Monday, October 26, 2009

85 PILLS & COUNTING

"Round and round I go spinning until I fall on my knees. The room is still spinning, faster, no it is not the room spinning it is me, but I am on my knees and I am not moving. What is spinning, what is it that makes me feel like this--I see straight again--I stand up--I walk--I see clearly what happened. I turn around and around and around and around again--I know what is going to happen--I will end up on my knees again. I stop, get on my knees, and think about how I am spinning---there is comfort on my knees. Relaxed, I bow my head and pray. I realize I do not have to spin to see I am dizzy or to get on my knees."
Jeff Johnson March 2008

Sometimes I wish I could just take a pill and I would be able to sing or think better or learn how to play an instrument. Not long ago I said, "I wish there was a pill to make the dog not bark so loud"--or so frequently--then my headache went away and I didn't care as much about the dog barking. Yes, I did take a pill to make my head stop hurting. Have you ever wanted to just take a pill and make something happen: like lose weight with just one pill, or gain weight, or walk faster, or not hurt, or make an "ex" be nicer:-), or make a teenager act--well not like a teenager? I have in my life asked for all of those things and more.

The other day I stopped and counted all of the pills I wish I could take to change or make things happen differently. I counted 85 pills then I got tired of counting. Just think of the time, money, and emotions that would be altered if this could happen. The other side of the coin is what if someone was taking a pill to change me--into something I would not like or want to be. In the end, I was glad I did not have pills to change all of the things I wished for in my magical world. I was glad I had choices, I was glad I could choose to become not 'morph' into something out of my control. I was glad changes in my life--good and bad came slowly at times, and fast at times. I was happy where I was today--but not that I have 85 and counting, things to change or be changed 'in my own likeness and wisdom.'

Everyday is a day when we can make choices about how we want to live our day. We can, to a large degree control our outcomes and influence our environment. We all have past experiences with consequences called 'baggage'--both good consequences (baggage) and bad consequences (baggage) because of our choices. Some of the baggage we did not initiate, but it remains a part of life nonetheless. Focus on the future today, take steps away from the baggage that haunts us, measure the time and distance each day takes you toward another direction--focus on changing yourself. Maybe 1 minute at a time is all you can focus on changing yourself, maybe 15 minutes at a time or 30 minutes-whatever time it takes you to change--take it. Looking at all of the pill bottles filled with all of the change pills would not be as much fun as looking at all of the "pills"
I am leaving behind as I change my journey to be better. March forward today because
you are a forward stepper.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PEACE BE STILL

(Sea Of Galilee on Mt. of Beatitudes)

“We seek a place to heal—to find peace—but when it comes we are in awe of the power displayed before us—should we not start there?” Jeff Johnson June 2008

LUKE 8:

24The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

The Sea of Galilee is a Sea whereby storms can come upon it in a moment and disappear just as quickly. Many a fisherman has been caught in one of these flash storms—some did not make it out alive. The disciples were on a ship in the Sea of Galilee with Jesus as explained in Luke. For some of them this was not the first time they encountered this phenomenon. They knew the risks of going to Sea and most likely have seen violent and catastrophic outcomes. Now, according to Luke, the disciples called on Jesus to save them. I like to look at this example in scripture of how Jesus reacted to the storm—HE was sleeping. HIS trust level entering the storm was absolute.

The Sea of Galilee is like life. We can have calm one minute and rapid violent environments in the next minute. But do we sleep or at least rest in the wake of knowing that JESUS has the power to heal us, save us, and allow us to be safe through all storms. With two words from Jesus, “Be calm,” our problems are calm. Do not be dismayed, start by knowing JESUS has brought peace, healing, and ended suffering by those same two words. Today, we should follow Jesus and rest—knowing our faith will save us through Jesus Christ our LORD. Rest! JESUS IS HERE.

I Believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Saturday, October 24, 2009

RAISING THE BAR

Knowing how high you can go

allows you to raise the bar-----again.

Focus on how many times you raise the bar,

not on how many times you try to clear it.

Prepare to jump again.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff


Thursday, October 22, 2009

JOY--SHARED

"We can feel happiness from the heart and from our heads. But JOY only comes from the heart."
Jeff Johnson April 2008

This blog is motivational during the week and inspirituational on Sunday. Normally, I do not personalize it to much as the focus is on the subject and not me. Today, for the first time, I must break this pattern to explain
my joy.

I love my daughter--she is 18 years old and I spoil her as much and as frequently as possible. Presently I am teaching her to drive. This is not the exciting part that brings joy--even though she is doing well at her driving practice, I am spending time with her. My daughter and I must spend 50 hours together as she learns to drive. These are hours when I have a captive audience to talk to her, have her talk to me, and I can give 'dad' life lessons. How much more could a dad ask for then to spend 50 hours of one-on-one time with the apple of his eye? My basketball watching buddy, my pool playing partner, my basketball playing opponent, and my PSII foe, but most of all my little girl.

I have true joy in my heart every time we go out together to drive. We talk, we laugh, we spend time in discussion about all kinds of subjects, and most of all we don't share it with anyone else but us. It is our time. Happiness can come from the head--JOY always comes from the heart. My daughter is my JOY and I tell her many times--I LOVE YOU my precious little girl. What is your joy story? Think on these things today. Joy makes your heart a FORWARD STEPPER.

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff
PS--Sweetheart, I love the ring tones you downloaded on my phone--I am now TIGHT!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FOLLOWING LIGHT PATTERN

"Light can travel infinitely--but headlights and flashlights only provide light to a specific point. Knowing you have unlimited potential and stopping at a particular point can teach us to lift our lights to another point---we have more room to travel--stretch the lighted path."
Jeff Johnson March 2008


Ever plan a trip to a foreign place? Maybe not out of the country or far away, but a new place for you? When you planned the trip did you plan to go farther than the destination or to stop at the end of your plan? Many times we plan to go to a certain point and when we arrive we stop--like in the trip analogy. Sometimes we stay to long at one point and sometimes the original destination where we stop was never intended to be our final stop. We just became comfortable and stopped.

I would like to share a story I heard from someone else--THIS IS NOT ORIGINAL MATERIAL-- I DO NOT KNOW THE AUTHOR--SO HERE IS MY CITATION--the best I can do.
"There was once an African American grandmother in the deep south. She had a large family and everything she made was from scratch. The families favorite item for her to bake were her homemade biscuits. So, one after noon grandma kneaded the dough, formed the biscuits by hand, and placed them in the oven while everyone watched. It was not long and the smell of homemade biscuits filled the house and raised anticipation to a frenzy. When the time came to pull them out of the oven grandma called everyone around. The tray was filled with biscuits, but instead of being high and full they were flat as pancakes. One of the children asked, "What happened to the fluffy biscuits grandma?" Grandma looked at the family and said, "Well the biscuits squatted to rise and then they ended up getting cooked in the squat."" Many times we are like the biscuits--we start out in a beginning position to get started, then just stop--even though our destination is within reach.

We have reachable destinations within our potential. We are created to thrive and succeed. Do not look at where you are as the only place in life that will allow you to stay--look at your place in life as the step you are on now getting ready to move into something else. The stepping stones that lead upward sometimes have flat spots so we can sprint to the finish. Start reaching for new things with enthusiasm and willingness to make it. Set your goals a little higher and when you reach them--set new ones. If the path to making it to where you want to go is dull, boring, old, or covered in "I can't do it," find a kick start today.
Let your light shine in the farthest direction because even though you may not be able to see the end--it does come when we walk towards it long enough. Step out and up forward steppers.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MISMATCH

"Our actions sometimes do not match our intentions."

Jeff Johnson March 2008

The other day I put on my socks and shoes and left for work in a hurry---YESSSSSS I was fully dressed otherwise LOL. Once at work, I crossed my legs during a session and noticed my socks did not match. I like to wear socks that have wild patterns, so the mismatch was very noticeable. During the entire day I was uncomfortable and self-conscious about the conflict in my life. What I should have done is to take both socks off so at least I felt more at ease with temporarily improved condition. However, the degree of ill-at-ease was manageable so I lived with the status quo.

Many times we desire to move in one direction, but we take actions in another direction or stay stationary. This inactivity or mismatch in direction makes us feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about our life. In most circumstances of mismatched direction we doubt our original decision, our ability to move in the new direction or towards the new goal, until we change our ‘socks’ and totally match. It is time now to not accept the status quo and make the necessary changes to improve our lives.

Decide today to remove the resistance and barriers to feeling good and start getting your life back. If we are tolerating the comfort level then the barrier can not be that severe. Remove the ‘socks’ now as an acceptable temporary remedy. Do not let the stationary position of trying to go in two directions at once allow you to doubt and stop forward movement. Seek the help you need to move forward—move the obstacle before moving your desire. You are a forward stepper—so continue stepping forward.

I believe in you because you are worth it,

Jeff

Monday, October 19, 2009

WELCOME BACK


"Welcome Back! What a greeting. When we hear this we smile, wait to feel a pat on the back, a hand shake, and maybe a hug—we are welcome—we are accepted. " Jeff Johnson June 2008

It is to often when we can not accept ourselves for something we did in the past, something we are doing now, or even thinking we do not have hope to succeed in life issues being planned out now. What if we looked in the mirror every day and said, Welcome back you work horse you, or Welcome back you__________, and fill in the blank. Maybe the door to our pathway would appear more inviting than the one we prepare now.

BE A FORWARD STEPPER and make the welcome mat to victory more acceptable to us instead of something we steer clear. Pave a way to victory, plant the seed to succeed, and march forward to a smile from victory lane.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Sunday, October 18, 2009

SEEK & FIND

"In order to seek we must find firstpower through the spirit of GOD."
Jeff Johnson April 2008

Hide-and-seek is a favorite game among children. We all have played it and understand the rules of the game. A group of children gather together, picks someone to be “it,” who then closes their eyes—through split fingers, while everyone else in the group hides. The object is to find everyone and tag them before they get to the safe place. However, as we get more experience in playing the game we go just far enough away from the safe place to tempt others to run toward the safe place.

The Bible is clear with many verses on how to seek, places to seek and to avoid (mediums), and assurances on finding. The lessons on seeking, like in hide-and-seek, give us a prompt go to a safe place—GOD’s loving arms so HE can lead us to our destination—our find. For the most part when we are seeking, we need answers to questions whereby we feel hopeless, and vulnerable. But the way to seek is first to find—let me explain.

"For e
veryone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. " LUKE 11:10

The scriptures show us in Matt 6:33 “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.” Mark adds, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Mark 14:38 We need to ‘find’ a strong body first through GOD’s spirit, not our spirit and body. In 2 Tim 1:7 we are told, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power.”
So, how much power can the spirit give us? We learn this in Judges, “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat.” Judges 14:6 I have never needed to do this, but it would be nice to have this much power in my hour of need.

Here are the rules of seeking and finding: The first thing is to find G
OD’s spirit with all of HIS power to then immediately seek HIS kingdom in (RIGHT) and (WISDOM) which is righteousness. By doing this we take our eyes off what we are seeking and concentrate on the ‘safe place’ in a powerful manner. “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” ACTS 17:27 The next thing is within the power of GOD’s spirit, we need to knock as if we want the door open so we can sup with HIM. The main point here is GOD’s spirit gives us the power to not only knock, but to want to enter in and sup with HIM—to be close enough to HIM to eat with HIM. The last step is knowing that GOD’s spirit can and will allow us to ‘find’ gives us a powerful hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Rom 15:13. There is an additional power in having hope that allows our body to feel different and act anew—with a powerful intrinsic conviction.

In the ad
ult hide-and-seek game GOD’s spirit is walking close enough to us to prompt a run towards the ‘safe place’-- HIS loving arms—to lead us to that which we are seeking.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff



Saturday, October 17, 2009

PATHS

"Light can travel infinitely--but headlights and flashlights only provide light to a specific point. Knowing you have unlimited potential and stopping at a particular point can teach us to lift our lights to another point---we have more room to travel--stretch the lighted path."
Jeff Johnson March 2008


Ever plan a trip to a foreign place? Maybe not out of the country or far away, but a new place for you? When you planned the trip did you plan to go farther than the destination or to stop at the end of your plan? Many times we plan to go to a certain point and when we arrive we stop--like in the trip analogy. Sometimes we stay to long at one point and sometimes the original destination where we stop was never intended to be our final stop. We just became comfortable and stopped.

I would like to share a story I heard from someone else--THIS IS NOT ORIGINAL MATERIAL-- I DO NOT KNOW THE AUTHOR--SO HERE IS MY CITATION--the best I can do.
"There was once an African American grandmother in the deep south. She had a large family and everything she made was from scratch. The families favorite item for her to bake were her homemade biscuits. So, one after noon grandma kneaded the dough, formed the biscuits by hand, and placed them in the oven while everyone watched. It was not long and the smell of homemade biscuits filled the house and raised anticipation to a frenzy. When the time came to pull them out of the oven grandma called everyone around. The tray was filled with biscuits, but instead of being high and full they were flat as pancakes. One of the children asked, "What happened to the fluffy biscuits grandma?" Grandma looked at the family and said, "Well the biscuits squatted to rise and then they ended up getting cooked in the squat."" Many times we are like the biscuits--we start out in a beginning position to get started, then just stop--even though our destination is within reach.

We have reachable destinations within our potential. We are created to thrive and succeed. Do not look at where you are as the only place in life that will allow you to stay--look at your place in life as the step you are on now getting ready to move into something else. The stepping stones that lead upward sometimes have flat spots so we can sprint to the finish. Start reaching for new things with enthusiasm and willingness to make it. Set your goals a little higher and when you reach them--set new ones. If the path to making it to where you want to go is dull, boring, old, or covered in "I can't do it," find a kick start today.
Let your light shine in the farthest direction because even though you may not be able to see the end--it does come when we walk towards it long enough. Step out and up forward steppers.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff


Thursday, October 15, 2009

DO NOT STOP ON GO

“Stopping on 3rd base adds no more to the score than striking out.”

An anonymous client---May 2008

Many of us have played the game Monopoly. We pass ‘GO’ and collect $200, then proceed to give it to another player on the board on the next roll of the dice.—Oh, this is the way I play it LOL. No one stays on ‘GO’ forever because it does not pay again until we go around the board—we must move forward. The same concept applies to our lives. Stopping during good times after a pay-off, or a big plus in our lives, or when concerns are under control is not what we do—we go for it again usually. When tough times come we sometimes stop short of getting to the good times again.

Looking back to review our path to present positions is healthy and should be part of our growth process. Just stop long enough to catch a breath, find the appropriate assistance or encouragement to move forward again, and then be a FORWARD STEPPER. Take the road to third base with the intent of scoring. Look at the strike out like the Dodgers do—we have next year (I can’t believe I wrote that LOL). Take strike outs as a way to mark an area to improve and a place where we set a goal to learn how to score from this position next time. Stopping when things are bleak or we are down only lets us bask in this arena—bask in the sunshine of the new day a more positive place. Savor the positive outcomes we encounter when moving forward. Find ways to score from many positions in life.

Life will always give ups and downs. We will only know this if we are moving. Use the attitude that the spirit of the next journey will bring us forward to a better place. We may have rough roads ahead of us, but smooth roads are just around the corner. Complete the last leg of either a good journey or one that is heading to a better journey for us. Find a way to reap rewards and look at the positive in everything. YOU ARE A FORWARD STEPPER!

I believe in you because, YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff

Thursday, October 1, 2009

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SOLUTIONS


"When we look at our problems we believe they are crushing us to an end and we feel the pain--GREAT or small. Know in your heart and head there is a solution to every problem and feel hope and happiness with the same intensity.
Jeff Johnson--March 2008.


Things in our life, professional and personal will go wrong. Murphy'
s law says, "If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong. Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then." Our lives are filled with stories that fit into a Murphy law category. The reality is we do not have to stay broken.

Everyone must believe in something--so why not believe that what is going on now 'sucks'--and also believe it can be fixed. We do have a choice here. When problems attack us, they come when we least expect it, when we can least afford it, and at a time when we feel it is impossible to deal with it. How much time do we spend looking for success stories that resemble our predicament? How much do we believe there is a solu
tion out there for us, a predicament someone else faced that was this bad and ended up good? If we believe our situation is so bad, then we must believe there is a solution of equal value. Remember, everyone must believe in something--choose well. Make your sustained choice a positive choice.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

COURAGE

“In the Wizard of Oz, the Lion wanted it, in life we desire more of it, but in reality, we are like the lion—we have it, we just need the ‘courage’ to learn how to exercise it more frequently.” Jeff Johnson May 2008


“Courage! What makes a King out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk, in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got? Courage!”
The Wizard of Oz (1939) “Courage”

Courage is the inner strength and will to meet the demands facing us. The moral standard to meet challenges face up and head strong, but most importantly, to look ourselves in the mirror each day and say, “I was able to sustain the good fight today and if not victory today then tomorrow.” Courage gives us a firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty when it is us versus _______. With this core value, we utilize our mental and moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship without hesitation. We are taking a leadership role towards the task at hand with the mindset of charging towards victory.

Courage is an action looking to not cave in when things become difficult. Many times it is raising the standard of performance during the crisis showing a firm and resilient determination to achieve our goals and overcome adversity. This is not an attempt to admit defeat but to never give up. You are a FORWARD STEPPER by accepting the challenges each day with an “I will face my adversity and will overcome my opposition no matter what in a never give up attitude.” We all have courage, the Lion in the Wizard was wrong when he asked—“ What have they got that I ain't got?” Well we all have it—Courage. Stand true to yourself.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Monday, September 28, 2009

WELCOME BACK


"Welcome Back! What a greeting. When we hear this we smile, wait to feel a pat on the back, a hand shake, and maybe a hug—we are welcome—we are accepted. " Jeff Johnson June 2008

It is to often when we can not accept ourselves for something we did in the past, something we are doing now, or even thinking we do not have hope to succeed in life issues being planned out now. What if we looked in the mirror every day and said, Welcome back you work horse you, or Welcome back you__________, and fill in the blank. Maybe the door to our pathway would appear more inviting than the one we prepare now.

BE A FORWARD STEPPER and make the welcome mat to victory more acceptable to us instead of something we steer clear. Pave a way to victory, plant the seed to succeed, and march forward to a smile from victory lane.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,
Jeff

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SAFETY NET

“Understanding there is a safety net to protect us should end some fears right away”

Jeff Johnson April 2008

IN STICKING WITH MY PROMISE TO GOD, SUNDAY’S BLOG IS DEDICATED TO HONOR HIM AND WORSHIP HIM WHO CREATED ME.

When the lights go off at night some children become afraid; when we pray for career choice decisions in school or job changes we have a fear. When we do new things for the first time or adjust to new changes, and even become sick, we have fear. So, how can we manage our fears? Many of us have an inner strength we call GOD that comforts us. Many of us have an inner strength we call GOD and do not believe HIM enough to understand what HE wants us to do with our fear. Gaps on this point need a bridge, so how does it work if there is belief and yet fear still exists? The answer starts by observing that we are raised in fear e.g. “The ‘ole’ saying, “wait until your_______gets home,” or perhaps, “the new job will include these NEW duties and skill sets,” —so why expect anything else when our life events become more complicated? We must now change our views to look at how GOD challenges fears in our life.

GOD can heal everything without exception—even today in 2008. I find it very interesting that HE has not ‘removed’ fear, but he pointed us—again—to HIM through rescue from the life event. In Exodus 3:11 Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"12 And God said, "I will be with you.” GOD is providing this relief of fear through RESCUE. Look at the prophet Jeremiah 1:6 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child." 8 GOD said, “Do not be afraid …, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD. In Isaiah 41:10 we read, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” In each one of these instances, a designed plan was presented to Moses, Jeremiah, and Isaiah, as each one expressed in a kind way—REMOVE THE FEAR! However, GOD responded by saying I will rescue you by: supporting you, strengthening your weaknesses, and helping you—ALL forms of rescue.

We all have gifts to use for GOD’s glory and service. Many life circumstances cause us to fear. We fear moving forward, we fear rejection, we fear things that are new, and you can add your own fears here. GOD will rescue you by just turning to HIM. Rest in the loving arms that want to strengthen, comfort, heal, and yes---rescue you. Step up FORWARD STEPPERS into the life GOD has for you—by preparing to be rescued instead of stifled inside of fear.

I believe in you because YOU ARE WORTH IT,

Jeff