One of the questions I get asked pretty often is “who am I listening to now?” I wanted to do a quick journal entry about this very thing. Here are some of the voices in my head. These are not in any particular order… so head over to Youtube and look up some of these artists, leaders, preachers. Also, be sure to also take a look at My Currents – which has an exhaustive list of people to watch out for and Voices that speak to me.
So there you have it — these are the Voices In My Head ministering to me.. some are near, and some are from afar.
Who are the VOICES in your head?
Carl Lentz, Chad Veach, Chris Durso, Christine Caine, Dante Bowe, Elevation Worship, featured, God, Hillsong, Jentezen Franklin, Jesus, Johnathan Key, Jordan Sharrett, Judah Smith, Micah Berteau, Priscilla Shirer, Rich Wilkerson Jr., Robert Madu, Will Reagan, Will Reagan & United Pursuit
I do a lot of retrospection, introspection and thinking out loud. Often times, its great for me to just get things off of my chest and out of my mind as I move forward in life. When I do this, I like to invite my readers into what’s going on in my world. So this is a mind dump… a long mind dump. I haven’t done a mind dump in over a year so brace yourself.
How can I pray for you and your family? How can I pray for your ministry or business?
Awaken This Heart ministry has officially become Corey Gibson Ministries as of March 6th, 2018. This came about after several months of prayer, trying to define my role in life, and legacy of kingdom work. I have traveled and done ministry under the name Awaken This Heart ministry for the past 10 years. Originally, it started out as my personal blog and traveling ministry for when I would speak at churches. I felt a shift to focus more on living and leaving a legacy that would not just impact my life but others. This has taken shape in the form of coaching, mentoring and developing leaders, the new book project forthcoming, and some other endeavors.
Corey Gibson Ministries or CGM is a non-profit ministry recognized by the state and IRS. This means that we are legalized as an incorporated non-profit organization to conduct ministry and business as such of a religious corporation with a 501(c)3 seal and a governing board of directors. This allows me to travel and preach the gospel under a legal entity as well be protected. We can accept and receive donations, do business as a tax-exempted corporation and provide needed resources to a hurting society. This Fall, CGM planned to launch two initiatives to reach local communities and give back. More about this as it draws near.
With this announcement, I will launch a new website – www.coreygibson.org or www.coreygibson.co. This site you will be able to book speakers, collaborate and work on projects/initiatives, join a network, and donate/give. This site will launch officially on my birthday, May 25th.
The current site www.mecoreyg.com as of today will turn into a social hub where you can get connected with me, have live interactive chats/videos and more. It will serve as a landing page for all my adventures God is leading me on. Lastly, my journals (aka blogs) will remain freshly updated on this site via the address journals.mecoreyg.com
A new app update will be made available this upcoming week. The update on iOS/Andriod stores will feature the new name, icon/logo, navigational change as well as a revamped journal section. You can still download (Awaken This Heart) the current app now, and be notified when the new update is available. Over the next month, I will be working with Pushpay to offer a fresh new app design, resources/content, mobile app giving, messages and interactive ways to connect with me and the ministry. We will have a seamless update and upgrade process once the fresh app is made available for the end-user. The planned launch of this fresh app will be mid-Summer.
New Ministry, New Website, New Book Project = Same Corey. SAME JESUS!
So those who know me, know that writing journals (aka blogs) are an outlet for me to express my feelings, wisdom, and thoughts. For the past 4-5 years, I’ve had friends come up to me saying that the Lord has a lot that he wants to release through me and give to his people. They would say things like, “there’s a book in you”, or “you should write a book about your experience.” This has happened several times when I lived in Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, and back in Tennessee again. This has been a dream of mine for about the last 4 years and it is finally coming together. I am already about 85% done with the manuscript and will start the edits soon.
I am pleased to announce that I have signed a deal with one of the largest Christian Publishing companies, Thomas Nelson & Zondervan to be a part of their self-publishing division WestBow Press. Both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are a part of a larger Publishing House called HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. Thomas Nelson and Zondervan have released books by Judah Smith, Chad Veach, Rich Wilkerson, Craig Groeschel and other popular pastors/communicators of the Gospel. I have agreed to self-publish under the Westbow Press name for my upcoming book.
While I can not release the name of the book yet due to legalities (awaiting copyrights and finalization) I can say that we are planning to release the book this Fall. The book will be available online as an ebook and in both Hardback and Paperback formats. I will be partnering with some locally-owned bookstores in key places once released to have them carry the book as well as some churches.
The book will be a short read that will focus on leadership and growing as a disciple that’s focused on Jesus. I want to help leaders fulfill their God-given purpose and live a life in pursuit of Jesus. Be on the lookout starting in early Summer for a big social media push and marketing campaigns.
I am very excited about this new writing project and the doors the Lord has been opening lately (announcements 2 & ##3 is coming soon).
It was a peaceful night outside… I laid in my bed at midnight listening to some worship music (Never Lost – Rita Springer & Catherine Mullins) on repeat. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a repeater – by accident and on purpose. This night, it was on purpose. I even jumped on Instagram to post a picture about the song. About 15 mins go by and something shift in my heart and mind. I was completely discontent with just about everything. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and that I needed to get away. For me, my favorite times with Jesus is when I drive and it’s just him and I. I jumped in my car and start driving while still listening to the worship song on repeat. As I started to drive from my house, it started to lightly rain and drizzle. I ended up at a Walmart. It was here that forever changed my night.
It was about 12:30 am, August 16th, 2017… and I screamed at God. In prayer, I began to explicitly and passionate scream about my situation and how I felt. I laid everything that was in and on my heart. Every feeling, emotion, doubt, brokenness, hurt and concern. I admitted my struggle with not feeling God near in times of uncertainty, lack of faith with seemingly unanswered prayers, feelings of tiredness (mentally, spiritually and physically). It was after this moment that I felt a nudge of the Spirit. I begin singing the song I was listening to as a declaration over my life. The chorus of the song says this:
Wind, listen to the sound of power on my lips
Jesus has broken the curse, He has never lost a battle
Who are you great mountain, that you should not bow low
Jesus defeated the darkness, He has never lost a battle
Immediately started to cry as I began to sing these words not just out of my mouth and heart… but from my spirit. My lamentation slowly became my praise. After about listening to the song all the way through in silence, I changed the song to King of My Heart. I started praising Jesus for the victory before it happens as well as thanking him for what he is doing in my life and what he has already done. I listened to this song two more times before changing the song to a Spontaneous Medley by Daniel Bashta. While leaving from the Walmart parking lot, I felt at peace and was able to go to sleep when I got home. It was probably the best night’s rest in a long time. Fast-forward to 6:30 pm that same day…
My pastor at the church calls an impromptu prayer meeting that he felt the Lord whispering for the church and what was next for our context of ministry. I went in, tired and hungry for the Spirit of God and natural food! I went to the altar just to kneel and sit as I soak in God’s presence. This song that I have never heard, Extravagant by Bethel Music came on. As I was praying and listening to the words I begin to get teary-eyed. One of my best friends came over and just passionately prayed over me hope, strength and fulfilled promises. The song changed to I Need You More by Kim Walker-Smith. I haven’t heard this song in years, so I started to sing it out loud. My pastor came over as I was just sitting down on the floor and laid hands on me. He asked if I would stand and begin to speak life into me. He prayed over me hope, fulfilled promises and endurance for the journey. While all of this was going on, I received text messages from two other best friends who responded to my earlier text about prayer and my experience the night before.
I said all this to say… this journey with Christ is not always easy or even pretty but it is worth it. We have to be vulnerable with Jesus and others we trust. God doesn’t grow apathetic or emotionally disconnected to our situations. God is not easily offended when we approach him with our cares, cries, laughter or even screams. He can take our issues! This was what made King David so near and dear to God, that God called him a man after his own heart. David gave everything to God – good, bad and ugly. In seasons of good & joy, seasons of weakness & failures and seasons of uncertainty, David honored God with being vulnerable and honest. This is what it means to be in an authentic relationship.
As I am writing this is what the Spirit of the Lord is saying:
The voice of fear, doubt, and hopelessness may be screaming loud in your mind but the voice of Jesus whispers a louder word in your heart and spirit. His voice says you are loved, not forgotten and filled with hope. His voice says “I have never lost a battle and I won’t lose one now. I will fight for you and you will overcome – just as I have overcome the world. Keep believing, keep enduring and keep declaring… my faithful son and daughter!”
I’ve had several people ask me what this hashtag (#tcgwky) meant in relation to my last social media post. The letters represent “The Comparison Game Will Kill You.” It comes from the thought based out of my 13 things in 13 years, specifically #13 – Comparison Kills. This journal is so important to me and to leadership, that I decided to have one of my best friends (Pastor Johnathan Key) co-write this subject with me. He is all too familiar with this subject and the impact it has on a spiritual and/or business leader. His portion will be featured in part 2 a.k.a “Round 2, Fight!” – which you can view here.
This is what I wrote during my last leadership journal…
#13 – Comparison Kills: Maybe one of the most dangerous things we can do in ministry is to allow the comparison game to get the best of us. This game is consumed with jealousy/envy, vanity, friendly fire and an unhealthy need for competition. The church/ministry, event, and leader are not in competition with me and what I am doing. We are on the same team. Yes, it is wise to see what others are doing & how they are doing it. Sure “borrow” an idea or fifty-two… but obsessing with their model, their size, their leadership focus/style and their arts/media is super unhealthy. I cannot help but wonder even in my own life how much this comparison shapes my thinking. Every time I get on Instagram or Facebook and see the latest, I wonder how damaging it is to my own soul seeing well-meaning people I admire doing things I want or dream of doing. If you and I aren’t careful, we will end up wishing we were someone else and lose focus on our calling, gifts, and purpose.We all have a race that we have to run, but I can’t run my race while watching yours in your lane. I think Robert Madu gives the best picture of this while ministering about Saul and David. Longevity in ministry is paved when we get our focus off of others and back on God and the WIN.
I want to expound on this a little more…
The comparison game is a killer to the health of a leader. It steals the joy and passion for the very purpose that leader has. Comparison is a constant nagger causing vision, purpose, and faith to continuously be called into question. It can destroy friendships and partnership. Lastly, it also seeks to eat at the mental health of a leader. This deadly game has become game over for a lot of people. In my honest opinion, it is the greatest threat to a spiritual leader. It is one of Satan’s favorite snare and tool to use in destroying a pastor and leader.
When we begin to compare negatively… we are essentially telling God that what he is doing in us, is not better than what he is doing in someone else. We look at their status and position, their numbers/size, giving/sales, social media friends/followers, their likes/comments, and their every day and simply lose focus on the God-moments that is happening within our own lives. Often times, the clear indicator of being a character (player) in the comparison game is the unwillingness to celebrate others OR the feeling of not enough in relations to others. THE COMPARISON GAME IS A LOSING BATTLE THAT WILL LEAVE YOU WOUNDED, LONELY AND IN DISOBEDIENCE!
This played out too well in the life of King Saul, who was filled with unbridled jealousy and enviousness. He saw David as a threat simply hearing silly girls chant “Saul kills his thousands, and David his ten-thousands.” This little serenade started a saga of hatred and attempted murders. It snowballed and ultimately landed David as King and Saul dead.
Really think about your life and ministry… like really think about it. Are you seemingly playing in this game of negative comparison, losing sight of your identity, your vision, and your race? Are you more concern with what others are doing instead of what you are doing? How’s your motive when you look at others and that they are doing? Can you celebrate them without the “I wish that was me” or “I can do that, too?”
A moment of transparency… Lately, this comparison game and struggle has gotten the best of me. I see a lot of my friends I personally know succeeding at life, relationships, and ministry, while I feel stuck in a transitional holding pattern. Some days my heart aches to have a wonderful highlight reel of life, always on the go, traveling, speaking, being creative and simply enjoying. I came face to face with this comparison monster about a month ago and it has caused me to take close introspection, refocus on Jesus and pursue my callings. So I decided to get rid of what has caused most of this – SOCIAL MEDIA! I have currently been off of all social media for the 2 weeks now and it feels great. More time is spent worshipping, in prayer and doing intentional things for my life. I encourage anyone to take inventory of their life and remove the comparison between you and someone else. Find joy and hope in the thing that you are doing. Celebrate others wins, encourage when someone is down and embrace this journey of life.