Sunday Thoughts: Choose Your Battles

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Choose your battles. Sometimes peace is more important than being right.

I have tried to be as transparent as I can. What you see here on this site and on my Facbook page is my digital fingerprint. I am who I am. I am not much of a mystery. What you see is what you get. I am not a drama queen. You won’t see me degrading someone in a comment section of any social media outlet. Even if I totally disagree with the opinion. I will try to express the truth in the situation without confrontation. There is so much negativity in the world these days and I am doing my best to keep it away from me.

I have decided to focus more on my inner being than looking at what is happening on the outside. I am writing everyday, which is challenging. There is this thing called life that gets in the way all the time. Oh and I have this other thing called a job that is necessary for other things like food and a roof.

I think that the battles we choose speak to who we are in our soul. What we fight for and about is what we value. If we value people we fight for them. If we value money we will fight for that. If we value love we will fight for love.

The question is how to balance what we value in our souls with what we need in our life to survive. Sometimes those two things do not match and are not compatible. I think peace is found when we make the important stuff in our being and the needed stuff for our survival the same things.

Something to think about during this time of year when the focus is on material things not always the important things.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Sunday Thoughts: Live to be Significant not Successful

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There should be more, much more, to life than our traditional definition of success. There is a lot to be said about being successful, not all of it is bad. Having a comfortable life style is nice, sure. How we treat other people is a better way to show our success. We all want to have the things in our lives that make us look to the outside world as having made it, such as a well paying job, shiny car, and big bank roll. Our society defines success by our bottom line. The more zeros in your account the more useful you are.

I challenge you to be significant instead. I warn you, it is not easy to be significant. As difficult as getting those zeros can be, making a difference in this world can be more of a challenge. More than success, creating a significant difference in the lives of others in all you do is more difficult than just simply being successful. It will probably cost you some of those zeros to do it correctly. To be significant you have to take on an attitude of servitude. In all you do seek to serve your fellow man. No you don’t have to join the Peace Corp, work from what you have and from where you are.

Measure your significance by the important little things you can do to improve the life of someone else. This should be your mission in life. Our significance is to serve others in love and respect. Live your life to be significant instead of successful and success you shall have.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Who is God?

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George Washington Carver once said, “Our creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there.”

I have never understood why people argue about who God is. It does not matter what religion you subscribe to or what name you pin on God. The creator and the universal greater power is the same, God is still God.

When Christians try to put God in a nice neat box and say this God, our God is the only God, they are limiting the very God they claim to be all powerful, all knowing, and omnipresent.

How can an omnipresent God who speaks to each soul in a unique way for that soul go by one name or a name at all? He has no need for a name. God just is.

We Christians say, “God has a plan for your life in His perfect will.” He loves us as individuals. It only stands to reason that each of us will have a personal connection to that power of God and communicate with God in the only way our imperfect minds know how. Naming God is a human construct.

God just is. He exists. Even God himself  said to Moses, “I am” when Moses asked what His name is. The power of creation, spirit and love that is in the universe, in nature, in us is the One True God. What you call this God is insignificant to the fact that you believe in God and embrace love. The fact God exists and that we find a connection through love and we share that love with our fellow living creatures, that is what is important.

I choose Christianity to serve God. It is arrogant of me to assume that my God will not reveal Himself to a person who chooses a different way to connect with Him through their spirit. All connections to God are sacred. I will go as far to say that all other religions that worship one God are worshiping the same true God. The great Spirit, Allah, Yahweh, the Goddess, and others are different connections to God, however, there is still only one God.

I have reconciled this truth with to the part of my faith that says “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know  my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14: 6-7)  Want proof? The Quran mentions Jesus more often that Mohammad. It doesn’t stop there, I see in other religions that there are other stories of the Messiah. These facts and others appear to make the connections between one God and all religions as a simple truth, there is one God.

I believe that we Christians are making a big mistake by undermining the scope of who God is by saying God isn’t in the other religions and by the way, here is God’s name. We shall call him this. We are molding Him to our image of God, when we should be encouraging others to connect to God in whatever way the spirit is calling them as individuals.

I will continue to search for a closer relationship with God and I encourage you to do the same. Search for God with love and a sincere thirst for truth. The power of God’s Love will find you right where you are, no matter what you call Him.

~Lori O’Gara

Foundation of Belief

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This past week I explained my foundation of belief so what does this have to do with my writing and my novels? I use this foundation, my life foundation, for all my stories and characters. I think all creative people use their values as a starting point for making art. The most authentic art comes from being true to oneself.

I write from love, humanity, respect, peace,and home with an under current of Christianity. I tackle the things that some Christian authors avoid. I address the gritty and ugly that comes with being a human. Then I show how these things in the light of love, respect, peace, and dignity. I have characters who live in such a way that the reader can see the person’s values.

The reason my novels are not classified as Christian Fiction despite the fact that I have Christian themes and strong characters is that I don’t force Christianity out through the words. I let it evolve in the lives of my characters just as it does in the lives of real people. The Perdido Key novels are full of people who learn and grow as they move through life’s chaos and deal with very real situations. My writings have something for everyone and are enjoyed by Christians and non Christians regardless of their beliefs. 

Let me know what you think.

~Lori O’Gara

Believe Home

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I believe in home as a place of peace.

Home. It is a place of contentment and security. Everyone deserves this place. It may be your house, where you grew up or some other place you call home. However, home as a place of peace may not be a place at all, it may be a person. When with your person, you feel the words “I’m home” in your soul. There’s a sense of peace and belonging. This is your place in the world.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

Believe Respect

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

I believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things and that everyone deserves respect. I do not have to agree with your values to respect you. I do not have to even like you to respect you. I don’t look at your social statues, your job, your gender or your race. The fact is you are a living soul and I respect you.

~Lori O’Gara

Believe Love

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I believe in love, pure unconditional love.

Unconditional love that is always giving. It is a total commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether the love given is returned or not. This is the true form of love.

This is not romantic love. It is life saving love. This love feeds the hungry, shelters the cold, loves the unlovable, and concurs hate.  Love every soul on earth with this love.

~Lori O’Gara

Believe Unapologetically

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First statement of belief: As for me, I am unapologetically a Christian.

There is a trend these days of watering down your belief system to be politically correct, to appease society or as not to offend another person. I have never been one to diminish my beliefs to make someone else feel comfortable. I’m a Christian and I will not compromise on the core facts of Christianity.  Those were set by the example of Christ and they are: Love everyone. Serve those who need it most and deserve it least. Forgive. Seek peace. Do not judge. It is really that simple.

As a Christian, I do not write traditional Christian Fiction. I do not sugar coat or skirt around the ugly parts of reality.  I write fiction grounded in real life that quietly reflects the example of Christ. Read my novels, you’ll see what I mean.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Believe

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For those of you who are new here, I am so glad you have found me. I have been asked by a couple of you why is the word Believe on my cover photo. I realize that I have not clarified the reason. Believe is my platform because I believe if you do not take hold of a belief someone will attempt to force one on you. If you take that power from them and stand for what you believe as truth, you are in control of your heart.

For the next few days I will take each one of my statements of belief and expand on them. I will explain my life philosophy. I do not expect you, dear reader, to agree with all of them. I would be honored if you did, however, I realize my way of thinking is not typical Christianity. It is radically different.

As always, thank you for joining me on this revolutionary journey.

~Lori O’Gara