Modern Handmade Child

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“Sometimes a place can remind of a time had so much fun!”

                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

You ever walk into a place and realize…this has not changed one iota since the last time I was here—25 years ago!
Some things really don’t change—even though everything around it has!
It’s just amazing, and it really makes you nostalgic for the last time you were there, a “whole lot of wrinkles and a little bit of gray hair” ago.
They say time stands still for no man…but, apparently, Time stands still for a place!

POINTS2PONDER  Why is it that we walk into a place that we went to in our youth, and the memories come flooding back, and for a moment, you are transported back then?

I was a youth pastor for 15 years, 5 youth groups, 4 different churches. I loved working with the youth—they were real and in your face, and they could see through fake a mile away.
They taught me to always be myself because…it’s the only thing I could do better than anyone else—be ME!
And I learned my “I’m Just Sayin’” statement from Jananne Burcham. She was in my youth group at Thonotosassa Church of God, and she used to say that all of the time—made me laugh!
That youth group is the one I have a lot of fond memories of. I was 27, with 3 kids and a wife, and we devoted our home and life to those teenagers.
At one point, we were running a hundred on Tuesday nights. We would start out playing volleyball outside, and end up with Bible Study inside.
I do believe I preached my first sermons to those teenagers.
I remember my “Give God a Call—He’s always waiting to hear from you!” sermon. Teaching them that prayer was just a talk on God’s heavenly phone. I would give them a phone and tell them to talk to God.
They laughed, they got nervous, but…they got it! Prayer is a conversation with God like talking on the phone is a conversation with a friend.
Then there was the one “Is HE your Best Buddy or Bratty Brother—you take HIM wherever you go, so???” I taught them that if God were your best buddy, you would ask Him, “God, do you want to go to this party? How about this movie? What about this activity? If you don’t want to go, then I won’t go either!” OR…”Look God, I have to take you, but shut your mouth, don’t say a word and don’t make me wish I left you behind!”  That one taught them to ask “What Would Jesus Do?” BEFORE that line became popular! I had read the old book “In His Steps” where that challenge comes from, and I taught them from that short story.
I took them to Christian concerts sponsored by WCIE, Where Christ is Everything, at Carpenter’s Home Church.
We lived RADICALLY SAVED when Carman first sang that song!
And they are also the group I bucked the authority(church leadership) and took them to the beach, using our church van-- many times that summer.
We had so much fun together, my family of 5 and extended family of 95!
We fed them sandwiches and Doritos and played volleyball all day long on Saturdays, and YES, they all made it to Sunday School on Sunday—Brother A’s rule—(I would be Brother “A”!)
We bonded a bond that I am honored to say I still have with many of them until this day—evidenced by them asking to be my facebook friend and sharing our lives today while wistfully remembering our summer days on Siesta Key. They are in their mid-thirties now, with children of their own, some of their kids are even graduating from high school and going to college.
 And yet…we still remember…
Our Siesta Key Summer!
Guess…a memory is a great thing…when the memory was a great thing!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Just Ask a child to wait for something...that’ll teach ya!”

  I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                            by Alan P. Scaglione

Self Assessment Time:
If I were to describe myself, I would say: Passionate, Loyal, Consistent, True, Committed, Dependable, Motivated.
Anybody see something missing in that list of descriptives?
Yep…no one has ever called me PATIENT!!
I know that it is a virtue;
I know that it is a fruit of the Spirit;
I also know…I have never prayed for it because…”when you pray for patience, The Good Lord will show you how to be patient.”
By waiting….and waiting….and…..waiting!
Anybody out there know what I am talking about?
I am sure there’s at least one person reading today who is shaking their head going…”Yep, God will teach it to ya! One way or the other!”

I have met patient people.
I have driven behind patient people.
I have worked with patient people.
I know they find a way to wait on the Lord!

I am still learning how to do this.
And I think HE has finally found a way to teach me!
And…yes Lord, I am learning….reluctantly, but sincerely, to wait on the Lord!

Makes me wonder? How many times do we pray for patience IN a situation, just to turn around and pray for deliverance FROM the situation!
Sometimes, He is not going to get you out of it, but He will be with you while you go through it!

One of my favorite passages says simply, “And it came to pass…”
It didn’t come to stay, but…it came to pass!
The question is…how long will it take … To pass?

We are impatient in our prayers, already knowing that God is running late when we pray…it should have been fixed or answered already!
There’s an old time gospel song that says, “He may not come when you call Him, but He’ll be there right on time, He’s an ontime God, oh yes He is!”

And sometimes…
The answer to our prayer is …Wait!

If you’ve heard me share my testimony about my healed heart, you will remember, I had my heart attack on July 2nd, 2009.
I stopped having heart attack symptoms on January 21st, 2011--  19 months AFTER my heart attack. That’s when He healed me!
He took His time, but…He knew exactly when I needed it!
I would have rathered not go through 19 months of wondering, is this my 2nd heart attack happening?
But, I have to admit—I learned to rely on Him during that time, assured that, if it was that 2nd attack, He was there, and I was ready!

And sometimes,
The answer is NO!
Paul the Apostle prayed three times for God to remove the thorn in his side.
God’s answer? “My grace is sufficient!”
Did Paul stop being Paul because HE had to endure affliction and put up with that thorn?
Nope—Paul wrote most of the New Testament WHILE enduring affliction.

Sometimes…we pray for deliverance, when we should be praying for endurance.
The scripture says, “To him who endures to the end, the same shall be saved!”

Remind yourself—when it was something that you HAD to wait on, HAD to work for, HAD to accept you might not get…
When you DID get it, didn’t you appreciate it so much more?

I used to preach a message that said “We are a Fast Food nation, but HE is a full service God!”
We can’t microwave our prayer requests.
You can say what you want, but I know when food has been cooked and when it has been miked! And I will choose cooked every time!

So maybe…there’s a method to His madness?
Maybe He knows…
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount with wings as the eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint!” (Isaiah 40:31)

And the old chorus ends…”Teach me Lord, Teach me Lord… to wait!”

Patienceyou cannot learn it without waiting for it!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“Living in the Moment- Jett Meets Thomas The Train!”

   By Alan P. Scaglone

I think I had an “Ah-Ha!” moment this weekend.
Thought I would share it—with 500+ of my favorite friends.
I was touring the city of St. Augustine this past weekend with my wife and good friends Sandy and Derrick, and I found something that stopped dead in my tracks.
You have to know—I have one rule about buying something—IF it moves me, then it stops me, then it speaks to me, then…I have to have it.
It was a statement that just slapped me in the face…get ready—I have a feeling, it just might do the same for someone else.
“Cherish Yesterday. Dream Tomorrow. Live Today!”
WOW!! Simplicity in verbiage, but…complexity in meaning!

POINTS2PONDER  Why is it that we can “know” something and yet…never “get” something until—We suddenly GET what we KNOW!!

I just stood in the shop, looking at this sign. My buddy Derrick asked me “you okay?” I honestly wasn’t sure.
Suddenly…I thought of my grandson Jett. The apple of my eye. Nano’s sidekick. My Mini-ME!
Yeh…I haven’t written much about him lately. Haven’t seen him since Christmas Eve 2011.
Sometimes, family drama is the most painful to live through.
So…I just studied the comment, and I thought…Cherish the memories. Hope for more someday, but…you gotta let it go so you can actually LIVE your life-- not waiting to “live your life!”
And it hit me…I have been “waiting to live my life…until…Jett comes back into my life!”
And….I just can’t do that anymore!
Then I got home and went out on Facebook and saw pictures of what Jett had done while I was at St. Augustine.
He and his parents and his Nana Chrissy and Papa Larry went to The Thomas The Train Exhibit—with a Real Train!!
And I saw his face, and I knew—this kid was in Hog Heaven!! He was loving every minute of his Saturday—with his Thomas The Train Conductor Hat and sticker tattoo. He was so happy!
And you what? That’s all I want for that little boy.
 To know…he is ecstatically happy with his life and enjoying every minute of it and laughing and playing and excited to wake up each day!
And it hit me—I can cherish the memories. I can hope for more someday. AND I can Live Today…not wait to live today!
Anybody remember the song that said “A fool will lose tomorrow, looking back at yesterday!”
So…for the first time since January, I was able to look at 38 pictures of my grandson having a grand time—and not cry or mourn or regret—
Nope, I just laughed…at him looking so happy!
Maybe I am being too transparent. I am letting you know that there are relationships in my life that are strained and there are pains in my heart that are fresh.
Anybody else out there going through what I am?
IF you are….
Then share this “AH HA!” Moment with me…we have to quit Waiting to Live…and Just Live Today!
I still cherish the memories. I still pray for more in the future, but…I have decided to Live the Moment called Today! Nothing to wait for…just Live your Life!
And yeh—my wife is reading this and saying “I’ve been telling you this for 3 months!
Yes dear!
But sometimes…  You know something BUT you don’t GET it UNTIL…you finally GET what you KNOW!
So…today is the first day of Spring. A time for new life, new growth, new beginning!
Anybody want to join me?
I plan on Living Today…”aint nothing I’m waitin for”…
I’ve lived through a Dress Rehearsal!
Today, I’ve decided to-- Live Life!
Every day really is a GIFT—that’s why we call it “The Present!”

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Sometimes...those who CAN....Teach!”

   I’m Just Sayin’”
   by Alan P. Scaglione

Kids these days!
No one wants to save the world!
All they want to do is…talk to Siri!
If you don’t know who Siri is…you are as old as I am.
Apparently, the new IPhone is so smart…it comes with someone you can talk to… her name is Siri, and she converses with you.
And the kids today….they love their Siri!
And their answer for every question??? 
“There’s an App for that!”

So I sit across from a 22 year old single young lady named Michelina.
Poor thing…she is 22, and I am 52! What could we have to talk about?
She is so polite…she laughs at my Alanisms; she pretends(very well) to be interested in my “View” toward life.
I tell her all the time that she can ask to be relocated just based on generational differences. She laughs!

So… I caught her completely off guard the other day when I looked at her and said,
“Michelina, do want to change your world?”
She looked at me like I was suddenly speaking Chinese, and not very well, at that.
Then she spoke and said something so profound, it inspired me. She said,
“I don’t think anyone is listening. I don’t have a voice. No one is listening to what I have to say, so why bother?”
WOW! What a statement from a 22 year old. I was stunned…and impressed!
She then proceeded…”I knew about Koni (the dictator kidnapping kids and turning the boys into terrorists while enslaving the girls!)
5 years ago. A friend and I raised a lot of money to help. We even sent it off to somewhere to help them. We never got a thank you.
Never got a note acknowledging what we did or that we helped. No one even noticed that we were trying to help!”

This is the same young lady who just changed her major to childhood education because she decided to be a teacher.
I asked her if she thought being a teacher would be her way to be heard.
Michelina replied, “Maybe it will be my way to change my world by teaching.”

I wondered…maybe she did have a voice? And maybe, the ones who would listen to Michelina were the students she would teach.

Just when you think…this “Millennium Generation” has given up on making a mark on their world, you get a message so profound…
“What’s the point in speaking…if no one is listening?”

But every generation…finds their voice!

I mentioned to Michelina how I have always been a “speak up” kinda guy, never ever a “go with the flow” person. I told her that
I was the first man at IBM to request father bonding time. Time off when my son was born to be home with our family.
This was 1985—my boss, who was a woman, literally laughed at me and said, “Why do you need to be home? You didn’t have the baby!”
I explained that we had twin 2 year old daughters and my wife needed help bringing our son home and adjusting to our new addition!”
I took it to corporate HR…they came back with “Give him a week!” and, I started a policy for fathers to take time off for new births!

We can choose to give up because no one is listening or… we can decide to do something that will lend an audience to our voice…
Like teaching!

The Word says “Go ye therefore, teach all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

And that’s how we are heard—how we find our voice—we teach by example; we teach by words; we teach by passion!

Just like Michelina… we teach!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


                                            Family Reunion 2012-- Why not plany yours?


                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

Families just don’t seem to get together anymore.

For those family reunions.

Remember them?

I used to love the ones that required that everyone wear the T-Shirt proclaiming “Your Name Here Family Reunion 1987!”

Just loved those shirts…I always wondered? When and where would you ever wear them again?

Apparently, as witnessed at our local Wal-Mart, whenever you need to wear a shirt that no longer fits and has one too many holes in it!

Well….maybe lose the t-shirt, but…we still have Family Reunions.

We had one this past Saturday for my mother’s side of the family, the Cabreras.

My mother Rose, the eldest of five children, passed away in 1977, but…I have remained close to her side of the family over the years.

My Aunt Ciria, God rest her soul, made me promise on her death bed last September, “Please have one more gathering after I am gone—to remind them how important family still is!”

And…in her honor, to keep that promise, I planned this picnic.

POINTS2PONDER  Why don’t families prioritize time spent together? Why aren’t there anymore reunions, with cousins, uncles/aunts, memories shared, new memories made! Why is it out of style to reconnect with extended family and share today like you did yesterday, keeping in mind, none of you may have tomorrow!

So, they all came in, one family at a time; the one last surviving sibling and his wife, who have no children; the wife of the favorite uncle who passed years ago; the eldest cousin; then my generation of cousins and our spouses; then our children; and lastly, their children! All of us, gathered under a pavilion, in a park that was in the middle of the neighborhood the five siblings grew up in and still housed so many childhood memories of those gathered.

I played a game called “Cross the Branch!” Everyone had to share a memory of someone there or passed away, who was not their parent or sibling. Could be an uncle or aunt or cousin.

I started with a story of how the favorite Uncle literally saved my life. I then opened it up to others. Hands went up all around the pavilion. With each story, there were laughs, there were tears; there was a lot of reminiscing and a lot of “I remember that dog—Lucky, right” and everyone seemed to really enjoy our sharing of the memories.

I was amazed that the next generation, our children, wanted to share memories they had of some of us. They talked about Sunday dinners with family gathered; they even mentioned a fortuitous meeting with Jesse  Jackson while running backward around the Washington Memorial one Thanksgiving weekend. They seemed to have made a few family memories of their own.

We looked around, and others kept coming in, hugging one another, bringing their children, eating some of the food that had been prepared. I know southerners put out a good spread but, latins who are from the south? That’s the perfect combination! There was more food than we could eat, but…somehow, by the end of the picnic, it had been devoured or diveyed up, wrapped up by the ladies for every family to take home leftovers “for later”. Don’t you just love that term? “for later!” And we all know…nothing better than, “later” that night, going into the fridge and pulling out the leftovers and Voila! Better than at the picnic!

I looked around, and there was my Bella, who was handling the food assembly line along with the paper products and the drinks and the serving. She is not latin, a good old fashioned Florida Cracker who can cook black beans/yellow rice and MoJo Pork with the best of them. She was there, by my side, making this picnic a success!

As we all said our goodbyes, one of my cousins leaned in and whispered “I’m sorry none of your kids showed up—maybe next time, we’re still praying! God will work it out!”

You see…I had sponsored this picnic for my family to gather, for generations to share memories, for new memories to be made…

Bella and I were the only ones who didn’t have a single child or grandchild show up…and our hearts were breaking the whole time!

Sometimes, the greater good is worth the greater sacrifice.

Maybe next time?



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Sunday, March 11, 2012

”sometimes, a chance meeting is NOT chance at all!”

                                          I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione

You just never know…when you are at the door to a new stage in your life, and…it’s about to swing wide open!
That’s why…you have to do your best…and let God do the rest!
Cause you never know…what’s about to happen!
The Word says to be instant in season and out of season and to always be ready to give an account for what you believe!
In other words…be a testimony on pause! Once they hit that start button—Testify of God’s goodness! You never know who’s listening!

I met my Xulon Press editor last Thursday to discuss my book “One Unexpected Event”. It was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting.
I guess God had other plans.
Karla started listening to me talk about my journey writing this book, from to our Can-Do Train-- calling those things that be not as though they were!
She said…”Give me a minute! I’ve got someone I want you to meet!”
She brought in Tracey, my Sales Rep! We talked for a few minutes!
Tracey said, “I think the guys would love to meet you!”
Tracey brought in Terry, James and John, my marketing rep, book sales guy and design consultant.
I talked with them a minute before Terry said, “Wait a minute, I have someone who would love to meet you!”
He brought in Joan, the director of the site. She was in another meeting but…Terry told her, “You’ve got to meet this guy!”
All I was doing was sharing God’s goodness to anyone who wanted to listen…apparently, that group kept growing!
They all stayed for over 30 minutes, asking me questions, taking notes, going to my project, watching my video, logging onto and looking at our columns…and just listening to me testify about God healing my heart and putting feet to my faith!

And they weren’t in a hurry to leave. I told them we have lazy dreamers who need to Work Their Dream!
They loved that!
They loved my line “Put Feet to your Faith!” They thought that would be a great title to another book! That’s mine! You can’t have it!
After an hour plus…I was walking out the door, feeling like I was with the right Christian publisher and glad God had opened this door!
Memory made…move on!

Not so fast!!
I get an email last night from Joan. She stated they were very happy to meet me. They had prayed in their weekly prayer time for someone I mentioned to them at our meeting last Thursday! WOW!…they REALLY were a Christian group...and they prayed together…Cool!
Joan said I had passion, motivation, excitement, can-do attitude, self-confidence…all things a lot of new authors do not possess.
She said I was an inspiration!
 She then wrote words in her email that changed my life!
“Would you consider writing an article twice a month to encourage new authors? We would send it to all of our clientele. We could call it “Ask Alan The Author”… and we would pay you for writing!”
WOW! I was NOT expecting that…all because I shared my testimony! And the crowd grew as I shared!
Needless to say, I responded “YES! YES! YES!”
And last night, I submitted my first two columns for Xulon Press!
All because…I told people what Jesus has done for me!
I woke up this morning thinking about Mars Hill!(Acts 26:28)
Anybody know what I am talking about?
Paul spoke to King Agrippa….sharing his testimony of who he was before the “chance” meeting on the road to Damascus and…how God changed him!
Everyone was listening to him testify… he just told them how Jesus changed his life!
And King Agrippa said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian!”
You never know…who’s listening!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
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