Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

you don’t have my back?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

Even my best friend, the one I always told everything

he ate meals at my house all the time!—

has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself.

God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

Selah,

til next time

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October 10, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

huh?

Sometimes people do or say things that make me go “huh?” I’ve come to realize that there are people who speak out of their own pain, life experience, low self-worth and/or fear. And there are those who speak words of hurt because wounded people tend to hurt others. What do we do with this? How do we handle it?

There are times when something needs to be addressed and correction is in order but much of the time what is needed is huge dose of grace and love.

Do unto others as you want them to do unto you. (Matthew 7:14)

I have heard it said that we judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions. Let’s be people of grace.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Eph 4:2 (NIV)

Humble – recognizing my need for Christ in all areas of my life. (John 15:5)

Gentle – kind. A little kindness goes a long ways.

Be patient – do you find yourself getting irritated easily? It just may be that God is wanting to get your attention about that area in your life so that you will have freedom from the chains of frustration and irritation. Patience and self-control are part of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians.

Bearing with – hold up, support. … in love – there it is. What we all need, especially when we mess up, is people who truly love us to come along side us and hold us up. Let’s be that person today.

Loving Jesus, loving people,

til next time

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March 18, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

got love?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

“Even my best friend, the one I always told everything
—he ate meals at my house all the time!—
has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

matt 7 12

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself. God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

til next time

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February 25, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what goes around – comes around -really?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Luke 6:31

As a child, I thought the Golden Rule meant that people would treat me how I treated them. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that just didn’t work like I thought.

I remember talking with my dad and trying to explain to him how this just didn’t work.  I was friendly and kind – in return the other person was snobbish and cruel.    Evidently that is how she wanted to be treated so that should be how I treat her, right?

Then I would get the ‘you only have to answer for your own actions‘ speech.   (Romans 14:12)  He sure said that a lot.

Somewhere along the way it stuck.  I am responsible for my behavior – my actions.  No matter what someone else does or doesn’t do, I will answer for my choices.  How I treat someone will be a reflection of who I am not of who they are.

What about  ‘you reap what you sow?

Yet we know that the Bible tells us

For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  John 4:37 (NJKV)

Now the Bible does talk about reaping what you sow.  Check this out.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  Galatians 6:7-8

What choices are you making about how you live your life?  Which one are you feeding?  the flesh? or the Spirit?

You’ve heard it said that ‘what goes around comes around.’  Yet, there have been things that happened to me that I have not done nor would even dream of doing to someone else.  I think we all have experienced that to some degree.

I offer grace and mercy to others because that is what I want others to give to me.   It is the Golden Rule in action.

I have told my husband that sometimes I feel like there is this bulls eye on my back or a sign that says open season on Gloria, take your best shot.  Yet, I absolutely believe that nothing, NOTHING happens to me that doesn’t first go through God.  He is in charge of my life.  He is in charge of the calling He has placed on my life.  He will bring beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He will turn this around for good because I love and trust Him! (Romans 8:28)

Joyce Meyer Ministries puts it this way:

“You know what tenderizes you? Your own personal pain. You go through something that is so gut-wrenchingly hard that you think you can’t stand it. But when you come out of that, you’re gonna be more tender-hearted. You’re gonna cry easier. You’re gonna care about the hurting more quickly. You’re gonna be more careful what you say to people.”

Pain can make you bitter or better.   I will take better every time.

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”  Romans 14:12 (NKJV)

So I will continue to treat people the way I would want them to treat me. Even if, or maybe especially when, they are mistreating me.  I will not repay evil with evil, but remember that good overcomes evil. (Romans 12:17 & Isaiah 1:16-17)  With God’s help, I choose good.   I will be intentional about letting God’s love shine through me.

How about you?

til next time

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May 22, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

golden rule played out in my life

Some people have a funny way of encouraging.  In fact it isn’t encouragement at all but sarcasm disguised as lightheartedness.  I don’t know about you but when I am struggling  – what I need is a listening ear or an encouraging word or the assurance  that the person has my back. 

You are probably familiar with the saying walk a mile in my shoes.   It is meant to remind us that we do not see all that is going on.  Instead of offering judgment or ridicule — give grace – offer encouragement –  recognize that each person is dealing with some sort of challenge.  The Christian life is filled with opportunities for growth.  Just because it is not our battle does not mean that it is not a battle.    

To us, it may look like no big deal but that is because of our perception of what the situation is.  Sometimes  that little thing  is the final straw in a whole host of challenges that have been piling up in the individual’s life.    Instead of making a harsh or flippant remark, we are called to come along side and encourage.

Do unto other as you want them to do unto you.  This does not mean if you treat people well that  they will in turn treat you well.  It doesn’t say Do unto others and they will likewise do the same to you.  It is not  some formula. 

There are times in my life where this truth has become crystal clear.  Oh if only those people would treat me the way I treat them.  However, that is not what this scripture is talking about.  It is addressing how I treat others which is not the same as how I am treated. 

Let’s look at the placement of this scripture.  Jesus is talking in Luke 6:27-36 about how we are to deal with people.  He is talking about loving our enemies – doing good to those who mistreat us.  Then he states to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’    It is about our behavior.  It is about how we express God’s love to those who mistreat us. 

He goes on to say that loving those who love you in return does not set us apart.  It doesn’t take any effort on our part to love people who treat us great!  As Christians we are called to a higher standard.  We are called to love our enemies.

When we love those who are unloving, when we treat people decently even when they are mistreating us, when we extend mercy and do good – we are letting God’s love shine through us.

For me it is harder when the person who is mistreating me is a Christian.  David addresses this in  Psalm 41:9  “Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.”   Yet David speaks about his own integrity and that he will be in God’s presence forever. 

So, I will continue to love and treat people the way I want to be treated because that is what my Lord asks of me.  Is it easy?  Absolutely not.  But I refuse to fall into the trap of making excuses for unkind behavior.    I can and do  trust God to give me the strength and the ability to walk in His love.   

The Golden Rule is played out in my life when I walk in love not just to those who love me but to those who just may need my love the most.  

God cares about the lost and so should we.

til next time

June 6, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

do unto others

Being in full-time ministry, I have all sorts of people cross my path.

Some are only there briefly.  I may have only one opportunity to be kind to them.  I want to take that opportunity, which means I need to be mindful to be a blessing.

Others people I meet have been hurt in the past by a church (or maybe it was their husband, child, job)   and they choose to take it out on me.  “Like water off a ducks back” that’s what my daddy used to say.  People who are hurting can spew garbage and it is up to me to let it slide off.   It can be hard to not take it personally.  Yet if one is to remain effective in their Christian walk – than learning how to love the unlovely is necessary.  Keeping my heart soft is vital to being able to continue to love people.

There are and will be plenty of opportunities for growth in this area.   I have found that asking God to open my eyes and see people as He does has been extremely helpful.  I am sure I only have a glimpse of His love for the hurting but with His help it is enough.

The Christian life is all about first loving God and then loving others.  I can’t do one without the other.  If I truly love God then I will be working on loving others.  It is what He calls me to do.

On the other hand, I can’t love unkind people without loving God first.  My flesh would instead want to take over.  It is God’s  love that shines through.

How I treat others is a reflection of my relationship with God.  Yes, there are times that I fail miserably but that should not be the normal.  What should be the normal is that the people who cross my path should feel like they matter to me.  This means that I extend grace & mercy, understanding & patience, and gentleness — blanketing all of those with a heavy dosage of love.

How do you treat others?

til next time

July 19, 2011 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, relationships | , , , , , , | 8 Comments

friends

The last year has  been an eye-opening experience.  Just when you think you know people……….. they will surprise you.  This can be a wonderful thing!  Unfortunately sometimes it can be painful.

Treat people like you want to be treated…………………ah the Golden Rule. (Luke 6:31) Notice it doesn’t say treat people the way they treat you.

Some people, no matter how nice you treat them,  will still not treat you nice in return.   This is just how it is.

The Golden Rule does not guarantee that others will treat you the same way.   What it does do is build character and reveal the type of person you are.   God sees this  and He will bless it.

If everyone would follow the Golden Rule, this world would be a much different place.  Instead the mantra seems to be “looking out for number 1” –  people are impatient and think the world revolves around them.  No way would they want to be treated the way they treat others.    Yet we do not answer for their actions but for our own.

Sometimes people will push our buttons.  Sometimes they will even do this on purpose.  I have a friend you who will make this statement “It is so hard not to be ugly.”   She recognizes that what she is thinking and/or about to say is not kind.   Yet it is hard to not treat people how they are treating you.

I make the choice every day to focus on those who are encouraging and have our back.    It has been a very difficult time for me personally.   I am grateful for those who have made the path a bit easier.    I am thankful  for the  Dory’s in my life who come along side me and remind me to “keep swimming, just keep swimming….”

Hard times make you aware of the difference between one-sided vs. two-way friendships.

For all of you who have poured into our lives this past year, have hung in there and have kept us in your prayers– thank you!   We are blessed to have such a wonderful group of people to call our friends!!!!!!

As the old song says “keep smiling, keep shining  knowing you can always count on me, for sure — that’s what friends are for.    For good times,  for bad times – I’ll be on your side forever more.  That’s what friends are for….. ”

til next time

April 9, 2011 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments