Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

cease striving

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (AMP)

Sadly too often our words/actions reveal that we have forgotten who God is. It seems that the temptation to give in to frustration, irritation, or stress takes no effort at all. When was the last time you really set out to have a bad day and you gave it all you had to be as stressed as you possible could? Like I said, it takes no effort to go along with irritation.

What does take effort is to refuse to give in to the negative pull. It takes effort to put your faith in action and trust God in the midst of difficulties. God reminded me again recently that when I am frustrated – I have taken my eyes off of Him.

When worry tries to take up residence in your heart – be still and know God
When your heart is breaking – be still and know God
When your car/appliance breaks down – be still and know God
When your paycheck is low – be still and know God
When your body is under attack – be still and know God
When someone is hurtful with their words – be still and know God
When you are starting to stress out – be still and know God
When you seem to be circling the same old mountain – be still and know God
Is there something you are dreading? Be still and know God
Are you tired and weary? Be still and know God
Are your feelings lying to you? Be still and know God
Are you lacking peace, joy, hope? Be still and know God

Not one thing that is going to happen today takes God by surprise. Whatever today holds, we know who holds us. Maybe it’s time to pull away from the activities for awhile and spend some time alone with God.

Getting still before God,

til next time

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March 19, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

huh?

Sometimes people do or say things that make me go “huh?” I’ve come to realize that there are people who speak out of their own pain, life experience, low self-worth and/or fear. And there are those who speak words of hurt because wounded people tend to hurt others. What do we do with this? How do we handle it?

There are times when something needs to be addressed and correction is in order but much of the time what is needed is huge dose of grace and love.

Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. (Matthew 7:14)

I have heard it said that we judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions. Let’s be people of grace.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Eph 4:2 (NIV)

Humble – recognizing my need for Christ in all areas of my life. (John 15:5)

Gentle – kind. A little kindness goes a long ways.

Be patient – do you find yourself getting irritated easily? It just may be that God is wanting to get your attention about that area in your life so that you will have freedom from the chains of frustration and irritation. Patience and self-control are part of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians.

Bearing with – hold up, support. … in love – there it is. What we all need, especially when we mess up, is people who truly love us to come along side us and hold us up. Let’s be that person today.

Loving Jesus, loving people,

til next time

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March 18, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 4 of 7

“Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Waiting patiently is not for the weak, but waiting will make the weak strong in Christ. We begin to recognize our strength when we truly are depending on Christ. Our courage comes from our relationship with Him. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. (Psalm 68:1)

“Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

God will come through. Though the night seems long, morning will come. He is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 40:1) In the light of eternity, it really isn’t as long as it seems. (2 Cor 4:17)

I am reminded of a powerful little chorus.
My soul waits for the Lord
in the hope of His promise
in the hope of His promise
my deliverance will come.
My soul waits for the Lord
through the night til the morning
like a nightwatchmen waiting
for the coming of the dawn. (taken from Psalm 130:6)

Trusting His timing,

til next time

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March 14, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 3 of 7

“Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69:1-2

Sometimes life can seem like I am treading water – in over my head – emotions shot – I am a mess and God is asking me to wait a bit longer. He asking me to keep trusting Him.

Maybe you can relate to David in verse 29 of Psalm 69
“But I am afflicted and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.” (NASB)

While we wait there are things we can and should do. Let’s look at the next verse. (30)

“I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Singing praises to God from a heart of thanksgiving is something we can do right now in this moment. It is not dependent on our circumstances. Giving God thanks is one way that we magnify Him. What you magnify will be the thing that dominates your thoughts.

Whatever it is that has you in a time of waiting, don’t waste that time. Dig deeper into God’s Word and lift your voice in praise. Casting Crowns has it right. “I will praise You in the storm.”

While I am waiting for the answer, for the solution, for direction, I will praise Him. What will you do?

til next time

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March 13, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 2 of 7

“O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help: … I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised..” Psalm 130:1,5 TLB

Sometimes the waiting is long because the work that is being done in me requires it. Waiting causes me to face my fears. Waiting helps me see my great need of Christ. I am nothing without Him. (John 15:5)

If I could have gotten myself out of the pit, I would have. My efforts alone bring about more frustration and misery. I learn the benefit of endurance while I wait. (Colossians 1:11)

Waiting expectantly….. We go from faith to faith, glory to glory, grace upon grace and strength upon strength. (Romans 1:17, John 1:16 2 Cor 3:18 Psalm 84:7)

I have come to see that waiting is truly a great gift God gives to me. (Isaiah 40:31) While I wait for the answer, the solution – my faith, hope and trust just grow deeper.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2)

til next time

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March 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 1st of 7

Waiting – it seems there are always areas in which I find myself waiting. Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad but other times the dark night seems to drag on and on.

Today is the 1st in a series of 7 posts on waiting.

When it seems I am waist deep in the pit of a bleak situation and I feel myself sinking in the mud – I have a few choices.
*I can become impatient and try to use my own strength to get out – to change things.
*I can wallow in the mud – giving in to self-pity.
*I can play the blame game.
All of these choices result in sinking deeper in the mud.

There is another choice. I can seek God for help. I can cast my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and take this time to go deeper in Christ. How? By reading His Word – I am grateful that each test of our faith is an open book test. Also we grow deeper by praying, taking time to listen, meditating, getting together with others at church to worship, pray, and hear God’s Word, listening to praise music – go ahead Sing!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, Psalm 40:1-4a NLT

I cry out to God. My faith knows He will help me.(Psalm 46:1) He will steady me. He will amaze. I trust God!

Using the waiting time to grow deeper in Christ.

til next time

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

do not fear

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.

Trusting God!

til next time

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March 10, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

battle intensifies

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

decorated with love

“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 grandpa, two pieces of furniture from my grandma, a desk 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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March 8, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Correction

Recently 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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March 6, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment