Tammy Thomas Garnes

Posts Tagged ‘bloggers’

The Borrower is Slave to the Lender – Almighty Debt: CNN Black In America

In Media, Politics on October 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

When the hubby and I went through our “Financial Peace” course over several months at our church, one thing became clear, almost everyone has financial issues…big, fat, nasty, debt ridden financial issues.  You would think with all of our education, all of our forward thinking–our access to budgeting software and online banking, that Americans…specifically Black Americans who spend so much of our time online, at work and in church, would have killed this debt monster by now.  But most of us haven’t.  No matter how much we bring in…Americans find a way to spend it all, plus a little extra.

This week, CNN brings us CNN Almighty Debt: A Black In America Special with Soledad O’brien, a 60 minute CNN Black in America documentary special premiering Thursday, October 21, 2010.  This timely piece of heart wrenching journalism, digs boldly into the struggles of several individuals and families as they struggle financially, finding hope and peace in their faith along the way.

I had the priceless opportunity to sit backstage at a recent Town Hall taping and discussion here in Atlanta with Soledad, Rev. DeForest Soaries of First Baptist  Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ whose groundbreaking ministry is featured in the documentary, along with Bishop. T.D. Jakes, financial columnist Michelle Singletary, clinical social worker Terrie Williams, and pollster Cornell Belcher (what a smart man), as they addressed bloggers on the issues of faith, money and debt.  I loved the way that Soledad stayed true to her intense journalistic style, never letting up on these powerful voices in the Black community and hitting them hard with the question of WHY? over and over again.

I wish I could say that I walked away from this incredible documentary with concrete answers on how to fix the debt crisis in our community, but I didn’t.  I actually walked away a little more anxious and heck of lot more angry at how my people view and treat money, the church and it’s leaders.  But if that’s that point of a good documentary…to evoke emotion, questions and educate all at once…CNN got it right this time.  This Black In America installment will have everyone talking.

I must say, I found it very hard to listen backstage to the panelists views on tithing and giving.  Even in the midst of severe financial strife, all of the panelists urged Christians to continue to give their 10% to the church, because as one guest said “It’s how we fund our programs.”  I wondered to myself if they really wanted someone to give 10% of their unemployment check.  As a tither myself, I know how long it’s taken to get to the point where I give cheerfully, but there seems to be something very Un-Godlike about asking a struggling single mother to forego food for her kids so that “the church” can thrive.  Perhaps “the church” should pull back on IT’s spending if it’s that dependent on the gifts of the poor.  Or perhaps there are simply too many “the churches,” one taking up space on what seems like every single block in some urban cities, to make the true impact in the world that “the church” is called first and foremost to do.

You know, perhaps it’s my recent mission trip to Haiti, and not being able to find many other Black missionaries from America (because honestly it’s not something the Black church teaches us to do) or it could even be my behind the scenes knowledge of what goes on in certain churches.  But the last time I checked the book of Matthew, which hasn’t changed over the years, it shows Jesus living a lifestyle of frugality and telling his followers that if they want to be perfect (Christ like) they would give up everything, all of their possessions and follow Him.  This command would lead one to think that the opportunity for the church to teach our community about giving and being selfless, while living with less, so they can give more, lies in actually walking the walk and not always simply tossing coins in the collection plate.  You can tithe your time as well as your money and often times your time, which has a monetary value, has a much greater and direct impact.

Our issue as a community with “Almighty Debt” runs so deep, and transcends so many generations and historical events outside of our control, that continuing to teach Christians that all of their money woes will be solved thru tithing and simply budgeting, seems…just wrong.

While I truly admire all of the work that churches are doing to help congregants stay in their homes, pay for college and simply live day to day, and while I know that the church has bills to pay, I would have given money for Soledad to ask the panelists about how pastors who own multi-million private jets, drive audacious cars and wear extremely expensive clothing and jewelry serve as  positive fiscal examples to their congregants.  And let’s not even go there with churches allowing/encouraging members to give with credit cards, purchase books, cd’s, attend conferences, buy special clothing for special church events and the list goes on and on.

But back to the special.  The underlying theme that makes you proud as you watch the documentary is the stick-to-itness that you find in the protagonists.  You cheer for them, you want them to succeed and you see some of them in yourself.  Debt is an equal opportunity anxiety monster and this documentary shows that truth better than any program I’ve ever seen.

We have a crisis in our community when it comes to debt and honestly, sometimes I don’t know if the church is hurting or helping.  Judge for yourself this Thursday night.  CNN is bringing us another powerful documentary, be sure to tune in.


Bloggy Love….

In Bloggy Love, Blogs, Family on March 31, 2009 at 5:21 pm


Can You Feel The Love?

Can You Feel The Love?

Stay at Home and Work at Home moms have it so good these days…


Wait, wait, wait.  Don’t throw anything at the screen or curse me under your breath as you balance your nursing newborn in one aching arm, navigate the mouse or crusty keyboard (what is that gunk anyway?) with your free hand and stretch your toes to bring the remote control closer to your body, (still not quite sure how you’re gonna get it up into your lap quite yet), just wait.

All I’m saying, is that 8 years ago when I first became a SAHM/WAHM, there were no good mommy blogs. OK, there were a few corporate type thingy’s online with articles on colic and cloth diapers, but nothing like what’s going on now. Stir in a little Facebook and sprinkle some Twitter and NING and OMG, you have a MOMMY REVOLUTION going on out here. So many AWESOME women to read and so many great groups to join. No wonder corporate America is paying us all so much attention! 

So since I haven’t crossed over yet on this blog into the wild world of giveaways and contests, I figured the least I could do is share with you some of the incredible blogs I’ve found over the past few months. Some of these will be personal blogs, others are blogs full of tips and a few are selling a product. The common theme here is PASSION. All of these blogs are full of passion for whatever it is they are talking about, selling or sharing.  Each week I’ll add more, so stay tuned!

Oh, and one more thing, while I’m no blog snob, let me go on record and say loud and proud to the recessionista bloggers who are only out there setting up blogs to make a quick buck with annoying ads and click thru buttons and little to no real content. I appreciate your tenacity, I really do, but please, don’t try so hard. If you write it from the heart…we will come…we promise. You don’t have to give us anything or force us to jump on one leg while forwarding your tweet and singing the national anthem. All you have to do is write, with passion, and we will come.

Hold on…it’ll take me a minute to get down off this soap box without falling and busting my butt.

So below is my first installment of what I will be calling BLOGGY LOVE. Great blogs written with great passion by some pretty great women. Enjoy!


Jean:  Momma On The Rocks – Mix one part tutu with two parts giggles and a shot of mommy, mommy, mommy and you have Momma On The Rocks.  Sometimes there is nothing better than just logging OUT of your own life and INTO someone else’s.  Be sure to check out her recent photos of the snow storm that hit her house.  The last one of the spring banner is priceless.  She’s over there pimpin’ out tweets as well (not quite sure how that works yet but it sounds fun).

Ree Drummond:  The Pioneer Woman – Yeah, I know, she has over 11,000 Twitter followers now but any blog that provides me with a lasagna recipe so good that my entire extended family had to bow down to me at Christmas dinner, gets a shout out from me!  I’ve been following her site for so long and now she’s all the rage.  I would love to be like her when I grow up!  From her writings to her recipes and photography, this woman is blazing a new trail for bloggers everywhere.  All hail the Queen aka The Pioneer Woman.

Luxe Mama:  Luxe Tips – When you read her recent interview with salon owners Titi and MIko, you can feel her enthusiasim about all things beauty just ooze off of the page.  This woman loves her lipstick, her hair care products and her stilletos.  Can’t be mad at her for that.  On top of it all she’s a wife, mom, attorney and one of my Mocha Moms.  I’ve been following her blog for many many months and I love how she’s “representing” for brown girls everywhere.

Roxanne Hicks:  New Smyrna Beach Mom – Goodness gracious, if it’s happening in or near New Smyrna Beach, FL, Roxanne is your girl!  This WAHM blogs about local school happenings, festivals, churches, restaurants and events.  I mean literally, reading her posts will make you want to go and visit this divine sounding place.  Keep up the good work Roxanne, it’s obvious that you love your community.  We could all use someone like you in our neck of the woods.

Sharon Reilly:  Cool Dog Productions – While I may not be a blog snob, I am a film/video snob (has something to do with that student loan for the film degree that I’m still paying back).  So when I stumbled across this awesome site I had to tell you all about it.  Her company creates beautiful and touching video birth announcements, video stories, ecards and more.  Set to music, these videos are the perfect 2.o addition to the modern baby and family.  With a Masters in Media and credits that include ABC Television, you can trust she’ll do great work on your child’s birth video 🙂  And yes, her pricing is competitive.  Trust me, I know about these things.

Next week I’ll profile more, like CutieBootyCakes and Playground For Parents, both listed in my RSS Feed below, but for now, enjoy this first installment of BLOGGY LOVE and go visit some of these awesome sites!