Today’s a new day! The new book is out. Thanks for all the love and support. This book is 20 years in the making. The majority of the book was written from my hospital room on 4South at Good Samaritan Medical Center. A fun fact. I have written both of my books on my Apple iPhone. I continue to live a blessed life. ~OC
Today’s a new day! The photos below are a tale of two moments in my crazy beautiful health journey. The picture of me in a dress shirt, is my wife and I in 2019 cruising in Alaska. We were on what my doctors shared would be my last vacation. I weighed 112 pounds, was not able to speak without the use of a voice amplifier, had not been able to eat solid foods for 3.5 years and was living off a feeding tube. The photo of me in the t-shirt is Laura and I on a cruise in 2023. My health is still a major issue, but God decided I needed to stick around a little bit longer. I am committed to sharing hope and encouragement with everyone I have the pleasure of meeting. I have been battling health issues for the last 21 years, but I choose to keep pushing forward. So I encourage everyone currently walking through a life storm to keep fighting. Keep livin and making beautiful memories. ~OC
Today’s a new day! To be honest, there are moments when I would like nothing more than to walk away from battling the storms of life. Walking away can sound so much better than this journey of building endurance, character, and hope. How many storms do I need to face in life? But in those tough moments, hope reminds me that I am not its source. The hope I walk in does not come from me, but from God who is compassionate, loving and faithful.
Opening up my eyes, God encourages me to look at the world with more hope. To look deeper and see more than what is and more of what could be. To hope.
Taking a deeper, more honest look at the realities of a hurting world can also become an act of hope. I believe in the power of love and peace. My hope is in God who is filled with love, mercy and compassion. My faith always leads me back to hope. This hope is real and available to each of us. Today, I encourage you to take a step towards Hope. ~OC
Today’s a new day! I am still standing. On 3/20/09 after having what doctors thought was a cold, my wife Laura was informed she needed to take me to the emergency room. I was having trouble breathing and was extremely weak. My cold actually ended up being Myasthenia Gravis. I was in a Myasthenic Crisis. Some doctors were concerned I would not make it through the the night. Most thought I would not make it through the year. Here we are 14 years later and I am still standing. Still fighting. Still thriving.
This twenty-one year crazy beautiful health journey has not been easy. On more than one occasion, Laura has been told by doctors that my condition was critical and things did not look promising. Throughout this journey, Laura and I have looked to God for guidance, strength and wisdom. He has never failed us. We do not know what the future holds for me health wise, but we know who holds our future. Laura and I will continue to make beautiful memories. We will continue to encourage people with our story. I will continue to fight. After all these years, I am still standing. Still praising God. ~OC
Today’s a new day! I have learned through the storms of life that joy and happiness are things we have to become intentional about. It’s about the decisions we make moment by moment.
So many people allow everyday joy to escape them because they are focused on what they don’t like, what their lacking, and what is broken. Easy to do. We can allow our circumstances and comparing ourselves to others to rob of us of happiness and joy. What I have learned through my own life storms is when I want to have a pity party, is that the best use of my time. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I have chosen to find the things that I am grateful for as I navigate through the crashing waves.
One of the most positive things I have ever done in my life is to journal and share my story. What has been so interesting and encouraging is hearing the feedback back from those walking through their own battles. As I have heard the inspiring stories of others, I have been filled with gratitude. My circumstances may have not changed, but I did. I chose a new way of looking at life.
I have had the privilege of praying with people during the worst moments of their lives. But instead of being caught up in the negativity of the moment, they were filled with joy. How can that be? I honestly believe that joy is less circumstantial and more an inward reality that is fueled from a heart of faith and gratitude. People that choose to live with more hope and joy view life differently. Peace, Hope and Joy become a lifestyle. They embrace and savor every moment of life.
In these challenging times when there is so much negative news swirling around us, it’s so important for us to take care of ourselves and those around us. We need to laugh, have fun, take a trip and embrace some joy breaks along this journey called life. I encourage everyone to find joy by making time for it and becoming intentional about it. Choose joy and choose it every day. ~OC
Men and Friendships
Today’s a new day! Hello men. This post is for us. I want to get real about friendships. Based on my own experience and talking with other men, we are mostly failing in the area of friendship. Most men I have talked to share they have many surface friendships, but lack deep meaningful friendships. Can any other men relate?
I personally want to have intentional friendships that have meaning and depth. It appears so many men are happy with surface friendships. They fear deep intimate friendships. The casual version of friendship is sadly repeated over and over again and not just with guys outside the church. Men in the church are not doing much better. From my own observation, most men lack true friendships and happily settle for less. We use phrases like he’s my buddy or bro. These are not bad relationships, but just other men who do not understand the importance of having intentional friendships.
I could go into deep reasons why so many men lack deep friendships with other men, but so many of them are just excuses. Most of the time it comes down to laziness. Men like to use the excuse of being too busy. But that doesn’t fly. Go check with your wife or girlfriend. Their schedules are just as busy if not busier than yours, but they still find time for deep and meaningful friendships. As men we settle for less because we do not want to put in the time and effort.
Where are your friends that you can lean on and that can lean on you? Can you pray with them? Can you talk about real life with them? Your failures and successes. Over the years, I have observed too many men are scared to share their wounds, emotions, or real life issues with other men. The best example of a man we have is Jesus. He cried, he got angry, he had a tender heart. He chose to invest in real relationships with 12 other men. He dared to hold those men accountable. To walk through life together. The good and bad. To serve together. Do you have those type of men in your life? We all need men we can challenge and men who will challenge us to be better men. We need to be intentional in our friendships with other men.
So I want to encourage you and myself to do the following:
*Chose to take a risk and open up to some of the men in your life. See what happens. Jesus was not afraid to be vulnerable.
*Chose to be a better friend. Start to be intentional and sacrificial for other men. Asked the tough questions. Listen without interrupting or trying to fix the problem. Share your hopes, failures and dreams. Pray together.
*Chose to pray that God places Godly men into your life, then be on the lookout for them.
Notice how Jesus chose to be open and honest with the disciples. He chose to serve them and together serve others. Jesus chose to be intentional with these 12 men. Are we willing to do that with the men in our lives? It might not be easy, but I promise it will be life changing if we choose to put in the time and effort. No more excuses men. ~OC
Keep Moving Forward
Today’s a new day! God has wonderful plan for each of our lives. Unfortunately, we sometimes allow fear to hold us back from our God given purpose in life. God wants us to confidently walk forward and trust him.
As we walk out God’s purpose for our lives, we have an enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy that plan. As we are walking out God’s plan, the enemy will try to creep inside and put doubt and fear in our hearts. The enemy wants to stop us in our tracks. To stop our momentum.
The enemy loves to use doubt and fear, to prevent us from pursuing our dreams and purpose in live. He wants us to be paralyzed by our current situation. All it takes is us focusing on the negatives instead of keeping our focus on God’s plan.
It’s too hard. What if I fail? Could this possibly be God’s plan for my life? I can’t do this. Sound familiar?
During our journey, we will all face these moments. Times we have to push through all the questions, doubts and challenges. To move forward in spite of our fears. If we wait for that gnawing fear to disappear, we will allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the moment. We will stop moving forward. During those fear induced moments, we must keep moving forward. Do not let the enemy get the victory.
During the uncertain seasons of life, we need to trust God. Sometimes that happens one step at a time. God can use the trials of life to help us overcome our fears and experience victory and freedom through him. No backing down. No retreat. Keep moving forward. ~OC
19th Mile Moments
Today’s a new day! During my marathon running days, mile 19 was when I hit the wall. When I just felt like giving up. Thankfully, God always gave me extra strength to push through and finish the race. So as I have walked this 20+ health journey, I often refer to the tough moments as my 19th mile.
During this crazy beautiful health journey, God continually reminds me that His love and grace are sufficient. Throughout my health journey, God has taught me several important 19 mile lessons. I have learned to trust in God’s plan for my life despite how I feel on any particular day. To turn to Him for strength, peace and wisdom during my darkest moments. God has also taught me to humble myself and ask for help when needed (not always easy for me) and most importantly, that all my hope is in Jesus alone.
I long for the day to see Jesus face to face, to receive my glorified body, and walk the streets of Heaven without pain or disease. Totally healed! Until then, I will walk by faith and keep leaning into the beautiful promises of God.
I pray this post brings you some encouragement as you walk your own crazy beautiful journey. Keep running the race and never let mile 19 break you. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC
Today’s a new day! As we start this new year, do not forget about the caregivers, those that are terminally or chronically ill, those that are mourning, those who enter 2023 not knowing what losses it will bring, what sadness will accompany the next 365 days. Pray they will see some beautiful light through the broken glass. Pray they will feel the arms of God wrap around them like a warm blanket. Pray they will be surrounded by loved ones as they walk through their journey. Pray no one will walk alone. Pray even as they walk through the roughest storms, there will be some beautiful moments and memories. Pray they will experience peace. Pray that through the toughest moments they will keep moving forward and never give up. Blessings. ~OC
Today’s a new day! I hope you wake up with a dream in your heart and a sense of excitement about a new day. A new adventure. May you never take a day for granted. May you embrace every breath. Take in every moment. May you always fill loved and never take it for granted. May your life be filled with laughter and tears. Both are healing. I pray when given a chance to be a difference maker, you grab hold and run with it. Never be afraid to shake things up a little. I pray you never give up when life gets hard. I pray when given a chance to quit, you make the choice to dance. I pray you never fear those raging waves in the distance. They will eventually calm and be filled with amazing lessons. Keep dancing during the storms of life. Who wants to look back and regret not taking a chance? A chance on love. A chance on friendship. A chance on making amazing memories. A chance on living a crazy beautiful adventure. I pray you keep on dreaming and dancing. Give your dreams more than a fleeting glance. Never lose your sense of wonder and adventure. Keep dancing. ~OC