World Stoke Day

Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC

*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.

*Still having memory issues.

*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.

*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.

*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.

*Still very fatigued.

*Still takes me forever to text.

*What I can do:

*I am still breathing.

*I am still walking.

*I am still laughing.

*I am still trying to make a positive difference.

*I am still trying to encourage others.

  • I am still making memories.

*I am still moving forward.

*I am still standing.

*I am still living.

Seeds of Hope

When we plant seeds, our hope is that we will one day see a beautiful strong tree. The sprouting of new life. New birth. That seed needs nutrients to grow and experience new life. As human beings we need that same care.

As you continue to water and tend to your needs, you will hopefully begin to see fruit. New Life. Let’s look at some of the fruits we may see as we continue to grow and prosper. As we see the seeds of hope growing.

  1. Hope bears the fruit of love.
  2. Hope bears the fruit of patience.
  3. Hope bears the fruit of love.
  4. Hope bears the fruit of peace.
  5. Hope bears the fruit of joy.

Of course we will not see this fruit overnight. No, it will take patience, care and grace. But if we will put in the work, we will one day see a strong solid tree with deep roots. A tree/life able to withstand the strongest winds and storms. Where will you plant your seeds? ~OC

Dear Stroke

Dear Stroke,

You tried taking me out a few weeks ago. You thought you had me down for the count. But once again God had other plans for me. So God 1 Stroke 0.

I have some things I want to share with you stroke. I want to to know you do not define me. I am not Todd the stroke patient. No, I am The Blessed Overcomer who just happened to have a stroke. You get no victory. God gets all the praise.

Yes, my left side is still weak and I still do not know the days of the week. But I truly believe I will experience complete healing and restoration in those areas. Dear Stroke, you will never win. God and I will not let you. I will push through therapy and continue to make improvements. I plan on ditching the cane one day.

Each and every day I get out of bed and face the challenges of the day and take back everything you tried to steal. The battle is not over. You might be powerful and strong, but you’ve got nothing on the power of God for those–like me and those who pray for me–who believe. ~OC

Walking Another Journey

I have always tried to be open and honest about my health journey. God has given me a story of hope and encouragement to share with the world. He has given each of us a story to share. Here is my current story.

As some of you know, I walked an almost 18 year health journey. I faced death on many occasions. At one point I weighed 112 pounds, was living off a feeding tube and had to use a voice amplifier to speak. On November 3, 2019, with just two weeks to live, I walked into a tent and was healed during an old fashioned prayer and healing service. My life changed completely in a minute. I went from The Man Who Refused to Die, to the Dead Man Running sharing my story around the country. A documentary was even made about incredible journey (www.deadmanrunningmovie.com). Life was good. Then February 7, 2021 happened and my life changed again.

I woke up on Super Bowl Sunday February 7, 2021 excited. You see, my Tampa Bay Buccaneers were playing in the Super Bowl. I have been a Bucs fan since the NFL announced Tampa was getting a team in 1974. The Bucs started playing two years later in 1976. Anyone who truly calls themselves a Buccaneers fan knows there have been a lot of ups and downs over the years. But on Sunday February 7, 2021, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win the Super Bowl. I would only see a few minutes of the game. Life was about to throw me another curveball.

I woke up that Sunday morning a little tired, but nothing major. I went to church that morning feeling excited about the day. After church, I came home and took a small nap. Had to get my rest before cheering for my Bucs. I did not wake up rested. No, I woke up trenched in sweat and a 103.7 fever. So I ended up sleeping through most of the Super Bowl. The next day Monday February 8th, I would be admitted into the hospital with Covid and deal with a 104.4 fever for four straight days. Little did I know that over a year later, I would be still dealing with issues from Covid and be classified as a Long Hauler.

Which brings me to September 2022. I am currently hospitalized and dealing with an uncertain future. I was brought to the hospital a few days ago with stroke life symptoms. Thankfully, the doctors do not believe I had a stroke. So what caused those symptoms? We may never know. Thank you Covid. These days eating and even drinking have become difficult. At this time, I am taking in less than 500 calories a day. My body is being attacked on multiple fronts. A lot of tough decisions will need to be made over the next few days and weeks. Once again, thank you Covid.

With all that said, I am still clinging to the promises of Jesus. I am reaching out, just trying to touch his robe. I still believe in the beautiful miracles of Jesus. None of this is a surprise to the King of Kings. He is still using my beautiful crazy journey to tell a story of hope, love and encouragement. I am at peace.

A little side note. Jesus did not take away my miracle from November 3, 2019. My current health issues are not caused from sin in my life. I do not have some type of evil spirit in my life. The only spirit I have in my body is the Holy Spirit. I share this because these things have been said to me as I am walking this new health journey. I also know other people walking through their own journey that have heard these cruel words. Please do not believe these lies. Remember, Lazarus was raised from the dead, but today he is walking with Jesus in Heaven. So for those walking through a storm, do not walk in these lies. Walk in the beautiful victory, hope, love and peace of Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Seasons

I know what it’s like to have your world come crashing down in a life changing way. In 2002, I entered a season of health issues that would effect my life in one way or another for next 20 years.

My career and love of running were taken away, and I have been fighting for my life for the last 20 years. I have been pushed to the brink in every area of my life. I would never want anyone to endure the journey I am traveling. Yet, in this season I have learned how to find and spread deep and authentic hope, love and encouragement.

During this season, which continues today with the diagnosis of covid long haulers, God has blessed me with the opportunity to share his love in many different circles. To share hope with many who feel hope has slipped away. I have been blessed with the opportunity to encourage others as they walk through their own crazy beautiful journey. This season has not been easy, but I would not change a step. This season has been filled with amazing lessons and memories. A season of beautiful interruptions. ~OC

Storms

Living in Florida means we deal with a lot of storms. In the summer it can be sunny out, but around 3 or 4 o’clock a storm can come out of nowhere. Some days it can be raining hard in the front yard, but sunny in the backyard. Of course then there’s the hurricanes. Some hurricanes move quickly through, while others just stall over us.

On this crazy beautiful journey called life, we will face many different storms. Sometimes there will be a light rain that comes and goes in a minute.
Then there are storms that blow in, causing havoc for everyone and everything in its path.

We don’t like walking through the storms of life. Who does? We love the sunny beach weather. But unfortunately that is not the world we live in. We will all walk through a storm or two during this life. We will all face days of blowing winds and flooding waters. Stop for a minute and sit still. In that minute, I am sure you can think of one person who is currently walking through a storm. The storms of life are hitting them from every side. Maybe that person is you. I often hear pastors share we are either walking in a storm, just coming out of a storm or about to walk through a storm. How true. If you are currently walking through a storm, I encourage you to take hold of the strong hand of God. He will lift you up as you face the raging seas.

When we walk through a storm, that doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or isn’t listening to our prayers. On the contrary, the scriptures tell us in this life we will all face trouble. We like to skip over that part because it isn’t very comforting or encouraging. But that doesn’t change the fact that we will all face troubles in life. When we walk through a storm we can take heart because God has overcome this world. That means He will never leave or forsake us. That should bring peace and comfort to everyone.

I have walked through many storms in my life. I have come to learn these storms have a purpose. That may not always be clear as we are walking through the storm. But if we will take the time to listen, God will reveal the lessons he has for us as we walk through a raging storm. I have learned God never wastes a storm. God can use a storm to show us the purpose for our lives or to reconnect us to our true purpose in life.

Hopefully this will bring you peace as you walk through your storm. Especially if you have walked through this storm for many years. You have been praying and crying out to God, but it appears he is not listening. Believe me I have been there. I’ve walked through a stormy season in life that lasted for almost 18 years. I was hit with one storm after another. So I get it my friend. Life can be hard. But in the mist of my storm, I saw God grow my faith in a life changing way. God allowed me to share the gospel with many as I walked the halls of the hospital or during my weekly treatments and doctor appointments. During the storm, God reminded me that my worth and value are not tied to my career, success or what I achieve in life. No, my value and worth are found in being a child of God. In being chosen by him, called by him, and equipped by him for a purpose.
Sometimes our lives are rocked by the storms of life, so that we can rebuild on a better foundation. On the firm foundation of God. ~OC

Go Rest On High

As I have scrolled through social media the past few weeks, I have been saddened by stories of friends dealing with the death of loved ones. Those stories inspired me to write the following words.

Your mission on earth is now complete. No more pain fills your days. Your journey on earth was filled with ups and downs. But even during the hardest days, you looked up to heaven and gave praise. When the enemy came in the middle of the night, you faced him head on never taking a step back. You reminded the enemy that even on the darkest days, you would continue to praise the one on high.

Now you are looking into the eyes of Jesus rejoicing in praise. He has welcomed you home. No more walking through the pain. Your purpose on earth is now complete. I wish I could have seen your face as the angels led you into the gates of heaven to meet the King. We rejoice as we think about you sitting at the feet of the King of Kings, as he took you by the hand and uttered those beautiful words well done, thou good and faithful servant. I can see the smile on your face as you gazed into his eyes. Go rest on high.

We will continue this journey as we carry your memory in our hearts. We will remember your strength and determination as you faced your darkest days. Some days will be filled with tears, when we pick up the phone to call only to remember you have gone home to the King. We will smile as we recall how you made everyone laugh even during the pain. We will rejoice as we think of the day we join you in heaven and sit at the feet of the King. Go rest on high. ~OC

No Day Is Promised

Good morning. God laid this on my heart. The title is No Day is Promised.

As he wakes up his feet hit the floor, giving his Savior praise for another day. For him another day doesn’t come easy. Every breath is a struggle, but he keeps fighting. He takes one breath at a time and keeps praising his King. He is blessed with another day. Another opportunity for a miracle. No day is promised.

Sometimes when he shuffles down the halls of the hospital, he hears the enemy scream in his ears Dead Man Walking, Dead Man Walking. He refuses to listen to those lies. His body might be weak, but he is not finished fighting. His King has another day for the Man Who Refuses to Die. Another opportunity for a miracle. No day is promised.

Today The Man Who Refused to Die is living out his miracle. His breathing comes easier these days. He no longer is a Dead Man Walking. He keeps praising his King because he knows no day is promised. Today the Dead Man Walking is the Dead Man Running. ~OC

Hello 2022!

Today’s a new day! The first day of a new year. A new year filled with wonderful opportunities. I pray we do not take this new year and new opportunities for granted. I hope we spend more time helping others. I hope we spend more time cultivating relationships. I hope we will slow down enough to enjoy all that 2022 has for us. ~OC

Walk In Your Miracle

Today’s a new day! On my Facebook memory today, it shared my bride and I were in Seattle on June 14,2019. We were going on a cruise to Alaska in celebration of our 20th Anniversary. What my medical team shared would be our last anniversary (our anniversary is actually in September) and probably my last trip ever. I was dying.

After almost 18 years of battling multiple life threatening health issues, my body was shutting down. I weighed 112 pounds, could not eat and could barely speak. I was living off a feeding tube. I was a dead man walking. But Laura and I were not thinking about death. We were too busy living life and making memories. We were living with Hope. Still believing in a Crazy Beautiful Miracle. Several months later, I would experience that crazy beautiful miracle under a tent. I would not experience death as most of my medical team predicted. No, Jesus had other plans. Plans for me to live and share the story he gave me. To Thrive.

Today you might be facing a storm. Maybe even death. But I want to encourage you to live with Hope and Believe our wonderful Savior might just have a crazy beautiful miracle for you. So walk in your Miracle today. ~OC

This picture was taken in June 2019 on our trip to Alaska.

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