Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

fields of grace

(Continued from 3/7 – what I love about christianity  & 3/8 – just as if )
Romans 5:2 “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;”
 
We have access (approach God) by faith into grace/favor in which we stand firm.
The Message bible puts v 2 this way – “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
 
“Standing in grace” – sometimes it ‘feels’ like we are knee deep in mud. When it feels like that remember truth – Grace in where we stand. You may need to remind yourself of this when your emotions/feelings try to tell you something different.
 
It is the power of God that enables us to stand. Don’t forget where you are standing! Field of God’s grace!!
 
The second part of v 2 says “and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
 
Hope is our anchor (Heb 6:19-20)
 
We have an anchor that keeps us sure and steady. It doesn’t fasten to the sand but enters within the veil and fastens onto Christ. Jesus paid the price for us. Our hope is fastened on Him.
 
“But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14
 
standing in grace – filled with hope,
 til next time
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March 11, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

just as if

Part 2 continuing from yesterday (what I love about Christianity)

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

Justified — just as if I’d never sinned. Justification takes away the guilt that comes with sin and makes a way for peace.

All of this happens by faith. That is how God set it up. We come to Him in faith – believing.

We have peace with God. We are reconciled with God. We are restored – all because of Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” Eph 2:14 ESV

Jesus has broken down the walls of sin and shame.

The enemy will try to use condemnation and guilt to build up those walls again. Remember you have been set free by the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction to our lives but He does not use condemnation or guilt to do this.

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8 ESV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 ESV

 

til next time

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March 8, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what I love about christianity

Christian life – faith working through love (Galatians 5:6)

These five verses in Romans contain the things I love about being a Christian.  It is not an  all encompassing list, for there are so many things – too many to name.

Here are the things listed in Romans 5 that  I love:   God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, faith, peace, hope, tribulations, endurance, character and love.

Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

You might think tribulations shouldn’t be on that list of things I love. Yet, without tribulations/problems/suffering I would be self-centered and impossible to live with and so would you.

Trials bring me to my knees before God. Having gone through suffering, and seeing how God works in and through it, helps me to build up endurance.  Endurance is needed.  We are not in a sprint but a marathon.

Our character needs developing. This is a life long process resulting in a deeper hope in God and His promises

God doesn’t want us to be a wishy washy Christian. Our character is developed as we hold fast to Christ and go through tribulations. With each one we learn to trust God more. We grow.

Tomorrow I will look more closely at verse 1.

til next time

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March 7, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith or fear – you decide

Fear cripples faith, but faith overcomes fear!

I needed to be reminded this morning that I have nothing to fear. I know some of what today holds, but more importantly I know who holds me today.

Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Over and over the Bible says fear not, do not be dismayed, do not be anxious, trust God, be strong and courageous, God is with us, our hope is in Him!

Fear is controlling. It limits what a person does. Fear will also cause some people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person. This is not beneficial.

Bad decisions are often the result of fear. Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship with God and with others.

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone. I have come to realize that a ‘comfort zone’ is a great way to avoid embracing life. Thankfully God is always nudging me to step out in faith. Oh what an adventure it is!!

For today I remind myself of what Psalm 112:7-8 says

“They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.” (NIV)

Whatever you are facing today – remember you are not alone. Truly God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) You are His and You are safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25) He is with you, for you, and loves you.

Today trust God, let your faith rise up, and hold fast to the knowledge that God is able to help you handle anything that comes your way.

til next time

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

anchor

Are you using your anchor?

…My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

We are like a ship at sea. Sometimes it is smooth sailing, other times we are tossed up and down seemingly in great danger. Our harbor (final destination) is Heaven. Temptations, persecutions, problems, trials, obstacles, are the wind and the waves that threaten to shipwreck us. On our journey, we will encounter all sorts of beauty and danger.

One thing remains sure. We have an anchor that will keep us steady and on course. Our hope in Jesus is the anchor of our soul. Our hope in Him will see us through the storms.

As the old hymn states “We are anchored in Jesus the storms of life we’ll brave. We are anchored in Jesus, we fear no wind or wave… We are anchored to the Rock of Ages.”

The enemy of our soul (will, mind, emotions) likes nothing better than to see people in despair – hopeless. For he knows, maybe even more than we know, that hope is a most powerful weapon.

Hope is indeed the anchor of our soul.

…because my hope, Lord, is in you.” Psalm 25:21

All our hope is in Christ!

Selah,

til next time

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October 6, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trust

Trust in the Lord and do good

Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness

Delight yourself also in the Lord and

He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:3-5

Notice that trust is mentioned twice in these verses. Trust is vital to walking in faith and victory. When we have settled in our mind that we trust God, then whatever happens – we know that God will work it out. (Romans 8:28) He is for us! He is with us! He is more than enough.

Are our actions good? Many times, in the Bible, we are told to ‘do good.’ Yes, our actions do matter.

What are you feeding on? Are you driven to have the latest, greatest, best _________(fill in the blank)? Are you feeding on what you don’t have? Is it gossip that you graze on? There is an old saying – ‘garbage in means garbage out.’ Let’s feed on the faithfulness of our God. Again this comes down to trust.

Delight in and commit yourself to God. This should be an ongoing process in our lives. Let’s reaffirm our commitment to give God our all.

Selah,

til next time

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October 2, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith 2nd of 2

Faith (Part 2)

It is our faith in Jesus Christ that makes us right with God. (Romans 3:22) We live out our faith by the things we say and do. Our faith grows as we choose to trust God in the midst of difficulties. God will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for us! (Psalm 118:6)

Choices — when you encounter troubles, where will your words and actions take you?

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Col 2:6-7)

Our faith grows as we do what we are called to do recognizing that the glory belongs to God. Our faith grows every time we do the right thing especially when the right thing is not easy.

Our faith grows as we walk in obedience.

1 Cor 16:13 tells us four important things to do.

Be on guard.
Stand firm in the faith.
Be courageous.
Be strong.

All of these are possible as we rely on and trust in Christ to see us through whatever comes our way.

Faith is not so much something we believe.
Faith is something we live.

Living by faith,

til next time

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March 28, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

faith 1st of 2

1/2 posts on Faith – part 2 tomorrow

It was by faith that we left MN 27 years ago and moved to Iowa. What an incredible journey of faith, hope and love it has been.
I expect year 28 to be filled with awe and wonder as God continues to work in and through Cornerstone family! To God be the glory!

Let your faith in God arise! (Psalm 68:1)

Faith!

Faith is not so much something we believe.
Faith is something we live.

Fear cripples faith BUT Faith overcomes fear!

A living faith in Christ overcomes the fear of:
the unknown,
financial worries,
not pleasing everyone,
health issues,
attacks of the enemy,
failure,

“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22 NLT)

psalm 33 20

Living by faith in God means not always understanding the why, the how, the when but understanding that God is in control. He will make a way. (Isa 43:19) Christ dwells within us. (Eph 3:16) He is all powerful. (Job 36:22) We do not need to fear because He will never leave us, and He goes before us. (Deut 31:8)

Living out my faith day by day,

til next time

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March 27, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s timing

I woke this morning reminding myself that I can and do trust God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard. Jealousy (as you see someone else enjoying the very promise you are waiting on) tries to plant itself in my heart. When that doesn’t work then sadness seeks to overtake me with thoughts like ‘it’s never gonna happen” or “how much longer can I hold on?” When that doesn’t work then thoughts of what I can do to speed up the process flash across my brain.

No! No! A thousand times no!

God told Abram that he would have a son. (“but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” Genesis 15:4) And then the waiting process began.

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting but nothing was happening. Then Sarah got this idea in her head. She took matters into her own hands and came up with a solution. The promised child would come through her hand-maiden. (Genesis 16)

However, Ishmael was not the child God had promised. What a mess Sarah had made of her impatience and lack of trust. Genesis 16:12 calls Ishmael a wild man. There was a price to pay for Sarah’s impatience. A good example of how our choices can impact others.

It can be easy to fall into the same trap as Sarah. When we do our own thing instead of waiting on God, we also get a mess. Consequences of that mess can follow us the rest of our lives.

Trust, hold on, stay firm, endure – knowing that God is not on vacation but very much active in what is going on in our lives. His timing is always right on.

Are you waiting for something? Don’t lose heart, resist jealousy and/or sadness, and make the choice to follow God.

While I am waiting, I will serve and trust God,

til next time

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March 23, 2018 Posted by | bible story, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 1st of 7

Waiting – it seems there are always areas in which I find myself waiting. Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad but other times the dark night seems to drag on and on.

Today is the 1st in a series of 7 posts on waiting.

When it seems I am waist deep in the pit of a bleak situation and I feel myself sinking in the mud – I have a few choices.
*I can become impatient and try to use my own strength to get out – to change things.
*I can wallow in the mud – giving in to self-pity.
*I can play the blame game.
All of these choices result in sinking deeper in the mud.

There is another choice. I can seek God for help. I can cast my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and take this time to go deeper in Christ. How? By reading His Word – I am grateful that each test of our faith is an open book test. Also we grow deeper by praying, taking time to listen, meditating, getting together with others at church to worship, pray, and hear God’s Word, listening to praise music – go ahead Sing!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, Psalm 40:1-4a NLT

I cry out to God. My faith knows He will help me.(Psalm 46:1) He will steady me. He will amaze. I trust God!

Using the waiting time to grow deeper in Christ.

til next time

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March 11, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment