Working on a Dream




Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne (with lyrics)

Beautiful version of Auld Lang Syne (with Lyrics)

Listen and reflect on your life, your love, and your legacy...

The Song YOU will be singing tonight - Auld Lang Syne

The traditional song for ringing in the New Year in almost every English speaking country in the world is Auld Lang Syne. This New Year Song is generally credited to Robert Burns, but earlier versions of this ballad precede his time. Burns combined a common Scottish folk song with his own lyrics to arrive at the version commonly sung on New Year's Eve.

What is the meaning of this New Year's Eve Song? Auld Lang Syne is about old friends who have parted and meet again. To celebrate their long friendship, they share a drink together and reminisce of memories from long ago. The basic message is that we should not forget our old friends and should celebrate a reunion with them.

Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns (original, for smart people)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl't in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine,
And we'll tak a right guid willie-waught
For auld lang syne!
And surely ye'll be your pint' stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

Translation: (for people like me)
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago !

For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago.
We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For old long ago.
We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since old long ago.
And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale)
For old long ago!
And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago!

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, gather everyone together at your party or celebration to sing the New Years Song and remember the good memories of family and friends from long ago.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You're (not) Jealous...are YOU?

"And David was prospering in all his ways for the Lord was with him.
BUT when Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he dreaded him."

I Samuel 18:14-15

Jealously has been around since the first people walked the earth.  It was ugly then, and it remains ugly to this very day. A jealous person reminds me of that carnivorous-never ending-always hungry- plant in "The Little Shop of Horror's.

I love the Bible because it deals with everything under the sun.  And in the verse above, we read that Saul was jealous of David because David was prospering.  You want to know something?  The Bible teaches that "every good thing comes from above."  This should put the breaks on your jealousy right away.  The reason is because once you understand and acknowledge that God is the giver of all good things, it should change your perspective on whether or not you should be a jealous person at all.  I mean, what are you really jealous of anyway? God's blessings on another person?  Sheesh

I would like to get practical for a moment.
Since jealousy is so damaging, and is never really satisfied, below I will share 4 helpful tips in giving you victory over your it.

1) Are you personally insecure? Insecurity breeds jealousy -plain and simple. Often times, we base our security on the opinion, affirmation, or acceptance of other people. When we feel rejected or unloved, we become dangerously insecure leading us to perceive other people as threats to our own well being.  If this is the case, take a step back and realize that you are reading into things too much.  I have come to understand that in life, most people have pretty good intentions, so give people the benefit of the doubt. 

2) Are you a fearful person?  This can be another instigator of jealousy. A life lived out of fear is devastating to a relationship. Have you ever noticed that a fearful person is very controlling? At this point, I would encourage you to look inward.  Your fears most likely will never come true.  People usually fear the worst and the worst really never happens.  I tell people that there is nothing we can hang on to that is worth what we are giving up. Meaning, when we give God free reign in &over our lives, God's peace will flood out your fears.

3) Do you practice deception? Deception can also play a role in cultivating jealousy in your heart. The reason is because you may perceive a threat that in reality does not really exist. I know people that are so overwhelmed with deceit, that they lose all trust and read into everything a person does.  Due to their inward deceit, they see deception everywhere.  This person's perception of life is distorted due to the lies they believe about others.  This is truly a sad way to live your life.

4) Are you the covetousness type? This is a deep desire that starts within the heart. This leads to aggressive jealousy that is often spoken against in the Bible. The Ten Commandments address this issue: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Exodus 20:17). Covetousness invades when you are not satisfied with the blessings God has bestowed upon you. This was Saul's problem.  He was so jealous of David, so enthralled by someone else's life, that He forgot to turn his gaze toward the heavens and see that it was God Himself that was blessing David. Furthermore, Saul forgot that he himself was blessed richly as King of Israel.

Conclusion.  William Penn said, "The jealous are troublesome to others, but are a torment to themselves." Remember, jealousy not only hurts you, but it hurts those around you as well.  It is a relationship killer. It is a never-ending thirst that Gatorade cannot even quenche.  Only a proper taste of God's goodness will satisfy the human heart and dissipate the unhealthy disease of jealousy.

*I would like to thank for their informative website.

Charlie: Member of the Family

For anyone who ever loved a pet...this is for you!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Customer is ALWAYS right? ... Right?

"If I’d ask my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse."

Above is a quote from Henry Ford which tells us that the customer is in fact, not always right.

His desire was to improve transportation, not just to make it better, and if he would have listened to everyone else -then you and I might look a lot like our Amish friends.  Amish are cool and all, but do you really want to get in your fancy horse and buggy when it is January 8th, 3 degrees outside, and rushing wind that will push the skin off of your cheekbones?  I don't either. 

One application from Ford's insight applies to making group decisions.  
According to Saint & Lawson, it is important to keep in mind that when utilizing the inquiry process (making a decision), that everyone in the organization does not have to agree before a decision can be made.  Consensus does not mean unanimity on everything, rather is a mutual feeling that all concerns have been addressed.

This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially when making a decision in a group setting.  As a leader, you have to get your people talking and extract their thoughts.  At the same time, some people who have more training in a specific area oftentimes will speak with more authority or knowledge because this is their field of expertise.  Good leadership recognizes this facet and allows the decision making process time to flow.  Remember the old saying, "haste makes waste?
When making decisions, that is often the case!

Decision making is a process. 
Healthy decision making includes hearing from everyone on your team.
A wise decision is usually not made when trying to appease the entire group.
Take your time when making decisions. 
Experts on a certain subjects are experts for a reason, listen to them! 
Finally, getting in horse buggies might seem like tons of fun ... until the Polar Vortex rolls around and rips your face off. 

"In the abundance of counselors there is victory"  
-Proverbs 24:6b

Monday, December 27, 2010

YOU are the Linchpin

I am an artist.

• I take initiative • I do the work, not the job. •Without critics, there is no art. • I am a Linchpin.

I am not easily replaced. • If it’s never been done before, even better. • The work is personal, too important to phone in. • The lizard brain is powerless in the face of art. • I make it happen. Every day. • Every interaction is an opportunity to make a connection. • The past is gone. It has no power. The future depends on choices I make now.

• I own the means of production—the system isn’t as important as my contribution to it. • I see the essential truth unclouded by worldview, and that truth drives my decisions. • I lean into the work, not away from it. Trivial work doesn’t require leaning. • Busywork is too easy. Rule-breaking works better and is worth the effort. • Energy is contagious. The more I put in, the more the world gives back.

• It doesn’t matter if I’m always right. It matters that I’m always moving. • I raise the bar. I know yesterday’s innovation is today’s standard. • I will not be brainwashed into believing in the status quo. • Artists don’t care about credit.We care about change. • There is no resistance if I don’t allow it to defeat me. • I embrace a lack of structure to find a new path. • I am surprising. (And often surprised). • I donate energy and risk to the cause. • I turn charisma into leadership. • The work matters.

• Go. Make something happen...

-Read the book...then you will understand.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Anthony's Christmas Eve Message: Active Passivity

"Be it done to me according to your word"  This is the response to the angel by Mary when confronted with the choice to bear a son. 

Her response, according to Francis Sheaffer, is the essence of the Christian faith.  She was passive, in that she did not exert her own will or demands and she was active in that she was saying "yes" to God's will for her life.

This is the Biblical model from Genesis to Revelation
Abraham said yes to God and left his homeland.
Moses said yes to God and left the palace in Egypt. 
     The disciples said yes to God and left their families. 
     The apostle Paul said yes to God and left a life of prestige and spread the message of Christ.
      And our ultimate example, Jesus Christ, said yes to God when He prayed "Father take this cup from Me...but if not, You will...not mine." 

What about you? 
Consider this, every time you make choice to live for Christ you are saying with Mary, "Be it done to me according to your word." 

This is both beautiful and difficult...but it is the only way to live a life of significance. 
A prayer:  Lord, may 2011 be a year in which I say yes to You.  Not just on one occasion but everyday.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Trivia: Did you know...?

As Christmas soon rolls our way. I thought it might be neat to learn about some of the interesting tidbits about this time of year.  Enjoy!

The Christmas Tree: 

The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820's.

The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas' popularity throughout Europe.
His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre.

In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.

Mistletoe and Holly:
Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America's first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for petals.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Do NOT forget to Pray...

As a senior in college, I can remember getting into my RA's car on a late-night burger and fries run and seeing him glare at his car ceiling.  As I sat and waited, my fat globules started getting ancy and I finally asked him why he had a staring contest with the felt above his head.

He told me to look up, and when I did I saw a piece of paper stuck to the top of his car ceiling. 
The piece of paper read, DO NOT FORGET TO PRAY!

When I asked Zach about it, he had told me that too often he gets in his car and simply forgets to ask God to watch over him, his plans, and his life.  It is funny how little things stick with you over the years.  I read that sign 11 years ago but the lesson is still with me to this day.

I am not sure about you, but speaking for myself, I zip around like nobodies business and often forget to pray.  Sure, I remember to pray about the BIG things in my life, but the little everyday things just seem to get lost in translation.  And that is not good.  I know God to be a God that cares about all the aspects of my life, whether they be BIG or small. 

So today remember this lesson:  Commit everything you do in prayer.  God cares about our going in and coming out.  There is nothing that He does not care about.  He is the God of comfort and the Father of mercy. 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."   -Philippians 4:13 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Power of Two

Throughout your life you will have opportunities to build hundreds of partnerships.  Some are brief and some will last you a lifetime.  Have you ever thought about why some people click and some people clash?  Is it personality?  Is it shared values?  I bet it is a combination of a lot of things but recently I was reading a book by Rodd Wagner & Gale Muller titled,"The Power of 2."

In this book, they argue that in order for a successful collaboration to happen between people, there needs to be 8 vital ingredients.

After much research and time, here are the top eight:

1. Complimentary Strengths:  You have been gifted by God with a set of unique talents that only you posses.  With this in mind, it is imperative that you pair up with people who have been gifted in area's other than your strengths.  Think about it, if you have a team of five people who are all outgoing and really like to perform, then most likely the details of your efforts will get lost in translation.  So to be successful, think about surrounding yourself with others who are strong where you are weak and vica verca.  Remember, individuals are not well-rounded, but pairs can be!

2.  A Common Mission:  Finding a shared goal will be something that helps keep everyone in line over the long haul.  Even if things get off track, you can always call people back and get them to re-align themselves to the overarching mission of what originally brought you all together.  Keep this mission in front of everyone, talk about it, tell stories about will be the one consistent aspect that will help your group stay focused.

3.  Fairness:  "He gets paid more than I do and we do the same job!"  "Why does she get to leave early and I don't!"  Fairness at work and in life is huge.  If people perceive that things are not fair or if they are not being treated fairly, watch out.  Be sure to keep things at par with your people or they will distance themselves from you and "check-out" of work early (and that means at 9 A.M.). 

4. Trust:  Let's face it, if the boss is always looking over your shoulder and micromanaging you, then you probably will feel like you are not trusted to do you job.  [Of course, this is assuming that  you are performing your job at a high level.] If you are working with someone and not trusted, then get out.  I would rather find someone new to work with or work solo rather than be in a situation like this.

5.  Acceptance:  He is a jeans and blazer guy and you are an Armani dude.  She is a fashion guru and you are a Target dweller.  Listen carefully...Get over whatever little non-issues you have and focus on your task.  In the long run, these issues only tear you apart and really mean nothing.  Try to look for the best in the people you work with and then celebrate every one's diversity! I guarantee that if you take this approach people will love you for it and if this is the case, you will have a great workplace!

6.  Forgiveness:  Really simple one here.  If you work with people then you will by default be working with imperfection.  The reason is everyone of us is flawed.  Yes even you.  So take it easy on others and they will take it easy on you.

7.  Communicating:  This is crucial.  I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten myself into trouble by just assuming that others can read my mind.  Here is a good rule of thumb:  Remember that people cannot crawl into your head and know what you are thinking.  So try to bring your people into the discussion, decision, or whatever, this will ensure that everyone is on the same page and no one is out of the loop.

8.  Unselfishness:  Some people call this "mutuality" others call it "synergy."  To best illustrate this idea is to think back to when you were at the local fair.  Remember how 1 horse could pull a certain number of pounds and then when another horse joined that 1st horse, together they could pull like 5x the amount of the 1 horse.  The bottom line is that if you are going to accomplish anything totally awesome in this world, then you will not be accomplishing it alone.  Get together with others and watch what teamwork can do!

"As Iron sharpens Iron, so shall one man sharpen another."  Proverbs 27:17

Monday, December 20, 2010

Anthony's Rant 2010: Men Wearing (women's) UGG Boots

Welcome to Anthony's rant.

This takes place periodically throughout the year and yesterday's mall trip with the youth group brings up my newest yelling spree.
Here goes: 

Man with the big, brown, women's UGG Boots with your jeans tucked inside of them...please go back home and re- think this look.

I am almost certain that you thought you "rocked" this look but here is a little newsflash.  A dude in women's boots never looks cool.  And I am sure you can take that to the bank.  Trust me, you do not have to go to GQ or Men's Health and nervously look through the pages to find someone wearing what you wore yesterday.  You will have better luck if you went out looking for a leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day than finding anyone or anything promoting the "UGG"  look for guys.

Sadly, when deciding whether to write about your UGG-ilish mistake the aspect that forced my fingers into typing was the fact that you had to tuck in your jeans -successfully exposing your UGGly decision.  This choice said to the world, "Hey YOU...Look down at my feet!!!  Do not notice anything else about me OTHER than my experiment with total UGGifying effects." 

Lastly, before you think that I am mean and off my rocker, you have to keep in mind that there are completely awesome boots that this guy could have chosen (including MEN's UGG Boots). 

So in summary. 
Guy with the women's boots. 
Please leave the mall. 
Do not pass Pass Go. 
Do not collect your $200. 
Just get in your car and speed home.  That is right. Speed. 
And please hope that on your way home, the fashion police do not pull you over because in this will go directly to jail. 

This has been Anthony's rant for December 2010 and boy did it feel good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa Claus Names from Around the World

Ever wonder what St. Nick is called around the globe? 
If you have grown up in the United States, then you most likely called the big guy something like: 
Santa Claus, St. Nick, or the guy who eats all my cookies on Christmas Eve while forgetting what I just asked him for a week ago. 

Below are some other names shared by Santa Claus by children around the world. 
I bet you will find them interesting, odd, and cute.             Enjoy!

Afghanistan: Baba Chaghaloo
Australia: Father Christmas
Brazil: Papai Noel 

Canada: English Speaking: Santa Claus
French Speaking: Pere Noel
China: Shengdan Laoren
Denmark: Julemanden
Holland: Sinter Klaas
Egypt: Papa Noel

England: Father Christmas
Finland: Joulupukki

France: Pere Noel
Germany: Christtindl
Hungary: Mikulas
India: Ganesha
Iran: Baba Noel
Italy: Babbo Natale
Japan: Hoteisho
Netherlands: Kertsman
New Zealand: Father Christmas
Norway: Julenissen
Peru: Papai Noel
Poland: Gwiazdor
Portugal: Pai Natal
Russia: Ded Moroz
*Spain: Papa Noel
Sweden: Jultomten
Turkey: Noel Baba
United States: Santa Claus

*Indicates my favorite name.

Paying Homage to THE Book!

The mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct me, food to sustain me and comfort to cheer me.

It is the traveler's map, the pilgrims staff, the pilot's compass, the soldiers sword and the Christian's character

Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened and the gates of Hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand  object,                     

My good is its design and the glory of God is its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully.

It is given me in life, will be opened in judgment and will be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

-Author unknown

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sharpening the Blade

Suppose you came upon someone in the woods working to saw down a tree. They are exhausted from working for hours. You suggest they take a break to sharpen the saw. They might reply,
" I didn't have time to sharpen the saw, I'm busy sawing!"

 According to author Stephen Covey, taking time for yourself is very important.  I know that in my life, as a pastor, I spend a lot of time helping meet the needs of others and because of this, it is easy to forget about myself.  I have found that taking time for rest, many times leads to more productive work and healthier relationships.
Here is an illustration that I use often to illustrate the above.  It is affectionately called the, "The Sponge Theory." 

Let's pretend you take a dry sponge and immerse it into a bucket of water.  In a few seconds, that sponge has soaked up all the water it is ever going to need.  What you have to do with that sponge is ring it out in order for it to soak up more water. 

The point is that if you do not take time to get back in the water, then you are most likely sawing with a dull blade. 

Call it want you want:  Rest, Rejuvenation, Relaxation, Refueling, or Revamping (if you have another word that starts with an "R" please let me know, I'd like to add it).

The great thing about this idea is that it is not only practical and helpful, it is Biblical.  Have you ever noticed how on several occasions in the Gospel's Jesus retreated away from the crowds?  Check it out for yourself.  You'll notice Him seeking solitude to spend time alone; in prayer on more than one occasion.  And if Jesus needed this...then my best guess would be that you and I do too.

Finding time this holiday to connect with God may just be the element that gets your batteries Recharged!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looking out the Window (and seeing God)

Romans 1:20

“For since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (NASB)

Simple proof that God exists ...

Find a window and look outside. 

His Creation speaks for Him. 

"1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.

4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."

Psalm 19: 1-4

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saying yes and no (at the very same time)

 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  Luke 22: 42

Today I have been thinking about this passage of Scripture because last night in class we started things off with a study of Jesus' decision to be obedient...even unto death. I believe what is happening in this moment in the life of Christ is the ultimate model for our us.  It is the essence of the Christian faith.

-Because bowing to God and to His will is at the heart of the Gospel-

Jesus' choice in the garden had major ramifications for you and for me. 
The path He chose ushered in pain, ridicule, and a horrific execution on a Roman Cross. 
However, the other side of the coin is that His decision made it possible for man to be reconciled (made right) with God. 

Something to think about... A Paradox: 
Most every decision has two elements that can either further your relationship with God or erode it.

In a word, every time you and I say "yes" to God, we are also at the same time saying "no" to our flesh and desires. 
-May God help our "yes" be to Him and His will today-

Friday, December 10, 2010

Strength from Above

The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called Failure,
a loop called Confusion,
speed bumps called Friends,
red lights called Enemies,
caution lights called Family.

You will have flats called Jobs.

But, if you have a spare called Determination,
an engine called Perseverance,
insurance called Faith,
you will make it to a place called Success

Thursday, December 9, 2010

7th Thinking Hat

My last post got me thinking a bit about where God fits into the "6 Thinking Hats" decision making model.  And after a friend of mine asked me directly, "How does a Christian follow the Thinking Hats system?"  I knew something was lacking. 

After some thought, I believe another "hat is lacking. 
Hat number 7. 
The color of this hat is purple,  Named after the King of Kings. 
This hat is where you search the Bible for God's Wisdom, dedicate the entire process to prayer, and include Godly men and women into your decision(s)

Without this "hat" I believe De Bono's system is lacking.  Not everything in life can be figured out with man's wisdom.  And many times, God may lead you or I to do something that goes against conventional wisdom. 

The examples of this are overflowing from the Scriptures ... here are two:
-Moses leaving behind his lavished lifestyle in Egypt to obey God and then go back and command the Pharaoh to "let the people of Israel free."
-The Apostle Paul leaving behind a life of prestige and glory to follow a newly formed group of folks who follow after Jesus Christ. 

In both instances, The 6 Thinking Hats would have failed to accomplish God's will.  So whether you are making a decision as an individual, or find yourself in a team setting,  always remember to put on the 7th Hat.  For without it, you will be lacking the most important decision making aspect of all...God's guidance. 

-Proverbs 1: 7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,

but fools despise wisdom and instruction. "

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Six Thinking Hats by Dr. Edward de Bono

Facing a tough decision? 

Here are 6 "hats" or perspectives that will help guide you along your way!

LL Bean Waxed Canvas Boots

Dear Santa,

If I have been good this year, can you please bring me a pair of these powerful looking Bean Boots?

Monday, December 6, 2010

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.    -Ansel Adams

Stop Running.

Dirty Windshields and Filthy Hearts

Driving in the snow is its own project.  How early do I leave for work today?  Should I start braking 30 feet before that stop sign?  Why did I have to get behind this truck that does nothing but spit dirty slush all over my windshield?  I think that one just might be the worst. 

Have you noticed how many times you have to clean your window when it is snowing?  I always buy a ton of windshield washing fluid to keep in the shed for this time of the year, and I generally put one in the trunk of my car just in case.

I learned that trick by driving one to many times with little or no fluid in my car to and from Pittsburgh. The idea of playing "guess if there is a car to your left" on RT. 79 got old and fast... 

Good thing for windshield washing fluid, for without it, your view would be impaired while doing something pretty important like driving. 

The Bible talks about something similar that has happened to people's hearts.  "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick."  Who can understand it? I, The Lord search the heart, I test the mind..."  (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  This verse refers to the condition of mankind's heart.  We cannot see clearly.  And the reason we cannot, is because of a little three letter word called sin.  Like driving on Rt. 79 with a muddy windshield that impares our view, our hearts have been tainted and in turn, make our judgements faulty. 

If you go back and look at that verse again, you will see that the "Lord" will be the one who "searches" your heart.  He will be the One who "tests" your mind.  This is both exciting and scary.  Exciting because He is the only One that can judge you and I properly & scary because He is the only One who can judge you and I properly. 

Making Your Heart Clean:
Just like you are thankful for that blue bottle of windshield washing fluid while you are driving in the snow, so will the heart of the person who believes in Christ for His spilled blood on the Cross. 

He is the One who takes away the dirt on our hearts and makes us clean. 


"Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord
Though your sins are like scarlet
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool." 
-Isaiah 1:18

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Working on a Dream

Working on a Dream

After blogging my way through half of this year, I thought it might be a good idea to share what the critics are saying about me and my posts...

USA Today raves, "It is all the rage!"

New York Times suggests that "Working on a Dream might be the next wave of inspiration that brings the U.S. out of the financial collapse."

The Washington Post comments, "W.O.A.D. will not only inspire you -but it will leave you feeling awesome."

The New Castle News says, "Anthony Kladitis just might be the man, and since I started 'following' his blog, my I.Q. has risen by 16 points."

Donald Trump ranted, "He will be on the next Apprentice ... ALL BY HIMSELF!"

So I guess things are going well thus far! 

But seriously, all kidding aside I try to write about the things that inspire me and hopefully they will inspire you to! 

As always, suggestions, comments, and followers are always welcome as we go through this journey together...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Anthony's Guide for Beating the Cold Winter

I know, it is cold outside.  And if you are like me, then liking the cold stopped about 17 years ago.  So the last thing I want for you is to be beaten my Mr. Winter's blast.  Below you will find the definite guide for hitting back and telling the cold and the snow that you will in no way be intimidated by it. 

Of course, in order to accomplish the above, you must have the proper gear...

1.  You have to get right HAT:  Mine is large and in charge.  It makes most other hats look puny and it also gets me plenty of stares...especially because I wear it indoors.  Just the other day, I was in the store and stood uncomfortably close to another person. When the worker made eye contact with me, I said with the straightest face possible,, "is it hot in here ... or is it just me?"  better when you go and get one of these hats.  I then walked away.  Look, the bottom line is that your face, ears, and head will like you a lot

2.  You have to have the right COAT:  The one I have is made my Columbia and is totally weatherproof.  The idea here, is to get a coat that is windproof & waterproof.  I know, I know, your thinking I do not need all that.  But trust me, one day you just might, and then you will be glad for two things.
(1) That you have that kind of coat and (2) That you read Anthony's blog telling you to get that coat.  So do not skimp on the coat...your arms and torso will end up thanking you.

3.  You have to have the right BOOTS:  The pair I have are made by L.L. Bean and they are the greatest!  These bad boys are waterproof, breathable, and keep your 10 toesies nice and warm.  I made sure I got a better pair because I do a lot of walking outside due to the fact that my dog, Charlie Brown loves the snow.  So in order to keep a happy dog, when everyone is bundled up in their houses, you can find me and Brown outside playing football in the snow or taking an adventurous walk through the woods.

So there you have it.  The hat, the coat, and the boots.  Everything you need to kick butt this winter!

*Many of you have expressed an interest in the object that I am holding in these photos.  It is a police issue baton.  The explanation is if you lived where I live, then you would need no explanation of why I carry it. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Josh Groban - O Holy Night

"Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease."

"For whosoever shall call upon His Name will be saved..."

Going Green since 1949

Today I want to pay tribute to the man who started the "Going Green" Initiative.  And if you are waiting for me to write about Al Gore, then it would be a good idea to keep in mind that even if someone takes credit for starting something, it does not mean they actually did (Internet).

The person who is responsible for the Going Green Initiative (GGI) is none other than my DAD.

See, my Dad was Green way before 2010.  And to prove it to you, I shall recollect a little out loud.

First, when using the water in my house, you can bet on not only hearing Dad's voice (lower the water!, are you going to pay the water bill?, do you think this stuff is going to run forever!?). But you can also see and sometimes feel him.  Most everyday while washing my hands, I would start out solo, but somehow ... someway Dad would end up behind me.  Watching.  Starring.  Observing.  Most times, he would just stand right behind me and I could not help but sense what was going on in his mind...SHUT THE WATER OFF!

Second,  when using any types of materials there was a sense of waste (even when you weren't really wasting anything).  This could range from toilet paper (as in how many squares one could use) to gas (my dad is an avid believer in putting the car in neutral when going down hills and while stopping for a long period of time AND mapping out his entire trip beforehand to ensure he can go to 3-4 places in a row without wasting time or gasoline) to lights being on. 
And let's talk about those lights.  I can remember on several occasions my Dad walking past my bedroom and asking me this dreaded question, "Anthony, are you reading??"  How do I answer that?  Yes means I am lying and No means he will open the door, reach his arm in only enough to find the lightswitch and Abra-Cadaba -I am in the dark. 

Third, although many would tell you that shopping is something to be avoided, my Dad would spend what seemed like an eternity in the grocery stores.  The reason of course, is that Dad had his sales flyer and about 1,200 coupons.  After scaling each and every isle, we would go to the register and his craft would be fully realized by all when he would save an exorbitant amount of money. And on the way out of the store, Dad would always take a pit stop right next to the Customer Service section and go over his receipt like a general.  This ensured that there was NO mistakes and that if there were, he was very close to the people that would make it right.

Fourth,  are the anomalies.  Dad would conserve everything you could possibly imagine.  For example, my brother and I would have to hold on for dear life in the backseat of the car anytime Dad would apply his brakes because he would pump them so hard to help avoid "wear and tear."  [Not kidding, my mom would warn us when she saw a red light or stop sign approaching.]  Along these lines, Dad would keep any form of liquid turned upside down until the last drip was out of the bottle, I can't remember my Dad EVER buying new clothes, shoes, or a single piece of jewelry and if he bought a case of beer -that case would last in house for the next six months.  And the restaurant experience was something to marvel about.  NEVER in my families life did we ever order an appetizer or dessert. And ordering anything but a glass of free water was not even a figment of our imagination.  And in the end of the experience, you guessed it, coupons to help reduce the cost.

After reading the above, you might think that living with that kind of Dad was a drag, and to be honest, at times it was. 
However, I learned so much from my Dad being that way.   I learned that it is better to live within your means that outside of them.  I learned to value the things I have and to take care of them.  I learned that the resources we have been entrusted with, we should not squander and waste. 

But the thing that I learned the most from my Dad about his conserving was the reason behind what he did. 
-He did all the above because of Love-

His love for his family and dedication lead him to sacrifice the finer things in life in order to ensure we had a brighter future.  He did this many times at his own expense and even at the jeers of others.  But that is the thing about my Dad.  He is a man of principal and today many men lack his qualities. And if you think about it, the world would be a better place if more people adopted his humble approach to life.   

So here is to my Dad! 
Hats off to the  Founder, Chairman & Originator of the
Going Green Initiative.