Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

rule follower / rule breaker?

Rules — Some people think rules don’t apply to them.  Some people are bent on being rule breakers.  Other people recognize the need for rules. 
There are rules to playing games, driving a car, sitting in a library, taking tests….. everywhere I look there are rules. Now when it comes to some things – playing dominoes for example, the rules may differ widely from one group to the next. So it is important to set the rules up before playing that first game.
 
rules
Some rules we can change. Other rules we cannot change. I can remember getting kicked out of the library as a teenager because I wasn’t following the rules. At the time I thought it was a stupid rule. (I was in a conference room designed to be a place to talk, so why couldn’t I talk?) Consequences can help us to abide by rules in the future. The librarian set and enforced the rules. I learned to abide by those rules.
 
Our country has many rules. Sadly, I don’t get to set the speed limit. I read where Montana, at one time, did not have a daytime speed limit. Just because I obey the speed limit doesn’t mean I don’t want to go fast. Obeying the laws – even the ‘stupid’ ones, unless it clearly goes against God’s Word (Acts 5:29) is what we are called to do. (Titus 3:1) It is a tall order, but God is right there ready to help us.
 
God also sets up some rules for living an abundant, fruitful life. When God says “thou shall or thou shall not,” He isn’t trying to cramp our style. Rather He is leading us down a path of peace, strength, joy, and victory. He has our best interests in mind. He is for us. (Psalm 118:6)
 
Thankfully God offers grace, mercy and forgiveness to us as we strive to follow Him. Applying God’s Word to our day-to-day living is a lifelong process.
 
Following Jesus!
til next time
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May 26, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

abundant life? for me?

How would you describe your life?  Are you in a rut?  Are you enjoying life.  On a scale of 1 – 10 where would you put abundant living?  Do you even know what abundant living looks like?

Jesus said in John 10:10  – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (KJV)

I want life more abundantly.  I believe there are many factors that are involved in living an abundant life.  First, and foremost, is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to God unless they go through Him.  (John 14:6)

Our relationship needs to be growing.  1 Thess 5 tells us  what God’s will is for us, in Christ Jesus.  We are to rejoice, pray and give thanks.  How are you doing on those three things?

We  grow by reading the Word and  hearing the Word preached but that isn’t enough.  We must  apply the Word to our lives.  If it doesn’t change us, then we can’t expect to walk in the abundant life.

1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14   “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” (MSG)

5 keys to living an abundant life
1. Keep your eyes open – watch – don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore what is going on around you
2. hold tight to your convictions – stand firm in your faith – don’t be wishy washy and when doubt comes at you, lift up your shield of faith
3. give it all you’ve got – be all in – 100% – be brave
4. be resolute – determined – strong – Joshua 1:9 tells us “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
5. love without stopping – walk in love – let all you do be love based – do unto others and you would want them to do to you. (Luke 6:31)

1 cor 16 13 14

I am going to work on these five things this week.  What about you?

Living the abundant life that Jesus came to give me!

til next time

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May 22, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

muck and mire

Recently I found myself asking God, “How long?”
 
Just when I thought it was over, there it was rearing its head again. I am grateful for the examples God gives us in His Word. I am grateful that when I turned to His Word today, God lead me to David.
 
You see David also asked ‘how long’ in Psalm 13. (There are other passages of scripture where this question is also brought up.)
 
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?…” (Psalm 13:1 NASB)
 
David is venting, but notice who he is venting to — God! Our complaints – our frustrations should drive us to our knees. If people vent to us, let us be careful to point them back to God.
 
How long? Long drawn out problems, health issues, trials can cause us to think it will never end. This can lead us into despair and rob us of our peace and joy.
 
I often tell people that it is perfectly ok to be honest with God about questions that we have or how we feel. God is bigger. Your thoughts are no surprise to Him. BUT don’t plant roots in the muck and mire of your troubles.   Don’t get stuck there.
 
David didn’t stay there.
 
“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (verses 5-6)
 
His prayer turned into praise. He started out sinking and ended up rejoicing. Again we see the power of praise. Singing praise tears down the walls of gloom and despair.
So today, I laid my questions before God.   I gave Him my fears and frustrations.  Then I turned my thoughts to how grateful I am that He is in control, He is at work – even when I don’t readily see it, and He is worthy of my devotion and trust.
I lifted my voice up in praise.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in YOU!!!

waters

til next time
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May 19, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace, mercy, love – i need these!

Mercy, grace, and love.   I desperately need these in my life.  I am grateful that God gives them to me.

My husband often says, “Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve.”

 

“God is sheer mercy and grace;

not easily angered, he’s rich in love…..

He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,

nor pay us back in full for our wrongs….

God’s love, though, is ever and always,

eternally present to all who fear him,…..” portions of  Psalm 103:8-14 The Message.

 

Go ahead and read the whole passage.  It is a great thing to meditate on.

 

Love – Trusting God’s love when my circumstances don’t make sense, when life seems to be out of control, when my heart is breaking, when the road ahead looks rough, when the urge to quit is strong, – trusting in His love calms my fears, increases my joy, renews my hope and strengthens my faith.

Trusting in His love helps me walk in obedience when my flesh wants its own way. Knowing He knows all about me, nothing is secret from Him (“He knows us inside and out,”) and still He loves me – that right there is enough for me to trust Him to work things out in ways that I may not even begin to comprehend.

God loves you! His mercy and grace are for you!

Mercy, grace, and love – thank you God!

til next time

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May 16, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

Life seems to be what happens while we are making all sorts of plans.  Good intentions don’t do us any good unless we follow through.

I want my life to make a difference.

psalm 34 14

Turn from evil.

Do we turn from evil or do we let it entertain us? The movie industry does a fine job of filming corruption, violence, greed, affairs, murders, sex……. we choose what we watch.

Do good.

Do is an action verb. Be intentional about doing good.

Seek peace.

When we feel ourselves getting worked up over something — remember we are offered peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Phil 4:6-7)

John 14:27 Jesus is telling us:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Pursue peace.

Going after peace is repeated. Personally I think that is because of the importance of having a peaceful state of mind. If we are upset, we are much more apt to worry, make bad choices, say things we regret, and/or focus inward taking our eyes off Jesus.

Turn from evil. Do good. Seek peace and pursue it. My prayer is that I will grow in my understanding and ability to apply these things to my life. What about you?

growing in faith!

til next time

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April 28, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s important?

God promises that when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8)

I have often said that we are as close to Jesus as we want to be. After all, everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. What do we do with that time?

For me, I have to be intentional or things seem to push aside the most important relationship I have.

 

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalms 27:7-8 NKJV

A number of years ago I was introduced to the song “I Miss My Time With You” by Larnell Harris. It has a rather strong message. Are we too busy? Are we too busy trying to serve Him that we neglect spending time with Him? I hope not.
https://youtu.be/_UpMedIINdg

Seeking His face,
til next time

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April 26, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , | Leave a comment

good night

A good reminder as I head off to bed.

If you should wake in the middle of the night — talk to God. He is awake. Pray for those that God brings to your mind and don’t worry about falling asleep in the middle of your prayer. I am sure it is ok with God.

grateful for the many ways God revealed Himself to me today,


he cares

til next time

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April 25, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , | Leave a comment

what did Jesus do?

If we are not mindful, we can get sucked into the hurry, hurry, schedule packed, pulled in many directions, life going round and round in circles leaving no room for the unexpected. Yet, the unexpected happens.

Jesus is leaving Jericho heading to Jerusalem. It is 17 miles. Before leaving he told his disciples what would take place there. (Death and Resurrection)

As he left Jericho, a great crowd follows him. Two blind men are sitting by the road. When they heard who was passing by they began to cry out to Him. The multitude tried to quiet them. They got all the louder. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David.”

What did Jesus do?
Matthew 20:32 -33 “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

V 32 He stood still, and called them – even though He was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing what was ahead – he stood still. He met them in that moment.

What Do We Do? Are we willing to stop, stand still and do good? Do we take time to help? Once you start to pay attention to the opportunities, you will find them everywhere.

finding the smooth rhythm of grace,
til next time,

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April 13, 2017 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor, ministry, pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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