Wrapping Up the Last Year

The 2011 holidays were whirlwind and simple for most everyone I have spoken with. Mostly due to a lack of cash flow in people’s lives. We the people of the United States have been experiencing the other side of deception as our economy which was propted up like a house of cards has fallen down. Yet we are also experiencing ‘a going back to simpler things’ which ultimately …once the addictions have subsided…will leave us happier, healthier and truly wealthier.

For myself I am hoping to end this year with a semblence of a savings account. Haven’t seen one of these in years…just about 4 years to be precise. That’s the one goal. Everything done this year will be in the spirit of that one goal.

What’s your goal?

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Sarai’s Baptism

Today my Godson’s sister Sarai was baptized and there were many interesting things that I noticed.

First to my surprise, when I went to get a baptism card to celebrate the day with her I went to Walgreen’s. For Florida this a general convenience store which usually has just about everything you might need. There were all of the usual cards. Birthday,anniversary,wedding,engagement, ba and bar mitvah, sympathy, to help you cope,missing you,thinking of you, thank you,new job,new home, new baby,baby christening, just because, just divorced…no just kidding!


Any way the point of all this is… there were no cards to celebrate a baptism.

I wondered in light in light of seeing no option for  card to celebrate this important day with her, how unusual this event in a person’s life might be these days or rather how unimportant of an event must it be in other’s estimation that there is no real market for this type of card in the general public.

Sarai was asked by the officiating clergy before the ceremony why she felt she should be baptised. Sarai explained in a very mature way, beyond that of a typical 15 year old,that she did not feel she ’should’ be baptised but rather she had come to ‘desired’ to be baptised to let her world know of her decision to recognise that she was willing to give her sins to Jesus in thanks and respect for his willingness to die for them.She said she had an expectation to wake to a new life in the after math of doing so.A real gift to a mom who has encouraged her daughter to believe and pray through all the years of growing to this moment!

Later at lunch we shared with our waitress that this was Sarai’s  baptism day. The waitress shared her memory of her confirmation and even brought out a piece of cake with a candle to celebrate with Sarai.  

This act of respect was important for all of us but I was specially blessed in the realization that one who truly understands the significance of this kind of important day in someones life finds a way to acknowledge it. Just as  Sarai who, not out of obligation to a religious tradition but out of a heart that desired to grow in a relationship with her Savior chose to be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Go ye therefore and teach all nations babptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them all things what so ever I have commanded you and lo I am with you always even unto the ends of the earth. Matthew 28:19-20.

Congratulation Sarai I look forward to all the other amazing stories of your life!

Auntie Colleen

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Collaboration Is Risky. Now, Get on with It.

Last week I arrived home from work to see my 8th grade son toiling away on a science fair project with his classmate Marc. As I observed their breezy back-and-forth, one at the computer, the other laying out the poster board, both fully engaged, no ego involved, I found myself taken back. In part, because as a parent, I’m always a little surprised when children do their homework without parental micro-management, but also because these two 8th graders made collaboration look like child’s play.
And yet that’s not always our experience in the office. Rather than the free-wheeling interchange of ideas and labor we anticipate — we’re grown-ups after all — working together is typically everything but easy.
Why is teamwork so difficult?
Because collaboration is actually a pretty risky business. Perhaps, like me, you are generally of the mindset that two heads are better than one. But because your ideas frequently get co-opted, there’s a risk-reward imbalance that makes you reluctant to engage. Or maybe you’ve reached out to a potential collaborator only to have your lack of expertise exploited. So, rather than ever again experiencing the one-two punch of ignorance and vulnerability, you’d prefer to soldier on alone. In both instances, the fundamental barrier to collaboration is a lack of trust.
How do we lay the groundwork for trust so that when we need to collaborate we can quickly slip into a workable partnership? Based on my experience, here are a few suggestions.
1. Start with simple exchanges where the cost of betrayal is low. A perfect example of this is Twitter. In this farmer’s market of ideas, we can place our 140-character wares on display, and begin to identify those who potentially see the world as we do. As we find ourselves repeatedly transacting with certain people, we may agree to co-author a blog post. This type of short-term alliance allows us to further test our working relationship, which might later lead to collaboration on an article, and so forth. All too often, however, we go from I like your tweets to Let’s write a book together. Certainly I have.
In the workplace, start simply. Share an idea. Ask for advice on a subject about which you know relatively little. Observe what happens. By starting with one-off transactions, we can gauge, at a very low cost, whether a potential collaborator will treat what we bring to the table, and what we don’t, with respect.
2. Remember that our collaborators are competent. Once we’ve worked on a few limited scope projects and hammered out the rules of engagement, it’s important to give authority to our collaborators. If we find we’re micromanaging, maybe we didn’t pick our partners as well as we thought, but maybe we’re going on the offensive because we feel vulnerable. If so, we need to just stop. Booker T. Washington wrote, “Few things help an individual more than to let him know that you trust him.” We picked these partners because we believed we could trust them, and when we micromanage, we’re saying loud and clear “I don’t trust you.”
3. Don’t take advantage of our collaborators’ deficiencies. If we choose to work with someone because they can do what we can’t, the almost certain corollary is that we will do something well that they don’t. It was not too long ago that I believed people who couldn’t spell were dumb. Then I discovered that some people thought I was dumb because I have a poor sense of direction. Am I dumb? No, are people who don’t spell well dumb? No. It may be enticing, nonetheless, to begin to poke at our collaborator’s lack of knowledge in an area. But “the art of being wise,” said William James, “Is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
4. Give others their due, and expect yours in return. If we are collaborating in the context of work, cash payment is  If we are collaborating in the context of work, cash payment is merely the baseline. If we really want to engender trust, we will give our collaborators credit for their contribution, acknowledging their solid execution, and especially their ideas. If rendered in public, and behind their back, even better. As Peter Drucker said, “The leaders who work most effectively, don’t think ‘I’, they think ‘we’…’we’ gets the credit. That is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”
The old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself,” is often true.

Yet most of the really important stuff we want to get done professionally and personally requires we enter into the risky business of collaboration. While barriers to collaboration are manifold, the underlying deterrent is lack of trust. When we’re willing to do the work of finding collaborators with whom we can entrust both our expertise, and lack thereof, we can create something much grander than we could have on our own — the reward will be more than worth the risk.
For additional resources on this topic, I recommend “The Tools Cooperation and Change” and Nurturing Trust — Leveraging Knowledge.

by Whitney Johnson
This article originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review and is published here with permission from the author. More from Whitney Johnson on Twitter: @johnsonwhitney.

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Protandim By Life Vantage- The Gift for Life

Photo of Dr. Joe McCord

A scientist, in a lab coat, 40 yrs ago

discovered the anti oxidant enzyme that fights free radicals in our body.

His name is Joseph McCord.

Dr. McCord recieved the last Elliot Cresson Award that was given for do so. He has also been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace prize.

The discovery was SOD and today is a very important focus in the anti oxidant research world.

In 2003 Dr.  McCord discovered a compound made with 5 ancient herbs which now has 4 patents.This compound is called Protandim and has been brought to the market since 2009 in the direct marketing business model. This is a business model that is very competent in bringing nutraceuticals to fame.. . Think Herbal Life for instance.

Protandim also up regulates glutathione 300 % by day 90 and glutathione is another  major star in the research world. The most important anti oxidant enzyme possibly in the human body.

For any one who wants to be on the cutting edge of bio chemical advances in making the body healthier and stronger in the most efficient way… Protandim has it all.

Life Vantage is a publicly  traded company with 268 % growth in each quarter of the last year. Now poised in the market place with the only health tool of its kind and trades under the ticker LFVN.

ABC Primetime Report on Protandim with John Quinones

Distributors are NEEDED  in all states of the  USA, Mexico & Japan


or call 813 220 8658 for more information.

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The Annual Multi Cultural Family Center of Tampa Food and Art Festival

 Thanks to Larry both a member of the board of The Multi Cultural Family Center of Tampa and an active member of’s International Friends I was able to attend this year’s annual arts and food festival. Larry gave ’International Friends’ the behind the scenes tour of  the non for profit facility that is about to go through a major expansion very soon.

    A Look into the MultiCultural Family Center Art & Food Festival      

When I stepped inside I was  immediately reminded of places I have traveled to before with the walls vivid rich colors and various flags representing the different countries that are  representative of the many families that make of the community of the center . Their was also an abundance of featured art that the young people who frequent this center have done on site and for sale for visitors like myself. I of course left with two  pieces that will hang now in my home, to serve as a reminder, of the fact that there are many surprises of culture right in my own back yard here in Tampa, Florida. The facility has many computer which help the local families keep their children current with technical awareness of  graphic arts and CTR skills as well as drumming,dancing, language classes, heritage awareness and other fun activities.

Music form other places filled the air and break dancing was the events main feature along with great food from various ethnic restaurants like The Queen of Sheba. Even Starbucks Tetra was present  The day was fun and drew in needed funds through vendors and silent auctions. The Multi Cultural Center had their own Facebook  page to help draw in the crowds find them

Can You Hear the Drums Yet?

Choosing to stay drug free and confident in one’s ethnic heritage seemed to be a focus everywhere you turned at the festival. A great venue for today’s youth! Volunteers are much appreciated, so if you have a skill or special ethnic focus, live in the Tampa Bay Area feel free to connect and get involved today.

                                                                      See They are Dancing 

The Multi Cultural Family Center of Tampa

6704 Hanley Road

Tampa, Florida 33615


Look Left and Then Look Right

We heard this alot when we were little and learning to cross the street so as to be safe. Looking left and then right could be what we must do to be informed about what is going on in our country but at this moment the idea will center on my look to the left last Saturday while at a Learn to Ebay event held in Valrico ,Florida by Tim and Judy Wilson.

I have had a growing desire to learn how to use Ebay without having to figure it out myself. Time being very limited for all of my personal interest I hope to one day find a good teacher so I could get right to the most important points.  Sometimes in the pursuit of one’s interest life brings unexpected gifts. 

Reginald, he said his name was, Reginald Hobbs. We began to open our conversation as two strangers who were willing to look left and then right. 

Reginald shared how he was from Michigan but had lived in eight cities before settling there for another eight. He was the son of a military man and so ‘changing environments’ was a big part of his past. Our conversation found its way to the two things they say you should never discuss…. Politics and religion but not in the usual way.

I had learned that Reginald had written a book. I was impressed because few I know do that, so with more questions I discovered that Reginald  an African American and an evangelical christian since the age of 20, was currently a minister with a focus in teaching . His denominational experience  has ranged from non denominational to Baptist. 

He became inspired after the election of Barack Obama to write his book about the very different reaction that came after Obama’s win from the African American evangelical Christians of the faith and those of the white evangelical Christian’s. With a strong grasp of the principles of God’s Word from the Holy Bible as the back ground constant.

 So the purpose of his book was to consider the reactions and the basis for those reactions along side the truth of christian principle. Reginald Hobbs book, “ A Biblical Perspective on the First African -American President” is a quick but valuable read for those who have not read much on the subject, I was impressed with how much knowleged on the subject and balanced use of scripture was incorporated in the 52 pages. It has been reviewed as a good, fair, informative and challenging book by those who have read it and I will have to agree.

Many times it is rare to find some one who has a grasp of both spiritual concepts and at the same time  current events ,more than you would get through a casual look at the news paper or watching t.v.

Because of the book, I was reminded of my responsibility to pray for the President for many reasons. Sad to say, I have to admit, I haven’t done that in two years. I like many have watched Barack Obama in the context of a political figure and not as a human being. Between the challenge of Mr. Hobbs book this week and seeing ”The King’s Speech” , I am reminded that every man is on his journey. How he is viewed then encouraged is very important in how he  will be and how he will effect society. While so many have been challenged to understand what this President is about and how it effects our country’s future, the author’s ability to objectively look at all aspects of the President his views , leadership and goals has been effective. I am challenged  to once again keep my perspective first and foremost focused on that which is eternal ,true and real. I will be less inclined to be overtly judgemental or naive that way. 

Thank you Reginald Hobbs, for being a man willing to put your insights down on paper. 

You can find Reginald Hobb’s book, “ A Biblical Perspective on the First African-American President” at for $10.49  or directly from Mr. Hobbs at  for $9.00

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The Power Of One…Jaime Escalante

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To Be

To Be Or Not to be…. the famous Shakespearean question

In this world there are more than 6 billion people living lives like you…

When you click below

click again on Testimony at the bottom

then click on Podcast

then choose the subject you are interested in …I chose  To Be In Love and smiled alot!!


Click Here for fun stories from every where!!

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Is America Really a Watchman???

There is a conflict

in the world that has existed since the beginning of time.

The challenge

between freedom and the lack there of…

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th President of the United States

“We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than by choice, the watchmen on the wall of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and our responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal. For as it was written long ago, “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

“”- John F. Kennedy, from a speech prepared but not given, November 1963.

As Americans

as this leader wanted to remind, we must come to realize that this conflict has always been at the base of every human crisis. Does the American policy both foreign and domestic always get it morally and perfectly right…no of course not, no civilization ever has.

Still no matter what the continual problems are that all humans and countries

have and will continue to face

Freedom is at the base.

Click Here to See and Hear

What do you think?  Leave your views and comments below

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