At The Table

Today’s a new day! Let me say this loud and clear. God is not affiliated with any political party. If that statement surprises you, you might need to check your heart. Once again, God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He should never be used as a prop or weapon in political arguments. Sadly, God is often dragged into the political arena. His primary concern is not who’s in the White House or any political position. Obviously, Jesus cares for the needs of America, but he also cares for the needs of every country. Whether they love Him or not. It breaks God’s heart, when his people worship a political party or political figure. That seems to be a major issue among so many Christians today. If you call yourself a Christian, God should be the King of your life. Period!

Please hear me, I am not saying you cannot support your candidate, political party or country. That is your right. Please go vote. But your allegiance cannot be to a political candidate, flag or country. As a Christian, your allegiance should be to God. There will be moments in our lives where what seems to be in the best interest of America, or your political party will go against what God says is true. In those pivotal moments, you will have to choose who’s first in your life. Who reigns over your life?

This is not me pointing my finger at anyone or casting judgement. These are the types of questions we need to asking ourselves. These are the type of discussions we need to be having with each other. Even if we have disagreements. This is an invitation for all of us to sit down at the table. ~OC

A Gift

As we walk through our faith journey, we are instructed to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Why? Because it’s the very essence of who we are in Him. Every breath we breathe comes from God. Think about that for a moment. All that we are is God’s. Every breath is a gift from our Lord. He has given life to our bodies. Not only that, but we have also been bought with a price. A heavy price paid on the Cross. At one point in our lives, we were filled with fear, confusion and ultimately death. In one moment God changed our eternity. Today, we are free from our past. Living in the freedom and victory of God. Each day is a beautiful opportunity to live out God’s purpose for our lives. If our identity is entirely in God, that will be reflected in the way we choose to live our lives. How we love. How we serve. How we forgive. How we respond to the needs around us. How will you use your breath of life? Your gift. ~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

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

As I scrolled through your social media pages, I sense you are struggling. You seem tired. As I read your post, it appears you are being overwhelmed by the storms of life. I have experienced those moments.

So friend, I want you to know I am here for you. There have been times, I have watched other friends walk through storms from a distance because I was not sure what to say. I made their pain about me. I wish I had just showed up. Just listened.

As I have walked through my own storms, I realize how important it is to have friends walk with you. I am thankful for those who did not jump out of the boat when the seas got rough.

I am done letting fear keep me from staying close. I will not be perfect when I reach out to you. I may not always say the right thing. I am okay with that. The most important thing is, I will always be there for you. No judgment. No quick fixes. Just me standing in the gap.

Friend, you will get through whatever storm you are facing at this moment. It will not be easy. There will be some rough days. You might even feel like giving up. You might lose hope. When you lose hope, I will hope for you. We will get through this journey called life together. We will finish strong. ~OC

Reach Out

Today’s a new day! As we scroll through social media, we see smiling faces, positive/uplifting post and some people with thousands of friends. It’s easy to think life is going so well for them. But when’s the last time you reached out to them? When’s the last time you responded to their text or phone call? Behind all those encouraging post and social media friends could be a lonely person, who is just holding on. Let’s not be deceived by what we see on social media. Pick up the phone and call that friend who has been on your heart. Meet up in person to catch up. That friend or loved one who seems to have everything going for them, could actually be drowning. Reach out. ~OC

A Loving Warning

Today’s a new day! People are not abandoning Jesus. People are abandoning churches that use Jesus to push political agendas, choose tithes/numbers over relationships and choose which sins are acceptable. That is just unacceptable to a unbelieving world. This is unacceptable to a believing world. The Church needs to not only preach the Gospel, but live out the Gospel in words and action.

Even as I write the words above, I love the Church because Jesus loves the Church. Also this is not an attack on the Church. No, this is a loving warning to those churches that are more concerned about their own agenda than the truth of the Gospel. This loving warning comes from someone who has spent more than half my life in the church. This is a loving warning from someone who has seen the beautiful and ugliness of the Church. This is a loving warning from someone who desires for everyone to find a beautiful, amazing church home. ~OC

Prayer

Today’s a new day! In the past as I prayed for people and their needs, I would often find myself looking at my clock or thinking about other things. Rather than truly talking with Jesus or listening for his voice, I would find myself talking at Jesus. Those times of prayer often felt burdensome, empty and tiring.

Over the years, my prayer habits have thankfully changed. I have come to see prayer as a chance to embrace those beautiful moments with Jesus. Now my time with Jesus is my favorite part of the day. A sweet time I approach with beautiful anticipation. ~OC

#RelationshipOverReligion

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

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