Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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.
20190208_203605-COLLAGE
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 😮❤️
IMG_20190209_065528248
 
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

what replays in your mind?

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him” Psalm 62:5 NLT
 
Yesterday this verse landed in my lap, so to speak. God’s Word has a way of doing that.
 
“For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are.” Hebrews 4:12 TLB
 
Psalm 62:5 was just what I needed. So many situations in my life were coming to a head at the same time. The only way I know to fight off stress, frustration, discouragement, deadlines, pressure… is to turn to God’s Word, to lift my eyes to the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 123:1, Gen 1:1)
 
Meditating on this verse brought: renewed joy, peace, hope, strength, resolve, perseverance… Nothing we face is bigger than our God. Our God is greater!
 
What about you? Do you turn to God’s Word to find help for today? What are you meditating on? What is it that you dwell on, meditate, rehash, go over and over again in your mind? When we choose to dwell on the things of God, our lives are richer for it.
What replays in your mind?
 
My hope is in God,
Gloriapsalm 62 5
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February 7, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

death is not the end

Death can seem so final. Our heart grieves the loss. We must learn how to go on without the person. It can seem so overwhelming.
 
“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2 KJV
 
Who is the rock?
 
“No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” 1 Sam 2:2 NLT
 
Death is not the end.
 
“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor 5:8 NKJV
 
One of the thieves dying on the cross next to Jesus was told that that day he would be with Jesus in paradise. (Luke 23:43) Death is not the end.
 
Today, my friend will bury her father’s body. She will cherish the memories and mourn the loss. However, her father, who accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, is rejoicing with His Savior. There is a celebration going on in heaven.
 
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15 ESV
 
“It is in the plan that all men die once. After that, they will stand before God and be judged.” Hebrews 9:27
 
What about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? (Acts 4:12, John 14:6)
 
 I have decided to follow Jesus!
til next time
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February 6, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

take my hand

“Take my hand.” Three words often said to children as an intersection is approaching or in a crowded store. Holding hands is a safety measure.
 
Did you know that God takes us by the hand?
 
“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ll help you..” Isaiah 41:3
 
The Message bible says it this way — “I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’
 
Don’t panic. Don’t be afraid. He is not letting go. He is right there. He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
Whatever you may face today or in the days to come — remember who is holding your hand.
 
til next time
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February 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , | 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

attitude

How’s your soul? (will, mind, emotions)

My morning started out a little rough.  Did you know that you can change your day by changing your attitude?

My attitude was heading south. There are a ‘million’ things I could focus on concerning my health and the way I am feeling BUT I want to enjoy this day. There are no do overs. So as with anything in my life – I took it to God.

Maybe you need to pray this prayer with me.

Good morning God. This is the day You have made and I am wanting to choose to rejoice in it. In order to do that I need Your help. Help me to not fixate on the pain, the ‘now what’, or the ‘how’, but to keep my eyes on You. You are good! You love me and You are working all things out for my good. Yes, even this pain. Help me to see beyond myself, to see the opportunities You have for me today. I can do what you set before me this day because You are with me. I choose hope! I choose You, Jesus! (Psalm 118:24, 46:1, 2 Cor 10:5, Heb 12:2, Rom 8:28, Col 4:5, Phil 4:13)

I also looked to God’s word to speak to my heart. If you haven’t read Ephesian 3 lately, I encourage you to read it.

My take on a few of the verses:

V6. God’s plan is that we belong to Him

V7. it is a privilege to serve God

V14 because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come to God boldly and confidently. We don’t have to have it all together or say the right things but we come just as we are.

V14-15 there is something special about kneeling before God – surrendering to the Creator of everything

V16 is my verse to hold on to today!

V17 trusting Christ (in the good and the bad, health and pain) sinks our roots deep in God’s love and that keeps us strong – I want that!

V18 God’s love – nothing greater (wide, long, high, deep) Makes me want to break out into song “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh how He loves us.”

V19 we don’t just know of His love, we experience His love

V20 God gets the glory! He is able to do more than we can even imagine

Yes, I am now ready to face the day as a mighty child of God.

What about you?

til next time

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October 13, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

correction? who me?

Yesterday 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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October 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment