Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Interview with Tamela Mann

In 2009, I was blessed with the opportunity to do a phone interview with Mrs. Tamela Mann. Last week I was once again blessed to speak with her via about her latest album Best Days Deluxe, Upcoming Projects, Family, Marriage, Ministry and how she and David manages it all! You may read the interview below or watch the video recording of the phone convo YouTube by clicking the link below.

BMackWrites:                    Thank you so much for honoring my request for an interview today.
Tamela Mann:                   Oh well your welcome.
BMackWrites:                    I’m not gonna hold you long today. I wanted to talk to you because I have doing some blogs lately that inspire younger women…well women of all ages who are trying to balance home life and career.
Tamela Mann:                   Uh huh
BMackWrites:                   And um I have to say when I do a lot of my blogging, I am really tough on celebrities and Gospel celebrities because because it seems like so many of them are getting away from the standard but when it comes to you and your husband, my husband and I really do have a huge admiration for the both of you all because of your humble spirits and your love for Christ, your love for ministry and your family so we definitely wanted to get your input.
Tamela Mann:                   Okay
BMackWrites:                    And ask you some questions on that. What of the things I wanted to talk to you about is career. God has really blessed your career and ministry. How have you been able to find a balance between career and family?
Tamela Mann:                   …and that’s not what it’s about for us. It’s about the Lord and family first.
BMackWrites:                    Okay
Tamela Mann:                   And then everything else falls in place but once you do get to those things like the music and everything else is like you just take it one day at…for me it just one day at a time..
BMackWrites:                    Okay
Tamela:                                One day at a time and I concentrate on whatever is at hand. That's how I kind of handle it. Like if I know I gotta do a lot of studio time, I’m concentrating.  “Okay you know you’ve got to do a lot of studio time right now. Get your mind straight. Get your mind right. You know it’s going to be long days.” So that’s kind of how I myself deal with it. And when it comes to family, you know I’ve got to make time. You know when I come home like with my grandbabies..you know it’s like first and foremost. If I haven’t seen them in a couple of days, we’ve got to go do dinner. We’ve got to go do some kind of activity together as a family or something like that.
BMackWrites:                    Okay
Tamela Mann:                   But the music..God is really blessing us and it’s just…I’m in awe on what God is doing. How he’s doing it and…man you know..the scriptures tells us if our ways please him, he will give us the desires of our hearts and um God is doing just that. He is doing just that..
BMackWrites:                    Actually Kawambee D, one of my fans on Facebook submitted that question for you about balancing them both. And one of the key things you said is that when it’s time work, you go ahead and focus on work so you can get in, do what you’ve got to do and when you come home that’s the first thing (family). And I think that’s an error that I’ve know I’ve made several times before I’ll be working all day long and my kids will come home from school and I’m still trying to get that little last minute in there. My husband talks to me all the time about that “cut off time” and make sure I get in that family time.
Tamela Mann:                   That’s right. We all need it. You need to shut your brain down.
BMackWrites:                    Exactly
Tamela Mann:                   It’s just…David is like that. Sometimes I have to get on to him about the phone but me when I come home I just want to sit down. If it’s something I need to work on in the house..you know I don’t want to think about work and I don’t want to talk about it. (BMackWrites laughs…Tamela laughs)..because I don’t..when people see me…we are regular people. When you guys see us..I  look at it as I’m still human. I still have to go to the grocery store. I still have to go do me a Marshall’s stop. I mayhave to go to Wal-Mart. Not just at the big stores, I still go to whoever; you know even the Dollar Store if I need to go run in there and get something. You know it’s just that we are still common people. You know we may just know a few more people than you guys know but we are still people…a few more people may know us is what we say but we are all still them same.
BMackWrites:                    I think that is what attracts people to you all so much is because success has not gotten to your head..
Tamela Mann:                   Nooo, I don’t like for people to shop for me. I just don’t. And then when it comes to preparing stuff for my family, I feel like can’t nobody do it like me. You’re not going to fix it.. I can tell you but you are not going to fix it like me. Your heart is not going to be in it like..like mine. You know but I thank God for people coming and helping us you know when that time comes but I want do for my family because bottom line they are my family.
BMackWrites:                    One of the questions and my husband actually submitted this question. He wanted me to ask you all about upholding the standard in a world that’s filled with so much hypocrisy. Um, everbody that we see that’s doing things, that’s you know that’s proclaiming the faith and so forth, they are not really practicing what they preach and you can tell it eventually in the little sideline interviews but…
Tamela Mann:                   Bottom line..bottom line is Bridgett, the Lord is watching and he’s writing it down.
BMackWrites:                    Wow
Tamela Mann:                   That’s my accountability and that’s my standard that I want my ways to please him. I’m not trying to be deep. I’m not trying to be better that nobody. You know but I’m striving for perfection and I can do that with the Lord. I can’t do it on my own and I’m not trying to do it in my own light where it’s all about me. Again, if I am trying to please him all I know how. I look at it as I don’t have an earthly father so the Lord is my Father and I don’t want to let him down. So that’s my standard of trying to do right as best as I can as I know how. When I know that it’s going to hurt somebody, you don’t do it. I’m not saying that I don’t make mistakes because I do. Sometimes I may snap at my husband the wrong way if he asks me something or my kids or people that you but it’s not an everyday thing that I am just walking around chewing people out. But we make mistakes but bottom line is pleasing the Lord. Pleasing the Lord. What he has written down is most important; I am trying to do what lines up with what his word says and what his commandments say. I’m just trying to abide by those. That helps me to hold the standard. A lot of people don’t have standards now. Anything go. Everything go.
BMackWrites:                    Yes,  you are right.
Tamela Mann:                   They feel like “I’m in the dark. Don’t nobody see me. You know and I don’t have to…I’m grown.” That’s the word “I’m grown”. That don’t mean anything. You know we want people to see. We want the world to see there is a difference so that’s why we have to have a standard of righteousness. Free from sin. Yes we are in this world of sin but we can be in the world but not of it.
BMacWrites:                      Exactly! Oh my goodness!

Tamela Mann:                   It’s just according to where your faith is and where your beliefs are.Bottom line like you said standard. What you want to uphold? What you want to uphold?  What do you want your kids to see? Your nieces and your nephews? Because it’s not a lot of positive marriages out there. It’s not a lot for them to see. They see everything else. Everything else is okay to see on TV.
BMackWrites:                    Yeah
Tamela Mann:                  They don’t give us like positive home life you know and things like that. It’s like they fight against that but everything else is okay. You know, let’s make a show about this and that but all we can do what the little time we have is just live the life. Thank God for Social Cam. We just let people know that we are not boasting or anything but if we live right God will give us some things here on earth. You know we can be comfortable and not walk around talking about we are blinging and banging. You know (we are just saying) this is the goodness of the Lord. When you see me on Social Cam, you’d better believe you me I’m teary eyed and giving thanks to God for blessing me and my husband, me and my family because that’s what it’s all about…without him, I could do nothing. Oh…I’m just talking...Okay..Okay...
BMackWrites:                    No..you’re good. For one thing, I saw the thing with ducks yesterday. For one thing, I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t help but laugh when you threw that first duck because….(Bridgett and Tamela laughs)
(My camera didn’t record the rest of this clip so please watch the Mann’s Duck video on Social Cam…HILARIOUS!)
BMackWrites:                    I love the fact that you all are down to earth..down to home people. As a matter of fact, when are we going to hear more information about Hanging with the Manns? Do we know when..?
Tamela Mann:                   Well, it’s still like kind of in the air. We are still shopping in. But we are still working on a couple other things as well like our reality show “With the Manns” another sitcom that we shot is called "Mann and Wife" where me and David actually play husband and wife.
BMackWrites:                    Okay. Okay…And I am rooting for this because see I am tired of blogging about the fake Basketball Wives and all of them. We do need some positive people.
Tamela Mann:                   I need the Saints to be praying that the Lord allows it to go through so we can have some other positive stuff.
BMackWrites:                    Well we need it. I am rooting for you all on that because we do need to see positive marriages. As a matter of fact, a year ago…a couple of years ago,  I ran a job training program and the girls that were in the program…one of the things that they were saying ..they saw me and Travis interact with each other and they thought that we were so fake. They were like “Nobody is that happy Mrs. Bridgett.” And I was like you can be happy. You can have love that is real but you’ve got to learn how to put God first.
Tamela Mann:                   Yes
BMackWrites:                    For one thing, I said, yall have been dealing with all these men…If he doesn’t know how to love God. He ain’t gonna know how to love you. And so it’s just the world has put out so many negative..
Tamela Mann:                   False…negative
BMackWrites:                    …examples of what motherhood is, of what being a wife is about what a career is and it’s really tainting the minds of our younger women and older women and so I am really really rooting for you on that. I’ve got to touch base on your song “I Can Only Imagine”…oh my goodness..
Tamela Mann:                   (Laughs) Yes that’s my new single. I have "Best Days the Deluxe" that’s releasing on October 29th. I want everybody to put it in their phones for Tuesday, October 29th. Make sure yall go pick it up! I redid "Take Me to the King" live where I added I" Surrender All" on there and it goes into Only Imagine. And "I Can Only Imagine" kind of happened… I was singing “Take Me to the King” was in worship for the concert and I started singing “I Can Only Imagine” in the end and it just stuck and it was like we were just going from glory to glory in worship. It’s just like man….and when I went and redid the whole song, I was crying in the studio when I was doing this song. Yesterday I was listening to it. I mean I was just thanking God and I was just weeping. And in my mind I was thinking, what will I be doing? What will I do when I get in the presence of God? That’s what it’s all about; us making ready to see the King. Because that day is coming; we don’t when our day is coming but it is coming. We all need to be prepared. Just put it in our minds of what we’re going to do when we see our Savior. And um I’m telling I’m just so excited about it and I’m just praying that God will touch the hearts of people with this like "Take to Me King" that we are going higher and higher. That’s where we are going with this.
BMackWrites:                    Well let me tell you. Those two songs really blessed me because Take Me to the King. I had to have this in my private time. A couple of years ago, I lost my baby sister. Well I didn’t lose her I know where she went. She went to Heaven. I know where she went.
Tamela Mann:                   Yeah
BMackWrites:                    She died suddenly a couple of years ago. I’m the oldest of four children.
Tamela Mann:                   Uh huh
BMackWrites:                    It was one of those things where..because she died suddenly. She went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She was a wife and a mom. And I was…the whole grieving process totally drained me. This was one of those things that big sister couldn’t fix. I couldn’t make things better for her children, my parents and my family. It was your song "Take Me to the King" that blessed me because I didn’t have nothing else to bring because I was broken.
Tamela Mann:                   Yes
BMackWrites:                   I know "Take Me to the King" is one of those songs that you can’t listen to in the car because you’ll be at the light and folks will be blowing. (Tamela laughs) You’ll be done got on the mountain and but it really did bless me. And when I heard "I Can Only Imagine", I could imagine myself standing before God and I could imagine Toshia standing in the arms of God. It’s one of those songs really ministers. It takes you in the presence of God. It doesn’t…you don’t focus on just a good beat and you moving around and you don’t know what you are listening to but the words really minister to your spirit. That is an awesome awesome song so I am looking forward to October29th. Everybody need to get it. (to the camera) Yall hear that. Go get it..October 29th!
Tamela Mann:                   Best Days Deluxe …Tamela Mann
BMackWrites:                    I am gonna ask you one last question. Now you and your husband recently your vow renewal earlier this year.
Tamela Mann:                   Yes, Twenty five years.
BMackWrites:                    Twenty five years! My husband and I have been married for seventeen years.
Tamela Mann:                   Amen! Yay! I love to hear that. I love to hear people still hanging in there and man we can make it. We’ve got some ups and downs but it’s work. Marriage is work.
BMackWrites:                    That’s what I wanted to touch on because my husband and I have befriended a lot of people . We’ve seen a lot of marriages demise and go their separate ways. There are going to  be down days. I’ve given people my advice on what do in those down days but in your words. In Mrs. Tamela’s words, what is your best advice for down days?
Tamela Mann:                   On down days look at yourself. Go look in the mirror to see. It’s  not about you changing somebody. You can’t change anybody. You have to change you. A lot times you have to examine yourself to make sure you are lining up; that you are doing everything that you know how to do what’s right. So start checking yourself to see “What is that I have to do to change Lord to start making my relationship better?” That’s our mistake [we say] “Well you need to do..” We are pointing the finger but in reality, it’s you that need to make the change. It’s  not always somebody else, a lot of times it’s our selves. You need to examine yourself and ask the Lord to help you see you. Learn from whatever those mistakes are because you are going to keep going through it until you pass the test.
BMackWrites:                    Exactly
Tamela Mann:                   Whatever that issue is, it’s gonna keep coming around. It may change up a little bit but it’s gonna keep coming until you pass the test. That’s my advice on that. Ask the Lord to help you and give you peace during the storm. Every argument doesn’t need a response. Sometimes you just have to hold your tongue to keep the peace. You may not be wrong. You may be wrong but then you may not be but sometime you just [need to] sit back and let everything cool down.
BMackWrites:                    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. We look forward to buying your album Best Days
Tamela Mann:                   Thank you. I’ve have people to tell me that they’ve feel in love with the songs all over again. I also went back and redid "Now Behold the Lamb".

BMackWrites:                    No you didn’t.
Tamela Mann:                   (Laughs and says to someone in background. "She talking about No you didn’t”) Yes I did. So that’s on there as well. You are in for a great treat. So everybody make sure you go out and pick it up and I love you. Thank you for having me again today and we will talk you again soon.
BMackWrites:                    Okay. We love you all and you all have a blessed day.
Tamela Mann:                   Alright Thank you.
BMackWrites:                  Bye Bye
Tamela Mann:                 Bye Bye

Monday, October 21, 2013

Imitation Flattery

We've all heard the saying "Imitation is the biggest form of flattery"; to some degree it is, but it can also be the greatest form of irritation. When you are trying to make your mark in the world, the last thing you need is for someone to come along and seemingly try to steal your idea before you can even make a footprint in the sand.
The harsh reality is, there is nothing you can do about copy catters. They have always been around and will always be. There will always be a Dr. Pepper and a Mr. Pibb. The question is who would you prefer to be? An authentic original or a copy cat version. Mr. Pibb tastes good but still this beverage brand does not appeal on a "high end" level. It costs less to make and is even cheaper to buy, ergo..."You get what you pay for."
I understand there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And I know there will always be others who will be an inspiration to me. Still, I choose to be an authentic original of what God called me to be as a business woman. I choose to take what I already have along with what inspires me and strategically work to create a BMackWrites original.
I'll end with this advice...
  • Always protect your work. Copyright and patent your creations.
  • Be careful who you share your vision with.
  • Don't be afraid to take risks in Faith.
B's Research to Review..
Click the links below to learn more about copyrights and patents.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Loving Me for Me

It feels good to finally be at a place in my life where I am happy being me. I was raised to be strong and confident in who I am as a child of God, wife, mom, business woman and friend. Still, this was a struggle for me because of the negativity around me. When I was confident, they called me cocky. When I stood up for what I believed in, they called me opinionated. When I was silent, they called me stuck up. When I second guessed myself , they called me weak.

I felt like I was in a lose lose situation. My life dreams were beginning to feel like nightmares. But then one day a light bulb went off and I heard the voice of God say "When it comes to giving gifts I make no mistakes. I gave you your gifts and talents now go use them with much confidence and faith in me."

And so here I am comfortable in my own skin. Loving what I see in the mirror. Writing with purpose and speaking with joy and authority. I understand that it's not me, it's the God in me and I can't second guess God.

I encourage you to love who you are in Christ. When you look at life through God's eyes, all you will see  is greatness!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Quick Minute Tip: Grocery Bag Storage Solution

Please click below to watch my Quick Minute tip on storage solutions for your grocery shopping bags. Enjoy!

The Hypocritical Parent?

As a parent, do you practice what you preach or do you live by the saying "Do as I say not as I do." Some parents take for granted the influence they have on their children. I am so blessed to have the parents that I have because they set the standard of practicing what they preached. They taught me the importance of living by example. Some of my fondest memories of my children growing up were when they went through the phase of mimicking everything Travis and I did. There were times when as I typed away at my computer my daughter would sit at her little Elmo desk making typing sounds with her little fingers. My oldest daughter loved (and she still does) playing dress up in my closet. When our son was two years old, he went for weeks without eyebrows because (without our knowing) he decided to shave just like his daddy. (It was nobody but God that kept him from cutting himself)

The reality is even though our children grow up and act as if they don't need us, they never stop watching us. How many times have you said "Now he/she is the splitting image of their mom/dad." Whether we be the best parents in the world or the worst, our children will eventually inherit part of who we are.

Generational curses are created or broken based on how we parent. If we set a Godly standard in our households, our children automatically become destined for greatness because they will then have principles to live by. You can't expect your children to live a life pleasing to God if you allow worldly influences in your home. We say we want the best for our children. We say we want for them to go farther in life than we did but then we introduce them to obstacles that could hinder their growth.

It's important to establish Godly principles for your children to live by because outside influences will eventually arise. There will come a time in your child's life when curiosity will set in and they will want to experience new things. Pop culture for example, has one of the greatest influences on our youth. Celebrities and artists set trends for fashion, how to talk, how to act and even how to handle relationships. We as parents become fans of these celebrities despite the negative influences they have on our children. We justify supporting their work by saying "Well I don't agree with how they live. I just love their music." We become blinded to the fact that while we are mature enough not to mimick what we see our impressionable children are drawn to it. These artists are about making the dollar first and being a good influence whenever their PR agents deems it necessary. Still we allow these same people into our homes via music videos, Ipods and YouTube.

Why do we tell our children not to be a certain way but we constantly watch that "certain way"? If what a person is doing disobeys the word of God, why do we allow it into our homes? Proverbs 17:4 says " A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips and a liar to a naughty tongue". This scripture took me by surprise. I didn't realize that for every time I entertained vanity and profanity, God considered me to be a wicked liar as well (and we wonder why our children lie and rebel).

With all of the tragedies and havoc going on in the world, my husband and I have chosen to add more caution to our parenting.  Our children know to only accept the best;role models have to come with the whole package. Anyone who's willing to compromise their dignity, expose their body, use foul language and most importantly not live for Christ for the sake of fame and fortune, does not meet the criteria. It's all about the standard. Travis and I may not be perfect parents but we refuse to be hypocritical ones.

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