Tony A. Smith

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SEEDS TO GROW

oklahoma-sky-february-2017

You planted me here so many years ago

Tired and worn out

Must be my time to go

I spread my branches toward your sky

Never once questioning why

The days, they pass

As do the nights

Now ending with a heavy sigh

And, when I was nowhere in sight

You’re the one that planned each day and night

 You poured me full cups of sunshine, pelted me with wet rain from above

And fed me from treasures below

Oh, how can it be so

Tired and worn out

Must be my time to go

Tender branches once warmed by summer winds of long ago

Yes, my dark, dark winter is here

The falling leaves of death are oh so near

Come home you say

Your job is done today

For you planted seeds to grow

And they’ll forever stay

Don’t you know

 

Love Triumphs

proof-of-heaven

“Meanwhile, I was in a place of clouds.  Big, puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep blue-black sky.  Higher than the clouds-immeasurably higher–flocks of transparent orbs, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long streamer-like lines behind them.

Birds? Angels?  These words registered when I was writing down my recollections.  But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet.  They were more advanced.  Higher.

A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if winged beings were producing it.  Again thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise–that if the joy didn’t come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it.  The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but that doesn’t get you wet.

Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was.  I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging joyful perfection of what they sang.  It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it–without joining with it in some mysterious way.

Again from my present perspective, I would suggest that you couldn’t look at anything at that world at all, for the world at itself implies a separation that did not exist there.  Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet……or a butterfly’s wing……….. A warm wind blew through, like the kind that spring up on the most perfect summer days, tossing the leaves of the trees and flowing past like heavenly water.  A divine breeze.  It changed everything, shifting the world around me into an even higher octave, a higher vibration.

Through the Orb, Om (GOD) told me that there is not one universe but many–in fact, more than I could conceive–but that love lay at the center of them all.  Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts.  Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no growth–no forward movement, no chance for us to become what GOD longed for us to be.  Horrible and all-powerful as evil sometimes seemed to be in a world like ours, in the larger picture love was overwhelmingly dominant, and it would ultimately be triumphant.”

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible.  Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists.  A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.  

Then Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness.  The part of the brain that controls thoughts and emotion–and in essence makes us human–shut down completely.  For seven days he lay in a coma.  Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open.  He had come back.

Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle.  But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere.  While his body lay in a coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence.  There he met, and spoke with the Divine source of the universe itself.”

I am currently in the process of reading this remarkable book called “Proof of Heaven” by Dr. Eben Alexander.  This is an outstanding book written by one of those previously doubting skeptics that has to have everything proven by scientific facts.  If you have never read this book, I would certainly recommend it.  You will never be the same after reading this one.  The statement that evil is necessary kind of threw me a bit… I suppose we would all just be robots in life if we were not allowed choices by an all-knowing, all-powerful GOD. And GOD knew that if we did choose evil instead of good that he still loved us and would forgive us.. But he wanted us to want him, to want to come back to him, to turn from the evil choices of this world, and to follow him.  Love is stronger than any amount of evil that can be thrown at us by the little god (Satan) who controls the world we live in for now.  If you get a chance to read this book, let me know what you think.

Have you ever known anyone that has had a similar near death experience.  I haven’t but my sister used to go to church in Pasadena, Texas with Don Piper (her Sunday school teacher) who wrote “90 Minutes in Heaven”, and who died in a car accident and came back to tell the story of his own encounter with heaven.

There is an unseen dimension, an unseen world that is as close as the breath we breathe.  A world more real than the physical world that we can see with our eyes. A spiritual battle rages on day in and day out, and we will not know how many times we have been saved from terrible accidents by our own guardian angels until we get to the other side of heaven. I have had personal experiences with angelic beings myself which I have written about in some previous blog posts.  On this side of heaven, our prayers and our words are ever powerful. We can choose to speak words of evil or of love. Remember to pray always for your family and friends for protection from the evil forces of this world that fight against us, and let love win out in the end!

Someone To Listen

time-to-listien

United Heart of America

american-flag

 

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!

 

Water Hole

hole-in-the-water

Sometime, when you’re feeling important!

Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom;

Sometime when you take it for granted

You’re the best qualified in the room;

 

Sometime when you feel that your going

Would leave a unfillable hole,

Just follow these simple instructions,

And see how it humbles your soul.

 

Take a bucket and fill it with water,

Put your hand in it, up to the wrist;

Pull it out, and the hole that’s remaining,

    Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.

 

You may splash all you please when you enter,

You can stir up the water galore,

But stop, and you’ll find in a minute

That it looks quite the same as before.

 

The moral in this quaint example;

Is do just the best that you can;

And be proud of yourself, but remember

There’s no indispensable man.

 

                                                                                                       – Anonymous

 

Sometimes we may think that we are the best at what we do, but we should always remember to be humble, and that there is always going to be someone who comes along that may be better.  I think that’s good advice to just do the best we can and let the cards fall where they land. Doing your best is all you can do, and being too proud of oneself always has a downside in the end. 

Be Afraid

dont-be-afraid

Keep On Keepin On

peanuts

“Come on Sparky, it’s time for school.”  Said his dad, a barber in local Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Sparky was always running late for school where he attends Richards Gordon Elementary.

“Come on Sparky, get the lead out, put your pencil down and that silly pad, and get your butt going.”  “You are going to be late for school again.”

Sparky was kind of a loser at school if you want to know the truth.  He got an F in Algebra, English, and Physics, but he did make the golf team. He lost of course!  He was a very shy kid in school and rarely talked unless spoken to.  He especially never talked to girls.

There was one thing Sparky thought he was good at though and that was drawing.  Even if no one else thought he was good at it, he did.  When he attended Central High School he submitted a drawing for a scene in the High School Yearbook which he thought might get published.  It didn’t!

After finishing high school Sparky sent drawing samples to Walt Disney Studios.  Once again he was rejected. Sparky could have quit there but he was persistent, and kept going, knowing all along that his artwork was good and soon someone would appreciate what he did.

Then he submitted some of his work to the “Saturday Evening Post”, and from there everything changed in Sparky’s life.  Better known as Charles Schulz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.  Just like the character he created – Charlie Brown – could not do a lot of things. But one thing he could do was to draw.

Sixty years later, the high school that once rejected Charles Schulz and his drawings, now has a 5 foot tall statue of “Snoopy”, one of the characters made famous in the “Peanuts” comic strip he created.

The “Peanuts” comic strip ran for some 50 years, and was published in more than 2600 newspapers in more than 75 countries, in 21 different languages. There have been movies and an assortment of books associated with what Mr. Schulz did with his artwork.  At one time, Charles Schulz had income of more than 40 million dollars per year from his simple artwork that no one wanted or thought was any good.

Charles Schulz once said, “I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it.”  I think we can all learn a lesson from Sparky.  Never give up on your dreams, never give up on your hopes, even if everyone else says you can’t do it, or you are no good at it.  Keep going and “Keep On Keepin On”.

Great Man

Eyeballin Me

Keyholes

Keyholes

Remember when …………

Keyholes were really keyholes.

People went to drive-in move theaters outside and it only cost $2 a carload.  The speakers went on the side windows.  I can’t tell you the number of times my dad started to drive off with speaker still on the window.

Kids would play outside all day instead of playing all day with video games and on the computer.

The only dishwasher was the one with two hands.

The only frozen foods were the ones from leftovers.

There were no microwaves and you actually had to wait to eat your food.

Heroes were really heroes.

Man first landed on the moon.  There were some people who refused to believe it was true and still do.

The Vietnam war was finally over and Walter Cronkite stopped giving the body count on the evening news.

McDonald’s only had a hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, coke, and a milkshake on their menu.  Seems like it tasted better back then too…

Amtrak had the only search engine.

John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. were shot down.  Seems like the world changed in those moments…

You passed out Valentine’s Day cards to all your friends at school.

You just couldn’t wait to grow up.

Michael Jackson sang with the Jackson Five on American Bandstand.

The “Twist” was a dance and not something you did with your fingers to open a bottle of coke.

Sally Fields was “The Flying Nun” and then married Burt Reynolds after being chased by “Smokey”.

We first met a robot in “Lost in Space”. “That does not compute Will Robinson”.

Everyone wore bell bottom jeans and tie dye shirts.

The slinky and silly putty were our favorite toys.

Ronald Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down the wall.

Michael Jordan flew high with Chicago and then tried his hand at baseball.  That’s no bull.

Tom Landry coached “The Boys” and wore that funny hat.

Rubik’s cube became an impossibility.

Donald Trump wrote a book on negotiating.

The Miami Dolphins never lost a football game.

All you had to worry about was what color you were going to use and if you wanted chocolate milk or white milk and when it was time for a nap in Kindergarten.

Clara Peller first said “Where’s the Beef?” in a Wendy’s commercial.

The “Frito Bandito” would sing on and on about the bag of “Fritos” and how much he loved “Fritos” corn chips!

They banned cigarette ads from television.

The only television was a black and white and you had to actually turn a knob or two to get the channel and volume to change.

You wanted to slap “Nurse Ratchet” for being so mean to the patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

“Dominoes” became more than just a game you played with dots and became something you ate.

“Big Bird” got really big and “The Bird” was a professional baseball player that patted and picked the pitcher’s mound.

“Roller Derby” was popular.

“Cabbage Patch Dolls” and “Beanie Babies” became popular.

“Halloween” became a movie.

Garth Brooks sang his first song.

Horses could talk – “Mr. Ed” and “Frances the Talking Mule”.

Sinclair was a gas company with a green dinosaur.

Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose.

The Beetles were first seen on the Ed Sullivan show with their long, mop-top haircuts.

Johnny Carson went off the air.

There were only VHS and Beta recorders for movies.

Polaroid cameras were cool with the instant photographs that could be developed.

You could get a comic book for 15 cents.

Walmart didn’t exist.

You went to your senior prom.

You got your first car.

Kelly Clarkston won the first “American Idol” contest.

“Windows” became more than something you raised for fresh air.

The internet first became popular. I think Vice President Al Gore invented it didn’t he?

Punch cards were used for programming a computer.

Studying for a spelling test and memorizing the multiplication tables was the hardest thing you had to do in life.

You would play “Hide and Seek”, “Freeze Tag”, and “Marco Polo” with your friends.

Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Green Jeans, and Mr. Rogers always made you smile and Dudley Dooright was always doing something wrong.

Life was so much simpler with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and Foghorn and Leghorn.

You could always count on something good happening in Roy Rogers, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Rawhide, The Rifleman, and Bonanza.

Children actually started their day with a prayer on the loudspeaker in public schools and then the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

It was okay to say “Merry Christmas” and “GOD” in public.

You first found out that Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny were just made up storybook characters.

People used to go on picnics and spend time together as a family with a blanket and real food.

Ross Perot ran for President and then ran for the hills.  Should have stuck with EDS Ross.

You could only drive 55 mph on the highway.  Must have had something to do with peanut oil.

Atari and Intellivision were the only video games around and the Vic 20 was a computer that you could afford.

There was no Facebook.

Truman was put on the silver dollar.

Amazon was just a big river.

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie – “The Birds” made us all afraid of birds.

Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, and Green Acres made us laugh.

 

 

 

College Education

College Education

He tried to raise cattle. That didn’t pan out that well. He tried his hand at remodeling houses and pretty much lost everything he had back when he was twenty-one years old. Oh well, that’s the past.  And now, oh well, now is all he has left.  That’s all any of us really have is the now.  We can’t live in the past and we certainly can’t live in the future.  Although many of us do try our hand at that even if we can never seem to make it all come together.

He sits there all alone in his creakity old chair.  It’s no different from any other time at two in the morning now.  The only light in the living room is the orange glow at the tip of his cigarette.  Usually says he can’t sleep for one reason or another.  Is it a lie? Well, you figure it out.  He takes a drag – inhales slow, pushes his mouth towards the ceiling and lets the smoke come out in one slow – long – swirl.  Flicks his ashes in the bottom of the rolled up cuff of his jeans and sighs.  Coughs and tries to clear his throat. Inhales  as the glow of his cigarette lights up the dark room once again. That’s been his usual routine for these past five years.

Just a common man without much education.  He’s worked hard all his life – not a paper pusher as he says.  But a man who worked with his hands and made a living sweating.  Not that he has anything against paper pushers.  It’s just he never could understand how someone could get paid to push papers and push buttons on a computer all day long. Never made much sense to him.

Tonight I’m spending the night with Dad.  Mom passed away just this past October.  Dad seems more restless than usual tonight for some reason. As he shifts and turns in his chair I hear every creak and moan of the worn out recliner from a nearby bedroom.  I wish just once he would stay in bed for an entire night!

Well now Dad is making it so that I can’t sleep either tonight. I just had to drive 500 miles from Houston to get here and now this! I wipe the crusted sleep from my eyes, roll over and grab my t-shirt and jeans that are laying on the dresser nearby. I slither them on as best as I can without any light and in the process bang a glass of water sitting on the same dresser.  Ice cold water drenches my bare feet. “Man – that water is cold”.

I latch on to my cell phone and push a button so that I have some sort of light to make my way to the living room. I look through the arched door opening to the living room and see that glow of his cigarette staring me in the face.  “Hey Dad”.  “Hi Son.”, he says.  “Why don’t you get up and go to bed Dad?”  “I would if I could Son.” “I just keep thinking, maybe I should have got a better education in my life so as to take better care of you kids and your mom somehow.”, he says.

“Oh now come on Dad, you worked 35 years down at the steel company every single day. It was hot and hard work!  You gave the best you could to your family.”  “And besides that Dad. Do you know you gave me more by not giving me everything I wanted in life?  You gave us all a roof over our heads and food on the table.  We never once went without food or a place to live.  And you taught us about the LORD – not by just what you said, but by what you did.”  ” If I had it to do all over though son, I would have gone to college.”, he says.

“Why’s that Dad?”  “Oh, to make something of myself.” he says. ” Can I just tell you something Dad?”  “When I was a little boy, I looked up to you.  And even though I’m all grown up now I’m still looking up to you. I am the man I am today because of you, and even though you might not know it, you’ve made something of yourself.  I love you Dad.”

“Thanks son, today you’ve given me more education than I could have ever had at any college”

 

In honor of all hard-working dads and moms!