Archive for April, 2017
Love is in the air …. everywhere!
It has made its appearance all week.
LOVE – a four letter word with a meaning that is higher than high; deeper than deep. The definition of love is provided in I Corinthian 13: 4-8.
4 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.”
It ventures to say that we have to daily and continually work at loving people – God’s way!
To love in this manner is challenging and will take all that we have to stay true to its meaning. For example, you cannot love someone and hold in your heart “a wrong suffered;” an injury from the past! You cannot be a part time or fair weathered lover and be in compliance with this biblical definition. Stop using the word – love – loosely.
The 64 words in this scriptural definition are simple and not complicated.
Yet, to love God’s way is a tall order.
Examine the text; continually work on compliance; keep the instructions penned in your heart, mind, and soul!
For most of us, it is work in progress.
Yes, 1 Corinthian 13: verses 4-8 are four powerful verses that describe love from the biblical definition!
How do you measure up to God’s definition of love?
Before you speak, don’t give lip service without providing evidence.
You know the answer to the question … and so does God!
There is always an opportunity to love and show love; to give and to receive love! There is also room for improvements.
I love to be loved; to feel love; to show
love and to be shown love!
It is a reciprocal emotion.
So gratifying is the feeling!
Photo credit: www.picturequotes.com
I recently came across an article that made me go, “um.” So many innovations have made a number of items of old obsolete.
Here are a number of those old versus new contemporary items that made me think about the past and how it use to be. Take a glimpse:
1. Walking someone to the airport gate. Not anymore. That’s a step of the past.
2. Pushing the rewind button to record. Now there’s Netflix’s.
3. Smoking in public places. That’s a no-no. You can’t light up anymore; not publicly that is.
4. Recording songs on a cassette tape. Do they still sell those apparatuses?
5. Paying with a personal check. Plastic is king and on line payments rule.
6. Using a physical map. Why figure it out when GPS can take even geographical challenged people like me worry free to our destinations?
7. Not keeping up with technology. Even Grandma texts/emails and surfs the internet. Almost everyone does.
8. Getting film developed. Taking photographs with your phone is so much easier and cheaper.
Let’s look at some other items that are gone or slowing fading in the sunset.
1. VCR’s and VHS.
2. Travel Agents.
5. Classifieds in the newspaper.
6. Dial up internet or wired connections.
9. Land line phones.
10. Yellow Pages.
11. Address Books.
12. Handwritten letters.
14. Fax Machines.
15. Email accounts that you have to pay for.
16. Public pay phones.
17. Record stores.
18. Long distance phone charges.
19. Movie rental stores.
20. Bills in the mail.
21. Paper may also be on its way out. OMG!
In our reach are iPods, iPads, Travelocity, Google, and other items whose buttons we can push and have the answers and results at our fingertips in seconds. My have times changed. If we are to stay current, we must change too! Click! click!
Photo credit: www.payphone.com
Are you addicted to your cell phone?
Before you answer this question, let me share how I and so many others use our cell phones.
1. First and foremost – To talk. It is right at my fingertips to be spontaneously used.
2. To store numbers. I don’t know anyone’s numbers anymore. They are all stored in my phone. Why use my memory when I don’t have to? I know that there is a danger in that theory, but it works for now. (By the way, I only personally know one person who doesn’t store his #’s and directly dials out all the time. He is so secretive that I am convinced that he is hiding something or someone! However, that’s a blog post for another day.)
3. To canvass Social Media sites. Please follow me on twitter at #swta, #Vernalee, and follow my daily blog, stuffwetalkabout.com. Here I go again with my marketing!
4. To send text messages and emails. I am up on all the abbreviated shortcuts. R U ?
5. To play games. This is a shout out to all my candy crush fans.
6. To provide directions. Nothing beats a guiding handheld GPS when you are directionally challenged.
7. To serve as my personal secretary by maintaining / reminding me of my appointments. For those entrepreneurs who have no personal administrative assistant, this is a great fringe benefit.
8. To take photos and shoot videos. Does anyone still use traditional cameras?
9. To tell time. I wear watches for fashion purposes only. I love my cellular alarm ringtone to wake me up.
10. To listen to music and download my favorite iTunes; to watch HBO Go.
11. To browse the Internet. Google is my favorite.
12. To read my favorite magazines. Black Enterprise was just downloaded. How convenient!
13. To check the stock market. Check the Nasdaq; feel important even if you do not own stock! Why not?
14. To serve as my personal baby sitter when I am waiting on someone who is late and don’t want others to stare me in my face.
15. To use my Face Time application to talk to my love ones. I have asked them to give me a 3 minute warning so that they don’t catch me looking my worst. Oh well!
16. To check the weather. I daily check the temperatures in Cleveland, Ohio, but also in my hometown in Mississippi. Then, I get depressed when it is snow on the grounds here and the Mississippi temp is in the 70’s.
My list goes on and on …. so I guess that I am addicted! Think about it! The cell phone is so versatile that although it was meant to be at our ear and mouth to hear / talk; many of us use it more to transmit messages non-verbally. We can hide behind our small cellular devices and avoid verbal communications by sending written messages via text and emails. Why hear their voices when you don’t want to be bothered? It is so much easier to write what you don’t have the courage to say.
For the record, that was not me that you saw standing in the line last week for 8 hours waiting to pick up the newly released iPhone!
Photo credit: www.yahoo.com; www.bunow.com
How long is too long to return a call?
I’m glad that you asked!
How many times have you made a call and it went directly to voicemail? In fact, some voicemails are so craftily recorded that for a quick second, you think that you are actually speaking to the person until you hear, “leave a message.”
Then, there are times that you are prepared to leave a message because the person so rarely answers that you are shocked out of your wits when he/she picks up.
Telephone etiquette is a major issue for many, but no matter how thin you slice it, your telephone mannerism is a reflection of you and certainly your professionalism.
Undoubtedly, there are times that you are actually busy; or want the world to think that you are busy; or nonchalant; or have poor time management skills; or glimpse at the number/name on your caller I.D. and conclude that the caller can wait.
Whatever the rationale, there is a reason why the call went into the voicemail system in the first place. Agreed? Accepted! Now here comes the pivotal question.
When do you return the call?
What is an acceptable time frame?
Or does it depend upon who the caller was?
Let’s classify the call and take it a step farther.
Was it a personal or business call?
Are you a flagrant violator and tempting your customers to take their business elsewhere?
Granted, it is easier to take the call in real time whenever possible, or if your business presents ongoing/superfluous calls and is unmanageable, consideration may be given to hire an assistant or a professional answering service. Regardless, experts agree that the return call should occur as quickly as possible and on the day of the call preferably.
Once we leave the professional realm, what is the rule of thumb for personal calls?
How long should a love one take to return a call?
If it is your mate, be careful. Consider the consequences before you plow in. Waiting too long is insulting and a reflection of disrespect or an assessment of your value or worth.
If you don’t believe me, take the same amount of excessive time to return their call as they did yours and see what happens.
It never fails, when the shoe is on the other foot, invariably the world looks different.
Excuse me, my phone is ringing! I’m not too busy to answer! Let me effectively manage my time by taking care of my business now rather than later.
Why? Tomorrow is another day … filled with its own tasks and anxieties.
Photo credit: www.adambager.wordpress.com
Who is your best friend? This is a simple question, but has answers with variances tantamount to the length of the far stretching Mississippi River.
Admittedly, sometimes, I can be somewhat dramatic and theatrical … so I am told. Then I read a comment from someone that was anonymously posted. It went like this:
“Basically my computer is always there for me and so is the internet. They are without a doubt my two best friends. I mean I have human friends…but I don’t hang out with them as much as I do with my computer and they can’t be with me when I travel. I’m also pretty sure I have a computer addiction.”
Like a fishing rod, I was reeled back to reality. Just when you think that you have heard it all, someone comes up with a comment that makes your over the edge tendencies appear minuscule.
At first glance, this posted comment seemed strange. So much for normalcy; it can become a castaway quickly.
I reflected for a moment on my daily routine.
Do know this!
I am as gregarious as they come. I love the human touch and interacting with people of all races, creeds, and colors. I love my friends and we stick by each other through “thick and thin.” I wouldn’t trade my few treasured friends for anything.
Truly I wouldn’t!
Things change so spontaneously sometimes. It did with me.
Allow me to elaborate.
Last week, I had technology issues simultaneously with my computer, iPad, and Iphone. I became an instant dummy because I couldn’t remember any telephone numbers. They were happily stored in my “fried” cell phone. I couldn’t communicate with the world. I was temporarily stalemated.
It was at this point that I realized how chummy we (my computer and I) had become. I click those keys continuously. I had become a reliant dependent – technologically.
Here’s another confession unknown but to a selected few.
My iPad sleeps in bed next to me; an inert paramour of sorts. As it lays on my cushy pillow, it helps me rapidly respond to my emails/text messages – in real time. I am well known for my communications efficiency. I generate reports, do research, and have so much fun with my iPad. Sometimes, it entertains me!
So when it wasn’t working last week, I was lost without my technological best friend; lonely to be exact! I even felt naked for a moment … no exaggeration; well maybe a little!
For the record, and as an aside, I love my precious friends; they love me. No doubt about it! We share and have shared so many emotions, feelings, and wonderful cherished moments together. We regularly and daily converse (often times via texts/emails), take trips together, and tell stories that are much too long. We have secrets that can never be told. Hmm… Oh my … The same is true for my computer!
I just realized that revealing coincidence. My friends and my computer – the nexus is too uncanny!
Don’t laugh. It’s probably true for you too!
Photo credit: www.hubpages.com
How’s your Email etiquette? Are your words accurately and respectfully written?
Since Emails are a dominant form of communication in our personal and professional lives, making them effective is the key. Many of us prefer to or have chosen to email folks rather than verbally communicate with them. Besides, emailing is handy. You don’t have to worry about catching folks or them returning calls. You don’t have to leave home or get dressed to communicate. Plus, you can send them anytime, anywhere, and from your phone which is always with you.
Because of the conveniences and simplicities, why bother with the physical interaction? You may not be in an office when you send an email, but if it’s for business, it should reflect a professional tone.
It is for these reasons and more, that we should make sure that our emails convey the appropriate message.
1. Subject Lines – Make them succinct and to the point. If the subject should change in your email thread, change the subject line to reflect same.
2. Professional Email Address – If it is not a corporate email, does it contain your name/your company’s name or a reference whereby the reader will know that it’s you?
3. Reply All – Think before you press that button. Do you want everyone to read your message or just the sender? Are you sending the email to the right person? Double check your stored recipient’s name to assure your accuracy before you send. Slippery fingers can present a slippery mess!
4. Salutations – Be professional and please use a greeting of some sort.
5. Exclamation Points – Multiple exclamation points can be offensive. Some authorities equate multiple exclamation points to shouting.
6. Blind copy/Forward – Wisely use as appropriate.
7. Replies – Try to reasonably respond to emails even if it is a brief answer. ( i.e received, thank you). Don’t leave the sender wondering if you received/read their message.
8. Proofread – Read it before you push the send button.
9. Can you really hide behind the words? – This is a double edged sword. You can say in writing what you do not have the courage to say to a person’s face. However, words don’t lie whether they are oral or written. Unlike verbal communication, we have little or no wiggle room for interpretation when it is in print. Emails can hold a liar’s feet to the fire because the sender can’t say that it wasn’t him/her who sent the message when the email came directly from their email address. The black and white letters become permanent etches.
Emails are here to stay. They are permanent records that are undeniably evidentiary. Your emails can be funny or serious. They can be light or academic. They convey a consortium of messages. Regardless, be careful, discreet, accurate; be a person whose emails you can defend! Be wise with your choice of words!
By the way, the conveniences of emails can add hours to your workday because many of us transmit emails from home that we didn’t have time to send during work hours.
Photo credit: www.math.uh.edu
Recently, The Today Show had a feature that struck a nerve. Digital declutter was the topic.
For those whose Inboxes approximate the ten of thousands, this message is for you. Take the dive; dig yourself out! How can you be effective, responsive or organized with tons of unread / unopened emails resting in your Inbox.
How many opportunities (business or otherwise) have you missed?
It is a difficult process, particularly for people who have multiple email accounts (like me)!
The email clutter has become such a big problem that there are businesses dedicated to the science of decluttering your email inbox!
According to the experts, there is a great app called Unroll.me. Perhaps, it is worth a click for those carrying massive amounts of unread emails.
It has also been suggested that if you remove emails from your Inbox and place them in a To do folder, your clutter will gradually become manageable.
Of course, then you have to deal with cleaning out the replacement folder. There is no easy way out when you are in too deep.
If your storage is becoming limited, remember Emails and Photos take up space. Assign your many, many photos to a Google Photo or Drop Box. We love taking photos, don’t we? Selfies, anyone? Bottom line: Get organize; take baby steps; use apps that can help! Knowing where you are is a great management tool in our high tech world since so much business is transacted through email and various forms of social media.
Missing a sale hurts when it was transmitted via an email that you never opened. OUCH! Lost sales and revenue affect the bottom line.
Stay on top; get organized! When it comes to communications, the world is flat; it is not business as usual… the old fashioned way.
You cannot hide your negligence. Not reading your emails is known by others. Remember, you never responded to them either.
Success dictates that we keep up! Managing our emails (which is our communications to and from the world) is a positive step forward in that direction.
Photo credit: www.karlstechnology.com
The more I read the Bible; the more I am amazed.
God’s Words, his commandments and instructions for us are found in the Bible.
It’s our way of learning his rules, following his instructions, and communicating with him.
There are so many intricate details and amazing features of the Bible from its writings to its writers; from the current events of a particular time to a path of proven historical facts; from the creation of man to the dispelling of evolution; from God’s word being prophetically written to the expressed outline of God’s expectations for mankind.
Despite its age, there is nothing that we need to learn, know, or find out – that isn’t there. From the beginning to the end; from birth to death; from perfection to imperfection … it is all there! So as you read God’s Word and walk through your Bible reading daily, allow me to share the below amazing facts about the Bible.
Ten Amazing Facts:
“1 – The Writing of the Bible
The Bible was written over a 1600 year period by approximately 40 men. The time of the writing was from 1500 BC to AD 100.
2 – The Divisions of the Bible
While the Bible is 1 book, it contain 66 smaller books. The books of the Old Testament were written before the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament covers the life of Christ and beyond.
3 – Chapters and Verses
Each of the books, except 5, are divided into chapters and verses. The 5 which aren’t divided by chapters are Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude. These are short books which only have verse divisions.
Chapters were introduced to the Bible in 1238. Verse divisions were not added until 1551.
4 – The Longest and Shortest of the Bible
The longest chapter if the Bible is Psalm 119 with 176 verses. The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 with only 2 verses. Incidentally, the middle chapter of the Bible is also Psalm 117.
The longest book of the Bible is Psalms with 150 chapters, or psalms. It contains 43,743 words. The shortest book is 3 John with only 1 chapter and 299 words.
The longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 with 90 words. The shortest verse is John 11:35 with only 2 words, “Jesus wept.”
5 – The Bible is God’s Word
There are many books written about and by various religions. But the Bible is the only one which includes the actual words of God. Those who believe the Bible also believe that God inspired various people through the years to write down His actual words for mankind. The Bible says more than 3,000 times “thus saith the Lord.” And the words which follow are quotes from God.
6 – The Bible is Historically Accurate
There were several secular historians who wrote about the events of the New Testament at the same time the Bible was being written. Josephus is the most well-known of them. He was a Jewish historian. Tacitus was a Roman historian who would have no benefit from not telling the truth. Both these men, as well as others, can be used to back up the historical accuracy of the Bible.
There are historical discoveries regularly coming to light that continue to support the accuracy of the Bible.
7 – The Business of the Bible
There are more than 168,000 Bibles either sold or given away per day in the United States according to the Gideons, Wycliffe International and the International Bible Societies.
Historically it has been said that the Bible is the most sold book of all time. It is regularly on various best seller lists.
The Bible has been translated into more than 1,200 languages.
8 – The Bible Never Contradicts Itself
There are no contradictions in the Bible. Various people claim to find contradictions but they have to take verses out of context to do so. When looking at the Bible as a whole and understanding its teachings there are no contradictions. This is amazing when one considers that the Bible was written over such a long period of time.
9 – The Prophecies of the Bible
There are more than 3,200 verses with fulfilled prophecy either within the Bible itself or since the Bible was written. But there are still more than 3,100 verses with unfulfilled prophecies.
10 – The Writers of the Bible
While there were at least 40 different people who wrote parts of the Bible, some were more prolific than others. The Apostle Paul wrote at least 13 books of the Bible. He may have also been the author of the book of Hebrews. Moses wrote the first 5 books.
The Bible attributes more than 3,000 proverbs to King Solomon. These are not all written in the book of Proverbs. However, most of that book is said to be the proverbs of Solomon.”
Now, let’s absorb the Word; it’s time to read!
Photo credit: www.theblaze.com; Source: www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com
As entrepreneurs, it is imperative that you become your own brand. Besides, no one can sell you better than you. Agreed?
The question is: How do you become a brand; a recognizable brand at that? Let’s see what the experts have to say.
1. First …Become an expert on something that relates to your business.
2. Establish a website or blog under your full name preferably and/or theme a recognizable subject name that you can call your own.
3. Learn how to be a good source.
4. Generate brand awareness by networking.
Allow me to “Vernalize this.
In other words, become a knowledgeable brainchild whereby you unequivocally know what you are talking about; promote and establish yourself as an authoritative expert. It may sound complicated, but it isn’t.
In simple terms, educate yourself and showcase your talents.
Take it a step further and become a primary source so that people ultimately come to you for the quote as the recognized expert.
Sounds good so far?
As you expertly craft a good name and reputation for yourself in the stratosphere, your network and the world will recognize you for your skills, knowledge, talents, and of course your brand.
You now stand out from the crowd.
A good name is hard to beat; isn’t it?
Your good name or shall I refer to it as your brand will draw people to you like bees to honey.
Speaking of your drawing card, networking becomes one of your trump cards.
The four rules of networking that you should keep in mind are mutualism, giving, targeting and reconnecting.
A. Mutualism: You have to create win-win relationships in business. Mutual benefits will help.
B. Giving: Help someone out, before asking for anything in return. This makes people want to support you.
C. Targeting: You want to be very specific with the types of people you network with, in order to save time and to attract the right people to your brand.
D. Reconnecting: Never lose touch, that way networking contacts remember you when new opportunities surface.
These tenets remind me of the old folks sitting back in their rocking chairs on their screen porches in Mississippi.
Without anyone asking for their input, they voluntarily would put in their two cents. “That child sho nuff knows what she’s talking about. Her mouth might get her somewhere someday. For sho, she meets no strangers. She can work the room better than anybody I know. Can’t she?”
Though perhaps elementary, those old folks saw your shining star. Hence, you were creating your brand even back then.
As you move forward, continue the development so that all will materialize into positivities that sell and work.
In closing, you will know that you have become a recognizable brand if a letter is mailed to you with just your name on it (no address) and it arrives at your office doorstep.
Okay folks, don’t flood my mailbox with letters addressed to Vernalee.
If you do, I claim it!
It is the validation that my branding tactics have been successful.
Join me as we rebrand and re-position ourselves.
Photo credit: www.zcorum.com; Source: Entrepreneurs.com
Girl Talk: Have you found your Soul Mate? Here are 24 signs.
Have you found that person who makes you feel complete; that you cannot live without; that the thoughts of them wake up with you, are carried with you throughout the day, and go to bed with you. They stay on your mind.
You know who they are? Hopefully, it is a two way street in that they feel for you what you feel for them.
A soul mate is the person who may come around only once in a lifetime. So keep your antennas up; don’t miss that person. Let’s see how we can distinguish the sweet fragrance that our soul mate leaves in the midst of the air that we breathe; in the tantalizing midst of our soul!
1. You can convey what you’re thinking by just looking at each other.
2. You can’t even remember what it was like to be without them — and you don’t want to!
3. They challenge you every single day.
4. They know exactly what to do to calm you down when you’re mad, to help relieve your stress, or to cheer you up.
5. They also know exactly what to do to get under your skin . . . and they at least attempt to not do those things.
6. Even after years of being together, you still have great chemistry.
7. You are completely comfortable in their presence.
8. After spending a few days apart, you both talk a mile a minute to catch each other up on everything you both missed.
9. It feels like you’ve known each other your whole lives.
10. You disagree on some things, but are always on the same page when it really matters.
11. You have a bond that people around you don’t understand.
12. Their family feels like your own family.
13. You don’t feel the need to keep searching for more because you are so at peace with what you have.
14. You hurt when they hurt; you smile when they smile.
15. They are part of almost every story you tell.
16. They think the weird, quirky things you do are adorable, and you feel the same way about them, too.
17. You are a better person with them than without them.
18. They support you and your dreams — even if they don’t entirely understand them.
19. You are a dynamic duo, a perfect pair, a true team.
20. You feel protected by them and secure in your relationship.
21. For the first time in your life, you realize that home is not a place, but a person.
22. In some ways, you have become pretty much the same person.
23. You are your best and worst self around them, and they love you for both.
24. You know, in your gut, that this is it for you.
Questions – Have you found that soul mate of a person yet? Do they light up your soul like a flaming fire? Is the compatibility – sexual and otherwise – present? If not, are you looking in the wrong places?
At least be cognizant of who your soul mate is not? If there is an aura of foreign air when you are in their presence, he or she is probably not the one. No worries – your soul will identify your soul mate. It will talk to you. Your soul may even tell you to stay or move on!
Listen! Heed the talk!
Take the advice … no one knows better than your soul.
Photo credit: www.thedailyawe.com Source: www.Popsugar.com