I Am Wrecked…Again

Once again I am wrecked by what I see happening in Atlanta, Virginia and Minneapolis. I keep believing that one day, I will wake up and not hear about another person of color being victimized by the actions of a person filled with hate or a person quick to judge. But sadly, that seems like a dream. But hey, I am a dreamer.

So I will continue praying for my brothers and sisters of color. Praying that as you walk down the street, people will not clutch their purses or bags a little tighter. Praying as you visit a place of business, you will not be hassled. I pray if for some reason you are pulled over by the police, you will be treated with respect. I am saddened that I have to pray this prayer every day for my brothers and sisters of color. But I will not stop praying. I will not stop speaking out against injustice. I will continue to stand with you. ~OC

Make The Pledge

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue of Racism in our nation. We have to finally say enough is enough. We have to Rise Up against Division. We have to Demand Change. We have to Rise Up against Hate. We have to share Love. I am encouraging everyone who cares about Love and Justice to Rise Up and take the Pledge to End Racism. Will you Stand Up and make the Pledge with me? ~OC

Check Our Hearts

As I scroll through social media and have conversations with some Christians my heart breaks. I read and hear comments that must break Jesus heart. I think to myself did that Christian actually read their post before posting it or did they check their heart before speaking. Probably not.

As I study scripture, I wonder what Bible some Christians are reading. Because my Bible says we should love everyone. Not just those who think like us, look like us or worship like us. No, we are to love Everyone! Sadly, I see a lot of Hate coming from those who would call themselves Christians. Here are a few examples:

*Those calling themselves Christians with their Christian flags, storming the Capital on January 6th. I could really just stop there, but let’s go on.

*Those calling themselves Christians buying into the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen by the Democrats. Remember, no one ever produced any real proof. Every court, including the Supreme Court ruled there was no proof of election fraud. Yet the conspiracy theories continue. I believe conspiracy theories are nothing more than gossip.

*Some who call themselves Christians believing every Democrat is evil.

*Some who call themselves Christians believing racism is a thing of the past.

*Many Christians and Churches not speaking out against racism.

*Many so called Christians being part of hate groups.

*Many Christians being offended that some people refused to recognize Donald Trump as President, but now those same Christians loudly shout President Biden is not their President.

As I wrote this post, I thought to myself why would anyone want to be a Christian? But then I realized the Jesus I serve is all about Love and Grace. The examples above do not represent my Savior and most Christians. Jesus loves everyone. Sadly some Christians have perverted the Christian faith. It is up to true believers to stand up for what’s right. Even when doing so is not popular. It’s time for the Christian Community to check our hearts. ~OC

My Prayer: Take Off The Blinders

As we witnessed the civil unrest at the Capital in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, there was a lot of discussion about hate groups and racism in America. Some in the white community (Breaking News: I am white), screamed on social media that racism is no longer an issue in 2021. Really?

When I engage some white people in the topic of racism, they often will challenge me to prove that racism still exist today in America. So I present them with a challenge. My challenge to them is to simply listen.

I am a storyteller, so I will share stories that my friends of color have shared with me about being racially profiled. I will share legit studies that have been done on the subject of racism. I will share videos showing racism happening to a person of color. I will encourage them to read articles or books on the subject of racism. Most importantly, I will challenge them to reach out to a friend of color and asked them if they have ever experienced racism. I think to myself, one of these suggestions will get through to them. Right? Sadly, a good majority of the time I will hear the following excuses:

*The data is biased.

*I don’t have time to read any articles or books.

*The person in the video was overreacting.

*My friends of color (if they actually have some) don’t want to talk about racism.

*I am tired of hearing about racism. Can’t everyone just get over it?”

I have had these types of conversations with my white friends and complete strangers too many times to count. But then after years of being frustrated by people who do not believe racism is still sadly alive and well, a beautiful freeing thought came to me. I don’t have to proof racism still exist today. The burden of proof is not on me. The burden of proof is on those who refuse to believe racism is still a major issue in 2021. There is no reason for me to walk away from these conversations feeling frustrated. The debate is over. This truth has set me free.

To those who continue to believe racism no longer exist, prove it. Show me some actual evidence. Show me some factual data. Just as my evidence proofs racism still exist in 2021, your evidence better support your argument against that fact.

As I close, my prayer is that God will change the hearts and minds of those who still deny racism is a clear and present danger in America. I pray these deniers will take time to read a book or article on the subject of racism. I pray they will check out the many videos that sadly show racism is still wide awake in our nation. My prayer is that my white brothers and sisters who still believe racism is a thing of the past, will reach out to a person of color and have a real conversation about this stain on America. I pray the blinders will come off. ~OC

Take the Pledge

As I reflect on the unrest in America, I think about the powerful pledge from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate MLK weekend, I wanted to share his pledge of non-violence. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pledge of non-violence:

I hereby pledge myself- my person and body-to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

1). Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2). Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.

3). Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4). Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

5). Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

6). Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7). Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8). Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

9). Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10). Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.

As I read the above commitments, I think about all the heroes that lived out those powerful commitments in 1963. America was dealing with major unrest, as Dr. King and so many heroes marched peacefully for civil rights. Yes, peacefully. So the question is, will you take the pledge? I have personally committed to living out these commitments. Will you? ~OC

God’s Tears

As I continue to pray for America, I imagine God bowing his head in sadness. His tears flowing as so many people who call themselves Christians, act with such hatred and meanness. They seem to have forgotten the beautiful scriptures about loving their neighbors. All Neighbors! The Liberal Neighbor. The Conservative Neighbor. The Homeless Neighbor. The Addicted Neighbor. The LGBTQ Neighbor. The Incarcerated Neighbor. The Immigrant Neighbor. The Depressed Neighbor. The Disabled Neighbor. The Atheist Neighbor. The Black Neighbor. The White Neighbor. The Hispanic Neighbor. The Asian Neighbor. The Middle-Eastern Neighbor. The Native-American Neighbor. The Neighbor of a Different Faith. The..,,, Neighbor.

Think about the sadness God feels looking down on America and seeing all the hatred and division. His heart breaks. Does your heart break? Mine does. So, I will continue to share love. Speak out against hate and violence. I will continue to pray. ~OC

America, Come Together

At 3:41 a.m. on January 7, 2021, Vice-President Michael Pence officially certified Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris the winners of the 2020 Presidential election. This should have been a pretty boring proceeding. But we know that was not the case. Instead, we saw a few politicians and many protesters try to hijack the election results. Thankfully some leaders who actually believe in the constitution prevailed.

A time honored proceeding that should have only taken a few minutes on Wednesday 1/6/21, ended up lasting until 3:41 a.m. on Thursday 1/7/21. Why? Because some sore losers did not like the results of a fair election. So those individuals decided to take things into their own hands. Instead of peacefully protesting the election results which is their right, this group was encouraged to march on the Capital. We all watched with sadness and horror as this group decided violence was better than peace. At last count, four people died during this senseless uprising. Yes, in America four people died and several more were injured because a group of people did not like the results of a fair election. I know some will disagree that the election was legal and fair, but court after court has thrown out every challenge. Why? Because no real evidence was ever presented to show any fraud. So on January 7, 2021 at 3:41 a.m. President-Elect Joseph Biden was officially certified as the next President of the United States of America. I encourage everyone to pray for President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris. They have a tough job ahead. They need our prayers and support. America needs our prayers. It’s time to come together and actually be the United States of America. ~OC

Gospel Over Politics

As I scroll through social media, I see some post from Christians talking about fighting until “Our Team” wins. That would be awesome if these folks were talking about God winning. Which of course He already has. No, sadly these post are about a political party. A party that would rather win than be United. My prayer is that these individuals would be more concerned about truly living out the Gospel and less concerned about a political party or candidate. ~OC

Celebrate Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Take time today to learn more about this holiday and its history. Take time today to learn more about African-American History and Culture. Take time today to have conversations about our history (the good, the bad, the ugly) with our African-American brothers and sisters. But, do not make this just a one day celebration or conversation. Let’s use today as a launch to have more conversations about the beautiful history of African-Americans and the ongoing issue of racism in America. -OC #Juneteenth

My Heart Breaks

As I hear about another black man in America being murdered for simply being black, my heart breaks. My heart breaks for the families. My heart breaks for every person of color that fears for their lives when dealing with law enforcement. My heart breaks for every parent that sits home late at night, praying their son or daughter of color makes it home safely. My heart breaks for America.

Racism is still alive and well in America. If you don’t believe that, you are fooling yourself. My brothers and sisters of color are discriminated against every day. That’s just truth. If you doubt that truth, your living in denial. If you doubt that truth, take the time to have a real conversation with a friend that looks different than you. If you don’t have a friend that meets that criteria, you might be part of the problem. Racism is sadly still alive and well in America. That’s just truth.

Christians everywhere need to stand up against racism and social injustice. We can no longer sit around and just pray for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and George Floyd. Churches can no longer just talk about racism and injustice after the murder of another black man in America. Church leaders need to be having regular conversations about racism and injustice with their congregations on a regular basis. God’s people need to have real and honest conversations about racism and injustice in America. We need to pledge to make a real difference. Until we have these tough conversations, we will continue to be a divided nation and my heart will continue to be broken. ~OC

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