Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

meditation anyone?

Do you find yourself going over and over something?  Then you know how to meditate.  The importance is what you are going over and over.
We can rehash a bad experience and that takes us to a negative place.  We can dwell on something that made us angry.  That is a great way to stay angry.
As a christian we are told to meditate on God’s Word.
Let’s do that today.  Wherever you find yourself, take some time to meditate on God’s Word.
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Are you feeling stressed?
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 ESV
Are you tired?
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 ESV
Are you overwhelmed?
“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
Do you need to be reminded that God loves you?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV
Does life seem out of control?
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promisesand faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who falland lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:13-14 NIV
Here is what I am meditating on today?
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;his mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentation 3:22-23 ESV
What are you meditating on today?
til next time
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June 20, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

following my own advice

I am always telling people to turn on praise music when life heats up. Following my own advice, I cranked up Klove.

Praise makes a difference. What we fill our mind with matters. What are you listening to?

“Our God is greater! Our God is stronger! God You are higher than any other.”

 

“I will stand my ground where hope can be found….. You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.”

 

“We’re not meant to live this life alone. No man is an island…”

 

“Who the Son sets – is free. I’m free. This is the sound of chains breaking….”

 

“Seems like all I could see was the struggle… I am redeemed. You set me free. So I’ll shake off these heavy chains…. I am redeemed.”

 

With each song I felt the weight lifting. Did the messiness of life go away?  No!  But the peace of God settled the messiness in my heart.   The assurance that He is in control and working all things out for my good fills me once again with peace.

We can sit and stew or we can sit and praise.

We can rehash the problem or we can lay the problem at the feet of Jesus.

We can stick our shoulder into it and force a solution (probably the wrong one) or we can operate in the strength God gives us that spills over into joy.

We can grumble or be grateful.

We can operate in a victim mentality or we can let God arise, be our defense and help us to operate as a child of the King.

I join the apostle Paul in praying for you the prayer he prayed – found in Colossians 1:9-12 (The Message)

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” (Col 1:9-12 The Message)

God is not done!

til next time

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March 2, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

disappointment

If you have been reading very many of my blogs, you know that I see God’s fingerprints in everything. I write about struggles and triumphs.
Today’s topic — disappointment.
 
How do you handle disappointment? Disappointment is a part of life. Plans change – of that we can be certain.
 
This morning I woke up at home. That was not the plan. We had planned a much needed night away — some shopping at my favorite store and a leisure (work free) Saturday.  That didn’t happen.
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Two hours into our motel stay I found these.  I saw five crawling around.  That was five too many.
 
Other than being grossed out, (thankfully we didn’t find the bugs in the morning) I handled the return home like a champ. However, I woke this morning feeling the full weight of disappointment.
 
So I am giving you a glimpse into what I do when disappointment seeks to settle in to my heart.
 
2 Cor 1:3 tells us that God is the God of all comfort.
 
First step – look to Him.
“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2
 
I gave Him my disappointment. (1 Peter 1:5-6) When the change overwhelms me, I know that He hears my cry. (Psalm 61:1-2) As I wait on Him, His peace replaces the discouragement. (Phil 4:6-7)
 
I wait in His presence for however long that takes. I am determined to not let things dull my sparkle. When I try to rush this step, dullness sets in. (Good news — when this happens, God is greater and He will pick me up, dust me off and set my feet on higher ground. It’s just that the time wasted in dullness, is unnecessary.)
 
Second step – a look back at the week. Seeing God in my week always encourages me.
 
Here’s my glimpse back.
Meeting with ministers from Southeast section 🙂
Chaplain visits 😍
A friend’s father’s funeral 🙏
Witnessed the sentencing of Carter’s step-mom🤔
County is taking responsibility for the RR crossing, putting up a sign and will fix it in the future 🥰
Winter weather cancelled services 😞 but cooperated for the gathering of women ministry leaders 💃🤸❤️
Checked into motel 💕
Checked out of motel 🤢🐜
Woke up with both animals on the bed 😮❤️
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Third step – gratitude.
As I look back over this list, my heart is filled with gratitude. 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (NIV) 1 Thes 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God will turn ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3) Make a way in the wilderness. (Deut 8:2) Take what is meant for evil and turn it into good. (Genesis 50:20) To God be the glory. (Psalm 57:11)
 
What a week! Plans change – that’s life. How you handle it – that’s you.
Choose today to allow God to help you handle it like a champ for we truly are victorious in Christ. (!Cor 15:57)
 
til next time
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February 9, 2019 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith or fear – you decide

Fear cripples faith, but faith overcomes fear!

I needed to be reminded this morning that I have nothing to fear. I know some of what today holds, but more importantly I know who holds me today.

Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Over and over the Bible says fear not, do not be dismayed, do not be anxious, trust God, be strong and courageous, God is with us, our hope is in Him!

Fear is controlling. It limits what a person does. Fear will also cause some people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person. This is not beneficial.

Bad decisions are often the result of fear. Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship with God and with others.

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone. I have come to realize that a ‘comfort zone’ is a great way to avoid embracing life. Thankfully God is always nudging me to step out in faith. Oh what an adventure it is!!

For today I remind myself of what Psalm 112:7-8 says

“They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.” (NIV)

Whatever you are facing today – remember you are not alone. Truly God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) You are His and You are safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25) He is with you, for you, and loves you.

Today trust God, let your faith rise up, and hold fast to the knowledge that God is able to help you handle anything that comes your way.

til next time

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | 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