Today’s a new day! If you are currently in the middle of a storm, I want to share some good news with you. God is sitting in the boat with you. He has not left or forsaken you. God has the amazing power to calm the storm you are facing. He is not going to let the crashing waves tip your boat over. You may not be able to see the rainbow during the storm, but it’s coming. During times of darkness, I encourage you to continue leaning into the promises of God. The storms of life are preparing you for a testimony. The crashing waves are turning you into an Overcomer. So keep holding on and never give up. ~OC
Today’s a new day! This morning I woke up to news of another mass shooting in America. More innocent bloodshed. Of course, our elected officials shared their thoughts and prayers for the victims. But that’s not enough anymore. Where is the action behind those thoughts and prayers? If we truly want to see real change, we must look at reforming our current gun laws and putting more money towards mental health care. We must take action.
My faith has always taught me that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. In James 2:26 scripture shares “Faith without works is dead.” I am not dismissing the power of prayer. We must always pray. But I just know that there are times when we are waiting on God to act, and God is actually waiting on us to take action. When we get frustrated and cry out to God “Why don’t you do something?”, if we stop and listen closely, we might hear God softly whispering to us, “I did do something. I created you.”
But that doesn’t take anything away from the power of prayer. You know what I did this morning when I heard the news of another mass shooting in America? I prayed for the victims and community. I prayed for smarter gun laws. I prayed our elected leaders would do more than just offer their thoughts and prayers. It’s past time to take real action. ~OC
Drop Your Stones
Today’s a new day! With all the division in the world, it’s easy to throw stones at those we disagree with. My hope and prayer is we will learn to love and respect everyone God allows us to meet on this journey called life. I pray we will drop our life destroying stones.
Drop the stone of Hate.
Drop the stone of Fear.
Drop the stone of Division.
Drop the stone of Unforgiveness.
Drop the stone of Racism.
Drop the stone of Selfishness.
Drop the stone of Pride.
Drop the stone of Comparison.
Drop the stone of Political Parties.
Obviously I could add more, but I believe you get the point. Drop any stone that is distracting you from showing the love and peace of God. Blessings. ~OC
Today’s a new day! When we are facing a life storm we have two choices. We can choose to overcome the storms in our own wisdom and strength or we can humble ourselves before God and allow him to take over the situation. When we choose God we choose life. ~OC
Today’s a new day! God is calling each of us to actively engage in the work of racial justice by eradicating racism, white nationalism and working towards racial reconciliation. There is no room for racism in our world. Will you take a stand? ~OC
What does the Lord require of you but to do Justice. ~ Micah 6:8
The Old Is Made New
Today’s a new day! God has already set us free from our past. Today our identity is no longer connected to our past mistakes. Now our identity is connected to what God has done for us. You are now washed, set apart and made right. The old is made new. Walk in that truth. Live out that freedom. ~OC
You Are In My Heart
Today’s a new day! I’ve looked back on it a thousand times. It plays on rewind in my mind. When did we become so divided? Family and friends divided over things that really don’t matter at the end of the day. Words spoken that have divided us and caused pain. Opinions over relationships. When did we become so divided? You are in my heart.
All this division has me praying and hoping for better days. Believing in healing days. Praying for those who choose opinions over friendships. Love keeps no record. You are in my heart
Would you love me across the political aisle? Would you love me if I worshiped in a different style? Would you love me if I thought in a different way? Would you love me if I chose a different lifestyle? Love keeps no record. You are in my heart.
What do we do with all this division? All this negative space between us. How can we come together and erase all that separates us? I am praying for better days. Believing in healing days. Love keeps no record. You are in my heart.
As I replay all this negativity in my head, I have nothing but love for all. I choose to look past the differences and embrace the beautiful diversity all around me. I choose to listen and learn. I refuse to hate and judge. Love keeps no record. You are in my heart.
I will not allow all this division to steal my joy. I will continue to pray and work for better days. Believing in healing days. Love keeps no record. You will always be in my heart. ~OC
God and Justice
Today’s a new day! As I study scripture, I have come to the conclusion that faith in God and a desire to do His will goes hand-in-hand with standing for social justice. Honestly, I do not believe you can have one without the other. You cannot fully walk with Christ without serving the the least of these and you cannot fully serve the least of these without an understanding and faith in Christ. Without Christ, you will never fulfill more than the surface-level needs of those you are trying to serve.
This is where Christians needs to take a stand. We should be a fortress for social justice. If we were truly following the scriptures, Christianity would be synonymous with social justice. I think our faith and social justice should be so intertwined they cannot be separated from each other. As Christians, we truly need to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We cannot just talk about the different issues that plague our country and world. We cannot continue to deal with every tragedy by just expressing our thoughts and prayers. No, as Christians we need to stand up for what’s right. Even if that means being challenged by society or other Christians for our beliefs. I believe social justice is close to the heart of God. ~OC
Dear Christian Community
As I scroll through social media, I shake my head at some of the things I read from the Christian community. A community I am part of, but often cringe at the post and comments of so many Christians.
As Christians we talk about the love, grace and forgiveness of God. We love to talk about redemption. We share stories from the Bible about amazing life changing experiences involving King David, the women at the well and Saul becoming Paul. The stories bring us hope. Unfortunately, I do not always see that lived out in the Christian community. Let me explain.
Recently Carl Lentz a former pastor at Hillsong NYC was hired by another church. I will not bore you with Pastor Lentz past troubles. There are plenty articles online. Based on some poor choices, Pastor Lentz has been out of the spotlight for the past few years. But as I mentioned above, he was recently hired by a church. According to some articles concerning this hire, Pastor Lentz has been working on rebuilding his family and himself. To me this is something to celebrate. There should have been articles encouraging Pastor Lentz in his new position. Instead, I saw post, articles and videos attacking Pastor Lentz and the church that decided to give him a second chance. A second chance. I thought we were supposed to celebrate second chances. God loves second chances.
I do not personally know Pastor Lentz. Have never met him, but I am praying God uses him and his family in a mighty way. Praying Pastor Lentz uses his life experiences to encourage and support others walking through their own storms. Praying he embraces the second chances in every area of his life. I for one will be rooting for him. I think God will to. ~OC
Today’s a new day! To be honest, there are moments when I would like nothing more than to walk away from battling the storms of life. Walking away can sound so much better than this journey of building endurance, character, and hope. How many storms do I need to face in life? But in those tough moments, hope reminds me that I am not its source. The hope I walk in does not come from me, but from God who is compassionate, loving and faithful.
Opening up my eyes, God encourages me to look at the world with more hope. To look deeper and see more than what is and more of what could be. To hope.
Taking a deeper, more honest look at the realities of a hurting world can also become an act of hope. I believe in the power of love and peace. My hope is in God who is filled with love, mercy and compassion. My faith always leads me back to hope. This hope is real and available to each of us. Today, I encourage you to take a step towards Hope. ~OC