Monday, Nov. 11, 2019
Today we were taken on a journey through U.S. history. Rewinding American History allows us to view our country with a different perspective, watching the daily struggles of Americans in the same land we live in today, but before the luxuries of modern technology lessened the harshness of life – it is surreal to think about. Whether you were a family in Nebraska mid-19th century constantly combating tornados (with ill-equipped housing) that seemed to purposefully destroy property, or a union arms member battling a rebellious south to keep the United States united, in our country’s infancy people had to be tough, both mentally and physically.
We watched a few episodes of U.S. history spanning different timeframes. What struck us the most was the Civil War episode. I had no idea about the small things that essentially allowed the north to continue standing when the smoke cleared. A major factor in the Civil War was the mass production of railroads in the north as opposed to the under-production of them in the southern states. While the northern union army troops had the privilege of ammo and supplies being provided at lightning speed, their southern counterparts were losing battles for lack of bullets and physical exhaustion that came from rationing out food over long periods of time.
One of the biggest strengths of PEP is that it’s diversified, and that it shows us things that we haven’t previously encountered in our lives. This in turn allows us different outlets for our energy, giving us something great to achieve.
Johnny J. (a.k.a. “Frozone”)
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019
As always, we began class by praying in. After we prayed in, we had one of the brothers read from The Word Of The Day book. Once that was done, we could show each other love for about two minutes by asking our closest classmates, “How is your day going?” and telling them to have a blessed day.
Right after that, we had two of our brothers give a presentation on our business brochures. They said we will present them to the executives who come and volunteer their time at future events. They told us that it will be due two weeks from now. For most of us, that is more than enough time to have that assignment done.
We were then told we would be watching an art history video and that we needed to be prepared to take notes, because the information covered was subject to a test or pop quiz. We believe that this is a good thing because it helps us pay attention to everything that they are talking about. Before we were able to use technology to create modern art, we had to use paint and pastels to create works of art. There were also many different artists such as Manet and Monet who helped pave the way and create inspiration for the artwork we create today.
We then prayed out after the videos and were dismissed from the classroom in an orderly fashion. Thank God for another eventful day, and God bless you all.
Cedric J. (a.k.a. “Chocolate Pop Tart”)
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019
Today was another great day in PEP and we began class in our normal fashion, by opening in prayer. Afterwards, we spent a few minutes shaking hands and visiting with each other. After a few minutes, we sat down and listened to one of our PEP brothers read the Word of the Day by Tony Evans. The reading focused on the importance of taking responsibility for our failures.
That’s when everyone’s face took on a serious, focused look – we had our game faces on because today is Wednesday, which is the day we take our weekly exam in our entrepreneurship class. Some of us looked worried, but most looked confident. Soon we heard the words that we were all waiting for: “Gentlemen, please turn and face the library; no talking, and place everything under your chair.” This can only mean one thing: Test Time! We were given 25 minutes to complete 30 questions that covered all aspects of finance and accounting.
Once we finished testing, we were blessed by one of our faithful volunteer executives who spent two hours lecturing us on the next chapter of the Entrepreneurship book. This week’s topic covered financial analysis. We spent a lot of time discussing techniques and formulas that measure a business’s performance, as well as focusing on ration analysis, deviation analysis and sensitivity analysis. We will be tested in one week over today’s topic in class.
After the lecture, we took about 20 minutes to recognize 10 PEP brothers who have consistently lived out the 10 Driving Values that make up the foundation PEP is built on. It’s always and inspiring to see the growth and changes that we are experiencing as we learn to live by these values.
Michael J. (a.k.a. “Jim Carrey”)
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019
We started the morning off with the Robert Lewis video Quest for Authentic Manhood after we prayed-in; today’s topic was “The Four Faces of Manhood.” The first face of manhood was the king and how it comes over time with a servant spirit and righteous energy. The second face was the warrior, which is a protective provider and takes initiative. The third face was the lover, which has an open heart, is sensitive and exhibits passion. The last face of manhood is the friend face. After the video, we broke into small groups and shared what we learned from the video. What struck everyone in my group was the line that says, “You can’t climb the mountain disconnected from another man.” That is telling us we need one another, and that’s what this program is all about: iron sharpening iron. Who are we? We are PEP! Where do we live? “Between the wings!” And what are we trying to do? We are trying to become the best face of manhood that we can and live by the 10 Driving Values: “Fresh Start” Outlook, Servant-Leader Mentality, Love, Innovation, Accountability, Integrity, Execution, Excellence, Fun and Wise Stewardship. These 10 Driving Values are the gears to our success.
Another subject we talked about was accountability, which is holding your brothers accountable – and even yourself – when no one else is around or looking. This creates a level of accountability and allows you to see the level of seriousness within yourself and in your walk. A positive attitude is something that permeates our entire being, both inside and out. People will see it evident in our speech and in our actions. This is an attribute that is a must for any Servant-Leader to possess. A negative attitude and mindset only pushes people away from you.
Rondell J. (a.k.a. “Ezell from Friday”)
“Train like it is real, so when it is real it will be like it is training.”
Back in my younger days (about 20 years ago), I trained in martial arts, the art of Tukong Moosul to be exact. Tukong Moosul is the preferred hand-to-hand combat used by the South Korean Special Forces.
My Saba Num would always say this quote to us. To me that was inspirational, not only in martial arts, but applied to much of my life as well. It means that you should give everything you have or give nothing at all. Take PEP for instance – if we act professional now as far as business etiquette, mannerisms, appearances and vocabulary, then once we are released and in the world seeking employment, each interview and business opportunity we encounter will be as simple and natural as another day in PEP.
So I leave you with this: “Pray like it is your last prayer, love like you will never love again and live like there is no tomorrow!”
Mark K. (a.k.a. “Dennis the Menace Jr.”)