My Heart Breaks

As I hear about another black man in America being murdered for simply being black, my heart breaks. My heart breaks for the families. My heart breaks for every person of color that fears for their lives when dealing with law enforcement. My heart breaks for every parent that sits home late at night, praying their son or daughter of color makes it home safely. My heart breaks for America.

Racism is still alive and well in America. If you don’t believe that, you are fooling yourself. My brothers and sisters of color are discriminated against every day. That’s just truth. If you doubt that truth, your living in denial. If you doubt that truth, take the time to have a real conversation with a friend that looks different than you. If you don’t have a friend that meets that criteria, you might be part of the problem. Racism is sadly still alive and well in America. That’s just truth.

Christians everywhere need to stand up against racism and social injustice. We can no longer sit around and just pray for the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and George Floyd. Churches can no longer just talk about racism and injustice after the murder of another black man in America. Church leaders need to be having regular conversations about racism and injustice with their congregations on a regular basis. God’s people need to have real and honest conversations about racism and injustice in America. We need to pledge to make a real difference. Until we have these tough conversations, we will continue to be a divided nation and my heart will continue to be broken. ~OC

Challenges For The Day

Today’s a new day!

*Let’s speak works that encourage and inspire.

*Don’t be afraid to show someone grace.

*Extend forgiveness to someone.

*Reach out to a family member or friend.

*Share a smile and some kindness.

*Don’t get involved with gossiping.

*Stop judging others.

*Choose love over hate. ~OC

Relationships

Life is defined by our relationships. Some of our past and current relationships bring a smile to our face. They conjure up great memories. Then there are some relationships that bring pain when they come to mind. Relationships matter.

God is all about relationships. He desires to have a relationship with each of us. God allowed Jesus to come down from heaven to have a relationship with each of us. A way to be forgiven for our past and future sins. A path to truly live a life full of forgiveness. Forgiveness allows us to deal with relationships from our past. Acceptance lets us connect with relationships in our amazing future.

Relationships can be messy, but they can also offer us a beautiful gift. ~OC

Emanuel

I received this dvd in the mail yesterday. It is a powerful story of faith and forgiveness. A must see. ~OC

Which Thief Will You Be?

In Luke 23:39-43 of the Bible, the scriptures discuss two thieves hanging next to Jesus on the day of His crucifixion. They were both guilty of their crimes, but they both took totally different approaches to their encounter with Jesus. Jesus who was innocent of all charges, but was taking on all of our sins.

We read in Luke 23:39, where one of the thieves looks at Jesus and mocks him by saying, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us! This man who was guilty of his crimes, approached Jesus with contempt and doubt. How many times have we done that in our own lives? How many times have we challenged Jesus to prove himself for our benefit? Yet, Jesus never becomes angry. He never retaliates. Jesus just loves. He continues to show patience.

In Luke 23:40, we see the second thief takes a totally different approach to his encounter with Jesus. This thief is just as guilty as the first thief. Yet, he humbled himself before the Lord of Lords. The second thief rebukes the first thief saying, “Don’t you fear God, he said, since you are under the same sentence? We are being punished justly for our crimes. Getting what we deserve. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong.” Then we read in Luke 23:42, the second thief turns to Jesus and says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into you kingdom.” This man could have been like the first thief and mocked Jesus. But he realized who Jesus truly was in that moment. We do not know a lot about this thief, but we know he admitted to his poor choices in life. In that moment this thief knew he needed Jesus. This man probably didn’t have all the scriptures memorized. He probably didn’t know any of the Christianize. He just came to Jesus warts and all. Jesus responds to this thief with the following words in Luke 23:43, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Wow! This verse wrecks me every time I read it.

These two thieves had the same opportunity to come to Jesus. One was more concerned about being saved from his current situation, while the other was more concerned about being with Jesus for eternity. Jesus gives each of us the same opportunities. In Luke 23, Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of the gospel. A true depiction of love and forgiveness.

We are all like the two thieves in Luke 23. We have all sinned. We have all made poor decisions in life. The great thing is, just like the two thieves in Luke 23, Jesus gives each of us the opportunity to come to Him. So, we have a choice to make. Which thief will we choose to be? ~OC

Dear God

Dear God, today allow me to live with….

Love>Hate

Grace>Judgement

Forgiveness >Unforgiveness

Truth>Culture

Faith>Fear

Present>Past

~OC

Three Simple Words

Good morning! Another week has come to an end. It was a busy week in my neck of the woods. We faced the uncertainty of being hit by a hurricane. I also faced the challenges life brings on a daily basis. I am sure you can relate to that one. This week, I saw the good and the bad in people. I bet you can also relate to that one.

As I went through my week, God kept sharing three words with me. Three words that seem so simple, but are so difficult to live out at times. Hard to live out because we are so consumed with the busyness of living. Hard to live out because some people have never experienced these three words truly being lived out. Hard to live out because we have bought into what the world says about these three words. But if we could truly live out these three simple words, our lives and this world would be so different. Are you ready for this mind blowing revelation? Here we go. The three words God laid on my heart this week were, Simply Love Others. I know, your mind is blown. I will let you recover before I go on. Are you okay? Can I finish up?

Simply Love Others. Three simple words, that could radically change the world if we truly lived them out. Are you ready to truly live out these three simple words? I know I am. I also know I will continue to fail miserably at times. I will apologize when I fail to live out these three simple words. I will ask for forgiveness when my words and actions fail to live out these three simple words. Even when I fail, I will keep trying. I will never stop trying to live out these life changing words. Will you join me in Simply Loving Others? ~OC

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