Olympic Gold Medal-Winning Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas Pens New Book!!!

Hello World,  

When I first heard about Gabrielle Douglas this past summer during the Olympics in London, I was so proud of her as she is the first African-American woman to win the women’s all-around gold medal in gymnastics and first American to win both of the individual and team events at the same Olympics. And then when I realized that she is an unabashed Christian, my admiration for her grew, and I realized that I could likely learn a lot from this 16-year-old dynamo! Thankfully, Zondervan Books also believes Gabrielle Douglas has a lot to share about her faith in God and accomplishing her dreams through faith. Her debut memoir “Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith,” through the Zondervan division of HarperCollins, is coming to bookstores nationwide on Tuesday, December 4.

Here is Gabrielle talking about the book…

From PRNewsire –

“Even before I competed in the Olympics, I always wanted to write a book,” says Douglas. “Of course, there’ll be a lot of stories about gymnastics, but the book will also be about how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn’t been easy. I want people to read my story and say, ‘If Gabby can do it, I can do it, too. Anything is possible.'”

Grace, Gold & Glory, written in collaboration with Michelle Burford, contains a full-color poster and photo inserts, and provides a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Olympic fan favorite. In her memoir, Douglas reveals how her modest upbringing rooted in family and faith has shaped her into the young woman and role model she is today.

The youngest of four siblings, Douglas shares poignant, often humorous stories from her childhood as she talks candidly about the obstacles faced along her road toward the world gymnastics stage. Grace, Gold & Glory offers a firsthand look into the intense training and sacrifice required of this elite athlete and uncovers personal truths for Douglas, such as the bullying and racism she endured as an African-American gymnast, her heartache, isolation, and homesickness, as well as multiple injuries – all of which led Douglas to consider leaving gymnastics forever only seven months before the London Olympics. Douglas also opens up for the first time about her father’s role in her life.

Her memoir serves as an intricate road map from birth to Douglas’ historical journey to London and the numerous  prayers, meditations, and Bible verses that helped her stay strong along the way. The autobiography also reveals some of Douglas’ favorite moments post-Olympics, including the many celebrities she’s met and a guest role on her all-time favorite TV series.

“With strong faith in God and some serious determination, every dream is possible,” says Douglas. “I hope this book inspires others to go for their biggest dreams.

You can pre-order the book Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith at Amazon. The book is also available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble.
Any thoughts?

Paul Carrick Brunson faces pushback, Spike Lee goes to church and other religious news…

Hello World, 

What it do? What it be like? As for me, I’m reflecting on God’s word this morning not just because it’s Sunday, but because of a Facebook status update that slapped me in the face…From Paul Carrick Brunson’s Facebook page yesterday…

The most interesting thing I’ve had to deal with since emerging as a “public figure” – attacks on my religion. I started my tour in NYC last week and referenced God on stage just a few times…and afterward, the critics jumped on me. On Thursday, I was being interviewed by a major media outlet and it was suggested I not mention religion. Even on twitter now, if I drop anything Christian related, I’m sure to get a tweet back calling me a “religious freak.” WOW…to PUBLICLY stand as a Christian man is going to be harder than I thought.

This status update yielded 113 comments before I added mine to make it 114 comments…Usually, when a thread has gone on that long, I don’t add my two cents because I don’t want a lot of comments to flood my inbox, but I felt compelled to do so I added my weak “Dang, it’s like that?!” I commented that because in the United States, where we at least try to equally respect all religions, it is sometimes easy to forget this verse…

Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…’ John 15:20

Because of this verse and others, Christians have to be prepared for some pushback and even some persecution…Jesus the Christ will not bear the cross alone…If you have not heard of Paul Carrick Brunson, he is one of the relationship coaches on Oprah’s new show “Lovetown USA,” which debuted last Sunday. From Oprah’s website…

After a nationwide search, Oprah Winfrey chose Kingsland, Georgia, formerly known as the marriage capital of the South, to be transformed into Lovetown, USA. Oprah launched the first-of-its-kind social experiment by traveling to Georgia, where she called the community to action at a “love rally” and challenged everyone to “open their arms and hearts to the possibilities of all kinds of love.” She has charged two experienced relationship coaches—Paul Carrick Brunson and Kailen Rosenberg—with the daunting task of transforming Kingsland in 30 short days.

Over the course of a month, Paul and Kailen will attempt to mend relationships of embattled friends and lovers—young and old—and find true love for singles. This social experiment, which involves everyone from government officials to grade school students, will examine how love, grace, kindness and forgiveness can affect an entire community.

The show comes on every Sunday  at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central…Let’s support this openly Christian man…and here is a video about tonight’s episode…

First Look: Love and War

The love experiment is under way! Oprah checks back in as her love coaches, Paul Brunson and Kailen Rosenberg, take on the battle of three warring dance studios. Can they resolve this bitter feud with a dance challenge? Plus, Paul and Kailen send six lonely singles out on their first dates. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-lovetown-usa/First-Look-Love-and-War-on-Lovetown-USA-Video#ixzz24eXURPF1

In other religious news…

2. Megachurch Study Suggests Big Congregations Make Worship “Intoxicating” Experience “The Huffington Post”

3. AME Church Officials Seek to Restructure Finances of Morris Brown College Blackchristiannews.com

4. Filmmaker Spike Lee focuses on faith in “Red Hook Summer’’ “The Washington Post”

5. N.C. churches should support sterilization victims “Winston-Salem Journal”

6. “The Champ is Here”: Gabby Douglas Covers Jet Magazine (And my girl Joyce Davis, who blogs at Enjoyceinglife, wrote the article :). ) “Madame Noire”

7. “How Sweet The Sound” Returns To Philips Arena  Magicatl.com

Any thoughts?

Gabby Loves God and so do I!!! (VIDEO)

Hello World,

Unless you have taken a vacation from the planet the last week or so, at some point, you have watched the Summer Olympics in London! And if you have watched even a few minutes of the games, you have either heard about or seen the wonder that is 16-year-old Gabby Douglas! Her name will forever be a part of history as she won the women’s all-around gold medal in gymnastics, becoming the fourth American to do so and the first African American to achieve this feat! In addition, Gabby is the first American to win both of the individual and team events at the same Olympics! And even more importantly, she is an unabashed Christian who incorporates her faith in God in all of her astounding achievements…

Here is one of her Facebook status updates after she won her gold medals…

“Wow!!! I am still trying to grasp that I am the All-Around Olympic Gymnastic Champion and that my teammates and I won the Team Gold Medal. You all have been so great to me! I am sooooo thankful for all of your support and love! We have event finals coming up this week – starting tomorrow with Vault Finals. I would love it if you would keep my teammate MaKayla Maroney in prayer & cheer as she competes for a medal 🙂 #TeamUSA.”

Also, just after she made the Olympic team, she was interviewed at Valley Church in West Des Moines, Iowa where she has attended over a year while she trained for the Olympics. Below is a video in which she asked the church to pray for her and her teammates as they headed to London, and she shared how her faith in God helps her to excel in gymnastics. Also, Gabby revealed how her mother e-mailed Bible scriptures to her every morning that she used to inspire her, and she also e-mailed Bible scriptures to her at night that helped her fall asleep! Here are a few inspiring quotes from her interview…

“I love reading about the Word. It really helps me during gymnastics. I mean it’s very important. Whether you are really like scared of a skill, like you just have to just rely on God. He’s not given us the spirit of fear but a spirit of of peace, love and a sound mind…”

“…If we’re having problems with a skill, like I keep falling on my two and half which is like I can do this, all things are possible to Him who believes, so I just meditate and meditate, and it just builds my faith and my confidence on the floor so you have to put on the full armor of God when Satan tries to come against us we already are prepared…”

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Summer Olympics and Christian Olympians after my experience at the 1996 Summer Olympics which were held in the A! In fact, I wrote about my experience covering the Summer Olympics from a Christian point of view in my book “After the Altar Call: The Sisters’ Guide to Developing a Personal Relationship With God.” In my story, I shared how although I was sent by “The Christian Index” newspaper to cover a rally for Christian Olympians at Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, I ended up rededicating my life to God that evening. Here is an excerpt from my story below…

As various athletes shared their stories, I was impressed with how muscular and lithe they looked even though they had on jogging suits. What impressed me more was the earnestness in their voices as they spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ and how this relationship pointed them to their purpose in their lives.They spoke as if God was with them when they trained and even as they completed their events in the Olympics and other competitions. Some of them talked about how God was even with them in their losses. I was attracted to two things: the way that Jesus Christ seemed like a person they actually knew, and that God was fulfilling a purpose in each of their lives, and they knew it.

In fact, it was their stories that inspired me to develop my own personal relationship with God…I just pray that Gabby will not only inspire people through her athletic prowess but also through her personal relationship with God…And if you would like to read more about Gabby story’s before and after the Olympics, check out this article  “America’s Megawatt Sweetheart” from “The New York Times.”

Any thoughts?