Scars vs. Wounds

Today’s a new day! Are you scarred or wounded in life? There is a huge difference between the two.

You see, your scars tell the story of everything God has brought you through in life. When I look at my own physical scars, It’s a reminder of the storms I have faced in life. I have a personal story for each scar. But those scars also remind me of the beautiful healing God has done in my life. Healing from the darkest storms of life.

Wounds are a different battle. When we are wounded, that usually means the healing is not complete. We are still walking through the storm. The wound still needs care. Most of the time those wounds are deep. They may be physical wounds, but most of the time they are deeper than just physical wounds. They are emotional wounds. Relationship wounds. Spiritual wounds. Wounds that go deep and need more care. Wounds that are repeatedly opened. But I have good news. Amazing news in fact. God can heal the deepest wounds in our lives. Not only can God completely heal those wounds, He desires to bring complete healing to our deepest wounds.

So today I encourage everyone that is wounded, to lay those wounds down at the foot of the Cross. Allow God to begin healing the deepest wounds in your life. Stop holding onto those wounds. Stop allowing them to be your identity. Today, let God begin to turn your deepest wounds into beautiful scars. Allow those scars to become testimonies. ~OC

Be Kind

Today’s a new day! Check on your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. A smile or positive social media post doesn’t mean everything is okay. ~OC

Lay Down Your Rocks

I remember as a child picking rocks up on the train tracks and throwing them as far as my little arm could. Sometimes I would imagine I was playing centerfield for the Cincinnati Reds, and I would throw the runner out at home plate. The Reds win! The Reds win! Oh, the imagination of a child.

As I got older, I used to carry a rock in my pocket. No, not to throw out the tying run at home, but to remind myself not to throw rocks at others. To lay down all the rocks that had words like judgement, hate, ugliness and other negative words written on them.

As Christians we are good at throwing those painful invisible rocks at people. The rocks may be invisible, but the pain they bring is real. To that single mom with multiple children we throw judgment at. To that homeless man. To that person walking into church that doesn’t dress or act the part of the “Christian” we have created in our mind.

I often reflect on the women in the Bible caught in adultery. She was brought to Jesus by men who were ready to throw rocks/stones at her. Our Savior knew this woman was guilty. But Jesus came not to judge, but to love and save lives. Can you imagine the look on this women’s face as Jesus started writing in the sand and her accusers quickly moved along.

We all have have issues going on in our own lives. Things we would hate for others to see. It’s easy to throw rocks at others, but remember that we, to need forgiveness. We all need a little bit of grace.

I pray we will keep all of our rocks in our pockets. We have all sinned and fallen short. Thank goodness Jesus died for all of our sins. I do not want to be like the men in John 8:1-11 that were so willing to throw their rocks. As Christians our goal should be to become more like our Lord and Savior. To lay our rocks down at the foot of the Cross. ~OC

Keep Reaching Out

If you have moments of doubt, you are not alone. There are thousands of us. No millions. Keep Reaching Out.

If you have moments of feeling lost, you are not alone. There are thousands of us. No millions. Keep Reaching Out.

If you have moments of dealing with fear, you are not alone. There are thousands of us. No millions. Keep Reaching Out.

If you have moments of depression, you are not alone. There are thousands of us. No millions. Keep Reaching Out.

If you have moments of anger, you are not alone. There are thousands of us. Keep Reaching Out.

Whatever your dealing with in life you are not alone. Never stop reaching out. ~OC

Show Up. Speak Up.

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

Come Home

Today is Easter. I love Resurrection Sunday. A day to celebrate the Risen King. This year for the first time in many years, I will not be at church celebrating this beautiful day. No, because of the effects of Covid and double pneumonia, I will be watching Easter service online at home. I know a lot of people are also walking through their own storms on this Easter Sunday. So I want to try and encourage you this morning with a few thoughts.

I know it can be hard to find rest when you cannot find peace. I know it can be hard to find rest when there is so much turmoil raging in your life. The weight of those storms make you feel like you are drowning. The pain from those storms are breaking your heart and spirit. Life seems overwhelming. The stress feels overwhelming. The anxiety feels overwhelming. The pain feels overwhelming. The emptiness feels overwhelming. The depression feels overwhelming. The struggle is real. Life is hard. But there is Hope.

During the times when life seems overwhelming, I want to encourage you to run to Jesus. The One who hung on a Cross and laid in a tomb for three days. The One who died for all of those storms and struggles we face. The One who is patiently waiting for us to come to him and lay all our burdens down at his feet. Today is Easter. The day Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of the One who gave it all for us. I can think of no better day to come home to The One who is waiting with open arms.

Let me be honest before I finish. Just because you lay all your junk at the feet of Jesus, does not mean all that junk immediately goes away. Sorry for that truth. But I can guarantee you, when you decide to turn over all that junk to Him, your life will be filled with a beautiful Peace. Your life will be filled with new Hope. New Purpose. You will still have days filled with raging storms, but you will not be walking through those storms alone. No, you will have a risen King walking with you. A risen King holding your hand. A risen King guiding your steps. A risen King making a way for you during those storms of life. So I encourage you to come home today. To find rest in the Risen King. ~OC

Endure the Trials

Life is full of trials. My life has been marked by health issues. I have walked a 18 year journey of multiple life threatening health issues. But I have endured.

During these trials, I have been helped by the truth that Jesus endured his own suffering and trials. Scripture tells us that great joy gripped Jesus when he looked ahead to what his suffering on the Cross would accomplish. Jesus endured all that suffering knowing he was completing the will of his Father. Jesus endured the suffering on the Cross, knowing the joy his resurrection would bring for generations to come. We are still living in the joy of His resurrection in 2021. And most importantly, Jesus endured the pain of the Cross for the joy of one day being able to present his redeemed sons and daughters before his Father.

The suffering Jesus endured on the Cross was not a joyful experience. As we read in scripture, the pain was excruciating. But Jesus was able to endure. When we walk through the trials of life, we can lean into the promises of Jesus and endure. ~OC

My Weakness

Today’s a new day! My weakness makes room for God’s strength. In times that are tiring and uncertain, when I feel I have nothing left in the tank, He shows up and reminds me that there is indeed nothing I can do… and He offers me His strength… because it is more than enough to carry this weight. ~OC

Truths

Today’s a new day! In your pain God is at work. In your struggles God is at work. In your fight God is at work. Never forget these truths. ~OC

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