Archive for November, 2016

PostHeaderIcon NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER

By Vernalee
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Are you one of those folks who think that you are the smartest person walking; that no one can fool you because you have all the answers?
Of course, you don’t have to answer that question.
We often times deny who we really are anyway.
For sure, you may have attained the educational accolades and be recognized professionally.
You may even have the cream of the crop in terms of material possessions.
Great!
I’m proud and happy to see the progression.
You worked hard and invested the time, energies, and financial resources to acquire those things.
I ain’t mad at ya!
But before we move on, I pass on a hint that was grilled in my head early on.
I hope you find its acceptance.
Here goes.
Stay humble!
Keep your feet on solid ground!
What goes up may come down!
Don’t let what you have change who you are!
Therefore, don’t elevate your level of importance or put your arrogant head in the clouds, and look down on others.
May I share with you an observation?
Growing up in small towns illuminates your vision.
It enables you to see things – up close and personal.
Many, in fact most of my hometown folks were uneducated; some illiterate.
Yet, they were some of the smartest people that I have meet.
Interesting, but true.
So today, read my lips.
What you see is not always what lies within!
I caution you to stop underestimating folks!
You know the group that the elite pompously relegate to the corner of ignorance for not being able to intelligently process information to their level of acceptance.
There is a plethora of one liners that are used to describe them.
Here is a modest list:
* Not the sharpest tool in the shed.
* Dumb as a bag of nails and a box of rocks.
* Not the brightest light in the harbor.
* The light’s on but no one’s home.
* Not the brightest bulb in the box.
* A few screws short of a hardware store.
* A few cards short of a deck.
* A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
* About as sharp as a marble.
* Only has one oar in the water.
* The elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.
* A few peas short of a casserole, and of course,
* Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
They may not have been “A” students, but their common sense may put them light years ahead or equal to the academic greats with their street sense of understanding, interpretations, and calculations.
Much their eyes have seen!
Common sense is their strong suit.
You probably know some of these folks; I proudly know many.
So be careful!
They let the name calling roll off their backs.
The streets have toughen them up and granted them immunity.
“Sticks and stones may break their bones, but names will never hurt them!” Therefore, don’t disregard what they know!
Don’t underestimate their intelligence.
When it comes to street savvy, they wrote the book and may can run circles around the best!
Watch it!
They may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but their blade still cuts!
Photo credit: www.annoyingorange.wikia.comE

PostHeaderIcon A CUP OF FLOUR

By Vernalee
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Growing up, I remember when a neighbor and my Mother would trade a cup of flour when needed. If someone ran short, the other person was there. Maybe, it was the neighborly atmosphere that existed in small towns like Glen Allan, Mississippi. Perhaps, it was a way of life then.
I cannot put my fingers on it, but I miss the atmospheric flavor that it exuded.
Sure that cup of flour enhanced the mouth watering taste of my Aunt Sudie’s biscuits that she shaped not with a biscuit cutter, but with her hands.
Certainly, that cup of flour rounded out the ingredients in Miss Laura’s finger licking good lemon glazed pound cake.
All of that was true with their flavor enhanced recipes, but that cup of flour was more than what it appeared.
The flour epitomized the essence of sharing.
There was a camaraderie and a dependence of knowing that someone would be there for you in a time of need.
Helping each other was the name of the game.
It was the neighborly thing to do.
It is an ingredient that is sorely missing today.
Sure, the big city took away some of the closeness. Many of us don’t even know our neighbors’ names. How tragic!
Gone and removed are the comfort zones as we grew away from the hands that worked together; from the hands that cultivated a spirit of unity and reciprocity. Instead, we put up fences and barricades of impediments that multiplied as time passed by.
Ironically, whether we admit it or not, as the price of flour went up, so did our need for each other; a need, a dependence, a love that gradually faded in the sunset.
We somehow managed to take away that loving feeling that I wish we could put back!
Symbolically, the call of action today is to extend our hands carrying a sack of flour because a cup just won’t do!
It’s the neighborly thing to do whether we live next door or not!
Photo credit: www.savorypalate.comA

PostHeaderIcon UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN

By Vernalee
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Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” is a line from the William Shakespeare play King Henry the Fourth. I love Shakespearian plays. Julius Caesar remains my favorite. Their depth is reflective of everyday living including the anxieties of life. They make you think. Agreed?
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” describes a person who has great responsibilities, power, and prestige who is constantly worried and therefore doesn’t sleep soundly. The uneasiness profilerates and produces those tiny gray strings of wisdom. Just ask President Obama; his hair changed from black to white almost overnight.
The expression fits many people who have great responsibilities – leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, CEO’s, parents, care givers, you, and me. Sleepless nights, stress, and worry are accompaniments to the “crown.”
We crown wearers worry about others often times more than they worry about themselves.
It begs to ask: Who is worried about us?
Though unamusingly hilarious, that’s a question whose answer may be shockingly surprising! Nevertheless those whose heads (in theory) are adorned with the beautiful jeweled crown laden with rubies and precious stones have to balance activities, duties, and responsibilities so that nothing tilts.
We are jugglers who must maintain equalization in our lives and those of others. Careful we must be to manage it all! Cautious we must be to minimize the stress.
Not only do we have extremely weighty decisions to analyze and make, all eyes are upon us at all times; even when we sleep! The expectations can be overwhelming and unrealistic.
Are they pleasurably watching, hoping that we succeed, or waiting for us to fall? Who knows?
While most sleep, we are awake. Usually, we are in deep thought determining the next steps for us and others as they nap and snore. (Zzzz). It comes with the “crown” territory.
The scrutiny of us in general and our decisions in particular can be microscopic; unbearable at times. Speaking of pressure, it can heavy enough to make you scream. Go ahead; release it, let it out! It is imperative that you stay “cool, calm, and collected.”
When your release valves are open, they help you manage more efficiently, remain less stressful, and make wiser decisions.
Sometimes, we cannot always change hats and roles. Because of our bothersome conscious, we cannot throw the crown in the trash; too many people depend upon us.
We can however wise up, make prudent decisions, and get an occasional good night’s sleep. We may even graduate to the level to sleep like a baby; worry free for a moment. Interesting, the people that we worry about have no trouble taking a nap.
With time, we may graduate and become indoctrinated with another important factor, namely – to take one day at a time.
Personally, I have learned to throw my burdens on the Lord. Man has been such a big disappointment. God’s guidance will never misdirected you.
To my followers who wear the crown, let the admonition of Matthew 6:34 soothe your soul.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Smart thinking!
With age comes wisdom!
Photo credit: www.british-gazette.co.uk

PostHeaderIcon BIBLE VERSES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

By Vernalee
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Being in business is challenging. Being a Christian small business owner can be even more challenging. You may be faced with daily situations that test your faith. Your Christian character that encourages you to do the right thing may conflict with established business protocol; however, it will serve to protect you.
Thus, the following 14 Bible Verses according to small business experts are ones that we as Christian entrepreneurs should read, continuously examine, and keep handy.
Philippians 3:13-14 – Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Deuteronomy 8:18 – But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
1 Peter 4:10 – Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 – Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Isaiah 45:2 – I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Mark 5:36 – Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
3 John 1:2 – Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
Proverbs 2:6-8 – For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Proverbs 29:11 – Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Watch your temper!
Romans 8:5 – Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Let us keep in mind that God gives us the abilities and knowledge to make smart business decisions that can produce successful outcomes. We must keep examining our actions so that we employ wisdom, integrity, and honesty in our business decisions.
When we do so, we “profit.”
Yes, God’s Word is the best business guide!
Happy Sunday!
Blessings!
Photo credit: www.holybible.ucoz.org; Source: The Huffington Post

PostHeaderIcon DO YOU HAVE MY BACK?

By Vernalee
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Years ago, I attended a seminar and a demonstration left an indelible memory. It involved a person falling back with another individual catching her. Brilliant! Can it happen?
That illustration became my model for what I felt people should want in a relationship, namely someone to catch them before a fall. That is a simple request to ask, but a huge compliance responsibility for the chosen partner to grant!
The catcher has to be 100% committed; 100% dedicated. He is your safety net. Your reliance on him has to be met with his reliability, commitment, and performance.
Don’t assume that because you have his back, he has yours!
It has to be a heart-felt and a mutual covenant between the two of you. You have to really, really trust that individual; blind trust at that! Will his presence, heart, mind, and hands be there? How confident are you?
If something goes wrong, the ground will be your new home. Peeling yourself up off the concrete is not an easy task.
Besides the fall hurts!
Ouch!
A fall is more than a physical bruising, it is an emotional scarring that stings; a fracture that may depending on circumstances last a considerable period of time!
Know for certain to the best of your comprehension who has your back! It is no guessing game; the repercussions of error are too great.
In the interim, keep your safety net handy … just in case!
Photo credit: www.ketchumblog.com

PostHeaderIcon HOW BLACK IS YOUR FRIDAY?

By Vernalee
force change.com
Will you be standing in the crowded lines; driving in traffic jams?
Where are you going? Walmart’s, Target’s, Kohl’s, Best Buy….?
Humorously, Black Friday should be called green Friday. From the consumer’s hands, those green dollar bills start running like water.
Kicking off Christmas spending, it is considered the biggest shopping day of the year.
Stores – discount prices that they have escalated all year; people fight over television sets because there are only a few in the store (wink, wink… those cheap advertised prices brought you through the doors!); some folks camp out for days to assure that they are the lucky ones to purchase those highly sought after, cheap items.
Fights and unruly violence have been known to occur. Yet year after year, folks go out in groves and stand in line for hours as they cumulatively make Black Friday a $57 billion day.
This spend sounds very green to me.
Today, this Black Friday, if I desire to shop, my fingers will go click, click to pick up on-line specials.
Otherwise, I will be relaxing as I watch the crowds on my television in the comforts of my home!
Photo credit: www.forcechange.com

PostHeaderIcon HAPPY THANKSGIVING – A TIME TO BE THANKFUL

By Vernalee
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Happy Thanksgiving!
As we cook, bless the food, and enjoy the day off, it is a joyous time of reflections.
Oh yes … Thanksgiving is more than a day of the huge feast – turkey, ham, dressing, cakes, and pies; though the delectable food is yummy to our tummies! It’s more than a day of parades and countless football games.
It is a day to be thankful – thankful for life, loved ones, family, friends, and the amenities of living!
Recognized as one of the busiest travel times, many people travel near and far to be with and share time with people that they love. Kindred spirits are the order of the day.
On the flip side, the holidays can be a lonely time for some!
There are some folks who are not as fortunate as others. The bread of loneliness they may eat. They may have few people who sincerely and lovingly care about them. Regretfully, some may even spend the day alone.
So this holiday season, let’s share our fortunes of love, kindness, and resources with others.
Give financial blessings and blessings of your time.
Let not your love be selfish and superficial; ignoring the needs of others.
Turning your head should not be an option.
God will see you if you do.
Let your love be overflowing like a cornucopia. I am sure that the recipients of your generosity will be thankful!
For certain, you would have left them better than you found them!
That feeling should fill your soul as much as the Thanksgiving meal filled your tummy!
Happy Thanksgiving!
Blessings!
Photo credit: www.catholicism.about.com

PostHeaderIcon RELATIONSHIP BAGGAGE – WHAT ARE YOU ROLLING IN?

By Vernalee
imageWhat are you rolling around in your relationship?
Before you answer, “nothing,” think and think again.
You may be surprised.
What’s contained therein is not a blame game. Rather, it is an admittance. We are all sum totals of our experiences.
Stress, guilt, low self esteem, resentment, fear, anger, depression, residue from past relationships, bitterness, lack of trust, secrets, and other weighty issues may be emotionally in tow with you.
Check this out.
You know what’s in your luggage.
The million dollar question is –
“What’s in his?”
You didn’t pack his stuff!
He did!
Hopefully, your and his bags are on wheels. In either case, the weight can get heavy. In fact, it can be too much; over the limits to be exact.
Are you ready to unpack and remove those items that need not be there?
How can you make your load lighter?
Do you need to detox?
Before you respond, look at the signs that suggests that you are rolling around a heavy load.
They are there!
Some may be invisibly hiding inside the lining, but they are bound to penetrate outside the zipper.
Let’s take a look.
10 Signs that you’ve got too much emotional baggage in your relationship:
1. You blame first, defend second.
2. You think you own the other person.
3. You can’t receive constructive criticism.
4. You agree first, stab in the back second.
5. You think your meddling friends are “all that.”
6. You have a sense of entitlement.
7. You are a selfish, petty, grandiose narcissist.
8. There are trust issues.
9. There is baby drama.
10. A previous partner and/or family menbers are too involved in your relationship. What are they doing there? You don’t have room or time for them. Only God, the two of you, and your children can be in your circle.
Remember?
If you have these emotional substances and other dangers looming in your luggage, you need to get rid of them and their influences.
Unpack!
Otherwise, you will continue to roll around these issues and their correlated problems.
Let’s examine this closer.
Guess what?
Since you are now a team, a transfer is bound to occur.
No worries, there is strength in numbers.
That’s right.
Your weight become his; his, yours.
Then, the two of you are on the seesaw together trying to balance what was brought in!
Is that fair?
Fair is not the word; sharing is.
An understanding partner who loves you will be there.
He/she will help with the transition, unpacking, and resolutions.
You can work on it together, but the ultimate responsibility for removing some of the individual weight belongs to the person who rolled it in.
Someone has to take the lead.
Otherwise, your old baggage will inhibit your relationship from truly taking off; from cruising to higher heights of love and happiness.
In other words, you’ll grounded!
What a shame!
You just bought that gorgeous set of designer luggage and you can’t go nowhere!
Deal with it!
Lighten the load.
Get your house in order!
Stop rolling around unnecessary pounds that weigh down you and yours!
Coming together is easy; staying together has its challenges, but it certainly beats being alone and lonely…with no where to go!
Photo credit: www YouTube.com; Source: www.magazine.foxnews.com

PostHeaderIcon IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

By Vernalee
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It’s the little things that count!
Ladies …
Nothing beats those little things that our man does!
Right?
* A brief morning text to describe his day and wish you well – goes far.
* Sneaking in a midday call to see how your day is going – speaks volume.
* Breaking bread together at the end of the day so the two of you can unwind – fills your soul.
* Tucking you in with a brief nightcap conversation – helps you sleep like a baby. Zzzz.
Those teeny weenie things have the monumental impact. They carry the message of love and caring very far. Some can make you melt like butter. We women love a gentleman, but nothing beats a caring good man. There are differences between the two, but one can be the other.
Are you with me so far?
So that I could get validation to my written words, I spoke to an expert.
Allow me to share a few points.
You will see how that small inch of him taking the time to show how much he cares is equivalent to a mile long distance of satisfied pleasure.
Sit tight, here we go! First on the list is –
Drumroll please …..
1. Say it!
You know – the “I love you” words. If you feel it and mean it, say it. Those three little words can light up a room, your face, and your life. Its medicinal effects is a cure all.
2. Watch romantic movies.
This is simple but effective. Eat some popcorn, take in a romantic movie, and relax together; holding hands if you like. How cute!
3. Be silly together.
Let your inhibitions go. Being silly together shows that you are comfortable with each other. The last laugh is on him. Haha!
4. Say thank you.
The sound of thank you can be sweeter than cotton candy. Gratitude can go a long way to make the other person feel special. Let those 2 words roll off your tongue.
5. Compliments.
Compliments are an instant lift especially when it’s coming from someone you love. A small gesture shows that you’re noticed and appreciated.
6. Do what your significant other enjoys.
It’s not all about you. Stop selfishly thinking about yourself. It’s we, not me.
7. Travel together.
Start now. When you find yourself far away from the place you live, you only have each other to rely on. Create lasting memories.
8. Cuddle.
Cuddling has this wonderful ability to soothe away the pain and calm you down. It works both ways. Not only will your partner feel relaxed, but you will shake off some of that everyday stress. And when it’s cold (Brrr), you can keep each other warm.
9. Bury the hatchet.
It’s not emotionally healthy to keep hurtful memories alive. They promote the past. Cut them off; bury them. Pray for strength. Forgive. Forget. Move on.
10. Honesty
The truth is worth its weight in gold. It is what trust is made of; one of the major ingredients in fact.
11. Stay strong in the Lord.
Our problems may become bigger than us. Pray alone. Pray together. Ask for guidance and deliverance. Make yourself whole by obeying God’s Word.
These are small things that mean so much.
When you gravitate mentally to a good place, your world changes; it looks different.
Start today. Try implementing as many improvements as you can and see the difference that they make.
Practice makes perfect.
Those little things add up!
The Bible tells us that he who is faithful in least is faithful in most.
Photo credit: www.etsy.com; Source: www.lifehack.org

PostHeaderIcon IN TOO DEEP

By Vernalee
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Generally when we think of being in too deep, visually our minds quickly flash to water or a captivating hole (i.e. ditches, quicksand).
I know all about water having grown up in a small town graced by the shores of crystal clear Lake Washington.
As calming and relaxing as water is, the danger lies in the waves. In many cases, water is like relationships. Everything looks so tantalizing and inviting until you get up close. Both of the elements (water and relationships) are incredibly enticing. Once you step in, because of your urging desire to get your feet wet, you may find the water temperature to be unlike you thought. Suddenly, your once feeling of warmth becomes chilling.
Perceptions versus reality is a culture shock. Isn’t it?
Sounds familiar?
Ooo-wee. Excuse me. I hope that I am not describing your relationship!
Anyway, when you’re in too deep, you are met with the trepidation of feeling overwhelmed. In fact, so that we can be clear, being in too deep is “to be so involved in a situation or relationship that you are unable to stop.” The definition is extended to include “someone who is in over their head or too involved in a difficult situation.”
Switching gears slightly, please permit me to relate to you what I heard decades ago. That sage wisdom has slipped my mind from time to time.
Like most women, I have taken a dip and a deep dive prematurely before considering that there may be danger lurking within. What about the sharks, alligators, and other predators tucked underneath the surface with the magnetic forces to pull you under like a propelling whirlwind? Did I forget?
In fact, similar to my female scholarly counterparts with professional experiences and degrees to boot, how did it escape our memories that we couldn’t swim? It’s funny how a man can make you forget the blouse on your back! Hypnotic trances do occur from time to time.
Decades ago, I didn’t appreciate the advice from those old ladies in Mississippi who constantly meddled in our business. My girlfriends and I despised them. We were young, innocent, and thought we knew it all. I’m glad that I will never be like them, but now I surely do appreciate them.
I can hear them now.
Child don’t get too far out there in that water. The lake has sink holes. No matter what you do, keep your eyes on the shore. It is your place of refuge. Keep a paddle in your boat. You can use it to paddle your way back to the safety of land or to knock the daylights out of your attacker; whichever comes first! Yell S.O.S! Protect yourself at all times. Remember this. Don’t trust the person ever, ever again who set you afloat. They may use fire the next time!”
Now, I realize that they were providing warnings; remnants of their life experiences so that we didn’t fall into those same traps.
We sometimes forget how they acquired their wisdom. Those old ladies had been in the waters knee deep long before many of us were born. Some of them had to swim back to shore; others, had their boats capsized, but they made it in.
They may have been at the brinks whereby they questioned their survival. Suffice to say, they have been through it!
Yet, they survived to tell the story; to provide life lessons that can act as a protective shield since none of us are insulated from hurt.
It takes a toll of time to realize that “everything that glitters ain’t gold.” We may get scorched, but we will acquire the skill of assessment and eventually learn to walk away.
If we are smart, we will take heed before the creek rises!
Some storms provide no warning!
Photo credit: www.worldartsme.com

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