Week 2


Week in Review


Monday October 8, 2018

Waking up early Monday, our class – Redeemed ’19 – prepared for a fun day for our second session of Toastmasters. So of course we were well prepared and the class went as smoothly as possible. As today’s speakers “broke the ice,” we were able to learn more about each other and the lives we once lived. This class is really important for our upcoming events and will help us overcome a fear of public speaking. Toastmasters will also help us feel more comfortable in front of a crowd. We are allowed to speak about different topics and tell stories about ourselves. A lot of the men have positive thoughts toward the program and their re-entry back into society.

Our word of the day was “imperative,” and it was important that all these men use uplifting and positive words in their speeches – most chose to use the word of the day. Unfortunately, a few brothers forgot and had to engage in an intense workout of 25 proper form pushups. Overall the class had fun and ended with a positive energy. There are a few of us who obviously need more work than others on public speaking, and we will all hopefully master Toastmasters. We all left in an orderly and professional fashion back to our living areas and discussed and how we will begin to prepare for the next few weeks in this adventure of our Toastmasters class.

Jeremy B. (a.k.a. “ZZ Top”)


Tuesday October 9, 2018

Today we started our first class on Living in the Village, taught by Christopher W. and Jason J. They taught us how to build a financial future and become financially empowered. We learned that small minds think about what other people are doing, while successful minds think about ideas that will not only impact themselves, but will empower others. After that class was over, we moved on to Art History, followed by U.S. History on George Washington. Once class was over, we prayed out and went back to the dorms.

After dinner, we were called out for our first Project Management class taught by two volunteer executives, Michele G. and Cindy V. We really enjoyed these two intelligent ladies. They taught us about initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing off a project. We split up into two groups, and together we came up with our own project. We had to determine the scope and requirements, vision and purpose, budget, stakeholders and sponsors. At the end we shared our ideas. Today we learned a lot but also had fun doing it. Now off to bed we go, because who knows what tomorrow brings.

Jamikal B. (a.k.a. “Chocolate Cornbread”)


Wednesday October 10, 2018

The dayroom was filled this morning with many of our Redeemed ’19 class sitting at the tables preparing and studying for our Chapter Three tests. Some of us had the morning off because only half of the class attends computer lab at a time. In the computer lab, we started to familiarize ourselves with the basics of Microsoft Word and Excel and many of us started learning some more advanced stuff. A lot of us are pretty good with these two computer programs.

A little later we went to lunch, and this was the first time the entire class was in the same room at the same time. So everyone was greeting each other and catching up, helping and discussing our plans that we just started to form for our business plans and just generally showing love to each other. After we went back to the pods, some of us started to study, some went to the computer lab and the other half went to the PEP room and attended an advanced financial class, where we talked about just the start of house buying, selling and investing. They taught us things like how to research housing history and what time of the year is the best (and worst) to buy or sell.

After dinner was by far the best part of the day, when we had three volunteers come in to teach us more about managing life’s projects. In our Project Management course tonight, we learned things like planning the cost of a project; breaking the project into smaller and more manageable tasks; how to recognize and grade the risk in a project; and, most importantly, never give Wiley R. the microphone, because you will never get it back! – but you will have a great laugh while he is up front with it.    

Jeffrey B. (a.k.a. “Farmer Jane”)


<h1Thursday October 11, 2018

As expected, our Phase Two class was called out bright and early by David F. and Gami J. We all seemed alert and ready for the day, and it’s a good thing we were. As soon as we prayed in, we were instructed to put everything underneath our chairs. It was test day! It was our first test out of the entrepreneurship textbook. Finishing with a class average of 87, it’s fair to say that our brothers were well prepared. A great start on our way of owning our class name “Redeemed ’19”. After the tests were turned in, Bert S. asked the servant-leaders of the previous Legacy Class to pass out our study material for next week lesson. Bert S. then gave us a presentation on Basic Business. It focused on understanding the economy and the types of opportunities in business. Our morning session ended in a fun way as we got to watch two of our brothers face the “Wheel Of Doom.” It sounds tough, but it was all in fun. A misplaced I.D. badge turned into a couple of gentlemen riding brooms around the class pretending to be Harry Potter. It got a good laugh and a lesson learned.

We gathered back in the PEP room after dinner for our of Project Management class, instructed by Cindy V. and Michele G. Today was our third and last day with them, but nobody was eager for it to be over. It was obvious that they were here teaching us out of love. They presented the slides with enthusiasm and encouraged us to participate. The room was divided to work on two separate projects. One side was to build a stadium, and the other to have an event at the stadium. It was a fun way to have everyone involved and learn the things required to have a project run smoothly. As iron sharpens iron, so do friends/brothers sharpen each other. Before leaving, Cindy and Michele gave us some appreciated advice on our first event that was scheduled for the next day. We all went back to our cells full of excitement and ready to experience the PEP revolution!    

Devin B. (a.k.a. “Buzz Lightyear”)



The greatest commandment of all is “you shall love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” That is the first great commandment quoted in the Bible, and the second is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. It inspires me, because love is such a powerful word. What makes those two great commandments special is that out of the Ten Commandments, if you do as the first and second great commandments say, you are automatically following all Ten Commandments. For example, how can you steal from your neighbor and still love God? It’s not possible. Learning this has made me a better man, and I’m growing and becoming better as life goes on.

In the past, I’ve done things that were not pleasing to God, and I’ve repented. And as I repent, I become a better person and make sure that I don’t follow the same path that led me to the path of destruction. Back then, when I said that I loved God or my neighbor, I’d be lying to myself because I was living in the flesh. Since then my thoughts and behaviors have changed. I’ve taken off my old garment of self and put on a new garment of grace. The Lord helped me to grow in that truth even before I ever read it. God himself was working in my life.

When I pray, I put my trust and faith in Him, and I believe in what I ask Him for. I lean on God for all my needs. I may forget to ask God at times, especially when I’m anxious, but the Bible says I am to be “anxious for nothing.” Believing in God has helped me grow, and everyday I’m growing as I stay in the Word. I want my blessings from God. I’m trying to win to the race and the only way to win the race is through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.  

Jefferson B. (a.k.a. “Bobby Bouche”)