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Emanuel

I received this dvd in the mail yesterday. It is a powerful story of faith and forgiveness. A must see. ~OC

The Blessed Overcomer Meets The Tech Guy

Good morning! I had the honor of being on my friend Marvin Bee’s podcast last night. Marvin and I attended college together at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Thanks for having me Marvin. ~OC

***During the podcast I mistakenly said I completed my first marathon 4 months after surgery. I meant to say I started running 4 months after surgery. I actually completed my first marathon a year after open heart surgery. Sorry for any confusion.

http://podnutz.com/ppro235/

When Christians Disagree About Politics

The past few years, we have seen how politics has divided America. All you have to do is tune into a talk show, watch the news or scroll through social media. Politics have sadly brought out the worst in some people. What is even more heartbreaking is how politics have divided some in the Church. A place where we should be united as become divided by today’s politics. So how can the Church work through this political division and be united? Here are a few thoughts.

Republicans and Democrats can be Christians. I have been amazed how some people question your faith based on your political  party. I personally do not belong to any political party. I gave up my party affiliation before the last election. It is okay for Christians to be involved in politics, but their political party cannot be more important than their relationship with God. When Christians become more concerned about who’s in the White House than who their neighbor is, that becomes a dangerous and slippery slope.

Arguing about your political beliefs does not make you a better Christian. That only means they enjoy arguing. We need to look past our political differences and love our neighbors the way God commands us. Even if they have a different political opinion.

Admit when your political party is wrong. Guess what?  Republicans and Democrats are not perfect. I know, your favorite political cable news show wants you to think they are, but their not. So do not be afraid to step up and admit when your favorite candidate  messes up.

Take time to talk. I encourage everyone to reach out to those with different political beliefs and talk. Not argue. Not debate. Just talk. I promise, you will walk away realizing you have more in common than you think.

Living out our faith. My heart has been broken hearing how the current political landscape has ended friendships. How politics have driven some people from the Church. I am not sure how we got to this point in American politics, but it truly saddens me. I have a lot of friends on both sides of the political aisle and I respect their right to vote for their candidate. Even if I disagree with that candidate. I have had some serious conversations with friends at church who vote and believe differently than I do. I do not pass judgement. We have respectful conversations. Because at the end of the day, I am more concerned about serving God and others, than I am about who wins an election.

As Christians, we should make the choice to rise above partisan politics. We can still have our opinions. We can still vote our conscience. But it is time we work together to unite this country. Our words and actions should model the teachings of God and not mock them. ~OC

 

 

A Must Read

Good morning everyone. I encourage everyone to read this book. I have been praying for Mrs. Long’s story for years. Cyntoia does a beautiful job sharing her incredible story with the audience. Make sure you add it to your reading list. ~OC

I Will Stand Up. I Will Fight.

As I watch the news and scroll through social media, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the world. At times it can seem overwhelming. How in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something.

So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do something. I will Fight.

I will continue have real conversations with other people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take some real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen.  I will Fight. 

I will continue to take the time to see the pain of others. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow people to walk through their own crazy beautiful journey alone. I will Fight. 

I will continue to fight for the victims of human trafficking. I will continue to bring awareness to this horrible crime. I will continue to listen and learn. I will never believe I am an expert. I will continue to speak out. I will fight. 

I will continue to fight for civil rights. When I see injustice I will speak up. I will continue to listen and learn. I will take a stand even when it’s not popular. I will fight. 

I will continue to share my story and faith. God has blessed me with a story to tell. A story I must tell. I will never be ashamed to proclaim Jesus as my Savior. I will continue to respect the faith of others. I will fight. 

I know some of the things I believe in and stand up for are not popular with everyone. That’s okay. I gave up trying to be popular a long time ago. I am more concerned about living a life that is pleasing to God. Living a life of service. I will continue to Fight. ~OC

The Hands And Feet Of Jesus

As I continue to walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, I have been blessed to see those around me be the hands and feet of Jesus. It has been a wonderful experience to see God’s people actually living out His teachings.

Several years ago, I had to stop driving. My health got to a point where driving was a dangerous undertaking. I could not put other people or myself in danger. This was not an easy decision. Part of my freedom was taken away. It also put a lot of pressure on my wife. She had to take on the role of being my chauffeur. That is a huge job with all of my medical appointments. So for a number of years, Laura would drop me off at my treatments/appointments and pick me up afterwards. So basically, she had to work around my schedule. Then last year, Laura and I joined a Bible Study at our church. During one of the gatherings, Laura mentioned my treatment/medical appointments schedule to a one of the lady’s at the study. Without missing a beat, this young lady shared the group could help out with rides to treatments and doctor appointments. She asked Laura to send her my schedule and she would put together a team to take and pick me up from my appointments. And she did! Within a few days, people from our Bible Study had signed up for all the time slots. Laura and I were blown away. So for the past year, people have been signing up to take me to my treatments. What a huge relive and blessing that has been for my wife and I.

That is just one blessing from our amazing small group at church. Our Bible Study includes dinner before the study. The group always has extra food to send us home with, so Laura does not have to worry about cooking. What a beautiful blessing that has been for Laura. A simple act that has meant so much to us. Laura and I have been so blessed by this amazing group of people. Our small group has become our family. So blessed.

So how can each of us become the hands and feet of Jesus? Here are just a few ways we can help serve others.

Rides. Who in your circle might need rides to medical appointments, grocery store or mall? Take the time to find out and help set up a schedule.

Meal Train. Who in your circle might benefit from having meals delivered to their home. That new family to the neighborhood, that family with a new baby, that family dealing with some medical issues.

Mission Trip. Step out of your comfort zone and go on a mission trip. You can start off with a short-term mission trip and work yourself up to a long-term trip.

Volunteer. I guarantee you there are endless possibilities to serve in your community. Take the time to research and find out where you can serve.

Brown Bag. Make some lunches or dinner for the homeless people you pass by every day. That simple act could make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Hygiene Kit. Put together some hygiene kits to pass out to the homeless.

Gift Cards. Buy some gift cards and pass those out to a single parent, college student or homeless person.

Visitation. Take time to visit a person at the hospital, treatment center or the person who is homebound. I can tell you from my own personal experience, visits mean so much. I have some friends who just sit with me during my treatments and hospital stays. It makes a huge difference.

Prayer. We can all pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Join the prayer team at your place of worship.

These are just a few ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. There are so many more. I encourage each of us to find a way to serve others in our community. ~OC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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