Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Steve Harvey says.....this is dating advice he gives his daughters (April 2010 issue of Essence Magazine)

  1. SET YOUR PRIORITIES - Before you go on another date, make two lists. One should have characteristics you want in a man. The other should outline what you will not accept.
  2. DO A DAY-AFTER EVALUATION - After your first date, review your lists and tally up his scores. If the brother has 4 checks on the Things I Will Not Accept column and he's a bit sketchy on the Characteristics I Want IN a Man, drop him.
  3. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME - You're looking for a partner, not a project. It's not your job to make over a man until he displays the traits you're seeking. You want a man who can meet your expectations without a lot of instruction.

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I have been watching Bill Winston in the mornings and the message is about Winning the World. Going out into the Harvest and bringing those of the World into the body of Christ.

Today's message was on having the right attitude and the fact that we can not win the world with the wrong attitude.

We must remember that the people of the world are not our enemy. Our only enemy is the devil. Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." We are not here to fight the devil for that battle was won when Jesus died on the cross and rose with all POWER in his hands. What we should do as instructed in 1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith."

Bill Winston said something that rocked my world. "There are demons who have studied you since the day you were born!" So if you are the type of person that gets easily angered, is quick to curse someone out, tell them once on your mind, give them a piece of you, or the type who is ready to slap, punch, stab, fight someone. Know, trust and believe that every chance the devil gets he will push your button. Once ignited your response if not one of God or Jesus will push people away from the Kingdom not draw them to the Kingdom of God. You cannot win the world using the worlds tools. Only the spirit of the living God can overcome the world!

Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:" (I encourage you to read the entire chapter). If you want to know what Jesus' attitude was read Matthew, Mark, and/or Luke. Jesus was talked about, lied on, accused of many things.....look at how he responded and take his lead. Yes I know he went into the temple and over turned the tables as they were making his fathers house a den of robbers. Please don't use that one verse to justify going off on people.......

When people persecute you, misuse you, talk about you, gossip behind your back, lie on you, have the response of Jesus in Luke 23:34 "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots."

Understand that many of this world have been deceived. We have no control over a person's will. God doesn't have power over their will or ours as He gave us Free Will. Again we can look to Jesus for the answer for ourselves Luke 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." What you can do is pray that the Power of the devil over their minds be broken!

However, it all begins with you and your attitude. The way you see yourself is the way that you will see the world. If you have a negative attitude about the World you more than likely have an attitude with yourself.

You cannot win the world with a bad attitude!!!!!!!!!!!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Bullying: A Major Issue in the US

In the mornings I listen to Gospel Radio 1390AM in Chicago. My heart was troubled as I heard Pastor Hannah speaking about the teenage girl who committed suicide and the 9 students at her school who are facing various charges that stem from all of them bullying her. Bullying her at school, while she walked home, and also on social networking sites. The first thing I did was prayed for the children and as I type this right now I am reminded to pray for the families that will be effected by this as well. I prayed for the girl who committed suicide, the students involved in her bullying, and children across the US who face bullies daily.

This story hits close to home as my nephew was bullied. He was bullied by a boy in grammar school and had an order from grammar school that the boy was not to come near him. This same boy ended up attending high school with my nephew and resumed bullying my nephew. So one day my nephew decided enough was enough. My nephew and some of his friends went to the boys home and had a fight with the boy and his friends. My nephew and his friends beat the boy so badly that he ended up in the hospital.

So I found myself, with my mom and my sister at my nephews school in a hearing to determine what was his fate would he be kicked out of school and forced to go to a school for wayward children. A school full of bullies and children who have made poor choices along the way, a school filled with violent children. It was a difficult time for my sister in dealing with this issue. As the positive adults in my nephews life our response to him was 1 wrong decision can cost you your life. In life it is not all about what others do to us but it is our response and the consequences we must and will face for the decisions that we make.

Oddly his school did not want to label the boy as a bully. So it amazed me to read that 41 states have bully laws in effect for school aged children.

It is important that we as believers pray for and cover our children. It is important that we develop a great understanding relationship with our children in which they feel comfortable coming to us and sharing information with us. It is important that we instill a sense of pride and self love in our children teaching them right from wrong as well as teaching them about consequences.

Now this won't guarantee that our children will be perfect and won't make mistakes as this is the real world. It is all about creating that relationship and atmosphere for them to feel comfortable and also for us to have comfort and knowing that we have did our best as parents and trust God to do the rest.

So I encourage all those who are believers to pray for our children, our meaning the body of believers and those who are lost. Pray that God sends his laborers out into His harvest to save and protect our children. Our weapon of warfare is prayer and praise. Prayer does change things, pray and believe that is has been done and then give God a mighty praise.

Of course the world will never be perfect but with each prayer/praise session it can get better for someone!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 29, 2010


You have tried every thing, you have done all that you can. You have exhausted all possibilites and you are ready to give up and throw in the towel. Have you tried Jesus? I mean have you truly tried the Lord, have you kneeled down to pray, prostrated yourself before the Lord, cried out to Him, and turned it over and let it go?

After you have done all that you can the Word of God tells you to stand. One of my favorite scriptures.....

Psalm 46:10

New International Version (©1984)"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

New American Standard Bible (©1995)"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Bible in Basic EnglishBe at peace in the knowledge that I am God: I will be lifted up among the nations, I will be honoured through all the earth.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


I was blessed by Pastor Joel Osteen this Sunday, his message was entitled Enjoy the Journey!

You may find yourself striving for that promotion, looking forward to your big graduation day, already focused on your children being grown and out of the house, or you may be desiring to be married. Whatever your desires/goals/dreams are it is great to have them and you should want to excel and do better in life. Nevertheless enjoy where you are and enjoy the journey along the way to accomplishing your dreams. As Joel stated often times once you reach the final destination you realize it isn't necessarily all it was cracked up to be. Also once you achieve a particular goal you usually set another one.

If you desire to be married. Don't sit around miserable, complaining, looking at happily married couples wishing you had that life. You may be out on the scene dating guy after guy, looking and hoping this next one is Mr. Right and find out all of them are Mr. Wrong. However, enjoying the journey means being happy right where you are in life. Enjoy your moments of being single without children, work on your relationship with God and developing your character and becoming the best person that you can be. Enjoy where God has you right now in life.

For those with families, you may be striving for the big promotion, working 50/60 hours a week to prove yourself at your job. However you greatest success and biggest accomplishment in life is your family and the memories that you create with them. Memories are something that will live on forever long after you die. It would be sad if your children could only remember that their parent was always working and never had time to go to their events or games. I am sure the last thing you would want to do in your golden years is look back on your life and regret the time that you didn't spend or should have spent with the ones that you love.

For those who may not like their jobs, Joel mentioned what a shame it is to spend 8 hours a day somewhere with an attitude, upset, complaining with a frown on your face. God placed you in that position at that company for a reason. This life is about building the Kingdom of God it is not about us as individuals. It is about doing His work so that He may have the Glory!

Enjoy the journey, enjoy the people who have been placed in your life. You are rich because you have a family that loves you, friends that love you, people in your life who love you and genuinely care about you.

True riches and success are not found in your bank account or your stock portfolio they are found in the treasured moments that you share with those who are closest to you.

Commit yourself to enjoy the journey, enjoy your children spend quality time with them doing the little things playing a game, take them out on a date, spend time with them giving your undivided attention, the same goes for your spouse and your loved ones. Invest in what matters most in this life your relationship with God and your family!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, March 26, 2010


More Than Enough
Written by Robert Gay
Performed by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir,Kim Stratton, Pauline Taylor-Hunt, and Vickie Winans
Jehovah Jireh
You're my provider
You're more than enough for me
Jehovah Rapha
You're my healer By Your stripes I've been set free
Jehovah Shamma
You are with me
To supply all of my needs You're more than enough
So much more than enough
Believe and receive that on today. Despite what you are going through or what you are facing, Jehovah is MORE THAN ENOUGH. He is BETTER, RICHER, GREATER, STRONGER THAN THAT!!!!!!!!!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Be Wise
Trust God
Do what you and do
Have faith that God will do what you cannot do
Let Go and Let God!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Bank of America to Reduce Mortgage Balances
Published: March 24, 2010 from the NY Times

Bank of America said on Wednesday that it would begin forgiving some mortgage debt in an effort to keep distressed borrowers from losing their homes.

The program, while limited in scope and available by invitation only, signals a significant shift in efforts to deal with the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure. It comes as
banks are being urged by the White House, members of Congress and community groups to do more to stem the tide.
The Obama administration is also studying whether to provide more help to people who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
Bank of America’s program may increase the pressure on other big banks to offer more help for delinquent borrowers, while potentially angering homeowners who have kept up their payments and are not getting such aid.
As the housing market shows signs of possibly entering another downturn, worries about foreclosure are growing. With the volume of sales falling, prices are sliding again. When the gap increases between the size of a mortgage and the value that the home could fetch in a sale, owners tend to give up.
Cutting the size of the debt over a period of years, however, might encourage people to stick around. That could save homes from foreclosure and stabilize neighborhoods.

To read the entire article visit

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


You cannot hold another man down without staying down with them. So lift them up!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


I totally forgot about relationship Wednesday's but I believe you will be blessed by this!

Tough Relationships
Lysa TerKeurst

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)

Do you ever feel like relationships are hard to navigate sometimes? Are you in the midst of trying to figure out a situation that's complicated, messy and unpredictable?Sometimes I try so hard to figure out just the right words to say and talk through a situation. While talking is good, sometimes the conversations start running in a circle and there aren't any productive words left to say. When this happens it can make a girl feel like giving up. But before I give up, I've learned to hush up. Spending some time getting quiet can really be the best remedy for tangled situations. Taking a step back from all the emotion, frustration, and exhaustion to sit quietly with Jesus will do more to untangle a mess than anything else I've ever found. Here are five beautiful things that can happen in the quiet: 1. In the quiet, we can feel safe enough to humble ourselves. In the heat of a mess, the last thing I want to do is get humble. I want to get loud and prove my point. I've learned I have to step out of the battle and humbly ask God to speak truth to my heart for things to start to make sense. Never have I had a relationship issue where I didn't contribute at least something to the problem. Usually, I can only see this something in the quiet. 1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand..." (NIV)2. In the quiet, God will lift us up to a more rational place. When we are in the heat of a tangled mess, crazy emotions drag us down into a pit of hopelessness. The only way out of the pit is to make the choice to stop digging deeper and turn to God for a solution. 1 Peter 5:6 continued, "...that he may lift you up in due time." (NIV)3. In the quiet, anxiety gives way to progress. We can pour our anxious hearts out to Jesus who loves us right where we are, how we are. And because His love comes without judgment, we can feel safe enough to humbly admit we need Jesus to work on us. Trying to fix another person will only add to my anxiety. Letting Jesus work on me is where real progress can happen. 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)
4. In the quiet, we see our real enemy isn't the person with whom we're in conflict. This person with whom we're in this tangled mess feels like the enemy. They might even look like the enemy. But the truth is, they aren't the real culprit here. Satan's influence on both me and the person offending me is the real culprit. I can't realize this in the heat of the moment. But in the quiet, I become alert and can gain a strategy for acting and reacting in a more self-controlled manner. 1 Peter 5:8-9a, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." (NIV)5. In the quiet, I can rest assured God will use this conflict for good- no matter how it turns out. If I make the effort to handle this conflict well, I can be freed from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy. Sometimes relationships grow stronger through conflict. But other times relationships end. Because I can't control the other person, I must keep focusing on the good God is working out in me through this and leave the outcome with Him. 1 Peter 5:10-11, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV)In the end, this entire struggle can be used by God to make me stronger and more capable in my relationships. If I am humble enough to receive from Him in the quiet what He wants to teach me through this, I can rest assured with whatever the outcome is.

Dear Lord, help me to stop trying to figure this situation out and just sit in the quiet with You for a while. God humble me. Help me see Your perspective. Show me Your steps toward restoration. Or show me Your steps toward a healthy parting. Take my anxiety and replace it with Your peace, wisdom, and security. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Lysa's blog for a list of Bible verses that are a must read for times of conflict!

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst. If you enjoyed this devotion, you'll love doing Lysa's new book, Bible study and DVD teaching series. There's a whole section on relationships where you'll learn the cure for envy and other relationship killers.

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
How might applying the truths in this devotion help you today? Have you discovered anything else good that happens in the quiet? Let's talk about it on
my blog today.

One of the most crucial parts of this is to realize my real enemy isn't this person with whom I am having this conflict. How does this help? Keeping this in mind, write out a prayer for this person. Sometimes praying for someone who I'm frustrated with softens my hearts and lets me see new possibilities for restoration.

Power Verses:
1 Peter 5:6, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand..." (NIV)

1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)

1 Peter 5:8-9a, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Yesterday, the Illinois House approved to allow local school boards to set four-day weeks for students in an effort to help strapped school districts save money.

Mayor Daley reacted saying that this is not the answer saying it is a step in the wrong direction as the city tries to find new organized activities for kids to keep them off the street! (From the RedEye)

I couldn't agree with him more. Children 12 and under can go to a child care facility that 1 day a week if there parents can afford it.

But what about children 12 and older whose parents work? What will they do with that 1 day off a week?

All I can say is I strongly disagree with it, America is already behind some Asian companies academically and this is just another step backward for our children. Not too long ago there was talk of going to year round school for all students and now this.

I say cut some of that fat first, the perks for higher ups in the school system before cutting school weeks. I cannot wait to see which school districts decided to enact this.

What are your thoughts?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Here's What's Happening This Year:

  • Set up a high-risk health insurance pool to provide coverage for uninsured people with medical problems
  • Starting six months after enactment, requires all health insurance plans to maintain dependent coverage for children until they turn 26; prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing health problems.
  • Bars insurance companies from putting lifetime dollar limits on coverage, and canceling policies except for fraud
  • Provides tax credits to help small businesses with up to 25 employees get and keep coverage for their employees
  • Begins narrowing the Medicare prescription coverage gap by providing a $250 rebate to seniors in the gap, which starts this year once they have spent $2,830.
  • Reduces projected Medicare payments to hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices and other providers
  • Imposes 10% sales tax on indoor tanning

Taken from yesterday's RedEye

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials


Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Pete Wilson's recent book, Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?, (Thomas Nelson, 2009).

Life rarely works out the way you plan it. Shattered dreams and unmet expectations are all too common in this fallen world, where Jesus warned that everyone would have trouble. When your own plans fall apart and you have to turn to "Plan B," you may wonder why God hasn't shown up the way you thought He would in that situation - and He may not tell you why. But God will always show up somehow. And Jesus promises that He has overcome the world's troubles and will help you do so, too, when you trust Him to guide you through "Plan B."

Here's what you can do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would:

Run toward God instead of away from Him. Resist the urge to take matters into your own hands; doing so will make the situation worse, not better. You need God more than ever when your life feels like it's falling apart. Don't assume that God thinks and feels the same way as you do about your circumstances. Trust in the truth that He has a greater perspective on them and knows what's best. Run toward God and invite Him to work the situation out for good as only He can.

Give up trying to be in control. Recognize that any sense of you being in control is just an illusion. In reality, only God is in control of what ultimately happens - to you, and everyone else on the planet. Give God room to work in your life, since He knows what He's doing much better than you do. Put it all - including your fear of the unknown - in the hands of God, who knows everything.

Take steps of faith. Don't live in fear. Instead, pray for greater faith and be willing to risk following where God leads you in every part of your life. God's power usually gets released when people trust Him enough to obey Him. So if you want to see God's power at work to the fullest in your life, decide to take the steps of faith He leads you to take. Spend time often with God in prayer, listening for how He guides you. Then always be willing to say "yes" to following Him.
Make God your top priority. Focus on your relationship with God as your top priority above all else in life. When you invest significant time and energy into that, everything else will naturally fall into place at the right time and in the right way. The closer you become to God, the more you'll start to want for yourself what He wants for you, and the better you'll be able to let go of your own plans so you can receive God's plans for you.

Place your faith in God instead of in a certain set of circumstances. While your circumstances will constantly change, God Himself will never change. So your faith must rest on who God is rather than on what God chooses to do or not do at any given time. Keep in mind that God uses your circumstances in a variety of ways to accomplish good purposes, and often what's most important to God is the process of you becoming a strong person rather than just reaching a certain destination. If you hold onto your central purpose for your life and trust God, the details will work out. Respond to your current circumstances as if you're confident that God is there, and then you'll see God in the circumstances.

Trade grabbing for gratitude. God doesn't owe you anything. So give up unrealistic expectations of being entitled to the life you want if you make good moral choices. Stop grabbing for what you think you're owed and instead try to receive each moment God gives you with gratitude. Realize that your challenging circumstances may actually be gifts from God because they're opportunities for you to grow more into the person God created you to be.

Look for God's light in the darkness. When you face a dark situation that's beyond what you can handle, God will provide the light of grace you need to deal with it and the light of power you need to grow from it. Remind yourself of some times in the past when God has come through for you in unexpected ways, and let those memories reassure you that He will do so again. Choose to love God even when you feel abandoned and to worship Him through your tears, trusting that He will continue to be faithful to do what's best for you.

Embrace the gift of community. Don't isolate yourself from other people; doing so will only make your pain worse. Instead, dare to face who you really are and risk opening your life up to others so you can build authentic and meaningful relationships with them. Value the encouragement and support that those relationships can give you.

Love God more than your dreams. If you give more love and devotion to your own dreams for your life than you do to God, you're bound to be disappointed. Choose to love God more than any particular dream so you can receive His best for you.

Find hope. When you feel hopeless, remember that God works powerfully in situations that seem hopeless. He even conquered death on the Cross for the world's sins - the ultimate hopeless situation - to make eternal life possible.

Wait well. It's while you're in the process of waiting for what you're longing for that God often transforms you into a stronger person. So trust God's timing rather than when you wish He would act.

Use your pain to examine your life. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn from the pain of your own plans falling apart. Don't settle for a mediocre, unexamined life. Let your pain motivate you to grow.

Keep choosing faith. Remember that, eventually, God will bring an end to your suffering - and in the meantime, He wants you to continue to trust Him. Keep choosing to have faith in Him: trusting Him, loving Him, and letting Him change you to become more like Jesus.

Adapted from Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?, copyright 2009 by Pete Wilson. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn.,

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I was blessed this morning by Pastor Bill Winston. He was teaching about going out and ministering to the World and bringing people to Christ.


On Sunday I watched the forum headed by Tavis Smiley, WE COUNT! THE AMERICA AGENDA IS THE BLACK AGENDA.

The forum was focused on President Obama and his handling thus far of African American issues here in America. They also touched on the fact that President Obama seems to be ignoring bringing up the topic or addressing black issues directly. The forum included Professor Cornell West, Tom Burrell, Dorothy Tillman, Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Michael Eric Dyson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and was held on Friday at Chicago State University and aired on Sunday.

If you missed it I advise you see it for yourself. As this morning Pastor Hannah on 1390 was speaking of how he had to turn his TV off he couldn't finish watching it and listeners called in saying how horrific it was. Understandably that is their own opinion and they are entitled to it. My opinion is different. I believe it was great, it needed to be done, and it convicted me.

There were many things said that stood out to me and if I went into them all it would be a book so I will highlight 1 thing that stood out to me. I will say that everything said was said in love and President Obama was not the sole focus the state of black America was the focus.

Minister Louis Farrakhan stated "President Obama was selected before he was elected." He went on to say that there must have been a behind the scenes entity that gave President Obama the notion that while at the time of being a junior senator with little to no experience that he could be the 1st African American President of the United States. Farrakhan was speaking literally that some people took President Obama under their wings and groomed him and knew that he'd already won the election before he even entered the race. Reading between the lines of that it could be interpreted that President Obama is being used as a front to push an agenda that in the end will not benefit Black America. Nevertheless since he is the 1st AA President, the majority of AA are so enchanted by that fact that they are not paying attention to the issues and what is truly going on right now.

I can completely believe that. Living in America and just living life we should all know that there are few things that can be taken at face value. We should also know that the President doesn't truly run the country that his power is limited. Nevertheless I immediately took it to the spiritual level. Regardless of how it happened the Master was behind the scenes all the time so yes God selected President Obama before he was elected for this time, this moment, to make change! It is my belief that true change in America will occur when minorities and poor are treated equally with Whites and the Elite. When there are not discrepancies in quality of education, health care, child care etc.

In my opinion yes I believe that President Obama should focus on African American issues more. I believe that by him being the 1st African American President yes blacks should receive some undivided special attention. Why shouldn't we? White America has had 40+ Presidents that solely focused on them and their special interests and made them richer. Why can't this be a time of come-up for black people?

I support President Obama 100% and respect him and have made a vow to pray for him more as he faces things that we will never understand. I also feel that Tavis Smiley and other influential people in the AA community, all in the AA community have a right to voice their concerns about his Presidency as they do with any other President. I believe that everything said was said out of respect and love.

Again don't just take my opinion and please don't google and read articles about it. Find out how you can get a copy of the tape, see it for yourself and make your own decision about what the panel did.

Oh yeah, there was something else that Farrakhan said that moved me. Stop begging white people to give us what we can get for ourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are looking to them when we need to be getting together and helping ourselves/ our people.

Also Tom Burrell has written a book, may want to check it out.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 22, 2010


I was blessed to watch Pastor Joel Osteen last night and his message was Blossom Where You Are Planted!

The gist of the message was no matter where you are, what type of job you hold right now, whether you hate it or love, whether your boss is unbearable or pleasant, whether you are under/over/non employed. Blossom where you are!

Everything is not about you. As believers and as children of God we are Kingdom Builders. So you may be in an uncomfortable situation for someone else's gain. You may be at your current job so that your light can shine. It is not the time for you to be negative and complaining because things aren't going your way it is the time to be joyful, thankful and have a spirit of praise at all times.

God may ask you to put up with certain things that are uncomfortable in order to help another person.

Everything that you go through is all apart of his large plan for your life.

If you stay in faith then wherever you are is where you are supposed to be if you are single but desire marriage, stay faithful! If you are unemployed, desiring an assignment, stay faithful! If you are a divorcee with children, stay faithful! STAY FAITHFUL and trust God!

Philippians 4:10-13 10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Lets move to being Kingdom minded and to standing firm on the Word of God. The Word teaches you to obey, worship, praise, pray, have faith, hope, and act in love. Not to worry, fret, fear, and be in despair. Wherever you are is exactly where God wants you to be. Spend time with Him to determine his purpose and plan for where you are. When it is your time to move trust He will promote you to another position! However, for right now Blossom Where You Are Planted.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Good Days and Bad Days

Good Days and Bad Days

Dick Staub

I suppose a good life is the succession of good days lived one after another. And aiming for a good life means concentrating on living one good day at a time, right?

But what does that mean? And how do I do it?

I wrote this piece before my wife was in excruciating pain all night and was airlifted for emergency surgery this morning. So did what I write -- about having a good day -- stand up in the face of changing circumstances? Decide for yourself.

A good day is one in which we don't worry, regardless of our circumstances. These may be good times or bad times, but they are the only times we have. That's why the Apostle Paul advised, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds."

Jesus taught us to be content with the simple basics of life. "Give us this day our daily bread," his prayer manual advises. Jesus doesn't oppose our long-range plans, 401(k)s and investment portfolios, but our happiness should not depend on them.

In Jesus' view, a good day is one where we do God's will, which he summarized as loving God and loving neighbor.

If God is central to a good day, that means God is central in our individual lives each day. In our self-centered age, it's a counterintuitive way of life, and thinking. "Christianity has to be disappointing, precisely because it is not a mechanism for accomplishing all our human ambitions and aspirations," spiritual writer Simon Tugwell concluded. "It is a mechanism for subjecting all things to the will of God."

God's will requires avoiding the daily temptations to do wrong things. I've found that doing good things makes a good day; doing bad things makes a bad day.

Accepting and doing God's will require knowing God's will. And knowing God's will requires knowing God. For me, a good day requires some daily space and quietness set aside for prayer, reading Scripture, thinking and meditating. This, too, takes time.

Loving our neighbor takes time. When George Washington retired to Mount Vernon, citizens would often show up unannounced to meet him.

Martha would make tea and invite them for dinner. This socializing generally took place between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Then, at 7 p.m., Washington would dismiss himself and go to his office where he would spend another hour or two on his correspondence. That's a big chunk of his day set aside for people, often strangers.

Jesus knew that loving people would get nettlesome, so he said we should learn to forgive other people and ask them to forgive us in turn.

Keeping short accounts makes for a good day.

Read biographies and you'll see most productive people developed daily routines enabling them to chip away at the duties attendant to everyday life. Paul Ford said of C.S. Lewis: "Lifestyle is revealed by the use of time: what is given place and space; what is included and what, therefore, is excluded. For all of his immense output of literary work, his life is marked by a spacious, unfrantic rhythm of worship, work, conversation, availability, and intimacy."

I notice in healthy people a balance of time alone -- time for their work and time for their family and friends. The Hebrew word "shalom," or peace, comes to mind because in the Jewish tradition, peace was not the cessation of war, but rather the wholeness and completeness of life.

So can I have a good day with my wife in the hospital and me waiting to catch the next ferry home in two hours? I think I can.

Good days are not delivered with nice pretty bows on them. We make every day a good day. It is a choice. Sometimes, like for me today, events take an unexpected, unwanted turn.

Our job is to make every day a good one whatever comes our way. For me, I've learned I can do all things through God who strengthens me.

Dick Staub is the author of The Culturally Savvy Christian and the host of The Kindlings Muse ( His blog can be read at
c. 2010 Religion News Service. Used with permission.

Original publication date: March 12, 2010

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Women For Hire Chicago Career Expo
Thursday, April 8Navy Pier 600 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611 Free Admission Free Resume Critiquing Free Powerful Career Seminars Free All-new Mentor Match Program

*Registration at the door*Resumes required for admittance*Business attire required
Show up and Stand Out on Thursday, April 8 in ChicagoDo you think most job fairs are worthless? That you stand in line for hours for your chance to shine—only to have a recruiter direct you to a website? That you leave feeling worse than you did before?
Women For Hire career expos—the only events geared specifically to professional women—are different.

We are not your ordinary job fair. We don't want to be.
We are a day-long experience for women, a safe haven for you to meet with great recruiters, get four hours of FREE advice, inspiration and services and leave feeling like your chances of success are far better than when you arrived.

You may glean a helpful career tidbit or two. You could end up getting a thorough primer on what it takes these days to launch your career, find another job or reinvent yourself in these tough times. But no matter what reception you get from any recruiter, you'll leave our expo feeling more empowered, optimistic and enthusiastic about your career.
Start your day early on
Thursday, April 8 by attending Tory Johnson's popular Early Morning Seminar. In this inspirational 90-minute session, the CEO of Women For Hire discusses her own fired-to-hired story and talks about the latest job trends and tactics that inspire millions of viewers each week on ABC's Good Morning America. More details below.
Once our expo doors open at 10 a.m., we offer a variety of FREE services designed to empower you in your job search.

Resume Critiquing: Every resume can use a second set of eyes. Seasoned professionals are here to provide customized feedback to make your resume stand apart from the rest.
Mentor Match: New this season, benefit from mini mentoring sessions with professionals who will listen to your career goals and give you their best, on-the-spot advice.
Power Seminars: Experts offer 20-minute sessions throughout the day covering a wide range of topics and themes quickly but directly, chock-full of information on topics ranging from how to use social media to find a job to what to say in an interview after that first "hello." Look for more details in our upcoming newsletters.Whether you're currently looking for a job, considering a career change or simply interested in meeting with other smart and savvy professional women, Women For Hire is here for you.

Join us on Thursday, April 8 for a day of networking, seminars and valuable face time with recruiters from a wide range of corporations, non profits and government agencies.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

NBA Crump Law Camp July 11 - 24

Dear Friends:

The National Bar Association is seeking applicants for the Crump Law Camp which was established for students entering the 9th through 11th grades and between the ages of 14 and 17 to introduce them to the judicial system. The goal of the NBA camp is to encourage young people at an early age to become lawyers and seek legal careers in the future. By 2050 more than half of the people in this country will be of color. More than 90% of the nation’s lawyers are white, as are more than 80% of the students enrolled in law school. Yet more than 30% of the United States is comprised of people of color. The NBA is seeking applicants to attend this camp from every ethnic group and its selection process is non-discriminatory.

The first inaugural two week camp was held during the summer at Howard University School of Law through a grant by the Ford Motor Company Fund in 2001. Campers were and will be housed on the Howard University campus and live in a protected camp environment. Open enrollment is available to students across the country but emphasis will be on enabling students from low income families to attend. Tuition for the camp will vary depending upon family income. The tuition covers transportation to and from Washington, D.C.; housing; meals; educational materials; and expenses for field trips. The camp provides students with an exciting academic and social agenda in the Washington, D. C. area. The competitive highlight of the camp is the Evett L. Simmons Mock Trial Competition. The four winners of this competition are invited to the NBA’s Annual Convention.

I have a copy of the application in my office and will provide it to anyone who phones me or emails me requesting a copy. I can be reached at (602) 694-0590. I am also willing to pay the Non-refundable $30.00 Application Fee for the first ten completed application packets which I will mail from my office if submitted to me for postmark by April 29, 2010. (The Application Packet must be postmarked on or before April 30, 2010.) I would personally like to see as many of our Arizona young people apply for this wonderful camp. (The application, a one page handwritten statement not written “Why You would Like to Attend the Law Camp, One letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, minister, or any individual who can attest to your character (one letter only), a copy of your last report card/Progress report (Official transcript not required), and a Parent/Guardian evidence of income and number of dependants if you are seeking tuition assistance is all that is required.) That’s it folks.

I would also like to challenge other lawyers committed to the profession of law and the education of our young people to encourage applicants for the camp by agreeing to stand along with me and financially support our youngsters who are interested in the law as a career. We are all very blessed and we need to encourage our young people early to strive for excellence. (The application fee of $30.00 must be cashiers check or money order only. All applications will be reviewed by the NBA at the same time and all decisions will be mailed by Friday, May 28, 2010).

Camp begins July 11, 2010. Let’s send our kids to Washington and help those that have an interest in the law to begin now! If you need additional information, please email me or call me at (602) 694-0590. The NBA website is and application packets are to be mailed to the following address:

National Bar Association Crump Law Camp
P.O. Box 1048
Washington, D.C. 20008
(301) 249-8355

Please pass this information on and I am looking forward to meeting the 10 applicants I want to sponsor by paying the $30 application fee!!!

Best Wishes and thank you in advance for encouraging youngsters to pursue a career in the law,

Monyette Green
(602) 694-0590

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Settling for Mr. Good Enough?
Kym Wright

"That the man of God may be adequate, perfect..."
2 Timothy 3:17

We were working in a Howard Johnsons for our summer jobs. I was a waitress and he worked the front desk. We drove the thirty minutes together to work each day to conserve on gas, so we spent a lot of time together that summer.

He had asked me to be his girlfriend one particular day, and the thought flitted through my mind... is he good enough for me? He was quiet, reserved, a nerd before nerd was even a word. I don't think he had a pocket protector but he did have a personal calculator. Back then that was weird. And I dated popular: jocks, student government members.

But to my surprise, I said yes. We dated and married, and Mr. Good Enough has become Mr. Wonderful, Mr. Phenomenal, Mr. Thank-You-for-Choosing-Me-for-Your-Wife.

You see, when I was dating and looking at prospective mates, I was searching for a male version of me: outgoing, fun-loving, adventurous, musical, and a reader. Someone who wanted to make a difference in the world, be politically involved and move up the ranks. Someone who wanted to conquer any mountain confronting us, and be loud and bold in doing it.

But let me tell you about the man I married. He goes to work every day so I can stay home with the children. He pays a mortgage on two homes - due to a move and the current economic down-trend of real estate sales. He buys his cars with cash and really prefers we pay cash for everything - groceries, vacations, anything - or save up until we can.

This man has absolutely no political aspirations. He would rather be at home with his family than at a political function. His time is spent on mundane things like teaching his children to drive safely, defensively. Building computers with his apple-doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree geekish sons. Erecting chicken coops for his poultry-loving daughter. Or helping our special needs son learn baseball by tossing balls in the front yard, yet again.

He has a spine of steel when it comes to right and wrong. And he never lies. Never. It just won't come out of his lips -- even when I ask him if a dress looks okay. If he likes it, he will let me know. If it isn't flattering, he will probably say, "You have so many outfits in your closet that are gorgeous on you." And that will be that.
I can trust his judgment and his words.

Since I was a soloist for our church, he learned how to run the sound system. That gave me peace of mind as I sang. When I speak at national conventions, he is in the background making sure the right notes are handed out, my headset microphone has a new battery, and giving me little high-signs to let me know I'm doing well. He gives me courage and confidence, and I rest easier.

This is-he-good-enough is more than good enough. He has turned into a great father. A family man many women would love to have. A true friend.
And he's mine.

What I didn't realize long ago was that my desire in a mate was a very arrogant and prideful longing. I wanted a man who was interested in my interests, who was a man's man, who drew the crowd and could handle it. I wanted - and what I wanted was so very temporal.

In his graciousness, God gave me what I needed. Someone who would teach me what it means to love unconditionally. To believe in others and respect them. To care for the little bit of earth given into our hands, and the people who live in our home. To raise children who know and love God and live their lives making the world better by volunteering and just being good citizens.
What I got was more than I bargained for, and I wonder, really, if I am good enough for him.
March 16, 2010
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


March 17, 2010

Prepared By God
Wendy Blight

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

In 1988 I entered Southern Methodist University School of Law. I invested three years of my life studying day and night so I could make law review, graduate in the top of my class, and land a job with a large Dallas firm. It all happened just the way I planned ... making law review, graduating in the top 10 percent, and landing that big downtown job. It was a good thing too because my husband and I went into debt for that education. But no worries. I got the high paying job I wanted.

I spent the next year applying all that I had learned, working day and night, researching and writing legal briefs. My long hours paid off as I began arguing cases before local, state, and eventually federal court judges. I even had the honor and privilege of writing a brief that went before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

But in the end, I hated it.

After investing thousands of dollars in my education and thousands of hours researching, writing, and arguing, I hated it. At age 28, I remember saying, "Lord, why do You have me here? I find no joy in what I do. What is it You want me to do? And, Lord, what about all this debt?"

I had no idea the wonderful way in which God would answer those questions. Twenty years later, those research skills taught me the methods that I now use to study and break apart God's Word. Arguing before judges prepared me for the speaking and teaching He has called me to. The writing skills prepared me for writing a book that tells an amazing story of God's hope and healing in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Now in my 40s, I realize that God created me not to be a lawyer, but to be a Bible teacher. He has called me to break apart His Word and teach it. There were steps along the way that I do not understand. There is a debt we still need to repay. But God has been faithful.

Friend, if you have landed here today wondering what in the world God wants to do with your life, I want you to know one thing. Not a single thing in your life will be wasted. God will use your past and your present to prepare you for your future. He has a beautiful plan ... a call on your life. He is waiting to reveal it to you.
Jeremiah 1:5 says, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nation" (NLT).Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (NLT).Sweet friend, God brought you here today. He wants to remind you of a precious Truth. Hear it and never forget it...before time began, before God spoke the world into being...He had you in His heart. God chose you to be His child. God has a perfect plan for your life. No one else has your plan, your family, your gifts, your talents, your heart, your education, your past, and your present ... NO ONE.He chose you to use you to do great things for His Kingdom ... things that only you can do.

He is preparing you...even now.But to be used by God, you must TRUST Him with your past; BELIEVE Him for your future; BELIEVE He has a plan for you; SURRENDER your life to His Plan, and BELIEVE He will equip you to do what He has called you to do.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I receive different emails daily. This is taken from the Heartlight Daily Verse. When I read it I thought to myself oh my goodness I have been preparing my outward self daily to go out into the world yet I haven't been truly, sincerely preparing my inner self. This made me reflect on a conversation I had this past Sunday and also on my behavior this past Thursday. If I am the light, if I have been called out of the world, if the spirit of the living God is truly living in me people need to see it in my actions daily. It is not enough for me to love, be kind, compassionate and caring toward those who treat me that way I am supposed to do it to all people. Now of course I am human, I will get angry and feel hurt yet I think of the scripture that tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. So just because someone hurts me, or is unkind to me doesn't mean I treat them that way in return. The scripture clearly says do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is time for us Christians to grow up and truly let our light shine!

Colossians 3:12As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Thoughts on today's verse
"Wonder what I'll need to wear to that meeting?" Paul reminds us that there is a set of clothing that is always in style. We wear this clothing because we are special. This clothing is from the Ultimate Designer's collection called character and is best worn when with other people. These qualities are hard to wear, but always a blessing to those who meet us when we're decked out in this wardrobe.

Abba Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. May I never disappoint you in the way I treat others. May they see in me the qualities of character that can only be attributed to your presence in my life. To you be the glory and the honor, forever and ever, through Jesus my Lord. Amen

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 15, 2010


Bar Celona and Grill 3474 N Clark Street
$2 burgers with fries

Celtic Crown 4301 N Western
$2 burgers, $3 cheeseburgers

Corcoran's Grill & Pub $5 pub burger with fries, half-price appetizers

Witts 2913 N Lincoln Ave
$5 burgers and fries

Waterhouse 3407 N Paulina
$3 burgers and fries

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


I watched Joel Osteen this Sunday and he was speaking of how we are fully equipped to reach OUR dreams. Joel compared us to cars, when God created you he started with the basics and added in all the extras/options to create YOU the fully equipped deluxe model. Now some people are bentleys, others are mercedes benzes, others are toyota camry's, while some maybe honda accord. Nevertheless perform at your full potential and be the best you that you can be. It is easier being you than it is pretending to be someone else or trying to be someone else.

You have probably heard this said before yet I shall repeat, when God created you, he broke the mold. So you are the right height, you have the right hair color, eye color, build, voice, hands etc. to fulfill your God-tential!

He reflected on people saying oh if I could sing/dance like him or her, if I was able to play the piano or some other instrument than all in my life would be fine, I would be great. No, the fact is you are great just where you are with what you have you just need to believe and do all that you can!

We must do all that we can and what we cannot do then God will step in and do the rest. We need to stretch our faith in order to see the wonders of God. If we stay within our comfort zone and don't push ourselves to the limit we are limiting ourselves.

In John 11:39 Jesus instructed them to roll aways the stone where Lazarus was..... "Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

1st they had to do their part they had to roll away the stone. When Jesus instructed them to do so they begin to protest but he is already dead it has already been four days there is a bad odor. Nothing, NOTHING is impossible for God.

It is time for you to take away the stone, to let go and let God. It is time to stop protesting and fighting God and surrender to His Will and His Way. Don't try to figure out the how, why just be obedient and let Him do what He does best be a miracle worker, a healer, a redeemer, way maker, provider, shelter, protector, your peace, love and joy!!!!!!!!!


  • Be the best you, you can be
  • When God created you he broke the mold ( you were fearfully and wonderfully made)
  • take away the stone ( get out of your own way!!!!!)

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials

Friday, March 12, 2010


Pastor Hezekiah Walker
I don't know what you're going through, But I want you to know tonight You got favor
(God favors me)
In your trial, In your test, In your hard times Don't worry
(God favors me)
Attack your character, Attack your integrity Don't worry no no
(God favors me)
Touch your neighbor, Encourage the person next to ya Tell em I got it, Tell em I got it, And I can say yes
(Yes) To ya will (Yes)
Say yes (Yes) Because I got
(God favors me) Through my crises (Yes), Difficulties (Yes), Through my hard times
(Yes, God favors me)
I found favor (Yes), Favor (Yes) I got it, (Yes) I got it, I got it, I got it
(God favors me)
I got it (Yes) And the Lord gave it to me (Yes) You know what yall I got another witness
(God favors me)
Come here D.J. RogersWondering why I did not die, I’ll be happy to tell you why
(God favors me)
No longer do I cry, When fake friends say goodbye
(God favors me) Some days the well was dry, but I have the same reply
(God favors me)
Evil wants to bring me down inside (Hey),
But God said again I rise (Yes) Come on everbody say yes (Yes) Don't you let the evilness (Yes) Or your haters bring you down
(God favors me)
OOOOO (Yes),(yes),(yes)
God favors me
(God favors me)
OO (Yes), O (Yes), (yes), Yeah God favors me
(God favors meeeeee)
O praise God, thank God everybody. One more time everybody lift your voice all over this world, and say God favors me (GOD FAVORS MEEEEEE!!!!!!!)
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Finding Faith to Carry You through Disaster
Sarah Jennings

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 4
In the past month, we've watched the international community endure one calamity after another. First, a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Now earthquakes in Japan and Chile. We've seen images of great suffering and heard stories of great faith and triumph. With each heart wrenching update, we wonder how we would cope if the places were switched. Could we endure the shock of having everything - and everyone - we loved gone in a matter of moments? Would we maintain hope and faith? Would we be generous to others?

Award-winning journalist Ben Sherwood, author of
The Survivors Club, began asking these questions long before recent quakes crumbled the infrastructure of countries across the globe. After years of interviewing people who survived incredible catastrophes for human interest stories, he began to wonder: What enables these ordinary people to endure what most could not? Are there certain characteristics that set survivors apart from victims? And if so, can we learn how to become survivors?

Sherwood set out on a quest to find answers. He interviewed countless members of "the survivors club." He met with Brian Udell, the only pilot to live through an emergency ejection from a jet going faster than the speed of sound (Mach 1) at sea level. He interviewed Stan Praimnath, the only survivor from the 81st floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower. He spoke with petite Anne Hjelle, a mountain biker who survived a vicious mountain lion attack on the trail. He interviewed survivors of shipwrecks, plane crashes, the Holocaust, and those who beat difficult medical diagnoses.

Sherwood didn't just interview these remarkable men and women. He put himself through the wringer. He visited the Aviation Survival Training Center at the U.S. Marine Corp air station where he allowed trainers to subject him to military survival tests, including a frightening simulation of a helicopter crashing underwater (to his teachers' surprise, he passed all the tests). He also underwent emergency FAA training with airline professionals. Along the way, he spoke with the experts. Experts in medicine, military training, aviation, and psychology.

His findings? There's actually quite a bit you and I can do to join the survivors club when life gets rough.

So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled (
1 Thess 5: 6). The first factor in becoming a survivor is acknowledging a very biblical truth: At some point life's going to go wrong. As much as we don't want to admit it, the brokenness of this world will seep into our tranquil lives. In his introduction, Sherwood writes, "Almost everyone I know has faced - or is coping with - some kind of serious challenge or adversity." Part of what differentiates the victims from the survivors is a person's willingness to accept adversity and prepare before it ever becomes a reality.

Did you know that 96% of passengers in airplane accidents survive? Sherwood shares that the survivors who might otherwise have perished in plane crashes were passengers who kept their shoes on during flight, made note of the exits before take-off, and abstained from the alcoholic beverages on the food cart. In other words - these passengers were prepared.

Other survival factors read like a litany of statistics (including the reality that young, thin, strong men tend to have the best survival rates). But amid all the scientific insights and eye-opening stats, Sherwood identifies one profound characteristic of those who belong to "the survivors club." When he asked survival guru Ray Smith at the Naval Survival Training Institute for the secret of survival, Smith gave a startlingly simple answer: "Faith in God... it's a major factor in all survival scenarios."

Brian Udell couldn't agree more. He believes it was divine intervention that pushed him up onto the life-saving raft after he miraculously survived his high-speed ejection. Stan Praimnath never misses his morning prayers after September 11, 2001. And Anne Hjelle feels like a walking example of
2 Tim 4: 17 ("I was delivered from the lion's mouth").

Sherwood was skeptical of the "divine factor" at first, but expert after expert confirmed the powerful role faith plays in those who beat all odds. In fact, not only does faith carry survivors through extraordinary crises but studies reveal it helps with ordinary crises too. Those who attend church at least once a week live an average of 7 years longer than those who don't.

But what kind of faith is this? Is this a naive, blind optimism that carries survivors through unbelievable circumstances?

No, quite the opposite. Famously dubbed "The Stockdale Paradox," Sherwood explains that Admiral James Stockdale, the highest ranking POW in Vietnam, responded to the question, "Which American prisoners perished?" with this surprising declaration: "Oh that's easy. The optimists."

Why? Hope is vital, but optimism often drains emotional resources by fueling unrealistic expectations. "We'll be out by Christmas!" a cheery POW might exclaim. When Christmas comes and goes, depression ensues. In fact, naïve believers who erroneously think God will shield them from all adversity tend to lose their vital faith when crisis hits. It's the mature, hopeful realist who believes God uses his adversity for a greater good that comes out the other side of a crisis thriving. Furthermore, studies show the more integrated a person's faith is in his day-to-day life, the more likely he is to weather life's most violent storms.

Where does this leave us? I definitely recommend The Survivors Club. You'll learn some potentially life-saving information and read some fascinating stories. But for me, this information does more than impress the importance of hitting the gym and booking airplane seats within five rows of an exit. It leaves me in awe.

Awe that a journalist's quest for scientific answers to survival led him and his readers straight to God and the power of prayer. Awe that even in the worst of catastrophes, faith is sustained. Awe that God not only answers prayers (how many times have I questioned his silence?) -- but we depend on it.

It also leaves me with a dose of reality: earth isn't heaven. While we can't expect to dodge the bad stuff in life, we can have faith that God never leaves us. He walks with us through the valleys, using every experience for the good of those who love him. Just ask Brian Udell, Stan Praimnath, and Anne Hjelle.
How would you describe your faith? Is it more immature or mature? Do you pray daily and lean into God's grace or rely on your own strengths? Do you think God will shield you from adversity or guide you through it? Take inventory and make the necessary changes.
Original publication date: March 1, 2010

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Single moms I cannot begin to tell you how blessed I was at the 1st Annual Praying Single Mother's conference . Laveda Jones' mother Frances Jones gave her testimony and while I was listening I was thanking God for I realized at that moment how blessed I was.

Frances Jones has 4 kids and she raised them alone and starting out she had little money. She spoke of how she would wait for her kids to finish eating and eat the scraps off of their plates. She spoke of having to buy them used underwear, she said she was just bleach them until she couldn't bleach them anymore. She spoke of having to cut up pillow cases to use for pampers. How she would go to the thrift store and buy clothes that were too big and take them in or buy clothes too small and add to them (if that was all that was available) so her kids had something to wear.
Despite all of that she said that her children were clean everyday and dressed to the 9's when they walked out of the house. If all they had to eat were beans they were full and well fed!
Therefore, she refused to accept disrespect from her children as she worked too hard and went through too much to provide for them. Even to this day as they are adults she will not accept disrespect.

She ended it by telling her don't say in this day and age that you can't do it, that you can't keep your children clothed and fed, that you can't find a way or make one. Do whatever it takes to raise your children.

So to all my single mothers NO MORE EXCUSES. Do whatever it takes to raise God fearing, godly children that are productive members of society. Also look at Frances' story and reflect on how truly blessed you are!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It's about a hand up, not a hand out.
What they do:
  • Empowering single moms with education and support
  • Creating opportunities to enhance the lives of Single Moms
  • Encouraging & Inspiring Single Moms to make their Dreams a Reality
  • Advocating for " A Hand Up" and not a "Hand Out" programs to enrich the lives of Single Moms


  • Connect with other single moms from the Chicago Metropolitan Area & across the country
  • Connect & Participate in 3 ways - monthly meetings, family outings, Sunday evening conference calls 1x/month

Join Today: Membership is FREE!!!!!


Phone: 630-532-7113

NOTE: I was introduced to this organization at the 1st Annual Praying Single Mothers conference. This information was taken directly from an advertisement in a booklet I received.

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials