Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

priorities

I am certain that we all, at one time or another, have had our priorities messed up. It can be easy to get distracted. Maybe you don’t want to disappoint someone so you say yes when you know you should say no. Too many of those moments and you will find yourself frustrated. You might even want to blame someone else. Yet, we are responsible for our own choices.
 
What does God’s Word have to say about choices? Plenty!
 
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Eph 3:20 NLT
 
It is clear that we cannot do all the things that we want to do, nor all the things others would like us to do. I find that fulfillment comes when I seek to do those things God has planned for me to do. His grace is enough to do all that He calls me to do. The problem comes in when I am trying to do more – or do something other than what He intends for me to do.
 
I want to do it all — all that God has planned for me.
 
How do we know what He wants?
 
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
 
Read the Word. Study the Word. Pray and ask God for direction.
 
“He will give you wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.”  Curtis Girod
 
I want to make the best use of the time and energy that I am given. This requires being intentional about what I spend my time doing. When I set my priorities to line up with God’s leading, I can relax and focus on what is at hand. I can walk in His peace even in the midst of difficulties.

Intentional
How are your priorities?
til next time
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February 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

death is not the end

Death can seem so final. Our heart grieves the loss. We must learn how to go on without the person. It can seem so overwhelming.
 
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 KJV
 
Who is the rock?
 
“No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Sam 2:2 NLT
 
Death is not the end.
 
“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:8 NKJV
 
One of the thieves dying on the cross next to Jesus was told that that day he would be with Jesus in paradise. (Luke 23:43) Death is not the end.
 
Today, my friend will bury her father’s body. She will cherish the memories and mourn the loss. However, her father, who accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, is rejoicing with His Savior. There is a celebration going on in heaven.
 
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 ESV
 
“It is in the plan that all men die once. After that, they will stand before God and be judged.” Hebrews 9:27
 
What about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? (Acts 4:12, John 14:6)
 
 I have decided to follow Jesus!
til next time
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February 6, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

take my hand

“Take my hand.” Three words often said to children as an intersection is approaching or in a crowded store. Holding hands is a safety measure.
 
Did you know that God takes us by the hand?
 
“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ll help you..” Isaiah 41:3
 
The Message bible says it this way — “I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’
 
Don’t panic. Don’t be afraid. He is not letting go. He is right there. He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
Whatever you may face today or in the days to come — remember who is holding your hand.
 
til next time
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February 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

which one are you?

Are you a Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, one of the soldiers or fighting against what God is doing?

Exodus 17 – The battle intensifies and I have a deeper understanding of the importance of Aaron and Hur as they held up Moses’ hands.

Moses sent Joshua and his men out to fight the warriors of Amalek.

11 “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” Exodus 17:11-13

Are you a Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, one of the soldiers or fighting against what God is doing?

Encouragement comes in many forms. Sadly so does discouragement. Let’s come along side each other and help!

I am grateful for the people in my life who pray for me, encourage me, come along side me, serve with me, hold my hands up…..we need each other.

til next time

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October 15, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

each room of my heart

When I invited Jesus into my life, I thought He was going to put up some wallpaper and hang a few pictures. But He started knocking out walls and adding rooms. I said I was expecting a nice cottage but He said I’m making a palace in which to live.” C.S. Lewis

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love;” Eph 3:17 (TLB)

Our home is decorated with the love of others. The room I am currently in has two pieces of furniture from Curt’s grandparents, two pieces of furniture from my grandmother, a piece of furniture from my sister, a chair from a couple we mentored, a computer from a dear friend, and numerous knick knacks and wall hangings from people who love us. Yes, I am surrounded by the love of others.

When Jesus comes into our lives, He brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to decorate our lives.  (Gal 5:22-23)  Are we displaying them for all to see?

When He dwells within us, our lives are changed.  “…What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.”  Gal 6:14

Our house has siding on it and shingles on the roof. The Bible addresses what are ‘siding’ and ‘roof’ should look like. “…putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thess 5:8) Does your ‘siding’ or ‘roof’ need some attention?

Often my house is in need of cleaning. It is the same in our lives. David understood this. “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Yes, our home is decorated with the love of others but more importantly my life, your life, is decorated with the love of Jesus. May He feel at home in our lives!

Jesus, You are welcome in each room of my heart!

til next time

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October 14, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

correction? who me?

Yesterday I asked the question “Do you have a teachable heart?” Today’s question “How do you handle correction?”

To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:11 TLB)

When someone addresses an area of concern, do you become defensive? We ought to be able to talk with someone about something they have done and the impact it has on us without fearing anger in return. It isn’t easy to be on either end of this type of conversation but how we handle it does reveal much about our character.

There are two types of people that Proverbs 9 addresses.

If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.” MSG

Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” (verse 8)

When I am faced with a situation that requires correction I pray, seek advice, write it out, sleep on it, pray again, reread what I wrote, use the delete button, seek advice again. Then I hit send. I now have a record of what I said. There is no he said, she said because it is there in writing.

Sometimes writing it is not an option. Just remember you can’t take back the spoken word. Pray that you will operate in the spirit and not in your flesh.

When I am on the receiving end – when someone brings a correction to me – how I respond is a reflection of who I am. I want to be a wise person. I make the choice to own my behavior – apologize if that is what my behavior calls for. I want to learn, to grow in compassion, and to receive correction with a teachable heart. All that said, it isn’t easy but God is right there to help me (you) respond in a godly way.

Let’s show what it means to have Jesus living inside of us – loving through us.

Teach me Your ways, O Lord (Psalm 25:4)

til next time

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October 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

teachable?

Do you have a teachable heart?

To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid.” Proverbs 12:11

When faced with a major decision – do you seek out people who will tell you what you want to hear or people who will challenge you to seek God and give to you godly counsel? Making your decision and then seeking counsel is putting the cart before the horse – you have it backwards.

For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.” Proverbs 6:23 (MSG)

God uses people in our lives to speak to us. Sometimes it is a word of encouragement, sometimes it is a confirmation of what God has been trying to tell us and other times it is in the form of correction.

Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:8

 

Proverbs 1:5 “ A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.”

Let’s be teachable. Let’s be wise.

til next time

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October 11, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace – a precious commodity

Peace of mind is a wonderful blessing that God has for us. Phil. 4 tells us what we need to do to receive this blessing.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I have yet to meet a person who can worry and be at peace at the same time. It just isn’t possible. Worry steals peace. Worry, left to run free, ties us up in knots.

The Bible tells us over and over to not worry, don’t be dismayed, fear not, be still, cast cares, trust, pray….

Here we are told again to pray. What about? Everything!

Prayer is communicating with God. Talk to Him about what concerns you. Spend time in quiet before Him. Take some time also to thank Him. Having a heart of thankfulness changes us in many ways. It is difficult to grumble if you are being thankful.

As we refuse to give in to worry, as we talk with God about life’s situations, as we thank Him, we will find that our hearts are at peace because we trust Him. He holds us together. (Col 1:17)

Selah,

til next time

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October 9, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my own little Cheers

There was a time in my life where I absolutely would not eat alone in a restaurant. Then I started working in the morning in one town and had a 40 minute drive to my afternoon location.  Lunch time was right in the middle. Sure I could pick up something and eat on the road but I really just wanted to sit somewhere for a bit and recharge.

“Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.”

Colossians 4:5-7 (TLB)

It wasn’t long and I realized that I had been limiting my availability to God. While I thought lunch would be a recharging time, God chose something else. I have my own little Cheers thing going on – except that it isn’t a bar, but they know my name.

I’ve had numerous women  came over to my table and before I know it, they are one by one spilling their life story. Oh, what stories they are sharing. I make the most of each opportunity to share Jesus.

Have you made some decisions that limit how or when God can use you? It isn’t necessarily easy to step out and be available but it does get easier the more I do it.

Use wisdom and make the most of your opportunities to tell others about the hope that you have in Christ. Use your words to extend grace to those you talk with. Allow God to use you and He will.

Selah,

til next time

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October 8, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace, peace, mercy

In all of the books Paul wrote, he started out asking for God to give the reader grace and peace. In four of his books he added mercy to the list.

Grace – getting what you don’t deserve.

Peace – -untroubled; tranquil; content – Peace with God, peace in your own heart and peace with others around you

Mercy – not getting the punishment you deserve

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.” (NLT) 2 John 3

Living in truth and love is vital if you want to live a life of grace, mercy and peace.

2 Peter 1:2 tells us “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Who doesn’t want more grace and peace? It flourishes when we grow in our relationship with God. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8) We are truly as close to Him as we choose to be. Does it seem that you could use more grace and peace in your life? Then make the decision to spend time getting to know who God is. As you do, you will find your faith will grow and with that peace, grace and mercy will too.

My dad would end all his letters with this passage from Jude 2.

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”

Selah,

til next time

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October 7, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment