What is a Marriage?


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)

Overthinking Is Way Too Easy


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


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


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


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.


Ms. Mildred Pearl Seales, Granny to me.

Valentines Day, so What?


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

The Way of Love


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)


Hello Monday: Human Beings Only


Birthplace: Earth, Race: Human, Politics: Freedom, Religion: Love

Look at the description above….is that you? If not maybe you should reconsider being a human. I hear there are other planets that have space for you.  Trust me, I know The Doctor.

All kidding aside, as humans we need the same things. We may desire other things, however our basic human needs are the same.  I think we can all agree in the first two attributes, birthplace and race.  It is when humans forget those and focus on politics and religion does the air get murky.  As humans we like different things. We desire different things. We pursue different creative outlets.

We must learn soul-balance in a vacillating, changing world of differences. We must learn to be fearless. Stand up for humanity. Focus on what makes us human and love each other.

Believe in humanity.

~Lori O’Gara



Sunday Thoughts: Church Door Thumpers


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: Look for Forever


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