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Anita Brooks FreshFaith Blog Moved

Follow Anita’s FreshFaith blog or contact her via website www.brooksanita.com  Email anita.freshfaith@gmail.com

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.

She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research.

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The Missing Bonus

Jeff knew what today was — bonus day! Every quarter for the past three years, he’d received a bonus for the work he and his fellow team members put out.

Using his thumb as a letter opener, Jeff clumsily ripped, exposing the anticipated check inside. But when he scanned the figures, there was a surprise waiting. One Jeff neither anticipated or wanted.

Behind the crinkly plastic window, the page he pulled out had normal weekly numbers, but no bonus amount. Jeff blinked, and looked again. Hoping he’d overlooked something the first time. He needed this money. But sure enough, there was no bonus. 

A light film of sweat started to cool his upper lip as Jeff focused on the date. Maybe he’d miscalculated the quarter. But after counting on his fingers, he was sure there was no mistake on his part. The company had messed up, and he didn’t get the bonus he counted on. How was he going to pay his car insurance?

Immediately furious, Jeff took off to confront the payroll department. Something was wrong with this picture. He’d earned that money.

Have you ever gotten a bonus at work? Have you received one on a consistent basis, but like Jeff, it stopped without notice? If so, what was your attitude when the anticipated money didn’t arrive?

Anita Freshfaith

Working for Bonus

Worker Carrying her Weight for Wages

Romans 4:4 (NIV)

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her family.

Contact her via www.freshstartfreshfaith.org or anita.freshfaith@gmail.com

Managing the Dark with Gratitude

I stumbled down the dark hallway, feeling instead of seeing. Thankfully I was home, so I could manage.

Even in the familiar, we sometimes can’t see what lies ahead. At work, being unsure smothers us with dread, while hope shines a light of certainty that all will turn out well. Reflecting on positive outcomes in our past can guide us through the dark corners of the present. This is why I keep a gratitude journal.

Each page formats the same. Today’s date and day of the week is written on the top right-hand corner. The heading always reads, “Today, I thank God for…”

Throughout the day, I simply bullet or number items I’m thankful for. A recent entry said, “Today, I thank God for a job that keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table.” Another said, “Today, I thank God for air to breathe.” On a different day, “Today, I thank God for computers so tasks go quicker, and employees who know things I don’t.”

Whenever darkness looms, a documented journey of things you survived in the past, helps today seem more manageable. We all need hope. That’s why I keep a gratitude journal.

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Expert, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri.

Contact her via www.freshstartfreshfaith.org or anita.freshfaith@gmail.com

 

Hebrews 11:1

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Words Matter

Have you ever meant to do something and forgotten? Have you given your word, only to bury your face in shame because you didn’t get to it in a timely manner, or worse yet, you didn’t do it at all?

I’ve been there too. One of my secrets to success comes from keeping my word. I’ve learned to speak with intention, knowing it’s better not to make a promise than to make one and break it.

Can you imagine how different work might look if everyone paid attention to the promises they made and actually kept them? You do realize that setting an expectation is essentially making a promise, right? How do you feel when someone does it to you?

One of the easiest and fastest ways we can become successful in our work is to keep promises. I challenge you to move from being a promise-breaker to living as a promise-keeper. In my experience, paying attention to my own words and fulfilling the expectations I set makes all the difference. Let’s face it, words do matter.

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Ecclesiastes 5:5
It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

Keeping Promises

It's Better Not to Make a Promise Than to Break One

Behind The Gate

Nostrils flared, eyes bugged, while clouds of dust rose from impatient hooves. The feisty thoroughbred bent her regal head in a failed attempt to nudge the gate open. Her hot-blooded demeanor quieted as the Jockey calmly held her reins and whispered gentle encouragement in her ear.

Finally, the bell rang, the gate lifted, and she shot out like a pent-up cannon ball. Her spirited gait promised bold results. Her agile movements belied powerful muscles honed to skilled perfection. At the right moment, and at the Jockey’s urge, she extended her stride in the home stretch. Her eyes fixated on the finish line before her, ears attuned to her Master’s call, and the two blended into one, as her nose touched invisible tape.

The crowd’s shriek of pleasure generated a momentary blaze of energy. Her coat shone with perspiration, and her breathing came in loud snorts as she felt the familiar pull of the reins. In seconds, her gallop slowed to a canter, and then a trot as she was skillfully guided toward her rightful place, the winner’s circle. A wreath of brilliant hues graced her long neck.

The Jockey leaned down and said, “Good job girl, I knew you could do it, let’s celebrate,” and she nodded in delighted acceptance. This filly was born to race, born to finish, and born for victory.

This picture paints an image for the Christian life; our life, present and future. This may seem like a daring statement, but like the thoroughbred, we are meant to be hot-blooded, agile, bold, and spirited. We are bred to win.

Lately, I’ve felt like an impatient thoroughbred, as I chomp at the bit, and wait for the starting gate to open. I know Who trained me, and I think I’m ready to race.

This analogy intrigued me, so I researched horse racing and discovered an amazing resemblance to my journey with God. According to Training Thoroughbred Horses, by Preston M. Burch, there are specific tips that ensure successful results, but if we miss one aspect failure is imminent. I compared each one separately and found undeniable patterns in the way God trained me for the course of my Christian life.

 

  • Owners set thoroughbreds apart, before birth, to be racers. Carefully crafted breeding is designed to create a winning horse. Just as horse owners carefully consider which mare and stud to breed, our Creator plans our conception with parentage that will culminate in qualities uniquely designed to make us winners.
  • Successful training of any thoroughbred starts with a quiet lead pony that walks in front of the young yearling as they circle round and round. In my first year as a Christian I needed a quiet influence to lead me in the way I should go. The Lord sent a spiritual mentor who patiently walked in front of me as I followed. Repeatedly, my frustration grew as I realized once again we had circled back to a place visited before. In hindsight, I see my need to go round and round circumstances until walking in God’s direction becomes second nature to me.
  • After they learn to follow quietly as a good follower, then they are allowed to trot. I couldn’t be released to trot unless I was a quiet and good follower of God’s word. My enthusiasm makes the pre-requisite to follow first, easy to miss.
  • Proof of advancement comes with ability to figure-eight trot by the pressure of reins on the neck, versus the pull of a bit on their mouth. Pressure created character and beauty in my life. First by the surprise grind of teeth against metal when my mouth ran rampant. I found when I followed a gentle tug on the neck; it took less pressure to generate a pattern of grace, diversity, and style.
  • Once bridle-wise training is accomplished, next comes jogging, and then cantering. The horse continues to be accompanied by the pony to this point. By this time they should be fit and well-behaved. I could finally see some results as I reached this point in my progression. My spiritual muscles were still small, but growing by the day. My behavior improved with practice, but like the thoroughbred, I still needed the guiding influence of a lead pony.
  • If you try to hurry them onto the track before they know what the bridle is for, they are hard to control and will easily hurt themselves, another horse, or a boy. My desire to race drove me to foolishness more than once. Believing I understood the bridle, I broke for the track. In my uncontrolled urge to lead, I hurt myself and others.

In summary, God’s nature perfectly suits this training model. He strategically traded his most valuable possession in order to purchase us; His treasured prize. As our Owner, He provides the elements we need for growth, and plans the events for which we will participate.

Christ fills the necessary role of Trainer. His watchful and patient eye gently leads us to be stronger, smarter, but emphasizes the need to follow. Without Him, we would do what feels good versus what we need. He sees our weaknesses and molds us to overcome.

The Holy Spirit should be seated prominently as the Jockey when we race. His wise counsel provides encouragement. He knows the best discipline for each part of the course. Whether circumstances require His tug on the reins of our life, calls for the spur of a rider’s boot, or even the sting of a whip; to win we need His touch.

Every concern, every grief, every opportunity, and every joy require us to race with fervency. The priority spelled out in 1 Corinthians 9:24 NASB says, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”

Dear Brother or Sister, know that you were chosen to run this race. Know that training is available for the believer, and know that you won’t be alone; you and your jockey ride as one with endurance. So finish the race, enter the winner’s circle, and celebrate your victory. Then get ready to follow God’s training plan as He prepares you for the next big event.

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