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!

Storms, Trials and Sorrows

Today’s a new day! I love that Jesus doesn’t simply say we will have storms, trials and sorrows and then leaves it to us to try and figure out. No, he promises peace and reminds us that he has overcome the world. Which means our hardships are not without purpose.

This is why the Apostle Paul who experienced much pain and difficulty during his life can boldly declare these beautiful words in Romans 8:28:

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

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

Radical Obedience

Today’s a new day! Radical obedience to Jesus does not seek to conform to the standards set by the world. No, radical obedience to Jesus is completely laying everything at his feet. Radical obedience is pursuing Jesus at all cost. Radical obedience is saying yes to Jesus when he says “Sell it all and go serve me.” Are you walking in radical obedience to Jesus?

I pray every Christian will pray this prayer each morning:

Dear Jesus, fill me with your radical faith that does not waver in hard times.

World Stoke Day

Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC

*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.

*Still having memory issues.

*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.

*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.

*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.

*Still very fatigued.

*Still takes me forever to text.

*What I can do:

*I am still breathing.

*I am still walking.

*I am still laughing.

*I am still trying to make a positive difference.

*I am still trying to encourage others.

  • I am still making memories.

*I am still moving forward.

*I am still standing.

*I am still living.

The Boat

Today’s a new day! At one point during my beautiful life, my friendship list looked like a big cruise ship. Many people laughing and having fun. Life was great. Then I got sick and the boat began to get smaller. Of course that was rough to endure, but God gave me peace.

Then I experienced a beautiful miracle and all of the sudden the boat started getting bigger, but most of the relationships were not real. They were based on what God had done in my life. People cared more about the miracle than they did about me. Once again tough to endure, but God guided me through this storm. He even told me on a walk one early August morning, that my inner circle would get smaller. There would be fewer people on the boat. This did not scare me, it actually gave me peace.

Then I had a stroke a few weeks ago and more friends jumped off the boat. This time I was prepared for it. Less phone calls checking in or returning my calls or text. God had clearly prepared me for this time. That doesn’t mean there was not some pain and disappointment.

But as I continue to walk through this new crazy beautiful health journey, I cling to the friends who have decided to stay in the boat with me. The ones who actually reach out to me without any prompting and reassure me they are not leaving the boat regardless of how big the waves get. We will endure together. How blessed to have people in the boat who reassure me they are not abandoning me. Who tell me they don’t care how small the boat gets. No matter how rough the waves become. “Todd, I am not leaving the boat.” How encouraging those words are as Laura and I move through this new storm.

As I wrote the words above, I realized I have never needed rescuing from the boat. God has always been and always will be in the boat with me. He has never thought about abandoning me. I am thankful for those God chooses stay in the boat with me. But my hope and peace comes from God who created the boat and me. The One who can calm the raging seas with just a whisper.

If you are dealing with a storm in your life, look around and see who’s in your boat. When you find them cherish them. During the storms of life, learn to sit in the boat with others. Embrace those in the boat. Encourage those in the boat. Empower those in the boat. ~OC

Character and Integrity

Today’s a new day! Christians should be the last people on earth posting fake stories on social media or anywhere else. Even unintentionally. As believers, we need to spend the extra time fact-checking before we post something on social media or share a story. Character and integrity should mean something.

This is not a game. When the integrity of God’s people is undermined the truth of the gospel gets called into question. That can come with devastating consequences. And not just for Christians. The eternity of many are at stake. Speaking and posting the truth should always be a higher priority than pushing our agenda or getting likes. ~OC

Gratitude

Today’s a new day! It saddens me that America has become overrun with so much entitlement. We currently live in a country were we believe we deserve more, more and more. We are disappointed with everything that interferes with this poisonous belief. Some people are upset with their families, neighbors, churches and even the waitress at the local restaurant when they interfere with that person getting more. When the dust settles, some are even disappointed with God. How dare He not give us everything we want.

What craziness. If only we could see our situation clearly. Even for one moment. We deserved death. God gave us life. We deserved judgement. God gave us grace. We should be filled overwhelming gratitude. Nothing less. Because God owes us nothing. Just the opposite. We owe God everything. When we realize we deserve nothing, it puts a tough day in perspective, doesn’t it? ~OC

Halloween

Halloween:

As I scroll through social media, I see a lot of post about Halloween. Some people love this holiday and some do not based on their faith. So as a Christian, I wanted to share my thoughts on this subject. I believe how people of faith react to Halloween is important.

Please do not judge another person on how they decide to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween. Whatever your beliefs about Halloween, live them out for God’s glory. Yes, Christians may differ in our beliefs about this holiday. Maybe some Christian friends chooses not to do anything at all and their family turns out all the lights and refuses to even say the word Halloween. That is their choice. We do know what life experience might have led them to this point of view. Maybe another friend decorates their entire house and embraces this time of year. Once again, we do not know what experience might have led them to this point of view. I personally do not have a problem with either decision. I also do not have a problem with churches having nothing to do with Halloween or other churches having alternative events at their church. Once again their decision.

I encourage all Christians to show love and grace regardless of your point of view. Let our brothers and sisters freely live out their convictions and keep your own convictions between you, God and your family.

Is there a right or wrong answer about how a person celebrates Halloween? I think the only way to know is to seek the Lord on your own about it. He will show you the way for you and your family. ~OC

Your Inner Circle

Today’s a new day! We are influenced by the people we spend time with. We also influence those we hang around regularly. Scripture tells us to guard our hearts. Be careful who you bring into your inner circle. Each person will have an impact on who you are, how you live and what you believe. ~OC

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