Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

God – the giver of joy

My thoughts turn to joy yet again tonight.

I am grateful that joy is not dependent on things going as planned, things working out, or even whether or not I “feel” joy. Joy comes from a decision I make that I will choose joy. I will trust in God who is greater than whatever is going on. I will stay in hope. Hope that says God will turn this, whatever this is, around for my good – for my kid’s good. (Romans 8:28)

As another  day comes to a close, my thoughts go to those who have faced disappointment and/or pain recently.  Some days are just plain hard.  Still in the midst of every day,  God is still God and He is good. We can still choose joy.

In fact, choosing joy in the midst of difficulty is one of the most powerful things you can do. Choosing to hold on to God when life takes a turn that you didn’t see coming or when that mountain looms largely in front of you is in fact recognizing that God is indeed the giver of joy.

“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”Nehemiah 8:10

Remember that in choosing joy, you also choose to spend time with the Father.

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

Lacking joy?  take a look at how much time you are spending in His presence — laying down the distractions and just being with Him.

“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

selah,

til next time

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February 13, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s monday – how’s your soul?

Here it is the Monday morning.   We pack a lot into our weekends so it is not unusual for  exhaustion to set in on Monday morning.

I want to do it all!  Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.  (hmm, I am starting to see a pattern in my life.)

 

matthew 11 28

 

Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day.   It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?

I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough.

Jesus is more than enough.

Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother set the bar high for her daughters.  She worked full time and her house always looked great.   She rose early and was the last one to bed.  I can’t live up to that expectation of myself.   Laying that down has been very liberating.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV)

How’s your soul?

Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.

Selah,
til next time

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February 12, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

let go!

Don’t lose sight of what is truly important in life. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming. When/if that happens, take some time to be still reminding yourself that He is God.

One of my favorite verses (I have many) is Psalm 46:10.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!.” (NKJV)

The NASB puts it this way:

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

One more translation – GW

“Let go of your concerns!
Then you will know that I am God.
I rule the nations.
I rule the earth.”

Be still, cease striving, let go — pretty direct message. How is it that we can do that? Because God is who He says He is – He is in control. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He holds all things together. He is the God of hope. He loves us. He is for us!

 

One of the things I enjoy is to sit with a cup of coffee, dim lights and music playing.   I can just breath in the calmness and the joy of the love of God in my life. The busier the days get the more often you can find me with my cup of coffee basking in God’s goodness. I hope that you take time each day to be still and know that He is God.

psalm 46 10

til next time

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February 11, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what do i pray?

Let’s look at one more prayer of Paul’s  (click here to read another post on Paul’s prayer)

Philippians 1:9-11(NASB)
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Growing in love – this impacts our soul (will mind emotions) How is your soul? Will – mind – emotions??

Paul is praying that their love will flourish – is your love flourishing? The impact on our soul, (will mind emotions) when our love is thriving, is tremendous.

Part of our love flourishing/thriving is
*use your head –
*growing in knowledge and understanding – this is a common theme of Paul’s prayer – strong passion – misdirected zeal/intensity without knowledge can do more harm than good.
*learn to love appropriately
*love isn’t synonymous with yes
*be Sincere – people can spot a fake

Prayer: “Father, may people see You in us this day. May our love for You be evident in the choices we make. Help us to love those You put in our path. Give us understanding. Open our eyes that we may see the opportunities You have for us to be Your hand extended. Help us to grow in the knowledge of Your will that we would walk in obedience. Thank you for strengthening us and enabling us to walk in victory. We give you the glory, recognizing that without You we can do nothing but with You we are overcomers. Thank you!”

til next time

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February 8, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

let’s be like Jonathon

In 1 Samuel 23 we find Saul is after David to kill him.

Then an interesting thing happens.

“Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16 (NLT)

I appreciate the people in my life who seek me out to encourage me. We need each other.

So tonight as another full day comes to a close, I want to encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Keep your feet firmly planted on Christ the Solid Rock. Take up your shield of faith.

Pay attention to where you thoughts take you. Walk in the truth. The truth is God loves you. God is for you. God is with you. God will help you! God brings beauty out of ashes and He will make a way for you.

Lastly, I also want to challenge you to find someone to encourage. If you are married, your mate could certainly benefit from some encouraging words.

The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT

 

In a world where negativity abounds and looking out for number one seems to be a priority — an encouraging word carries even more weight.

We can all be a Jonathon.

til next time

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February 7, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my take on Psalm 23

My take on Psalm 23 as this day comes to a close. What a day it has been. To God be the glory!

God is indeed my shepherd. I have all that I need. I have the energy I need to do what He puts in front of me. I have His strength to tackle the difficult things. I have more than enough.

He leads me. His peace quiets my heart. When I start to wonder “how?” His calm assurance washes over me.

He is with me in the sunless valley. “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Micah 7:8 He is all that I need.

My enemies — they will see Your goodness and how You bless my life. Even when I can’t see it, I know that my cup does indeed run over. You are more than enough.

Your love goes with me everywhere. Gratitude wells up within me and Your praises are on my lips.

 

psalm 23

til next time

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January 24, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

don’t wait — start today…..

  • Today:
  • Make the choice to believe God
  • to stand on His Word
  • to apply that Word to your life.

“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Choose joy! Choose peace! When we decide that our joy and peace are not dependent on our circumstances but instead upon God and what He says — what a difference that makes.

Don’t wait until you ‘feel’ like being glad. Chances are you will keep looking at your circumstances and sometimes there isn’t anything glad about them.

But God!

But God is greater than your circumstances. But God is for you. But God is with you. But God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

You can choose to be glad because you know what God’s Word says. He is who He says He is.

Awhile back I was walking in the woods and the trees were swaying and the leaves were rustling. It was beautiful. The trees were doing exactly what they were created to do.

What about you? Are you doing what you were created to do?

 

isai 55 12

  • Today is a new day:
  • Choose to say Yes to God!
  • Choose Joy!
  • Choose Peace!
  • Choose Love!
  • Choose God!

til next time

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January 22, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hopeless? or hopeful?

Do things seem hopeless?  Are you in the middle of a struggle that threatens to overtake you?   Does it seem you take one step forward and then fall three steps backwards?

I do whole heartedly believe that every day has some good in it.  If  I can see nothing else, just knowing that God is with me and has not abandoned me is good.  It seems that it is in our darkest hours where our faith has the potential to grow the most.

Say it with me
“Now may ‘You’ the God of Hope fill ‘me’ with all joy and peace as ‘I’ trust in ‘You’ so that ‘I’ will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13. (personalized)

God is the God of Hope! As we trust Him, our faith grows. If you seem to be lacking joy and peace, look at where you are putting your trust. Joy and peace are a by-product of trust.

Trusting God impacts our outlook. Overflowing with hope impacts others.

Hope, and joy and peace and hope again. Let that soak in.

Selah,

til next time

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January 20, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the day begin

Another day begins. I woke with this song on my heart. *Great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see.*

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.   They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV)

Sing with me…. *Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.*

I find that it is always beneficial when I start my day off with praise to the One who loves me most.  Spending time one on one with Jesus gets my mind focused for whatever the day holds.

“But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.” Psalm 59:16-17 (ESV)

On my own strength I would crash and it wouldn’t be pretty.  Thankfully, I do not depend on my own strength but on the One who enables me to keeping moving forward.

*All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!*

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,” Psalm 92:1-2 (NASB)

Starting my day with Jesus!
til next time

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January 18, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God cares – really cares

In case you haven’t thought about it today, let me remind you that God cares about you, He thinks about you, He takes delight in you, He loves you, and He sings over you.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17-18 (NASB)

“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

Selah.

With a heart of gratitude

til next time

January 17, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment