Monday, February 28, 2011


A few months ago I was speaking with one of my co-workers. I spend some of my time encouraging him and sending him positive messages from Joel Osteen as well as sharing quotes with him. One day I asked him was he a Christian. He told me No because Christianity in his opinion is the opposite of what he seeks as it is his desire to be wealthy.

I immediately went on-line and googled riches from a biblical standpoint and sent him many scriptures to the contrary. My main reason, I didn't want that to keep him from experiencing the fullness of God.

At brunch with an old friend of mine this weekend she expressed that she stopped going to a particular church because the Pastor always talked about money, the messages always led back to money she said. In the same conversation, she mentioned going back to school for a career change to make the money that she wants to make. These separate conversations made me think why is it that a lot of Christians fear money and have named those who preach about money often, prosperity preachers? So there seem to be two extremes and an unease when it comes to money.

The first verse I thought about was I Timothy 6:10 however it is often misquoted. I hear many people say well money is the root of all evil. NO the scripture says "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Loving money is evil, seeking money and wandering from the faith is wrong. Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." When you seek the Kingdom and put God first ALL THINGS shall be added unto you. Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full.

Let's look at the blessing of Abraham:

Genesis 12:2 " 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing."

"Wealth is our heritage, abundance our birthright."

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." -- Galatians 3:7-9.

"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." -- Galatians 3:16.

"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." -- Galatians 3:29.

Galatians 3:16 says thy seed which is Christ. In II Corinthians 8:9 "9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich."

Jesus became poor so that we could become rich. I believe this means rich in all things not just finances but health, state of mind, family, relationships, rich in every area of our lives. It is God's desire and will for us to prosper in all things and that includes being rich. I am not necessarily talking about having millions, billions, or trillions of dollars (although that is possible). I love Russell Simmons definition of being super rich:

"The State of Needing Nothing."

I don't know about you but there is where I desire to be in life, in the state of needing nothing!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Some may have already known this but this concept is definitely new to me. I am just blessed that I am at a place where my spirit and soul are willing to receive the information because I am not allowing my flesh time to try to process it intelluctually. Which leads me to the scripture that was shared with me yesterday in service:

Matthew 17:24-27

The Temple Tax

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Some powerful things happened in this scripture particularly in verse 27. Jesus instructed Peter to go fishing to get the drachma needed to pay the temple tax for it would be in the mouth of the 1st fish he caught.

  • 1st Peter obeyed Jesus without question and did just what he said - FAITH!

  • 2nd Fish do not, as far as I know, with my intellect produce $ - SUPERNATURAL

  • 3rd There was enough in the fish mouth to pay Jesus' and Peter's temple tax - SUPERNATURAL

  • 4th Jesus didn't say oh what shall we do, we must go and work to pay the temple tax, or we must go out and beg for the money, no he said go fishing and get the $ we need - FAITH

Last week in my blog about Faith I stated that Faith dominates and Faith creates. This is another example of faith creating. Jesus' faith created the $ needed to take care of the temple tax without a thought or a worry.

I am sure there are some far out far fetched things that the spirit told you to do and unlike Peter you didn't do it because your intelluct (flesh) was trying to tell you that it didn't make sense. So let me remind you.

"With God ALL things are possible." Matthew 19:26b

"Is there anything to hard for the Lord." Genesis 18:14a

"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Psalm 24:1

Light was created by God through Faith. There was darkness and he simply spoke Let there by light. "Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly beloved children." Ephesians 5:1

For God and Christ, the Supernatural is normal. We were created in His image and likeness and we are to be imitators of us therefore, the supernatural should be normal for us as well. Scripture tells us that with God all things are possible, you body is the temple of the Living God, God is within you and with Him ALL things are possible. You can have above and beyond what you can think and or imagine.

Its time for us to get rooted in love (God) and live by faith! When we do that there will be so much super on our natural that the supernatural will be our norm.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Today is the last day of the 2nd month of the New Year. At the end of 2010 many people made New Year's Resolutions and declared that 2011 was going to be different. Some went so far as to say 2011 would be there best year yet. Others like myself decided not to make any resolutions but to set goals for this year and beyond. There are even some who set no goals and didn't make any resolutions they are just living everyday any way the wind blows.

Wherever you may fall in the above except for the no goals/resolutions, What's Your Progress? How are things working for you thus far? Are you committed to seeing the manifestation of the goals, dreams, visions, resolutions you set for yourself? If your answer is Yes, great I am happy for you and ecstatic to hear your end of year report. If your answer is No, I encourage you to start immediately and get back on track, right now this minute! Not a day should go by in which you are not working towards and moving closer to your goals. Consistent effort over time leads to results and for those living by faith, your results can happen right now, this day!

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." Ghandi

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


1 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?[c]

5 You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Wealth is your heritage, abundance is your birthright!"

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


I know it now, the secret to life. The secret to happiness, joy, peace.....its LOVE. God is love. We are to be imitators of God and we are to desire to become more and more Christ like. Now once we get rooted in love (God, for God is love), the next thing to do is to live by faith. Scripture says that the righteous (just) shall live by faith.

So if we stay rooted in love and live by faith our lives would be as God intended them to be.

Yes, its just that simple!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, February 24, 2011


"Low energy attracts low energy. Low energy thoughts, such as anger, hate, shame, guilt, and fear, weaken you. And they attract more of the same. By changing your inner thoughts to the higher frequencies of love, harmony, kindness, peace, and joy, you’ll attract more of the same, and you’ll have those higher energies to give away." Wayne Dyer

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"If your faith has no proof its a fake."
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials



I have been hearing this over and over again for awhile and I just nod my head and say amen. The phrase, Faith Creates, and the impact and importance that it has in my life was not registering in my mind. I believed that faith creates I just wasn't activating it per se in my own life. I was experiences what, happens to all of us most of the time, we hear something over and over again we are in agreement with it yet it doesn't register in our brains therefore we don't truly practice it in our own lives.

I began to wonder why? The problem could be that we are trying to wrap our minds around what we hear and process it intellectually. Unfortunately, there are things that not even our intellect could explain or understand. When dealing with the spiritual (remember we are spiritual beings having a natural experience) we cannot depend on our senses, Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) "NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]."

When the angel visited Mary and told her that she would be impregnated with the Christ, Mary said in Luke 1:38 (NIV) "I am the Lord's servant, may it be to me as you have said it." Immediately she became pregnant. She could not feel it, nothing in her senses told her that she was pregnant. For any woman that has been pregnant they all know the moment your baby is conceived, or the seed was planted, you had absolutely no clue but it was so. Usually the first indication for a woman that she could possibly be pregnant is her period being late. This is why you cannot rely on your senses, when the seed of faith is planted you just have to believe. Mark 11:24 (NIV) "24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." There aren't going to be any signs and wonders, you aren't going to be overcome with emotion or feeling, you simply have to believe that you receive and it is so PERIOD!

From that moment, your faith is activated. A lot of people when they recite Hebrews 11:1 they leave off a very important word, NOW, faith is right now, faith isn't tomorrow, or next week or next month or next year, faith is NOW! And faith always gives a time. Meaning when you are believing for something in faith set a time for when it shall happen e.g. THIS DAY.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. You cannot see it but it is already there, it has to be in the spiritual realm before you can see it in the natural. Faith creates, think about Jesus and how he fed 5,000+ with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus' faith created enough to feed all of the people and therer were basketfuls left over. Our heavenly father knew those people would be there and he knew they were going to be hungry. He'd also provided a way for them to be fed. All our Heavenly Father needed was for Jesus to activate his faith and believe and that is just what Jesus did.

So while you are waiting on God, bless Pastor Winston for saying this last night God has already provided you with everything that you need it is up to you to get it. God is waiting for you to get what is yours. How do you get it? By faith. Hebrews 10:38 (KJV) "Now the just (righteous) shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."

The righteous live by faith and faith is right now. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)


So the things that we want to see in our lives, the things that we want to accomplish we can have them, better yet, they are already ours we just have to believe and receive it in faith. The great thing about faith is that it completes the work it is set out to do. All we need to do is activate it and it goes to work. So, we need to activiate our faith and live by faith everyday. After all scripture says the just live by faith and when you steer away from faith it is displeasing to God. Everyday stretch your faith so that it grows more and more.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


This is an excerpt from the book How To Think Like A Millionaire by Mark Fisher and Mark Allen:

Most people fail because they give up much too quickly. They throw in the towel after one or two failures. Pride or lack of self-confidence makes people give up too quickly. Colonel Sanders tried dozens of different times to sell his chicken before he finally succeeded. An engineer at Head, a sporting goods company, performed forty-three tests before he successfully developed a metal ski. If he had given up after a dozen attempts, or even forty-two attempts, someone else would have invented it.

All great success stories are punctuated with failures. Positive people don't let themselves be beaten down by their first blunders. And we all make blunders at first, until we figure out what works.

Many successful people look at in a way that recognizes a somewhat mysterious phenomenon: Life seems to have been designed as some sort of test. When people show they can overcome obstacles and failures with unswerving persistence and faith, life seems to lay down its weapons of opposition, and fame and fortune appear, as if charmed by their vision and strength. Success often follows a resounding failure, as if life wants to reward the brave soul able to surmount such a devastating setback.

The most successful people, almost without exception, all failed - often more than once - before they were successful. But they didn't give up. They tried and tried again.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


1872 Elijah McCoy, was the inventor of a device that allowed machines to be lubricated while they were still in operation.

1881 Lewis Howard Latimer, a pioneer in the development of the electric light bulb, was the only Black member of Thomas A. Edison's research team of noted scientists.

1887 Granville T. Woods developed his most important invention - a device he called Multiplex Railway Telegraph, it allowed for messages to be sent from moving trains and railway stations.

1896 George Washington Carver’s scientific discoveries included more than three hundred different products derived from the peanut, some one hundred from sweet potatoes, about seventy-five from pecans, and many more from Georgia clay.

1923 Garrett Augustus Morgan, is best known for his invention of the automatic traffic signal. He also is the inventor of the gas mask, used by firemen in the early 1900s and by soldiers in World War I.

1940 Dr. Charles Richard Drew was the first person to develop the blood bank. His introduction of a system for the storing of blood plasma revolutionized the medical profession.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"He's just the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James,
Joseph, Judas and Simon.
And his sisters live right here among us."
Mark 6:3 (NLT)

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


A good friend of mine and my sister in Christ sent me an email and requested that I blog about it. Here is a piece of the email that she sent:

"Last week at work it was brought to my attention an African American male student was harassed by a white student at a prestigious private school, my son used to attend, by calling him a Nigger. The student never told any authority figure so it happen again and another student over heard the rude statements and told the Dean. The Dean called both parents, but the parents of the Black student feels as though the situation was still not resolved. Now the Black student wants to transfer to another school where he is more comfortable socially."

The word "nigger" has always had negative connotations to it for African Americans since the days of slavery. As it was a derrogatory term used to describe African Americans. Somewhere in the past 30 years or so the term has been readily accepted among some of the African American community with a twist and used as a term of endearment "nigga". Including some powerful, influential African Americans. As they feel it is their right to use the word. However, African Americans that use the word feel it is ok for them to use but it is not ok for anyone outside of the race to use at all. On the contrary, there are powerful, influential African Americans that feel the word nigga shouldn't be used by any one for any reason.

Definition of NIGGER by Merriam-webster
1 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a black person
2 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race

From wikipedia:

Nigger is a noun in the English language, most notable for its usage in a pejorative context to refer to black people (generally people of Sub-Saharan African descent), and also as an informal slang term, among other contexts. It is a common ethnic slur. The word originated as a term used in a neutral context to refer to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning the color "black".

Cultural: Addressing the use of nigger by black people, Cornel West said, “There’s a certain rhythmic seduction to the word. If you speak in a sentence, and you have to say cat, companion, or friend, as opposed to nigger, then the rhythmic presentation is off. That rhythmic language is a form of historical memory for black people... When Richard Pryor came back from Africa, and decided to stop using the word onstage, he would sometimes start to slip up, because he was so used to speaking that way. It was the right word at the moment to keep the rhythm together in his sentence making.”[15] Contemporarily, the implied racism of the word nigger has rendered its usages social taboo. In the US, magazines and newspapers often do not use it, instead printing “family-friendly” censored versions, usually “n*gg*r”, “n**ger”, “n——”, and “the N-word”; however, historians and social activists, such as Dick Gregory, criticize the euphemisms and their usage as intellectually dishonest, because using the euphemism “the N-word” instead of nigger robs younger generations of Americans of the full history of Black people in America.

So what do we teach our youth specifically our males about the word nigger and its use? How do we prepare them for the possibility that in 2011 and beyond someone may call them a nigger? What should their response be when/if addressed in that manner? What advice would you give the parents of the student who experienced this? What do you tell the young man that now wants to switch schools because of this?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, February 21, 2011


Hosea 4:6

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. (NIV)
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


I am using the Word Brown again because people are telling me that I am not black. That is something that I need to do some more research on. Nevertheless,

Let us celebrate our History and our accomplishments daily. There is so much that we have done here as Americans as well as Before the Mayflower that we need to share with our children.

Black History is not just a 1 month celebration it is who we are, our culture, our past, our present, and our future.

While you are spending time watching TV with the kids try turning off, going to the library and reading some books, or simply google information on the Internet. The best way to teach our children how to love themselves is to show them that there is more to us than what is seen on TV, radio, magazines and heard in the news.


Black History is not just a 1 month celebration it is who we are, our culture, our past, our present, and our future.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


I googled this issue as I felt compelled to write about it and some people may not be aware.

A White Supremacist group is calling for a boycott of the movie Thor because Idris Elba a British Brown (some people are telling me we aren't black so I will use brown) man is playing the role of a known white man.

Why did this bother me?

Let me see, growing up, the depictions of Jesus that I saw and that are still widely popular today are of a blond hair blue eyed white man. Which is amazing to me as I have not seen many blond hair blue eyed original people from Israel, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, or Egypt. We do have a description of Jesus from the bible "And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like the Son of Man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and His hair were white like wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it had been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters."

I think about the movie the ten commandments that comes on every year and Moses (a Hebrew) is played by a white man Charleston Heston. I go to the story of Cleopatra and how this role was depicted on the big screen and the lead character was white, Elizabeth Taylor, yet she was playing an Egyptian woman. I could go on an on from the Prince of Persia movie to Avatar The Last Airbender which cast white characters to play non-white roles. Nevertheless in those instances it was ok. I guess?

Where was the outcry then and the upset? Is it ok for a white to depict a brown person on the big screen often and regularly but when a brown man, Idris Elba, is cast to play a white fictional character, there is an issue and a boycott?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Ecclesiastes 5:18-19
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. (NIV)

18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him--for this is his [allotted] part.(A)19 Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil--this is the gift of God [to him]. (AMP)

I Timothy 6:17-18
17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment. 18 [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], (AMP)

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"You have the Power to get Wealth. You are Blessed to be a Blessing."

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, February 17, 2011

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

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Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


For the remainder of Black History Month I will be focusing on race relations in America, racism, and the black man. This focus is due to an email I received from my sister in Christ (I will share that tomorrow) and a conversation I had with a phenomenal woman last Friday.

While speaking to the phenomenal woman last Friday she expressed that the word picnic derived from the term pick a nigger. So, I did a little research and here is what I found.....

Question of the Month:
Blacks, Picnics and Lynchings
January 2004

Q: Is it true that the word picnic originally came from the word pick-a-nig or pick-a-nigger? Apparently, a black person was randomly "picked" and hanged for the entertainment of whites. The whites, including families, ate from box lunches while enjoying the barbaric act. If this is true we should stop using the word picnic, replacing it with outing or gathering.

-- Sarah James, Baltimore, Maryland

A: Your question has several components; we will address each component. The etymology of the word picnic does not suggest racist or racial overtones. Picnic was originally a 17th Century French word, picque-nique. Its meaning was similar to today's meaning: a social gathering where each attendee brings a share of the food. The French piquer may have referred to a leisurely style of eating ("pick at your food") or it may, simply, have meant, "pick" (pic). The nique was probably a silly rhyming compound (as in English words like hoity-toity), but may have referred to an obsolete word meaning "a trifle." The literal meaning of picque-nique, which became our picnic, is "each pick a bit." A 1692 edition of Origines de la Langue Francoise de Menage mentions pique-nique. This suggests that the word had been used for some time in France. The term picnic does not appear in the English language until around 1800. 1

It is clear that picnic was not derived from "pick-a-nigger," "pick-a-nig," or similar racist phrases. However, some of the almost 4,000 blacks who were lynched between 1882 and 1962 were lynched in settings that are appropriately described as picnic-like. Phillip Dray, a historian, stated: "Lynching was an undeniable part of daily life, as distinctly American as baseball games and church suppers. Men brought their wives and children to the events, posed for commemorative photographs, and purchased souvenirs of the occasion as if they had been at a company picnic." 2 Bray did not exaggerate. At the end of the 19th century, Henry Smith, a mentally challenged 17-year-old black male, was accused of killing a white girl. Before a cheering crowd of hundreds, Smith was made to sit on a "parade float" drawn by four white horses. The float circled numerous times before the excited crowd tortured, then burned Smith alive. 3 After the lynching the crowd celebrated and collected body parts as souvenirs.

Often the lynch mob acted with haste, but on other occasions the lynching was a long-drawn out affair with speeches, food-eating, and, unfortunately, ritualistic and sadistic torture: victims were dragged behind cars, pierced with knives, burned with hot irons or blowtorches, had their fingers and toes cut off, had their eyes cut out, and were castrated -- all before being hanged or burned to death. One Mississippi newspaper referred to these gruesome acts as "Negro barbeques." 4

In many cases -- arguably in most cases -- lynch mobs had a particular target and confined their heinous aggression to a specific person. Blacks were lynched for a variety of accusations, ranging from murder, and rape (often not true), to trying to vote, and arguing with a white man. In 1938, a white man in Oxford, Mississippi declared that it was "about time to have another lynching. When the niggers get so they are not afraid of being lynched, it is time to put the fear in them." 5 There were many blacks lynched randomly, to send a message of white supremacy to black communities. As noted by Dominic J. Capeci, a historian, when it came to lynching, "one black man served as well as another." 6

We often think of a mob as an insane, bloodthirsty collection of adult male ruffians. However, respectable community leaders, including police, often lynched blacks. Although women and children were not typically the active aggressors they were often in the audience; and, they, too, celebrated. There were "secret lynches," but there were many done publicly -- and planned. Of course, news of an impending lynching traveled fast. Lynching was a brutal attempt to reinforce white supremacy, but it was also entertainment -- and food was present. According to Dray:

"While attendees at lynchings did not take away a plate of food, the experience of having witnessed the event was thought incomplete if one did not go home with some piece of cooked human being; and there is much anecdotal evidence of lynch crowds either consuming food and drink while taking part in the execution, or retiring en masse immediately afterward for a meal or, in the case of a notorious immolation in Pennsylvania in 1911, ice cream sundaes." 7

In 1903 a black man was lynched in Greenville, Mississippi. A white writer said, "Everything was very orderly, there was not a shot, but much laughing and hilarious excitement…It was quite a gala occasion, and as soon as the corpse was cut down all the crowd betook themselves to the park to see a game of baseball." 8

The claim that the word picnic derived from lynching parties has existed in Black American communities for many years. Although many contemporary etymologists smugly dismiss this claim, it should be noted that there is a kernel of truth in this month's question. 9 The word picnic did not begin with the lynching of black Americans; however, the lynching of blacks often occurred in picnic-like settings.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This morning while I was stretching before my work out Tabitha's Salon Takeover was on. Tabitha arrived at a salon and there was a number on the front of the salon. She called the number and it was disconnected. Then she looked up the phone number, called and there was no answer. Finally she just walked in.

She met with the staff and expressed that she'd called a disconnected number as well as when she called the right number there was no answer. Someone spoke up and said there is no receptionist. Her next question was who owns the salon. The owners raised their hands. Tabitha then took them in the back to speak with them.

The salon has 5 owners and about 7 stylists for a total of 12 stylists yet the salon was not profitable. Tabitha sat down with the owners and found out 1 stylist was behind on her booth rent to the tune of $6,000. However, one of the owners was behind on their rent $3,300.

Tabitha asked the owner why are you behind on your rent and her response was, "well I found out that some people were only paying $100 or $200 per month while I was paying $300 so I stopped paying."

Tabitha's response, "so you are not paying what you should to the salon yet the salon doesn't have the $ its needs to do what it needs to do and you are a owner." The owner responded I never looked at it that way.

Then Tabitha addressed the receptionist issue, she had video of stylists sitting around texting, talking etc. while customers were waiting to be welcomed etc. She then expressed to the owners this is your salon if there is no receptionist you all and the staff need to step up.

Tabitha then stated everyone in the salon was SELFISH, they were more focused on there self. When an issue came up they all had an excuse as to why they hadn't done or had done what they'd did, they were all using SELF DEFENSE.

That immediately triggered a message I heard. In the garden of Eden, everyone should know the story the serpent tricked Eve into eating an apple from the tree of good and evil and she gave some to Adam to eat as well. God had specifically told both of them together not to eat of the tree. Then God came into the garden and Adam and Eve hid from them. (please note that the fall of man did not happen until Adam ate of the tree!) When God called Adam, Adam told God he was hiding because he was naked. God asked who told you, you were naked. Adam responded "the woman you put here with me -- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Genesis 3:12

Instead of taking responsibility, Adam relied on self defense. Lord its not my fault, the woman you put here gave it to me and I ate it. It doesn't matter why or how, if it is wrong or it is not beneficial to you or others, if it is hindering you or others there is no excuse for the behavior. So, yes self defense was the first tactic used during the fall/curse.

All of the owners of the salon had a self-defense mechanism in place for why they were doing certain things yet it was not of any profit to them, their staff, or their salon. Before turning to self defense try taking RESPONSIBILITY for your actions and the part that you are playing in all situations.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, February 14, 2011


Friday morning as I usually do I was watching Bill Winston. He is running reruns of his 2007 Faith conference.

Bill Winston said when exercising your faith start small to develop your faith. For example if you have never believed for anything in faith don't start off believing for a 7 bedroom house with a Bentley in the garage (not that you cannot have it) but because you don't want to be discouraged and your faith and belief must be developed. He mentioned start by having faith that your headache can be healed without medication. Then he stated how when he worked downtown he would drive and believed God everyday for a parking spot right in front of his building. So his advice was to start small with our faith and exercise and/or test faith daily. And as faith works because it will work continue to exercise it.

So, Saturday I went to lunch with my best friend downtown and I decided I was going to test Faith. Before I left home I asked and believed God for a parking space right across the street from the restaurant in front of the restaurant. So when we arrived downtown I turned the corner where the restaurant was, there was a car on the corner that was running and it appeared the car was coming out nevertheless I went around the block. I came back to the street and my best friend spotted another car and said they are about to leave.

I then told my best friend I believed in faith for a parking spot right in front of the restaurant and so it is and thanked God for it. While we turned the corner I was saying to myself thank you Jesus! When we pulled up to the car we asked were they about to pull out and the driver said oh no I am just going to feed the meter. So I pulled up a little further down the street in front of a taxi for a minute or two. My best friend had already said the lady was lying, sure enough I saw her get in her car as if to leave.

So once again I went around the block, by the time we returned sure enough the lady had left and there was someone else in her spot, NEVERTHELESS, GLORY TO GOD, there was an empty space 2 spots in front of where that car was directly across the street from the restaurant.

Even when the lady said no I am not leaving after I'd confessed to my friend that I'd spoken by faith and believed for a spot across from the restaurant I did not waiver, I did not doubt I still believed and knew that I was going to park directly across from the restaurant and so it was. After all I had on 5 inch heels walking a long distance was not an option!

This is my testimony of exercising faith. When we have faith and believe without doubt and trust in the Lord He will deliver something as small as a parking space downtown!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Fact #152
Isaac Murphy, a great thoroughbred jockey, was the first to win three Derbies and the only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Clark Handicap within the same year.

Fact #153
For a time during his youth, future politician Barack Obama referred to himself as "Barry."

Fact #154
Barack Obama won Best Spoken Word Album at the Grammy Awards for the abridged audio book of his autobiography Dreams from My Father and the nonfiction work, The Audacity of Hope.

Fact #155
Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles founded the first college for black women in the United States in 1881. The school was named Spelman College after Laura Celestia Spelman Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, who made a sizeable donation to the school.

Fact #156
Legendary baseball player Satchel Paige would travel as many as 30,000 miles a year to pitch as a free agent. When baseball season was over in the U.S., he would travel to the Dominican Republic and Mexico to pitch during the winter.

Fact #157
Bill Pickett (1871 - 1932) a renowned cowboy and rodeo performer was named to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1971 and honored by the U.S. Postal service in a series of stamps as one of the twenty "Legends of the West"

Fact #158
Since 1997, actor Sidney Poitier has been deeply involved in politics as the Bahamian ambassador to Japan.

Fact #159
In addition to her career in Washington D.C., Condoleezza Rice is an accomplished pianist who has accompanied cellist Yo-Yo Ma, played with soul singer Aretha Franklin, and performed for Queen Elizabeth II.

Fact #160
A serious student, Condoleezza Rice entered college at the age of 15, and was an assistant professor at Stanford by age 26.

Fact #161
At the very peak of his fame, rock 'n' roll pioneer Little Richard concluded that his music was the Devil's work, and became a traveling Evangelical preacher instead. When the Beatles revived several of his songs in 1964, Little Richard returned to the stage.

Fact #162
Actor, singer, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson was once considered for a U.S. vice presidential spot on Henry A. Wallace's 1948 Progressive Party ticket.

Fact #163
An heirloom tomato variety, originating in Russia, is named after actor, athlete and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

Fact #166
Performer Paul Robeson was conversant in more than 20 languages.

Fact #167
African-American baseball legend Jackie Robinson had an older brother, Matthew, who won a silver medal in the 200-yard dash in the 1936 Olympics. He came in second to Jesse Owens.

Fact #168
Before Branch Rickey offered future hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson the contract that integrated professional baseball, he personally tested Robinson's calm reactions to the racial slurs and insults he knew the player would have to endure.

Fact #169
After retiring from baseball, hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson helped establish the African-American owned and controlled Freedom Bank.

Fact #170
In the early 1940s in Fort Hood, Texas, future baseball legend Jackie Robinson refused to give up his seat and move to the back of a bus when ordered to by the driver. His excellent reputation, combined with the united efforts of friends, the N.A.A.C.P., and various black newspapers, helped save him from serious consequences.

Fact #171
Before becoming a professional baseball player, Jackie Robinson played football for the Honolulu Bears.

Fact #172
Ray Charles Robinson (1930 – 2004) a musical genius and pioneer in blending gospel and the blues shortened his name to just Ray Charles to prevent confusion with the great boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Ray Charles began going blind at an early age and was completely blind by the time he was 7 years old, but has never relied upon a cane, or a guide dog. He was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in 1986.

Fact #173
Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson's birth name was actually Walker Smith, Jr.

Fact #174
Reverend Al Sharpton preached his first sermon at the age of four, and toured with world-famous gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.

Fact #175
Run of Run-D.M.C. is the brother of hip-hop promoter Russell Simmons.

Fact #176
Upon her death in 2003, singer Nina Simone's ashes were spread across the continent of Africa, per her last request.

Fact #177
African-American tap dancer Howard Sims, was known as the "Sandman" because he often sprinkled sand on stage to amplify his tap dance steps.

Fact #178
Mamie Smith was the first African-American artist to make a blues record. The album, which brought blues into the mainstream, sold a million copies in less than a year.

Fact #179
Olympic medal winning athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith, made headlines around the world by raising their black-gloved fists at the 1968 medal award ceremony. Both athletes wore black socks and no shoes on the podium to represent black poverty in America.

Fact #180
Walker Smith Jr. (1921 – 1989) became known as Sugar Ray Robinson when he borrowed his friend Ray Robinson's Amateur Athletic Union card and became the Golden Glove Lightweight champion in 1940 under the borrowed name.

Fact #181
The "sweet as sugar" boxing style of athlete Walker Smith, Jr. earned him the nickname "Sugar" Ray Robinson. Considered the greatest boxer of all time, Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951 and was middleweight champion five times between 1951 and 1960 - the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times.

Fact #182
In 1930, Valaida Snow captivated audiences with her professional singing and jazz trumpet playing. Her abilities earned her the name "Little Louis", in reference to the style of trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

Fact #183
John Baxter Taylor, the first African-American to win an Olympic Gold Medal, also held a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in veterinary medicine.

Fact #184
African-American Olympic figure skating medalist Debi Thomas, studied engineering at Stanford University and later became an orthopedic surgeon.

Fact #185
In addition to being a millionaire entrepreneur, Madame C.J. Walker was also a civil rights activist. In 1917 she was part of a delegation that met with President Woodrow Wilson to convince him to make lynching a federal crime.

Fact #186
Muddy Waters (1913 – 1983) is considered the "Father of Chicago Blues" with his infusion of the electric guitar into the Delta country blues. Muddy Waters was influential to some of the most popular rock bands, such as the Rolling Stones, who named themselves after his popular 1950 song &dlquo;Rollin’ Stone".

Fact #187
Rapper Kanye West's father was Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Fact #188
The mother of rapper and producer Kanye West was a Professor of English before retiring to serve as her son's manager.

Fact #189
Phillis Wheatley was the first published African-American poet with her 1774 collection, Poems on Various Subjects. In order to prove she was the author, she had to submit her work to examination by a group of Boston intellectuals, and defend her literary ability in court.

Fact #190
Before Forest Whitaker was a film star, he was accepted to the Music Conservatory at the University of Southern California (USC) to study opera as a tenor.

Fact #191
Jesse Ernest Wilkins Jr. (1923 – ), a physicist, mathematician and an engineer, earned a PhD. in mathematics at age 19 from the University of Chicago in 1942.

Fact #192
The "Dee" in actor Billy Dee Williams' name is short for his middle name, "December."

Fact #193
Cathay Williams (1842 – ) was the first and only known female Buffalo Soldier. She was born into slavery and worked for the Union army during the Civil War. She posed as a man and enlisted as Williams Cathay in the 38th infantry in 1866. She was given a medical discharge in 1868.

Fact #194
NFL player John Williams competed in two Super Bowls before he quit the league to become a dentist.

Fact #195
Renowned African-American architect Paul Williams mastered the art of rendering drawings upside-down so that his clients, who may have been uncomfortable sitting next to a black person, would see the drawings right side up.

Fact #196
Because he worked during the height of segregation, most of the homes African-American architect Paul Williams designed were built on land whose deeds barred blacks from being able to purchase them.

Fact #197
Musician Stevie Wonder recorded the cries of his newborn daughter, Aisha Morris, for his popular song, "Isn't She Lovely?"

Fact #198
Black History Month originated in 1926 by Carter Godwin Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in that month.

Fact #199
Lewis and Clark were accompanied by York, a black slave, when they made their 1804 expedition from Missouri to Oregon. York’s presence aided in their interactions with the Native Americans they encountered.

Fact #200
The first major black super-hero, the Black Panther, made his debut in Fantastic Four No. 52 in July of 1966.

Fact #201
The Selma to Montgomery marches marked the peak of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama. Of the three marches, only the last made it all the way to Montgomery, Alabama. The path is now a U.S. National Historic Trail.

Fact #202
The first university owned and operated by African-Americans is Wilberforce College, in Wilberforce, Ohio. The school names notable graduates such as James H. McGee, the first African-American mayor of Dayton, Ohio, and African-American conductor William Grant Still.

Fact #203
Since its creation, the popular FUBU clothing line has won two Congressional Awards, two NAACP Awards, the Pratt Institute Award, the Christopher Wallace Award, the Online Hip-Hop Award and a Citation of Honor from the Queens Borough President.

Fact #204
The banjo originated in Africa and up until the 1800s was considered an instrument only played by blacks.

Fact #205
According to the American Community Survey, in 2005 there were 2.4 million black military veterans in the United States -the highest of any minority group.

Fact #206
In the mid 1800s Philadelphia was known as "The Black Capital of Anti–Slavery," because of the strong abolitionist presence there and such groups as The Philadelphia Female Anti–Slavery Society, The Philadelphia Young Men’s Anti–Slavery Society and The Philadelphia Anti–Slavery Society.

Fact #207
Buffalo Soldiers is a name respectfully given to the African–American cavalries during the 1800s by the Native American Kiowa tribe. These soldiers received second class treatment and were often given the worst military assignments, but had the lowest desertion rate compared to their white counterparts.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Matthew 6:25-34 " 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"Worrying is praying for what you don't want!"

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, February 11, 2011


I John 5:14-15 "14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials



Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Work your faith daily. Activate your faith daily. Everyday believe God to do something for you in and through faith.

  • Be it you arriving just in the nick of time for the train or bus and not having to wait in the cold or heat
  • getting a parking spot right in front of your building at work or home, or somewhere you have ventured off to downtown, or even the mall
  • if you get headaches believe in faith that you are healed without taking any medications

Whatever it is, build your faith up daily. Therefore, when you are ready to activate your faith and stretch your faith to believing for a new home and/or new car (debt free), a new job, starting your own prosperous business it will be just another act of faith for you have been developing/activating and using your faith daily.

If you are in the process of developing your faith start off small if need be. For according to your faith, be it unto you Matthew 9:29. We receive healing, blessings etc. according to our faith.

Nevertheless, if you lack faith in a certain area you can go to your brother and/or sister in Christ and borrow some of theirs!

I like this saying, once you begin to receive things through faith there is no need to praise faith per se as faith just did the work that it was supposed to do!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Earnest Pugh - Rain on Us with lyrics.wmv

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Promo Code for 20% off 1800Flowers Valentine's Weekend - Sponsored Post

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Fact #128
Harriet Ann Jacobs was a slave who published Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent. The book chronicles the hardships and sexual abuse she experienced as a female growing up in slavery. Jacobs fled slavery in 1835 by hiding in a crawlspace in her grandmother's attic for nearly seven years before traveling to Philadelphia by boat, and eventually to New York.

Fact #129
Rapper Jay-Z allegedly developed his stage name as a reference to New York's J/Z subway lines that have a stop in his Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, neighborhood.

Fact #130
The popular FUBU clothing line stands for "For Us By Us." It was originally created by designer Daymond John, who wanted to create a company that would give back to his Queens, New York, community.

Fact #131
Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion, patented a wrench in 1922.

Fact #132
After the success of Negro Digest, publisher John H. Johnson decided to create a magazine to depict the positive side of black life and black achievement. The first issue of his publication, Ebony, sold out in a matter of hours. An additional 25,000 copies had to be printed immediately to meet the demands of the public.

Fact #133
The theme song for the groundbreaking African-American sitcom Sanford and Sons was composed by music great Quincy Jones.

Fact #134
Before he became a basketball legend, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team during his sophomore year for being undersized.

Fact #135
Chaka Kahn, the "Queen of Funk Soul" is also well known for singing the theme song to public television's popular educational program, Reading Rainbow.

Fact #136
Alicia Keys was accepted into Columbia University, but decided to pursue a full-time music career instead.

Fact #137
In her early life, Coretta Scott King was as well known as a singer as she was as a civil rights activist. The young soprano won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she met future husband, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fact #138
Martin Luther King, Jr. was stabbed by an African-American woman in 1958 while attending his book signing at Blumstein's department store in Harlem. The next year, King and his wife visited India to study Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence.

Fact #139
Lewis Howard Latimer drafted patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, while working at a patent law firm.

Fact #140
In 1967, Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. became the first black man to be trained as an astronaut. Unfortunately, he died in a plane crash during flight training, and never made it into space.

Fact #141
Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis led protests against the U.S. Armed forces policies of segregation while he served in the Army during WW II.

Fact #142
Nat "Deadwood Dick" Love, a renowned and skilled cowboy, was the only African-American cowboy to write his autobiography The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as Deadwood Dick, published in 1907.

Fact #143
African-American fashion designer Ann Lowe designed the wedding dress of Jacqueline Bouvier, the bride of future president, Senator John F. Kennedy.

Fact #144
Jazz musician Alice MacLeod married John Coltrane in 1965. She appeared as a pianist in many of his later recordings.

Fact #145
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said he was punished for misbehavior in school by being forced to write copies of the Constitution. He said this later piqued his interest in politics.

Fact #146
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was a classmate of Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes during their studies at Lincoln University.

Fact #147
Buffalo Soldiers is the name given to the all-black regiments of the U.S. Army started in 1866. More than 20 Buffalo Soldiers received the highest Medal of Honor for their service—the highest number of any U.S. military unit. The oldest living Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews, died at the age of 111 in 2005.

Fact #148
The Loew's Grand Theatre on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia, was selected to air the premiere of the film Gone with the Wind in 1939. All the black actors, including Academy Award-winner Hattie McDaniel, were barred from attending.

Fact #149
George Monroe and William Robinson are thought to be the first black Pony Express riders.

Fact #150
At one point, Pony Express rider George Monroe was also a stagecoach driver for President Ulysses S. Grant. He frequently navigated the president through the curving Wanona Trail in the Yosemite Valley and, as a result, Monroe Meadows in Yosemite National Park is named for him.

Fact #151
Garrett Augustus Morgan, inventor of the traffic signal, also became the first African-American to own a car in Cleveland, Ohio.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"A decision is followed by action. If you don't take action then you haven't decided."
Tony Gaskins

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Belief & Faith Alone Are Useless

I may be the only one who felt this way but for a long time I believed that faith and belief were interchangeable. I have come to learn that believing and faith are not the same thing.

Belief is just the beginning, you can believe something but if you do not act on it through faith the belief is useless. On the contrary, you can have faith in something but if you do not believe your faith is useless.

Believing is not enough. This kind of reminds me of the famous quote knowledge is power. Knowledge in and of itself is not power, the application of the knowledge is power.

Here are a few examples:

1. A man believed if he ate the food before him he wouldn't die. So everyday he would say if I eat this food I will not die. However, he never ate the food. He didn't act on his belief therefore his faith was not activated and he died!

2. A person buys a treadmill with the belief that if they walk on it daily for 30 minutes they will become healthier and potentially lose weight. However, they never actually use the treadmill and do not get healthier or lose weight.

Now from a biblical standpoint I will demonstrate how faith and belief are intertwined and needed:

1. The woman with the issue of the blood, she believed that if she simply touched the hem of Jesus' garment she would be healed. She believed and she acted on her belief through faith by showing up where Jesus was, pressing her way through and actually touching his garment. (Mark 5:25-32)

2. A man brought his son to the disciples for his son was possessed by an evil spirit. The disciples were unable to heal the boy. Jesus' 1st response "O unbelieving generation." The man then asked Jesus if you can do anything, take pity on us. Jesus responded If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes. The father responded I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! (Mark 9:14-24)

Jesus Heals the Blind and the Mute
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you
believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.

Jesus 1st asked them did they believe and then they were each healed according to their faith.

When Peter walked on water, that took belief and faith. He intially believed and called out to Jesus and then he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water by faith. However, when he saw the wind Peter became afraid and began to sink. Jesus replied You of little faith, why did you doubt!

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[d] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 this is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:18-22)

Faith requires action, after you hear a word from God you must act on it and do not doubt. Don't be like Peter and begin to doubt when you see the wind, rain, storm, tornado, hurricane, flood, whatever! Trust, believe, and know that if God said it, it shall be done according to His Word for his word when it goes forth does not return void but accomplishes just what it said (Isaiah 55:11)! Like Abraham, he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


Fact #101
Politician and educator Shirley Chisholm survived three assassination attempts during her campaign for the 1972 U.S. presidential election.

Fact #102
Rap artist Chuck D has a bachelor's degree in graphic design.

Fact #103
Mayme Clayton, a Los Angeles librarian and historian, amassed an extensive and valuable collection of black Americana, which houses an estimated 3.5 million items,
including a signed copy of the first book published by an African-American.

Fact #104
Before lawyer Johnnie Cochran achieved nationwide fame for his role in the O.J. Simpson trial, actor Denzel Washington interviewed Cochran as part of his research for the award-winning film Philadelphia (1993).

Fact #105
Revenue from musician Nat 'King' Cole's record sales financed a majority of Capitol Records' success during the 1950's so much so, that the distinctive Capitol Records building on in Los Angeles became known as 'the house that Nat built.'

Fact #106
The St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in San Francisco uses jazz musician John Coltrane's music and philosophy as sources for religious discovery.

Fact #107
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby is also an avid musician. The jazz drummer has served as master of ceremonies for the Los Angeles Playboy Jazz Festival off and on since 1979.

Fact #108
Paul Cuffee an African-American, philanthropist, ship captain, and devout Quaker transported 38 free African-Americans to Sierra Leone, Africa in 1815 in the hopes of establishing Western Africa. He also founded the first integrated school in Massachusetts in 1797.

Fact #109
Tice Davids, a runaway slave from Kentucky, was the inspiration for the first usage of the term "Underground Railroad." Davids' owner assumed the slave had drowned when he attempted his swim across the Ohio River. He told the local paper that if Davids had escaped, he must have traveled on "an underground railroad." Davids, however, did live, giving the Underground Railroad its now-famous name.

Fact #110
At a time when universities did not typically offer financial assistance to black athletes, African-American football star Ernie Davis was offered more than 50 scholarships.

Fact #111
Musician Bo Diddly reportedly got his name from the diddley bow, an African instrument with one string.

Fact #112
Thomas Andrew Dorsey was considered the "Father of Gospel Music" for combining sacred words with secular rhythms. His most famous composition, "Take My Hand Precious Lord" was recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson and many others.

Fact #113
W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter started The Niagara Movement, a black civil rights organization which got its name from the group's first meeting location, Niagara Falls. This collective later became the N.A.A.C.P.

Fact #114
W.E.B. Du Bois died one day before Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech at the 1963 March on Washington.

Fact #115
Before he wrote the acclaimed novel, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison served as cook in the Merchant Marines during World War II.

Fact #116
Shortly before his mysterious disappearance in 1934, W.D. Fard founded the Nation of Islam.

Fact #117
Ella Fitzgerald had a three-octave range - a range greater than most professional Opera singers.

Fact #118
After friend and musical partner Tammi Terrell died of a brain tumor, Marvin Gaye left the music industry for two years. During this time, he tried out for the Detroit Lions football team, but didn't make the cut. Instead, he returned to the studio to record his hit single, "What's Goin' On."

Fact #119
As a young girl in Harlem, Althea Gibson was a local table tennis champion. Her skills were eventually noticed by musician Buddy Walker, who invited her to play tennis on local courts.

Fact #120
Nancy Green a former slave, was employed in 1893 to promote the Aunt Jemima brand by demonstrating the pancake mix at expositions and fairs. She was a popular attraction because of her friendly personality, great story-telling, and warmth. Green signed a lifetime contract with the pancake company and her image was used for packaging and billboards.

Fact #121
Famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix was known by close friends and family members simply as "Buster."

Fact #122
Josiah Henson fled slavery in Maryland in 1830 and founded a settlement in Ontario, Canada for fugitive slaves. His autobiography "The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself" (1849) is believed to have been Harriet Beecher Stowe's inspiration for the main character in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Fact #123
African-American Matthew A. Henson accompanied Robert E. Peary on the first successful U.S. expedition to the North Pole on April 6, 1909. In 2000, he was posthumously awarded the National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal.

Fact #124
"Strange Fruit", the song about black lynching in the south made famous by blues singer Billie Holiday, was originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.

Fact #125
Langston Hughes' father discouraged his son from writing, agreeing to pay for his college education only if he studied engineering.

Fact #126
Jesse Jackson successfully negotiated the release of Lieutenant Robert O. Goodman, Jr., an African-American pilot who had been shot down over Syria and taken hostage in 1983.

Fact #127
The "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, co-wrote the single "We Are the World" with Motown legend Lionel Richie. The single became one of the best-selling singles of all time, with nearly 20 million copies sold and millions of dollars donated to famine relief in Africa.

Be a blessing and be blessed,

Epiphany Essentials


"Don't take up residence in the basement when u were meant for the penthouse."
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


February 9, 2011
... and she lives happily ever after.
Glynnis Whitwer

"... your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:1(NIV)

I recently finished a bestselling novel. It was over 1,000 pages, epic in size and story, and consumed me for weeks. A respected acquaintance recommended it, and once committed, I stuck with it to the end ... in spite of wanting to quit, often.

By the end of the first chapter, I realized it wasn't going to be an easy read. The story was set in the middle ages, with uncomfortably real sections. Perhaps I'm a bit sheltered, but it seemed to contain unnecessarily graphic descriptions. Skimming over the uncomfortable spots, I kept reading.

The book ended well, but there were times when I was ready to close the cover, and move on to something happier. The antagonists were just too mean. The plot too painful. The abuse, greed and vindictiveness too ugly to dwell on.

If that book ended badly, I would have been disgruntled at spending weeks of my life on it. On the other hand, I would have been frustrated to quit before finishing. Here's why.

If I had quit reading at page 245, the story would have seemed hopeless. I might have thought the villains won, or the hero and heroine never reconnected. If I had read a bit further, to say page 576, the story would have ended with justice as an impossible dream, and hatred and revenge as unavoidable and all-consuming parts of life.

But now, after reading the book in its entirety, I can see the amazing story. The plot progressed steadily; there was tension, conflict and eventually resolution. Good did triumph, although not without many bumps along the way.

It got me thinking that our lives are a bit like that. For those of us who have accepted Christ, we will have a happy ending in heaven with God. One way or another, our story will end well. But not every page or chapter in our story is happy.

Today might be page 452 for me. And on page 452 there is conflict and tension. Last year might have been chapter nine. And in chapter nine, the protagonists struggle financially, and wonder why God allowed such pain into their lives. If I only read one page or chapter, I would have a very different view of the story.

Yet the Author of my story has a purpose for every page and chapter in my life. He's got a story in mind and is building and developing the plot every day. No story is conflict-free. No story is complete without a challenge. Victory is empty without a struggle.

Today, I'm considering my life as a grand story. Good will triumph. The victory will be sweeter because of the struggle. Today is not the story. It's just page 452. So I will press on, trusting in a loving and creative Author to bring about resolution. You see, I already know the ending - she lives happily ever after.

Dear Lord, I praise You for Your creative and all-powerful nature. In light of the difficulties I'm facing today, I choose to trust You, believing You are writing an epic story in my life. Help me to press on when I want to give up. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know the Author of your story?

Visit Glynnis' blog for a discussion of books that have changed your life, and a book giveaway package.

When Your Child Is Hurting by Glynnis Whitwer

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith by Jane Rubietta
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Application Steps:
If your life was a story, what would be the title? What is the title of the chapter you are currently living?

How does knowing God has a greater plan for my life change my outlook on today?

Imagining one of my favorite heroes or heroines, what character trait do they possess that would help me live out my faith?

Power Verses:
Psalm 107:2, "Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story - those he redeemed from the hand of the foe ..." (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials