Week in Review
Monday, December 30, 2019
Today we started class with a good prayer from our brother Kalan W., which led to a lot of good energy being passed around afterward. We are getting closer to graduation, so everybody seems to becoming more and more anxious. We took our last Crime and Punishment test today, and we also watched our last American history videos. We ended up finishing the rest of our Integrity Selling presentations and even tested on a little bit of the material we went over.
After that, they handed out a book called Treasure Principle,and we were told that we had to write a 500 word essay on what we got out of the book. We also received a book entitled Be on Your Best Business Behavior. Everybody seemed happy to get this book, because past graduates told us that we get to take an etiquette class and practice the proper way to eat food and act in a professional environment.
We then had some graduates share some encouraging words about what happens after we graduate, and how we really have more work to do with the brothers that start the business phase of the program. The last thing we had on the agenda is Art History, which we only had a few videos left. We then celebrated a brother’s birthday before we prayed out for the day.
Cade S. (a.k.a. “Rice Crispy Treat”)
Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Today began with a bit of joy. Everyone was laughing, drinking coffee, being playful and actually sharing the holiday spirit. Was it because of the New Year fast approaching, or because all of the accomplishments we have made as brothers? It’s hard to say – things are looking better for us on all levels of life.
Our time in class hit us harder than a lifetime of struggles as we prayed in to start class. We’ve been redefining what loyalty and love really means. To call ourselves “men” used to be a challenge in itself. We are breaking free from the enslavement of old habits, looking for excuses and asking for a handout. Our new minds and spirits speak with volume now, expressing what we believe, what we expect from one mother and what we can do for our families. So many times, we have fallen short and broken promises, but we have God, and He never lets us down or refuses to forgive us from sins we have committed.
Our emcee Kwentin R. boogied down the runway to some new music that we had never heard. Claps snaps and more smiles appeared on our brothers’ faces as he came down the aisle. How can people have such a positive effect on others like that? Well, your personality and character, when aligned, will show the principles and values you possess.
As class began to close, Kwentin R. asked a few people about our New Year’s resolutions. We all had something in common, and that was to be better men and make a difference in someone’s life. To our heavenly Father, all glory, honor and praise goes to you. Nothing will bond us to this world forever. God, we ask for grace and mercy, as well as a righteousness to be reckoned with. Keep us humble as we progress toward illumination. Also, bless those who need you to help them see further. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Michael W. (a.k.a. “Elmo”)
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Today we watched a movie called King Arthur. The main character in the movie was tested to the extreme but endured the challenge. He had to prove himself worthy throughout these tasks. This man denied the throne, even though it was his birthright to rise in power and win the hearts of his people. He overthrew his power-hungry uncle, who abused his power and position. We watched Arthur become a selfless servant-leader by putting his own needs and desires aside for the greater good of his people. He had a sword of great power, and he used it in his battle against another unrighteous king. We watched this man, who had been belittled by all, use his strength and will to overcome obstacles and rise to power. No matter what happened, he was always humble through this journey. We all felt like we could relate to this average man, a simple commoner, defying the odds. He was a true underdog, counted out but who still triumphed in the end.
We really enjoyed this movie, and it inspired us to step up to the plate to do more and be more. We watched knights gather at the round table, and only the most valiant knights could be seated by such a marvelous king. We really related to this, because this is how we all feel being a part of this organization. They sat at the table, but we live between the wings and see a mighty king indeed, He who created all things: God. We embrace a similar journey called life after our release, and our round table at which we will be seated will be the PEP table that only a select few will be worthy to sit at.
We were able to watch a very entertaining movie together and set new goals for this New Year. We walk by faith and not by sight, always wanting to do what is right.
Kalan W. (a.k.a. “Little Sweet”)
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Today is the day that the Lord has made. Giving all praise, honor and glory to the heavenly Father for everything we have to be grateful for.
We made it another year and had a blast learning about and growing through the 10 Driving Values. We have a great vision for 2020 and know it will be a great year for everyone.
Today in the PEP room, Phase One was in class while the men in Phase Two were in the dorms working hard on their business plan pitches. The Business Plan Competition is right around the corner!
Phase One is working on character development and the Authentic Manhood program. It takes a deep look into manhood and brings a biblical view to examine what being an authentic man is all about. During the morning session, volunteers Jim H. and Scott H. blessed us with valuable insight and encouragement. In the afternoon session, we had Bruce T. volunteer his valuable time to be with us.
After watching the Authentic Manhood video, we had small group discussions. We talked about two views of manhood taken from the Bible with brothers Adan M. and Jesus A. taking different roles. We learned that Adan M.’s character fell into passivity, while Jesus A.’s character rejected passivity. The principle for today’s class was that real men reject social and spiritual passivity.
Then we had a PEP brother, Richard F., speak on the importance of integrity to the Phase One class. Integrity is one of the 10 Driving Values and is very important to creating a productive life. Speak the truth and gain the trust of the ones you love.
Thank you, family and friends, for all that you do for us; we really appreciate everything you all do for us.
Nathan W. (a.k.a. “Carrot Top”)
“When you decide to start meditating, take your time and be gentle with yourself. This is your moment to enjoy getting centered and improving your life.”
With many of us having over-committed schedules, to-do lists that are pages long, and days that feel like they have lasted 72 hours, stress is inevitable. There are times where our responsibilities overwhelm us to a point that stress takes over, and it can lead to health ailments that we don’t notice or feel. As time goes on, we realize we have issues that could have been prevented if we had taken some time out to indulge in some self-care, or even just stopped to regroup.
In PEP, sometimes the work can be overwhelming. That is why it is important to use some tools to help us stay centered. A regular practice of relaxation, such as watching a movie or reading the Bible, can help in many ways.
Studies have shown that reading improves concentration, focus, self-awareness and brain function. It is also known to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. These are just a few of the many benefits that reading offers.
A regular practice of reading or relaxation can improve your life. Just like any habit, it takes time consistency to get results. Just small steps toward reading and relaxation have given me big benefits. Life can be extended a lot longer with relaxation and a little bit of your time. This is why I love this quote so much.
Keitron W. (a.k.a. “Barber from Coming to America”)