A Heart of Worship….

09 Jun
deny yourself....

deny yourself….

My first blog 🙂

Four months ago I went on a Minister’s Retreat with my church, Blessed Harvest Institute, to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The name of the retreat was the Ridgecrest Conference Center. It was nestled in the mountains and exuded serenity. We arrived at about 10pm or so on a Thursday night and then had our first session at 2am on  Friday morning. At the first session we were each asked what has our Ministry cost us so far.

My answer was ‘nothing’. I didn’t feel as if I had lost or really given up anything for Ministry at that point. We took part in some more sessions and activities. At the end of that Friday night, right before we went to dinner, we were each offered a stack of turned down words and asked to pull one. I pulled the word DEATH.

I wasn’t alarmed about my word because I am a homicide detective and I deal with death on a consistent basis. I actually thought my word would pertain to something about work. However, we were told not to assume we knew what the word meant and to be open. As we sat at dinner, God whispered in my ear that the word DEATH did not pertain to my job, it was about me.

Huh? He said I needed to die to me. Self had to die now! He couldn’t use me the way He wanted to because of me. I didn’t realize that I had become my own stumbling block. I had become complacent and didn’t realize it. Selfishness had crept in disguised as me. Me wanting Ministry to be comfortable, me not wanting to be rejected, me not wanting to be inconvenienced, me not trusting Him, me concerned about what others thought, me wanting my desires met; me me me. DEATH to me!

I was horrified. I was so sorry. My heart hurt because God has been beyond good to me. There is nothing that I need that He doesn’t give me. But I knew that I wasn’t giving God a 100% of what He wanted from me. I couldn’t hold back the tears at dinner. I had to let God have His way with my life! There was no other choice.

I prayed for God to continue to walk with me and speak to me. I asked Him to continue to love on me and commune with me. But my main prayer and desire was for God to cleanse my heart, renew my mind and to let the Holy Spirit sustain me in Him. Nothing else mattered!

I was always called Jackie. And as far as I could remember, I never really gave 100% at most things since I catch on quickly and didn’t need to give 100% for it to look good. At our circle time session, my pastor’s wife said that Jackie has died. Indeed. That day Jackie died and Jacqueline came alive. When God takes the time to inform us personally of our shortcomings, we have to take heed. I now strive to give 100% at all times.

I feel hyper in my spirit most times and so excited about the Word of God and the things of God. It is spiritual energy, and I pray that it will continue to fuel me right into my Purpose for God. But it is a constant surrender to God and many days when I want to go one way, He will say “That’s Jackie behavior”, and it reminds me of the DEATH.

What has ministry cost you? What is ministry costing you? Are you allowing God to use you like He wants to, or are you bargaining with Him as if you are at a flea market. Just like me, God wants to use you in a unique way on a path that He has already chartered just for you. Every experience, whether negative or positive, has stamped you in a particular way that He planned all along. Will you surrender your independence and your rights and give Him the right of way? Will you move to the back seat and allow Him to drive your life? He wants you to.

Be Blessed



Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Love, Worship


Tags: , , , ,

8 responses to “A Heart of Worship….

  1. journeyofjoy

    July 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Okay, so I feel like I know you, right! And it makes even more sense why Selah’s song resonated so deeply with you. So much to say!! I connected to your post immediately JC… for one, my oldest sister is also named Jacqueline (spelled just like that, most people just call her Jacque) 🙂 secondly… I have 2 very good friends in NJ from Guyana (David & Rachel Smith) their love for God is beyond what I can describe. And a homicide detective? wow!! what are the chances??? that God will call you to ministry that gives LIFE, all the while working in a field marked by death?! Amazing Grace, God is the grand weaver!! I loved what your Pastor’s wife said of you: Jackie has died. Deeeeep sigh…..

    Yes, ministry cannot be comfortable, we will be rejected, we will be inconvenienced, but we must trust Him… and BE his hands, his heart and his voice! Even when no one cares to hear it.

    What a pleasure to meet you!


    • JC

      July 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      You are sooo right! That song has done something to me and I have worn it out already 🙂

      This is a constant reminder. I don’t want somebody to miss out because of me… Nice to meet you too…there is a ‘feel’ to people even through their writing and I believe we will be fast friends 🙂 going in the same direction.

  2. Robin Claire

    August 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Hi JC,
    This is a great post. I had an insight into this topic during a visit with my spiritual adviser. To me death to self means the same as how a person would respond. When you are physically dead someone can come over and kick you in the face and there will be no response. No desire to kick back at all. It was a very strange sensation. It was a picture of what it would be like to have no ego whatsoever. To give up all your ‘rights’ – totally.

    • JC

      August 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      True…and interestingly, when I came down from the mountain and I settled into my surrender to God, I would find myself crying….it was almost as if I was ‘grieving’ (if that makes sense) for the person I used to be.

      But I got the message…Isn’t it so awesome how He tailors these experiences for every individual? He knows exactly what will get our attention…

  3. Yevette

    August 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    My how this resonates with me. I work in a law library at a correctional facility and totally related to your misunderstanding of what “death” meant. As with you I am still learning to die daily. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    • JC

      August 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Yevette, thanks for stopping through. Yep we’re all ‘Active Work Zones’ 🙂

      Blessings to you


  4. Redneck Garage

    October 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm


    Thanks for sharing this story. It is amazing how God can take one random word and take us apart and mold us into what He whats us to be!!!

    Dying to self too,

    • JC

      October 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      True…I love it too. Especially since now that one word will mean something different to each of us! HE is awesome like that. 😉


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