The Way I See It

All us Facebook and internet voyeurs have seen this picture before. I stole it…um…borrowed it from Facebook. I like it because it is exactly how I see libraries, any small stack of books or randomly placed manuscript. There are unlimited possibilities to what you can discover, feel, learn, and experience in reading or listening to a book.

Studies have been conducted on reading and the effects on the human brain. Science reveals that the brain does not make a distinction between reading about an experience and actually living it. Whether reading or experiencing it, the same neurological regions in the brain are stimulated. When someone says to me that they do not read, after I get over my shock that I am actually talking to a person who does not read, I explain that they need to see a doctor because something may be seriously wrong with their brain.

Books, no matter what form they come in are amazing things. They can change your life, but have you ever wondered why?

It is a personal human connection. That book that you can’t get enough of, you know the one. The one you stay up so late to finish that you can’t function the next day. Yeah, that one, that obsession….it didn’t just come to be. It wasn’t just floating invisible in the air and just appeared on that shelf waiting for you. Behind that book is a writer who, I can promise you, poured sweat, tears, hours, blood and other unimaginable pieces of them self into while creating that book. They suffered pain, felt joy, were scared, and maybe almost burned down their desk. They did all that not just so you could have the magical experience, that is part of it, but for the writer, it was a matter of life and death. That book demanded to be written. If the book was not written it may have been the death of the another. All writers want the reader to feel what they felt or live what their characters are living when they read that book. Readers want to get what they need, doesn’t matter what it is, out of books. That writer-reader connection is essential to the life of the author and some readers as much as food or air.

So, the next time you are reading a book you can’t put down, and you run across some poor soul that says they don’t read, try not to pity them. Show them what they are missing.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here or sign up for the O’Gara Inner Circle here

Who Am I? I am a Believer.

What do you believe in?

As for me, I am unapologetically a Christian.

I believe in love, pure unconditional love.

I believe in respect for the dignity of every human being.

I believe in home as a place of peace.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here.

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.

With Me

Photo by Jonathan Knoll on Unsplash

Holy Spirit, Come in this place and fill every corner every space. Hear my prayer, my cry my soul’s one desire. To be near you…to be filled with you…to experience your glory.

This is my cry in the dark and in the depths of my heart. I am broken and you are the only fix for me. You are beautiful and complete…..oh, how I love you Lord and want to be engulfed in your peace.

I was lost but you found me. You didn’t have to look for me but you did. You found me. By grace, your amazing grace I am found….I am no longer a crying lost soul.

Life is bright and full of love and….joy. Without you I was nothing, now I am everything with you.

I know you are here with me as I walk…as I live….as I work my way through this insignificant life trying to do significant things to share your love, you are with me. I sing and praise you all the day long. I am at your feet…living in the shadow of you.

I live in the reassurance that I know I can not be separated from you. I am yours in a way that I can’t explain.

All I want is you, Lord, with me. Always.

Amen

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here.

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.

Prayer Is Real

Photo by Mesh on Unsplash

I know it is hard for some people to believe that God really listens to prayer. I mean if you think about it how does it happen that God can hear each and every prayer said, thought, breathed by every praying person every second of every day? Reminds me of that scene from Bruce Almighty when the main character hears all the prayers instantly, all at once. Is that what God hears?

That part will remain a mystery for us.

All of the logistics aside, prayer works. I am living proof. I have people, love, and other things in my life that are all answers to prayer. I can sit here for hours and tell you all the things, it would take a long time. Each one is just as miraculous as the other. Each one an answer to a precise prayer I uttered from my mouth to God and some unspoken ones in times of sadness when I did not have the words. You will say, sure sure. Maybe you believe me. Maybe you do not.

Once I realized that God has answered so many prayers I was humbled. When I look back over the past years I can see where things that happened would not have been possible. It was God. I did nothing but followed what I knew to be the right thing or what I believed to be the best thing at the time.

Now I can hear you already. See it was you, you made the decisions. Well, sure. I believe that God presented the opportunities and I had the choice to accept it or not.

The thing is that faith is trusting even when you feel you can’t. Trusting that God is in control. Then being thankful.

The other side to this is sometimes we pray for things to happen or not happen that God does not intend for us. We have to accept that on faith too. Remember God knows our future. He knows where we are going. That thing, person, job or whatever that we really want may not be what God has in his plans for us. Sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unanswered prayers. Despite the feeling of being let down we have to trust God. Look at the blessings and be thankful.

Until you experience a truly answered prayer for yourself you will either believe me or think I am crazy. Either one is ok with me. I will still pray for you.

~Lori O’Gara

Thank you for your time. You can see more of my writing here or sign up for the O’Gara Inner Circle here

What is your cross?

Matthew 16: 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.

Hello Friend,

What does it mean to “take up your cross and follow” Jesus, I asked sitting in a crowded Starbucks one quiet afternoon.

Yes when I talk to Jesus, I talk aloud. I have been in places that I should probably not literally talk to him. I have received strange looks from co-workers, family, people in waiting rooms and restaurants. I just think if I am to have a relationship with Jesus, we need to talk and often.

So I asked, “what are you saying?” Am I to literally get a cross and …. “No” was the answer I received. The human race is in trouble if it was required that I follow Jesus on that aspect of His life.

To take up your cross is to follow God’s will for your life through your relationship with His son Jesus. Don’t take on other things that are not yours. Leave other people’s crosses alone and take up your cross. What is your cross? It is anything the Savior tells you to do in His service for Him. It may be your job, your family, your position in a church family or you may not know what it is yet because He has not told you. He will let you know in His time.

For me it is writing.

I know I hear you saying, “But Lori you love writing” OK let’s get one thing straight. Writing is torture. It is like childbirth. Painful and difficult with the hope of a healthy child when it is over. It is suffering an obsession that controls my every waking minute. I have a love hate relationship with words and writing them. I have fought God on this point for years, in fact, all my life. “Me a writer, are you kidding me?” I asked again aloud in a crowded Starbucks full of young hip college kids who already thought I was a crazy woman. Yep, I confirmed that for them.

Then I tried to reason with God. I cannot write. I have to do other things. I cannot live off writing. I did not trust Him to provide for me. You may have the same response when Jesus says to you, “Your cross is…” I went running and screaming in the other direction for years in denial.

God said to me, yes I am hearing voices in my head here, “You will write for me”. I can’t explain how I heard it. It was more like an over whelming thought that echoed in my head and spread over me like a panic. My next question was, “How?” Relief washed over me and I knew that I didn’t have to worry about the how.

“You will write for me.”

When God calls you to a mission, a life for Him, He works out the how. All you have to do is have faith. That’s it. Faith in God and a promise to follow Jesus where He says to go. Let the Big Guy worry about the big stuff. You are to simply follow the instructions. Pick up cross and follow.

I gave up the plans I had made for my education, my life, and future. I gave it all to Him. My advice to you, when Jesus says to you “pick up your cross and follow” Don’t question, just follow. Save yourself the embarrassment of looking crazy.

Love, Lori

PS If you are not a Christian, your first step is to meet Jesus at the foot of His cross on your knees. You will find Him waiting for you there with open arms. You have to accept Him before you can have a cross of your own.

Photo: Cross on Pensacola Beach