometimes though, elevators do get stuck between floors, or the doors might not open for a variety of reasons.  Hopefully, you have not been one of those unfortunate few.

So what do you do if you get stuck on an elevator?  The first thing you don’t do is to panic.  The second thing I would recommend you not doing that really won’t help much is to cry!  The opportunity might give you a chance to make some friends during your stay rather than just looking straight ahead, down at the floor, or up at the ceiling.  Don’t worry, on average most stuckees are freed from the elevator on average within thirty minutes.

 

Dover_elevator_passenger_controls_(3_floors)

Elevators in the United States are highly regulated and are inspected at least yearly by a state inspector who will only approve an elevator after a series of rigorous tests.  Elevators typically have a push button which is tied to an automatic dialer.  Once the button is pushed a called is automatically placed to a 24 hour emergency monitoring system who will in turn call the elevator company and management to notify them of the problem.  Some cities also require that the call be tied into the local fire department.  Most dialers do not however, automatically dial 911.  I suppose the reason for that is that is much too easy for someone to push the button and walk out of the elevator as a prank. The 911 center needs to receive only true emergency calls.

The call from the elevator is usually audio recorded with the time and duration and any call activity information recorded.  The operator will also respond with help even if the caller is deaf or can not communicate back for some reason.

If we get stuck in life we do have someone who we can go to who doesn’t even need an automatic dialer button.  Hopefully we have been talking to him all along way before we get stuck.  Thank you GOD for being with us always in the elevator of life, in our ups and downs, and when we get stuck. Thanks for being there for us and with us every day so that we don’t have to panic.

 

 

Take A Step

Taking A Step Fort Gibson Oklahoma (1)