Leadership, Mind Dumps, Reflections & Introspection, That'll Preach Sayings

Worth It All

26 Oct , 2016  

Two hundred and fifty… that’s 2-5-0. 250 rejection emails. About 5 years ago, I wrote a blog/journal entry about Rejection being my biggest weakness/struggle and learning how to deal with it. Over these 5 years, I have received 250+ emails (sitting in a folder marked “I’m Weak, That’s Okay“) of rejection, with 50 coming since March when I resigned my position in Kalamazoo, MI. That is just emails and not including phone calls, unanswered/unresponded applications or snail mail.  I think for me, what’s hard to come to terms with is that while I know it’s not personal, just business & “ministry” — I still take it personally and feel the weight of it all. And while encouragement from friends & family is needed and good, at times it’s not what I want at the moment. For me personally, I am looking for someone to simply respond beyond church rhetoric & Christianese.

If I hear another person say, “well it wasn’t meant to be, God has a better plan!” I am going to go crazy. Duh!!! I am fully aware that God is in control AND I know what the Bible says. Where has the Church gone wrong with all this Christian “pharisaical” babble. Whatever happened to weeping with those who weep and laughing with those who laugh. Our job is to encourage, and not to say stupid things that really doesn’t help people’s situation!!! We cannot lose our compassion in an effort to handout Bible verses. We have to be better listeners and show grace & love in how we respond. Without grace & love, these Bible verses are merely words on paper, filled with confused noise.

I have come to grips that man’s rejection only means that God has something bigger, better and beneficial for me! I have been in a season (for awhile) where God has been teaching, renewing and redefining who He is as a Father and what true faith is. Not this simple level of faith that we hear talked about but a deeper & stronger level of faith, that is actually lived out.

Back at the beginning of March, I remember sitting at conference table with 4 of my friends (pastors, lead staff @ the church in Michigan) letting them know of my church resignation (due to things on their end) and feeling the sting, weight, and emptiness of leaving people I love. In those moments, I was very emotional and had a lot of questions, doubts of calling, loneliness and uncertainty. That moment then has turned into this moment now 6 months later! Same questions, same thoughts, and same emotions. These were people who I had left my family/friends back in Atlanta, went broke to relocate, and became a part of their life. Their family/friends became mines, I engaged in their culture and trusted wholeheartedly. And at that table, that day in March, all I could think about were these questions to God: “What was the purpose?“, “Are we they YET?”, and “What & where is the Good being worked out?” // Through no fault of my own, I felt the full weight of rejection even though I wasn’t rejected. An all too familiar pain that is deep. And now once again, I’m feeling the weight of it all and simply just tired. Tired of the ups & downs, tired of the struggle, tired of the no’s, tired of the pain… just tired!

This isn’t a journal to get you and even myself into all the feels.. just me expressing what’s in my heart and getting it off of my chest. In this, I feel like Joseph. A man who had a vision from the Lord but was rejected by his family. He too gets pull out of the pit and placed in prosperity only to have that taken from him. Due to no fault of his own, he ends up in jail. In jail, after being rejected by people he helped, he has another vision interpreting the King’s dream. From there, he is propelled out of the jail to the #2 person in charge of an entire kingdom/country and saves the same family who rejected him. The main verse I got out of this reality of Joseph was simply this:

As for you, you meant evil against me, BUT GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. – Genesis 50:20

I am eagerly awaiting God’s promotion and trajectory into His glorious splendor he has for me. Until then, I wait patiently with joyful courage, working on my character, learning life’s lessons, continuing in love & grace and speaking of Jesus. Psalm 105:19 says this, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s _______  character.” Beloved, you and I are the blank. Whatever you are going through… trust that he is working out the details. If he promised it to you, know that his heart equals his hand.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. -Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬

And so, I said all this to say… I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S NEXT. I don’t know if ministry vocationally is where God wants me. My trust is in that what & where ever the Lord leads, it will be WORTH IT ALL.  Every pit, every jail/prison experience, and every situation are worth it all in the grand scheme of things that the Lord has for me. For he who promised is faithful! 

Mind Dumps, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection

Father’s Day Mind Dump

19 Jun , 2016  

First I want to wish my father, Eugene Gibson as blessed Father’s Day. Also wishing all the other dads a blessed day. Enjoy the day. I have a few folks who keeps asking about me and what’s next, so in a effort to keep everyone abreast, here it goes:

  1. Finishing up my last few weeks here in Kalamazoo MI. Kalamazoo has been good and I have met a lot of lifelong friends but it’s time to move on. I will be moving at the beginning of July to head to Alabama to spend some time with some dear friends for a few weeks resting. The plan is to transition from there to my next assignment and church God calls me to. I fully expect to dig roots and build community wherever God leads me next and that includes longevity in the grace (calling) that God releases over my life..
  2. I have had some really great interviews over the last 2 months with churches in MI, FL, GA, TX and CA. As of now I have 2 more coming up. I am really, REALLY excited about a possible church and partnering with them to bringing revival to their church, community, city and schools. Praying for God’s best for me and the next church. I always say, “Waiting is the hardest and also the beneficial!”
  3. I always get asked this in interviews or by other people – “What’s God teaching you in this season of life?” My answer is always – “He is teaching & redefining what a Good Father he is and that he has good gifts/things for me. That it’s okay to ask & seek for those gifts. I am knowing him more personally, beyond what Scripture says and what others say!”
  4. Often times, when I go walking in the evenings, I am just enamored by his presence while I am worshipping and walking.
  5. I am clinging to healthy and positive encouragement. I seek that and enjoy it. I have surrounded myself around people who speak life into me and want the best for me. Regardless of family or friendship, this is important to me. This season is proving to shine a light on those who I call friend.
  6. Staying positive about my schoolwork and completing my Bachelors Degree. This is still a priority and I am excelling  at it in my grades.
  7. I returned home at the end of May to celebrate my birthday with family & interview with a church but more importantly, honor someone who meant a lot to me. She was like a 2nd mother to me for a long time, and I was apart of 2 of 3 sons weddings (Groomsmen & Officiant). I have known their family for 16 years. Still trying to process her death. I know this without a doubt… that if it wasn’t for her and her belief in/support of me, I would not be in ministry today. And for that, I am forever thankful. Thank You Janine A. Owen!

 

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Leadership, Mind Dumps, Randomness, Reflections & Introspection

After Spring Break Mind Dump

6 Apr , 2016  

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PERSONAL LIFE

  1. Have spent most of the last year focused on me and Jesus.. The Lord has been redefining some key things in my life such as Hope, Faith, Surrender and Joy. Cannot express in the right words how important this season has been to my life and ministry. Times just listening to podcasts, studying scripture and times of prayer/worship.
  2. For me community is everything… it keeps me out of my head (thinking negatively) and keeps me focus on what matters most – God & His people. “Community is only built when you intentional invest in others and have a give/take mentality.”
  3. Was grateful to be apart of my cousin’s wedding. Also for the time to travel and spend time in TN & GA with family and Friends

MINISTRY LIFE

  1. Have some speaking engagements in April and May. Right now, I am accepting more speaking engagements, so if you or anyone you know are in need of a speaker for this Summer or Fall let me know.
  2. I’ve had some solid interviews with some great larger churches. More interviews are being scheduled with other churches. Also working with recruiting agencies to help streamline this process and find a good fit for me. Hopefully, prayerfully, and Lord willingly I will have a new church family/home by the end of May. The waiting is such the hardest part of the search process.
  3. You can join me in praying for God’s best during this process. I have some pretty cool friends and family members who are super supportive and making sure to reach out to me during this time.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

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Leadership, Mind Dumps, Reflections & Introspection

Mid-Summer Mind Dump

25 Jul , 2015  

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A lot has happened since I last gave you a mad dump.. So here we go: 
          PERSONAL LIFE

  1. Started a regular job (in January) working with my cousin. This has allowed me to stay financially healthy while doing Ministry. Also afforded me the opportunity to get my own car!!! 
  2. Have spent most of the last 10 months focused on me and Jesus.. The Lord has been redefining some key things in my life such as Hope, Faith, Surrender and Joy. Can not express in the right words how important this season has been to my life and ministry. Times just listening to podcasts, studying scripture and times of prayer/worship.
  3. For me community is everything… it keeps me out of my head (thinking negatively) and keeps me focus on what matters most – God’s people. “Community is only built when you intentional invest in others and have a give/take mentality.”

    MINISTRY LIFE

  4. Had some speaking engagements in February and May. Also did some traveling to TN and Michigan. I joined our Board of Advisors at my current church, Gateway Church in Suwanee GA. I absolutely love these people and call them family.
  5. Was offered a FT Student Pastor position at a church and I have accepted.. More info coming later next week, with an official announcement. I am cuckoo for cocoa puffs excited about this ministry and the opportunity to lead a movement of young people. 
  6. Lastly, I am working on my first book project. I am in the initial phase and process ideas/concept. More to come soon! i am really excited about t

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Leadership, Mind Dumps, Reflections & Introspection

Mind Dump 2015

17 Jan , 2015  

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Haven’t done one of these in a very long time… this will be a transparent & vulnerable posting.

  1. Back in September, I resigned and stepped down from my position at a church for several reason with the main one being to pursue getting back into Student Ministry after a stint as an Associate Pastor. It was a painful experience of leaving a church and people that I loved, but knowing God was doing MORE with me. A decision that up until December I semi-regretted, which is big because I’m a person that lives life without regrets. As I move forward, I will always be thankful for my time there. There is so much more I would like to say, but I will save that for a later blog – maybe even a BOOK!!!
  2. In a season of my life with all that has transpired over the last few month there were times of fear (moving forward, nay-sayers), loss of friendship/closeness of friends, lack of calling/anointing, tiredness, and frustration. I have always preached/said that ministry is NOT for the weak at heart. There will be times of loneliness, regret, fear, joy, favor and fun. The attitude you keep during these times are important. The people & friends who speak into your life matters as well. Keep believing, keep praying and stay encouraged. “It’s in the place of obscurity where Jesus develops you.. the real you!” – Pastor Jason Laird
  3. Had a great time back in TN for 3 weeks visiting friends, going to a Live Album Recording and lastly attending a friend’s Wedding. Was great to just get away without an expectation or guilt
  4. Thankful for some open opportunities coming up with possible FT ministry positions and speaking engagements. I am grateful for every interview, email and phone conversation which brings me one step closer. I also love spending time networking with some pastors. If you know of churches hiring, let me know.
  5. This past week, I started working at a regular job. YAY God!!! Absolutely thankful to work, while waiting on the right church the Lord has for me. I’m totally depending on God
  6. Checkout my last blog about Friendship called “Soul Ties: A Call to Friendship”.. Also the plan is to blog at least once a month. We will see how that goes.
  7. Things I’ve been focused on in prayer: God’s favor, wisdom and influence in this generation. The right church, spouse, & friends/ministry partners! Praying for blessings in My Finances and a renewed mind & vision
  8. I am planning on taking a break from social media for awhile so that I can focus on things that matter most. I have gotten side-tracked with likes, followers and social contacts. While connecting is great, I want to focus on me. So if you are in need of getting in touch with me, just shoot me a text/call or email – corey@awakenthisheart.com. I don’t have a set time frame on coming back, so it will be as the Lord leads.

Bonus:
This scripture has wrecked & pierced me this entire week.. “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” – Psalm 105:19 /// with all the dreams in my heart and promises over my life, I am still in the waiting stage till the Lord fulfill them BUT he is testing and teaching me about my character. What you do between the Promise and the Payoff is absolutely critical. How will you be found during the meantime of obscurity & greatness?

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD TESTED Corey’s character.”

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