Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

battle intensifies

Exodus 17 – The battle intensifies and I have a deeper understanding of the importance of Aaron and Hur as they held up Moses’ hands.

Moses sent Joshua and his men out to fight the warriors of Amalek.

11 “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” Exodus 17:11-13

Are you a Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, one of the soldiers or fighting against what God is doing?

Encouragement comes in many forms. Sadly so does discouragement. Let’s come along side each other and help!

I am grateful for the people in my life who pray for me, encourage me, come along side me, serve with me, hold my hands up…..we need each other.

til next time

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March 9, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

intentional

Our life as a Christian is not about what we can or cannot handle. Truth is, we can do nothing without Christ. (John 15:5).

Ephesians 6:13 tells us to prepare ourselves for battle.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation – aren’t just words we say but words we live out in our day to day lives. Remember your sword is the Word of God!

Be intentional about growing in godliness!

Selah,

til next time

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December 31, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

^thoughts ^

Are you feeling troubled tonight? Has your positive outlook taken a beating today?
Jesus tells us in John 14:1-3 (ESV)
 
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
 
My thoughts have turned to heaven tonight. Jesus has prepared a place for me, for you, but until we go there we’ve got heaven all around.
 
In the middle of the battle, Christ is my victory. In the middle of the struggle the important thing is that my feet, your feet, are firmly planted in Jesus.
 
All that would need to happen for me to be taken down is for me to give in to the unanswered questions, or to the doubt of ‘what now?’, or to give in to fear.
 
What is it for you? Health issues, finances, work, family, relationships, kids — oh, how hard it is to see your kids hurting and know that they have to work it out with God and you can’t fix it. Be careful, all of these things can aid in taking you down. In Christ we can rise above each situation that threatens to overtake us. Let not your heart be troubled. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Pray! Pray! and Pray some more! Communication with the Father changes us, encourages us, and keeps us close to Him.
 
I’ve got heaven all around me, nothings gonna take me down because I am keeping my eyes on Jesus!
 
Selah,
til next time
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December 29, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

but as for me…..

“But as for me…”
This is a phrase that is repeated often in the Bible. It is my battle cry.

In a world where sin abounds – what we do matters. We are all broken – just in different ways. Being broken isn’t the end. What we do with our brokenness is the point.

We can allow our brokenness to turn into judgment, self-righteousness, bitterness… Or we can turn to God and allow Him to mend our brokenness with His peace, joy, love… We can choose to let God shine through our brokenness.

But as for me – I need You, God
But as for me – You are my provider
But as for me – I will not fear
But as for me – You are my strength
But as for me – I trust You
But as for me – You are my shield
But as for me – I choose joy
But as for me – You give me life
But as for me – I will praise You
But as for me – You are in control
But as for me – I want to be more like You
But as for me – use my brokenness for Your glory

What about you? What is your battle cry?

psalm 71 14

Selah,

til next time

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December 8, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

whatever

TODAY!!!
Whatever comes my way today – God is with me.

Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

He calls me to trust Him – to let my faith arise.

battle

“By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen. ” Hebrews 11:3 (TLB)

After all, God created the heavens and the earth, He holds it all together, He has me engraved on the palm of His hand. AND that battle I am in, well, I won’t forget that it is His battle and I are His. (Gen 1:1, Col 1:17, Isaiah 49:16, 2 Chron 20:15, Psalm 110:3)

Whatever it is that is coming at us – God is greater!

Say this with me:

–That person that is trying to make my life difficult — God says that Vengeance is His – He will repay. (Romans 12:19)

–The health issues that I face — God says to trust Him. He is my healer and His grace is sufficient.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, Exodus 15:26, 2 Cor 12:9)

–That job related issue that is bringing me stress – God says to cast my cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:7)

–That thing that is trying to bring anxiety – God says His comforts gives me renewed hope. (Psalm 94:19)

—-When my paycheck is reduced, I trust God — God says He is my provider. I will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10)

“Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:2-4 (NLT)

til next time

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November 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

this battle isn’t mine

Whatever comes our way today – God is with us.

Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.
He calls us to trust Him – to let our faith arise.
“By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen. ” Hebrews 11:3 (TLB)
God created the heavens and the earth, He holds it all together, He has us engraved on the palm of His hand, AND that battle we are in, well, don’t forget that it is His battle and we are His! (Gen 1:1, Col 1:17, Isaiah 49:16, 2 Chron 20:15, Psalm 110:3)

Whatever it is that is coming at us – God is greater!

Say this with me:
–That person that is trying to make my life difficult — God says that Vengeance is His – He will repay.                            (Romans 12:19)

–The health issues that I face — God says to trust Him. He is my healer and His grace is sufficient.”                           (Proverbs 3:5-6, Exodus 15:26, 2 Cor 12:9)

–That job related issue that is bringing me stress – God says to cast my cares on Him.                                                        (1 Peter 5:7)

–That thing that is trying to bring anxiety – God says His comforts gives me renewed hope.                                     (Psalm 94:19)

–When my paycheck is reduced, I trust God  — God says He is my provider.  I will lack no good thing.                                  (Psalm 34:10)

I Trust God!
battle
“Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:2-4 (NLT)
Selah,
til next time
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September 29, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

battle

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
battle
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

sadness

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

i.woke.up.this.morning

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?

Perspective.

I.woke.up.this.morning.

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.

Perspective.

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