Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

Christmas is coming….

Here it is the day before the day before Christmas. For some, by this point, exhaustion has set in. In addition to your normal full schedule, you have added decorating, a list of people to shop for, cards to send, treats to make, parties to go to, and a host of holiday commitments.
 
All these things are good. I want to do it all! Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.
 
Jesus says to us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
matthew 11 28
 
Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day. It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?
 
I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough. Jesus is more than enough.
 
Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother would make 20 different Christmas treats (some years more than that) and her house always looked great. I can’t live up to that expectation of myself. Laying that down was very liberating.
 
Also, look for the good in others and extend to people grace. This is good advice for any last minute Christmas shopping.
 
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV) How’s your soul? Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.
 
til next time
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December 23, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , | Leave a comment

let.it.go

Just. Let. It. Go!

No one likes to be forgotten or taken for granted and yet it happens. Some have said that an afterthought is better than to be completely forgotten. For me personally, having experienced both, completely forgotten is easier to process. Life is busy.

I was talking with a friend whose family completely missed her birthday – not a text, call, card – nothing. How do we handle it when we are forgotten or realize we were just an afterthought?

I am so very grateful that we are never an afterthought to God.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

When situations arise and you feel left out – don’t dwell on it – instead, extend grace. Easy? No, especially when your feelings are hurt. This is when it is so important to rule your emotions and not allow your emotions to rule you. Ask yourself if five years from now will it matter? What about one year? one month?

You have a couple choices – dwell on it and be miserable with resentment and bitterness on your heels or Just Let It Go. Extend grace (knowing they will possibly not even realize you are extending grace) and then peace and joy will be on your heels.

Remember God hasn’t forgotten you. God is on your side always. Don’t dwell on what could have been or what wasn’t but dwell on what is! God is for you! God is working all things for your good. God is with you!

psalm 139 17 18

 

Selah,

til next time

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December 3, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , | Leave a comment

sometimes I need a reminder

Today just seemed like a day to remember a few important truths so I am posting this list that I put together awhile back.

Take a moment and read each of these out loud.

My God is for me Psalm 118:6
God will make a way Isa. 43:16, 19
Nothing is impossible Luke 1:37
His grace is enough 2 Cor 12:9
He will do more than I ask or think Eph 3:20
He works wonders Psalm 77:14
He gives beauty for ashes Isa 61:3
He will never leave me Heb 13:5, Deut 31:8
He sustains me Psalm 55:22
He takes pleasure in me Psalm 149:4
He is the same yesterday, today and forever Heb 13:8
He holds me up Psalm 63:8
He is an ever-present help Psalm 46:1
He fights for me Ex 14:14
Nothing is too difficult Jer 32:17
Greater is He 1 John 4:4
He lifts my head Psalm 3:3
He works things out Romans 8:28
He rejoices over me Zeph 3:16-17
He is able Psalm 138:8
In my weakness, He is strong 2 Cor 12:9

I am strong and courageous, fearless and enthusiastic. (1 Chron 22:13)

I say Yes, Lord!!

Selah,

til next time

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October 14, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

this battle isn’t mine

Whatever comes our way today – God is with us.

Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.
He calls us to trust Him – to let our faith arise.
“By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen. ” Hebrews 11:3 (TLB)
God created the heavens and the earth, He holds it all together, He has us engraved on the palm of His hand, AND that battle we are in, well, don’t forget that it is His battle and we are His! (Gen 1:1, Col 1:17, Isaiah 49:16, 2 Chron 20:15, Psalm 110:3)

Whatever it is that is coming at us – God is greater!

Say this with me:
–That person that is trying to make my life difficult — God says that Vengeance is His – He will repay.                            (Romans 12:19)

–The health issues that I face — God says to trust Him. He is my healer and His grace is sufficient.”                           (Proverbs 3:5-6, Exodus 15:26, 2 Cor 12:9)

–That job related issue that is bringing me stress – God says to cast my cares on Him.                                                        (1 Peter 5:7)

–That thing that is trying to bring anxiety – God says His comforts gives me renewed hope.                                     (Psalm 94:19)

–When my paycheck is reduced, I trust God  — God says He is my provider.  I will lack no good thing.                                  (Psalm 34:10)

I Trust God!
battle
“Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:2-4 (NLT)
Selah,
til next time
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September 29, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rule follower / rule breaker?

Rules — Some people think rules don’t apply to them.  Some people are bent on being rule breakers.  Other people recognize the need for rules. 
There are rules to playing games, driving a car, sitting in a library, taking tests….. everywhere I look there are rules. Now when it comes to some things – playing dominoes for example, the rules may differ widely from one group to the next. So it is important to set the rules up before playing that first game.
 
rules
Some rules we can change. Other rules we cannot change. I can remember getting kicked out of the library as a teenager because I wasn’t following the rules. At the time I thought it was a stupid rule. (I was in a conference room designed to be a place to talk, so why couldn’t I talk?) Consequences can help us to abide by rules in the future. The librarian set and enforced the rules. I learned to abide by those rules.
 
Our country has many rules. Sadly, I don’t get to set the speed limit. I read where Montana, at one time, did not have a daytime speed limit. Just because I obey the speed limit doesn’t mean I don’t want to go fast. Obeying the laws – even the ‘stupid’ ones, unless it clearly goes against God’s Word (Acts 5:29) is what we are called to do. (Titus 3:1) It is a tall order, but God is right there ready to help us.
 
God also sets up some rules for living an abundant, fruitful life. When God says “thou shall or thou shall not,” He isn’t trying to cramp our style. Rather He is leading us down a path of peace, strength, joy, and victory. He has our best interests in mind. He is for us. (Psalm 118:6)
 
Thankfully God offers grace, mercy and forgiveness to us as we strive to follow Him. Applying God’s Word to our day-to-day living is a lifelong process.
 
Following Jesus!
til next time
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May 26, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace, mercy, love – i need these!

Mercy, grace, and love.   I desperately need these in my life.  I am grateful that God gives them to me.

My husband often says, “Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve.”

 

“God is sheer mercy and grace;

not easily angered, he’s rich in love…..

He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,

nor pay us back in full for our wrongs….

God’s love, though, is ever and always,

eternally present to all who fear him,…..” portions of  Psalm 103:8-14 The Message.

 

Go ahead and read the whole passage.  It is a great thing to meditate on.

 

Love – Trusting God’s love when my circumstances don’t make sense, when life seems to be out of control, when my heart is breaking, when the road ahead looks rough, when the urge to quit is strong, – trusting in His love calms my fears, increases my joy, renews my hope and strengthens my faith.

Trusting in His love helps me walk in obedience when my flesh wants its own way. Knowing He knows all about me, nothing is secret from Him (“He knows us inside and out,”) and still He loves me – that right there is enough for me to trust Him to work things out in ways that I may not even begin to comprehend.

God loves you! His mercy and grace are for you!

Mercy, grace, and love – thank you God!

til next time

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May 16, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what did Jesus do?

If we are not mindful, we can get sucked into the hurry, hurry, schedule packed, pulled in many directions, life going round and round in circles leaving no room for the unexpected. Yet, the unexpected happens.

Jesus is leaving Jericho heading to Jerusalem. It is 17 miles. Before leaving he told his disciples what would take place there. (Death and Resurrection)

As he left Jericho, a great crowd follows him. Two blind men are sitting by the road. When they heard who was passing by they began to cry out to Him. The multitude tried to quiet them. They got all the louder. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David.”

What did Jesus do?
Matthew 20:32 -33 “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

V 32 He stood still, and called them – even though He was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing what was ahead – he stood still. He met them in that moment.

What Do We Do? Are we willing to stop, stand still and do good? Do we take time to help? Once you start to pay attention to the opportunities, you will find them everywhere.

finding the smooth rhythm of grace,
til next time,

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April 13, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how do you respond?

I interact with numerous people throughout any given week.  Sometimes I can go from talking with someone who has just lost a loved one or lost their job to someone who just got married or just got a promotion.  

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”  Be careful that you don’t get that backwards and rejoice when something bad happens to someone and be sad when they get a blessing.  Jealousy is behind that line of thinking.

“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.  Do you let Jesus love shine through you to others?

Let’s interact in such a way that they feel encouraged and loved after speaking with us.

Compassion, grace, and mercy are indeed quite attractive.

We are in this together!

til next time

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June 28, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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)

IMG_20160210_082201_775-1

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

it is all in how you view life

Here it is Friday again!  I love Fridays.  Wait, what am I saying?  I love all days because each day is a gift that I get to unwrap.

Our day off happens to be on Friday and I do look forward to some down time.  Today there was more down time than usual as I have thrown my back out.  Painful?  Yes, very!

It happened Tuesday – not sure exactly what happened but my back started hurting.  (My Dr. told me that a lady came in this week who sneezed and threw her back out.  Crazy!)  On Wednesday I managed to get through my commitment to lead worship and Bible study (as a Chaplain) but then I went to the chiro.  Sadly there was not much relief, but I did manage to make it through worship and Bible study at church.

Finally this morning, when I could stand the pain no more, I went to my family Dr.  I am now on muscle relaxers (which make me sleepy) but no pain pills.  He would have given me some and he was quite sympathetic to the pain but pain meds would only make me constipated and that would not be good given my other issues going on.

Other issues going on makes me pause and remind myself that I know God is my healer (Psalm 103:3) and that He is very much aware of what is going on (Mark 8:16-18) and that He will turn all this around for my good. (Romans 8:28)

No matter what is going on in my life – God is F.A.N.T.A.S.T.I.C.  So I pause today and remind myself that my God is greater than all my health issues.  It is all about how we view life.  I place my focus on God.  His Grace is enough!!  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He is FANTASTIC!

F – Friend – He calls me friend (John 15:13-15)
A – Almighty God – All powerful (Isaiah 9:6, Revelations 1:8)
N – Nothing is too difficult for God (Jeremiah 32:17, Luke 1:37)
T – Trusting Him I know I can make it (Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 26:3-4)
A – Amazing Grace – Grace wins! (Psalm 84:11, 2 Timothy 2:1)
S – Savior (John 3:16, Isaiah 45:21)
T – Together forever (John 14:16, Psalm 125:2)
I – Incredible love – how deep – how wide (Ephesians 3:18-19, Romans 8:35-39)
C – Compassion fails not (Lamentations 3:22-24, Psalm 86:115)

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:1-4 (NASB)

daisy

Our God is an awesome God!

til next time

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June 10, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment