[Video]: White Pastor Talks White Privilege and Black Lives Matters

[Video]: White Pastor Talks White Privilege and Black Lives Matters

In this video, Jonathan Mickles interviews Pastor Matt Braddock of Christ Congregational Church in Silver Spring, MD – www.cccsilverspring.org.

Pastor Matt talks about his personal evolution to become one that is not only socially active in his personal life, but challenges others to use the example of Christ to use Compassion as an active form of Resistance.  He also explores thoughts of using “double justice” to help not only the oppressed, but to recognize that the system also oppresses the Oppressor.

The final challenge is for churches to purchase the book and use it as a study guide to ignite conversations around radical reconciliation in and out the congregation.

He not only talks the talk, but is walking the walk by associating with local and national organizations around racial/social justice and even LGBTQ issues.  He and his wife have even adopted two Ethiopian girls and is quite concerned about the world that they are growing up in.

You can purchase Pastor Matt’s book from Amazon.



In the last of three posts, I want to share another poem, thought, meditation from my godmother, Mother Shirley M.K. Berkley.  (Hey, I may do a video.  What do you think?)  In a recent teaching moment, she talked about “Apologies.”  I inadvertently offended a good friend lately.  I was not sure of the impact that I had on the situation.  It is now my turn to make it right by apologizing for the wrong that I have done.


How to Bootstrap More Doable Deals

How to Bootstrap More Doable Deals

By Tod Snodgrass

Our firm provides private capital to fix/flip and pure flip Real Estate Investors (REIers.), via loan brokers. We are frequently contacted by those who wish to flip or fix/flip a property, but don’t have the needed capital to pull it off successfully. With the deal secured, and only lacking the funds to make it happen, REIers often go in search of OPM: Other People’s Money. Smart idea. Using OPM allows the REIer to leverage themselves into deals that they could not otherwise conclude successfully.

Different Shades of OPM

Traditionally the REIer finds a good quality SFR (Single Family Residence), at a substantially discounted price (35% to 65% off of current, fair market value—FMV–is preferable).  First step is to acquire the property with a low enough LTV (Loan To Value) ratio to make sense to your “money people”. Second, rehab it (fix it up) as needed to enhance its value. Third, put it on the market (list it with a real estate professional) and sell it—hopefully for a good profit. Or just buy, and then flip it.

With the above as pretty standard background, the issue of exactly WHERE the fixer/flipper REIer is going to get the OPM takes on front-burner urgency. Choices can include private capital funding providers such as: private debt, joint venture, Hard Money, private equity, cash-on-cash investors who specialize in TC (transactional funding), etc.

Hard Money Lenders

For example, many fixer/flippers use Hard Money Lenders (HMLers) for most of the needed cash. Problem is, many if not most HMLers will not provide 100% of the REIers cash needs. Most HMLers require cash that the REIer may lack, in part or in whole, such as:

  1. “Skin in the game” money: say 20% down payment money, other costs, etc.
  2. Monthly payments: More cash the REIer may lack
  3. Reserve account funds: This is to cover several months worth of payments

Also, most HMLers prefer to deal with experienced REIers…those who have done several successful fix/flips before. In other words, novices need not apply in most cases since most do not have the money for down payments, reserve accounts, and lack the necessary experience as well.

Private Funding Alternative(s)

To avoid the necessity of coming up with 20%-25% or more of the purchase price, what many REIers concentrate on is finding deals with a low enough LTV, that they can obtain 100% of the money they need for the purchase and/or fixup from one money source. That is where private capital providers come into the picture. If you are able to put a property under contract with a low enough LTV, private money is usually available to fill the need.

FYI: In a best case scenario, private capital firms may provide 100% of the capital needs of the REIer; say for 30 days—long enough, for example, for the REIer to secure a grant deed on the property.

Low LTV properties usually result from some poor homeowner who is in financial distress, and is thus both motivated and flexible enough to want to make a deal in order to trade “cash for keys” with the REIer. This may result from a “deed in lieu” that the REIer arranges with the anxious seller.

NOTE: Another category of discounted properties are those where the title is clouded as the result of a lawsuit, lis pendens, tax lien, pre-foreclosure, probate, etc. First the REIer must “uncloud” the title. For example, our firm can help facilitate removing the cloud on title, thereby clearing the way for the flipper to assign (co-wholesale for example) the property he has under contract, or to use the grant deed he receives to secure longer term financing in order to rehab and then sell the property.


If you are an experienced REIer, with a number of successful fix/flips or straight wholesale contract flips under your belt, and have sufficient capital to cover the portion that the HMer cannot/will not provide, you may be a good candidate for using HML money. However, if you are relatively new to the business and/or lack the needed funds to go the HML route, it is possible to obtain 100% of the funding you need from a private source if the LTV is low enough. That way you won’t have to chase around town trying to find second position gap funding, which is becoming more and more of a scarce commodity these days.

What We Do: Quickly provide short-term, first position, private capital funding, in smaller amounts, to: wholesale contract flippers, fixer/flippers or to investors who own a property free/clear but cannot or will not use hard money lenders or conventional funding sources. See more info below.

Contact info: Tod Snodgrass, emdfunding1@gmail.com, 310-408-7015

NEW $15,000/$20,000 Prince George’s County Down Payment Assistance

NEW $15,000/$20,000 Prince George’s County Down Payment Assistance

Due to the success of the Pathway to Purchase Program, Prince George’s County has opened a new down payment assistance program.
PGCPAP Program Highlights:
  • $15,000 Down-payment and Closing cost assistance
  • Police Officers, Teachers, Nurses, and similar positions may be eligible for $20,000
  • Income limit is 120% of the AMI (up from 100% for Pathway)
  • Maximum purchase price $462,000 (up from $307,000)
  • Home must pass a HQS Inspection
  • Re-sales, short sales, new construction, and foreclosures are all eligible.
  • Minimum credit score 620
  • Maximum DTI 35/47
  • Minimum down payment 1.75%
  • 60 day closing
  • Can be used with FHA, Conventional, or VA loans.
Michael Chelst | Branch Manager
Norcom Mortgage | NMLS #189764
7500 Greenway Center Drive Suite 110 | Greenbelt, MD 20770
Cell: 301-254-7636
Licensed in: MD DC & VA

Norwich Commercial Group, Inc. | NMLS #71655

[Video]: Interview with Darious Britt on His Movie UNSOUND

[Video]: Interview with Darious Britt on His Movie UNSOUND

In this interview, I take the time to speak with my friend, Darious Britt, about his movie, UNSOUND.  It is semi-autobiographical about his experience as a caretaker of his mother who has Schizophrenia.  We talk about about how he got into the film industry; why he made the decision to make such a personal movie; his experiences as a caretaker; and a ton of other things.


The Movie

If you are interested in knowing where to start in the film business (or any business), you may enjoy this movie.  If you are a Mental Health professional or caretaker, you may want to see the movie below.  The movie is free of charge.  So, feel free to watch, comment and share.


The Documentary

Darious also created a documentary on how he made UNSOUND.  It is a seven (7) year journey of learning.  I believe that it is required for anyone that is thinking of getting into the film business.

Faith Lift

Faith Lift

I mentioned my godmother, Shirley M.K. Berkley, a couple of weeks ago.  She would really “get me” if I mentioned some of her resume.  But my hope is that she never will.  However, she was instrumental in getting the Father of Gospel Music, James Cleveland, to come to the Washington, DC area.  She also sits on the Board of Directors for the organization he founded, Gospel Music Workshop of America, for over 40 years.  She serves as mentor for countless pastors, leaders, international Gospel musicians and singers to include a very long and impressive list.  She also has written music which has appeared in hymnals and been performed by the likes of the Gaithers.  Standing at no more than 5.5″ (I’m 5’6″ and she is shorter than me.) she towers in influence when she enters a room, smiling, laughing, and teaching.  One of the most humorous (and I can hear her say in that distinct voice) “Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the way!”  Ya, gotta love Ma Berkley.

Here is the latest of her works – well new to me… LOL!  “Faith Lift.”  If you are reblogging this content, please give her attribution.  Thanks!  The picture that you see is she and I at her 80th Birthday party about 8 years ago.  LOL!  People always ask her, “Why is it that you look so good?”  She says, “it is because of my ‘Faith Lift’.”  Take a read.

Faith Lift
Edwin Hawkins Memorial Concert

Edwin Hawkins Memorial Concert

A little while ago, I was invited out to attend the Edwin Hawkins Memorial Concert in Washington, DC.  If you don’t know who that is I am sure you know his music.  Ever heard of the song, “Oh Happy Day” from the movie “Sister Act”?

Well, that was Edwin Hawkins who first wrote and recorded that song back in the 70s I believe.  Nonetheless, there were tons of other singers in the area and abroad who came to honor the legend.  Of note was DC Gospel Music royalty, Richard Smallwood.  You may know Richard from the song “Total Praise.”

Edwin was a mentor and friend of Richard’s.  Richard mentioned that Ediwin inspired him to use chords that were not readily accepted by churches back in the 70s and 80s.  They didn’t want those jazz chords or secular chords being played.  Nonetheless, we have all types of genres of Gospel music.

So, I pause and thanks the giants like Edwin Hawkins (and others) who blazed a trail to allow us to worship using multiple modes of expression, sound, volume, movement, etc.

Here is another clip of a song that I grew up hearing.


Walking Away

Walking Away

Recently, I visited my godmother, Shirley M.K. Berkley.  Mother Berkley is ALWAYS teaching and educating her children.  At 90, she is still spry, alert, quit witted and a cook to her heart.  (Those Sunday dinners.)  She sent me a couple of poems, articles, thoughts (not sure how to categorize them) and I asked if it were ok to share.  She said of course.  So, I share them with you.  The first is “Walking Away”.  I will share the PDF here as well as the text.  I just ask that if you reblog or reuse PLEASE give her attribution.

(I know that there are several bloggers, institutions, and companies who are using my blogs, videos, etc.  Let me know and provide proper attribution.)

Walking Away