Sunday, February 22, 2009

Madea Wins in Hollywood

If anybody had a reason to doubt whether Tyler Perry has become one of the most bankable brands in all of movies, be skeptical no longer.

'Madea Goes to Jail' wins big at the box office

The domestic dramedy maestro's latest release, Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes to Jail," ran away with a big victory on the typically slow Academy Awards weekend, grossing a hefty $41.1 million, according to early estimates from Media by Numbers.

That opening sum is the biggest of all time for a Tyler Perry film, besting the $30 million debut of 2006's "Madea's Family Reunion." Too, it's the top bow in the history of indie studio Lionsgate, improving upon all the Tyler Perry and "Saw" flicks that came before it. The movie's per-theater average of $20,236 ranks in the top 40 for all wide openers ever.

And, no surprise, "Madea Goes to Jail" achieved all this success with a solid A CinemaScore grade from a crowd that included mostly older women. Video Watch Tyler Perry talk about his success »

Second place went to "Taken," which added another $11.4 million to its four-week tally, bringing said total to $95.2 million. Fellow strong holdover "Coraline" (No. 3) was next with $11 million.

"He's Just Not That Into You" (No. 4) declined a sharp 56 percent to bank $8.5 million on its third weekend. And Best Picture favorite "Slumdog Millionaire" rounded out the top five with $8.1 million -- a sum that brings its domestic total to $98 million.

Click to read.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Christian Nutshells

Christian Nutshells are short sayings that sum up specific bible truths and concepts. They are bible truths in a “nutshell.” They are accompanied with scripture references for confirmation and further study and are food for thought and seeds to be planted in our lives. Here are a few. Hope you enjoy them…


The message of Christianity is about what God has done for man, not what man must do for God. (Jn. 3:16, 1Jn. 4:10)

Jesus has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. (Mt. 8:16-17, 1Pet. 2:24)

We conform to God’s will by accepting Jesus as savior… it is not by any good works of our own. (Rom. 3:28, Eph. 2: 8-9)

It is impossible to please God except through faith. (Heb. 11:6)

The New Testament calls us to believe not to do. (It will be our believing that will empower us to do). (Rom. 12:2-3)

Trying harder will get you no-where with God; accepting Jesus as savior will. (Rom. 7:18-19, 8:8-10, Heb. 4:9-11)

God is not pleased with us because we live such a good life. He is pleased with us because we have accepted his Son. (Gal. 2:16)

God’s law was never meant to make us right with God. It was meant to prove to us that we couldn’t keep it and to lead us to Christ who could. (Gal. 3:24)

This is the work of God; that you believe on him whom he has sent. (Jn. 6:29)

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering, (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Here’s “one” for you. I mean here’s one for you to think about…

Before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed this prayer,

“Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,
That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us…” (Jn. 17:20-21)

Jesus prayed that those who believe in him would be one with him and with each other. And this prayer is continually being answered whenever anyone accepts Jesus as their savior. Whenever anyone accepts Jesus as their savior they become “one” with the Lord.

What I would like to do in this article is to help us understand the meaning of this “oneness” with the Lord and to help us grasp its really huge significance it has in our lives.

The best way I know how to describe the meaning of being “one” with the Lord is to use an illustration. The illustration I will use is of our own physical body. Our physical body is made up of many thousands of different parts, each being an individual part with its own name and its own function. Yet each and every part is “one” with our body. That is the way it is with those who believe in the Lord. There are many thousands of us, each being an individual with our own name and function, but each of us is “one” with Jesus and a very real part of his “body.” That is why we are called the “body of Christ.” Each one of us has our own individuality and purpose, yet we are as “one” with the Lord as my finger is “one” with me. Wow!

Granted, this is a spiritual relationship, but our relationship with God is one of faith (and is just as real as a natural relationship)! It is believing what God says about us, (even if we don’t fully understand it) that will influence every area of our lives.

Remember, spiritual concepts are not understood with the head, but with the heart, and if we choose to believe (or at least to be open-minded) about what God’s word says, his word “will” become a reality to us and it “will” be effective in our lives. That is how faith works. It brings things that are spiritual into the natural. So think about it; being one with Jesus as he is one with the Father? Whew! And consider the things that Jesus could do because was one with the Father. Now consider ourselves doing the same because of our relationship with God. This is the only way that we can do the “works” of Christ; being one with both the Father and the Son!

Yes, being one with Jesus is the only way that we can be “Christ-like.” And it is the only way we can do the works of Christ. There is nothing in ourselves that will enable us to do either. It is only being in him and being a part of him that we can truly be Christ-like and do his works. And we are so much a part of Christ that Paul could say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, But Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20)

Looking at this in a more dynamic way Paul is saying here is that when we accept Jesus as our savior, we are so much a part of him that when he was punished and died, we were punished and died also, and when he rose again from the dead as a new man, we rose again as a new man also, and even when he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the father, we ascended with him. This may seem hard to imagine but it is well documented and explained throughout the writings of Paul. But whether or not we understand how this can be, if we can be open minded, (and spiritually minded) about this, the results it will bring in our lives will be astounding. (Rom. 6:3-5)

Listen to this; in the book of Ephesians, Paul said that God has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” “Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come.” (Eph. 2:6; 1:21) Wow! I told you that the bible says that we rose and ascended with Jesus. This is our spiritual heritage AND our spiritual position. This is where we get our authority and our power to live and act and be like Christ! And it is all because we are “one” with him.

We are as much a part of Jesus as Jesus is with himself! It is called being "one" with the Lord. Wow!

I told you this was one to think about.

But let’s put this on a simpler level. If we are one with Jesus, is Jesus ever sick? Does he ever lack anything? Is Jesus loved and cherished by the Father and will the Father do those things that Jesus asks him to do? Is Jesus righteous and holy and wise and powerful and protected? I'm sure we all know the answers to these questions. Well, if we are one with the Lord, all of these benefits and all of the benefits that you can think of from being "one" with the Lord are ours too. It is endlessly extensive and it is very powerful!

We are not only “in” Christ, but we are part of him and he is part of us. We and God are ONE. Whew again! No longer do we just carry our own name, but we carry his name too. And he carries ours! (And don’t worry about being good enough for him to carry our name because having accepted Jesus; God has made us good enough). (2Cor. 5:21)

When Jesus died and rose again he made all of this possible for us. It is in the “new birth,” (when we accepted Christ as savior) that we were made “one” with him. We became part of him, being spiritually changed into his likeness and taking on the characteristics and the power that he has. There is no need to “try” to be one with God or to “try” to get any closer to him. We are one with him already and as close to him as we’ll ever be. Where we go, he goes and where we are he is.

The thing is, that in order for anything in the bible to become effective for us, we must first believe it! God has left that up to us. So our part in all of this is to believe what God has said about our "oneness" with him. And after considering all of this, hopefully you can begin to realize all of the possible benefits that this can produce in our lives if we do! (1Jn. 4:17)

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering, (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Would Jesus Say about Black Men Living on the Downlow?

By Syreeta L. McNeal, CPA, JD

Recently, New York Knick’s basketball player, Eddy Curry, a married father of several kids, received notice of a sexual-harassment lawsuit by his former limo driver, Kuchinsky. Kuchinsky is alleging that Curry tried to solicit gay sexual activity from him while working as a 24/7 chauffer for the NBA hoop star and his family.[1] With the national press coverage of this story, I am reminded of the movie,Cover, which explored the current situation that appears to be facing many black families. Cover is a film about a devoted, churchgoing wife, and mother whose faith is shattered when she discovers that her husband is living a secret double life.[2] Also, there is a 30-minute internet movie, Results, which tackles the same type of betrayal and shows how the couple tackles it in the span of one night.[3] So, as it relates to married men who happen to cheat on their spouse on thedown low, I ask, what’s love got to do with it? I understand the question is paying tribute to the hit single by Tina Turner. However, I think people should explore the reasons why married men choose to cheat on the down low and should a wife, who takes a vow of fidelity with her husband, continue in the relationship after discovering the betrayal.

People might ask why a lawyer would write an article on a social topic such as married men who cheat on the down low. Well, a lawyer is considered an attorney and counselor at law. When a wife chooses to get a divorce due to infidelity from their husbands cheating on the down low, it is important for lawyers to understand the origin of the relationship and what caused the heartache to their client so that they can effectively provide legal advice and counseling for their client. In a majority of states, infidelity is just one factor in how marital property is divided between former married couples. Even though a wife might want her husband, who cheated on the down low, to get nothing and pay dearly for the betrayal, the courts in a majority of states will not find fault (e.g. infidelity) a determining factor in the division of marital property. Therefore, it behooves the lawyer to try other methods of counseling to explain the law to jilted married clients.

This article will analyze the meaning of love, the reasons why people get married, and what actions people should take to minimize the potential of being married to men who cheat on the down low.

Meaning of Love

Love has many meanings. Webster dictionary defines Love as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties (e.g. maternal love for a child).[4] Also, love is an attraction based on sexual desires (e.g. affection and tenderness felt by lovers).[5] Love is also an affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests (e.g. love for old schoolmates).[6] Also, love is a warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion (e.g. love of the sea).[7] Love can also be used as a term of endearment.[8] Love is also the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.[9] Love is a sexual embrace.[10] In all, love embraces a form that is erotic, romantic, familial, platonic, and religious.

Similar to Webster dictionary, Christianity embraces four forms of love: Agapē, Philia, Eros, and Storge.[11] Agapē means charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional.[12] It is parental love seen as creating goodness in the world.[13] It is the way God is seen to love humanity and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for others.[14] Philia is defined as the human response to something that is found to be delightful.[15] Also, it is known as "brotherly love".[16] Eros is defined as sexual love.[17] Storge is defined as the needy child-to-parent love.[18]

One thing that is fascinating is the explanation of what Eros is. Eros is a very passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.[19] In the classical world, the phenomenon of love was generally understood as a kind of madness or, as the Greeks put it, theia mania ("madness from the gods").[20] This love passion is best illustrated by a scheme involving “love arrows” or “love darts.”[21] The source of the arrows is said to be the image of the beautiful love object itself.[22] If the arrows arrive at the lover’s eyes, they would then travel to and ‘pierce’ and ‘wound’ his or her heart and overwhelm him/her with desire and longing.[23] This creates an image of an “arrow’s wound” where an oxymoron of pleasure and pain is created.[24]

As illustrated above, love has different meanings. Saying “I love you” to a person can mean a variety of things. The issue for married couples who are dealing with husbands who cheat on the down low isnot whether they love their wives. The issue is what type of love does husbands who cheat on the down low have for their wives. In my opinion, this is the heart of the conflict that exists between married couples who have husbands who cheat on the down low. Next, it is important to understand why people marry.

Why People Marry

Marriage is a social, religious, spiritual or legal union of individuals.[25] People marry for many reasons, but usually they marry for one or more of the following reasons:[26]
· legal, social, and economic stability;
· the formation of a family unit;
· procreation and the education and nurturing of children;
· legitimizing sexual relations;
· public declaration of love; or
· to obtain citizenship

In almost all Protestant forms of Christianity, they hold marriage to be ordained by God for the union between a man and a woman.[27]They see the primary purpose of this union to be to glorify God by demonstrating his love to the world.[28] Other secondary purposes of marriage include intimate companionship, rearing children and mutual support for both husband and wife to fulfill their life callings.[29]

Like love, people marry for a variety of reasons. What is extremely interesting is that when protestant Christians marry their primary purpose is for the union to glorify God. One example of the betrayal for protestant Christians is when married men cheat on the down low. This action is not one that glorifies God especially when the bible states that men (or women) who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God.[30] So, the conflict exists and men and women need to be aware of who their partners are before entering into marriage.

The Reality of the Conflict of Down Low Activity with Marriage

Some married men who cheat on the down low believe that down low activity is similar when men cheat with other women. I beg to differ. As these movies illustrate, a woman cannot compete with a man sexually. Women and men are not equal in physical form. Men and women have different sexual features and different purposes of use for these features. I equate the differences between men and women similar to placing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. Do like parts unite or do opposite pieces fit together?

If a married man cheats on the down low, they have a sexual attraction for another man. Sorry ladies. Physically, there is nothing you can do, except do a sex change, to sexually fulfill a man who wants to sleep with other men. A married man might love his wife, but the sexual love a wife is craving from her husband does not exist the way she wants or believes it should exist especially if this type of infidelity occurs after the coupled exchanged wedding vows to be married. There are always signs of men who have a sexual attraction for another man. However, you have to open your eyes and find out who your spouse truly is before you enter into marriage.

Attributes of Counseling Before Marriage

One way to discover whether your significant partner is ready to be married is to participate in marriage counseling. In essence, you are treating your marriage as a long term investment and gathering as much information about your spouse before you enter into marriage. As illustrated above, love has many meanings and people marry for different reasons. Just because someone says “I love you” is not all you need to know to venture into marriage. What a man and woman need to find out from each other is what type of love exists and is it reciprocally felt. If your potential spouse only feels an admiration for you and you feel romantic love for that person, then you need to find this out before you venture into marriage and not get married to the person. Also, what are the reasons why the man and woman are getting married and is it reciprocal. If your potential spouse wants to get married to obtain citizenship and you want to get married public declaration of love, then you need to find this out before you venture into marriage and not get married to this person.

Ideally, married couples expect their spouses to solely want them only. They believe their spouse will be the complement human being to help fulfill their needs mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. No one is perfect, but the union of a man and woman is expected to be one that works to perfection as seen in God’s light. When married men cheat on the down low, there is an erotic and sexual attraction for people of the same sex that their wife can’t fulfill. A potential spouse needs to know this before hand and not marry the individual especially if they seek their spouse to solely want them only.

Effective marriage counseling will be able to discover the compatibility of the couple. Marriage counseling should emphasize substance over form. The counseling should explore the type of love that exists and if it is reciprocally felt. Also, marriage counseling should explore the reasons why each person wants to marry and whether it is reciprocal. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with doing an extensive background check on people before getting married. When you choose to marry someone, you are making a societal and private contract that this individual is someone you will honor and cherish, to have and to hold, until death do you part. With any type of long term investment, you need to know what you are getting into. This is not to say that marriages will not have problems, but if you choose someone to be married to you, you are making a long term investment in that individual expecting that the good will outweigh the bad. Know what you are getting into so you canminimize suffering betrayals like having married men cheat on the down low.

Legal Disclaimer: This site provides information about the law designed to keep readers informed of pertinent legal matters affecting the African-American community. But legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer in your specific location if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

[5] Id.
[6] Id.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.
[10] Id.
[12] Id.
[13] Id.
[14] Id.
[15] Id.
[16] Id.
[17] Id.
[18] Id.
[20] Id.
[21] Id.
[22] Id.
[23] Id.
[24] Id.
[26] Id.
[28] Id.
[29] Id.
[30] 1 Corinthians 6:9