Dream Killers

If God has placed a dream on your heart, do not let anyone or anything try to destroy that dream. Dream Killers can be the the following:

Doubt

Criticism

Comparison

Intimidation

Failure/Discouragement

People

These dream killers can happen everyday. Do not allow them to destroy the dreams God has put on your heart. Step out and trust God. ~OC

How To Help

During my 17 year crazy beautiful health journey, I was often asked how people could help Laura and I. Here are a few suggestions:

Stay in Contact: Nothing brightens a patient’s day more than hearing from friends. It could be a phone call, visit or a simple text. Even when I could not eat or drink, I loved the interaction with friends. So never be afraid to call that loved one or friend. Also the doctors have shared keeping a person’s mind active is very important. So, when you are thinking about someone, take that opportunity to reach out to them. Do not miss out on a beautiful memory.

Remember to Check On The Caregiver: The caregiver can get lost during the journey. As my caregiver, Laura had the toughest job. Working full-time and taking care of me could be overwhelming. And remember, she did this for over 17 years. So, make sure you are asking about the caregivers physical, mental and emotional well-being. One of my main concerns during my journey, was that Laura take care of herself and enjoy life. A caregiver can always use a night out.

Don’t Start a Pity Party: Dealing with health issues is tough enough. At times people want to go crawl in a hole and isolate. Don’t let them do it. Offer some words of encouragement. Get them out of the house. Go make some memories. My journey was a tough one, but so many people had it tougher than me. Remember, a lady gave birth in a tree. True story!

Just listen: Sometimes hurting people just need someone to listen. Not to fix. Not to have all the answers. Just listening is a beautiful gift.

Be Flexible: The one thing about illness is everyday is different. My health issues bought new challenges each day. Sometimes each hour. So be flexible when dealing with a family member or friend struggling with health issues.

Learn About the Illness: Some people are dealing with illnesses we have never heard of, but asking questions and maybe a quick Google search can help. This can help you better support that loved one. Just don’t believe everything you read online.

Be Available: People dealing with health issues face different challenges. So be available to help when possible. That help could come in the form of bringing someone meals, sitting with someone during their treatment, visiting them in the hospital or transportation. For years, I could not drive based on my health issues. So, having rides to my appointments were important. I am thankful for my team of drivers during my journey. Getting out of the house and enjoying live is so important.

The Long Haul: Be there for your family and friends. Did I ever think my journey would last 17 years? No way! But what I learned was that some friends put an expiration date on how long they could endure my new normal. Having friends that have stuck it out and supported me has been a true blessing.

Acceptance: Stop comparing who someone was before they got sick, to the person they are now. Simply accept that who someone was and who they are now has changed. So when that family member or friend has a life changing experience, embrace the new them.

I hope this helps. There is really not a blueprint for this stuff. So don’t beat yourself up, if you say or do the wrong thing. The most important thing you can do is be present and engaged. ~OC

Don’t Mess With My Miracle

As I continue to walk in my miracle, the enemy is not happy. He is constantly telling me my healing is not real. Or he tells me I am not worthy of Jesus healing and blessings.

You see the enemy loves to play games with us. He doesn’t want us living in victory. The enemy wants us to doubt the healing power of Jesus. The enemy wants us to believe miracles ended when Jesus went to be with his Father in Heaven.

But as live out this incredible miracle, Jesus reminds me that my suffering went well beyond the mild discomfort of a stubbed toe. Jesus reminds me that I was at deaths door on more than one occasion. Doctors shared I was in the Wasting Stage. They had lost hope.

Then on November 3, 2019 Jesus decided it was time for me to experience His healing. Time to wake up from a 17 year sleep. It was time to start living again. To start thriving.

As I sit hear typing this post, my life will never be the same. It is time to live in victory. Dear Enemy, you cannot still my healing or my joy. ~OC

My Prayers and Thoughts

Good morning! So as I sit in this hospital room, here are some of my prayers and thoughts.

I pray my beautiful bride is resting and wakes up feeling great.

I pray that some dear family and friends who are sick, will experience complete healing.

I pray for all the Caregivers taking care of a loved one.

I pray The Holy Spirit will take over South Florida. Revival come!

I pray I will be the best husband, friend and disciple of Jesus that I can be through Him.

I pray for everyone in the military and all First Responders. And their families.

I pray for peace.

I pray for all the leaders. I pray their hearts and minds would be changed by God.

I pray for the victims of human trafficking. I pray they will be rescued and their lives will be completely restored. I pray for all the organizations fighting this horrible crime. I pray their needs will be met. Most importantly, I pray their hearts and motives are pure.

I pray for all churches, pastors, missionaries and ministries. May they truly be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I pray God will allow me to do more for everyone I come in contact with during the day.

I pray for all the patients, nurses, doctors and staff at Good Sam. Give each the strength they need today.

I pray for our schools, students, teachers, staff and administrators. I pray God would bless and protect each.

I pray I will not get in the way of what God wants to do in my life.

Here are some of the thoughts going through my crazy beautiful mind this morning:

What races will I run in 2020, if God allows me to run again? It has been almost 11 years since I last ran.

If God blesses me with the ability to run again, that means I could return to the workforce. Where would I work? Who would hire a 50 something guy who has not worked in almost 11 years, but has an incredible crazy beautiful story? Would I go on the speaking circuit? Would I look at working at a church or ministry of some kind? Would I work at a school or university? Would I be a Greeter at Walmart?

Yes, those are some of the crazy thoughts that go through my mind a lot of morning’s. I just want to be ready for whatever God has prepared for me. Even if that means never running another race or never being able to return to work, I will be obedient and thankful.

Have a wonderful and blessed day. ~OC

Keep Running

I ran my first marathon back in 2004. A year after having a tumor removed from my chest. I ran my last marathon in 2009. I did not stop running because I stopped loving it. No, my declining health made that decision for me. But even though I was forced to stop running physically, I have never stopped running the race God has mapped out for me. None of us should ever stop running.

A marathon is 26.2 miles. Did you get that .2? The race does not stop at 26 miles. If a runner stops at 26 miles they did not finish the race. A race only ends after you complete the whole 26.2 miles. During those long training days and the 26.2 mile race, a lot of lessons are learned. Not just about running, but about life. Let me share just a few.

The Race Is Longer Than You Think. Life is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.  Remember the .2 of the 26.2 marathon? If we do not finish the .2, we have not completed the race. We cannot stop at mile 26. The marathon of life does not stop at 26 miles either. Life is a series of .2 miles. Our race does not end until God calls us home.

Don’t Take Shortcuts. When I was training for my marathons, it would have been easy to take some shortcuts. Take the short way home. Take something to help me on those tough days. Add some extra miles to my running log. The temptation is real to take some shortcuts or worse; to give up. We face those same temptations in life:

Your marriage is not going the way you hoped it would. You might be tempted to start the race over with some else. 

Your job is not going the way you had hoped. The temptation to just quit and start over is real. 

Your life is not going the way you hoped. Giving up seems so tempting. Please don’t do it. 

As we are running this marathon called life, sometimes we feel the best answer is to quit and start over. But a new race brings its own struggles and heartache.

During those times we want to take a shortcut, start a new race or to quit, we have to turn to God and seek His guidance. We must allow God to get us back on track. To give us  a new mindset.

Keep Running Until You Finish The Race. We can only finish the race, if we are running the race. So get off that couch and take the first step to your purpose in life. The marathon will not always be easy. I can promise you that. On those days, make the choice to take small steps.

A lot of people never see the awesome power of God because they refuse to hang in there on those tough runs. Giving up is easier.

As you run the race God has given you, I encourage you not to forget those .2’s. They might seem annoying, but those .2’s are a must in completing your marathon. So keep running. ~OC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Lessons Learned On The Journey

During my crazy beautiful health journey, God has shared many lessons with me. I have shared some of these lessons in earlier blog post. Today, I would like to share some more lessons learned during my journey. Some of these lessons have been difficult to walk through, but they have brought me closer to God. They have made me a better person. They are lessons I never want to forget.

Don’t Live In Fear. Surrender everything to God. Including your fear. My life is filled with a lot of unknowns. It would be easy live in fear. For moments I have. Thank goodness, I chose not to live in that fear. No, instead I continue to choose to live in Hope. Not always easy, but making the choice to not live in fear has been life changing.

Let God’s Word Empower You. Spend time in God’s word. Speak it. Pray it. Sing it. Live it out. During my good days and bad days I choose to let God’s Word pour over me.

Embrace Every Moments. Make every moment count. Tell your love ones you love them. Share some hugs. Take that trip. Give freely. So some grace. Love without prejudice.

Be Grateful. Take time to be thankful for your many blessings. My journey has been filled with some rough moments, but I have so much to be grateful for. My wife. My family and friends. My medical team. Great insurance. Beautiful moments.

Never Give Up. The temptation is always there. The journey is too hard. The pain is too great. There are plenty of reasons to give up, but I encourage you to keep fighting. Reach out to trusted family and friends to walk with you during those moments of wanting to give up.

I hope these lessons will encourage you. They are not easy to walk through. Believe me I know. I have been trying to live them out for the past 17 years. ~OC

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