Love Over Differences

The last few weeks, several Christian friends shared it was hard for them to pray for people they do not like. That could be a politician, athlete, entertainment or someone in the media. As I heard this several times, God gave me the following thought.

When Jesus met Judas Iscariot, he knew Judas would betray him. Did you catch that? Jesus knew this man who he called a friend, would betray him for thirty pieces of silver. Yet, Jesus still loved Judas. He even washed Judas feet at the last supper. That’s right! Jesus humbled himself and washed the feet of the man who would betray him. Jesus payed for Judas. Jesus loved Judas.

So will you choose to love and pray for that person who just rubs you the wrong way? Will you love and pray for that person who looks differently than you? Will you love and pray for that person who has a different opinion than you? Will you love and pray for that person who belongs to a different political party than you? Will you love and pray for that person who worships differently than you? I pray we will always choose love over our differences. ~OC

Lean In…And Get Uncomfortable

As I scroll through social media and watch the news, I see a lot of pain and injustice in the African American community. I see my brothers and sisters hurting. It breaks my heart. At times it can seem overwhelming. I asked myself, how in the world can I make a difference? Can anybody relate? Even though I cannot do everything, I can do something. So, I have decided I will continue to stand up and do everything I can to help end racism in America. I will continue to lean in..,and get uncomfortable.

I will continue have real conversations about racism in America, with people wanting to truly make a difference in this world. Not just talk about the issues, but take real action. I will surround myself with others who want to fight the sin of racism. I will continue to get educated. I will continue to listen to my brothers and sisters of color, as they share their experiences. I will lean in..,and get uncomfortable. I will continue to take the time to see the pain of my brothers and sisters of color. I will not pass them by with a “I’ll pray for you.” No, I will stop and pray for them in that moment. I will not allow my brothers and sisters to walk through this unjust world alone. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I will continue to have uncomfortable conversations with my white brothers and sisters who believe racism is not a major problem in America today (That is a whole other blog). I will proudly stand up and say #Black Lives Matter. I will continue to challenge my white brothers and sisters to step out of their comfort zones, and sit down with people of color and truly listen to their life experiences. I will encourage them to study African American history and visit African American museums. I will continue to confront racism when I see it. I will continue to speak out against injustices even when it’s not popular. I will lean in…and get uncomfortable. I encourage you to join me. ~OC

Keep Talking

Today’s a new day! Just because most of the media has jumped to other stories, do not stop having true and meaningful conversations about racism and injustice in America. It’s still real and still happening. Keep the conversations going. ~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

Celebrate Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth! Today we celebrate the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. Take time today to learn more about this holiday and its history. Take time today to learn more about African-American History and Culture. Take time today to have conversations about our history (the good, the bad, the ugly) with our African-American brothers and sisters. But, do not make this just a one day celebration or conversation. Let’s use today as a launch to have more conversations about the beautiful history of African-Americans and the ongoing issue of racism in America. -OC #Juneteenth

LOVE

Today’s a new day! People need to feel your love and concern, before they hear your words. ~OC

The Madness

Today’s a new day! My brothers and sisters in Christ, maybe our prayers should be less God rescue us from all this madness and more God please use us during this madness. ~OC

Celebrate Diversity

Today’s a new day! Most people that know me, know I love to wear t-shirts with a message. Something to make others think or to help start a conversation. My amazing wife bought this shirt for me yesterday. It’s from a great organization called The Happy Givers (www.thehappygivers.com).

I am not a fan of the phrase “I don’t see color.” That is just a false statement. We all see color, unless you were born with an eye issue. But if not, then stop saying you don’t see the color of someone. I believe it’s disrespectful to that person and most importantly it is disrespectful to God. Yes, it’s disrespectful to God. God created color. God created diversity. God loves all the different colors He created. God loves all the diversity He created. You should too.

So stop saying you don’t see color. Instead say I see your color, but that does not determine my feelings and opinion of you. Your beautiful color was created by God. I love you because you were created by God. Let’s talk and get to know each other. Let’s celebrate diversity. ~OC

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