Friday, April 30, 2010


I am embarking on a new venture with my cousin. We are bringing quality events to Chicago and one day to other cities as well. We have started a blog/network and would love for you to join. We will upload pictures and videos of our comedy shows and other events as well.

Check out our network here and join to be in the know as to what is upcoming for Certified Entertainment.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Hallelujah, God only sees you for who you are and He sees the best in YOU!!!!!! Who is that you may ask...

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Psalm 139 13-16 or you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

He Saw The Best in Me
by Marvin Sapp
He saw the best in me,when everyone else around me,could only see the worst in me.
He’s mine and I’m his,it doesn’t matter what I did. He only sees me for who I am.He saw the best in me,when everyone else around me could only see the worst in me.
He saw the best He saw the best He saw the best He saw the best The best The best The best The best The best The best He saw the best in me
He’s mine and I’m his, it doesn’t matter what I did.He only sees me for who I am.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I went to a screening here in Chicago for the movie Just Wright to be released in theaters on May 14th. Common and Bobby Simmons came to Chicago to do a premiere of the movie.

I must say this is a good movie. There were a few parts that were a bit corny and slightly unrealistic but that is what makes it a moive. Overall I give the movie an A+. The best part about it is that adults, teens, and pre-teens can go and see this movie.

The best part about the movie is that it depicts African Americans in a positive light. As a gentleman in the theater said never once did I feel embarrassed to be black while watching this movie.

So on May 14th I encourage you to support this movie at your local theater!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Attend a National Career Fair and Meet Face to Face with over 30 local hiring managers. Register now and get access to the company list. Click here to RegisterMeet face-to-face with hiring managers at the Chicago West Career Fair on Wednesday, May 26.

Applying online to jobs can get frustrating- meeting face-to-face is your chance to stand out from the crowd!

Date:Wednesday, May 26Location:Wellington Banquets and Restaurant2121 S Arlington Heights RdArlington Heights, IL 60005
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free to attend!

Over 200 positions will be available at this event!Career experts onsite will provide FREE Resume Reviews!For a list of attending companies, click the link below and fill out the brief registration form:

Click Here to Register – Free to AttendBring at least 25 resumes to the event!Take care-See you at the career fair!?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

What Is It That Defines You?

What is it that defines you?

Is it your hair length, or eye color? Is it the size of your boobs or your butt? Is it your physical shape? Is it the car that you drive? The house that you live in? The number of friends that you have? Is it your gucci, fendi, louis, or coach bag? Is it the amount of money in your bank account?

What is it that defines you?

Is it your relationship with God? Your character? Your integrity? Your acts of servitude? Your kindness? Your gentleness? Your love? Your hope? Your faith?

What is it that defines you?

Is it your Heavenly Father and how He sees You?

What is it that defines you?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Network of Strength Walk to Empower

Mother's Day, May 9th
Grant Park's Butler Field
8:00 a.m.
30,000 people
1 or 3 mile walk

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


American Cancer Society Walk & Roll:

The American Cancer Society Walk & Roll helps to raise awareness and dollars to fight cancer. This is your opportunity to join your community to celebrate cancer survivors, educate men and women about the importance of early detection and prevention, and raise money to fund lifesaving research and support programs. Please join us. For more information and to sign up, click on the Walk & Roll event near you.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Interestingly my Pastors is doing a series on Cheaters and this fits right in with his message from last Saturday about raising our children and giving them the proper tools. As, as they become older you will have less of an influence and you cannot pick their friends and make decisions for them. Nevertheless during those critical years from birth lay a strong foundation so that prayerfully they will make the right decisions when they are older. As the bible says, train a child up in the way that he should go and when he is older he shall not part from it.

Expert John Rosemond Urges a Return to Common Sense Parenting
Sarah Hamaker

John Rosemond's parenting philosophy focuses less on methods and more on principles.

Google "parenting advice" and more than 29 million hits come back. lists more than a 100,000 books on parenting. A recent Wall Street Journal column by Amy Henry bemoaned the glut of parenting information out there and wondered if parents have lost their confidence when it comes to parenting.

"We worship at the parenting tower of Babel," said child psychologist John Rosemond during a spring parent retreat in Gastonia, N.C. "All that so-called expert advice is destined to cause confusion in parents."

Rosemond, himself the author of nearly a dozen books on parenting, calls on today's parents to return to the parenting principles of an earlier generation. "I don't say anything new—I'm saying what used to be a given in parenting," he insisted. "Parenting common sense like our grandparents had has been smothered with the wet blanket of post-modern psychology parenting."

From Rosemond's perspective, the basic problem for today's parents is that "American parents have been brainwashed into trying parenting tips or strategies that don't work for longer than a few weeks. ... We are not thinking properly as parents."

Parents today believe that parenting produces the child—the idea that if we simply follow the right set of rules or advice, our children will reach their full potential as adults. Rosemond considers that thinking backwards. "The child produces the child. Your upbringing does not dictate what you will become," he said. "The parent influences the child in a big way when the child is small and in a small way when the child is big."

"Rosemond's advice is centered around the parents having a strong bond together and that they should not cater to their child's every need," said Stan White of Savannah, Ga., who attended the conference. "I believe that it will make my child a better person. He will understand that the world doesn't revolve around him and he has no sense of entitlement."

Seasonal Parenting
Rosemond reminds parents that
Ecclesiastes 3:1 ("There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven," NIV) can apply to parenting, too. He divides parenting into three seasons: season of service, season of discipline and season of mentoring.
Season one—the season of service—comprises the child's birth to 2 years old. "During this time, the mother functions as a servant to the child, anticipating, responding and doing for the child," said Rosemond.

Between the ages of 2 and 3, the mother should begin to make the significant transition between season one and season two. "The mother redefines herself to the child by firmly taking the child out of the center of attention and placing herself in the child's center," he explained.

Once that transition has taken place, season two begins: the decade of discipline, ages 3 to 13. "This is the most critical season," he said. "Your job as a parent is to provide leadership and authority to the child."

Rosemond acknowledged that the child will rebel against that but "your job is to present authority in a confident, calm and composed way so that the child wants to be like you."

"Part of season two is setting up boundaries with my child and giving my child responsibilities around the house. This hopefully will make him feel more of a part of the family," added White.

Season three—the season of mentoring—covers ages 13 to 18. The parents' job now is to help the child acquire the skills to successfully emancipate.

What has happened in America is that the "female parent is being frozen in season one with the husband as the child's best buddy," said Rosemond. He gave three things a mother must do to move from season one to season two successfully:

1) significantly lower the level of doing for the child;
2) build a boundary between self and child; and
3) reclaim her marriage in front of the child.

"Parenting has become bad for the mental health of the mother," he said. "Mothers are reaching for the ludicrously high bar of good motherly behavior that says a child is a reflection of the mother. ... Women have allowed themselves to lose their identities, becoming two-dimensional cut-outs in their pursuit of clearing the mother bar."

"I have learned to remain calm yet assertive in dealing with my boys, ages 7 and 5," said Leigh Ann Martin of Roanoke, Va., who attended the parenting conference. "If my boys are defiant or ill-behaved, I don't take it personally and fret about it—I make it their problem not mine. I feel no guilt in doling out a punishment with real 'staying power.' Basically, John's advice has alleviated me of much of the guilt I think we moms have taken on ourselves because we feel what our children do reflects on us."

Rosemond recommends that parents remember one simple rule: You may not always make perfect decisions but they will be better than the ones your child will make for himself. "Parents need to be proactive or you will be in a weak position. No discipline feels good at the time," he said, citing
Hebrews 12:11 ("No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" NIV).

Consequences Versus Feelings
One main point of departure between traditional parenting and post-modern psychological parenting is the application of consequences. "American parents are fooling around with consequences," said Rosemond. "When yesterday's child misbehaved, the child felt guilty. When today's child misbehaves, it's the mother who feels guilty."
That change in associated guilt can be traced to the pendulum swing from a focus on the child's behavior to a child's feelings. Rosemond contended that today's parents—particularly mothers—spend too much time talking to children about their feelings and much less time trying to discipline their children for misbehaving.

"Children need an outside agent to assist in feeling bad about misbehaving so that as an adult, they will feel bad about misbehaving on their own," he said.

"Rosemond's reminder to wait for the right opportunity to punish instead of punishing immediately was priceless for us," said Martin. "My husband looked at me and said, 'Now that was worth the price of admission.'"

Marriage Trumps Child
Rosemond emphasizes a strong marriage is the best foundation for children. "When we lose that marriage, we lose something fundamental in child rearing," he said.
He bases this assertion on
Genesis 2:24: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (NIV). "We're not communicating this [marriage] unit to children anymore," he said.

"I love John Rosemond's parenting advice because it comes from a no-nonsense, common sense foundation," said Martin. "He does not advocate the idea that parents today need to be all things to their children at all times. He emphasizes the need for boundaries between parents and children, and maintains that the best thing parents can give their children is a happy and stable marriage—and that means time away from the kids. He actually gives us moms permission to tell the kids to go away and find something to do; that we do not have to be accessible to our children 24/7."

When the husband and wife spend more time in their husband and wife roles than they do in the mother/father roles, the children become more secure in their place within the family. "We should primarily raise a child as husband and wife, as [that marriage] unit, not as mother and father," said Rosemond.

April 26, 2010

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and editor, and author of Hired @ Home: The Christian Mother's Guide to Working From Home. She lives in Fairfax, Va., with her husband and four children. Visit her at

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, April 26, 2010


The BET Foundation Women's Health Symposium events are designed to provide African-American women with a wealth of information about how to embrace a healthier lifestyle and practical approaches for addressing various health concerns. Through a multi-faceted health promotion event, minority health disparities discussed include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, reproductive health, forms of cancers, depression, digestive care, women and clinical trials, nutrition and fitness. The multiple-day (8:00a-5:00p) event includes a kickoff reception the night before the symposium, special workshops/sessions for young women 18+, master fitness class, plenary sessions, concurrent workshops on special health topics, complimentary lunch and breakfast, special entertainment or master life coaching and free health screening. The event day concludes with a special live performance by a nationally known celebrity. The target audience is women 18+. Specific topics covered at Symposiums are: Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases, Fitness, Nutrition and Digestive Healthcare, Living with Chronic Disease, Mental Health and Stress, Healthy Aging & fitness, Reproductive Health, Women & Clinical Trials, Integrative Approaches to Health, Health & Disability.

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials


HIV/AIDS Awareness Mural
Rain date: Thursday April 29th.Stop by, grab a brush, and help us paint a mural.

The Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center has partnered with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, local artists, business owners and community organizations to create an AIDS awareness mural in Austin, a West Side neighborhood disproportionately impacted by HIV.

The15’ x 30’ mural is entitled “A.I.D.S. –Austin Is Doing Something."

It will be located on the northeast corner of West Chicago and North Mayfield avenues, a few doors down from the Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center (5820 W. Chicago Avenue). We will be painting on Thursday, April 29 from 11am- 6pm. So stop by, grab a brush, and be a part of this great event.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the project, please call the Sankofa Cultural Arts & Business Center at 773-626-4497.

Share your gifts and talents and help beautify Austin.
To see a photo of the mural go to our website,

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Hello all, here is a link to "Put Illinois to Work", if you or if you know anyone that is looking for a job during these hard economic times, please check out the State of Illinois web-site for work opportunities. This is an assignment that I am a part of and our goal is to bring 20,000 jobs to the State of Illinois within the next 6 months, so please pass the information on. It is an online application process and the steps are fairly simple. There is also opportunities for businesses and organizations to participate by offering jobs at no cost to you, there are other great incentives for participating as a business or organization.

DHS: Put Illinois to Work

If you have any questions you can reach me at the office at 312-878-3207 ext. 3207

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials

The National Guard in Chicago - Why Now?

CHICAGO -- Two lawmakers who believe violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the Illinois National Guard must be called in to help made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday to deploy troops. (

Why Now? I ask this question because murder, gun violence and crime has been rampant in Chicago for a long time. Not to mention that Detroit was the most violent city in 2009 followed by Memphis and Miami.

This isn't to say that something shouldn't be done to curb the violence in Chicago and across the United States. Its a question of why now? Why is it that now that Chicago is going through the final stages of its gentrification process that people want the National Guard to come in? Excuse me for partly answering the question as I asked it.

They "white/middle/upper class America" do not care about us "black/brown/poor/lower class" America. Seriously, the National Guard??????

Where are the elected officials that are crying out for more money to be pumped into public school education? Where are the officials who are lobbying for more money to be pumped into programs like Cease Fire, Big Brother Big Sister, Black Star Project, and into other non-profit organizations that exist to lift up the community and allow people to obtain the tools and learn the necessary trades etc. to lift themselves up and become productive members of society????????

They are non-existent! I was watching a movie from the 70's Saturday night, The Mack. A cop that they called "fat man" was talking to the main character Goldie whom happened to be a pimp. Fat man said Goldie you are getting to big, you are making too much money, why don't you go back to selling drugs? And do something about your brother as well. Goldie's response was f you, you won't be satisfied until we are all shooting crap up our arms. Next comes a scene with Goldie talking to his brother. Come to find out, his brother was an activist and part of the black movement. So Goldie while prostitution is wrong was a pimp not involved in much crime outside of that making money and his brother is an activist and fat man wasn't satisfied with either. Oh how that angered me because it is still like today.

If they really wanted to see change and a curb in violence. They would put as much effort, resources, time and energy into inner city schools as they do in other schools. Children want to learn from the poorest of the poor to the most wealthy. Children want to learn, they want to be challenged and they want to be encouraged.

Invest in community projects and community programs that benefit our children, neighborhoods and community. That is how a difference can and will be made. The fact of the matter is however they don't want that to happen. Some of us can be successful, few of us can reach Oprah Winfrey status, they feel we will be satisfied with just a few token negros, including, Barack Obama. Just because there is an African/White man in the Presidency seat doesn't mean that we have arrived, that race isn't an issue and that racism and prejudice no longer exist!!!!

In Chicago, they (Mayor Daley, government) knew what was going to happen when
  • they tore down the projects and piled people on top of each other from rival gangs
  • when the killed or jailed the gang chiefs (cut off the head and the body will scatter)
  • when they kicked in Fred Hampton's door and murdered him
  • when they turned the black panthers against the Black P. Stones/El Rukin .......

I could go on and on.

It is all apart of a grand design to get black/brown/poor/lower class further and further outside of the city of Chicago. I went to Paris in 1997 and when I came back I told my mom the richest people live in the center close to downtown and the farther you travel out the poorer the people are. Her response was that is exactly what they are going to do in Chicago. Here it is 13 years later and that is exactly what is going on.

No, the National Guard is not the answer. Having a military presence is not the answer that is simply like putting a band aid on a wound with out putting on something to cure the possible infection and ointment to heal the wound. We no longer need band aids and patchwork we need real solutions to get down to the root core of the problem. A great number of our people are uneducated or undereducated, unemployed, illiterate, and in a state of despair and hopelessness.

So the haves need to find the have nots that have a desire to do better and have better and help them. Help those who want to be help! As Louis Farrakhan said "we need to stop begging the white man to do for us what we can do for ourselves".

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, April 23, 2010


Turn it over to Jesus
He can work it out(3xs)
He Can He Can Work it out (2xs)(Repeat)
Verse 1:That problem that I hadI just couldn’t seem to solve I tried and I tried I kept getting deeper involved
But I turn it over to Jesus I stopped worrying about it
He Can He Can Work it out
Turn it over to Jesus
Turn it over to Jesus
That pain that would not move I had to take it to the upper room
Those burdens that I bore I said Lord how much more
But I turn it over to Jesus I stopped worrying about it
He Can He Can Work it out
Turn it over to Jesus
Cast all your cares on the Lord Jesus He cares for you
Turn it over
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Complaining Spirit - Unemployed to Ungratefully Employed

Speaking for myself and some other people I know personally. Picture yourself being recently laid off and you are now unemployed. You are collecting unemployment and by the grace of God all of your bills are still being paid and your life has not changed much. Nonetheless you are accustomed to working so you diligently look for a new job, you spend a lot of time making prayers and petitions to the Lord and entrusting him along the way. You go on interview after interview and finally you get the call back that you got the job.

You are excited overjoyed, you enter into the new company and position with enthusiasm excited thanking the Lord everyday for your job. Then you realize that your boss is a basket case, your co-workers (some/all/none) are annoying as all get out, the pay isn't exactly what you are used to blah, blah etc., etc. On top of that each week you find yourself looking forward to Friday because you are tired of getting up everyday going to work even sometimes wishing you could just stay home in the bed and do nothing.

Well wait a second, before you got the job you were at home and had all the free time in the world on your hands and you were praying and petitioning for a job. You were thankful for a split second and now you are complaining about your job, hours, pay, boss, co-workers whatever it is you can think of to complain about.

Scripture tells us in Philippians 2:14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, and in Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Pastor Bill Winston said it best, you do not have a job you are working an assignment. Always remember that God is your source and he supplies resources here on earth for you but everything that you have comes from Him. With that said focus on the fact that God has you exactly where he wants you for a reason. Everything in life that happens to you is not about you. Your job is to advance the Kingdom of God!

You are encouraged to think before you complain about your assignment again. Think about how it felt to be unemployed, think about those who right now are unemployed and give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Ashland 2824 N Ashland Ave.
$4 Jack Daniels cocktails and infused vodka shots

Berlin 954 W. Belmont Ave.
$1 select shots

Clutch 459 N Ogden
$2 Parrot Bay shots

MAC's 1801 W. Division
$3 Jameson shots

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


At some time or another, we all face hurts, disappointments and failures. And whether on our part or the part of others, these things definitely impact us and our emotions. The important thing is how we deal with our emotions.
Do we let them rule us or do we rule them? If there’s any one thing that can lead us down a road away from our potential, away from the awesome plan God has for us, away from the dreams we hold in our heart, I believe it’s our emotions. I meet people all the time who tell me, “Joel, I don’t feel like God is with me. I don’t feel like I’m living in His will. I don’t feel…”Maybe you’ve felt the same way. One day you feel like you’re living the life you’ve always dreamed of, but the next day circumstances change and you feel like you have no hope, nothing to get excited about or live for and your emotions are out of control.It’s like your emotions take you hostage!

The good news is, through the promises of His Word and the power of His spirit, God’s given you the ability to direct your emotions. And when you do, the course and quality of your life change forever.

It’s not complicated but in order to see a change, I’ve discovered something years ago which I have applied to my own life: you have to base your emotions on who God says you are and not on negative feelings or circumstances.
Remember, you are created in the image of Almighty God, and you were created to be victorious and experience healthy emotions.Make the choice today to see yourself the way that God sees you, and you’ll discover that nothing else compares to doing it God’s way.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.Galatians 5:22-23
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, April 16, 2010


I have the faith to see the invisible, expect the incredible, receive the impossible;

oh faith that can conquer any, anything.

Faith that obtrudes my problems, oh faith to know that God can solve it.

Faith to vision my freedom, I have faith that can conquer anything.

Faith to reach the unreachable, faith to fight the unbeatable, faith to remove the unmoveable,

faith that stands the invincible, faith that can conquer anything.

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphnay Essentials

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What would you do to achieve your dreams? From Homeless to Millionaire

I had the pleasure of meeting this gentleman a few weeks ago. His name is Stevie Williams. When I opened up my May issue of Ebony Magazine and turned to page 8 I immediately recognized him although his head is down on a pictures on his skateboard.

So I turned to page 72 to read about Young Entrepreneurs and was amazed at the tid bit of his story that was shared.

From Ebony Magazine

Stevie Williams, 30 Owner/Founder of DGK Skateboards, one of the top 5 skateboard companies WORLDWIDE (Georgia and California)

"Stevie Williams, hailed as the most successful African-American skateboarder, admits to being called "dirty" all his entire life. Now he's filthy rich and getting paid for the moniker DGK, Dirty Ghetto Kids, a skateboard company he owns that sells decks, wheels and apparel. Founded in 2002, DGK started with four vendors and earned $150,00; today that figure is $12 million."

"Williams always knew he wanted to be a professional skateboarder, so he DROPPED out of high school at age 15 and hitchhiked to Los Angeles in search of a sponsor. "I was eager to win at something, and being an overachiever just mad me a natural," say the father of two. "I was homeless and lived on the street for 8 years before I finally got a sponsor."

This immediately made me consider myself, people in general as well as church folk. Let me preface this by saying that I am a strong proponent of education. However, it saddens me that I bought into the system of go to school, get an education, and get a good job. There are plenty of educated people that are unemployed, broke, or struggling.

I wonder and asked myself I my child decided to drop out of high school at 15 would I tell him you aren't going to amount to anything, you are destined to fail, you have to have an education to succeed in life. Or would I tell him, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength, as you think so you will become, keep the faith and hold fast to your dreams and 1 day they shall become a reality. I wondered would I support my child in his decision or would I tell him he was making the biggest mistake of his life?

A lot of successful businessmen are dropouts, high school drop-outs, college drop-outs etc or many graduated high school and never went to college. It makes me think about a sermon from Bill Winston about revelation knowledge, knowledge that comes straight from God. He spoke on George Washington Carver, the man who found the many ways to use a peanut. Carver said he would go into a room alone, and sit and pray. He didn't have time to read books and get a formal education he simply need God to reveal to him what needed to be done and how to do it! People were amazed that Carver did not have sophisticated tools of any sort yet he had many inventions.

Are we relying too much on education and the worlds system and not enough on God, His Wisdom, Knowledge, Power and Miracle working ability and His System?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The Most Important Relationship in your life is your relationship with God. It is the foundation of every relationship you will have in your life. Your relationship is unique and is yours and yours alone.

We all know that in order to build a healthy relationship there must be love, trust, communication, and fellowship. Just to name a few....

LOVE - these are a few things that the bible says about loving God and him loving us.

I John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us."
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Mark 12:30 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:38-39 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,m neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now that is love, God gave his only son for you and I, nothing can separate us from his love, if I love him all things work together for my good.....God is Love!
TRUST - why you should trust in the Lord
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.a
Leviticus 19:4 "'Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God."
Isaiah 50:10 "Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God."
Isaiah 26:4 "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal."

Communication - Prayer, Praise, Worship

James 5:13 "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."
Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
I Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
Psalm 150:1 "Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens."
Psalm 113:1 "Praise the LORD! Yes, give praise, O servants of the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD!"
Psalm 67:3 May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you."
John 4:24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Philippians 3:3 "For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh--"
Revelation 14:7 "He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
Song of Solomon 1:4 "Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. How right they are to adore you!"


I Corinthians 1:19 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
2 Corinthians 13:4 "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Psalm 100:4 "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

Love, Trust, Communication, and Fellowship are four key components to any healthy relationship not only your relationship with God. It is important to spend time with God daily to give Him undivided time daily, regularly. A relationship cannot be built with someone if you do not spend time with them and get to know them. Read his Word, study His Word, learn how He feels about you and how important you are to Him. Then learn what it is that he wants from you and what position He desires to have in your life.

Deuteronomy 5:6-8 6“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods beforea me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

When you begin to put God first, and to seek Him and His Kingdom and His Righteousness all good things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). So whatever it is you desire and you are searching for can be found first in your relationship status with God. NOTE: This doesn't mean everything in your life will be perfect it does mean your heart, mind and spirit will be at PEACE!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song.
[a] 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields [b] with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortres
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, April 12, 2010


Everyday I pray in the shower. Part of my prayer is thanking God for keeping my family, friends, and loved ones safe through the night. Well last night I received a text message. Unfortunately I only received half of it. So this morning my phone rang and I heard some disturbing news. My friend and sister in Christ, her husband was shot in the face and is in the hospital heavily sedated.

I also believe wholeheartedly that guns do not kill people do. Anything can be used as a weapon and can prove deadly. So I don't agree in us turning our weapons in, I believe in us learning what they are for and using them for the right reasons and as a last resort!

A lot of the problem starts in our neighborhoods and our homes. Our children are growing up in poor areas, with little resources, going to schools that barely have books and could care less whether our children learn to read, write, and/or count. They are growing up in a time where bling is what everyone yearns for. Before "bling" men desired money, cars, and females which still seems to be the ultimate goal in life now. As the song says for the love of money people will rob, steal, and cheat.

Our children are at a disadvantage trying to catch up and don't realize they are putting themselves behind with the methods they are using in an attempt to get ahead. Killing off our future before it even starts. Fighting over territory that doesn't belong to them to control the sale of drugs to make $.... Drugs that are killing are people on top of the violence of guns.

Yes I know "the man" is putting these things in our communities but it is up to us whether we use them. Trust me I know it is not that simple again I am truly realistic when it comes to things like this.

It is just a sad, sad state that poor/lower class African American people are in. There used to be a time when we had pride, we have always been poor but we had pride, respect, and love for one another.

Now we are at a point where we look down upon one another because of clothes, shoes, jewelry, and cars. And we are using force a lot of times and violence to take from those in our community just so that we can have something and it makes no sense.

Living and growing up in Chicago violence is unfortunately and everyday part of our city. I believe in our constitutional right to bear arms. I also believe we have the right to defend ourselves. I also know that there are a lot of senseless acts of violence that occur far too often.
I think back to a couple of summers ago where a car was parked in the middle of the street. The driver behind the car that was blocking traffic yelled, blew his horn, and threw something at the car in front of him. In turn a few days later the driver that was blocking the street ran up on the other driver and shot him to death on his front porch. Over what? For what?
Too many of our young black boys are running around trying to prove their manhood with guns, weapons and violence. Sadly because they do not know and have not been taught what it takes to be a real man. Walking around with a gun, shooting at someone for "disrespecting" you is not what being a man is. Whatever happened to the days of straight up 1-on-1 fist fights? Even those can end up deadly. I remember a summer where after a fair fight the loser came back shooting at the people he'd been in a fight with. By that time however, the people were sitting on their grandparents porch with children and all. So those being shot at went and got guns to shoot back.
This is not for you to read this message and sit on your high horse, this is also not for you to go and discuss it with your friends. This is for you to rise up and take action starting in your own home. What are you teaching your children? What are you glorifying? What are you placing importance on? How are you helping others in need? What are you doing to make a difference in your community and other community? Are you being the change that you want to see.
I encourage you to find some time even if its 1x per month. To volunteer your time, knowledge, and resources to someone else.
Visit this website type in your zip code and volunteer opportunities will come up.
Its not just about having meetings and marching. As Louis Farrakhan said and I hold this dear "We need to stop begging the White Man to do for us what we can do for ourselves" Its time to take our children and our communities back!!!!!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, April 9, 2010


lyrics by Smokie Norful
Justified me
Glorified me
Paid my ransom and
I've been redeemed by his blood
Go to calvary
I've been made free
Despite my enemy
I thank god im justified

[Verse 1]
Paid a price
For my life
And all that was wrong
His love made it right
Now what greater sign
Can any man show
That know with his own blood
He made me whole

Justified me
Glorified me
Paid my ransom and
I've been redeemed by his blood
Go to calvary
Ive been made free
Despite my enemy
I thank god im justified

[Verse 2]
If my sins had their way
I never would have made it
With a debt i just couldn't afford to pay
He came and saved me
When the enemy said that i couldn't
God said go ahead because you're covered by me awesome
Awesome powerful blood

Though I
I should've been dead
And never kept alive
God's grace and his mercy
Were on every side
When it looks like i can't
God says i can
And he won't let me fall
In the enemy's hand

I'm just glad to know that god saved me
His grace and his mercy
They watched over me all night long
If it had not been
If it had not been
If it had not been
If it had not been
If it had not been
For the lord that was on my side

Listen i got some testimonies listen

Just like ninevah that was headed for destruction god stepped in and he said
(not guilt)
You gonna live and you won't see the day of destruction
(ooh ooh ooh)

Just like daniel who was condemned to the lion's den god said
(not guilt)
You're gonna live
(you're gonna live yeah)

Just like david who was dearly beloved inspite of god said
(not guilt)


(let's talk about you)

If you be honest with yourself tonight
If it hadn't been for the grace of god

You would've been
You could've been

To the Liar
To the Cheater
To the Deciever
Even to the Believer

There is their point no condemnation to them that are in christ jesus
Yeah yeah

Some of ya'll got it twisted

If it hadn't been for god
(god did it)

You wouldn't have made it
Don't get confused about who kept you
(god did it)

When the enemy said that i couldn't
god did it
(god did it)

When my haters said that i wouldn't
god did it
(god did it)

I thought we'd never get out of the poor house but
(god did it)

I thought we'd never see the white house but im claiming it
(god did it)

And if you be honest
He's been over your house
(god did it)

Every grateful heart just bless his name
(god did it)

Who delivered you
(god did it)

Be honest about it
Who kept you
(god did it)

Come on and testify who brought you
(god did it)

Just shout god did it
(god did it)

Point to heaven and give him glory
god did it
(god did it)

Come on and testify
(god did it)

One more time
if your praise is ringing say
god did it
(god did it)

hey yeah yeah


(God did it)
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Have you ever heard a Christian or have you ever yourself said something like this?

"I am never talking to him/her again, they hurt me, they lied to me/on me and I just can't stand them."

"Ooooh when I see him/her I am going to give them a piece of my mind and let them know how I really feel."

"I could care less whether they live or die, they can kick rocks and eat dust."

As Christians, we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. We are to be examples of God's goodness. The only way to be that example is to demonstrate it with our actions. It is not enough to spread the GOOD NEWS we must embody/be the GOOD NEWS!
Jesus did not come only preaching and speaking the WORD he was THE WORD!

John 3:16 "16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

God Loves the World, he loves those who are in his body of believers as well as the World. He loves the WORLD so much that he allowed Jesus to die for it. So guess what? We are to love the World too.

What was Jesus' response to those who lied on him, beat him, persecuted him, flogged him, whipped him, those who gave him vinegar instead of water to drink, those who nailed him to the cross, those who screamed crucify him? "Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." Luke 23:34

Think about how many times you have sinned against God, how many times you have been disobedient to his Word? Yet, you expect Him to forgive you right? The best thing about God is when He forgives He FORGETS!!!!!!!!!!!!
God already knows you are going to mess up therefore " 22 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Now God gives you new mercy every morning yet you have been harboring a grudge and malice in your heart against someone. I can hear you now they hurt me badly, they hurt me repeatedly I just cannot find it in my heart to forgive. Well unfortunately for you, you must forgive to be forgiven. Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]
23"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[
g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26"The servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' 27The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[
h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
29"His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
30"But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Yes you are human and I already know God is not through with you yet. However, it is more of your flesh than your spirit that is the problem because 2 Corinthians 5:17 tell us that "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In Romans 12:2 (NLT) we are told "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

It is time for us Christians to be set apart and different. We are not warring with the world using the worlds weapons. We are hear to fight "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12 and we must recognize "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." Ephesians 6:12

It is time for the body of believers to see the best in God's people and see them for who they are. Who are God's people they include the World and believers as well. For God sent his son to save sinners not to come for the church or the Pharisees, although He would have that all men be saved. He sent his son to show His compassion, love, joy, and peace that He feels for ALL. He did not come to condemn World nor shame the World therefore we should not condemn or shame anyone.

I heard a Pastor say that the way you see yourself is the way you see the world. So if you are condescending, judgmental, cruel, rude, etc to the World that is how you treat yourself!

You want to see God's Power in your life? Treat His people with loving kindness, pray everyday that you are renewed with the fruit of the Spirit.

Finally on Good Friday my Pastor preached about 1 tough week. Take some time to read through Mark, Matthew or Luke....start when Jesus came in on the donkey and the people were yelling out Hosanna and read all the way til Jesus gave up his spirit. I guarantee you, you will never experience anything like that in your life to that magnitude ever. Yet as stated above he asked his father to forgive them!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Get Your Joy Back
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy"(I Peter 1:8, NIV)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Have the pressures and circumstances of life taken away your joy? Today is the day to get it back! It's time to get excited about your future and learn to enjoy each and every day.
If you don't make the conscious effort to keep your joy, year after year you'll get more and more solemn. Not only will the enemy rob you of the joy that belongs to you, but he'll rob your family and friends of the gift that you have to give them. When you have joy, you can use that joy to influence the people around you for good. Joy is strength, and when you have joy, you can offer strength to the people God has placed in your life.

Today, draw the line in the sand and say, "That's it. I'm not going to live another day negative, discouraged, sour and grumpy. I'm going to put a smile on my face. I'm going to live my life happy." Choose to let your faith in Him fill you with inexpressible and glorious joy so that you can be a blessing everywhere you go!


Father in heaven, thank You for Your love. Thank You for choosing me and molding me into Your image. Today, I invite You to fill me with Your inexpressible, glorious joy so that I can be a blessing to the people You have placed in my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, April 5, 2010


Yesterday I attended service with my mom at Fellowship on the South Side of Chicago led by Pastor Jenkins.

A part of his sermon inspired me to write this blog, Part-Time Christians. Pastor Jenkins stated that as many know church attendance rises on Easter Sunday. Alarmingly though only 50% of people will return next Sunday. Is it enough to just attend church on CME? Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter? Who determines what a part-time Christian is and who sets the standard for what followers of Christ should behave like?

Of course the answer is God.......Hebrews 10:25 tells us "25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Matthew 18:20 "20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Now the church is our physical bodies and not a physical building so do people have to attend a physical building to attend church service? Are those who attend church regularly truly living for God or are they just going through the motions? Is it possible to have a better relationship with Christ if you pray regularly, fast, tithe, and have gatherings in your home or amongst friends than someone who attends the physical building?

I believe it is important to attend the physical building as there is something about the gathering that ministers to my soul, there is always a word spoken that speaks to me and gets me through the day and the week. However, that is what works for me. As a Christian it is not my responsibility to impose my beliefs on anyone. I would love for all to believe and confess that Jesus is the son of God, he died and on the 3rd day he rose again yet I cannot force it.

I also believe that Christians need to be less condemning and more compassionate, less judgmental and concerned more with what is just.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, April 2, 2010

FAITH FRIDAY'S - HE'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matthew 20:17-19 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"

"The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.'"
Matthew 28:5-6a (NIV)

He's Alive Lyrics
Performed by-
DeAndre Patterson
He's alive and I know it.
Jesus died and he rose again.
Got up out of the grave
power in his hands
He's alive, he's in my hands and my feet.
He's alive, I can feel it all over
Make me wanna raise my hands
Make me wanna jump and shout
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, April 1, 2010


These are excerpts from the Essence April 2010 Article....this is definitely DEFINITELY a must read.....

The nations schools are failing our children. Black students already lag behind White students on the 1st day of kindergarten - a disparity that is as evident among suburban middle-class children as their inner-city peers. But Black parents, are finally paying attention. No longer waiting for schools to get it right, we are taking action - from the way we talk to our children to the experiences we offer them - to create higher achievers. For part two in our education series, ESSENCE spent a year exploring how Black parents can take responsibility for our children's success.

A 2009 report from the National Center for Education Statistics found that Black students scored an average of 27 points lower than their White peers on fourth-grade reading, and 26 points lower on eighth-grade reading. On math tests, Black students trailed their White counterparts by 26 points in the fourth-grade, a gap that rose to 31 points by the eighth grade. The results, based on tests administered in 2007, revealed an achievement gap in almost every state in the union.

With the education disparity breaking stubbornly along such racial and ethnic lines for the past three decades, it is almost impossible to overstate the economic and social consequences.

The study found that Black and Latino children are two to three years behind White children of the same age when it comes to academic performance, with White students significantly outperforming Black and Latino students regardless of the income level of their parents.

As early as the 4th grade, the study claims, academic performance is a powerful predictor of a students projected future earnings.

Others are encouraging their children to become mentors to under performing Black students, reversing a pervasive culture where making good grades is seen as not cool.

Black parents are radically rethinking the roles they can play in their children's school lives.....they are enrolling their children in foreign language in elementary school, and forgoing trips to theme parks for travel to historic sites and nature reserves.

Research by Ronald F. Ferguson shows only 47% of college-educated Black parents read to their kindergarten-age children daily, compared with 60% of similiary educated White parents.

Even if your child is doing fine in school you should be looking for extracurricular activities to accelerate your child, because that's what the rest of the parents your child is competing with are doing.

Medical experts agree that the years from birth to 3 years are critical for child development and future learning.

We have to think about their brains as a computer system that is not wired yet and it is waiting for us to wire it.

Even upper-and middle-income parents sometimes will work really hard to move into the best school system in the area, and then watch and wait for the the school system to turn their kid into a great student, not understand that a lot of the work is still theirs.

"Too often we teach our children to be passive and obedient, and they are getting destroyed. In the year 1908, if you were Black and you were not passive and obedient, you could get killed. Now, if you are passive and obedient about education, you will die." Ronald F Ferguson.

For those in the Chicago area check out the Black Star Project.

Parents you are your child's first teacher. It is up to you to instill at an early age of love of learning, exploration, and critical thinking with your children. It

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials