The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Magazine Articles for Black Christian Women in December 2019…

 

Hello World!!!

Happy New Year (and Merry Christmas since I missed that…)I took a sabbatical from blogging while I launched my debut novel Destination Wedding but I’m BACK now! I will tell you more about that launch in another blog post, but in the mean time, let me focus on the goal of this blog – blogging the cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture!

So much has happened during my month away and even in these first days of this New Year and I will get to that – but slowly as I get back to my mostly twice a week blogging schedule. In the mean time, as I get back into blogging shape (LOL), I’m back with my monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine articles for black Christian women. Below is my Top 10 monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine/newspaper articles for black Christian women for December but you don’t have be a black Christian woman to to check them out. As usual, let me know if you like my list! Enjoy and share!

1.  Miss World’s Win Means Five Black Women Now Hold the Top Pageant Titles — a Historic First” by Katie Mettler

Excerpt: The crowning of Miss World 2019 has closed out this year’s historic pageant circuit, marking the first time the titles for all five top beauty contests were won by black women. On Saturday, Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh was named Miss World, joining a 2019 cohort of advocates for prison reform, women’s rights and music education who used their platform to address conventional beauty standards: Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, Miss America Nia Franklin, Miss USA Cheslie Kryst and Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris. “To that little girl in St. Thomas, Jamaica and all the girls around the world — please believe in yourself,” Singh wrote on Twitter. “Please know that you are worthy and capable of achieving your dreams. This crown is not mine but yours. You have a PURPOSE.” See more at: washingtonpost.com.

2. “Another Black Woman Emerges Winner at Miss France 2020 Pageant” by Briefly Team

Excerpt: Another black woman has won a beauty pageant, joining the reign of black queens in major beauty pageants around the world. Miss Guadeloupe, Clémence Botino, was crowned in the 90th edition of Miss France pageant on Saturday, 14 December. See more at: briefly.co.za.

3. “Rosa Parks Statue Unveiled in Montgomery, Alabama on 64th Bus Anniversary” by TMZ

Excerpt: Rosa Parks was memorialized in the city where she was once arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person … and where a statue of her now stands tall. The bronze life-size figure was unveiled Sunday in Montgomery, Alabama with the help of Mayor Steven Reed — who recently became Montgomery’s first black mayor — as well as Alabama’s governor, Kay Ivey. There were other important people there too, though. Mary Louise Smith was on hand for the unveiling as well — she’s one of the original plaintiffs in the Browder vs. Gayle case that ultimately desegregated buses in Montgomery a year after Parks was arrested. See more at: tmz.com.

4. “‘The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel’ Trailer: First Look At Biopic On Iconic And Influential Group” by Shadow and Act

Excerpt: Lifetime has released the first trailer for their upcoming film, The Clark Sisters: First Ladies Of Gospel. The trailer was unveiled in a promotional video for the movie, introduced by Kelly Rowland. Emmy nominee Aunjanue Ellis stars as the sisters’ mother, Mattie Moss Clark. The sisters are Christina Bell as Twinkie, Kierra Sheard as Karen (her real-life mother), Sheléa Frazier as Dorinda, Raven Goodwin as Denise and Angela Birchett as Jacky. The project is executive produced by Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliott. The description:  The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel recounts the story of the highest-selling female gospel group in history and their trailblazing mother, Mattie Moss Clark. Credited with bringing gospel music to the mainstream, the five Clark sisters overcame humble beginnings in Detroit, enduring abuse, loss, rejection, betrayal and sibling rivalries to achieve international fame as icons of the gospel music industry. Christine Swanson is the director of the Sylvia L. Jones-written script. See more at: shadowandact.com. 

5. “Brooklyn Church Evicts Its Former First Lady Before Christmas and Defends the Action” by Nigel Roberts

Excerpt: DITMAS PARK – A dispute that centered in part on how Black churches should treat their pastor’s wife came to a legal resolution. The courts ordered the removal of former First Lady Paula Scarlett-Brown, widow of the late Archbishop Roy E. Brown who founded the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Flatbush, from her home that the church owns. While the legal dispute ended, a moral debate continues about first ladies. See more at: bklyner.com.

6. “Angela Brown, Viral Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Mastermind, is Our Internet Person of the Year” by Kahron Spearman

Excerpt: “There’s a lot of things that [as a Black person/woman] I’ll bring to the table that our team will bring to the table that our clients aren’t aware of,” she asserts. “I think people think that you can get a moment like this [without] people of color, or Black people. And the reality is you can’t. Every community is specific, and you just won’t find these moments without people who know how to find them, and know how to respond.” See more at: dailydot.com.

7. “Michelle Williams Says You Won’t Always Be Everyone’s Favorite Person & That’s OK” by Taylor Honore 

Excerpt: “I’ve done a lot of gospel, so I’m kind of insecure because mainstream [fans] don’t know my voice. And sometimes social media… it’s bad when you read the comments. I like engaging with people on social media. I don’t want to not talk to the people that are being gracious all because there are some mean ones out there.” See more at: xonecole.com. 

8. “6 Things To Consider Before Getting Into An Interfaith Relationship” by Shellie R. Warren

Excerpt: Being that I am a marriage life coach, I often get asked if I subscribe to interfaith marriages. Well, being that I am also a Bible follower (not an evangelical by any stretch, but I do strive for discipleship—John 8:31-32), I have to take into account that the Bible has interfaith couples. One that immediately comes to mind is Boaz and Ruth. He was Hebrew, she was a Moabite—there you have it; an interfaith relationship. (By the way, if you read the story, you might change your tune about “I’m waiting on my Boaz.” See more at: xonecole.com.

9. “New York City Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Casts First Black Marie” by Vanessa Etienne

Excerpt: At just 11 years old, Charlotte Nebres has made history. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker opened Friday (Nov 29) at New York City Ballet, and for the first time in history, a Black girl will be playing the young heroine, Marie.  Charlotte Nebres was cast in the famous production which dates back to 1954. Charlotte was only six years old when Misty Copeland became the first female African-American principal at American Ballet Theater and recalls being inspired by seeing someone on stage who looked like her, The New York Times reports.  Now, Charlotte is a ballerina at the School of American Ballet and will be making a name for herself on stage in The Nutcracker. See more at: bet.com.

10. “Pioneering Black Woman, Who Designs Interior of Cadillacs, Shares Her Road to Success” by  Natasha S. Alford

Excerpt: The road to success has lots of twists and turns, but at least Crystal Windham knows how to ride in style. Her artistic talent and creative thinking are exactly what led her to become the first African-American woman Director of Interior Design at General Motors in 2008. While most people think of “interior designers” as style gurus who only beautify homes, Windham does the same for what she calls people’s second homes: cars. See more at: thegrio.com.

If you know of any black Christian women bloggers and or writers, please e-mail me at jacqueline@afterthealtarcall.com as I’m always interested in expanding my community of black Christian women blogs and websites. As I noted before, while this is a roundup of interesting blog posts and or magazine and newspaper articles for black Christian women, you don’t have to be one to appreciate these pieces  🙂.

Any thoughts?

3 Reasons Why I’m Glad Michelle Williams & Pastor Chad Johnson Are Reportedly ‘Working on Things!”

Hello World,

Last April, I was so excited when I heard the engagement story of Michelle Williams & Pastor Chad Johnson that I wrote “7 Reasons Why I Love That Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child is Engaged to Pastor Chad Johnson!” Below is an excerpt:

1. Michelle Williams had to wait on the Lord…We’ve all heard that God is an on-time God, and He is. But the caveat is He may not come when you want Him to come, but He’s always on time…I must confess that I hate that sometimes…God’s timing that is…But there are so many verses that address waiting on God’s timing that I have to conclude that waiting is a part of the Christian life…Below are three of these verses:

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Lamentations 3:25

“Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7

I bet it was hard to watch Beyoncé get married 10  years ago, Kelly get married 4 years ago while Michelle, who is making gospel  albums, was just waiting for God’s best to arrive! She had even gotten to the point where she was bitter about love. This is a quote from  her Instagram page: “I used to be so bitter and a hater when Valentine’s Day  would come around. I even found myself tweeting things like “Valentine’s Day is for suckers!” Welp….I’m a sucker! The Lord has been kind!” But her “someday my prince will come” story started last year and from what I’ve read, he is an admiral man of God, a pastor no less! But like I’ve learned”“Eye has not seen, nor  ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Read the rest HERE.

Since last April, unfortunately, a lot changed. The main thing from what I can tell is that the two of them decided to share their road to the altar via their OWN reality series “Chad Loves Michelle.” Lord, why did they do that?  I watched every episode and really enjoyed it but seeing all of the online dissection of every exchange they had and the day-to-day events of their lives was just toxic. I truly believe that no relationship, even the most stable relationship, can truly flourish if its being scrutinized and picked apart by people outside of the relationship. I mean, according to the Bible, even our very own parents, the ones who loved us first, are not supposed to be in a couple’s relationship because what goes on in a relationship is sacred and must be protected. #LeaveAndCleave That being said, below are my 3 reasons why I’m glad that Michelle Williams and Pastor Chad Johnson appear to be “working on things” according to Page Six although they broke up at the conclusion of their reality show.

They were spotted together at the Kentucky Derby over the weekend. Check out this Instagram post from The Jasmine Brand. They look really happy 🙂

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#MichelleWilliams enjoys the #KentuckyDerby festivities with #ChadJohnson #ChrisTucker #Amerie and more

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on

1. Some relationships don’t start out smoothly. It was evident by watching “Chad Loves Michelle” that were issues to work out. Michelle has admitted she had some mental health concerns. They are an interracial couple so there were assumptions and belief systems that had to be worked through. Michelle seemed to be skittish regarding commitment. These are just the things that I observed not to mention the fact that Michelle is a major celebrity.  From my own experience, I know for a fact that some relationships are not easy from the onset. One person commented online that this part of their relationship was supposed to be the easiest part…According to whom? Prior to my relationship with my husband, I had never been in a relationship longer than 8 months! I realize now that I choose men who didn’t want to be committed to me and subconsciously, I didn’t want to be committed either. But when my husband came along, I knew he was special but commitment felt foreign to me. I started a lot of arguments with him as result. Thank God he was patient with me, but had this all played out on television, I’m sure folk would be telling him to run and fast…LOL…

2. How they came together looked like how God works. If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you start to recognize when something is just not good, it’s God. This is not something I can explain, well, maybe I can, but I don’t have time to this morning, but maybe on another day when I have time, I will. But the engagement story of Michelle Williams and Pastor Chad just seemed like it was divinely done. One fact that sticks out to me is the fact that Pastor Chad started saving for an engagement ring that he would present to his fiancée 11 years ago. This is what he told PEOPLE magazine: “On my 30th birthday, everybody came and celebrated me. The next day, I woke up alone. I was so lonely. I had a little pity party. My personal life was lacking so much, and I  was living so single,” recalls Johnson, who turns 41 in July. “So as a response to that moment, I opened up a ring account, and for 11 years, I put $150 into a ring account.” As the old saints say, I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me. I don’t think God lead his servant (a pastor, mind you) to save for an engagement ring for 11 years only to have him present it to the wrong woman. When my hubby came into my life, I had declared myself done with dating. I had concluded that it must not be God’s will for me to get married because every relationship I had just disintegrated. And not longer after that declaration, God did what He does…

3. My hubby said Pastor Chad was a good dude. I know you must be rolling your eyes at this one, but hear (read) me out. Hubby and I have have very different TV viewing tastes. For example, he watches car shows, “Incredible Hulk” reruns and basketball.” I watch “Sex and the City” reruns, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Wendy Williams. Well, one Saturday night, he decided to watch an episode or two of “Chad Loves Michelle” with me. Every once in a while, my hubby will watch what I’m watching but will be criticizing things the whole time. He thinks the housewives are catty and that Wendy Williams is mean and nosy. But as he watched “Chad Loves Michelle,” he said that the pastor looks like a good dude. I turned and looked at him and said, “I know.” I told him that various people online were criticizing him and I couldn’t figure out why. He told me that he didn’t know about all of that but that Pastor Chad seemed like a genuine guy, the kind of guy you could introduce your sister to because he was nice. I.WAS.SHOCKED. My hubby isn’t perfect, but my hubby and my father are the kindest men that I know. If they say you are good people, I believe them.

So these are my three reasons. Have I proved my case? What do you think?

And thankfully, Michelle and Pastor Chad are taking a different approach now that they are “working on things.” Apparently, Michelle has noticed that people have noticed they are spending time together again. This is what she said on Twitter about it…

Yes, I know that Michelle and Pastor Chad opened their relationship to the public before, but now they’ve decided to close it. That’s why you can open AND shut a door. People are allowed to change their minds and praise God, I hope they continue to mind their business and not let outsiders in it…

Any thoughts?

 

Hope Carpenter, former First Lady of Pastor John Gray’s Relentless Church, Threatens Greenville News With a Knife, Saying ‘I Cut People!’

Hello World,

Pastor Hope Carpenter aine no Beyoncé or Hillary Clinton for matter. There is no hot sauce in her bag. On Sunday, the former First Lady and co-founder (along her with her husband Pastor Ron Carpenter) of Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, South Carolina, returned to her church renamed Relentless Church under Pastor John Gray and told the congregation, “I cut people. I got a knife right there in that pocketbook. Greenville News, come on.”  That’s right Greenville News, pull up on the pastor if you want to…(I can only imagine the discussions taking place in the newsroom about this…)

If you don’t believe me, see for yourselves…Go to about :35…

Her sharp (LOL) words were part of an overall public show of support for Pastor John and his wife Aventer Gray, who took over the church after the Carpenters left. As you probably know, the Grays have been really going through some thangs in terms of the all of the media coverage they have garnered. She told the Grays, “I love you, Pastor John and Pastor Aventer. I believe in you. I’m praying for you. I’m rooting for you.”

As far as The Greenville News is concerned, the media outlet recently ran this story: John Gray asks Relentless Church members to give $250K to help pay for church roof. Daniel J. Gross reported that, “Redemption had accrued substantial debt that Relentless has had to assume responsibility for when Gray took over. ‘(Ron Carpenter) handed us keys. The keys were not to a paid off building, the keys were to an opportunity, an opportunity to continue the work,’ Gray said. “Nothing you see is paid off. It wasn’t paid off when we got here.'”

The article ended with this paragraph: “Gray and Relentless Church came back into the spotlight in January when The Greenville News reported that Gray was living in a $1.8 million home in Simpsonville that was funded by the church. Church leaders said the particular parsonage is what was needed to entice a pastor of Gray’s ‘caliber’ to Greenville.

As a journalist with a journalism degree and over 20 years of experience, I will say this: journalists don’t make the news, they simply report it. Sometimes, people will like how they are covered by the media and many times, they will not. (Thus the term “fake news.” Anything that you don’t like is fake…SMH…) That is price of being in the public eye. What you do will be reported and as a result, you will be praised and or criticized. That being said, there are many people (notice I didn’t say journalists) “reporting” on the news and various issues who seem to not want to present facts or even fairly presented opinions, they seem to want to tear people down. As a Christian first and as a journalist second, I will not do that. Yes, my critiques (and I have critiqued many on this blog) may not always be liked but no one can claim that I called them everything but a child of God or that I tried to send them to hell with my words.

As THE Word says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21) While this verse applies to spoken words, I think it can be applied to written words as well.

As far as Pastor Hope Carpenter’s words are concerned, a Relentless Church spokesman Holly Baird told this to The Greenville News the following day:

“While we believe Pastor Hope was joking, we completely understand how her comments could be received in today’s climate,” said spokeswoman Holly Baird, in a written statement. “Neither our pastors or anyone in our leadership would agree with any type of communication that would encourage or incite violence against another individual or entity.”

Ultimately, I believe Pastor Hope Carpenter was joking as well, but with the way the media is being attacked right now, this needed to be said…

So what do you think about Pastor Hope Carpenter at Relentless Church this past Sunday?

Any thoughts?