Make The Pledge

We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the issue of Racism in our nation. We have to finally say enough is enough. We have to Rise Up against Division. We have to Demand Change. We have to Rise Up against Hate. We have to share Love. I am encouraging everyone who cares about Love and Justice to Rise Up and take the Pledge to End Racism. Will you Stand Up and make the Pledge with me? ~OC

Check Our Hearts

As I scroll through social media and have conversations with some Christians my heart breaks. I read and hear comments that must break Jesus heart. I think to myself did that Christian actually read their post before posting it or did they check their heart before speaking. Probably not.

As I study scripture, I wonder what Bible some Christians are reading. Because my Bible says we should love everyone. Not just those who think like us, look like us or worship like us. No, we are to love Everyone! Sadly, I see a lot of Hate coming from those who would call themselves Christians. Here are a few examples:

*Those calling themselves Christians with their Christian flags, storming the Capital on January 6th. I could really just stop there, but let’s go on.

*Those calling themselves Christians buying into the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen by the Democrats. Remember, no one ever produced any real proof. Every court, including the Supreme Court ruled there was no proof of election fraud. Yet the conspiracy theories continue. I believe conspiracy theories are nothing more than gossip.

*Some who call themselves Christians believing every Democrat is evil.

*Some who call themselves Christians believing racism is a thing of the past.

*Many Christians and Churches not speaking out against racism.

*Many so called Christians being part of hate groups.

*Many Christians being offended that some people refused to recognize Donald Trump as President, but now those same Christians loudly shout President Biden is not their President.

As I wrote this post, I thought to myself why would anyone want to be a Christian? But then I realized the Jesus I serve is all about Love and Grace. The examples above do not represent my Savior and most Christians. Jesus loves everyone. Sadly some Christians have perverted the Christian faith. It is up to true believers to stand up for what’s right. Even when doing so is not popular. It’s time for the Christian Community to check our hearts. ~OC

God’s Tears

As I continue to pray for America, I imagine God bowing his head in sadness. His tears flowing as so many people who call themselves Christians, act with such hatred and meanness. They seem to have forgotten the beautiful scriptures about loving their neighbors. All Neighbors! The Liberal Neighbor. The Conservative Neighbor. The Homeless Neighbor. The Addicted Neighbor. The LGBTQ Neighbor. The Incarcerated Neighbor. The Immigrant Neighbor. The Depressed Neighbor. The Disabled Neighbor. The Atheist Neighbor. The Black Neighbor. The White Neighbor. The Hispanic Neighbor. The Asian Neighbor. The Middle-Eastern Neighbor. The Native-American Neighbor. The Neighbor of a Different Faith. The..,,, Neighbor.

Think about the sadness God feels looking down on America and seeing all the hatred and division. His heart breaks. Does your heart break? Mine does. So, I will continue to share love. Speak out against hate and violence. I will continue to pray. ~OC

Monuments of Hate

Lately, as I watch the news or scroll through social media, I see some people are upset about some monuments being taken down. I hear people making the argument that people are trying to erase our history in America. Especially Southern history. Let me share a little about the history of Southern monuments.

Most people think these Confederate monuments have been around since the end of the Civil War in 1865. This is not the case. The vast majority of these monuments were built between 1895 and the 1950s. Why were so many Confederate monuments built during this time period? Well, it had nothing to do with celebrating these dead soldiers. No, the building of these monuments had more to do with hate and intimidation. Let me give you a little history lesson.

1895-1915: Jim Crow laws are alive and well during this time period. There is a resurgence of the KKK and other white supremacy groups. A large number of Confederate monuments are built during this time.

1915-1955- Jim Crow continues to rule throughout the South.

1955-1970- The Civil Rights Movement kicks into high gear with the Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision. In the South, racist groups begin a reign of terror against African Americans and start erecting Confederate monuments again. The motivation was to continue terrorizing African Americans. Most of these monuments were placed in the middle of town and at courthouses.

So, when I hear my fellow Southerners complaining about “Our” history being washed away with these monuments being taken down, I wonder if you truly know the history behind these monuments. These monuments are not about history. These monuments are about hate. That is not the kind of history I want to celebrate.

Here is another history lesson for you. If you travel to Germany, you will not find monuments celebrating Hitler. If you travel to South Africa, you will not find monuments celebrating Apartheid. You will find museums remembering the victims of these horrible crimes.

Let me share one last thing. I do not believe people should be destroying these monuments. That’s just dangerous. Someone could get hurt. I think these monuments should be taken down by city workers and discarded. We need to stop celebrating a history of hate and intimidation. Those were not the good old days. ~OC

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

Love Over Hate

Hate continues to rear its ugly head in America. We have have experienced four mass shootings. We have experienced more hateful tweets and comments from our elected leaders. It seems it’s gotten easier for people to choose hate over love.

It would be easy to get caught up in all the hate. All we have to do is turn on the tv, open up social media or just walk outside. Hate is all around us. Some of our political leaders have earned their PhD’s in the area of hateful rhetoric. How did we get here?

If you’re a conservative you’re told on a daily basis the liberals are to blame. How liberals are out to destroy America. If you’re a liberal, you’re told on a daily basis the conservatives are to blame. How conservatives want to take America back to the 1950’s. The talking points change daily, but the game has been the same for years; exploit fear and distrust. Make it Them Against Us. My prayer today is that we will make a Bigger Us and a Smaller Them.

We need to stop demonizing people who have different political views than us. We need to stop demonizing people who look different than us. We need to stop demonizing people who have a different faith than us. We need to stop demonizing people who were born in a different country than us. Instead we need to celebrate our differences, because that’s what has always made America great.

So we have a choice to make. We can keep pitting Them Against Us or we can all come to the Table of Love and have real and significant conversations. I believe we will find we have more in common than we realize.

As you know, I love to share take away points in my blog post. Here are some ways we can choose to Love More and Hate Less:

*We have a choice. We make the choice what we believe. We make the choice what we watch and listen to. We make the choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

*Replace Judgement with Grace. The world is constantly beating people down. Instead of being the Judge and Jury, make the choice to show some grace.

*Truly Listen. It is so easy to bombard people with your beliefs and opinions. Make the choice to take some time to listen to people who think, act, look and speak differently than you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but take the time to listen to them.

*Choose Love. Choosing love can be difficult at times. Let’s face it, some people are hard to love. I bet that hard to love person just came to mind. I did not say choosing love would be easy. Choosing love is a daily choice. But I believe it is worth the hard work.

“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Love Over Hate

Hate can be easy. Hating someone or something, means you don’t have to learn about what you hate. You don’t worry about finding the truth. Hating is an excuse not to deal with your feelings. Also hate is easy to find. Just turn on the news. Turn on your computer or phone. Go outside. Take a look at our so called political leaders. There is enough hate to go around. But I believe hate is also tiring. Lonely. Have you ever watched a racist on tv? They all look mad, tired and lonely. Why would anyone choose to hate? It definitely does not look healthy.

Love can be hard. It takes time. It takes the choice to actually listen to other opinions. Not to close down when someone challenges your beliefs. Love means you have to be willing to forgive others. Even when your right. Love means that sometimes people will take advantage of you. Your heart might get broken. More than once. Why would anyone choose love?

Even though love can be hard, it is always the right choice. Love brings out the best in people. Love allows strangers to speak up for each other. Love allows us to look past our differences. Love challenges us to be the best version of ourselves. Love forces us out of our comfort zones. People who choose love are full of life. Love doesn’t keep score.

I wish, when we opened up the newspaper or turned on the news, the first stories that greeted us would be full of love. When we scrolled down social media, we would smile/laugh more than we would cringe. That would be amazing. Not sure that’s going to happen anytime soon, but this blessed overcomer is always going to choose love. How about you? ~OC

A Choice

As I scrolled through social media this morning, I was overwhelmed by the choices people make when posting on their pages. It is amazing what people choose to put on their pages. Let’s review some of the post.

The first post I came across was from my friend John. Every Sunday morning, John does a Facebook Live from his bicycle ride. John’s live videos are always positive, challenging and encouraging. I look forward to them every Sunday. My friend could easily spend that time complaining about everything going on in the world. No, my friend John is the type of person who chooses to look at the positives in life. Now that doesn’t mean John goes through life with rose-colored glasses on. No, my friend is well aware of the negative things going on in our world. But he makes the choice to emphasize the positives. The wonderful possibilities life presents. I so appreciate John’s outlook on life.

I wish more people would choose to look at life like my friend John. Sadly, that is not the case. As I left John’s Facebook Live this morning, I scrolled down my social media pages to see so much hate. Now, I know the majority of my social media friends personally and know they do not hate people. But if I did not know them personally and I was just scrolling through their social media pages, I would probably have a different view. Some of the post I read this morning were trying to be funny, but they came across as hateful and mean-spirited. What is concerning about these post, is that these same people will complain about how negative the world has become. Hello, you cannot complain about all the hate if you’re adding to it.

My hope is that this blog post does not come across as judgemental. My hope is that this will encourage everyone to think before they post. I am guilty of not doing that sometimes. I am not telling people to only post about rainbows and unicorns. I believe social media is a great place to share ideas and concerns. But I do believe we should be wise in how we convey our ideas and concerns. ~OC

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