Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

it’s monday

I’ve been told that Mondays can be the hardest day on ministers. Why? I suppose there are a number of reasons. I think that they are all wrapped up in emotions and processing the weekend with all its various challenges and in giving it your all.


Sometimes we can get tripped up on “what the world calls success” or comparing. Oh, comparing is a real joy killer – you don’t have to be a minister to fall for that trap. Just don’t do it.


“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” 2 Cor 4:1 ESV


“We do not lose heart.” For all of us, it can be way too easy to compare the results we see and lose heart. It can be too easy to see the obstacles and lose heart. Let us not forget that there is more going on behind the scenes – more going on than what we see.

Don’t forget the “therefore.” What comes before the “therefore” is important.


We are confident in Christ.(3:4) Our sufficiency comes from God. (3:5) Our hope gives us boldness. (3:12) We are being transformed from glory to glory. (3:18) Therefore, we do not lose heart!!


This thing called life isn’t a sprint. We are not called to burn out or rust out. We are called to live our lives to the Glory of God.


Are you weary? Spend some extra time at the feet of Jesus.


Paul goes on to write: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. ” 2 Cor 4:8-10 ESV

Notice that crushed, despair, forsaken, destroyed all involve our emotions. When we give in to the feelings of despair, we are allowing the enemy to jump all over that. It is a slippery slope.


So how do we face trials and maintain a right attitude?


Verse 7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”


The power of God sustains us. (Psalm 54:4) The power of God holds us together. (Col 1:17) In our weakness, He is strong. (2 Cor 12:10)


“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor4:16-18)


Again, we do not lose heart. God is greater than whatever comes our way. He is with us, for us and working things out.


To God be the glory

til next time

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June 21, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the storm

My Song in the Night by Matt Redman is a powerful song of trust in the One who calms the storms.


“I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life…. Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalm 42:7-8, 11 NLT


Our thoughts can really mess us up. Something happens that we don’t like and boom – we get frustrated and emotional – anger or sadness are common emotions that follow frustration.


The Word tells us to take our thoughts captive. Don’t let them take control. A fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Sometimes we forget that we have that fruit. We are not “only human.” We have the Holy Spirit living in us.


When I find myself tired of the battle, tired of feeling tired, tired of the struggle, tired of “fill in the blank” I know that it is past time for me to ask myself why am I discouraged, why is my heart so sad? I can’t do it on my own nor do I want to. Yet, sometimes I let my emotions respond as if I am doing it on my own.


It is time to raise up my shield of faith and reestablish my hope and trust in God. It is time to look up and see the salvation of my King.


In all things, God is greater. Nothing comes my way that takes Him by surprise. He is able to turn anything around for good.


That thing that’s got me frustrated – He is able to work in it and through it in a way that brings Him glory. His peace is available to me if I choose to walk in it. Choosing to walk in it means letting go of my way it should be and trusting that His ways are so much better.


Pray with me:”Lord, until the waves calm down, til the roar of the ocean passes, I’m waiting here in Your presence. I am not giving in to the pressure of the unknown. I am trusting You to guide me this day. The storm that is raging is not in me. You, Jesus, dwell in my heart. You are my peace. You are God in it all. Thank you for the songs in the night!”

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til next time

June 17, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trust

It is easy to trust when life is good. It is easy to trust when things are going your way. What about when life is hard? What about when your plans are constantly being rearranged? What about when nothing seems to go right?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him,And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB

  • When life is hard – trust God.
  • When there are problems at work – trust God.
  • When the circumstances you face are overwhelming – trust God.
  • When you get that call you didn’t expect – trust God.
  • When your health is an issue – trust God.
  • When life seems so unfair – trust God.
  • When your child is hurting – trust God.
  • When life isn’t how you had planned – trust God.
  • When you currently have no working vehicle – trust God.
  • When ……………………… just trust God!

Fear is the enemy of trust. Fear will keep you in bondage. Fear will squeeze out joy. Fear is not your friend.

Trust God.

til next time

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June 10, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

heartache happens

Yesterday Jason and Joyce joined us for both services. My heart was full. ❤ It was so wonderful to have them here. Oh how I have missed him on the drums and my husband on the other percussion instruments.

Then my heart was sad 💔– Remembering what was and will not be again. Realizing that God has moved them on but not sent someone to fill their shoes. That led me to remember that another couple moved and here we sit still waiting for who God will bring along to fill their shoes. Yes, my heart broke.

However, I didn’t have the option to engage those feelings or really do anything with them. It was time for second service. (This one Steven joined us on bass. Even more like old times!)

I poured my heart out to God in an amazing worship time. My heart was full again. ❤

Why do I tell you this? Because so often in our lives things happen that we don’t understand and/or cause us heartache. What we do with the feelings attached to that is vital.

I encourage you to go to God, lift your voice in praise and prayer, and cast your cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:6-7) He is indeed the God of all comfort. (2Cor 1:3-4) Renew your commitment to trust Him in the midst of uncertainty. (Prov 3:5-6) Keep your hope firmly fixed in Christ. He is the author and finisher of our faith. (Heb 12:1-2) Trust Him to make a way. (Isa 43:19) Trust that His grace is enough because He said so. (2Cor 12:9)

I just so happen to be reading in Job right now. Chapter 1 verse 21 says “And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”Blessed be the name of the Lord.

May be an image of ocean, sky and text that says 'When it hurts and nothing seems right- my heart still chooses to say, "Blessed be Your name." When I don't understand and You seem far away- my heart still chooses to say "Blessed be Your name." When You give and when You take away- my heart still chooses to say "Blessed be Your name." (Job 1:21) Blessed be Your name!'

til next time

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May 17, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

prayer is powerful

National Day of Prayer is today.

From 1775, when the first call for prayer asked the colonists to pray for wisdom for the forming of the nation to the present day – prayer has been a key ingredient. In 1952 President Truman and congress declared a national day of prayer. Each year the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray.

Title 36 section 119 states — The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

Sadly there was no mention of God in this years proclamation.

I am reminded of Elijah’s words to the people in 1 Kings 18. “Then Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long are you going to struggle with the two choices? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (v21)The God who answers by fire is God. At one point Elijah taunts them by telling them to call louder – maybe their god is away or sleeping. Nothing happens.

Then Elijah prepares the altar. He even had them pour water on the altar and wood three times. The trench was also filled with water. Then Elijah prayed.“Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back.” (v36-37)

Not only did fire of the Lord fall but it consumed everything – wood, sacrifice, stones, dust and the water. (v38) That is the power of prayer to the Almighty God.

Let’s pray today for our country. Let’s pray that the hearts of the people will be turned back to God like in the day of Elijah. Let’s walk in the power of the Holy Spirit as we go about our day. Let’s allow God to flow through us so that the people may know that our Lord is God!

May be an image of fire and text that says 'If the Lord is God follow Him (V21) Today let it be known that You are God (v36) Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed it all (v38) The Lord, Heis He God! (v39) Kings 18'

til next time

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May 6, 2021 Posted by | bible story, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

so much more than me, me, me

Today I add a location to my chaplaincy rounds. I am super excited and a bit nervous. So I remind myself of what my purpose is. As a christian, my purpose is to single-mindedly serve Christ, to let Him shine through me. It isn’t about me. It is about Him. To God be the glory.

Romans 14:17-18 “God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.” The Message

The Living Bible puts it this way “For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you let Christ be Lord in these affairs, God will be glad; and so will others.”

Letting Christ be Lord in whatever is going on, that is the key. Life is so much more than just about us.

Take a moment and think about the bigger picture. God sets in motion people who will cross your path. There will be situations that will reveal His nature living in you. (Let them see You in me.) He pours out His mercies new every morning and His grace is truly enough.

We miss so much when we focus on me, me, me.

Today, let it be about Christ shining through you! (Romans 14:7-8)

May be an image of body of water and text that says '"For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves. Ifwe live, it'sto it's honor the Lord. And we die, it's to honor the Lord... " Romans 14:7-8NLT'

til next time

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April 20, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace in the midst of turmoil

It’s Monday. It’s a new day that will be filled with opportunities. Many of them may be cleverly disguised as problems.

Opportunities to:

  • shine
  • smile
  • laugh
  • cry
  • get stressed out
  • get upset
  • get mad
  • zone out

No matter what happens, we choose how we respond.

If I could give you a gift today it would be peace. Everywhere I look, I see people who are lacking in peace. Yes, even at times that is me.

The enemy of our soul knows what has tripped us up in the past. He will do whatever he can to upset us. He knows the power of peace. He sets us up to get us upset. We don’t have to fall for his trap.

I can’t give you peace but I can point you to the One who can. Jesus! Even as he spoke to the winds and the waves “Peace, be still,” He will speak to your heart “Peace, be still.” Will you accept it?

So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and winds still know His name!

Jesus tells us: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 ESV

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV


“Peace be with you.” (John 20:19, 21, 26)


We don’t have to live stressed out. We can walk in the peace that Christ offers to us. It will mean letting go of disappointments, frustrations, worry, control, and heartache. It will mean, instead, that we trust God to turn those things around in His timing. (Romans 8:28)


What do you need to let go of to walk in peace? Who do you need to forgive to walk in peace? What relationship do you need to extend grace and mercy to in order to be at peace? What diagnosis has consumed you and stolen your peace? God is greater! God is for you! God offers you peace.

til next time

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April 19, 2021 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

zealous

Revelation is the book we are currently studying at our Wednesday night bible study. Last night was once again filled with good discussion as we looked at the Church in Laodicea – Rev 3:14-22

This verse jumped out at me. 3:19 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”

First off, God loves us. He loves us so much that He will reprove (rebuke, correct) and discipline us. He is our heavenly Father. He is interested in our character, our integrity, our thoughts, and our actions.

Then it says “so be zealous.”

Zealous – showing great energy or enthusiasm

There are certainly days were I can improve in this area. What about you?

I did a translation search to better understand. Here is some of what I found.

Zealous:

  • eager to do right
  • shake off your complacency
  • enthusiastic about the things of God
  • exert yourself
  • be earnest
  • take this seriously
  • be committed
  • have a strong desire to please the Lord
  • be diligent….

Of course, part of being zealous is repenting when we become aware of something in our life that is displeasing to God.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!” The Message

May be an image of text that says 'When God corrects or disciplines you be zealous and repent- knowing that God loves you!'

til next time

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April 15, 2021 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

unfriended, blocked, now what?

Facebook. Social media. What do you do when a real friend unfriends you? It happens. It may have happened to you as well.

Someone I’ve known for decades, unfriended me on Facebook. Not only did this person unfriend me but they also blocked me. Here’s the rub. I have no idea. None. Notta. Zilch.

As a Christian, what do we do when that happens?

People can be unkind. The Golden Rule does not say to love them how they love you but to love them how you would want them to love you. (Matthew 7:12) If you close your fist to loving – it changes you. It may not impact that person at all, but it changes you. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what God’s standard for loving is all about. I am confident we all have room for improvement.

Pray! Guard against a spirit of offense or a spirit of self-righteousness. Believe me, one or the other or both will try to see if the door is open. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. (Eph 4:27) God’s Word tells us that “Great peace have they that love Thy law and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165 (italics mine) Shake it off. Don’t pick up the offense.

If you sense that you should reach out, then do what you can. You might have to go through a family member since they have blocked you. Just be prepared for this to go nowhere. Again, love does not attempt to control, manipulate or keep a record of wrongs. (1 Cor 13) As God brings them to mind – pray. Do what you can to keep the bridge open. Just because they have burnt the bridge doesn’t mean you have to also. Be a person of grace.

Sometimes God removes people from our lives for reasons only He knows. Sometimes the other person is in a not good place and you are the closest target. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding. If you have done something, own it and seek restoration. Recognize that the other person may not be interested in restoring the relationship. That then is on them. Do what you can to live at peace with them. (Romans 12:18)

Loving God and loving people — that’s the ministry I am called to. I love with an open hand. I keep the bridge intact as much as I possibly can. You may not be a pastor but you still have this same ministry. You are called to love!

People mess up. Love them anyway. Extend your hand in grace and mercy.

I live my life trying not to burn bridges. My hand is extended in friendship when/if that person who walked away wants to come back. I don’t want to be the reason there isn’t reconciliation. Too many people burn bridges because they get their nose out of joint or their undies in a bunch and then later live to regret it.

My hand is open not closed. Not only is my hand open but I am a vessel that God can flow through to love people. Loving people is not just about loving those who love me back. The bible talks about that. (Luke 6:31-36)

We are called to love. Let’s take that to heart and be intentional about extending our hand in love to the world around us.

til next time

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April 12, 2021 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

in the midst of uncertainty

Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen today that You and I can’t handle.

May be an image of text that says 'Lord Help mẹ to remember that nothing is going to happen today that you and can't handle.'

A new day is beginning. For me it is starting before the sun comes up. There are things that need to be done today, an appointment that needs to be keep and many things that are waiting for my attention.

It is also Monday after an emotional day for this momma. Leaving your child in God’s hands is the only way I know to have peace when you just can’t be there. You don’t have to give in to the stress. You can still go forth and do what God has in front of you — for me, yesterday, it was to lead worship.

My son text me for prayer Friday as he wasn’t feeling the best. I text him in between services yesterday to see how he was doing. Right before service I received his response. He had passed out and hit his head. He was staying up for a bit before going back to sleep.

What?

So I had a choice. We always have choices. I could fall apart. I could call him and forget about leading worship. I could lead worship but have my son on my mind. I could say a prayer, ask his father to call him and I could begin service. That’s the one I chose.

The song list: Our God is Greater.

“Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God, our God”

The Stand.

“So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, oh God
Completely to YouSo I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
So I’ll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours”

O Taste and See.

“O Taste and see that the Lord is good to me
You have turned my mourning into dancing
Put off my rags and clothed me with gladness
And I will arise and I will praise you
I’ll sing and not be silent. O Lord my God I will give thanks to you forever…”

You can’t tell me that God wasn’t all over that list. He knew what was going to happen and He prepared the way for my heart to worship Him in the midst of uncertainty.

God offers peace and comfort – we choose to walk in it or not.

Interruptions will happen. Plans may need to be adjusted. On any given day there are often opportunities to become frustrated, fearful, irritated, sad, or even angry. God is right there ready to help us learn how to control our feelings so they don’t control us. He is right there to give us joy and peace in the midst of whatever is going on.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! ” Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG

As for my son, he finally went to the ER. They gave him an IV and ran some tests. He has covid. I’d appreciate your prayers for him. While you are at it, prayers for this momma to stay in the peace God offers would also be appreciated.

til next time

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April 12, 2021 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment