Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

my focus needs focus

It’s been a week and it is only Tuesday. I’m sure we have all had weeks like that. I have found myself distracted way too much. My focus needs focus.
So I find myself going back to the basics. What is it that is most important? Are those things that are distracting me – things that need to be dealt with or things that are just taking up precious time and energy?
 
Am I putting off dealing with issues? That is rarely my problem but it could be yours. Am I avoiding the necessary steps? I am more of a cards all out on the table kind of gal. I’ve taken every step I know to take.  Just because I take the necessary steps doesn’t mean others will. For me, at this point I found myself stuck in a holding pattern waiting for a more positive outcome? Here it is hard to focus on much but the issue at hand.

 

Whatever it might be that is pulling your focus from being all that God wants you to be and fulfilling the plans that He has for you today – you can get back on track. Refocus.
Press On!
“… 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
Don’t let the enemy get you in a holding pattern. Keep pressing on. Don’t waste today worried about tomorrow. Live today. Don’t get stuck in the past. Forgive, give it to God, trust God to work it out for good and move forward.
I’m pressing on,

til next time

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God, I look to You – https://youtu.be/t4A0miZINNo

June 9, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, 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
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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
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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

closing a door

I am grateful that I can trust God and don’t have to try to make things happen.  His timing! His will! His glory!
 
Today we shut the doors on our church plant.  I have been believing God for a worship team to replace the one that is moving.  It hasn’t happened.  I don’t understand.  Yet, I trust God.  It is ultimately His church.  His timing.  His will.  His way.
 
“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.” NIV
 
God is the God of hope. If you are lacking joy and peace in your life – ask yourself if you are truly trusting Him. Often we can find ourselves casting our cares but then picking them back up again.
 
Trust Him!
romans 15 13
 
A product of trusting God is indeed joy and peace. It is more than that though. It is overflowing with hope – again not something we can muster up. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit and it is connected to trusting Him.
 
When things don’t turn out the way you planned, when you don’t understand, when life is best described as a mess — Trust God!
 
When things are going great, when life seems to be smooth sailing, when blessings abound — Trust God!
 
Trust God!
 
til next time
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February 29, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you ever slow down?

“Put yourself in a position to hear God’s voice.” C. Girod  (cgirod.wordpress.com)
 
In the craziness of life it can be so easy to go from one thing to the next – just trying to stay on top of it all.
 
If we aren’t intentional, our time with God can get shoved right out of our schedule. Or at the very least, minimized to a quick prayer here or maybe reading a bible verse posted on facebook.
 
When is the last time you put yourself in a position where God could speak into your heart? When did you cease striving and think about what it means that He is God? (Psalm 46:10)
 
I tell people often that this is one of the benefits of church. You set aside an hour or an hour and a half where you aren’t multitasking or trying to finish up that last project. God can speak to your heart through the worship, prayer and through His Word being preached.
 
That’s a great start. However, God wants more than that. He wants a relationship with you and He desires for that relationship to grow.
 
Why not carve out some time from your schedule today and read some scripture and sit quietly in His presence? Allow His peace, grace, love and mercy to wash over you.
 
Hmm, I am going to go do just that!
 
til next time
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January 24, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

discipline

As Christians, there are disciplines that help us to grow so that we can walk victoriously no matter what comes our way. One of those is reading the Bible.

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Col 3:16-17

Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you.

When he says to seek my face (Psalm 27:8) – to cast your cares (1 peter 5:6-7) – to cease to do evil and learn to do good (Psalm 34:14) — are you?

When He says that greater is He that is in you (1 John 4:4) – do you believe it? How about that He is working all things out for your good? (Romans 8:28) Or how about trusting Him with all your heart and not getting stuck on needing to understand it all? (Proverbs 3:5)

To walk victoriously, we need to be applying the Word to our lives. In order to apply the Word, you need to be reading it.

Beth Moore  “If your victory depends on the right circumstances you may as well wave the white flag and surrender defeat.”

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 15:57

Trusting God for today and thanking Him for hope for tomorrow,

til next time

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January 23, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

count it all joy – 5

Count it all joy – step 5
 
James talks about counting it all joy when we face all sorts of trials. The testing of our faith produces faith muscles – patience and endurance. (James 1:2-4) How do we count it all joy?
 
 
I believe that we find the answer in James 4:7-8
Step one – Submit to God (11/20/19 post)
Step two – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (11/21/19 post)
Step three – Draw near to God (11/22/19)
Often people will stop here but there is more.
 
Step four – Cleanse your hands (yesterday’s post)
Step five – Purify your heart
 
Purify your heart – this has to do with your inner life. Be sincere. Seek to please God. 1 Peter (1:22) tells us we accomplish this by obedience to God’s truth.
 
 
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 NLT
 
 
counting it ALL joy,
til next time
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November 24, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

count it all joy – 2

Count it all joy – step 2
James talks about counting it all joy when we face all sorts of trials. The testing of our faith produces faith muscles – patience and endurance. (James 1:2-4) How do we do that?
 
 
I believe that we find the answer in James 4:7-8
Step one – Submit to God (yesterday’s post)
Step two – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
 
Resist – withstand the action of
 
Jesus tells us in John 10:10 the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. That is the devil’s action. Don’t get in agreement with him by believing his lies. Don’t go there.
 
When we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee. When we are not entertaining the lies of the devil, we can ‘count it all joy’ because our joy is found in Christ. Jesus is the way, truth and the life. (John 14:6)
 
Tests are the things testimonies are made of.
 
til next timeromans 5 2 personalized
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November 21, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

yes, you have a choice

We (my husband and I) are four weeks into post-op.  To say it has been a challenge is an understatement.  Neither of us had any real idea of what to expect.  Oh, I had expectations alright.  Reality is nothing like my expectations.

Looking back over the past four weeks, there is one thing that keeps popping up. I would find myself overwhelmed and God would lovingly, ever so gently pick me up and calm my anxiety. (This was very evident when I was driving in the foothills of Tennessee – on back roads that were narrow and not marked.)

I had a choice. We always have a choice.

I could wallow in self-pity. I could embrace the anxiety and carry it with me like a blanket. I could give in, clinch my fists and shut down. OR I could cry out to God. I could choose to believe what I know to be true and not what I was currently ‘feeling.” I could, with open arms, receive God’s grace and strength for each moment.

Psalm 61:1-4 NLT
“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!”

What are you facing today? What ‘enemies’ are trying to overtake you today? (Fear? Doubt? Frustration? Financial? Relationships? Work? School?…)

Will you choose to receive from God the strength and grace that He offers? Will you choose to trust Him today?

God is for you, with you, and making a way. (Psalm 118:6, Matt 28:20, Isaiah 43:19)

Til next time

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October 29, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

loving life part 6

I love my life (Part 6)

Jesus came to give us life abundant. (John 10:10) He didn’t die so we would be miserable.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

Part of loving your life is living a life of love.

I’m going to love. I’m just going to love. The hatred is melting. The enemy is losing. I am going to love.

I’m not going to stop talking about my Jesus because He is my joy. He is what makes the difference in my life. He gives me peace. He is the answer as to how I can love a person who is ugly to me.

Recently, I had prayer with a woman who wanted nothing to do with God a couple years ago. Now, we hold hands and pray.

Love wins.

There is a person who has been horrible to me. Recently he told me that he was only kidding. It is a step in the right direction because there was a time when this person was not kidding.

Love wins!

When you love your life – it shows. Do people see in you – Jesus?

love

til next time

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September 24, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment