Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

run? walk? weak?

My own strength is insufficient to deal with the many situations that I face. God never intended for you or me to operate out of our own strength. In fact, many times scripture reminds us that God is our refuge and our strength.

“He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak… But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:29, 31 TLB)

 

“The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:19 NASB)

 

There are times when God pours into us strength in abundance and we seem to run the race before us. (Hebrews 12:1) There are other times when God give us strength bit by bit so that we can walk in His statutes (Lev 26:3) and walk in love (Eph 5:2) leaning on Him every step of the way.

One thing is for certain, He will give us the strength we need when we need it. He is in control and He is for us. (Psalm 118:6)

So as you face situations that seem daunting, trials that seem to never end, heartache, or health issues remember where your strength comes from. Spend time today talking with God and casting your cares. (1 Peter 5:7)

In my weakness, He is strong!

til next time

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June 21, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trading

“He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”  This is the song my heart is singing today taken from Isaiah 61:2.   It speaks of the trade off we have when we choose Christ.

ashes to beauty
mourning to joy
heaviness to praise

Sure we can choose to hang on to our ashes, to stay stuck in sorrow and to be weighed down by heaviness, but why would we? I think, for many, they have lost sight of the truth. God is with us (Matthew 28:20) and will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16)

“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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB)

understand

Peace that goes beyond our understanding is ours if we but hold fast to God (weeping may endure for the night) and trust Him (joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5) Sometimes the night seems long and dark but Micah 7:8 tells us “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

 

til next time

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June 11, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

short cut?

Do you realize that you are as close to God as you choose to be?

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8 NASB

Wait on the Lord. (Psalm 27:4, 33:20, 37:7, 39:7,130:5-6…)

It seems people don’t like to wait for anything. Just let there be a problem at the check out and you can hear those waiting start to grumble, or the drive through isn’t fast enough, or the elevator door closes before you can hit the button, or the car ahead of you actually stopped for the yellow light. Doesn’t he know yellow means go faster? (groan)

Yet, if we truly want to grow in our relationship with God, it will take time.

Time in the Word. (Psalm119:11)
Time in prayer. (James 5:16)
Time being still. (Psalm 46:10)
Time with other believers. (Iron sharpens iron, gathering together – we need each other)

Time! There is no substitute fur time. There are no shortcuts to becoming a mature believer in Christ.

As we make time for God, a grateful heart that glorifies Him develops and deepens. We are changed from the inside out. Yes we choose how close of a relationship we we want with God.

God loves you and wants to be first in your life. That’s the best decision we will ever make.

May Your will be done God,

til next time,

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May 27, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment