Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

opening the doors

We are opening Sunday and while I am excited about that, there is also a weight that comes with that decision. There are things that need to be done. Changes that will be implemented. It is one more unknown in this uncharted territory I find myself in.
 
Recently, I became aware that the weight was even heavier than I thought. Sometimes we carry around a heavy load that God does not intend for us to carry.
 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb12:1-2 ESV
 
I want to focus on laying aside every weight. (Certainly if there is sin that you know is standing in between you and God – get rid of it. Acknowledge it to God and ask Him to help you change. He will.)
 
Laying aside every weight — what is weighing you down? What is that heavy burden that is pressing on you?
 
Jesus has the answer.
 
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ” Matt 11:28 NLT
 
Take your burden to Jesus – trusting Him to work it out, to give you wisdom, to provide strength, to shower you with renewed hope.
 
Read the rest of Hebrews 12. It will encourage you!
 
Thank you Jesus for the rest you give. Today I choose to walk in Your unforced rhythms of grace. (Matt 11:28-30 MSG)
til next time
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May 12, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

plans change – God knows why

How was your day? Did it go as planned? How about your week?
 
Thursday is the end of our week. Friday is our Sabbath and then our week starts all over again on Saturday.
 
Usually on Thursdays I schedule low key things, work mostly from home and it is the one day I generally don’t have much interaction with people. This is intentional. I want lots of coffee and lots of Jesus time.
 
It is also usually the day that we will hold our Hour of Power once a month prayer meeting. It is by far one of the most powerful hours of my month and having it on Thursday works. We had it today.
 
This week has been one change after another in my schedule. Today I ended up putting on my chaplain hat and spent the afternoon loving on and listening to person after person. It was once again proof that God is strong in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:10)
 
“What is closest to your heart is what you will talk about. And if God is close to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.” A.W. Tozer
 
As I recorded my information for work, it became real apparent to me why my schedule had changed. I needed to be right where I was, listening and sharing about my Jesus.
 
Looking back over your day, what was on your mind? What did you talk about and share with others?
 
Tonight – it’s pizza and tv – actually probably pizza and a nap. Sigh 🙂 but very much a contented sigh.
 
aw tozer close
til next time
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February 20, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

don’t discount hope

Hope!
 
Hope is such a wonderful thing.
*First off, God is the God of hope.
 
 
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV
 
*Secondly, Christ in us is the hope of glory. Think about that for a moment. Christ in us.
 
Christ in us. Just repeating that makes my heart a little lighter.
 
“to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col 1:27 NIV
 
*Thirdly, we have hope in God. We can walk in the strength and courage He gives to us.
 
 
“O love the Lord, all you His godly ones!
The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.” Psalm 31:23-24 NASB
 
Hope!
Hope is such a wonderful thing. Thank you God for the hope that you bring into my life. Things change but You, Oh Lord, are the one constant in my life! (Hebrews 13:8)
 
til next time
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February 17, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

change -love it, hate it, ignore it, embrace it

Change — love it, hate it, ignore it, embrace it….. Life is filled with change.
“This one thing remains, Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.” Jesus Culture
 
 
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 ESV
 
“For I the Lord do not change…” Malachi 3:6
 
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 ESV
 
26 times in Psalm 136 it states “for his steadfast love endures forever.” One time per verse. Read it again – “His steadfast love endures forever.” It is not dependent on anything you do or don’t do. He loves you!
 
Whatever changes are up ahead, God’s steadfast love endures forever. He sees you. He loves you. He calls you His own. He is working ALL things out for your good. (Romans 8:28)
 
Some changes are easy to embrace and get excited over. Other changes, the desire to ignore and live in denial is prevalent. Some changes seem to have success written all over them. Other changes seem to have failure attached to them. (see https://ggirod.wordpress.com/2020/02/10/success-failure/ for more on success and failure)
 
Don’t let situations rob you of your hope and trust in God. He tells us what success truly is — being a good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25) Leave the results in His hands.
 
 
In closing – Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)
 
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
 
til next time
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February 12, 2020 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

disappointment

If you have been reading very many of my blogs, you know that I see God’s fingerprints in everything. I write about struggles and triumphs.
Today’s topic — disappointment.
 
How do you handle disappointment? Disappointment is a part of life. Plans change – of that we can be certain.
 
This morning I woke up at home. That was not the plan. We had planned a much needed night away — some shopping at my favorite store and a leisure (work free) Saturday.  That didn’t happen.
20190208_203605-COLLAGE
Two hours into our motel stay I found these.  I saw five crawling around.  That was five too many.
 
Other than being grossed out, (thankfully we didn’t find the bugs in the morning) I handled the return home like a champ. However, I woke this morning feeling the full weight of disappointment.
 
So I am giving you a glimpse into what I do when disappointment seeks to settle in to my heart.
 
2 Cor 1:3 tells us that God is the God of all comfort.
 
First step – look to Him.
“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2
 
I gave Him my disappointment. (1 Peter 1:5-6) When the change overwhelms me, I know that He hears my cry. (Psalm 61:1-2) As I wait on Him, His peace replaces the discouragement. (Phil 4:6-7)
 
I wait in His presence for however long that takes. I am determined to not let things dull my sparkle. When I try to rush this step, dullness sets in. (Good news — when this happens, God is greater and He will pick me up, dust me off and set my feet on higher ground. It’s just that the time wasted in dullness, is unnecessary.)
 
Second step – a look back at the week. Seeing God in my week always encourages me.
 
Here’s my glimpse back.
Meeting with ministers from Southeast section 🙂
Chaplain visits 😍
A friend’s father’s funeral 🙏
Witnessed the sentencing of Carter’s step-mom🤔
County is taking responsibility for the RR crossing, putting up a sign and will fix it in the future 🥰
Winter weather cancelled services 😞 but cooperated for the gathering of women ministry leaders 💃🤸❤️
Checked into motel 💕
Checked out of motel 🤢🐜
Woke up with both animals on the bed 😮❤️
IMG_20190209_065528248
 
Third step – gratitude.
As I look back over this list, my heart is filled with gratitude. 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (NIV) 1 Thes 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God will turn ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3) Make a way in the wilderness. (Deut 8:2) Take what is meant for evil and turn it into good. (Genesis 50:20) To God be the glory. (Psalm 57:11)
 
What a week! Plans change – that’s life. How you handle it – that’s you.
Choose today to allow God to help you handle it like a champ for we truly are victorious in Christ. (!Cor 15:57)
 
til next time
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February 9, 2019 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

fast forward and insert changing circumstances

There have been some changes in our home this week.  Two things you can count on – change and God.

There was a brief time in our married life when the only pets we had were fish.  At one point we thought about becoming fishless.  (I especially think that when it is time to clean the tank.)

Meet Jasmine

IMG_20160121_072333_095

When our youngest son moved out, he wasted no time in getting a puppy.  He now realizes why we would not let him or his brother get a puppy.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and Jazzy came to live with us.  We dog sat while he went off to college.  He has graduated and moved home to pay off some of that huge college debt.  Jazzy is very excited.

Meet Daisy May

IMG_20150913_212428_365

She loves to curl up on our bed.  She enjoys it even more now that we have added another dog to our house and only she is allowed in there.  (btw the crazy flower pillow was made by my grandmother who died in 1980)

When we got Daisy May, she was a free to good home, declawed,  and spayed  cat – everything on Curtis’ list of requirements.  She belongs to us.  Actually she is Curtis’ cat, no doubt about it.  He says it is because he feeds her.  However,  I wanted to give her away and he said no.

So my oldest son, not to be outdone by his brother, gets a puppy.   Being the good puppy grandmother that I am, he was only allowed in my house a couple of times.  There are reasons we didn’t want puppies.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and my son has to find a home for his dog.

Meet Killian

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I was dead set against adding Killian to our household – 2 big inside dogs??  Yet, this dog has seen my son through an extremely difficult time in his life.  He is part of our family.  How could I say no without seeing if the dogs would get along?

Would the dogs get along?

Fast forward and changing circumstances = the test.  Will they get along?  Killian is much bigger than Jasmine but Jazzy wasted no time letting  Killian know she is boss.

The test

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So we now have two large dogs and one very unhappy cat at our house.    It is a good thing that our cat is sneaky  and fast.

Both dogs are social and under my feet.  That will take some getting used to. Life is about how you deal with change.  I choose to see this as an adventure.

Two things you can count on — change and God.   When it comes to change, I remind myself that change does not take God by surprise.  Whatever comes my way,  I know that with God I can handle it and He will work all things out for my good.  (Romans 8:28)   God is an ever present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  God is a God of hope.  (Romans 15:13)  God’s love is unending.  (Eph 3:16-19)

til next time

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January 21, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

adjustments

This new chapter in my life will require some adjustments.

I was awake at 5:30 yesterday  morning.  No, my alarm did not go off.   My body is programmed to wake up early on Thursday because I open the office at 7:00.  Make that I used to open at 7:00!   Yes, this will take some adjustment.

I found myself rushing around picking up this and throwing laundry in the washer and then realized that I didn’t have to be any where until 12:30.   What a wonderful adjustment to make.

I have given lots of prayer and thought to what my new schedule will look like. What does it mean to finally place my focus on home and ministry?

One thing I know about myself is that I will have no problem filling up my schedule.  The possibility of being even more crazy busy, than I was as a bi-vocational minister, is very real.

I have no fear of laziness or boredom setting in.  That is just not how I am wired.   Knowing this about myself is why I am taking a couple of weeks to regroup and not adding anything to my schedule except study time and some much-needed house work.

swapping this office

swapping this office

for my new office

for my new office

what a great place to study -- my moon flowers make a beautiful wall

what a great place to study — my moon flowers make a beautiful wall

the flowers open up in the evening and close up during the day

the flowers open up in the evening and close up during the day

surrounded by beauty

view from my swing –  surrounded by beauty

as you can see the flowers are as tall as my clothes line pole

as you can see the flowers are as tall as my clothes line pole

 

Sure I have an office inside the house – two of them in fact.    I also have an office at the church that I will be using.  For the next couple weeks, though, my office will be the one pictured above.  One more adjustment that I am ready to make.

Of course there will be a financial adjustment to be made.  I am grateful for a husband who is a financial guru.  Long ago we made the decision to not buy on credit.  We live off of  a budget.  Most importantly, we depend on God to be our provider.  We are firm believers in the principle of tithing.  We trust that God will bless the remaining money (after tithes and offerings) and cause it to meet our needs and even some wants.  We are blessed!

Jeremiah 29:11-13  (NASB)

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Following God, no adjustment needed there.  I learned the truth of this scripture years ago.   His plan is so much greater than anything I could come up with.

The key is to follow God’s leading, to not let fear hinder you, to not be in bondage to needing answers to all the ‘what if’  questions,  and to let your faith rise up removing the doubt that would try to stop you.

God has a plan for you!

til next time

August 2, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

to go or not to go

Decision making

Some decisions are so easy it almost doesn’t feel like you have to make a decision.   Some decisions are aided by circumstances.  While these may not always be pleasant, they are not difficult to make.  Other decisions are made easy by thinking through the consequences of the decision.

I had to make a decision  yesterday that was much more difficult.

My mom’s birthday is today.   mom and me

Our bi-vocational lifestyle tends to have us taking it one day at a time.  This is a good thing, but it leaves little room for spontaneity.  We pretty much have to plan weeks ahead if we are going to be gone.

Earlier in the week I realized that we actually could arrange it so that we could  make the trip to spend my mom’s birthday with her today.  It is a 6 1/2  hour drive (maybe longer depending on how many stops) so we would get to the hotel sometime Friday, visit a bit with mom Friday night, then see her for about 5 -6  hours on Saturday before heading back home.

The problem?  When we make a trip to see mom we try to at least do a 2 night stay.  It is a costly trip (both financially and physically) so to do it in just an overnight is more difficult.   Driving home late Saturday night and then getting to the church at 8:00 Sunday morning is not a good combination.  We have learned this the hard way.

mom and IBut it is my mom’s birthday.  I miss my mom.

My mom has dementia.  She will know at the time that I am not there, but she won’t remember who was there later on tonight.  However, I will know.

Friday morning came.  Friday is our day off, our sabbath rest.  We guard it carefully as it is vital in being bi-vocational for the long haul.   Do we pack up and go?

Man, I hate hard decisions.

This is one of those times where I would like to know the future.  In going – how would that affect the coming week? I am already pushing the overload button.   But in not going, will I regret that?   Will mom lose more of her memory before I see her again?  Should I take this opportunity, at whatever cost, to see her again while she still remembers me?  In looking at the calendar it will be weeks, possibly months before we will have an opportunity to see her.  Ugh!!

After praying some more about it, I still didn’t sense a clear direction.   What I did sense was a lack of motivation so I made the decision to not go.   It  helped to know that there would be others there to celebrate with mom.   She would  spend her birthday with family.

I try to live my life in such a way as to not have regret.  Life is too short.

Happy Birthday Mom!  I hope to see you soon!

til next time

As I was finishing up this blog I heard Joyce Meyer say:

“We are anointed by the Holy Spirit for hard.”

Isn’t that the truth!!!

January 26, 2013 Posted by | dementia, ministry | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

timing

Back in the beginning of July my son and his wife started the process of purchasing their first home.  We are very excited as it is just a few blocks from us.  They closed on the house this past Wednesday.

They have their own ‘horror’ stories to share of yo-yo Dan the loan officer, but all things happen for a reason.  Timing is indeed God’s department.  This is a valuable lesson to learn.  Whatever we are facing, whatever the time frame, God is still the One we depend on.

This is the beginning of the end of a chapter in their life and the start of a new chapter.  You see for the last almost 10 months they have been living with us.  If you have read any of my other posts than you know that I love, love, love having my family home.

I was not a fan of empty nesting.  However, I know from experience that God has that all in control too.  Timing again is God’s department.

Change.

Seasons change — not just the weather but in our lives also.

Part of living a life to the fullest is learning how to handle change.  Part of successfully learning to handle change is understanding the truth that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8) He never changes. (Malachi 3:6 ” For I am the LORD, I change not;…”

He is the stability we have when the rest of the world is changing all around us.  He is our helper when we need to make changes in our behavior and our thinking.

Change.

It is a new day, a new opportunity to choose to really engage in life or to just go through the motions.  It is so easy for me to get wrapped up in all that needs to be done that I forget to fully enjoy this day that God has given to me.

Change.

Let there be change in me as I desire to be more and more like the One who gave His life for me.

til next time

October 26, 2012 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments