Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

is God silent?

Is God silent?
There have been times in my life when it seemed my prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back. God seemed to be silent.
I can remember asking, “Where are You, God?    PPPPPPlease, God!”
Maybe you have seen the saying, “When you are in the midst of a trial and you wonder where God is, just remember, the teacher is always silent during the test.”
When you are taking a test, you rely on what you have studied, It is a reflection of what you know. The same is true for our spiritual tests and trials. We draw from what we have studied and what we know. We know by reading and discussing the Word. Spending time in praise, prayer, and meditation strengthens us.
Is God silent?  Truth is God is never silent. (Isaiah 55:11) His Word is alive and powerful. (Hebrews 4:12) I just need to pick up His Word and start reading to hear what God is saying, or  I can give in to the temptation to let it sit on the shelf.
One thing we may not realize is that the tests of this life are OPEN BOOK TESTS. 
In addition to an open book test, we have Jesus (who is ever interceding on our behalf.) –Romans 8:34   When the test seems crushing, I am ever grateful that Jesus has my back. Also, we are told to pray for one another. (James 5:16) Don’t let pride stop you from asking for prayer in the midst of difficulties.
  Unlike tests you took in school, in the tests of life you can ask a friend for help. I am grateful for good friends who remind me of the truths of God’s Word and encourage me in the midst of trials.
til next time,
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February 8, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

calm

“Peace, be still” — that is what Jesus said to the sea (Mark 4:39) and there was a great calm.

“Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Is the storm raging around you?

flower message

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

“Peace, be still.”

Pray with me — “Father God, speak peace, be still into my life today. It is You I trust. My life is in Your hands.”

til next time
https://youtu.be/3FrEmqyM4-k

STILL By Hillsong
Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still, know You are God [x2]

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February 7, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how big is your God?

I was reminded again of how much difference your view of God makes in your day to day choices.

If your view is obstructed by worry, fear or doubt – God may not even hit your radar. You may find yourself spiraling down into despair.  You might try to make things work out on your own.

If your view of God is based on the Bible — what a difference that makes. God is omnipresent – everywhere, omniscient – all knowing, and omnipotent — all powerful. He is the Great I AM! God’s got this!

God is always fighting for us. (2 Chron 20:17 Proverbs 21:31)

To name just a few things. He is our: Savior, provider, healer, sustainer of life, source of goodness, ever-present help in trouble, peace, joy, love…..

 

There is an old song that goes like this:  “We’ve got a great big wonderful God, a great big Wonderful God…a God who loves everyone of us, done so much for all of us.  A great big wonderful God…  He never, never, never leaves us.  He’s always standing by  -To pick us up when we stumble.  We’re the apple of His eye.”

How do you see God?

 

Lord, I will see you that way,

 

til next time

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February 4, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

labels -liberal – conservative

Don’t like what you see going on in our world today?

Lots of people are spouting their opinions and fueling the anger that seems to be boiling  across our country.  Free speech seems to gravitate into negative speech.  Things people would not say in person, they freely say hiding behind the internet.

Are you a liberal?  Are you a conservative?  I refuse to let that label define me or my friends.  I am a person. Respect, integrity, compassion, love — these are some of the things that define me.

I really want to tell some of my Facebook friends to “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post something that is not negative.  I get that you are not a fan of the current president.  I have friends in both camps.  Those for the president, please remember love is not puffed up.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)   Get into a solution.  Tell about something you are doing to make your world better.  Clearly posting argumentative junk is not healing the divide.  How about pictures of your dog or your food?  Is anything good in your life?

 

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“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) This applies when things are going great and when we encounter situations that are difficult.

Are you contagious? Do others look at you and want the joy, peace, hope, love…..that they see in you? Don’t let the hardships of life dim your light.

Recognizing that we can trust fully that God is in control, is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) and is for us (Psalm 118:6) enables us to laugh without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25 NLT)

Don’t like what you see going on in our world today? How about if you make it a point to do one random act of kindness everyday? I may not be able to change a nation but I can change my corner of the world and make it a brighter place. I am blessed to be a blessing. (Genesis 12:2)

What about you?

Let us demonstrate the overcoming power of God in our lives.

This little light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine!!
light

til next time

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February 3, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it is well

While visiting some dear friends, I had the privilege of singing with them Horatio Spafford’s song ‘It Is Well with My Soul.’   What made this extra special is the mom has dementia.  (I couldn’t help but think about my own mother and the songs we would sing.)   I placed the omnichord on her lap, and we began to sing. She joined in and her fingers began to play.   Moments before she had no clue what to do with this instrument. It was beautiful and a deep sense of the presence of God filled that room.
 
 
Once again this reminded me of the power of music. Not only does it seem we can memorize easier when it is put to music, but music stays with us when other things fade away.
it-is-well
 
This is a beautiful song and yet what led up to writing this song was one heartbreak after another. Horatio’s son died at age 2. The great Chicago fire destroyed him financially. Planning to travel to Europe, he sent his family on ahead. The ship sank. His four daughters died. Only his wife survived.
Imagine receiving a telegram that says “Saved alone.  What shall I do?”
It is said that as he traveled to bring his wife home, he wrote this song while his ship passed by the area where his daughters had died.
 
They went on to have three more children – a boy and two girls. His boy would die at age four from scarlet fever. As if this wasn’t enough, their church blamed them and said it was divine punishment. How very sad, but they didn’t quit. They ended up settling in Jerusalem and continued to help people.
 
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,  It is well, It is well with my soul.

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  Phil 4:5-7 The Message

 
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
til next time
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January 27, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not the same old same old

Eight years ago history was made. The first black president was sworn into office. Today history was made again. Donald Trump, who defied the odds against him, was sworn into office. Whatever you may think about President Donald Trump, he now holds the highest office in our country.

Listening to his inauguration speech,  it is clear that this is not a polished politician.  In fact, he takes a few shots at the political establishment.   A couple of things that stand out to me is his love for America and desire to bring about a positive change.

Whatever the future holds, today is what is before me. This is the day the Lord has made and I an choosing to rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) As for the future, I smile, knowing God is in control.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NASB)

There may be change in the air but, God changes not.

”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)

I appreciated Franklin Graham’s usage of 1 Timothy, his gospel presentation that he incorporated into his prayer and that he concluded in Jesus name. The Word went forth and it will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)

1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Join me in praying for President Trump and those in leadership of our great country.

til next time

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January 20, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

thirsty

God satisfies the thirsty!   Are you thirsty?  He fills the hungry. Are you hungry?

I am.  I am thirsty for more of God and less of me. (John 3:30) I need Him. On my own, I can surely make a huge mess of things in a quick hurry.

I am thirsty.  I need God.  I trust Him.  (Romans 15:13)

Have you taken time today to give God praise?

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

His fingerprints are everywhere.

In February of 2014 I started a gratitude journal. It is helping me to cultivate an awareness of the presence of God in my ordinary every day life.   (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp is a great book on this concept.)

Right now, in this moment, I am praising Him for loving me.  I just have to break out into song:   “He is a good good Father … and I am loved by Him…  He is perfect in all of His ways…

My heart cries out — thank You God!

til next time

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

a monkey?

“Hey, isn’t holding a monkey on your bucket list?” my husband asked me.

Yes, yes it is!

Here was a chance, possibly of a lifetime.

However, the lady informed me that this monkey, Lucian, did not really like women or children.

She was more than surprised that he took to me right away.   In fact, I am sure that I was given more time with him because I was very good for business.

Lucian started jabbering and had eye contact with me from the beginning.   He took a moment to pose for a picture. (3rd picture)   Then He decided to groom me.  (4th picture)  After that there were snuggles and of course more jabbering.  Finally, she told him it was time to go.

He grabbed on to my neck and hugged me tight.  He was having none of that.  He didn’t want to let go.  He did have a pretty good grip on me.   She had to pull out the big treat to get him to go back to her.

In the most unexpected places, at unexpected times, God smiles a blessing on us.  Holding a monkey is a small thing.  Yet, it was something I have always wanted to do.  I may have been hugged by a monkey but the whole process was a warm hug from God.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  Psalm 37:3-5 (NASB)

My first and foremost desire is for God’s will to be done in my life.  I think that is the primary application for these verses.  As we delight in the Lord our desires will be for His will to be done and for Him to be glorified in us and through us.  As we trust Him, commit our lives to Him, do good and strive to be faithful – God will do the rest.  God is good!  All the time!

Yet even as our earthly father wants to bless his kids in many ways.  God also looks for ways to bless us.  For me, this time it was holding a monkey.  What a blessing it was.

Now about that trip to Israel that’s also on my bucket list??  I’ll keep you posted.

til next time

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January 9, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. This means that He is my teacher and I want to be more like Him.
 
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)
 
I often do an inventory of my actions, words, and thoughts. Sometimes God shines a spotlight on a particular attitude or action. It is my desire that I not cause pain.  We, as Christians, are called to encourage one another – not tear down – certainly not cause pain.
 
Another scripture verse that challenges me to look at my life, behavior, and thoughts comes from Thessalonians.
 
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NASB)
Examine, hold fast to good, abstain from every form of evil.
Sometimes I like to read from multiply translations.
 
“but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.” (NLT)
Test, hold on to good, stay away from evil!
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  
Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (KJV)
Prove, hold fast to good, abstain from all appearance of evil.
So my life changing question today is am I holding fast to that which is good and abstaining from the very appearance of evil? Or do I readily come up with justification or excuses?
What about you? What does it mean to you to hold on to the good and avoid the appearance of evil?    Remember God is right there to help you.
 
More like Jesus, is my desire!
til next time
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January 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 and so it begins

“Things don’t get better as you drift away from God.” Curtis Girod

“Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.” Hosea 6:3 NKJV

Don’t drift. Go after the things of God. Dig into His Word. Start the year with determination to know God more. As you do this, your life will reflect Him more and more.

May our theme for 2017 be — Shine through me, Jesus!

This little light of mine is not just a children’s song.  It is a way of life.

“Lord, may Your light shine in me and through me.”

People may not read the Bible but they can’t avoid us, at least not all of the time.  What is it that they see when they come in contact with us?  What does our words and our actions reveal about our relationship with Christ?

Letting Christ shine through me — this is my heart’s cry!

new year

til next time

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January 1, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment