Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Most people growing up would say what they wanted to be when they grow up. Since my middle nephew started school he spoke that he wanted to be a doctor. This year, he is entering into his 1st year of high school and he still wants to be a doctor.
A brief journey through his life....A great majority of his growing up he lived in a suburb of Chicago. Last year his mother was given an opportunity to move to Charlotte, North Carolina. She made the decision swiftly and boldly without telling too many people. There were many who said after the fact I am with you 100% but really didn't want her to move away from her family.
The grammar school that my nephew attended in 8th grade was sub par compared to the academic curriculum that he was accustomed to....but God.
The opportunity that she moved for didn't end up working out for her. My sister struggled and went back and forth with herself debating if she should return back to Chicago. Some were telling her pack your things and just come back throw in the towel you tried....but God.
Please understand this, there comes a time in your life where the only person that has the answer to your problem is God. When you truly trust Him, obey Him, and lean not on your own understanding, all things will work together for the good!
Come to find out my nephew would be able to choose the high school he attended. Low and behold Charlotte has a Medical Sciences High School for students who want to become doctors!
God is amazing...
Yesterday my sister and nephew attended orientation for his new school. All students will get hands on training while in high school working on patients. She also signed him up for a volunteer program. A representative for the program informed my sister as long as he keeps his grades up he will receive a full scholarship to the college/university of his choice!
God is Awesome
Words Manifest! My nephew said he would be a doctor some day, his mother affirmed it by speaking it as well, so did I and others in the family.
When you speak be it positive or negative, the forces of the universe go to work to bring to pass what you have spoken. Words Manifest!
Who would have new that my nephews blessing was waiting for him in Charlotte, North Carolina? God knew, my nephews name was written down in the Freshman roster for his high school before he was born! What a Mighty God We Serve!
God aligns the right situations, circumstances, and people for your life to ensure that your words manifest.
So I dare ask what have you been speaking over yourself and your children?
Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Romans 4:17 the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Does Your Neighborhood Have More Fast Food Restaurants than Grocery Stores?

Recently, I was driving home and I began to reflect on what I saw. There are more fast food restaurants, liquor stores, and churches in my neighborhood on the West Side than grocery stores.

There is one grocer in my neighborhood a Save-A-Lot and if I am not mistaken they do not carry fresh fruits and veggies. There is a Food 4 Less about a mile and a half from my home as well. I had to drive over 10 minutes to go to a Jewel in the Brickyard area. However there are 4+ fast food restaurants in walking distance of my home.

I think more now about the plight of African Americans, minorities, and the poor, the disadvantages and how the odds are stacked against us very early. I think what if I didn't have a car, I would either have to take a cab, call for a ride or take 2 buses to get to the grocery store.

Its a wonder why African Americans have high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases. Fast food is more accessible than a grocery store. So its easier to take the kids to McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Harold's, Uncle Remus etc. than to trek on the bus to the grocery store. Then once in the store with the price of fresh fruits and veggies I see a lot of people with chips, snacks, and juice in their cart with some meats but few nutritional foods. As the saying goes when you know better you do better however, there are those that do not know so how can they do better?

To my surprise, this morning I open up the Red Eye and read the article "Chicago's grocery quest." The title on the front page Chicago's Food Desert. The article states in 2006 Chicago-based researcher Mari Gallagher mapped areas in the city where fresh produce was scarce when compared with fast-food locations. On the city's West Side: a Pete's Fresh Market, expected to open this fall at Madison Street and Western Avenue, according to Charles Poulakis, a spokesman for Pete's holding company. "This is an area that has not had a grocery store inn 40 years," Sullivan said. "So to get that store there is a huge achievement."

I disagree that it is a huge achievement for the area. In the last 5/10 years the area has drastically changed. What was once known as Rockwell projects that covered the area from Van Buren to Madison, and from Western a few blocks East ward was torn down and replaced with multi family unit apartment buildings for low income and working families. Nevertheless there are also condos and homes that have been built in that area. Just East of Western off of Madison are 1/2 million dollar town homes. So I don't see Pete's as an achievement I see gentrification in action and the response to those middle/upper class residents with the need of a grocer in their neighborhood.

I think of Michael Jackson's song and the words they don't really care about us. We have to start taking care of each other and ourselves. We have to take a stand and take the veil from over our eyes. It is not enough for you to get a college degree and leave the neighborhood behind with a good riddance attitude. Once you have achieved you need to reach back, educate, and advocate for those who cannot do it for themselves.

For those who live on the West Side, South Side or in an area populated by minorities, low, and working class families how far do you travel for fresh fruit and produce?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, August 2, 2010


Help Children Write a Better Future – Become an In2Books® Pen Pal Today!

Join me in participating in an extraordinary volunteer experience.

I wanted to share with you a unique volunteer opportunity. By becoming an In2Books pen pal, you can share your heart and your intellect with a child, without leaving your home!

In2Books is a research-based online mentoring program that builds literacy and 21st Century skills in 3rd – 5th grade high-need students. It is offered by the ePals Foundation to Title 1 classrooms throughout the US. In the past decade we’ve seen countless examples of how caring adults have had a significant influence on students’ achievement, motivation and aspiration through In2Books. Students and adults become friends by reading great books together and discussing the important issues in the books via online letters. This authentic, yearlong dialogue between students and their adult pen pals motivates the student to read with greater engagement and analysis. Teachers augment the experience by teaching genres, literacy strategies, and discussion. Children and adults increase their love of learning and sharpen their reading, writing and thinking skills. It’s a win-win for everyone!

295 classrooms nationwide have signed up to participate in In2Books this fall, which means 6,000 students will be in need of a an adult pen pal!

How can you help? Become a pen pal today! Join volunteers from your community and caring organizations such as National Geographic, Deloitte, AARP, and the Corporation for National and Community Service in making a significant difference in a child’s life!

How does it work?
After passing a background check and watching a 10 min. tutorial, pen pals are matched with 3rd-5th grade students
Students and pen pals write “Getting to Know You” online letters to each other
Students select five books in different genres from lists compiled by literature experts
Students and pen pals exchange 5 online letters about important issues in the books throughout the school year, from September – June

Volunteering as an In2Books Pen Pal is Easy and Rewarding
Find all of the resources you need on Pen Pal Place® - an In2Books website that provides genre discussion topics, sample letters and coaching tips
Read intriguing books
Gain insights into the minds of children – become a better parent or mentor
Volunteer just a few hours a month at your convenience from your computer

Watch Video Join Now Learn More


I participated in this program last year and signed up again this year. They are in need of more volunteers. You read a book about every 6 weeks and discuss it with the child via Internet. Its a small way to take time to make a big difference in the life of a child!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials