Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

cross, nails, will

What does it mean to you when Jesus says to take up your cross? To follow Him?
 
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
 
How do we live out Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
 
We live in a world that seems to center around “me, me, me” and how everything affects me. Christianity sets us apart from that line of thinking. Jesus sets the example when He prayed in the garden – “Not my will but yours be done.”
 
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…… Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?……. Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” portions of Matthew 6:25-33 ESV
 
God first!
til next time
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March 27, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

this is what they meant??

Prednisone you are not my friend.   You’ve been responsible for a flood of tears.  You bring with you weight gain but even worse than that you mess with my emotions in a way that I have never before experienced.   You had better be worth it.   (I go for a stress test Wednesday.  That will be interesting as the meds are kicking up my heart beat just walking.)

I  have always had a wide range of emotions.  I feel things strongly.  When I get excited, I almost always talk louder and faster.  Some, who don’t know me, think that this means I am getting angry.  No, getting loud is not synonymous with anger.   I used to try to subdue it but then people would ask me what is wrong?

(I now embrace the excitement but try to be aware if someone is misinterpreting my voice raising.    This recently happened when we were having a discussion about women ministers.   This topic is near and dear to me.   I feel very strongly about it.  There was a time when someone’s disapproval  and lack of understanding of scriptural context would get under my skin.  Funny thing is then I didn’t say anything.     Now I recognize the responsibility to speak up –   to educate – to point out that God’s Word does not contradict. I am not mad at the person for being misguided.)   Ahh a topic for another day.

So a few days ago my Dr. put me on a steroid to bring my sed rate down from a much elevated level.    I was warned by many that it messes with your emotions.  Even knowing that did not prepare me for Godzilla.

I have reminded myself that I am a child of God.    I reminded myself that I do have the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life.   Knowing that I am devoted to God and it is my desire to follow Him – I quoted the scripture “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Matthew 12:34)  

I pray  — Oh God break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Help me operate in the compassion that comes from You.  Help my words be kind.  Help me build up.  God, I NEED YOU to be kind through me….”

I also cleared my schedule today – a rarity for me.  I told my husband this would be a really good day for him to use the church office.  I was not doing people today.  I love people and that is why I was not going to leave the house.

I asked God what I should do.  How was I going to get through the next 11 days – til my follow up appointment.  Starting tomorrow I cannot clear my schedule.  Come Thursday I leave with a large group of women (that I love dearly) for a 2 1/2 day retreat.  Sitting there with God this morning, that scared me.

Weird as it sounds, I felt impressed to get on facebook.  I was thinking – ok I can distract my emotions with that for awhile.  First thing I saw, upon scrolling, was a song a friend had posted.  I remembered that song from long ago.  I listened to it and it was as if God was all over that song.  I thanked my friend and got offline.   I sat down at the piano and began to play the song – over and over and over.

 

 

I don’t know how the next 11 days will go.  How often will I need to apologize?   I don’t know if I will pass the stress test.   I don’t know what is ahead health wise after my follow up appointment.

What I do know is that God loves me.  God loves you.  His grace is enough.  In my weakness He has proven Himself strong EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you see me, yes, I could use a hug.  Yes,  I will need grace.   Yes, I really am trying to keep Godzilla buried.   I apologize ahead of time and will do it again later as needed.  Please be understanding and please pray for my husband!!

Honey, I know you will be reading this.  I am soo glad that you are going through this with me.  I know your heart.

til next time

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

hope or hopeless

Hope is a powerful thing. Just look at someone who feels hopeless and then look at someone filled with hope – you will see a drastic difference.
 
Maybe today you are low on hope. Maybe you find yourself in that place of hopelessness. Maybe life has kicked you in the teeth one too many times. Maybe you have forgotten that God is greater.
 
If that is you then I encourage you to read Ezekiel 37 today.
 
Dry bones (representing the people of Israel) were scattered everywhere. All hope was gone. In verse three the Lord asks if the bones could become people again? The answer of course is yes. With God all things are possible.
 
A rattling noise begins to happen as the bones began to attach to each other. Then muscles, flesh and skin covered the bones. However, the bodies had no breath.
“The Lord God says: Come from the four winds, O Spirit, and breathe upon these slain bodies, that they may live again.” Ezekiel 37:9 The bodies began breathing and there was a great army standing.
 
When we try to do things on our own strength, when we allow stress and deadlines to knock the wind out of us, when we take our eyes off of Jesus – we become like dry bones scattered across a valley.
 
Today breathe in the breath of God. Allow Him to fill you to overflowing with hope. (Romans 15:13) Renew your trust in Him. He is able!
 
dry bones brought to life!
til next time
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March 22, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not only this?

We’ve been looking at Romans 5:1-5 (3/7 Christian life, 3/8 just as if, 3/11 fields of grace) Today we will start with verse 3.
 
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us”
 
“And not only this…. this what?  (if you have time take a moment and read 3/7, 3/8, 3/11)  In a nutshell here is what “this is” referring to – justified by faith, peace with God thru Jesus, grace to stand and hope in God – what a list!! Yet he goes on to say — not only this but there’s more!!!
 
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations,”
 
Say what? rejoice in tribulations? (tribulations or sufferings, physical hardships, trials, tests….)
 
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NASB) “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,”
 
Don’t give up. Light afflictions – remember Paul’s resume’ (2 Cor 11:22-28) The light afflictions he is referring to consist of many imprisonments, beatings, shipwrecked, stoned and he faced many dangers…..
 
Don’t give up! When the storm heats up — remember whose you are. We sing the song “You’re a good good Father” and He is. God will see you through. He is an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
Tomorrow we will look more closely as why rejoice in sufferings?
til next time
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March 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fields of grace

(Continued from 3/7 – what I love about christianity  & 3/8 – just as if )
Romans 5:2 “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;”
 
We have access (approach God) by faith into grace/favor in which we stand firm.
The Message bible puts v 2 this way – “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
 
“Standing in grace” – sometimes it ‘feels’ like we are knee deep in mud. When it feels like that remember truth – Grace in where we stand. You may need to remind yourself of this when your emotions/feelings try to tell you something different.
 
It is the power of God that enables us to stand. Don’t forget where you are standing! Field of God’s grace!!
 
The second part of v 2 says “and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
 
Hope is our anchor (Heb 6:19-20)
 
We have an anchor that keeps us sure and steady. It doesn’t fasten to the sand but enters within the veil and fastens onto Christ. Jesus paid the price for us. Our hope is fastened on Him.
 
“But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14
 
standing in grace – filled with hope,
 til next time
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March 11, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hard times? yes

When you are facing something difficult there here are a few very important things to remember:
1. God is with you (Matt 28:20)
2. This is not a surprise to God. He knows all things (Isaiah 40:28)
3. God will provide a way for you (Isaiah 43:19)
4. In the midst of the battle, He is your firm foundation (Psalm 18:2)
5. In your weakness, He is strong (2 Cor 12:9)
6. God will turn beauty into ashes (Isaiah 61:3)
7. Our God is greater!! (1 John 4:4)
romans 5 3 5
til next time,
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March 10, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

character counts

We may or may not have control over what happens to us. Sometimes we do make a bad choice and then deal with the consequences. Often, though, things happen that are out of our control.
How we handle those things is a reflection of who we are. If you are finding yourself frustrated and operating out of that frustration, it is time to STOP.
S – stop for a moment and take a deep breath
T – tell yourself something truthful and positive
O – offer up gratitude for something
P – pause for a moment of prayer
It is good to remind ourselves that God is for us, with us and at work in us. He sees the whole picture from beginning to end. We can trust His heart. He loves us.
character 1
til next time
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March 9, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife | , , , , , | Leave a comment

just as if

Part 2 continuing from yesterday (what I love about Christianity)

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

Justified — just as if I’d never sinned. Justification takes away the guilt that comes with sin and makes a way for peace.

All of this happens by faith. That is how God set it up. We come to Him in faith – believing.

We have peace with God. We are reconciled with God. We are restored – all because of Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” Eph 2:14 ESV

Jesus has broken down the walls of sin and shame.

The enemy will try to use condemnation and guilt to build up those walls again. Remember you have been set free by the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction to our lives but He does not use condemnation or guilt to do this.

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8 ESV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 ESV

 

til next time

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March 8, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what I love about christianity

Christian life – faith working through love (Galatians 5:6)

These five verses in Romans contain the things I love about being a Christian.  It is not an  all encompassing list, for there are so many things – too many to name.

Here are the things listed in Romans 5 that  I love:   God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, faith, peace, hope, tribulations, endurance, character and love.

Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

You might think tribulations shouldn’t be on that list of things I love. Yet, without tribulations/problems/suffering I would be self-centered and impossible to live with and so would you.

Trials bring me to my knees before God. Having gone through suffering, and seeing how God works in and through it, helps me to build up endurance.  Endurance is needed.  We are not in a sprint but a marathon.

Our character needs developing. This is a life long process resulting in a deeper hope in God and His promises

God doesn’t want us to be a wishy washy Christian. Our character is developed as we hold fast to Christ and go through tribulations. With each one we learn to trust God more. We grow.

Tomorrow I will look more closely at verse 1.

til next time

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March 7, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

lent – to fast or not to fast

Today is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. Giving up something for Lent is meant to help us remember Jesus’ wilderness experience and His sacrifice. This is considered a type of fast.

40 days of Lent
The number 40 shows up in the scriptures often. Here are a few:
Noah and the ark – It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. (Gen 7)
Moses went up into the mountain for 40 days. (Exodus 24)
The spies were sent out to check out the land for 40 days. (Nub 14)
Wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Number 32, Acts 7, & 13)
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. (Matthew 4)

If you count the days, you will see that there are more than 40 days until Easter.  Sundays are not considered fasting days.  Sundays are considered feasting days.

Whether you decide to give up something during this Lent season or not, I encourage you to ask God if something is out of balance in your life. Balance in a Christian’s life is not about everything being equal but about being in line with God’s Word and will. It is God who brings balance to our lives. It is God who gives purpose.

 

John 3 30

til next time,

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March 6, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment