Letter from EQM – EQM invest in individuals by providing information, inspiration, and practical application steps for self improvement, local community improvement, and global community improvement. Publisher: Proverbial Legacy, LLC Terrance Bridges, I • email@example.com Editor in Chief Kelly Kagamas Tomkies • firstname.lastname@example.org Cover Editor Terrell Jones of MONTAJ Studios email@example.com • Marketing Director Brennan Bridges • firstname.lastname@example.org Sales and Business Relations Director Kyle Marshall • email@example.com Chief Financial Officer Brittany Bridges • firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Administrative Officer Contributing Writers Tatyana Branham Demetria Jackson Judith McGhee Mays David Taylor Brian K. O’Neal Jennifer W. Brown Nathan Marchand Zach Matchett (online publication only) Janelle S. Ray (online publication only ) Shaquila Matthews (online publication only) Brian Reeves (online publication only) Elan Felders (online publication only) Design & Layout www.EnticeAdvertising.com Join Our Mailing List Visit www.eqmmagazine.com Article Submissions For information email email@example.com Advertising For advertising information, email Brennan Bridges (firstname.lastname@example.org), call 855.437.6624 or visit www.eqmmagazine.com. Send comments and retraction requests to email@example.com Contact Us EQM Magazine • Proverbial Legacy, LLC. 1304 North Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Muncie, IN 47303 P: 855.437.6624 • F: 855.437.6624 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.eqmmagazine.com
We are excited to present to you the inaugural issue of Equity in Me Magazine (EQM)! A name created by our Sales and Business Relations Director, Brennan Bridges. Many people think of equity as the value of ownership interest in a particular property such as a house or business structure. The concept of equity is not only related to property but also includes people. It is our belief at Proverbial Legacy that each person has the potential to be and do something great. There is an investment of skills, talents, gifts, knowledge, and experiences that has been placed in you by your creator. It is the individual’s responsibility to grow that investment. The potential growth and value of that investment is the EQUITY IN YOU (ME). Sometimes it is easy to fall into the pattern of the mundane and mediocre and forget that greatness lies inside of you! There are ideas waiting to be birthed through you. There are companies that you will create to change the face of our world. There are services that you will provide to improve the quality of life for others. The question is NOT do you have an impact on the global community but HOW will you decide to impact the global community with what has been invested in you. It is the collective hope of Proverbial Legacy managers, EQM contributing writers, and the office staff of EQM to further invest in you through the content of this publication and our educational services. As children we were constantly asked what we wanted to be when we became adults. Like most children, the thought of being a celebrity, doctor, lawyer, or television entertainer was prevalent. These lucrative aspirations partially grew out of the influence of images created by mainstream media. However, we realized that there was more than what was in “the box”. Now we reach for greater goals. Now we have greater dreams. Now as adults we think about what we can do with what we have become to improve the lives of others. Now we desire to invest in your potential. Happy Reading! EQM Team
O N TENT S
EQM To You
Legacy as a Dialogue with the Past and the Future. . . . .
investing in your potential
From Loyalty to Legacy: The Power of Choice. . . . . . . . . . . The Intentionality of Creating Legacy Day by Day Time Keeps on Ticking. . . . . . . .
Straight Up Hood Local Pastor Changes His . . . . . . . . Community from a Rooftop
A White Head: Every Generation Is Needed. . . . .
Building a Firm Foundation for Your Financial Future: . . . Getting Your Financial House in Order
19 Recipes on the Run. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 From Flab and Fad to Forever Fab. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
a latent excellence, an unrealized ability or capacity to become:
Motivated to Motivate our Minds: The Extended Legacy of Dollison and Shabbax . . .
23-24 The Nine Tasks of Every Leader . . . . . . . . . . 26-26 Entertainment A New Music Legacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 A Refreshing Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Legacy as a Dialogue with the Past and the Future Tatyana Branham
In its most literal sense, a legacy is the money or property left behind to support loved ones after death. But a real legacy is something much more important and lasting than money. As community and family members we know that love, understanding and compassion have a value greater than gold. Leaving a positive legacy for your family and community is something that anyone with spiritual wealth can do—regardless of financial ability. A Dynamic Legacy At it’s core, a legacy is a fluid thing entrenched in your personal history. Family members and leaders who came before you impacted your life legacy, and your life legacy will in turn impact future generations. A dynamic legacy is like a bridge of values between the past and the future. The best way to understand the relationship between past, present and future legacies is to do a little experiment. Think of someone whom you admire. This person could be a family member, a leader or a public figure. Think about exactly what this person did that has made you admire him or her. How did the actions of this person create a positive legacy? How has this person’s legacy impacted your own thoughts and actions? As we are inspired by others, we internalize the behaviors, actions and thoughts of those we admire and translate them into our own system of values. The people you admire have had a direct impact on everything you aspire to achieve. When creating a personal legacy, you are passing on not just your values, but also the values of those admirable men and women who came before you. Consider Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s relationship with Mahatma Gandhi. In 1959, Dr. King traveled to India to visit Gandhi’s birthplace and learn more about nonviolent protest. 3
Upon his return, he was further convinced of the dignity and impact of passive resistance. Dr. King has long been associated with the nonviolent civil rights movement in the United States, a movement that was influenced by a man born some 60 years before Dr. King, whom we Americans have come to know through Dr. King’s own inspiring legacy. A dynamic legacy is our connection with the past. Even if our sons or daughters have no direct knowledge of those that have impacted us, they are learning the important values of those people through our own personal lens.
A Living Legacy What we learned from Newton in grade school is applicable to many things beyond physics. Every action does have an equal and opposite reaction. Legacies don’t just happen; we have to actively build them. And as we do, we change the lives of those around us. The journey of creating a legacy is just as important as what you leave behind. Espousing your values and faith in every action— from the smallest to the largest—not only inspires others, but infuses a sense of positivity into your community and family life. This is what it means to truly live your legacy.
EQM to You
A Human Legacy As young members of families and communities, we are only human. The routine of daily life is filled with many opportunities to lose sight of what’s important to us. Financial success, material wealth and careerism frequently comingle with our bigger picture values. As human beings we cannot ignore these desires; we can only hope to keep our eyes on the larger prize. Think again of that person that you admire. Did this person have moments of weakness? Did he or she face personal challenges that may have inhibited his or her success? Undoubtedly, yes. But this person also understood that falling victim to false expectations was, after all, only human, and that every mistake encourages personal growth. Being realistic about your expectations of yourself and those around you means that you understand that everyone makes mistakes and that these mistakes are necessary for spiritual growth. The great 20th century writer James Joyce referred to mistakes as the “portals of discovery.”
To think of your own journey as a story open to revision will allow you to make the mistakes that lead to greater personal discovery.
Take for instance, the famous Biblical story of Noah. After building his ark before the great flood, Noah was renowned as a “preacher of righteousness.” And yet, Noah was also an immoderate drinker. Despite this, Noah’s contemporary legacy remains one of devotion and righteousness. The relationship between transgression and righteousness when it comes to legacy is nicely summed up by Solomon in Proverbs 10:7, “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” Your living, human legacy will inspire those around you. Teaching your children, family and community members that mistakes are a necessary part of human growth will allow them the freedom to understand their own strengths and weaknesses. This strength will also encourage them to not fall victim to false expectations. Remember, your legacy begins today and lives on—just like the legacies of those great men and women who have influenced you—in your children, your family and your community.
The Power of Choice The Intentionality of Creating Legacy Day by Day Demetria Jackson, LMFT
hat comes to mind when you hear the word “legacy”? The Kennedys? The Jacksons? The Rockefellers? Regardless of the mental picture the word might bring to mind, we must all acknowledge the legacy that we have been given. One must choose to be conscious that every day we are either building upon it or downgrading it. Legacy is not just about the traditions, characteristics or customs that are handed down from one generation to another. It is also about the values, beliefs, wishes and even fears that are passed down from one generation to the next. I believe that appreciating your legacy requires one to take an honest look at the past in order to understand the present and future. The quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” has value. However, I think that in order to build on your legacy, you must decide to honor the past, no matter how positive or negative it appears. In my profession as a family therapist, I have often advised individuals, couples and families to construct a family genogram. This is not merely a family tree, it is also a graphical diagram that helps a person see patterns of interaction among family members. There are life lessons to be learned from your ancestors! When we take the time to reflect upon our own individual and family legacy, we must recognize that it includes positive as well as negative characteristics. We have to keep it real! We can’t change what we refuse to even acknowledge. If we fail to recognize the good as well as the bad, the same way of thinking will continue to be imposed on our current relationships.
Honoring the past is not about agreeing with or justifying the choices that were made. However, it is about being able to identify with our previous generations within the context of their time in history and experiences. It is about seeing family members as imperfect human beings that were coping with real issues of life. It is about learning that our ancestors were real people, rather than fantasy figures that we may have formed in our mind. Honoring the past is not about being a victim or blaming current choices on your family of origin. It is about correcting the patterns of negative thinking and acknowledging the lack of coping skills that may have fueled addictions, trauma, abuse, illegal activity and the like. Some of the chief factors in individual anxiety, family stress and even marital dysfunction are our “invisible loyalties” to our family system. Ironically, sometimes the past choices that have helped our families survive in the midst of past chaos can also keep us stuck in old patterns of behavior and ways of thinking. For example, if the focus is only on the positive characteristics within a family legacy, sometimes anxiety and fear can surface due to a pressure to perform or keep up appearances, or to be devoted to the family traditions. On the other hand, if the focus is on the family’s legacy of negative experiences, and this is accepted as an identity, a victim position may be shaped. This can lead to continued negative thoughts, behaviors and actions that lead to a cycle of negative consequences. Desiring to have a “green light” from others can also keep us 6
stuck with making a cycle of choices based on what is “expected” even when it does not line up with our current passion or ability. This can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, resentment and a low self-image. The good news is that no matter what your legacy may be, you have a choice! All it takes is one person, you, to make a decision. You can create a goal, big or small, and go for it!
You have the power to change the course of history for future generations. Everyday we have a choice to either continue to build upon the positive patterns or choose to avoid the negative ones. We must understand that we are ethically responsible for the effects of our behavior toward others. The current contemporary attitude of “I am doing me” is a set up for failure. It is important to understand that it is not solely about denying one’s own interest, but also about considering the interests of future generations and community. The final curtain call will happen to us all one day and the truth is every day, whether we are married, single, have children or not; we are building a legacy. We must make a conscious decision to evaluate if what we are doing now is contributing to or taking away from our legacy. I would encourage you to consider journaling your responses to these questions to understand yourself more clearly: When I pass away and my close friends, family and/or children are reflecting on my life, what will I hope will be their most important experiences of the time we shared together?
? What are the specific goals, values and expectations that you have for yourself, family and community? Is what you are doing now contributing to or taking away from it?
? Whom would you fear disappointing if you made a major life change (career, ministry, move)?
? Whose approval and/or acceptance do you feel you
are you still missing and/or trying to earn? (This can include those that are alive and those that have departed). Are your current choices reflecting this?
family traditions and rituals do you want to continue?
The ability to know your legacy and to build upon it is a powerful thing! The possibilities are endless and are entirely unique to you! We often celebrate when an extraordinary miracle has taken place. However, often it is the little things that are long lasting instead of the material things that we focus on. We must appreciate that each day that we have on planet Earth is a miracle! Every day that we have breath in our body is a wonder! To know that every day we are given the ability to make a choice toward our God-given purpose is amazing! As we move forward into 2012, let’s make it our purpose to take advantage of that opportunity and make good choices not just for today but for our family, our friends and our community. Our legacy. Demetria Jackson is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She lives in Muncie with her husband, Alton and her two children, A.J. and Anayah.
Time Keeps on Ticking
David Taylor, LMHC
What are you doing?
Let me be more precise: What are you doing with your life? Is it anything of significance? Is it anything lasting? Is it anything impactful? What will you be remembered for when your chapter comes up in the history books? Better yet, will you even be remembered? Will you go down as someone who alters the course of history, or will we forget you the moment you are gone? I know that you are reading this and saying to yourself, “Who does this guy think he is starting off like this?” Don’t fret. I’d think the same if I were you, but I would also be compelled to continue reading, which I’m sure you will do as well. I ask these questions because I am after something. I want to provoke something in you, something that if perceived correctly will alter the course of your life. I promise. Consider these facts:
• Halle Berry makes about $30 per minute because of what she is. • Tiger Woods makes about $175 per minute because of what he does. • Steven Spielberg makes about $675 per minute because of what he gets others to do. • Bill Gates once made $6,750 per minute because of what he gets the world to do! Wow, remember those numbers are by the minute, not the hour! Why are these stats important? I’m glad you asked. See, life is determined by the value of your time. Your success in life is measured by your ability to acquire the most value for your time. Reread that sentence about Bill Gates. His minute was worth $6,750 because of what he has the world doing! Most people will read this and be impressed, and so they should be. But what is even more impressive is that the time he’s spent has literally impacted the world. What makes him so valuable is the fact that he has the world doing something! My question to you is, what do you have the world doing? How valuable is your time? What are your minutes worth? How are you investing your time? Unfortunately, time is one of the few things that we can never, ever get back. Once it is gone, it’s gone. Did you know that whatever you mismanage you lose? That’s right, those things that you misappropriate, mismanage or misuse, you lose. Time is one of the most underrated, misappropriated and misused commodities. Most people spend their entire lives investing their time in the wrong things. In other words, they “abuse” their time. The word “abuse” is made up of two different words: “abnormal” and “use.” Most people use their time in such abnormal ways that they fail to become significant; they fail to become valuable.
One should seek to become valuable, not successful or great. I know that sounds different but it’s quite true! Think about it: your task in life is to become rare. The rarer you are, the more valuable you will be. And when you are rare, people will come and find you. Consider the apple tree: If an apple tree had legs and could talk (use your imagination for a second), it would never have to take its fruit to the market. You would never see the tree saying, “I got these yellow apples. I got some green apples. Oh, and I also got some red apples way at the top.” Why? Because the apple tree is rare. No other tree can produce what the apple tree can produce. People seek out the tree for its fruit, and maybe more importantly, for its seed. Your goal in life is to become like the apple tree. Your goal is to become so rare that people seek you for your fruit, and so valuable that your seed gives them fruit, which gives them seed, for an entire generation. This concept is important because you were born to influence time, not to merely exist. You are critical to history! You matter to time! Inside of each of us is a specific solution that we were born with to solve a specific problem. How you spend your time directly impacts your ability to serve your solution to the world. When you misappropriate your time, everyone misses out on receiving the answers to the questions that plague us. We miss out on finding the cures, reading the books, discovering the inventions, and parenting the families that are supposed to alter the course of history. How you spend your time affects what we are capable of doing. How you spend your time is world changing!
Will you choose to invest your time so that you can influence the world?
Local pastor changes his community from a rooftop T.A. Bridges, MAED, CAGS
Centered in the territory of four well-known street gangs is a gang of radicals seeking to create change in a violent, drug-infested and segregated community. Literally hundreds of drug deals and gunshots are going off daily in the area, and more than six months ago, one of those bullets caused a break in the mind of Pastor Corey Brooks and the members of New Beginnings Church, Chicago.
Many organizations and churches are leaving the “hood,” but this congregation of 2,500 and a pastor from the small town of Muncie, Indiana fought to move in rather than out of the neighborHOOD. Little did Pastor Corey Brooks know that even while ministering to local gang members, gunfire and prostitution would come to the doorsteps of his church. Surprisingly, this inner-city faith leader didn’t close the doors, but welcomed the prostitutes and gang members. While many other ministers turned away the funeral ceremonies of gang members due to the volatile relations between families and gang members, Pastor Brooks welcomed the funerals as an opportunity to minister to these hurting families. Because of his openness, love and willingness to be the relational rather than the religious Jesus, the congregation contains many former drug lords and gang members from the local area.
The New Beginnings Church began with 25 families who were asked to leave a historic church in the area due to their radical methods and mindset. So for this congregation to reach out to others who are rejected is no big deal. This congregation and their preacher have been known to give their homes, cars and savings bonds in order to finance the ministry of the church. At a time when people are more concerned with investing, they’re yielding their resources to change a community. Their radical efforts didn’t end with building a church in the hood. Brooks had a vision for an abandoned motel across the street from the church, once a drug and prostitution center. This vision became known as Project H.O.O.D. (Helping Other Obtain Destiny), a community center providing economic development through local businesses, job training and youth programs.
The most radical effort toward this vision took place more than six months ago, when Pastor Corey Brooks left his comfort and money and traded his home for a tent. He lived on top of the abandoned motel to raise awareness and funds for Project H.O.O.D. Over several months, Brooks preached, fasted and prayed from the rooftop. He received encouraging visits from pastors, politicians and the mayor of Chicago. The climax of the rooftop experience was coverage of Brooks’ ministry on the Tom Joyner morning show, where acclaimed actor, producer and director, Tyler Perry, heard of Brooks’ efforts to purchase the motel. The result was a gift of $98,000 and a motorcycle from Tyler Perry for Project H.O.O.D. Within days, word spread like wildfire and Project H.O.O.D. was a reality. Brooks and the New Beginnings church received coverage on the national Trinity Broadcasting Network, Good Morning America and a host of other networks or programs. However, Brooks didn’t end his work but continued it. The motel was demolished, and the Economic Development Center was constructed. It will serve residents in the local 13
community and provide opportunities for former gang members and youth to make a positive contribution to their communities, the city of Chicago and ultimately, the global community.
On June 5, 2012, in New York City’s Time Square, Brooks will begin a walk across the United States to raise $15 million to build and staff the Economic Development Center. According to projections from Brooks’ staff, the walk will conclude in Los Angeles at the Staple Center in September 2012. Brooks says, “We are from the hood and we realize we cannot do this on our own, so we are soliciting the help of others from across America.” It’s been inspiring and motivating to watch a young pastor change the face of a Chicago community. Many people overlooked the young pastor who grew up in a single parent home with the support of a relatively small congregation compared with the mega churches now scattered across the United States. Yet Brooks didn’t allow his small beginnings to prevent him from helping others obtain their destiny.
As aspiring leaders and concerned citizens of local communities and contributors to the global community, there are several important truths we can embrace from the H.O.O.D. Focus on the bigger picture and goal, rather than the small beginnings of your community service in order to create great change in and around you. Positive change and transformation require drastic measures and capitalizing on what others have written off or overlooked. How many people walked and drove past the abandoned motel? Brooks used what others overlooked to bring about change. Remember we can do more together than we can in isolation. More people were involved in the work than Brooks, and their combined efforts provided encouragement and support to his radical plan and vision. In the words of leadership guru John Maxwell, “The bigger your dream, the bigger your team must be to accomplish it.” Develop a plan for change and lead it with your actions. Pastor Brooks didn’t talk about what he wanted to do; he illustrated in his actions what he desired to see in his community. Be determined to implement the plan for change even if it takes longer than you anticipated and costs more than you planned to spend. Pastor Brooks spent several months on top of the abandoned motel in order to raise the funds to demolish the building. Have a plan after the plan. Once one phase of your plan is complete, be prepared and clear about what your next step of action will be. Some people focus on their present victory and accomplishment and stop moving forward with the next phase of the plan. This can lead to forfeiting the growth of future change and transformation. Whether we work in corporate America, preach from a pulpit or work behind a desk that no one will ever see, we all have been given valuable tools to transform our lives and the lives of those around us. It’s time to go H.O.O.D.
every endeavor, there is a point when what you have gained from your experiences—your seasoning— and raw energy and brains are not enough. From a Biblical prospective, we have endured enough trials that we should have more confidence that God is going to back our steps.
Every Generation Is Needed Reported by J.S. Ray for Stephen Hargraves
In his sermon, “A White Head,” Stephen Hargraves presents a vision of wisdom that is lost in today’s society. There is wisdom that comes with age. It is the kind of wisdom that puts one who chooses to operate in it in a position to affect change in the lives of those around them. If the present generation seems lost, it is because the people of the previous generation (those who should have white heads) have failed to utilize their “white heads” to provide direction. Hargraves uses both I Corinthians 13:11 and Titus 2:1, 4 to emphasize his point. As a child, childish things were acceptable. But as an adult, we are to leave childish things behind. We are called to be examples, to utilize our seasoning in order to instruct the younger generation. In the middle of summer when it is 95 degrees, one would not wear a triple fat goose jacket with boots, gloves and hat. As adults, instead of chasing our youth, we should be laying the groundwork with our actions, talk, walk and even our dress, to establish a position so that when we give advice, it is revered. Hargraves’ message is not a call to “soap boxes”; it is a reminder that God has multiple purposes when He calls us to Him. There are personal and societal benefits to conducting yourself according to your season. We are called so that we may walk in His path, so He may teach us His way, but also so that we may be a light in the darkness to those who are coming of age after us. Hargraves asks the question: Where are all the “white heads”? Are we so busy chasing our youth—dying our hair and hanging out in clubs—that we have no time to pass along the wisdom that we’ve gained to a generation desperate for leadership? I can recall the mothers at our church giving me gentle direction and correction that helped shape me into a young lady. Hargraves suggest people SHOULD NOT dye their hair, but there is wisdom that comes from having lived—no matter how long you have been saved—that should be passed on. He issues a plea to those who are older to accept the season of life that they are in which is ordained by God and fulfill God’s purpose for them in the world which includes have “grey” hair. He encourages each generation to allow that “grey” hair to stir them to an awareness that they are to conduct themselves with God’s wisdom. I Corinthians 13:12 says that now we see but a poor reflection, but one day we will see face to face the reflection of Jesus mentioned in Revelations 1:12: a vision of wisdom with a white head. I do not want to stand face to face with God and tell Him I was too busy chasing my youth to share my seasoning.
Building a Firm Foundation for Your Financial Future:
What is the foundation of our financial structure? How strong and solid is its makeup? Can it withstand the test of time and the ever-changing dynamics of a fluctuating economy? These questions and many others come to mind when determining how to go about building a solid financial house. Here is where to start. Just like building a home, it is important to create a blueprint or illustration of what the finished product should look like. The foundation of your home is often made of concrete or cement and constructed in the form of a poured slab, crawl space or a basement. In the same way, the foundation of your financial house is built as you protect your current assets (through insurance). It is wise to make sure you have adequate protection for your vehicle, home or apartment and limit your general liability exposure. I recommend you meet with your asset protection representative once a year to make sure your coverage in these areas is appropriate. You should establish an emergency savings fund (six monthsâ€™ worth of living expenses). This is important because you never know what the future holds. You could lose your job, get sick or injured, maybe the furnace goes out or you need to repair your vehicle. These emergencies require immediate action, and having money available makes these times less stressful. You should protect yourself from unforeseeable future events and physical uncertainty (i.e., premature death, sickness, injury, long17
term illnesses) and establish medical protection (health care and disability insurance). It is wise to have enough life insurance (in addition to the insurance coverage offered by your employer) to cover all of your debt obligations and final expenses, especially when you have dependents. Your health insurance should cover catastrophic events and still be affordable. Helping to offset the high costs of health care, you can establish a health savings account to save for future health needs. Disability should cover short-term illnesses of at least12 months, providing peace of mind and financial stability during recovery. In the home-building analogy, the walls of a home provide the structure you need to complete the rest of the home. Financially, this is equal to you planning for retirement, buying a home and paying for your childrenâ€™s education. These elements also provide comfort and give you more options. Saving for retirement is simple. Set a goal and make systematic contributions toward that goal. Great vehicles, such as tax- and nontax-qualified accounts, give you maximum tax advantages (consult your tax advisor). Buying a home is great when you want to build net worth and equity, but donâ€™t overextend yourself! Make sure your debt payments do not exceed 40 percent of your net pay.
Financial House in
Brian K. O’Neal, Insurance Agency Owner
Paying for your children’s educations comes last after the first two essentials are met. You can’t borrow for retirement, but you can borrow to pay for your children’s education. Many vehicles, such as 529 plans, College Savings Plans, Coverdell, and others provide tax advantages while saving for education expenses. Finally, the roof of a home provides protection against weather and storms. It also allows the home to last potentially for several hundred years. I like to think of it as your legacy. The reason I say this is because your roof will be replaced several times over the years, just like one day your kids and future generations will replace you. So, planning for your death is the roof on your financial home and it should involve much thought and preparation. You must decide where your assets will go. This includes establishing a will and it also should involve an estate planner. Building a home takes time. I encourage you to build your financial house one step at a time. Doing so will lead to a bright financial future and help you build a strong financial home that will last you a lifetime.
From Flab and Fad to Forever Jennifer W. Brown
Did your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, join the health club or start eating healthier already fail? Have you lost the motivation, the drive, the “want to”? This reoccurring article in Equity and Me Magazine connects our FLAB and the failures of our FAD diets to the possibility of creating a FABULOUS healthier you, FOREVER. This will allow you to build the needed equity in health to sustain a long lasting life. First, let’s look at flab. Close to six out of 10 Americans want to lose weight, according to an article from Gallup Wellbeing. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, most of us need to! Let’s take a look at a few those facts:
• About one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 %) are obese. • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death. • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion. • Medical costs paid for people who are obese were $1,429 higherthan those of people of normal weight. • African American have the highest rates of obesity (44.1 %) compared with Mexican Americans (39.3 %) and Whites (32.6 %). The question is not, “Do we need to the lose weight?” That fact has already been established. The more pressing question becomes, “How do we lose weight?” For many, the vicious cycle of FAD diets is the only way! Now let’s look at fad diets. Do any of the following FAD diets sound familiar? Just eat bacon all day, just eat peanut butter all day, just drink grapefruit juice all day, just cut out all carbs, just cut out all fat. For most of us, these practices are all too familiar. Some of us have tried some of them, if not all of them, at one point in our lives. In addition, we are inundated with different products’ ad19
vertising claims to help you reach your weight loss goals using phrases like “drop weight fast” or “lose 10 pounds in one week.” We are also lured by ads with digitally manufactured before and after pictures that urge us to spend thousands of our hard-earned dollars in search of a quick fix for our flab problem.
Some fad diets are more extreme than others are. Some may even be dangerous. For example, although illegal in the United States, in some parts of Mexico, one can spend between $1,500 and $2,000 to have a tapeworm cyst placed in the body. The tapeworm interferes with the digestive system, allowing one to consume more calories while still losing one to two pounds a week. The parasite, however, competes with your body for the vitamins and other important nutrients it needs, consequently causing a nutritional deficiency. After the desired weight loss is reached, antibiotics are consumed to kill the tapeworm and expel the parasite from the body as waste. Now let’s talk about how you can become fab forever. The obvious problem with the tapeworm diet, along with all the other fad diets, is the lack of sustainability! Will the weight loss stick? The overwhelming answer is NO! Absolutely not! I love the definition Wikipedia offers of sustainability: Sustainability: the capacity to endure. Why are fad diets not sustainable? You will never be able to maintain your weight loss if you don’t understand two very important variables:
• The behaviors that made you gain weight. • The behaviors that assisted in your weight loss. The happy medium between the unwanted flab and staying away from the vicious cycle of the fad diets is learning behaviors that lead to a healthy lifestyle. These behaviors will lead to the forever fabulous you! Stay tuned for the next “From Flab and Fad to Forever Fab” article to get tips on how to start living your forever fab healthy life!
Recipes on the Run Healthy Alternatives: Ground Beef (use ground turkey and/or chicken) White Rice (replace with brown rice or whole grains) Sugar (replace w/ Fructose, Splenda, or other Natural Sweeteners) Eggs (Egg Substitute) Pudding (Use Sugar Free Version) Yogurt (Greek Yogurt. has twice the protein, fewer additives)
Chef Tâ€™s Breakfast Smoothie Extraordinaire *1 cup of frozen fruit (preferably without added sugar) *1 small container of Greek yogurt *1 cup of milk (For healthier options try Skim, Almond or Soy Milk) *1 Tsp of vanilla extract *Peppermint leaves *1 scoop of whey protein (optional) *3 Tbsp of guava nectar (can also substitute artificial sweetener) Combine all ingredients (except peppermint leaves) in a blender and blend for one minute. For thinner consistency ad more milk. Poor and garnish glass with peppermint leaves. Prep Time: 5 minutes - Cook Time: 1 minute Serving Size: 2 16 oz. glasses
Chef Tâ€™s Red Beans and Rice *1 lb. of ground turkey (higher lean meats are healthier) *2 cans of red beans (low or no sodium) *1 can of diced petite tomatoes (low or no sodium) *1/4 green bell pepper (finely chopped) *1/2 cup of finely chopped yellow onion *1/4 red, orange & yellow sweet bell pepper (finely chopped--opt.) *4 cups of brown rice *seasoning salt, garlic powder and black and red pepper to taste *In a medium saucepan combine defrosted ground turkey, peppers, onions, seasonings and brown meat until well cooked. Helpful hint: using a potatoes masher helps meat to crumble better while cooking *While meat browns cook brown rice according to pkg directions *Once meat browns turn to low and combine beans and tomatoes with the meat mixture cook over low heat until sauce thickens *Once sauce thickens create a bed of rice on serving dishes and spoon mixture over the top of brown rice. SMACK YOUR LIPS AND ENJOY Prep Time: 15-20 minutes - Cook Time: 30 minutes Serving Size: 6 adult servings per lb. of meat used Please note: There are healthy alternatives provided for each recipe that can cut your caloric intake in half and reduce cholesterol and bad fat intake. Be mindful of the healthy alternatives as you prepare these dishes. You can enjoy your food without guilt.
Monique R. Armstrong
Motivated to Motivate Our Minds: The Extended Legacy of Dollison and Shabbaz Judith McGhee Mays
With firm belief and motivation from the famous
words of Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” Monique R. Armstrong seeks to exemplify her passion for others. As a member of the Delaware County PRIDE team and a youth representative on the Delaware County Coordinating Council Board of Directors, she has been serving Delaware County since her youth. An Athena International Young Professional Leadership Award Winner, Ball Brothers Foundation Fellow and inaugural graduate of LEAD-ECI, Armstrong has been featured in Indiana Minority Business Magazine as one of Indiana’s top executives. Additionally, Armstrong has been honored as one of Muncie’s Finest Under Forty, received the Ball State University Alumni Award of Achievement and was featured in Muncie Magazine.
Before graduating from Butler University with a bachelor’s degree in public and corporate communication and a public relations-journalism minor, Armstrong interned at the Indianapolis Star and wrote for the Butler Collegian. As an undergraduate, Armstrong continued serving the community by volunteering and mentoring youth through the Indianapolis Public Housing Agency. Returning to Muncie in the fall of 2005, Armstrong enrolled in graduate school at Ball State University and earned her master’s degree in executive development for public service.
A proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., today she continues her commitment to the community by volunteering with many organizations, actively working within Muncie Rotary Club and serving on the Collective Coalition of Concerned Clergy MLK Day planning committee. Communication co-chair for the Muncie Action Plan steering committee, she currently serves as chair for the United Way of Delaware County nonprofit campaign, and the Delaware County Very Important Volunteer Awards (V!VA).
Mary Dollison Reading to Class Today, Armstrong has been called back to her Muncie roots. While still volunteering at civic organizations, she is also now the executive director of Motivate Our Minds, Inc., the same organization that motivated her as a child. Before accepting the position at Motivate Our Minds, she served on the organization’s board of directors. Looking back, Armstrong believes that her experiences have prepared her for her current position. Referring to the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you wan to go far, go together,” Armstrong, along with staff and volunteers, hopes to take Motivate Our Minds, Inc. to the next level while impacting the lives of youth in our community. Prior to her leadership position at Motivate Our Minds, Armstrong was an outreach coordinator for Future Choices, Inc. and a grants assistant for Cornerstone Center for the Arts. She has also been a professor for Ball State University’s Summer Scholars Program, a graduate assistant for Ball State University Building Better Communities through Grantsmanship and a United Way of Central Indiana Diversity Intern. Although Armstrong has many years of service ahead of her, she hopes to live up to the words of yet another great leader, George Washington Carver: “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind”.
Armstrong encourages other young adults to better their communities and the world by taking nine practical steps:
• Build yourself in order to build others through self-
affirmation and self-development. This can be done through self-assessment.
• Create a plan for your education and professional achievements, including short-term and long-term goals.
• Surround yourself with people who are already living and
doing what you want to do, because ultimately you’re only as good as the people around you.
• Have a mindset that work comes before play, and surround yourself with hard workers.
• Have high expectations for yourself and those around you. • Focus on assets rather than anything negative. • Frame your failure: When you fail or fall short, learn from the failures and put a positive spin on those failures. Grow through those failures.
• Stay a step ahead in regards to your professional development and work. Take initiative and do what you have not been asked to do, but what you know needs to be done.
• The last and most important step: FLEX YOUR FAITH.
Learn how to go to God when things are outside of your control. Truly, nothing is in your control. Yield to his plan and adjust your plan accordingly.
Tasks of Every Leader
Moses. George Washington. Winston Churchill. Booker T. Washington. Condoleezza Rice. Henry Cisneros. What do they all have in common? Theyâ€™re leaders who left a lasting, positive legacy. As leaders in our homes, ministries and workplaces, it can be disheartening or intimidating to compare ourselves to them. But another thing they had in common was that they created their legacies by performing nine tasksâ€”the same tasks you can do no matter how large or small your leadership role may be. These tasks are outlined by former U.S. Health, Education and Welfare Secretary, John Gardner, in his book, The Tasks of Leadership, and they are critical to effective leadership. Task 1: Envisioning Goals
Task 3: Motivating
This is the ability to set goals and create a vision for the people under your leadership. It gives them something to focus on, and to work toward. As a pastor, it could be starting a small group ministry at your church. As a husband, it could be saving money for a family vacation.
Every good leader must learn the goals, dreams and needs of those under him or her and channel them toward a purpose. A youth pastor can motivate his or her students to work hard at a fundraiser by offering them a pizza party as a reward. A father can motivate his children to do their chores with a weekly allowance.
Task 2: Affirming Values For the Christian, the source of your values is the Bible. As a leader in your home or organization, you will need to remind those you lead that Scripture is the basis for everything they do.
Task 4: Managing It goes without saying that all leaders must be good managers. This includes planning, agenda-setting and decision-making. A good husband knows how to be a good steward of his family finances. A business manager should make sound decisions about what products to sell.
leaving a lasting legacy... Task 5: Achieving Workable Unity
Task 8: Representing the Group
Conflict is unavoidable in any home or organization, and a good leader must be able to resolve these conflicts in order to build trust. This could mean settling differences between your kids in your home, or between the volunteers at your church.
Leaders must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their organization, group or household and negotiate accordingly. They must know the wants and needs of the people in their organizations, and do what they can to meet them. While this is most often seen in the political arena, it’s still practiced elsewhere. Pastors represent their church at denominational meetings. Shift leaders represent the employees under their charge at company meetings. They will speak on their behalf at such times.
Task 6: Explaining This is simply sharing information about what is going on and why. Gardner says this is very similar to teaching: “Teaching and leading are distinguishable occupations, but every great leader is clearly teaching—and every great teacher is leading.” This could involve a mother teaching her daughter how to cook, or a shift leader at a factory showing a new employee how to run the equipment.
Task 7: Serving as a Symbol Whatever your leadership role, whether you are a parent, a teacher, a business owner or the leader of a nonprofit organization, you will symbolize something to those under your leadership. This is especially true of people like pastors, who are expected to serve as examples of high moral standards because of their positions. You speak not only for yourself, but for everyone under your leadership. It’s here the most lasting legacy can be left. Be it by many or a few, people will remember what you symbolized to them and the organization more than anything else.
Task 9: Renewing Since organizations are always changing, it will be necessary for leaders to adjust their methods for accomplishing their goals without changing their purposes. The means should never trump the ends. This can be seen in churches who continue to use the same procedures “because that’s how we’ve always done things,” even though they accomplish nothing. That is why you, as a leader, must always renew your organization’s purposes and goals so that they can be achieved, even if it means using new procedures.
Conclusion Fulfilling these tasks will make you a more effective leader, one who leaves a lasting legacy. Your influence may span generations or transcend racial barriers. Or it may impact a select few, like your family or your small group at church. No matter the size, you can take pride knowing that your leadership made a difference in people’s lives. 26
A New Music Legacy Shaquila Matthews, indygospel.com Le’Andria Johnson was crowned the Season Three winner of BET’s Sunday Best in 2011. The 27-year-old Orlando, Florida native said that her situation has changed since one single act of obedience. Despite her situation and circumstances, she continued to go to the auditions and defied the “norm” for singers who tried out for a national gospel-recording contract. Le’Andria Johnson went to the New Orleans auditions with nothing but the clothes on her back, but she left with the title “Sunday Best,” keys to a 2010 Ford SHO and a future overflowing with professional possibilities. When she walked into those auditions, she didn’t look the part. She was wearing flip-flops with gym socks, and an outfit she’d pulled together from clothing she had thrown in a bag. She had lost her home to foreclosure the day before she auditioned. Despite this unfortunate news, Johnson decided to pray and make her way to the New Orleans Convention Center to compete for a chance at a better life. Week after week, Johnson blew away the audience and judges, belting out rich hymns that stirred your soul. You could feel every word she sang; she sang with passion that spoke of her relationship with God. Soon after winning the title, she released her new single, “I Shall Leap into My Destiny.” This song is befitting of Johnson, who is also a mother of three, because it embraces the very journey she’s been on, and her leap of faith to persevere. Le’Andria Johnson was signed to Matthew Knowles’ label, Music World Gospel, where she released her debut album entitled The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson. Johnson recently appeared on the “15 Top Gospel Artists to Watch” list on ESSENCE.com. She has been on tour across the country with church and concert appearances promoting her new CD, as well as radio and press visits. This year, at the 54th Grammy Awards, Johnson won for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for her track “Jesus.” This is only the beginning of what God has in store for this artist.
Brian Reeves Hillsong has done it again. The Australian Hillsong Church Worship Movement is still creating music that takes the believer to the throne of God. Hillsong is scheduled to release their twenty-first installment of live praise and worship, Christian contemporary music on July 3, 2012, entitled Cornerstone. The title track, “Cornerstone,” has taken the old hymn verses from “The Solid Rock”: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…” However, the traditional refrain “On Christ the solid rock I stand,” has been replaced with “Christ alone cornerstone, weak made strong, in the savior’s love, through the storm he is Lord of all.” These fresh fire lyrics paint a clearer and present picture of the dependability and stability of God in a life full of uncertainty.
The music tempo is steady like a heartbeat. It’s not too overpowering, but you know it’s there. The musical arrangement of Cornerstone” uses the aesthetic elements that make up contemporary Christian music: guitars, drums and keyboards. The voice treatment is unison (melody only/no harmony), which allows the lyrical message to ring clear. I believe “Cornerstone” is a great prelude for devotional time, spiritual meditation and even relaxation. The lyrics and musical arrangements are layered and complement each other in a way that speaks to the inner soul of the listener, captivating that part inside of us that says, “I want God!” Hillsong Live releases “Cornerstone” on July 3, 2012, on the EMI Christian Music Group label.
Alive Festival - June 20-23, 2012
Indiana Black Expo - July 12-22, 2012
The Alive Festival is a Christian contemporary music festival that features some of today’s most leading and influential singers and musicians from across the country. This year, Alive Festival celebrates 25 years of providing a place for Christians to engage with God. The Alive Festival offers uplifting musical guests, along with a variety of seminars on various topics that will challenge, focus and strengthen our relationship with Christ, our families and our friends. This year’s musical lineup includes Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, Emily Summers, Royal Taylor and many others. Don’t miss this year’s 25th Annual Alive Festival.
During the Post-Civil-Rights Movement, IBE established a positive structure in the community that reflected African Americans. Since its inception in 1970, the Indiana Black Expo has been raising awareness of the pressing economic, political and social issues that affect African-Americans and all people. With the support of positive entertainers and political figures such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and many more, IBE helps to spread awareness. This year’s 2012 Black Expo Celebration guarantees to deliver. Tickets are $8 per person purchased by July 19, 2012, and $10 after July 19. For more information, visit www.ibeonline.com/ or phone (317) 925-2702.
Atwood Lake Park Mineral City, OH
Tickets for people ages 12 and older through June 11 are $120, and at the gate they are $130. Tickets for children ages 5 through 11 are $70 through June 11, and $75 at the gate.
For more information, visit www.alive.org/.
The Chicago Gospel Music Festival June 21-24 2012, Chicago Cultural Center
This year, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival returns after a brief hiatus of three years. This is a power packed weekend of some of the most noted and trailblazing gospel artists in the country. The festival begins on Friday and concludes on Sunday with a grand stage, show stopping gospel musical concert at Millennium Park. This year’s artists include Fred Hammond, Byron Cage, J. Moss, Take 6, Mary Mary, Blind Boys of Alabama, and many more. Don’t miss the rebirth of this annual event as Chicago spreads the joyful sounds of gospel music through Mandrake Park. Mandrake Park is located at 39th and Cottage Grove. Admission is free.
For more information, visit http://www.chicagofestivals.net/music/gospel-music/2012-chicagogospel-music-festival.
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Downtown, Indianapolis, IN
Three Rivers Festival - July 12-21 2012 Fort Wayne, IN
The Three Rivers Festival has been known as Fort Wayne’s Biggest Summer Party since 1969. The Three Rivers Festival has grown to become Indiana’s second largest summer festival. Headwaters Park, located in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, is the hub for more than 100 official and affiliated Three Rivers Festival events. Official events include a televised parade, fine arts fair, crafters’ market, bed race, children’s festival, senior’s mini-fest, a waiter-waitress contest, amusement rides and attractions, the all new River Games Water Wars and canoe races (some events may have an admission or participation fee). If you live near the Northeast corner of Indiana, don’t miss Three Rivers Festival.
For more information, visit http://threeriversfestival.org/, or phone Headwaters Park, 260426-5556.
Taste of Chicago - July 11-15 2012 11:00 AM to 8:30 PM Grant Park, Chicago, IL
The Taste of Chicago is considered to be one of the world’s largest outdoor food festivals, with hundreds of food vendors and more than 3 million visitors each year. This year’s festival will celebrate its 22 years; the festival began in 1980. International and local restaurants participate in this event allowing patrons to sample indigenous prepared foods that can only be found in Chicago, thus giving it the name the “Taste of Chicago.” This year guarantees a diverse lineup of internationally renowned and local entertainers and we have partnered with several smaller festivals (Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival, Chicago Country Music Festival, Chicago Gospel Festival) to yield a greater awareness of diversity during the Taste of Chicago. Admission is free. Food and drinks are purchased with tickets sold at the Taste of Chicago in sets of 12, usually for $8. Larger food items are about 10 tickets and smaller portions are about six tickets. Restaurant vendors also sell “Taste of” portions for about four tickets.
For more information, visit http://chicago. about.com/od/EventsFestivals/p/Taste_of_Chicago.htm. 30