United

In a divisive age, it’s easy to get caught up in our many differences. From denominational differences, political beliefs, even our favorite sports teams. We tend to argue a lot. With drama flooding our every interaction on social media to the real world, we can feel stressed. angry and alone. But are we really as different as we think?

There’s no escaping our many differences. They’re broadcast to us daily across social media, news outlets,work places and even our places of worship. We are hearing voices of disagreements from people of all walks of life. Sometimes, it feels like nobody is even trying to listen. These are trying times.

It’s tough to admit, but we tend to turn a small disagreement into WWIII. When truth be told, we have much in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ. For example, we are all sinners. We all need forgiveness. We all need grace. We all need love. We all need Jesus.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should all be united in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Some of us attend different demonstrations. Those denominations have different ways of doing things. But at the end of the day, if we believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose three days later and is coming back for His children, we should rejoice together and lay our differences at the foot of the Cross. We should stand United. ~OC

Surrender

The following words are from Jesus:

Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple. Luke 14:33

Are you truly willing to surrender it all to Jesus? I encourage each one of us to spend time in prayer with Jesus before answering this most important question. ~OC

Surrender

Most people do not like the word Surrender. For many the word means giving up or losing. This is especially true in the me first culture of today. But if we want to truly walk as a disciple of God’s, we cannot skate over the beautiful truth of surrendering.

When our bodies are out of alignment, we can definitely feel it. If we do not have our doctor check things out, our bodies will continue to decline. Not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We will start experiencing more defeats than victories.

Until we bring our thoughts and actions into proper alignment with God, we will continue to wear out. We will continue being out of alignment. But when we completely lay everything at the foot of the Cross, we become properly aligned with the will of God. Our hopes and dreams stop being centered around us and start being centered on the will of our Heavenly Father.

When we get caught up in the culture of the world, it can be tough to get realigned with the will of God. But surrendering everything to God is the first step to living a victorious and abundant life. I pray you take that first step today. ~OC

Why A Christian?

I am a Christian. A lot of my family and and friends are Christians. There are 2.18 billion Christians worldwide. That is a lot of people. But why do so many people call themselves a Christian? Have you ever spent time asking yourself that question? I think it’s a pretty important question to not only ponder, but to have an answer. Here is a little of my story answering this very important question.

I grew up in a home where everyone believed in God. We were taught to treat people with respect. To love our neighbors. And don’t you ever take the Lord’s name in vain. But we did not attend church on a regular basis. Not that my parents had anything against church. We just did not make it a priority. My brother and I were baptized at the local Baptist Church as children. I considered myself a Christian at that time, but could really not tell you why. That started changing in 1985.

I graduated from Twin Lakes High School in 1984. Yes, I am that old. After high school, I was not really sure what I wanted for the rest of my life. Then in 1985, a group of cheerleaders from my old high school were involved in a terrible car accident on their way home from a competition. Several were injured and one young lady was tragically killed. I did not know this young lady very well, but I knew her. Her father was actually one of my middle school teachers. We called it Junior High back in the day. That accident rocked a lot of people. Including myself. At Debbie’s funeral several people shared how short life was and how were we choosing to live it. I walked away from that funeral with a lot of questions. How was I living my life? Was my life making a difference?

Several months later, I truly accepted Jesus into my life and was baptized. I wish I could tell you that I turned away from my old life and everything was full of sunshine from that day on. Sadly that was not the case. For several years, I walked in between my old life and my new life in Jesus. Then one of the greatest things in my life happened. My parents moved away from West Palm Beach, FL. Wait. What?

In 1988, my parents house was bought by the airport and they decided to move away from West Palm Beach. At the time, I was attending Palm Beach Atlantic University and living at home. With my parents moving, I decided to move on campus. A life changing decision. I was blessed to have some great roommates in Tim Tate, Ben Starling, Pedro Linares and Bruce Speers. They were patient with this young guy who had a lot of questions about faith. Besides my roommates, Tim Moffett Jennifer Vaughn, Julie Tyler and Babs Tate decided to pour life into me. Never any judgement. Just a lot of understanding and a bunch of grace. It was during that year that I fully surrendered my whole life to Jesus. I have been far from perfect since making that decision, but I have continued to seek after Jesus.

Today as I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, I am grateful for those people who built into me all those years ago. They helped me become the person God created me to be. Thank you.

Because I saw firsthand people living out their faith and sharing it with me. Because I have seen God use a broken person (me), to help encourage many as I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey. The only answer I have for any of that is Jesus. That is why I am a Christian. ~OC

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