Sunday, September 09, 2007

Welcome Camy Tang! Win a copy of Sushi for One?

I'd like to welcome my friend, Camy Tang, today as a guest blogger. Camy is in the midst of a blog tour this month for the release of her fabulous and fun book, Sushi for One?. I read it last week and absolutely loved her spunky main character, Lex. Camy, you kept me up until 2 am one night because I had to finish it before I could possibly go to bed. :)

After reading Camy's guest post, be sure to leave a comment along with a way to reach you, and I'll enter your name in a drawing for a copy of Sushi for One? You don't want to miss this book!

Before Camy gets started, let me say that I've been blessed to have taken part in a worship service at the 2006 Faith, Hope and Love Conference where Camy led the singing. She has an amazing talent. So when she asked what topic I'd like for her to blog about, I asked her to talk about her music and youth ministry at her church. I hope you enjoy getting to know Camy a little better.

Camy, thanks for being with us! So, tell us how you got started working with youth and with music at your church.

Camy: I’ve been one of the worship leaders at my church for a few years now. I lead a team of primarily youth group members, to give the teens a way to serve the church body.

It started when my youth pastor wanted me to lead worship for the youth group meetings on Saturday nights. My husband and I would play guitars and sing, and the kids would mostly not sing and stare at us blankly.

Over the years, the youth group has changed—grown larger and more interactive. The older kids actively participate in the singing and worship, which sets a good example for the younger junior high kids. Now most of the kids sing and really get into the worship.

Then came an opportunity to be one of the four worship teams for the Sunday service. I gathered a team of teenagers and we debuted to a congregation of mostly fond parents (kind of like VBS or a Christmas pageant). We sounded awful, but nobody minded.

We’ve gotten better since then, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve been introducing some newer songs to the congregation because the kids give me their favorites to play for Saturday night youth group. I like the songs and play them on my turn doing Sunday worship. The teens sing lustily, which prods the congregation to sing a little louder, too, even if they’re not completely familiar with the song.

In book two of my Sushi Series, Trish gets involved in worship in her church, and that was fun to write. Some of what I’ve learned as a worship leader went into those scenes.

Leading worship has become something God has used to teach me about what worship is. He has shown me how everyone worships differently, and that’s okay. He has taught me how to choose songs that will hopefully create a certain atmosphere of worship, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay. He has revealed to me that when we play the set at service, it’s not up to me to induce the congregation to worship God—I’m there to worship Him myself, and that’s okay.

I guess what I’m saying is that however you feel led to worship in your own congregation, it’s okay. God looks at our hearts. The lady sitting next to us might look at us funny, but who cares? God is pleased when we’re authentic and real (although do try not to hit anyone with flailing hands and arms).

Thanks for having me guest blog today, Missy!

Missy: Thanks again, Camy, for taking the time to visit. And everyone reading, please don't forget to leave a comment along with a way you can be reached (so I can get your mailing address) to be entered in the drawing for a copy of Sushi for One?!



Belinda Peterson said...

Camy and Missy,

Thanks for sharing about worship. I loved the music you played in Atlanta for the worship service. You are truly talented, in music and writing. I can't wait to read your book.
The youth at your church are really blessed to have you and your husband to look up to. You are an inspiration to them I'm sure.
Keep on singing and writing for the Lord, Camy!! He hears you and loves it too.

ForstRose said...

I like your philosophy that even when you are "leading worship" you are "there to worship". I've been to some services where they are up there and it feels like they are performing a concert instead of worshipping which makes it difficult for me to worship. Please enter me for the book drawing. forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com

Melissa Meeks

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for pointing out that people have different worship styles and that God looks at our hearts! He knows when we're really worshipping Him, and I'm sure He appreciates the different ways people choose to worship Him.

Cecelia Dowdy

betty said...

Camy and Missy,
I love to sing even though I'm not good. I wish that I could have listened to you in Atlanta.
Anyone who leads and sings in a choir is an inspiration to me. I did sing in a choir for Christmas once and I had the best time of my life. After Midnight Mass we were invited to the rectory to partake in a meal. Really enjoyed myself that Christmas because I was living alone at the time. That was the best Christmas present I could have gotten that year.
Blessings on you and your family and looking forward to reading your book.
Betty Johnson FHL

Missy Tippens said...

So good to see all of you here today! Like Camy, I love to sing. I just wish I played the guitar! She's great on that.

Actually, I'm off to a program at church shortly. We're having a "favorites" night where the choir sings all our favorites from the past year or so. It'll be fun!


Pam Hillman said...

Enjoyed the peek into your worship services at chuch, Camy. Worship in song is a huge part of our very small church services. We run about 40 in Sunday School and everybody sings. lol Our instruments. Ready? Piano, organ, lead guitar, base guitar, drums, tamborine...and based on what Ricky, AZ, and Emmy play, that could also include the trumpet, two saxes, violin/fiddle (your choice!), trombone and... Ricky (my bil) changes sometimes mid-song! Oh, and dh sings from the congretation with *everybody*. Grrr. All I can hear is his voice, but he's really into it, so I just sidle farther away! Worship can be loud and fervent, but for someone who just wants to sit back and listen without standing, that's okay to.

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Camy,

Thanks so much for sharing about worship. My husband leads praise and worship at our church and has been in youth ministry for 20 years. I could SO relate to the part where you said you played guitars and sang and the youth sang and stared at you blankly. I was LOL!

Thanks again,

Camy Tang said...

Thanks so much for having me here, Missy! I'm glad y'all liked my guest blog post!

Belinda Peterson said...

Missy!! I'm visiting again to see who the winner is. Good luck to all!!

Angela Breidenbach said...

Just wanted to say I really liked reading about Camy's worship ministry. :-)
I'll be having Camy over at my blog on Sep 28th. We're going to talk about how God uses broken vessels in broken families.

Janet Dean said...

Camy, I enjoyed your music in Atlanta. You have a true heart for worship.

I loved your debut novel, Sushi for One?


Teenam said...

Thanks for sharing, Camy...btw, that is one awesome cover.

I have just started the book and it is a fun read, which is what a book should be.


Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, everyone for stopping by!

I'll do the drawing in the morning and will announce the winner then. Good luck! :)


Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Missy and Camy. Don't enter me in the contest because I've already got Sushi for One and it's fantastic.
Camy made me care so much what happened to her characters. That's the mark of a truly talented author. I want sequels of every character in the book. Maybe even Grandma. She needs something to keep her busy so she won't MEDDLE :)
Great interview.

Karen said...

I am really enjoying this blog tour with the interviews and guest blogging spots, you are very inspirational!!! I would love to win a copy of the book, please count me in:-)

kpuleski [at] gmail [dot] com

Teenam said...

I already have a copy too but I want one for my sister. This is too good a book NOT to pass around.

Tina Radcliffe

Cherie J said...

I loved the insight into your worship service. Thank you for sharing. I am enjoying this blogf tour. Would love to win a copy of this book.

Missy Tippens said...

I'll be announcing the winner soon! Check Monday's post. :)

C. Gwynn said...

Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to read Sushi for One?