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

 

 

Inspiration

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8c62fdfb94b70ed519b2ac5eaa01a446When I was in my teens and twenties my generation got our inspiration from bumper stickers, t shirts, and posters. The same Hang In There kitten hanging from a tree type quotes are now all over social media. Personally I think they are wonderful. Now, if people reading them would try to implement the positive ones into their lives and ignore the negative ones that would be better.  Inspiration can come from any where. There always seems to be the right words right there at the right time when you need it. If you scroll and you can’t find what you speaks to your inner peace, keep looking it will pop up in a second.

The problem with inspiration is it can be very persuasive and not always in a positive way. For instance, if you find out that your significant other is cheating, you may be inspired by one if the many artistic quotes to give him a Bobbit make over or the groovy Stella silent treatment. Have a little fire scarecrow. (For you whipper snappers, google….it is your friend.) None of those inspirations are very positive and may get you 5-20 in the state’s best accommodations. My advice, leave the vengeance to God and keep scrolling.

Seek inspiration that is positive. Save the quotes that inspire you to be a better person. If you read one and think, wow that is so very true and I can (choose one be/do/aspire to)  that then it is a keeper. If you read one and think, Damn sister I wouldn’t have shared that….then move along Sally.  Either way, use what the good Lord gave you for common sense and be selective. Share the positive…..oh c’mon…..just do it.

Believe in positive inspiration.

Peace out.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey?

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.

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.

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 is what 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, no respect, there is no point.

Believe in love.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Light

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Create what sets your heart on fire, and it will illuminate the path ahead.~Unknown

Light is what allows us to understand the world we live in. The detection of light is powerful tool for probing the universe. It is through the study of light that we can understand the composition stars light years away or the living cells in us. It is no accident that humans can ‘see’ light. Our language reflects our fascination with light. Isn’t it said in scripture somewhere that after groping in the dark, we see the light and understanding dawns.

To me light is almost a living thing. It embraces us on the outside with visible light and on the inside with knowledge. God is the source of all light. He put the sun and stars in the universe. He gave man the knowledge to create light. He gave us fire and later man harnessed electricity. I know scientists can explain to me that light is a form of radiation. God made the radiation. We can trace all light to Him.

Create what sets your heart on fire. Create your light. Make a difference in this world of shadows. Even when we see shadows in our lives we should be encouraged. Shadows can not exist without light.

Believe in the light of good.

~Lori O’Gara

Listen to Your Heart

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Recently I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the some of best advice I had received. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself.

I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation. I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works.

Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not.

It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust it, it will work out right. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad.

What is the truth? What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

Here it is, here is the advice.

“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will always tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart. Always.

Believe what your heart tells you. It will never  steer you wrong.

~ Lori O’Gara

 

 

Monkey Chatter

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We all have monkey chatter in our brains. It is the constant mental monologue that happens when we are trying to live our lives. Monkey chatter can be and often is negative. We have heard all the self help guru terms, negative self talk, automatic negative thoughts, inner critic and others. It’s enough to make you depressed.  Pour me another cup of that happy juice why don’t ya?

William Porter, from the Perdido Key Novels,  is an exception. He has no monkey chatter. The cowboy from Tennessee has a control over his thoughts. It isn’t something that comes easy to him. He has to work on it.  He shifted his focus to God. As long as he keeps God in his brain and prayer in his fore thought, the monkeys stay in the shadows. Brianna Dario on the other hand is over run with monkeys. She can’t hear God’s still small voice for all the noise. She listens to the monkeys and as a result runs from love.

Controlling the monkey chatter is not easy. I have found that prayer works. Also, having a love in your life that reminds you what is important and what is simply not a priority helps kill the monkeys. Don’t waste your time on things that are not real.

Believe in what is important, keep your focus on what is real and trust love.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

Believe is a Verb

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To believe is to act. It is not a passive thing to just believe in something. You have to act on that belief.  Before you can act on your beliefs you must have something substantial to believe in and make a commitment to it.

The Latin term notitia means “believing in the data” or the information. It’s an intellectual awareness. You can’t believe in nothing; there has to be content to the belief. Once you have decided what exactly you are going to believe in, you then have to put your trust in that belief. Once you trust something as truth you can act on the truth.

Fiducia refers to the fiduciary commitment. You can’t believe without commitment to your beliefs. Our cowboy, William Porter, who we meet in We Will Get There,  is the embodiment of commitment to a belief in God. He made a promise to God and he honors it because of his loyalty to his chosen belief. The very act of dedicating one’s self to a belief is the first action in believing.

Don’t be one of those people who say, “I believe in…” this or that and then show no devotion to that belief. This type of person’s beliefs are faltering and ever changing. No one trusts a person like that. They are the people who follow the latest trend but never stand for anything real. They are gullible and believe anything that their friends are believing. They are wishy washy and flighty. They bring stress to those around them. They them self’s find it difficult to be at peace.

Decided what it is you will believe in, make a commitment to it and then act in the best interest of that commitment.  Wrap your soul and your life around your beliefs. If it is right your institution will tell you so. If it is wrong you will know that too. Believe in goodness and in what is right.  Be a trust worthy believer.  Believe in what makes your heart happy. Listen to your soul.  Then take that belief and act on it in truth and compassion. Bring peace to your life and to those you love through your commitment of belief.

Believe in commitment to the truth.

~Lori O’Gara

Look Out For That Hole

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I found this quote on social media. When I read it I shouted, “yes that is it.” That is why I can’t fit my novels and words in a nice neat genre box. It is a struggle that myself and other writers have to contend with every time we sit at the keys to write. We all have stories and words spinning in our souls that we must release in to the world. Often those stories do not line up perfectly with convention. Add to the mix the Christian or other moral values of the writer and the societal narrative can get thread bare and distorted. We, as writers and readers should not allow society to mandate how we reflect the world in writing or in how we choose what we read.

My hope is that with my writing I create a framework to flip reality on it’s head and force ideas that question conventional thought. Yes I am a Christian. My thinking is simple. Jesus was a radical and I believe I can be one too.

Lori O’Gara