Inspiring Moment: Bubbles

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Bubbles five more minutes with website

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Five More Minutes With and the Two Horses

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on November 25, 2013

Two horses in a field five more minutes with website

Two Horses

Author Unknown

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.

But if you stop your car, or are walking by,

you will notice something quite amazing….

 

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that

he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him

put down, but has made a good home for him.

 

This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and

listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.

Looking around for the source of the sound,

you will see that it comes from the smaller

horse in the field.

 

Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell.

It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is,

so he can follow.

 

As you stand and watch these two friends,

you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always

checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse

will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to

where the other horse is, trusting that he

will not be led astray.

 

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the

barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back,

Making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind

to hear the bell.

 

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw

us away just because we are not perfect or because we

have problems or challenges!

 

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives

To help us when we are in need..

 

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by

the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to

find their way….

 

Young girl petting a horse five more minutes with website link

Good friends are like that… You may not always

see them, but you know they are always there..

 

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours,

and remember…

 

Be kinder than necessary-

Everyone you meet is fighting

Some kind of battle.

 

Live simply,

Love generously,

Care deeply,

Speak kindly…….

FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT!!!

 

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Inspiring Moment: Seagull in Flight

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Puget sound cam seagull five more minutes with website

 

 

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Five More Minutes With on Thoughts to Live By

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on November 18, 2013

Occasionally something comes in over the Internet that really makes me think.

Better days saying northwest wining and dining website

Here are three beautiful photos with wise sayings that are among my recent favorites.

Two thing to remember saying northwest wining and dining website

 

In control saying five more minutes with website link

 

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Inspiring Moment: Beautiful Antiqued Bouquet

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Beautiful Antiqued Bouquet five more minutes with

 

Five More Minutes With Spends Time with The Picture in the Hat

Written by John Paul Carter on November 11, 2013

Tree in the road family photo five more minutes with

Today our frequent guest columnist, John Paul Carter, an ordained minister who writes for the Weatherford (Texas) Democrat, reflects on the importance of taking care of others in our lives. Thanks, as always, John Paul!

Autumn finally arrived last Sunday, both on the calendar and in the air. As I prepared to enter our worship service, my friend Bill handed me a bulletin and teased me about still wearing my straw hat when it was time to wear felt. (For some reason, unknown to me, both my wife and friends sometimes express concern about my attire.)

So this week, even though the temperature is still above average, I’ve exchanged my straw hats for my four felt hats – all Stetsons. They vary in age and condition but they’re all extremely comfortable to wear. That seven and three-eights long oval just fits my head!

But, I’m partial to Stetson hats for another reason. I love the picture inside the crown of the hat. In the top of each Stetson hat is a full color picture of a cowboy and his horse in the middle of the desert. The wrangler is sitting bareheaded with his empty canteen at his feet. He has filled his hat with water and is giving his thirsty mount a drink. I never put on my hat that I don’t notice that picture.

While the image may remind some of a “ten-gallon hat” sturdy enough to hold water, it reminds me of much more. It’s a striking picture of a man who has not forgotten how much he owes to the horse that has carried him on his journey. To take care of the one who has taken care of you is the cowboy way!

It’s also the Biblical way – expressed in the language of the threshing floor: “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” (Deuteronomy 25:4). In the New Testament, Paul applies the Old Testament teaching to the church’s responsibility to take care of its ministers (I Corinthians 9:9, I Timothy 5:18).

However, this principle of taking care of the ones who have taken care of us goes far beyond horses, oxen, and ministers. It also applies to families. In our own family, my wife, her sister, and brother have recently become caretakers of their 94-year-old mother. In our first years, our parents loved and nurtured us; in their last years, we’re sometimes given the opportunity to return that gift of love and care.

And what about all those people who serve us each day – the cooks, waitresses, cashiers, clerks, janitors, and trash collectors? And don’t forget the teachers, secretaries, nurses, policemen, firemen, truck drivers, our military, postal workers, and countless others.

It’s so easy to live under the illusion that we are self-made and to take the people we depend on for granted. Where would any of us be if it weren’t for those who take care of our many daily needs? The picture in the hat not only prompts our gratitude, but also asks: Are we sacrificially taking care of those who take care of us?

“Lord, don’t ever let us forget those who have carried us to this point in our journey. Give us a heart that’s bigger than the hat we wear, and the generosity of the cowboy inside. Amen.”

 

Inspiring Moment: Bathroom Art, Green Stalks

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson

Inspiring Moment: Bathroom Art, Green Stalks, five more minutes with

 

Five More Minutes With Spends Time with “Thine Own True Self”

Written by Brad Rex on November 4, 2013

The Surpassing! Life book cover and author Brad Rex photo five more minutes with website

In today’s post, our frequent guest columnist Brad Rex, weighs in on the importance of being true to one’s self. “To Thine Own Self Be True” is an excerpt from his book, “The Surpassing! Life.”

Brad asks:

How well do you know yourself?

Have you figured out what makes you tick?

As a father of twins, I quickly discovered that people are wired differently from the day of conception. Environment may have some influence, but you were born with your unique desires and capabilities.

The better you understand yourself, the more easily you can leverage your strengths and satisfy your inner longings. Thanks, as always, for your sage advice and insights, Brad!

To Thine Own Self Be True

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.–Richard Feynman

One must know oneself, if it does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better.–Blaise Pascal

Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.–Jane Wagner

One of the most important types of knowledge you need to acquire is self-knowledge.

Many people get book knowledge or street smarts, but never get to know their own strengths, passions, blind spots, and weaknesses. This ignorance results in inferior performance and even complete personal failure.

Sadly, when failure occurs, the person often looks back and sees the times when they could have gained self-knowledge, and deeply regrets the missed opportunities.

I’m an assessment junkie. Over my 30 years in the military and corporate world, I’ve taken about every test possible. Myers-Briggs, DISC, Gallup Profile, Gallup StrengthsFinder, 360 degree feedback, corporate assessments, health assessments—you name it, and I have probably taken it.

This is not because of any love for standardized tests. Rather, it reflects my desire to know as much as possible about myself and my leadership. I have discovered whom I work well with, and whom I need to partner with to make up for my weaknesses.

I’ve found out things that I like to do and excel in, and other things that I need to minimize or delegate. The assessments have helped me to become a better person and leader.

Whenever I do an assessment, I have my wife read the results and tell me whether she thinks it is accurate. Having lived with me for over 30 years, I figure she should have the best picture of who I am and how I behave.

Invariably, she will agree with the assessment.

It amazes me how a test can determine my inner psyche from answering a series of multiple choice questions! As much as I may want to challenge the results, it’s hard to refute multiple assessments (and my wife) that all concur on the conclusions.

I think one of the most useful assessments is Gallup StrengthsFinder. This test showed my strengths as Responsibility, Maximizer, Achiever, Learning, and Belief.

The analyst who discussed the results with me said my profile matched a classic workaholic.

“Companies must love you, because your Maximizer means you always want to improve things, your Achiever pushes you to do more and take on new challenges, and your Responsibility means you will get the job done.”

I felt pretty good about her comments, until she concluded, “Of course, people like you die at an early age from a heart attack.”

Fortunately, that part of her assessment has not come true, but she did cause me to evaluate my work habits, and make worthwhile changes.

We often tend to view others through the lens of our own personality, and gravitate toward those who are like us.

Being self-aware can ensure that you don’t fall into this blind spot, and that you have diverse friends and employees. It also prevents you from being overly critical of people who aren’t like you.

For example, people who didn’t have the strength of Responsibility used to drive me crazy. I viewed them as lazy or disorganized.

After doing the assessments, I recognized that many people do not score as highly in this area as I do, and I need to be much more forgiving.

If you are a leader, you should have your team go through an assessment process, and review the composite results. You will likely find that your team lacks strengths in particular areas, and you should consider this with your next hire.

With the easy availability of inexpensive, online assessments, you don’t have any excuse when it comes to knowing yourself. Seek self-knowledge, and you will find a surpassing life.

Action Points

• Take advantage of every opportunity to go through an assessment process and learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and abilities.

• Check the results with someone who knows you well, like parents, close friends, or your spouse. Ask them to make you aware of when you are displaying strengths, weaknesses, or blind spots.

• Use the results of your assessment to change the way you look at others, so you are more understanding.

• Have your team do individual assessments, and then review the composite to determine your team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Payoff

Higher individual and team performance, improved interpersonal relationships, and not dying young from a heart attack!

 

  • Dreaming as the Summers Die

    I looked up sharply. Jean was my “real” mother, and I hadn˙t seen her for years. I wanted to ask if she had seen “Easter Parade,” my new favorite movie. I wanted to ask where she lived, if she traveled, if she liked to play Parcheesi or Tripoley. I wanted to ask if she remembered when I was born.

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