Thank You!

Today’s a new day! Most of you know about my crazy beautiful health journey. For almost 18 years, I spent the majority of my life at Good Samaritan Medical Center on 4 South. Those years were not easy, but I was blessed with an amazing medical team. The Doctors, Nurses, CNA’s, Maintenance, Housekeeping, Admissions, Food Service, Tech’s, Transport and Administration became family. We spent many holidays and Super Bowls together. Each of these wonderful. amazing heroes made the tough days easier for Laura West Shoemaker and I.

As we watch this new Covid wave come through, I am concerned for my friends in the healthcare profession. I pray for them and check on them often. I encourage everyone to keep our healthcare workers in your prayers. Their job was difficult before Covid, but this horrible virus has put more of a strain on each of them. If you or a family member find yourselves in the hospital, please show these beautiful heroes respect. These amazing people are there to help you and your loved one. They are actually putting their lives and the lives of their own families on the line to help you get back to your loved ones. So today, say a prayer for all the amazing healthcare workers and hospital/nursing home staff. If you know a healthcare worker take the time to thank them for their service. ~OC

I Am Wrecked…Again

Once again I am wrecked by what I see happening in Atlanta, Virginia and Minneapolis. I keep believing that one day, I will wake up and not hear about another person of color being victimized by the actions of a person filled with hate or a person quick to judge. But sadly, that seems like a dream. But hey, I am a dreamer.

So I will continue praying for my brothers and sisters of color. Praying that as you walk down the street, people will not clutch their purses or bags a little tighter. Praying as you visit a place of business, you will not be hassled. I pray if for some reason you are pulled over by the police, you will be treated with respect. I am saddened that I have to pray this prayer every day for my brothers and sisters of color. But I will not stop praying. I will not stop speaking out against injustice. I will continue to stand with you. ~OC

It’s About Love

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

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

Living Out God’s Journey

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

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

My Prayer: Take Off The Blinders

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

I Am

As I was on my morning walk, these words came to me:

I am a white man. I bleed red.

My brothers and sisters of color bleed red.

I am a white man. I love to pray.

My brothers and sisters of color love to pray.

I am a white man. I love my family and friends

My brothers and sisters of color love their family and friends.

I am a white man. I love to laugh and cry.

My brothers and sisters of color love to laugh and cry.

I am a white man. I love to praise God.

My brothers and sisters of color love to praise God.

I am a white man. I want the best for my family and friends.

My bothers and sisters of color want the best for their family and friends.

I am a white man. I love to read and listen to music.

My brothers and sisters of color love to read and listen to music.

I am a white man. I love great conversation.

My brothers and sisters of color love great conversation.

I am a white man. I have the right to share my opinions.

My brothers and sisters of color have the right to share their opinions.

I am a white man. I love diversity.

My brothers and sisters of color love diversity.

I am a white man. I reach out with love to my brothers and sisters of color. I am blessed that my brothers and sisters of color have always reached back with open arms and love.

Why did I share this blogpost? Because We have more in common than we have differences. There is no Them. There is only Us. As a world we are better Together. Celebrate Diversity. ~OC

Say Yes. Say No.

Say yes to loving others.
Say yes to forgiving others.
Say yes to helping others.
Say yes to standing up for others.
Say yes to listening to others.
Say yes to encouraging others.

Say no to hating others.
Say no to judging others.
Say no to bullying others.
Say no to gossiping about others.
Say no to discouraging others.
Say no to holding grudges against others. ~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

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