A Call

God put this on my heart the last few days. I thought I would share it with you. God is sharing a lot with me these days.

Another sunrise, but today it’s not the same.
No, this new day starts with a call.
A Call that changes everything
I have seen the signs in the mirror and my clothes
Have to tighten that belt just a little more
I’ve heard the whispers
Those stolen glances of pity
I know the results before I even answer the call
As the sun was breaking through
I heard the words my time could be over soon
The Call, the call that can change everything
The Call that gives me new purpose
The Call that gives me new perspective
The Call that makes a 9 to 5 seem unappealing
The years running for success now seemed like wasted minutes
In that moment, I was flooded with regrets
Time that was wasted
In that moment, I thought about riding my bike for the first time
In that moment, I thought about my first day of school
In that moment, I thought about the day I said “I do”
A Call can change everything
In that moment, I saw everything I had missed
A Call that shifted my thinking
Saying I love you to my wife meant more
Making memories meant more than a spreadsheet
Breathing in God’s creation
meant more than making a deadline
Time might be short, but maybe I am just beginning to live
Could this be the day, anything is possible
When a Call changes everything
When a Call gives you clarity
When a Call feels you with purpose beyond yourself
Look up, look up, look up
Come on look up, look up
A Call changes everything
A Call changes everything
In a moment, a call can change everything

A Gift

As we walk through our faith journey, we are instructed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Why? Because it’s the very essence of who we are in Him. Every breath we breathe comes from God. Think about that for a moment. All that we are is God’s. Every breath is a gift from our Lord. He has given life to our bodies. Not only that, but we have also been bought with a price. A heavy price paid on the Cross. At one point in our lives, we were filled with fear, confusion and ultimately death. In one moment God changed our eternity. Today, we are free from our past. Living in the freedom and victory of God. Each day is a beautiful opportunity to live out God’s purpose for our lives. If our identity is entirely in God, that will be reflected in the way we choose to live our lives. How we love. How we serve. How we forgive. How we respond to the needs around us. How will you use your breath of life? Your gift. ~OC

Storms

Living in Florida means we deal with a lot of storms. In the summer it can be sunny out, but around 3 or 4 o’clock a storm can come out of nowhere. Some days it can be raining hard in the front yard, but sunny in the backyard. Of course then there’s the hurricanes. Some hurricanes move quickly through, while others just stall over us.

On this crazy beautiful journey called life, we will face many different storms. Sometimes there will be a light rain that comes and goes in a minute.
Then there are storms that blow in, causing havoc for everyone and everything in its path.

We don’t like walking through the storms of life. Who does? We love the sunny beach weather. But unfortunately that is not the world we live in. We will all walk through a storm or two during this life. We will all face days of blowing winds and flooding waters. Stop for a minute and sit still. In that minute, I am sure you can think of one person who is currently walking through a storm. The storms of life are hitting them from every side. Maybe that person is you. I often hear pastors share we are either walking in a storm, just coming out of a storm or about to walk through a storm. How true. If you are currently walking through a storm, I encourage you to take hold of the strong hand of God. He will lift you up as you face the raging seas.

When we walk through a storm, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or isn’t listening to our prayers. On the contrary, the scriptures tell us in this life we will all face trouble. We like to skip over that part because it isn’t very comforting or encouraging. But that doesn’t change the fact that we will all face troubles in life. When we walk through a storm we can take heart because God has overcome this world. That means He will never leave or forsake us. That should bring peace and comfort to everyone.

I have walked through many storms in my life. I have come to learn these storms have a purpose. That may not always be clear as we are walking through the storm. But if we will take the time to listen, God will reveal the lessons he has for us as we walk through a raging storm. I have learned God never wastes a storm. God can use a storm to show us the purpose for our lives or to reconnect us to our true purpose in life.

Hopefully this will bring you peace as you walk through your storm. Especially if you have walked through this storm for many years. You have been praying and crying out to God, but it appears he is not listening. Believe me I have been there. I’ve walked through a stormy season in life that lasted for almost 18 years. I was hit with one storm after another. So I get it my friend. Life can be hard. But in the mist of my storm, I saw God grow my faith in a life changing way. God allowed me to share the gospel with many as I walked the halls of the hospital or during my weekly treatments and doctor appointments. During the storm, God reminded me that my worth and value are not tied to my career, success or what I achieve in life. No, my value and worth are found in being a child of God. In being chosen by him, called by him, and equipped by him for a purpose.
Sometimes our lives are rocked by the storms of life, so that we can rebuild on a better foundation. On the firm foundation of God. ~OC

Hello Todd

Some nights, I wanna disappear into the night like a flying star. Maybe I can be like Marty McFly and find a time machine to take me back in time. Maybe I will travel to the year when I was 12. That’s when I remember my body facing its first medical trial. When life changed for awhile. Of course I didn’t know then that at 35, my life would turn into one crazy beautiful health journey. But a miracle would change that at 53. Then a pandemic would hit that changed everything at 55. I would tell that 12 year old, he’s going to take a lot of hits along the way. His life is going to become a medical odyssey. A journey around the world for doctors to see how this dead man walking keeps on overcoming. They whisper to themselves this man just refuses to die. I would share with that 12 year boy, it’s not by his strength that he is surviving the crazy waves. No it’s by the powerful love of God that he’s thriving as the waves come raging in. Remember when you were 10 years old and you asked the King of Kings into your heart? That life changing moment did not make life easy, but that single moment filled you with peace and hope. Those would come in handy in the years ahead. You will make mistakes along the journey, but when you look to your left or right the King of Kings will always be standing by your side. When you have questions or need some insight, God will always be there to direct your ways. You see, God is always listening even when you think he’s asleep. Hey, let’s take a break and return to that young man trying to navigate his way. There are some things you’ll do along the way you wish you could erase. But remember, every slip up will make you the man you will become one day. Far from perfect, but still allowing God to mold him like clay. People will build you up along the way, but will be quick to tear you down when you go astray. But don’t let anybody tell you how to write your story. Along the journey you might need to flip the script even if it scares a few people away. We are all products of our lived experiences. At times along the journey you will feel confused and scared. That’s when you stop and lean into the loving arms of the King of Kings. I hope you’re hearing this. I wish I could tell you life is going to be easy, but that would be a shiny bright lie. Yeah, I wrote about that before you should check it out. Life will be full of mistakes. That’s just part of the race. Do not forget about those lived experiences. But life will also be full of decisions you get right. Both are learning experiences. Don’t miss out on the lessons. When the journey gets hard, remember that Mother’s Day back in the day when you said yes to the Lord. You will often look back on that day when facing those crashing waves. Life is not going to be easy. There will be days you feel like throwing it all away, but then God will suddenly stop everything so you can take it all in and be amazed. Don’t miss one of those days. You see, life is going to go quick. One day you will wake up and wonder what happened to all those days. My prayer for that 12 year old boy, is that you will take it all in. The good and the bad. The memories that bring tears and the ones that bring smiles. Enjoy every minute of this amazing ride. ~OC

Hello Fear

Hello Fear, you are not welcome here anymore,
I remember when you were my closest companion
You would control my every moment
Hello fear, I thought I was safe in your arms
You were there every second of the day
I would let myself get lost in your life stealing lies
I tried letting you go on many occasions, but you still came calling
Then came the day, I fully surrendered you to the King of Kings
Oh, you still try to slip into my thoughts, but now I cry out to my King and you flee in fear
Hello fear, you can keep trying to take space in my head,
but I will keep calling on the One who died on the cross
to take away your power over me
Hello fear, you can never win
You can keep trying to come back
Hello fear, you can never break me
You used to own a space in my head
I was yours 24 hours a day
Hello fear, I know you are never far away
Some days, I hear you knocking on the door
In the past, I would open that door
Today, I call on the Lord when I hear you knocking and I watch you flee
Hello fear, you don’t own me anymore
You can never again fill my head with your lies
You can keep trying, but now I have the power to keep you at bay
This power does not come from me, but from the King of Kings who lives in me
Dear fear, you can no longer control me
Those days have come to and end
Today’s a new day and my life has changed
I know I have a target on my back
Fear will always be creeping around ever corner,
You will use every storm as on opportunity to slide back into my life
I might bend, but I will never break
I allowed you to rent space in my life for too long
You passed yourself off as a friend for too long
You always showed up on time
But today, you are not welcome
Hello fear, there are no vacancies inside my head
Fear, you have been replaced
Today, peace, freedom and victory have taken up space in my head thanks to the King of Kings. ~OC

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

As I scrolled through your social media pages, I sense you are struggling. You seem tired. As I read your post, it appears you are being overwhelmed by the storms of life. I have experienced those moments.

So friend, I want you to know I am here for you. There have been times, I have watched other friends walk through storms from a distance because I was not sure what to say. I made their pain about me. I wish I had just showed up. Just listened.

As I have walked through my own storms, I realize how important it is to have friends walk with you. I am thankful for those who did not jump out of the boat when the seas got rough.

I am done letting fear keep me from staying close. I will not be perfect when I reach out to you. I may not always say the right thing. I am okay with that. The most important thing is, I will always be there for you. No judgment. No quick fixes. Just me standing in the gap.

Friend, you will get through whatever storm you are facing at this moment. It will not be easy. There will be some rough days. You might even feel like giving up. You might lose hope. When you lose hope, I will hope for you. We will get through this journey called life together. We will finish strong. ~OC

Her Dreams Keep Slipping Away

Good morning. God is really blessing me in my writing. He gave me these words this morning.

She walks into class tired and dragging after a long sleepless night. Nobody knows the secrets she’s holding back. Wearing extra makeup to hide the scars. Her teachers notice the flashy jewelry and the bloodshot eyes, but they don’t ask. It’s easier to ignore the signs than bear the burden of the truth. So they don’t ask. Her dreams keep slipping away.

After school, she goes home to an empty house to rest. It’s going to be another long night of putting on a smiling face for the men who will pay to steal her dreams. Another night of going to a different place to escape the horrors of the day. Her dreams keep sleeping away.

The girl with so many dreams, wears a pretty mask for the world to see. Deep down those dreams are slipping away. She wants to reach out for help to ease her pain, but it seems everyone else is caught up chasing their own dreams. Too caught up in their own dreams to see her dreams slipping away. No time to look past the mask to see her pain. Her dreams keep slipping away.

Her dreams give her wings to fly to another place. A place she no longer has to wear a mask to hide from her pain. She no longer has to hide the scars. She is finally free. In a place where she can fly and dream. ~OC

A Loving Warning

Today’s a new day! People are not abandoning Jesus. People are abandoning churches that use Jesus to push political agendas, choose tithes/numbers over relationships and choose which sins are acceptable. That is just unacceptable to a unbelieving world. This is unacceptable to a believing world. The Church needs to not only preach the Gospel, but live out the Gospel in words and action.

Even as I write the words above, I love the Church because Jesus loves the Church. Also this is not an attack on the Church. No, this is a loving warning to those churches that are more concerned about their own agenda than the truth of the Gospel. This loving warning comes from someone who has spent more than half my life in the church. This is a loving warning from someone who has seen the beautiful and ugliness of the Church. This is a loving warning from someone who desires for everyone to find a beautiful, amazing church home. ~OC

Wake Up

Hello. Here is a little something God put on my heart.

You spend your life running a race not created by God. Cause you live your life in a self created lane you keep running up against hurdles. You keep slipping. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God

You keep running a race that has no purpose. It’s a dead end. It’s a race filled with shiny things, but no substance. No hope. It’s a fantasy. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God

Your race is full of money and a big house in the right zip code The world looks at you thinking you’ve got the American Dream. But your life is empty. Full of regrets and broken promises. Void of hope, Void of peace. Oh, if you only had some peace. But peace is not found in the race you chose. Look up and open your eyes you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God.

The race you run is full of comparisons and false images. Your race is full of lies that leave you empty. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God.
Wake up and grab the hand of God

Stop running your own race
Where’s it gotten you? God has a better race for you to run. A race designed just for you. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God.
Wake up and grab the hand of God.
(Wake Up Wake Up) ~OC

Scars vs. Wounds

Today’s a new day! Are you scarred or wounded in life? There is a huge difference between the two.

You see, your scars tell the story of everything God has brought you through in life. When I look at my own physical scars, It’s a reminder of the storms I have faced in life. I have a personal story for each scar. But those scars also remind me of the beautiful healing God has done in my life. Healing from the darkest storms of life.

Wounds are a different battle. When we are wounded, that usually means the healing is not complete. We are still walking through the storm. The wound still needs care. Most of the time those wounds are deep. They may be physical wounds, but most of the time they are deeper than just physical wounds. They are emotional wounds. Relationship wounds. Spiritual wounds. Wounds that go deep and need more care. Wounds that are repeatedly opened. But I have good news. Amazing news in fact. God can heal the deepest wounds in our lives. Not only can God completely heal those wounds, He desires to bring complete healing to our deepest wounds.

So today I encourage everyone that is wounded, to lay those wounds down at the foot of the Cross. Allow God to begin healing the deepest wounds in your life. Stop holding onto those wounds. Stop allowing them to be your identity. Today, let God begin to turn your deepest wounds into beautiful scars. Allow those scars to become testimonies. ~OC

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