Modern Handmade Child

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"I'm Just Sayin" by Alan P. Scaglione

“My Testimony—Life is STILL good! Heart Healed 16 Months and counting!”

                                          I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione
“And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony!” (Revelation 12:11)
So many people going through so many things right now.
Healing needed for so many.
People dealing with addictions.
Some are needing a relationship repair.
All of it needing us to be overcomers!!!
And yet this scripture says … and the word of their testimony!
What is a testimony?
It’s a statement of your values, your character, your decisions—that describes your life!
There was a time…
(You know you sound old when you start a comment with…There was a time…)
But really…we used to know the Christians by the way they looked, the way they lived, the decisions they made.
Nowadays…we live in this “I’m nobody’s judge” stage of Christianity that…it’s hard to pick a Christian out!
The testimony used to be that they stood out from among them, and they were separate.
Today, it seems like it’s “let’s be like them to show them we can!”
It’s become a bit confusing.
The Word hasn’t changed—they were overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
So, there’s a formula there: Overcome = Blood of Lamb + Testimony!
To be an overcomer, you have to have two things—Christ’s blood applied to your heart AND have a testimony!
But …I come back to the question I asked before…what’s a testimony?
A testimony is a statement made by your life that something has changed, someone has changed your life! have to be one way BEFORE the change AND another way AFTER the change!
In order to show there’s been a change…there has to be proof of the change!

One of my youth in my first youth group preached a message that I have never forgotten.
He said, “If you are the same after you meet Jesus as you were before you met Jesus—you didn’t meet MY Jesus!”
He went on to say, “No one was ever the same after meeting Him, whether touching the hem of His garment OR meeting Him at a well…
They were all forever changed by His presence and His touch on their life!”
Now…that’s a testimony!
To be one way prior to meeting Jesus and then to be totally different BECAUSE you MET the Lord!

We live in an age when we can’t tell the Christians from the non-christians—they all live the same, pretty much!
We say we can’t judge…it’s not our place…we are not fruit inspectors…
But I have to tell you, I would be pretty upset to bite into what I thought looked like an apple to have it taste like an avocado!
We expect policemen or military to act a certain way…
We even say “it’s their job to look a certain way and act a certain way—we expect certain things from them, and when they don’t live up to those expectations, we are disappointed in how they represented police or military—they let down the badge or the branch of military they represent, and they let us down too!”

Wait for it…here it comes…
So, if we have a right to expect our police or military to behave in a certain way and represent a certain model, why don’t we expect the same from the most important army in the world…a soldier of the cross? An ambassador for Christ!
I have often said, “we’re the only Jesus some will ever see!”
And if you were the only ambassador to a country called Christianity, would others observing your life want to visit your country?
Remember…they can’t see heaven so they need to see what makes us different so they will want to go to heaven!!
We Christians are not “holier than thou” robots who never have problems…
It’s how we deal with our problems, how we react to those problems, how we resolve those problems…that’s what makes us different.
Or…that’s what SHOULD make us different!

So ask yourself…what’s your “testimony” say about you?

We SHALL overcome…by HIS blood and by OUR testimony!

Make HIM Proud!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
SELECT the link BELOW!   SEND me Email!   Share your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

“If you won’t do it for it for the ones you love!!”

                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

WARNING: If this sounds like a Public Service Announcement (PSA) then GOOD!! I have accomplished my goal!
I had an interesting discussion with a doctor this weekend, my third weekend in the ICU.
He went over my brother’s case, and things don’t look great—per the doctor. We still believe in prayer, and I thank you for praying for Joe.
But he said something that just slapped me in the face…and has stuck in my craw for the past three days.
He said “all this could have been prevented IF your brother had just had it checked out BEFORE it became CRITICAL!”
All of it—the ICU stay, the dialysis, the coma, the intubation/vent, the looming tracheotomy, the “best case” possibly months in Acute Care Unit!!
Every bit of it…was preventable IF he had just Checked It Out!
The doctor went on to say that so many cases could have been avoided or fixed before they got to Intensive Care IF someone had just Checked It Out!
My brother had an infection.
The infection was initially treated. He was even in the hospital back in January…
And the doctor advised him to follow up with his doctor when he was released.
Instead, he went back to work, back to 60+ hour work weeks, working on weekends, working long hours.
He ignored when he started feeling fatigued, started feeling sluggish, started feeling drained.
He discounted it as…working too much, long hours, stress of work!
And he did NOT Check It Out!

POINTS2PONDER  Why is it that we never ever consider how our INACTION will affect others…Why can’t we be proactive instead of reactive with our health—For THEIR SAKE?

I must admit, I woke up this morning angry!
The Bible says that I can be angry and sin not—so, let’s see if I can !
I am angry that we hear so many stories of people who just ignored the signs, delayed the treatment, and pretended that they did NOT need to Check It Out!
And then they are finally brought in via the ambulance…just to hear “If you had only come when you first noticed something was wrong, we would not be having this conversation!”
And THAT conversation is NOT the one anyone wants to have…
By the way…I picked up an  Advanced Directives form at the hospital—it tells your family what your wishes are should that time come when we need to know…what they are!
We have been faced with this dilemma—What would Joe want?
And honestly…it’s not fair to put your family through that!
We should NOT be having to feel the guilt of making the decision to stop extraordinary measures like lifetime ventilator!
Do your family a favor—make your wishes known—tell your loved one what they are—do NOT leave them with the unbearable guilt of having to make those decisions for you!
That’s just not fair…to them!

So…while you can…before the ambulance takes you to ICU… CHECK IT OUT!
You got a lump that seems to be getting bigger or getting harder—CHECK IT OUT!
You have a cough that never seems to go away no matter what – CHECK IT OUT!
You feeling fatigued, drained, listless, want to sleep all of the time, lack of energy – CHECK IT OUT!
You have a spot that seems to be changing color, getting darker and growing – CHECK IT OUT!
Hey, you take the car to the garage when you hear the brakes squeaking WHY???
Because you know—if you wait too long…it’s gonna cost you BIG!!!!

You get my PSA????
It’s NOT fair to leave your loved ones with the knowledge that…it could have all been prevented IF you had gone to CHECK IT OUT!

SELECT the link BELOW!   YOU can send me an email!   I CANT WAIT!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“The Giggle Girls getting ready for GPVBS!”

                                          I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                 by Alan P. Scaglione
There’s just something about playing with kids…
They are just so much fun!
Maybe it’s the energy; maybe it’s the enthusiasm.
Regardless, it’s just…so much fun!
I had the opportunity to play horseshoes with three of my godson’s daughters.
Amber, Suzette and Gabby—all smiles and all laughter…all the time!
They were surprised when I offered to play…all the other adults at the party were…
Doing adult stuff with other adults and here were these sweet daughters of my godson..
I just had to play!
How fun was it teaching them to throw the horseshoe the “right” way…
Apparently, they thought it was just a heavy Frisbee and were throwing it that way.
Nah, I showed ‘em the ol’  “lift and release” method…and they were soon hitting the pole!
They laughed, they giggled, they screamed…they are 8,9 and 10!
What do you expect prepubescent girls to do?
And then it happened…that moment you never saw coming.
Gabby looked up at me and said, “thank you, Uncle Alan!”
I could have cried…in fact, I think I did.

You have to know…these girls just met me a year ago when I found my godson.
So…they have watched as he and their mom have welcomed me into their family.
But we know kids...they’re not always the quickest to welcome someone new.
Sometimes, kids can be really standoffish about opening their hearts and arms to someone they don’t know.
And…I expected that.
What I didn’t expect was…
“Thank you, Uncle Alan!”
That…that just hit him between the eyes…and bullseye in my heart!
And…I loved it!!

The Word says, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
They are just so pure in their acceptance IF you are pure in your love and attention.

Kind of like God…He knows the intent of your heart—if you have pure intentions for Him—He blesses those intentions.

I got a call this week from my godson. Shane said he and Jessica have been talking and wanted to ask me something.
Apparently, I am a real hit with the girls!!  He said they really liked me! I smiled from ear to ear!
Hey, it’s not easy to get 4 pre-teens to like an old guy like me. Did I just refer to myself as “old?? Nah, not me!
He went on to say that the girls are interested in the stories of the Bible and maybe I wouldn’t mind teaching them.
I must have jumped up 10 feet!
They wanted me to share the Word with the “Giggle Girls!” – could my life get any better?
We set up a Vacation Bible School type arrangement.
One Saturday each month of Summer – June/July/August.
We will have a day of fun, family and faith!
Using interactive ways to teach the stories of the Bible—just like Jesus did when He taught His parables.
And here’s the best part…
My godson is going to help me!
Godfather and godson!
I’ve spent 25 years away from him and a year later…With God’s blessing, my godson wants to help!
That’s just the cherry on top of the sundae!

As as he hung up the phone, I got that tear in my eye again.
You know…sometimes things don’t work out like you planned…
Sometimes, they work out a whole lot better!

See ya at Vacation Bible School!
Think about it? … You just may want to follow our lead.
We could start a national campaign for GPVBS!
Why not have some GrandParents spend some quality time…
With their “own” Giggle Girls!

When’s the last time you giggled?
What about literally laughing out loud?
Can we ever have “too much fun”???
I don’t think so…

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
SELECT the link BELOW!   SEND me Email!   Share your thoughts!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

“The Scagliones: Together in Good Times AND Bad!”
                                                                                                       By Alan P. Scaglone

So…I spent my 4 day STAYcation…. In the ICU!!
Yes—ICU!! You know, the Intensive Care Unit!!
That place!  Where they only take you when you are one step away…from the grave!
I spent four long, tiring, exhausting, emotionally draining, spiritually taxing days AND nights in the ICU!
Not as the patient, but as the family member!
Yep—all the plans for Siesta Key Beach, a night movie, much needed yard work, dinner with friends AND even some overdue painting…
None of it got done…but I now know more nurses, doctors and staff of Morton Plant Mease Hospital in Clearwater, Florida than I ever needed to know!
And…I was one city block from Clearwater Beach…and never got to see the water!!
NOPE—my oldest brother Joe was in ICU.
He had an infection, which affected his blood sugar level, spiking at 790, which affected his kidneys, causing them to not be able to expel the fluids fast enough, causing him to be put on dialysis, causing him to add 24 pounds of nothing but fluid in a 24 hour period, causing his lungs to start filling with the fluid, causing him to have labored breathing, causing them to put him on a ventilator, causing them to sedate him heavily with the “Michael Jackson” drug Propofal! And yes, I now see why MJ called it milk! It is cloudy white and looks like milk! Hmmm… would not have known that had I not lived through this past weekend. NOTE to Self!
I am the youngest of 3 boys and Joe is the eldest. Paul is the middle child.
Paul was in Illinois. I was on a STAYcation at our home in Seffner, one hour away from the hospital.
I spoke to the doctor at 9:30am and asked him “if he were your brother, would you call the family in? Should they come now?”
He looked down at the ground, then looked right in my eyes and said “If he were my brother, I would tell them to come now—do not wait a day! Get them here now!”
WOW!! Guess doctors are NOT known for sugarcoating their words!
But… that’s what I needed to hear!
So…I was supporting my sister-in-law, keeping this info from her, hoping to keep her spirits up and be a strong brother for HER also…
And I was calling all family in…to say goodbye!

POINTS2PONDER  Why is it that we just assume we have time to “fix” our squabbles or get back together—until we get THAT call?

So…I called….I called Illinois; I called Tennessee; I called Apollo Beach; there was even a call to Ottawa, Canada!
They all made their travel arrangements to come BEFORE it was too late…to say goodbye!
It would take some of them 2 days, some of them 1 day; some of them drove, some of them flew.
But they all came…they got the “ya’ll come now” call; we were all so grateful it was not the “it’s too late to come” call!
And I waited…for them to converge on the ICU room 289.

I was in Joe’s room alone with him, singing The Old Rugged Cross to him, when his nurse came in.
I asked Nurse Anna if she ever got used to seeing all the family reunions and all the tears shed, all the regrets verbalized, all the promises made to do better.
Nurse Anna smiled and said, “Those are the ones we like; it’s one who came one hour too late, one day too late, one minute too late, and never got to make amends—that’s the sad one!”

It just made me wonder?
What is so important that keeps us apart so long?
Why does it “seem” to matter so much—that it deprives us of “make-a-memory” moments?

No one promises you’ll get that “ya’ll come now” call…
It could be that “other” call.
Why take the chance?
Why not…Reach out, reach across, reach thru.
Contact them NOW – before you have your STAYcation… in ICU!!

SELECT the link BELOW!   YOU can send me an email!   I CANT WAIT!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

“Sometimes, you meet someone you will never forget!”


   I’m Just Sayin’”
                                                                                    by Alan P. Scaglione
Wow! Has it really been 10 years?
10 years since what, you might ask…
Ten years since I performed the funeral of my best friend Ellen Bullard.

She was 42, and she had succumbed to cancer after a brave 18 month battle!
She was strong, she was fierce, she was focused, she was convinced…
She would be the Lance Armstrong of stomach cancer.
She was wrong.

And her friends gathered on a Monday night, all 145 of us, as I performed her memorial service.
We laughed, we cried; we testified, we reminisced—all about a girl who thought she was nothing special.
She said, “I’m just as common as peas and carrots!”
But we knew…there was nothing common about her!

I then travelled to North Carolina and preached her funeral and laid her to rest.
End of story?
Apparently not… 10 years later, we all gathered through facebook and email, sharing memories of our dearly departed friend.
It was great to hear others tell of times they spent with her.
I shared moments from our 32 year relationship as brother and sister.
Like the time she and I were traveling too fast down the interstate, on my way to show her my dorm room at Law School,
And we were going around a curve in my putt-putt pinto(anybody remember those? They blew up if you hit them in the rear!)
And, as I am making the curve, I realize…my gas pedal is stuck!! Going 80 miles an hour…the pedal is stuck!!
I look at her, she looks at me and starts cracking up laughing and screams “Bud, we’re on a Death Trip!”
Needless to say, we made the corner, broke loose the gas pedal and made it to law school…at least for a little while!

And ten years later…we still remember her…still share her life…still tear up and laugh at the thought of her.
Not bad for peas and carrots!

What is it about one person that so many still are affected by their presence and memory – that it still emotes feelings, years later.

My mom used to always tell me…
 “As long as you talk about them, reminisce about them, share them with others who may not have known them—you keep them alive!”

Every once in a while, someone comes along who affects people so profoundly, they leave an indelible mark on all who meet them!

Kind of like Jesus did!

Did you know that the Bible is STILL the #1 best selling book of ALL TIME!!
That’s right—of all time!

And why would we still be talking about someone we never physically met, only have heard others talk about and can only read a book to learn about.
And yet…He still changes lives unto this day!

The Word says in Philippeans 2:5-11:

Take a moment to remember how much He’s done for you…
Share a memory of how HE’s answered your prayers…
And just speak the Name above all names…Jesus!

Until Next Time
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”
SELECT the link BELOW!   SEND me Email!   Share your thoughts!