Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

most wonderful time of the year

Christmas is almost here.  I hope that you have taken some time to enjoy the Christmas season.  It is not too late.  Something as simple as sitting quietly with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate or tea with Christmas music playing in the background can do it for me – even if it is but for a few minutes.

Expectations can run high at this time of year.  Expectations we put on ourselves and expectations from others can pressure us right into stress.

It is a great time of year to take a moment to examine why you do what you do.  If not wanting to disappoint is the primary motive, it may be time to change a few things.  I, like you, do not want to disappoint anyone but when that becomes my motive, no one wins.

From our house to yours — we wish you a Merry Christmas!  May the love of God shine brightly in your heart and through your life.

til next time

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December 22, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

super moon

Did you take a moment to look at the super moon awhile back? Maybe you even took a picture? I did. Sadly, it did not capture the beauty. Yet the source of the beauty wasn’t the moon.

If it weren’t for the sun, the moon would be dark. What we see is a reflection of the sun’s rays bouncing off of the moon.

When people look at us, are they seeing the light of Christ?

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

 

December is here and with it can come the stress of getting the shopping, decorating, and baking done. Then there is the calendar that is already full. For some, adding school programs, work parties, family gatherings to an already stretched calendar is a potential recipe for added stress.

 

The other extreme is also out there. I was talking with a lady who shared with me that the holiday season is the worst time of year for her. Loneliness and sadness are nipping at her heels. Her calendar is too open.

 

Whatever the reason may be, if you are feeling overwhelmed this December, I encourage you to take a few moments (right now would be good) and talk with God. Cast your cares on Him, lay down your expectations at His feet, and allow His peace, love and joy to fill you again.

 

Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

 

btw – I want to be a ‘super moon’!  Reflecting brightly the light of Christ!!

til next time

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December 2, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a sign and a bracelet

 We are not to be hearers of the Word only.  It takes courage to do what God is trying to tell you because sometimes what He tells you will shake your life as you know it.  Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you.

This had me thinking of all the various ways God has gotten my attention, directed my path, and allowed my life to be shaken.   ( He is an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1)

On Sunday mornings I teach a class called Impact.  It is all about getting out there and  making a difference.

Beloved, let us love one another.  For love is of God....  1 John 4:7 -8

Beloved, let us love one another.    For love is of God….. 1 John 4:7 -8

Thank you CeJae for a wonderful reminder to LOVE.

When God guides God provides

When God guides God provides

Thank you Allyssa for a constant reminder that God is my provider.  A warm God hug for my wrist.

Yesterday I received these gifts.  What God knew, but I hadn’t told the girls, was  that financially this has been a challenging month.  God was using them to  send me a timely reminder.

It has been almost five months since I quit my job at the clinic to devote more time to study, ministry and home.    I had taken a second job  so that money or lack of money wouldn’t be an issue.  Seeing a need and then being able to help was and is important to me.  If the church had a bad month financially, we had my income coming in.  Yes it took courage to act on what God was saying when He clearly released me from bi-vocational ministry.        (for more on that click here)

(I am grateful that my husband has income coming in from the college to supplement his church paycheck.  However, the realization that he will not get a check from the college in January had been weighing on my mind.  I didn’t realize just how much it had been weighing on my mind until I opened those two gifts.)

Where God guides God provides.   The sign and the bracelet are tangible reminders,   from a God who loves me and girls that I love dearly,  that God is very much aware and has a plan.  He is and always has been my Provider.   When finances try to take over my thoughts,   I have a sign that sums up what is truly worthy of my attention.   LOVE!

What gets your attention?

God loves you and wants you to rest in the knowledge that He is in control.   Let His love shine through you – you may just be surprised at what will happen next.

til next time

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December 23, 2013 Posted by | spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

traditions

Memories light the corners of my mind………….

It is hard to approach a holiday season and not take a walk down memory lane.  This year I miss my mom.  I talked with her tonight but even though she sounds like my mom, the dementia has taken its toll.  Tonight she informed me that ‘they had made it safely to Florida.’  I didn’t ask her who ‘they’ were.   After all, she has been in Florida for a year and a half.   I just consider myself blessed to be able to hear her tell me she loves me and that she looks forward to seeing me.

It did get me to thinking about Christmas and traditions.

There are traditions that have gone by the way side.  For us, one of those traditions  was the need to have oyster soup for Christmas Eve.    One year  (early on in our marriage) the weather stopped us from going home for Christmas and so I sent Curt out to find us oysters.  We absolutely must have oyster soup for supper.   If I couldn’t go home, at least I could have the traditional meal.   It was Christmas Eve and I don’t remember how many different places he went to before he found  oysters.   Imagine his surprise when I dipped myself a bowl of broth — no oysters, just the broth.   That was the end of that tradition.   Now we have chili.

Then we moved out-of-state and found ourselves far from extended family.   With having a Christmas day service (thus making it difficult to go home for the holidays) we needed to come up with new traditions.  Gone were the big extended family gatherings.  My kids don’t know what it is like to go to Grandma’s for Christmas.  What they lost with that we made up for in other ways.

We created new traditions. 

Decorating the tree means cheese and crackers and Christmas music.   Our tree is loaded with ornaments that the boys  made and an assortment of sentimental ornaments.

The second to last ornament is always Santa and his sleigh, with the last ornament being the tree topper.

A tradition we started when the boys were in school was something we called the ‘early present.’  On the final day of school, before Christmas break, they were allowed to open one present.     This was a big hit.  I still look forward to my early present.

So much of the time pk’s have to share their parents.  We made the decision that the holiday meal would be  just the 4 of us.    It became about family time.    We pull out the china and go all out.

This year we are blessed to have one son home for Christmas.  Our other son and ‘daughter’ will not be here for Christmas BUT are moving back home after Christmas.    Traditions are good but flexibility is even better.

We are blessed.

Merry Christmas!

til next time

December 22, 2011 Posted by | dementia, just thinking about stuff | , , | 2 Comments

showing love?

So could the  penguins represent christianity and the polar bears  represent agnostics or atheists?   Take a look at the commercial at the bottom and see for yourself.  (After all christians do like to have fun and the penguins kind of remind me of our church ladies group)  If we are indeed letting Christ’s love shine through us then agnostics or atheists should be just a bit curious.  Just a thought. 

So less than 24 hours from now our family starts the festivities of  Christmas.  Our traditions begin around 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.  Some traditions are worth keeping, others are not. 

For instance, as a child we always had oyster soup Christmas Eve.  I hate oysters.  Yet I clearly remember  the first Christmas Eve, when the weather stopped us from going to mom’s for Christmas,  that I sent Curt all over looking for oysters.    He did find canned oysters at a gas station.  They should have been gold considering what he paid for them. 

I made the soup and we sat down for supper.  The boys were very little and I made chili for them (and me LOL).  When Curt realized that I wouldn’t eat the oysters, well let’s just say that was the last time we held on to that tradition.  🙂 

Before we know it the ‘holiday’ will be over.   Holidays can bring out the worst in people.   I don’t think it is the holiday itself but the added stress.  Take a person who’s life is already crammed with way too much and then add another whole list of activities and things needing or wanting to get done and you can have a recipe for disaster.

This year I scaled way back.  It was absolutely the most mature thing I have done.  However, in scaling back I did add one thing.  I have made it a point to notice people, to look for ways to reach out in a gesture of kindness to strangers, and to see ways to help.  It has been most refreshing.

This video clip is a Coke commercial that I just love.  It speaks loudly to me that when we encounter people who are not where we are at, or don’t share the same religious views, or are different in any way – that we offer them the love of Christ.   I don’t have to agree with choices, lifestyle, language, looks, attitude etc. to show kindness and love. 

til next time

December 23, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

lots of presents

Last Sunday Curt asked everyone which they preferred – One big present or a bunch of  little presents.  First service was very cooperative.   Second service may have been looking for the catch.  🙂   It  most definitely brought laughter from the congregation.  (FYI: I am a bunch of little presents kind of gal.)  add_toon_info

There was no catch, Curt was just leading into the point that Jesus has given us the biggest present, but that’s not all.  He also has all kinds of little presents that He freely hands out.  Our God is an awesome God.  I don’t begin to think I have God figured out.  His ways are beyond my ability to totally grasp.  He is God!

I really like this cartoon.  Spending all of eternity with Jesus.  I can only begin to wrap my head around that.   What will it be like to have no more pain, no more tears or sorrow?  What will it be like to see Him face to face?  I can only imagine and my imagination, I am sure, doesn’t even come close to the reality of what it will be. 

Yet, in the meantime, there are so many other ‘presents’ that He gives to us.  I can’t put a price tag on peace, joy, mercy, or grace.  Daily God gives those things to us.   Wisdom is another wonderful present.  Let’s not forget the Bible – His love letter to us.

Another ‘present’ is His ‘presence’ in our lives.  He is not some far off God that in unavailable.  He has promised to never leave us.  He is always there.  He hears our prayers and see our heart. 

There’s another thought that is hard to grasp.  All the people all over the earth, who at any given moment are talking to God, and He keeps it all straight.  The ultimate multi-tasker.   That’s another one that is hard to wrap my brain around.  Yet, the fact that I can’t understand the ‘how’ of all of this, just makes me more in awe of who God is.    We come to Him in faith.  Faith – a good topic for another blog.

This holiday season remember who has given us the greatest present of all.  May His light shine brightly through us.

til next time

December 20, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

x-mas doesn’t take Christ out of Christmas!

I remember when I first heard of x-mas.  I really didn’t give it much thought.  I just figured it was someones attempt to abbreviate.  Then the buzz  started that it was an attempt  to remove Christ from Christmas.   This time in a literal way by taking the word Christ out and just having mas.   Only mas didn’t make any sense so it became x-mas.   Like they used the x to  ‘cross out’  Christ. 

I must say that I have no idea how it originated or if  it had anything to do with attempting to remove Christ.  What I do know is that some people have gotten upset about it and do feel that is exactly what it does.  For me, it does not do that and here’s why.

I remember one day years ago, as students were grumbling about  it – that my instructor put it all into perspective.  “So let’s just say that the originator or the person using it today wants to take the focus off of Christ.  He does this by using an X in place of Christ.  Well, did you know that the symbol for Christ in the Greek language is an X??”

My instructor drew a big X on the board (now it is a bit more fancy but still an X.)   So even if that was the motivation, there is no removing Christ from Christmas.  You can’t spell Christmas without Christ, not even if you use an X. 

So I don’t get jazzed up about the abbreviation.   I do get jazzed up about what Jesus means to me.  For me it isn’t a celebration of one day, but a lifetime of celebrating the simple truth.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  Yes, Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so.  Now that excites me!!

til next time

December 10, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , | 3 Comments