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

crumbling?

How are you doing? We are 2 1/2 months into Covid19.
 
Is your ship sinking? Is your house crumbling? Have you had more than enough?
 
It seems that once we start to spiral downward – the spinning goes faster and faster.
 
I ask you to look at your foundation. Foundation – the lowest load bearing part of the building, typically below ground level.
 
For you, what is bearing the load of your life? What are you standing on? What is it that you are depending on to see you through? Where is your anchor? When life is turned upside down, who/what do you cling to?
 
We were never meant to do life on our own. God desires to walk with us. He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 ESV
 
If your life is spiraling downward, look up and then build your foundation on the Solid Rock.
 
til next time
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May 27, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, life, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what do you talk about?

“What is closest to your heart is what you will talk about. And if God is closest to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.” AW Tozer

aw tozer close
A new day has dawned. What will you do with your words today? What will you post on FB today? As a wife, mother, grandma, friend, co-worker, pastor, chaplain – I wear many hats. There are many topics that I love to talk about. It is no surprise that God fits into each of those topics, if I let Him.
 
“May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 TLB
 
Use your words today to encourage, build up, and point others to Christ.
til next time
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May 21, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

essential workers

Yesterday I shared a devotional geared toward those of you working or staying at home.  Today I want to shift gears.  Since I’m one of the ones working from home, I reached out to some friends who are still going to work – to get some insight.

Thank you for all the responses I received.  I am overwhelmed by some of the pain and rawness.  Truly this is uncharted territory.

“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:28 NKJV

Here are some of what essential workers have shared with me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

  • rude people made the list way too many times
  • breathing with PPE on and the shields cause glasses to fog up
  • PPE gets in the way of my work
  • working extra hours is taking its toll on my body
  • shortened hours while increasing the load
  • breaks are shortened or non-existent
  • people are scared, mean, hateful and taking it out on us workers
  • bosses decision to not use PPE puts us in danger

What changes have taken place?

  • not being able to go to church but I can go to work 😦
  • drive thru only
  • stopped allowing customers in – all work done by phone, email, text
  • family is not allowed in
  • vacation plans gone
  • people who don’t want to come to work and so they really don’t work once there
  • nothing much has changed except some parts of the plant have restricted access – not good for morale

What is difficult/hard with working during covid19?

  • the reality that I could become infected or be a carrier and bring it home
  • struggling to empathize with people because my life is crazy busy and I’d love a week at home
  • so close to the edge
  • seeing people at their worst – fear changes people
  • not being able to do anything to truly protect people I care about
  • to see beyond self and all I am doing
  • lack of interaction with people that I am taking care of
  • exhaustion
  • finding it difficult to sleep because of anxiety
  • added demands = added physical pain
  • workers who took 2 weeks off claiming covid because they could
  • actually my job is easier without people coming in
  • seeing empty space were co-workers should be

To the essential worker –  where does your help come from?  Look up!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. (verses 1&2)

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (verse 8)

Psalm 121

 I also asked where do you see God in all of this?

  • when I pray with people
  • cheerful people even when their lives are turned upside down
  • when I talk with friends
  • in the people who thank us for being open
  • in knowing He has my back
  • in the direction He gives me to care for others and myself
  • in the peace I have that I am doing His will
  • people who cater meals
  • people who show love for one another
  • in my child – in how well he is handling all of this

TO ALL OF US!  — God’s grace is enough for whatever we face, be it loneliness or exhaustion.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”  Ephesians 1:2 NLT

Grace and peace go together.  Grace is God’s strength working through us to enable us to do what we can’t do on our own.  We struggle and can even put forth great effort and yet we fail.  All while God is saying to us – let me help!  My grace is enough.  (2 Cor 12:9)

If peace is lacking in our lives – the first thing to do is look at who you are depending on — yourself?  your job?  the government? money?   Often peace is lacking in our lives because we are holding on to our cares.  We are trying to make something happen in our own strength, instead of giving our cares to God and walking in His strength.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Cor 3:5, Phil 4:6-7)  Peace can also be lacking because we are stretched thin and need refreshing that comes from spending alone time with Jesus.  (Matt 6:6)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 NKJV
Rock — Jesus — 1 Cor 10:4, Psalm 18:2
Overwhelmed?  Make time for Jesus.  Don’t neglect your one true source of help.  (Psalm 46:1)  Turn those hard things, the changes, the challenges, the loneliness, the fear, the stress over to Him.  Ask Him for help. (Psalm 121:1-2)  And then remind yourself that you trust God.  Declare it when you first wake up.  Declare it on your way to work.  Declare it when you get your bills in the mail.  Declare it anytime doubt tries to creep in.
IN GOD I TRUST!
Say this with me:    Today, Lord, You go before me. (Deut 31:8)  Today You are with me. (Matt 28:20)   Today You hold my right hand.  (Psalm 73:23)  In God I trust!  (If trust is a weakness for you then I encourage you to read these verses out loud  – Prov 3:5-6, Psalm 4:5, 7:1, 16:1, 18:2, 20:7, 22:4-5, 40:3, 91:2, 1 Tim 4:10)

 

Again, I want to thank all of you that shared your heart.   You are in my prayers.   If you want to add to this list – please contact me or leave a comment.

til next time

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April 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

feeling weak?

We’ve been looking at Isaiah 40:28 & 29. Today let’s look at verses 30 & 31.

“Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.” Verses 30&31

Feeling week? Need new strength?

Put your trust in God and keep trusting. When the storm is raging, He is indeed the anchor for our souls. (Heb 6:19) His grace is enough to see us through anything. (2 Cor 12:9) He sustains us. (Psalm 55:22) And He will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16)

Some translations use wait instead of trust. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength….” By faith waiting on God, relying on Him, trusting Him, committing yourself to His guidance — we will find that He will not fail us.

Soar high — Instead of the problems crushing us, God will take us above the problems. We will be able to run and walk because God gives us strength for each new day.

In His strength,
til next time

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March 9, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

touching the hem

Something unusual happened this past Sunday.  (warning -a longer post than my normal.)

It was Communion Sunday.

Let me back up a bit to set the stage.  Saturday night was our last night at our satellite location as key worship people will be relocating and they were done at the end of February.   I fully expected God to raise up or send in their replacements.

I felt led to start praying last November for a worship team. ( I was filling in on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday)   Unbeknownst to me, it was around Thanksgiving that our key people began the journey that would eventually lead them to South Carolina.

I fully expected God to fill the holes.  When I had to pick up those Saturdays a couple years ago, I just knew God was going to bring in someone to take over when the time came.

The time came and He didn’t.

understand

So Saturday night, after our last service,  we loaded up two vans and a pick-up with all of the gear that is needed to have church there.

We unloaded at the parent church and I could tell I was pushing it.  Thankfully we did have some great help unloading and they came with yummy food.  The best part of the night was sitting around  the table, after all was said and done, eating and chatting with dear friends.

Sunday morning  I was a hurting unit.  I have been on a moderate dose of prednisone since last March for polymyalgia rheumatic.   (I also have inflammation in my  airway.)  The RA doctor has been weening me off the steroid.  It is too much for too long.  However,  the lower the dose, the higher the pain seems to go.  At this rate it will be September before I am done with steroids.   Then what?

I woke Sunday hurting both physically and mentally.  I was a mess.  Over and over again I have told myself that I am not going to let my health define me.  I am going to let God work through me.

I lead worship at two services every Sunday morning and on a “new normal – good” morning it can be challenging.  There was little good about this morning.   I managed to get to church, get set up and as is the case – in my weakness, God came through with strength.  Over and over again I can testify to the scripture found in 2 Cor 12:10.

As we are about to take communion (first service) – I am thinking about the blood.  I told Jesus that if I could – I would most certainly find a way to touch the hem of His garment.  Could this be the moment that something changes?  I believe in healing.  Could this remembrance be the moment You touch me?  Oh the blood of Jesus.

I don’t know why I had that conversation with Him – other than I was hurting so badly.

Then it happened.  The pain lifted.  I’m sitting there and my shoulders/chest/legs, hips, arms, and wrists begin to feel  lighter.  My heart rate dropped back to normal.  Later, I was able to go downstairs as a normal person who has no pain.

I wondered if the ringing had stopped also.  (Later I would find out that it hasn’t.) God’s grace is still enough.

I am ever so grateful.  I don’t know what all has taken place.  I still have some slight  stiffness but nothing like what it was.   I want to try eating popcorn to see if the diverticular disease is gone also.   What I know is God touched me right there, right during communion.

1 thess 5 18 a

I can’t really explain it.  I feel lighter – which is down right funny because Monday morning I hit an all time high on the scale.  Prednisone has truly messed with my eating and emotions.    It is a nasty drug.  Yet, I will praise the Lord.  I will give Him thanks, because no matter what happens, He is worthy of my praise.

psalm 9 1 2

 

til next time

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March 3, 2020 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace

God’s peace – it is a wonderful gift that is ours through Christ Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14 NIV

In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” Later in John (16:37) he says, “… in Me you may have peace…”

God offers to us peace. In the midst of whatever is going on we can turn to God, giving Him our hurts, confusion, stress, anxiety, struggle… and receive from Him peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7)

If we could market peace, true inner peace, into a capsule form, we would make millions. I believe it would be the hottest selling item. There are just so many miserable, stressed out people in the world today. Sadly, Christians can fall into that trap as well.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NASB)

The key to living a life of peace is to be steadfast, trusting that in any situation that arises, God is in control and He is greater than whatever life throws at us. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fixate on the problem that our peace can go right out the window.

Nothing takes God by surprise. (Psalm 139) He is not off on some vacation unaware of what you are facing. Instead, He is with you. (Matt 28:20) He will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for you. (Psalm 118:6) He is working all things out for good. (Romans 8:28) Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. (Jer 32:17, Luke 1:37)

Keep trusting – it isn’t over yet,

til next time

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March 3, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, 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

faithful

Continuing with Psalm 100 — the last verse today. verse one, two, three, four
 
“For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.” ESV verse 5
 
God is good!
All the time!
And all the time!
God is good!
 
What a wonderful promise. God is good. His love endures forever. Oh how He loves us!
 
He is faithful. Society seems to place less and less importance on faithfulness. Yet, we yearn for faithfulness in our relationships.   God is faithful!
 
Even when things seem to go in a direction you just didn’t see happening – God is still faithful. He sees the whole picture from beginning to end. We have, at most, just a piece of the picture in front of us. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. God does.
 
His faithfulness extends to all generations.
 
As I sit here watching the snow come down blanketing everything in white, I am reminded that God is in control. I don’t have to and generally can’t fix it (whatever it is) but I can and will trust God. He will show me what I can do.
 
God is good!
psalm 100 5
til next time
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February 28, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

gladness

Continuing with Psalm 100. (Click here for verse one)

Today verse 2.

‘Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.”

Some translations use the word worship in place of serve. Serve the Lord with gladness. Worship the Lord with gladness. The key here is gladness. Whatever we are doing, do it with the right attitude.

Colossians tells us “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters,” Colossians 3:23 TLB

Come before Him with singing and again we see the importance of attitude – joyful singing. Breaking out into song is easy for me. Maybe it isn’t for you. In which case you will need to be intentional about singing joyful.

Today is set before you. Choose joy! Choose gladness! Don’t allow a bad attitude to ruin your day. There are no do overs.

psalm 100 2

til next time

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February 26, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment