Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

yes, you have a choice

We (my husband and I) are four weeks into post-op.  To say it has been a challenge is an understatement.  Neither of us had any real idea of what to expect.  Oh, I had expectations alright.  Reality is nothing like my expectations.

Looking back over the past four weeks, there is one thing that keeps popping up. I would find myself overwhelmed and God would lovingly, ever so gently pick me up and calm my anxiety. (This was very evident when I was driving in the foothills of Tennessee – on back roads that were narrow and not marked.)

I had a choice. We always have a choice.

I could wallow in self-pity. I could embrace the anxiety and carry it with me like a blanket. I could give in, clinch my fists and shut down. OR I could cry out to God. I could choose to believe what I know to be true and not what I was currently ‘feeling.” I could, with open arms, receive God’s grace and strength for each moment.

Psalm 61:1-4 NLT
“O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!”

What are you facing today? What ‘enemies’ are trying to overtake you today? (Fear? Doubt? Frustration? Financial? Relationships? Work? School?…)

Will you choose to receive from God the strength and grace that He offers? Will you choose to trust Him today?

God is for you, with you, and making a way. (Psalm 118:6, Matt 28:20, Isaiah 43:19)

Til next time

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October 29, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

enjoy today

 
I enjoy my life. It is very full – which is how I like it. I vaguely remember being bored back when I was a child. My dad took care of that quickly. By the time I was 7, I was the only child at home. Learning how to entertain myself was a wonderful gift that has carried into my adult life.
 
I enjoy life, yet, there are times that I find myself worn out – exhausted. (I’m not talking about the tiredness that comes with my current health issues but a mental exhaustion.)
 
Truth is that each time that occurs, I can trace it back to not spending enough time at the feet of Jesus. Unforced rhythms of grace is only possible as we walk with and work with Jesus. He teaches us how to rest and how to live life freely and lightly.
Mark 6 31 (3)
 
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG
 
Are you tired? Jesus is calling you to come away for awhile and sit at His feet. The most important thing you can do today is to spend time with Him.
 
“Cultivate an awareness of His presence.” (Curtis Girod)
 
He is with you always. He is able! He is greater! Allow Him to fill you to overflowing with renewed hope!! (Romans 15:13)
 
 
Loving the life Jesus has given you is one way for you to show your gratitude! “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” Phil 4:4 MSG
til next time
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September 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

truth

Every obstacle is an invitation to trust. Living out our life, trusting God to fill us with courage and strength, standing on His Word, embracing the truth….
 
We are more than conquerors through Him. (Romans 8:37)
All our sufficiency, our power and success comes from God (2Cor 3:5)
Our Victory is through Jesus (2 Cor 15:57)
We have enough grace (2 Cor 12:9)
He is working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28)
He will never leave us alone (Heb 13:5)
weapons formed against us will not be more powerful (Isa 54:17)
We have God’s help in the present moment (Psalm 46:1
God is for us (Rom 8:31)
Jesus is consistent (Heb 13:8)
He will make a way (Isa 43:16)
He will provide streams in the dessert (Isa 43:19)
Our sorrow is turned into joy (Psalm 30:11)
Our broken heart He heals (Psalm 147:3)
Giants are defeated (1 Sam 14:47)
God is faithful and true (Heb 10:23)
He sustains us ( Psalm 55:22
Our ashes He turns into beauty (Is 1:3)
Our God is greater – period (1 John 4:4)
He lifts up our head (Psalm 3:3)
He is our anchor through the storms of life (Heb 6:19)
His name is Jehovah Jireh – our provider (Gen 22: 14)
He is the God of wonders (Psalm 77:14)
There is none like Him and He is crazy in love with you! (Jer 10:6, John 3:16)
 
Make up your mind – live in the truth. You are victorious through Christ.
 
til next time
(I would love for you to add to this list in the comments section.)
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September 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life abundant?

I enjoy my life. It is sometimes crazy, always full, and even in the hard times I know that God is with me. I decided a long time ago to live life fully — living the abundant life Jesus talked about. (John 10:10)
 
Unforced rhythms of grace is how I can enjoy all that I do. God’s grace is enough for whatever today holds. Walking with and working with the leading of the Holy Spirit is key to living the abundant life – to enjoying life.
 
Why would I choose to be miserable when I can enjoy today!!
I once said that I wanted to do it all. What I meant by that is — all that God has for me to do. I want to embrace each day as a gift from God – because it is.
 
I think it can be easy to fall short of what God has planned for us. “Not my will but Yours be done” is a powerful prayer. However, when we sense the leading to do something that requires discipline on our part or a greater sacrifice than we really want to make… — you see where I am going with this. Yet, the abundant life is tied into saying yes to God.
 

mark 6 31 (2)
“…Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life…. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
 
Walk with and work with Jesus. Operate in the unforced rhythms of grace.
 
Tomorrow I will look at what to do when you feel worn out.
til next time
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September 4, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

casual christian?

I don’t want to be a casual christian — that is more than I line in a song we sing. It is truth! A casual christian is such a waste of what we are meant to be. We are a part of the army of God. We are a part of something so much bigger than us.
 
“So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (MSG)
 
“these qualities active and growing in your lives”
 
“It takes discipline and character to be a person who responds in a Christ like manner.” Pastor Curt
 
How do you interact with others?
 
Would warm friendliness describe you? How about passionate patience? We all have room for growth.
 
People want to be heard and understood. People want to know you care.
 
 
Compassion, grace, and mercy are indeed quite attractive.
 
Let’s interact in such a way that they feel encouraged and loved after speaking with us. Let the love of Christ flow through you!
 
til next time
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August 23, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace upon grace

God’s Grace
 
John 1:15-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
“John taught the truth about him
when he announced to the people,
“He’s the One! Set your hearts on him!
I told you he would come after me,
even though he ranks far above me,
for he existed before I was even born.”
And now out of his fullness we are fulfilled!
And from him we receive grace heaped upon more grace!
Moses gave us the Law, but Jesus, the Anointed One,
unveils truth wrapped in tender mercy.”
 
“And now from him we receive grace heaped upon more grace!” — From my teenage years through the present – I am very much aware of my own shortcomings. Somewhere along the way, though, I began to realize God’s grace is deeper. This is not an excuse for my failings. Rather it is an understanding of truth.
 
I Need God!
 
It is through Christ that I change. (Psalm 51) In my weakness, He is my strength. (2 Cor 12:9) I am not a victim. I am victorious in Christ. (1 Cor 15:57)
 
Today I am meditating on God’s grace. What a powerful attitude changer.
 
Walking in God’s grace,
til next time
 
 
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June 6, 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

fields of grace

(Continued from 3/7 – what I love about christianity  & 3/8 – just as if )
Romans 5:2 “through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand;”
 
We have access (approach God) by faith into grace/favor in which we stand firm.
The Message bible puts v 2 this way – “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”
 
“Standing in grace” – sometimes it ‘feels’ like we are knee deep in mud. When it feels like that remember truth – Grace in where we stand. You may need to remind yourself of this when your emotions/feelings try to tell you something different.
 
It is the power of God that enables us to stand. Don’t forget where you are standing! Field of God’s grace!!
 
The second part of v 2 says “and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
 
Hope is our anchor (Heb 6:19-20)
 
We have an anchor that keeps us sure and steady. It doesn’t fasten to the sand but enters within the veil and fastens onto Christ. Jesus paid the price for us. Our hope is fastened on Him.
 
“But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14
 
standing in grace – filled with hope,
 til next time
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March 11, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

priorities

I am certain that we all, at one time or another, have had our priorities messed up. It can be easy to get distracted. Maybe you don’t want to disappoint someone so you say yes when you know you should say no. Too many of those moments and you will find yourself frustrated. You might even want to blame someone else. Yet, we are responsible for our own choices.
 
What does God’s Word have to say about choices? Plenty!
 
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Eph 3:20 NLT
 
It is clear that we cannot do all the things that we want to do, nor all the things others would like us to do. I find that fulfillment comes when I seek to do those things God has planned for me to do. His grace is enough to do all that He calls me to do. The problem comes in when I am trying to do more – or do something other than what He intends for me to do.
 
I want to do it all — all that God has planned for me.
 
How do we know what He wants?
 
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
 
Read the Word. Study the Word. Pray and ask God for direction.
 
“He will give you wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.”  Curtis Girod
 
I want to make the best use of the time and energy that I am given. This requires being intentional about what I spend my time doing. When I set my priorities to line up with God’s leading, I can relax and focus on what is at hand. I can walk in His peace even in the midst of difficulties.

Intentional
How are your priorities?
til next time
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February 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my own little Cheers

There was a time in my life where I absolutely would not eat alone in a restaurant. Then I started working in the morning in one town and had a 40 minute drive to my afternoon location.  Lunch time was right in the middle. Sure I could pick up something and eat on the road but I really just wanted to sit somewhere for a bit and recharge.

“Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News. Be wise in all your contacts with them. Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.”

Colossians 4:5-7 (TLB)

It wasn’t long and I realized that I had been limiting my availability to God. While I thought lunch would be a recharging time, God chose something else. I have my own little Cheers thing going on – except that it isn’t a bar, but they know my name.

I’ve had numerous women  came over to my table and before I know it, they are one by one spilling their life story. Oh, what stories they are sharing. I make the most of each opportunity to share Jesus.

Have you made some decisions that limit how or when God can use you? It isn’t necessarily easy to step out and be available but it does get easier the more I do it.

Use wisdom and make the most of your opportunities to tell others about the hope that you have in Christ. Use your words to extend grace to those you talk with. Allow God to use you and He will.

Selah,

til next time

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October 8, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment