- Created on 01 March 2013
Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, and Tracey E. Edmonds, president and CEO of Alright TV, recently announced the new programming slate of upcoming family-oriented and faith-friendly content developed for the channel created in collaboration with YouTube.
Alright TV will launch on Easter Sunday, March 31 and will appeal to the aspirational and inspirational goals of consumers of all ages with buzz-worthy comedies, talk, reality, music, and online streaming of Sunday church services from around the country.
"I am very excited about the launch of Alright TV and the broad array of diversified producer-generated content that has been produced and made available through the channel," said Johnson.
"Tracey is an award-winning producer, and I am confident that viewers will enjoy the new digital series that she and her team have developed featuring well-known artists and personalities from the faith-based, reality, sports and entertainment industries.
Alright TV's content and collaboration with YouTube represents the spectrum of new and exciting opportunities for consumers and advertisers," he concluded.
"Alright TV is a groundbreaking channel that will revolutionize faith-friendly content viewing and will feature premiere talent along with rising stars," said Edmonds. "There has been, and for some time, a lack of availability of faith-based, family friendly programming on television. Alright TV, in collaboration with YouTube's global platform, fills this gap by making the genre available to everyone."
The new platform will tap the resources of Johnson's and Edmonds', Our Stories Films, the first African-American-owned film production studio that produces theatrical motion pictures. Founded in 2006, Our Stories Films, in collaboration with TriStar, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company, produced and released "Jumping the Broom," which debuted as the number one comedy during the opening box office weekend.
Alright TV will offer what it calls "the best in feel-good, value-based entertainment, which will inspire and motivate." For more about Alright TV, visit www.youtube.com/alrighttv or www.alrighttv.com.
- Created on 28 February 2013
(CNN) -- When night falls Thursday over Vatican City, there will be no pope in residence.
After nearly eight tumultuous years at the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Benedict XVI has made the almost unprecedented decision to stand down.
That resignation, which takes effect at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET), opens up the prospect of unforeseen opportunities and challenges for the Roman Catholic Church.
As Benedict closes the door behind him, many are wondering whether a new pontiff will choose to lead the church in a different direction -- and can lift it out of the mire of scandal that has bogged down this pope's time in office.
Even as Benedict's final week began, Vatican officials were trying to swat down unsavory claims by Italian publications of an episode involving gay priests, male prostitutes and blackmail. Then the news broke that Benedict had moved up the resignation of a Scottish archbishop linked over the weekend by a British newspaper to inappropriate relationships with priests.
Last year, leaks of secret documents from the pope's private apartment -- which revealed claims of corruption within the Vatican -- prompted a high-profile trial of his butler and a behind-doors investigation by three cardinals. Their report, its contents known so far only to Benedict, will be handed to his successor to deal with, the Vatican said.
At the same time, the church faces continued anger about what many see as its failure to deal with child sex abuse by priests.
So, when Benedict announced on February 11 that he would step down, becoming the first living pope to resign in 598 years, there was inevitable speculation that his move was in some way linked to the brewing scandals.
The danger for the Vatican is that the furor risks overshadowing what others see as Benedict's real legacy to the church: his teaching and writings, including three papal encyclicals.
Proof of the Vatican's irritation came with a stinging statement Saturday complaining of "unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories," even suggesting the media is trying to influence the election of the next pope.
The constant buffeting by scandal will doubtless also have taken a toll on an 85-year-old man whose interests lie in scholarly study and prayer rather than damage control.
Benedict suggested as much at his final general audience Wednesday, when in front of cheering crowds in St. Peter's Square he spoke of steering the church through sometimes choppy waters.
There had been "many days of sunshine," he said, but also "times when the water was rough ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."
Putting scandal aside, the pope's last day in office has been carefully mapped out by Vatican aides who've had to make up the rules over the past two weeks.
In contrast to the public focus of his final general audience and meetings with foreign dignitaries Wednesday, Benedict spent Thursday in a quiet, more intimate manner.
He met in the morning with the cardinals who've made their way to Rome to take part in the election of a new pontiff. Benedict told the cardinals it was a"joy to walk with you" during his eight years as pope.
During the meeting, Benedict pledged his "unconditional obedience" to the next pope.
"I will continue to serve you in prayer, in particular in the coming days" as the cardinals work to select a new pontiff, he said.
The cardinals gave Benedict a standing ovation, and then one by one each met the pope to say a final few words.
Later, senior Vatican officials and a detachment of the Swiss Guards, who by tradition protect the pope, will gather to bid him farewell as his helicopter takes off from Vatican City bound for the summer papal residence, Castel Gandolfo.
Once at Castel Gandolfo, where he will spend the next few weeks before moving to a small monastery within the Vatican grounds, Benedict will make one last public appearance on the balcony.
Having greeted those gathered below, he will step back inside and begin his life of seclusion.
At 8 p.m., the Swiss Guards will ceremonially leave the residence's gate -- and the process of transition to a new pope will begin.
The Vatican has said it wants to have the next pontiff in place in time for the week of services leading up to Easter Sunday on March 31.
In his final public address in St. Peter's Square, the pope called for a renewal of faith, and for the prayers of Catholics around the world both for him and his successor.
His departure leaves the church facing many questions, not least who will take the reins.
But Benedict suggested that its future, "at a time when many speak of its decline," lies in seeing it as a community of many people united in a love of Christ, rather than as an organization.
In what may be the last word on his @Pontifex Twitter account, the pope said Wednesday: "If only everyone could experience the joy of being Christian, being loved by God who gave his Son for us!"
- Created on 26 February 2013
Cleotha ”Cleedi” Staples (pictured), the eldest member of the famed soul/gospel group, The Staple Singers, passed away on Feb. 21 of causes related to Alzheimer’s disease. The performer had battled the disease for over a decade, according to Philly.com.
She was 78.
Cleotha was born in Drew, Miss., on April 11, 1934 to Roebuck “Pops” Staples and his...
- Created on 28 February 2013
Pop and gospel performer Michael Winans, Jr. was sentenced to almost 14 years in prison years for running an $8 million Ponzi scheme, The Detroit Free Press reports. He was also ordered to pay his victims–some 1,200 investors–$4.8 million in restitution.
Winans, who is a member of the renowned Winans family gospel music dynasty, pleaded guilty to defrauding inv...
- Created on 26 February 2013
If you prioritize your relationship with your spouse, it will end up giving you the result that you desire: Your kids will feel secure, safe, and in the end, will feel like they are the most important thing in your life.
One of the greatest takeaways from my parents' lifelong romance was to set priorities in the proper order: God first, then spouse, after the spouse the kids, and then everything else. No doubt they had a unique perspective, having been in love with each other since Dad was five and Mom was three.
Legion are my memories where the three boys were with Mom and Dad going to fancy restaurants, taking long coastal drives, spending the day at far away beach cities, shopping for antiques, fishing, spending a Saturday at an auction house, hanging out at their workplace (they always worked together), and going with them wherever they wanted to go.
Here are a few interesting facts about marriage you should know.
Scientists theorize the difference has more to do with anthropology than biology: Men look for fertility features in women, and since women can't judge fertility in men by physical appearance, they must remember certain characteristics that will determine if he will be a good mate.
Marrying someone with similar cultural and religious values increases the success rate of the marriage.
Education level taken by itself, increases proportionately the success of a marriage.
If both spouses are from divorced parents, they are three times more likely to divorce, than if both spouses parents had stayed together. The changes of divorces however are reduced dramatically if one of the spouses came from parents who never divorced.
Few are my memories of going to the party of a classmate, me or my brothers causing one of our sporting events to swallow an entire weekend, or doing some other kid-centered activity.
My parents were intentional that having kids wasn't going to stop them from doing the things they did before they had kids. Their object was to bring the kids into their marriage, not allow the kids to drown their marriage in a sea of tasks for the children. For this reason, our kid activities were pretty limited.
This idea probably sounds foreign to many people. It seems the pervasive thinking in the Western world is that the lives of parents generally revolve around their children. Beginning each Monday, day in and day out, parents run themselves ragged tearing around from practice to recital to dance class to art school to theater to band until they fall into a heap on Sunday night, only to start again the next morning. So, what happens after that final Sunday, when you've dropped off your baby girl at the college of her choice and you walk away, hand in hand with your spouse, no longer knowing the hand you hold? One way to fight that scenario is to make serious efforts to make your husband or wife a priority in your life.
So is this simply one guy's opinion because of what he grew up with? I don't think so. Counselors, therapists, pastors, study after study, but most importantly, your own experience will tell you that kids who grow up in families where Mom and Dad's relationship is strong do much better than when Mom and Dad focus all of the attention on the kids, and forget about each other. Kids long for constants; when they know Mom and Dad's relationship is solid, kids flourish.
Even after taking into account the differences between our culture and ancient Hebrew culture, I think the Bible has some principles that could really help here. In Ephesians 5 & 6, in the most instructive and direct teaching to family roles and responsibilities in the Bible, Paul tells Fathers not to exasperate their children, and tells children to obey their parents; it's short and sweet. In a beautiful way that only God could have inspired, Paul describes—in explicit detail—the love and respect that spouses are to have in relationship with one another, and compares the marriage relationship to the relationship that Jesus Christ has with His church. A marriage is not just a relationship, it's a calling.
Now read the rest of the article here.