Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

casual christian?

I don’t want to be a casual christian — that is more than I line in a song we sing. It is truth! A casual christian is such a waste of what we are meant to be. We are a part of the army of God. We are a part of something so much bigger than us.
“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (MSG)
“these qualities active and growing in your lives”
“It takes discipline and character to be a person who responds in a Christ like manner.” Pastor Curt
How do you interact with others?
Would warm friendliness describe you? How about passionate patience? We all have room for growth.
People want to be heard and understood. People want to know you care.
Compassion, grace, and mercy are indeed quite attractive.
Let’s interact in such a way that they feel encouraged and loved after speaking with us. Let the love of Christ flow through you!
til next time
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August 23, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

doing nothing is still a choice

Is there something you really don’t want to do but know that it needs to be done? Do you tend to put it off as long as possible? When we put off something that needs to be done, it can weigh on us like a ton of bricks.

Doing nothing is still a choice. Consequences can become worse the longer we wait.

Dread is a powerful emotion. It is a joy stealer.

Instead, reroute your approach.

God is your strength. Whatever it is that needs to be done – God knows all about it. Ask Him to help you. Ask Him to turn it into something greater than you can imagine. Ask Him to use you in the situation to bring Him glory.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3:20-21 ESV

I can’t count the number of doctor visits I have had this year. In the beginning, I was focused on the time and money that each one seemed to be wasting. Thankfully God got a hold of my thought process and now I see them as potential opportunities to give God glory.

Today was such a day. I had a nurse I rarely have and there we were talking about how good God is as she took my vitals. She shared something personal and again we gave God thanks. It all took maybe a minute but it was a power minute. It was a day changer minute.

I have become friends with the Phlebotomist. We played catch up on our lives as she drew blood. I could see joy bubbling up in her as we talked.

Why not make it a goal of yours to leave people a bit better after talking with you? Why not look for ways to encourage?

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25 ESV


til next time

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August 19, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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

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

room for growth

Does it matter how we live?

1 thess 5

1 Thess 5 addresses how God wants us to live:

Get along (Do you play well with others?)

Do your part (Are you a giver?)

Encourage (Are your words bringing life or death to the ears of those who hear?)

Reach out (Look beyond your own issues and help)

Be patient (Are you easily annoyed? Ask God to help you grow)

Be attentive (Another call to action beyond your own issues)

Be careful (Know what triggers you – when I am overly tired or extremely hungry – my tendency to snap is greatly increased)

Look for the best (Do you fixate on the negative? Stop that!)

Bring out the best (You can help others to shine or by your words and actions you can influence others to snap — What are you choosing?)

Be cheerful (I am a firm believer that when I make a choice to be cheerful (to count it all joy) remembering that God is still God and He is with me and for me — my ‘feelings’ catch up to my decisions — go ahead, try it)

Pray (Decide that prayer will be your first response from now on)

Be thankful (Are you grateful? Throughout the day offer thanks to God)

I recognize need for growth in my own life. What about you?

Let’s grow deeper!

til next time

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January 10, 2018 Posted by | pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

is God silent?

Is God silent?
There have been times in my life when it seemed my prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back. God seemed to be silent.
I can remember asking, “Where are You, God?    PPPPPPlease, God!”
Maybe you have seen the saying, “When you are in the midst of a trial and you wonder where God is, just remember, the teacher is always silent during the test.”
When you are taking a test, you rely on what you have studied, It is a reflection of what you know. The same is true for our spiritual tests and trials. We draw from what we have studied and what we know. We know by reading and discussing the Word. Spending time in praise, prayer, and meditation strengthens us.
Is God silent?  Truth is God is never silent. (Isaiah 55:11) His Word is alive and powerful. (Hebrews 4:12) I just need to pick up His Word and start reading to hear what God is saying, or  I can give in to the temptation to let it sit on the shelf.
One thing we may not realize is that the tests of this life are OPEN BOOK TESTS. 
In addition to an open book test, we have Jesus (who is ever interceding on our behalf.) –Romans 8:34   When the test seems crushing, I am ever grateful that Jesus has my back. Also, we are told to pray for one another. (James 5:16) Don’t let pride stop you from asking for prayer in the midst of difficulties.
  Unlike tests you took in school, in the tests of life you can ask a friend for help. I am grateful for good friends who remind me of the truths of God’s Word and encourage me in the midst of trials.
til next time,
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February 8, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


We all know people who seem to not be burning as brightly for Christ as they once did. Maybe life, people or even the church has ‘bruised’ them. It can be a challenge to keep their eyes on Jesus and not allow the circumstances and situations they find themselves in to bring them down. Let’s come along side them and encourage them.

“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.” (NASB)


We have the opportunity to speak life and uplift others. Let’s be intentional about pointing people to Christ.

Isaiah reminds us that God is not in the extinguishing business.  Romans 8:28 – God will use all things in our lives.   He is able to turn those things around for good.   Let us not forget that God is a just God.

Let us not lose hope.

Let us not forget that God is a just God.

God is faithful.

God is for us!

God reaches out to us in love!

til next time

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November 3, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

five women

How can five woman (who are each beautiful in their own way) touch my heart with joy and sadness all at the same time?

For privacy purposes I will call them Beauty, Precious, Twinkle, Tapper, and Sweetie.

Joy:  Beauty lights up whenever I touch her hand.  She loves to talk about the weather outside.  Precious is the one most with it and does not like her nails painted.  Twinkle doesn’t communicate with words but when I look into her eyes and speak to her — there is that twinkle.  Her body doesn’t move but her eyes follow me.  She is in there somewhere.  Tapper loves it when I tap the table with her.  She has beat!  Finally, Sweetie is shy, looks at me out of the corner of her eye and yet wants me to talk with her.  They all, in different ways, remind me of my mother.

As you might have guessed these ladies are in various stages of dementia.

Sadness:  My mother had dementia. For those who watch people they love go through the stages of dementia, well, there really are no words for what that process is like.   I praise God that He is a safe place to hide,  ready to help when we need him.” (Psalm 46:1 The Message)   (Click here for more on dementia) 

While I sat there carrying the conversation, my mind was remembering many such conversations I had with my own mother.  You might say my mother taught me how to communicate with others who have dementia.

It’s coming up on the second anniversary of my mother’s death.  It ‘just so happened’  that  “I Can Only Imagine” came on the radio as I drove away.  I was holding my mother’s hand as this song came to an end and she took her last breath here on earth.  Again joy and sadness — joy in the realization that she no longer needs to imagine and sadness because I miss her so.

Do you know of a family who is dealing with dementia?  I encourage you to take a moment and reach out to them.  A ‘thinking of you’ note, a private message on facebook,  a phone call, or a text will brighten their day.  When you see them in person, inquire about their loved one.  The greatest blessing my friends gave to me was letting me talk about my mom and the struggles I was facing in dealing with her dementia.

Some might think my visit with these ladies was a waste of time.   After all, it is likely they had forgotten it by the time I got out the door.   Some of them  will remember me next time and some will not.   Yet, at the moment it was meaningful to them.    I know it was worth it to me.

til next time


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December 31, 2015 Posted by | dementia, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s the big deal?

How does it make you feel when you are sharing something that is going on in your life and the other person (either verbally or non-verbally) indicates ‘what’s the big deal?’   I don’t know about you, but that really doesn’t make me feel loved.

Sadly, I have stopped counting the number of times that people have said to me (in the middle of sharing whatever is going on in their life at the time)  “I know this really isn’t a big deal…”   yet what they are facing is big,  others had just minimized it.  Therefore, the person is almost apologetic for sharing her burden.

News flash Christians –  We are called to bear one another’s burdens.  (Gal 6:2) We are called to encourage one another. (1 Thes 5:11)

Jesus, who is our example, was moved with compassion.

1 Cor 2:16 tells us we have the mind of Christ.

We are called to love.  Lack of compassion is not love.

 “Let me give you a new command:
Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.
This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—
when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 (MSG)



“What’s the big deal?”

Yes, I know that things could always be worse.  The old saying “show me a man without shoes and I will show you a man without feet.”  But when did compassion for the man without shoes go out the window and be replaced with  ‘no big deal?’

Here’s a bit of truth – maybe it isn’t a big deal to you because:

you are not invested in it
it isn’t happening to you or someone you love
it doesn’t inconvenience you
maybe you really don’t care (that is a whole other topic)
it isn’t a problem for you
maybe you lack compassion
you aren’t really listening because you think you know what is going on
or maybe you just aren’t thinking about how you are coming across?

There is a difference between a whiner/complainer and someone who  needs encouragement because  the changes that come up have a higher price tag than you may comprehend.  Instead of treating the other person like it is no big deal, show a little compassion and offer some encouragement.

I am on a mission to encourage. At the heart of my Savior is compassion. I don’t see where He ever dismissed or implied ‘what’s the big deal’ to someone who was hurting.

What do your actions/words reveal about your mission?

“Summing up:
Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.
That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation.
No sharp-tongued sarcasm.
Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless.
You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” 1 peter 3:8-12

til next time


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November 25, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what kind of person are you?

who do you surround yourself with?The type of person that you are encouraged to be around in this quote sounds to me like a description of a Christian.  In  a world where negativity abounds and you don’t have to look far to find someone who would rather tear you down than build you up, this quote is pretty good.

I say pretty good because it is lacking an important component.

be that to othersThe last line is important because it is all to easy to fall into the trap of “it is all about me,  what I can get out it, what you can do for me…”

Colossians 3:17 tells us,  “And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus.” (TLB)

That is a tall order but we have the living Christ dwelling within us to help us to grow in this area and we should be growing. God is concerned with our words and actions. Let us not forget that we represent Him!  It is not all about us.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,  “So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Don’t stop!  We are called to encourage one another, to build each other up.

I wonder how many people we see each day could use a positive word or even just a smile to change their day?

Encouraging one another is a powerful thing that we can do anywhere we find ourselves but it doesn’t just happen.  We have to do it on purpose – make a conscious effort.

Prov 18:21 tells us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..”

Don’t be stingy with your life words.   Be extravagant!!  Let God’s love flow through your words and don’t forget about your non-verbal communication.

Have you ever spent hours on something only to have someone wrinkle their nose at it? Or roll their eyes? It can take the wind right out of your sail.  Oh, that we would not be people who take the wind out of other people’s sail.  Don’t be a dream killer.

We’ve probably all been on both sides of that coin. – the giver and the receiver of negativity.

At our dinner table the boys were not allowed to say ‘yuck, gross, I’m not eating that…’  They were allowed to say something like ‘I know this took a lot of work mom, you don’t have to go to all that trouble for me again.’

Fast forward quite a few years to find me coming home from the clinic exhausted but grateful that Curt had made supper.    However, it was bad and I  told him so.  (So much for being grateful.)   I then heard my very words coming out of Andrew’s mouth. “We don’t say things like that mom.”  (ouch!)

Truth is Curt does a fine job of cooking and has come up with some great concoctions.  I owed him and Andrew an apology.  My words were not life-giving.

Here’s the truth —verbal or non-verbal expressions of negativity or irritation won’t bring about a favorable change.   It will not promote peace in them or in you. It is not the loving thing to do. It does not build up the other person.

Colossians 3:14-17 gives us a list of things that helps us to be the people God intends us to be.

  1. put on love
  2. let peace of God rule in your heart
  3. be thankful
  4. let the word dwell in you
  5. give thanks is mentioned again

Peace – the enemy loves to set us up, to trick us into getting upset because when that happens he knows our peace goes out the window and discouragement will try to come crawling in.

Discouragement is, I believe, one of the most effective weapons the enemy uses to hinder us from being effective.

If you find yourself discouraged, see it for what it isn’t.    It isn’t from God.

Discouragement can come from:

  1. our interaction or lack of interaction with others
  2. unmet expectations or unrealistic expectations
  3. things not going the way we wanted or hoped
  4. lack of appreciation
  5. life taking a turn we didn’t see coming
  6. pain (physical and/or emotional) and the list goes on………….

We are to encourage one another, to speak life to them, but what if no one is around to speak life to you?  Then what?

One of our tools for combating discouragement is to Let the peace of God rule in your heart.”  Col 3:15

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Peace that goes beyond our understanding.  I can’t explain it but I know that it is available to us and it works.

Colossians 3 also tells us to be thankful – in fact it tells us that twice in just this short passage.

I started a gratitude journal and I highly recommend it.  Write down things you are thankful for with no repeats.  It helps you to see the good (even when bad things are happening) and it can keep you in the moment instead of waiting  for this to happen or that to happen.

Another thing not dependent on others is having the word of God dwelling in you.  If you aren’t reading the Bible, how can it dwell in you? Memorization is helpful in having God’s word dwell in us.  It is a tool available to us but are we using it?  

Having someone encourage me is a blessing but I have learned to not wait for that to happen.  On the other hand, I am making it my goal to speak life to those I come in contact with. Funny how in doing that, I am encouraged also.

What about you?

Let’s be extravagant with our life words.  Let’s not be stingy when it comes to encouraging others.

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”  Colossians 3:14-17 The Message

til next time


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November 9, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment