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.”

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

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

Power of Hope

When we wake up and are still facing the storms of life, we need to reach up to God and grab onto the hand of hope. The bigger the waves, the worries and troubles, the more the stage is set for God to move mightily in calming the waves. God cares about our storms.

One of the lessons God wants to teach us during the storms of life, is to fully trust in Him and not lose hope. Hope is a life changing word. No matter how many tears have filled the boat, how many prayers seemingly unanswered, or how fear grips us there is hope. We can cling into that hope during the worst storms. God will always be by our side as the crashing waves try to take us out. Plant your feet in the beautiful hope of God. ~OC

Healing Prayers

Good morning! As we pray for those that are sick, here are a few prayers I wanted to share with you. Remember, our words themselves have no power. But when we speak these words with the 🔥 of The Holy Spirit in us, beautiful healings occur.

Healing Prayer for Someone

Sweet Jesus, your Word speaks promises of healing and restoration and we thank you for the miracles you still perform today. This very moment we claim those powerful promises over …. We believe in the healing power of faith and prayer and ask you to begin your mighty work in the life of … Please reach down and surround …. with supernatural peace and strength and give …. the faith to believe that all things are possible for you. Protect … from the lies and discouragement from the enemy and let your miraculous healing begin. We pray …. would begin to walk in their amazing healing this very moment in Jesus name. Amen!

Healing Prayer Over Yourself

Loving Jesus, I pray that you will fill me with peace and comfort me during my suffering journey. Bless the hands that pray over me. May those hands be cleansed by the powerful Blood of Jesus. Allow those blessed hands to be used for the complete healing of every area of my body. Bless me with your confidence and the power of your sweet grace, that even when I am scared, I will lay everything at your feet. Let me surrender all I am to you. I pray all this in the powerful and beautiful name of Jesus. Amen.

I hope these prayers will encourage you, as you pray for others and yourself. ~OC

Conversation With God

Hello. As I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, God has been sharing and teaching me a lot. I thought I would share some of the lessons and conversations with God.

*I will not experience healing on this side of heaven. Yes, God clearly shared that with me during one of our morning conversations. I am at such peace. There is no fear, worry or anger. Just the sweet peace of God flowing through my life. Do you have that kind of peace?

*Healing comes in many different forms. We get caught up in the miracles we can see with our eyes. Those are beautiful! But God is performing miracles daily that we cannot see with our eyes. Those healings and miracles are just as real as the ones we can see.

*Keep sharing the story God has given me. The thorn in my side is health issues. Still God is using my health issues to minister to a broken world. A broken world that needs the beautiful light of God. A world that needs encouragement.

*Be bold in sharing the true gospel. A lot of false theology being pushed in the Christian community.

*I did nothing to lose my miracle from 2019. My current health battle is not from sin in my life or an evil spirit living in me. That healing from 2019 was real and from God.

*God shared he owes us nothing. Everything He does in our lives is a beautiful gift. A gift of love, forgiveness and grace.

*God will not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will always walk with us through the journey. We have to learn to be okay with His plans for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Also every trial will produce lessons. We learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

*Then Jesus asked me a question. I did not hear the audible voice of Jesus. He asked me “Who has suffered more than me?” Jesus shared he suffered most of his life. Suffering is part of the journey. But as Christians we never want to walk that journey. But by choosing not to embrace the journey of suffering, we are missing out on some incredible lessons Jesus has for us and others.

I pray these words bring you comfort today. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Love Over Hate

As I scroll through social media, I see a lot of Christians who share hateful and mean post. This breaks my heart. As I pray for these misguided people, God brought some things to my mind.

*You can not truly love Jesus if hate is living inside your heart. Look at his life. He had every reason to have hate in his life. But the life and death of Jesus was all about love.

*If you hate someone or something, that means you hate God’s creation. This world was built on love. We the people of this world ruined that beautiful creation. But with the love of Jesus we can build up and encourage a broken world.

*We have to be willing to show grace and forgiveness to others. Look what Jesus has done in our lives.

*We cannot show the love of Jesus with nasty rotten fruit. Where are you planting your seeds? Are spending time planting good seeds?

I will always choose love over hate. I hope you will join me. Share Love. ~OC

Stop Gossiping

Have you ever been outside watering your lawn and a neighbor comes rushing a across the street to share the latest neighborhood gossip? Or worse, you are in church and a group of folks call you over to share the latest church gossip. We have all been there. How do you react when someone wants to share the latest 411 on somebody. Here are some tips I hope help in the fight against gossip.

* Confront the person sharing the gossip. This can be difficult, but is necessary to stop hurtful gossip.

*Shut it down. Do not even let the person get the words out of their mouth. Once again, not easy but necessary.

*Totally surprise the gossiper and say something positive about the person they are sharing dirt on. You may have to pick them off the floor.

*Remind them that somebody is probably gossiping about them. Check out the look on their face with that one.

*Share true facts about the situation if you have been given permission to do so. Sadly, a gossiper really doesn’t want to hear the truth. Where’s the fun in that? I am kidding of course.

*Turn gossip into a time of prayer. Instead of getting caught up in the gossip, take time to pray for the person or situation.

This is just a small list. Take a moment and come up with additional ways to shut down gossip. ~OC

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