Today’s a new day!! The brightness of our light is not determined by how loud we talk, how big our platform is or how famous we are. No, the brightness of our light is determined by how loud our behavior speaks. The consistency of the decisions we make. Our commitment to truly follow Jesus and serve others. The decision to do the right thing regardless of what the world thinks. How bright is your light? ~OC
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
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
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
Today’s a new day! Dear God, help me feel what you feel. ~OC
I thought you were a Christian, so…
How do you vote that way?
How come you hang out with those type of people?
How do you know rap lyrics? (Mostly 80’s rap).
How do you listen to non-Christian music?
What makes you struggle and questions today’s Church?
I thought you were a Christian, so…
How can you watch certain shows and movies?
How can you support those movements?
How do you not support certain political candidates or party?
Are you sure your a Christian?
I am a whole and imperfect Christian.
Has the church and its people forgotten what that means?
It means I need Jesus in every way possible, because I am a sinner.
It does not mean I have all the answers to life. It does not mean I have life figured out. It does not mean I suddenly like every Christian song or movie ever made.
It means one thing and one thing only:
I am a Christian because I love Jesus.
The truth is, I stray outside of the lines of American Christianity. I do not fit in a neat little perfectly wrapped box. I sometimes can be like that crazy relative we all have.
But that’s exactly what drove me to Jesus in the first place. His grace shines most in my shortcomings.
So if you see me trip up and get a little dirty, don’t assume that I have lost my way.
I am running toward Jesus, but it’s a long, long marathon. I am a Christian who desperately needs Christ.
So how do I respond when people question my faith? When they expect perfection from a deeply flawed individual?
Well, I keep loving Jesus, keep loving others, and keep leaning hard into Grace.
Because I know without a doubt I need Grace every day.
I love Jesus…but I refuse to live in that perfect little box. ~OC
Today’s a new day! God is looking for people with humble hearts; individuals who will sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ and who will stand in the gap as servant leaders for their families, churches and communities. ~OC
Good Morning! God put this on my heart this morning. ~OC
By its very nature, adversity brings uncertainty, confusion and isolation. It is difficult to talk about these things, and so many who suffer feel they need to bear their burdens alone.
When we are walking through the storms of life, we need our brothers and sisters in Christ. Through our own suffering we have witnessed in the lives of others, how profoundly we need one another as followers of Christ.
Since the beginning of time, we see the importance of family, friends and groups coming together to serve and love each other.
And let us not neglect our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another,
especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Today’s a new day! I pray your journey would be filled with God’s amazing love and each of your steps would leave behind beautiful drops of His amazing grace. ~OC
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