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

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

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

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

teachable?

Do you have a teachable heart?

To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid.” Proverbs 12:11

When faced with a major decision – do you seek out people who will tell you what you want to hear or people who will challenge you to seek God and give to you godly counsel? Making your decision and then seeking counsel is putting the cart before the horse – you have it backwards.

For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.” Proverbs 6:23 (MSG)

God uses people in our lives to speak to us. Sometimes it is a word of encouragement, sometimes it is a confirmation of what God has been trying to tell us and other times it is in the form of correction.

Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:8

 

Proverbs 1:5 “ A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.”

Let’s be teachable. Let’s be wise.

til next time

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

you don’t have my back?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

Even my best friend, the one I always told everything

he ate meals at my house all the time!—

has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself.

God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

Selah,

til next time

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October 10, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace – a precious commodity

Peace of mind is a wonderful blessing that God has for us. Phil. 4 tells us what we need to do to receive this blessing.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I have yet to meet a person who can worry and be at peace at the same time. It just isn’t possible. Worry steals peace. Worry, left to run free, ties us up in knots.

The Bible tells us over and over to not worry, don’t be dismayed, fear not, be still, cast cares, trust, pray….

Here we are told again to pray. What about? Everything!

Prayer is communicating with God. Talk to Him about what concerns you. Spend time in quiet before Him. Take some time also to thank Him. Having a heart of thankfulness changes us in many ways. It is difficult to grumble if you are being thankful.

As we refuse to give in to worry, as we talk with God about life’s situations, as we thank Him, we will find that our hearts are at peace because we trust Him. He holds us together. (Col 1:17)

Selah,

til next time

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