Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

calm

“Peace, be still” — that is what Jesus said to the sea (Mark 4:39) and there was a great calm.

“Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Is the storm raging around you?

flower message

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

“Peace, be still.”

Pray with me — “Father God, speak peace, be still into my life today. It is You I trust. My life is in Your hands.”

til next time
https://youtu.be/3FrEmqyM4-k

STILL By Hillsong
Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still, know You are God [x2]

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February 7, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it is well

While visiting some dear friends, I had the privilege of singing with them Horatio Spafford’s song ‘It Is Well with My Soul.’   What made this extra special is the mom has dementia.  (I couldn’t help but think about my own mother and the songs we would sing.)   I placed the omnichord on her lap, and we began to sing. She joined in and her fingers began to play.   Moments before she had no clue what to do with this instrument. It was beautiful and a deep sense of the presence of God filled that room.
 
 
Once again this reminded me of the power of music. Not only does it seem we can memorize easier when it is put to music, but music stays with us when other things fade away.
it-is-well
 
This is a beautiful song and yet what led up to writing this song was one heartbreak after another. Horatio’s son died at age 2. The great Chicago fire destroyed him financially. Planning to travel to Europe, he sent his family on ahead. The ship sank. His four daughters died. Only his wife survived.
Imagine receiving a telegram that says “Saved alone.  What shall I do?”
It is said that as he traveled to bring his wife home, he wrote this song while his ship passed by the area where his daughters had died.
 
They went on to have three more children – a boy and two girls. His boy would die at age four from scarlet fever. As if this wasn’t enough, their church blamed them and said it was divine punishment. How very sad, but they didn’t quit. They ended up settling in Jerusalem and continued to help people.
 
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,  It is well, It is well with my soul.

“Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  Phil 4:5-7 The Message

 
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
til next time
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January 27, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not the same old same old

Eight years ago history was made. The first black president was sworn into office. Today history was made again. Donald Trump, who defied the odds against him, was sworn into office. Whatever you may think about President Donald Trump, he now holds the highest office in our country.

Listening to his inauguration speech,  it is clear that this is not a polished politician.  In fact, he takes a few shots at the political establishment.   A couple of things that stand out to me is his love for America and desire to bring about a positive change.

Whatever the future holds, today is what is before me. This is the day the Lord has made and I an choosing to rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) As for the future, I smile, knowing God is in control.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NASB)

There may be change in the air but, God changes not.

”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)

I appreciated Franklin Graham’s usage of 1 Timothy, his gospel presentation that he incorporated into his prayer and that he concluded in Jesus name. The Word went forth and it will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)

1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Join me in praying for President Trump and those in leadership of our great country.

til next time

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January 20, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

thirsty

God satisfies the thirsty!   Are you thirsty?  He fills the hungry. Are you hungry?

I am.  I am thirsty for more of God and less of me. (John 3:30) I need Him. On my own, I can surely make a huge mess of things in a quick hurry.

I am thirsty.  I need God.  I trust Him.  (Romans 15:13)

Have you taken time today to give God praise?

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

His fingerprints are everywhere.

In February of 2014 I started a gratitude journal. It is helping me to cultivate an awareness of the presence of God in my ordinary every day life.   (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp is a great book on this concept.)

Right now, in this moment, I am praising Him for loving me.  I just have to break out into song:   “He is a good good Father … and I am loved by Him…  He is perfect in all of His ways…

My heart cries out — thank You God!

til next time

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

a monkey?

“Hey, isn’t holding a monkey on your bucket list?” my husband asked me.

Yes, yes it is!

Here was a chance, possibly of a lifetime.

However, the lady informed me that this monkey, Lucian, did not really like women or children.

She was more than surprised that he took to me right away.   In fact, I am sure that I was given more time with him because I was very good for business.

Lucian started jabbering and had eye contact with me from the beginning.   He took a moment to pose for a picture. (3rd picture)   Then He decided to groom me.  (4th picture)  After that there were snuggles and of course more jabbering.  Finally, she told him it was time to go.

He grabbed on to my neck and hugged me tight.  He was having none of that.  He didn’t want to let go.  He did have a pretty good grip on me.   She had to pull out the big treat to get him to go back to her.

In the most unexpected places, at unexpected times, God smiles a blessing on us.  Holding a monkey is a small thing.  Yet, it was something I have always wanted to do.  I may have been hugged by a monkey but the whole process was a warm hug from God.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  Psalm 37:3-5 (NASB)

My first and foremost desire is for God’s will to be done in my life.  I think that is the primary application for these verses.  As we delight in the Lord our desires will be for His will to be done and for Him to be glorified in us and through us.  As we trust Him, commit our lives to Him, do good and strive to be faithful – God will do the rest.  God is good!  All the time!

Yet even as our earthly father wants to bless his kids in many ways.  God also looks for ways to bless us.  For me, this time it was holding a monkey.  What a blessing it was.

Now about that trip to Israel that’s also on my bucket list??  I’ll keep you posted.

til next time

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January 9, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. This means that He is my teacher and I want to be more like Him.
 
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)
 
I often do an inventory of my actions, words, and thoughts. Sometimes God shines a spotlight on a particular attitude or action. It is my desire that I not cause pain.  We, as Christians, are called to encourage one another – not tear down – certainly not cause pain.
 
Another scripture verse that challenges me to look at my life, behavior, and thoughts comes from Thessalonians.
 
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NASB)
Examine, hold fast to good, abstain from every form of evil.
Sometimes I like to read from multiply translations.
 
“but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.” (NLT)
Test, hold on to good, stay away from evil!
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  
Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (KJV)
Prove, hold fast to good, abstain from all appearance of evil.
So my life changing question today is am I holding fast to that which is good and abstaining from the very appearance of evil? Or do I readily come up with justification or excuses?
What about you? What does it mean to you to hold on to the good and avoid the appearance of evil?    Remember God is right there to help you.
 
More like Jesus, is my desire!
til next time
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January 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

battle

Looking back over 2016 I can see God’s fingerprints and I am in awe.   I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I do have a goal for my life.
My goal comes from John 3:3 (TLB)      13 words that have and are changing my life.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
 More of God and less of me – that’s my daily goal.  I am a work in progress and so are you.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
I am thirsty for God’s way of doing things. I want to do what pleases Him.  May He shine brightly through my life.  To God be the glory.
Today I want to remind you that it isn’t up to us to win the battle. It isn’t up to us to “make’ things happen. It isn’t up to us as to the outcome. The battle belongs to God.  We win because of Him.
It is up to us as to whether or not we trust God and are growing in godliness. It is up to us as to whether or not we follow God’s leading. God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. It is up to us to be faithful!
 
“and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chron 20:15
battle
God’s got this!!
til next time
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December 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

good wins

Good vs. evil.

Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.”  Psalm 34:14 (NASB)

Overcome evil with good.   (Romans 12:21)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11 (NASB)
 
There is a thief and he is out to destroy.   However,  Jesus came to give us life and not just an ok life but an abundant life.  Which voice are you listening to?  The thief or the shepherd. 
Obviously we should listen to the shepherd.   Faith come by hearing and hearing the Word of God.  (Romans 10:17)    When is the last time you picked up the Bible and read it?   Don’t stop there,  apply what you read to your day to day living.     As we continue to grow in godliness and our faith increases — we draw closer and closer to God.  (1 Tim 6:11,
Greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) We need not fear the thief.
 
Over and over and over again the Bible tells us to not fear. We are like sheep and Jesus is the good shepherd. He will take care of us. He is an ever-present help in whatever we are facing. (Psalm 46:1) He will make a way where there seems to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19) He is for us! (Psalm 118:6) He brings beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
I’ve read the end of the book and good wins!  God wins!  God is greater!
 
The Lord is my shepherd!  Psalm 23:1
til next time
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December 12, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rain, floods, winds

Rain
Floods
Winds
Is there a storm on your horizon?  Maybe you are right in the midst of a storm.
Sometimes life is stormy.
Life sometimes brings the  rain of troubles  knocking at my door, or the flood of overwhelming emotions rising up within me.   Sometimes the winds of destruction try to knock me down  or the rug is pulled out from under me slamming me against the wall.   There have been times when all three seem to be happening at once.  
Rain
Floods
Winds
Sometimes life is hard.
BUT God is with us.  (Matt 28:20)  He gives to us His strength.  (Isa 40:29)   He will make a way through each storm.  (Isa 43:19)
Matthew 7:24-25 (NASB)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”
In each situation (rain, flood, wind)  God  replaces despair with hope.(Psalm 43:5)   My faith  increases with each situation because my life is built upon the Solid Rock of Christ.  Whatever I face, I face it with God and in His strength.  My hope is in Him.
There is an old Imperial’s song that says:  “Let the wind blow, blow as hard as it can.  Upon the Solid Rock of God, I stand.”  https://youtu.be/6kl_vWYuFhQ
So whatever comes at me today, I know that God will be here. He will hold me up! He is my ever-present help in trouble. My hope is in Him!. (Isa 43:16, Matt 28:20, Psalm 63:8, Psalm 46:1)
 
Psalm 31:24 (NASB)
“Be strong and let your heart take courage,   All you who hope in the Lord.”
 
til next time
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November 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment