Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

faith or fear – you decide

Fear cripples faith, but faith overcomes fear!

I needed to be reminded this morning that I have nothing to fear. I know some of what today holds, but more importantly I know who holds me today.

Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Over and over the Bible says fear not, do not be dismayed, do not be anxious, trust God, be strong and courageous, God is with us, our hope is in Him!

Fear is controlling. It limits what a person does. Fear will also cause some people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person. This is not beneficial.

Bad decisions are often the result of fear. Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship with God and with others.

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone. I have come to realize that a ‘comfort zone’ is a great way to avoid embracing life. Thankfully God is always nudging me to step out in faith. Oh what an adventure it is!!

For today I remind myself of what Psalm 112:7-8 says

“They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.” (NIV)

Whatever you are facing today – remember you are not alone. Truly God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) You are His and You are safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25) He is with you, for you, and loves you.

Today trust God, let your faith rise up, and hold fast to the knowledge that God is able to help you handle anything that comes your way.

til next time

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

which one are you?

Are you a Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, one of the soldiers or fighting against what God is doing?

Exodus 17 – The battle intensifies and I have a deeper understanding of the importance of Aaron and Hur as they held up Moses’ hands.

Moses sent Joshua and his men out to fight the warriors of Amalek.

11 “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” Exodus 17:11-13

Are you a Moses, Aaron, Hur, Joshua, one of the soldiers or fighting against what God is doing?

Encouragement comes in many forms. Sadly so does discouragement. Let’s come along side each other and help!

I am grateful for the people in my life who pray for me, encourage me, come along side me, serve with me, hold my hands up…..we need each other.

til next time

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October 15, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

each room of my heart

When I invited Jesus into my life, I thought He was going to put up some wallpaper and hang a few pictures. But He started knocking out walls and adding rooms. I said I was expecting a nice cottage but He said I’m making a palace in which to live.” C.S. Lewis

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love;” Eph 3:17 (TLB)

Our home is decorated with the love of others. The room I am currently in has two pieces of furniture from Curt’s grandparents, two pieces of furniture from my grandmother, a piece of furniture from my sister, a chair from a couple we mentored, a computer from a dear friend, and numerous knick knacks and wall hangings from people who love us. Yes, I am surrounded by the love of others.

When Jesus comes into our lives, He brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to decorate our lives.  (Gal 5:22-23)  Are we displaying them for all to see?

When He dwells within us, our lives are changed.  “…What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.”  Gal 6:14

Our house has siding on it and shingles on the roof. The Bible addresses what are ‘siding’ and ‘roof’ should look like. “…putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thess 5:8) Does your ‘siding’ or ‘roof’ need some attention?

Often my house is in need of cleaning. It is the same in our lives. David understood this. “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Yes, our home is decorated with the love of others but more importantly my life, your life, is decorated with the love of Jesus. May He feel at home in our lives!

Jesus, You are welcome in each room of my heart!

til next time

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October 14, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

attitude

How’s your soul? (will, mind, emotions)

My morning started out a little rough.  Did you know that you can change your day by changing your attitude?

My attitude was heading south. There are a ‘million’ things I could focus on concerning my health and the way I am feeling BUT I want to enjoy this day. There are no do overs. So as with anything in my life – I took it to God.

Maybe you need to pray this prayer with me.

Good morning God. This is the day You have made and I am wanting to choose to rejoice in it. In order to do that I need Your help. Help me to not fixate on the pain, the ‘now what’, or the ‘how’, but to keep my eyes on You. You are good! You love me and You are working all things out for my good. Yes, even this pain. Help me to see beyond myself, to see the opportunities You have for me today. I can do what you set before me this day because You are with me. I choose hope! I choose You, Jesus! (Psalm 118:24, 46:1, 2 Cor 10:5, Heb 12:2, Rom 8:28, Col 4:5, Phil 4:13)

I also looked to God’s word to speak to my heart. If you haven’t read Ephesian 3 lately, I encourage you to read it.

My take on a few of the verses:

V6. God’s plan is that we belong to Him

V7. it is a privilege to serve God

V14 because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come to God boldly and confidently. We don’t have to have it all together or say the right things but we come just as we are.

V14-15 there is something special about kneeling before God – surrendering to the Creator of everything

V16 is my verse to hold on to today!

V17 trusting Christ (in the good and the bad, health and pain) sinks our roots deep in God’s love and that keeps us strong – I want that!

V18 God’s love – nothing greater (wide, long, high, deep) Makes me want to break out into song “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh how He loves us.”

V19 we don’t just know of His love, we experience His love

V20 God gets the glory! He is able to do more than we can even imagine

Yes, I am now ready to face the day as a mighty child of God.

What about you?

til next time

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October 13, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

correction? who me?

Yesterday I asked the question “Do you have a teachable heart?” Today’s question “How do you handle correction?”

To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:11 TLB)

When someone addresses an area of concern, do you become defensive? We ought to be able to talk with someone about something they have done and the impact it has on us without fearing anger in return. It isn’t easy to be on either end of this type of conversation but how we handle it does reveal much about our character.

There are two types of people that Proverbs 9 addresses.

If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.” MSG

Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” (verse 8)

When I am faced with a situation that requires correction I pray, seek advice, write it out, sleep on it, pray again, reread what I wrote, use the delete button, seek advice again. Then I hit send. I now have a record of what I said. There is no he said, she said because it is there in writing.

Sometimes writing it is not an option. Just remember you can’t take back the spoken word. Pray that you will operate in the spirit and not in your flesh.

When I am on the receiving end – when someone brings a correction to me – how I respond is a reflection of who I am. I want to be a wise person. I make the choice to own my behavior – apologize if that is what my behavior calls for. I want to learn, to grow in compassion, and to receive correction with a teachable heart. All that said, it isn’t easy but God is right there to help me (you) respond in a godly way.

Let’s show what it means to have Jesus living inside of us – loving through us.

Teach me Your ways, O Lord (Psalm 25:4)

til next time

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October 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

teachable?

Do you have a teachable heart?

To accept correction is wise, to reject it is stupid.” Proverbs 12:11

When faced with a major decision – do you seek out people who will tell you what you want to hear or people who will challenge you to seek God and give to you godly counsel? Making your decision and then seeking counsel is putting the cart before the horse – you have it backwards.

For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.” Proverbs 6:23 (MSG)

God uses people in our lives to speak to us. Sometimes it is a word of encouragement, sometimes it is a confirmation of what God has been trying to tell us and other times it is in the form of correction.

Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” Proverbs 9:8

 

Proverbs 1:5 “ A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.”

Let’s be teachable. Let’s be wise.

til next time

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October 11, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you don’t have my back?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

Even my best friend, the one I always told everything

he ate meals at my house all the time!—

has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself.

God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

Selah,

til next time

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October 10, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace – a precious commodity

Peace of mind is a wonderful blessing that God has for us. Phil. 4 tells us what we need to do to receive this blessing.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I have yet to meet a person who can worry and be at peace at the same time. It just isn’t possible. Worry steals peace. Worry, left to run free, ties us up in knots.

The Bible tells us over and over to not worry, don’t be dismayed, fear not, be still, cast cares, trust, pray….

Here we are told again to pray. What about? Everything!

Prayer is communicating with God. Talk to Him about what concerns you. Spend time in quiet before Him. Take some time also to thank Him. Having a heart of thankfulness changes us in many ways. It is difficult to grumble if you are being thankful.

As we refuse to give in to worry, as we talk with God about life’s situations, as we thank Him, we will find that our hearts are at peace because we trust Him. He holds us together. (Col 1:17)

Selah,

til next time

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October 9, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my own little Cheers

There was a time in my life where I absolutely would not eat alone in a restaurant. Then I started working in the morning in one town and had a 40 minute drive to my afternoon 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.

“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)

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.

I’ve had numerous women  came over to my table and before I know it, they are one by one spilling their life story. Oh, what stories they are sharing. I make the most of each opportunity to share Jesus.

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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October 8, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace, peace, mercy

In all of the books Paul wrote, he started out asking for God to give the reader grace and peace. In four of his books he added mercy to the list.

Grace – getting what you don’t deserve.

Peace – -untroubled; tranquil; content – Peace with God, peace in your own heart and peace with others around you

Mercy – not getting the punishment you deserve

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.” (NLT) 2 John 3

Living in truth and love is vital if you want to live a life of grace, mercy and peace.

2 Peter 1:2 tells us “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Who doesn’t want more grace and peace? It flourishes when we grow in our relationship with God. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8) We are truly as close to Him as we choose to be. Does it seem that you could use more grace and peace in your life? Then make the decision to spend time getting to know who God is. As you do, you will find your faith will grow and with that peace, grace and mercy will too.

My dad would end all his letters with this passage from Jude 2.

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”

Selah,

til next time

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October 7, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment