Shine God Shine

Hello. God put this on my heart. Hopefully it encourages someone today. ~OC

Shine God Shine:

Dear God, as we walk through this journey, let your light shine through us. Destroy all the darkness and negativity around us. Dear God, let the warmth of your light, the brightness of your love, the sweetness of your joy, the beauty of your hope shine through us.
Dear God, let your light be our guide through the storms. Let your light brighten our path. Continue to let your light shine through us. Shine God Shine!

Radical Obedience

Today’s a new day! Radical obedience to Jesus does not seek to conform to the standards set by the world. No, radical obedience to Jesus is completely laying everything at his feet. Radical obedience is pursuing Jesus at all cost. Radical obedience is saying yes to Jesus when he says “Sell it all and go serve me.” Are you walking in radical obedience to Jesus?

I pray every Christian will pray this prayer each morning:

Dear Jesus, fill me with your radical faith that does not waver in hard times.

The Boat

Today’s a new day! At one point during my beautiful life, my friendship list looked like a big cruise ship. Many people laughing and having fun. Life was great. Then I got sick and the boat began to get smaller. Of course that was rough to endure, but God gave me peace.

Then I experienced a beautiful miracle and all of the sudden the boat started getting bigger, but most of the relationships were not real. They were based on what God had done in my life. People cared more about the miracle than they did about me. Once again tough to endure, but God guided me through this storm. He even told me on a walk one early August morning, that my inner circle would get smaller. There would be fewer people on the boat. This did not scare me, it actually gave me peace.

Then I had a stroke a few weeks ago and more friends jumped off the boat. This time I was prepared for it. Less phone calls checking in or returning my calls or text. God had clearly prepared me for this time. That doesn’t mean there was not some pain and disappointment.

But as I continue to walk through this new crazy beautiful health journey, I cling to the friends who have decided to stay in the boat with me. The ones who actually reach out to me without any prompting and reassure me they are not leaving the boat regardless of how big the waves get. We will endure together. How blessed to have people in the boat who reassure me they are not abandoning me. Who tell me they don’t care how small the boat gets. No matter how rough the waves become. “Todd, I am not leaving the boat.” How encouraging those words are as Laura and I move through this new storm.

As I wrote the words above, I realized I have never needed rescuing from the boat. God has always been and always will be in the boat with me. He has never thought about abandoning me. I am thankful for those God chooses stay in the boat with me. But my hope and peace comes from God who created the boat and me. The One who can calm the raging seas with just a whisper.

If you are dealing with a storm in your life, look around and see who’s in your boat. When you find them cherish them. During the storms of life, learn to sit in the boat with others. Embrace those in the boat. Encourage those in the boat. Empower those in the boat. ~OC

Character and Integrity

Today’s a new day! Christians should be the last people on earth posting fake stories on social media or anywhere else. Even unintentionally. As believers, we need to spend the extra time fact-checking before we post something on social media or share a story. Character and integrity should mean something.

This is not a game. When the integrity of God’s people is undermined the truth of the gospel gets called into question. That can come with devastating consequences. And not just for Christians. The eternity of many are at stake. Speaking and posting the truth should always be a higher priority than pushing our agenda or getting likes. ~OC

Power of Hope

When we wake up and are still facing the storms of life, we need to reach up to God and grab onto the hand of hope. The bigger the waves, the worries and troubles, the more the stage is set for God to move mightily in calming the waves. God cares about our storms.

One of the lessons God wants to teach us during the storms of life, is to fully trust in Him and not lose hope. Hope is a life changing word. No matter how many tears have filled the boat, how many prayers seemingly unanswered, or how fear grips us there is hope. We can cling into that hope during the worst storms. God will always be by our side as the crashing waves try to take us out. Plant your feet in the beautiful hope of God. ~OC

Conversation With God

Hello. As I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, God has been sharing and teaching me a lot. I thought I would share some of the lessons and conversations with God.

*I will not experience healing on this side of heaven. Yes, God clearly shared that with me during one of our morning conversations. I am at such peace. There is no fear, worry or anger. Just the sweet peace of God flowing through my life. Do you have that kind of peace?

*Healing comes in many different forms. We get caught up in the miracles we can see with our eyes. Those are beautiful! But God is performing miracles daily that we cannot see with our eyes. Those healings and miracles are just as real as the ones we can see.

*Keep sharing the story God has given me. The thorn in my side is health issues. Still God is using my health issues to minister to a broken world. A broken world that needs the beautiful light of God. A world that needs encouragement.

*Be bold in sharing the true gospel. A lot of false theology being pushed in the Christian community.

*I did nothing to lose my miracle from 2019. My current health battle is not from sin in my life or an evil spirit living in me. That healing from 2019 was real and from God.

*God shared he owes us nothing. Everything He does in our lives is a beautiful gift. A gift of love, forgiveness and grace.

*God will not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will always walk with us through the journey. We have to learn to be okay with His plans for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Also every trial will produce lessons. We learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

*Then Jesus asked me a question. I did not hear the audible voice of Jesus. He asked me “Who has suffered more than me?” Jesus shared he suffered most of his life. Suffering is part of the journey. But as Christians we never want to walk that journey. But by choosing not to embrace the journey of suffering, we are missing out on some incredible lessons Jesus has for us and others.

I pray these words bring you comfort today. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Stop Gossiping

Have you ever been outside watering your lawn and a neighbor comes rushing a across the street to share the latest neighborhood gossip? Or worse, you are in church and a group of folks call you over to share the latest church gossip. We have all been there. How do you react when someone wants to share the latest 411 on somebody. Here are some tips I hope help in the fight against gossip.

* Confront the person sharing the gossip. This can be difficult, but is necessary to stop hurtful gossip.

*Shut it down. Do not even let the person get the words out of their mouth. Once again, not easy but necessary.

*Totally surprise the gossiper and say something positive about the person they are sharing dirt on. You may have to pick them off the floor.

*Remind them that somebody is probably gossiping about them. Check out the look on their face with that one.

*Share true facts about the situation if you have been given permission to do so. Sadly, a gossiper really doesn’t want to hear the truth. Where’s the fun in that? I am kidding of course.

*Turn gossip into a time of prayer. Instead of getting caught up in the gossip, take time to pray for the person or situation.

This is just a small list. Take a moment and come up with additional ways to shut down gossip. ~OC

A Good Friend

Having good friends who love and support you makes life more happy. Making memories with friends is amazing. Having friends who stick with you during your biggest storms is priceless. So my question for everyone is “What makes a good friend?”

  • A good friend is with you during the good times and bad times. If you are walking through a storm keep an eye on those that walk with you and those that bail.
  • A good friend will never judge you. They may speak truth in your life, but it will be done with no judgment.
  • A good friend will never deliberately hurt you.
  • A good friend will always show respect and kindness.
  • A good friend is someone who will support your wildest dreams.
  • A good friend will never gossip about you.
  • A good friend will always be honest with you. Even when the truth hurts.
  • A true friend will cry and laugh with you.
  • A good friend will pick up the phone just to check on you.
  • A good friend will always listen.

This is just a short list qualities to look for in a friend. I encourage you to spend some time making your own list. ~OC

Friends

Today’s a new day! During this journey called life, I want to be a friend and have friends who challenge others to love and serve the least of these. Friends that challenge us to think outside of the box. Dear friends who challenge us to speak out against injustice. Friends who refuse to let us just breeze through life. True friendships that challenge us to grow deeper in our walk with God. I desire to be this kind of friend and to be surrounded by these type of friends. ~OC

God Shows Up

In Disappointments God shows up.
In times of Victory God shows up.
In times of Loneliness God shows up.
In times of Happiness God shows up.
In times of Heartbreak God shows up.
In times of great Blessings God shows up.
In times of Sorrow God shows up.
In times of Turmoil God shows up.
In times of Peace God shows up.

You see, God shows up during the storms and during the sunshine.

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