Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

choose to make the most of it


This year I put up less than ¼ of my Christmas decorations. I didn’t make a single Christmas treat. (That has not happened since I started baking with my mom as a young child.) There were no Christmas rehearsals at church this year – no choir – no production. I even missed one Wednesday night Bible study.  I hear Fred showed up.  Maybe I will meet him one day.

However, what I have not missed is the joy that this season is all about. I have spent much time with a cup of coffee and the Christmas lights twinkling in the background as I meditated on how much Jesus loves me.  His grace is enough.

Whether my healing comes this side of heaven or it doesn’t, whether circumstances change or they don’t – the fact that God loves me, truly loves me is enough. There is so much to be thankful for and I hate it when I waste moments with a negative attitude.

My prayer is that God get the glory. No matter what is going on, may God be praised in how I handle it.

I’m gonna fight the good fight of faith. I am not going to let health issues or circumstances define me or stop me.  My God is greater. (1 John 4:4) My God is able. (Psalm 138:8) His grace is enough. (2 Cor 12:9) To God be the glory. (1 Cor 10:31)

This Christmas season is a little different in our household in the sense of festivities.  We are grateful for Chris, Kim and Carter spending it with us.  We miss Andrew and Lisa as they are celebrating with her family.   I’m heading to our Christmas morning service where we will celebrate with our church family.  We are blessed.

In what is truly important – we’ve nailed that!   It’s all about loving Jesus and loving people.

christmas quote

til next time


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December 25, 2019 Posted by | life lessons, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

at the end of life

“Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (MSG)

Thinking of and praying for the Bush family as they grieve the loss of their wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.
Here are a couple quotes from Barbara Bush.
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” told to the graduating class at Wellesley College 1990.
Here is another quote of hers.
“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people — your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way,”
What is it that you want to be known for?
First and foremost I want people to remember that I loved God and loved people.
til next time
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April 18, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fast forward and insert changing circumstances

There have been some changes in our home this week.  Two things you can count on – change and God.

There was a brief time in our married life when the only pets we had were fish.  At one point we thought about becoming fishless.  (I especially think that when it is time to clean the tank.)

Meet Jasmine


When our youngest son moved out, he wasted no time in getting a puppy.  He now realizes why we would not let him or his brother get a puppy.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and Jazzy came to live with us.  We dog sat while he went off to college.  He has graduated and moved home to pay off some of that huge college debt.  Jazzy is very excited.

Meet Daisy May


She loves to curl up on our bed.  She enjoys it even more now that we have added another dog to our house and only she is allowed in there.  (btw the crazy flower pillow was made by my grandmother who died in 1980)

When we got Daisy May, she was a free to good home, declawed,  and spayed  cat – everything on Curtis’ list of requirements.  She belongs to us.  Actually she is Curtis’ cat, no doubt about it.  He says it is because he feeds her.  However,  I wanted to give her away and he said no.

So my oldest son, not to be outdone by his brother, gets a puppy.   Being the good puppy grandmother that I am, he was only allowed in my house a couple of times.  There are reasons we didn’t want puppies.

Fast forward and insert changing circumstances and my son has to find a home for his dog.

Meet Killian


I was dead set against adding Killian to our household – 2 big inside dogs??  Yet, this dog has seen my son through an extremely difficult time in his life.  He is part of our family.  How could I say no without seeing if the dogs would get along?

Would the dogs get along?

Fast forward and changing circumstances = the test.  Will they get along?  Killian is much bigger than Jasmine but Jazzy wasted no time letting  Killian know she is boss.

The test


So we now have two large dogs and one very unhappy cat at our house.    It is a good thing that our cat is sneaky  and fast.

Both dogs are social and under my feet.  That will take some getting used to. Life is about how you deal with change.  I choose to see this as an adventure.

Two things you can count on — change and God.   When it comes to change, I remind myself that change does not take God by surprise.  Whatever comes my way,  I know that with God I can handle it and He will work all things out for my good.  (Romans 8:28)   God is an ever present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  God is a God of hope.  (Romans 15:13)  God’s love is unending.  (Eph 3:16-19)

til next time


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January 21, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rest – why does it take so much effort to do nothing?


my prayer

Almost 90 days ago I joined a book club on ‘Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be.’  It is a 90 day guide to living the Proverbs 31 life.  Donna Partow addresses most every issue from faith, to Godly habits, to healthy eating, to our body, to finances, to  dress,  to food, to household, to family, to ministry, to retirement, and to finishing strong.

In the beginning she writes — “He (God) has brought this book into your life at this particular time because there are certain things He wants to show you, lessons you need to learn………….you won’t be able to apply every lesson or implement every strategy .  That’s okay.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as He instructs you day by day.”

She was right.  There was no way I could do everything, nor did I feel the need to do everything.  It did cause me to think about areas in my life that I don’t generally give a lot of thought to.  So when our vacation time came around, my mindset was on rest.

Why does it take so much effort to do so little?  I have pretty much mastered the art of taking a Sabbath weekly.  Even so, there are weeks that I find myself once again needing discipline to not do that one little task or finish that one project.

Vacation – period of rest from routine

When was the last time you took a few days and did very little?

Some of our vacations are anything but rest.  However, this last one was all about rest – well mostly.

our song mmmmmore donutsgo babedonutsIt started  with a conference for Chi Alpha (which is a college ministry my husband leads) on Sunday – Tuesday.   We rubbed shoulders with a bunch of 20 somethings.

FYI –  I have heard a lot of chatter about the under 40 ministers.   Close to 90% of the people at this conference were under 40 – many of them in their 20’s.   From what I witnessed, they are alive and well and taking their mission field by storm!!

Sunday night was game night.  We broke up into six  teams. We were to create a Chi Alpha song to the tune of a Christmas carol. Here is our song to Away in a Manger.   We aced it.

The other pictures are of Curtis trying to eat 30 powdered donuts in like 2 minutes or was it 3?


We then spent two nights/ three days at a cabin – no charge.  What a blessing.

my view during my devotions

my view during my devotions


'a river runs through it"

‘a river runs through it”





around half of them were done on vacation

around half of them were done on vacation





From there we had no clear destination.   The agenda — rest!

The year is coming to a close.  Some of the busiest times of the year are up ahead.  For our family, there are a couple significant changes that will affect the upcoming holidays.  My mother passed away and our daughter-in-law chose to leave.   Life, however, marches on.

“Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5)

Yet even as the Proverbs 31 woman can laugh at the days to come,  I too can and will laugh because life is worth enjoying.  Celebrating the little things as well as the big things is on my agenda.   After all God has clothed me with strength and dignity.  (Proverbs 31:25)

I trust God!

til next time


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November 14, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the unexpected does not take God by surprise

Memorial day weekend life as our family knew it – changed.   For awhile I just kept hoping that I would wake up and realize it had just been a bad dream.  After a few days, I had to accept the fact that it wasn’t a dream.  Yes, it took me a few days.  Sometimes you just refuse to accept what is and denial becomes your friend.  However, denial is not a true friend.  Truth is.

You realize that whatever happens things will never be as they were.  You life has been altered.  The mountain now stands before you and pray as you might – God is not removing the mountain.   However, He is holding out His hand because  He is going with you over it.

Now I am firm believer that God can take something broken and make it better than it ever was.  He is in the restoration business.   He will turn even this most difficult thing around for good.  How?  I certainly cannot see it now.  It is with eyes of faith that you move up the mountain.  On the other side of the mountain, as  I (we) hold on to God, I (we) will be stronger, more like Christ, and my (our) faith will have taken a huge step of growth.

I am not  going into the details, but I know that as Christians, we all face situations that deeply change us.  Choices others make that impact us with great force.  How we choose to handle that says a lot about our faith.  Sometimes our faith is shaken but God’s love for us is right there and whether we ‘feel’ it or not, He is wrapping us in His arms of love.  He is cradling us and singing over us like a mother soothes her baby.  (Zeph 3:17)   He offers peace that goes beyond our understanding when we lay our requests at His feet with thanksgiving in our hearts for who He is.  (Phil 4:6-8 )

I have cried.

I have immersed myself in the Word.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed and continue to pray because each time I pray I am communicating with the One who sees all.  In prayer I remove my hands from the situation.  God reminds that He has a plan.  So I pray – asking Him for wisdom and strength.  Prayer reminds me that He is in control.

I have pleaded.

I have confronted.

I have cried.

This morning God’s Word leaped off the pages to me.  It is the reason for this blog.  I want to share some truths from His Word so that if you, like me, are in a life changing situation you may rejoice along with me that God’s Word is breath to us.  My daily bread, His very Word spoken to me.


Psalm 26:2-3 (MSG)

    Examine me, God, from head to foot,
    order your battery of tests.
Make sure I’m fit
    inside and out

    So I never lose
    sight of your love,
But keep in step with you,
    never missing a beat.

This is a great place to start.  Take a moment and ask God to show you if there is something in you that needs to change and then ask for His help to change.

Psalm 26:12 (NASB)

12 My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.

Praise is a weapon of warfare that tears down walls.

Psalm 27:1-3 (TLB)

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from danger—whom shall I fear? When evil men come to destroy me, they will stumble and fall! Yes, though a mighty army marches against me, my heart shall know no fear! I am confident that God will save me.

Let your faith arise and your enemies will scatter.  (Psalm 68:1)

Psalm 27:4-5 (MSG)

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
    far from the buzz of traffic.

Take the time to be still and know that He is God.  (Psalm 46:10)

Psalm 27:11-14 (MSG)

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God.

When the waves come crashing in – hold fast to the life raft that is Jesus Christ.

Psalm 28:6-9 (TLB)

Oh, praise the Lord, for He has listened to my pleadings! He is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trusted in Him, and He helped me. Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise to him. The Lord protects his people and gives victory to his anointed king.

Defend your people, Lord; defend and bless your chosen ones. Lead them like a shepherd and carry them forever in your arms.

The Lord is my shepherd…… (Psalm 23)  Yes, He will carry me (you) when the journey up the mountain seems to be more than I (you) can handle.  In my (your) weakness, He is strong. (2 Cor 12:10)Our God is not some far off God, but He is right there with us. (Heb 13:5)  God is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Psalm 29:3-5 MSG)

God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

Never forget that God is powerful.

Oh that we would remember that our God is powerful!  He is mighty to save!  He is victorious!   Nothing is more powerful than our God!  He is not limited by those things that limit us.  Nothing is impossible with our God! (Luke 1:37)

Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)

11-12 You did it: you changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
    and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
    I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
    I can’t thank you enough.

There it is.  Whatever is going on in your life at this moment — the greatest weapon we have against the enemy is to praise God!!  To lift our voices and declare that He is worthy of praise in our very darkest moment.  Giving God thanks because His love is poured out on us, His peace is available, and He is working on our behalf.  He  dwells within us, and He is greater!!  (1John 4:4)

Philippians 4:6-9 (MSG)

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.


Well there you have it – what has been happening in my fishbowl.

til next time



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June 12, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

getting smarter

Today I am off work.   I am not sick, nor does my boss think that I am sick.  This wasn’t a planned vacation day.  I am not on vacation.

Yesterday I asked my boss if I could leave after lunch and take Tuesday off.  Maybe I should mention that I was off last week for spring break.  I had plenty of work that had piled up while I was gone.

Yet I knew that I was in great need of a day of rest.  ‘You have not because you ask not.’  (James 4:2)    I am finally getting smarter.    I love God’s favor.    I am grateful for a boss who did not hesitate to grant me my request.

I came home from Spring break exhausted.  I truly experienced the grace of God on Sunday.  I know that He gave me an abundance of strength to do the work He has called me to do and to do it with joy!

Monday morning I could tell my body was tapped out.

Spring Break – Last year we went to Branson, MO.  This year we talked about heading to the coast.  A week of lounging around, soaking up the sun and doing much of nothing was very appealing.  However, our conference was rescheduled to the first weekend of our vacation.  (I blogged about the conference – click here)

We were losing 2 days of travel time so instead of going south we decided to go north to see family and friends.  God knew what we could not possibly have known — that we needed to be going north for Spring break.

On Saturday morning we found out that my step-sister had passed away.  It was pretty sudden.  She had a stroke Friday night that  caused bleeding on the brain.

Years ago she had asked my husband to do her funeral and for me to sing.

This trip I was planning on surprising my step-sister.  She didn’t know we were coming.  I guess she was the one with the surprise.

Normally on vacation we pack casual clothes.  However, since we were at a conference we had business casual clothes with us.  Still this was the first funeral Curt did in dress pants and a sweater, but I know that Phyllis would have loved it.

Sunday, after church, on the way back to the hotel we realized that there was a problem with the car.  I refused to get jazzed up about it.   Sunday was the only day we had  nothing on the agenda.  I was not going to ruin it by worrying about something I couldn’t control anyway.  God was very aware that we would be on the road a lot in the next week.

The next morning God directed Curt to just the right shop.   We were on the road 15 minutes before we had originally planned.  Thanks God!

Jakes pizzavisiting mommy mom

planning the funeral

planning the funeral

A couple of hours later we were in our old neighborhood.  It was so good to see mom.  We played a few games of dominoes.  Later Phyllis’ son, wife and good friend joined us.  It was a time of reminiscing and planning.  The funeral would be Thursday.  I am sure mom did not know what was going on but she enjoyed all the attention.

spring break 2013 019old childhood budsister timeCurt and his momspring break 2013 029

Connecting with family and friends was wonderful.  I cherish that time.  Although it did make for a full week and a whole lot of eating.  🙂

Thursday was the funeral.   We had a couple of firsts at this funeral.  Rick sang You and me Jesus.  When he was done the people broke out in applause.  Yes, applause at a funeral.   Rick makes that piano sing like no one I have ever heard.   The song itself is powerful!   Then there were at least 11 people who spoke during the ‘share a memory’ time.  Young, old, male, female, family, friends — what a tribute!  I was grateful that I made it through the poem and song that Phyllis had wanted me to do.

We were among some of the last to leave the luncheon.  Seeing people from way back was therapeutic.  Lots of hugs.  Lots of catching up.  Lots of new things to pray about.   One more visit with mom and then it was back on the road to the hotel – 2 hours away.spring break 2013 033

I am grateful for the time I have with mom.  However, it is emotionally draining to see the impact  dementia is having on her.

been a long time

been a long time

Our last get together was with some of our friends from St. Mark’s.  Seems like just yesterday.  It is  true that time flies and yet when you get together with old friends time seems to stand still.

So yesterday I knew that I was in need of some serious down time.  Yes, I am getting smarter.

til next time

March 19, 2013 Posted by | ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Friday

For some shopping on Black Friday is not even a consideration.  For others a little dab will do them.  The news media broadcasts the greed and violence that some experience while shopping on Black Friday.   However,  I do believe that the majority of people who go have a good time and that kindness is evident even when you are shoulder to shoulder with strangers.

I don’t even know how many years we have ventured out.  Let me just say that I don’t remember  a Thanksgiving weekend without Black Friday shopping.

Yes that is snow!!

When we arrived in MN on Thanksgiving it was warm.  However, as the day went on it started to snow.

Here we are heading out.

This is the first year my nephew decided to see what all the fuss was about.

It was also the first year we went for 10 hours before heading back to my sisters.  I did wonder how my mom ever kept up with us.  I cherish the memories I have of getting up at O’ dark 30 and there she was dressed and ready to go.

Galina and I remembered our Santa hats

We wear fun hats.  They serve two purposes.  First it is way easier to spot a hat when searching for each other and secondly it causes laughter.

I love to laugh.  Laughter is a universal language.

We are having fun even if we are freezing

you are one of the first 40 🙂

When we left IA it was in the 50’s and I had open-backed shoes on.  After waiting in the freezing cold and snow for Old Navy to open, the first thing I did was head to the boot department.  Brr.

There were people everywhere.  Just when I thought no way was I getting any closer (after all I do have space issues) –  I noticed that the people down in front were actually passing boots back to those behind them.  I called out ‘Size 8 please’ and wala someone handed me a pair of boots.  I stood there, in the background, for a while just watching that gentleman and lady grabbing boots from up high and tossing them to strangers.  Sad that things like that don’t make the 10 o’clock news.

Breakfast break.  Tradition has it that McDonald’s is the place to eat.  A little food and lots of caffeine and we are ready to continue.

McDonald’s gift to us for stopping for breakfast at O’ Dark thirty


All in all,  it was another successful and memorable Black Friday experience.  Successful because I easily stayed on budget while getting  some terrific deals.  Memorable because it was 10 hours with my sister, niece, nephew and ‘daughter’.    It is one tradition worth keeping.

til next time

November 29, 2012 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

everything has a story

This week-end my son had his senior recital.   Getting to this point was no easy thing for him.    If  I were to list all of the various road blocks that he has faced you would quite possibly think that I was making some of them up.  It is no wonder that many music majors never finish.

His recital was mostly classical numbers.  This was a switch from the style I was used to hearing him play.   Yet it really showed his level of ability.   He ended with a couple of jazz numbers.  It was phenomenal!!!

Getting to his recital was challenging for us.    As ministers, taking a week-end off requires advance preparation.   When the date was set we made the necessary arrangements but ……….. (yes there is a story).

I have been known to tell people that I would like to experience what “uneventful” is like — to be able to  tell this story — “We made the necessary arrangements.   We went.  It was wonderful.  We came home.   Praise God!”

It seems that everything in my life has a story behind it.  I used to wonder why and then  I realized that God is the greatest story-teller and that many of His stories seemed to be filled with great detail — quite eventful.  Why should mine be any different?

As our story seems to go,  plans changed.   We found out  our worship leader and piano player were not going to be there after all.  One by one our options for music fell through.  A little over a week before we were to leave and still we had no one for music.  Three days later we found out that we would also need to make arrangements in other areas that we thought were covered.

This was not going to be that uneventful story.  Maybe next time?

Why do some things happen?

Some things happen because the enemy of our souls is doing all he can to discourage us and push us to quit.  I also think that God allows some things to happen so that we grow in our trust in Him.   Another reason some things are allowed is because then we have no doubt that God came through in a huge way because it has God written all over it.  Finally, some things happen because we are then forced to make necessary changes in how we do things.

Changes …………… One thing that we are doing different now is how we do our trips back home.  Our trips  used to involve a lot of van time as we tried to see everyone.   Now we do a pool party at the hotel and anyone that can make it is welcome.    Sometimes things happen to force a needed change.

I can see this hotel change really being a good thing.  Here we are playing a ‘friendly’ game of UNO the night before the recital.

When all is said and done, we were able to find someone to cover music and the other necessary arrangements.      God came through in a huge way.   The recital was fantastic.  I am soooo proud of you Christopher!!!!!

til next time

September 27, 2011 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry | , , , , , | Leave a comment

20 years

It used to be that the norm was to land a good job and stay there until retirement.  You might move around a bit, but eventually you put down roots and buy a house.

My parents bought a house early in their marriage.  When it got to be too small, they just added on.  When the property next door became available, they purchased it.   It was a great  place to grow up.  My mom lived there until she moved in with my sister.

Things have changed.  People move and switch jobs with much more frequency.   Many times a job transfer  moves them to the next location.  Purchasing  a house does not mean that you plan to live there until you are old.

For pastor’s — job transfers are the norm.   It is a little different though, in that the pastor is the one who determines where the next job will be (of course in line with God’s leading.)

Here is how it usually works.

You become involved in ministry while attending Bible college.  Upon graduation you may be put on staff at such church — albeit probably not a paid position.  This means that you keep working your ‘other’ job to pay the bills.

Then the norm continues  like this:

Senior pastor at a small church — possible need to supplement income.  Certainly the spouse will work part-time if not full-time.

Stay there 3-7 years then move to a bit bigger church.

Stay there 3-7 years and move to an even bigger church at which time supplemental income from the pastor will not be needed.    However, the spouse may continue to work.

It is not uncommon for pastors to continue this cycle all through their ministry.

What isn’t normal is to have a Pastor start out at a small church and stay there 20 years.    20 years is a long time for a minister to stay when he  is  just starting his first senior pastorate.   Certainly we never thought we would be here this long.  After all I was leaving the land of mom and all our extended family was at least 6 hours away.  Yet here we are 20 years later.

Didn’t we ever feel the urge to move on?  Oh, yes –just never at the same time.   We truly believe that when God desires for us to move that He will tell both of us at the same time.

We have been here long enough to see:

the church go from ‘home missions’ status to ‘general council’ status

the children grow up and have children

people grow in their relationship with God

children begin to be musically inclined and then watch that blossom

the church become debt free!!!

our children start and finish at the same school — this is almost unheard of in the ministry

people with discord and/or pride leave and come to us later in sincere apology and humbleness.    Love covers a multitude of wrongs!

We have a wonderful group of people who are moving forward for the kingdom of  God.    It is our privilege to be a part of it.  We leave our future in the hands of God.  We trust that He will continue to direct us and the church.

til next time

February 19, 2011 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you have stress?

It seems that everyone I talk to is under stress.  For some it is one or two really huge things.  For others it is a bunch of little things that have piled up on top of each other causing an overwhelming sense of despair.  Whatever it is — stress seems to dominate many conversations.

Much  stress is a result of poor decisions.  Sometimes we make bad decisions and sometimes those around us make bad decisions that causes us stress.

Relationships are a huge source of stress.  Romans 12:18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  This is great advice for reducing stress.  We cannot control another person, but we do have control over what we say and do.

Family dynamics can be a huge source of stress.  Whether it is spouse, children, grandchildren, in-laws, siblings, etc — their actions can have an impact on the whole family. This one, in one way or another, seems to be the most common.  Maybe it is because we can choose to step away from friends who stir up strife, but family will always be family.

I consider it one of the highest compliments I can receive when someone implies that they don’t think I have any stress.   Now it may take me awhile to process it but the end result is that it is a compliment.

For the record, ministers are not immune from stress.  Truth is, they have the ‘usual’ stress that comes with living and then there is the stress involved in ministry.

There is a spiritual battle going on.  Ministers lead by example and are right there on the front lines.   If the enemy can take out the minister and/or family, he has won a great victory.  Much damage is done to the cause of Christ when a minister falls.

So what can you do about stress?  Take ownership of your own actions.  Whatever is happening to you – you are still responsible for how you handle it.

The Serenity Prayer is  a wonderful tool.  Use it!  Be sure to read the rest of the prayer.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Truth is stress will always be a part of life.  How you handle it will determine if you live stressed out or you live with purpose.  Don’t forget – God has a plan and He is in control.

He will work all things out for the good to those who love Him.  This is a promise we can depend on.  God isn’t stressed about whatever is going on and He wants us to lean on Him and trust Him.

Is it easy?  Not always.  But it can be done.  This is why I consider it a huge compliment when people imply I have no stress.

til next time

November 13, 2010 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments