Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

life

Life seems to be what happens while we are making all sorts of plans.  Good intentions don’t do us any good unless we follow through.

I want my life to make a difference.

psalm 34 14

Turn from evil.

Do we turn from evil or do we let it entertain us? The movie industry does a fine job of filming corruption, violence, greed, affairs, murders, sex……. we choose what we watch.

Do good.

Do is an action verb. Be intentional about doing good.

Seek peace.

When we feel ourselves getting worked up over something — remember we are offered peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Phil 4:6-7)

John 14:27 Jesus is telling us:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Pursue peace.

Going after peace is repeated. Personally I think that is because of the importance of having a peaceful state of mind. If we are upset, we are much more apt to worry, make bad choices, say things we regret, and/or focus inward taking our eyes off Jesus.

Turn from evil. Do good. Seek peace and pursue it. My prayer is that I will grow in my understanding and ability to apply these things to my life. What about you?

growing in faith!

til next time

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April 28, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

where are you Pres. Obama?

It is 1863 and Pres. Lincoln is discouraged and distressed as he watches the country being ripped apart at the seams. In the midst of all of the mess, Lincoln proclaims a National Fast Day – March 30, 1863. Here is a portion of his Proclamation.

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us: and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! If behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”   (clemency – compassion, mercy)

 

Where are you President Obama?  As you are aware, our nation’s history is flooded with references to God and His Word.  Guns,  bombs, knives… aren’t the problem.  Evil is.  Evil is in the hearts of people who kill or wound innocent people.  Evil is at the root of racism.

You won’t effectively combat evil by removing guns or adding more and more laws that evil hearted people won’t abide by.   We combat evil in our land  by returning to the God who is greater than evil.

Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.  (Psalm 68:1) Greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world.  (1 John 4:4) God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  He is the God of wonders (Psalm 77:14) He holds us up.  (Psalm 63:8) He will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16)  Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him.  (Jeremiah 32:17)

 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB)   Earlier in John, Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  1 Peter 5:8 NASB

If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?”  Galatians 5:15 THE MSG

Hatred breeds hatred.  Racism is not a part of our DNA.  Too many people are feeding into the problem instead of being part of the solution. 

God’s love wins!

So, where are you President Obama?  It seems you are looking to put a tiny band-aid on a festering wound that comes from  an enemy bigger that ISIS.  It is time to go back to the basics.  In God We Trust!

Praying for our nation,  families of those who lost loved ones, the next Dr. Martin Luther King to rise up, law enforcement personnel, Dallas, St. Paul, Baton Rouge,  and for you Mr. President.

til next time

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

life is precious

I woke up this morning to the horrendous news from Orlando.

Why do things like this happen?

Short answer – evil is in the world. There are people who are deceived.

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

In the same way that God uses people to accomplish His plan, the enemy (devil) uses people to carry out his plan. A couple of things that they both have in common are people and willingness. We choose whom we will follow.

Where they differ is that God loves people so much that He gave His son – the ultimate price. God operates out of love, mercy and grace. God offers life both here on earth and for all eternity.  God is for us and for our good.

The devil (thief) seeks to destroy, to wreak havoc, weaken and discourage.  He is all about our destruction.   ( John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”)

Joshua 24:15 tells us to choose who we will serve. Deut 30:15 tells us to choose life. Life and prosperity or death and adversity – it is our choice. Sadly some choose to follow the thief and human life means nothing to them.

We choose how we are going to live, the choices we will make and the path we will follow. Sadly, there are those who get in agreement with the thief and choose evil and death and their choices affect others.

We have much to pray for –the family and friends of those killed, the responders that are on the scene, those who are even now fighting for their lives and let us not forget to pray for our nation.

And let us do our part in choosing to let God shine through us, choosing life, and choosing those things that are good.  We overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21)

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til next time

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June 12, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

what goes around – comes around -really?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Luke 6:31

As a child, I thought the Golden Rule meant that people would treat me how I treated them. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that just didn’t work like I thought.

I remember talking with my dad and trying to explain to him how this just didn’t work.  I was friendly and kind – in return the other person was snobbish and cruel.    Evidently that is how she wanted to be treated so that should be how I treat her, right?

Then I would get the ‘you only have to answer for your own actions‘ speech.   (Romans 14:12)  He sure said that a lot.

Somewhere along the way it stuck.  I am responsible for my behavior – my actions.  No matter what someone else does or doesn’t do, I will answer for my choices.  How I treat someone will be a reflection of who I am not of who they are.

What about  ‘you reap what you sow?

Yet we know that the Bible tells us

For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  John 4:37 (NJKV)

Now the Bible does talk about reaping what you sow.  Check this out.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  Galatians 6:7-8

What choices are you making about how you live your life?  Which one are you feeding?  the flesh? or the Spirit?

You’ve heard it said that ‘what goes around comes around.’  Yet, there have been things that happened to me that I have not done nor would even dream of doing to someone else.  I think we all have experienced that to some degree.

I offer grace and mercy to others because that is what I want others to give to me.   It is the Golden Rule in action.

I have told my husband that sometimes I feel like there is this bulls eye on my back or a sign that says open season on Gloria, take your best shot.  Yet, I absolutely believe that nothing, NOTHING happens to me that doesn’t first go through God.  He is in charge of my life.  He is in charge of the calling He has placed on my life.  He will bring beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He will turn this around for good because I love and trust Him! (Romans 8:28)

Joyce Meyer Ministries puts it this way:

“You know what tenderizes you? Your own personal pain. You go through something that is so gut-wrenchingly hard that you think you can’t stand it. But when you come out of that, you’re gonna be more tender-hearted. You’re gonna cry easier. You’re gonna care about the hurting more quickly. You’re gonna be more careful what you say to people.”

Pain can make you bitter or better.   I will take better every time.

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”  Romans 14:12 (NKJV)

So I will continue to treat people the way I would want them to treat me. Even if, or maybe especially when, they are mistreating me.  I will not repay evil with evil, but remember that good overcomes evil. (Romans 12:17 & Isaiah 1:16-17)  With God’s help, I choose good.   I will be intentional about letting God’s love shine through me.

How about you?

til next time

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May 22, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

oh be careful little eyes…

There is a lot that can be said for children’s songs.  They are usually simple, repetitive, and filled with actions.  This is to help them remember and to grasp the idea behind the song.  I am reminded of the answer a famous German theologian gave when asked what was the most profound theological truth.  Answer – “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”   Simple and yet so profound.  Makes me want to sing “Yes, Jesus loves me….”

There is another children’s  song, that has been going around in my head.  

“Oh be careful little eyes what you see.  Oh be careful little eyes what you see.  For the Father up above is looking down in love.  So be careful little eyes what you see.”

I want to take a minute and do the actions.  I love action songs.  (Hip hip hip hippopotamus, hip hip hooray God made all of us — that is one of my favorites)

Ah, but this blog is not about a hippo but about what our eyes see.  It does make a difference what we see.    When I was a child Ricky and Lucy couldn’t even sleep in the same bed.  Now look where we have come.    We’ve come a long way, but it is not a good thing.

Little by little by little we are being desensitized.  Curt and I made a decision long long ago to not attend R rated movies.  Have you noticed a change occurring in  most PG -13 and PG movies lately?  Possibly not, because little by little the film makers are pushing the limit.  It used to be that the previews were approved for all ages.  It still says that ,but many of the previews I’ve seen are not appropriate.  Some of the previews are down right horrible. 

I had a lady (good christian) tell me the other day that she went to a particular movie (R rated -mostly for violence) and the language was horrible. Yet she admitted that by the time the movie was over she had pretty much gotten to the point where she overlooked it.  Funny thing, she didn’t say anything about the violence.  I wonder?   Just what is all that violence and language doing to our spirit?  

There is a popular t.v. show out right now that we were watching.  I love the two main characters.  Yet the show has shifted.  That was a pretty crummy thing to do, but little by little the main story plot began to change.  Curt and I have stopped watching it.  I have come to realize that to not even start watching a show is much easier than to stop after you have watched it for one or two seasons.  Hmmm is that the true plot??

I was trying to think of a movie to recommend to a friend who had asked me for some ideas.  I found that with each one I would say “Oh, this was really funny.  *heavy sigh* but there was a few parts that were truly unnecessary but they are in there.”  or “This one has a good message, but it has some language that is not good.”  Or finally “This one would have been a great movie, except that one of the lead characters is portraying sin in a great light.”    Did I mention that Curt and I are pretty particular about what we go to see or watch at home?  Well we are.  Yet it is hard to find a movie that is wholesome.  We prefer to rent videos because there is a fast forward button at home.  I really hate to get up and walk out of a movie that I paid a fortune for, but we have done it.

We turn our eyes from evil things. O Lord we cast down our idols.  Give us clean hands.  Give us pure hearts. ……..  O God let us be a generation that seeks Your face O God of Jacob.    song by Christ Tomlin

I think that is what it comes down to.  I can make a  choice to turn my eyes away  – to cast down my idols.  It does make a difference what I my little eyes see.   All food for thought.

This clip is filled with scriptures that would be good to meditate on.  I think I’ll get off now and do just that. 

til next time

March 20, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments