Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

another day

Another day begins.  What will bring?  How will I handle it?  When the day is done, will I look back on it and wish I had done things different?  I hope not.  That is why I purpose in my heart to see the good, do good, and trust God.

God is good!
All the time!
And all the time
God is good!

psalm 103 2
“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NASB)

“But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6 NLT)

“For God called you to do good,
even if it means suffering,
just as Christ suffered for you.
He is your example,
and you must follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21 NLT)

“My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver. ( Psalm 119:71-72 NLT)

“I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love.
I will praise the Lord for all he has done…” (Isaiah 63:7 NLT)

What are you going to do with your day? I am going to look for the good and give God thanks. I choose to rejoice and trust – knowing that He is in control. I need not worry for He is working in those difficult circumstances.  I choose to follow Jesus.

God is good!

 

til next time

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May 30, 2017 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

reflection

“You may be the only Bible some will ever read.”
“People are drawn to you and then to Christ.”
Some days all I can say is, “Oy!”
I make mistakes. You do too. Life isn’t about the mistake as much as it is about what you do with the mistake.
Do you run from the mistake or do you own up to it? Do you learn from the mistake or do you keep repeating it? Do you seek truth or choose denial? Do you ask God to help you to make choices that are pleasing to Him?
People watch us. People see how we handle life. People see through phony. What are we showing them?
Do I demonstrate the overcoming power of God in my life? Does His love shine through? Do I point others to Christ by the choices and actions I take?
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
Be ready!
I want to be a reflection of Christ.  Just as the moon reflects the suns rays, I want to reflect the love, joy, peace and hope I have in Christ.
Let them see You in me!
til next time
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April 6, 2017 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, 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

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

permission to grieve

I will start off with acknowledging that in the realm of eternity, this is minor.  Things could have been soooo much worse.  Yet in order to move forward,  I needed to face  this new reality.  In doing so, I gave myself  permission to grieve.

For almost three years I have not felt well.  It has been one thing after another and some unanswered questions along the way.

Friday I went to my family doctor, explained that I was so very tired of hurting, and asked him if he thought it was related to my uterus.  (There are some issues going on with it.)  Could it be my appendix?  Although the majority of  pain is on my left side.

He sent me over for a CT scan with dye. For breakfast –   a barium smoothie.  He had me to wait at the hospital (with the IV in my arm) for the results.  Oh, it could have been so much worse.

Good news – no infection, no perforation,  and no blockage.  I do have diverticular disease.   My large intestine is filled with small and medium pockets.   It explains the random bleeding and the pain.

My doctor explained to me that there are two rules of thought.  One is to avoid nuts and seeds.  The other thought is that it makes no real difference.  My doctor is of the first opinion and he recommended that I abstain for all nuts, seeds, popcorn…   I have numerous pockets and with their size, it just isn’t worth the risk.  I am already having pain and some bleeding.  He is hopeful that diet and extra strength Tylenol  will quiet things down.

My sister and her family were coming for the weekend.  A house full of people, two guinea pigs, a dog, our  cat and lots of Christmas celebrations all kept my mind occupied.  What a wonderful blessing from God.

Today I gave myself permission to grieve — I love popcorn – it is common for me to have popcorn 2 – 5 times a week.  My favorite candy bar is salted nut roll with Snickers following close behind.  Pecans, cashews, peanuts, peanut m & m’s, caramel corn, buster bar, turtle blizzard, granola, peanut brittle, cashew chicken, sesame chicken, poppy seeds, ….. the list goes on.

I remind myself that God is the healer.  Just today a friend of mine was released from the hospital.  Last night things did not look good.  Today she is home recovering.  Yes, I know God heals.  I also know that He expects us to use our brain and not be presumptuous.

So I will follow my doctor’s orders.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— ……………A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

The time of grieving is over.  It is time to laugh and dance.  God’s grace is enough!

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

More importantly, I will smile at the future.   My hope is in God and He does not change.

(If you have diverticular disease, diverticulitis, diverticulosis  I would love to hear from you.  What do you find helps?  How are you handling it?)

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

til next time

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December 27, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

compromise

Compromise can be a great tool for conflict resolutions. However, when compromise seeps into a Christians life, pulling them away from God – then it is no longer a great tool but a stumbling block.
“You are as close to Me as you want to be.”
When God dropped that thought into my heart, it challenged me and caused me to look at my choices, my priorities, my passion, my life…..
Today I found myself singing an old Hosanna song. It is my heart’s cry.
“Lord, I want to be more like You.
I want to be a vessel You work through.
I want to be more like You.”
Instead of wondering how close I can be to the world and still be a follower of Jesus, I should be asking myself – how close can I be to Jesus and still be walking on this earth. (Enoch Gen 5:24)
Something to think about.
I want to be more like You, Jesus!
til next time
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November 26, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

excuses won’t get you freedom

Sure I know that making an excuse can be the natural response for why you did or didn’t do something.    Excuses can seem to get us off the hook. But truthfully, excuses don’t help us walk in truth.  Excuses won’t help us grow.

Accountability and excuses don’t mesh. .

Don’t make excuses –  own your behavior and make amends.  Repent.

I had a meeting today 75 miles from home. I had never been there before. I did not want to go.  I told my husband, probably five times, that I did not want to go before I realized that I was grumbling.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing;” Philippians 2:14 (NASB)

So, I needed to repent of a grumbly bad attitude.   Which I did.  I then asked God to help me have a good attitude and to remind me to smile.  My daddy always told me that if I had to do something, I might as well do it with a smile.

Once on the road, I talked with God about what was really going on?  What was the truth here?  I used to love to drive alone.    It was God, the music (crank it up) and me.   What had changed?

God quietly dropped a word into my heart.

Fear.

Fear?   What?   I am not afraid.  I have worked through all that a long time ago.

No, the truth was that fear was what was driving my desire to not want to go. — fear of driving alone, getting lost, and/or being stranded on the highway.

Fear will stop us from doing things. Fear cripples us.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (TLB)

There are so many scriptures on fear not. Yet if we are not careful, fear can sneak in.  Like me, you may not even be aware it is there but it will affect your behavior.

I repented of letting fear dominate a portion of my life.   I continued on to my meeting — Fearless!

Sure, I missed my turn, but you know what? It was ok.

What’s holding you back?   Do you find yourself grumbling?   What does God want to deal with in your everyday life that might be hindering you?

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17-18 (NASB)

Good-bye fear, hello freedom!

waters

 

 

til next time

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August 30, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

extraordinary

We can use ordinary everyday things for a greater purpose.

‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

Whatever you do………….. most of that will involve ordinary things.

Driving to work is a wonderful opportunity to talk with God about the day, the issues you are facing, and about the people you will come in contact with that day.

An ordinary task that used to wear me out was working in my kitchen.  Then I discovered the difference popping in a teaching CD makes. (I listen to Joyce Meyer) The kitchen is no longer an issue. Taking an ordinary thing but making it extraordinary. Win win!!

Stopping for a red light becomes a moment of solitude for me now.   When I find myself stopped I am reminded that red means Stop. Yellow means Breathe (actually take a deep breath) Green means Believe (redirect my thoughts to a promise from God.) It is a wonderful way to remember that God is greater and He is already working on whatever it is I am facing.

Going for walks is another ordinary task that can easily become a prayer walk. It is amazing how your neighborhood changes when you begin to pray for your neighbors.

What ordinary things do you turn into extraordinary?

learning to cultivate an awareness of His presence as I go through my day,

til next time

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August 18, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

old houses

“I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop….”

“This old house …. ain’ta gonna need this house no longer…….ain’t got time to fix the shingles……getting ready to meet the saints.”

We live in a house that has been around for over 100 years. There is always something needing attention. Maybe that is why these two songs were on my mind.

“Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” Romans 11:12-13 (MSG)

We are having long time friends over this week-end who have never been to our house.  My hope is that they will notice the warm welcome and not just our clean home.

Make the most of today!

til next time

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July 17, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment