Perseverance

Today’s a new day! Perseverance helps one to overcome the greatest storms in life. Without a steadfast tenacity to press forward through challenging moments in life, we would never overcome the storms of life. The problem with giving up without a fight is that we are told to run our spiritual race as “one intent on obtaining the prize.”“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24.
We cannot win the race if we lack endurance and the will to persevere through the hard times. We must finish the race God has given us to run. Taking time to rest during the race is understood by our loving Savior. But we cannot curl up and stay down during the storms of life. We must keep getting up and running the race set before us. Giving up is not an option. We must finish strong. Stay focused on the prize. ~OC

Dear Running,

Dear Running,

It is very painful to write these words to you. Running, we have been friends since I was a child. Back then, I loved running through the neighborhood. Not a care in the world. I did not get my drivers license until I was 18 years old because I thought I could just run everywhere. My friends had cars. Why did I need to drive? After high school, you and took a break. We reunited a few times in college, but nothing serious. Just a casual short run every once in awhile. After college you and I drifted apart. Life got busy and I abandoned you. Then in 2003, while having open-heart surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, God spoke to me through a vision and said it was time to reunite with you. Not only to start running again, but to start running marathons. I was under heavy anesthesia, so was this real? Yes indeed, it was real. Not only did God say to start running again, but to share the Gospel through running. Four months after surgery, I started running again. Oh, how nice to see you again old friend. It was like old times. We were back together. One year after my surgery, I completed my first marathon. Oh what a wonderful feeling and experience. As I ran, God gave me the chance to share his amazing love. You and I continued to complete one marathon after another. In 2007, we received a scare when I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s. My first question to the doctor was “Can I keep on running?” I was overjoyed when the doctor shared I could indeed keep on running. Oh, we had a fun time the next year and a half. In 2008, God blessed me with the opportunity to run a 1,000 miles in one year. We anticipated a wonderful and exciting year of running in 2009. It started off with me completing the Disney Marathon. But something just wasn’t right. Was Parkinson’s starting to come between me and running? We fought hard to stay together. But once again something just wasn’t right. In March of 2009, my body started to betray me. That month, Myasthenia Gravis joined Parkinson’s to wreck my body. They finally broke us up in mid 2009. For the next ten years, I would fight for my life and daydream about you friend. Funny thing about those ten plus years, God kept directing me to buy a new pair of running shoes each year. Was God planning a reunion? It sure didn’t look like it. My health continued to decline. Funeral arrangements were made. Goodbyes were shared. Then on November 3, 2019, a shell of a man walked into a tent revival and was completely healed by our amazing Savior. A month later, God reunited us. In 2020, after not running for over ten years, God blessed me with the opportunity to complete 1,000 miles in ten months. Oh what a feeling. But during 2020, a pandemic rolled in and changed the world. On Super Bowl Sunday 2021, I was introduced to this strange virus called Covid. Little did I know my life was going to be completely changed. Since that Super Bowl Sunday, my body has never been the same. I have tried on many occasions to run again. We had a little success, but there have been many moments of major disappointments.

So it’s with a broken heart, I say one final goodbye to an old friend. We have made some beautiful memories together. But the effects of Covid and some other health issues have made running difficult and not enjoyable. I always dreamed running would be part of my life until Jesus took me home. So on August 4, 2022, I announce my retirement from running. It has been a beautiful crazy journey. Thanks for the memories my friend.

Hello Todd

Some nights, I wanna disappear into the night like a flying star. Maybe I can be like Marty McFly and find a time machine to take me back in time. Maybe I will travel to the year when I was 12. That’s when I remember my body facing its first medical trial. When life changed for awhile. Of course I didn’t know then that at 35, my life would turn into one crazy beautiful health journey. But a miracle would change that at 53. Then a pandemic would hit that changed everything at 55. I would tell that 12 year old, he’s going to take a lot of hits along the way. His life is going to become a medical odyssey. A journey around the world for doctors to see how this dead man walking keeps on overcoming. They whisper to themselves this man just refuses to die. I would share with that 12 year boy, it’s not by his strength that he is surviving the crazy waves. No it’s by the powerful love of God that he’s thriving as the waves come raging in. Remember when you were 10 years old and you asked the King of Kings into your heart? That life changing moment did not make life easy, but that single moment filled you with peace and hope. Those would come in handy in the years ahead. You will make mistakes along the journey, but when you look to your left or right the King of Kings will always be standing by your side. When you have questions or need some insight, God will always be there to direct your ways. You see, God is always listening even when you think he’s asleep. Hey, let’s take a break and return to that young man trying to navigate his way. There are some things you’ll do along the way you wish you could erase. But remember, every slip up will make you the man you will become one day. Far from perfect, but still allowing God to mold him like clay. People will build you up along the way, but will be quick to tear you down when you go astray. But don’t let anybody tell you how to write your story. Along the journey you might need to flip the script even if it scares a few people away. We are all products of our lived experiences. At times along the journey you will feel confused and scared. That’s when you stop and lean into the loving arms of the King of Kings. I hope you’re hearing this. I wish I could tell you life is going to be easy, but that would be a shiny bright lie. Yeah, I wrote about that before you should check it out. Life will be full of mistakes. That’s just part of the race. Do not forget about those lived experiences. But life will also be full of decisions you get right. Both are learning experiences. Don’t miss out on the lessons. When the journey gets hard, remember that Mother’s Day back in the day when you said yes to the Lord. You will often look back on that day when facing those crashing waves. Life is not going to be easy. There will be days you feel like throwing it all away, but then God will suddenly stop everything so you can take it all in and be amazed. Don’t miss one of those days. You see, life is going to go quick. One day you will wake up and wonder what happened to all those days. My prayer for that 12 year old boy, is that you will take it all in. The good and the bad. The memories that bring tears and the ones that bring smiles. Enjoy every minute of this amazing ride. ~OC

Wake Up

Hello. Here is a little something God put on my heart.

You spend your life running a race not created by God. Cause you live your life in a self created lane you keep running up against hurdles. You keep slipping. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God

You keep running a race that has no purpose. It’s a dead end. It’s a race filled with shiny things, but no substance. No hope. It’s a fantasy. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God

Your race is full of money and a big house in the right zip code The world looks at you thinking you’ve got the American Dream. But your life is empty. Full of regrets and broken promises. Void of hope, Void of peace. Oh, if you only had some peace. But peace is not found in the race you chose. Look up and open your eyes you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God
Wake up and grab the hand of God.

The race you run is full of comparisons and false images. Your race is full of lies that leave you empty. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God.
Wake up and grab the hand of God

Stop running your own race
Where’s it gotten you? God has a better race for you to run. A race designed just for you. Look up and open your eyes, you’ll find a hand reaching down for you.

Wake up grab hold of the hand of God.
Wake up and grab the hand of God.
(Wake Up Wake Up) ~OC

Share Some Hope Today

Today we celebrate one month since our documentary Dead Man Running The Todd Shoemaker Story was released. So I have a favor and challenge for you. Would everyone please take the time today to post the link to your social media pages and share the documentary with at least five people? Let’s share some hope today. Thanks! ~OC

Your 4th Quarter

What is the legacy you want to leave your family, friends and community? Some might think this is a question we should be asking as we head into the 4th Quarter of our journey. But I disagree with that thinking. We never know when our 4th quarter will come.
None of us know when we will be entering the 4the quarter of our journey. When we are children, we think the 4th quarter looks so far away. We are just getting into the game. But sadly, some of us have seen children pass away.
When we enter our 20’s, we experience freedom. A time to start making our own decisions. Good or bad. A time to find ourselves. A time to put the lessons we have been taught into action. Once again, good or bad. In our 20’s, we begin to make life long friends as we travel through higher education, military and the workforce. Some begin to fall in love with the person they will hopefully walk through life with until the end. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 30’s, some begin to start families and build their careers. Yes, you can do both. Some buy houses where they will raise families and build beautiful memories. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 40’s, we scratch our head and wonder how that’s possible. Parents begin to see their children heading off to college and even getting married. A lot of changes during this time. Once again, some good and some not so much. But we press on. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
When we enter our 50’s, we think 50’s not that old. Then we start experiencing little aches and pains. We start going to the bathroom at strange hours of the morning. Some will become grandparents. Some say goodbye to their own parents. We start looking at retirement a little closer. Some begin to look at the legacy they want to leave. Hopefully, we started looking at our legacy earlier in the game. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 60’s, some will retire. Others will find a new exciting purpose. A new passion. Some will begin traveling more often. Building memories with grandchildren and old friends. Life will change. Once again, for better or worse. All the sudden we will lean more about the medical world than we ever wanted to. We will reflect back on life a little more. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 70’s, Florida will get a little more crowded. Some will become more like their parents. Once again, for better or worse. Some will become great-grandparents. We will begin to experience more changes in our bodies. We will start saying goodbye to old friends. Some will find their second act in life. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 80’s, we will be challenged to sit around and watch life roll by or chose to build into the lives of others? To keep living and making a difference. Some will move in with family members. Sadly, we will start attending more funerals. We will spend a little more time reflecting back on life. Will this be your 4th quarter? Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
As we enter our 90’s, we will spend more time reflecting back on our lives. Some will look back with fondness, while others will look back with regrets. Some will build houses for the needy. Some will continue to run marathons. Others will become authors and artist. For most this will be their 4th quarter. Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave?
Some will become centenarian. That will mean you have entered Overtime. God bless you. Will you be prepared? What legacy will you leave? ~OC

Coming 11/17/21

Hello. As some of you know, a documentary was done on my almost 18 year health battle with multiple life threatening health issues. It will be released this Wednesday 11/17 at 8pm. It is being released on several platforms, but the free option will be shown on our YouTube channel Dead Man Running The Todd Shoemaker Story (@deadmanrunningthemovie). For more information check out our website http://www.deadmanrunningmovie.com Here is the official music video for the documentary. ~OC

Keep Running

Today’s a new day! Life is like running. Each step is a new memory. The more steps you take, the more memories you make. Never stop running!!! ~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

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