Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.


Looking back over 2016 I can see God’s fingerprints and I am in awe.   I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I do have a goal for my life.
My goal comes from John 3:3 (TLB)      13 words that have and are changing my life.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
 More of God and less of me – that’s my daily goal.  I am a work in progress and so are you.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
I am thirsty for God’s way of doing things. I want to do what pleases Him.  May He shine brightly through my life.  To God be the glory.
Today I want to remind you that it isn’t up to us to win the battle. It isn’t up to us to “make’ things happen. It isn’t up to us as to the outcome. The battle belongs to God.  We win because of Him.
It is up to us as to whether or not we trust God and are growing in godliness. It is up to us as to whether or not we follow God’s leading. God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. It is up to us to be faithful!
“and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chron 20:15
God’s got this!!
til next time
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December 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | 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


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


My heart aches this morning.  “9/11 – we will not forget” is posted all over Facebook. And yet, what have we learned?

14 years later and we have riots, looting, and killings  coming from within our own country.  People are angry and others are fueling that anger. Personal responsibility seems to be thrown out the window.  People are trampling on our flag.  Disrespect for people and our country seems to be accepted and even praised by some.

Lord, have mercy!!

A drunk driver gets behind the wheel and kills three people.  Something he will have to live with for the rest of his life.    But the pain that family and friends will  deal with, as their loved ones aren’t coming home, can seem almost unbearable.

Lord, bring Your comfort!!

A son, for reasons we may never know, decides to end his life.  Sadly hopelessness must have silenced all the reasons to live.   Now a family grieves and must learn how to go on without him. Never to be the same again. Such anguish.

Lord, pour Your peace into their hearts, silencing the ” I should have…”  And wrap them in Your embrace.

When you don’t know what to say – just say “Jesus!!”  There is power in the name, the name of Jesus.  If the words won’t come and you don’t know what to say, just say Jesus!

I have been saying that a lot lately.  And you know what? There is a peace that comes over me when I call on Him. I don’t have to have the right words. I don’t have to have any words and sometimes there just aren’t any.

I just say Jesus!

In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through. The dark of night will not overtake me. I am pressing in to You. Lord,  You fight my every battle. I will not fear. . I am not alone.”

If you are facing sorrow/sadness know that Jesus is there for you. He is an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) You are not alone!!

There is hope.

til next time

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September 11, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


This morning I turned on the tv in hopes of getting a little more sleep.  I just wasn’t ready to try to get out of bed. The ringing in my ears is most annoying first thing in the morning.  The tv helps.

This morning was different.

What??  What did they just say?  Where’s that remote?  Rewind.

Nine killed last night in a church in South Carolina?

Only moments before I was wondering if I would be able to walk this morning, if I would need to go get x-rays, if I had re-injured my elbow, how much damage was done to my neck,  and how long before I would not feel like a truck had run over me?



That’s right.  I woke up this morning and so did you since you are reading this.

My heart goes out to the families of those nine people and to all those who witnessed this horrendous act of violence.  There just are no words.  I am so glad that God can read my heart because I don’t even know how to pray about this.  My heart is grieved.

I, too, was at a Bible Study last night.  The spiritual battle that is raging was made very evident to me before Bible study.

Here is what happened.

I was up at the church 1 1/2 hours before practice doing the usual stuff when I fell on the platform landing hard on my left knee and both wrists.  I then proceeded to fall off the platform (18 inches or so) landing on my back.   My first thought was ‘my phone is on the piano (that is where I put it when I am playing) and there is no way I can get to it.’  Then I reached for my pocket and it ‘just so happened’ that I hadn’t taken it out yet.  Thank you God!!!

I called my husband.  No answer.  I called the house phone and left what I am sure was a rather panicked message.  I did tell him “I have fallen” and even though my mind immediately went to ‘and I can’t get up” and even though that was true, I did not say it. Only later was I able to see the humor in all of this.  I am sure it would have won America’s funniest home videos if only someone had recorded it.  No, I am not going to repeat it for any amount of money.

Fast forward — Curtis and Andrew show up.  There I was on the floor just like those commercials.

Curtis did not like the angle of my foot.  He wanted to call the ambulance.  I would have none of that.  I don’t know how many times I had him pray for me.    What I know is that I was eventually able to move my leg a little by little and the angle of my foot was better.

Chris showed up and we had a family moment.  I have a three great men in my life!!

Here is why I wouldn’t go to the ER.  I just knew it was a spiritual attack.  Yes, I had physical issues but there was so much more going on.

I am not one of those die-hard leaders that says practice must go on.  I have been known to cancel practice.  BUT this week I was doing a new thing.  Three additional singers were joining the team to do a 6 solo special for Father’s day.  Without this practice that song wouldn’t happen.  I am confident that the song idea came from God and I was just as confident that the enemy of my soul wanted to take me out.  Just as in Job, he could only go so far.  By the way, my right leg is the leg I need for the piano.

Andrew and Curtis got me up and to the piano where I remained until after prayer time was over in Bible study.

The special?  It was all I envisioned and more.  POWERFUL!!!

So this morning I woke up.   I can move.  I can walk.  I can even walk without the assistance of the cane I used last night.   I have pain but pain does make me know that I am most certainly alive.


Again my heart grieves for all those who lost people they loved.  May God pour His comfort, peace and assurance into their hearts.

Evil is running rampant.  There is a spiritual battle raging.  The enemy knows his time is short.  He is seeking to devour, steal, kill, and destroy.  (1Peter 5:8,  John 10:10)

Jesus came so we would have life and have it abundantly.  (John 10:10) God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)   Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.  (Psalm 68:1)

Let’s go out and make today count.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

til next time


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June 18, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


  “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”    Plato  

Every where I look there are people facing mountains.  Some of them are really huge.  Others may not seem huge to me, but then again I am not facing that particular thing, nor do I have all the details.  Sometimes it is the combination of a million little things that pushes us to the edge. 

 “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5)   Oh, but sometimes it seems as if the ‘morning’ is never going to get here.   

How long?      

I feel Your presence
yet the storm roars.
I think I’m ok …
only to plunge once more.
In my head
I know You are there.
In my heart
I know You care.
How much longer though,
will this go on?
When will the night end?
Where is the dawn?
While the storm rages
To You O Lord I cling.
The morning IS coming
when again my heart will sing.
I continue to trust Your Word.
You are working things out.
You are in control,
of this there is no doubt.

Have you noticed that there are a number of songs out now that deal with facing hard trials?   I love this one by Mark Schultz.  Here is just a portion of it 

Love has come

I know this life is filled with sorrow.  And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts.  But I know there will come a day when all my tears are washed away. With a break in the clouds and His glory coming down.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that God is love and love has come for us all.  Every heart set free, everyone will see that God is love and love has come for us all. 

  Or this one by Casting Crowns “Praise You in this storm.”    

I was sure  by now that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away.  Stepped in to save the day.  But once again I say Amen and it’s still raining. ….  I praise You in this storm.   I will lift hands, You are who You are, no matter where I am.  Every tear I cry, You hold in Your hand.  You never left my side and though my heart is torn  –I will praise You in this storm.   

I find myself  ‘waiting’.  Waiting for:   the storm to end, the rain to stop, the  emotional roller coaster of perimenopause to cease, life to slow down, problems to disappear, pain to be gone,  a day when all goes right (had to throw that one in),  and on and on it goes.  Yet life is messy and complicated — always has been and always will be.   Somewhere along the way I forgot a key element.   

In acceptance lieth peace. 

My life is in the hands of the Almighty God, the creator of the universe.  If He allows it then there is a reason – I may never know what that is but truly that is not important.  God is in control.  I am not.

So for today I am going to practice acceptance of what comes my way with expectation that God has a plan and He will work things out His way.

til next time




July 19, 2010 Posted by | life lessons, perimenopause, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

how do you define life?

Life – it is that thing that happens while one is making other plans. 

Life – I’ve heard some refer to it as “Same thing – different day.”

As I was  walking on the treadmill this morning (yes it is more than a clothes hamper) I was reflecting on my life.  10 years ago when there was all the hupla about Y2K (which was something neither Curt nor I got all jazzed up about – as whatever was to happen God was still going to be God – and fear was not from God) I remember thinking ‘what will this next 10 years look like?  How will it play out in my life?’ 

Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.  Plato  

2009 was a year of learning.  Learning how to deal with death, learning how to deal with my mother’s diagnosis, learning how to deal with empty nesting (my head and my heart have finally come to an amiable understanding) learning how to adjust to financial issues,  learning how to die to self, learning how to do more than just survive.  (Truth be told, most of that was re-learning at a deeper level)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you;  Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going -to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering.  Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.   Instead, fix your attention on God.  You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Readily recognize what He wants for you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well formed maturity in you. ( Romans 12:1-2 The Message)

Life – here’s my definition for 2010.  Living Intentionally, Fully Enjoying!!

Living Intentionally– embracing life — each day seeing the Hand of God.

Fully Enjoying – starting each new day with the intent to enjoy.  Sure there will be unpleasant things, situations that will require effort on my part to remain positive, and there will be people bent on making everyone around them miserable.  Yet, I have a choice.  There is always a choice.

God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake.  It’s what God does with your life as He sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy.  Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ.  Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone; pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.  So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other.  Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault.       ( 1 Cor. 1:27-31 The Message)

til next time

January 9, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

food issues – gluttony??

Many people made resolutions concerning food.  By now many of those resolutions are broken.  How do I know this??  I used to be one of those people that made resolutions.  I was going to eat healthy, lose 20 pounds, get in shape etc.  Like one day is going to make this huge difference. 

It’s like a diet can’t start until Monday (or whatever day you have stuck in your head).  Therefore if it is Wednesday and I am even considering a diet, well it can’t start til Monday so that means I have a few days to really eat.  The logic behind that is that when I step on the scale it will  be a bit heavier from those extra days of eating and so I will see a nice drop that first week.  Sounds absolutely crazy when you put it on paper.  However, I have talked with lots of women and this is a common line of thought.

Is it any wonder that when I even think about dieting I gain 5 pounds. 

Curt is a weight issue guru.  In fact when his cholesterol was getting a bit too high and medications was advised – he told the doctor he wanted to try to handle it with diet.  He became known as the shrinking man.  He lost 40 pounds, which put him lower than when we got married.  *heavy sigh – what I wouldn’t give to be there – more on that later*

When Curt went back to the doctor, the nurse told him that the medicine was working.  He informed her he wasn’t taking medicine.  Surprised??  Yes, she was.   The doctor had him come back every three months because he didn’t believe it would last.  Why??  Maybe because we live in a yo-yo dieting  society.  (He now goes back every six months)

I’ve been thinking a lot about gluttony.   I’m getting a little  big for my fishbowl.  Buying a new tank (or the next higher size of pants) is just not an option I am going with.  

The Bible says that gluttony is a sin.   What is gluttony?   One thing it is not and that is – it is not talked about much in the christian community.    

I do think that the meaning of gluttony gets a bit confused.

 New Year’s eve and New Years day I was at two different parties.  There was a ton of food.   Did I eat more than I should – absolutely.  Was it wonderful – mmmm good.  I don’t think that is what the Bible is talking about when it talks about gluttony.  After all feasts were a part of  the traditions/religion.  Celebrations were a time of feasting.

Here’s my take on it – would love feedback.    

Glutton- one who eats to excess

The problem comes in when everyday becomes a feast day.   Curt has told me over and over that the way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you burn.  Gluttony then would be to regularly consume more calories than your body needs to operate efficiently.   For each person that amount will be different.

“What I wouldn’t give to be there” – getting back to that statement.   It is so easy to say that.  Starting a diet can be fun – for the first few days.  However, it takes discipline and ‘won’t power’.  I won’t eat just because I am bored.  I won’t eat just because I am sad.  I won’t eat just because I want to.  It isn’t called comfort food for no reason.

So it is 2009 and I am still battling this food issue.   I am putting this scripture around my house (click here for more on notes)  Psalm 119:133 “Establish my footsteps in Thy word and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.” 

Lord I believe

yet here I go

struggling and wrestling

to live what I know.

Waves crashing …

one on top of another.

At times I think,

‘why do I even bother?’

Then I remember…

all that You have done

and Ill continue

‘til the battle is won!

The key is to not give up.  

til next time

January 3, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, weight loss | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments