Here's how I opened my WW Meetings this week.
"Twas the first week of PointsPlus, and all through the meeting,
The members were talking and laughing and greeting.
"Have you heard the new plan?" "Have you made the big switch?"
"Have you seen the new products, and bought your new kits?"
The meeting room gleamed with new art on the wall;
New stickers were there, awaiting us all.
And those coming back had nothing to dread,
As 0 PointsPlus Fruit choices danced in their heads.
Where there at the scale, there arose such a chatter,
I ran over there to see what was the matter!
It was Jenn, weighing in, and she said, "Hey, that's great!"
"I lived the new plan, and you say I lost weight?"
And I heard her explain, as I sat down beside her,
"I just ate a little more protein and fiber!"
"I never felt hungry; I snacked on fresh fruit,
And I felt free to use my Allowance to boot!"
Then one after another, the members they came,
And the leader stood up and she called them by name,
"Now Bill, and now Mary, now Amy, now Gus!"
"Come on, let's get started! Let's talk PointsPlus!"
And I closed with this:
And the leader, she stood there so poised and serene,
And smiled as she pondered this happy new scene.
And I heard her exclaim, with her arms held out straight,
"Happy PointsPlus to all, and to all a good weight!"
I get so many opportunities to grow in this most unusual work we are blessed to be part of. I share them once in a while and hope they are useful to you; I consider it such a blessing to be challenged to see things in a different light once in a while.
The church here has put a lot of money into local advertising. The ads are in a "give away" paper that's handed out in the subways in the mornings. It has a circulation of about 300,000 per day! Every car on the train has people reading the "AM New York." Over tiime, we have gotten better and better response to the ads, and now it's pretty standard to have a "first-time" visitor in our services every Sunday.
But it's given me a chance to welcome in and sit by someone who's truly a "first-time" visitor. Not just first time to our group; generally first time in the Lord's church, and often first time in a church at all! And that gives me a chance to look at our services as if I'd never seen them before!
A few weeks ago it was Bertha, a lady from our neighborhood who was soooo excited that she was going to start studying from the Bible. Yesterday it was Tong Lee, a chinese man, just weeks in the US, and at our services for the third time. The reason I sat by Tong Lee yesterday was because Grace (Kai Ling) our lovely young Chinese christian was out sick. Two years ago, when Grace came here she was in the same position, new to the US, new to English, new to Christianity (she had been baptized only a week before she came). Grace is thrilled that someone else from China is joining us and has been helping him and translating some.
So yesterday I helped him......(and this is not about me helping him, it's about these amazing people and how they are willing to be a part of something they don't understand).......decide which book he was supposed to be using - song book or Bible - we keep switching back and forth!....... listen to hear the song # and then find the song quickly before we all start singing....... find the verse called upon from the Lord's supper table and realize it's over before we got there......... feel sheepish when the Lord supper emblems come by and you don't know what to do or what they're for.......hear a song # called out and realize everyone's singing a different song (you know - find # 355 and mark it....now sing #52, ha).... let the lady beside you literally flip through your Bible to help you find lots of verses called out by the preacher...... (hey, some of the time, I was so tempted to tell him, "he won't be on this passage that long, let's just skip it).......
And yet these good people - Tong Lee, Bertha, Joe, Michelle,.... keep coming back for more! With questions like, "how do you know the words to all of these songs?" Answer: look at me - I'm old as dirt and I've been coming to chruch and singing these songs since birth! give yourself time! and "What's with the singing? Follow up question " You mean like, why we sing?" Answer: yeah! Follow up answer " blah blah what you'd expect blah New Testament church blah...." Answer: Ok!
Oh, and add one more thing! Since our group is so diverse, often these Chinese, Spanish, Mid-Westerners, are listening to services being led by Nigerians, Indians, Bronxians, ha.
My conclusion! The Lord's way is so good. His calling us to come together and worship from the heart is appealing to people who want to know more about Him. His word is powerful to change their lives. The songs we sing are an outpouring of our heart - and I need to appreciate the words. And I am so blessed to have been a part of this for all of my life! No more complaining! I just continue to be given magical moments!
Good things in the work here! Jady and Julianne Copeland have moved to the city to help with the work. They are a great young couple and are jumping in right off the bat, getting to know people, learning their way around, attending all the extra classes that are going on now. He starts teaching our Tuesday night mid week class next week!
But we've had some other additions as well. Emily Popham is back, but now she's Emily Gillins and married to a wonderful Christian man named Kevin. They will work at secular jobs but wanted to be a part of this work and have a couple of things working for them that will help them make it in the city. Kevin is teaching two extra public classes now, and heading up some new projects, like facebook pages about the studies, etc. They, too, are aware of people in the group and what's going on, and what needs done.
Karl and Stephanie Wagner, came to us from California, because of a job transfer. They are GREAT! Way too happy and perky for New York City, and three months hasn't even changed that! They have jumped right in, as well: Karl has filled in teaching while Don's away, they are at anything and everything that goes on, and with happy smiles and fun conversation.
Of course, all of our members that had been working super hard are still going strong, but we are all enjoying these new dedicated, enthusiastic brothers and sisters.
And with a little ease in the schedule, we are taking a few days off next month and going away! And it must be time, because Juliet (one of the christian ladies here) and I were going over a date in her calendar and October 15 - 22 is marked off as "Don and Cami's Getaway" HA!
Life is good because God is good.
Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Tourist Worshipper, for coming in quite late and with your Frappocino in hand. I mean, just because you're getting to worship services well after they've started doesn't mean you shouldn't stop for your morning java. Bible Class this morning was good, too bad you weren't interested. And I'm glad you were comfortable for the rest of your day in your palm tree shirt and sandals.
Don't worry, the woman next to me, who is not a Christian yet, but attending every week, doesn't realize you are believers who should have done a much better job of prioritizing the importance of the day. And we'll take care of many others, too. You know, the girl right behind me, a new Christian from another land, with not one believing family member or friend....., whose commute to services was much longer than yours..... we'll keep working with her to help her deal with the pressures she feels to work on Sundays, like all the other girls in her culture.
So you go ahead and enjoy your day, after giving the Lord just over an hour of it. Oh, but texting the preacher once services have started to tell him you'll be late...... not so cool.
the member sitting behind you
(Thanks for letting me have this sarcastic vent. ha. And btw, we get so many tourist worshippers who are there super early, in case they can't find the way, and participate so joyfully in worship with us, they are a constant sense of encouragment.)
I'll post something much nicer soon! oh, like this for example: 28 at our afternoon class at our apartment, including 9 kids from the Sherman Ave. group! Such a nice gathering to spend a little more time together and study. Sooo encouraging, I amost forgot about Mr. and Mrs. Palm Tree Shirt- Frappocino -late text! ha
We were having a little fun on Sarah's fb post the other day about maternity clothes and "mommy" clothes and it brought back memories and musings of those days. I remember, even though our budget was very tight, Don wishing I could own a pretty suit to wear to worship services. I would just look at him in wonder, and even though I can't remember what I said, it was probably along the lines of "what's wrong with you!?" I could just imagine myself wrestling with one of three boys, and trying to imagine a blouse staying tucked in a skirt, and timing how many seconds it would be until the pretty suit jacket was covered with slobber and spit up! And no budget for dry cleaning. It was a nice thought, tho, and I assured him my day for wearing suits would come. (which it has, .... and passed... .I don't really like wearing them.)
But another memory I have is being out to buy a new dress, which I needed a lot, and running into a good friend. A good friend that was younger than me, and in the even earlier stages of mom-hood. There in my hand, ready to try on, were about three dresses - all beige, all plain, all would camoflauge well wth spit up and a church pew. She just grabbed another dress and said, "Here, try this one." "That one" was bright turquose, had big shoulder pads (hey, it was the 80's) a wide belt, cute buttons all the way down the front. It was not subtle. In fact it was eye-catching. I tried it; I liked it, I bought it. I wore it for years, I got compliments every time I wore it.
So, even though this post is titled "what not to wear", it's more about what to wear - and it's somewhere between completely impractical and waaaay too practical. And don't forget to have fun!