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

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

19th Mile Moments

Today’s a new day! During my marathon running days, mile 19 was when I hit the wall. When I just felt like giving up. Thankfully, God always gave me extra strength to push through and finish the race. So as I have walked this 20+ health journey, I often refer to the tough moments as my 19th mile.

During this crazy beautiful health journey, God continually reminds me that His love and grace are sufficient. Throughout my health journey, God has taught me several important 19 mile lessons. I have learned to trust in God’s plan for my life despite how I feel on any particular day. To turn to Him for strength, peace and wisdom during my darkest moments. God has also taught me to humble myself and ask for help when needed (not always easy for me) and most importantly, that all my hope is in Jesus alone.

I long for the day to see Jesus face to face, to receive my glorified body, and walk the streets of Heaven without pain or disease. Totally healed! Until then, I will walk by faith and keep leaning into the beautiful promises of God.

I pray this post brings you some encouragement as you walk your own crazy beautiful journey. Keep running the race and never let mile 19 break you. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~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

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

I Choose

Today’s a new day! Life is not for the faint of heart. To live, really live, requires courage. It takes courage to face the storms of life and overcome its challenges. We set goals and work to achieve them, some days we make progress and other days seem to stand still. We have to make the choice to keep moving forward.

Facing multiple incurable diseases is not for the faint of heart. But I keep making the choice to live my best life. I will never let the long list of incurable illnesses define me. I am a child of God’s. Made in His image. I will continue to make the choice to live with hope. I will keep making the choice to encourage others. I look forward to living this crazy beautiful journey with each of you, as we courageously live each and every day. Blessings. ~OC

Shine God Shine

Hello. God put this on my heart. Hopefully it encourages someone today. ~OC

Shine God Shine:

Dear God, as we walk through this journey, let your light shine through us. Destroy all the darkness and negativity around us. Dear God, let the warmth of your light, the brightness of your love, the sweetness of your joy, the beauty of your hope shine through us.
Dear God, let your light be our guide through the storms. Let your light brighten our path. Continue to let your light shine through us. Shine God Shine!

Rap Sheet

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑