Well Lived Life

Luke 2:52

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

What does a well lived life look like?

Is there someone in your life who you have as a role model? Someone who has lived a long life with successes and failures; someone who if you could only emulate 50% of their attitude and behavior, you would consider your life worth living?  Someone who could share their wisdom and life experiences to assist you on the road toward your promise land?

I was fortunate to have certain elders take an interest in me while growing up. But they came into my life in stages. In hindsight, God brought people into my world when I needed them most. For my early life wasn’t conducive for any type of success. Both my parents only had 8th grade educations; immigrated into this country after World War 2; didn’t speak the language; and came into this country without family nor friends.

In my rebellious teen years, I was ashamed of my parents because they were “old-fashion” and didn’t agree with the current fads of the day. Yet, today as an adult and parent, I marvel at their accomplishments and also salute them for instilling within their children healthy values, life examples, and acts of sacrifice for others.

When I turned eleven, I wanted to purchase a paper route. Mom objected because she said I was too young. Dad on the other hand blessed the opportunity. When he was eleven, his father died and being the only boy in the family, he took over the town blacksmith shop and farmed the fifty acres of land to support the family. If he wasn’t too young at eleven, neither was his son.

When I turned sixteen, I took a job working late nights at a drive-in theater. Though the people I would associate with weren’t the best role models, I was given responsibilities by the general manager to manage one of the two food concessions. In less than one year, I was managing the entire operation supervising college students. He gave me responsibility and the opportunity to learn and grow – skills that have shaped me for future business leadership roles.

My first accounting job at twenty with a manufacturing firm brought the HR manager into my life. He was in his mid-sixties, and previously an executive VP for the entire holding company. Rather than terminate him, the Company transferred him to this small shop out of respect to finish his career. He took a liking to me and showed me the important social and corporate skills needed to succeed in today’s marketplace.

I could go on and on and speak about the mentors from Church who gave me opportunities in my twenties to grow in public speaking, leading youth groups, organizing national single events, and showing me lives well lived. These were men who had successful work careers yet placed fatherhood as their most important role. Men who were authentic, diligently involved with family affairs, yet led successful businesses. And most importantly, men who acknowledged and praised God in their everyday routine. Whether at work, at home, or in the community, their faith was displayed. They were not perfect, made mistakes, but own them and worked hard to change into the image of Jesus Christ.

All we know about Jesus Christ between the age of 12 till 30 is summarized in the above Scripture. He increased in wisdom, stature, and favor before God and man. We are not told the details. We don’t know what or who came into his life while a teenager and young adult. But we witness the fruit of his investment of time and relationships. His intentional focus on gaining wisdom, being involved in the community, and having a positive influence with his friends and neighbors, all led to the writer summarizing this period of time in Jesus’ life with the words “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

So, if you are in your teens or twenties, and want to know where to start investing your time for a life that is well lived, Jesus is always a good role model to follow.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Victimhood

Job 7:1

“Has not man a hard service on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?

1 Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Victimhood is anti-God. The mindset blames others for their situation and wants justice and compensation for their pain. Rather than accept personal responsibility and extend Godly grace toward the other side, they would rather play the martyr and exploit the sympathy of others.

Victimhood is a disease of the soul. The seed of human potential slowly dissipates and lays dormant under the mental chains of demonic slavery. The good works the soul was designed to produce for the benefit of others will never come about. Instead of being a contributor toward the future benefit of mankind, the person becomes a burden and expensive cost for society to manage.        

Victimhood is the mental curse of hopelessness. A mindset which steals one’s future. A person without hope lives a dark, shallow life. Fear becomes their companion. The alternative though is hopefulness; the catapult toward a richer life.

Wherever you place your hope, will be tested. You will either become stronger, or your hope will disintegrate before your eyes. Many a man and woman have experienced the painful darkness of emptiness where doubt and futility reign. Where hope for any favorable solution seems impossible.  Yet as Romans 15:4 reminds us, hope is always available.  One only needs to know where to look for real, lasting HOPE.

We can tell you where not to look for hope. They are the enemy of hope. They want to control and manipulate your attitude for their benefit. They will bombard you with negative, dark images to sway you away from your potential and leave you beaten from the anguish of your situation.

These are the many politicians, advertisers, and media influencers who use tools of deception and propaganda to sway your thinking toward them. They package their product, or their solution as your hope for the future. Yet as history has repeatedly shown, the majority of their promises only leads to more hopelessness in the long run. The best solution is to tune them out and refocus your thinking on where real hope is found.

The Book of Job is an excellent story of a man who was swallowed into the pit of hopelessness. Everything rich and near to him was taken away including his health. In self-pity and self-righteous indignation, the reader travels with him and his companions as his thoughts and actions take him from despair to the restoration of real hope. Through his entire ordeal he learns real hope is only found in God.

The first encounter with victimhood in the Bible is Lucifer being thrown from heaven for rebelling against God and becoming Satan. Instead of accepting personal responsibility for his ignorance and behavior, he blames God for his situation. His hope now is not in God but in his own ability to sway the human race to fight for him against God and for the delusional utopia he dreams of producing. This evil spirit is the main culprit behind the plot to steal your hope.    

Therefore, instead of following the pathway of false hope, secure real hope by placing your trust in Jesus Christ. He is mankind’s only proven hope. 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Grace or Enslavement

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Both my parents were prisoners of war during World War II. They each worked in separate labor prisons in southern Germany for a good portion of the entire war. How each responded afterward throughout their life from the negative impact of such an ordeal is a lesson I carry with me every day.

They both carried scars from their ordeal. Yet Dad’s was less noticeable than Mom’s. In fact, Dad seem to take those ugly events, put it behind him, and gracefully launch himself into a productive, fulfilling life. Mom on the other hand, never seem to forget the past, continually blaming everyone whose hand she suffered under, and always considered herself a victim of circumstances.

In hindsight, their 50+ year marriage would be an ideal study of what modern day freedom and enslavement is all about. Dad and Mom were both religious, but Dad quietly practice his faith while Mom only played the part.

As Dad would always remind us, God protected him so many times during the war and throughout life, he was grateful to live in America and build a comfortable home for his family. He only had an eighth-grade education, but a strong character developed through hard work, personal responsibility, and love of God which molded him and was expressed through his skills and temperament.

Mom though never let the past die. She was a very intelligent woman and hard worker likewise with only an eighth-grade education. She could speak five languages, and cook a banquet for an army. Yet her personal demons never died. She never forgave the people who hurt her, always blaming others for her suffering, and viewed the world from a victim mentality.  

Both Dad and Mom suffered similar trials. Yet both responded in different fashions. Dad yielded himself to His God, praying twice a day on his knees in the living room early mornings and before bedtime in the evening. He didn’t understand theology but knew His God was real and with him. Mom believed God, but wouldn’t allow Him full access to change her from the inside-out. She always had to maintain control and her pride blocked anyone entrance into her heart. Like many people today who unbeknownst struggle with victim mentality, she had everything physically around her that was the good life, but inwardly fighting a war which should have been finished in 1945.

As Christ-followers, we know our heavenly Father has adopted us into His family and given us a Spirit of freedom. But we need to allow His Spirit full access into our heart and mind to change our values, perspective, and worldview. Freedom requires responsibility and strong humility. Anyone can abuse freedom, but to maintain and unify relationships requires the freedom to respect others even when we don’t agree with the other. And most importantly, when we are done wrong, the quicker we learn to forgive and move on, the more freedom grows and opportunities abound.

Being a slave to anyone or an ideology is a prison term without parole. But being an adopted child of an intimate God allows real freedom to abound. HE owns everything, knows best, and relates with everyone. He allows you and I to experience in a small way the life HE lives. HE provides resources to limit and better manage the carnal passions of our soul which boomerang into unpleasant consequences when we express them. HE knows our limitations and still loves us wanting what is best for us. As HIS adopted children, we have full access to HIM anytime we desire. We have HIS ear every time we speak with HIM. All made available through Jesus Christ who is our King.

As a servant in the house of the Lord, I am free to come and go. His grace abounds all around me. Those who try to possess me, control me, and enslave me only become more frustrated and angrier with contempt. They do not recognize nor accept the living power and grace of their heavenly Dad. If they did, they would repent, slowly watch the scales fall from their eyes and ears, and experience the life they were designed to partake. They would break the yoke of enslavement they live under and experience real freedom. The same way my earthly dad did.     

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Top Ten For 2020

Ecclesiastes 11:6

Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.

ten1

This past year, the top ten pages with the most views were:

1) Where is God’s Domain

2) What is God’s Greatest Expression of His Love

3) Jesus is Our Reference Point

4) What New Creation?

5) Walk it Out with Jesus Christ

6) Celebrate Life

7) A Mirror Image of Jesus

8) Spiritual Stupor

9) Kingdom Reality

10) Spirit Follower

Again, THANK YOU for allowing me to share the love and joy of Jesus Christ through this blog. The exercise continues to be therapy for my soul.

Hopefully you likewise have found encouragement and insight in your walk with Jesus Christ through these pages.

As always, my one prayer for you and your love ones is to truly live-out and experience the radical, blessed and wonderful life found in the relational love of the Incarnate Triune God, and come to know HIM as HE truly IS!!!

Always Rooting for You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas: A Time to Decide

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christmas has changed over the years for me. In prior years, the commercial exchange of gifts took top priority. Today though, it has become more of a quiet, intentional, outreach time for a personal evangelical campaign.

I have also come to more appreciate the spirit of giving which still permeants throughout the season. People are more in a sharing and philanthropic mood as witness by many nonprofit charity campaigns raising the majority of their operating funds during this time of year.

From the Salvation Army Santa Claus standing by their red kettles ringing their bells, to Churches being full to capacity with family and friends coming together to hear at least one message about the Biblical Jesus Christ, I’ve now come to appreciate the season more for this prime reason. Christmas is a global reminder for everyone within the western and eastern world to take a minute and ask themselves the question, why is this Jesus important?

If you are a once a year church going member, then maybe you may have heard 20 to 60 messages in your lifetime about this Jesus who was born 2,000 years ago in a small Jewish town of Bethlehem. And maybe one of those messages led you to further investigate into his life. Somewhere along the line you came to the fork in the road where you had to decide. Is He who He claims to be or not? If so, am I willing to follow Him. If not, am I willing to accept the consequences of my actions?

Every person who breathes will have to make that decision. Yes, it is about making a choice. A commitment to follow a person who lived 2,000 years ago, started a movement with 12 unknowns that shaped a culture that keeps ticking and growing in the most unwelcome places throughout the centuries.

To believe God became man, lived among His creation for our benefit as a perfect human upholding all righteousness for our sake, dying, and then being resurrected with over 500 witnesses acknowledging this fact, and finally being lifted up into the heavens where He now lives being qualified as earth’s King, intervening for you and I before God, and just as mind blowing, His Spirit residing in you and I giving us His assurance and a taste of the heavenly delights of God’s character within us.

Totally unbelievable except proven over and over again by those who have surrendered to His Lordship. We, from all the saints in the 1st century to those of us today, have followed, tasted, and experienced the richness of living with the King every day. For some of us, it’s the great dance of life to have a relationship with the living God. For others, it’s simply to have a Father to lean on during those tough times. And for many, it may be a close, personal friend or brother to share life’s good and bad times.

Yes, Christmas is that time of year where God’s Spirit is on display for many to witness and decide whether or not Jesus Christ is who He claims to be. I for one am thankful for the decision to start following Him some fifty years ago. The knowledge, understanding, and wisdom obtained these years has gracefully changed over time as His Spirit lives within me and molds me into his character. This is one of many thoughts that I am reminded and thankful for this season of the year.  I hope you are too.    

Enjoy Christmas with your love ones! 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

God’s Gift of Satisfying Work

Ecclesiastes 3:13

…everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Many of us take for granted what we have or don’t have as it relates to work. When you have a career that fulfills you, rewards you, and gives you meaning in life, you may realize one day how blessed you have been. Others may admire you for your success, but you know happen chance is also a friend of yours. For most of us end up working at an occupation which we didn’t originally plan from our youth.

In my life time, I personally only know two people who knew what they wanted to do in high school, and upon their retirement lived out their youthful goals. The majority of the rest of us fell into different occupations until one of them became our breadwinner.

I myself spent the first ten years after college attempting to find something rewarding and fulfilling. I knew business was my field of endeavor and enjoyed working plus reaping the financial reward it brings, but struggled to find a niche. In those early ten years, I took roles in accounting, supervision, and even sales. In between, I delivered door samples, drove trucks, and filled vending machines. I took every role as a learning session preparing me for something else. Meanwhile, it paid the bills.

Only when I met my wife to be did I take a more strategic method to my waywardness.  Someone introduced me to the Johnson O’Connor Research Center which helps you analyze your 21 natural aptitudes and compares them with other people successful in their professional careers. This is where the doors opened up for me to pursue a career in the real estate industry. The rest is history.

When you align your God-given natural abilities with a desire to serve others for their success along with your passion to acquire knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of your field of study, you will rarely work a day of your life. You find opportunities will present themselves to you and allow you to choose the door which brings you satisfaction from work.

God created the world and planned for you and I to have the freedom of choice. People may try to steal your choice or you may even surrender your choice into bondage. Some may try to enslave you or you may choose to become enslaved. But God has already given you and I the means to make everyday special by expressing the attributes HE shares with us through the work we do. This is HIS gift to you, me, and  mankind.

If you are not satisfied in your current situation, ask HIM (pray) for help to resolve your dilemma. Then be attentive to the opportunities HE presents to you in your everyday routine. When something occurs outside the norm, pay special attention. When God is involved, the solutions are most often outside your normal think-tank. Be prudent. Not every opportunity is a prize. Some are trap doors. But you have to knock on the door and turn the knob. If it opens easily without negative repercussions, you may have your answer. If you have to force the door open, forget it. It’s not the one.

Life will present you with many opportunities. Time, experience, and history will teach you which ones may be better than others. There are no guarantees; only uncertainty. The only certainty you can count on is Jesus Christ being with you. So, whatever you face, you can lean on him and he will strengthen you and help you through the unwanted mess you may find yourself in; and also, be there to celebrate the good times with you.

God wants you to enjoy the life HE has created. The earlier we come to realize that fact and join HIM in his narrative, the quicker one comes to experience the richness of HIS life and all of creation.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Be Wise

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs written over 2,500 years ago still speaks to us today. As a naïve, young man venturing into the business world, this Book provided me the fundamental knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of dealing with first time situations. I lacked practical experience at the time and this Book opened the door to the wisdom of the ages.

Wisdom generally comes from experience. Experience is either acquired by doing something yourself and learning from the process, observing others in similar situations and learning from their successes and mistakes, or studying history and analyzing the causes and effects while transferring the understanding into today’s culture. Overall, the Book of Proverbs has given many an added advantage to lead and shape a life that flourishes.

Sometimes rather than write and express my thoughts on a subject, I like to simply collect the words from the Bible and let them speak directly to you. This time I ran a concordance on the word “wise” from the Book of Proverbs. 

Proverbs 1:3

to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

  1. Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

  1. Proverbs 1:6

to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

  1. Proverbs 3:7

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

  1. Proverbs 3:35

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

  1. Proverbs 4:1

A Father’s Wise Instruction: Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

  1. Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

  1. Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

  1. Proverbs 9:8

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

  1. Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

  1. Proverbs 9:12

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

  1. Proverbs 10:1

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

  1. Proverbs 10:8

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

  1. Proverbs 10:14

The wise lay-up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

  1. Proverbs 11:29

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

  1. Proverbs 11:30

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.

  1. Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

  1. Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

  1. Proverbs 13:1

wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

  1. Proverbs 13:14

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

  1. Proverbs 13:20

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

  1. Proverbs 14:1

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

  1. Proverbs 14:3

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

  1. Proverbs 14:16

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

  1. Proverbs 14:24

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.

  1. Proverbs 14:35

A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

  1. Proverbs 15:2

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

  1. Proverbs 15:7

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

  1. Proverbs 15:12

A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

  1. Proverbs 15:20

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

  1. Proverbs 15:31

The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

  1. Proverbs 16:14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.

  1. Proverbs 16:21

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

  1. Proverbs 16:23

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

  1. Proverbs 17:2

A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

  1. Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  1. Proverbs 18:15

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

  1. Proverbs 20:18

Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

  1. Proverbs 20:26

wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

  1. Proverbs 21:11

When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 21:20

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

  1. Proverbs 21:22

wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

  1. Proverbs 22:17

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,

  1. Proverbs 23:15

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

  1. Proverbs 23:19

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.

  1. Proverbs 23:24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoices; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

  1. Proverbs 24:5

wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

  1. Proverbs 24:6

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

  1. Proverbs 24:23

These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

56. Proverbs 28:11

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:

the ants are a people not strong,
    yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
    yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
    yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
    yet it is in kings’ palaces.

In summary, better to be wise than not.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved