Why ‘Insecure’ Actress Yvonne Orji is Right To Be Happy Following Her Breakup With Emmanuel Acho…

Hello World,

Insecure actress Yvonne Orji is not my friend in real life, but she is my friend in my head for many reasons. I interviewed the Christian actress for THE LOOKOUT in 2017, and I really admired her stance on virginity. This is what she told me:

“From the time I was 17 until now that I’m 33 going on 34, I’ve seen too much. I’ve seen the hand of God over the years in my life, and this one thing that he asks of me. I mean he asks many things of us. But this one thing [virginity] that is a roadblock for so many people, he’s been so faithful to me in the darkest of my days, it’s no biggie.”

Although I am married now, I was single for several years before then and I know her struggle. Also, since Yvonne is a first generation American born of Nigerian parents, I identify with her on that topic as well. My parents are Jamaican, but I was born in America. She has even created a show based on her experience as a first generation American. Below is more about her show:

Aside from this series, Yvonne is also developing her own half-hour sitcom, FirstGen, which is executive produced by media mogul Oprah Winfrey and actor David Oyelowo. Semibiographical, the show features a Nigerian girl who drops out of medical school for a stand-up comedy career and the shenanigans that ensue after her strict African mother discovers her plans. “This is my vision so it’s a very family-friendly show.”

If you would like to read the entire story, go to lookoutmag.com.

So in July 2018 when I learned that Yvonne had a new boyfriend after openly expressing her desire to meet her mate, I was hoping he was the one and wrote a happy blog post about it – Christian Actress Yvonne Orji Shares Prayer She Used to Attract Her New Boyfriend Emmanuel Acho! Emmanuel seemed like he could be the one she was waiting for…I mean his name means Messiah first of all and he is a Christian! And then they had the Nigerian connection. His father is from Nigeria. Also, although he works as an ESPN analyst, he has an artistic side as he can sing and play the piano! And on top of all of that, both are committed to charitable causes. Yvonne worked in Liberia with Population Services International, and Emmanuel worked in Nigeria with Living Hope Christian Ministries! And to put it all together in a pretty package, as a former Philadelphia Eagles’ linebacker, her man was all swole and stuff! When Yvonne announced their relationship on Instagram, she even said, “Jesus out here answering prayers on a Sunday.” He did seem like the answer to prayer…

But Yvonne Orji recently told her friend and author Luvvie Ajayi, who also has Nigerian heritage, on their Jesus and Jollof podcast that Emmanuel is no longer her man. Yvonne and Emmanuel have broken up. This is what she said about it, according to madamenoire.com:

“I just have to say, the reason I am so good and so happy is because I know how God works,” she said. “I have seen God’s MO so many times, that like in the way that you can be like, ‘Aw man, I thought this was it! I thought this was the one!’ God be like, ‘Oh that’s what you thought? I got the goods for you.’ It happened in my career when someone offered me a show and I was like, ‘This is it!’ and then the show went to nowhere. I got borderline depressed. Cut to Insecure. Cut to my life has changed.”

I believe Yvonne is right. Emmanuel may have been the prototype, but the finished product is on the way…and soon too…I’ve seen God do this many times in many areas of my life as well…But as it relates to romantic relationships…I remember in November 2009. I was despondent after yet another relationship blew up in my face…I had suffered through many breakups before but this one really took me out. This particular boyfriend/manfriend (I mean he was in his 30s at the time…) was one who I had dated before. When we first dated, he told me that he did not want to have a relationship. I wasn’t happy with his stance, but I respected his honesty. We remained friends for years. And then he changed his mind. My feelings hadn’t changed and I was available. It was so on until it wasn’t…It seemed cosmically cruel for life to play out that way…

But February 2010, the week of Valentine’s Day, I went out on a first date with the man who would become my husband…It was literally months after the breakup…Nothing but God…And if He did it for me, He can do it for you…

So Yvonne you better be happy because I am claiming on your behalf that the one worth waiting for is on the way!

Any thoughts?

 

The Top 10 Blog Posts and or Magazine Articles for Black Christian Women in February 2018

Hello World,

As it is Women’s History Month, I’m back with my monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine articles for black Christian women! So below is my Top 10 monthly roundup of blog posts and or magazine/newspaper articles for black Christian women for February ( 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. “Favorite Oscars Moment: Regina King’s Divine Acceptance Speech” by EEW Magazine Entertainment Editors  & Associated Press

Excerpt: Regina King was honored as best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk at Sunday’s Oscar Awards ceremony. “God is good, all the time,” she said in her divine acceptance speech, EEW Magazine’s favorite moment of the night. See more at: eewmagazineonline.com

2.”Ida B. Wells Becomes First Black Woman With A Chicago Street Named After Her” by Tanya Y. Christian

Excerpt: On Monday, Chicago officials, along with family members and community leaders, made Ida B. Wells an official street designation. The signs bearing the African-American journalist, author and activist’s name were unveiled at the Chicago Public Library. They now hang on what used to be Congress Parkway.  “This woman … was not just an inspiration to me, as a Black woman in politics, but one who endured so much so that we could all stand here today in service to our communities,” Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said at the naming ceremony. “Ida B. Wells spent her life as an activist, and seeking to ensure that women, and Black women in particular, were not isolated from political movements, despite the racism and sexism we must often contend with, even to this day.” See more at: essence.com. 

3.”You Know Her as Harriet Tubman—We Call Her Aunt Harriet” by Donna M. Owens

Excerpt: Ernestine “Tina” Martin Wyatt, 65, a nurse, educator, and artist who grew up in Buffalo, New York, is Tubman’s great-great-great-grandniece. Tina has always known she was related to Tubman. “My great-great-grandmother, Ann Marie Stewart, was the daughter of Soph, one of Tubman’s sisters who was sold away, we think to Georgia,” she says. Tina’s family often visited Auburn, New York, where Tubman owned land and died in 1913 around age 90. See more at: glamour.com

4. “Meet The World’s First Black Woman Cruise Ship Captain” by Laura Begley Bloom

Excerpt: But those statistics didn’t let Belinda Bennett — the world’s first black woman cruise ship captain— hold her back. Bennett has worked for the small ship line Windstar Cruises for 14 years and sails the MSY Wind Star through the Caribbean in winter and Europe in summer. She recently won the U.K.’s prestigious Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service. With Black History Month coming to a close and International Women’s Day and Women’s History month just around the corner, we caught up with this trailblazing woman who is making history and helping create a sea change in her industry. See more at: forbes.com.

5.”Black Woman Replacing Alabama Newspaper Editor Who Endorsed KKK” by Associated Press

Excerpt: A white Alabama newspaper editor who advocated for the revival of the Ku Klux Klan is turning over control of the small weekly to a black woman. The Democrat-Reporter of Linden, Alabama, announced Friday that Elecia R. Dexter will take over as publisher and editor from Goodloe Sutton, who has run the 140-year-old paper since the 1960s. See more at: nbcnews.com. 

6. “Making History: Miss University of Alabama Crowns First Black Queen” by Kinsley Centers

Excerpt: Tiara Pennington, the first African-American to be crowned as Miss University of Alabama, knows that the color of a person’s skin should not stop them from reaching their goals, because if she did, she would not be where she is today. See more at: cw.ua.edu

7. “Female Football Player Makes History With Full College Scholarship Offer” by Emily Caron

Excerpt: Toni Harris became the first female football player at a skill position to sign a letter of intent for a football scholarship on Tuesday when she committed to Central Methodist University in Missouri. See more at: si.com

8. “NASA Renames Facility in Honor of ‘Hidden Figure’ Katherine Johnson” The Atlanta Voice staff

Excerpt: NASA has redesignated its Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, as the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility, in honor of the West Virginia native and NASA “hidden figure.” “I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “It’s a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission-critical computations in her honor.” See more at: theatlantavoice.com

9. “Ga. Teen Accepted to 31 colleges Goes Viral For Inspiring Photo” by Cheryl Preheim & Christopher Buchanan

Excerpt: Kayla Willis wasn’t sure if she should share the fact that she had been accepted to 31 colleges – but the Internet was pretty inspired when she did. Kayla attends Westlake High School in South Fulton but she’s now known around the world after a photo from the senior hall in her high school went viral. See more at: 11alive.com

10. “Ida Belle Dixon, Longtime Princeton Resident, Will Celebrate Her 100th Birthday in March” by Jean Stratton

Excerpt: How to tell Ida Belle Dixon’s story? During her 100 years of living, she has witnessed history, and made her own. She has endured poverty and hardship, experienced joy and love, all the while sustained by her deep Christian faith. See more at: towntopics.com

Also, another black Christian woman will be highlighted on tonight’s season opener of “Uncensored” on TV One at 10 p.m.!

Long before she rose to fame as the winner of the third season of “American Idol” in 2004, Fantasia was always destined for greatness. Fantasia grew up in a large, musically inclined family that was heavily involved in church. Disputes with her father led her to move out of her family’s home, drop out of school and eventually leave the church. Fantasia bounced around on friends’ couches until she became pregnant. The struggles of being a teenage mother solidified her relationship with God and with the help of her grandmother, she rejoined the church and moved back home with her family. Through the encouragement and support of her local community, Fantasia tried out for and eventually won “American Idol.”

With the success of “American Idol” came the realities of becoming an instant music sensation and household name. On this episode of UNCENSORED, Fantasia gets real about how the pursuit of stardom can drive people to unhappiness. She reveals how close friendships with Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin helped her navigate her voice, career and personal life along the way. Launching a new business “Rock Soul” that focuses on the next steps for her career and music, Fantasia is ready to give back and take control of her voice once again.

Check out the trailer below:

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?

 

 

Church for Black Men Founder Jomo Johnson Assaulted, Experiences Homelessness & More But Perseveres…

Hello World,

A year ago, former Pastor Jomo Kenyatta Johnson moved from Georgia to our nation’s capital to launch a dream he had been given by God — Church for Black Men. He had no idea that in creating Church for Black Men that he would be assaulted, lose his home and get sick. But that is what happened. Still, Johnson and Church for Black Men which is now Church for Black Men & Families are still here.

Johnson, a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary, created Church for Black Men as he “discovered that only about 9% of Black males between the ages of 20-40 were connected with a Christian Church. Wanting to see this trend reversed he did a survey of Black men to discover the reasons they felt disconnected from both the mainline and African-American Church.” Through prayer he discerned that a “smaller informal model as found in the book of Acts would answer the problem of disconnect.” Church for Black Men & Families is hosted in Johnson’s home in Washington D.C. Prayerfully, Johnson, who works under the  leadership of non-profit ministries Luke 10 and D.C. For Jesus, hopes to launch a movement of 1000 house churches in the Black community this year. Below is my interview with Johnson.

1. Why did you decide to change the name of Church for Black Men into Church for Black Men & Families? 

If the man is broken, I have found that the family is broken so I wanted to incorporate the man and the family as well. We’ve had white people attend our church too and they are welcomed, but our mission is to focus on black men and families.

2. How were you assaulted as you founded Church for Black Men & Families?

I was staying with a friend, a fellow Christian,  in D.C. who was going to help me start the church, but I learned he had other beliefs. He ended up physically attacking me and stealing my cell phone, but he was arrested and went to jail. I had a few cuts and a broken toe. My sister suggested that I come home, but the cause of Christ is greater than being assaulted.  So I decided to stay…Since I didn’t have a job at that time and no place to stay in D.C., I ended up being homeless for a while and stayed in a homeless shelter.  I also had a mini-stroke sometime later, but I saw it as a means of testing to not give up. I give praise to Jesus for setting an example of not giving up for the work of God.

3. What does a typical Sunday service look like? 

We average about five people every Sunday, and we can max out at 15. Once we get past 15, we will create another house church. We meet at 9 a.m. for breakfast. Then we pray and read a Scripture. Everyone is then encouraged to share how they are really doing and to be transparent. It’s a spiritual check-in. And we don’t give any feedback. In regular church, when people share what they are going through, people are quick to blast them with encouragement. We want to make sure that people feel that they have been heard. I’ve experienced men being transparent and sharing their heart in tears as we were vulnerable before God. The house church round table model allows Jesus to be the head of the meeting. We don’t preach sermons, study the Bible, sing praise songs, but we seek to hear from God and hear from one another.

We also meet at nearby library every Wednesday and also on Friday at a homeless shelter.

4. You refer yourself as a former pastor. Why?

I am not a pastor of a traditional church. I don’t receive a salary, nor ask for offerings, nor do I focus on titles. I host men and families in my home and I disciple them. This is something everyone should be doing.

5. You told me that Church for Black Men & Families wants to launch 1000 churches in the black community this year. How do you plan to accomplish that goal?

We are offering free mental health services, employment assistance, and male mentorship to any person willing to allow us to host a weekly meeting in their home. Starting in March, we will reach 500 homes a week in D.C. with this offer. We also are praying that God will move on the hearts of Black Christians to free themselves from legalism by thinking they can only serve God by going to a Sunday service because some people will never go to a building for church. We are encouraging Black Christians to step out on faith and be wiling to open up their homes once a week for true intimacy, transparency, and communion with the risen Lord.

6. Considering what you went through when you first moved to D.C., how can home hosts ensure their safety?

Being saved is not safe. The Good Samaritan took a risk. We as black Christians have often failed when it comes to hospitality. The very thing that we think is our’s, our home, actually belongs to God. If we are to experience God’s grace, we have to take risks. We complain about drug dealers in our community but have you ever invited a drug dealer into your home?

But we do have safety procedures that are a part of our training. We provide free six-week training and will come to your city to help you launch a home church.

7. As you were assaulted, were homeless and suffered a mini-stroke, was it all worth it to launch this home church network?

It’s all for Jesus. Every tear, every pain, and every suffering for His sake is a blessing. I nor anyone else is worthy to suffer for so great a cause. I would do it 1000 times again.

For more information, go to blackmen.church.

Any thoughts?