Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

music

Worship is so much more than the songs I sing in church.  It is the life I live each and everyday.  Music is one way my heart expresses the awe that I feel.
I often break out into song.  I almost always have a tune in my head.  Sometimes I am not aware that  my mouth is sharing that tune.

For me, music keeps my heart in the right place.

 

“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NASB)

“May my life song sing to You!! I want to sign your name at the end of this day knowing that my heart was true. May my life song sing to YOU!”

That is my goal for today – when all is said and done – when I lay my head down to sleep – that my life will have reflected my love for Jesus. I don’t want to just get through this day.  I want to enjoy this day and make a difference.

The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning.

What are you going to do with your day? How will you spend the next few hours? What will consume your attention?

 

word picture

If we don’t intentionally set out to enjoy today and be grateful, it can so easily escape us.

 

til next time

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

busy, tired, calm, peace???

What is your answer to the question – How are you?  It seems the most common answer is busy or tired.

Do you find there is more to be done than time or energy to do it?

Are the primary emotions you are feeling frustration, anger, or dread?

Are you excited about a new project only to quit half way through it?

When it is time to fulfill a commitment you made, do you find that you dread the thought of it (It is fun to say yes and have others happy with you but at what cost later?)

still waters

 

He leads me beside still waters —who is doing the leading in your life?

When my ‘waters’ seem anything but still, I need to ask myself who is doing the leading?  Then I either need to say “Jesus take the wheel” or if He is at the wheel then ask Him to calm the storm – the one raging outside or the one raging inside.
It can be so easy to shift my focus to the raging waters instead of to the One who calms those waters. It seems that on any given day there are always things that ‘must’ be done. Resisting the temptation to take back the wheel is crucial to still waters and green pastures.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He MAKES ME lie down in green pastures;
He LEADS ME beside quiet waters.
He RESTORES MY soul;
He GUIDES ME in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

til next time

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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