Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

i press on

Don’t sweat the small stuff. In the scope of eternity, most things are small stuff.
.
If you watched our first outdoor live chat, you know it was a disaster. It was such a good idea. I don’t want to be locked into being home every Thursday night at 7:00 so let’s do it on location. Yes!
.
When it was over, I was done. It’s funny what can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I sat there, afterwards, defeated and done. Now what?
.
You’ve no doubt been there. Maybe you are there right now. Things just don’t turn out how you hoped. Things are harder than you imagined. Failure mocks you. The cost seems too much.
.
I say with Paul:
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:13-14 NLT
.
I press on….. when it’s hard…..when I want to quit…. when others are quitting….. when it doesn’t work out how I hoped…..when I fall flat on my face….. when I am tired, oh so tired…… when it hurts…..when the cost is great….  I Press On!
.
Why? Because in light of eternity what matters is trusting God. He is greater than whatever we face. He will turn it around for good – somehow, some way. He is calling us to follow Him.
.
So we drove to the next stop. Curtis caught 2 more fish and then we attempted another live on location chat. This one was so much better and  included much needed laughter. God used it to speak to my heart in such a powerful way.   He isn’t done and I press on.  Oh how different things would have been had I not pressed on.
.
Screenshot_20200613-091031
.
What about you? Don’t give up. Don’t focus on the past, even if it was only 1/2 hour ago. God is with you and will give you renewed strength if you but let Him.
.
I press on!
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

June 15, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i’m tired

I’m tired. I’m tired of covid. I’m tired of the guidelines that may or may not do any good and yet we follow them. I’m tired of the contradictions that are surrounding covid. I’m tired of the manipulation that I have felt as we move forward.

I’m tired of the injustice I see toward race. I’m tired of labels. I’m tired of the hatred towards cops. I’m tired that my friends don’t feel safe. I’m tired of discrimination.

I’m tired of the hatred toward Trump, Pelosi, and/or Obama and that list goes on and on. Hatred breeds hatred and there is nothing kind about it. Don’t think you can hate anyone and it not affect who you are as a person.

I’m tired of the looting. I’m tired of the media fueling the fires.

I’m tired. Maybe you are too.

So here’s what I am doing. Spending time with the One who loves all mankind and learning at His feet. I want to be more like Him – Jesus. I will look for the good in people and try to encourage that.

 

“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” Colossians 4:5-6 (MSG)

 

Today is George Floyd’s funeral. Today I will be spending much time just ‘being still’ trusting that God will heal and mend the broken-hearted and show me how to reach the hurting.

flower message

Enter a caption

til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

June 4, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

communication

My heart is breaking for our country. Right now I feel inadequate to speak more on it. Please continue to pray for our fractured country.   So today’s devotional will be on a topic near to my heart.
 
Working as a Chaplain I get to see the culmination of a lifetime of choices people make. Before we even talk about anything deep, I see signs of whether they are a person of thankfulness, a person who cares or one that has harbored bitterness and resentment. It is there for all to see. Bitterness displays itself in many ways, some of which are cantankerous, a know it all attitude, anger, blame, distortion, name calling and/or self loathing.
 
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:19-22 ESV
james 1 19
How can we help those who are bitter? Be quick to listen. Sometimes people are more concerned about what they have to say and are waiting for an opportunity to speak instead of listening to what is being said. We can all grow in our ability to listen.
 
Be slow to speak. Think about what it is you are wanting to get across. Speak truth even if it is unpopular. However, this is not an invitation to be rude. (Eph 4:15)
 
Having a conversation with an angry resentful person is a challenge to say the least. Angry people seem to love to stir the pot. Be slow to get angry. This is something that most of us have room for growth. Replying in anger is bait the enemy uses to steal your peace. Don’t take the bait.
 
There’s so much more, but let’s work on being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
 
Father, I do not want to be a resentful person so I choose today to forgive and walk in love.
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

June 3, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

opening the doors

We are opening Sunday and while I am excited about that, there is also a weight that comes with that decision. There are things that need to be done. Changes that will be implemented. It is one more unknown in this uncharted territory I find myself in.
 
Recently, I became aware that the weight was even heavier than I thought. Sometimes we carry around a heavy load that God does not intend for us to carry.
 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb12:1-2 ESV
 
I want to focus on laying aside every weight. (Certainly if there is sin that you know is standing in between you and God – get rid of it. Acknowledge it to God and ask Him to help you change. He will.)
 
Laying aside every weight — what is weighing you down? What is that heavy burden that is pressing on you?
 
Jesus has the answer.
 
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ” Matt 11:28 NLT
 
Take your burden to Jesus – trusting Him to work it out, to give you wisdom, to provide strength, to shower you with renewed hope.
 
Read the rest of Hebrews 12. It will encourage you!
 
Thank you Jesus for the rest you give. Today I choose to walk in Your unforced rhythms of grace. (Matt 11:28-30 MSG)
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

May 12, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

pain

Watching someone you love dearly deal with great pain and knowing you can’t make the pain go away is one of the hardest things in life.
.
What we can do is point them to Jesus. He knows about pain. He is their peace. (Eph 2:14) His grace is enough to see them through whatever is going on. (2 Cor 12:9)
.
Sometimes pain can be so intense that the person loses hope. Doctors seem to not be listening. Medication isn’t working. Pain increases. This is where it is so important that we speak life into their lives. (Proverbs 18:21) Remind them that there is hope. (Psalm 42:5)
.
“This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],” Heb 6:19 AMP)
.
I am grateful that God is an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) He will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16) He brings beauty out of ashes. (Isa 613) He is with us. (Matt 28:20) He gives us strength. (Isa 40:29) He holds us up and holds us together. (Psalm 63:8, Col 1:17)
.
Thank You Father for this day. Thank You that whatever comes our way, You are with us. You love us with a love that is deeper than we can truly understand. Thank you for loving us. Today may Your love shine through us to others.
.
til next time
ads placed there by WordPress
 

May 7, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

morning came

Good Monday to you all!
.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT
.
His mercies begin afresh each morning — oh how grateful I am for this truth.
.
“and morning came” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)
.
Here we are with a new day. Morning has come. What are you going to do with this day?
.
I, for one, am very grateful for Monday morning.  This weekend has been ever so long.  In the midst of all of it, God’s grace was enough.  I didn’t handle it all perfectly.   There are things I would do differently, but I saw the hand of God over and over again.  He doesn’t love me  because I do everything right.  He loves me because He made me.  I am His.
.
He loves you too!
.
“If there is one thing I know, I know You are with me….. I can’t do this on my own. My help is found in You…. Your love will light the way….. You’re my provider.”
.
 
.
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

May 4, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God in the details

I love the story of Moses and the Red Sea. (Exodus 14) He is leading the Israelites out of captivity into the unknown – headed to the Promise Land, with Pharaoh’s army on their heels.

Army behind – sea in front. Now what?

  • God is in the details.
  • A staff.
  • The water parts.
  • Dry land.
  • They cross.
  • Incredible.
  • That’s not all. The waters return and drown their enemies.
  • What a sight that must have been.

“You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them;

They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?

Who is like You, majestic in holiness,

Awesome in praises, working wonders?

“You stretched out Your right hand,

The earth swallowed them.” Exodus 15:10-12 NASB

God is still in the wonder working business. Covid19 can seem like a sea in front of us holding us back. Don’t lose sight of the fact that God is greater. There is no one like our God. He is majestic in holiness and the God of wonders.

Do you trust Him? It will show up in your actions. Oh, may our lives reflect the reality of the love and power of The Great and Mighty God we serve.

Father open our eyes to see Your fingerprints that are all over our lives.

til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

April 30, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

don’t quit

Today has been a challenging day. Some days are just a bit more involved than other days.
 
I was reminded again of my limitations. I’d love to say that I aced the test but what I can say it that I didn’t fail the test. It did take me longer than it should have to remind myself that God is not limited by those things that seem to limit or hinder me. None of this has taken Him by surprise. Covid19 is not greater than He is. And God knows the how and when of moving forward.
 
Trust — so much of the time it comes back to trust. Do you trust God? When the situation looks bleak, do you trust God? When God doesn’t seem to do it the way you think would be best, do you trust that He knows better?
 
When you think it can’t possibly be any more challenging and then it is, do you keep trusting God to make a way?
 
Quitting might seem easier but it isn’t. God says to trust Him and He will see you through. He is with you in the trial. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
 
Don’t quit!
 
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 TLB
 
 
All that I am will worship all that He is!
in my weakness 2

til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

April 28, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

stretching kind of hurts.

My husband and I spent three hours at the church setting up, recording, checking sound, changing things, checking sound again, deciding what instruments, changing things again ….
God is stretching me again.  This pandemic is all uncharted territory.  Stretching comes with a price and it kind of hurts.    I will come out of it a different person.  What about you?
“Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 The Message
The best part about being at the church was coming together to sing praises to God.  I even got him to pull out the trash can.  If you know me, you know I am about that trash can.
Repurposing something for the glory of God!
There was a time in my life when I felt pretty much like a trash can. How could God ever use me? When would I stop putting garbage in and start making right choices?
Then in the stillness of a car ride, God got my attention.
Oh how great is His love. I said yes, and He took it from there. He changed me from the inside out. He is still changing me from the inside out. He gave and continues to give me strength to live out my convictions from His Holy Word.
 
1 cor 16 13 14
What a great verse to give us clear direction on how to approach each day.
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

April 25, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

essential workers

Yesterday I shared a devotional geared toward those of you working or staying at home.  Today I want to shift gears.  Since I’m one of the ones working from home, I reached out to some friends who are still going to work – to get some insight.

Thank you for all the responses I received.  I am overwhelmed by some of the pain and rawness.  Truly this is uncharted territory.

“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:28 NKJV

Here are some of what essential workers have shared with me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

  • rude people made the list way too many times
  • breathing with PPE on and the shields cause glasses to fog up
  • PPE gets in the way of my work
  • working extra hours is taking its toll on my body
  • shortened hours while increasing the load
  • breaks are shortened or non-existent
  • people are scared, mean, hateful and taking it out on us workers
  • bosses decision to not use PPE puts us in danger

What changes have taken place?

  • not being able to go to church but I can go to work 😦
  • drive thru only
  • stopped allowing customers in – all work done by phone, email, text
  • family is not allowed in
  • vacation plans gone
  • people who don’t want to come to work and so they really don’t work once there
  • nothing much has changed except some parts of the plant have restricted access – not good for morale

What is difficult/hard with working during covid19?

  • the reality that I could become infected or be a carrier and bring it home
  • struggling to empathize with people because my life is crazy busy and I’d love a week at home
  • so close to the edge
  • seeing people at their worst – fear changes people
  • not being able to do anything to truly protect people I care about
  • to see beyond self and all I am doing
  • lack of interaction with people that I am taking care of
  • exhaustion
  • finding it difficult to sleep because of anxiety
  • added demands = added physical pain
  • workers who took 2 weeks off claiming covid because they could
  • actually my job is easier without people coming in
  • seeing empty space were co-workers should be

To the essential worker –  where does your help come from?  Look up!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. (verses 1&2)

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (verse 8)

Psalm 121

 I also asked where do you see God in all of this?

  • when I pray with people
  • cheerful people even when their lives are turned upside down
  • when I talk with friends
  • in the people who thank us for being open
  • in knowing He has my back
  • in the direction He gives me to care for others and myself
  • in the peace I have that I am doing His will
  • people who cater meals
  • people who show love for one another
  • in my child – in how well he is handling all of this

TO ALL OF US!  — God’s grace is enough for whatever we face, be it loneliness or exhaustion.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”  Ephesians 1:2 NLT

Grace and peace go together.  Grace is God’s strength working through us to enable us to do what we can’t do on our own.  We struggle and can even put forth great effort and yet we fail.  All while God is saying to us – let me help!  My grace is enough.  (2 Cor 12:9)

If peace is lacking in our lives – the first thing to do is look at who you are depending on — yourself?  your job?  the government? money?   Often peace is lacking in our lives because we are holding on to our cares.  We are trying to make something happen in our own strength, instead of giving our cares to God and walking in His strength.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Cor 3:5, Phil 4:6-7)  Peace can also be lacking because we are stretched thin and need refreshing that comes from spending alone time with Jesus.  (Matt 6:6)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 NKJV
Rock — Jesus — 1 Cor 10:4, Psalm 18:2
Overwhelmed?  Make time for Jesus.  Don’t neglect your one true source of help.  (Psalm 46:1)  Turn those hard things, the changes, the challenges, the loneliness, the fear, the stress over to Him.  Ask Him for help. (Psalm 121:1-2)  And then remind yourself that you trust God.  Declare it when you first wake up.  Declare it on your way to work.  Declare it when you get your bills in the mail.  Declare it anytime doubt tries to creep in.
IN GOD I TRUST!
Say this with me:    Today, Lord, You go before me. (Deut 31:8)  Today You are with me. (Matt 28:20)   Today You hold my right hand.  (Psalm 73:23)  In God I trust!  (If trust is a weakness for you then I encourage you to read these verses out loud  – Prov 3:5-6, Psalm 4:5, 7:1, 16:1, 18:2, 20:7, 22:4-5, 40:3, 91:2, 1 Tim 4:10)

 

Again, I want to thank all of you that shared your heart.   You are in my prayers.   If you want to add to this list – please contact me or leave a comment.

til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

April 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment