Aren’t You A Christian?

I thought you were a Christian, so…

How do you vote that way?

How come you hang out with those type of people?

How do you know rap lyrics? (Mostly 80’s rap).

How do you listen to non-Christian music?

What makes you struggle and questions today’s Church?

I thought you were a Christian, so…

How can you watch certain shows and movies?

How can you support those movements?

How do you not support certain political candidates or party?

Are you sure your a Christian?

OMG, YES.

I am a whole and imperfect Christian.

Has the church and its people forgotten what that means?

It means I need Jesus in every way possible, because I am a sinner.

It does not mean I have all the answers to life. It does not mean I have life figured out. It does not mean I suddenly like every Christian song or movie ever made.

It means one thing and one thing only:

I am a Christian because I love Jesus.

The truth is, I stray outside of the lines of American Christianity. I do not fit in a neat little perfectly wrapped box. I sometimes can be like that crazy relative we all have.

But that’s exactly what drove me to Jesus in the first place. His grace shines most in my shortcomings.

So if you see me trip up and get a little dirty, don’t assume that I have lost my way.

I am running toward Jesus, but it’s a long, long marathon. I am a Christian who desperately needs Christ.

So how do I respond when people question my faith? When they expect perfection from a deeply flawed individual?

Well, I keep loving Jesus, keep loving others, and keep leaning hard into Grace.

Because I know without a doubt I need Grace every day.

I love Jesus…but I refuse to live in that perfect little box. ~OC


Growth In The Valley

Today’s a new day! Dear Brothers and Sisters, do not be afraid to embrace the lessons learned from your in the valley moments. That is where real life changing growth happens. If we choose to only live for those mountaintop experiences, we will miss out on the incredible lessons God has for us down in the valley. Growth>Comfort. ~OC

Make Life About Living

As I walked through my crazy beautiful health journey, I was blessed to learn many amazing lessons. Here are just a few of those lessons:

*Try Something New: Go skydiving, snorkeling, do a road trip with friends, or feed the hungry. It doesn’t matter what you do, just take a step outside of your comfort zone.

*Time With Family and Friends: I know during this pandemic that can be difficult. Maybe you cannot meet in person, but you can utilize Zoom or FaceTime. During that time put away all distractions. You might find out how amazing your family and friends really are.

*Capture Memories: I know everyone wants to document their adventures with pictures and videos, but don’t forget to truly experience the moment.

*Say No: Stop adding things to your plate. If you continuously say yes, you are going to miss out on life. Plus burn yourself out.

*Take Time For Yourself: It might only be for a few minutes, but do it. Spend time in prayer. Go for a walk. Read a book. Do something just for you.

*Encourage Someone: Everyone needs some uplifting words. It takes just a minute, but can change a life.

*Call or Text: Take time to call or text a loved one. This simple act could make their day.

*Say I Love You: Don’t miss the chance to tell your loved ones how you feel about them. Life is too short. ~OC

Hope

A person can live 40 days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air, but only one second without Hope.

We all need hope. It’s what keeps us going when we walk through the storms of life. Hope is the encouragement of life. Hope is what gives us the belief that everything will work out. Hope is what gets us through when things did not work out the way we had hoped. Hope is what helps us take that next breath or next step. Sometimes when we fill drained and beaten up, the only thing that gets us through is hope.

Today I encourage you to spread Hope. Call a relative or friend today. Share a kind word with someone today. Send someone an encouraging text message today. What might take you seconds to type, could change the course of that person’s day. Step out of your comfort zone today and be a Hope Dealer. ~OC

Keep Moving

Today’s a new day! Keep moving forward. You have been standing where you are, long enough. The time has come for you to move forward. Don’t look back. Take God’s hand and run with Him into the abundance of his amazing promises. ~OC

Living Wholeheartedly

What is keeping us from living the complete life? I know that is a big question, with many potential answers. But God designed each of us to live a complete whole life.

Here are a few things, I believe can help us live out the life God created for each of us.

A New Chapter. Too many of us are living in the past. We continue to relive past disappointments. Past failures. Or sometimes we live in past successes. We all know someone, who is eager to tell us about winning the 5th grade all county championship thirty years ago. Don’t get me wrong, we should celebrate past successes. We should learn from past mistakes. But we cannot live in the past. The great thing is, we have the opportunity to start a new chapter each morning. So close the chapter on your past and start writing a new one.

Worthy. Has anyone told you lately you are worthy? That you are important. No matter your past, God finds you worthy. He sent his Son down from heaven to die for us. I think that proves how worthy we are in God’s eyes.

Comfort Zone. I believe to live the whole life that God created for us, we have to step out of our comfort zones. We have to be willing to take some chances in life. God designed us to be creative. To be adventurous. We cannot truly experience life, if we stay in our nice comfortable zones.

Labels. Stop wearing the labels the world puts on us. How many people continue to wear the labels put on them as a child? Not smart enough. Too short. Too weird. Too heavy. Too tall. Your from the wrong side of the tracks. So many people continue to wear these labels into adulthood. Today, I encourage you to take those labels off. Trash them. You are more than a label. You were created by a loving God to live an incredible life. To Dream. To Succeed. To Thrive.

Courage. It will take courage to start feeling Worthy. It will take courage to step out of your Comfort Zone. It will take courage to take off the Labels you have been wearing for years. But I promise you it will be worth it.

Today, I encourage each of us to think about these four points. To start living the incredible life, God has created us to live. Will you make a commitment to living wholeheartedly? ~OC

Power of Prayer

As I continue to walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, I depend more and more on prayer. Before I got sick years ago, sometimes when I felt God calling me to pray I would ignore that calling. I was too busy with life. I can always pray later I thought. I cringe as I write these words. How many amazing beautiful interruptions did I miss because I was too busy to pray?

Today, my life is full of prayer. Even as I write this blog, God is bringing people to mind that I need to pray for. So, I stop writing and pray for those individuals. I don’t write this to brag. No, I write this to remind myself of the importance of prayer. My life literally depends on the prayers of many. I want to encourage everyone to live in a spirit of prayer. A spirit of prayer? What does that even mean OC? I am glad you asked.

For me, living in a spirit of prayer means I am always open to hearing from God and following through with what He asked of me. That means praying for that friend when God brings them to mind. Not waiting until it fits my schedule. That means not telling someone I will be praying for them, but actually taking the time to pray for them that very moment. Living in a spirit of prayer means stepping out of my comfort zone. Being Present. Being Obedient. I am far from being a biblical scholar, but that is my personal definition of living in a spirit of prayer. Remember, I am just a simple man.

During my 17-year crazy beautiful health journey, God has taught me to always be in a spirit of prayer because my prayers carry weight. Not because of my power, but because of His power. You have the same power. Really, you do! Every time we pray we unleash the power of heaven.

Prayer is not a passive act. No, prayer is powerful and active. When I pray, I feel God’s power flowing through my body. Prayer is life changing.

I will leave you with the word P.U.S.H.

P-ray

U-ntil

S-omerhing

H-appens

I pray you will choose to live in a spirit of prayer. I pray you will pray with boldness. I pray you embrace the power of prayer. ~OC

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