Fantastic Ficiton

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Fantastic Fiction is an online catalog of authors and books for those of us who love to read fiction. If you’ve ever stayed up all night with the latest page turner (even though it’s work tomorrow); if you can’t wait to read the next book by your favorite author and discovering a new book, then FF is aimed at you. I use FF all the time. The best part, they kindly added my books to the data base!

Check it out! 

What or Who is a Whovian?

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A Whovian is a fan for the 55 year old (as of 2018) BBC broadcasted show Doctor Who.

A few easy ways to tell if someone is a Whovian are: Turn off all the lights while repeating “Hey, who turned out the lights?”, moving statues around while they aren’t looking or telling them not to blink while staring at a statue, yelling exterminate at them in a freaky robot voice, ask them “are you my mummy?” and watching how they react to you. If they start screaming and or laughing hysterically they’re most likely a Whovian.
Or if they wear any of the following:
-Long multicolor scarves
-Red fezzes
-Bowties
-Question mark covered sweaters

Or if they refer to time as wimbly wobbly timey wimey stuff  or if they eat fishsticks and custard.

Once you meet a Whovian you will be asked to watch Doctor Who with them. One of two things will happen. You will love it and become a Whovian or you may find yourself out on your keaster.

Once a Whovian always a Whovian. True Whovians never stop being a dedecated Doctor Who fan. Even in the face of the controversy surrounding the 13th incarnation of The Doctor into a woman. They embrace the change and wait in fervent anticipation for the next season to air.

Still have questions? Drop me a message and I will explain. The one thing I love to do in my free time other than write and spend time with family, is to talk Doctor Who.

~Lori O’Gara

W.I.P (Work in Progress)

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My soulmate and I are working on several projects. From time to time we will share W.I.P updates. As he likes to say, we are shoveling sand to make sand castles later.

The best way to keep up to date with our current events, books, articles and new releases is to sign up for the newsletter. Subscribers will receive updates and insider info. Also, sneak peaks, book excerpts, event invitations for subscribers only and publication announcements, before anyone else!

Sign up today!

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There and Back : Hello William Porter

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Hello William Porter!

Have you read the stories?

Like my FB page and win free copies!

Get your copy of There and Back today! 

2 Days

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When we read a book that sticks with us it is the characters that make the story come alive for us. It is like the people are real just not with us. We can see them in the situations and locations.  We can feel the emotions that they are living. As I think about the Perdido Key novels, I look at the cast of characters and how real they seem to me. I live with them day in and day out like members of my family. To me they are almost real people. Well, invisible real people. I hope that when you read the books you see and feel the realness of them too.

William Porter is no exception. His realness is stronger for a lot of my readers. More so than other characters even though his story is not the main plot. He has a distinct personality that readers and I have become attached to. His brutally honest charm is what we want to see in a hero. His vulnerability and ability to love makes us want to love him back. I don’t know about you but when he closes that door leaving Krystal that last time in We Will Get There,  I wanted to be standing on the other side of it waiting to hug him. I wanted to tell him everything is going to be alright. Your story isn’t over yet.

In two days, dear reader, you will have the opportunity to see what the next chapter of William’s story looks like in the third book, There and Back. I won’t give away any spoilers here, however I will say that you will laugh and cry with him. You might even want to hug him too.

~Lori O’Gara

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One More Week!

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I am amazed every time a reader says to me, “I love William Porter.” or “Poor William, he deserves a happy ever after.” William Porter was written as a support character and he is the favorite of most of my readers. The runner up is Brianna Dario and her friends in Bend, Oregon.  “We want to know more about those people.”  Thank you for the feed back. Keep it coming.

Perdido Key Novel #3, There and Back focuses on William and his attempt to find happiness. One more week…..

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There and Back Give Away!

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BookCoverPreview cutOn June 30 I will release my third novel to the world. To celebrate the release of There and Back, I will give away copies of the first two Perdido Key novels. AND, one lucky winner will win a free copy of There and Back on the release date!

To Enter

Like my

 author page on Facebook.

AND  Share my page with your friends.

Winner announced on Facebook July 1st

The Power of Touch

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“Bring me your night terrors. I will make them stand silent. Give me your fears and I will replace them with pure calm. I will gather your demons and slaughter them one by one. I will empty your heart of stress, anxiety and discord. I will fill it with love, peace and happiness.”

View story at Medium.com

A Goal is a Wish…

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I just published “A Goal is a Wish with Action” on Medium.

Believe with big picture wishes. Believe in long reaching journeys. Believe in dreams with feet.

View story at Medium.com

Sunday Thoughts: God’s Day & Fun Day, What?

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We are lucky to live near one of God’s most beautiful creations. We live close to the beach. For those of you, Dear Readers, who have been on this journey with me for a while know that the beach, particularly Perdido Key is home to me and my family. (See page 21 in the Perdido Key Visitors Guide for my article about home)

The beach is for me like being in church. Not everyone will understand and that’s ok.  If you pray and ask God to meet you where you are, he will not let you down. He will be there.

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Today we will go to the beach. We will marvel at the beauty of God’s creation. We will sing songs of praise in the car. We will share the love of God with each other. I do not believe that God loves me less for not going to church on his day, but rather choosing to spend the day with my family out in nature that he created. There is nothing in the bible that says Sunday can’t also be a fun day.

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV)

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: I am not that Kind of Christian

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 What’s love got to do with doing Church?

I was asked a fair question recently by a unaware person, nice person, who knew me once upon a time, in another life. She simply asked, “Why do you no longer go to ****** Church?” (Name of church omitted by me to protect the innocent.)

I gave her question some thought. I love my old church family. I still communicate with many of the some people I went to church with, so it wasn’t that I didn’t want to associate with them any more. I still consider myself an Episcopalian in a lot of ways, so it wasn’t the Church big “C” that I was avoiding. My reasons for not settling down with one church was simple really.

One church, one Christianity method of serving God does not have all the answers. Each in their own way put God in a box that they construct with interpretations of the Bible, traditions and human invented rules. They then expect me (and You), dear reader, to fit as a perfect conformed shape to hold that particular box. I am not very pliable for conformity to certain shaped boxes. Therefore I drop said box all too often. I find that I can’t live up to the expectations of what many of the box builders expect. It is better to save them and me the agony of trying to get me to reshape to fit their version of God. I simply walk away. No mention of love there.

I am not one of those Christians that think that only main stream Christianity is the way to serve God. I believe that all religions hold some truth of God and that saying one is better or more true than another is foolish. To say that an all powerful omnipresent God will only use one religion to commune with His human creation is ridiculous. To say that God will only answer to one name is equally arrogant. No mention of love in that. However, I digress….

I am not one of those Christians that say, “ I just don’t like organized religion.” I actually love it. The more structured and Scripture filled the better. I love the singing, praying, and bible dissection. I love the communion with God and fellow humans. I don’t even mind tithing. No, I like church.

I am not one of those Christians who blindly follow a teaching because I learn it in Church, so it must be true. I always take the time to study and research a truth for myself. I don’t like being told how to love God and humans. I don’t like being told that I must serve in certain ways through the church. I hate feeling like less of a Christian if I don’t go to every function or serve on committees. I hate the back biting and politics that come with church membership. Where’s the love in that? However again, I digress…..

I am not one of those Christians who follow a teaching because a preacher said I should. I also don’t like to be told that the message I got from God through my own prayer life was incorrect. Excuse me? It is not our place to judge other humans. God told me to love everyone and you are saying yes but not certain people? No thanks. I will follow what the Bible says and what God says on that one. Let me remind you what the Bible says about that, good Christian….

I believe that love is the number one point of being a Christian. Sharing God’s love by following Christ’s example, however that looks like for you is what makes you a Christian. Not what church you walk in to or not.

~Lori O’Gara

(Lori is a novelist and self proclaimed expert on how to be a non traditional, people loving, happy life living Christian. Read more about her here.)

Article also published on Medium. 

Envelopes, Stamps and Books, Oh my!

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llgI have been busy getting books packaged up to send out to reviewers and contest winners. If you are lucky enough to be one of those, keep a watch on your mail box. Mr. William Porter does not like to be kept waiting.

Thank you for each one of you who have shown interest in my work. I am so thrilled to share my stories with you.

~Lori O’Gara

Announcement: Book Giveaway

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Book Giveaway!

Like my Facebook page and comment on the giveaway post to be entered into a drawing for your choice!
A copy of Almost There or We Will Get There!
Drawing held on April 18th, winner announced and contacted through Facebook.

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Sunday Thoughts: Rest in God

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Sometimes you just find yourself exhausted. Not the sleepy tired that goes away with a good night’s sleep but the bone weary tired. You know the one, you go to bed with it and wake up with it the next morning.

Yeah, that one. We knew it is coming because we begin to feel it in the middle of the day. It taps us on the shoulder and says hey, how about a nap? Usually we are standing at work putting our best customer service smiles on, waiting in the grocery store line or some other place that frowns upon sleeping, like sitting in church on Sunday morning.

Excuse me mam, you are storing.

God tells us this sort of soul tired is to be expected. ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The burden he is talking about isn’t the kind you physically carry but the emotional one that changes from day to day. Emotional burden come from many causes. Life causes stress good and bad. Many people are living with emotional burden and do not show it because they have found a way to cope. They might be repressing their emotions and this can often be more damaging. Coping and repressing brings the exhaustion that sleep won’t fix. Sharing the burden with someone you trust and making a plan to deal with it is one way to handle the burden.

This burden is not always because life is difficult or from something bad. Even when life is good we have this burden. It may be the overwhelming happiness that you are terrified you may loose, It may be the responsibility of supporting a family, because well, children like to eat. Life may be all picket fences and daisy chains that is making you tired.

Sometimes you just need to rest. Stop what you are doing, give the burden to God, lay down and rest.

Believe in the power of restoring rest and letting God handle your stuff.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium.com)

Thank you, to our new Friends

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We had a wonderful time in Chipley, FL. We talked books and writing. The friends of the library were so much fun. They fed us well and bought books. Thank you to Renae Roundtree the director of the Washington County Library System, for inviting us.

P.S. The dino is Blue the Literary Velociraptor, learn more about him here.

 

Announcement: New Series

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Necromancer_s Song (3)Adventure awaits…
New Book Series by Brendan and Lori O’Gara

Johan, Wandalor, Dar, Thalin and Gadlin, came from different backgrounds, thrown together by fate and these are their stories.

The Travelers’ Song (Necromancer’s Song Book One)
The Gathering of Five (Necromancer’s Song Book Two)
Serpent and the Six (Necromancer’s Song Book Three)

Sunday Thoughts: He Lives

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Resurrection of Jesus has many consequences for us today. It means that we have a living reason to stand for truth, a hope for the future and a foundation to place our faith. Not everyone who was lucky enough to be there when Jesus vacated the tomb believed He lived.  I am amazed that even after Jesus was seen by several people after He was risen, that people still didn’t believe it. The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses. The apostles appealed to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection. Everyone at that time was talking about it.

When He ascended into heaven over five hundred people witnessed His departure. Yet, some still did not believe what they saw. Those that did believe that Jesus was in fact alive and returned to His heavenly home told everyone they encountered. They spread the gospel far and wide. As a result they were  beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified.  Even in the face of fear, the face of death, they laid down their lives as  proof of the truth of their message.

Jesus lives, He died for us and rose again.

He lives. What’s more He will return for us!

We must believe in the Resurrection of Christ.  Paul puts the Resurrection of Jesus this way (1 Corinthians 15:14-17) “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

We are forgiven.  We are not under the threat of death if we share the gospel, yet we are more often than not silent. We go about our daily lives faithful, but how much are we sharing the gospel?

We haven’t seen Him. We never walked and talked with Him, we certainly did not get to witness His death, burial, His Resurrection and  Ascension to the Father, but we believe in the person, the divinity for Jesus. We should be telling everyone! Sharing the gospel with everyone. What do we have to lose?

Galatians 2: 20 “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

What are you waiting for?  Tell everyone about the life, death, Resurrection and love of Christ.

Happy Easter.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Three Days, the Fools Dance

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On April 1st it will be Easter and the famous Fool’s day.  On April Fool’s day in Ireland, a common practical joke was to send someone to deliver a note by way of several people who kept him going on to someone new until the last person opened the note that read “send the fool further.” In many places, these ‘fool’s errands’ would be accompanied by a verse for the recipient which said “don’t you laugh, and don’t you smile, send the gowk another mile.” A gowk is a Celtic word for cuckoo, a gullible or naive person.  It was also a day of celebration in honor of Lod, the Celtic God of humor. The people took delight in anticipating spring with fun, frivolity and foolishness – usually at the expense of their friends. There was also dancing and merry making of all sorts.

I can promise you that the note in the April newsletter is no joke however there will be some fun involved. In the next installment of The Inner Circle  I will reveal some amazing things.  I hope you have signed up so that you do not miss it.

~Lori O’Gara

The O’Gara Clan on YouTube

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We now have an official YouTube Channel. Like all things O’Gara it is a work in progress. It will eventually contain author interviews, glimpses behind the scenes and more.

Here’s the button!

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Sunday Thoughts: You are Loved

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“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.” ― A.A. Milne, The Pooh Story Book

Every word of this quote is true. He wrote it for his son, however we can all learn some valuable lessons by looking at these words in detail. Milne did not speak about God or religion often. He did call Hitler the anti Christ. He write poems that indicated he was thinking about God and believed God exist. The words in the poem are encouraging and thought provoking either way.

You are brave. The trick to being a brave soul is to believe it not feel it. Your emotions can deceive you. You can listen to your heart it always tells the truth by your emotions that live in your brain flat out lies.

You are strong.  Every time you are placed in to a situation that you think you can’t deal with then you make it through, you learn more about your strength. This is a tough one because mostly it is the stressful, sad and devastating moments that teach us our strength.

You are smart. There are different kinds of smart. There are book smart people and there are common sense or street smart people. I believe that everyone has the capacity to be smart. It is in your brain someplace. Where the brain is not good for emotions it is wonderful for logic. You have to brave enough to tap in to your smarts.

You are loved. If you were ever loved just once then are you forever loved. God sends love to us through each other and, I believe through pets. You may be alone right now but somewhere on this planet or in the other spiritual realm someone loves you.

When you are loved, truly loved and you know it, all the other things, bravery, strength and smarts are all easy. You have nothing to fear and you can do anything you set your mind to when you have love.

Remember you can give all the things to someone else. You can encourage someone to be brave. You can give someone your strength and you can teach someone logic. Then you can love them trough all of life’s ups and downs.

What is in it for you? You become courageous, you get stronger, you learn more and you get loved back.

All of this will bring happiness.

See how wise A A Milne was? He may not have been a Christian, but God sure believed in him. God gave him a talent for sharing truth even if he did not know it. He wrote seven novels, some poetry, and various forms of non fiction.

If you haven’t read any of Milne’s works start with Pooh, and then read his other works of fiction and non fiction. Then let me know if you agree with me?

~Lori

(Also published on Medium) 

 

 

Sunday Thoughts: He Changed Me

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As mentioned in a previous post, most of my blogging will now be published on Medium. Looking for today’s Sunday Thoughts, you can find them here!

Happy Reading!

Lori O’Gara

What is a Marriage?

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know, I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

Love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. 

You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together. It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person that is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium.com)

Sinners Only

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When you think you are not good enough. When you feel worthless. When you want to give up.  Remember God uses the broken. He prefers the company of sinners. Throughout history we see God using imperfect people to get things done. You are in good company. Here are a few of your companions:

Abraham was a senior citizen.
Issac was a daydream believer.
Elijah was suicidal.
Joseph was abused and broken.
Job ran away from responsibility and went bankrupt.
Moses was a murderer and he sucked at public speaking.
Gideon was scared.
Samson used women for sex and liked it.
Rahab was a sex addict and a prostitute.
Samaritan woman was divorced many times and had a live-in boyfriend.
Noah liked to drink wine, a lot.
Jacob was a cheater and was good at it.
David murdered his lover’s husband, so he could keep her.
Peter denied truth.
Martha worried about everything all the time.
Zacchaeus was a greedy little man.
Lazerus was dead…long dead.
Paul brutally killed Christians.

Then there was Jesus. He was a tradesman with a skill. He was a carpenter. He could have lived a life of privilege. Instead he chose to be with the homeless, hookers, thieves and liars. He spent all his time with the imperfect people, you know,  the normal ones. He empowered them to do the will of God.

So, what makes you think you are so special that you can wallow in self pity?

Get up. Do the thing you have been scared to do.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Grace of God

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Have you ever heard the quote “The will of God will never take you, Where the grace of God cannot keep you” ?

It is a Biblical truth that God’s grace never fails. He is God. It is a Biblical truth that God has a will that wants us to do and be as He deems. When you trust the will of God it is true that you will fare much better in this life.

But, we naughty humans do not usually live that way. We have a will of our own and it often seems a lot more fun to follow it. If God is working in our lives, we will struggle to pull in the direction of our will. We do not always recognize that we are struggling against the will of God. This is where I like to meet my characters in my novels. Like you and me they are living in a state of conflict with God. They usually figure out that God knows better than they do,but not always. I have some rebellious personalities in my stories. We humans often we discover that we do not always make the right choices without God after it is too late and we are at our rock bottom.

That’s where we get in trouble.

Our way always looks easier and makes sense in our frame of thought. Sometimes it is easier. God is not about the easy path, he is about the right path. We have to live as we see fit even if it is against what we know is the right way for us.  Like rebellious children or book characters, we stomp our feet and fight against it until the exasperated parent, says “Fine have it your way! You’ll see.”

Lucky for us God has unlimited grace to forgive us, because He knows this won’t be the last time we use our will to get what we want.

Will we ever learn? Probably not.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

Thank you!

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Well met to all of you who came out to the Gulf Coast Ren Faire! The O’Gara’s had a grand time meeting all of you.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thank you!

The O’Gara Clan

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Overthinking Is Way Too Easy

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Why do we do it? We know it is ridiculous, yet we go there every time. Let someone say something positive or negative, we over analyze and pick it apart. Let that someone be our spouse or significant other and we go in to overthinking over drive. We examine methodically and in detail every word and action, typically for purposes of our assumed interpretation.

Stop it.  It is deadly to happiness, peace and love.

It makes no difference if what we know is the truth. If it doesn’t fit in our preconceived reality we will think it to death to make it fit. It never ends up resembling the truth. Oh, it may have tiny similarities of the truth, but it will not save you from the anxiety that will result.

There is only one cure, one solution to correct or stop your over thinking. Communicate openly with your person.  Let them tell you the truth. Now here’s where it gets difficult, trust them. Don’t give the trust lip service. Really and truly trust them. What if they are lying to you? So what? If they are not telling you the truth, the truth will come out. It always does. Trusting them frees you from the demon of over thinking.

Love and peace will follow.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Be Thankful For Today

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ThankfulThis has been a tough weekend. We said goodbye, we worked through some dark thoughts, and we experienced stress. I am almost certain that you, dear reader, had some similar trying days recently. Oh, I am not psychic, it’s called being human.

Today I have decided not to worry. I have decided to focus on love. I have decided to just be thankful for today. I know that the future holds some tough stuff that I will have to deal with too. It also holds amazing miracles I know is coming.

Again, I am not psychic, I know what I know.

I know that God almighty, the maker of all things, the holder of sparrows, the painter of sunsets, the curator of lilies, the feeder of the thousands, the drier of tears, the keeper of souls, the forgiver of sin…..and my Lord will give me all that I need. Nothing can take me from Him.

So, I will not worry or even think about tomorrow and what it might bring, I will be thankful for today.

~Lori O’Gara

Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Mathew 6:26-34

My Jesus isn’t Like Yours

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It is no secret that I am a different kind of Christian. I am transparent about what I believe. My Jesus is not like the picture of Jesus that is hanging in the Sunday school classroom. My Jesus does not have silky red and white robes with perfectly combed hair, a perfect completion, and smiling looking up heavenly with crystal blue eyes. My Jesus is dirty from his travels on the dusty Jerusalem roads. He is battered, bloody, poor, tired, thirsty…a fugitive criminal.

What would happen if he walked in chose a pew for himself and took a seat next to Mrs. Never Skip Church in her Sunday best dress and hat? She would smile at him and say good morning, I doubt it. My guess is she would scowl and slide over away from Him. When we attend church, we expect to see a certain group of people around us in the pews. Everyone dressed in his or her good clothes nodding at the pastor. Children listening and not crying disturbing the rest of us. Would Jesus be comfortable in your church family?

It is so easy to attend church on Sunday and walking out feeling good about ourselves. What good Christians we are for not hitting the snooze and staying home. Being a Christian is more than a Sunday and maybe a Wednesday occurrence.

Being a Christian is a daily existence. It is a living breathing part of your life. It is Jesus living through you. The real Jesus, not the made up good-looking one, but the Savior who died for our sins.

To be like Jesus we have to get out of the pew and into the world. We have to go and serve those in need. Many of us do lip service to this effect. Are you opening your doors to the homeless man on the corner? Come in, praise God with us, and let us feed your body and soul. Are you paying medical bills for the pregnant teenager in your youth group? More likely, the parishioners are gossiping about her behind her back and are looking down at her parents for raising a promiscuous daughter. It cannot be that your youth director chose not to discuss abstinence with the teenagers because some parents my get upset. No that’s not it.

As a church, Christians have to get out of that comfortable place where Sunday services feel safe and mundane. We need to be confrontational to the issues of our community. We have to get out there and touch people for Jesus. We have to feed the multitude, step in front of the stone throwers, wash dirty feet, and heal the hurting. We have to agree to change what we can and love everyone.

~Lori O’Gara

(Also published on Medium at https://medium.com/@loriogara)

Sunday Thoughts: Death is a Door

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In his famous poem about death, Henry Scott Holland wrote,

“Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.”

Death is just a change in being and a slight change in location. There is no such thing as an after life, it is a continuation of life in a different dimension. Heaven and hell is closer that what you know.  It is presumed that when a person dies that it is the physical condition that is responsible, but it is actually the reverse. The soul of the person leaves the body first and then the body, which cannot continue without it expires. Where does that soul go?

The Bible mentions that there is a veil separating the earthly world from the spiritual one. It was witnessed by the disciples when Jesus went on the mount to have a conversation with Moses and Elijah. Elijah and Moses existed on earth 546 years apart, they met in heaven. Since the two men were already dead, Jesus transformed himself in to his spiritual form to meet with them.  (Luke 9) Various people have been said to have entered heaven while still alive, including Enoch, Elijah and Jesus himself, after his resurrection. Thus death is not a permanent state, but a shifted state of life.

There are countless stories of humans seeing their relatives who have passed on as if they were sitting in front of them alive. Ask one of those people and they will tell you in no uncertain terms that heaven is a real place that is close. It is not some place above our heads and hell is not in the ground.

If death is just a different state of being, why then do we grieve when a loved one passes through that door? We should celebrate their transition. What we grieve is not what the person is gaining, what we grieve is our loss of them. We can’t see past our own sadness and selfish want to keep them with us. We should try to remember, they are close by, just in the other room. If we could move the veil, we would see them.

As I write this my family is keeping vigil over my grandmother. She was one of the major influences in my life who taught me about love, God and Jesus. She said to me, “Don’t be sad when someone dies. Be happy. Even the angels rejoice when someone dies.” She taught me that heaven is my true home. Not this earthly realm of pain and sorrow. She and my other grandparents, made it a priority to teach me about spiritual things. They also encouraged me to keep studying truth. A legacy I am passing on to my children and grandchildren.

I am sad that I can’t be with her as she takes the journey home, however, I know where she is headed I will be there too one day. I will hold on to the memories of her, not the sick and old her, but the vibrant, Jesus loving her. I will continue to honor her memory by loving God and seeking truth. When she passes on to heaven, I will try to be happy and rejoice with the angels that she is with Jesus who she loves more than life and more than all of us, and she loves us a lot.

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Ms. Mildred Pearl Seales, Granny to me.

Valentines Day, so What?

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A person asked me today what gift I got for Valentines Day. When I told them my significant other fixed my lunch for me before I went to work, he smiled at me and asked me how my day went when I got home and he told me that he loved me. The person said to me, sounds like a normal day, not a Valentines Day gift? Yeah, so?

As I look at all the Valentines Day posts on social media I am struck by the conformity of the holiday. I am not talking about the commercialism of the thing promoted by card companies, florists, and jewelers. Rather the mind set that because it is Valentines Day one must get a gift for their chosen special person. Really? I say, why wait for a made up holiday to let the most important person in your life know that you love them? Tell them today.

I would much rather have a my love tell me how important I am to him or have him express it by his day to day actions than for him to make a show of our relationship by sending an obnoxious bouquet of flowers that will be dead in a few days anyway.

How about doing all the little things that you did while you where pursuing the one you now have. If you are still new and are still wooing them, do not stop once you catch them.

For example, he texted me with this, “13140 days and counting…” When I asked him what he meant he said, “That’s how many days we have had love in our hearts for each other.”

That, my friend, is a gift, holiday or not.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: We Are Insignificant

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26814466_1719588558108027_1954471728578513348_nI am not sure where I have been the past couple of weeks. Under a rock maybe. I just saw the amazing pictures of Jupiter that NASA released. They are stunning. Who would have thought that in our life time we would have pictures this clear of a planet so far away?

My next thought was how very small and insignificant we really are in the universe. We are but small specks in this world and if we venture off this world we are barley existent. What’s more, the same God who made this vast universe cares about what happens to you. He calls you his beloved. He calls you his child. He made you in his image.He said of you, “I will make people more rare than fine gold.”

God formed you of dust from the ground and breathed into you the breath of life. You are made from stardust. You are not of this world.

If that doesn’t humble you soul, I don’t know what would.

~ Lori O’Gara

 

 

Do you Medium?

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I found this amazing place to read cool stuff. It is called Medium.com. I liked it so much I joined. It is an open forum for writers, artists, and dreamers a like. Check out my page and other cool people there. You can read and applause those you like with claps, similar to Facebook likes….its fun.

~Lori

 

The Way of Love

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During February there is a theme of all things red heart love. There are flowers, chocolates and paper cards proclaiming all sorts of messages about love. It is so everyday dish water that no one even blinks at the notion of love any more. We say it to and about everything. I love those shoes. I love cheeseburgers. I love_____. You fill it in and you see what I mean.  Real love is nothing like the watered down version that we see in our lives today. Society has misconstrued the reality of love that when we see real love, experience real love in action, we distrust it.

Real love is not always pretty. It is the holding of hair as your child hangs over a toilet. It is the hand holding as your friend looses her job. It is the 2 am call when your brother is out and too drunk to drive. Love is giving a homeless man your last dollar and no caring if he buys a beer or a cheeseburger. Love is the sighs of peace in the arms of your mate. It is waking up as he shakes the bed in a nightmare and comforting his daemons quiet.  Love is reliable, steadfast and true.

In all things let love be your motive. Let love guide you actions. Let love season your words, even the difficult ones.

~Lori O’Gara

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 (MSG)

 

Nonnegotiables

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I like that word, nonnegotiable. It has a very simple definition, not open to discussion or modification. I have a few nonnegotiable things in my life.  Things that are important. Things that guide your life compass should be nonnegotiable.

Nonnegotiables mirror your values. The define what you will and won’t accept from others and from yourself. Nonnegotiables are the big-time deal breakers. They are unique to you.

For me it is simple, love is nonnegotiable. I love God, nonnegotiable. I either love you or not. If I love you, you are important to me. Even then my family is first. I put my phone on Do Not Disturb when I come home from work. I will only answer it for family, nonnegotiable.

If you do not make some things in your life nonnegotiable, people who do not care about you will take advantage of you. You have to be considerate and you have to be open to change; however, God does not want you to be a doormat.

~Lori O’Gara