Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

rule follower / rule breaker?

Rules — Some people think rules don’t apply to them.  Some people are bent on being rule breakers.  Other people recognize the need for rules. 
There are rules to playing games, driving a car, sitting in a library, taking tests….. everywhere I look there are rules. Now when it comes to some things – playing dominoes for example, the rules may differ widely from one group to the next. So it is important to set the rules up before playing that first game.
 
rules
Some rules we can change. Other rules we cannot change. I can remember getting kicked out of the library as a teenager because I wasn’t following the rules. At the time I thought it was a stupid rule. (I was in a conference room designed to be a place to talk, so why couldn’t I talk?) Consequences can help us to abide by rules in the future. The librarian set and enforced the rules. I learned to abide by those rules.
 
Our country has many rules. Sadly, I don’t get to set the speed limit. I read where Montana, at one time, did not have a daytime speed limit. Just because I obey the speed limit doesn’t mean I don’t want to go fast. Obeying the laws – even the ‘stupid’ ones, unless it clearly goes against God’s Word (Acts 5:29) is what we are called to do. (Titus 3:1) It is a tall order, but God is right there ready to help us.
 
God also sets up some rules for living an abundant, fruitful life. When God says “thou shall or thou shall not,” He isn’t trying to cramp our style. Rather He is leading us down a path of peace, strength, joy, and victory. He has our best interests in mind. He is for us. (Psalm 118:6)
 
Thankfully God offers grace, mercy and forgiveness to us as we strive to follow Him. Applying God’s Word to our day-to-day living is a lifelong process.
 
Following Jesus!
til next time
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May 26, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiking

We like to go hiking.

Some trails are clearly marked – some are not marked at all. Some trails are wide enough for 4 people to walk side my side. While other trails are barely wide enough for one person to carefully pass. Some trails are filled with stairs. What goes up must come down. While other trails are mostly level.

The trails that drop off on both sides are the ones that make my heart skip a beat and find me forgetting to breathe. Recently, my husband kept telling me to just look at the trail, one step at a time, don’t look down, follow his footsteps………..

Life can be like that sometimes. Only we have God leading us, reminding us to take it one step at a time, to follow Him, to stay focused, to not look at the problem….

Following God!

Psalm 18:32-34 (ESV)

“the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.”

hinds feet

Following God!
til next time

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April 28, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

good night

A good reminder as I head off to bed.

If you should wake in the middle of the night — talk to God. He is awake. Pray for those that God brings to your mind and don’t worry about falling asleep in the middle of your prayer. I am sure it is ok with God.

grateful for the many ways God revealed Himself to me today,


he cares

til next time

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April 25, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , | Leave a comment

go ahead – smile :)

Today — I hope that you put your smile on and share it.

It seems that everywhere I go, I see people who could use cheering up. I may not know their story but I do know Jesus makes everything better.

I can share the hope and love Jesus has given me. I can brighten up my corner of the world. Smiling is contagious. Just go ahead and try it and see for yourself.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Look for the fingerprints of God — they are everywhere!!

bloom

til next time

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April 4, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s stopping you?

Sometimes all that is stopping me is me.
My thoughts
my feelings
my partial understanding of a situation
my ‘rights’
fear
laziness or overly busy
complacency
avoidance
These things can all stop me in my tracks.  They can also greatly affect my joy, peace and hope.
So what to do?
Get out of my own head — get into the Word. Purpose to live this day walking with Jesus — that means laziness, complacency, avoidance, and fear has to go. Overly busy needs to be re-evaluated. (To help with priorities, I highly recommend the book “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst)
For me, planning down time is a necessity – right along with scheduling exercise. Rarely do either of those two things happen by chance. Yet, both are valuable to living a healthy full life.
I don’t want to live my life in a small way.
2 cor
So for today I am entering the wide-open spaces. I choose to live this day openly and expansively.   I wonder what will God be up to as I unfold this day with Him?
What about you?
What will you choose to do with your day?
til next time
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March 22, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
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I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

3

After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
2
We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

on the way

Life happens as we go on our way.  Yet, we can be so wrapped up in the destination that we miss what is happening all around us.

 

WWJD? What would Jesus do? Was a common phrase back in the 90’s.  Before we ask what would Jesus do, let’s find out what did Jesus do.

 

What Did Jesus Do? WDJD?
As we examine Jesus’ walk on this earth, we see that He would set out for somewhere but on the way – life happened.

It is On The Way:
. that He calls Peter and Andrew to follow Him (Matthew 4:18)
. that we have the story of the centurion’s great faith. (Luke 7:6)
. to Jerusalem when he encountered the 10 lepers. (Luke 17:11)
. to Nain that He raised the dead man. As He approached the gate He sees them carrying out a dead man – his mother was a widow and he was her only son. He had compassion! (Luke 7:10-12)
. from village to village that He was willing to be interrupted.

He was not preoccupied with the destination.

Jesus was on the way to Calvary. We are on our way to heaven. Those are both destinations. Life takes place on the way!

Sometimes I think we get to bound up with time.  For Jesus and for us, so much happens on the way to somewhere else.

*Ask God to open your eyes to see the opportunities.

Galatians 6:10 “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

A new day is starting. What will you do On Your Way?

Colossians 4:5-6 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

 

Flow through me Holy Spirit!

Till next time,

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March 3, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, 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

learning to dance in the rain

I am not a fan of driving in rain. Lately I have had lots of practice. Last week there was such a downpour that I got off at the next exit just to get a break. The rain did let up only to start again after I got back on the highway.

I don’t mind if it is a gentle rain, but when it seems the heavens open and the floods are coming — well, I prefer not to be driving.

Life can be like that at times. It can seem to come at us fast and furious. We barely catch our breath and here comes more.

Once again, I am reminded that my attitude plays a huge role in how I handle the rain storms and the storms of life.

The Message Bible reminds us in James 1:2-4

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

So, when you feel life coming at you full speed ahead — look at your attitude – it may need adjusting.  We can learn to dance in the rain.  We can choose to focus on the good.  God is good!   And we can remember peace is available through Jesus.

 

dancing

Peace and joy go hand in hand.
Joy is peace dancing and Peace is joy resting!

til next time

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August 23, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Possibilities

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
“For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NASB)

Stop a moment and think about that. Our God Is with us every step of the way, in good times and in trials, He is our Saviour!

Where I am the sun shining and a new day is beginning. The possibilities are endless. One thing that I know is whatever comes my way must pass through the hands of my God, for you see He is in control.

Nothing sneaks past Him. When I remember that then I also remember that He will make a way through the difficulties and He holds me in the palm of His mighty hand. (Job 12:10) To God be the glory!

In anticipation I begin to unwrap this day because I know there will be beauty if I but look for it. Our God is an amazing God, who alone does wonders. (Psalm 77:14)

The question is will we have eyes to see the goodness of our God in the land the living? (Psalm 27:13)

God of wonders beyond our galaxy, You are Holy!!

In awe!!

Till next time,

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June 25, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment