Why Ciara & Pastor John Gray Are Right To Advise Single Ladies to Level Up…

Hello World,

I know that I’ve been gone for a few days. Due to a family emergency, my hubby and I ventured up north to last Tuesday and just got back on Sunday. And once I returned to my regular Internet habits, I was bombarded with the backlash that R&B star Ciara faced from single ladies over the weekend simply because of a snippet of a Pastor John Gray sermon that she tweeted. See the message that had black Twitter blazing below…

What about this is offensive? I don’t get it…but below are some of the criticisms that Ciara faced after she tweeted this sermon snippet…

From The Grio:

“All Gray did in that clip was plant the “Pick Me” seed—the belief that women who behave in a certain way are worthy of marriage over others (e.g., being a homebody, being ride or die, prioritizing a man’s needs over their own, etc.)—into insecure women, and that is extremely dangerous.

For women still on the search for themselves, this type of rhetoric morphs into their internal law, leaving them either desperately seeking love or feeling worthless in its absence. And what’s worse, the Black Church has been weaponizing scriptures like these to target those insecurities, manipulate women and make women more subordinate for years.”

From Twitter:

From The Real:

So I have a few thoughts about this criticism (obviously since I’m writing this post). First of all, ever since Ciara dared to leave her first child’s father Future, who has several children with several woman, and marry devout Christian football star Russell Wilson, she has been the subject of unfair scrutiny. It’s almost as if folk are incensed that Ciara did not resign herself to be among Future’s harem of women just because she gave birth to his child and decided to level up with a man who wanted to be committed to her and her alone. So I think some of this backlash can be attributed to jealousy. Plain and simple.

Now as far as the other criticism is concerned, Ciara felt the need to clarify her position after all of the response she received from her tweet. See her Instagram post below:


A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

Obviously, after what happened with Future, this woman had a “Come to Jesus” moment. To be honest, as I watched her date him (from press reports) before their son was born, I thought she was downgrading herself. I remember seeing some picture with her and several mothers of his children and I wondered why anyone would voluntarily sign up for that…It didn’t seem that she truly loved herself AND you have to truly love yourself before anyone, romantic connection or otherwise, can love you…Below is the pic…I think one of these women is Future’s sister but the rest are mothers of his children…SMH…

Now obviously Ciara wanted to get married AND be in a monogamous relationship, and there is nothing wrong to aspiring to that. Marriage and or monogamy aren’t for some people but this message is for those single ladies who want to have these experiences. Furthermore, being married or single should not be ranked. A married woman is not better than a single woman and single woman is not better than a married woman. However, when I was single and wanted to be married, someone casually mentioned to me that maybe I needed to curb my friendships with my male friends. I know this sounds drastic, but I thought about it. At one point, I had several male friendships that I had cultivated over the years. Some were strictly platonic and some had an undercurrent of flirtation. This person explained that I needed to literally create space for a husband and that having all of these male friends filled the space that a husband needed to fill. It made sense so I slowly stopped cultivating those friendships. I mean I would talk to them if they called, but I didn’t reach out anymore.  In sum, I wanted to be a wife so I acted like I was one before it actually manifested. I think a wife’s primary male friendship should be with her husband and vice versa for the man.

But love and romance isn’t the only field where we should level up. If you want to be in a certain career, for example, it is common knowledge that you should present yourself like you are already in that career. If you want to buy a home, you should conduct yourself as a homeowner by taking charge of your credit, saving, etc. If nothing changes, nothing changes!

Now some are saying that Pastor Gray is focusing on women when the sermon should focus on men and women. I get that. But I haven’t seen the whole sermon to know if he addressed men as well. I agree it can be annoying when some male ministers are constantly preaching to women about romantic relationships. But even outside of the church, women of all races are always the primary audience for romantic relationship messages. I mean, how many men do you know read romance novels or watch The Bachelor? It’s supply and demand at work. Now, this doesn’t mean that men should not be addressed in various areas when it comes to romantic relationships because they should, but judging after a snippet of a sermon is extreme.

So that’s all I have… Do you plan to level up like Ciara and Pastor John Gray advise?

Any thoughts?

Three Gifts Guaranteed to Give You Christmas Cheer!!! A Repost for 2017…

Editor’s Note: I’ve posted this before, but the Christmas message is renewed every year! Merry Christmas!

Hello World,

I’ve said this before, but I will say it again: Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year!” So if your eyes aren’t twinkling like they are Christmas lights, if jingle bells aren’t attached to your ankles or if you are not burping up eggnog, you obviously don’t possess that sometimes elusive Christmas cheer…

I know that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but can I be honest? Sometimes even knowing that isn’t enough to dredge up that Christmas cheer that everyone is supposed to be cloaked in like an expensive heavy coat that you only wear on special occasions….

Still despite the manufactured Christmas cheer that retailers will lead you to believe can only be bought, I have discovered there are three gifts, not 12, not enough for your whole family or all your network, simply three that will stoke the furnace of genuine Christmas cheer within you…

I don’t know if it is the example of the three Wise Men or because God is the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit or at the suggestion of my favorite author Catherine Marshall, but in my 20s, I decided that in addition to the gifts I would give to my friends and family, I would also give three gifts to Jesus…

Now, how does one go about giving gifts to Jesus? Although I feel His presence with me, I have never seen nor touched Him physically…So how was I supposed to do that? I was led to these three verses below as I came up with a way to give three gifts to Jesus…

 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:30

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4

So what do these three verses mean?

1. I was give without expectation of receiving anything back.

2. I was to give to people and or organizations that served “the least of these.”

3. I was to give in secret and not tell a soul.

I have never revealed what I have done before, but since I am writing a post about this, let me share some of the gifts I have given over the years as a testimony to how God has blessed me with authentic Christmas cheer as a result….

There was once a homeless man that I saw every day as I walked from one location to another in downtown Atlanta…All of the store owners on the street were kind to him, and I could see why…He was kind and mannerly and even funny sometimes…I don’t don’t why he was homeless, but he seemed content to live on the street…I thought that since he seemed like he wanted to be on the street, I could at least help keep him warm…I tried to figure out what what size pants the man wore and bought him a pair of jeans (he always had on jeans) and a blanket…When I handed him the wrapped up gift, he seemed not to know what I was handing to him until I explained it was a Christmas gift…Then he smiled…That simple smile made me glow on the inside…

Another year, I decided to volunteer one Saturday at My Sister’s House at the Atlanta Mission…I helped hand out supplies to the women and children that were staying at the shelter…At that particular time in my life, I pretty much hated my job and the fact that I was too poor to move out of my parents’ house…But spending just one Saturday at the shelter showed how much I had to be grateful for…My mom has always told me if you want to feel better, forget about yourself…

And finally another one of my secret three gifts was the doll I gave to a Christmas toy drive one year…although I am not a girly girl, I have always LOVED dolls…I wanted a new doll every  Christmas for years and years…in fact, I used to worry that as a fifth grader, someone at school would find out I still played with dolls and I would be teased…So one year I decided to give the prettiest, most girly, luxurious hair-having doll I could find and afford to a toy drive…I don’t know what girl was the recipient of that doll, but if I have learned anything about God, I know that “every good and perfect gift” comes from Him…I’m sure that the girl who received that doll was the very girl that wished for and deserved that gift…

Although the Christmas countdown has begun,  there is more than enough time to give (and get) Christmas cheer…

Any thoughts?

TLC’s Chilli, 112’s Q. Parker, Tony Gaskins & More to Discuss Love at Impact Church TODAY!

Hello World,



Indulge in an evening of fun, music, and fellowship as we discuss love and living on purpose with Tony Gaskins and the Real Love Panel. Join us Sunday, April 2nd beginning at 5 pm at Impact Church (2323 Sylvan Rd, Atlanta, GA 30344) for this life-changing event!

We’ve heard it before: “Love is not an action, it’s a choice.” It’s time to dive deeper into understanding how to love, love in a relationship, SELF LOVE and find the one that is meant for you. Let Brand Success Coach & Lifestyle Strategist April Love, Special Guest Tony Gaskins, and Sam Collier teach you the secrets of love and living your ABSOLUTE BEST LIFE.

About A Gathering of Champions

A Gathering of Champions is a global platform and safe haven divinely inspired by God to transform the individuals who desire to live a purpose-filled life. We serve a God who is the same today, yesterday, and forever but we recognize that as we progress through the years, we must create more elaborate ways of connecting people with Christ. We want to inspire people to live the life they have always dreamed of through the application of God’s word.

Entertainment Veteran & Lifestyle Strategist April Love created and curated this faith-based global platform to inspire and transform lives. The goal is to empower individuals to create balance throughout the various aspects of life and create a safe space for all walks of life through the following mediums:


“We are better together” is not just a cliché but a foundational principle of the A Gathering of Champions mission. Between work, family, and other curveballs that life may throw our way, it can get a bit difficult to acquire those Christ-like connections that we are looking for. We understand that this faith journey should not be done alone so each gathering provides the chance for individuals to build bonds. The ones that provide support, accountability, and more importantly – love.


We truly appreciate our vendors because they provide the opportunity for us to create a two-way blessing between the business owners and our champions. Not only are attendees are able to patron and connect with our hand-selected medley of vendors, but are also able to formulate connections with these entrepreneurs as they share their story and provide insight on what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

“The Talk” + The Love Offering stage

Often times, people tend to lose their sense of direction in such a fast paced, ever-evolving world. Rather than comparing yourself to others or trying to fit in a mold that was not designed for you, we will explore various faith-based topics that will assist every Believer on their journey. Each monthly theme includes special guest speakers that will inspire, encourage, and motivate you into the next phase of your life.

Previous speakers include Digital Marketing Guru AJ Joiner, Minister Sam Collier, Food Network Chef Lisa Washington and the Love Offering stage has welcomed musical guests such as Janelle Monae, Pastor William Murphy, Bishop Paul Morton, Chrisette Michele and many more.

To purchase tickets, click on eventbrite.com.

Any thoughts?