Thursday, March 24, 2011


"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


What If I Am A Black Woman?

Is it a disease? Well, if it is, I sure hope it’s catching
Because they need to pour it into a bottle,
label it, and sprinkle it All over the people
men and women who Ever loved or cried,
worked or died For any one of us.

So, What if I am a Black woman?
Is it a crime? Arrest me!
Because I'm strong, but I'm gentle,
I'm smart, but I'm learning,
I'm loving, but I'm hateful.
And I like to work because
I like to eat and feed and clothe
and house Me, mine
and yours and everybody's,
Like I've been doing for the past 300 years.

What if I am a Black woman?
Is it insane? Commit me!!
Because I want Happiness, not tears;
Truths not lies; Pleasure not pain;
Sunshine not rain; A man not a child!

What if I am a Black woman? Is it a sin?
Pray for me! And pray for you too,
If you don't like women of color
because we are, Midnight Black,
Chestnut Brown, Honey Bronzed,
Chocolate Covered, Cocoa Dipped,
Big Lipped, Big Hipped, Big Breasted, and BEAUTIFUL
all at the same time!

So what if I am a Black Woman?
Does it bother you that much because
I want a man who wants me,
Loves me and trusts me, and respects me
And gives me everything because
I give him everything back, PLUS!!

What if I am a Black woman? I've got rights,
same as you! I have worked for them,
died for them, played and laid for them,
On every plantation from Alabama to Boston and Back!

What if I am a Black woman?
I love me, and I want you to love me too,
But I am as I've always been,
Near you, close to you, beside you,
strong giving, loving,
For over 300 years, Your Black woman, Love me!

Author Unknown

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today for Women's History Month, Epiphany Essentials highlights Elizabeth Taylor, she passed away today peacefully after being hospitalized for 6 weeks. May she rest in eternal peace!,,20216605,00.html

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, OBE (27 February 1932 – 23 March 2011),[1][2] also known as Liz Taylor, was an English-American actress.[3] A former child star, she grew to be known for her acting talent and beauty, as well as her Hollywood lifestyle, including many marriages. Taylor was considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list.(

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"I am a very committed wife," she once said. "And I should be committed too -- for being married so many times." Elizabeth Taylor (Rest In Peace!)

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials




You know of any young person between the ages of 14-21 that is seeking summer activities, internships or job opportunities and need assistance please see instructions on how to apply below:


We are pleased to inform you that the 2011 application for Youth Ready Chicago summer opportunities
is now available on our website, This online application provides a
centralized means for youth, ages 14-21, to apply to many program partners- including Chicago Public Schools,
Chicago Park District, After School Matters, Chicago Housing Authority and the Chicago Department
of Family and Support Services.

Youth Ready Chicago connects young people, ages 14 - 21, with internships, apprenticeships and jobs
within Chicago’s public and private business sectors. Each opportunity offers youth hands-on experience
and an opportunity to gain marketable skills, supporting a successful transition from school into the workforce.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

· Must be between 14 and 21 at the time of the application
· Must live in the City of Chicago with a valid mailing address
· Must have a social security number or a number that is legally allowed to replace
a social security number for the purposes of employment
· Must provide a guardian’s signature for applicants under the age of 18 at the time of application.

Please encourage your eligible youth to apply online at and explore the website
for valuable information on summer opportunities including apprenticeships, internships and jobs. The deadline
for youth to apply for Youth Ready Chicago summer opportunities is Friday, June 3rd.

Applicants or parents/guardians with questions about summer opportunities may call the Jobs Hotline
at 312-743-0208 or email us at

Kelley Moseley
Youth Ready Chicago Community Council Coordinator Region 3
Co-Director YouthLAB @ 1512 Better Boys Foundation
1512 S Pulaski Road Chicago, Illinois 60623
Phone: 773 542 7300 x244
Direct: 773-542-7324
Fax: 773 521 4164

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"You have dreams, desires and goals yet you say you can't find TIME to put your plan into action. Add up all the time you watch TV, listen to the radio, are on FB, twitter, other social networking sites, and gossip blogs then add up all the $ you make while doing so....its probably $0. Eliminate some of that from your life and you will have TIME to fulfill your dreams or at least get started!!!!" Epiphany Essentials

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Angela Davis is often associated with the Black Panthers and with the black power politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s. She joined the Communist Party when Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. She was active with SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) before the Black Panthers. Angela Davis ran for U.S. Vice President on the Communist Party ticket in 1980. (

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


"Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime." Angela Davis

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 21, 2011


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband's presidential bid and delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of two daughters, Malia and Sasha, and is the sister of Craig Robinson, men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and a notable advocate for poverty awareness and healthy eating.

Read more here:

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we're scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don't have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own 'to do' list." 1st Lady Michelle Obama

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


This blog comes from various conversations I have had with different people this month and it stems around money. It is my belief that many in the African American community have a different view of money, banking, savings, and investing than many of the other cultures. Here are some examples that led to this blog today:

  • I was talking with my cousins wife this weekend and she mentioned how the Japanese think that we (African Americans) are stupid because we buy into the mainstream culture. They say that we are more focused on our children being social and playing sports than we are with their education. We also buy into the mainstream clothing, cars and jewelry trends.

  • My cousins wife also mentioned how she drives around Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and surrounding areas how the people drive regular cars eg Nissan's, Honda's, Toyota's, most of the middle class don't have luxury vehicles

  • Last week I was speaking with an ex and he said that my car doesn't look like me. I now drive a Honda Insight Hybrid car. My car fills up for $33 right now with gas at $4/gallon and I can drive 2 weeks on a full tank of gas. Believe me when I say that my car looks likes me. Its red, stylish, small, compact, and affordable to drive.

  • Then last week I saw a tweet, someone was commenting on the fact that a woman had her son outside in lee jeans and some off brand t-shirt as if there was something wrong with that.

  • Another example, I was talking to a friend that thought it foolish that someone would drive a $1,000,000 car that was a millionaire. I responded to him what is foolish is people driving $15 and $20K cars that don't have $5K or more in the bank.

I then think back to the fact that my grandmother worked for a Jewish family as their housekeeper Monday - Friday. The families son only had 1 pair of pants and 2 shirts. Everyday my grandmother would wash his clothes out for the next day. Keep in mind the family was wealthy enough to have a maid. Nevertheless they had their priorities in order. Many of those families when their children finish college their parents give them a boost in life by providing them with their first home and car!

I then think to many in the African American community who have bought into the American dream which is ok however I think we have over indulged in it. Why do I say this:

I remember growing up and their being a line outside of footlocker to buy new Jordans. It seems that many in the African American culture value clothing, fashion, and shoes. There are people who wouldn't dare step foot in Payless or buy a pair of Payless shoes. Now I do understand that feet are precious and all cheap shoes aren't good on your feet but I hope you get my point.

Many of us have become too obsessed with labels and who is wearing what designer and less concerned with education, finances, leadership, and wealth building. No I am not saying in the least bit the entire African American community is like this however large numbers are. It is evident in the hip hop culture and what it represents. Not to say that the actual artist buy into it yet, they are selling dreams and people who cannot afford this dream are buying it. Equating success with a big house, fancy car, nice clothes and jewelry.

Yes all of that can be the icing on the cake for a successful person however there is more to life and success than that. How about more focus on family and community and passing down valuable lessons to your children that will live on for years and years to come.

When it is all said and done and you are dead and gone, people aren't going to remember how big your house was, what type of car you drove, nor the fancy clothes you wore. They will remember how you impacted their lives and the lives of others.

My tips....spend, save, and think wisely:

  • Pay yourself first (save)

  • Give God his due 10%+

  • Stock up on/invest in precious metals (gold, silver, bronze, platinum, diamonds) - things that will always be valuable

  • Don't put all of your money in the bank

Teach your children the same principles above and continue to repeat and pass down from generation generation.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, March 18, 2011


Shirley Chisholm (Nov. 30, 1924 - Jan. 1, 2005) was the first African-American woman elected to the US Congress. Shirley Anita St. Hill was born in Brooklyn, New York. After being a teacher and serving as a New York state assemblywoman, Chisolm was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives. She served in Congress for seven terms, from January 3, 1969, until January 3, 1983. In 1972, Chisholm was the first African-American woman to run for a major-party presidential nomination. During her long political career, she fought for the rights of women and minorities.


Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth."
Shirley Chisholm

"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas."
Shirley Chisholm

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 17, 2011


"If you want peace, prepare for war."

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


ALICE COACHMAN: 1st African American Woman Olympic Gold Medalist

Alice Coachman (Davis) was the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal and the only American woman to win a gold medal in the 1948 Olympics in London. She was born November 9, 1923 in Albany, Georgia to Fred and Evelyn Jackson Coachman. When she was young, blacks could not participate in organized athletic activities in Southern schools and YMCAs. Therefore, Alice trained for sprint events in fields and dirt roads and jumped barefoot at a neighborhood playground. In 1939, at the age of 16, she received at scholarship to attend Tuskegee Preparatory School. Before classes began, she competed in the women's track and field national championship. She broke the high school and collegiate high jump records without wearing shoes. Also at Tuskegee, she ran on the national champion 4x100-meter relay team in 1941 and 1942. In 1943, she won the AAU nationals in the running high jump and the fifty-yard dash. In 1946, she received a trade degree from Tuskegee Institute and enrolled in Albany State College.

Although many athletic competitions were restricted by World War II, Coachman won 25 national titles, mainly for the high jump. She won consecutive titles in the AAU competitions and was the national high jump champion for ten years, from 1939 to 1948. She won the outdoor 50-meter dash from 1943 through 1947, the indoor 50-meter dash in 1945 and 1948, and the outdoor 100-meter in 1942, 1945 and 1946. The 1940 and 1944 Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War II. In 1948, the XIV Olympiad was held in London, England. Coachman qualified for the 1948 Olympic team with a 5 feet, 4 inch jump, which broke the record of 5 feet, 3-1/4 inches set in 1932. At the Olympic Games, Coachman had a back problem. However, she jumped 5 feet, 6-1/4 inches on her first try, a record-breaking jump for which she earned the gold medal.

Alice Coachman not only became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal, but also the first American woman to win a gold medal in track and field. In addition, she was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1948 games.

Coachman's record was not broken until two Olympiads later. When Coachman returned to the U.S., she was treated like royalty. In addition to meeting many famous people who also gave parties for her, she was given a parade in her honor, given a victory ride from Atlanta to Macon, and given a banquet by her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta. (

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Angela Evelyn Bassett (born August 16, 1958) is an American actress. She has become well-known for her biographical film roles portraying real life women in African American culture, including singer Tina Turner in the motion picture What's Love Got to Do with It, as well as Betty Shabazz in the films Malcolm X and Panther, Rosa Parks in the The Rosa Parks Story, Katherine Jackson in the miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream and Voletta Wallace in the film Notorious.

Bassett is a private person, often choosing not to discuss her personal life with the public. She attends LA's West Angeles Church of God in Christ, along with fellow actor Denzel Washington. Bassett told the Los Angeles Times:
"Loving God is like me being black. I just am. [No one says] 'You know what? I'm gonna be blacker today!' It's my culture. It's not something I put on or take off or show more. You just communicate that in the way you live your life."

Bassett married actor Courtney B. Vance in 1997. In the summer of 2005, they starred together in a production of the play His Girl Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The couple's children, son Slater Josiah and daughter Bronwyn Golden, were born on January 27, 2006.

Bassett is an avid supporter of programs for the Arts, especially for youth. She annually attends events for children with diabetes and those in foster homes. She is an active Ambassador of UNICEF for the United States. Bassett is a big supporter of the Royal Theater Boys & Girls Club in her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. The Club is one of the first all performing arts Boys & Girls Clubs in the country. (

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Don't settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that's in us." Angela Bassett

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


by Nikki Giovanni

If i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

It's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

If i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

Since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

When i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal

I know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others. (

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"I really don' think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don't mind the failure but I can't imagine that I'd forgive myself if I didn't try." Nikki Giovanni

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger." Christian D. Larsen

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 14, 2011


Tina Turner born Anna Mae Bullock is a living legend. I am not sure how many of you have seen What's Love Got To Do With It, a great movie based upon the life of Tina Turner. In the movie we see Tina involved in an abusive relationship and we also see her rise above it, find her self, and get out of the relationship. She didn't care about the $ or the possesions all she wanted to keep was her name, her brand that she'd built.


Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have earned her the title The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.[1][2][3] Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.[4] Success followed with a string of hits including "River Deep, Mountain High" and the 1971 hit "Proud Mary". With the publication of her autobiography I, Tina (1986), Turner revealed severe instances of spousal abuse against her by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce. After virtually disappearing from the music scene for several years following her divorce from Ike Turner, she rebuilt her career, launching a string of hits beginning in 1983 with the single "Let's Stay Together" and the 1984 release of her fifth solo album Private Dancer.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Sometimes you've got to let everything go -- purge yourself...If you are unhappy with anything...whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll fine that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out." Tina Turner

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, March 11, 2011


Rosa Parks is known as the mother of the Civil Rights movement. Her decision to stay in her seat simply because she was tired and her feet hurt catapulted the Civil Rights movement and created momentum. While many will tell you as you read more here that she was not the 1st to do this for some reason she is and has gone down in history and receives much credit for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights", and "the mother of the freedom movement".[1]

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind. Irene Morgan in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys in 1955,[2] had won rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Interstate Commerce Commission, respectively, in the area of interstate bus travel. Nine months before Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move from her seat on the same bus system. In New York City, in 1854, Lizzie Jennings engaged in similar activity, leading to the desegregation of the horsecars and horse-drawn omnibuses of that city.[3] But unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parks' action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Read more here:

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear." Rosa Parks

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Susan L. Taylor (born January 23, 1946) is an American editor, writer, and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000.[1] In 1994, American Libraries referred to Taylor as "the most influential black woman in journalism today". To read more, visit

Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine

Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built—as its fashion and beauty editor, editor-in-chief and editorial director. For 27 years she authored of one of the magazine's most popular columns, In the Spirit. As the driving force behind one of the most celebrated Black-owned businesses for nearly three decades, Susan Taylor is a legend in the magazine publishing world. Visit for more information.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us." Susan L. Taylor

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Audre Geraldine Lorde (February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist.

Lorde was born in New York City to Caribbean immigrants Frederick Byron Lorde (called Byron) and Linda Gertrude Belmar Lorde, who settled in Harlem. Nearsighted to the point of being legally blind, and the youngest of three daughters (her sisters named Phyllis and Helen), Lorde grew up hearing her mother's stories about the West Indies. She learned to talk while she learned to read, at the age of four, and her mother taught her to write at around the same time. She wrote her first poem when she was in eighth grade.

Born Audrey Geraldine Lorde, she chose to drop the "y" from her name while still a child, explaining in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, that she was more interested in the artistic symmetry of the "e"-endings in the two side-by-side names "Audre Lorde" than in spelling her name the way her parents had intended.[1] [2]

After graduating from Hunter College High School and experiencing the grief of her best friend Genevieve "Gennie" Thompson's death, Lorde immediately left her parents' home and became estranged from her family. She attended Hunter College from 1954 to 1959 and graduated with a bachelor's degree. While studying library science, Lorde supported herself by working various odd jobs such as factory worker, ghost writer, social worker, X-ray technician, medical clerk, and arts and crafts supervisor, moving out of Harlem to Stamford, Connecticut and beginning to explore her lesbian sexuality.

In 1954, she spent a pivotal year as a student at the National University of Mexico, a period she described as a time of affirmation and renewal: she confirmed her identity on personal and artistic levels as a lesbian and poet. On her return to New York, Lorde went to college, worked as a librarian, continued writing and became an active participant in the gay culture of Greenwich Village.

Lorde furthered her education at Columbia University, earning a master's degree in library science in 1961. She also worked during this time as a librarian at Mount Vernon Public Library and married attorney Edwin Rollins: they divorced in 1970 after having two children, Elizabeth and Jonathan. In 1966, Lorde became head librarian at Town School Library in New York City, where she remained until 1968.

In 1968 Lorde was writer-in-residence at Tougaloo College in Mississippi,[3] where she met Frances Clayton, a white professor of psychology, who was to be her romantic partner until 1989. From 1977 to 1978 Lorde had a brief affair with the sculptor and painter Mildred Thompson. The two met in Nigeria in 1977 at the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC 77). Their affair ran its course during the time that Thompson lived in Washington, D.C.[4] and was teaching at Howard University.[5] Lorde died on November 17, 1992, in St. Croix, (where she had been living with Gloria I. Joseph), after a 14-year struggle with breast cancer. She was 58.

In her own words, Lorde was a "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet".[6] In an African naming ceremony before her death, she took the name Gamba Adisa, which means "Warrior: She Who Makes Her Meaning Known".

This is taken from visit to read more.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." Audre Lorde

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

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This Sunday in service the Pastor mentioned the scripture John 9:1. There are a lot of Christians that assume that bad things happened from birth, during birth or in our life time due to someones sin. I am sure many of you have heard things like oh they lost their job or their possessions God must be angry with them, they have sinned and fallen short. Yes they have, we all have! My personal take, God loves us, He grants us NEW MERCY EVERYDAY. I like the way Bishop Noel Jones says it, God gives us new mercy everyday because he knew we would need it and he also knew we were going to use up yesterdays. Of course this isn't a license to sin nevertheless, if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us and he remembers them no more! Pastor Winston also used another example loosely quoted, "Why did the Lord bless her she isn't living all the way right. There are other people whom needed that blessing more than her that are more deserving." In Romans 9:15 God's response to that "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

So in John 9, the disciples and Jesus come up on a man who has been blind from birth. The flesh/natural nature of the disciples 1st question was Rabbi who sinned as they were obviously assuming that his blindness must be due to sin.

John 9:1-3 1 "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. "

Is there sin in the world? Of course. Are there sinful people in the world? Absolutely. Is every hardship, trial, or tribulation a person encounters due to sin? Absolutely not.
James 1:2-4 "2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

It is my prayer that Christians and people in general stop trying to figure out the what and why to someone else's life and simply focus on love, faith, joy, self-control, patience, kindness, meekness, and temperance while staying away from gossip and judgment. I Thessalonians 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you," Scripture tells us that all things work together for the good of those that love Him. So there is no need to figure out the ending of any one's life that is a believer for God says in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plan is to prosper them give them hope and a future. So instead of speaking death over others lives and situations, speak life, speak the Word only!

So before looking at the glass half full and saying this must be due to sin, look at the glass half empty and say this has been so that the glory of God can be demonstrated so that more people will be drawn to Christ.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials



Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 lbs. , with 21 brothers and sisters, and caught infantile paralysis (caused by the polio virus) as a very young child. She recovered, but wore a brace on her left leg and foot which had become twisted as a result. By the time she was twelve years old, she had also survived scarlet fever, whooping cough, chickenpox, and measles. Her family drove her regularly from Clarksville, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee for treatments to straighten her twisted leg.

Wilma Rudolph at the finish line during 50 yard dash at track meet in Madison Square Garden, 1961In 1952, 12-year-old Wilma Rudolph finally achieved her dream of shedding her handicap and becoming like other children.

Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American athlete. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960.

In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games.[1] A track and field champion, she elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States. She is also regarded as a civil rights and women's rights pioneer. Along with other 1960 Olympic athletes such as Cassius Clay, who later became Muhammad Ali, Rudolph became an international star due to the first international television coverage of the Olympics that year.[2]

The powerful sprinter emerged from the 1960 Rome Olympics as "The Tornado," the fastest woman on earth.[3] The Italians nicknamed her "La Gazzella Negra" (the Black Gazelle); to the French she was "La Perle Noire" (The Black Pearl).[4][5] She is one of the most famous Tennessee State University Tigerbelles, the name of the TSU women's track and field program.

Visit the link above to read more on Wilma Rudolph.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us." Wilma Rudolph

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, March 7, 2011

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Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom. Within the rhythm of her poetry and elegance of her prose lies Angelou's unique power to help readers of every orientation span the lines of race and Angelou captivates audiences through the vigor and sheer beauty of her words and lyrics.

Visit her official website to learn more about this phenomenal woman!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou
Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." Maya Angelou

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, March 4, 2011

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I will be looking at women in history that are no longer with us as long as women that are making history. Today I choose to highlight Star Jones.

A year ago she had open heart surgery and she chose to become more informed and more aware of heart disease, how it affects women and how it affects African American women as well. Star has lost women in her family to heart disease. This month she will be on Celebrity Apprentice as she battles to win money for charity for the American Heart Association.

Many know Star from the TV show The View but there is much more to her than that. To read more about Jones visit:

If you are on twitter follow her @starjonesesq

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


Heart disease is a serious issue in America. People need to be more informed and more aware. Often times we hear of men suffering heart attacks and for a long time I considered it a "man" thing. Well that is far from the case. Women suffer from heart disease just as much as men and heart disease is the #1 killer of African American women. The best defense is prepared offense.

Learn more about go red for women here:

Visit the American Heart Association site here:

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"I don't know how many people really do understand the fact that 82 million people in the United States suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease and it's the number one killer of all Americans, it's the number one killer of women, it's the number one killer of African Americans." Star Jones

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I found out yesterday that this month is Women's History Month so I would like to dedicate each day to an African American woman in history. My goal is to highlight a bit about each woman and also provide you with one of their quotes. As I blog about different African American women in history this month, I want all of my female and male readers to understand you too can become a part History.

"You don’t become what you want; you become what you believe."
Oprah Winfrey

While Oprah is known to many as the 1st African American billionaire, I learned that Bob Johnson (Black Entertainment Television) was the 1st African American billionaire and his wife Sheila after their divorce became the 1st African American woman billionaire. So, Miss Winfrey is the 2nd African American billionaire and the 1st self made African American woman millionaire.

Oprah Winfrey is truly the epitome of the American from rags to riches story, content via

Oprah Winfrey (born Oprah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history.[1] She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century,[2] the greatest black philanthropist in American history,[3][4] and was once the world's only black billionaire.[5][6] She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.[7][8]

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy.[9] Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place[5] she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication,[10] she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized[10][11] the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue,[10] which a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream.[12][13] By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help aids,[14] she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.[15] From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.[16]

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"The enemies job is to get you to make decisions based off of your feelings and not faith. When God tells you to do something, do not try to figure out with your senses how it is possible. just do it!"

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


This morning while watching Bill Winston he was preaching about Faith. Today, however he taught from Numbers 11. The teaching was interesting to me as I never in my life thought that I despised the Lord. I love the Lord with all my heart and soul, yes I do, and I am sure you will say the same. However, read the following scripture and think to yourself have you ever complained about something God blessed you with or provided for you:

Numbers 11:18-23 "18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected (despised KJV) the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

23 The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

When we are not grateful for what we have and we groan and complain about the things God has blessed us with, we are despising the Lord. Merriam Webster defines despise as: 1: to look down on with contempt or aversion 2: to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful

How could we ever look down on the Lord with contempt or regard him as negligible? The Israelites did it in the wilderness and I am sure we have done it to. We despise the Lord when we do not take him at his Word and believe Him! Bill Winston used this example, lets say someone has a tumor and they go in for surgery to have the tumor removed. You are admitted into the hospital, put to sleep and when you come to the surgery is over, you are bandaged and hooked up to an IV. The doctor tells you the tumor has been removed and you believe the doctor at his word. You didn't see the surgery, you didn't see the tumor be removed, you don't even know how it happened. Yet, you believe the doctor at his word and you went and told people about the success of your surgery and what the doctor did. Now what about God?

The bible says in
Isaiah 53:5 "But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (KJV)

3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (KJV)

Now that is the Word of God. You are healed and you are prospering in good health as your soul prospers.

If you are walking around claiming sicknesses and diseases, you are despising God.

Jesus died that we may have life and have it more abundantly to the full in every area of our lives. He also blesses us according to our faith. So what you have right now has been given to you according to your faith and also because of the words you have spoken. Now we were all given the same measure of faith it is up to us to develop it and increase it in our lives.

Before you start to complain about the things God has blessed you with (your children, your job, your home, the food in your fridge (even if its just ramen noodles or peanut butter and jelly), your car, clothes, shoes etc. Try thanking and praising God. What I gather from Numbers 11 is that complaining and groaning to God's ears means that we despise Him! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

The will of God is for us to give thanks in ALL circumstances.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


To apply and for more information visit:

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Epiphany Essentials


The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon honored Ira Aldridge with a bronze plaque. He is the only African-American actor to receive this tribute.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


"Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." William Faulkner

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


From the

Ida Keeling is the world's fastest nonagenarian.

The 95-year-old Bronx native set a world record at a track meet in northern Manhattan last week, running 60 meters in 29.86 seconds, according to ABC News. She's the oldest woman to do so.

At 4-foot-6 and 83 lbs Keeling says she has always been the oldest person at her meets. That might be because she didn't even take up running until she was 67.

From ABC News:

Active and healthy and living alone in her Bronx, N.Y., apartment, she could pass for 75. She says she feels even younger.
"Like a puppy," she declares. "I feel younger now than when I was in my 30s and 40s and had all those problems. Then I was aged!"

Continue reading here

Be blessed and be blessing,
Epiphany Essentials


I am currently reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I arrived at a section regarding writing a personal mission statement however, before writing it the book encourages the reader to determine what is 'At The Center'. The book states "whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom, and power.

Now I will admit that right now as of today I can say that God is ever increasingly becoming my center. Had you asked me last year my answer would have been God but I would have been oh so wrong. As I realized from reading the book that my center was self and friends.

"Each of us has a center, though we usually don't recognize it as such." Many people are one of the following:

  • Spouse-centered
  • Family centered
  • Money centered
  • Work centered
  • Possession centered
  • Pleasure centered
  • Friend/Enemy centered
  • Church centered
  • Self centered

None of these are the correct center for anyone to choose. However, many of us have chosen one or more of the above unknowingly. "By centering our lives on correct principles, we create a solid foundation for development of the four life support factors (security, guidance, wisdom, and power). Reading this as a believer the light bulb immediately went off in my head that my correct principle that should be the center is GOD!

While I will not break down the description of all the centers, feel free if you are interested to purchase the book and read it for yourself. I will share an excerpt from the book as an example.

"Suppose tonight you have invited your spouse to go to a concert. You have the tickets; your spouse is excited about going. It's four o'clock in the afternoon.

All of a sudden, your boss calls you into his office and says he needs your help through the evening to get ready for an important meeting at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

If you're looking through spouse-centered or family-centered glasses, your main concern will be your wife. You may tell the boss you can't stay and you take your spouse to the concert in an effort to please him/her. You may feel you have to stay to protect your job, but you'll do so grudgingly, anxious about your spouses response, trying to justify your decision and protect yourself from your spouses disappointment or anger.

If you're looking through a money-centered lens, your main thought will be the overtime you'll get or the influence working late will have on a potential raise. You may call your spouse and simply tell him/her you have to stay, assuming (s)he'll understand that economic demands come first.

If you're possession-centered, you might be thinking of the things the overtime income could buy. Or you might consider when an asset to your reputation at the office it would be if you stayed. Everyone would hear tomorrow how noble, how sacrificing and dedicated you are.

If you're pleasure-centered, you'll probably can the work and go to the concert, even if your spouse would be happy for you to work late. Your deserve a night!

If you're friend-centered, your decision would be influence by whether or not you had invited friends to attend the concert with you. Or whether your friends at work were going to stay late, too.

If you're enemy centered, you may stay late because you know it will give you a big edge over that person in the office who thinks he's the company's greatest asset. While he's off having fun, you'll be working and slaving, doing his work and yours, sacrificing your personal pleasure for the good of the company he can so blithely ignore.

If you're church-centered, you might be influenced by plans other church members have to attend the concert, by whether or not any church members work at your office, or by the nature of the concert - Handel's Messiah might rate higher priority than a rock concert. Your decision might also be affected by what you think a "good church member" would do and by whether you view the extra work as "service' or "seeking after material wealth."

If you're self-centered, you'll be focused on what will do you the most good. Would it be better for you to go out for the evening? Or would it be better for you to make a few points with the boss? How the different options affect you will be your main concern."

"As a principle-centered person, will stand apart from the emotion of the situation and from other factors that would act on you, and evaluate the options. Looking at the balanced whole 0f the work needs, the family needs, other needs that may be involved and the possible implications of the various alternative decisions - you'll try to come up with the best solutions, taking all factors into consideration."

"As a principle-centered person, you see things differently. And because you see things differently, you think differently, you act differently. Because you have a high degree of security, guidance, wisdom, and power that flows from a solid, unchanging core, you have the foundation of a highly proactive and highly effect life."

As I was writing this I realized that based on the situation our centers may differ. We may waiver from center to center above. Nevertheless for success in life and a peaceful life all decisions should be based on our principle-center. I have chosen my principle-center to be God.

Again, I ask you What's At Your Center?

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Soccer phenom Freddy Adu was the youngest athlete to play in a professional American sports league.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials