Reflections of a Closed Church

Reflections of a Closed Church

One year ago this week, my wife April and I shared with the small group of partners remaining in Full Life Community Church, that we were closing the church. Our youngest daughter Charis was less than one month old and April was still on maternity leave. After nine years of planting Full Life Community Church, collectively reaching over 400 people but never amassing more than 60 people in one season, we discovered that God had a unique purpose for our church and it had been fulfilled. Full Life Community Church became a safe place for people to heal from however they’d been hurt. Some came to the church having been hurt by previous church leaders in their former church. Some came to the church having been hurt by their former spouse or significant other. Some came to the church having been hurt by their parents or extended family. In retrospect, we were the safe place for hurting people. 

Corey and April Tabor at the launch of Full Life Community Church September 11, 2011

The reality of being an emergency room, hospital, or rehabilitation center; however you may want to phrase it is, hurting people struggle to invest in others because they are in crisis mode fighting for their lives. We would never expect a person in emergency surgery for a lacerated liver to get off the operating table and assist in a surgery in the next operating room. In retrospect, those who came hurting, struggled to give as much of themselves to assist in ministry as they would had they been healthy.

God in his sovereignty, gave us the gift of hurting people knowing we would know how to love them through hurt. God in his wisdom, allowed us to steward hurting people because he knew when they healed, they would be more impactful in the kingdom. For professional and personal courtesy, I will not mention the names of former members who are doing amazing work in the city, state, and nation. I’ll just say thank you for the gift of your presence, your belief in the vision, and entrusting your spiritual care to us in the season you were there.

Yesterday, I cleared the last of what has been four different storage units since 2009. 

The bible says in Malachi 3:10, ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’

Honestly from early on in our church life, we were given items that needed to be stored including high level executive desks and military grade bookshelves. We were constantly looking for ways to give things away because God had kept his promise of pouring blessings we could not completely store.

The final storage unit number was 2020 which happens to be this year but is also the measurement used to validate perfect vision. As I packed up contact cards, offering envelopes, Discover Full Life Partnership Manuals, children’s toys, sound equipment, music stands, HDMI cables, and computer monitors; my mind start flashing back to Sunday morning finishing a sermon (because I was bi-vocationally pastoring), loading equipment in our two family cars, driving to the meeting location, unloading equipment, leading prayer for our leaders, setting up, leading worship, preaching a message, and then breaking it all down, loading it all up and bringing it all home to do it again the next week. 

As I cleared storage unit #2020, I treasured the many memories that are now stored in my heart of marriages that were restored, children that accepted Jesus, businesses that were built, and babies that were dedicated. 

On February 21, 2014, Anaia Naomi Tabor was born to us our first child, after having had a miscarriage in 2011 and finding out we were pregnant on June 6, 2013, our 10th wedding anniversary. The next day, February 22, 2014, was the first Sunday we were hosting our services in a newly leased spaced. God used gifted leaders to support us in our time of transitioning into parenthood. 

A little over a month later on March 30, 2014, we dedicated the worship space and we dedicated our daughter back to God. I had no idea that this would be one of the last times I would worship with my mother who transitioned to heaven on April 4, 2015 or that it would be the place where I would complete my Master of Ministry Leadership degree in 2017. 

I also cherished the challenging seasons of trying to monthly pay rent as it increased and annually. I cherished the seasons of depression and disappointment. I treasured the seasons of movement and transition of those who were there in the beginning, the middle and ultimately the end. As I reflected, all I could say was, “Thank you Jesus for 9 years of meaningful ministry. Thank you for the ways to challenged me to trust you when I could not trace you. Thank you for the ways you taught me to repent when I made mistakes and the ways you challenged me to love my wife as Christ loved the church and laid down his life for her. Thank you for entrusting this flock to me for this season. Thank you that I know you’re pleased and are saying well done good and faithful servant, not because I was a perfect pastor but because I was willing to do what he asked me to do. Obedience was and is my standard of success. In Genesis 6:22, the Bible says, “Noah did everything God commanded him.” 

I did not pastor perfectly, but no one can say I did not pastor passionately, persistently, and purposefully. I know with all my heart, I did my best and God was honored. 

Today, as members of Celebration Central Austin, we will dedicate our youngest daughter Charis Dawn who was our grace baby. She’s the gift that God brought out of losing my mother-in-law and father-in-law to cancer within 6 months in 2017. She’s the gift of my wife completing her second master’s degree in school administration and become an assistant principal. She the gift that reminds me, we cannot nor do we need to earn God’s love.

I always encouraged our members to mark milestones in their lives like weddings and wedding anniversaries, births and birthdays, graduations and home sales. Because as we mark milestones, we build virtual Ebenezer milestones or reminders of who God is, what he has said, and what he has done. He has been faithful in the past to complete what he began and he will do the same in this season.

So, now as I transition into ministering as a primarily speaker, author, and coach to schools, nonprofits and churches, I am looking through the windshield of amazing opportunities while glancing in my rearview mirror to remember that God can do it and he will do it again!

If I can be of service to you or your organization, don’t hesitate to contact me at www.coreytabor.com/booking or call me at (512) 710-8410, my business number or (512) 535-8672, my personal number. I am excited to be fulfilling my purpose of continuing to inform, instruct and inspire people to fulfill their purpose. 

Our weekly vlog starting February 13, 2020

Corey Tabor February 2020 Speaking Calendar

Mamba Out!

Yesterday, I was on my way to Daddy / Daughter Haircare Event sponsored by The Man in Me with whom I serve as the Development Director. This event was so empowering for me because I learned from a professional how to retwist my daughter’s locs. While I was doing my daughter’s hair, Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the world was dying with his daughter in a helicopter crash.

Daddy / Daughter Hair Care Day

At 41 years old, Kobe Bryant has won 5 world championships, 2 Finals MVP’s and 20 years with the same organization the Los Angeles Lakers. He was building a production company where he’d just won an Oscar for a documentary about his life in basketball. He was married to his wife Vanessa and had 4 children including 13-year old Giana who died in the helicopter crash with him. He is undoubtedly a first ballot hall of famer and one of the top 10 players in NBA history.

I want to share three things I’ve learned from Kobe’s life and subsequent death.

1. Leadership is Born and Bred

Leadership is the ability to influence others to do what needs to be done to move themselves or an organization towards their mission, vision and values. In the game of basketball, the team goal is always to win the game, win the division, win the conference, and then the NBA World Championship. Individual goals can include winning the scoring championship, being selected to the All-Star team or winning league MVP. No can accomplish team or individual goals without leadership.

Kobe was born as a basketball leader to a father who played professional basketball. Kobe was gifted enough to be a leader in high school based primarily based on his skills. As he was drafted to the NBA as a 17-year old, his skills were not enough to get him where he wanted to go. He had to breed leadership through learning his teammates and influencing them to play to their highest level. After 3 straight championships, Shaquille O’Neal his partner in crime left the team and he was left to lead alone. The next two championships meant so much to him because he helped his teammates be their best selves. Yes he was born with leadership abilities but he grew those skills to become a better leader.

2. Maturity – Mistakes Don’t Define You

I define maturity as not making the same mistakes over and over again. All of us make mistakes, we’re human. But if we continue making the same mistakes, that is lack of maturity. Kobe made a mistake in 2003. He engaged in a sexual relationship with a woman in Colorado. He was charged but not convicted. He later gave his wife a multi carat ring and apologized to her, the NBA, and his team.

He continued counseling and together he and his wife rebuilt their marriage and expanded their family with 4 children. He became a man who was known as a husband and father. He coached his daughter’s basketball team and was taking her to a basketball experience on this trip when they’re lives ended together. Kobe owned his mistakes and made different decisions in the future. Today, he is being remembered as a great basketball prayer but just as much as a husband and father.

3. Family First | Legacy over Liability

Our family is our ultimate legacy in this world. Our relationships with our parents and siblings are an investment that we build on through our future endeavors. If we’re blessed to have a spouse and / or children we are gifted with to steward, it is our responsibility to leave a good legacy.

  • Invest in experiences not just items.
  • Forgive quickly because bitterness kills.
  • Ask questions instead of making statements.
  • Never leave your family without saying I love upon
  • Leave a legacy faith – introduce your children to Jesus not just the joys of toys.

Kobe will be missed. He finished well. He worked hard, he amassed a great deal of income and influence but he would give it all back to be here with his family. So, I say treat everyday as a present because it is, love God and love people.

Prioritize for Your Purpose 2020

Register Today!

The other morning, I opened my computer and began opening many files that I would need to write. I opened the Mac program Pages to type my notes; I opened Google Chrome for access to the internet to do additional research; I opened my Logos bible software program to research scriptures in various versions and Spotify so I would have some music to listen to as I wrote. I thought about opening the Mail app for e-mail abilities and iCal to have my schedule for the day easily acceptable. While I was opening all of these files, the computer began to process information slowly. I was ready to move forward to accomplish my purpose for the day, but I had too many windows opened. Some of the programs had a phrase listed next to the title of the document or program that I hate. The phrase is, “Not Responding”. I had too many programs open for my operating system to operate. If I didn’t close some files, my hard drive could ultimately crash. 

This is what is happening in many of our lives; we have opened so many files that our spiritual operating system is crashing because the files we opened first took up too much processing space to get the spiritual priorities in there. This Saturday, January 18th we are going to share tools that will help you, “Prioritize for your Purpose”. My hope is that by the time you leave the workshop, you will have a better idea of what your purpose is in life. My hope is that you will begin to recognize the many roles and relationships you have and learn to prioritize those based on your purpose. My hope is that you will discover the invaluable resource of money and time that you have and use those to move towards the purpose God has for you. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” 

The key to seeing your plans succeed is having your plans line up with God’s purpose for your life. 

This weekend we will provide you with the tools you need to begin prioritizing for your purpose. Most people just let life happen to them as they react to circumstances but once you discover why you’re on the planet and begin making intentional choices to accomplish that purpose, you will move from being ordinary to extraordinary. Don’t miss this moment to change the trajectory of your life.

Register today at www.PY4P2020.eventbrite.com

Prioritize for Your Purpose

January 18, 2020, Corey Tabor of III Coaching and Ronny Washington of Higher Ed Path will be presenting the Prioritize for Your Purpose Workshop. During this dynamic workshop, you will learn steps to discovering your purpose in life. Everyone is looking for why they are here, we give you a process to begin discovering the answer to this question.

After moving towards your purpose, we teach you how to prioritize your roles which are many, your relationships which are diverse, your time which is limited and your money which is significant. In just 4-hours, you will leave with practical tips and tools to live out your purpose at a higher level in 2020. You don’t want to miss this life-changing workshop.

Register today at https://P4YP2020.eventbrite.com

Prayer for Racial Reconciliation

This Sunday I will be preaching about two of our seven values at Full Life Community Church, “Racial Reconciliation and Reaching the World”.  Our nonprofit community development center is hosting a conference to address this issue March 23-24, 2018 called, “The 5:18 Reconciliation Conference”. I am passionate about this issue and I will tell you why.

5_18_1.jpg
Join us for the 5:18 Reconciliation Conference March 23-24, 2018 at the University of Texas at Austin

Many who know my story know that I grew up in Abilene, Texas which as of 2015 was 61% White, 25% Hispanic, 10% Black and 2% Asian. I know it’s more diverse today than it was when I was there from 1978 – 1995. My two best friends Brett Coe and Paul Matta were white and hispanic respectively.

We did everything together but go to church because none of our churches were sensitive to the racial communities we came from.

We would pray together, study the bible together and hold each other accountable to living out our faith but we could not worship together because still to this day, Sunday morning is the most segregated time in our nation. We, like my friends, work together, live in the same neighborhoods, attend the same schools, shop at the same grocery stores and yet we don’t worship together.

WHY is Sunday Morning the most segregated time in our nation? Listen to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther the King’s perspective.

This question is a “million dollar question”. There are so many historical, sociological and honestly spiritual reasons why we don’t worship together. I could prophetically (meaning speaking the truth in love) simplify it to selfishness and pride. We selfishly want a worship service that reflects us and our preferences more than one that reflects the full image of God (all of us are created in God’s image so when worship only reflects us we are missing a part of the image of God). We often in pride think “our way of worship” that affirms us ethnically and often disaffirms others ethnically is better than “their way of worship.” Contemplative worship compared to Celebratory worship is one comparison. One is quiet, liturgical and linear, the other is loud, unscheduled and nonlinear. Neither are wrong but they are different.

I have been doing reconciliation work for nearly 20 years now through organizations like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, III Coaching and now The Republican Party of Texas. One of the principles I consistently communicate is we are not looking for nor should we seek sameness (colorblind, all one race of people) but we should according to our faith and our values a national seek for oneness (unified despite our differences).

A nation divided against itself cannot stand. This statement can be attributed to Jesus in the Bible located in Matthew 12:25 and Abraham Lincoln in his 1858 speech entitled, “A House Divided”

In Genesis, we read Moses write about marriage and he says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The man and the woman are one but they are not the same. They are equal in human value but not the same. The problem many have is they want to “whitewash” or wash out race in america and make us all the same which limits us from being the great nation we can be. Our diversity is a strength but we have allowed it to be a weakness, especially in the church. We have kept women who are gifted by God to speak from being preachers. We have kept youth who are gifted by God to lead from being pastors. We have kept people who are in a lower socioeconomic status from serving in significant leadership roles and we have allowed people who look and think just like us to dawn the entire leadership structures of our church.

We as a church and a nation need to do as Jesus did and “power down” so God “power up” and get maximum glory out of our lives. Think about it, Jesus left the opulent “suburbs of heaven” and relocated to the dirty “hood projects of earth” navigating through the streets of a woman’s womb so he could relate to us and be the ultimate sacrifice for us. He could have come as a rich influential majority culture adult male who was a king and had earthly authority but he decided to come as a member of a blended family, the son of single mother who was engaged to be married to a blue collar worker. He would ultimately become a refugee, homeless leader of a nonprofit or nongovernmental organization called the “Kingdom of God”.  Later he became a convicted felon and was sentenced to the death penalty.

The question of the church and our nation which was founded on principles of Christianity and religious freedom should be the following:

  • How many blended families are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many single mothers are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many blue collar workers are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many refugees are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many homeless people are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many nonprofit or nongovernmental leaders are we willing to serve and place in leadership?
  • How many convicted felons are we willing to serve and place in leadership?

If we were open to serving these populations, instead of mostly pursuing white collar, high dollar, tithe paying unit families, diversity would be more accessible. 

Later this year, we will be launching a separate blog, podcast and virtual book reading club to equip the church and our nation to be reconciled. Join me this Sunday at 10:10am at Full Life Community Church, a missional, maturing, multicultural church that lives to reconcile people to God and one another.

I found this article linked to the image below from the Southern Baptist Church about praying for reconciliation. We will provide others throughout the year.

racial_reconciliation_slider

 

Share this blog with others who you want to join the conversation.

Sign up here if you want to be a part of the 5:18 Reconciliation Movement

 

Real Love

In 1992, Mary J. Blige released the song, “Real Love” with lyrics like:

Real love
I’m searchin’ for a real love
Someone to set my heart free
Real love
I’m searchin’ for a real love

I was in high school when this song came out and was always looking for love. I was looking for a girlfriend that would affirm me and accept me for who I was. I found myself looking for the love of my parents who were always accepting and affirming. I also looked for love from my peers as I was being nominated for class favorite or student government. All of the issues I had with low self-esteem from being a nerd and being stuck in the friend zone were based on how people viewed me.

As a college student, I finally embraced that God created me to be me and I needed to live as the unique person he created me to be. According to Psalm 139:14, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. According to Ephesians 2:10, I am God’s handiwork. According to Genesis 1:31 as a person that is created by God, his view of me as his creation is very good. This perspective allowed me to begin living life to the fullest because I was no longer basing my value on who people said I was, I based my value on who God said I was. People change, God doesn’t! So now I can live a life where I am constantly loved and valued by God. So if things are rocky at work, home, the world; I can still make good decisions out of the foundation of being loved by God.

So as this Valentine’s Day continues, many who are single (not married or dating), dating (not married), engaged (not married), or married struggle to accept the real love that will be the foundation for all the love they experience in life.

John 3:16 is the most famous verse in the world and is a descriptive verse about the love God has for us.

It says, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So when asking about the Valentine’s, the day of love, we should not have to ask what did we receive as much as we focus on what we have given. Because real love gives. Keep giving and you will keep feeling the love of God flowing through you to others.

Planning to Fail!

You may have heard it said if you fail to plan you plan to fail! This statement is true but has a limited perspective on what it means to lead and fulfill your purpose. With III Coaching, LLC my coaching company, our purpose is to inform, instruct and inspire others to fulfill their purpose. In the process of doing so we offer workshops, assessments, individual, group and organizational coaching. We help people go from where they are to where they want to be through systematic and purposeful guidance.

In my over 20 years of doing business, I can say that “failure” is always a part of the process. I put failure in quotes because I don’t really believe in failure. I believe that when something doesn’t turn out the way you planned, you succeeded because you learned one other way that does not work. Most businesses technically fail in 5 years according to the measurement of profit margin but the businesses that fail today often have CEO’s and entrepreneurs that are successful later.

USP NFL: SUPER BOWL LII OPENING NIGHT S FBN USA MNNew England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was a successful coordinator with the New York Giants as they won Super Bowls with then Head Coach Bill Parcells. Later Belichick earned the job of head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-1994 only winning 36 games and losing 44. According to measurements of the NFL, he was a failure. He learned from his experience and was earned the job as the head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000 where he has a winning record of 214 wins and only 74 losses. He has won 27 playoff games and only lost 9. The Patriots have won 5 Super Bowls in 17 years. His first season as the Patriots Head Coach he only won 5 games and lost 11. If he let his “failure” in Cleveland be louder than the opportunity in New England, he would have been defeated  in his mind before he ever dawned a whistle and led a practice.

“Failure” is a part of the process so I encourage you to plan to fail but when you do fail, make sure you fail forward. Learn from your “failures” so you can be more effective in your future.

This Sunday Coach Belichick will endeavor lead the New England Patriots to a 6th world championship in during his tenure. Ask yourself . . . is he a failure now? I don’t think so.


Prioritize for Your Purpose Logo Final

If you enjoyed this blog and you want to learn more principles that will help you fulfill your purpose, join me this Saturday, February 3, 2018 10:00am – 2:00pm in person or online for my signature conference “Prioritize for Your Purpose: Ordering Your Life to Be Extraordinary” where we teach you how to discover your purpose and then prioritize your roles, relationships, time and money to accomplish your purpose.

 

Fear Not . . . Be Strong and Courageous

Read Joshua 1 (NIV)

Joshua Follows Moses

Joshua had served Moses faithfully but Moses could not enter the promised land due to his disobedience when asked to speak to the rock, Moses struck the rock out of anger

 and frustration with the people and dare I say God. Now Moses is dead and Joshua is given the responsibility of leading the people of God to the promised land, the land that God promised to the Israelites when he and Caleb went on their vision trip earlier.

You can imagine the intimidation a younger Joshua was feeling now that he was being asked to fill the big shoes Moses left. His responsibility was to lead. His calling was to lead. 

His purpose was to lead. God was promising him success but he had to trust God more than he trusted what he saw or what people said (v. 3-5). The promise was three-fold:

  1. All the land they could step on would be theirs
  2. They would have guaranteed victory over their enemies
  3. Joshua would receive the same ministry of presence God gave Moses

God wanted to make sure Joshua knew that he was with him but he also wanted to make sure Joshua demonstrated the character development needed to handle this new role. So he tells him four different times in various ways to be strong and courageous.

Be Strong and Courageous

Be Strong and Courgeous

  • v. 6 – Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

 

  • v. 7 –  “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go

 

  • v. 9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

  • v. 18 – Only be strong and courageous!” (This was from the people)

The reason God told Joshua to be strong and courageous and to be strong and very courageous is because God knew Joshua would feel weak and fearful with the daunting task of being Moses’ successor and leading these people who have wondered for forty years into the promised land.

I don’t know what God has called you to as we close out 2017 and prepare to enter 2018 but the word from thousands of years ago applies today, “Be strong and Courageous”. Follow Jesus and trust him to take you to the other side. He created you in Christ Jesus to do good works he prepared in advance for you to do so walk into the works that already prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10). He is a good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11).

Over the next few weeks I will share a number of blogs that will prepare you for 2018. This is going to be an amazing year if you will trust God more than you trust others and yourself and if you will believe the truth of scripture that says, “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).

For more information and booking opportunities go to www.coreytabor.com/contact

Personal Reflection on Losing Loved Ones

Corey and Mom

This week has been the culmination of two of the hardest years of our lives for me and my wife. On April 4, 2015, my mother Carrie Hazel Tabor transitioned to heaven 23 minutes prior to Easter from a hospice room in Abilene, Texas at the age of 65 years old. She had spent nearly 25 years year on dialysis after suffering kidney failure in 1991 only missing a handful of appointments yet the lack of circulation in her legs led to a fall that caused a uncontrollable brain bleed that would not clot due her thin blood from nearly 25 years of dialysis. I thought the kidney failure would eventually take her but it was a fall due to the years of kidney failure that did the job.

April and VanessaOn May 13, 2015, just hours after my wife April received her second masters degree, her mother, my mother-in-love Vanessa Carol Wynn transitioned to heaven from a hospice room in Dallas, Texas just a day before mother’s day at the age of 56 years old. After having my wife at 19 years old, spending over 10 years as a flight attendant, dodging a potential tragedy on 911 and taking care of a father and mother who died of cancer, she lost her battle with brain cancer after two years of fighting. I thought she would live into her 90’s like her grandmother or at least into her 70’s like her mother but she didn’t make it to her 60’s.

Rick and VanessaOn yesterday, November 28, 2017 just days after Thanksgiving, my wife’s stepfather, my father-in-love Rickey Jerome Wynn transitioned to heaven from a hospice room in Dallas, Texas after an over year long battle with adenocarcinoma in the salvatory gland that eventually spread to his spine at the age of 63 years old. I thought he would live in his 90’s like my grandmothers but he didn’t make it to the expected retirement age of 65.

As a staff pastor at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church from 2003-2005 (volunteer staff) 2005-2009 (paid staff), we would host sometimes 40-50 funerals per year. We might show up to work one day and there be a limousine in the front of the church parking lot and a casket at the front of the building. I kept a black suit in my office because any given day we would be called to read a scripture of comfort, pray words of comfort for a family or simply be present to walk a family member into the sanctuary who legs struggled to hold them up under the pressure of such a great loss. Sadly at times you could become desensitized to the losses especially if it was a family member of a family member of a family member of a member of the church who you did not know or had not had the privilege of personally knowing. I would often sit on stage and imagine my parents in that casket to relate and empathize with what the family was going through. Now I don’t have to imagine, I know the feeling. Everyone feels differently when losing a loved one but whether it was expected or sudden, the final loss of life on this side called death is uniquely painful.

Though I have now lost 3 of my four parents and my daughter has lost 3 of four grandparents, I will never say I know exactly how someone feels at the loss of a loved one because I don’t know how they feel but I know how I feel. I feel angry at the sin the entered the world in the garden leading to separation from God and our loved ones through death in this body. I feel grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus that pays the penally for our sin so we don’t have experience eternal separation from God in a place the Bible calls hell. I feel hurt for my wife has loss two of the closest people in her world to this world in the last six months. I feel guilty because many have lost their living parents to drug addiction, alcohol addiction, incarceration, deportation and the like. I feel disappointed due to the nearly 60 million babies in the US and nearly 1.5 billion across the world who never knew life outside of the womb due to their parent or parents aborting them in the womb. I feel confused that in 2016  17,250 murders outside of the womb were committed in the U.S. We know that Cain killed Abel, which was the third crime in the garden after Adam and Eve stole fruit from God and made those ugly clothes from the hide of animals Adam had just named (joke :).

So as you can see I have all kinds of feelings but what is grounding me in this season is not my feelings by my faith that usurps the fact that my 3 of my four parents are no longer on this planet in the physical shell we know as a body but their spirits live on in eternity based on what the Bible, the holy inspired word of God in which I believe.

The following scriptures give me foundational hope to handle the hurt in this season. 

  • Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
  • Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
  • John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:12 – 5:10 – So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

These passages and many others give me a biblical perspective on death but I cannot only cognate death, I must hope in eternal life so I am committing to reading the book “Imagine Heaven” by Pastor John Burke to gain a perspective on what my loved ones who had faith in Christ are experiencing now.

I will also worship listening to these two songs along with others that encourage my heart in times of physical loss.

Finally, I will listen to this sermon that I preached on October 1, 2003 at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church to consider what I want to be said of me when I have transitioned to heaven at some point rather through the rapture or in physical death.

Click below to hear this message Legacy or Liability: What Will Your Mark Be

Legacy or Liability - What Will Your Mark Be - Pastor Corey Tabor