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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It’s time to come out of the cave!!!

Quick question: Who wants to be the first person to ask a question? Answer: No one. The funny thing is that our lives are build around firsts. Do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle? Do you remember getting your first job? Do you remember meeting that special someone for the first time? All of these moments are super special and once we accomplished those firsts, our lives were changed forever.

I was talking to a guy the other day and he made a statement that was just too profound. Regarding change, he said that he had been soo programmed by the past that even when the environment and the opportunities came for change, he simply would back up from it and revert back to the original programming. Wow… You see, we all have gone into the Cave of Adullam. The word Adullam means refuge, sealed off place or fortress. This place is a place of refreshing, comfort and training. The problem that many of us face, just like my friend, is that we’ve been comforted, refreshed and trained but are afraid to step out. And guess what, “Fear is the mind-killer!” We are simply afraid of the unknown. But, let me help you…

Another question: Who was the first person that saw a lobster and said, “Hmm, I want to eat that.”? What was going on in this person’s life that lobster even became an option for food. And when do you go all the way thru the process to actually eat the lobster. First you have to consider it, then catch it, then prepare it, and finally eat it. Each step of the process has it’s own challenges.

The first step is considering the option. I know that there were plenty of other options available before lobster became an option. Being seafood, why didn’t they just eat some more fish? That, my friend, is today’s revelation. Sometimes, you’re tired of eating fish, just like everyone else. Within each of us is, what I call, the “Had Enough Gauge” that measures just that, when we’ve had enough. Once, that gauge reaches its peak, the traditional options are no longer satisfying or an option.

The second step is to catch it. Find out more about this option. Do some research but, let me warn you about something. Many times, we haven’t tasted that sweet succulent lobster because we’ve been researching it for the last three decades!! After you’ve studied it and how / when it moves (trends), when you see what it eats (its market share) and when you see what eats it (benefit to others) then you can make some decisions about moving forward. But, all that is good but you still don’t know what the lobster tastes like doing all of that research. The older I have gotten, the bolder I have gotten. Personally, I’m tired of sticking my toe in the water just to know what I already know. And that is, the water is cold. The funny thing is that when we jump in, the water gets warmer faster…

After we catch it, we need to prepare it. Do we eat it raw? Do we freeze it and make popsicles? Do we boil, sauté or fry it? Do we cut it up or leave it whole? These are ALL options but there’s one little thing that I’ve forgotten to mention. That is the lobster’s cry!!! Anyone that has ever made fresh lobster knows that it doesn’t want to die AND it makes an unmistakable and unforgettable sound during the process. If you let it, this sound can change your mind about the whole process. The crazy part is that CHANGE DOESN’T WANT TO CHANGE!!!! But, we can’t get side-tracked by what happens during the process. We’ve made up our minds and we are going to EAT the lobster!!!

Finally, after considering, catching and preparing the lobster, it’s time to eat it. It looks good. Smells good. Now, for the taste test… Wow. It was either worth it all or maybe this just isn’t for me. Every step, has two outcomes. It is either a yes or a no. And there’s nothing wrong with not liking the outcome. Maybe, you don’t like boiled lobster, but like it as a soup or fried. But, the fun part is the process itself. At least you can say, “I don’t like lobster hash because I had it.”

I used lobster in this scenario but we can apply these steps to every area of change that we face. The steps are always the same. What makes the difference is are you listening to your ‘Had Enough Gauge’, are you willing to overcome your FEAR, and are you willing to pinch your nose, close your eyes and take a bite.

Many of the most notable, successful people in history, and in the world today, are the greatest failures ever. What makes them successful and not complete failures is their mindsets. I read a comment to a FaceBook post that said, “just keep voting Democrat and let those greedy 2% pay our way!” The response from another person was simply this, “you won’t be in the 98% that’s for sure!” The point that I’m making is that this is an example of two different mindsets. What’s even more interesting is that the original post was from a man that is soon to be a multi-millionaire (one of the 2%)…

Change is never easy, to start. But, the benefits of change are great. You’ve been prepared for change, thru your time of comfort, refreshing, and training. It’s time to come out of the cave!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie