Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

God smiles

God smiles. “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people…” (Psalm 149:4 ESV)
 
Some people have a distorted view of God. They see Him as distant, angry, and/or uninvolved. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
 
God loves us. He has desired a relationship from the very beginning. He would walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3) — He gave His Son to pay the price we couldn’t pay. (John 3:16) — We are told to seek Him. (Psalm 27:8) — Yes, God wants a relationship with us.
 
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 ESV
 
What about you? Where is your relationship with God?
 
Thy will be done,
til next time
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April 26, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

eyes wide open

Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT) is often used as a blessing at the end of a church service. I will use it as a prayer for someone that I know is going through a difficult time. it is my prayer for you today.

‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

May today find you noticing the blessings of God. Blessings are all around us. He is with us and He will make a way where there may seem to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19)

We don’t have to look far to see how gracious God is to us. His grace (getting what we don’t deserve) and His mercy (not getting what we deserve) are examples of His great love for us.

Favor and peace – Thank you God! He is working all things out for our good. (Romans 8:28) He is able to do more than we can even begin to imagine. (Eph 3:20) His grace is enough. (2 Cor 12:9)

Throughout the day stop, look up and thank Him for the big and the small things. It is also good for us to remember that He blesses us to be a blessing to others. (Gen 12:2) Let your light shine. Let them see Jesus in you. How about looking for ways to be generous.

May God bless you today and may we not forget that it is God.

til next time

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April 25, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

weeping – cleansing

Holy Week

Weeping and Cleansing

We’ve talked about the  triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Today we will look at weeping and cleansing.

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it” Luke 19:41 ESV

It is here that Jesus speaks of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. They refused to recognize God’s offer of salvation. (41-44)

I wonder how much impact it would make on our lives if we spent more time weeping over those who don’t know Jesus and are living in darkness? When was the last time you prayed for someone to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord? I am reminded of a line from a song that I love — “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”

We then find Jesus entering the temple.

“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” Luke 19:45-46 ESV

“A den of robbers” indicates that unfair dealings were taking place. Even though animals were needed for the sacrifices, selling them inside the temple was not acceptable. I believe it was also a prophetic action that sacrifices were no longer going to be needed. Jesus would become the sacrifice once and for all.

Weeping and cleansing — let’s take some time today and pray for those who are living with out hope. Let’s take some time to ask Jesus if there is a cleansing that needs to take place in us. Maybe it’s a negative attitude, a destructive habit, a stingy mindset, a laziness of sorts, complacency, pride, envy, a lying tongue…. is there something that is standing in the way of us being all that God intends us to be?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalm 19:23-24 NLT

til next time

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April 18, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

wisdom is not

Yesterday we looked at what James 3 says wisdom is.
Today we will look at the verses in between.
What wisdom is not
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:14-16 ESV
 
We’ve all met mean-spirited people. They will climb over anyone that gets in their way. Yes, they have ambition but it is full of conniving and using people. They are looking out for themselves and unconcerned about the cost others will pay.
 
Wisdom is not:
.twisting the truth so that you look wise
.trying to appear better than others
.making others look bad.
 
No one wants to work with a selfish person. Even if they have knowledge about the project, their selfishness will cause problems.
 
When it comes to jealousy the wise thing to do is recognize it and get rid of it. It truly is a green monster.
 
 
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17 NLT
Let’s be wise,
til next time
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April 14, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

criteria of wisdom

What does it look like to be a person who is wise? While there are many correct answers, today I want to look at what James has to say.
 
James 5:13 “If you are wise, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth…..17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” TLB (Tomorrow I will talk about the verses in the middle.)
 
What pours out of you will reveal your true level of wisdom.
God’s wisdom is demonstrated by a life that gets along with others. He/she recognizes that there may be something to learn from a discussion. It is someone who is straightforward – doesn’t beat around the bush. Yet, in the process is someone who is full of mercy. A wise person is someone who is sincere. No matter who they are with, they act the same.
Yes, we all have room to grow in wisdom.
 
 
Need more wisdom? James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
 
Live well, Live humbly. Walk your talk.
 
til next time
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April 13, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not my friend

I thought I  was done with you.  I had said my good byes.   You are a horrible ‘friend’.   You cause nausea, headaches, sleepless nights and make me feel on edge All The Time.

I thought that I was all better without you.  I thought I no longer needed you.  And then I got the call.

When the doctor informed me that he was putting me back on prednisone (this time for six weeks) I knew it was a challenge that I did not feel I was up to handling.   Prednisone you are not kind.  Your friendship is certainly a challenge I do not want.   Many of you know that it really doesn’t matter when your body has issues.

So I do what I know works. When in the midst of a challenge I don’t want to face, I fall on my face before God. I stay there and return there every time that peace seems to be outside my grasp. Becoming aware of His presence brings a calmness that is much needed.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He specializes in giving His children peace that goes beyond our ability to understand the why’s and how’s. (Philippians 4:6-7)

When I give in to the frustration of this ‘friendship’ I take my eyes off of Jesus.  My awareness of His presence is hindered by my focus on the reaction my body is giving to this drug.

Luke 6:45 is my battle cry!

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV

 

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So I fill my heart with more and more of God’s Word and I meditate on His goodness.  I hold tightly to this scripture that says out of my heart is what my mouth will speak.  It is not out of my pain or out of my edginess.  I’ve asked God to set a guard over my mouth – to keep watch over the door of my lips.  (Psalm 141:3)

Will I get it right every time?  No!  I can tell you that I have had to apologize and I have no doubt that I will need to apologize again.  Yet, that does not mean that I just give in to the medicine and be a jerk.

 

What challenges are you facing? Let God arise and scatter fear and doubt. Let God fill you to overflowing with hope. (Romans 15:13)

God’s got this!  More important God’s got me and He has you too if you will just lean on Him.

til next time

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April 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God is greater than my struggle

6 more weeks — trying to wrap my head around 6 more weeks.

You know that moment when you realize that the outcome you believed, with all your heart, is not the reality you are in?  Two weeks ago I started on prednisone.  Click here for the start of the journey.

I went back for blood work fully expecting my sed rate to be in the acceptable range.  With God’s help, I managed to navigate the two weeks keeping Godzilla at bay.   To God be the glory!

My sed rate is down but still too high.  Instead of a prescription for two weeks, I picked up  one for six weeks.  The thought of six weeks was enough to put me in full force tears.   The edginess, the nausea, the insomnia, the tiredness, the hunger, the headaches, the tears, the emotions all over the place — 6 weeks – which happens to include some mighty big things:  Easter, twins birthdays,  district council meetings, motorcycle blessing and show and the day to day life filled with loving God and loving people.   I can’t possibly hibernate for 6 weeks, can I?

    “when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,”  (Psalm 61)

Where do I go when I don’t get the answer that I so badly thought was coming?  I go back to God’s Word.  I call upon my Savior.  I lay my disappointment at His feet – knowing He loves me, will be there every step of the way, and He will use this for my good.  How?  I don’t have to know.  I just need to trust.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46

God is my safe place.  In my weakness, He is strong.  He is with me all the way.  I will not fear:

  • how my body will handle this medicine
  • how my emotions will respond
  • that six weeks won’t be enough to lower my sed rate
  • that I will fail miserably (God’s grace is enough)
  • that I can’t do this
  • the changes this will undoubtedly produce
  • what the medicine is doing to my organs
  • the withdrawal after six weeks
  • But most of all, I will not fear period because God is greater.

I may have to remind myself of this daily.    A great reason to be in the word daily.   It amaze me how God knows just what I need when I look to Him.

til next time

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

catching up

I had lunch with a friend today. It’s been way too long. We had so much catching up to do that this one visit wasn’t going to accomplish it all.
 
I wonder, do we do that to God? Maybe you haven’t talked to Him in ages so you have a lot of catching up to do.
 
I hope that you talk with God often throughout your day. You don’t have to schedule an appointment. However, you might need to set aside some time in your schedule to have an uninterrupted talk with Him. (Remember a conversation involves talking and listening. If you think God is silent – open up His Word. It will communicate with you anytime/anywhere.)
 
“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
 
Pray without ceasing is something we get better and better at as our relationship with God grows. It is having a mindset that God is always listening. He is our first response not last resort. We can talk with Him anywhere. Our thoughts can become prayers and He reads our heart when words just aren’t there.
 
Why not take a moment right now and talk with God, give Him thanks for this moment, and don’t forget to offer up your praise to Him. Praise tears down walls.
 
grateful!
til next time
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April 4, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cross, nails, will

What does it mean to you when Jesus says to take up your cross? To follow Him?
 
“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
 
How do we live out Galatians 5:24-25 (NLT)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”
 
We live in a world that seems to center around “me, me, me” and how everything affects me. Christianity sets us apart from that line of thinking. Jesus sets the example when He prayed in the garden – “Not my will but yours be done.”
 
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…… Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?……. Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” portions of Matthew 6:25-33 ESV
 
God first!
til next time
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March 27, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

this is what they meant??

Prednisone you are not my friend.   You’ve been responsible for a flood of tears.  You bring with you weight gain but even worse than that you mess with my emotions in a way that I have never before experienced.   You had better be worth it.   (I go for a stress test Wednesday.  That will be interesting as the meds are kicking up my heart beat just walking.)

I  have always had a wide range of emotions.  I feel things strongly.  When I get excited, I almost always talk louder and faster.  Some, who don’t know me, think that this means I am getting angry.  No, getting loud is not synonymous with anger.   I used to try to subdue it but then people would ask me what is wrong?

(I now embrace the excitement but try to be aware if someone is misinterpreting my voice raising.    This recently happened when we were having a discussion about women ministers.   This topic is near and dear to me.   I feel very strongly about it.  There was a time when someone’s disapproval  and lack of understanding of scriptural context would get under my skin.  Funny thing is then I didn’t say anything.     Now I recognize the responsibility to speak up –   to educate – to point out that God’s Word does not contradict. I am not mad at the person for being misguided.)   Ahh a topic for another day.

So a few days ago my Dr. put me on a steroid to bring my sed rate down from a much elevated level.    I was warned by many that it messes with your emotions.  Even knowing that did not prepare me for Godzilla.

I have reminded myself that I am a child of God.    I reminded myself that I do have the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life.   Knowing that I am devoted to God and it is my desire to follow Him – I quoted the scripture “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Matthew 12:34)  

I pray  — Oh God break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Help me operate in the compassion that comes from You.  Help my words be kind.  Help me build up.  God, I NEED YOU to be kind through me….”

I also cleared my schedule today – a rarity for me.  I told my husband this would be a really good day for him to use the church office.  I was not doing people today.  I love people and that is why I was not going to leave the house.

I asked God what I should do.  How was I going to get through the next 11 days – til my follow up appointment.  Starting tomorrow I cannot clear my schedule.  Come Thursday I leave with a large group of women (that I love dearly) for a 2 1/2 day retreat.  Sitting there with God this morning, that scared me.

Weird as it sounds, I felt impressed to get on facebook.  I was thinking – ok I can distract my emotions with that for awhile.  First thing I saw, upon scrolling, was a song a friend had posted.  I remembered that song from long ago.  I listened to it and it was as if God was all over that song.  I thanked my friend and got offline.   I sat down at the piano and began to play the song – over and over and over.

 

 

I don’t know how the next 11 days will go.  How often will I need to apologize?   I don’t know if I will pass the stress test.   I don’t know what is ahead health wise after my follow up appointment.

What I do know is that God loves me.  God loves you.  His grace is enough.  In my weakness He has proven Himself strong EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you see me, yes, I could use a hug.  Yes,  I will need grace.   Yes, I really am trying to keep Godzilla buried.   I apologize ahead of time and will do it again later as needed.  Please be understanding and please pray for my husband!!

Honey, I know you will be reading this.  I am soo glad that you are going through this with me.  I know your heart.

til next time

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments