Saturday, May 31, 2008

CHILDRENS WORDS



“Children listen with their hearts, their skin through touch, through their ears by what they hear, and through their eyes by what they see. They learn life lessons the same way.”

Jeff Johnson May 2008

Recently, I received a memo from a friend. I want to share it with you—please pass it on to your friends. I am not the author and can not give credit since the authors are unknown. I hope it gives you an upbeat feeling as it did me.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds,

“WHAT DOES LOVE MEAN?”

‘When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’ Rebecca—age 8

‘When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’ Billy—age 4

‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’ Karl—age 5

‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French-fries without making them give you any of theirs.’ Chrissy—age 6

‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’ Terri—age 4

‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.’ Danny—age 7

‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.’ Emily—age 8

‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’ Bobby—age 7 (Wow)

‘If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.’ Nikla—age 6 (we need a few million more Nikla’s on this planet)

‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.’ Noelle—age 7

‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’ Tommy—age 6

‘During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.’ Cindy—age 8

‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’ Clare—age 6

‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’ Elaine—age 5

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.’ Chris—age 7

‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’ Mary Ann—age 4

‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’ Mark—age 6

‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all of her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’ Lauren—age 4

‘When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (What an image). Karen—age 7

‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’ Jessica—age 8

A four year old child went next door to a neighbor, and elderly gentleman who just lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’

Enjoy your children and your day.
I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Thursday, May 29, 2008

EXCELLENCE

“Excellence is a continuous movement towards improvement. Take smaller steps to the top and realize excellent performances often. Everyone has excellence.”

Jeff Johnson May 2008.

In honor of MEMORIAL DAY Week, the motivational BLOGS will center on military core values affecting those who serve in our military.

Picking goals is good. Obtaining them is very good, but sometimes we pick ultimate goals out of sequence. Even though we provide a sustained effort towards our goal, perhaps we can look at the excellent effort in striving towards the goal. In many circumstances we may need to adjust our first goal, create a secondary goal, to reach our primary target. By allowing many small sustained successes we can realize just how excellent we are.

Creating excellence does not mean graduating first in a class, making everything perfect in an attempt, but developing a sustained and continuous improvement upward. This is accomplished by always striving to improve something, by respecting our accomplishments in the process and rewarding our efforts with proper recognition. If we offer mutual respect for our peers, then it should start from within and be passed outwardly to others as a symbol of our intrinsic feelings. We are never better or worse than anyone else, just in a different area of excellence building.

You are a FORWARD STEPPER by creating continuous growth and improvement small steps at a time. Continue to strive for the best possible outcomes and never give up.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

INTEGRITY


"Doing what is right when no one else can see is one value—thinking what is right where no one can enter is just as important. " Jeff Johnson May 2008.

In honor of MEMORIAL DAY Week, the motivational BLOGS will center on military core values affecting those who serve in our military.

Thinking out loud can sometimes be dangerous. Sometimes we want to say something either out loud or to someone, but we hesitate or stop because of personal reasons. But how many times do we think negative things about ourselves in places where no one else can share them. To have integrity, in the fullness of the true definition, the mental side of who we are is just as important as the external. A majority of out output is because of our input—mental. Respect of ourselves, thinking, I will do better, I am a good person, I owe myself a brighter more positive me!

Having a willingness to think more positively, to reach deep within ourselves when it is the darkest, this is integrity. The control of the “inner voice,” the moral compass saying, ‘I am looking for the better, the more positive approach, the “I can and will do it, portion of our lives is integrity.” We must hold ourselves accountable to our thoughts. When given a choice of approaching this positive or negatively our persuasion should lean to there is a top to this mountain and I am going to climb it. I will cross the hardest part today then head downhill to a better tomorrow. Life is not always this hard—our circumstances will allow change and my change will be on the brighter side.

You are a FORWARD STEPPER by taking a time-out and reflecting on the choices of each attitude and choosing the brighter side approach, thinking this is temporary, and very shortly my life will be better, I will improve beyond my circumstances, and I AM WORTH IT.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

DUTY

In honor of MEMORIAL DAY Week, the motivational BLOGS will center on military core values affecting those who serve in our military.


"To fulfill our duty is not only a service to our Country, but to us."
Jeff Johnson May 2008

Everyday is a new and bright day. We have choices to either make our start happy, positive, and productive, or to be sad, negative, and loose in our productivity. In our lives as human beings, looking upward sometimes can be challenging. Having a change of heart from negative to positive can take work. We have a duty to fulfill our obligations towards ourselves, to honor the changes of improvement accomplished yesterday and develop them more today.

A duty is a moral obligation to something; an obligatory task to conduct in whatever roles we occupy. If we are a student, we have chosen to serve in that capacity—we have a duty to keep our spirits high to be the best student in all capacities. If we are a parent, we have a duty to provide in many areas to children. We can look to a positive approach or a negative mind set to duties.

Look at the upward track—value the thought that things will be better, there is newness to the other side of the issues before us, and we can serve with a strong duty to be positive. This influence carries beyond today, above tomorrow, into generations to come. You are a FORWARD STEPPER by looking for another side that is more positive, for searching for the ‘new’ and improved method to sustain hope, and by always searching for good over bad in everything. Duty—it is a standard.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Monday, May 26, 2008

TO WARRIORS: MEMORIAL DAY





In Flanders Fields

By Moina Michael

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
t seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes neve
r dies.

This is a fictional story I have written in honor of MEMORIAL DAY WARRIORS. This story is written without gender references to HONOR both MEN AND WOMEN in service to our Country.

Since I was little I knew something was different about me. We would all play ‘Army’ and war games, drink Kool-Aid when we were finished and then go home. But for me the game did not end. It continued to play in my heart and my mind. I loved the game, I lived for the strategy, I felt the commitment to not only winning but to the feelings the game gave me.

As I became older, the feelings were deeper and commitment to team work, strength and conditioning, seemed very real to me. It was not about guns or war, but feelings toward giving, service, loyalty, and honor. I was developing intrinsically an inner source of strength. The love of GOD encompassed my thoughts and soul in a deep manner. When I saw the poster of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at me my calling was clear—I signed up.

Starting my career the words of loyalty, service, dedication, and GOD were all words that were familiar to me. Teamwork was something I adored and war games reflected past memories. One day an offer was made to volunteer for service on the front lines—my hand went up without hesitation—I WAS A WARRIOR and I knew it. This was my calling; this was my gift, GOD created me to be a WARRIOR. In life I could not be anything else—it was instinct.

For some reason, even though my friends and family did not understand the reasons, I was being exactly what I was designed to be. I was serving my Country, My GOD, honoring my commitments and dedication to my team—we were all WARRIORS. Something caused us to bond like no one ever explained to me before. I felt the cohesiveness of a warrior spirit—never wanting to be a hero, but just to serve the team, GOD, and Country first and foremost. I AM A WARRIOR at your service.

Honor those who serve us today.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Sunday, May 25, 2008

CHANGING DIRECTION

“If we change directions with our heart first, then our feet (lives) will follow.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

This BLOG, Monday – Friday is motivational; Sunday’s BLOG is inspirational. Enjoy & Share it.

In the first four books of the New Testament we read how JESUS called HIS disciples to service. In all accounts JESUS would walk up to them in the middle of their daily jobs and tasks and would gently say, “Come follow me.” By all accounts the disciples would drop everything, leaving their nets in the sea, stopping their work, and started following as directed. Many times I ask myself, ‘were the disciples looking for a new job when Jesus called? Were they bored with their lives and did not care what change was in store when the MASTER called? These questions are easy to answer when we look at changing directions instructions from the scriptures.

We learn in Matthew 4:23-25, that JESUS went around to many places teaching, healing diseases, and talking about how there was a NEW KINGDOM for them. Word spread quickly throughout the country. Everyone wanted to know more about JESUS, HIS message, and the miracles performed on people who believed. People wanted change in their lives, so they started SEEKING ways to change. The first step to changing directions is to SEEK. We are starting movement by seeking—no longer stagnate.

The second step to changing directions is to DEVELOP A DESIRE to follow a direction. 1 Corinthian 14:1 "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts." Having a DESIRE to SEEK the right things—LOVE and SPIRITUAL gifts gives meaning to the heart and direction to our search. SEEKERS will look in many directions which is the first step, desire is when our heart has found something to pursue, and this is when change begins.

The third step we will cover here is TRAINING our ears to follow the right things. John 10: 27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." The disciples knew the voice of the MASTER, maybe not from having attended HIS teachings, but from SEEKING and DESIRING to have JESUS in their hearts and lives. When the MASTER called verbally, their hearts already knew this was the way. Dropping everything was not an issue because their hearts already knew HIS voice—it was not a stranger to them. When we have “heartfelt” devotion, everything is secondary to the cause and purpose.

JESUS gives us the way to change our path and follow HIM in Matthew 22 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” Following the path to change begins with the heart through LOVE. The questions asked in the beginning are simple, the disciples were not bored, were not looking for a new job, they were loving themselves and wanted to share it. JESUS voice called their hearts first, then they followed when HE called again. SEEK, DESIRE, and LEARN HIS VOICE, because JESUS is calling YOU, for who you are now—let your heart guide you to the voice you already recognize---HIS.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Friday, May 23, 2008

NEW WINDOWS

“New” is supposed to be exciting, scary, tentative, and tried as much as possible. New is endless."

Jeff Johnson May 2008

This week we are sticking to show songs and classic tunes that ring in our heads, hearts, and spirits. Enjoy this BLOG.

"Open a new window, Open a new door, Travel a new highway, That's never been tried before; Before you find you're a dull fellow, Punching the same clock, Walking the same tight rope As everyone on the block. The fellow you ought to be is three dimensional, Soaking up life down to your toes, Whenever they say you're slightly unconventional, Just put your thumb up to your nose. And show 'em how to dance to a new rhythm." Mame, [1966] Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Ever get caught in a rut, a routine whereby there is not a break in sight? I have enjoyed this season thus far. I can open my windows at home and there is a nice breeze mixed with sunshine. It is a drastic change from the first quarter of this year when that same breeze did not balance out with the sun—it caused my rooms to be cold and miserable. I kept my windows shut waiting patiently for now. Our lives are just like this—we need change, refreshment, and something bright and fresh in our lives.

Finding ruts in our life is O.K.—Staying in them is when we need direction and change. Many times the ruts are formed because the way we travel seems like it will always fill our needs. When this road does not produce exciting results it is time for change. All to often we travel the old roads longer than we perceive we should—we just do not make the changes quick enough. Lets break out and try some new roads.

I really like the verse from Mame which says, “Soaking up life down to your toes.” Be the new you today, start the new path this hour, feel the freedom of letting go as the new experiences take hold of our—well toes. Build sunshine inside each day by breaking the mold—dance to a new beat because you are a FORWARD STEPPER.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

PS I will be off Saturday. Please Read Sunday's BLOG: "Changing Directions."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SINGING IN THE …RAIN???

“Once a song gets stuck in your head it is hard to get it out. Put the song in your heart and it never leaves.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

“I'm singing in the rain; Just singing in the rain; What a glorious feelin'; I'm happy again; I'm laughing at clouds; So dark up above; The sun's in my heart…” Original Lyrics with Gene Kelly (1952). What a wonderful song with a beautiful verse. I can remember the dance steps, not that I could ever do them mind you, but what a dichotomy. Here is this good looking man, in the rain, dancing and singing. I am thinking no way is this real, but then I listened to the words—what a message. Let’s look at the message together.

The meaning is that “the sun,” is in our heart: The bright spirit, the joyous song, the happy tune bubbling from within. Once it starts bursting at the seams to get out then rain, sleet, snow, or ice will stop it from being expressed. A few rain drops will not stop this powerful feeling from being displayed.

Thinking of good feelings all day, everyday, as much as possible can bring a smile to our lives. Making each moment look brighter by laughing at the ‘clouds’ of our life as we understand they are passing by. Remember the last cloud that poured rain on your parade—where is it now? Gone!!! We will always have clouds in our life, we will face rain on the outside, but keep the sunshine on the inside and maybe dancing in “our rain” will be always possible.

You are a FORWARD STEPPER for thinking of the sunshine in your heart and letting it out while laughing at clouds.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WONDERFUL THINGS

"Julie Andrews sang it, we hummed it for weeks afterward, now, to do it again like Julie, HMMMMM, “These are a few of my favorite things.” When was the last time we remembered them?" Jeff Johnson May 2008

Julie Andrews sang the lyrics, “When the dog bites, when the bee stings,” etc. She had a remedy to think or do some of her favorite things to overcome the stress. This was her ‘go to’ plan to bring her back to—well what Julie did best—sing.

When we have problems, stressors, and just an irritation, what is our ‘go to’ plan? Many times the reaction without a plan leads to more problems. Making a list of things that have worked for us in the past can help bring us out of that ‘slump.’ Thinking of those things that make us happy can also influence our mood in a positive manner.

Today, I think of sunshine on my day off, Vanilla Ice Milk with fresh strawberries on top, peanuts at the Ball Park, and time in the water. These are a few of my favorite things—see—I am smiling already. YOU ARE A FORWARD STEPPER smiling with me.

Make your list today—think on it as much as possible. Enjoy!

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Monday, May 19, 2008

LOKING FOR BEAUTY

“Sometimes we look for roses and miss all of the other pretty flowers. Life is full of many good things to enjoy that are behind the scenes.”

Jeff Johnson May 2008

Many times life allows us to see very nice things. Sometimes these things are in peoples lives, in events we attend, in comments given to us at ‘just the right time,’ and through watching growth in someone. So many times in my life I fail to see the little details in beauty.

How many times have I witnessed a sunrise or a sunset and marveled at the intense beauty. During these same events I missed the waking up of the night creatures and the sleeping of various flowers and animals? Many times I have witnessed the growth of people in spirit, mind, and body but missed the beauty of the sacrifice and support given by friends, family, and various organizations. Often there is beauty behind the scenes, providing strength, and offering nurture that has as much beauty as the big picture.

The big picture is easy to see, take time to look behind the scenes, consider other beautiful things allowing the big picture to be center stage. When we are FORWARD STEPPERS we look at the details seeing even more beauty. If the old saying is true that, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” then hold all we can in our eyes. Search for the small details, the story behind the story. There is more beauty to be enjoyed then just the obvious. Learning how to look closer at all of the details behind the scenes will allow the big picture to have even more intense beauty.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I KNOW YOU AND I STILL LOVE YOU.


“Remember the song, ‘Jesus loves me this I know….” We learned the song as children about Jesus love. It was more popular than the Gilligan’s Island theme song. Today we still remember both songs—which one do we believe most?” Jeff Johnson May 2008


In Luke 2:49, Jesus responds to HIS
parents, "Why were you searching for me?" Do we ever ponder this question? Was there a valid reason for us to seek Jesus? There is a funny incident I witnessed years ago. I was in a field with another guy who was very strong. We were moving cows from one large field to another by just walking towards them and allowing them to roam away from us into the other field. Everything was progressing well when one cow just stopped. We walked up to the cow and pushed him with our hands and he remained staid. The strong guy got upset with the cow for not moving and grabbed this 1200 pound cow by the head and took him to the ground. While wrestling with him on the ground I asked him, “So now that you have him what are you going to do with him?” Answering the question of ‘what are we going to do with HIM now that we have HIM’ is a question we wrestle with for a variety of reasons. In linking back to the cow story—we wrestle with things when we deviate from the original plan because of a variety of reasons.

We seek Jesus and HIS gifts for our lives. We ask, “LORD, send me and I will go,” Give me oh LORD gifts that I may serve,” “thank you for the talents LORD and now allow me to use them for YOUR glory.” During our journey, sin, failures and short comings, life’s issues, wrestling with personal situations, and doubts in self worth to the kingdom allow us to cease or slow down in our service. James writes, 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; 8 they are double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1). Jesus never leaves us, we alter our paths away from HIM. We have asked, prayed, and believed in a calling, a path, gifts to serve, and when we started on this journey problems seep in and now we develop doubts about our worthiness. James continues, 17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” We have searched for our gifts, found them, executed a life pattern within our gift set, and now we question our belief because of being tested. James 1:3 continues, “…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Jesus does not hate us HE allows testing to make us stronger and more mature. JESUS LOVES US…. In Hebrews we learn, 12: 12” Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 "Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Jesus wants us to be strong, to persevere, and to develop our gifts to serve better and more effectively in a variety of conditions.

Gilligan never got off of the island, but Jesus has never put us on an island of circumstances HE does not have a plan of escape designed for us. When we trust HE is in control, learn lessons from the circumstances, and allow growth, JESUS blesses and we serve more effectively. Look at present circumstances as being in school—taught and lead by JESUS.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff


Saturday, May 17, 2008

REFLECTIONS


“When we look in the mirror is it fair to say, “Mirror Mirror on the wall who should I say is calling? How many times have I walked away from this question or not answered it completely?”

Jeff Johnson May 2008

This is a reflection BLOG. I may do these from time to time to help me think, evaluate, and motivate myself to a new level. Reflection times in my life have been very helpful, stimulating, and have played a key role in motivating me into a new direction or attitude. I also call it mental hygiene.

Several times a year, I take a look at my life and ponder changes that should be made and changes that are in a certain stage of process. Today I am at one of these crossroads. Some of the ponderings relate to health questions: Losing weight, a battle I love to fight, win, and lose again if you know what I mean. How is my physical shape, am I working out enough, missing to much, getting the results I want, and do I need more realistic goals? How about my time with family, friends, my brother, and GOD, are my priorities in order, need adjusting, or are they just absent from my reality now? Last but not least, what improvements are necessary for my occupation, continuing education, and position in life?

This is a time to take a look at my happiness scale. What things do I have in my life that makes me very happy? I must take an inventory—check it twice, and arrange those at the top of my list with priority time—reducing the other times. I can see clearly some changes need to be made here. How much relaxation time do I have in this complicated life I lead---is it ever enough? Do I need more or just change the effective utilization of my time? How much time have I spent on thanking those who have assisted me, those who have encouraged me, and have “watched my back,” do they all feel appreciated?

Mirror Mirror on the wall, do you have any suggestions for who I am—???
This is how I remain a FORWARD STEPPER---by reflecting towards growth.
Walk with me here—enjoy the reflection.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

PS. Read Sundays BLOG, “I KNOW YOU AND I STILL LOVE YOU.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

LEARNING HOW TO USE TOOLS


“Always thinking negative produces negative outcomes; Thinking positive can produce new and better outcomes—learning to think different is where it all starts.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

New opportunities present themselves to us everyday. How we look at them determines the approach and ultimately the outcome. Looking at challenges as opportunities takes practice. Changing our approach from negative thoughts to more positive beliefs means taking an inventory of tools that are not used very often and practicing with them. Learning what tools we have can help change our approach to thinking positively versus negatively.

Let’s look at some tools we all possess starting with the smile. When we smile it changes how we perceive things. There are different smiles, but the most rewarding is the smile of happy instead of the hiding or covering up smile. We must be honest with our smile as we practice, but it works to change how we look at things through a smile. Another tool we have is the power of repetition. By saying I can do it; this opportunity will not overcome me because I will prevail; or saying this is going to help me be stronger when I climb this mountain, utilizes strength in numbers approach. The more we say positive things about something the easier it is to accept it and do it. Taking a things will be brighter tomorrow approach will make looking forward to tomorrow pleasant.

The last tool I want to share is the strength in support. Our lives were never meant to tackle things alone. We are designed to be creatures that join and belong to each other. Whenever we have things in our lives we need to have support to assist us, hold us accountable for forward progress, lift our spirits higher than we can solo, and cheer us on to victory in the final stretches. Everyone has an opportunity to both give support and at times receive support. By relying on these tools we can change our attitudes from negative to positive. BE A FORWARD STEPPER FROM NEGATIVE APPROACHES TO POSITIVE. The outcomes will be better.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

PS. I will be off Friday, but will have a post for Saturday. If you like this BLOG, please pass the address to your friends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ATTA BOYS

“One positive word, delivered at the right time, can light up a world—this positive energy is recharging energy—holding these words back is another form of energy conservation. Resolve: recharge more—conserve less.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

We all have experienced one of those days when everything was going sideways and the spin would not stop. One ‘atta boy’ could save the day. An ‘atta boy’ is when you tell someone or someone tells you there was significant meaning in an action you provided or something was done very well. Someone calling and saying, “I was thinking of you and how good ________________, “ the something listed in the blank was something positive you did well or was meaningful. Think about a time when this happened to you and the feelings it generated. This is the power of a single ‘atta boy.’ Now multiply this 100 times. The 100 times number would be 3 atta boys each day for a month—leaving a few you would receive in return.

Each day we live negative things fill the air. Every time we listen to the news, read a newspaper, or turn on the radio something is suggested indicating bad behavior or poor performance. Everyday we should call someone we know and say ‘atta boy’ when you did this or that, or when we receive good service give an ‘atta boy.’ Even simple things deserve an ‘atta boy.’ Having someone do a routine task for you—give an ‘atta boy,’ average service at a restaurant, hand out an ‘atta boy,’ and when reflecting on each day you performed tasks well, give yourself an ‘atta boy.’ We should all feel good about ourselves; give ourselves positive talk and praise everyday. BE A FORWARD STEPPER AND GIVE YOUR SELF AN ATTA BOY—THEN PASS THEM ON TO 100 of your closest friends.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

PS If you enjoy this motivational BLOG, pass the site address to your friends.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A ROAD WELL TRAVELED

“We ravel familiar roads easier because we know the way. New roads to travel are easier when we have help to build familiarity. Giving and receiving help is a way of life.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

This is a story told to me by someone else. I am unsure of the author, but know it is not me. Nonetheless, the message is the source of our motivational BLOG today.

There was once a man in a deep hole. A pastor came upon the man in the hole and heard his cries for help. The pastor said I will pray for your safe return to the top and walked away. A while later a doctor heard the man yelling for help. The doctor stopped and wrote out a prescription to the man saying, “Here is something that will help.” The doctor walked away. Another man hearing the pleas for help walked to the edge of the hole and jumped in. The man in the hole stated, “Now we are both stuck in this hole.” The man who jumped in said, “No, I have been in this hole before and I know the way out.” In this instance, there was not a wrong method of help provided. Everyone with a gift and talent gave their gift and talent unselfishly. It just was not the right combination for this situation. However, each person who stopped provided hope for recovery.

When we are looking for help, don’t despair, the right help is on its way. It may take several tries to get the right combination. Look at help from individuals that do not go-all-the-way to completion as bringing relief and strength until the help that brings us out of the hole arrives. If we are providing the help and it just does not seem to be enough, do not become discouraged, your role has been met by being unselfish in giving the best of gifts and talents for the moment. Some relief and strength have been provided to allow another intervention to accommodate this situation.

Fear not those in need of help and assistance; continue to seek answers for total relief because the correct combination is coming. The next time it may be your time to offer gifts and talents. Be a FORWARD STEPPER as a giver and at times a receiver. Everyone has a turn at both. There is no harm in receiving just as there is no harm in giving even when the end result needs more work. Keep STEPPING FORWARD givers and receivers alike.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Monday, May 12, 2008

DAY AFTER MOTHERS DAY


Today is the day AFTER mother’s day. Many of us spent the day with our mothers, or out with family. I am leaving this day blank so we may read Sunday’s BLOG today.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MOTHERS: ELEMENTS OF LOVE


“When we speak of a love received from our spouse, children, or sentimental things in our life, nothing surpasses the feeling generated by what we received from a mother’s love.” Jeff Johnson May 2008

On Mothers Day many of us have mixed emotions. Some of us have mothers who have passed on, some may have mothers where strained relationships exist, many of us have mothers we love and cherish (I can raise my hand here), and some of us have ‘mothers’ without blood ties. When we mention a mother’s love, the majority of us understand how special this love is compared to any other type of love. This special love, given to us by JESUS, has distinct elements which can give us a lesson on love during this mother’s day.

The first element of a mother’s love is it is full of comfort and compassion. GOD offers an explanation this element in Isaiah 66: 13, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Compassion is the intrinsic ability to have a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. A mother to has a 6th sense about her children and the ability to find just the right words, to touch and comfort perfectly, and a genuine way to allow us to feel loved deeply is part of a mothers love. The devotion mothers have towards their children is the same devotion Jesus has for us. HE is there waiting to comfort us, to alleviate our pain and sorrow, and to provide relief from distress. Without asking, Jesus, like a mother, knows when HIS children are in need of HIS care and comfort.

The second element is a mother’s love transcends all boundaries. To transcend is to rise above or go beyond the limits of something and to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects. It also means to go above and beyond a normal call of duty rising above and extending notably beyond ordinary limits. Having a mothers love in your life is very important; so important GOD provided ‘like’ mothers to be in our lives. In Romans 16: 13, we read, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too." In Matthew 12: 50, JESUS taught, 50"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." My belief is Jesus knew some issues would exist whereby biological mothers (and other family members too) would not be available in our lives, thus HE provided a mothers love to transcend through other people.

The third and last element I will cover is a mother passes her faith to her children so even eternal life is provided as a choice through example. We read in 2 Timothy 1: 5, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Today, churches are filled with mothers in over whelming numbers praying for their children.

Today is a day when we can see an example of how Jesus cared for HIS mother and copy it. Near death he spoke these words recorded in John 19 :26, When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

Care to our mothers and widows are a responsibility we all share. Take heed and expand the elements of a mothers love in your life. Be a FORWARD STEPPER into a new depth of love and service. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Thursday, May 8, 2008

HONEY HANDLERS

“We wince at criticism against us when we have done our best and fall short, we hope for understanding when we try something new and fail, but we enjoy smile after smile when we do all of these things and get a positive response.”

Jeff Johnson May 2008

The other day I was in a restaurant and the server told me it was her first day when she could not answer a question and had to ask someone for the correct answer. She apologized for being a little slow on the service, and she told us she was trying as hard as she could and asked us if we would come back again as she forgot to bring the bill. I handed her an extra $2.00 over my cursory 20% tip. I told her, “I was a server while I was in college, I had my first day too—do not be discouraged as someone gave me an extra $2.00 on a day that seemed to be hard—so I am passing it on to you to expect a better day and enjoy praise for your learning.” The smile she gave was worth 10 times the amount I gave her. All I was doing was passing along a ‘good’ deed modeled to me when I did not deserve it or earn it. Honey was given to me instead of vinegar so I learned how to give honey back.

Many of us have been in positions where we fell short of our own expectations or just messed up royally. No one needed to bang us on the head, shout at us, or condemn the performance. Typically, our own self-condemnation far exceeds that of others. We have choices to make each time we see something that falls less than our standard. We can give honey or chastise.

If you have ever had honey on your hands it does not come off easily—unless you lick it—which is my first choice. This solution is not to say we should ignore things that fall short of expectations, but just like honey sticks to us, we should handle everything carefully knowing how we would feel if we had honey on our hands instead of something sour when we messed up. Hand out some kind words today to those things we see that are good and at a high standard, and too those things that are less than our standards. If we had our hands in honey all day we would both smile and have a good taste in our mouth. All honey handlers are FORWARD STEPPERS.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

PS I will be off on Friday, but will have a Saturday BLOG. Be sure to read Sunday’s Inspirational BLOG.