Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

gratitude

I have been doing a gratitude journal for quite awhile now. It has impacted my life in a powerful way. It should come as no surprise that intentionally being thankful for little and big things would greatly impact a person life, but yet, I find myself amazed and surprised often at the difference it makes.

“always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”
Ephesians 5:20 (NASB)

“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess 5:18 (NASB)

Things I would have rushed by or overlooked, now make me smile and even more important than that – it makes me think of how much my Jesus loves me and cares.

How about if you stop right now and think of three things you are thankful for?

Here are the last 3 entries in my journal:
1808   pinkish, purple, blue color in the sky around the moon and clouds with darkness surrounding
1809   “Just so happens” encounter and hug from a dear friend i haven’t seen in ages
1810   coupon for biscuits and gravy

On the cover of my journal I have written:
“Making a big deal out of every little thing God does for me.”
That is so much better than making a big deal out of nothing or worrying about something that will likely never happen.

I choose to see the good, to be thankful and to ‘cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.’ (Curt Girod)

What do you choose?

psalm 19 1 a

Selah,

til next time

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November 23, 2017 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, life lessons, Woman Pastor, ministry | , , , , , | Leave a comment

lifetime

Recent events  have many pondering their own life and the time that they have — which is called our lifetime! We make decisions every day that impact our lives and those around us.  Only God knows how much time we have left.

Psalm 39:4-5 (NLT)

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”

Lifetime — what really matters?

Am I committed for a time or for my whole lifetime?

Is my worship of God evident in my life or just during public worship?

Do I pray only out of desperation or is prayer, like breathing, a necessary part of my life?

Do I serve out of obligation or out of willingness?

Do I obey or make excuses?

Do I love God with my whole heart or just moments here and there?

What about people? How do I treat those who rub me the wrong way? Do they know I love and care about them?

Lifetime — it is made up of little and big choices that we make each and every day.

verse 7 sums it up for me —

“And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.”

til next time

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November 22, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , | Leave a comment

which road?

Do you find yourself at a cross roads? Maybe it is job related. It could be options concerning health issues. As in this picture, maybe you have multiple choices. Which one?

 

 

crossroads

 

Proverbs reminds us to trust in God. Sometimes life just doesn’t make sense. Let your trust in God arise!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

God is able to do more than we can imagine. (Eph 3:20) A life that is committed to Him is able to recognize that even when things look bleak, God is up to something good. God is not limited by those obstacles that we tend to think limit us.

Obstacles are in fact opportunities for God to be glorified, to shine through us, and to help us grow in our faith.

Seek Him in all — there is that word again – all – all you do. It isn’t just the ‘big’ things that we are to seek His will in.

Maybe that is where the problem lies. Do we try to do the day to day things without His guidance? I am a firm believer that we have an enemy who is seeking to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) BUT we have a good Shepherd who has come to give us life and life abundantly!

God’s greater! He will show you which path to take.

Seek Him!

til next time

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November 14, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fear not

Over and over again it says in the Bible to not be afraid. Yet, it seems that fear is ready and willing to take up residence in our heart unless we choose to not let it. Making that choice is necessary.

When fear tries to overtake us, we can stop it by reminding ourselves of truth. God is for us and we have nothing to fear. (Romans 8:31, Psalm 56:11)

One of my favorite verses reminding me of why I need not fear is found in Isaiah 43:1

“But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.” (ESV)

God knows my name. He knows all about me. He has redeemed me. I am His! (You are His!)

Say it with me — I am His! ——Think about that for a moment.

I remember as a small child feeling safe and secure in my daddy’s arms. As children of God we are safe and secure in our heavenly Father’s arms. He is telling us do not fear! He is with us!

SAYING NO TO FEAR!

isaiah 41 10

til next time

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March 27, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i need to eat today!

I enjoy a good meal. In fact, I enjoy a mediocre meal. Last night, after all of the activities of the previous 24 hours were fulfilled, I sat down with a 32 ounce fountain Mt. Dew. It was the best Mt. Dew.

Now was it really?

At the time, it certainly seemed like it was.

For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17

However, what I ate and drank yesterday does not mean I do not want or need to eat and drink today. It is the same with God. Making right choices, walking in peace and joy with the Holy Spirit’s help is a daily thing.

You could sit down to the best meal ever but if there is conflict and strife, heartache and despair, or drama and criticism I do not think you would possible enjoy that meal. If,on the other hand, you cast all your cares on Jesus, (1 Peter 5:7) – trusting Him to make a way, (Isaiah 43:19) — and take up your shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) in the midst of whatever you face, then you can eat that meal in peace and joy.

Have you talked with God today?

til next time

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September 13, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

jumping out of trees

When our boys were little, we were given the book “Really important stuff my kids have taught me” by Cynthia Lewis. I ran across it recently. It is filled with some funny stuff.

Then I saw this page. There is nothing funny about fear.brave

Are you thirsty for adventure? Serving God is an amazing adventure. Sometimes He asks us to step out in faith. He takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we feel the stretch and a bit of fear tries to stop us.

God is for us. We do not need to fear. (Psalm 118:6) Yet, there are times when we must face down our fears. We know the truth and yet, sometimes we just have to move forward and do it afraid. Like the first time I climbed a tree – or recently when a precious boy was wanting to be like the big kids and go down a slide.

He was afraid. So, he reached for my hand and with eyes big, he started down. He did that a few more times, always grabbing my hand.

Remember, you are never alone (Deut 3:8) and God has your hand. (Psalm 73:23) God’s got this and you can do it!!

God is taking us on an adventure!

Jumping out of trees and not afraid of the dark,

til next time,

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September 10, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

learning to dance in the rain

I am not a fan of driving in rain. Lately I have had lots of practice. Last week there was such a downpour that I got off at the next exit just to get a break. The rain did let up only to start again after I got back on the highway.

I don’t mind if it is a gentle rain, but when it seems the heavens open and the floods are coming — well, I prefer not to be driving.

Life can be like that at times. It can seem to come at us fast and furious. We barely catch our breath and here comes more.

Once again, I am reminded that my attitude plays a huge role in how I handle the rain storms and the storms of life.

The Message Bible reminds us in James 1:2-4

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

So, when you feel life coming at you full speed ahead — look at your attitude – it may need adjusting.  We can learn to dance in the rain.  We can choose to focus on the good.  God is good!   And we can remember peace is available through Jesus.

 

dancing

Peace and joy go hand in hand.
Joy is peace dancing and Peace is joy resting!

til next time

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August 23, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

extraordinary

We can use ordinary everyday things for a greater purpose.

‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

Whatever you do………….. most of that will involve ordinary things.

Driving to work is a wonderful opportunity to talk with God about the day, the issues you are facing, and about the people you will come in contact with that day.

An ordinary task that used to wear me out was working in my kitchen.  Then I discovered the difference popping in a teaching CD makes. (I listen to Joyce Meyer) The kitchen is no longer an issue. Taking an ordinary thing but making it extraordinary. Win win!!

Stopping for a red light becomes a moment of solitude for me now.   When I find myself stopped I am reminded that red means Stop. Yellow means Breathe (actually take a deep breath) Green means Believe (redirect my thoughts to a promise from God.) It is a wonderful way to remember that God is greater and He is already working on whatever it is I am facing.

Going for walks is another ordinary task that can easily become a prayer walk. It is amazing how your neighborhood changes when you begin to pray for your neighbors.

What ordinary things do you turn into extraordinary?

learning to cultivate an awareness of His presence as I go through my day,

til next time

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August 18, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

power of thoughts

Have you given any thought to your thoughts lately?

butterfly 1

 

I realize that my first thoughts of the day can set in motion the start of a good day or a not so good day. I joke about waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but what I am really saying is I woke up with crabby thought and hung onto them. The only one that can change that is me.

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB

 

When I remind myself that Today is the day  God has made (Psalm 118:24) – He is for me (Psalm 118:6) – He will turn ashes into beauty and work things out for my good (Isaiah 61:3, Romans 8:28) – He is able and is an ever-present help in whatever I will face (Psalm 138:8, Psalm 46:1 – I am His (Solomon 2:16) – I can face today with courage and have nothing to fear because God is with me (Joshua 1:9, Psalm 56:4) – then my thoughts line up with God’s Word and I am ready to unwrap the gift that God has given me which is called Today!

Look how The Message Bible words 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

 

Enjoy today – it is a gift!

til next time

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August 16, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ugh!! why did i do that?

Today has been a hard day for me.  I resisted the temptation to drop everything and go back to bed.  Good first step.  I even managed to fulfill my duties as a chaplain at two different locations.  I, again, am very much aware that in my weakness, God is strong.  (2 Cor 12:9)   Yet, it has been a struggle all day to keep moving forward.

I don’t know what you are facing, or what might be trying to ruffle your peace, but for me I seemed to have hit a wall with all the health issues.   Frankly, I am tired of hurting.  I guess you could say I gave in this morning and took my focus off Jesus and on to the pain, the number of  health issues, and the upcoming doctor’s appointments that are in my future.

I am not done with my responsibilities for today, so I knew I had to do something.  What is it that I truly need at this moment?

Peace.

Yes, that’s it.  Peace!

Why did I do that?  Take my eyes off Christ and fixate on the pain. I know better and yet?

God offers to us peace. In the midst of whatever is going on we can turn to God, giving Him our hurts, confusion, stress, anxiety, struggle, pain… and receive from Him peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7)

“The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NASB)

If we could market peace, true inner peace, into a capsule form, we would make millions. I believe it would be the hottest selling item. There are just so many miserable, stressed out people in the world today. Sadly, Christians can fall into that trap as well – like I did today.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
“Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NASB)

The key to living a life of peace is to be steadfast, trusting that in any situation that arises, – yes, this includes health issues – God is in control and He is greater than whatever life throws at us. (1 John 4:4) It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fixate on the problem that our peace  goes right out the window.

Nothing takes God by surprise. (Psalm 139) He is not off on some vacation unaware of what you are facing. Instead, He is with you. (Matt 28:20) He will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for you. (Psalm 118:6) He is working all things out for good. (Romans 8:28) Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. (Jer 32:17, Luke 1:37)

Keep trusting – it isn’t over yet.

Thank You God for peace!

anxiety

til next time

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June 22, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment