Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

willing? obedient?

This winter I have done some shoveling – much to the surprise of my husband. It just seemed like the thing to do.  I am trying to get more exercise incorporated into my life.
As I was shoveling I think of the verses in Isaiah about our sins being as white as snow.

18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land; Isaiah 1:18-19 (ESV)

Through Christ we are offered forgiveness. Jesus paid the price for us. It was His great love for us that kept Him on the cross. In repentance, our sin is washed away. White as snow!

Let’s also include verse 17 as it includes some action on our part –
“-learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.”

May we be people who are constantly learning to do good, people who seek justice (what is right) and take action to make things better.

V 19 – are you willing and obedient?
Selah,

til next time

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February 17, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, just thinking about stuff, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God smiles

God smiles. “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;” (Psalm 149:4 ESV)

We don’t have to look far to see how gracious God is to us. His grace (getting what we don’t deserve) and His mercy (not getting what we deserve) are examples of His great love for us.

My prayer for you today comes from Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

May today find you noticing the blessings of God. Blessings are all around us. He is with us and He will make a way where there may seem to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19)

Favor and peace – Thank you God! He is working all things out for our good. (Romans 8:28) He is able to do more than we can even begin to imagine. (Eph 3:20) His grace is enough. (2 Cor 12:9)

May God bless you today and may we not forget that it is God. Throughout the day stop, look up and thank Him for the big and the small things. It is also good for us to remember that He blesses us to be a blessing to others. (Gen 12:2)

Let your light shine. Let them see Jesus in you.

til next time

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February 16, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what r u pursuing?

To know and be known is a wonderful thing. God knows us inside and out. He knows our thoughts, our motives, and He knows our hurts. He is rich in love toward us. He loves us most.

Psalm 103 (from The Message Bible)

“God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs…
He knows us inside and out…”

 

I have said it often and will say it again — we are as close to God as we choose to be. His Word waits for us to pick it up and read it. We choose how much time we spend in prayer, mediation, praise… We decide to follow Him or do our own thing.

1 Timothy 6 (11-12) tells us, “…Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith…”

What are you pursuing?

til next time

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February 15, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

even if

I was listening to “Even If” by MercyMe and my thoughts went to the 3 Hebrew children in Daniel 3.

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

God is able and He will deliver but Even If He doesn’t….

Even if He doesn’t — He is worthy to be trusted. He is worthy to be praised. He is God! His ways/thoughts are so much higher than what we can comprehend. (Isaiah 55:9)

Notice what they said to the king before this. “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” I have learned that lesson also. The Lord is my defense. (Psalm 118:14) I do not need to defend my actions when I am walking in obedience to His Word.  You do not need to defend your actions when you are walking in obedience to His Word.

 

mercyme

My hope is You, Lord.

It is well with my soul

til next time

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February 14, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s monday – how’s your soul?

Here it is the Monday morning.   We pack a lot into our weekends so it is not unusual for  exhaustion to set in on Monday morning.

I want to do it all!  Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.  (hmm, I am starting to see a pattern in my life.)

 

matthew 11 28

 

Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day.   It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?

I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough.

Jesus is more than enough.

Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother set the bar high for her daughters.  She worked full time and her house always looked great.   She rose early and was the last one to bed.  I can’t live up to that expectation of myself.   Laying that down has been very liberating.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV)

How’s your soul?

Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.

Selah,
til next time

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February 12, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

let go!

Don’t lose sight of what is truly important in life. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming. When/if that happens, take some time to be still reminding yourself that He is God.

One of my favorite verses (I have many) is Psalm 46:10.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!.” (NKJV)

The NASB puts it this way:

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

One more translation – GW

“Let go of your concerns!
Then you will know that I am God.
I rule the nations.
I rule the earth.”

Be still, cease striving, let go — pretty direct message. How is it that we can do that? Because God is who He says He is – He is in control. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He holds all things together. He is the God of hope. He loves us. He is for us!

 

One of the things I enjoy is to sit with a cup of coffee, dim lights and music playing.   I can just breath in the calmness and the joy of the love of God in my life. The busier the days get the more often you can find me with my cup of coffee basking in God’s goodness. I hope that you take time each day to be still and know that He is God.

psalm 46 10

til next time

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February 11, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i want to do it all!

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

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Psalm 103:1

Often I have to make the choices so that I am not going to get crazy stressed.   I have to talk with God about it often, otherwise I am pretty much programed to over-work and over-extend myself.

I want to do it all!

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2 Yes, still waters in the middle of Christmas prep.

Lysa Terkeurst shares (in her book The Best Yes) four important things to consider when making commitments. Will this fit physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally?

I generally have no problem deciding if I can physically do the task, if we have the money for the task or if the task is in line with God’s Word. However, do I have the emotional energy needed to complete the task? This is the one that I have tended to ignore in the past.

Here’s what can happen when we don’t consider if we have the emotional energy needed. We may grumble the whole time. We may take it out on those closest to us. We may even not follow through with what we had said that we would do. Something will give and usually it isn’t a good thing.

When I ask myself those 4 questions then I am able to decide my best yes. Just because it is a good thing doesn’t mean it is good for me to do it at this time. As much as I want to do it all, I can’t. And neither can you.

How’s my soul? Good, real good!

What about you? How is your soul?

Silah,

til next time

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February 10, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what do i pray?

Let’s look at one more prayer of Paul’s  (click here to read another post on Paul’s prayer)

Philippians 1:9-11(NASB)
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Growing in love – this impacts our soul (will mind emotions) How is your soul? Will – mind – emotions??

Paul is praying that their love will flourish – is your love flourishing? The impact on our soul, (will mind emotions) when our love is thriving, is tremendous.

Part of our love flourishing/thriving is
*use your head –
*growing in knowledge and understanding – this is a common theme of Paul’s prayer – strong passion – misdirected zeal/intensity without knowledge can do more harm than good.
*learn to love appropriately
*love isn’t synonymous with yes
*be Sincere – people can spot a fake

Prayer: “Father, may people see You in us this day. May our love for You be evident in the choices we make. Help us to love those You put in our path. Give us understanding. Open our eyes that we may see the opportunities You have for us to be Your hand extended. Help us to grow in the knowledge of Your will that we would walk in obedience. Thank you for strengthening us and enabling us to walk in victory. We give you the glory, recognizing that without You we can do nothing but with You we are overcomers. Thank you!”

til next time

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February 8, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

let’s be like Jonathon

In 1 Samuel 23 we find Saul is after David to kill him.

Then an interesting thing happens.

“Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16 (NLT)

I appreciate the people in my life who seek me out to encourage me. We need each other.

So tonight as another full day comes to a close, I want to encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Keep your feet firmly planted on Christ the Solid Rock. Take up your shield of faith.

Pay attention to where you thoughts take you. Walk in the truth. The truth is God loves you. God is for you. God is with you. God will help you! God brings beauty out of ashes and He will make a way for you.

Lastly, I also want to challenge you to find someone to encourage. If you are married, your mate could certainly benefit from some encouraging words.

The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT

 

In a world where negativity abounds and looking out for number one seems to be a priority — an encouraging word carries even more weight.

We can all be a Jonathon.

til next time

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February 7, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 powerful words

“I’m praying for you.”  Four powerful words.

Sometimes I find myself at a loss for how to pray. The Bible is a great help here. Of course we have the Lord’s Prayer when they asked Jesus to teach them to pray. (Matt 6:9-13)

Also, when Paul would write that he was praying, he would include the things he was praying for them. We can pray those things too.

(See Colossians 1:9-12 in the comment section)

Pray for each other / for your children / for yourself – asking God for:
*wise minds,
*live well,
*make the Father proud,
*that the fruit of the spirit would be evident in our lives (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control)
*that we would increase in our knowledge of God –

How do we do increase in our knowledge of God? Learn how God operates by reading His word, listening to sermons, discussing the Word and then applying it to our lives.

philemon 6

 

Oh that our faith would keep showing up and that people would recognize Christ in what we do, in who we are. That Christ would shine brightly through us! Let’s pray that for each other!

til next time

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February 7, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments