Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

reflection

“You may be the only Bible some will ever read.”
“People are drawn to you and then to Christ.”
Some days all I can say is, “Oy!”
I make mistakes. You do too. Life isn’t about the mistake as much as it is about what you do with the mistake.
Do you run from the mistake or do you own up to it? Do you learn from the mistake or do you keep repeating it? Do you seek truth or choose denial? Do you ask God to help you to make choices that are pleasing to Him?
People watch us. People see how we handle life. People see through phony. What are we showing them?
Do I demonstrate the overcoming power of God in my life? Does His love shine through? Do I point others to Christ by the choices and actions I take?
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
Be ready!
I want to be a reflection of Christ.  Just as the moon reflects the suns rays, I want to reflect the love, joy, peace and hope I have in Christ.
Let them see You in me!
til next time
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April 6, 2017 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 central truths

4 Central Truths of the Christian faith:
1. Christ has come.
2. Christ has died.
3. Christ has risen.
4. Christ will come again

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (NASB)

When I was a kid, there was a lot of talk about the return of Christ. I can remember during my teenage years, on more than one occasion, coming home to an empty house and thinking that the rapture had taken place. It was a frightening experience.

The problem was that I wasn’t ready. I knew enough to know that God wanted all of me and yet, I didn’t know how to do that. Those days my church talked a lot about the return of Christ but not nearly enough about living for Christ.

Christ will come again. When? Only God knows the hour. We need to be ready.

How are we ready?

—believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior
—acknowledging your own sinfulness and need of a Savior
—asking for forgiveness and receiving the newness of life that is in Christ
—walking with Him (How?  by reading the Bible, praying, being a part of a church — (where you can encourage and be encouraged, where God can speak to you through the message and worship, )

—growing in our relationship with Christ – not my will but Yours be done!

I’m ready – are you?til next time

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April 5, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s growing on your tree?

No man is an island.  I heard that all the time while I was growing up.  Look for ways you can help others was another things I heard a lot.  How we live – matters.
So how should we live?
Galatians 5:22-23 – the Fruit of the Spirit.
 
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
patience,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness,
self-control;
against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
 
As I meditate on these verses, I ask God to help this fruit grow in my life. Memorizing these verses has helped me to be more aware of these nine areas of my life. 

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:3 NASB)

What is growing on your tree?

 
Let’s look at Galatians 5:24
 
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. “
 
What does it mean to crucify the flesh?
The simple definition is to say no to things that you know are displeasing to God. Verse 25 goes on to explain it.
“25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
 
Waking in love not hate,
joy not melancholy,
peace not being always upset,
patience not indifference,
kindness not meanness,
goodness not cruelty,
faithfulness not disloyalty,
gentleness not hardness and
with self-control not instability.
 
How’s your walk?
til next time
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March 7, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i choose….

Today!

A new day is beginning. I have heard it said and believe it to be true that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you handle it. Before the day really gets started, I make a choice to trust God with whatever comes my way. He holds all things together and that includes me.

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 NASB

Today is a gift.  There will be no do overs.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

Notice ‘we will’ — it is a choice made ahead of time. I choose joy!  I choose trust!

“From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3 (ESV)

Sometimes life is messy. Sometimes life is down right hard. A key to maintaining my peace and joy as I go through hard times is praise. Praise changes me. It takes my eyes off of whatever is going on and puts them back on Jesus – the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) When I turn my eyes upon Jesus, He speaks peace. Hope is renewed. What a difference it makes to praise God throughout my day.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17 (KJV)

Another key is prayer. Reminding myself to cast my cares (1 Peter 5:7) and talk with God as I go through my day helps me to stay centered. Prayer should be our first response not our last resort.

So a new day is beginning – how will you choose to handle it?

Me?  I choose Jesus!    My hope is built on Him!  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand!

til next time

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March 4, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, 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,

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

is God silent?

Is God silent?
There have been times in my life when it seemed my prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back. God seemed to be silent.
I can remember asking, “Where are You, God?    PPPPPPlease, God!”
Maybe you have seen the saying, “When you are in the midst of a trial and you wonder where God is, just remember, the teacher is always silent during the test.”
When you are taking a test, you rely on what you have studied, It is a reflection of what you know. The same is true for our spiritual tests and trials. We draw from what we have studied and what we know. We know by reading and discussing the Word. Spending time in praise, prayer, and meditation strengthens us.
Is God silent?  Truth is God is never silent. (Isaiah 55:11) His Word is alive and powerful. (Hebrews 4:12) I just need to pick up His Word and start reading to hear what God is saying, or  I can give in to the temptation to let it sit on the shelf.
One thing we may not realize is that the tests of this life are OPEN BOOK TESTS. 
In addition to an open book test, we have Jesus (who is ever interceding on our behalf.) –Romans 8:34   When the test seems crushing, I am ever grateful that Jesus has my back. Also, we are told to pray for one another. (James 5:16) Don’t let pride stop you from asking for prayer in the midst of difficulties.
  Unlike tests you took in school, in the tests of life you can ask a friend for help. I am grateful for good friends who remind me of the truths of God’s Word and encourage me in the midst of trials.
til next time,
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February 8, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sink or walk on water

Faith — stepping out in faith —  something so huge that it has the potential to push you over the edge but also something that you just know – that you know -that you know is where God is leading you.

It has been one year since we started our PAC church.

“We were either going to sink or walk on water.   We believed that God was opening the door and we were stepping through.” (from 25 years- really?)

I think of Peter and what that must have been like to take that step out of the boat onto the water. How incredible. Sure he didn’t walk far and he became overwhelmed by the waves but that doesn’t change the fact that he stepped out on the water. Besides, Jesus grabbed Him, rescuing him — it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Over the past year I have experienced that rescue by Jesus – a few times.

What an incredible journey it is when you say “yes, Lord!”

So this month, as I found myself adding one more thing to an already full schedule, I realize that the stretching continues.   I remind myself that keeping the main thing the main thing is essential to my not becoming overwhelmed.

The main thing?  Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. In my weakness, He is strong!! Where He guides, He provides!
I walk by faith.
I live by faith.
I put my trust in Jesus!

https://youtu.be/VtZVxBzghNQ

til next time,

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December 3, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

super moon

Did you take a moment to look at the super moon awhile back? Maybe you even took a picture? I did. Sadly, it did not capture the beauty. Yet the source of the beauty wasn’t the moon.

If it weren’t for the sun, the moon would be dark. What we see is a reflection of the sun’s rays bouncing off of the moon.

When people look at us, are they seeing the light of Christ?

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

 

December is here and with it can come the stress of getting the shopping, decorating, and baking done. Then there is the calendar that is already full. For some, adding school programs, work parties, family gatherings to an already stretched calendar is a potential recipe for added stress.

 

The other extreme is also out there. I was talking with a lady who shared with me that the holiday season is the worst time of year for her. Loneliness and sadness are nipping at her heels. Her calendar is too open.

 

Whatever the reason may be, if you are feeling overwhelmed this December, I encourage you to take a few moments (right now would be good) and talk with God. Cast your cares on Him, lay down your expectations at His feet, and allow His peace, love and joy to fill you again.

 

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)

 

btw – I want to be a ‘super moon’!  Reflecting brightly the light of Christ!!

til next time

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December 2, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rain, floods, winds

Rain
Floods
Winds
Is there a storm on your horizon?  Maybe you are right in the midst of a storm.
Sometimes life is stormy.
Life sometimes brings the  rain of troubles  knocking at my door, or the flood of overwhelming emotions rising up within me.   Sometimes the winds of destruction try to knock me down  or the rug is pulled out from under me slamming me against the wall.   There have been times when all three seem to be happening at once.  
Rain
Floods
Winds
Sometimes life is hard.
BUT God is with us.  (Matt 28:20)  He gives to us His strength.  (Isa 40:29)   He will make a way through each storm.  (Isa 43:19)
Matthew 7:24-25 (NASB)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”
In each situation (rain, flood, wind)  God  replaces despair with hope.(Psalm 43:5)   My faith  increases with each situation because my life is built upon the Solid Rock of Christ.  Whatever I face, I face it with God and in His strength.  My hope is in Him.
There is an old Imperial’s song that says:  “Let the wind blow, blow as hard as it can.  Upon the Solid Rock of God, I stand.”  https://youtu.be/6kl_vWYuFhQ
So whatever comes at me today, I know that God will be here. He will hold me up! He is my ever-present help in trouble. My hope is in Him!. (Isa 43:16, Matt 28:20, Psalm 63:8, Psalm 46:1)
 
Psalm 31:24 (NASB)
“Be strong and let your heart take courage,   All you who hope in the Lord.”
 
til next time
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November 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sand or rock?

 
Foundation – rock or shifting sand? It matters!
 
Here is a great verse to memorize!!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25 (NASB)
 
When we were looking at parsonages, Pete would go around and inspect the foundation – inside and outside. While I was more concerned about what the kitchen looked like, he was all about the foundation.
 
When we settled on a house, the foundation was solid. The rest of the house was …. well…. awful. However, Pete assured me that all it needed was a little TLC on the inside. He was right.
When  we invited our Realtor to come see the transformation, he was speechless.  Every once in awhile I pull out the pictures.  I am reminded all over again that God brings beauty.  Oh, if only we would see the possibilities instead of being overwhelmed.
Let us not forget But God…. is able, is working in and through us, is making a way, is for us, is with us, and the list goes on.
 
So it is with our lives. What does your foundation look like? I hope that you are founded on the Rock. When your foundation is solid, then all that is needed is TLC which God so graciously gives. God’s transformation in our lives is ongoing and amazing.
 
“For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.” Psalm 31:3 (NASB)
 
My Jesus, my Rock,
til next time

November 28, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment