Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

not my friend

I thought I  was done with you.  I had said my good byes.   You are a horrible ‘friend’.   You cause nausea, headaches, sleepless nights and make me feel on edge All The Time.

I thought that I was all better without you.  I thought I no longer needed you.  And then I got the call.

When the doctor informed me that he was putting me back on prednisone (this time for six weeks) I knew it was a challenge that I did not feel I was up to handling.   Prednisone you are not kind.  Your friendship is certainly a challenge I do not want.   Many of you know that it really doesn’t matter when your body has issues.

So I do what I know works. When in the midst of a challenge I don’t want to face, I fall on my face before God. I stay there and return there every time that peace seems to be outside my grasp. Becoming aware of His presence brings a calmness that is much needed.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He specializes in giving His children peace that goes beyond our ability to understand the why’s and how’s. (Philippians 4:6-7)

When I give in to the frustration of this ‘friendship’ I take my eyes off of Jesus.  My awareness of His presence is hindered by my focus on the reaction my body is giving to this drug.

Luke 6:45 is my battle cry!

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV

 

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So I fill my heart with more and more of God’s Word and I meditate on His goodness.  I hold tightly to this scripture that says out of my heart is what my mouth will speak.  It is not out of my pain or out of my edginess.  I’ve asked God to set a guard over my mouth – to keep watch over the door of my lips.  (Psalm 141:3)

Will I get it right every time?  No!  I can tell you that I have had to apologize and I have no doubt that I will need to apologize again.  Yet, that does not mean that I just give in to the medicine and be a jerk.

 

What challenges are you facing? Let God arise and scatter fear and doubt. Let God fill you to overflowing with hope. (Romans 15:13)

God’s got this!  More important God’s got me and He has you too if you will just lean on Him.

til next time

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April 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God is greater than my struggle

6 more weeks — trying to wrap my head around 6 more weeks.

You know that moment when you realize that the outcome you believed, with all your heart, is not the reality you are in?  Two weeks ago I started on prednisone.  Click here for the start of the journey.

I went back for blood work fully expecting my sed rate to be in the acceptable range.  With God’s help, I managed to navigate the two weeks keeping Godzilla at bay.   To God be the glory!

My sed rate is down but still too high.  Instead of a prescription for two weeks, I picked up  one for six weeks.  The thought of six weeks was enough to put me in full force tears.   The edginess, the nausea, the insomnia, the tiredness, the hunger, the headaches, the tears, the emotions all over the place — 6 weeks – which happens to include some mighty big things:  Easter, twins birthdays,  district council meetings, motorcycle blessing and show and the day to day life filled with loving God and loving people.   I can’t possibly hibernate for 6 weeks, can I?

    “when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,”  (Psalm 61)

Where do I go when I don’t get the answer that I so badly thought was coming?  I go back to God’s Word.  I call upon my Savior.  I lay my disappointment at His feet – knowing He loves me, will be there every step of the way, and He will use this for my good.  How?  I don’t have to know.  I just need to trust.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46

God is my safe place.  In my weakness, He is strong.  He is with me all the way.  I will not fear:

  • how my body will handle this medicine
  • how my emotions will respond
  • that six weeks won’t be enough to lower my sed rate
  • that I will fail miserably (God’s grace is enough)
  • that I can’t do this
  • the changes this will undoubtedly produce
  • what the medicine is doing to my organs
  • the withdrawal after six weeks
  • But most of all, I will not fear period because God is greater.

I may have to remind myself of this daily.    A great reason to be in the word daily.   It amaze me how God knows just what I need when I look to Him.

til next time

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

catching up

I had lunch with a friend today. It’s been way too long. We had so much catching up to do that this one visit wasn’t going to accomplish it all.
 
I wonder, do we do that to God? Maybe you haven’t talked to Him in ages so you have a lot of catching up to do.
 
I hope that you talk with God often throughout your day. You don’t have to schedule an appointment. However, you might need to set aside some time in your schedule to have an uninterrupted talk with Him. (Remember a conversation involves talking and listening. If you think God is silent – open up His Word. It will communicate with you anytime/anywhere.)
 
“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
 
Pray without ceasing is something we get better and better at as our relationship with God grows. It is having a mindset that God is always listening. He is our first response not last resort. We can talk with Him anywhere. Our thoughts can become prayers and He reads our heart when words just aren’t there.
 
Why not take a moment right now and talk with God, give Him thanks for this moment, and don’t forget to offer up your praise to Him. Praise tears down walls.
 
grateful!
til next time
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April 4, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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