Sunday Thoughts: Be Thankful For Today

Featured

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

Sunday Thoughts: Death is a Door

Featured

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.

28070400_10213486275969891_1240182704396362545_o

Ms. Mildred Pearl Seales, Granny to me.

Sunday Thoughts: We Are Insignificant

Featured

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

 

 

Sunday Thoughts: Trust

Featured

All my life I had this image of where I would be when I became an adult. I am nothing like that image. I have not landed in the city that I thought I would live; however, I have a peaceful home. I am not be affluent as I imagined I would be; however, I do have a fabulous career that I worked hard for. I am not alone as I thought I would be. I do have an unbelievably great family, a loving man, brilliant children and awesome grand kids.

While that is true in a sense we are also bound by our station in life. Where we are in society, how much money we have and how much determination we have, and our level of discipline play a part of where we go in life. There is also the factor of our trust.

Our trust in ourselves and in our choices is vital to success. If we lack trust in just one of these areas we can fail, but if we lose our trust in God we are certain to fail. Will we trust God enough to provide for what we need? Will we allow him to lead us to our future? We have to trust that God is in control even when we feel He is not. We have to believe that He is there at work even if we can’t see any results yet. This is difficult and we often give up.

We can break those bounds and be more than what we think, more than society says we can be. We must not give up. We must keep trusting God. We can not allow the alternative to be an option. We can’t trust feelings or emotions or even what we see around us. We must trust ourselves, trust our gut. We must trust God is keeping His promise.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Time

Featured

Today’s Sunday thought comes from Brendan O’Gara

“Value your time. Until you value yourself, you will not value your time,you will not do anything with it. Ultimately we do not pay for anything with money, rather we pay for things with time. Instead of thinking about what you do and what you buy in terms of money, think about them in terms of time. Is what you are spending your time on worth the time you could be spending with your family ? If the answer is no, then some decisions and changes need to be made. Are the tasks on today’s agenda worthy of your time?”

 

Sunday Thoughts: Peace or Perfection?

Featured

As I look back on my life I see myself as a person I am not proud of. However, when I really think about it I am not proud of who I am now either. I am humbled at where I am in life and how I got here. Looking back I see a person who was often frantic over reaching perfection.

My home, job, and everything else had to appear to the outside world as perfect. I would scramble to make sure everything was just so before anyone saw it. That perfection mentality was absorbed in all parts of my life. I was so obsessed as to what other people thought of me that it controlled me in ways I was not even aware of and in ways that I was fully conscience of.

Not too long ago I was at one of the lowest places a person could be in life. I had no place to live (well I was staying at my mom’s home). My income was cut more than half. I was sad and alone. I gained back all the weight I fought for years to get off of my body. I was figuratively face down in the muck of life with no light. Where was perfection then? Where were all the people that I damn near killed myself to impress?

It is my belief, regardless of what you call God, or higher power or whatever, that we are intentionally put down to our lowest point in life so that we can see that we are insignificant. All the things we claim to be important are nothing.  God allows us to use that free will of ours and when we get to that point of destitution we have to look for that power of the universe, God, to show us what is important, what the big picture of life really is.

As a result of me being flat in the muck of imperfection, I am not the same person. I am no longer a slave to being that perfect person with the perfect life. My life revolves around peace and love. My house is a mess, my bank account is scrawny and I am happier than I have ever been.  I am surrounded by love and I can see with unclouded eyes what is important in life.

Believe in striving for peace not perfection.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Church Door Thumpers

Featured

Matthew 18:20 (NRSV) “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

I am wondering why some people think that every time the church door opens that they have to walk through them.  I have seen so many people who think that if they go to church then they are good with God. Then to insure that they are indeed in the good graces of the almighty, they force their children to be there every single time too.

Let me enlighten you, going to church does not make you a Christian.

I understand the keep the Sabbath Holy commandment. I respect it and I honor it. Even that doesn’t say you have to be in Church building to keep it holy.  I have read the verses that are quoted about meeting together and hearing the scriptures. I agree that it is very important to meet with other Christians, study, praise and pray together. Even so, nowhere does it say that any of those things have to be done in a church. Nor does it have to be in any sort of service format. What’s wrong with meeting at the beach or in a home? The Christians make the church not the building.

Christians, do yourself a favor, if you want to go to church go, but do not force it on others.  While you’re at it stop beating yourself up with guilt about not going.

Love God, love each other, worship, fellowship together and invite the Holy Spirit to join you. No guilt allowed.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

Sunday Thoughts: Resolutions, sort of…

Featured

I usually do not make resolutions. I can never stick them out all year. I read once that it takes doing a thing for 30 days to make a habit. So this year I am going to try that, 30 days to make a habit. Then do it again the next month and the next. Before long another year will be gone. I only have 3 resolutions.

1. Listen to God, do what he says without following my own rules.

2. Write something every single day even if I don’t feel like it.

3. Read every day, even if I don’t feel like it and by doing so read everything on my shelves that I have not read.

These resolutions are not as easy as the sound. Making my own mind shut up and listen is going to be difficult.  God knows better than I do. I need to listen and follow Him.

Write something everyday even if I don’t feel like it. Most of the time I want to write, I have the desire to write. I will first devise some sort of plan listing what projects I really want to work on. Organize my writing and write everyday.

Read read read! I have several unread books. I have serious OCD about buying books. I see something that looks interesting and I buy it to read later. My TBR (to be read) stacks have grown a lot the past year.

So that’s it for 2018. No crazy commitments that I know I won’t keep, no empty promises to myself or God, only a plan to make some progress.

~Lori O’Gara

Sunday Thoughts: Where is God?

I have to wonder why people don’t believe in God. I can’t imagine not believing in God. How can a person look at this world and think nope, no God? It all just appeared from some big bang. (Not to be confused with the Big Bang Theory TV show that I love. Bazinga)

To me each possibility is sort of the same. Believing that a being that we never see created this place we call home and really cares about what happens with us is just as hard to wrap your head around as some of the scientific theory that  a cosmic accident created us.

The big question is where is God? In this world of war, devastating weather and evil people, where is God? Why is God, if He exists, not stopping some of this bad stuff that is happening all around us? I have one answer, free will.

We all have free will. We have the free will to call on God or not. We have the free will to talk to God or not. Are you praying? Are you asking God to come help intervene? No? Oh that’s right! You don’t’ believe He exists. So, why would you expect Him to come in to this life of yours and fix things for you if you do not believe in Him? He is not going to act in your life until you get on your knees and ask Him to be present.

All I can tell you is, I have seen God act in the lives of believers, me included. The catch is you have to ask. You have to make the move to accept God. That’s how it works. Simple act of faith. If you can believe that this world came from nothing how much more of a reach is it to think a God created it? Maybe He caused the big bang in the first place?  It isn’t that far a stretch. It’s all simple really.

Matt 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Sunday Thoughts: Look for Forever

Featured

One of the strongest words in the English language is forever. Merriam Webster defines forever as a limitless time (as in He wants to live forever) or at all times, continually. Forever is one of those words that stands in front of you defiantly and dares you to prove it wrong. It is bossy and intrusive. The word forever and I have always agreed to disagree. It says to me, let go trust that I am true. I say no, no you are not. There is no such thing as forever.  I am good with the continually definition. It is the limitless time that gives me anxiety. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing. Seasons change, people die, good things always come to an end and bad times pass. There is no such thing as forever. The difficult lessons in life have taught me that forever is a fantasy, a fairy tale. We all know that fairy tales are not true.

Just recently I have had this needling thought in my head. It is a particularly chatty monkey that says, “You are wrong. Love lasts forever. Real love is never-ending.” I have resisted the urge to toss that monkey out on his head. I try to get my head around the thought that someone could love me so much that it lasts not just my lifetime but forever into eternity. I have even said to that thought monkey and the person who put it in my head, “No, I do not say forever. I can’t trust that to be true.”

Then the monkey chatter says in rebellion, “What if you are wrong? What do you have to lose? What is love?” That definition of love is stronger than that nasty little monkey called forever.  The same dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person, attraction that includes sexual desire, the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship, a person you love in a romantic way, God or personification of love.

I have said on this blog and in other places that God is love. I have also said that love is worth the risk.  I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t at least give this forever consideration. I have love in my life that is strong that has the potential to last a long long time. I don’t know if it will indeed last forever. All I can do is hope and have faith that it is enough. That the love I have in my life will last a long time and that it is worth the risk.

At that thought another nicer calmer monkey spoke up in the chatter, “Love is worth everything. Stop listening to your mind and listen to your heart.”

I sighed, conceded and said out loud, “I love you…forever.”

Next to me the one who loves me smiled and said, ” I love you too.”

~Lori O’Gara