I Didn’t Lose My Miracle

Today’s a new day! Words have power. We can choose to speak words of encouragement or words of judgment. As Christians, our heart’s desire should be to build people up and speak words of hope and love into their lives. But it seems challenging for some Christians to share those encouraging words of hope when someone is suffering from a chronic illness and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Or maybe a person experienced a healing miracle only to have another health battle hit them.

That has been my experience, as I walk through my crazy beautiful health journey. As I shared above, our words are powerful. The tongue is a mighty weapon. It can be used to share love and hope or it can be used to hurt and destroy. I have experienced both over the years. Especially in the last few years.

In November of 2019, I experienced a beautiful healing in the name of Jesus. Not to toot my own horn, but I became the toast in many Christian circles. Everyone wanted to hear my story and have me pray for them. I was blessed with many speaking engagements. Heck, a documentary was even made about my story. Everyone wanted to hang out and spend time with me. Then came February 2021. I was diagnosed with Covid and my health took a turn for the worse. Today, my health is still a major issue. Things are also different in my social life.

Some who celebrated my healing back in 2019, are now the ones who send me messages questioning my faith because I am sick again. What sin caused me to lose my healing? You must have doubt about your healing. That is why God took it away. Todd, you are not praying correctly. Sadly, I am not making this up. Let me assure you, I do not fall for any of these false teachings.

I am not invited or included in many social or ministry gatherings these days. That’s okay. I am a big boy. I am thankful for the few who look past my health issues and just see me. Those that actually live out their faith.

Here are some things God has shared with me as I continue to walk in this crazy beautiful health journey. I will continue to walk in victory.

*Keep sharing the story He has given me.

*The miracle He performed in my life on November 3, 2019 was real.

*I did not lose my miracle.

*Be bold in sharing the true Gospel.

*God will continue to use me at the hospitals, doctors offices and infusion centers to bring hope and encouragement.

*God does not owe us anything. Everything we receive from him is a gift.

*Listen for the lessons God has for us during the trials of life.

*Suffering is part of our journey, but do not let it become our identity.

*Jesus suffered most of his life. Why do some Christians believe they should be exempt from suffering?

*I am not dealing with new health issues because of sin in my life.

*Some people will not receive their healing on this side of Heaven. That doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. That doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t hear your prayers. That doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith. That doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love you. Stop listening to people who would tell you those lies.

*I will not experience another miracle on this side of heaven.

*Who suffered more than Jesus ?

As Christians we need to be speaking words of hope and love over everyone and truly stand with them regardless of what our eyes see or how long they need us. As God brings someone to mind who is dealing with long-term health issues, take a moment and pray not just for them but about your responses to this person. Is it loving, caring and nonjudgmental? Are you speaking life and hope over them? ~OC

Your Choice

Today’s a new day! Like it or not, the storms of life are a part of our journey. The great news is we choose how we deal with those storms.

I realize walking through a life storm is not easy. At the time it feels you are the only one who has ever experienced anything this hard and intense. But let me reassure you that you are not alone. You do not need to walk through this storm by yourself. I argue you to reach out to someone to come along aside you and walk with you during the storm. You will be amazed by how many people are just waiting for you to reach out. Some have walked through the same trials you are facing. Never forget the lessons we can learn from those who have walked through the storms of life and have persevered through their trials. With God, our trials can turn into triumphs.

So we have some choices to make as we walk through the storms of life. Will we learn and grow from these storms and allow God to turn them into life changing victories? Or will we choose to walk through these storms alone and miss the beautiful lessons that could help us grow and experience greater purpose in life?

Let me be real here. Walking through a storm or trial is not easy. I do not want you to put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine. Please be honest when you are hurting. It’s not about pretending you don’t suffer, struggle with doubts or fail to see how God could produce anything good out of this storm. It’s a matter of choosing to find that beautiful joy and peace in the midst of the storm. It’s a time to lean into the promises of God. To find comfort in his loving embrace. Remember, God promises to never leave or forsake us. Even during the biggest storms. ~OC

Adversity

Today’s a new day! We will all face adversity in our lives. I pray as we face the challenges of life, we take the opportunity to set an example of the love, peace and grace of God. When those around us see us facing the storms of life with unwavering love and patience, they see a true example of a Christian walking out their faith. ~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

Walk In Freedom

Today’s a new day! Let praises arise from the depths of the storms you are facing. Allow the praises to burst through the brokenness and disappointments that are trying to consume your life. The hope and promises of God will totally free you from the strongholds that are giving you a worldly view of your current situation. Allow God to free you from those shackles. Walk in freedom! ~OC

Keep Dancing

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

Storms, Trials and Sorrows

Today’s a new day! I love that Jesus doesn’t simply say we will have storms, trials and sorrows and then leaves it to us to try and figure out. No, he promises peace and reminds us that he has overcome the world. Which means our hardships are not without purpose.

This is why the Apostle Paul who experienced much pain and difficulty during his life can boldly declare these beautiful words in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

The Boat

Today’s a new day! At one point during my beautiful life, my friendship list looked like a big cruise ship. Many people laughing and having fun. Life was great. Then I got sick and the boat began to get smaller. Of course that was rough to endure, but God gave me peace.

Then I experienced a beautiful miracle and all of the sudden the boat started getting bigger, but most of the relationships were not real. They were based on what God had done in my life. People cared more about the miracle than they did about me. Once again tough to endure, but God guided me through this storm. He even told me on a walk one early August morning, that my inner circle would get smaller. There would be fewer people on the boat. This did not scare me, it actually gave me peace.

Then I had a stroke a few weeks ago and more friends jumped off the boat. This time I was prepared for it. Less phone calls checking in or returning my calls or text. God had clearly prepared me for this time. That doesn’t mean there was not some pain and disappointment.

But as I continue to walk through this new crazy beautiful health journey, I cling to the friends who have decided to stay in the boat with me. The ones who actually reach out to me without any prompting and reassure me they are not leaving the boat regardless of how big the waves get. We will endure together. How blessed to have people in the boat who reassure me they are not abandoning me. Who tell me they don’t care how small the boat gets. No matter how rough the waves become. “Todd, I am not leaving the boat.” How encouraging those words are as Laura and I move through this new storm.

As I wrote the words above, I realized I have never needed rescuing from the boat. God has always been and always will be in the boat with me. He has never thought about abandoning me. I am thankful for those God chooses stay in the boat with me. But my hope and peace comes from God who created the boat and me. The One who can calm the raging seas with just a whisper.

If you are dealing with a storm in your life, look around and see who’s in your boat. When you find them cherish them. During the storms of life, learn to sit in the boat with others. Embrace those in the boat. Encourage those in the boat. Empower those in the boat. ~OC

Conversation With God

Hello. As I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, God has been sharing and teaching me a lot. I thought I would share some of the lessons and conversations with God.

*I will not experience healing on this side of heaven. Yes, God clearly shared that with me during one of our morning conversations. I am at such peace. There is no fear, worry or anger. Just the sweet peace of God flowing through my life. Do you have that kind of peace?

*Healing comes in many different forms. We get caught up in the miracles we can see with our eyes. Those are beautiful! But God is performing miracles daily that we cannot see with our eyes. Those healings and miracles are just as real as the ones we can see.

*Keep sharing the story God has given me. The thorn in my side is health issues. Still God is using my health issues to minister to a broken world. A broken world that needs the beautiful light of God. A world that needs encouragement.

*Be bold in sharing the true gospel. A lot of false theology being pushed in the Christian community.

*I did nothing to lose my miracle from 2019. My current health battle is not from sin in my life or an evil spirit living in me. That healing from 2019 was real and from God.

*God shared he owes us nothing. Everything He does in our lives is a beautiful gift. A gift of love, forgiveness and grace.

*God will not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will always walk with us through the journey. We have to learn to be okay with His plans for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Also every trial will produce lessons. We learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

*Then Jesus asked me a question. I did not hear the audible voice of Jesus. He asked me “Who has suffered more than me?” Jesus shared he suffered most of his life. Suffering is part of the journey. But as Christians we never want to walk that journey. But by choosing not to embrace the journey of suffering, we are missing out on some incredible lessons Jesus has for us and others.

I pray these words bring you comfort today. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

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
I 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 of 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 fills 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

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