Men and Friendships

Today’s a new day! Hello men. This post is for us. I want to get real about friendships. Based on my own experience and talking with other men, we are mostly failing in the area of friendship. Most men I have talked to share they have many surface friendships, but lack deep meaningful friendships. Can any other men relate?

I personally want to have intentional friendships that have meaning and depth. It appears so many men are happy with surface friendships. They fear deep intimate friendships. The casual version of friendship is sadly repeated over and over again and not just with guys outside the church. Men in the church are not doing much better. From my own observation, most men lack true friendships and happily settle for less. We use phrases like he’s my buddy or bro. These are not bad relationships, but just other men who do not understand the importance of having intentional friendships.

I could go into deep reasons why so many men lack deep friendships with other men, but so many of them are just excuses. Most of the time it comes down to laziness. Men like to use the excuse of being too busy. But that doesn’t fly. Go check with your wife or girlfriend. Their schedules are just as busy if not busier than yours, but they still find time for deep and meaningful friendships. As men we settle for less because we do not want to put in the time and effort.

Where are your friends that you can lean on and that can lean on you? Can you pray with them? Can you talk about real life with them? Your failures and successes. Over the years, I have observed too many men are scared to share their wounds, emotions, or real life issues with other men. The best example of a man we have is Jesus. He cried, he got angry, he had a tender heart. He chose to invest in real relationships with 12 other men. He dared to hold those men accountable. To walk through life together. The good and bad. To serve together. Do you have those type of men in your life? We all need men we can challenge and men who will challenge us to be better men. We need to be intentional in our friendships with other men.

So I want to encourage you and myself to do the following:

*Chose to take a risk and open up to some of the men in your life. See what happens. Jesus was not afraid to be vulnerable.

*Chose to be a better friend. Start to be intentional and sacrificial for other men. Asked the tough questions. Listen without interrupting or trying to fix the problem. Share your hopes, failures and dreams. Pray together.

*Chose to pray that God places Godly men into your life, then be on the lookout for them.

Notice how Jesus chose to be open and honest with the disciples. He chose to serve them and together serve others. Jesus chose to be intentional with these 12 men. Are we willing to do that with the men in our lives? It might not be easy, but I promise it will be life changing if we choose to put in the time and effort. No more excuses men. ~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

At The Table

Today’s a new day! Let me say this loud and clear. God is not affiliated with any political party. If that statement surprises you, you might need to check your heart. Once again, God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He should never be used as a prop or weapon in political arguments. Sadly, God is often dragged into the political arena. His primary concern is not who’s in the White House or any political position. Obviously, Jesus cares for the needs of America, but he also cares for the needs of every country. Whether they love Him or not. It breaks God’s heart, when his people worship a political party or political figure. That seems to be a major issue among so many Christians today. If you call yourself a Christian, God should be the King of your life. Period!

Please hear me, I am not saying you cannot support your candidate, political party or country. That is your right. Please go vote. But your allegiance cannot be to a political candidate, flag or country. As a Christian, your allegiance should be to God. There will be moments in our lives where what seems to be in the best interest of America, or your political party will go against what God says is true. In those pivotal moments, you will have to choose who’s first in your life. Who reigns over your life?

This is not me pointing my finger at anyone or casting judgement. These are the types of questions we need to asking ourselves. These are the type of discussions we need to be having with each other. Even if we have disagreements. This is an invitation for all of us to sit down at the table. ~OC

Friends

Today’s a new day! During this journey called life, I want to be a friend and have friends who challenge others to love and serve the least of these. Friends that challenge us to think outside of the box. Dear friends who challenge us to speak out against injustice. Friends who refuse to let us just breeze through life. True friendships that challenge us to grow deeper in our walk with God. I desire to be this kind of friend and to be surrounded by these type of friends. ~OC

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

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