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: Struggling

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I find myself questioning why things are not going the way I think they should or the way that seems like the best way. I need God to move in my life in a way that is specific, so I pray. I have been here before with God and I know that He always comes through. He keeps His promises and I am always blessed.

This time I am full of doubt that what I need to happen will happen. I keep hearing myself say to God, “Ok, I can do this or that, just let me help move things along, and see what happens.” I instantly know it is the wrong answer. I know that I am to wait, trust and pray. I hate that answer. I want to act…I want  to do something, to react..anything!

Hence the struggle. Sit, wait….listen. remain faithful. Trust that God is in control. When all I want to do is move and fidget with my own ideas that are no where near as good as what God has for me. God’s will for my life is perfect for me. All I have to do is be patient and hold on to faith.

Yeah, easier said than done.

~Lori O’Gara

James 1:2-4 (NRSV)
2 My brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

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

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

 

Control

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FullSizeRender[700]Life is simple really. It is just a matter of moments and decisions that get you from one moment to the next. Simple. No mystery about it. Just one moment then another and another. You decide what to do in the next moment. You can get brave and plan future moments, most of us do. Then there are the moments that are planned for us one after another after another. Work, school, responsibilities and obligations are just preplanned moments.

Who or what is in control for your moments and thus your life is entirely up to you.

What about God? Will you let God control your next moment?

Each life is nothing but a series of moments that come and go. We live one moment at a time. How we choose to live the next moment is in our control.

What? You don’t believe that? What about obligations when you must do things you do not want to do? Yes, that is in your control too. You choose to participate in what is expected of you or not. You choose what happens. Don’t give me that, you are not in control, life makes you do certain things whether you want to or not.

Wrong!

Did you get up this morning? Yes? You could have stayed in bed. You control what you do, always.

So, stop with the he made you mad and the you have to do this or that. Don’t let me hear you say your boss, parent, spouse, friend made you do……..No, you are in control of every moment of everything in your life.

The only two things you are not in control of are other people’s actions and acts of God. Your reaction to those two things are still in your control.

Say it with me, “I control my reactions to the actions of others and I am in charge of moments in my life one moment at a time.”

Yes you will have to contend with the consequences of your actions; however you choose the action. Rolling the D20 is optional.

Believe in living your life your way.

~Lori O’Gara

You’re Positively Crazy

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71d1362479451069f4721930eda8e144--quotes-about-good-men-great-quotesToday I want to tell you that positive thoughts attract positive things.

I know some of you out there that are saying, “Oh great, here we go with some hokey positive thinking theory….yea yea we’ve heard it all before.” Hang with me a second, you are talking to a fellow skeptic here.

There has been a time or two in my life when I was desperate. Desperate for money.  My checking account looked like old mother Hubbard’s cupboard , it was bare. I don’t mean down to a couple hundred more like less than twenty.  One day in particular I had less that ten bucks to my name, a quarter of a tank of gas and no outlook for improvement.

A friend said, “Think positive. Thank God for what you need and live as if you already have it. Then thank God for what you already have. I promise you positive thinking will improve your situation. Trust me.” After I resisted the urge to call the men in the white coats to take my friend away ha ha…..I decided what do I have to lose?

Me being the skeptic rebel that I am, I prayed and thanked God for an exact amount of money, $40, (didn’t want to be greedy) and a half a tank of gas. Then I went to bed laughing at myself. I know as a Christian God doesn’t work that way. God is not some fairy or genie who grants wishes.

I filled my next day with positive thought.  When something started to go wrong I would not allow myself to think negative about it, I shifted my thinking. All in all it was a good day. No it was an amazing day. I was happy. I didn’t feel the stress that I normally feel when I am in a bad situation. I did not hyper focus on the bad things that could happen. I left the What If monkey in his box.

What made this day amazing? I was broke. I had no money, no gas to get home on from my job. I should have been devastated. I decided to look at what I did have, a job, a family and I was alive. Then I thanked God for it. Did my account amazingly fill with zeros? Nope. Did some magic happen to fix my situation? Well, sort of.

Long story short, I sold three books out of my car in a parking lot, like some literary drug dealer. I took the money and put some gas in the tank. That’s right you guessed it, I had a half a tank of gas and $40 dollars in my pocket at the end of the day.

I was not much better off, but I was better. What did happen is my belief in positive thought and prayer increased that day.  It happened in a way that all the talking my friend did the day before, could not. I learned from experience.

I can’t make you believe that positive thinking works. You have to discover it on your own, living through it. It will get better.  Trust me.

Believe in the power of positive thought.

~Lori O’Gara