How Was 2014?

December 30, 2014

End of Year 2014

We have already arrived at the end of this “new” year (seems like it just started yesterday) 2014. I hope yours was a great one.

As I like to give me readers occasional glimpses inside my head, I will complete one of my annual “selfish” posts and share some of my own reflections of this past year. For me, 2014 was like the past five years. I was optimistic that this would be the breakthrough year where my greatest dreams would come true. Although it didn’t quite happen, it was a year of serious personal growth that has taken me steps closer to realizing my ultimate goals.

My greatest growth was a spiritual strengthening and renewal. My Christian walk has grown steadily for the past few years. However, I realized more than ever that the kingdom of heaven is within me, and that God’s spirit is not only near me, but an actual part of me. Reading books like Wayne Dyer’s “Wishes Fulfilled”, and St. Germain’s “I Am Discourses” really enlightened me to this truth and helped me begin to live it out. I also benefited greatly from learning more about the importance of living in the present moment instead of dwelling on past or worrying about the future. Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of the Present Moment” was a great help in getting me there. It’s a book I tried to read in the past but found it very difficult to understand. I guess the timing was right this time around and it truly resonated each time I read it. Regardless, I discovered that living in the present moment is truly one of our greatest powers.

In other areas of my life, there was some growth, while some areas didn’t grow as much as I would have liked. The greatest blessing was in the financial area as this was far and away my greatest financial year. We were able to put a significant dent in out debt and paid most of it off completely. I was provided a different part time job in addition to my teaching that paid twice what the previous one did.

The one area that still needs great improvement is my leadership at home. People tell me I am a good father, and I believe it. I still feel like I could be a much better husband and leader. I am home less due to the work schedule, which makes it a bit difficult. That will be major focus for next year. Speaking of jobs, I am less than happy with either of them. On the other hand, I am extremely happy to have them, and thankful for the income and impacts I can have on other people, especially adolescents. My ultimate goal is to work one job from home, and steps were taken this year to potentially make that happen.

Finally, I can also be thankful for the great health of myself and my family. We are very well protected, and none of us was sick for an extended period of time. Even among my crazy schedule, I did not miss any days because of extended sickness.

The bottom line, as I end another year, is I have SO much to be thankful for. I serve a God that has only my best in store, wants to bless me abundantly, and is a part of my very being. I take this with me as I head into 2015. I am setting some major goals, and look forward to the journey to reach them.

I thank you for staying with me for one person’s take on this past year. I invite you to share how 2014 was for you. I hope you have grown and can also eagerly look forward to 2015. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


I Don’t Deserve This

December 26, 2014

I was sitting by the fireplace on Christmas Eve (ok, I admit I don’t have one and I’m talking about the fake one on TV). I was relaxing at the end of another beautiful Christmas Eve celebration, listening to the Christmas songs, not quite ready to go to bed. I began to reflect on the many wonderful blessings in my life….my family, the reason for the season, and the many other great things I have in my life. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude as I reflected on these.

After some time, I began to almost feel guilty. I thought about how I’ve been blessed in amazing abundance, yet I really didn’t deserve it. I thought of how, even though I am a good person,  I had really done nothing to warrant the wonderful gifts in my life. However, before I became too involved with these negative feelings, God quickly intervened. I felt as if He was saying…”That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s called grace.”

At this point the negative feelings disappeared and were replaced with peace and the joyous, thankful feelings I felt a few minutes before. It was a wonderful reminder that I share with you. God would tell us we indeed do not deserve the blessings we receive. He then tells us it’s ok. He also tells us He gladly floods our lives with His greatness and unending favor regardless of how unworthy we are.

You may have the same thoughts at times. You feel like you have done nothing to deserve potential blessings or those you have already received. I can assure you that God is still very willing to share His great favor, love, and goodness with you, regardless of how unmerited it is. It’s called grace, and it’s a free gift from Him. Your job is simply to accept and share it. Have a wonderful day 🙂


What’s Right With You?

December 15, 2014

What’s wrong with me? Have you ever asked yourself that question? If you are like almost all human beings, you have. Unfortunately, many people ask the question all too often. When we are struggling to find the desired partner,lose weight, break a habit, keep a job, or whatever, we tend to focus on what is wrong with us.

The problem is that as we keep our focus on what is wrong with us, the Law of Attraction says we ultimately cause more of it to appear in our lives. How do you turn this around? Spend time as often as possible thinking about what is right with you. No one is perfect. Yet even if you have many negative qualities (all of us have at least some) there is at least something that you are good at and some positive quality you can share with the world. Everyone also has at least something they can be thankful for. Even if things in your life aren’t going well, there is at least something you can thank God for, even if it’s simply the ability to breathe and drink clean water.

The bottom line is that, according the same law mentioned above, we receive in life what we focus on. If we focus on what is right and good about ourselves and our lives, we will see more of it. Ultimately, our positive qualities grow even stronger, and we are able to make more of a difference in the world.

I strongly suggest you change your focus to what is right with you. What do you have to offer the world? What are your most proud of about yourself? What do you have to be thankful for? The more you focus on that, the happier you will be. And it’s amazing how those negative qualities tend to naturally disappear! If you look closely enough, there is a lot that’s right with you. Focus on that “rightness” and goodness, and it will be a greater part of your life. Enjoy the blessings 🙂


Your Golden Ticket to Happiness

November 13, 2014

What is the golden ticket to happiness? Almost everyone I know wants to find it. As I pondered the answer to this question it came to me very quickly, almost automatically. I didn’t have to take the time to look it up.

I discovered that anyone can have this golden ticket to happiness, and can have it right away. The key is to appreciate what you have. I apologize if you are looking for some earth-shattering, life changing formula. This is it. Think about it. People are often at the most unhappy when they don’t pay attention to the beauty around them or the great things they already have. They are focused on what’s missing, things they don’t have, or the negative that is going on around them.

I am not naïve to the fact that we all have negative situations around us. I know there are things in life that we want but don’t yet have. However, I have experienced the peace and joy of focusing on the great things that I do have. I realize that I have a choice of where I place my focus. When I focus my thoughts on the wonderful blessings God has provided in my life and even the great things He will do, it brings an amazing joy, and steady stream of happy thoughts that automatically adds to the level of happiness I experience.

This is not rocket science. When you thank God for the little things, you are given bigger reasons to be thankful. Your level of happiness will not disappear unless you allow it to by focusing your thoughts on the wrong things. Once again, I understand negative things happen. However, by maintaining positive, thankful thoughts for the good that you have, the negativity will quickly disappear if you simply deal with the situation and stay positive.

I remind you again that if you want to be singing and celebrating your golden ticket like the kids in Willy Wonka, you simply need to focus on all the good you have in your life now and be thankful for it. Watch how quickly your attitude changes, and before you know it the chocolate factory will be all yours 🙂


Father Daughter Bonding

July 25, 2014

I’ve been away for a few days on a mini vacation with my daughter. It was a wonderful trip. Here’s a bit of a background…

I’ve always been a big sports fan, mainly because my father took me to professional sporting events since I was very young. Some of my greatest memories as a child, and even as an adult, were these times spent at games with my father. As I thanked him, he said the only payback required was that I did the same for my kids.

I couldn’t wait to take my own son(s) to games and experience that same bonding time. As it turns out, I had no sons but 3 daughters. However, each one has expressed interest in going to games, and I have had that bonding time with each of them. Due to the fact that games are so expensive now, I can only take them one at a time.

My oldest daughter is a fan of the New York Yankees baseball team. They are my least favorite team, but I still promised her a trip. Since we are only 2 hours from Toronto, the plan was to see the Yankees when they played there. However, as we made those plans, we realized that my daughter was too old (16) to cross the border with only a birth certificate. She needed a passport that she did not have. This was last summer. She was obviously disappointed that I broke my promise of taking her to the game. I told her that in the next season, I would make it up to her by taking her straight to the source…I would take her to a game at Yankee Stadium in New York City. My daughter is in love with New York, so she quickly got over her disappointment and agreed to the deal.

The right time next season arrived, and this past week we took our trip to New York City. We did a lot of driving in a short time, as it’s a 7 hour car ride from where we are, and we only made it a two day trip. We spent a full day in New York, experiencing the typical sights like Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the like. We did a ton of walking all day on a hot but beautiful day. In the evening we arrived at the stadium where my daughter was in awe. I was too, even though I’ve been there before. Baseball fans know who Derek Jeter is. The last time I was at Yankee Stadium was his first year playing. Now I also was there to see him in his last. A major thunderstorm in the middle of the game shortened it, but we still had a great time and enjoyed the game. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure I was awake, and that this priceless time at a Yankees game in New York with my daughter wasn’t just a dream.

I could not stop thanking God throughout this trip. I thank Him for this daughter and my other two. All of them are absolute gems, beautiful on the inside and out. I thanked Him for this opportunity, and for the resources to take this trip. And I thanked Him for the safety and protection we experienced throughout, as well as the wisdom to find my way around, get on the right trains, etc.

This was a short two day trip. However, the fun, laughs, and experiences we had will last a lifetime. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


What Is It Like To Be A Human Who Is ‘Present’?

June 29, 2014

I have been making a strong effort to place my full focus on the present moment. It is one of the greatest ways we can add power and joy to our lives.

I know God is helping me because He places great information like this in my path. I share it with you in hopes you will receive the same empowerment that I have 🙂

ameliapinter

Also ‘fully Present’ / ‘having Presence’ / ‘Being in the Present moment”/ ‘In the here and now’ / ‘in the NOW’.

What is this like? My best description is a list, as I realize it can be difficult to imagine for those who have not yet attained it, and can have little or some idea only of what all the fuss is about! 😉  It sure is the place to Be!

I have put everything I could think of that may help, some word definitions overlap, but some may trigger in some of you that others do not, so I include them. Also I include some maintenance thereof, assisting tips.  I personally like to do zero negativity also, for all the extra benefits that gives Life, the Universe and Everything!

🙂  So, to Be present is :

Being in a state of : ~-

-Wonderment.
-Bliss.
-Gratitude
-Joyful acceptance of…

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How Refreshing Can Vacation Be?

February 25, 2014

The above question is an interesting one. The answer depends on the perspective of the individual. However, sometimes a vacation is so good and so refreshing that it automatically answers the question.

I recently enjoyed a wonderful vacation to Florida. I always enjoy the opportunity to visit, but after the brutal winter we’ve had (which is still in progress by the way), it was an especially golden opportunity to get away to someplace warm.

The vacation was one of those that, if anything could go right, it did. We were blessed with extraordinary weather. The day we drove down was one day after a major snow and ice storm hit the Carolinas and Virginias. We were not slowed down at all as we travelled through. The weather in Florida was sunny every day with temperatures ranging from the low 70s early in the week, to the mid 80s by the end. We had smooth sailing with a reliable minivan, and no major traffic to get in our way. The people we encountered, such as my parents, my wife’s father and step-mother, brother and sister-in-law, treated us like royalty. The service we received from the hotels and parks we stayed at was top-notch.

If you are stuck in this winter’s persistently cold weather pattern, I wish I could have taken you with me. However, I offer you an escape I often use. When I get sick of winter, I find warm, tropical pictures and videos and immerse myself there to provide warm, comforting thoughts. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it makes me feel better and warmer. I offer you the same with some pictures from this wonderful Florida vacation.

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One of the highlights of our trip was an ocean-front hotel stay in Cocoa Beach. Here are some sunset views from our hotel balcony..

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This moonrise picture’s reflection seems like it’s leading to the heavens. That’s where I felt like I was 🙂

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How would you like to wake up to this? Sunrise on Cocoa Beach…

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Here’s a place I’ve been to several times, and it never gets old…

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I hope the sunny skies and beautiful scenery can take you out of the gloomy, icy doldrums for now. I am now back in the Buffalo cold and snow. There will be further challenges with weather, my job, and other things. However, after a trip like this I am refreshed and more than ready to handle any challenges that come my way. I cannot be more thankful 🙂