Never, Never Give Up

At some point during our various journeys we get to a point where we feel like giving up. Sometimes we give up before we even start and other times we give up just before that big break-through.

Here is a list of reasons why we should never give up. I hope it encourages someone.

You Have Purpose: As long as your alive you have purpose. Sometimes the storm you’re going through is preparing you for your purpose. I can honestly say my health journey gave me real purpose in life.

You Are Strong: You are so much stronger than you think. Don’t allow a setback to stop you from achieving all that God has in store for you. I would have never completed all my marathons, if I had given up when my body and mind said stop.

Your Family and Friends: Let those close to you be your inspiration and motivation to keep pushing forward. My wife, family and friends encourage me to keep fighting.

There Are People Worse Off: Right now people are dealing with storms we could never imagine going through. When you are going through a tough time, think about that family member or friend that is pushing through a storm and not giving up.

Improve Your World: Use your life to make a difference where God has you planted. God has allowed me to be a Missionary at doctors offices and hospitals. To be an Encourager.

Ignore The Haters: You will encounter haters during your journey. That’s just life. Some people just enjoy tearing down others. Don’t allow them to rent space in your life. Keep being you.

Reach Out to Others: We cannot do life alone. Please don’t try. When the storms are raging, reach out for help. I am always here to help anyone I can.

Inspire Others: Be an inspiration by never giving up. The journey might not be easy, but it’s worth fighting through the tough times. You never know how your story of overcoming, might encourage someone else not to give up. ~OC

Make A Difference

We survived 2020 and are blessed to say hello to 2021. We all have been given 365 days to make a difference. To make a difference in our small part of the world. When we hear about “Making A Difference”we tend to think that’s for someone else. We think about Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mother Teresa. But making a difference could be a smile and saying hello to a stranger. Making a difference could be committing to pray for someone. Making a difference could be a phone call to a loved one. Making a difference could be paying for a strangers meal. Making a difference could be volunteering. Making a difference could be checking on your neighbor. Making a difference could be making a commitment to having lunch with a friend once a week or month. Making a difference could be saying no to hate. Making a difference could be saying no to violence. Making a difference could be saying no to road rage. As you can see, making a difference does not have to be some major undertaking. But it will take a commitment to follow through. I pray we will make a commitment to making a difference in 2021. ~OC

Two Photos. Two Stories. Two Miracles.

The first photo is me reaching 900 miles run in 2020. This time last year, we were just hoping I would live through 2019. Then in November 2019, I would experience a beautiful creative miracle.

The second photo, is of my dear friend Jean Brown. Most people think she is my sister. That is how I feel about her. I have been blessed to call Jean and her husband Chris family for well over 20 years. Jean has faced her own health challenges over the years, but when I got sick again in 2009 Jean stepped up and added the title of Traveling Companion to her busy schedule. On more than one occasion, Jean has dropped everything to help Laura and I with our traveling needs. Besides being a wife, Jean is also a mother of three amazing children. That never stopped her from dropping everything and joining Laura and I on one of our crazy beautiful adventures. ~OC

Two Photos. Two Memories. Two Healings.

Two Photos. Two Memories. Two Healings. This morning I ran my 800 mile of 2020. My Laura and I have experienced many ups and downs along our crazy beautiful journey. One of those ups is Laura Geddes Paez, pictured with Laura and I at one of our book signings last year. Laura P. was more like a little sister to Laura and I. Laura P. and her wonderful husband René walked through many ups and downs with us. In turn, we walked through some major storms with them. I remember when Laura P. got sick, we declared that one day when our bodies recovered from the battles we were facing, we would run a marathon together. We were both looking forward to that day. Last November, I received my healing. Earlier this year, my dear friend received her healing. Not in the way we had hoped. No, my dear sister received the ultimate healing. No more pain or suffering. So when I run, I am not running alone. No, my dear friend Laura P. is running with me. ~OC

True Friendship

A few thoughts on True Friendship:

*True friends encourage you.
*True friends respect you.
*Tue friends support you.
*True friends stand by you.
*True friends reach out to you.

*True friends love you.
*True friends dance through the storms with you.

Obviously, this is just a small sample. Feel free to share your own list. ~OC

Do Friendships Matter?

I think most people reading the title of this blog post would answer in the affirmative. Yes, friendships matter. So why do we sometimes treat our friendships like a winter coat in Florida? Only use it once or twice a year. Ouch! This post is not about slamming anyone. No, I am writing this in the hopes that we will truly think about the importance of our friendships and do they really matter.

We currently live in a society where we can count the number of friends we have. Just take a look at your social media pages. It will tell us how many “friends” we have. It even tells us we cannot add anymore friends once we reach 5,000 friends. Really? Five-thousand friends. Let us not forget our followers on Twitter and Instagram. But for so many people that is their definition of friendship. I wish I could say that was a millennial issue, but sadly it effects all age groups. Sadly, so many people have chosen social media friendships over actual real life friendships. Hey, it’s so much easier. Just comment on a friends post, click the like button or share an emoji. Who doesn’t like a good emoji?

Have you tried setting up a time to meet with friends lately? I think dealing with the DMV is easier. I understand we are all busy in life. We all have families and careers. We have responsibilities we need to take care of. I get it. Life is just busy. And all of those things are important. I am not saying we need to give all those things up. What I am asking, is when did it get so difficult to be a friend?

So, how can we actually be better friends? Here are a few suggestions.

Set a Date. “Let’s get together sometime.” How many times have we said that to someone? Instead of talking about it, set a date. Then actually follow through.

Check In. Instead of just clicking like on a friend’s Facebook post, pick up the phone and call them. You can actually use your phone to talk.

Take Time. Instead of rushing out of that meeting or church service, stick around and spend some time catching up. Time building friendships.

Stop Complaining. Do not complain about the lack of friendships, if you are not making the effort to invest in friendships.

These steps are not easy. Sometimes we are taking these steps and still finding it hard to build friendships. That can be frustrating. I have tried taking these steps with some people and all I got was silence or false promises. But I would encourage all of us to keep on trying. True friendships are worth it. Are you willing to put in the work? ~OC

True Friendship

*True friends Encourage you.

*True friends Respect you.

*True friends Support you.

*True friends Stand By you.

*True friends Reach Out to you.

*True friends Listen to you.

*True friends are Honest with you.

*True friends Forgive you.

*True friends Walk the Journey with you.


Dear God, please help me be this type of friend. ~OC

Fading Friendships

During this crazy beautiful health journey, a lot of friends have stepped up and been by my side during some of my darkest days. I would love to say the majority of my friends fall into that category, but that has not been the case.

A lot of friends have faded away the last 17 years. That number has grown greatly in the past 5 years. During the early days of my health issues, the majority of my friends were right by my side. I think most people, including myself thought this would be a short journey. No one could have imagined this journey would last so long. As my journey has stretched on, my list of friends has dwindled. Part of me thinks people are just busy with their own journey. Others don’t know what to say, so they find it easier to walk away. Some just get tired of dealing with someone facing multiple life threatening health issues.

I have to admit the end of these friendships has brought me great sadness over the years. Sadness that these friendships meant more to me than they did to my friends. Sadness that these former friends are missing out on a crazy beautiful adventure. The amazing moments they have missed over the years.

That is why I value the true friends who have stuck around and shared some of my best and worst moments with me. I am thankful for those friends who have taken the time to call, text or visit me over the years. I cannot truly express how much those moments have meant to me.

I am not writing this post for sympathy. No, I am writing this to be real with you. My story has always been an open book. I am writing this post to give you a small glimpse into the world of someone dealing with chronic long-term health issues. I hope it will make you think about that loved one or friend who feels isolated or forgotten. I pray this post will encourage you to take the time to reach out to them. That small gesture could be life changing. ~OC

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