Exhortation is Good

Exhortation is GoodExhortation is Good

Our lives are enriched by when we are exhorted and when we exhort others.

Exhortation is a mutually beneficial activity – Do it every chance you can.

A good friend of mine shared the following article with me today:

http://www.raptureready.com/featured/funk/exhortation.html

Sharing this article is not an endorsement of this site, just of the message in this article.

The gist of this article is that “exhortation, encouragement, support or positive reinforcement, whatever you want to call it, can have a profound effect on a person’s life.” I am a big believer in this philosophy and hope you are as well.

Imagine when we all believe in the power of exhortation, the benefits to ourselves and those we exhort.

Thanks Steve Sohn for sharing this with me. I appreciate you and all that you do to help our group.

Teddy

Friends

Make new friends.

Friends are critical to a successful life

Have you made any new friends lately?

While visiting one of the local Job Search groups in the Triad area of NC, one of their members handed me a poster about friends. I thanked her for the image and told her that I was glad she considered me her friend.

I converted the photocopy image into a new jpg to share with all my friends.

Talk with your friends about your career, business, community journeys. They can help you.

Please share with your friends.

Friends

Recognizing your blessings

two-guys-on-streetTwo old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, “What has the world done to you, my old friend?”

The sad fellow said, “Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars.”

“That’s a lot of money.”

“But you see, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear.”

“Sounds like you’ve been blessed.”

“You don’t understand!” he interrupted. “Last week my great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million.”

Now he was really confused. “Then, why do you look so glum?”

“This week… nothing!”

That’s the trouble with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it. Someone recently suggested to me a way to test someone’s character. Give him (or her) $5 a day for a month. Then stop, and see what his reaction is. The natural tendency is that if we receive a gift long enough, we come to view it as an entitlement. We feel hurt, even angry, if we don’t receive it any longer.

It’s the same way with the Blessings God, or the higher power you believe in, gives us every day. I don’t deserve the comfortable home I live in, the beautiful mountains around me, the clean water that I drink. But after receiving these gifts (and a multitude of others) for years, I sometimes fail to be grateful.

I’ve come to expect these good things. And when one of them is removed for a short while (like the water being cut off), I get upset.

Make an effort today to recognize the blessings you’ve come to take for granted. Focus on what you have rather than on what you don’t have, and see if it doesn’t improve your attitude.

Author Unknown

reposted from Motivational Moments with permission from Nigel Alston

Joel Osteen thinks like I do

I shared my Networking for Mutual Benefit® presentation at First Presbyterian Church Jobs on 2/13/12. Afterwards Tom Holden shared this Joel Osteen email with me.  Thank you Tom. Apparently Joel O. and I were thinking the same thing yesterday.

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

One translation of today’s simple verse says that “love looks for a way to be constructive.” In other words, love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better. Ask yourself, “Who can I encourage today?” “Who can I build up?” You have something to offer those around you that no one else can give. Someone in your life needs your encouragement. Someone in your life needs to know that you believe in them. I believe God will hold us responsible for the people He’s put in our lives. He’s counting on us to bring out the best in our family and friends.

Are you improving the lives of those around you? Are you pouring confidence in them? Why don’t you ask the Lord to give you creative ways to bring out the best in others? As you sow into the lives of others, God will send people along your path that will build you up so that you can embrace every blessing He has in store for you.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for believing in me and always building me up. I ask that You show me creative ways to encourage and build up the people around me. Help me to be an example of Your love in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Joel & Victoria Osteen

Believe in Angels – everyday

A story of Angels in Indiana
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave 15 dollars a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old ’51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager babysitter down the street. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal. That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money – fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered. I made a deal with the owner of the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn’t enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up. When it was time for me to go home at seven o’clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn’t wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.)

It was still dark and I couldn’t see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car – or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver’s side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll. As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December.

And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

– Author Unknown

Shared with permission from Motivational Moments by Nigel Alston

 

Hug O’War

Sometimes the best education comes from a child’s book.

We don’t need big books or books with big words. Sometimes, just think like a child.

Hug O’War
I will not play at tug o’war.
I’d rather play at hug o’war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

– Shel Silverstein

reposted from Motivational Moments by Nigel Alston

Doing well by Doing Good

There is a man who I’d like to tell you about. His name is Sandy Greenberg. In his youth, Sandy was a very good student, but he came from a poor family. And so he went to Columbia University on a scholarship and there he met his roommate who also was receiving financial aid.

Now while he was a sophomore at Columbia University, Sandy contracted an eye disease that eventually proved to be glaucoma. But the trouble was, it wasn’t detected early enough, and as a result he became legally blind. I ask you all to imagine for a moment having been sighted all your life, and then all of a sudden being faced, in a very competitive school, with losing so much sight you could no longer read. This is what happened to Sandy Greenberg.

But something else happened to Sandy that may surprise you. Sandy said that when he lost his sight, his roommate would read his textbooks to him, every night.

So I’m going to put you in that position, in a competitive school like Columbia, or Johns Hopkins. If your roommate had a serious disability, would you take the time to read textbooks to him every night, knowing the more you spend time reading textbooks to your roommate, perhaps the less well you might do with your other activities? That’s not as easy a question as it first appears.

But luckily for Sandy, his roommate did. And as a result, Sandy went on to graduate with honors. He got a Fulbright Scholarship, and he went off to study at Oxford. He was still quite poor, but he said he had managed to save about five hundred dollars as he went along.

His roommate, meanwhile, also went on to graduate school. One day, Sandy got a call from him at Oxford. And his former roommate said, “Sandy I’m really unhappy. I really don’t like being in graduate school, and I don’t want to do this.”

So Sandy asked, “Well what do you want to do?”

And his roommate told him, “Sandy, I really love to sing. I have a high school friend who plays the guitar. And we would really like to try our hand in the music business. But we need to make a promo record, and in order to do that I need $500.”

So Sandy Greenberg told me he took all his life savings and sent it to his roommate. He told me, “You know, what else could I do? He made my life; I needed to help make his life.”

So, I hope you’ll remember the power of doing well by doing good. Each of you, in your own lives, will be faced with challenges, with roadblocks, with problems that you didn’t anticipate or expect. How you are able to deal with adversity will be influenced, to no small extent, by how you deal with others along the way. What you get will depend a lot on what you give. And that’s the end of the story of doing well, by doing good.

Ah! I almost forgot. You probably are wanting to know who Sandy’s roommate was. I think you’ve heard of him. Sandy’s roommate was a fellow by the name of Art Garfunkel, and he teamed up with another musician by the name of Paul Simon. That $500 helped them cut a record that eventually became “The Sounds of Silence.” Recently, we had the pleasure of going to Sandy’s daughter’s wedding, and it was Art Garfunkel who sang as Sandy walked his daughter down the aisle.

When you get to be my age (which, for some of you, is really old, (though it doesn’t seem so old to me anymore), you will find yourself beginning to ask, did my life make a difference?

That’s the day of personal reckoning. And I think the only way to face it is to consider, every day of your life: How can I do something for somebody else? How can I give back to others? It may be teaching, it may be becoming a doctor, you may be successful in business – no matter what your career path, there will always be the opportunity to give back. The chance will present itself to be giving of your time, giving of your money, but mostly, to be giving of yourselves, of your own heart and soul.

My hope today, as you commence to new beginnings, is you will always keep your eyes open for those opportunities to give and embrace them as your best sure way of doing well.

– William R. Brody

I share this story from Motivational Moments and Nigel Alston

Your inner voice

My day started just like all the other days for the past 15 years where I get up, make some coffee, shower, get dressed and leave for the train station at preciously 7:35 A.M. to arrive at work by 8:30. While on the train I would always choose a seat away from the crowd so I can read the newspaper in peace and quiet. At work I am always being bombarded with questions from coworkers, suppliers, telephone and then those dreaded meetings so the last thing I need is some stranger to sit beside me and make small talk.

I don’t know why but for some reason when I got on the train today it was unusually full, something I don’t recall ever happening in the past. With hesitation I sat down in the only seat available beside a middle aged man that had his head down and seemed to be lost in his thoughts. I was glad that he didn’t notice when I sat next to him as he just continued to look down towards the floor.

Shortly after the train left for my 30 minute ride downtown I found myself wondering what this man was thinking about. What could be so important that he didn’t even see me sit next to him? I tried to forget about it and started to read my paper. However, for some strange reason this “inner voice” kept prompting me to talk to this man. I tried to ignore the “voice” as there was no way I was starting a conversation with a complete stranger.

As you probably guessed I eventually broke down and came up with an excuse to ask him a question. When he raised his head and turned his eyes towards me I could see that he must have been really upset as he had red eyes and still had some tears rolling down the side of his face despite his feeble attempt to wipe them away. I can’t describe the sadness I felt seeing someone in so much pain.

We talked for about 20 minutes and in the end he seemed to be doing better. As we were leaving the train he thanked me profusely for being an angel by taking the time to talk. I never did find out what was making his heart so heavy with pain but was glad I listened to the “voice” that day.

Several weeks had passed when I noticed an envelope on my desk after returning from lunch. It was not addressed to anyone and only had the word “Angel” written on it. My receptionist attached a note saying a gentleman dropped it off saying he did not know my name but had described me well enough that the receptionist knew it was for me. When I read the note inside the envelope I was so filled with emotions that I couldn’t contain myself. It was a letter from the man I met on the train thanking me again for talking to him and saving his life that day.

Apparently he had some very hurtful personal problems that were so overwhelming he was planning to take his life that day. In his letter he went on to explain that he was a religious person and in desperation screamed out to God that if God really cared about him he would send someone to prevent him from taking his life. In his eyes I was that someone, that Angel sent by God.

Not being a religious person myself I don’t know what that “voice” was that made me take a chance and talk to a stranger but I do know that it made a difference in someone’s life that day. So the next time you feel prompted for no apparent reason to talk to a friend, relative, neighbor or even a complete stranger please remember my story. You just may make a difference in someone’s life when you listen to your inner voice.

– Bob Eilers

Reprinted from Motivational Moments by Nigel Alston