My Reading List

So many good books out right now. Here are a few I have read or currently reading:

Something Needs To Change by David Platt

Free Cyntoia by Cyntoia Brown-Long

The Final Race by Eric T. Eichinger

Me by Elton John

Wham! George Michael & Me by Andrew Ridgley

The Beautiful Ones by Prince

What Set Me Free by Brian Banks

~OC

Living Beyond My Limitations

Some days, I spend too much time focusing on my limitations. The things I can no longer do. I can no longer work. I have to depend on other people for rides. These days, I need other people to fill out my paperwork. I use a stamp to sign my name. These days, I need a voice amplifier to help me speak. I can no longer try and hit those Steven Tyler notes on Dream On. I realize, I will probably deal with more limitations as my crazy beautiful journey continues.

It would be very easy for me to get caught up in my present limitations. To focus on all that this health journey has taken from me. But what kind of life would that be? No, instead I choose to focus on all this journey has given me. What I can still do. Here are just a few things I can still do.

More Time for Prayer. Since I do not sleep much these days, I have so much time to pray for the needs of loved ones and complete strangers. I love praying.

Embrace Beautiful Interruptions. If you have been around me for a minute, you know I love beautiful interruptions. Those moments God blesses us with unexpected opportunities to encourage others. To listen to others. To help others. In the past, I may have been too busy to stop and notice those beautiful interruptions God was putting right in front of me.

Read. I have more time to read or listen to books these days. Most days, you will find me sitting in my recliner enjoying a good book. I love a good book.

Listening to Your Stories. Oh, how I love listening to other peoples stories. Finding out what amazing and sometimes not so amazing things they are facing. I just listen. Not to respond or fix. Just to listen. What an amazing honor that is for me.

Living A Life of Adventure. Today, I more time for adventure. Taking that last minute cruise. Jumping in the car with my wife and just driving until we find a place to stop. Making beautiful memories.

Encouraging Other. I can no longer go skydiving, but I can encourage someone else to take that adventure. I can no longer run, but I can help coach and encourage someone else to run their race.

I am sure there will be more days of dwelling on my limitations, but those days are becoming less and less. Today, I spend more time focusing on how much I can still do. ~OC

My Hero, The Hope Dealer

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.

Current Reading List

I love to read. Reading is something I have been passionate about since I was a child. Here is my current reading list. These books are challenging me in so many ways.

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About The American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby.

Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores by Dominique DuBois Gilliard.

Southern White Ministers and the Civil Rights Movement by Elaine Allen Lechtreck.

Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice by Eric Mason.

I also just purchased a Bible that really discusses Social Issues called God’s Justice (NIV) by Zondervan. ~OC

Some of My Favorites

Some of my favorites:

Team:

Cincinnati Reds

Boston Celtics

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Florida Gators

Players:

Baseball: Johnny Bench

Basketball: Larry Bird

Football: Lee Roy Selmon & Derrick Brooks

Florida Gators: Al Horford, Danny Wuerffel & Tim Tebow

Coach: Tony Dungy

Movies:

Hoosiers

Selma

Brian’s Song (The Original)

12 Years a Slave

Woodlawn

Remember the Titans

Doc Hollywood

Facing the Giants

13th

America History

Any Jimmy Stewart Film

Music:

Kirk Franklin

U2

Michael Jackson

Prince

TobyMac

DC Talk

Bruce Springsteen

George Michael

Bee Gees

4Him

Queen

Elton John

Alisa Turner

Tasha Cobbs Leonard

Anthony Evans

Run-DMC

Lecrae

FC Worship

Lionel Richie

The Commodores

Stevie Wonder

Rod Stewart

Kenny Chesney

Truth

Michael English

Proverb

Kim Walker-Smith

Harry Connick Jr.

Michael Neale

Tenth Avenue North

Jeremy Camp

Journey

Earth, Wind & Fire

Hall & Oates

Def Leppard

Hillsong United

Jackson 5

Luther Vandross

Whitney Houston

Adele

Books:

Bible

America Story by Bob Dotson

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs

Moment Make by Carlos Whittaker

Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson

Just Mercy Bryan Stevenson

Unscripted by Ernie Johnson, Jr.

Living Out Loud by Craig Sager

I’ll Push You by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray

Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad

Love Does by Bob Goff

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Radical by David Platt

Transformed by Remi Adeleke

Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Drop the Stones by Carlos A. Rodríguez

Brave Surrender by Kim Walker-Smith

Comeback by Dave Dravecky

When You Can’t Comeback by Dave & Jan Dravecky

Quite Strength by Tony Dungy

Separate Peace by John Knowles

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Believe by Eric LeGrand

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox

God & Football by Chad Gibbs

The Pact:Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt

Vulnerable by Raleigh Sadler

This Life I Live by Rory Feek

42 Faith by Ed Henry

The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores

Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes

Long Run by Matt Long

Forty Thousand To One by Ben Petrick

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose

When The Game Was Ours by Jackie MacMullan

Catch You Later by Johnny Bench

Love Thy Rival by Chad Gibbs

This is just a short list of my favorites. I could go on for days. ~OC

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