Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

fear not

Over and over again it says in the Bible to not be afraid. Yet, it seems that fear is ready and willing to take up residence in our heart unless we choose to not let it. Making that choice is necessary.

When fear tries to overtake us, we can stop it by reminding ourselves of truth. God is for us and we have nothing to fear. (Romans 8:31, Psalm 56:11)

One of my favorite verses reminding me of why I need not fear is found in Isaiah 43:1

“But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.” (ESV)

God knows my name. He knows all about me. He has redeemed me. I am His! (You are His!)

Say it with me — I am His! ——Think about that for a moment.

I remember as a small child feeling safe and secure in my daddy’s arms. As children of God we are safe and secure in our heavenly Father’s arms. He is telling us do not fear! He is with us!

SAYING NO TO FEAR!

isaiah 41 10

til next time

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March 27, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

coming and going

 My house is filled with reminders.  I need them.

By my computer desk I have one that says — Live Life with PURPOSE.  There is another that talks about a Faithful Servant.  Yet another on grace and mercy.   I need reminders because sometimes life is way too full.

My coffee cup, this morning, reminded me of a central truth.  God is good.  All the time.

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God is good.

All the time.

He put a song of praise in this heart of mine…

Through the darkest night His light will shine…”

This cup has a powerful message on both sides. I wonder, what is the message people read when they see me coming and going?

Coming and going reminds me of Psalm 121:7-8 (NASB)

 

The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.”   (I have a card with this written on it taped to my monitor.)

God is with me always. (Matthew 28:20) I have nothing to fear. (Psalm 56:4,11)) He will direct my  path. (Proverbs 4:10-12) Those three things alone  have a great impact on how I live my life.

God is good!

til next time

 

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October 8, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

jumping out of trees

When our boys were little, we were given the book “Really important stuff my kids have taught me” by Cynthia Lewis. I ran across it recently. It is filled with some funny stuff.

Then I saw this page. There is nothing funny about fear.brave

Are you thirsty for adventure? Serving God is an amazing adventure. Sometimes He asks us to step out in faith. He takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we feel the stretch and a bit of fear tries to stop us.

God is for us. We do not need to fear. (Psalm 118:6) Yet, there are times when we must face down our fears. We know the truth and yet, sometimes we just have to move forward and do it afraid. Like the first time I climbed a tree – or recently when a precious boy was wanting to be like the big kids and go down a slide.

He was afraid. So, he reached for my hand and with eyes big, he started down. He did that a few more times, always grabbing my hand.

Remember, you are never alone (Deut 3:8) and God has your hand. (Psalm 73:23) God’s got this and you can do it!!

God is taking us on an adventure!

Jumping out of trees and not afraid of the dark,

til next time,

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September 10, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

excuses won’t get you freedom

Sure I know that making an excuse can be the natural response for why you did or didn’t do something.    Excuses can seem to get us off the hook. But truthfully, excuses don’t help us walk in truth.  Excuses won’t help us grow.

Accountability and excuses don’t mesh. .

Don’t make excuses –  own your behavior and make amends.  Repent.

I had a meeting today 75 miles from home. I had never been there before. I did not want to go.  I told my husband, probably five times, that I did not want to go before I realized that I was grumbling.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing;” Philippians 2:14 (NASB)

So, I needed to repent of a grumbly bad attitude.   Which I did.  I then asked God to help me have a good attitude and to remind me to smile.  My daddy always told me that if I had to do something, I might as well do it with a smile.

Once on the road, I talked with God about what was really going on?  What was the truth here?  I used to love to drive alone.    It was God, the music (crank it up) and me.   What had changed?

God quietly dropped a word into my heart.

Fear.

Fear?   What?   I am not afraid.  I have worked through all that a long time ago.

No, the truth was that fear was what was driving my desire to not want to go. — fear of driving alone, getting lost, and/or being stranded on the highway.

Fear will stop us from doing things. Fear cripples us.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (TLB)

There are so many scriptures on fear not. Yet if we are not careful, fear can sneak in.  Like me, you may not even be aware it is there but it will affect your behavior.

I repented of letting fear dominate a portion of my life.   I continued on to my meeting — Fearless!

Sure, I missed my turn, but you know what? It was ok.

What’s holding you back?   Do you find yourself grumbling?   What does God want to deal with in your everyday life that might be hindering you?

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17-18 (NASB)

Good-bye fear, hello freedom!

waters

 

 

til next time

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August 30, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

selah

 “Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:8 (NASB)

God is our refuge, hiding place, foundation, peace, shelter in the time of storm, so that we can remain strong, steady, fixed, stable, unfaltering during times of confusion, violence, uproar, and/or utter chaos.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.” Psalm 46:1-3

Selah – pause and think about that.

God is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14) If we allow the enemy (devil) to get us into fear, he can defeat us and keep us trapped in a vicious cycle of fear and anxiety.

Let your faith arise. As your faith rises, fear flees.  Pour out your heart to God.  He is there to help!  He sees the whole picture and He is for you. (Psalm 62:8, 46:1,  1 John 3:20, Psalm 118:6)

til next time

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June 14, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

anxiety

Yesterday I wrote about one reason bad things happen. (life is precious)

After the recent events (the Orlando mass killing and the murder of Christina Grimmie) anxiety (fear) wants to rear its ugly head and dominate.  We have a choice.  We don’t have to give in to fear.

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)

How quickly life as we know it can change. I am grateful for so many things, one of which is that I don’t have to live in fear. Instead, I turn to God and receive from Him comfort and hope.  He quiets my soul.

With a  quieted soul and a confidence in Jesus,  I am better able to  weep with those who weep (Romans 1:15) because I know that God’s peace and comfort is available for them also.    We are not alone.  God is with us always. (Matthew 28:20)

I can say with the Psalmist (94)

94 O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs—
O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud.
3 Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?

I encourage you to read all of Psalm 94, memorize verse 19 and refuse to give in to fear.

 

anxiety

til next time

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June 13, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

trade offs – not just for football

Super Bowl — No matter how big the screen may be, I am not a fan of watching football on t.v.   However, I do enjoy some of those slow motion replays.

This year (Super Bowl 50)  the Broncos went home with the win!  Whatever your thoughts are about Peyton Manning, he has proven himself to be a great quarterback.  Hmmmm, is there enough evidence to show that I am a follower of Christ?

jeremiah

What a great verse!  What a great promise.  We are on God’s winning team.  There are no losers.   We each have a purpose.  Yet, it is our choice to follow God’s plan or not.   Joshua 24:15 tells us to choose this day who you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

psalm 34

This Psalm expresses the importance of praising God.  Praise Him openly.  Magnify Him. Let us exalt His name together.   (That is a reason to find a Bible believing church and go.)

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

Fear tries to cripple our faith.   Sometimes our faith gets in distress – I call that doubt. Another product of fear is worry.   The Bible is filled with scripture after scripture – “fear not” – “do not fear” again a choice we make. Do we trust God or do we let fear (doubt, worry) settle in.

isaiah
joshua

So take that fear, doubt, worry – God is with us!  God is helping us!  God is strengthening us!   It is God’s grace working in us, silencing our fears and quieting the unrest in our souls.

When we look to the world or put our eyes on the problem we can be easily discouraged or at a loss.

When we look to God, when we magnify Him, our faith arises and our hope is renewed.

Faith in God destroys fear!

Every time we go to God in prayer we are releasing our faith.

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”  (Psalm 46: 1-3, 10 NKJV)

Crisis
problems
trials
situations out of our control — come to all of us.

The difference lies in how we handle it.  Do we let it overtake us, discourage us, or do we have faith in God’s willingness and His ability to take care of us.   Remember, God is for us.  Over and over in His Word He reminds us that He is with us and for us.

In football, trade offs happen.  When a player’s contract is up, the owner can choose to trade one player for another.  He is looking for the best trade off.

We have the best trade off option.

As Christians we can trade our:
broken dreams
heartaches
frustrations
things that we just can’t understand
pain
We can give that to God and in exchange He will give us:
peace
joy
comfort
He will turn it around  (Romans 8:28)
He will make beauty out of ashes (Isaiah 61:3)

WHAT A TRADE OFF

Trials/problems are not enemies of our faith but instead they are an opportunity to see God’s faithfulness up close.

That is if we hold on to Him,
trust Him, put our faith in Him,
refusing to let worry and fear control us….

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“God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.”  Curtis Girod

God will see us through. He will give us the strength to stick it out – not the grit your teeth kind of strength but the strength that endures the unedurable and spills over into joy.

Don’t let fear settle in. Don’t give in to worry or doubt. Let your faith rise up and destroy fear.

God is for you! The game isn’t over. You are on the winning team.

til next time

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February 10, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, sermon notes, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

fear or faith – you choose

Fear cripples faith.  Faith overcomes fear!

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone.  I have come to realize that ‘comfort zones’ are really just a way to avoid embracing life.  It seems God is always nudging me to step out in faith and what an adventure it is!!

Fear is controlling.  It will try to limit what  a person does.  Bad decisions are often the result of fear.    Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship to God and to others.  Fear will cause people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person.  Truth is the only person we have control over is ones self.

fear not

 

I am a firm believer that I have nothing to fear because truly my God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) I am His and I am safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25)  Yet, I have become aware that I have let fear sneak in the back door of my life.

I love that about God – how at just the right time, in just the right way,  He spotlights an area that needs attention.

Chronic pain is a cruel friend.  Last March I started a journey with pain that has been like no other journey.  Chronic pain will change a person.  There was a point where I was well aware of fear trying to control me.  The pain was constant and at times it would be excruciating.   There was no pill that would help with the pain.   I found myself crying out “oh no, no, pleeeeeaaassssse no!”   Fear had stepped in.  I think fear tops chronic pain in the cruel friend department.

Fear cripples faith.  Faith overcomes fear!  

When I realized this, I changed my words to “Jesus, Jesus help me!”  The pain was still there but I was changing.  I believe in the healing power of God.  Until then, in acceptance there is peace – accepting that God, for reasons I could not figure out, had allowed this in my life — accepting that God will use it for good and accepting that it is what it is.

Slowly the pain diminished.  I  would start to get better and then I would have a set back.  I would make plans and have to change them.  The day finally arrived when I could sit without pain.  God was indeed walking me through this ordeal.

Now the muscle is no longer angry and screaming for attention.   Pain is pretty much all gone, but I know that it could come back.  History tells me that I am one small step away from reoccurring  chronic pain.  That knowledge has allowed a fragment of fear to cause me to check for the telltale signs and breathe a sigh of relief when they aren’t there.    I didn’t realize that fear was the underlying cause of that action.

God doesn’t want me (or you) to live with fear.

Faith in God overcomes fear.  Is fear trying to grip you?  Maybe it is a health issue (yours or someone you love dearly) — maybe it is financial,  it could be job related, fear knows no limit.  Don’t let fear sneak in.  I encourage you to trust God, to let your faith rise up, to hold fast to the knowledge that God is for you and with you.

“We walk by faith and not by sight.”  (2 Cor 5:7)

til next time

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January 22, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith or fear – which one is controlling you?

When I tell you that God will take care of His children, I know of what I speak.  Time and time again, God has proven Himself faithful to our family.  In big ways and in small ways  His fingerprints are evident.

A few examples:

a check from a stranger  covering the cost of both boys glasses

hitting a huge bump going 65 mph on our motorcycle -causing a chunk out of our back tire and the frame to partially rest on the tire – not realizing it, we continued at 65 mph to our exit.  And then God prepared a very nice place for us to wait for  the tow truck.

our garage door opener started to work properly after years of requiring help

if you have read any of my blogs you know that they are filled with little and big things God is doing

When you place your life in the hands of Almighty God and live your life trying to follow His Word then you have embarked on a journey like no other.   Knowing that God is with you, that nothing takes Him by surprise and that with each test, He is right there to help you, changes your perspective.  (An ever-present help in trouble  Psalm 46:1)

Lord, help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that You and I can’t handle.

Fear can be  a powerful  emotion if you are not careful.  I think that is why the Bible has so many scriptures that tell us not to fear.  I have heard it said that there are 365 “do not fear”  scriptures.  Hmmm, one a day.  I think God is trying to get the point across!

What do you do when fear looms over you?

All the what ifs ————now whats————-and what are we going do——- can certainly ruin a perfectly good day.    I have learned that faith and fear are not equal partners.  Faith silences fear.  Giving in to fear and letting it take over cripples faith.

Worship is  a powerful force against fear.  It is hard to sing praises to the King of Kings and remain fearful.  There is just something about singing “My Savior loves.  My Savior lives.  My Savior’s always there for me.   My God He was.  My God He is.  My God is always gonna be” that raises you up above any thing you are or will be facing.

Fear was trying to rear its ugly head this past Wednesday.  I was finishing up February, on paper it looked pretty sad, but God is so much bigger than that.  He is not limited to nor bound by numbers on paper.   Instead of letting fear take over I decided to look in anticipation as to how God is going to work this out.  He will – of that I am sure!

In choosing songs for worship that night “My Savior, My God” was one of the songs we sang.    What a proclamation!  Sing that a few times and see what happens to fear.

It is true – what you feed gets stronger.  Are you feeding your faith or your fear?

til next time

March 1, 2013 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

with faith – fear doesn’t have a chance

Fear is a powerful emotion.    I’ve heard it said that there are over 365 references to “do not be afraid” or “fear not”…. in the Bible.   One for each day of the year.  I have never bothered to count them because whatever the exact number is, the truth is that God does not want His kids to live in fear.

Fear can have such a hold on a person that it hinders them from enjoying life.  Irrational fear can be paralyzing.

This weekend I came face to face with a fear of death – not my death but my husband’s death.   Thank God he didn’t die but I can now say that I know what he will look like when he does.  Oh, to remove that image from my brain.  Once again reminding me of the importance of what we put before our eyes.  Our brain is a computer that stores all that we look at.

Long story short —

We were shopping with another couple (long time friends) when Curt’s stomach was feeling a little upset.  He sat down on a bench.  The next thing I know his head fell backwards, eyes were vacant, and his body was stiff.  I was sure he had just had a heart attack.

Time does seem to stand still.

He did come around,  but the EMT suggested that we take him to the ER.  The doctor wanted to keep him overnight for observation.  What would cause a healthy man (on no medication) to pass out?  (It is called a syncopal episode.)

I am grateful to our friends who made a horrible situation bearable.  It wasn’t at all what we had  planned, but it was an adventure.

He was released in the morning with orders to see his family doctor and have a stress test done.

Surprising to me, it was on the way home that I fell apart.  After all was said and done THEN the fear took over.  What would I do without him?   Will it happen again?  What caused it?  What if………………….?

Fear is a powerful emotion.

Yet even greater than fear is faith.

I was reminded, in a very fresh way, of the importance of gathering together with the people of  God.  It was during worship that God began to peel away the fear that had been consuming me.  As I joined others in offering praise to the One who holds all things together (Col 1:17) my head knowledge once again reached my heart.  For I know that God is in control.  I know that God will make a way.  I know that there is nothing to fear.  Now my emotions know that again too.

til next time

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments