Behind the Scenes

I’m feeling so torn over something that happened at Church last Sunday.

I’m not sure why it’s bothering me so much. I’ve been trying to pray it away, but I’m still torn.

Sunday-

During baptism I was standing at the alter with a bunch of others. Prayer and worship was happening and songs we’re being belted out.

In the mist of worship, the assistant pastor passed along the side of where I was standing.

He was tring to motion to his wife, who was doing the baptizing that morning.

The motioning of his hands to his wife broke my attention to the band that was singing on the stage.

He told his wife to ”HURRY IT UP”

I read his lips.

Then his wife said, ”I’m trying”

I am sure I’m not the only one who noticed. Or perhaps I was the only one who was bothered by it. 😔

I generally never stand up by the alter, but the past few times that I have, I have noticed how everything is never random, like I have thought all these years.

It feels very orchestrated and planned out. Right down to each song and things people on stage share at particular times to get people to let go, feel, etc.

An example of this would be a sadder song being sung and then a louder upbeat song sung.

Once some of the people start shouting or verbally praising out loud, that is when someone on the stage says that God has now entered the room and is asking for everyone to let go and praise the Lord louder and not hold back.

Again, I’m not NOT happy with our church. I’m getting fed.

But ever since I’ve sat in the front it’s been hard not to notice these things. The things that the majority of folks are not witnessing/seeing.

Lots of hand motions to everyone on the stage. Sometimes motioning to say another line to a song. (I have noticed this when the congregation starts to get extra loud)

And by repeating a song line or two, it seems to get more of a reaction by the members.

I never noticed any of these things sitting farther back.. I am now upset that I’ve witnessed so much.

This has me wondering if the families whom I was once close too, but have now left the church, noticed these things also, and then could not remain blinded.

It now feels like at the weekly church meetings, all this is planned out ahead of time.

Like someone starts the meeting with, ”What should we do this Sunday?” ”How should we make people feel?” ”Whats going to be beneficial for us?”

And that is just speculation of course.

And if that’s not enough, they brought back our senior pastor this past Sunday, who is currently on an overdue personal leave until mid October.

He came back this past Sunday, only to get up on stage and tell the congragation that offerings have been down by almost half, since he’s been on personal leave, and that he needs people to give a couple hundred more that day.

Then thanked everyone. And left! 😳

Again, everyone loves the senior pastor, so coming from him instead of one of the other pastors, would possibly move the people to give more.

I don’t think he felt good about it, but since he is employed by the church, it was most likely asked by the higher-ups to come back to say this.

Has anyone else ever experienced any of these things? Advice?

I’m not naive, I know every church has it’s politics, etc.

But that said,

How do people that work for the church turn a blind eye to the manipulation parts?

Cultural Differences

Disclosure: For observation purposes only.

I have written about cultural differences before. I did it so interesting there there is any in my bubble of life.

Manly, the differences between whites and Hispanic and blacks.

And I’m certain about women cultural differences, as I’ve only had experiences with men.

Mostly, I’m impressed how family-oriented the majority of Hispanics and blacks are.

I really wish whites were more family oriented. But most get married and nice far away from their families, and so on.

Being married to a Hispanic I have tried to raise my family with the motto, ”Family First” as it’s something I admire about other cultures, as a whole. I’m pretty sure people from India also live by this motto.

I confess, this was something that was on my mind prior to saying ”I DO”

to my husband. I really wanted to marry into a large close-knit family.

Year’s later I found out that hubby’s siblings were not thrilled with his choice to marry out of his race. I’m still very sad about this. I found out through friend of his family.

Due to this, my family has not really been included in all the family activities throughout the years.

Getting back to differences, for the most case.

Yesterday my teen daughter went with a friend to an amusement park.

She came home and shared the story below.

While waiting in line for a roller coaster.

(THE sign said that there was a hour and twenty-minute wait)

Naturally, people would be losing their patience during such a long period.

Apparently, a black mom with young ones was trying to cut a white lady and her husband in line.

The white lady got upset and told the black lady to go back to prison where her kind belong.

Then violence broke out and the black lady punched the white lady. Then the white lady started to share colorful language and pull the black ladies hair out. Surroundung black men were trying to bring peace to the situation.

The black ladies kids started cheering their mom on.

The white ladies husband tried to break it up but also got hit, so then joined in.

Surrounding onlookers decided to then get involved.

Then the park security got involved.

But…

No one could get in-between the two women as they continued to argue and fight.

Then my daughters friends father who was standing off to the side held up his phone on video mode and yelled to them that they were now on Facebook LIVE.

That made them stop immediately!

I guess no one wants the world to see them at their worst.

Moving onto today, at Sams Club.

I was cashing out with my teenage son.

He had his arms folded as he walked along side of me.

I was pushing the cart like I always do.

When we arrived at the door where the employee checks your sales slip, the man (Black man, maybe in his 30’s.) scolded my son for not pushing the cart for his mother.

AND, for walking with his hands folded.

Then he told me I should not have to be pushing my cart.

I smiled and told him that it was fine, and we left.

THAT has happened to me several times through out the years. It’s nothing new.

But worthy of nothing, it’s never a white man!

It is always a black man.

Last year a black man in the parking lot of another store saw me putting my groceries into the trunk and ran over to where I was, insisting to help.

I told him that it was fine, that my husband was in the car.

And then he asked me why my husband was not helping his lady out.

Honestly, I didn’t mind. But the reason I didn’t mind was because I’m use to doing everything myself. I think.

I suppose I would mind, had I been use to having help.

But whose to say.

Some years back I had another back man ask if I needed help reaching for some cookies. I was on the cookie isle trying to decide what to buy, while looking upwards, and was immediately approaced and asked if I needed help reaching.

He was not a worker, because I asked him. Just a friendly stranger.

Another time I was at a shoe shire and on the same isle as a black couple. They looked around my age.

The women kept apologizing to her man for taking so long in the store.

The nan we r up and beyond the call of duty and assured get her that he had no where else her rather be then by his Queens side. And to take all the rime she needed. Then, asked her how many pairs she wanted, because she was with it. 😱

I know it’s not good to envy, but I was like… What? Where did this man cone from?!

Minutes later, his mother who was sitting down on a bench walked over to him and asked if he would take her home, that she was tired.

He immediately told her that he would, and told the wife that he be back in a while.

The way he continued to talk to his mother impressed me so much. So respectful!

As I watched them go toward the front door, he took his moms bags and even her pocketbook. Of course he also, with hands full, opened the for for her.

So you see, there is a HUGE cultural difference. Huge!

Do I wish that there was not. Sure!

I’d love to be educated on some female differences if anyone has any stories/thoughts to share. 🙂

Which Bible would have Christopher Columbus read?

If Christopher Columbus was born in the 14th century and may have heard or read this Bible verse before his journey, which translation would it have been?

Isiah 40:22-

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

The Geneva Bible was fifty-one year’s before the King Janes 1611.

And before the Geneva Bible it would have been manuscripts from Johannes Gutenberg, I assume. 🤔

Overweight People

My DH made a comment before we visited his country about weight.

I thought it was interesting so decided to share.

He said people back home are going to assume he’s struck it rich, because if you are overweight, people think you have plenty of money for food.

This got me thinking of all the many reasons people are overweight.

1.You have enough money to have all your meals out. Or you use Uber Eats on the daily and don’t exercise at all.

On a side note, I’ve noticed that my friends that eat out once or more per day are generally overweight.

My family eats out about 3x a week, and I feel it!

2. In America, sometimes you are overweight because you don’t have money to purchase healthy organic foods, relying on pasta, Ramon, and heavily processed foods.

That said, countries that live off of brand and rice (both starchy) are generally not over weight. 🤔

3. Other times you are overweight because of your health. Many prescription medications slow down your metabolism so much, that one of the side effects is weight gain.

Regardless of your exercise regimen.

I’m sure there are other reasons, but these are the ones that came to mind.

Its only Hair

I have been dying my hair since my thirteenth Birthday.

My natural hair is a mousy blonde with red highlights.

I became obsessed with color after my favorite

Aunt flew up from Florida to visit us one-year while living in Connecticut.

My beautiful, free-spirited, gypsy- carefree, earthy-crunchy Aunt who I dreamt of becoming some day was visiting us, and I was beyond excited to spend time with her.

I remember at age 9 or 10, stealing her hair barrette that she left on her kitchen counter, thinking it would help turn me into her and make me beautiful someday.

Aunt Edie had long blond, goldie locks hair, big boobs, sunkissed skin, a house full of kids, with her stereo always blaring county music.

If that wasn’t enough chaos, you could also hear her two white doves hanging out the living room of her tiny trailer. As a kid, I always thought of having a tiny trailer of my own someday. I loved the thick gold shag carpet.

The Doves had a purpose. They were used for her magic shows.

I also envied my aunts gypsy style wardrobe, from her wood stock days. Along with her overflowing vanity full of Avon makeup.

On my way to school on morning I took this picture of her.

Sure she’s not smiling and looks anything but pleased, but I still look at it and smile.

I wonder what she was really thinking at that moment?!

At the time, I thought her life was the epitome of perfection.

I wanted to grow up and be just like her.

Of course things are not always as they appear on the surface, as I learned in later life.

That said…

She never showed distress or unhappiness to me..

She was the happy person, always making others feel as they were number one when she was around. Selfless and just so beautiful!

Times were so different back then.

But getting back to HAIR. 🙃

One day, while she was visiting us I asked her how she got her hair so ’Marilyn Monroe-ish’

The color was so light and pretty, so different then my undecided roots.

She told me she bleaches it.

I was twelve at the time, and my mother’s gallon of Clorox bleach in the linen closet was the picture that my mind formed.

I waited until my 13th birthday, which was shortly after starting Jr. High.

I wanted to reinvent myself again, as another school year was in full swing.

I had a terrible crush on the boy next to my locker, who also happened to sit right behind me in homeroom. Joshua.

Amazing that we still recall people’s names from so many years ago.

One day after school I called my best friend Jennie and asked her to come over to help me bleach my hair.

We took the whole gallon of Clorox bleach and slowly began to pour it over my head in the kitchen sink.

It started to burn, but I quickly recalled the phrase, ”Beauty sometimes hurts”

I read that in all the beauty magazines for years.

Thst, along with remembering the day I borrowed my Aunt Edies Epilady,

I knew that to be true. 😬

About halfway through the Clorox pour, chunks of hair began falling out into the kitchen sink.

I had my eyes closed and remember Jennie saying, ”Missi, hmmm. I’m not sure we are doing it right, maybe we needed to wet your hair first.”

I quickly opened my eyes and saw much of my hair detached from my head in the stainless steel kichen sink.

I had her stop pouring and I turned the water on and began wetting and rinsing my hair quickly.

But it was too late to turn back. Chunks of hair were already missing.

I rinsed and rinsed some more. Shampooed and conditioned.

Then blow-dried.

I looked at myself in the mirror and was in disbelief.

Jennie’s response to me was, ”Well, Joshua will at least notice you now Missi.”

I started to cry. How was I suppose to go to school looking like this?

I called my Aunt and told her what happened.

She sympathized and told me about hair color. That it was ’a thing’

She told me to style my hair with hair gel and wear a scarf or thick headband until it grew back, and that is would look cute and fresh!

So optimistic! Another trait that she had!

Then she told me to call my mother at work to tell her what happened but please not mention that she told me she bleaches her hair, or she’d get blamed for my doing.

I was scared.

Jennie went home and it was getting late.

My older brother came home and just stood and looked at me for a moment.

I asked him if it looked cute, as I had a hair band in it.

He said if I think it does, then it does. 😐

I ended up calling mom at work and she said that she’d handle with me later.

That night I got grounded, and was made to go to school the next day. Mom did order a wig for me though.

Here is me with my new wig:

And my favorite lipstick, Covergirl, Hint of bronze gloss, which I recently found a new old stock tube of. 🙆‍♀️

The Day

While putting my school books in my locker, Joshua was at his locker next to mine.

I tried not to smile at him and say Hi, but he noticed me!

Maybe it was because on all the other mornings I said Hi, and on that morning I didn’t. I had a black hat on and did not say anything or make eye contact with him.

He said Hi to me.

But I ignored him.

I went into homeroom and sat down.

He sat down behind me.

I then heard, ”Missi. HEY! GOOD MORNING!”

I could not believe that he was actually striking up a conversation with me.

All the other mornings.. When I said hi, or tried to talk to him, I’d only get a Hey, back. Just barely.

So I decided to ignore him still.

But then he did something I couldn’t ignore.

Yep! He grabbed my black hat off of my head in front of the whole, now filled, classmates.

Kids started laughing.

Mr B, walked in and hushed everyone.

Joshua asked me what happened.

Humiliated, I just went with it, and said I bleached it.

He stopped laughing, and asked me why, and said I had pretty hair before and why change it.

In my mind I was thinking, ”Wait, you mean you actually noticed?”

I took my hat back and put it back on my head, feeling confused by his comment. Also pretty mad.

The teacher gave the morning announcements, and Jennifer, the smart straight-A, girl in front of me who use to let me cheat off her sometimes, turned around and told me that Joshua had a crush on me. She said she overheard him and another boy talking, weeks prior.

Shocked. I just zoned out. She had to be lying! I thought to myself.

After the mornings announcements, we were all dismissed.

I went back to my locker, as Joshua was also at his. I felt him looking at me, so just looked up.

He told me that it would grow back, and it was really not a big deal, that it was only hair and that I was pretty still.

I learned so much from that single day.

Or have I….

Here I am, two weeks after my $100 perm. I’m smiling so I must be happy..😉

And as I look in the mirror at this frizzy mop, I can still hear Joshua saying, ”it’s no big deal Missi. It’s only hair, it will grow back”

I have hoped to have a similar style like this: 

And here is a snapshot a few years later, with my hair at a suitable length, deciding on a deep red color…Much like my wig.🙂