Today’s a new day!! The brightness of our light is not determined by how loud we talk, how big our platform is or how famous we are. No, the brightness of our light is determined by how loud our behavior speaks. The consistency of the decisions we make. Our commitment to truly follow Jesus and serve others. The decision to do the right thing regardless of what the world thinks. How bright is your light? ~OC
Today’s a new day! Life is about people. Loving and serving others with the love of Jesus. It’s not all about the big gatherings at church or some other big gathering. No, it’s about truly loving our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors or the stranger at the store. ~OC
To make real difference, you have to show up and speak up. Even during the storms. Even during the unknown terrain. Even during the pain. Even when you would rather stay curled up in bed with the covers over your head. Even when it’s not easy. Even when it’s not popular. That’s how you make a difference in your part of the world. Also God expects nothing less from us. So keep showing up and speaking up. ~OC
Today’s a new day! Becoming a Christian is more than a one time decision. It’s more than waiting to die with a ticket to Heaven in our hand. No, becoming a believer in Christ is about experiencing Him here and now. To live out a beautiful creative journey.
Living out this God journey actually means believing and truly living out the scriptures. Not just the scriptures we like.
Living out this God journey actually means loving our neighbors. All of our neighbors.
Living this God journey actually means serving all people. Not just the people we deem worthy.
Living out this God journey actually means living in God’s love and unity. Not being separated by the color of our skin, denominations, political parties or anything else that tries to separate us.
Living out this God journey actually means we can have opposing opinions without having division. Being able to listen without judgment or prejudice.
God never said this beautiful journey would be easy. It will take a lot of patience, constructive conversations, listening, wisdom, love, healing and grace. But I personally believe God wants us to experience him in a beautiful creative way, right here on planet earth. ~OC
Today’s a new day! God is looking for people with humble hearts; individuals who will sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ and who will stand in the gap as servant leaders for their families, churches and communities. ~OC
Today’s a new day! Remember hearing the word Grace after becoming a follower of Jesus? Oh how it stirred my emotions. Do you remember how sweet it was to sing about God’s Amazing Grace? Does God’s Grace still move you to truly love your neighbors? Does God’s Amazing Grace still move you to thankfulness? Does God’s Amazing Grace still lead you to tears? Are your emotions still moved when you sing that beautiful song Amazing Grace and reflect on God’s beautiful promises? ~OC
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
As I walked through my crazy beautiful health journey, I was blessed to learn many amazing lessons. Here are just a few of those lessons:
*Try Something New: Go skydiving, snorkeling, do a road trip with friends, or feed the hungry. It doesn’t matter what you do, just take a step outside of your comfort zone.
*Time With Family and Friends: I know during this pandemic that can be difficult. Maybe you cannot meet in person, but you can utilize Zoom or FaceTime. During that time put away all distractions. You might find out how amazing your family and friends really are.
*Capture Memories: I know everyone wants to document their adventures with pictures and videos, but don’t forget to truly experience the moment.
*Say No: Stop adding things to your plate. If you continuously say yes, you are going to miss out on life. Plus burn yourself out.
*Take Time For Yourself: It might only be for a few minutes, but do it. Spend time in prayer. Go for a walk. Read a book. Do something just for you.
*Encourage Someone: Everyone needs some uplifting words. It takes just a minute, but can change a life.
*Call or Text: Take time to call or text a loved one. This simple act could make their day.
*Say I Love You: Don’t miss the chance to tell your loved ones how you feel about them. Life is too short. ~OC
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
As we witnessed the civil unrest at the Capital in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, there was a lot of discussion about hate groups and racism in America. Some in the white community (Breaking News: I am white), screamed on social media that racism is no longer an issue in 2021. Really?
When I engage some white people in the topic of racism, they often will challenge me to prove that racism still exist today in America. So I present them with a challenge. My challenge to them is to simply listen.
I am a storyteller, so I will share stories that my friends of color have shared with me about being racially profiled. I will share legit studies that have been done on the subject of racism. I will share videos showing racism happening to a person of color. I will encourage them to read articles or books on the subject of racism. Most importantly, I will challenge them to reach out to a friend of color and asked them if they have ever experienced racism. I think to myself, one of these suggestions will get through to them. Right? Sadly, a good majority of the time I will hear the following excuses:
*The data is biased.
*I don’t have time to read any articles or books.
*The person in the video was overreacting.
*My friends of color (if they actually have some) don’t want to talk about racism.
*I am tired of hearing about racism. Can’t everyone just get over it?”
I have had these types of conversations with my white friends and complete strangers too many times to count. But then after years of being frustrated by people who do not believe racism is still sadly alive and well, a beautiful freeing thought came to me. I don’t have to proof racism still exist today. The burden of proof is not on me. The burden of proof is on those who refuse to believe racism is still a major issue in 2021. There is no reason for me to walk away from these conversations feeling frustrated. The debate is over. This truth has set me free.
To those who continue to believe racism no longer exist, prove it. Show me some actual evidence. Show me some factual data. Just as my evidence proofs racism still exist in 2021, your evidence better support your argument against that fact.
As I close, my prayer is that God will change the hearts and minds of those who still deny racism is a clear and present danger in America. I pray these deniers will take time to read a book or article on the subject of racism. I pray they will check out the many videos that sadly show racism is still wide awake in our nation. My prayer is that my white brothers and sisters who still believe racism is a thing of the past, will reach out to a person of color and have a real conversation about this stain on America. I pray the blinders will come off. ~OC