Pastor Jamal Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, T.I. & Scrapp Deleon Bail Out 23 Non-Violent Offenders From Jail in Time for Easter Sunday!

Hello World,

How was your Easter Sunday?! Mine was lovely. After a wonderful Easter service at my church, my husband and I were blessed to spend time with family and friends. Since my parents live pretty close to my in-laws, it was easy to see a good number of people that I don’t get to see every day in one day. In addition to having a soul-saving relationship with God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, I’m so thankful that God has blessed me to have a close-knit family and great friends.

Apparently, I was not the only one who was able to reunite with family and friends on Easter Sunday. Through New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s Bail Out Program, $120,000 was raised with the help of rapper T.I. and VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” personality Scrapp Deleon to bail out 23 non-violent offenders from metro Atlanta jails (DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Rockdale County Jails) on Saturday, April 20 in time to celebrate Easter Sunday with family and friends, according to Fox 5.

On the bus ride home from jail, one man said, “I aine never had nobody help me or do nothin’ for me. I’ve been on my own since I was 13. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done by myself so for y’all people to just come out and bless me like this. I really feel, like, very grateful, very thankful for everything. I’m trying to be, whatever y’all need me to do, whatever y’all need me to help with, I’m there. Just say the word. I’m just very blessed. I’m very thankful.”

Also, church volunteers greeted the men and women with a Welcome Home Party. Barbers, beauticians and celebrity makeup artists  in addition to clothing were on site to get the men and women looking right before they were reunited with their families and loved ones. One man at the party said 30 minutes after he prayed about getting out of jail, he was told about the Bail Out Program at midnight! “12 o’clock at night, the guard knocked on my door and handed me the Bail Out Program. Like it was just crazy.” How many of y’all know that when no one else is up at the midnight hour, you can call up Jesus who hears and answers prayers! That reminds me of what happened with Paul and Silas when they were jail. They were freed at midnight as well!

At the party, Pastor Bryant announced that ALL of the children of the men and women who were released from jail will have college fund accounts at Citizens Trust Bank courtesy of the church. “We want to make sure that we disrupt a culture of recidivism so they do not go back into the system as in previous generations.” Additionally, mentors will work with the men and women.

See for yourselves what happened in the video below:

That is what the resurrection of Jesus Christ is all about – resurrecting new lives.

Any thoughts?

 

New Book ‘Sex and the City and Us’ Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Debut of ‘Sex and the City!’

Hello World,

Do you know what today is? It’s their anniversary…the 20th anniversary of the debut of the now iconic television show Sex and the City…yes, when we first met Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha! My love for the show has been documented in many posts on this blog since the show debuted on HBO Jun 6, 1998! And on today, its 20th anniversary, I must again pay homage to the show that was referred to as a “personal love letter to single women everywhere” and certainly helped me navigate my singlehood days…

Me on Carrie’s stoop when I visited NYC back in 2009!

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who wants to pay homage to the institution that was Sex and the City, journalist and author Jennifer Keishin Armstrong is also doing so in her new book Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love.”

By the bestselling author of Seinfeldia, a fascinating retrospective of the iconic and award-winning television series, Sex and the City, to coincide with the show’s twentieth anniversary.

When Candace Bushnell started writing her “Sex and the City” column for the New York Observer, she didn’t think anyone beyond the Upper East Side would care about her adventures among the Hamptons-hopping media elite. But her struggles with singlehood struck a chord, making her a citywide—and soon nationwide—sensation.

Beverly Hills, 90210 creator Darren Star brought Bushnell’s vision to an even wider audience when he adapted the column for an HBO series. His four main characters: Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, forever branded the actresses that took on the roles, redefined women’s relationship to sex, and elevated the perception of singlehood. With their fashion-forward lifestyle, they launched a barrage of trends, from fabric flower accessories to Manolo Blahnik shoes to Cosmopolitan cocktails.

Read the rest of the description at Amazon.com…

And if you want to support Miranda, I mean Cynthia Nixon (the actress who portrayed Miranda) as she runs for governor of New York (yes, GOVERNOR) particularly as it is SATC’s 20th anniversary, head on over to store.cynthiafornewyork.com!  

Finally, if you’ve never experienced Sex and the City, the vault of treasure that is this show will be opened up on Friday, June 8 on E! Following a special Sex and the City episode at 7 p.m., hold on for the Sex and the City 20th anniversary marathon of every episode ever starting at 7:30 p.m.!

And here is a scene from the last episode of SATC (Spoiler Alert. Don’t watch if you don’t want to know how it all ends…):

Any thoughts?

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Proposes to Girlfriend During Watch Night Service! (VIDEO)

Why You Should be at Watch Night Service Next Year...

ebenezer engagement photo

Hello World,

If you’re in the A, you may already know the news, but since my audience is worldwide ( 🙂 ), I hope I’m the first to bring you the news! Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta’s Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the “spiritual home of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” preached the Watch Night Service that will probably go down as the most romantic Watch Night Service of all times. At the end of the two-hour service, Rev. Dr. Warnock (who sounded a bit hoarse from preaching I guess or maybe it was nerves considering what he was about to do next) acknowledges Mrs. Christine King Farris, the longest serving member of Ebenezer and sister of Dr. King and people from his circle including his siblings, a friend from high school and one of his best friends who “know [him] before [he] was Rev. Dr.” BEFORE introducing the church to a Miss Ouleye Ndoye about the 2:07 mark of the video below.

He says that “Morehouse men don’t get far without Spelman women.”  He goes on to say Ndoye, who is a graduate of Spelman, Oxford and Columbia, is the “one of the most brilliant people I know” and the tone of his voice lowers a bit before completing his statement with “and one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen” after which a collective “Oh” comes from the congregation…

Then he walks over to her at which some woman in the congregation says, “Uh oh, Pastor?” And then many members of the congregation armed with cell phones vacate the pews, furiously corralling themselves around the pastor and his special guest like he is a football player about to score a touchdown! (I saw “Concussion” last night so football motifs are on the brain. A must-see movie by the way!) He responds with, “Why y’all carrying on like this?” in the midst of the commotion. And the same woman it seems yells, “Go head pastor! Work it pastor!” “Can I talk?” says the Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor finally before beginning his proposal.

Obviously inspired by the words Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, Pastor Warnock recites his words to Ndoye, who is seated, as he stands before her.

“Those who are near me do not know that you are nearer to me than they are. Those who speak to me do not know that my heart is full with your unspoken words. Those who crowd in my path do not know that I am walking alone with you. Those who love me do not know that their love brings you closer to my heart.”

And then he quotes from the Word, reciting Proverbs 18:22 with a sweet twist as he pulls out a red jewelry box from one of his front jacket pockets.

“The Bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.  So, will you do me a favor and be my good thing? Will you marry me?”

Pastor Warnock, who is on bended knee by the end of his words, had to stop for a moment the applause was so loud but he was able to get the words of his proposal out. Ndoye, who is trembling and intermittently clasping her hands around her face, responds by saying, “Yes, I will.”

All this time, I thought that Rev. Dr. Warnock, who became senior pastor of the church as a single man in 2005, was like Paul and had the gift of singleness. But as it turns out, he was just waiting for his “good thing” to arrive 🙂

Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

This Watch Night Service proposal reminds me on an episode of “Sex and the City” when Charlotte, who has converted Judaism to be a suitable marriage candidate for her Jewish boyfriend Harry, but they have a fight before he proposes. Still, Charlotte, who was serious about her conversion despite the breakup, goes to a Jewish mixer for singles where she bumps into Harry, who has by that time forgiven her for the fight. He proposes to her in the middle of mixer! One of the single Jewish women, who watches the proposal, responds by saying, “I’m so coming back next week!”

Maybe if more women knew they could score a marriage proposal (the football motif returns) at a Watch Night Service in church rather popping champagne  in the club, they would show up there  instead for their NYE festivities 🙂

Watch the whole service or just the proposal (which begins around the 2:07 mark below) below! Happy New Year Y’all!

Any thoughts?

P.S. UPDATE: Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock and Ouleye Ndoye are now married as of Valentine’s Day 2016! Read the story – Why Wait? Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor Marries on Valentine’s Day After NYE Proposal (VIDEO)!