Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

turtle on a post

Today I am feeling kind of like this post turtle.  Oh not the way the story has been circulating in e-mail.  President Obama has taken a bit a guff with this poor little creature.   I know there are times that I would much rather not live in a fishbowl.  I am sure that Obama’s family feels the same way and even more so.     It is easy to second guess people or pass judgment when you are not walking in their shoes.

 I digress, getting back to this post turtle, life can sometimes feel like I have been placed right smack in the middle of a situation that causes me to look around and ask, “Um, what now?”     “How did I get here?”   “Who is to blame?” “What should I do?  No matter what I do, this is going to hurt.  Maybe if I just tuck my head in, the problem will go away.  Nope, that didn’t work.  Now what?”

Sometimes there just aren’t any easy answers.  In some things I just have to go on faith.   God is very much aware of what is going on.    To forget that is to have all joy and peace disappear.

As I found myself getting aggravated today I stopped and thought of this post turtle.  Getting aggravated is not going to solve anything.  It won’t get the turtle off the post.  It won’t change the situations I am in.  It won’t  help with figuring out what to do with mom.  It won’t cause  our check to double.  It won’t help me lose weight.   It won’t make it so the kids can come home.  No, getting aggravated will not help.

So while I sit on the post – I will trust.  While I find myself dealing with financial issues and budgets – I will trust.  While I seem to be getting nowhere  – I will trust.  For I know that someday God will remove this fence post and I will be stronger because of it.

til next time

February 28, 2010 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

flowers brighten up a day

Beauty!  As winter seems to go on and on, I find myself looking at pictures of flowers that I have received.  Flowers tend to brighten up a room. (My white roses are still on my dining room table)

I love to watch a rose go from a bud to a full blown rose.  What beauty!

I am reminded of an old saying.  Stop and smell the roses.   It is  a reminder to  slow down and enjoy life.  

See the beauty in front of you.

Looking at these pictures, just  brightens my day.  I know that spring is coming.  No matter what the weather man may say.

I am thankful that even on the coldest of days I am able to have beautiful flowers brighten up my home.   I am glad that my hubby didn’t listen to me all those years ago when I told him he didn’t have to buy me flowers.  Truth is, he still doesn’t have to, but I love it when he does. 

til next time

p.s.  here are the flowers hubby came home with today 2/25/10

Beautiful, cheery, colorful and bright!!!

thanks hon 🙂

February 24, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , | 3 Comments

perseverance

I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t felt like giving up at one time or another.  Truth is it isn’t something a person generally deals with once and then never has to deal with again. 

I read a great book dealing with just that.  Principles of Perseverance by Wes Daughenbaugh.  This blog is a review of that book.

2 Corinthians 10:5  “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  Our thoughts can either push us forward or send us backward.  

“Your ability to continue obeying God, your perseverance, will be in direct proportion to how you guard and control your thoughts.”  (p 40)

Wes brought up the story of David and Goliath.   David’s agenda was to be obedient to his father.  He went to check on his brothers.  Upon arrival and the realization of what was going on, David stepped up to the plate.  He knew who His God was.  Who was this Philistine that thought he could defy God?

First  his motives are questioned.  His own brother jumps on him calling him irresponsible, insignificant, and wicked.  Then as if that wasn’t enough others joined in with the same response.    If David would have listened to even a portion of that, the story would have had a different ending.

Hypocrites are great at accusing pure hearted people of having the same spiritual problems they have but are unaware of.” (p.57) 

Next David is challenged by Saul.  David was only a boy.  What could he possibly know about fighting?  Maybe Saul thought that David was making a mockery of all of them.  However, David managed to present his case successfully.   Saul did try to get David to be something he wasn’t (all the garments, helmet and armour).   However, God had provided David with exactly what he needed.  David went as himself.  (What a great idea!)

Lastly Goliath tried to mess with David’s thoughts.   “You are in way over your head David.”   The Philistine cursed David.  I can almost hear Goliath laughing at David.

At any point in the story David could have given up.  Yet he knew God.  He persevered and saw victory.   Having his motives questioned, being pressured to be something he wasn’t, and being cursed at were all thoughts that David did not focus on.

Wes also talks about the ‘covering of grace’. 

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Prov 15:15).   We could say, “All the days of those who react to their situation negatively are wretched, but  those who react positively have a continual covering of grace.”    (p 81)

What a powerful tool we have.  If we only make the effort to react with joy and praise to negative circumstances then we will have this covering of grace.    What exactly is this covering of grace?  It is the very presence of God in our lives that will enable us to overcome any situation that would otherwise bring us down.  I am reminded of Paul and Silas singing in the prison.  It was a choice that they made.  We always have a choice. 

What thoughts are you thinking? 

Principles of Perseverance – What to do instead of Giving Up” is a book worth reading.   

til next time

February 21, 2010 Posted by | spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ready to be done with this now

What causes people to give up?

I’ve been thinking about that today.  It has been almost 30 days since I started my carbohydrate addicts diet.  I haven’t cheated, not once.  Well, that is until tonight.  Am I giving up?  I don’t know. 

I am tired.  I am tired of thinking about food.  I am really tired of dealing with food isshoos. 

I made a decision to take a break tonight but only if I blogged about it.   

Here is what my head knows.  God’s plan is for His children to take care of their bodies.  Eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep are all beneficial for healthy living.    Water is much better for the body than soda.  Carbs are not my friend.  Most importantly – God loves me even though I am overweight.  That is not an excuse to stay this way but, it is important to remember that nothing I do earns His love. 

My cholesterol is low, I don’t have high blood pressure, and I am not taking any medications.  I’d like to keep it that way.

Yet, here is what my mind thinks.  Who has time to make a salad?  Grabbing something on the run works.  I really get tired of rabbit food.  It costs more and takes more time to eat healthy and who has time for that?  Exercise?  You have got to be kidding.  How can I fit that in?

Here is what my body tells me.  Food is good!  Carbs are a great stress reducer.  Soda tastes better than coffee and certainly better than water.   Hungry now!  and the most common one — What are you thinking – that is not what I want!  Food can have a numbing effect – some refer to it as the ‘carb coma’.

Here is what the scale tells me.  I gain a pound or two right after starting a diet.  How does that make sense?  Then I start to lose –Two pounds here, two more here, then up a pound………….down a pound, down two pounds, up two and half pounds…… down four  pounds, down three and so forth. 

I have decided the scale is not my friend.  It has been a tool used in the past to derail my efforts.  That said I still feel compelled to step on it.  Like this morning — 13 1/2 pounds – not bad for almost 30 days.  Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for all the effort given.

So tonight I will have my pizza and ice cream.  Let me tell you it is yummy!!!  Tomorrow?  Maybe I should get some extra sleep.

til next time

February 18, 2010 Posted by | weight loss | , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

waiting is an action

Waiting…… You can tell a lot about someone by the way they wait.  For a child, waiting can be most difficult.  Some people never grow out of that and  miss out on the art of waiting.

See for me waiting is an action verb. 

While I waited for the ‘right’ man to come along I was living life.  

When I was pregnant with twins, I was on bed rest for over three months. While I waited I used that time to paint  them each a picture.   It was a project of great love. 

While I wait for my boys to phone home, I am continuing on in the journey of life.  

While I wait for God to bring about the answer, I am letting my light shine where I am at.

We wait on little things also.  While I wait for the laundry to get done, I am doing countless other things.   

 While I wait for hubby, I am writing this blog.  It is way past lunch time (almost 4:00) so I could get antsy or I could do something constructive while I wait. 

When I find myself stuck in a long line, I attempt small talk which many times leads to meaningful talk.  God does have a way of putting us right where He wants us  – if only we would take the opportunity.  I have shared  God’s love, peace, and grace with strangers while we were both waiting. 

 So is it any wonder than that I would absolutely love this song?  While I’m waiting.  In the movie the guy was waiting for things to change in his relationship with his wife.  While he was waiting though, he was taking action. 

Gone are the days when waiting brought with it boredom.    

While I’m waiting I will serve You.  While I’m waiting I will not faint.   I am running the race even while I wait.   I will worship while I’m waiting on You Lord.

So what do you do while you wait?

til next time

February 12, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

couch ‘christian’

It’s super bowl Sunday.   Will you be watching? 

For many, plans have been made, snacks purchased and all that’s left is waiting for it to start.  Two teams will face each other and when all is said and done just one team will be the winner. 

 Tomorrow there will be many couch quarterbacks who will be giving their imput on what happened and what should have happened.    For that matter, there will be couch quarterbacks during the game.   Some people are down right funny to watch. 

Then there are all those replays.   A bad play can live on and on — repeated over and over again.  Then just because they can, it will be played in slow motion.

All of this has me thinking about life.  I am glad that there isn’t an instant replay on my life.  I am equally glad that my mistakes don’t play over and over again in slow motion. 

Just like there are couch quarterbacks I believe there are couch ‘christians’.  Oh they don’t call themselves christian at all, but yet there they are talking about other christians like they are the expert.  

I really got a kick out of a professing atheist who said that prayer should be done only in a prayer closet.  Oh there is scripture for that kind of prayer.  There is even a reason for that kind of prayer.  Yet that is not the only way to pray.

The Bible says to pray without ceasing.  Hmmmm, does this mean we live in our closet?  No.  It means to have an attitude of prayer.  To live in such a way that communication is flowing between you and God at any given moment.  

What is prayer anyway?  It is talking with God.  It involves talking and being quiet.  It is a way of life.  It is inviting God into your life.    Phillipians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”    In everything……. pretty much sums it up………everything.

The Bible also talks about praying for one another.   It talks of praying for your enemies.   God’s house is to be called a house of prayer.  No prayer is not just for your closet.

I am glad that in the game of life I am not a couch ‘christian’.   I am also not a couch quarterback!  I have never been one to like to sit on the sidelines.  Life is meant to be lived.

Now about the game…………………wonder what half time will be like?  

til next time

February 7, 2010 Posted by | spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

innocent lamb entering the den of wolves (?)

I’ve been banned from an atheist’s blog site. 

Occasionally I find a few minutes to read random blogs.  I was reading some that were tagged Christianity.   Christianity – not Atheist!!  I happened upon one that, once there I realized that “this ain’t Kansas anymore”.   

I left a comment expressing who my God was.   This led to an exchange of 50 or so comments before I was banned.  (Note to self — when entering other blogs see if there is a comment policy page.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing until he banned me.  Personally, I think I was getting to him.) 

I guess it is alright to use profanity, vulgarity and name calling  but prayer is what scares him??

My crime  — My response to  a quite vulgar, profane man who called ‘christians’ (and since I was the only one on this site speaking for christianity, of course I took it personally) deluded, brainwashed puppets and referred to God as something any decent man would not put down in print about anyone.    This is what got  me banned.

Here is my comment:  

“I don’t even know how to respond to this. Just a little more anger directed at me than I care to respond to. If i am a deluded, brain washed puppet as you claim then I am the most peaceful, content, joyful, full of life puppet around!!!! You, my friend have just gone to the top of my prayer list. Only God can replace such hatred in your heart.”

At which point I was banned.  It was alright for everyone else to share their view and opinion, to use profanity and name calling — kind of reminded me of  bullies on a playground – but any mention of prayer and the owner runs scared.   I need to mention though that not everyone was resorting to name calling or profanity.  You know how it is on playgrounds — there always have to be a few who are mean  but many aren’t. 

Oh, in his defense, the author of the site had listed in his comment policy that prayer would get you banned.  Here is my question, does he really think that the only time Christians pray is when they say they are going to?  So if he can stop them from saying it on his blog, then he has succeeded in stopping them from praying for him or anyone else making comments?  I was praying the moment I saw his poster. 

The sad thing for me is that up to that point, for the most part, the conversation was worth my time.    When was the last time you talked with someone who doesn’t believe there is a God?     It is a whole different ball game.  It is an education into the mind of some who call themselves atheist or agnostic.  I, however, will not make the same mistake that Mark has.  I will not lump all atheists or agnostics into a category based on what they have said and done. 

So to ‘HeHe’ who referred to me as the “innocent lamb entering the den of wolves” I want to thank you for your kind words that you wrote after I was banned and to remind you that christians are  not innocent but forgiven and loved by the Creator of the Universe. 

God is my strength and my ever-present help in any situation.    God’s love, grace and mercy are available to anyone.

 til next time

February 3, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

putting the pieces together

Sometimes life can look like this pile of puzzle pieces.   Everything can seem all jumbled together.  I am a wife, mother, friend, pastor’s wife, pastor, worship leader, co-worker, daughter, sister, aunt, ……..  At any given moment there can be a multitude of things going on and things needing attention.  Life can be messy.  Trying to balance it all can be overwhelming.

The God factor — God takes the pieces of my life and fits them all together.  There are times I certainly don’t see how anything good can come from a particular situation but then again I am not God.   What I do know is that He brings purpose, peace and beauty. 

When you take just one piece of the puzzle by itself, it doesn’t tell the whole story.   A trap that many fall into is to fixate on that one thing.  Worry and fear can take over.  ‘What ifs’ aren’t far behind.

God factor —  no matter what is happening I am never alone.   Fear, worry and ‘what ifs’ aren’t from God.  God says to give Him my cares and concerns and He will make a way where it seems there is no way.

The first thing I do when putting a puzzle together is the border.  It is important to remember to create a border around my life.  (I sometimes call it a margin.)  This border gives me breathing room.  It is not wise to pack my schedule so full that enjoyment goes out the window. 

God factor – He wants us to have life and life abundantly!   He is not out to make my life miserable.  It is just the opposite.   God gives to those who trust Him a joy that nothing can take away.   He pours in peace when difficulties come.  His strength has carried me on many occasions.  God is good!

  This is the finished picture.   Beauty, peace and warmth all wrapped up in a picture.

Life is not finished.  Yet, as I look back over my life I can see God’s fingerprints all through out my life.  The ‘chance meetings’   that altered the course of my life (by the way I don’t believe in happenstance – God directs my steps – it isn’t by chance),  the situations that turned around to be the best possible thing that could have happened, and all of the people I have had the privilege to call friend – how God has used and is using them to shape my life.   

til next time

February 2, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments