Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

evil/good?

What does this verse mean to you?

psalm 34 14a

“Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

How will this play out in your life today?

When the opportunity to do good comes your way – will you do it? When you have the option of responding in a way that is peaceful or responding in a way that is harsh – which will you choose? Will you resort to sarcasm or will your words encourage? What is your tone like?

Turn from evil — are we people of integrity? Sadly sometimes our actions reveal us embracing evil. I have had people try to justify all sorts of things. If I have to make an excuse about my behavior – chances are something isn’t right. What I need to do is seek God’s forgiveness and help.

“Lord, help me today to do good. Help me to choose to let Your peace shine through my life. Show me how i can bring Your peace into stressful situations. May the words of my mouth and what I think on today be pleasing in Your sight. You, O Lord are my Rock and my Redeemer. May others see You working through me today.” (Psalm 19:14)”

walking in peace,

til next time

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March 24, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

want peace?

No matter what is going on in our world or in our personal life, God is still God and His promises are true. He is for us, with us and making all things work together for good.

“The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.    The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11 (NLT)

God is with us through the ‘floodwaters’ of our lives. It is His strength that will see us through. As we trust Him, no matter what is going on, His peace is ours.

However, here are things we do that will negatively impact our peace.
…take our eyes off of Jesus
…dwell on the negative
…use our words to tear down
…believing lies – “nothing will ever change” “I can’t deal with this” “I am all alone” “no one cares” — all of these are lies that increase our stress level and shove peace out the door
…other things that affect our peace would be lack of sleep
…being too busy
…avoiding things
…choices we make…
Yes, we have responsibility when it comes to peace.

“Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!

Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” Psalm 34:13-15 (NLT)

Here are things we can do to keep ourselves in peace.
…before you start your day talk to God
…remind yourself that you trust God
…be grateful
…pray every time you start to ‘feel’ stress coming on
…use your words to speak of your faith, hope and trust in God
…sing praises
…smile (Proverbs 31:25) my daddy always told me that I might as well smile if I had to do something cuz it would just make it better)
…dig deeper into the Word of God
…contact a friend who you know will lift you up
…get yourself to church — We need each other.

Jesus tells us in John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)

Make the choice today that you believe what the word says and you trust God even when things seem bad.

Faith goes beyond what we see.

God is not limited. Our God is greater!

til next time

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January 11, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, pastor, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

influence

We discussed yesterday about being an example. People see what we do. They also figure out rather quickly if our words match our actions.

2 Chronicles reveals a mother who could have been a wonderful influence to her son but that’s not what she chose.

“Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done. They even became his advisers after the death of his father, and they led him to ruin.” 2 Chron 22:3-4

“encouraged him in doing wrong” – what are some ways this could apply to the world we live in now?

*Calling in sick to work or school when we or our child isn’t sick
*Encouraging cheating
*Doing their homework for them
*Blaming the teacher instead of taking ownership
*Making the outcome the most important aspect – doesn’t matter how you get there or who you hurt
*Mistreating others
*Stealing with no consequences and possibly rewards for sneakiness
*Telling lies to get ahead
the list could go on and on

It matters what we do.

Ahaziah listened and it led to his ruin. Who are you listening to?  What are you telling people who are listening to you?

“Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 (NIV)

til next time

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November 25, 2017 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

gratitude

I have been doing a gratitude journal for quite awhile now. It has impacted my life in a powerful way. It should come as no surprise that intentionally being thankful for little and big things would greatly impact a person life, but yet, I find myself amazed and surprised often at the difference it makes.

“always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”
Ephesians 5:20 (NASB)

“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess 5:18 (NASB)

Things I would have rushed by or overlooked, now make me smile and even more important than that – it makes me think of how much my Jesus loves me and cares.

How about if you stop right now and think of three things you are thankful for?

Here are the last 3 entries in my journal:
1808   pinkish, purple, blue color in the sky around the moon and clouds with darkness surrounding
1809   “Just so happens” encounter and hug from a dear friend i haven’t seen in ages
1810   coupon for biscuits and gravy

On the cover of my journal I have written:
“Making a big deal out of every little thing God does for me.”
That is so much better than making a big deal out of nothing or worrying about something that will likely never happen.

I choose to see the good, to be thankful and to ‘cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.’ (Curt Girod)

What do you choose?

psalm 19 1 a

Selah,

til next time

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November 23, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

Life seems to be what happens while we are making all sorts of plans.  Good intentions don’t do us any good unless we follow through.

I want my life to make a difference.

psalm 34 14

Turn from evil.

Do we turn from evil or do we let it entertain us? The movie industry does a fine job of filming corruption, violence, greed, affairs, murders, sex……. we choose what we watch.

Do good.

Do is an action verb. Be intentional about doing good.

Seek peace.

When we feel ourselves getting worked up over something — remember we are offered peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Phil 4:6-7)

John 14:27 Jesus is telling us:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Pursue peace.

Going after peace is repeated. Personally I think that is because of the importance of having a peaceful state of mind. If we are upset, we are much more apt to worry, make bad choices, say things we regret, and/or focus inward taking our eyes off Jesus.

Turn from evil. Do good. Seek peace and pursue it. My prayer is that I will grow in my understanding and ability to apply these things to my life. What about you?

growing in faith!

til next time

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April 28, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. This means that He is my teacher and I want to be more like Him.
 
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NASB)
 
I often do an inventory of my actions, words, and thoughts. Sometimes God shines a spotlight on a particular attitude or action. It is my desire that I not cause pain.  We, as Christians, are called to encourage one another – not tear down – certainly not cause pain.
 
Another scripture verse that challenges me to look at my life, behavior, and thoughts comes from Thessalonians.
 
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NASB)
Examine, hold fast to good, abstain from every form of evil.
Sometimes I like to read from multiply translations.
 
“but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.” (NLT)
Test, hold on to good, stay away from evil!
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  
Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (KJV)
Prove, hold fast to good, abstain from all appearance of evil.
So my life changing question today is am I holding fast to that which is good and abstaining from the very appearance of evil? Or do I readily come up with justification or excuses?
What about you? What does it mean to you to hold on to the good and avoid the appearance of evil?    Remember God is right there to help you.
 
More like Jesus, is my desire!
til next time
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January 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not why but what

Sometimes we ask the wrong question.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)
I know that God will use this event, circumstance, trial, test to make me more like Jesus. – to make you more like Jesus.
Nothing in my life, in your life, is wasted. No effort, no pain, no anxiety, no tears, no discouragement is ever lost in some garbage heap somewhere.
Out of ashes, God will bring beauty. (Isaiah 61:1)
Instead of asking Why? Ask What?
What do you want me to learn as a result of this?
What do you want me to do as a result of this?
What do you want me to become/change as a result of this?
Making me more like His Son will take an eternity. I may not understand or appreciate all that the Master Potter does to transform my life – this lump of clay. (Isaiah 64:8)  It may be painful or confusing at times but I know His intent. He’s already told me and that makes all the difference. (V 29 to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.)
We are the work of His hand!
He will work all things out for our good. He is for us!(Psalm 118:6)
More on Romans 8:28  — click here for hungry lion or here for all things
God said it!  I believe it!
til next time
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October 18, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

life is precious

I woke up this morning to the horrendous news from Orlando.

Why do things like this happen?

Short answer – evil is in the world. There are people who are deceived.

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

In the same way that God uses people to accomplish His plan, the enemy (devil) uses people to carry out his plan. A couple of things that they both have in common are people and willingness. We choose whom we will follow.

Where they differ is that God loves people so much that He gave His son – the ultimate price. God operates out of love, mercy and grace. God offers life both here on earth and for all eternity.  God is for us and for our good.

The devil (thief) seeks to destroy, to wreak havoc, weaken and discourage.  He is all about our destruction.   ( John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”)

Joshua 24:15 tells us to choose who we will serve. Deut 30:15 tells us to choose life. Life and prosperity or death and adversity – it is our choice. Sadly some choose to follow the thief and human life means nothing to them.

We choose how we are going to live, the choices we will make and the path we will follow. Sadly, there are those who get in agreement with the thief and choose evil and death and their choices affect others.

We have much to pray for –the family and friends of those killed, the responders that are on the scene, those who are even now fighting for their lives and let us not forget to pray for our nation.

And let us do our part in choosing to let God shine through us, choosing life, and choosing those things that are good.  We overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21)

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til next time

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June 12, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

do good

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV)

 
DON’T QUIT
People can be unreasonable and self-centered – love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives – do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable – be honest and frank anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow – do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds – think big anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight – build anyway.
People really need help, but may attack you if you help them – help people anyway.
Give it the best you’ve got and you may get kicked in the teeth – give it the best anyway.
Life is about choices,
don’t quit! (author unknown)
 
We may not be able to change the whole world, but we can impact our corner of it by doing good wherever we can.
 
til next time
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June 5, 2016 Posted by | relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , | 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