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December 31, 2020

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

December 31, 2020
If you are like most Americans, for the past few days you have been busy scribbling down potential New Year’s resolutions.  
 
That’s the way it always is. As a new year dawns, we all have the desire to change for the better---the way we look, the way we behave, the way we make our living. But if research regarding New Year's resolutions is at all true, most of us will fall short of our goals. Why?  
 
In his book, Who’s Got Your Back?, author Keith Ferrazzi says it’s because we too often go it ALONE when trying to change. To prove his point, he shares the story of Jean Nidetch:
 
“Jean was overweight as a child, she was overweight in high school, and despite endless diet regimens, her waistline kept expanding throughout her twenties and thirties …. [She fit the medical definition of ‘obese.’ Jean tried diets and pills that promised to take off the pounds, but she always gained back the weight she lost.
 
In 1961, at age 38, Jean started a diet sponsored by the New York City Department of Health. After 10 weeks she was 20 pounds lighter but starting to lose motivation. She realized that what she needed was someone to talk to for some support.
 
Since she couldn't get her pals to make the trek with her to Manhattan to sign up for the official health department regimen, she brought the ‘science’ of the program to their living rooms in Queens. Jean and her friends would all lose weight together.  
 
Out of those first meetings grew Weight Watchers, widely recognized as one of the most effective weight-loss programs in the world. Nidetch’s idea was simple: Losing weight requires a combination of dieting and peer support. She held weekly meetings with weight check-ins and goal setting to promote accountability, coupled with honest, supportive conversation about the struggles, setbacks, and victories over losing weight.
 
Eventually, Nidetch, who’d lost seventy-two pounds, rented office space and started leading groups all across New York City. In 1963 she incorporated. As of 2007, Weight Watchers International had retail sales of over $4 billion from licenses, franchisees, membership fees, exercise programs, cookbooks, portion-controlled food products, and a magazine. Nidetch retired in 1984, leaving behind a legacy that has saved the lives of literally millions of men and women. As CEO, Dave Kirchhoff noted, ‘Though the science of weight loss has evolved over the years, the core of Jean's program—support and accountability—has remained constant.’”

 
The principle of support and accountability is not new. The writer of Hebrews referred to it thousands of years ago. Remember? “Let us not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
 
The way we get through pandemics, the way to continue to grow more and more Christlike, the way we stay true to the Vision God has given us, is by ENCOURAGING one another to keep on keeping on. Let’s do that in 2021 as we work together to SHARE THE CURE!!
 
Keep the SON in your eyes!
Mark
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