Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

———ads placed here by WordPress————

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

on the way

Life happens as we go on our way.  Yet, we can be so wrapped up in the destination that we miss what is happening all around us.


WWJD? What would Jesus do? Was a common phrase back in the 90’s.  Before we ask what would Jesus do, let’s find out what did Jesus do.


What Did Jesus Do? WDJD?
As we examine Jesus’ walk on this earth, we see that He would set out for somewhere but on the way – life happened.

It is On The Way:
. that He calls Peter and Andrew to follow Him (Matthew 4:18)
. that we have the story of the centurion’s great faith. (Luke 7:6)
. to Jerusalem when he encountered the 10 lepers. (Luke 17:11)
. to Nain that He raised the dead man. As He approached the gate He sees them carrying out a dead man – his mother was a widow and he was her only son. He had compassion! (Luke 7:10-12)
. from village to village that He was willing to be interrupted.

He was not preoccupied with the destination.

Jesus was on the way to Calvary. We are on our way to heaven. Those are both destinations. Life takes place on the way!

Sometimes I think we get to bound up with time.  For Jesus and for us, so much happens on the way to somewhere else.

*Ask God to open your eyes to see the opportunities.

Galatians 6:10 “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

A new day is starting. What will you do On Your Way?

Colossians 4:5-6 “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”


Flow through me Holy Spirit!

Till next time,

—advertisements placed here by WordPress —–

March 3, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

walking in the Word

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NASB)
F. R. E. E.
F – FAITH IN GOD Psalm 91:3-5
“For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;” (NASB)
R – RELY ON GOD Psalm 37:5
“Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (NASB)
E – ENLIST IN GOD’S PLAN Matthew 9:37
“Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Walking in the Word today,
til next time
any advertisements are placed here by WordPress

June 17, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


What we do and how we do it matters.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV)

We are not saved by our works or by how good we are.  Salvation is through Jesus Christ only and it is the gift of God.  That said, sometimes people tend to throw out what comes next.

We are created in Christ Jesus for good works!

W. O. R. K. S.

W – Will of God
God has a plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)  It is good.

That we should walk in them.” —-Are we walking in the plan God has for us?

What is God calling you to do?

Maybe get up earlier and spend some time with Him praying for your friends and family?
Could He be dealing with your financial fear by nudging you to prove His promise when it comes to tithes and offerings? – to grow in your trust of Him.
He could be asking you to lay down an activity, not because it is bad but your love for it gets in the way of what He wants you to be doing instead.
Maybe God is dealing with you about the amount of time you spend watching tv or online because it is robbing you of energy and time needed to step out in faith for what He is asking you to do.
Maybe He is impressing on your heart to bless someone – or prompting you to increase your giving to Missions.
Maybe He is nudging you to help someone.

I have had all of these promptings at one time or another.

Delayed obedience is disobedience.

Good intentions not followed through are just random thoughts.  It is an excuse to not actually have to do something.  You don’t even feel bad about not doing the right thing because you ‘intend’ to do it.

Will of God
It is much less demanding to think about what God’s will for my life will be one year from now or when I am pain free or when things settle down or when this happens or that happens than to focus on the Spirit’s leading today.

Which leads us to O.
O – Opportunities to do good – What opportunities will you make the most of today.

Galatians 6:9-11(KJV) “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Colossians 4:4-6 (NASB) “that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”


God wants to use you right where you are
in that job you may not like
at that event you will be attending
at that ‘just so happens’ encounter
when you are talking with your friends
opportunities are all around us

Make the most of them, and Be Ready – (Ranger Motto)

R – Ready to give
Three main ways we give: money, time, and talent.   We can also give things. Our home is decorated with the love of others.  Another key thing we can give is  patience to people as God works in their lives.

Paul tells us in Acts  “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20 :35)
The World’s way is to love things and use people to get them.
God’s way is to love people and use things to bless them.

Proverbs 11:24-25 NKJV
“There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

Follow the will of God for your life, make the most of the opportunities God brings your way and be generous.   A stingy person is not a happy person.

Sometimes walking in the spirit can seem like an uphill journey through distractions and difficulties –a rugged winding road. Keep moving forward.   Allow God to interrupt your plans, look for ways to bless people and be kind.

K – Kindness is not optional

Kindness is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22

Eph 4:32 “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Being kind is the right thing to do.

“Maybe you don’t feel like doing what’s right. But people who want the right results ignore the feeling and do what’s right anyway. Will you?” Jan Grace

Kindness in a world full of selfishness is one way we will Shine for Jesus.

S- Shine for Jesus

Matthew 5:14-16New King James Version (NKJV)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

“see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!!”
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!   For Your glory Lord!!

til next time


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by



March 8, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trade offs – not just for football

Super Bowl — No matter how big the screen may be, I am not a fan of watching football on t.v.   However, I do enjoy some of those slow motion replays.

This year (Super Bowl 50)  the Broncos went home with the win!  Whatever your thoughts are about Peyton Manning, he has proven himself to be a great quarterback.  Hmmmm, is there enough evidence to show that I am a follower of Christ?


What a great verse!  What a great promise.  We are on God’s winning team.  There are no losers.   We each have a purpose.  Yet, it is our choice to follow God’s plan or not.   Joshua 24:15 tells us to choose this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

psalm 34

This Psalm expresses the importance of praising God.  Praise Him openly.  Magnify Him. Let us exalt His name together.   (That is a reason to find a Bible believing church and go.)

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

Fear tries to cripple our faith.   Sometimes our faith gets in distress – I call that doubt. Another product of fear is worry.   The Bible is filled with scripture after scripture – “fear not” – “do not fear” again a choice we make. Do we trust God or do we let fear (doubt, worry) settle in.


So take that fear, doubt, worry – God is with us!  God is helping us!  God is strengthening us!   It is God’s grace working in us, silencing our fears and quieting the unrest in our souls.

When we look to the world or put our eyes on the problem we can be easily discouraged or at a loss.

When we look to God, when we magnify Him, our faith arises and our hope is renewed.

Faith in God destroys fear!

Every time we go to God in prayer we are releasing our faith.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”  (Psalm 46: 1-3, 10 NKJV)

situations out of our control — come to all of us.

The difference lies in how we handle it.  Do we let it overtake us, discourage us, or do we have faith in God’s willingness and His ability to take care of us.   Remember, God is for us.  Over and over in His Word He reminds us that He is with us and for us.

In football, trade offs happen.  When a player’s contract is up, the owner can choose to trade one player for another.  He is looking for the best trade off.

We have the best trade off option.

As Christians we can trade our:
broken dreams
things that we just can’t understand
We can give that to God and in exchange He will give us:
He will turn it around  (Romans 8:28)
He will make beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3)


Trials/problems are not enemies of our faith but instead they are an opportunity to see God’s faithfulness up close.

That is if we hold on to Him,
trust Him, put our faith in Him,
refusing to let worry and fear control us….


“God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.”  Curtis Girod

God will see us through. He will give us the strength to stick it out – not the grit your teeth kind of strength but the strength that endures the unedurable and spills over into joy.

Don’t let fear settle in. Don’t give in to worry or doubt. Let your faith rise up and destroy fear.

God is for you! The game isn’t over. You are on the winning team.

til next time


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by


February 10, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

one size fits all?

One size fits all – has now become One size fits most.   Times be a changing.

This blog is taken from the message I preached last Sunday.  It is indeed a One Size Fits All!  I pull quite a few scriptures from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  I am sure at least one  of these verses will speak to your heart.  If you take time to meditate on them and apply them to your life, it will be life changing.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written around 60 AD.  It is known as Paul’s happiest letter.    However, let’s get some background on Paul.

Around 3 years earlier, Paul wrote 2 Cor.    In this letter (chapter 6)  he gives us a glimpse into his life.

When we read Paul saying to rejoice in the Lord always – it can be easy to forget that life wasn’t all peaches and cream for Paul.  He didn’t live a charmed life.  He did write 13 possible 14 books of the New Testament.  (Hebrews is ?)

Here is what his resume’ looks like compared to the false prophets of his day.

patiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind
far more imprisonments
beaten so many times – he has lost count
often in danger of death
5 times given the 39 lashes (40 was the most their law allowed)
3 times beaten with rods
once stoned
3 times ship wrecked
spent a night and day in the deep
in danger from rivers, robbers, countrymen, city, wilderness, sea,
spent many sleepless nights
in hunger and thirst
often without food
cold and exposure
his deep concern for the church
and let’s not forget the thorn in his flesh

What is his response to all of this?   What would your response be?

Paul says — God’s grace is sufficient and in my weakness He is strong.  (2 Cor 12:9)

Malcom Muggeridge, brilliant British journalist said “Everything I have learned in my 75 years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced my existence has been through affliction and not through happiness.”

3 years later Paul writes Philippians. Let’s not forget where he is at the time. He is writing from his jail cell.   Yet, what does he say about his circumstances?   1:12  I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel…

God uses our circumstances for good – if we let him. Paul’s focus isn’t on his hardships, his struggles – I believe he listed his hardships (in Cor) for our benefit. Maybe he had one too many people telling him – “You just don’t understand how hard it is Paul.”  “You didn’t go through what I am going through.”   “It is sooooo hard.”

Paul shows us how to handle difficulties.

It is possible to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of our struggles. In fact, it is necessary if we want to walk in victory.


1:6 He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it

2:14 Do all things without grumbling or complaining – key to happiness!!  Easy to say, harder to do.  Where do you fall on the scale of grumbling?  10 being second nature and 1 being hardly at all.

3:1 Rejoice in the Lord

3:13 forgetting what lies behind and reaching for what lies ahead (Our focus should not be on the glory days of yesterday or the pain of the past but on the here and now. What is God doing now? What does God want to do through you today?)

4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice – decide in advance


Unrest and turmoil do not lead to a victorious life.  Stress and drama will stir up craziness in your life.

Paul shows us how to have peace.
4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.


Thoughts — what you think about matters. It will determine your attitude. If you focus your thoughts on negative, sad things – don’t be surprised when it seems your joy is diminished.

Sometimes I think we give our circumstances way too much power in our lives. Power to make us miserable, sad, meh, complacent, negative. This can lead to gloom and anything but victory.

Meh?  What exactly is that?  Does it make you think Victory?  Yes?  Does it inspire joy and gladness?  Not for me.    I told the church that if they caught me using Meh – to say something – hold me accountable.  The King of Glory lives inside of me and meh just doesn’t cut it.     (After church one of the girls, that I love dearly, came up to me and showed me her shirt.   Of course I had to take a picture and encourage her to not settle for meh.  Isn’t she a cutie?  She is, inside and out!!! IMG_20160110_122215_347

4:8Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. (TLB)

What do you dwell on when it comes to others?  How they have let you down or angered you or ??  How about instead if you look for the good in people?  Look for the good in each day.  It is there.  Sometimes you just have to look closer.  Remember God is good!!

4:11 I have learned to be content – get rid of those discontent thoughts – if you entertain them you will not walk in victory

4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – no where does it say I can do it on my own.  What the Word does say is that without Christ I am nothing.

4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory – before you start thinking about that new Harley you might think you “need” or that nifty “sailboat” remember Paul was writing this from a jail cell.  Our needs sometimes get a little mixed up with our wants that we just think we must have.  Paul says in 1 Tim 6:8 (NKJV)

And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”

There you have it – my one size fits all message.

til next time

by the way  –12 times in this short letter joy and rejoice are mentioned. (in the NASB)
(1:4, 18, 25 2:2, 17, 18, 28, 29 3:1 4:1, 4, 10)

So go ahead — choose to rejoice and look for the good.  It just might surprise you.


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by


January 14, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


A quote by Chuck Swindol to start this blog  “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

How we view these opportunities makes a huge difference in whether or not we walk in peace and love.  Do you see them as impossible situations or great opportunities?

On Sunday, a precious friend of mine handed me this quote by Joyce Meyers.


James 4:7-8 gives us some insight on how to handle things that come our way.

  • submit to God
  • resist the devil and he will flee
  • resist -don’t get into agreement with him.

When he whispers things like this in your ear:
“here we go again”
“nothing is ever going to change”
“I can’t take it anymore”
“I quit”
“it is just too hard”
“I can’t help it.”
“if I had more time”
Resist it, take those thoughts captive, see them for what they are – excuses!  Don’t get in agreement with them.

  • refocus on God. Let your faith arise!

We are as close to God as we want to be.

— think about your reaction to that statement. When I first heard it, the first thing I thought of was all sorts of excuses – the biggest one being “If I just had more time”

Excuses give our flesh a reason to not deal with our actions/choices.

If you truly want something, you do whatever you can to get it.  You don’t give up; you keep going after it.

You are as close to God as you want to be.

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you — that is a promise!!


D –Desire/ Delight Psalm 73:24-26 (NASB)

 “With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.  

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Desire/delight – what does your speech reveal about you?

Do you magnify your problems or your God? What you magnify becomes larger. There is nothing that compares to our God and yet the way we can behave sometimes you would think God was limited and unable.

God is able!!!

 R – Rely Psalms 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Some things we just won’t understand, no matter how badly we want to make sense of it.  This is where our trust rises up.

I take God at His Word.  He will bring beauty out of ashes.   (Isa 61:3)  He will give me peace that goes beyond my understanding.  (Phil 4:7)

“God will give to us wisdom to know what to  do and strength to do it.”  Curt Girod

I am reminded of this old song:

“You are God and You live inside of me. You are light. You are the source of salvation. Fire of the night, You are the voice I choose to hear. You are creator of all things and you will meet my needs. You are God and You live inside of me.”

A – action Mat 5:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

No one is a bench warmer on God’s team. We are called to BE a witness. Be – action verb – showing continuous action.
Is God’s light shining brightly through you!

Don’t hide your talent.

Take action:
And by action I am not talking about defense – survival mode but offense action – go for the touchdown.

We are on the winning team. Be ready!! Be where you are suppose to be – be obedient.

When I am wrapped up in survival mode – defensive action:

  • I am focused on self preservation and can miss those around me that need my help, that need encouragement
  • I can lose sight of God’s promises
  • I can totally miss the presence of God of in my daily life

God is our defender. He will take care of us.  He is the only one needed on defense.

Amazing play by the Packers this week. 61 yard pass. What a throw. Did you see him grab on to that ball and hold on to it for dear life? What I noticed was the other team members jumping on him to make sure the ball didn’t get away. They had his back. Let’s be sure to have each others back in this thing called life.


W–wait Isaiah 40:29-31

“He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

Wait is spending time in God’s presence.  Waiting on God  is trusting that He  is at work and He will make a way.

Impatience robs us of our peace and joy.

Wait is also to be in a state of readiness.  What we do while we wait is important.

A portion of the song written by John Waller, that resonates in my heart goes like this:

I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait


Psalm 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.”

How close do you really want to be to Jesus?

The only thing stopping you is you.  Draw near to Him.  Spend time with Him.  Get into His Word.  I recommend starting in the Gospel of John.  Find a church and go.  Don’t let excuses give your flesh a reason to stay away.  We need each other.   Let His light shine through you!

til next time


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by


December 8, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what kind of person are you?

who do you surround yourself with?The type of person that you are encouraged to be around in this quote sounds to me like a description of a Christian.  In  a world where negativity abounds and you don’t have to look far to find someone who would rather tear you down than build you up, this quote is pretty good.

I say pretty good because it is lacking an important component.

be that to othersThe last line is important because it is all to easy to fall into the trap of “it is all about me,  what I can get out it, what you can do for me…”

Colossians 3:17 tells us,  “And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus.” (TLB)

That is a tall order but we have the living Christ dwelling within us to help us to grow in this area and we should be growing. God is concerned with our words and actions. Let us not forget that we represent Him!  It is not all about us.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,  “So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Don’t stop!  We are called to encourage one another, to build each other up.

I wonder how many people we see each day could use a positive word or even just a smile to change their day?

Encouraging one another is a powerful thing that we can do anywhere we find ourselves but it doesn’t just happen.  We have to do it on purpose – make a conscious effort.

Prov 18:21 tells us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..”

Don’t be stingy with your life words.   Be extravagant!!  Let God’s love flow through your words and don’t forget about your non-verbal communication.

Have you ever spent hours on something only to have someone wrinkle their nose at it? Or roll their eyes? It can take the wind right out of your sail.  Oh, that we would not be people who take the wind out of other people’s sail.  Don’t be a dream killer.

We’ve probably all been on both sides of that coin. – the giver and the receiver of negativity.

At our dinner table the boys were not allowed to say ‘yuck, gross, I’m not eating that…’  They were allowed to say something like ‘I know this took a lot of work mom, you don’t have to go to all that trouble for me again.’

Fast forward quite a few years to find me coming home from the clinic exhausted but grateful that Curt had made supper.    However, it was bad and I  told him so.  (So much for being grateful.)   I then heard my very words coming out of Andrew’s mouth. “We don’t say things like that mom.”  (ouch!)

Truth is Curt does a fine job of cooking and has come up with some great concoctions.  I owed him and Andrew an apology.  My words were not life-giving.

Here’s the truth —verbal or non-verbal expressions of negativity or irritation won’t bring about a favorable change.   It will not promote peace in them or in you. It is not the loving thing to do. It does not build up the other person.

Colossians 3:14-17 gives us a list of things that helps us to be the people God intends us to be.

  1. put on love
  2. let peace of God rule in your heart
  3. be thankful
  4. let the word dwell in you
  5. give thanks is mentioned again

Peace – the enemy loves to set us up, to trick us into getting upset because when that happens he knows our peace goes out the window and discouragement will try to come crawling in.

Discouragement is, I believe, one of the most effective weapons the enemy uses to hinder us from being effective.

If you find yourself discouraged, see it for what it isn’t.    It isn’t from God.

Discouragement can come from:

  1. our interaction or lack of interaction with others
  2. unmet expectations or unrealistic expectations
  3. things not going the way we wanted or hoped
  4. lack of appreciation
  5. life taking a turn we didn’t see coming
  6. pain (physical and/or emotional) and the list goes on………….

We are to encourage one another, to speak life to them, but what if no one is around to speak life to you?  Then what?

One of our tools for combating discouragement is to Let the peace of God rule in your heart.”  Col 3:15

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Peace that goes beyond our understanding.  I can’t explain it but I know that it is available to us and it works.

Colossians 3 also tells us to be thankful – in fact it tells us that twice in just this short passage.

I started a gratitude journal and I highly recommend it.  Write down things you are thankful for with no repeats.  It helps you to see the good (even when bad things are happening) and it can keep you in the moment instead of waiting  for this to happen or that to happen.

Another thing not dependent on others is having the word of God dwelling in you.  If you aren’t reading the Bible, how can it dwell in you? Memorization is helpful in having God’s word dwell in us.  It is a tool available to us but are we using it?  

Having someone encourage me is a blessing but I have learned to not wait for that to happen.  On the other hand, I am making it my goal to speak life to those I come in contact with. Funny how in doing that, I am encouraged also.

What about you?

Let’s be extravagant with our life words.  Let’s not be stingy when it comes to encouraging others.

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”  Colossians 3:14-17 The Message

til next time


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by


November 9, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

when I sit in darkness

I was sitting in the church office last Saturday night after everyone had left the Bike Show when I sent out an SOS to God.  I was to preach in the morning and I had nothing.  I had all sorts of topics floating around in my head earlier, but now I had nothing.

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  My mother-in-law went to be with Jesus.   The Bike show had to be rescheduled due to rain. I was drowning in paper work.   I am still dealing with tennis elbow.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

That is when I felt the nudge to pick a card out of my bread basket.

bread basket

(I bought this box when I worked at the eye clinic. After a phone call with an insurance company, I would reach for a scripture to redirect my thoughts.  It worked beautifully.)

just so happenedMicah 7:8b “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

The room wasn’t dark, but my soul (will, mind, and emotions) felt surrounded by darkness.

Darkness can come in many forms.  Here are just a few forms.

pressure of deadlines
health issues
situation that looks bleak
tough situations with no good options
seeing your child hurting and knowing you can’t fix it

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.  It seems in my life, the larger the trial – the greater God’s grace, goodness, and strength is being poured into my life.

Sunday morning before church I received a text from a dear friend.  All it said was Rom 15:13.  It was a big warm hug from God and a reminder that I am loved.    See that is my go-to scripture.  I was about to preach on hope and hadn’t included it.  God doesn’t leave us hanging.

“Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

I shared Psalm 130.  I encourage you to read the whole thing as it is powerful.  For this blog I am centering on the key verses I addressed.

“1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.”  Psalm 130 NASB)

On Spring break I took the opportunity to see the sky before the dawn.  Sometimes there was the light reflecting off the moon. The gulf was stunning.   Sometimes it was pitch black.   I could hear the waves but I could not see them.  Other times there was such a thick fog that the buildings security light could not even be seen.

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me!

Sometimes it can seem like morning is never coming.  Keep holding on to God.  He is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as i walked along.”  Psalm 40:1-2 (Living Bible)

Sometimes it seems like we are crossing a mud pit.  Keep holding on to God.  He will steady you.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”  Psalm 33:20 (NASB)

Wait  –  I love Webster’s first definition.  “remain in readiness or expectation”

How do we wait patiently?  We do it with God’s help.  We are given plenty of opportunities to practice the discipline of waiting patiently.

Our God is not hindered or limited by the things that we see that make us feel helpless.  Let that sink in.  Then pray.  Maybe there is nothing we can do physically but we know the One who is able to do more than we can ask or think. (Eph 3:20)  Our God is greater than whatever it is we are facing, our children are facing and/or our nation is facing.  Prayer is powerful!

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.

til next time


Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by


May 9, 2015 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fear/worry — peace/still ??

I can count on one hand the number of times that sickness has stopped my husband in his tracks.   He may get a cold or a sinus issue but he plows right through.  This past Friday afternoon he got knocked right off his feet (figuratively speaking.)

I thought it would be a 24 hour thing and he would be up and at ’em Saturday.  Instead Saturday found him alternating between the bed and the recliner.  By Saturday night it became evident that he would not be preaching the next morning.   The verse from  2 Timothy came to mind – “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…………..”

What did God want me to share?

Psalms 46:1-3  I find that I am quoting verse 1 a lot lately, either in person, on the phone, by text, and even on facebook.   We don’t have to look far to see trouble.  We do not face it alone.  God is indeed a very present help in trouble.

“We will not fear.”    Fear is a great peace robber.  It is virtually impossible to stay in peace while allowing fear to take hold of your emotions.    Most of the things people worry about never happen.  Don’t get caught up in fear’s trap.

Fear and worry ruin a perfectly good day and disrupt a good night’s sleep.

When you notice fear, worry or dread knocking at your door remember God is a very present help in trouble.  Place your focus back on Him and you will find your peace returning.  Instead of dwelling on the situation, going over it and over it, take it to God in prayer.  Leave it with Him. Trust Him to work things out.

“Oh what peace we often forfeit.  Oh what needless pain we bear.  All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”   He is the living God.  The Great I AM.   The creator and sustainer of the universe and He is an ever-present help in trouble.

Let’s look at the end of this chapter.

Psalms 46:10  I am going to take it one word at a time.

BE:  state of being

Acts 1:8 tells us that we are to BE witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the utter most parts of the earth.   (For me that breaks down to my city, state, neighboring state –or county and neighboring county–and the world.)   Notice that it doesn’t say DO witnessing.  It is possible to DO witnessing and not BE a good witness.  Be is who we are – 24/7.   And we can be still in the midst of any circumstance.

Be STILL:  quiet confidence – a heart of peace.   Not in a state of turmoil or wrapped up in fretting about the situation.

Be still AND:  this lets us know that there is more.  It isn’t just be still.

Be still and KNOW:  know that you know that you know that God is in control.  He has a plan.  He will make a way where there seems to be no way.   We will not be shaken.  We know God is greater than anything we face.

Be still and know THATthat – pay attention to what comes next – emphasis

Be still and know that I:  one true God.   God tells Moses  in Exodus 3:14  “I am who I am”  God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and always with us.

Be still and know that I AM:  present tense.  Right where we are, there He is.

Be still and know that I am GOD:  He is the living God.    What you magnify just gets bigger.  Instead of spiraling downward with fear and worry, place your focus back onto God.  Let Him fill you with peace.

Whatever you are facing, God has a plan.    Don’t let fear and worry rob you of the truth that you know.  God is with you!  He loves you!

“Be still and know that I am God” — Psalm 46:10

til next time

February 23, 2012 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments