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Modern society calls it “Easter.”

The one thing I find that people most often stumble over is the fact that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.

Just a few Years ago I was gravely disappointed with Three of our community’s prominent Churches who along w/ a community university sponsored a Pseudo- Intellect who presented to our community a series of lectures attempting to explain “Why the Bodily resurrection of Jesus isn’t   Necessary to believe in.

Consider This:

Thomas Arnold (Professor and world-renowned historian)  “I can tell you that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “best-attested fact in human history”.

C.S. Lewis: {about the Resurrection of Jesus} ….something perfectly  new in the history of the Universe happened….. Christ defeated death.

 Tim Keller: 21st C. author and pastor in  Manhattan, NY) “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul Said:  “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins..

The Point is Simple:

Either The Resurrection we celebrate TODAY is REAL and ACTUAL or it is NOT….

Jesus’ Resurrection did happen, it isn’t a myth. It isn’t merely a nice idea that Christians have, Rather, it is something which occurred in history.

The truth is everyone in the world is affected by the resurrection of Jesus.

Nobody can live unchanged by this great historically accurate event!

Resurrection Evidence reveals that….

* The New Testament story is not a legend:  New Testament documents were written within two generations of the events by eyewitnesses or their contemporaries. The New Testament story-line is corroborated by non-Christian writers.

* The New Testament story is not an embellishment: New Testament writers were meticulously accurate as the well over 140 historically details demonstrate.

* The New Testament writers were not deceived: The New Testament writers were not wrong about what they saw! If all their other historical details has proven to be Accurate, why do you think they would be deceived about the resurrection?

There will always be people who say that Jesus did not really rise from the dead!

Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the resurrection.

Instead, Be filled with hope because one day you will see the living proof when Jesus Christ returns.

What does the resurrection mean to every one who by Faith accepts it?

I can have confidence that the apostles early teaching was true.

I know I am forgiven for my sins.

Finally, Because of the Resurrection I know that  God is a Living Sovereign. The Resurrection tells the world that the kingdom of God is ruled by a living sovereign.

* The founder of Buddhism is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

*The founder of Islam is dead and his bones lie dormant in the earth.

But the founder of Christianity Jesus —made a number of appearances after His death over a 40 day Period.

For Instance:

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the women that came to Jesus tomb (Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and Joanna),

He appeared to two disciples on the Emmaus road.

He also appeared to the remainder of the Twelve Disciples with Thomas absent.  Later he appeared to them with Thomas present.

There was also an appearance to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee.

On another occasion Jesus appeared to over five hundred people at the same time.

There is also an appearance to James.

Finally Jesus appeared to Saul of Tarsus – the man who became the Apostle Paul.

Jesus is Not DEAD IN THE GRAVE

 HE IS RISEN.  Have you received HIM today?  I would love to help. Please contact me.

Dr. Smiley is the Senior Pastor Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

It is very sad that Some, Media, Politicians and Pastors CONTINUE TO make a critical mistake in assuming that God and Allah are the Same, Actually they are not!

To gain a proper understanding of this question, ask it like this, “Do Christians and Muslims both have a correct understanding of who God is?” The answer is definitely no.

Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths and view of God cannot both be true. The biblical God alone addresses and solves the problem of sin by giving His Son.

Please don’t be deceived. It does Matter what you believe and Teach about this issue.

While the Muslim and Christian views of God have some similarities.  They Most Certainly do not Worship the same God.  Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths cannot both be true.

In addition, to how Jesus, God in the Flesh, answers Man’s Sin Problem,  A vital difference between the Islamic and Christian views of God is the biblical concept of the Trinity. (This doctrine also is what distinguishes Christianity from all other World Religions and Cultic groups likes Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, New Ageism and etc).

In the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

While each Person of the Trinity is fully God, God is not three gods but three in one. The Trinity is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Trinity, there would be no incarnation of God’s Son in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Without Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation from sin. Without salvation, sin would condemn all to an eternal hell.

Another very Critical component of this the Question, “Is God and allah the same” is seen when one considers the Mission of God. God’s Mission is stated as follows………. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18)

The god of Islam did not have such a mission.

Dr. Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.  Professor at Denver Theological Seminary, writes, “Islam claims to be a fulfillment of Christianity, yet it denies many essential Christian teachings.”

A Christian can never retreat from the clear doctrinal position that Jesus is GOD, yet Muhammad the prophet of allah, rejected the idea that Jesus, a human being, could in any sense be God.”

When one thinks critically and logically it becomes clear, the god of Islam and the God of Christianity cannot be same, because God can not possess contradictory attributes.

The New Testament writer, Jude says it plainly, “3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted attsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307.

 

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

President Obama said in refereeing to the recent Paris Attacks that the event “was an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

Many people consider these words to be “safe phrases” or expected political speak.

However, the selection of his words reveals a deep misunderstanding. (One I am afraid many Christians mistakenly hold)

At issue is that these words reveal that our President doesn’t understand that Islam, Radical or Moderate, DOES NOT SHARE THE VALUES that the Western World, our world, holds dear.

Need convincing…….Consider a soccer game between Turkey and Greece in Istanbul.  During this game the Turks booed during the moment of silence for the Paris dead and chanted “Allahu Akbar.” Where in the Western World have people booed a moment of silence for those suffering or dead?

Need convincing…..Among 1.6 billion Muslims, hundreds of millions do not share the values regarding women’s rights, abortion, homosexuality, free speech, or the equality of all religious faiths.

The default position usually taken by those who disagree with me on this matter is, “Oh, those are just the Fanatics of ISIS”.

REALLY?

Ask yourself this question, does Saudi Arabia share Obama’s universal values regarding sexual freedom and the equality of Christianity, Judaism and Islam?

Can you point to ONE Muslim Country that allows for anything like the First Amendment? How does the Sunni or Shiite sect of Islam look upon the Freedom of Speech, Religion, and a Free Press?

The values of secular France and the values of Americans are not shared by the Islamic world, Moderate or Radical. Their False Prophet, False Book and False god won’t permit it.

I’m open to a rebuttal from a person of the Islamic Faith, who would tell me different and say it in any Middle Eastern Country except Israel.

Mr. President you are Right, Partly….. The Paris Attack was an attack on all of humanity….….BUT NO those values ARE NOT SHARED by the Muslim World.

I don’t see the “REFUGEE” debate as an argument about whether Americans will be open and welcoming Rather, I frame this discussion from the vantage point that the world is reawakening long suppressed truths.

Truths such as race and religion matter. To some they are life-and-death matters.

The point missed is that not all creeds, cultures and tribes are equally or easily assimilated into a Western nation.

I don’t apologize for my Principled stance that First World nations have a right to preserve our own unique identity, character and values.

I believe the time may be at hand for a moratorium on all immigration and a rewriting of the immigration laws that reflect the understanding that our own unique identity, character and values have a right to be preserved as we welcome new people groups into America. At one time the immigration laws of America did that exactly.

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry and Church Well Solutions, a ministry consulting work.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

William Barclay and other commentary writers refer to the passage in Luke 2, regarding Jesus, as a boy, in the Temple as “Supremely Important!

Why is the New Testament story about Jesus, at age 12, in the Temple so vitally important?

The answer lies in What the Passage is Teaching us About the Person and Mission of Jesus.

This passage is supremely important because it answers the Vital Question:

Who is JESUS?  This passage is an occasion for Jesus to teach us about HIS Relationship with GOD….

Jesus is God, the Second Person of the TRINITY.

Unfortunately, there is so much inaccurate understanding and false teaching about the Person and Mission of Jesus by cults, world religions, some politicians, many talk show hosts, numerous religious leaders and too many pastors in our own community.

The “Hypostatic Union” is the term Christians use to explain What Makes Christianity different from all other religions (Islam, Hinduism, etc.) and cults (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Ageism, etc.) that exist today.

It is hard to discuss this event in the LIFE OF JESUS as reported in Luke 2:41-49 without referencing the theological term “the hypostatic union.”

The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding given it is impossible for humans to fully understand how God works.

What makes Christianity different from cults like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc., and world religions like Islam, Hinduism, etc.?

It is the Teaching that Jesus has always existed (John 8:58,10:30).

Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived.

Only Christianity Teaches the Truth about Jesus; Jesus and God are One!

This is very important for Christians to understand, since the term, “Hypostatic Union” speaks to how Jesus Limited HIMSELF of certain facets of DIVINE ADVANTAGE in order that HE might have a legitimate experience of temptation and REAL life HUMAN struggles.

You may not understand ‘The Hypostatic Union” but you can UNDERSTAND this….according to the Scripture, on earth JESUS was:

100 % God

100% Human

100 % of the Time.

Don’t be misled; the divine nature of Jesus is not diminished by His human nature, and His human nature does not lose identity because of His divine nature.

Jesus has always been God; Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles

(For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human  in every way,  in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins  of the people. Hebrews 2:17 NIV)

and to Die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins

(In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to  his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8 NIV).

It does matter what you believe about Jesus!  The Luke 2:41-49 passage is important because it is teaching the TRUTH about JESUS, which is IMPORTANT TO OUR SALVATION.

Because Jesus is FULLY GOD and FULLY HUMAN….HE is the Only Way to the FATHER.

The Bible says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”.  John 1:12

Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.

Please, let’s not back up on Jesus.  Instead, let us commit to the biblical truth about JESUS; eternity weighs in the balance. 

Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower.  He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media.  He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry.  His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/

His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com).  Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org or by calling 770.532.6307 or email at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

 

This Nation and This World Has a Real Muslim Problem!

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Why is it that so many of our political, religious, and citizen leaders refuse to admit there is a real “Muslim problem” in this world and in our country? 

Our President was just plain wrong when he said, while he was traveling abroad, that Islam embodied a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance.  He said that a “few extremists” are distorting the true religion of this great world faith.  His words are bad enough in that they are ill-informed, but more than that, they demonstrate that our leader, charged with our individual and national protection, just doesn’t get it!

First, Where America is Missing the “Muslim Problem”.

* the lack of cooperation our local law officials receive from American Muslims and other Muslims legally living in this country.  I must add that it is not only American Muslims who offer little cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The Media, some politicians and Left Wing proponents are also uncooperative.  They will not even acknowledge we are in a war against terror.  They refer to the Fort Hood Killings as  “work place violence”.  Can you believe that, “work place violence”. 

* the reluctance of American Muslims for “calling out” their Radical Brothers.   (Christians have done this by condemning the likes of Jim Jones, Timothy McViegh, and David Koresh as Not Being True Christ Followers.)  Yet American Muslims can not, even in the safety of this country, stand up against Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda for their cowardly and evil deeds exacted upon women, children and people worshipping in a Christian Churches. 

Second, Where This World is missing the “Muslim Problem” 

* Refusal to acknowledge we are in the midst of a WAR!  Hamas, Hezbollah, The Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are seeking to cause disruption and fueling cowardly acts of violence among the people of this world.  Read what they say!  The Muslim Brotherhood for instance says, “their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

* Anywhere that Muslim rule exist, Protestants, Jews, Catholics are NOT Free to pursue their faith!  This is perhaps the greatest evidence that “the world” has a Muslim Problem.  I so very disappointed in my Christian colleagues who are so naive as to not see the uprising in Egypt, Yemen, Indonesia, Threats of it Turkey are ALL veiled efforts to crush Christianity.  For Instance:

* The Afghan government warns that conversion to Christianity is punishable by death.

* In Indonesia, Muslim “holy war fighters” aided by government troops are using sophisticated weaponry on a campaign to eradicate Christians from whole regions of the country.

* Pakistani Christians face death by hanging for blasphemy against “the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (Mohammed).

* Proselytism (Muslim to Christian Conversion ) is not legal in Turkey

*In the southern Philippines,  Muslims are using terror to try to establish a separate Islamic state. Christians and Roman Catholics are frequently kidnapped and some have been beheaded.

* In Africa, several countries which have become dominated by Islam put non-Muslims under extreme persecution, displacement or death.

* In Saudi Arabia,  American workers, are forbidden to display any Christian symbols, The Bible, or even meet together publicly to worship and pray. Some have watched their personal Bibles put through a shredder as they entered the country.

Personally, I’ll never accept that Islam is a peaceful, fair, tolerant religion.  It is a False Religion, Founded upon a False Prophet, written about in a False Book.  It is not a “few Extremist”.   It is an oppressive and evil system from which people need to be freed.  Islam and Christianity DO NOT worship the same God.

While I expect denial and opposition from a radical left-wing media in this country and world, I am disappointed with many in the Christian Family who can’t get on the correct side of what is happening in Middle Eastern Countries today and how Christians are Suffering because of it.  

I’m afraid in our Christian family there are too many ill-informed Christ followers.  Our persecuted Brothers and Sisters are so injured when those speaking on behalf of Christians, can’t or won’t acknowledge that groups such as  Hamas, Hezbollah, The Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are “fronts” to oppress Christians and subvert Religious Freedom. 

There is a Huge Muslim Problem facing this World and this Nation.  Get on the Right side of History if you are really desirous of helping the poor and oppressed in Jesus Name. 

IF Muslims laid down their Weapons there would be Peace.  If Christians and Jews laid down their Weapons there would be NO MORE Christians or Jews.

Dr. Tom Smiley is Senior Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”.  His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, faith, current events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/.   His books: “Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org.

 

I just can’t get my mind off our President’s comments on Sunday while he was traveling abroad. 

He asserted in one of his speeches that Islam embodied a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance.  He said that a “few extremists” are distorting the true religion of this great world faith.  He said there are more than one billion people who practice Islam and affirm the peaceful, fair and tolerant values of Islam.

I just cannot abide this unfounded, untruthful nonsense any longer.

His words are bad enough in that they are ill-informed, but more than that, they demonstrate that our leader, charged with our individual and national protection, just doesn’t get it!

Please, “Islam; a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance?”  Mr. President, you could say a lot about Islam that might be accurate, but this exceeds the bounds of accurate analysis.

If it is truth that Islam has been distorted by a “few extremists”, then where are the billions of adherents who are peaceful, fair and tolerant?

The last time I checked, Muslim “extremists” are not running every Middle Eastern country.  So I’m to accept that those countries exercise fairness and tolerance to other faiths?

If that is so, I think I’ll start collecting money and supplies and venture over to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, maybe Lebanon and start a new church.  We’ll call it, “The Bible Church.” Or maybe I’ll take a Jewish friend and start a Messianic Jewish synagogue as well.

Seriously, how far would I get? Islam is a peaceful, tolerant and fair faith?   Please!

Personally, I’ll never accept that Islam is a peaceful, fair, tolerant religion until I hear one of those billion faithful call a radio talk show or be a guest on a television news show and denounce the  “few extremists who are distorting Islam” as the cowards and evil men that they are and who know nothing of true Islamic values. 

As a Christ follower, I’ve publicly denounced Jim Jones, Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh and those like them as evil, false teachers who knew nothing of Christ’s love and kingdom.

I’m waiting for some of the “billion” peaceful, fair and tolerant Muslims to call “out” those who are distorting Islam.  I wonder how long, Mr. President, will it will take?

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org

While the Muslim and Christian views of God have some similarities.  They Most Certainly do not Worship the same God.

 Because of crucial differences between the Christian and Muslim concepts of God, the two faiths cannot both be true.

 The biblical God alone addresses and solves the problem of sin by giving His Son.

In addition, A vital difference between the Islamic and Christian views of God is the biblical concept of the Trinity. (This doctrine also is what distinguishes Christianity from all other World Religions and Cultic groups likes Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, New Ageism, Universalism and ECT).  In the Bible, God has revealed Himself as one God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. While each Person of the Trinity is fully God, God is not three gods but three in one.

The Trinity is essential to the Christian faith. Without the Trinity, there would be no incarnation of God’s Son in the Person of Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation from sin. Without salvation, sin would condemn all to an eternal hell.

The god of Islam did not have the following as his mission……..:

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18)

 Going Deeper…. (I am adding some additional comments from “Are all Religions ONE? by Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.  Professor at Denver Thelogical Seminary, Denver, CO.) 

 “Islam claims to be a fulfillment of Christianity, yet it denies many essential Chrisitna teachings.”

 “In his passionate condemnation of idolatry, Muhammad, the prophet of allah, rejected the idea that Jesus, a human being, could in any sense be God.”

 “God can not possess contradictory attributes.”  (This means that since the god of Islam and the God of Christianity can not be same, given both systems make claims of God that are contradictory in nature.)

 “It follows that if we can be saved by works, (Islam), it is false to say we are saved by faith alone through the grace of God totally apart from works (Christianity).

 “Are all religions one?  Given their contradictory claims and the nature of truth, they cannot all be one with the truth.  They offer vastly different views of spiritual reality in the flesh, a reality that welcomes all to partake of this grace.”

 “All religions are not one, but all people can find oneness at the foot of the Christ’s cross.”

 

 

Dr. Tom Smiley, is Senior of Pastor of Lakewood Baptist Church, Gainesville, Georgia.  The 2400 member congregation is a vibrant Christian fellowship locally and globally.  Dr. Smiley’s is the founder of “Life with Smiles Ministry”. His messages are broadcast on WDUN 550 and his”Blog” entries and thoughts on God, Faith, Current Events, and Islam are available at https://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/   His Books, “Runaway Lives: overcoming emotional undercurrents”, “Angels all Around”, and “Uncommon Common Sense” can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website. Contact Dr. Smiley at tsmiley@lakewoodlife.org