Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

but as for me…

But as for me”

I love that phrase. It reminds that no matter what is going on, no matter what others are doing, no matter how I feel — I get to choose what I do next. But as for me, I will trust God. But as for me, I will obey God. But as for me, I will nail my feelings to the cross and believe what Jesus says.

Psalm 59:16-17

But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.

Where are your thoughts this morning? If we focus on problems – problems will be all we see. If we see problems as opportunities to see the hand of God helping us – we will start seeing His hand more and more. When we put God first, He really does give us wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. But as for me, I refuse to get jazzed up about ___________. But as for me, I depend on God.

Today is a new day. This morning I choose to sing with joy, to lift my voice in praise to the One who loves me most. God’s love never fails.

What are you choosing?

Selah,

til next time

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October 3, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trust

Trust in the Lord and do good

Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness

Delight yourself also in the Lord and

He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:3-5

Notice that trust is mentioned twice in these verses. Trust is vital to walking in faith and victory. When we have settled in our mind that we trust God, then whatever happens – we know that God will work it out. (Romans 8:28) He is for us! He is with us! He is more than enough.

Are our actions good? Many times, in the Bible, we are told to ‘do good.’ Yes, our actions do matter.

What are you feeding on? Are you driven to have the latest, greatest, best _________(fill in the blank)? Are you feeding on what you don’t have? Is it gossip that you graze on? There is an old saying – ‘garbage in means garbage out.’ Let’s feed on the faithfulness of our God. Again this comes down to trust.

Delight in and commit yourself to God. This should be an ongoing process in our lives. Let’s reaffirm our commitment to give God our all.

Selah,

til next time

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October 2, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

at the end of life

“Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (MSG)

 
Thinking of and praying for the Bush family as they grieve the loss of their wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.
 
Here are a couple quotes from Barbara Bush.
 
 
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” told to the graduating class at Wellesley College 1990.
 
Here is another quote of hers.
 
“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people — your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way,”
 
What is it that you want to be known for?
First and foremost I want people to remember that I loved God and loved people.
 
til next time
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April 18, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 6 of 7

For the past 5 days I have looked at waiting. One thing I haven’t addressed is joy in the waiting process.

Col 1:11 Paul prays that they would endure (wait) with joy.

We are truly missing out if we think that joy is only available when we are problem free. After all, the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Neh 8:10 I believe it is a lack of joy that causes us to give up instead of endure.

Jesus came not so we could be miserable 70% of the time. He came that we would have life abundant. (John 10:10) In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

Our joy is not dependent on our external circumstance. Our joy IS dependent on our relationship with Christ. We are building on the firm foundation of Christ. He helps us. Our heart can indeed leap for joy.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

The realization that I can rely on the Lord for my strength – that right there is cause for joy!

In my weakness, You, O Lord are my strength,
til next time

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March 16, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment