Archive for May, 2017


By Vernalee
In 1984, hip hop group, Whodini had an amazing hit. It was called “Friends/How many of you have them?” The lyrics are quite deep. I invite you to listen. In this journey of friendships, we meet many people who we considered to be our friends; some became actual friends; some are still around; and others were fake. Time and actions will tell us who’s who. It always does. We will learn the inaccuracy of the more the friends, the merrier; it’s not the number, but the sincerity.
“Being a good friend isn’t always easy, but taking the time to nurture a lasting friendship is worth every ounce of effort. As the years pass, some people will stay by your side, but many won’t, and you’ll realize that each friendship you keep is priceless. Of course, to have a good friend, you must be one.”
My daughter always says, “Mommy, I want to have friends like yours!” Admittedly, I have a few good friends. I believe that you often attract who you are. I am blessed to have lasting friendships; many of which have been around for decades. They care; I care. I love them; they love me. We have laughed together, cried together, shared secrets that can never be told, and been there for each other. Geography may in some cases separate us, but the closeness in our souls is uncanny. Making friends and keeping them is no easy task. It’s work! We all fall short and need regular reinforcers. Just like everything else, the more we work at it, the better we become.
To be a good friend and deepen a friendship, let’s see what the experts say and examine our behavior to see how many of the following steps we take or need to take to become trust worthy, supportive, and make our friendships last. Here we go:
Being Trustworthy:
1. Keep your promises.
2. Apologize when you’ve made a mistake.
3. Be honest.
4. Don’t use people.
5. Be loyal.
6. Be respectful.
Being Supportive:
1. Be selfless.
2. Be a good listener.
3. Help your friends deal with their struggles.
4. Be there in a time of crisis.
5. Give thoughtful advice.
6. Give your friend some space when he/she needs it.
Making your friendship last:
1. Learn to forgive.
2. Accept your friend for who he/she is.
3. Go beyond.
4. Stay in touch no matter what.
5. Let your friendship evolve.
Now all of us are busy. Don’t let your friendship suffer.
Here are a few things that you can do to maintain your friendship during those busy moments.
1. Make a date. Get on their calendar.
2. Your phone is always with you. Use it religiously to call, email, and
3. Go big. Double up. Make the most of your time. Get groups of friends
4. Practice random acts of kindness.
5. Use Social media.
6. Be choosy about your friendships.
Since friendships take work. Add these tidbits to your list.
1. Make sure they’re okay the moment you sense something wrong. …
2. Know when to be serious and when to be goofy. …
3. Go the extra mile when they ask for help. …
4. Don’t give up on them during their darkest hours. …
5. Make them feel wanted. …
6. Tell them, “I’ve always got your back,” at least once (and mean it.)
Are you a good friend? Are you there for your friends? Do you care for them and love them? Are you respectful of them and their time? Are you envious and jealous of their accomplishments or happy and delighted that they succeed? What’s the answer? Don’t ask me! Ask your friends!
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By Vernalee
Thriving business; fantastic career; big house; new car; extravagant jewelry/clothes, lavish vacations …..all are sought after forms of materialism!
Sounds good! Oh yes! But what happens to your psyche when someone has more of them than you? Are you truly happy for them or are you secretly jealous? Do you really like to see people do good or do you resent it particularly when they are doing better than you? Before you answer … that thin line between you and them – is very telling. It adds more visible definition to you and speaks louder than you think!
Either your words, expressions, or body language will show happiness, delight, joy, regret, envy, or resentment …. when you observe others succeed. If you are envious or resentful, you will wallow in your own misery.
Look at you! You will soon be joined by other unhappy ones.
Misery loves company; does it not?
This comparative analysis to others is too time consuming when your time could be better spent elsewhere. Watch it! Stop! Don’t become trapped or too wrapped up in someone else’s glory and space; enjoy the splendor of your own. Stay focused on mapping your own path!
I’m sorry! It seems as if I detected a noticeable twinge of jealousy and abundant envy circulating in your space? Was that an accurate observation? If so, move on!
Jealousy is not a good utilization of your time; you end up spending more time on others – than on yourself! What a waste of time, energy, and possibly resources!
Get out of the equalization mode; move into a zone whereby you can realize/achieve your goals/greatness!
Work hard! You too can have your deserved portion of accomplishments, particularly now since you have more time devoted to you since the comparison game is now a thing of the past. Besides, what you see externally may not remotely reflect that person’s internal self.
Get busy!
Realign your priorities and thinking! Put your precious time to good use! The time that you spend looking at other folks’ stuff … could be better utilized … toward acquiring your own! Your destiny awaits you.
Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses! Don’t worry (about theirs); be happy (about yours)!
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PostHeaderIcon A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME …

By Vernalee
imageBurt Bacharach and Hal Davis in 1964 penned, “A House is not a Home” that became a signature song for Dionne Warwick.
Symbolically, the words came to life recently as I toured a home that I shared with my family, but vacated over 25 years ago.
As I walked through the completely gutted colonial, the rooms seemed much smaller than I remembered, but the memories were “bigger than life!”
Instead of seeing walls, I saw memories. My mind instantaneously did a flashback to the scenes of my then life. In the living room, my eyes were drawn to the fireplace.
My memory captured a tiny squirrel that ran down the chimney while my husband was away on his job. My young son transformed into a superhero to annilate the creature while protecting his frightened little sister and terrified Mother! What a man child!
That was the same chimney that my little daughter (who sucked her bottle way too long) stuck her baby bottle into without remembrance as she cried all night while we searched all night for it! For inquiring minds, that incident occurred before the convenience of 24 hour stores! Walking upstairs, my eyes visualized my son’s toy chest filled with Star Wars toys … and characters that I knew by name! He must see the new Star Wars movie!
My mind captured the moment that the baby bed collapsed. My now model trimmed daughter fell through, because she incessantly drank Similac baby formula spiked with Gerber’s Apple cereal (her favorite) as if the “milk was going out of style!” Calorie conscious she was not! The model airplane’s historic voyage that was more his Daddy’s toy than my son’s imaginatively zoomed over my head as I stepped on one of those tiny Hot Wheels that laced every room! The wire hanger basketball hoop that my son worked up a sweat because he wanted “to be just like Mike” graced the foyer as if it was still there!
My daughter’s favorite doll with the little pink bottle was on the floor. “Pick up your toys,” were my favorite four words then! Ironically, I had a son who was fascinated with matches and a daughter who oppositely loved water. Thus, the spankings occurred more than once to prevent a capsizing due to flames and floods. Spare the rod and you’ll spoil the child!
Let me not forget, the yard showcased a new garage! Attempting to put my black Grand Prix in our old garage, my son who was not old enough to drive drove through the back wall! That same garage stored his three wheeler that he took his joyfully grinning kid sister for an unauthorized ride to my friend’s house who lived several miles away! Frightened they were not; Livid was I!
My mind ran wild with many, many memories as I realized that the old house was just a brick and mortar structure, but the walls contained life and memories; memories that will live in my heart and mind forever and a day!
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By Vernalee
Following her southern spiritual roots, my Mother always told us, “If you’re going to pray; don’t worry. If you’re going to worry; don’t pray.” This simple twist of words is all so true. There are so many sources of worry; so many enemies. We should pray, worry not, and put all of our troubles in God’s hands. Placing our faith in God and anchoring our souls in the cushions of his Word will give us the strength of endurance. Neither God nor His Word will ever fail.
That is why God instructed us to pray; that is why he told us that he would place our enemies at our footstool.
If we are obedient to his Word, He will take care of the rest. Exactly, what does that mean?
The idea of your enemy being your footstool is derived from historical war illustrations. “Whenever an enemy was conquered, he would become the slave of the conqueror and would bow down and allow the conqueror to place his feet on his back as a sign of submission. By placing your enemies as your footstool, God is saying that He will give you the victory over your enemies.”
There are 22 related scriptures regarding God making your enemies your footstool.
Psalms 110:1 states:
Of David. A psalm. The LORD says: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
Throw your burdens and worries on the Lord. Go and let God!
Have faith. He will see you through! He will order your steps! Walk in the spirit of the Lord!
Happy Sunday. Blessings!
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By Vernalee

Indeed, words are powerful.
We have traced our thoughts to words; our words to actions; our actions to habits; our habits become our character.
1. Listen
“A French study showed that listening to relaxing music before surgery was more effective at reducing anxiety than a sedative medication. These are other incredible health benefits of music.
2. Enjoy
When you want dessert, take a bite or two of the good stuff. Susan B. Roberts, coauthor of a Tufts University study on cravings, finds that people who manage their weight best happily succumb at times.
3. Dance
A study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that dancing reduced the risk of dementia more than any other type of physical activity. Why? Learning new steps improves intellectual fitness, and if you dance with a group or a partner, you’re being social.
4. See
Turns out carrots are not the best food for your vision. the nutrients in eggs—lutein, vitamin E, and omega-3s— are especially good for your eyes and may help prevent age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other chronic diseases.
5. Walk
Walking barefoot reduces the load on knee joints by 12 percent compared with walking in comfortable shoes, and it may also minimize pain and disability from osteoarthritis. That’s the finding of a study from Rush University Medical Center of 75 people with osteo-arthritis. A later study found that ‘mobility shoes,’ which are flat and flexible to mimic bare feet, reduced the load even more (by 18 percent) when worn for six months or more.”
I ask you…
Are you listening, enjoying, dancing, seeing and walking?
Are you getting to happy?
Let’s “speak” it into our lives;
let’s do it together … just for the fun of it!
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By Vernalee
At a seminar, the question was asked – “Would you rather have a huge sum of cash now or smaller chunks over a period of years?” Great question; varied answers.
Today versus tomorrow; certainties versus uncertainties are the essence of this hypothetical question.
For a person with a statistical mind, he/she would do the math on the present value of money in comparison to the future value of the cash! Whew: my head is spinning!
Admittedly, a discussion with your accountant, attorney or some sort of financial analysis may be needed. However to a selected group, they ask, “Why make the simple stuff complicated?
It is either now or later!
Should this question encounter a sprinkling of dazzled words or the brilliance of facts? Is brilliance always the charm? Sometimes, we have to be brought down to earth; to reality. Forget the hypothetical factors and investment strategies. Deal with the certainty!
So a seminar respondent provided some practical advice. Let me cut through the chase classmates.
“If the cash is in your hand, take it! It’s a sure thing! You don’t know what tomorrow will bring!”
In other words, you can’t count what you don’t have! “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
Stop dealing with the “what if’s” when you can deal with reality. If this was a real situation, most folks would be at the bank with the check in their hands before you could count to ten! They would say, “Excuse me; Get out their way, if you don’t want to get ran over!”
That my friend is the reality!
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By Vernalee
image I have a question for you.
Why do you associate with that group? I’ll tell you why! It’s simple –
Birds of the same feather flock together. That phrase means that people with similar likes, appearance, or behavior hang together, as in a clique. Commonly, because of the comfort zones, people of the same sort or with the same tastes and interests enjoy the company of each other. There are so many expressions that speak to associations. Allow me to share a few:
* You become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.
* Show me who your friends are and I will show you who you are.
* When you have to start compromising your values for the people around you, it’s probably time to change the people around you.
* If you want to identify someone’s character, examine the friends he sits with.
* Associate yourself with people of good quality for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
* The law of attraction is that you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.
* If birds of the same feather flock together, it may be time to upgrade your flock.
* Whoever walk with the wise becomes wise, but the companions of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20.
Therefore, sometimes we have to break ties, shake a tail feather, and disassociate. Though we may feel comfortable with the familiarity of our group, it’s may be time to move on. Your growth and progress may be stymied.
You need to reach beyond normalcy and achieve your greatest potential. Don’t remain in a clutter with folks who have no where to go when your goal is to move upward. Leave the nest. Look and go beyond.
Spread your wings like the eagle! Become a symbol of power, respect, and freedom even if you “fly” alone. Responsibly shape your own destiny rather than letting others shape it for you. Fly the coop!
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By Vernalee
“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
My father always said that… and I think I am fine.”
― Margaret Thatcher

Without question, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a way with words. But nobody can bring home a point for me like my Momma!
Although my Mother never achieved Thatcher’s level of notoriety and political success, and for sure, she isn’t a preacher, but my Mother can bring the word! She can make you jump and shout Hallelujah before saying Amen!
I may sound facetious, but I am serious! Momma told me years ago, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!”
How many times in life have I considered a contrary path and those words came back to haunt me!
Developing a conscientious conscience is the best invention since peanut butter and jelly! If your conscience talks to you and slaps you around, it may aid you in making the crooked path straight. Guard your thoughts and words; tell the truth; keep your promises; watch your steps. Your character is very telling. It speaks just as loud as or louder than the utterance of your words.
If your character lacks integrity, you may be figuratively destined for an orbit into outer space. As for me, I want to keep my feet on earth!
Don’t you? Word!
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By Vernalee
Here I go again!
I know that you have seen the baggy pants look with folks behinds exposed.
Oh my goodness!
Some of them show the crack of their derriere.
Hush yo mouth!
I kid you not!
This despicable appearance is unsightly to the viewers, but vogue to the wearers. So for the violators …, read this poetry by Dr. Charles Beady, Jr. entitled – “Don’t Be a Fool for Hip Hop: Pull Up Yo Pants.”
the fountain iss . com
“Hey you —with yo pants down to yo knees. Some of us still respect our women. Will you pull them up please! You old enough and I know that you should know enough not to be runnin’ round with yo pants down to yo knees. Naw, I take that back what I just said to you. You aint runnin’. Yo pants won’t allow you to. If you move too fast they fall down…to the ground. I declare. I swear. I do not want to see your underwear. How do you do that anyway? How do they stay in that position? You must be a magician. If you spent as much time with yo mind as you do with your behind ..showing..I be knowin’, in time, you would have a bank! I do not want to see yo draws! Pull up yo pants please!”
For those who have seen those despicable sagging pants with either the person’s behind or their unsightly underwear showing, and wish they would have enough decency or sense to pull them up, shout Amen!
Excerpts from “Don’t Be a Fool for Hip Hop: Pull Up Yo Pants” By Dr. Charles H. Beady, Jr. who served as President for Piney Woods Schools for 20 years. Piney Woods, located in Mississippi, is one of four historically Black boarding high schools in the United States.
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PostHeaderIcon A CUP OF FLOUR

By Vernalee
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 comfort 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 (some visible, some not) 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 some have let gradually fade 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 now a cup just won’t do!
It’s the neighborly thing to do whether we live next door or not!
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