Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

disappointment, fear, But God!

Finally, I was going to have the first of my six month check ups. I rarely give thought to cancer. When I do, it is usually by pointing out how God has used it. That said, I was looking forward to having my first six month check up over with. They had rescheduled it three times already. (It was now past seven months.) I was looking forward to having my questions answered and this one behind me.

There I was in the exam room when the nurse told me that Dr. was still in surgery, and they weren’t sure when he would get there. She hated to do it to me but she needed to reschedule me again. She was very apologetic. I was understanding. I told her that my initial surgery took longer than Dr had planned and therefore set him behind for others. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

She is looking into June. June! Eight months! I told her I really didn’t want to wait until June. She understood and found a slot for me on a day that Dr would not be in surgery. She assured me that this appointment would workout. I know that the only sure thing is God but I am hopeful it will happen then. Still, I will wait 17 more days. 17!

It seems so very often I leave his office on the verge of tears. My poor husband, I am sure he thought something was wrong with the examination. It was only when we were outside that I could tell him.

Disappointment with a touch of fear are powerful emotions. Left unchecked, they can cause a person to spiral downward quickly. I know this first hand.

Google tells us that disappointment ‘is sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes and expectations.’ No wonder grumbling is so easy when you embrace disappointment.

I mentioned ‘left unchecked.’ There is a better way. We had prayed that morning that God would guide us and help us through the day. Nothing takes Him by surprise. God is omniscient – all knowing. (Psalm 139) Our lives are in His hands. (Psalm 63:8)

When disappointment comes, when fear is lurking tell yourself some ‘but God’ statements.

But God is with me and working all things out for my good. (Deut 31:8, Romans 8:28) But God is greater. (1 John 4:4) But God holds me together. (Col :17) But God is able. (Eph 3:20) I either believe that or I don’t. I most certainly believe that so I take my disappointment and fear and give it to God. I pick up my shield of faith. (Eph 6:16) ‘But God’ are two way more powerful words than disappointment and fear.

What are you telling yourself? How do you handle disappointment? Fear?

Jesus taught us to pray “Not my will, but Thine be done.” (Matt 26:39) When we take that seriously, we begin to change how we go forward. The enemy is always seeking to kill, steal and destroy, (John 10:10) If he can get us to lay down our joy and grumble, he is having a party at our expense. I refuse to live in a state of perpetual complaining and grumbling about things that I can’t control anyway. It is a choice I have to make regularly. Maybe that is why Jesus repeated “not my will but Thine be done” three times.

Today is a new day. I woke with the song “I’m so Blessed.” May I carry that thought throughout the day – come what may – God is with me and I am blessed.

til next time

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May 6, 2023 Posted by | cancer, just thinking about stuff, life, living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a new day

Oh how I love a new day. It is an opportunity to start fresh.

Yesterday I was ready to throw in the towel and quit my chaplaincy. I love my job, truly I do. There’s just been some things lately that have nothing to do with the actual job but are more of a spiritual battle.

Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy is always looking to stop us or if he can’t stop us then to at least hinder us. He doesn’t play fair, but God is greater. God’s grace is enough – always enough. Paul reminds us to press on. (Phil 3:13-14 “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,  I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.)

Yesterday my boss called me and I even told her that this was not the day to have this conversation. I am sure she didn’t get it cuz she called me a second time. However, in between those calls, I called my husband.

Here’s the God moment. He was mowing the yard. He had just stopped to move a stick when my call came through. There was a window of about 15 seconds. That was when I called. Any sooner or later and he would not have heard his phone. You can’t tell me that wasn’t God.

He spoke life words. He reminded me of truth. He prayed with me.

I can’t change a thing about yesterday. I can choose to let it go and leave it in God’s hands. I choose how I start my day. I refuse to start it with dwelling on yesterday’s problems.

God woke me this morning and has given me this day. Since you are reading this, He woke you too. Personalizing Psalm 118:24 – I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. What are you choosing?

The song “First Things First” comes to mind. It can be so easy to get priorities backwards. We can be lulled into neglecting what is truly important because after all we have good intentions.

Spending time with Jesus truly helps me keep my priorities straight. With chaplaincy, I find myself dealing with people and end of life issues often. I’ve yet to have someone tell me they wish they had worked more or that they spent way too much time with family and friends.

We are truly as close to Jesus as we choose to be.

til next time

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April 27, 2023 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s Monday

There seems to be a lot of people that grumble about Mondays. Maybe that’s you. The weekend is over and it’s back to work. You have to set an alarm. Maybe you don’t even like your job. Once you start down that road of complaining it can be real easy to not see anything good about today. Mondays can be hard but please remember God is in the hard things.

Mondays can be the hardest day for a minister also. It is the day of the week most likely to find ministers giving thought to resigning. I won’t go into all the reasons why, but Mondays can be hard.

This morning I woke at 5ish, had a peaceful cup of coffee and then my day was off and running. My husband got up 2 hours later and started his day with work while drinking his coffee.

On Mondays, my husband goes over the budget with me for the week. We talk about how we did last week. When necessary, he tells me how short we are in order to end the month without going into savings. When that is the case then I know that things like vacation, car, savings, allowance, and appliances are not getting any money added that month.

Sometimes I just want to throw caution to the wind and toss our budget. Sometimes it just makes me sad. Other times it makes me mad. Always, though, I am grateful that we have one. Feelings come and go but being out of debt is worth the sacrifice. Paying for things with cash keeps us out of debt. Because of budgeting, we were able to pay cash for the car we recently bought from our son. Yes, a budget is a good thing.

Financially, on paper, February is worse than January. I say on paper because God takes care of us. A budget just helps us stay accountable. Also having it on paper clearly shows what God does with what is there. It is important that we live on the income that comes in each month. (Not having the college check this semester leaves much room for God to do what He does best. Make a way!)

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, or you don’t have to pay your own bills or you have more money than you know what to do with – you’ve noticed that prices have increased. Some of the prices are just plain crazy. Like me, you probably have your own list of things you refuse to buy at that ridiculous price. (Side note – I am weakening my resolve to pay the outrageous price for Aldi chicken salad.)

I recently saw a news story on how to reduce your monthly expenditures, especially at the grocery store. They were way too late to the game. I’ve been doing all of that long before inflation hit. I’ve been doing things like: *buy store brands, *check out the sales ads and buy only those things that you actually use, *do the majority of my shopping at Aldi, *buy meat in bulk, separate and freeze in portion sizes that work for us, *reduce the amount of meat I put into casseroles, *make a grocery list and stick to it, *eating way more soup, *eating brinner (breakfast at dinner time.)

This morning, I made a kicking tri-fold omelet and was feeling pretty good about how the day was going. (side note – farm fresh eggs make the best omelets.)

Working from home on Mondays means that if I feel up to it, I can make a big breakfast for us. Some Mondays that just isn’t happening. Often Mondays are all about allowing the Spirit of God to refresh and restore. When you give all you have to give and are pouring out, it is important, yes necessary, to take extra time with God.

Later, I decided it was time for the next step in reducing our grocery budget. It was time to to write out a weekly menu. I haven’t had to do this for decades. It was exciting but it quickly turned to a discouraging, overwhelming feeling of going backwards. This caused our day to take an interesting turn and I found myself in tears. (I’d like to say this is a rarity but it seems that sense my surgery to remove my cancerous uterus, I have been way more emotional.)

Part of yesterday’s sermon was from Heb 12:1-2. A couple of my favorite scriptures. I happened to read verse 3 also. God landed that nugget into my heart knowing I would need it today.

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb 12:3 NASB

I am quite familiar with the scriptures that tell me to “be not weary in well doing.” This scripture clearly answers the question of how do you not grow weary.

Remember the cross. Remember the price He paid. Keeping my eyes on Jesus includes what He endured on my behalf. No matter what I am facing, no matter how I feel, no matter what others do that could cause discouragement — Jesus understands. Jesus knows. Jesus suffered way worse. He paid a price so that I don’t have to be weary or lose heart. (I’m not Catholic but I have a deeper understanding of displaying the crucifix.)

I’ll be here trusting God by living today with His joy and peace evident in my life! What about you?

til next time (ads placed here by WordPress)

February 6, 2023 Posted by | cancer, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

first things first

Music is powerful. A song can come on the radio and all of a sudden it’s as if you are transported back to a specific time and place. That happened to me yesterday.

“First things first – I seek Your will, not my own – Surrender all my wants to You – keep the first things first. To live Your truth, walk Your ways, set my eyes – Lord, I fix my face on you – all my desires reversed- to keep the first thing first”

I was in a tough spot. My best friend and roommate had packed up and left without so much as a word. Now what was I going to do? To this day I don’t know why she did that. (It would be a couple years later when I would run into her and she would apologize.) What I know is that God used that to get my attention. My life was headed down a much different path.

I couldn’t afford the apartment on my own. I was done with roommates so now what? There I was driving home from Albert Lea when I pulled over to the side of the road to have a conversation with God. Among other things, I told Him if He made a way for me that yes, I would go to Bible college. For now I would finish out the semester, move back home and transfer to Jackson.

Things eased up then. I have wonderful memories of my time at Jackson. Life was so good. Looking back I see so many blessings – things that “just so happened” because God was watching over me.

Fast forward – I’m finishing up summer classes when my mom tells me that God has been speaking to her and she would cover half my cost if I still wanted to go to North Central. What? Wait? I loved my life. I had a bright future in accounting. I was engaged to a great guy whose only real fault was God wasn’t important to him. (Ummm, a red flag that I tried to ignore)

Things moved really quickly after that. I applied, got accepted, and went and told my instructor that I wouldn’t be back.

He was surprised. His words to me were, “Oh, you will be back.” He knew how much I loved accounting.

I did go back. At the end of that next year I stopped in to see him. His first words to me were, “I knew you’d be back.” I thanked him for being such an awesome teacher and then told him that going to North Central was the right decision. Walking away that day I knew I was embarking on thee greatest adventure.

“I give it all my life an offering – my heart is Yours so have Your way in me -Your kingdom’s all I want to seek. I don’t want to love what the world loves. I don’t want to chase what the world does. I only want You. I only want You.”

My second year at college it became evident to me that Michael and I were headed in two different directions. I couldn’t keep him and keep the first thing first. That was one of the hardest decisions to make. Yet, it was the right decision.

Fast forward a couple years – a guy would walk into my life who had all of Michael’s good qualities and so much more. Most importantly, he put the first thing first. God first! The first time he prayed with me, I knew that here was a guy who had a real relationship with God. To this day, I love to hear him talk with God.

I remember telling him that I would marry him if I was assured that God could do more with us together than us individually. (God made that very clear to me but that is a blog for another day.)

I left a lot behind me moving forward with God. I have never regretted my decision. God has more than made up for it. And there’s more. Today is a new day. I am unwrapping it with gratefulness to God for giving me another day to walk with Him.

Keeping the first thing first!

til next time

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January 18, 2023 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a day in the life of a chaplain

A day in the life of a chaplain.

If you had walked with me today, this is what you would have witnessed. There were five conversations about health, two conversations involving the death of a loved one, two opportunities to listen to anxious hearts, one conversation dealing with discouragement, a conversation involving homosexuality, adultery, and love, two conversations involving family, and one conversation that revealed a deeper level of trust – in that she opened up to me about a personal issue that she has not disclosed before. I prayed with four of them. Add to all of that there were 17 relationship building conversations. I may not lift 50 pound bags but that is some heavy mental lifting.

As a chaplain, the conversations are confidential. I’ve lost track of how many times I have heard “I haven’t told anyone this.” They may have been keeping that secret for 50 years. What a privilege to listen, truly listen to them as they reveal hurts that are sometimes buried deep. How wonderful it is to watch them be set free – to watch Jesus speaking peace into that hurt.

I’ve heard it said that if you have a job you love that you won’t work a day in your life. That is such a fairy tale. I love my jobs – minister, chaplain, bookkeeper, worship leader. I love what I do. Some days are super easy and other days are hard work.

I absolutely love working with numbers. That said, it is work. It will frustrate me at times. Yet, I love it.

I love God’s calling on my life. It is so much more than a job. It is part of my DNA but it is also work. Being a minister and a chaplain is rewarding. Seeing God at work in the lives of others, seeing God do things that are truly incredible, walking in strength when all you have left is weakness, being able to offer hope to the hopeless, knowing that God is real and ready to help – yes I love what I do.

It is also time consuming, there are sacrifices no one sees, days filled with interruptions, and at times exhausting. There are those people who’ve been hurt by the church or who have misunderstandings of who God is and take it out on me. I think this may be part of the ‘turn the other cheek’ illustration. Being able to truly love them is such a God thing. I couldn’t do this on my own but I never ever have to do it on my own.

If you have a job you love, it is a blessing. What if you don’t love your job? I’ve had jobs that I’d rather not have had but when I allowed God to use me there, my view of those jobs changed. If you are working in a ‘dark – trying’ place, be salt, be light — let Jesus shine through you. God has you there to make a difference. (Matt 5:13-20)

“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31

til next time

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January 10, 2023 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s timing

I trust God. I believe that He is involved in my day to day life. He uses music to speak to my heart. He uses my devotional time with Him to prepare me for something that is ahead. He uses His Word to speak into a situation I am dealing with right then. He uses church in many ways – congregational worship, cooperate prayer time, others sharing what God is doing with them, and then there is the Message that speaks into my heart. I’ve said it many times – you are as close to God as you choose to be.

Here is an example. This week in our reading (my husband and my together devotional time) this “just so happened” to be where we were reading. (just so happened – where God does something that you know that you know that was Him.)

We’ve been bi-vocational most of our ministry. 25 years ago my husband took a job as an adjunct faculty teacher at a local college. Since that time he has taught each semester at least one class, many times two classes and plenty of summer classes.

In the early days it was quite the challenge for us. Our boys were 10 when he started. He taught two evening classes for years. This meant a commitment on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. While we knew that it was God’s provision, it also came with a price tag.

Following God will often involve sacrifice. Let me assure you that it is worth the sacrifice every single time. Obedience is key.

Our arrangement with the church is that all the church bills will be paid and then we are paid. If there isn’t enough money to cover our salary, there is no record kept of the short fall. We live each month trusting God to meet our needs. God has used our bi-vocational salary to fill in the gap. We are ever grateful and know that this is the hand of God.

For the first time it was looking like he would not have enough students for the Spring Semester. I didn’t even want to entertain that idea as a potential possibility. After all, God knew how important that salary was to our monthly budget.

This morning he told me that the class has been dropped. My first thought was – I trust You God no matter what. Then later as I was going to get the mail, I thought to myself – wouldn’t it be just like God to have there be some money in the mail today?

When I saw this, I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Thanks God I know that was You!” Yes, God has a sense of humor. Although, what I know is that God can do more with $.20 than someone without God can do with $2,000.00. I have a lifetime of stories where God provides in the most unusual of ways.

I’m gonna frame those four quarters as a reminder that God brings joy and peace into what could otherwise be a stressful situation. He fills my mouth with laughter and my lips with joy. (Job 8:21) My husband and I are also going to continue to be generous with charitable giving and blessing others.

I have seen God provide all throughout my cancer diagnosis, throughout our travels, Curtis’ heart issues, and so many other things, even my sisters death — God reminding me that with Him I face things with hope, joy and peace. He is ever present in whatever I am facing. (Psalm 46:1)

Hubby came to me as I was typing this and shared what “just so happened” to be in His bible reading for today. (Just one of the reasons why it is important to be reading the Bible.)

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?” Matthew 6:25 (NKJV) and “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 (NKJV)

What’s got you worrying today? What obstacles are stressing you out? It doesn’t have to be that way. Turn your worries into prayers, your stress into trust and let God fill you with His peace, joy and hope.

I’ll be right here singing God’s praises for who He is and trusting Him to lead! I will follow. I believe He is able. I believe He is greater. It is a great adventure!

What about you?

til next time

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January 7, 2023 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life, living in a fish bowl, ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

make it special

Things change. How we handle the change matters. Each day we get to choose how we respond. “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) Absolutely no change takes God by surprise. He is working in us, through us and all around us. Trusting Him completely is the best way I know how to handle change.

When we first came to Cornerstone, the church board said that they did not hold services on Christmas eve or Christmas day. We spent that first Christmas at my mom’s in Minnesota. It was the first we had been back home that year since moving to Iowa in February. For this momma’s girl that was too long. I didn’t know then that it would be the last Christmas we would spend there.

By the time the second year rolled around, my husband decided that we were going to be in church Christmas morning with our boys and offer it to anyone who would like to join us. That would mean that I could no longer spend Christmas at my mother’s and the boys would not experience Christmas surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins. That was a big life change.

As Christmas was approaching, I didn’t know how to handle it. I knew that having a Christmas service was the right choice. Yet, my heart was heavy. Sometimes right things are very hard. Sometimes change comes with a huge price tag.

That first Christmas Eve in Iowa, I just didn’t have the heart to do any of our family traditions. I tried to put on a brave face for our boys.

Little did I know that my oldest brother and family were on their way from Florida to Mom’s for Christmas. They surprised us on that Christmas eve. I doubt that they fully understood why they were stopping. God knew.

I still remember the best advice I got from my sister-in-law that night. “Make new memories. Make new traditions. Make it special.” She knew what it was like to not spend holidays with extended family.

Fast forward to this year — Looking out over the congregation on Christmas morning filled my heart to overflowing. What a blessing it is to be part of something so great. This year at the end of service my granddaughter (who is 13 months old) came walking down the aisle to her grandpa. It was a site that still brings tears to my eyes. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Grandpa picked her up and went right on with individual prayer time and then the benediction. What a perfect ending to the service. For me, I’d like that to be a new tradition.

“Make new memories. Make new traditions. Make it special.”

Since those early days we have added daughter in laws and grandchildren. Our family has grown. We continue to make new memories and I continue to try to make it special.

We have come up with traditions throughout the year that work for us. Sure we have missed out on tons of family gatherings. Have you ever noticed how holiday gatherings, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, family reunions often fall on Sunday? That doesn’t work well for ministers who live six hours away. So we do game night, day at the lake, church picnics, birthday parties… with our church family. We are blessed. We are indeed surrounded by family.

til next time

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December 29, 2022 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace of God

Life is a mix of sweet and sour, happy and sad, good and bad, rejoicing and mourning, pleasure and pain …. But in it all, there is hope. I have hope and you can have hope too. In the midst of it all, I can walk in the peace of God and you can too.

God never promised us a life of ease or freedom from pain. The book of James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials. Psalms tells us to rejoice and be glad in this day that the Lord has made. Philippians tells us that when we give our requests to God then His peace will guard our heart. Trusting Him is key to walking in peace and joy in the midst of heartache and trials.

There is an old saying ‘You don’t know what you have til it’s gone.’ This can be true about a lot of things. When it came to my sister, (my confident, my partner in shenanigans, the one who spoke my language, the one who truly demonstrated unconditional love) our appreciation of one another grew with each passing year. I did my best to tell her often of how much she mattered to me.

Holidays can bring memories to the surface. Grief is hard. Grief can be so very raw. God is right there in the middle of the hard. He is the God of all comfort. It doesn’t have to ruin Christmas. It doesn’t have to ruin this day. This is still the day God has made. He woke you this morning. God is bigger than the grief.

My sister died on Christmas Eve Eve – one year ago today. There are so many wonderful memories of Christmas’ – childhood memories, traditions, and now her death is part of the mix of memories. Grief is like glitter. It shows up in the weirdest places and often when you least expect it. .

Yet, nothing surprises our God. He will help us. He will do a work in and through us. He will be our peace. He is the God of all comfort. (2 Cor 1:3) Each time heartache is knocking on the door of your heart, bring it to God and let Him pour His peace, comfort and hope into the hurt. (It generally isn’t a one and done type of thing but a process.)

I am ever grateful that God is strong in my weakness, that He is the God of all comfort, and that His peace does go beyond my ability to understand. I am grateful that Jesus is ever interceding on my behalf. I am grateful that I can enjoy life even while I miss her because God is the center of my joy. I am grateful that one day we will meet again. Death is not the end.

Make good memories! Tell people what they mean to you. You never know when it will be the last time.

til next time

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December 23, 2022 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

no thanks, i’ll pass

I went back to work this week. I’ve managed to work 3 weeks out of the last 9 weeks. I probably shouldn’t have been at work this week but we will see what ORA says on Monday. This has been a testing time, a time of rest, and a time of preparation for whatever is ahead.

I truly believe God wastes nothing in our lives. He will use it all somehow for His glory as I allow Him to do as He will with these trials and hardships. I also believe that the Holy Spirit will bring me (us) into all truth – sometimes that truth is about me and what displeases Him. (John 8:31-32)

All of that said, I should have picked up on the signs. I was getting weary. Work was difficult. The health issues were getting heavier. Instead of leaving it all at the foot of Jesus, I was picking it back up again, gritting my teeth, and just barreling on. However, God brought it clearly to light. He is so good about doing just that. His desire for me is that I walk in the unforced rhythms of grace – living freely and lightly. Circumstances aren’t the problem, my eyes off Jesus and onto the problem thinking I can handle it – that is the real problem.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG

What was it that brought about this revelation? I found myself sharing with a friend my frustration about Christians who use social media to post negativity. Who wants that? Where is the light of Christ in the midst of all of that? I expect it from my non-Christian friends because they lack the hope, joy and peace that Christ brings into every situation.

Social media is a tool that can be used for good but can also be used for the not so good. I came to a stark revelation this morning about my use of social media. I have a trigger – something that should clue me in that negativity may have the upper hand and I need to proceed with caution. Better yet – to close out of social media and do some meditation.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart (and what I type on social media)
Be acceptable in Your sight,
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NASB (In italics is my additional application)

Instead of giving a care emoji and moving on, I attempted to engage. That’s the trigger — rarely can you engage someone in the midst of a negative mindset and have a positive influence. Negativity breeds negativity and it will try to pull you down with it.

The irony hit me this morning. There I was being ‘negative’ about other’s negativity. There I was complaining about their complaining. My response should have been – “no thanks, i’ll pass.”

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Phil 2:14-15 NLT

Sometimes coming face to face with a truth about yourself can be shocking and yet refreshing all at the same time. I am ever grateful that God is not finished with me but it making me into all that He intends me to be. (Phil 1:6)

“Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification  according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Eph 4:29

No matter what is going on (Paul’s resume’ shows just how bad it can get – Cor 11 – here’s a bit of mine – PMR, broken humerus bone in two places, surgery, hospitalization for covid, issues with breathing, RA, death of my sister, more surgeries, cancer, biopsy, stress fracture, – I do have some experience with hardship) God is able to help me deal with it in a way that shows those around me the Hope that I have, the Joy that comes from God and the Peace that goes beyond my ability to understand the whys. God is greater. I choose. Circumstances do no choose for me.

I can do better because the Living God dwells within me.

EVERY SITUATION!! Whatever is going on is not a surprise to God. It might be poor planning on my part or could be situations beyond my control but to resort to negativity, to complain and grumble is not a godly trait. No thanks. I’ll pass.

Ask God to show you what you might need to change in order to walk in His unforced rhythms of grace. When the temptation to join in with the negativity is there remember that you were created for so much more! Let the Living God shine through you. He is the God of hope. He is the God of peace. We are called to be peacemakers. We are called to magnify Him.

til next time

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December 15, 2022 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, PMR, RA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

get up and get dressed

Sometimes the way God speaks to me is downright amusing. He has used a Dove chocolate wrapper to remind me to breathe. For a long time I kept that wrapper on my computer at work.

Yesterday I was telling a dear friend that I was feeling off. I mentioned that I hadn’t gotten dressed and maybe that was part of it. I’m currently wearing a shoe/boot as I have a stress fracture on my left foot. So if I am not going anywhere – why get dressed? After all, I love a jammie day! However, I may have had too many jammie days since the fracture.

During my days in bible college, there was a dress code. Dresses or skirts were the two choices I had. The leadership’s thinking on this was that we would be better students. They were preparing not only our mind but our appearance for the ministry we would end up with one day. Mostly it was an exercise in discipline. Generally, I didn’t mind it because I realized early on that it did change my mind set.

Last night I decided to read the Book of Romans in The Message bible. As I got to the end of chapter 13, here’s what it says.

 “Get out of bed and get dressed!

Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute.

Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”

I laughed out loud. I read it again. I shared it with my husband. I shared it with my friend.

The get dressed part is a clear confirmation for me. Also the don’t loiter and linger is applicable to me. Ever since the bike accident, getting showered and dressed is a process. Gone are the days when I can just jump in the shower and then get dressed right away. Waiting til the last minute has found me frustrated on a few occasions.

Now for all you scholars out there, I realize that literally getting out of bed and dressed is not the intended meaning of the text. We are to put on Christ, die to the flesh and behave properly. Yet, it also spoke to me about my current situation. God’s Word often does that if we read it.

So here it is a new day. It is our Sabbath, I will be getting dressed even if we don’t go anywhere.

“Dress yourself in Christ, and be up and about!”

til next time

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December 9, 2022 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , | 2 Comments