Take the Pledge

As I reflect on the unrest in America, I think about the powerful pledge from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate MLK weekend, I wanted to share his pledge of non-violence. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pledge of non-violence:

I hereby pledge myself- my person and body-to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

1). Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2). Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.

3). Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4). Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

5). Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

6). Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7). Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8). Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

9). Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10). Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.

As I read the above commitments, I think about all the heroes that lived out those powerful commitments in 1963. America was dealing with major unrest, as Dr. King and so many heroes marched peacefully for civil rights. Yes, peacefully. So the question is, will you take the pledge? I have personally committed to living out these commitments. Will you? ~OC

God’s Tears

As I continue to pray for America, I imagine God bowing his head in sadness. His tears flowing as so many people who call themselves Christians, act with such hatred and meanness. They seem to have forgotten the beautiful scriptures about loving their neighbors. All Neighbors! The Liberal Neighbor. The Conservative Neighbor. The Homeless Neighbor. The Addicted Neighbor. The LGBTQ Neighbor. The Incarcerated Neighbor. The Immigrant Neighbor. The Depressed Neighbor. The Disabled Neighbor. The Atheist Neighbor. The Black Neighbor. The White Neighbor. The Hispanic Neighbor. The Asian Neighbor. The Middle-Eastern Neighbor. The Native-American Neighbor. The Neighbor of a Different Faith. The..,,, Neighbor.

Think about the sadness God feels looking down on America and seeing all the hatred and division. His heart breaks. Does your heart break? Mine does. So, I will continue to share love. Speak out against hate and violence. I will continue to pray. ~OC

Love Over Differences

The last few weeks, several Christian friends shared it was hard for them to pray for people they do not like. That could be a politician, athlete, entertainment or someone in the media. As I heard this several times, God gave me the following thought.

When Jesus met Judas Iscariot, he knew Judas would betray him. Did you catch that? Jesus knew this man who he called a friend, would betray him for thirty pieces of silver. Yet, Jesus still loved Judas. He even washed Judas feet at the last supper. That’s right! Jesus humbled himself and washed the feet of the man who would betray him. Jesus payed for Judas. Jesus loved Judas.

So will you choose to love and pray for that person who just rubs you the wrong way? Will you love and pray for that person who looks differently than you? Will you love and pray for that person who has a different opinion than you? Will you love and pray for that person who belongs to a different political party than you? Will you love and pray for that person who worships differently than you? I pray we will always choose love over our differences. ~OC

Lean In…And Get Uncomfortable

As I scroll through social media and watch the news, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the African American community. I see my brothers and sisters hurting. It breaks my heart. At times it can seem overwhelming. I asked myself, how in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something. So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do everything I can to help end racism in America. I will continue to lean in..,and get uncomfortable.

I will continue have real conversations about racism in America, with people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight the sin of racism. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen to my brothers and sisters of color, as they share their experiences. I will lean in..,and get uncomfortable. I will continue to take the time to see the pain of my brothers and sisters of color. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow my brothers and sisters to walk through this unjust world alone. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I will continue to have uncomfortable conversations with my white brothers and sisters who believe racism is not a major problem in America today (That is a whole other blog). I will proudly stand up and say #Black Lives Matter. I will continue to challenge my white brothers and sisters to step out of their comfort zones, and sit down with people of color and truly listen to their life experiences. I will encourage them to study African American history and visit African American museums. I will continue to confront racism when I see it. I will continue to speak out against injustices even when it’s not popular. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I encourage you to join me. ~OC

Celebrate Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Take time today to learn more about this holiday and its history. Take time today to learn more about African-American History and Culture. Take time today to have conversations about our history (the good, the bad, the ugly) with our African-American brothers and sisters. But, do not make this just a one day celebration or conversation. Let’s use today as a launch to have more conversations about the beautiful history of African-Americans and the ongoing issue of racism in America. -OC #Juneteenth

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