Today’s a new day! The new book is out. Thanks for all the love and support. This book is 20 years in the making. The majority of the book was written from my hospital room on 4South at Good Samaritan Medical Center. A fun fact. I have written both of my books on my Apple iPhone. I continue to live a blessed life. ~OC
Today’s a new day! As we walk through the storms of life, hope is something we must continue to hold onto. Hope is not based on our circumstances. It is a firm conviction, a way of living out this journey called life. Hope sustains us through difficult times. We know God is always walking beside us, regardless of what our current circumstances might lead us to believe. We trust suffering is temporary and that God will use our storms for good. Even during our biggest storms in life, we boldly proclaim that God is in control. He never leaves the boat.
Many times in the last 21 years, I’ve found encouragement in reading in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, where Paul talks about the thorn in his side. God responded by saying these powerful words, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Those words give me hope. Those words give me strength. Those words guide me to encourage others as they walk through their own crazy beautiful journey.
I do not know what my future holds health wise, but I do know who holds my future in His strong nail scarred hands. I will continue to believe God’s love and grace is sufficient. It’s enough for me. I pray it’s enough for you. ~OC
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
Lessons In The Storm
Today’s a new day! We all deal with struggles in life. Whether your dealing with a serious health issue or just having a tough week, leaning into our faith can help us overcome any challenge that the world throws at us.
As I reflect on my own journey, I wanted to share a few ways I have dealt with the challenges of life.
1). Hold onto your Faith. As you are walking through the challenges of life, do not separate the challenge from your faith. Our faith is what will help guide us as we face the trials of life. Our faith is at the heart of who we are. Embrace the gift of faith as you walk through the storms of life.
I have chosen to incorporate prayer and worship music into my day. This gives me peace and comfort. I pray that God helps me overcome the storm I am facing. My hope is to better understand the love of God and what he desires for me. Do not allow your current circumstances to keep you from praising God.
2). Hold onto the peace of God. Never allow a person or situation steal your joy. That joy is a beautiful gift from God. What if you do not have that peace in your life? I encourage you to pray and ask God to fill your heart with his incredible peace. The peace of God is life changing.
3). Lay your burdens down before God. This is easier said than done. Most people tend to hold onto their burdens. We think we can deal with the problem ourselves. Let me assure you that is not true. During my own journey, I have learned to lay my struggles and burdens at the feet of God. I rely on his wisdom, strength and love that gives me the hope to overcome every obstacle that comes my way.
4). Find your circle. What do I mean by find your circle? I am talking about finding the people who will walk with you through those storms in your life. I encourage you to be careful who you allow in your circle. Not all of your loved ones or friends are designed to be in your circle. And that’s okay. I encourage you to pray and ask God who he wants in your circle. Finding your circle is one of the biggest decisions you will make, as you deal with the challenges of life. Do not rush the process.
5). Find your purpose. As you walk through the storms of life, I encourage you to find your purpose. When you find your purpose, you will find your peace. That does not mean your current circumstances will automatically change, but finding your purpose will change your attitude. Finding your purpose during the storm will allow you to be a blessing to someone else.
Remember that God is bigger than any storm we will face in life. I encourage everyone to lean into that beautiful truth. ~OC
Keep Moving Forward
Today’s a new day! God has wonderful plan for each of our lives. Unfortunately, we sometimes allow fear to hold us back from our God given purpose in life. God wants us to confidently walk forward and trust him.
As we walk out God’s purpose for our lives, we have an enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy that plan. As we are walking out God’s plan, the enemy will try to creep inside and put doubt and fear in our hearts. The enemy wants to stop us in our tracks. To stop our momentum.
The enemy loves to use doubt and fear, to prevent us from pursuing our dreams and purpose in live. He wants us to be paralyzed by our current situation. All it takes is us focusing on the negatives instead of keeping our focus on God’s plan.
It’s too hard. What if I fail? Could this possibly be God’s plan for my life? I can’t do this. Sound familiar?
During our journey, we will all face these moments. Times we have to push through all the questions, doubts and challenges. To move forward in spite of our fears. If we wait for that gnawing fear to disappear, we will allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by the moment. We will stop moving forward. During those fear induced moments, we must keep moving forward. Do not let the enemy get the victory.
During the uncertain seasons of life, we need to trust God. Sometimes that happens one step at a time. God can use the trials of life to help us overcome our fears and experience victory and freedom through him. No backing down. No retreat. Keep moving forward. ~OC
Today’s a new day! God has promised to look after me…. to bring help. God, who defends me, who is far greater in strength than my health issues or anything life throws at me. God, who spoke and whose words caused the universe to be. His word is true, unfailing. If He promises something, He will deliver. ~OC
Hello friends. I have always tried to be open and honest about my health journey. I have never wanted or allowed my health to define who I am. I am a child of God’s. Wonderfully created in His image. A lot of people have reached out to me since my stroke to see what was going on with my health overall. So after praying about it, I have decided to share my medical rap sheet (HaHa). Once again, none of these conditions define who I am. I share this to encourage anyone walking through a storm to stay positive and use their story to encourage others. Please do me a favor. Do not fill my comment section with home remedies or ways to fight these conditions. I have a great medical team taking care of me. Thanks. Here we go….
- I am only the 28th person in the world to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Myasthenia Gravis at the same time. Yeah me!
*Covid Long Haulers.
*Still recovering from a stroke.
*Based on being so many medications over the years, the doctor shared my pancreas is fried. So I have been diagnosed with Diabetes. Currently taking insulin.
As you can see, I am in a real fight. But I am not walking this journey alone. God is walking right by my side. Holding me up when I cannot stand myself. I am blessed with a beautiful bride Laura West Shoemaker, who is an incredible caregiver. I have a wonderful circle of friends standing in the gap. I am blessed with a great medical team. I am thankful I have great insurance. I will continue to fight and share the story God has given me. I am far from giving up. I am excited about the wonderful plans God has for me. Living a blessed life. ~OC
World Stoke Day
Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC
*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.
*Still having memory issues.
*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.
*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.
*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.
*Still very fatigued.
*Still takes me forever to text.
*What I can do:
*I am still breathing.
*I am still walking.
*I am still laughing.
*I am still trying to make a positive difference.
*I am still trying to encourage others.
- I am still making memories.
*I am still moving forward.
*I am still standing.
*I am still living.
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 Good Friend
Having good friends who love and support you makes life more happy. Making memories with friends is amazing. Having friends who stick with you during your biggest storms is priceless. So my question for everyone is “What makes a good friend?”
- A good friend is with you during the good times and bad times. If you are walking through a storm keep an eye on those that walk with you and those that bail.
- A good friend will never judge you. They may speak truth in your life, but it will be done with no judgment.
- A good friend will never deliberately hurt you.
- A good friend will always show respect and kindness.
- A good friend is someone who will support your wildest dreams.
- A good friend will never gossip about you.
- A good friend will always be honest with you. Even when the truth hurts.
- A true friend will cry and laugh with you.
- A good friend will pick up the phone just to check on you.
- A good friend will always listen.
This is just a short list qualities to look for in a friend. I encourage you to spend some time making your own list. ~OC