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/

9-18-2015 3-02-48 PM“None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard

“Trust the team,” we have often heard, but sometimes when you know who is on the team, you may think differently and not really want to do that! Building a successful team can be very difficult when all the players have their own agendas. As a team member at work, in a civic organization, club, at home or wherever you are joined together with a group that has a common goal, it can be exhausting dealing with all those different perspectives and attitudes.

Think about the teams you are a part of that get along great and reach their goals without any problems. Then consider the groups you participate with that just don’t get along, never meet their deadlines, and the members really can’t stand each other. How does one handle it? The jealousy, undermining, hypocrisy, and just plain rudeness can make a person never want to volunteer or participate on teams ever again.

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Over the years, I have participated on various teams that worked and many that didn’t work. It ultimately starts with trust and open communication within the team. When the team does not have trust, respect, and open communication, real success does not happen. True success on a team starts with each individual realizing that they are on a “team” and everyone matters.

1. Get to truly know your team members first! Do an icebreaker or plan an off-site. Your perceptions may change, and maybe that rude team member doesn’t even realize their actions make you want to walk out of the meetings.
2. Take a personal inventory of yourself. Are you open, fair, consistent, trustworthy? Remember it could be you!
3. Set clear direction as a team. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Don’t allow others on the team to take over when it is not their area. Team members should be helpful, but not disrespectful.
4. Communicate as a team- NO cliques or silos allowed. Feedback should be constructive, proactive and constant. Some teams are prone to wait until a problem occurs before they provide feedback. Not a good idea!
5. Build trust with each other by doing what we say we are going to do and working together to meet common goals. Transparency is critical.
6. Celebrate success and learn from missed opportunities together.

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8-23-2015 1-18-01 PMSo much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished! I am a doer and a worker-bee, as my husband would say. Yes, without a doubt, that indeed is me! I am always involved in this group or that project, having millions of thoughts running through my mind regarding objectives, checklists, tasks, contacts, and of course the list just goes on and on.

Do you know someone like this? You probably do. These are the individuals who never really stop to take a break. They are always on the go to an activity, meeting or planning the next event. Don’t you just want to say to them BE STILL, STOP AND ENJOY THE MOMENT? Well, maybe that person is you! Doesn’t it getting really exhausting trying to hold all that information together and actually be successful with the outcomes? We can be so busy doing all day and all night long that we never enjoy what the Lord has given us: an opportunity to receive.

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How often we choose to let doing consume us instead of enjoying and being present in the events of our lives. Think about those birthday parties or special occasion events we plan for our loved ones. We pull out all the stops and prepare for the guest to be wowed. Staying up late and driving all over town trying to pick out the perfect matching items to make sure everything is immaculate. The day of the event, we are still checking off the list but we are so tired and stressed that we actually miss out on appreciating the time with our family and friends who we spent so much time preparing for.

Let’s take a moment to personally assess: What was the real purpose for the event? Are all those items on the checklist really required or needful? Would not your loved ones rather have you laughing and talking with them than perspiring with sweat and being disgusted because the writing on the cake was the wrong color?

8-23-2015 1-18-53 PMI am reminded of the story shared in the Bible about Mary and Martha, two sisters who were on a mission. Luke 10:38-42: 38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Martha’s goals were to be a gracious host, make sure that her guests were taken care of and had everything they needed. Mary’s goals were to be mindful, aware and engaged in listening attentively to their guest Jesus Christ so as to gain an understanding of his teachings.

Was either sister wrong in their goals? No, but as Jesus spoke with Martha, he shared with her that when we get so caught up with worry in the details we miss the “good part.” In Martha’s eagerness to serve, she was missing the opportunity to truly know him.

As I leave you today, I must take my own medicine and remember the “good part” should always be at the top of my list. I often times get so caught up in planning and preparation that I miss the true purpose of love and service.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

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

6-18-2015 4-51-24 PMThis year is my 10th year in real estate and over the years, I have been blessed and had the pleasure to assist many new homebuyers. Recently I was given the opportunity to assist a client that was just over the age of 20 with the purchase of a new home. What a great accomplishment!

Teaching our children at a young age to value the earnings they make and to choose wisely what they decide to purchase is very critical to their long-term personal and financial success. My client could have used the money on items that depreciate in value but thought more wisely and made an awesome investment for the future with wealth appreciation in mind.

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Are we really preparing our children for a sound financial future or are we actually setting ourselves up to be their bank and ATM of choice? Let’s face it: in our society today, we give more and more to our children when it comes to money. Yes, we want to give them a “little” more than what we had growing up, but we have crossed the line and now give them our checkbooks on a silver platter.

In our minds we say, “But they need it.” But do they really need it? Do they in fact see the value? More so, are we teaching our children to value what we provide for them? Truthfully, in many cases unfortunately, we are not. We rationalize to ourselves how we are going to handle this fee or the cost for that event to make our darling loved ones able to be included in this club, or participate in that event. Many times, if not almost all, we nearly break the bank trying to do it.

Let’s get back to the basics….
1. If they want it…they need to work for it. Assign chores and hold them accountable, or they don’t get it.
2. Teach them to stick to the budget, and parents please model the behavior! Remember, you are the role model.
3. Explain your spending decisions. Why it is important to pay the mortgage before we decide spend money at the mall?
4. Instill a savings habit. When they get money, always require that at portion of it go to savings.
5. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Stop throwing everything away.
6. Help your kids to understand the gimmicks and false promises advertisers use to entice them.
7. Clip coupons, price match and take time to find “real” saving opportunities when making a purchase.
8. Use cash and leave the credit cards behind.

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