Check Our Hearts

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

Take the Pledge

As I reflect on the unrest in America, I think about the powerful pledge from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate MLK weekend, I wanted to share his pledge of non-violence. Here is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pledge of non-violence:

I hereby pledge myself- my person and body-to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

1). Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2). Remember always that the non-violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.

3). Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4). Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

5). Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

6). Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7). Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8). Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

9). Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10). Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.

As I read the above commitments, I think about all the heroes that lived out those powerful commitments in 1963. America was dealing with major unrest, as Dr. King and so many heroes marched peacefully for civil rights. Yes, peacefully. So the question is, will you take the pledge? I have personally committed to living out these commitments. Will you? ~OC

America, Come Together

At 3:41 a.m. on January 7, 2021, Vice-President Michael Pence officially certified Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris the winners of the 2020 Presidential election. This should have been a pretty boring proceeding. But we know that was not the case. Instead, we saw a few politicians and many protesters try to hijack the election results. Thankfully some leaders who actually believe in the constitution prevailed.

A time honored proceeding that should have only taken a few minutes on Wednesday 1/6/21, ended up lasting until 3:41 a.m. on Thursday 1/7/21. Why? Because some sore losers did not like the results of a fair election. So those individuals decided to take things into their own hands. Instead of peacefully protesting the election results which is their right, this group was encouraged to march on the Capital. We all watched with sadness and horror as this group decided violence was better than peace. At last count, four people died during this senseless uprising. Yes, in America four people died and several more were injured because a group of people did not like the results of a fair election. I know some will disagree that the election was legal and fair, but court after court has thrown out every challenge. Why? Because no real evidence was ever presented to show any fraud. So on January 7, 2021 at 3:41 a.m. President-Elect Joseph Biden was officially certified as the next President of the United States of America. I encourage everyone to pray for President-Elect Biden and Vice-President-Elect Harris. They have a tough job ahead. They need our prayers and support. America needs our prayers. It’s time to come together and actually be the United States of America. ~OC

Jesus and Judas

During a time where people are ending friendships because they disagree about politics, I will choose to stay friends.

During a time where people are ending friendships based on different religious beliefs, I will choose to stay friends.

During a time where people are ending friendships based on different skin color and culture, I will choose to stay friends.

During a time where people are ending friendships based on different beliefs about the pandemic, I will choose to stay friends.

During a time where people are ending friendships based on someone’s sexual orientation, I will choose to stay friends.

I could continue giving examples, but I hope you get the point. I do not have to agree or like someone’s opinion or belief system to be their friend. I can just respectfully disagree. I can also have respectful conversations with them. I can continue to pray for them. I can continue to love them.

I often think about Jesus and Judas Iscariot from the Bible. Jesus knew the day he met Judas, that Judas would betray him. The smart thing would have been for Jesus to not even start a friendship with Judas. But what did Jesus do? He invited Judas into his inner circle. Jesus ate with Judas. Jesus engaged Judas in conversation. Jesus prayed for Judas. Jesus washed Judas feet on the night Judas betrayed him. Jesus loved Judas.

People are broken. Friends come with baggage. We can choose to discard those friends we disagree with or we can choose to love them. There is too much hate in this world. So, I will choose to love those I disagree with. Baggage and all. ~OC

Gospel Over Politics

As I scroll through social media, I see some post from Christians talking about fighting until “Our Team” wins. That would be awesome if these folks were talking about God winning. Which of course He already has. No, sadly these post are about a political party. A party that would rather win than be United. My prayer is that these individuals would be more concerned about truly living out the Gospel and less concerned about a political party or candidate. ~OC

Keep Living……

Today’s a new day! Well, it’s 3am in my part of the world. America is still counting votes. Still waiting to see who will be our President. But guess what? I still woke up this morning. I still took a breath. I still prayed for those in need. I will still go about my day as normal. I will still spend time loving my family and friends. I will still keep helping those in need. The person occupying the White House will change every 4 to 8 years. But God will always be on the throne. That will never change. So I encourage everyone to go about their day and keep living. ~OC

Saddened

I continue to be saddened that our unity in Christ is less valued than political positions. How have political convictions come to matter more than whole hearted devotion to Jesus? So many identify as a devotee of a political party or leader rather than a follower of Jesus. ~OC

A Sad Day

I wake up a little sad this morning. I also wake up this morning with one less friend. No, my friend did not pass away. Sadly, my friend disagreed with something I shared in a group last night. Instead of talking about it in person, this friend decided to question my faith and character in a text. This friend decided their opinions were more important than a friendship.

That is really why I am sad today. When did it become okay to kick a friend to the curb when you have different opinions? Unfortunately, I am hearing more and more stories like mine these days. I remember a time when two friends with opposing views, could have a wonderful conversation and still walk away friends. Most of the time better friends. Sadly, those days appear to be slipping away. Today, it has become Them vs. US. Guess what? There is only US. If we continue to walk in a Them vs. US mentality, we will continue live in a divided world.

For me, I will continue to love everyone; even when their opinion differs from mine. I will continue to embrace dialogue. I will continue to embrace different opinions. I will continue to embrace diversity. I promise, I will not kick you to the curb when we disagree. ~OC

Not a Elephant or Donkey

Good morning everyone! This week, I received an email that basically called into question my faith based on someone’s assumptions about my political views. I have never actually had a conversation with this person about my political views, but I guess they decided I did not show enough support for their candidate. I am basically apolitical. I do not belong to a political party. Before each election, I take the time to educate myself on each of the candidates and issues. Then I vote my conscience. I could care less if you support a elephant or donkey. I would rather know about you, your family and how I can help/pray for you. I have chosen not to respond to the email at this time. I will pray about it and see if it is actually worth my time and effort. Thanks for letting me share. ~OC

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