Tomorrow…

Kahlil Gibran said it best when he said, “The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.”

Lately, I’ve been really thinking about the various changes that we go thru in life and how changes in one area have an affect on so many other areas of our life. What I have come back with is that some times change just simply STINKS!!!

You see, our church is going thru a MAJOR transition. Our pastor recently announced that he will be relocating to California and that we will be transitioning the ministry into and under his son’s leadership. So, our church will be merging with his son’s church. We are selling our property and liquidating assets. AND, I’m an employee of the church. This change is huge!!! But, this isn’t the only change that’s happening…

When a church closes, whether there is provision to go somewhere else or not, we are left with the decision of continuing with the merge or going somewhere else. I don’t care how spiritual you may be but we are not only following God but we are also following our leader. When our leader leaves, it has an affect. We have communed together and it’s like losing a loved one, partner or brother.

My view is a tiny bit different than many because, as the minister of music, I work directly with our pastor. He and I have spent time together. We’ve shared various victories, trials, and battles together. We’ve been thru the ringer together. One of the hardest parts of this is that I consider my pastor to be my friend.

If you’ve followed my letters, at all, you will see a common theme of relationship and my passion towards it. Over the past several months, I’ve really been battling with my emotions about friendships because once I connect with you… you have a friend for life. I’m also not an idiot and I know that “time waits for no man” and “seasons change” and “time brings about change” and “people change” and all of that. But, I am one who truly invests in those around me. I work hard. I play hard. And I love hard. To be totally honest, I can’t afford to keep losing friends… And the closing of a church, any church, can be the catalyst for that loss.

I told the worship team the other day that none of us know what tomorrow brings and that I truly love each of them and have enjoyed working with them. It took every ounce of strength that I had not to weep uncontrollably in front of them. We have been thru not only battles but all out wars together. We’ve laughed and cried. We celebrated victories and held each other in times of grief. I have to hold back the tears even as I write this letter.

Why is this so hard? It’s hard because I’m in love. I love my church. I love my pastor. I love my team. The mere thought of losing that love is enough to break my heart. And now the reality of calling everyone in to clean up and prepare the facilities for sell and liquidation brings that heartache right to the top. The problem is that I can’t keep smiling like everything is okay. It’s not okay…

How do we fix it? In this case, there isn’t a fix on decisions to be made. Do you explore the opportunity of relocating to California with the pastor? Do you continue with the church as she merges with his son’s ministry? Do you follow one of the other ministries that will be birthed? Do you find another church? So, many questions… But, wait!! There is one answer tho… Jesus.

In all thy getting, get understanding. When all of these questions arise, and they will, all we need to do is look to Him for the answers. The Word says that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. It also says to seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added. We have to keep a kingdom mindset and that says, “He’s got our back!!”

I may be in love but He loved me first and best. I love Him enough to trust Him completely. It may be hard. It may be unbearable. But I know that WE WILL SURVIVE!!

But for the record… BK, Tina, Conia, Shameca, Tracy, Jeff, Michael, Kevin, Trevon, Irene, Derrick, the sound team, the media team, and everyone else that has worked with and on the Worship and Arts Department…

I love you and speak the blessings of God over each of your lives AND those connected to you.
I pray that God continues to favor you both now and in the future.
I pray that your worst days are behind you and your best is no longer coming but is HERE.
You have blessed my family’s and my life and I will never be able to express how much you truly mean to me.
I thank God for you.
-MJ

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

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Eagles (Part 2)

Our trip yesterday to Indianapolis was amazing. When I say that we were with eagles… that may be an understatement!!! Is there such a thing as a “Super Eagle”? If not, then there should be!!! These folks are remarkable and I’m glad to be a part of the Visalus Family.

I’ve been stuck on eagles for the last couple of days and I wanted to share some ‘fun’ facts about them. I do ask this one thing tho… In reading these facts about eagles, check out your own life, mentality and circumstances and ask yourself, “How can I be more like an Eagle?” or better yet, “How can I BE an Eagle?”

1. Bald eagles sit at the top of the food chain.
2. 60-90% of their diet consists of fish.
3. Eagles can open and close their talons at will.
4. They are strong swimmers and they are able to take flight from the water.
5. A hungry eagle can be dragged into the water when refusing to let go of a large fish causing it to drown.
6. The average home hunting area for a bald eagle is between 1,700 – 10,000 acres.
7. They have been seen hunting in pairs.

Here are my thoughts on these seven facts about eagles…

When it comes to the ‘food chain’, we have to make a decision to be at the top. All too often, we consider ourselves victims of our circumstances. Eagles don’t allow themselves to be victims but victors. They rise above the situation and take command of it!!!

Their diet consists mainly of fish. Did you know that eating certain types of fish can improve your heart health by increasing the omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies can’t produce? Eating fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and some shellfish can restore the omega balance to our bodies and prevent cancer and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that we eat seafood at least twice a week!!!

Regarding their talons… Did you know that eagle talons are among the largest and strongest in the bird world? The Eagle has 3 toes in the front and 1 in the back. Because of this design and their shear strength, they literally grab their prey and carry it away. Bald eagles have the power to crush the bones of their prey, up to 400psi. The talons being retractable is the key because, they have the ability to “let go”. Sometimes, we take on more than we can handle. Knowing how and when to let go is an art that we ALL must master.

Yes, eagles are strong swimmers. I know you’re looking at this and saying, “Jackie, you’re crazy!! Eagles don’t swim!” On one level, you are right. They don’t swim like ducks and geese but in pursuit of their food… they do what is necessary AND they can take off from the water’s surface!! Eagles are birds of the AIR. Being in the water is NOT where they belong but when they are faced with a situation that takes them out of their comfort zone… they have the POWER to overcome it and take flight!!!

Everything isn’t all peaches and cream with the eagle tho… a hungry eagle is a dangerous one. Not only is it a danger to others (as prospective prey) but it can become a danger to itself. Earlier I talked about how the talons can retract, allowing the eagle to let go. But, when an eagle gets excited, it can forget to do this simple task and kill itself. When we don’t step back and re-evaluate situations then WE PUT OURSELVES in a dangerous position that could ultimately kill us. All because we didn’t let go…

The average HOME hunting area is 1,700-10,000 acres. Especially as business people, we tend to limit ourselves to our “backyard”. My question to you is this, “How big is YOUR backyard?” I’ve had business associates that laughed at me when I said that my services span from Florida to Canada to California to South America!! But, then again, they weren’t eagles!!! I’m looking to the future!!! We’re going international baby!!!

And finally, eagles mate for life and will usually look for a new mate only if its companion dies. Now, that’s staying power!!!

So, again my question to you is… In reading these facts about eagles, check out your own life, mentality and circumstances and ask yourself, “How can I be more like an Eagle?” or better yet, “How can I BE an Eagle?”

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,
Jackie