Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

count it all joy – 4

Count it all joy – step 4
 
James talks about counting it all joy when we face all sorts of trials. The testing of our faith produces faith muscles – patience and endurance. (James 1:2-4) How do we count it all joy?
 
 
I believe that we find the answer in James 4:7-8
Step one – Submit to God (11/20/19 post)
Step two – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (11/21/19 post)
Step three – Draw near to God (yesterday’s post)
Often people will stop here but there is more.
Step four – Cleanse your hands
 
Cleanse your hands — this is an action we take. When Isaiah talks about washing yourself – ceasing to do evil is listed.  In 1 Tim 2:8 Paul tells us to lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting.
psalm 34 14
 
Make choices that please God.
Are you dabbling in sin? Quit it. Cleanse your hands from things/actions that will zap your joy.
 
counting it ALL joy,
til next time
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November 23, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

count it all joy – 3

Count it all joy – step 3
 
James talks about counting it all joy when we face all sorts of trials. The testing of our faith produces faith muscles – patience and endurance. (James 1:2-4) How do we do that?
 
 
I believe that we find the answer in James 4:7-8
Step one – Submit to God (11/20/19 post)
Step two – Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (yesterday’s post)
Step three – Draw near to God
 
Draw near to God. Simple and yet so often neglected. When life’s problems heat up – kick up your time at His feet. The harder the trial- the hotter the fire – the more time is needed at the feet of Jesus.
 
Sadly too often we waste precious time fretting and fixating on the problem instead of looking to the one who is able to help. (Psalm 46:1) When we look to Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2) for His joy in our strength, (Neh 8:10) there is a shift in our attitude.
 
“You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.” Psalm 4:7 NLT
 
til next time
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November 22, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

truth

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
 
The ultimate truth is found in John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except through me.”
 
Jesus dwells in our heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17) and shines a spotlight on areas that need attention.
 
When we are in the truth about our hang ups, we are a position to be freed from them. Walking in the truth is a life long process. However, if we refuse to get in the truth or if we play the blame game – we stay stuck.
 
So much drama would be avoided if people took a long hard look at their own actions and acknowledged their role in the drama.
 
Years ago I prayed a simple, yet life changing prayer. (I pray it often, especially when I know I will be in a difficult situation.)
“Lord, help me to not say or do anything today that I will need to apologize for later.”
 
It makes me very aware of my behavior. Sure there are times I fail miserably. It is then that living in the truth causes me to own up to my actions/words. Owning up to it helps me next time to be more careful.
 
Let’s walk in truth!
til next time
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June 26, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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