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 in response to the negative and hurtful words some have shared with me:

*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 on this side of heaven.

*Who suffered more than Jesus ?

As Christians and people in general, 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

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

Living In Hope

Today’s a new day! I throw off the covers and give praise for another day. Avoid the tv because the news will try and steal my hope. Same bad news they been pushing for a week or two. Listen too long and you might buy that fear and doubt. They might just steal your hope along the way.

No, I will start my day soaking in the Good News. Allow those words to flow through me and give me strength for another day. If you don’t watch out this world will try and steal your hope. Better stay in the Word and strengthen your heart and mind. It’s a cruel world out there looking to kill and destroy.

It’s hard to hear that still small voice, when the world is feeding your head with all that noise. Climb the corporate latter and you’ll finally be satisfied. Break the glass ceiling and you’ll finally be satisfied. Get that house in the gated community and you’ll finally be satisfied. Keep living for the world and pretty soon you’ll be looking for your hope. Never allow the world to steal your hope.

Living in hope means the storm will get better.
Living in hope means I still have purpose.
Living in hope means God’s still writing my story.
Living in hope means I can still be His hands and feet.

Dear God, help me to stand strong and never lose hope. Help me to keep leaning into your promises. Keep my eyes on the prize. I believe your not finished with me yet. Let me keep soaking in your hope. ~OC

Your Choice

Today’s a new day! Like it or not, the storms of life are a part of our journey. The great news is we choose how we deal with those storms.

I realize walking through a life storm is not easy. At the time it feels you are the only one who has ever experienced anything this hard and intense. But let me reassure you that you are not alone. You do not need to walk through this storm by yourself. I argue you to reach out to someone to come along aside you and walk with you during the storm. You will be amazed by how many people are just waiting for you to reach out. Some have walked through the same trials you are facing. Never forget the lessons we can learn from those who have walked through the storms of life and have persevered through their trials. With God, our trials can turn into triumphs.

So we have some choices to make as we walk through the storms of life. Will we learn and grow from these storms and allow God to turn them into life changing victories? Or will we choose to walk through these storms alone and miss the beautiful lessons that could help us grow and experience greater purpose in life?

Let me be real here. Walking through a storm or trial is not easy. I do not want you to put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine. Please be honest when you are hurting. It’s not about pretending you don’t suffer, struggle with doubts or fail to see how God could produce anything good out of this storm. It’s a matter of choosing to find that beautiful joy and peace in the midst of the storm. It’s a time to lean into the promises of God. To find comfort in his loving embrace. Remember, God promises to never leave or forsake us. Even during the biggest storms. ~OC

Adversity

Today’s a new day! We will all face adversity in our lives. I pray as we face the challenges of life, we take the opportunity to set an example of the love, peace and grace of God. When those around us see us facing the storms of life with unwavering love and patience, they see a true example of a Christian walking out their faith. ~OC

Walk In Freedom

Today’s a new day! Let praises arise from the depths of the storms you are facing. Allow the praises to burst through the brokenness and disappointments that are trying to consume your life. The hope and promises of God will totally free you from the strongholds that are giving you a worldly view of your current situation. Allow God to free you from those shackles. Walk in freedom! ~OC

God’s Promises

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

Pray

Today’s a new day! As we start this new year, do not forget about the caregivers, those that are terminally or chronically ill, those that are mourning, those who enter 2023 not knowing what losses it will bring, what sadness will accompany the next 365 days. Pray they will see some beautiful light through the broken glass. Pray they will feel the arms of God wrap around them like a warm blanket. Pray they will be surrounded by loved ones as they walk through their journey. Pray no one will walk alone. Pray even as they walk through the roughest storms, there will be some beautiful moments and memories. Pray they will experience peace. Pray that through the toughest moments they will keep moving forward and never give up. Blessings. ~OC

Keep Dancing

Today’s a new day! I hope you wake up with a dream in your heart and a sense of excitement about a new day. A new adventure. May you never take a day for granted. May you embrace every breath. Take in every moment. May you always fill loved and never take it for granted. May your life be filled with laughter and tears. Both are healing. I pray when given a chance to be a difference maker, you grab hold and run with it. Never be afraid to shake things up a little. I pray you never give up when life gets hard. I pray when given a chance to quit, you make the choice to dance. I pray you never fear those raging waves in the distance. They will eventually calm and be filled with amazing lessons. Keep dancing during the storms of life. Who wants to look back and regret not taking a chance? A chance on love. A chance on friendship. A chance on making amazing memories. A chance on living a crazy beautiful adventure. I pray you keep on dreaming and dancing. Give your dreams more than a fleeting glance. Never lose your sense of wonder and adventure. Keep dancing. ~OC

Be Kind Always

Today’s a new day! I mostly write about life and the lessons God continues to teach me. Some lessons can be tough to walk through. Being open and honest about my crazy, beautiful journey on social media can be challenging. I choose to share some of my toughest moments because I truly believe sharing our stories can help others. Even if it’s just one person. Remember, everyone is going through something in life.

The point is, you never know what storms people are dealing with inside, nor what they’ve had to face in life. As I have been open about health journey the last 20 years, many people have shared their own life experiences with me. I have been uplifted and heartbroken at what some friends and strangers have shared with me in confidence. They have not shared these thoughts and feelings with their own family. You just never know the struggles people are walking through.

That is why we need to show love and grace to everyone we encounter. Everyone is walking though a storm we know nothing about. I encourage everyone, including myself to stop and listen to our loved ones and the stranger at the coffee shop. You might be the one God has chosen to walk with that person through the storm they are facing. Do not miss out on a beautiful interruption. Be kind always. ~OC

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