The Miracle Car

Today I experienced another blessing. First, let me share the backstory.

About 8-9 years ago, I had to give up driving. My health was in major decline and physically I could not safely drive anymore. So Laura and I gave my truck to one of my nieces. No since in having a perfectly good truck sitting around. During this time, family/friends would usually take me where I needed to go. Then Uber and Lyft were born and that became another option. Then “The Miracle” happened.

On November 3, 2019, I received a beautiful healing from Jesus. Part of that miracle was the ability to drive again. Since December 2019, I have borrowed my wife’s vehicle when I needed to get somewhere. It has worked out for the most part. When I started driving again last December, I felt God telling me he was going to provide me with a vehicle. He instructed me to not even look for a vehicle. Well today, four months after experiencing my miracle, a unknown family decided to bless me with the below vehicle. It is a 2027 BMW. I am blown away. I just wanted a cheap little vehicle to get me around town, but God definitely had different plans. I am totally overwhelmed by His goodness. I will use this vehicle to do ministry work wherever God sends me. I am blessed!!! ~OC

My Prayers and Thoughts

Good morning! So as I sit in this hospital room, here are some of my prayers and thoughts.

I pray my beautiful bride is resting and wakes up feeling great.

I pray that some dear family and friends who are sick, will experience complete healing.

I pray for all the Caregivers taking care of a loved one.

I pray The Holy Spirit will take over South Florida. Revival come!

I pray I will be the best husband, friend and disciple of Jesus that I can be through Him.

I pray for everyone in the military and all First Responders. And their families.

I pray for peace.

I pray for all the leaders. I pray their hearts and minds would be changed by God.

I pray for the victims of human trafficking. I pray they will be rescued and their lives will be completely restored. I pray for all the organizations fighting this horrible crime. I pray their needs will be met. Most importantly, I pray their hearts and motives are pure.

I pray for all churches, pastors, missionaries and ministries. May they truly be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I pray God will allow me to do more for everyone I come in contact with during the day.

I pray for all the patients, nurses, doctors and staff at Good Sam. Give each the strength they need today.

I pray for our schools, students, teachers, staff and administrators. I pray God would bless and protect each.

I pray I will not get in the way of what God wants to do in my life.

Here are some of the thoughts going through my crazy beautiful mind this morning:

What races will I run in 2020, if God allows me to run again? It has been almost 11 years since I last ran.

If God blesses me with the ability to run again, that means I could return to the workforce. Where would I work? Who would hire a 50 something guy who has not worked in almost 11 years, but has an incredible crazy beautiful story? Would I go on the speaking circuit? Would I look at working at a church or ministry of some kind? Would I work at a school or university? Would I be a Greeter at Walmart?

Yes, those are some of the crazy thoughts that go through my mind a lot of morning’s. I just want to be ready for whatever God has prepared for me. Even if that means never running another race or never being able to return to work, I will be obedient and thankful.

Have a wonderful and blessed day. ~OC

National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. I truly believe caregivers should be celebrated everyday.

For the last 17.5 years, my beautiful bride has been my caregiver. She has made a lot of sacrifices during that time. Besides being my caregiver, she has been my health advocate, chauffeur and cheerleader. I definitely could add more titles to the list. Laura has taken on each of these roles without complaining. This crazy beautiful journey has been tough on her, but she has handled it like the champion she is. I never take her love, support and sacrifice for granted. I do my best to celebrate her whenever I can. I also try my best to make sure she takes care of herself.

Too many caregivers are forgotten during the health journey of a loved one. Everyone is quick to asked about the patient, but we can never forget about the caregivers. They are the real heroes. Caregivers continuously make sacrifices that nobody notices. They sometimes put their life on hold to take care of a loved one. Most do it without complaining. So many caregivers walk this journey alone. Most would never asked for help. So many caregivers get lost in the journey.

That is why I wanted my bride to share her part of the story in our book The Blessed Overcomer. I wanted caregivers to know they mattered. That they are not forgotten. Laura’s story needed to be told.

I pray if you know a caregiver, you will not forget about them. I believe their job is much harder than the patients. There is no playbook on how to be a caregiver. Here are a few things we can do to help out a caregiver:

Check on them. Reach out to a caregiver and see how they are doing. Let them know they matter.

Give them a break. Asked if you can sit with the patient. This is huge! Most caregivers will not asked for a break, but it is so important for their wellbeing to have those breaks.

Volunteer to drive the patient to appointments. Based on my health issues, I am no longer able to drive. Friends from our church have taken it upon themselves to create a ride schedule to take me to my many medical appointments. This has been a huge blessing for Laura and I.

These are just a few helpful things you can do to help out a caregiver. They may seem small, but can be life changing. So if you know a caregiver, take the time to see how you can help them navigate their crazy beautiful journey. ~OC

Through A Lens Of Honor

We live in a beautifully diverse world. I love it. How we look at those beautiful differences makes a huge difference.

When we look at diversity with an attitude of fear, our differences appear as threats and something to be sacred of. In contrast, when we look at each others differences through a lens of honor, we can see the beauty, the creativity, and the strength in the people around us. When we treat people with honor, we celebrate their differences. We defend them. We embrace them. We make room for them at the table.

So today, I challenge all of us to look at others through a lens of honor. Let us celebrate the beautiful diversity that God created. ~OC

Life Is Short

Life is short. Time isn’t promised. Love hard. Live well. Pray often. Hold the people that matter close. Hug your family and friends. Tell your family and friends you love them. Call a friend. Get together and celebrate family and friends. Love your enemies.. ~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.

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