Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

communication

My heart is breaking for our country. Right now I feel inadequate to speak more on it. Please continue to pray for our fractured country.   So today’s devotional will be on a topic near to my heart.
 
Working as a Chaplain I get to see the culmination of a lifetime of choices people make. Before we even talk about anything deep, I see signs of whether they are a person of thankfulness, a person who cares or one that has harbored bitterness and resentment. It is there for all to see. Bitterness displays itself in many ways, some of which are cantankerous, a know it all attitude, anger, blame, distortion, name calling and/or self loathing.
 
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:19-22 ESV
james 1 19
How can we help those who are bitter? Be quick to listen. Sometimes people are more concerned about what they have to say and are waiting for an opportunity to speak instead of listening to what is being said. We can all grow in our ability to listen.
 
Be slow to speak. Think about what it is you are wanting to get across. Speak truth even if it is unpopular. However, this is not an invitation to be rude. (Eph 4:15)
 
Having a conversation with an angry resentful person is a challenge to say the least. Angry people seem to love to stir the pot. Be slow to get angry. This is something that most of us have room for growth. Replying in anger is bait the enemy uses to steal your peace. Don’t take the bait.
 
There’s so much more, but let’s work on being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
 
Father, I do not want to be a resentful person so I choose today to forgive and walk in love.
til next time
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June 3, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

choose to make the most of it

christmas

This year I put up less than ¼ of my Christmas decorations. I didn’t make a single Christmas treat. (That has not happened since I started baking with my mom as a young child.) There were no Christmas rehearsals at church this year – no choir – no production. I even missed one Wednesday night Bible study.  I hear Fred showed up.  Maybe I will meet him one day.

However, what I have not missed is the joy that this season is all about. I have spent much time with a cup of coffee and the Christmas lights twinkling in the background as I meditated on how much Jesus loves me.  His grace is enough.

Whether my healing comes this side of heaven or it doesn’t, whether circumstances change or they don’t – the fact that God loves me, truly loves me is enough. There is so much to be thankful for and I hate it when I waste moments with a negative attitude.

My prayer is that God get the glory. No matter what is going on, may God be praised in how I handle it.

I’m gonna fight the good fight of faith. I am not going to let health issues or circumstances define me or stop me.  My God is greater. (1 John 4:4) My God is able. (Psalm 138:8) His grace is enough. (2 Cor 12:9) To God be the glory. (1 Cor 10:31)

This Christmas season is a little different in our household in the sense of festivities.  We are grateful for Chris, Kim and Carter spending it with us.  We miss Andrew and Lisa as they are celebrating with her family.   I’m heading to our Christmas morning service where we will celebrate with our church family.  We are blessed.

In what is truly important – we’ve nailed that!   It’s all about loving Jesus and loving people.

christmas quote

til next time

 

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December 25, 2019 Posted by | life lessons, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

yes, you have a choice

We (my husband and I) are four weeks into post-op.  To say it has been a challenge is an understatement.  Neither of us had any real idea of what to expect.  Oh, I had expectations alright.  Reality is nothing like my expectations.

Looking back over the past four weeks, there is one thing that keeps popping up. I would find myself overwhelmed and God would lovingly, ever so gently pick me up and calm my anxiety. (This was very evident when I was driving in the foothills of Tennessee – on back roads that were narrow and not marked.)

I had a choice. We always have a choice.

I could wallow in self-pity. I could embrace the anxiety and carry it with me like a blanket. I could give in, clinch my fists and shut down. OR I could cry out to God. I could choose to believe what I know to be true and not what I was currently ‘feeling.” I could, with open arms, receive God’s grace and strength for each moment.

Psalm 61:1-4 NLT
“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!”

What are you facing today? What ‘enemies’ are trying to overtake you today? (Fear? Doubt? Frustration? Financial? Relationships? Work? School?…)

Will you choose to receive from God the strength and grace that He offers? Will you choose to trust Him today?

God is for you, with you, and making a way. (Psalm 118:6, Matt 28:20, Isaiah 43:19)

Til next time

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October 29, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a new day

A new day dawns. What will it hold?
 
I choose. I choose whether I will look for the good or fixate on the not so good. I choose if I will spend time at the feet of Jesus. I choose how I will handle the things that come my way. Will I trust God? Will I allow frustration to reign? Oh, life goes so much better when I let God reign.
 
I remind myself at the start of this day that God is in control. Whatever comes my way, He is with me. (Matt 28:20) He is for me. (Psalm 118:6) He is working all things out for my good. (Romans 8:28) His grace is enough to see me through. (2 Cor 12:9) He will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16) He is an ever present help in whatever circumstance I find myself in. (Palms 46:1)
 
Remember, you are as close to God as you choose to be. Spend some time with Him today. It is the best choice you will make.
 
 
til next time
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August 20, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

choose

Do you believe in God? Who do you say Jesus is?
If you answer yes I believe in God and Jesus is the Son of God who died for my sins – isn’t that enough? Can I do what I want – when I want – how I want?
 
Jesus tells us in Luke (9:23-24 ESV)
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
 
The Bible has much to say about how we live. It matters. It isn’t just enough to believe there is a God. Even demons believe that. (James 2:19)
 
God wants so much more for us. He sent His Son to pay the price we couldn’t pay. God wants a relationship with us. He has made that possible through Jesus.
 
We are as close to God as we choose to be.
 
I encourage you to make time today to connect with God.
 
Spend time in His Word – asking Him to give you understanding as you read.
“I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:15-16 NKJV
 
Spend time in prayer —
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Phil 4:6 NLT
 
“Cultivate an awareness of the presence of God” Curtis Girod
 
starting my day with God makes a huge difference in how the rest of my day goes,
til next time,
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June 10, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cross, nails, will

What does it mean to you when Jesus says to take up your cross? To follow Him?
 
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
 
How do we live out Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
 
We live in a world that seems to center around “me, me, me” and how everything affects me. Christianity sets us apart from that line of thinking. Jesus sets the example when He prayed in the garden – “Not my will but yours be done.”
 
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…… Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?……. Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” portions of Matthew 6:25-33 ESV
 
God first!
til next time
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March 27, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

character counts

We may or may not have control over what happens to us. Sometimes we do make a bad choice and then deal with the consequences. Often, though, things happen that are out of our control.
How we handle those things is a reflection of who we are. If you are finding yourself frustrated and operating out of that frustration, it is time to STOP.
S – stop for a moment and take a deep breath
T – tell yourself something truthful and positive
O – offer up gratitude for something
P – pause for a moment of prayer
It is good to remind ourselves that God is for us, with us and at work in us. He sees the whole picture from beginning to end. We can trust His heart. He loves us.
character 1
til next time
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March 9, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife | , , , , , | Leave a comment

eating alone

There was a time in my life where I absolutely would not eat alone in a restaurant. Then  my job ended up with a  45 minute drive to my next location.  Lunch time was right in the middle. Sure I could pick up something and eat on the road but I really just wanted to sit somewhere for a bit and recharge.

It wasn’t long and I realized that I had been limiting my availability to God. While I thought lunch would be a recharging time, God chose something else. I have my own little Cheers thing going on – except that it isn’t a bar, but they know my name.

 

“Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.” Colossians 4:5-7 (TLB)

Recently a new woman came over to my table and before I knew it, she was spilling her life story. Oh, what a story it was.
I made the most of that opportunity and shared Jesus with her.

Have you made some decisions that limit how or when God can use you? It isn’t necessarily easy to step out and be available but it does get easier the more I do it.

Use wisdom and make the most of your opportunities to tell others about the hope that you have in Christ. Use your words to extend grace to those you talk with. Allow God to use you and He will.

Selah,

til next time

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February 23, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

don’t wait — start today…..

  • Today:
  • Make the choice to believe God
  • to stand on His Word
  • to apply that Word to your life.

“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Choose joy! Choose peace! When we decide that our joy and peace are not dependent on our circumstances but instead upon God and what He says — what a difference that makes.

Don’t wait until you ‘feel’ like being glad. Chances are you will keep looking at your circumstances and sometimes there isn’t anything glad about them.

But God!

But God is greater than your circumstances. But God is for you. But God is with you. But God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

You can choose to be glad because you know what God’s Word says. He is who He says He is.

Awhile back I was walking in the woods and the trees were swaying and the leaves were rustling. It was beautiful. The trees were doing exactly what they were created to do.

What about you? Are you doing what you were created to do?

 

isai 55 12

  • Today is a new day:
  • Choose to say Yes to God!
  • Choose Joy!
  • Choose Peace!
  • Choose Love!
  • Choose God!

til next time

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January 22, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

room for growth

Does it matter how we live?

1 thess 5

1 Thess 5 addresses how God wants us to live:

Get along (Do you play well with others?)

Do your part (Are you a giver?)

Encourage (Are your words bringing life or death to the ears of those who hear?)

Reach out (Look beyond your own issues and help)

Be patient (Are you easily annoyed? Ask God to help you grow)

Be attentive (Another call to action beyond your own issues)

Be careful (Know what triggers you – when I am overly tired or extremely hungry – my tendency to snap is greatly increased)

Look for the best (Do you fixate on the negative? Stop that!)

Bring out the best (You can help others to shine or by your words and actions you can influence others to snap — What are you choosing?)

Be cheerful (I am a firm believer that when I make a choice to be cheerful (to count it all joy) remembering that God is still God and He is with me and for me — my ‘feelings’ catch up to my decisions — go ahead, try it)

Pray (Decide that prayer will be your first response from now on)

Be thankful (Are you grateful? Throughout the day offer thanks to God)

I recognize need for growth in my own life. What about you?

Let’s grow deeper!

til next time

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January 10, 2018 Posted by | pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment