Life is short. Time isn’t promised. Love hard. Live well. Pray often. Hold the people that matter close. Hug your family and friends. Tell your family and friends you love them. Call a friend. Get together and celebrate family and friends. Love your enemies.. ~OC
Last night, I had the pleasure of being on my friends podcast Man Up, Already! I would encourage everyone to check out his podcast. Some really great material. Below is a link to my appearance on the podcast. ~OC
Are you or your organization looking for a speaker for your next event? Are you looking for a speaker who will encourage your audience? A speaker who will challenge your audience to look at life with a different perspective? A speaker who will make your audience laugh and maybe even shed a tear?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, I would be honored to speak with you about sharing my crazy beautiful journey at your next event. You can click on the FAQ button on this site and contact me. I promise more laughter than tears. ~OC
Over the years when I have faced another medical trial, I have stated “It’s just another bump in the road.” Yesterday, God changed my mindset. He shared with me that instead of looking at my current situation as another bump in the road, I should instead look at my health challenges as another blessing in the road. Pretty mind blowing. I also believe it could be a life changing way of looking at our circumstances. With every “Bump in the Road” has come a blessing. Let me share some examples.
*A Missionary. During my crazy beautiful health journey, God has allowed me to become a missionary at doctors appointments and hospital stays. God has blessed me with the incredible opportunity to encourage others during those visits.
*My Voice. Based on my health issues, I have lost my physical voice. I speak with a whisper these days. I use a voice amplifier to help me speak. But during this time, God has blessed me with the opportunity to speak out loudly against human trafficking, racism and other important issues.
*Listen. During this crazy beautiful journey, God has helped me become a better listener. I always thought I was a good listener until I got sick. It was then that I realized, I tended to listen so I could respond. So I could fix things. During this journey, God has blessed me with the incredible opportunity to just listen. Not to be the fixer. Not to share my opinion. Just to listen.
*Extra Weight. When I got sick again in 2009, I was prescribed the highest dose of prednisone (a steroid), that you can take. I put on a ton of weight in a short period of time. I went from my running weight of 150 to over 200 pounds in less than six months. All the weight went straight to my stomach. Based on the fact I could no longer run or exercise, it was difficult to take weight off. It was very frustrating. Then in 2014, I started losing my appetite. Then from the middle of 2016 to the first of 2017, I lost 90 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. 90 pounds! That is when I had my feeding tube inserted. That extra weight saved my life. A bump in the road turned into a life saving blessing in the road.
*A Book. In March of this year, my memoir The Blessed Overcomer was published. If not for this “bump in the road”, I would have never written a book. You can find my book on Amazon or you can contact me about getting a signed copy. A little shameless plug.
*This Blog. Once again, if not for this crazy beautiful health journey there is no blog. I do not have a huge following and probably never will, but that was never the point. I am thankful for everyone who drops by and checks out my blog. Writing my thoughts down has been very cathartic. A wonderful blessing.
As I reflect on my crazy beautiful health journey, I have so many Blessings In The Road moments. It took God changing my mindset to realize this amazing truth. ~OC
Last night, Laura and I had the honor of attending the first Inner City Innovators Gala to celebrate the young men who this amazing organization helps. It was also a time to celebrate one of my heroes Mr. Ricky Aiken. Let me tell you about my hero.
I met Ricky when he was about 14 or 15 years old. I was volunteering with a great organization Urban Youth Impact at the time. Ricky and I just hit it off. I think it was our mutual love for books and sports. You know God is real when he brings a Boston Celtics fan and a LA Lakers fan together. As happens in life, we lost contact for a brief period. When Ricky turned 18 we reconnected around his birthday. My wife had heard about Ricky and wanted to celebrate his birthday. Oh, did we celebrate. My wife had a blast taking Ricky shopping. I think Ricky might have been a little overwhelmed by Laura’s enthusiasm, but he indulged her. That day Ricky became Laura’s son. It is a relationship that has continued to grow throughout the years. Laura still loves celebrating Ricky’s birthday.
Back in 2015, one of Ricky’s friends was shot and killed. For Ricky that was the last straw. He could no longer sit around and watch his community be destroyed by gun violence. That is when Inner City Innovators was born. Ricky has become a leader in his community. A leader in his city. And I believe in time, a national leader. This from a young man labeled emotionally disabled by the educational system. How I wish the person who made that incorrect diagnosis could see Ricky now. To see the Man he has become. The Leader he has become. The Hope Dealer he has become.
I could go on and on about my godson and the man he has become. Laura and I are so proud of him. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we see all that Ricky has accomplished in life. We are thankful God has blessed us with a front row sit. I pray that one day, Ricky will write a book and share his amazing story with the world. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to check out Inner City Innovators at http://www.innercityinnovators.org.
Today’s a new day! Jesus left all his comfort and privilege to enter into our broken world. Are we willing to do the same? ~OC
For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.” ~Matthew 25:35-40
Dear God, thank you for your presence during my crazy beautiful health journey. You have walked with me each step of the way. You have blessed me with your guidance and strength. You have never left or forsaken me.
As I wrote the words above, I thought about my family and friends walking through their own journey. Dear God, I pray you would remind them that even during the darkest moments, you are with them. That you are gracious and good, and that no detail escapes your control. Dear God, give them the strength to seek you during the darkest days. Give them the strength to pray when the storm seems overwhelming. Give them the strength to praise You during the storm. Give them the strength to celebrate You during the victories.
Dear God, I know you see my family and friends that are hurting. I pray you would remind them that you’ve not forgotten them. I pray they would feel your presence. Thank you. ~OC
Dear God, thank you for my friends. I am grateful for each of them. I pray you would watch over them this day. You know the storms they are facing. I pray you would wrap your loving arms around them like a warm blanket. Help me be a blessing to them as they walk through the storm. Help me take the focus off myself and be available to them. Dear God, help me be the friend you have called me to be. Amen. ~OC