Celebrating Panorama Of Truth Conference 2014

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What is Panorama of Truth Conference (POT) you might ask?  Panorama of Truth Conference gave birth 40 years ago by the first African- American woman, Rev. Dr. Johnnie Coleman who started The Universal Foundation For Better Living Ministry, and Theology Seminary, A New Thought idea asking each of us,  “where do we go from here, who we are, and affirming our intention to move forward and behold the Christ Consciousness within us.”

Rev. Dr. Johnnie Coleman, a former member of Unity Church, practice the teachings of Charles Fillmore and Rev. Butterworth, in her ministry, and so I was excited to be a part of this conference and retreat for 5 days in Chicago.  The conference was held in Chicago from Jul 23-27 at the Hyatt Regency Copley Place, and on Sunday morning  a healing service was held at the mother church, Christ Universal Temple.  This was the church Rev. Dr. Johnnie Coleman founded.  I was invited by my friend Ms. Fern Luecke who attends the conference each year, and a member of the ministry in Kingston Jamaica.  The conference is held in a different city each year and have been held outside the USA, in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Mexico.  This is the 40th year anniversary, and what an amazing experience to be apart of this retreat with like-minded people, who come together to know the Truth, and embrace and hold each other in love and light.  As a Unity Truth student, it was refreshing to be with these amazing people, and develop a  more understanding of spiritual principles that will help me overcome anything that keeps me from my highest good.  It was refreshing also, to see all the young people developing a deeper understanding of spiritual practices, by participating in programs and activities that help them to become more creative, and awaken the Christ Consciousness to Truth, and inspire them for greatness, while having fun as well.  People came in droves from all over the USA, Canada, Bahamas and the Caribbean, anywhere that a ministry is being held, to partake in the different sessions that was so empowering and uplifting, to be more than you could ever dream it was possible.  This was a return to a spiritual community with family and friends, working to live life at a higher level.

It was a power filled conference with amazing speakers.  Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith,  Minister from Agape ministry in Los Angeles, helped us to embrace the future and honor the legacy started by Rev. Coleman to move forward with the spirit of God guiding the way.  Expanding the Christ Consciousness with the prospering power of God was the theme throughout the conference by the speakers.  Minister Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam, gave a dynamic speech on the black community in embracing the  youth who are lost to gun violence.  Helping to be the guiding force in our youth’s lives was a powerful message.  Helping them to see a brighter future by embracing the love of God and awaken the Consciousness of Truth in their lives.  What an amazing and brighter future awaits them if they become one with Spirit!  So many  dynamic speakers included;  Senior Minister from the mother church, Rev. Derrick Wells, who oversees thousands of members at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago.  Rev Kevin Ross, a Unity Minister  from Sacramento California, who grew up in Chicago and was mentored by Rev. Dr. Mary Thumpkin.  It was a memorable experience to be in the presence of a large group of African-American and Caribbean people,  young dynamic Ministers and female Ministers, honoring the legacy set forth by an amazing leader, Rev. Dr. Johnnie Coleman, and continued by Rev. Dr. Mary Thumpkin, Senior Minister from the church in Miami Florida. Rev. Mary was the second president of Universal Foundation for Better Living, and she made her transition last year.  The Interim president Rev. Bernette Jones, Minister from One God One Thought Ministry in Maryland was also powerful in her message in moving forward and spreading the message of Spirit.  Rev. Dr. Sheila McKeithen, Senior Minister from the Universal of Truth in Kingston Jamaica, who became the newly elected President for the Universal Foundation for Better Living Ministry.  She is the third African-American female leading this organization. The announcement came after the conference, and all praise and honor go out to Rev. Sheila.  She is following in the footsteps of her mentor Rev. Dr. Mary Thumpkin, a dynamic and powerful leader of the organization.  Rev. Sheila a dynamic leader in her own right, have been the minister in Kingston Jamaica for 19 years.  In being in her presence for this conference, my thoughts, words, and actions, reaffirm my purpose in life.  I once wrote an article on this subject, and being in the presence , and one with spirit during this time at the conference, I continue to nourish and feed my soul with unlimited goodness of God in my life, and know that spirit continues to guide me every day.  The spirit of  God leads  the way and I follow the unlimited goodness along the path.  I know after the conference, each and everyone returned to their communities ready to teach, inspire, and live life, enriched in the goodness of Spirit.

We had a lot of fun together. Early morning Yoga at 6am followed by T’AI Chi CHIH, and early morning and midnight meditations was also a part of the conference.  We learned line dancing, a graduation ceremony  of new teachers ready to spread the word, an ordained minister ceremony, along with a barbecue at one of the minister’s home, where we had fellowship with each other.  Some of the attendees went on a boat cruise along the river, and a wonderful luncheon was had by everyone. The amazing speaker at the luncheon was Rev. Dr. Thurman Evans, Minister at Morning Star Community Christian Center in Linden New Jersey.  Dr Evans, a medical doctor practice a holistic approach to medicine while having a Ministry. It was quite refreshing for me as a holistic health coach where one combines the health of a person, knowing it can only be accomplished when spirit feeds the soul.

A power filled week was had by everyone, and we are ready to embrace the Truth and honor the legacy set forth by Rev. Dr. Johnnie Coleman, and Rev. Dr. Mary Thumpkin. Leading Universal Foundation for Better Living into the future, Rev. Dr. Sheila McKeithen, who is awakening the Consciousness of truth, by expanding our minds and soul to the healing presence of God.  Are you ready to embrace the Truth?  My purpose in life, is being one with Spirit and embracing the Truth.

Thank you God. And so it is.

Meatless Mondays

IMG_0068How many Americans consume meat at least seven days a week?  Well, according to the USDA, an average American consume 8 oz  of meat per day, 45% more than the  USDA recommended.  Consuming so much meat, especially with the risk of pesticide and antibiotics  in our food, can lead to  cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

During the  world wars, President Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt organized the nation to voluntary have meatless days. In  2003, meatless Mondays began.  The nonprofit organization campaign began in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The organization provide information and recipe to start the week with healthy meat-free alternatives.  The goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15% to help improve  your personal health, and your family and the health of the planet. Meatless Monday also  will help with  the reduction of the weekly budget and curb health care spending for your family.

The meat-less movement is now active in over 23 countries worldwide. Gent Belguim became the first country in 2009, Paul MCCartney from the UK introduced it soon after. This movement is quickly expanding, which clearly shows the need for a change in eating lifestyle worldwide. The small Caribbean island of Jamaica is a member of this movement also.  The campaign’s simple message allows each nation to bring its own unique culture, custom and cuisine to the table.  If you are wondering why Mondays? Well, the organizers felt Mondays is like January of the new year. It is the start of the new week and a perfect time. Most people start a diet, began an exercise regiment, and therefore a perfect start for meatless Mondays.

Joining the meatless Monday’s movement includes, schools,  Universities, hospitals, City Eats, Russell Simmons, ABC Robin Roberts, Oprah, Al Gore, AARP, Super Kids Nutrition, The Water Planet Challenge and several restaurants also have a meatless Monday receipe.

Join the movement, and take part by starting a meatless movement in your community, with your family and play an active role in your health. Eat more beans, peas, will helping a higher intake of fiber, protein,folate,zinc,iron and magnesium with lower intake of saturated fat and total fat intake.

Season of Harvest and Abundance

Autumn/Fall is the season of Harvest and Abundance.  As the leaves on the trees change to a beautiful bright orange color, and fall off the trees, I affirm “I am Abundantly Blessed and I give thanks for all that I have.”  The hot days of summer are now over, and I embrace the beauty of fall.  I love this season.  The cool breeze and relaxing sleep at night is so very pleasant.

This is the season for apple picking. If you have never visited an orchard and picked apples, you are really missing out on a fun past time.  Apples are a favorite fruit of mine.  When the organic movement began, apples was at the forefront.  Because apples are sprayed with so much pesticides, it is at the top of the list of food/fruit to eat organic.

The Environmental Working Group, an organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic  chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands and corporate accountability. They list annually the “Dirty Dozen” list of foods with the highest pesticide residue and the “Clean 15″ list of food with the least pesticide residue. They keep track of food and list the top food/fruit you must eat organic. Check out their website for the food list. (www.EWG.org)

Apples nutrients helps especially cancer and heart-protective quercetin and fiber, exist mostly in the skin. So instead of peeling the apple, eat the whole fruit.  The various apples, Honey Crisp, my favorite for its sweetness, Granny Smith  and Pippin for its tart taste, Fuji and the new Sweet Tango and Northern Spy, all make for a healthy raw snack, as well as baking in a pie. These are a few of the apples for our harvest season of abundance.

As we celebrate the season of Harvest and Abundance, this weekend Oct 6, take a trip uptown on Saturday to Harlem New York and Celebrate, “Harlem Harvest Festival.”  On Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, Harlem Harvest Festival will take place at the Phillip Randolph Square, located at St Nicholas Ave between West 116 St and 117 St.

The activities for families and children include: adult yoga/ bikram yoga, children yoga, face painting,, sand art, pumpkin carving, African dance, live music, Hula Hoop demonstrations. Also includes, cook off battle of the Lenox Ave chefs vs FDB Ave chefs. Their will be a farmers market with organic fruits and vegetables brought in by farmers from out of town. Also includes a winery and brewery and Taste of Harlem. A Wellness fair will be included, spa treatment, fitness sessions  and gardening.

This will be a great Harvest fair full of Abundance for the entire family. Tickets are $3 and $5 entry includes raffle ticket. The winner of the raffle will win a whole food basket.  So, come out on Saturday and enjoy a great weekend at the Harlem Harvest Festival.

Namaste.

 

 

 

New Orleans Piano Kings Fri/Sat evening May 11-12 at 730pm and 930pm Allen Room JALC

New Orléans, Caribbean of the United States, home of the Mardi-Gras, Gumbo and home of Jazz and the legendary Elis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and family. This past Friday and Saturday evening, New Orléans came to New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center in celebration of the legendary musicians i.e. Jelly Roll Morton and the sound of jazz from this city. Prior to the evenings performances in the various venue, Allen Room,Rose Theatre and Dizzy’s club, there were Gumbo tasting and various art and tourism information about New Orléans.

I had the greatest pleasure in being an invited guest of the amazing and talented bass player Reginald Veal for the celebration of the Piano Kings, led by music director and talented drummer Herling Riley, accompanied by the Elder statesman on piano, Mr Elis Marsalis, awesome pianist Henry Butler, and Young Lion on piano Jonathon Baptiste. What a magical evening it was for me! Herling pointed out “these days most of the musicians around New Orléans are not from there, and a lot of the old music traditions are being diminished. Sometimes people can play the notes, but the feel of it is missing.” If there were ever more truer words spoken! Yes indeed, Herling is so right. I hear jazz artist playing the sounds of New Orleans, and until it comes from the musicians who truly came from “Nawlins” as they would say it, then they don’t capture the feel and sound of this great music called jazz. The musicians from “Nawlins play with such depth and feeling, that you cannot sit and listen without tapping your feet, clapping your hand and immerse yourself in the soul of the music.

The evening started out with Veal and Herling having a good old time feeding off of each other. I loved the magic of both. It was quite clear they have played with each other for many years, that they could read each other and know what sound the other would play next. This is what I love about these great artist from New Orléans. I love the fun and enjoyment the musicians were having. This piece showed the creative genius of Veal. These great artist pull you in to their web and there is no escaping, not that you would want to, they wrap you in a warm embrace of the music. “Riddled Rhythm, written by Veal was magical.The piece set the tone for Jonathon Baptiste the young talented pianist from Julliard. They don’t make them any better from New Orléans! He played a tune from the famous New Orléans musicians Jelly Roll Morton. I especially loved the piece Jonathan wrote, “Bunk Man Shoe” accompanied by Herling on drums and Veal on bass. This piece was beautiful. “Kindergarten” another piece that truly brought you back to the roots of down home New Orléans. A fun and jolly piece. Jonathon explained, it took him back to his childhood. What an honor for him to be on stage with these giants of jazz, Herling,Veal, Butler and elder statesman Elis Marsalis, the father of them all.

Elder Statesman Elis, came out on stage and did a duet with Baptiste.Soothing and relaxing piece. Mr Elis was subdued and relaxed at the piano. He played so effortless as his fingers danced over the keys.I was in awe at the grace and presence of this master player. His piece put me in a relaxed state of mind. I am always in a relaxed state of consciousness when I listen to this music played by original New Orléans jazz artist. I am having an affair with jazz and I don’t want to stop. It is contagious. I loved the energy on stage with these artist which makes for an awesome evening in the Allen Room. I loved this evening of New Orléans artist, home of the birth of jazz. Henry Butler came on stage with such energy and was playful. This seasoned veteran played a piece called “Old Folks” which was mellow, as you sway back and forth with the feel of the sound capturing your being. The “entertainer by Jelly Roll Morton with Butler’s own improvisation brought the rag time sound. A lot of hand clapping and tapping of feet was going on in the audience. “the Village” was another excellent piece by Butler, with some awesome drumming by Herling. Accompanied by Herling on drums, Veal on bass, Young Lion Baptiste, veteran Butler and legendary Elis Marsalis, all the great giants on stage together, rounded out and closed the evening with “Come to the Mardi-Gras” with vocal by Baptiste. This piece was truly the flavor of New Orléans for the evening.

This weekend the sound of New Orléans was clear all around Jazz at Lincoln Center. These great artist brought the down home New Orléans style of jazz to New york. I am ready to book my ticket to “Nawlins.” Are you ready? Lets get on board and ride the train for some Gumbo and some good old-time jazz.

Celebrating Earth Day New York Green Festival

As we celebrate Spring, with the sun shining and flowers blooming, lets remember Earth Day this month of April.

On Sunday April 22, is the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day. This movement is designed to mobilize individuals of every age, from all over the world to improve energy efficiency, embrace new technology for climate change and greening our planet. To call upon local, national and international leaders to put an end to the destruction of our planet. We need a world for our children and our children’s children to live  more green and sustainable. Free from toxic chemicals polluting the air and food we eat.

The Earth Day campaign will run several campaigns all to inform you of the importance of this movement. To learn more, please visit; http//www.earthday.org/2012.

In New York on April 21-22, as part of Earth Day Celebration, the first New York City Green Festival will take place for 2 days at, Jacob Javit’s Center North.

This Green Festival will inform you, your family, your community how to live and discover practical tips on greening you life and your planet. You can also discover how to find a green job, learn to reduce your energy bill, find locally produced foods, how to detox your home and your body.  Over 150  speakers and over 450 exhibitors, and on-going workshops will take place during this weekend.

For example, special events such as test drive one of Ford’s new green hybrid and electric vehicles, youth demonstrations showing how they are greening NYC schools. Special guest speakers include, Russell Simmons, Amy Goodman and Van Jones, bestselling author of the Green Economy among other special guest. Screening of Documentary films, organic cuisines, beer, wine free samples and activities at the Green Kids Zone are all part of the highlight for this amazing and informative event.

You won’t want to miss this event. So, ride your bike for a greener commute to the Javit’s Center during the weekend of April 21-22. Come and have fun, engage and learn to support local green business in your community. Mobilize and let the powers that be, know, we are all one.  One World, One People, One Love.

“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World.”  Gandhi

http://www.greenfestivals.org/nyc

Dianne Reeves Jazz Performance, Saturday February 25, 2012 Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theatre

Jazz is the soul of music.  It gives birth to all other art form, R/B, Hip Hop, and Rap to name a few.  My heart is full of emotion and passion when I listen to jazz.  Life begins with jazz music for me.

The place to be last  Saturday night, was the Rose Theatre Jazz at Lincoln Center. The wind was howling outside, but inside the theatre, Dianne was howling louder than the wind with her amazing voice.  The theatre was filled with singles, couples, young, old, black,white and everyone who loves jazz.  She is my favorite jazz vocalist, and the Sarah Vaughn of female jazz.

As I looked around the theatre, everyone was anxiously waiting patiently for Ms Reeves to enter the room. The show began with her Quintet, guitarist Peter Sprague, the amazing and talented Reginald Veal on bass, Peter Martin on piano, who seduces the keys with the touch of his fingers, Terreon  Gully on drums, and the awesome Romero Lubambo on guitar.  These amazing and gifted musicians have played with Dianne over the years, which is quite clear in their performance together.  They are a part of her family, Dianne states and they feed off of each other, and you the audience member become alive.

The Quintet began with a Cole Porter  tune, “Just one of those things,” and it was mesmerizing and beautiful.  The room was electrified with the sound of these great musicians.  As Dianne Reeves entered the theatre, a tall stature of a woman, dressed in a beautiful burgundy gown, regal looking with an infectious smile, I was in awe.  Her signature voice mesmerized me into a sense of helplessness.  She sang a number of my favorite songs, “Endangered Species, Today will be  a Good Day,” which was in honor of her mother.  She told the audience “sit back relax, stomp your feet,” and it was certainly a lot of stomping feet in the theatre.  I have so many spectacular moments during Dianne’s performance, its hard to pick one song from the other.

One of my favorite number was a song from the movie, Good Night Good Luck with George Clooney. Dianne had an acting part in the film and the music score was all Dianne. The solo instrument performed by Reginald Veal on bass. Reginald is one of the most talented and gifted player around today.  When he plays, its with such passion, I close my eyes and I am taken to a world of peace, love, and joy soothing my soul.  Dianne also performed a gospel number.  The audience joined in when Dianne put the mike down and moved back and forth across the stage, it was as if the Holy Ghost took over her body.  She sang with passion and vigor, a lot of hand clapping and we were all at a Baptist church revival.  She also performed a jazz version of Bob Marly’s “Waiting in Vain,” “Stormy Weather” to name a few, also a rap jazz skat which was awesome.

The audience was engaged in a skat number, we repeated whatever sound Dianne made with her voice.  She used her voice as an  instrument, and it was truly beautiful. It was an eventful evening, one I will truly treasure.  What a way to spend a Saturday evening!  If you have never seen a Dianne Reeves performance with her amazing and talented band members, you are truly missing out on great music.  This music feeds your soul, and takes you to a place of fulfillment.

Dianne sings with passion and conviction which is evidenced in the lyrics of her songs, and there is no other jazz vocalist like her.  Truly, one of the best performance by a jazz artist I have seen in a long time.  So, don’t wait, next time Dianne Reeves is in town, run to the nearest box office to get your tickets.

Beverly Facey.