Weekly Posting Goal:

Start off your week with a new post from Spark America every Sunday to get you informed and energized, and to give you meaningful, thought provoking information and inspirational dialog to share with your friends for the entire week. I welcome your comments.

Feel free to email me at GaetanoDrake(at)gmail(dot)com

I invite you to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. Just click on "comments"at the bottom of each post.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best New Years Resolution---Read A Good Book

Have you ever heard the expression---"I can read you like a book?" How about this one, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". Sometimes we feel like our lives are like an "open book." Quite often, when we make statements like that, we seemingly feel we really know what someone's life is all about. I could ask you this one question---do you really think you do?

In today's world I have found that if I want to make a point to the people I am trying to build a relationship with, I need to find a better way to try make them understand my point of view. In choosing to open a door to get to know someone better, I make strong eye contact, hoping they will respond by keeping that contact strong, hopefully paying attention to the message I am trying to convey to them. My goal at that time when the contact seems to be really strong and connected, is to begin to discuss that I would like that person to look at themselves and others as though they were a book. Usually at that point I seem to have gotten their attention and interest as to what I may have to say. Hopefully at that point they are thinking to themselves that they need to hear a logical explanation.

Continuing on, I follow with the observation that most people still judge a book by it's cover. When that happens all too often, we never get to open the book to see what lies inside---what wonder and wonderful stories there are just waiting to be read. Upon opening a person's book, we will discover an imperfect life just like ours, a life that needs to be read, with a table of contents that may read---the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you do choose to read this persons book, don't just flip through the pages of pain and suffering looking for the happy times, for their book may not contain any or very few.

I say 'so what.' Opening up a book to someone's life and being a part of it is a whole lot better than going to the library and reading a book that is a book of fiction, or a biography of someone no longer living, knowing that you will never get a chance to be a page, a paragraph or a sentence in the book of their life. Books of people you know and will meet are far more interesting and meaningful, than reading a book about someone you will never meet, who you can never get to know.

So instead of wasting your time making New Year's resolutions that you never seem to keep, open the cover of the book of  a person's life you may or may not know, and read on. Don't let the cover prevent you from reading about what is inside----it may change both of your lives forever. Remember: if you judge a book by it's cover, then others may judge your book the same way. Isn't it better to have your life as an open book, than a closed novel?

Don't wait too long because when a person dies, a book burns--- not a good ending to the story.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas---To Those Of Us Left Behind

The year was 1963, the same year our beloved Andy Williams released the everlasting American Christmas song --"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." What a wonderful song, what an amazing voice, such a wonderful man. For many of us living in America today, when Christmas rolls around we don't always feel so wonderful, because we have to face the holiday season without the loved ones that are no longer part of this once "joyous holiday". I can still feel the pain of that first Christmas without my mother and my brother Dave, that still leaves a hole in my heart that sometimes seems to be mending with the passage of time.

Some people believe that as the years of our lives begin to pass, the pain we feel for the loss of our loved ones, will begin to ease, and that their passing will begin to make more sense to us. As I reflect on this belief, I must admit the pain seems to intensify at Christmas time, living in a deeper place within my heart and soul for most other holidays. Every time I listen to "Silent Night," I cry. There seems to be something more meaningful about Christmas time, when the pain seems to creep back up again, and begins to hurt a little more, some years more so than others.

To those of us who have been left behind, separated from our loved ones, I would like to say to you--- I feel your pain. I can also feel the joy of remembering the "good times" spent at Christmas, because at least once every year at this time, I can take a heartfelt trip down 'memory lane,' meeting my mom and brother Dave along the way, to once again remember the good times we had together. My heart goes out to you at this, so holy, yet so painful time of the year--- that your pain will begin to fade away some, as you feel the presence of God and your dearly departed loved ones. They will live in your heart forevermore, and if you sit in a quiet place and close your eyes, they will always only be a heartfelt memory away.
From my heart to yours:

Another day goes by and still the children cry, so put a little love in your heart, it's Christmas. Take a good look around, and if you are looking down, put a little love in your heart, and the world will be a better place for you and me and everyone around us. I hope when you decide, God's love and kindness will be your guide. Remember to give lots of love and your presence to as many people as you can during the Christmas season, because 'memory lane' is just a one way street.

Merry Christmas Mom,
Merry Christmas Dave,
Merry Christmas Jason Brave Heart,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Merry Christmas to everyone

Hopefully everyone's heart will be filled with the true meaning of the word "Christmas," the everlasting birth of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Has America Gone Kerflooey?

Being a patriotic American is no easy task these days. It appears that all I hear and read about this great nation of ours is that we are falling apart. Do you think this is true? Let's take a close look at this presumption, not only a discourse felt by Americans but also by those around the world. This is a difficult assumption to defend, given the current events that play out daily across our homeland.

What got me thinking about this a whole lot more than I usually do, was a word that was used by someone I read about in an article just the other day, who said,--America has gone "kerflooey." So, I decided to Google the word to find out a little bit more of it's meaning. It's first known use was back in 1918, and probably originated right here in the U.S. I assume that things were going a little bit "kerflooey" back then as well. If we take a look back in American history, we may find an answer to that question.

As we take a closer look at the word kerflooey, we find many synonyms to define it's true meaning. Words such as broken, defective, fallen apart, gone to pieces, haywire, inoperable, not functioning, on the fritz, out of kilter, rundown, shot, and wrecked, just to name more than a few. Enough said, you get the picture.

Being a patriotic American and to witness these feelings both here on our homeland and abroad, presents an arduous task to those who choose to defend her honor. I would personally say to the unpatriotic, those of you who like throwing stones at her, to be watchful of the birth of the new United States Of America.

What seems to be a dead end to some, is just another place to turn around for those of us who choose to maintain her liberty and freedom---the bedrock of her birth.

No, she hasn't gone kerflooey, it just appears that way sometimes; just keep that watchful eye. She has always been, and will continue to be, "the lead dog."

May liberty and freedom keep on ringing loud and clear, its driving catalyst always being peace. And the United States of America is always in the driver's seat.

America--- love her, and keep on loving her, for we are all she's got.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Let Us Be Grateful

Being grateful is one of the greatest gifts we have to share with others every day of our lives. Let us not forget daily we need to be grateful that we :

-Are alive
-Can see
-Can breathe
-Can hear
-Can speak
-Can eat
-Can drink
-Can smell
-Can touch
-Can think
-Can sing
-Can read
-Can love unconditionally
-Can receive unconditional love

We must wake up every day and be grateful for:
-Dante Gaetano
-Life coaches
-Pastors and Preachers
-Quiet Angels
-Kind strangers
-Joy givers
-Peace makers
-The glory of nature
-Lovable pets
-Food on the table
-A roof over our heads, especially one that is not leaking
-Finding life's purpose
-Praying and worship
-Being able to experience love and to give it to someone else
-God's grace
-Finding hope
-Childhood memories
-Remembering that first kiss
-Choosing to forgive

As you already know, there are so many more things to be grateful for. Add your own gratefulisims, it will change your life, and without a doubt change someone else's.

I am grateful to you for taking the time to read my posts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Call to Peace

There are times throughout American history when conflicts that exist are of such intensity that they create human suffering. In order to remain aligned to the solutions of these conflicts, we must indeed get to the very root of the causes of these conflicts. Upon achieving this goal, we may encounter peace.

Currently, latent hostility and suspiciousness between nations is coming to the forefront , thus creating great strife between peoples and within nations themselves. We can look to the recent tensions between the U.S.and Moscow as an example.

Such is the time we are in now- a time in which our collective hostilities toward each other must be put to rest. What effects our nation ultimately effects the rest of the world, and to this end we must be the catalyst of peace among nations of the world. We must make this our destiny.

War is not the inevitable solution to this problem, particularity when other solutions to peace abound within our daily grasp. War is never a good solution to division or hostility.

We are, today, living at a time at which another war could break out without much prompting, perhaps by some just using the wrong interpretation to one's meaning of God, or who is the true God.

We must begin to find a way of speaking the dialogue that will strike a mutual accord, leading us down the road to peace and unity as our final destination.

At this time in America it is not possible to know where this inception of peace will begin, but it is in the air, even at this moment, it just needs to be prodded by those of us who choose to give peace a chance.

We must pray as a nation at this present time for an earth that is struggling with the pains to give birth to a new way of life. We need to try to understand and find the oneness of all of our hearts before it is too late.

I believe a new beginning is about to arrive, being delivered upon a stream of love, hope, and peace.