Remnant

Today’s a new day! With people a remnant is like a leftover, waste material, material for which there is no plan, purpose, or intended use. With God it is exactly opposite. God’s remnant is a beautiful scrap. The remnant of God is that for which all things were planned and purposed. Without that piece of remnant, everything else would be useless. ~OC

I Didn’t Lose My Miracle

Today’s a new day! Words have power. We can choose to speak words of encouragement or words of judgment. As Christians, our heart’s desire should be to build people up and speak words of hope and love into their lives. But it seems challenging for some Christians to share those encouraging words of hope when someone is suffering from a chronic illness and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Or maybe a person experienced a healing miracle only to have another health battle hit them.

That has been my experience, as I walk through my crazy beautiful health journey. As I shared above, our words are powerful. The tongue is a mighty weapon. It can be used to share love and hope or it can be used to hurt and destroy. I have experienced both over the years. Especially in the last few years.

In November of 2019, I experienced a beautiful healing in the name of Jesus. Not to toot my own horn, but I became the toast in many Christian circles. Everyone wanted to hear my story and have me pray for them. I was blessed with many speaking engagements. Heck, a documentary was even made about my story. Everyone wanted to hang out and spend time with me. Then came February 2021. I was diagnosed with Covid and my health took a turn for the worse. Today, my health is still a major issue. Things are also different in my social life.

Some who celebrated my healing back in 2019, are now the ones who send me messages questioning my faith because I am sick again. What sin caused me to lose my healing? You must have doubt about your healing. That is why God took it away. Todd, you are not praying correctly. Sadly, I am not making this up. Let me assure you, I do not fall for any of these false teachings.

I am not invited or included in many social or ministry gatherings these days. That’s okay. I am a big boy. I am thankful for the few who look past my health issues and just see me. Those that actually live out their faith.

Here are some things God has shared with me as I continue to walk in this crazy beautiful health journey. I will continue to walk in victory.

*Keep sharing the story He has given me.

*The miracle He performed in my life on November 3, 2019 was real.

*I did not lose my miracle.

*Be bold in sharing the true Gospel.

*God will continue to use me at the hospitals, doctors offices and infusion centers to bring hope and encouragement.

*God does not owe us anything. Everything we receive from him is a gift.

*Listen for the lessons God has for us during the trials of life.

*Suffering is part of our journey, but do not let it become our identity.

*Jesus suffered most of his life. Why do some Christians believe they should be exempt from suffering?

*I am not dealing with new health issues because of sin in my life.

*Some people will not receive their healing on this side of Heaven. That doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. That doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t hear your prayers. That doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith. That doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t love you. Stop listening to people who would tell you those lies.

*I will not experience another miracle on this side of heaven.

*Who suffered more than Jesus ?

As Christians we need to be speaking words of hope and love over everyone and truly stand with them regardless of what our eyes see or how long they need us. As God brings someone to mind who is dealing with long-term health issues, take a moment and pray not just for them but about your responses to this person. Is it loving, caring and nonjudgmental? Are you speaking life and hope over them? ~OC

Men and Friendships

Today’s a new day! Hello men. This post is for us. I want to get real about friendships. Based on my own experience and talking with other men, we are mostly failing in the area of friendship. Most men I have talked to share they have many surface friendships, but lack deep meaningful friendships. Can any other men relate?

I personally want to have intentional friendships that have meaning and depth. It appears so many men are happy with surface friendships. They fear deep intimate friendships. The casual version of friendship is sadly repeated over and over again and not just with guys outside the church. Men in the church are not doing much better. From my own observation, most men lack true friendships and happily settle for less. We use phrases like he’s my buddy or bro. These are not bad relationships, but just other men who do not understand the importance of having intentional friendships.

I could go into deep reasons why so many men lack deep friendships with other men, but so many of them are just excuses. Most of the time it comes down to laziness. Men like to use the excuse of being too busy. But that doesn’t fly. Go check with your wife or girlfriend. Their schedules are just as busy if not busier than yours, but they still find time for deep and meaningful friendships. As men we settle for less because we do not want to put in the time and effort.

Where are your friends that you can lean on and that can lean on you? Can you pray with them? Can you talk about real life with them? Your failures and successes. Over the years, I have observed too many men are scared to share their wounds, emotions, or real life issues with other men. The best example of a man we have is Jesus. He cried, he got angry, he had a tender heart. He chose to invest in real relationships with 12 other men. He dared to hold those men accountable. To walk through life together. The good and bad. To serve together. Do you have those type of men in your life? We all need men we can challenge and men who will challenge us to be better men. We need to be intentional in our friendships with other men.

So I want to encourage you and myself to do the following:

*Chose to take a risk and open up to some of the men in your life. See what happens. Jesus was not afraid to be vulnerable.

*Chose to be a better friend. Start to be intentional and sacrificial for other men. Asked the tough questions. Listen without interrupting or trying to fix the problem. Share your hopes, failures and dreams. Pray together.

*Chose to pray that God places Godly men into your life, then be on the lookout for them.

Notice how Jesus chose to be open and honest with the disciples. He chose to serve them and together serve others. Jesus chose to be intentional with these 12 men. Are we willing to do that with the men in our lives? It might not be easy, but I promise it will be life changing if we choose to put in the time and effort. No more excuses men. ~OC

Lessons In The Storm

Today’s a new day! We all deal with struggles in life. Whether your dealing with a serious health issue or just having a tough week, leaning into our faith can help us overcome any challenge that the world throws at us.

As I reflect on my own journey, I wanted to share a few ways I have dealt with the challenges of life.

1). Hold onto your Faith. As you are walking through the challenges of life, do not separate the challenge from your faith. Our faith is what will help guide us as we face the trials of life. Our faith is at the heart of who we are. Embrace the gift of faith as you walk through the storms of life.

I have chosen to incorporate prayer and worship music into my day. This gives me peace and comfort. I pray that God helps me overcome the storm I am facing. My hope is to better understand the love of God and what he desires for me. Do not allow your current circumstances to keep you from praising God.

2). Hold onto the peace of God. Never allow a person or situation steal your joy. That joy is a beautiful gift from God. What if you do not have that peace in your life? I encourage you to pray and ask God to fill your heart with his incredible peace. The peace of God is life changing.

3). Lay your burdens down before God. This is easier said than done. Most people tend to hold onto their burdens. We think we can deal with the problem ourselves. Let me assure you that is not true. During my own journey, I have learned to lay my struggles and burdens at the feet of God. I rely on his wisdom, strength and love that gives me the hope to overcome every obstacle that comes my way.

4). Find your circle. What do I mean by find your circle? I am talking about finding the people who will walk with you through those storms in your life. I encourage you to be careful who you allow in your circle. Not all of your loved ones or friends are designed to be in your circle. And that’s okay. I encourage you to pray and ask God who he wants in your circle. Finding your circle is one of the biggest decisions you will make, as you deal with the challenges of life. Do not rush the process.

5). Find your purpose. As you walk through the storms of life, I encourage you to find your purpose. When you find your purpose, you will find your peace. That does not mean your current circumstances will automatically change, but finding your purpose will change your attitude. Finding your purpose during the storm will allow you to be a blessing to someone else.

Remember that God is bigger than any storm we will face in life. I encourage everyone to lean into that beautiful truth. ~OC

Peace

Today’s a new day! As we turn on the tv or scroll through social media, we are surrounded by peace robbing distractions. During these time, I try to remember God and His amazing blessings and give thanks. When I do this, I experience beautiful freedom. I experience peace. True peace.

A peace that allows us to overcome all obstacles we face in life.
A peace that washes away all division between us.
A peace that unites us for a common cause.
A peace that surpasses all understanding.
A peace that recognizes we are all God’s creation.

I know this is not easy, but I believe it’s worth the try. I pray when the distractions of life try to overwhelm you, that you will slow down and take a deep breath, and thank God all the beautiful blessings in your life. To find all the good in your current circumstances and embrace the peace only God can provide. So today, when life becomes overwhelming take time to embrace the amazing peace of God. ~OC

Flaws and All

Today’s a new day! As we start this new day, remember people are not perfect. We all have flaws and shortcomings. Do not allow those things to keep us from being loving, kind and forgiving. Let’s spend time cultivating our relationships. Flaws and all. ~OC

Healing

Today’s a new day! As I was praying early this morning, I felt God saying this was going to be a week of healing. If you or a loved one needs healing, I encourage you to keep leaning into God. Blessings. ~OC

Pray

Today’s a new day! As we start this new year, do not forget about the caregivers, those that are terminally or chronically ill, those that are mourning, those who enter 2023 not knowing what losses it will bring, what sadness will accompany the next 365 days. Pray they will see some beautiful light through the broken glass. Pray they will feel the arms of God wrap around them like a warm blanket. Pray they will be surrounded by loved ones as they walk through their journey. Pray no one will walk alone. Pray even as they walk through the roughest storms, there will be some beautiful moments and memories. Pray they will experience peace. Pray that through the toughest moments they will keep moving forward and never give up. Blessings. ~OC

Check On The Strong Friend

We all have that strong friend. The one who makes everyone laugh. That friend who is always there to listen. That friend that seems to have it all together. That friend we assume doesn’t need any help. Nothing fazes them. And because they are strong we tend not to check on them. They got this. But beneath all the laughs and wonderful advice they share, they are dealing with unimaginable pain. They are crying out inside, but they do not know how to share those feelings. Maybe they’re hiding behind a strong brave face. Forever being the strong friend.

The strong friend gets that title for a reason. They have survived the hardest storms. They have made those difficult times look easy. That strong friend has carried the weight of many. They are the ones that never complain. They are the ones always lifting others up. They have made the tough choices in life. They have stood tall during the toughest conditions.

We must check in on our strong friends. Everyone needs a helping hand. Our strong friends need to feel love and appreciated. They need to know someone cares. Even the strongest friend, no matter what they have endured cannot always carry the load.

So today, check on that strong friend. Check on your strong friend anyway. Do not allow them to face difficulties alone simply because you believe they can handle anything. They may need you to be the strong friend. ~OC

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