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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Church As Usual…

I find it very interesting that almost every pentecostal church that you go to, or visit, all talk about not having ‘church as usual’. This phrase has become soo cliched that it’s ridiculous. I say that because 99% of the time the churches are moving in insanity. Insanity? Yes, I said it… insanity.

One definition of insanity is… “extreme folly or unreasonableness”. Another catch phrase for insanity is… “doing the same thing expecting different results”. This is where many of us are. It’s not the church’s fault for this folly but it’s US. We talk about no more church as usual but WE don’t change a thing!! Not only have we not changed but we are expecting different results.

I recently went to a church service and God met the service at Hello. The pastor was trying to “start” service but the Spirit of God was soo heavy that he just couldn’t. The funny thing is that he said, “I know this is only the introduction to the service but God wants us to do things differently.” The service started off in FULL TILT!!! The Heavenly Host was in the building!! But, a few moments later… he brought the service back into ‘programmed mode’. AAARGH!!!! When he did that, we downshifted from 6th gear to 2nd in a flash!!! I saw, in the spirit, the angels backup. Service literally had to be “rebooted”. It finally did get back to that level and the spirit of prophecy was released not only thru the pastor but members AND visitors!!

Another example… I was the Minister of Music, at a church down south, and sometimes we’d start service and God would show Himself mightily from the first hand clap. Now, the pastor’s study was connected to the sanctuary. So we’d watch for his door to open for his entrance. Many times he wasn’t in the building when service started or he’d be watching TV in his office and missed the move of God that happened. I would get notes from the ushers saying that we needed to, “go a little longer” or “He ain’t here yet. Do you have another song?” BUT, once he arrived he’d yell at people for not getting with him… Sooo may times I just wanted to say, “Dude, they are in the after glow!!! They’ve already been with Jesus. It’s YOUR turn. You need to catch up!!!” Eventually, we left that ministry… Thank God!!! But, I still pray for those souls that are still there. God is God and He will not be mocked… Nuff sed!!!

All that to say this… I spoke to the first pastor after service the other day. And I told him what God showed me about the angels backing away. The confirmation was that, he admitted that God told him, after the service was downshifted, that he was supposed to stay where we were. That was powerful to me because this pastor didn’t have to share that with me. He’s the pastor. He only has to answer to God. I’m just some guy visiting… The thought that came to me was, “How many other pastors are willing to admit that they’ve missed it?” Unfortunately, very few.

As members and patrons of our various assemblies, it’s up to us how every service will flow. Don’t be calling me blasphemous… The Bible tells us to enter in singing and praising. Most of the time, we enter complaining and tripping. When we elevate our hearts, minds and spirits to where God has intended us to be… He will do the rest. When we have spent time in His presence BEFORE entering the gates (not just in the car on the way) then the move of God will be made clearer and easier. We have to walk in Godly expectation. We have to make a demand on the Spirit of God!!! And when we do that… THE HEAVENS WILL BE OPENED and there will be NO MORE CHURCH AS USUAL!!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie