Bravotv.com: In your speech at church, you talked about family. Did you get the inspiration from events that have been going on within your family? How much are your sermons based on your own life?
Ben Tankard: Sometimes, yes! However, each year I try to cover all subjects in our church. Destiny Center is our way of donating our time and resources to performing an act of service in our community. We try to keep our range of subjects broad so as to cover as many areas as we can to benefit the needs of the people. There are certain subjects that we try to hit at least once or twice a year. They include: The Blended Family, Family Planning, Family Problem Solving, and this week's message, Family Forgiveness.
Bravotv.com: How much are your sermons based on your own life?
Ben: There is always some element of personal experience inserted in all my messages. I consider myself a "reacher" not a "preacher," so I try to break my message into very easy to understand nuggets that people can apply to their life. A personal transparent example is a good way to get a scripture across in an understandable manner. Real life stories grab the audience’s attention.
Bravotv.com: What did you think of Brooklyn’s car accident? You mentioned that this hasn’t been the first time, did it make you scared that she was falling back into old habits? Do you believe her story about how everything happened?
Ben: Another incident of not paying attention, trying to do too much, and not getting enough rest. I think she fell asleep from being up all night working at her Mom's house. No, it just reminds me that she needs me more than I thought she did. Even though she is 24 she is still a little girl on the inside and perhaps I need to start from the beginning, starting with teaching her how to drive. And yes, I do believe her story about how it happened.
Ben: Awesome and great. She is the best thing that ever happened to Brooklyn and is the apple of my eye. I'm a very proud Papa. Jewel does not like to be called "Grandma" though, so Diamond has to call her Mee-Mee (Whatever, GRANDMA :) I believe grandchildren are God's gift to parents for NOT killing their children.
Bravotv.com: Do you think she looks at you as her father figure?
Ben: YES, I'm a young Grandpa so I'm still active and "cool", instead of old and slow.
Bravotv.com: What are some of your favorite things to do?
Ben: Riding in the golf cart around the neighborhood (she is a good driver), playing pool, and my favorite game is when I get to be the "monster" to her and her friends and chase them around the Palace.
Bravotv.com: How did you feel about Brooklyn getting a new Mercedes?
Ben: I thought it was premature and immature. I have tried to teach her the “law of progression" and responsibility, not just the overnight, "keep up with the Jones" system she is currently subscribing too.
Bravotv.com: Do you think her financial priorities are in the right place?
Ben: NO. It took me 25 years of 20 hour days in the studio, and grueling hours of tours on the road to build the life we have now. It took hard work and determination. I want her to learn that lesson and that sometimes suffering is good because it develops patience. She, on the other hand, wants the "look" with this Mercedes and to have instant gratification, rather than to save money and ride a more "humble" vehicle right now.
Bravotv.com: What kind of example do you think she is setting for her daughter?
Ben: That you can pick right up where you parents left off. This is true in some cases but not all. I'm glad she still lives with us so I can continue to try to teach her these lessons. I thought child rearing ended at 18, but looks like it keeps going and going and going...THESE JUVENILES!!! (LOL!)Bravotv.com: What do you think of all the sisterly drama? How was it seeing Jewel breakdown? Were you surprised you couldn’t smooth things over using Rock?
Ben: It's like an Ole Skool soap opera unfolding in from of me...Junice is playing the super sensitive wounded Valley girl and Jewel is a cross between Ericka Kane from All My Children and Crystal from Dynasty. (You will have to be " Ole Skool " to know these characters).
Bravotv.com: What did you think of Brooklyn buying the Escalade? What did you think of the other children’s reaction to it?
Ben: I thought it was a very good gesture and it showed responsibility and growth. Her heart was in the right place...I just hope it is not some loan shark "buy here pay here" deal, and that I'm going to get stuck with the payments. The kids are FAR too VOCAL about something that they have no financial vested interest in. You can't "check" somebody when you’re just as much of a dependent as they are.