Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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)

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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

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

peace in the storm

Recently I watched a storm come in across the lake. It was surprising how quickly the temperature went from pleasant to down right cold. The sky turned dark.

The lily pads looked like something invisible was running over them. The force of the wind made me reach for my jacket.

Sometimes it is like that in life. Things are going along smoothly when all of a sudden everything changes. If you step back for a moment, you might even see the changes happen right in front of you.

Psalm 29:11 tells us “the Lord will give strength to His people. The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Strength and peace are available to us if we trust and believe God.

As that storm came in, I was not the least bit afraid. It looked bad, but I was safe.

When the storms of life blow in, remember who holds you in the Palm of His hand! Rest in God’s embrace and allow His strength and peace to wash over you.

Strength – Peace – so very wonderful!!

Til next time

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May 26, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

eight weeks

Eight weeks ago I started a daily devotional on our PAC facebook page.   I gave it some serious thought and prayer before starting it.  A daily commitment is big deal.    Yet it was right along with what God has been leading me to do when I left  my job at the eye clinic.

Here are the daily topics:

  • Sunday Special
  • Memorization Monday
  • Tuesday’s Teaching Moment
  • Wonderful Wednesday
  • Thirsty Thursday
  • Fabulous Friday
  • Saturday’s Song

I try to keep it at 175 words or less which is a great discipline for me.  It forces me to schedule study time  into my day.  This is in addition to my own devotional time.   Who would have thought finding time to study would be an issue?  God is so good.  He knows my heart and my desire.

He gave me the push I needed.  He does that, we need only to pay attention.

Eight weeks — It sure doesn’t seem like eight weeks.

Today,  Tuesday’s Teaching Moment (my 57th post) was a bit of a challenge.   It had me wondering if I had truly counted the cost.  When I realized that with God’s help I had already done 56, it made me pause in Awe of the daily help that comes from God.

I am in Awe of His Word and how life changing it is.  I am in Awe that God would continue to use me.  Me – with all my imperfections and hang ups.  I am in Awe that God’s unending love continues to mold me.  Because of Jesus, I can share the hope, love and joy that I know is mine and available to all.  To God be the glory,  in my weakness He is strong!  (2 Cor 12:9-10)

In the beginning, I opened it up to the other four ministers at our PAC church.  While I would most certainly welcome the help, I am grateful that God enables me to do what He puts in my heart to do.

We are not all called to do the same thing but we are all called to represent Him.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

til next time,

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April 12, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

spring time, horses, and Carter

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“Behold, I make all things new .”  Rev 21:5

It is Spring, isn’t it?

It was a cool 23 degrees this morning when I woke at O’ Dark Thirty.    Last Friday there were a few snowflakes in the air as we toured an Amish community.  I was reminded of how grateful I am for warm vehicles when I saw this coming toward us.

amish

The horse must know where it is going.   I remember all to well when the horse I was riding  (Jim was his name) took off for the barn.  It appeared I was just along for the ride.  There was nothing I could do to stop him and he even attempted to scrap me off as he ran past the house.  He was quite the spirited horse.

What did I do?  When the horse finally stopped at the fence, I regained control.  Jim and I turned around and went back out.  We walked (he hated to walk) past the house, down the lane and to the railroad tracks.  Then I turned him around and we walked back to the barn.   He never tried that trick again.  The consequences weren’t worth it for him.

April is Child Abuse Awareness month.  I know a sweet little boy who suffered at the hands of  his biological father.  Carter’s only crime was crying – 4 month old babies will do that.  The consequences for Carter are severe.  He is now blind, tube fed, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, along with global mental and physical delays.  His biological father served 2 years of a 7 year sentence.  Is that justice?

It seems that our country has stricter punishment for animal abuse than for child abuse.

Carter loves worship.   He has taught me much about worshiping with abandonment,  giving it my all.  He loves Gloria kisses and I love him!

Spring time, horses and Carter might seem like an odd combination for a blog but it is what is on my heart this morning.

Spring is here – no matter what the temperature says.   So I brought a little springtime inside.flowers

Horses remind me of the consequences of choices made.  Consequences remind me of the price others pay for choices beyond their control – Carter.  Carter reminds me that God takes something that was broken and reveals beauty that is there.  God’s grace is enough.

spring

til next time,

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April 12, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

look out pride – the fall is coming

Arrogance is not a godly trait.  It is seeped in pride.   As a minister of the Gospel of Christ I have had numerous opportunities to extend grace and/or mercy to pride filled people.  It is not my job to change them.

It is my job to love them anyway.  It is my job to be an example.   However, it is also appropriate for me to set up boundaries. After all, God’s Word says to ‘guard my heart, above all else.’  (Proverbs 4:23)

This morning I was doing the dishes and just so happened to have K-Love on the radio.  Usually I listen to Joyce Meyer while doing dishes but not this morning.  I was thinking over a particular event that had recently occurred.  I really have an inward struggle with people who belittle other people or show superiority by making someone else look bad in public.    It breaks my heart when I see it happen to others and it hurts when it happens to me.

We are called to encourage, to come along side each other, to build up and not to tear down.  So when it happened to me I saw it for what it was — a little dig from the enemy.

So there I was doing dishes and thinking about what, if anything, I should have done or should do about this incident.  I do believe that as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  (Proverbs 27:17)   Yet, what is it God would have me do?

Then it happened.

God spoke to my heart and said ” Look at what happened next.”

Huh?  What?

What happened next?

Then it hit me.

Look out pride, the fall is coming. (Proverbs 16:18)   I wasn’t the one falling so I hadn’t recognized it.  Look out pride, there it was- the fall.   Yes, God loves this individual and He is working in their life and He is dealing with the arrogance.   I will continue to love and extend mercy and grace.  Why? Because we are all in need of it, including me.

Then this song came on:

“No matter what I face
You’re by my side
When you don’t move the mountains
I’m needing You to move
When you don’t part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers
as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You.”

Lauren Daigle

til next time,

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February 29, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment