7-16-2016 9-30-05 AMIs your home ready for a makeover, but your financial budget says “No” because the piggy bank is empty? Yeah, I know, right? All those furniture pieces we bought years ago really did look great in our homes, but now it’s time for an upgrade – out with the old and in with a new style of décor. Well, it is not that easy if you are like most of us who want the look we see on HGTV. I love watching all the home makeovers, dreaming about where I would place designer furniture and, of course, choosing the newest wall colors. I say to myself, “STOP DREAMING,” as I wake up to realize this is a 60 minute TV show with lots of money and sponsors to get the job done. Spending a lot of money to bring your drab, dated, humble abode to life need not break the bank account! It’s doable with patience and a “bargain eye” to find a purpose, or might I say re-purpose, for the items you already own. The results will be the look and style of décor you want, without going in debt. Yes, it does cost to do a home makeover, but I say, “Go for it!” You just need to know how to get what you want without running up the credit card.

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Rules for the Bargain Eye to get the Designer Deals Today:

1. Get up early and catch the yard sales! Take your time to really look, and then start the negotiations. No one really wants to take all that stuff back inside.
2. Know when the thrift stores have their percentage-off sales, and get there early to claim the best purchases.
3. Get off of Facebook and check online do-it-yourself websites, tutorials, and YouTube videos for ideas that won’t break the bank; start a Pinterest account, and pin the items that interest you.
4. Buy material remnants. They are perfect for recovering pillows, banding drapes and comforters.
5. Don’t shy away from items that might need a little work such as painting, sanding, or just minor repairs.
6. Re-arrange what you already have; move things around to other rooms. Change it up!
7. Adding one new piece can make all the difference. Incorporate word art and wood décor to spruce up the look of your walls.
8. Get beautiful pieces for your home just by stepping out your front door? Tall birch tree limbs become art when propped against the wall.
9. Trade items with your friends and neighbors; swap and shop with each other.
10. De-clutter and organize.

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6-18-2016 9-30-53 AMIt’s so hard to say goodbye to what we know, even if there is good to come. It is as if we get stuck and can’t move forward. Why is this so true.

Well, in our present and current situation, we know what we have, we know where we are, even though it is not really where we want to be. We still know. As we contemplate making a change in our lives, or moving to the next chapter, we stall, stop, straddle the fence, or make excuses for not being able to turn the page. It is truly hard, but we all know it is necessary. Going through to get through is tough, and retreating to what is familiar is what we do. Sometimes we can stay too long.

I am reminded of Lot’s wife.

Genesis 19:17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”
Genesis 19:26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

So often, when we decide to leave what we know so well and finally press go and turn the page, we think we are starting over but actually we are progressing. Yes, the page turns, but we have not lost anything. We take it with us. We merely gain: the good, the bad, and if we allow it, perspective to help us in this next chapter.

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Some tips:

•Stop trying to control the uncontrollable things in life.
•Change is good. Breathe, and then let go.
•Sift through it all, and then sift again; keep the The Next Chapter . . . Turn The Page! by Jackie Warner Jackie Warner Community Outreach “Impact, Engage, Grow” Community Matters good.
•Take calculated and informed risks.
•Life lessons: cherish them but learn from them.
•Accept and move on.
•You can’t get there if you don’t go. Don’t let one chapter in your life define your whole life. Remember: You can’t start the next chapter if you continue to keep reading the last one.
Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
By: Jackie Warner, Community Outreach Specialist
Check out upcoming events: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com/

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5-20-2016 11-31-20 AMWe step out for people, for our family, and for our friends with great intentions and sincere hope for them. Yes, our goal is to help. Our goal is to be a servant! The Lord truly knows our hearts. We do and then we do more, but it is as if our doing really causes more harm than good.

Yes, your heart is in the right place, but now you have gotten stuck in this ever lasting cycle and see no way out! How many of us would say yes to the following questions:
1. Have to bail out healthy, able adults
2. Support those who choose to not support themselves
3. Inconvenience yourself just to make sure someone else is not inconvenienced, and they don’t even care
4. Constantly feel manipulated
5. Have high hopes of another person changing their behavior and attitude to get on the right track

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“Yes” is typically the answer we give to our family and friends in some form of our actions, but we must remember that saying no has its implications. NOT saying no has implications too! So ask yourself, “How do I break the cycle, and help others to help themselves?”

  • Start saying no. For some people, borrowing money from family is a habit and the way they learn to handle stressful situations. You become their safety net.
  • Instead of just handing over cash, assist with filling out any required forms for getting them needed assistance if applicable.
  • Attend a financial planning seminar and help with development of a budget. Share coupons.
  • Give a non-cash gift. This will allow you to have much more influence on how the funds are being utilized.
  • Wait and allow. Even if you might be willing to help them out, waiting to give the borrower time to see if he/she can come up with a solution on their own is best.
  • If you do decide to give, give with the intent that you will not get it back.
  • Don’t play into their patterns.
  • Set ground rules and stick to them. “This is a one-time only and I will not be able to continue doing this.” Make it clear!
  • Say no to those buddies and/or deadbeat family members and friends who are dressed so well, but always need help making the car payment, rent, or gas bill.
  • Establish financial boundaries. You are not their bank teller, personal ATM, or plan B.
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Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner
Community Outreach Specialist
Email: thebridge.us@gmail.com
Check out upcoming events: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com/

4-15-2016 4-04-57 PMTake a moment and name 5 skills you have, or perhaps 5 things you do extremely well.

Have you ever heard the phrase “If you hold on to something to tight you might lose it”? I would have to agree with it.

As I thought about my topic for this month’s article, I could not help but remember a video by Andy Stanley I watched a few weeks ago as I was preparing to teach a leadership class. I found lots of great resources, but this one stuck with me the most. The message in the video talked about emptying our cups.

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Yes, emptying our cups. As I listened very attentively, I thought how true it is that we must empty our cups often. Most of us are so busy trying to fill our cups, we don’t dare think about emptying them. As I continued to listen, I thought about you and me and how our cups truly “runneth over.” We all have things we love, appreciate, and have gained knowledge about over the years, but are we really taking the time to grow those around us? Some people share their knowledge. Others hoard or hold on to it and just keep packing it in, never release it. How selfish! It’s just like when we hold our fist tight, trying keep what’s in our hands. In doing so, we choose not to allow the opportunity to receive.

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It’s the same way with those full cups we have. You know, sometimes we have to empty our cups to really get what we need. Our responsibility as leaders is not to teach everything, but to share what we do know with those coming along beside us. I challenge all of us to empty our cups, especially by pouring into someone else’s cup.

God blesses each of us with so much, remember to keep your eyes on Him and not the blessing; instead, share the blessing!

I leave you with words from Andy Stanley, Leadercast Presenter:
• Think beyond You!
• If your leadership isn’t about you, it will live beyond you.
• If your leadership is about you, it will end with you.
• Bring someone along with you.
• Don’t Hoard.
• Share.

Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional

By: Jackie Warner, Community/Career Outreach Specialist
The Bridge “Where Community Matters”
Email: thebridge.us@gmail.com
Checkout our events: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com

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3-18-2016 10-10-19 AMDoing what you love, and loving what you do are not always the same. Planning for your career takes lots of work and thought. Recently, my daughters were working on their class schedules for next year. They were trying to make the best decision and pick the most sensible courses to help with their future career options.

As I tried to assist them, I could not help thinking back to when I was in school and not really having at that time the best plan of action for the future. It became very important that I impart my lessons learned from over the years to help them not go down a path that would quickly take on many detours and possible dead ends. Although my plan was not well thought out, I am thankful that I had mentors in my life that helped me along the way. I am also thankful for receiving a college scholarship that allowed me to attend and graduate from a 4 year university. It was definitely not by happenstance. It was again because I had mentors and family members pushing me to pursue opportunities for my life to come.

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Whether it’s your child, the kid down the street, or a relative, impart lessons learned from your own personal life to help them to be more successful. Be a mentor; it will definitely help to grow our teens, community, and our level of economic stability.

So what is real mentoring? It is a one-to-one supportive relationship between students and adults, where the adult strives to help achieve and increase success in the life of the student mentored.
Mentoring is not easy. It takes work and dedication on both sides. True mentors do the research and really want to share what they know to help students gain an edge for the future. High school is a tough time for students, and having someone to coach and guide them during this time is often needed, (but not necessarily acknowledged) by our youth. They are in a transition period, moving from children to adults, and this process can be very difficult when you don’t have a plan. Becoming a mentor takes a strong commitment, but it is definitely needed to positively impact our next generation for future success.

As a Mentor you should:
1. Know that only 1 in 3 children grow up with a mentor/coach, leaving many with no one to turn to
2. Provide teens advice, but don’t be pushy or overbearing (Bite size messages are better)
3. Be truthful and trustworthy
4. Hold each other accountable
5. Assist them with Personality and Career Assessments; Offer sound advice

Young adults who face an opportunity gap but have a mentor are 55% more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor. (The Mentoring Effect)
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2-19-2016 10-03-03 AMA few weeks ago, my daughter challenged me to a “No Bread” diet. She was preparing for a big event, and wanted to shed a few pounds, so having no bread was going to be her way to lose the weight. Doubting that I would do it, she asked me anyway. I, of course, (actually doubting myself,) surprisingly said I was up for the challenge. Four days went by and guess what: I was doing well and surviving without any bread! For me, bread is an essential part of my day but those four days, I felt so good being successful with the challenge.

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The fifth day presented itself, and I heard my daughter saying that we could have a cheat day. Well it didn’t take much for me to agree! I had been so good for four whole days, and now I was ready for a cheat day. Poor me, thinking I had starved myself, and then in that short instance all my will power went out the window. Can you believe that? Sadly, of course, I know you can.

Success wasn’t living here; bread was just on a short vacation, and was making its way back. Yes, I caved in and had some bread. Feeling guilty, I only had one piece on my chicken sandwich. Overall, it didn’t seem that bad. The next day, I could feel it. My indigestion was back, and it was as if my body was rejecting that one piece of bread.

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As I share this personal story, I have learned that although we may love the taste of various foods, they are not always needed, nor are they good for us. After having the indigestion, I vowed to give the no bread diet another try. After all, it made me feel better, and I didn’t realize how much better until I decided to be counterproductive.

Sad, but so. We start and stop these yo-yo diets all the time, and in some strange way wonder why we are not successful. For many, counterproductive activity is common place when working on weight loss goals, making it extremely difficult to see lasting results.

I am reminded of Oprah Winfrey’s phrase for 2016 “to have the best body ever.” I too want to work toward that goal, and it starts with doing what is realistic and not losing yourself to a moment of weakness.

Read the tips below to gain a boost on your journey to your best body ever.
• Plan your healthy meals ahead, and prepare your food for the entire week, even though it is “easier” to grab and go
• Keep a food log to track what you are eating and how you feel. Try the “My Fitness Pal” tracker tool.
• Eat 5-6 times a day, but smaller portions. This will cause your body to burn more calories throughout the day.
• Drink a minimum of 1 gallon of water each day.
• Enlist a “challenge buddy.” If you have that urge to cheat or quit, then you have someone to keep you accountable and makes you think twice about your decision.
• Go to bed early, and get 8 hours of sleep each night.

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Brrr… Winter Has Arrived!

1-22-2016 10-04-07 AMChristmas Eve, I was all dressed up with short sleeves, capri pants and sun glasses. This definitely was not typical weather for us, but now winter has finally decided to arrive! Pull out the long johns, sweaters, boots, and hats!

As winter sets in, it brings with it low temperatures, snow, ice, and lots of unwanted health issues. Let’s take a moment to ensure your loved ones are prepared to be safe and healthy!

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Remember little children have no clue about the weather, so it is up to us to keep them warm and to prevent as much as possible those dreadful colds and ear infections. Extra attention is needed because they are less likely to recognize when they are cold. They are also more likely to lose their body heat quicker because of their smaller sizes. As parents, teachers, grandparents and guardians, remember these tips to keep them healthy during our winter months:

1. Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing! Cold and flu viruses are not only airborne, but live on surfaces as well. Washing your hands is the single most effective way of decreasing your risk of infection!
2. Think layers. Dress infants and children warmly. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
3. Beware of clothing hazards. Scarves and hood strings can strangle smaller children, so use other clothing to keep them warm.
4. Increase immune boosting foods and drinks. Immune boosting foods and drinks keep the body well-nourished so when viruses do strike, the immune system has fuel to work efficiently. Immune boosting foods include things such as garlic, ginger, fresh green juices, and foods packed full of vitamin C (like cut orange slices) are a great addition to your weekly meal planning.
5. Keep them hydrated. In drier winter air, kids lose more water through their breath. Keep them drinking and try giving them warm drinks.
6. Limit outdoor activities. Kids are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia, so have them come inside to warm up at regular intervals.
7. Watch for danger signs. Signs of hypothermia are shivering, slurred speech, and unusual clumsiness. If you think your child has hypothermia call 9-1-1 immediately.
8. Install alarms. More household fires happen during the winter than any other time of year, so make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. If your home already has these alarms, test to make sure they are working properly.

Until Next Time, Be sincere, Kind and Intentional
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12-18-2015 2-56-15 PMMerry Christmas and a blessed holiday season to you and your families. As we are busy selecting gifts for our loved ones, remember the real reason for the season- Jesus Christ our Savior– The Perfect Gift!

I encourage us all to take a look back at our accomplishments for this year, starting with a revisit of those big resolutions we made in January 2015. Let’s honestly ask ourselves: were we successful? In some instances, yes, of course we were, but in others, not even close. I started looking back at all I had “planned” to do this year and regrettably, several are still on “the list”. They did not get the attention deserved for real success. Each year we come up with these wonderful New Year resolutions, but many are just that…. resolutions. As you look back over your life for this year, ask yourself, “Am I better now than when I started, or was I aimless in my journey, with no true strategies and preparation to meet my desired goals?”

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12-18-2015 2-56-42 PMReflection and self-observation are critical and essential; during the hustle and bustle of the season, stop and take time for yourself to truly decide what is needed in your life to move you forward. Set realistic personal commitments that have genuine purpose for your life’s journey. We can say what we want to do all day long. We can write it down and keep it with us; however, the real work begins when we decide to take personal action and do it for ourselves with or without the help of others. The excuses we make get the best of us and prevent us from executing the steps it takes to accomplish success in life.

Although I did not meet all my goals for this 2015 year, I am reflecting and looking back at what I did right and what I definitely can do better for myself, family, and my circle of influence. What promises did I make to myself and others? What were my obstacles, and who and what were my supporting anchors?

If it is the Lord’s will for us to be present in 2016, then the time is now to determine and prepare for those realistic commitments that will make us better for ourselves and world around us.

Again, I wish you all a wonderful and blessed season and Happy New Year.

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established Proverbs 16:3
Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner, Community/Career Outreach Specialist
The Bridge “Where Community Matters”
Email: thebridge.us@gmail.com
Checkout our events: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com

One Love Hearing Concepts Mid-South Trailer Sales

11-20-2015 3-42-40 PMWhenever we have disagreements, or feel we know exactly what has to happen in a particular situation, let’s face it: do we actually know? We have friends and family members who are so convincing and passionate when it comes to sharing with us what they say or think should or should not happen. You know, those instances when you can’t help but believe what you are being told. After all, what would they have to gain from not telling you the real story? We didn’t even check the facts, just took it as truth and told someone else. Sometimes, we do that and then find out we had it all wrong.

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The stories we ponder everyday (whether at work, home, on the internet, or on television), seem to be so real. We think they are cut and dry, but in most cases that just isn’t so. Although we have grown up conditioned to know there is more than one side to every story, (“your side” and “their side”), the one that seems to get lost most of the time is the “truth side.”

And, what about our children? It is just me, or do we have to be very specific when we ask them questions? Although they know exactly what we are getting at when we’re talking to them, they still seem to thrive on what we didn’t say so that their answers are what we want to hear.

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So, how do we know (or better yet get to the real truth) for all those sides that seem to go with the story?

1. Remember that the truth is not always apparent.
2. Seek to truthfully want to know.
3. Check the sources.
4. Listen with your ears, and not with your heart.
5. Remove personal biases & stereotypes.
6. Ask questions. Probe.
7. Look for inconsistencies in what is being said.
8. Ask yourself it is fact or feeling.

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Winston Churchill

Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind, and Intentional
By: Jackie Warner
Community Outreach Specialist
Email: thebridge.us@gmail.com
Check out upcoming events!
Website: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com/

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10-17-2015 9-27-05 AMShall I remind you of the time that you saw it happening, but you did not say a word? You thought to yourself how awful and terrible the situation must be, but you just walked away. The next time you saw me, you said to a friend “Someone should do something about this,” and then continued with your day.

I am here and not by my personal choice but deserve to be treated with love and kindness. I do not ask for this pain that I often endure. You see me, the way I look and the actions taken around me. Although I have not words to articulate what’s happening to me, your voice I continually seek! Be the voice that our children do not have!

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Every day in this country, 1,900 children become victims of abuse or neglect, and four of them will die.

The Excuses:

• It won’t make a difference what I have to say. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse and neglect that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.
• I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s family. The effects on a child are lifelong, affecting future relationships, self-esteem, and sadly putting even more children at risk of abuse as the cycle continues. Break the Cycle.
• What if I break up someone’s home? The priority in child protective services is keeping children in the home. A child abuse/neglect report does not mean a child is automatically removed from the home—unless the child is clearly in danger. Support such as parenting classes, anger management or other resources may be offered first to parents if it is safe for the child.
• They will know it was me who called. Reporting is anonymous. In most places, you do not have to give your name when you report child abuse. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse. Contact your local Department of Human Resources.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD Psalms 127:3

Reporting child abuse can bring up a lot of difficult emotions and uncertainty. You may ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing, or question if your voice will even be heard. Here is a suggestion for communicating effectively in difficult situations: Try to be as specific as you can. For example, instead of saying, “The parents are not dressing their children right,” say something like, “I saw the child running outside three times last week in subzero weather without a jacket or hat. However, remember that it is not your job to “prove” abuse or neglect. If suspicions are all you have, you should report those as well.

Source: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect.htm#helping
Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
By: Jackie Warner, Community Outreach Specialist
Email: thebridge.us@gmail.com
Check out upcoming events: Website: http://thebridge-us.yolasite.com/