Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

surgeon’s scalpel

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (MSG)

Recently I went under a surgeon’s scalpel. A piece was removed that had been causing me trouble. Getting to it was more of a challenge than even the doctor had anticipated. At one point I reminded him that I had people praying.

God’s Word cuts through everything. It cuts through hatred, going through the motions, blame game, complacency, and lukewarmness. The Word will slice open excuses, doubts and false justification. Maybe this is why some Christians don’t pick up the Word and read it. They have missed the point though. God wants us to be free from things that would hinder us.

I could have refused the surgery. I could have ignored it. It still would have been there causing me trouble. When God’s Word reveals something to me, I can refuse to do anything about it. I can ignore it. I can come up with some excuse but none of that will change the fact that it needs to be dealt with. Instead, I say – Yes, God.

We come to God just as we are and then He steps in and helps us be all we were intended to be.

Let’s be people who listen and obey.

til next time

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March 20, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cease striving

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (AMP)

Sadly too often our words/actions reveal that we have forgotten who God is. It seems that the temptation to give in to frustration, irritation, or stress takes no effort at all. When was the last time you really set out to have a bad day and you gave it all you had to be as stressed as you possible could? Like I said, it takes no effort to go along with irritation.

What does take effort is to refuse to give in to the negative pull. It takes effort to put your faith in action and trust God in the midst of difficulties. God reminded me again recently that when I am frustrated – I have taken my eyes off of Him.

When worry tries to take up residence in your heart – be still and know God
When your heart is breaking – be still and know God
When your car/appliance breaks down – be still and know God
When your paycheck is low – be still and know God
When your body is under attack – be still and know God
When someone is hurtful with their words – be still and know God
When you are starting to stress out – be still and know God
When you seem to be circling the same old mountain – be still and know God
Is there something you are dreading? Be still and know God
Are you tired and weary? Be still and know God
Are your feelings lying to you? Be still and know God
Are you lacking peace, joy, hope? Be still and know God

Not one thing that is going to happen today takes God by surprise. Whatever today holds, we know who holds us. Maybe it’s time to pull away from the activities for awhile and spend some time alone with God.

Getting still before God,

til next time

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March 19, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

huh?

Sometimes people do or say things that make me go “huh?” I’ve come to realize that there are people who speak out of their own pain, life experience, low self-worth and/or fear. And there are those who speak words of hurt because wounded people tend to hurt others. What do we do with this? How do we handle it?

There are times when something needs to be addressed and correction is in order but much of the time what is needed is huge dose of grace and love.

Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. (Matthew 7:14)

I have heard it said that we judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions. Let’s be people of grace.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Eph 4:2 (NIV)

Humble – recognizing my need for Christ in all areas of my life. (John 15:5)

Gentle – kind. A little kindness goes a long ways.

Be patient – do you find yourself getting irritated easily? It just may be that God is wanting to get your attention about that area in your life so that you will have freedom from the chains of frustration and irritation. Patience and self-control are part of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians.

Bearing with – hold up, support. … in love – there it is. What we all need, especially when we mess up, is people who truly love us to come along side us and hold us up. Let’s be that person today.

Loving Jesus, loving people,

til next time

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March 18, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 7 of 7

Today I want to look at Paul and Silas in Acts 16. A woman was following them shouting at them. I find it interesting that she was speaking the truth but in time it got on Paul’s nerves, so he addresses the spirit that was controlling the girl and cast it out.

Her owner seized Paul and Silas and brought them before the authorities. The crowd joined in the attack. They were stripped and beaten. Finally they were thrown into prison.

Now stop a moment and think of what you would be thinking if this had happened to you. ? It certainly seems like an unjust punishment. Sometimes in our lives we must endure what seems like an unjust set of circumstances.

What were Paul and Silas doing while they waited in the dungeon? Were they rehashing what had happened? Were they wallowing in self-pity? Were they letting anger control them?

v. 25 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

They were singing. At the midnight hour, God gave them a song in their heart to sing. At your midnight hour, God will give you a song too. Open your mouth and start singing.

While I’m waiting, I will praise You!

til next time

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March 17, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, 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

waiting 5 of 7

Waiting changes us. It is the only way I know to grow in patience and endurance. Don’t waste the waiting time tangled up in fear. Use this time to let your hope and faith rise up. God keeps His promises and one of them is that He is with us always.

What God does in us – in that long night of waiting – He wants to do through us.

Psalm 40 starts out with waiting on the Lord. God lifted him out of the pit. On the other side of waiting is a new song and blessing.

v.3-4 “He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.”

This new song in our heart isn’t just for us. While we are waiting, others are watching. They want to know that this Jesus thing is real. They are looking to see if we believe what we say. Others will see that new song in our heart and be drawn to Christ.

Psalm 37:3-7 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;

While I’m waiting, I will praise You, Lord!

til next time

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March 15, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 4 of 7

“Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Waiting patiently is not for the weak, but waiting will make the weak strong in Christ. We begin to recognize our strength when we truly are depending on Christ. Our courage comes from our relationship with Him. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. (Psalm 68:1)

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

God will come through. Though the night seems long, morning will come. He is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 40:1) In the light of eternity, it really isn’t as long as it seems. (2 Cor 4:17)

I am reminded of a powerful little chorus.
My soul waits for the Lord
in the hope of His promise
in the hope of His promise
my deliverance will come.
My soul waits for the Lord
through the night til the morning
like a nightwatchmen waiting
for the coming of the dawn. (taken from Psalm 130:6)

Trusting His timing,

til next time

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March 14, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 3 of 7

“Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69:1-2

Sometimes life can seem like I am treading water – in over my head – emotions shot – I am a mess and God is asking me to wait a bit longer. He asking me to keep trusting Him.

Maybe you can relate to David in verse 29 of Psalm 69
“But I am afflicted and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.” (NASB)

While we wait there are things we can and should do. Let’s look at the next verse. (30)

“I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Singing praises to God from a heart of thanksgiving is something we can do right now in this moment. It is not dependent on our circumstances. Giving God thanks is one way that we magnify Him. What you magnify will be the thing that dominates your thoughts.

Whatever it is that has you in a time of waiting, don’t waste that time. Dig deeper into God’s Word and lift your voice in praise. Casting Crowns has it right. “I will praise You in the storm.”

While I am waiting for the answer, for the solution, for direction, I will praise Him. What will you do?

til next time

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March 13, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 2 of 7

“O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help: … I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised..” Psalm 130:1,5 TLB

Sometimes the waiting is long because the work that is being done in me requires it. Waiting causes me to face my fears. Waiting helps me see my great need of Christ. I am nothing without Him. (John 15:5)

If I could have gotten myself out of the pit, I would have. My efforts alone bring about more frustration and misery. I learn the benefit of endurance while I wait. (Colossians 1:11)

Waiting expectantly….. We go from faith to faith, glory to glory, grace upon grace and strength upon strength. (Romans 1:17, John 1:16 2 Cor 3:18 Psalm 84:7)

I have come to see that waiting is truly a great gift God gives to me. (Isaiah 40:31) While I wait for the answer, the solution – my faith, hope and trust just grow deeper.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2)

til next time

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March 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 1st of 7

Waiting – it seems there are always areas in which I find myself waiting. Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad but other times the dark night seems to drag on and on.

Today is the 1st in a series of 7 posts on waiting.

When it seems I am waist deep in the pit of a bleak situation and I feel myself sinking in the mud – I have a few choices.
*I can become impatient and try to use my own strength to get out – to change things.
*I can wallow in the mud – giving in to self-pity.
*I can play the blame game.
All of these choices result in sinking deeper in the mud.

There is another choice. I can seek God for help. I can cast my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and take this time to go deeper in Christ. How? By reading His Word – I am grateful that each test of our faith is an open book test. Also we grow deeper by praying, taking time to listen, meditating, getting together with others at church to worship, pray, and hear God’s Word, listening to praise music – go ahead Sing!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, Psalm 40:1-4a NLT

I cry out to God. My faith knows He will help me.(Psalm 46:1) He will steady me. He will amaze. I trust God!

Using the waiting time to grow deeper in Christ.

til next time

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