Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

opening the doors

We are opening Sunday and while I am excited about that, there is also a weight that comes with that decision. There are things that need to be done. Changes that will be implemented. It is one more unknown in this uncharted territory I find myself in.
 
Recently, I became aware that the weight was even heavier than I thought. Sometimes we carry around a heavy load that God does not intend for us to carry.
 
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb12:1-2 ESV
 
I want to focus on laying aside every weight. (Certainly if there is sin that you know is standing in between you and God – get rid of it. Acknowledge it to God and ask Him to help you change. He will.)
 
Laying aside every weight — what is weighing you down? What is that heavy burden that is pressing on you?
 
Jesus has the answer.
 
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ” Matt 11:28 NLT
 
Take your burden to Jesus – trusting Him to work it out, to give you wisdom, to provide strength, to shower you with renewed hope.
 
Read the rest of Hebrews 12. It will encourage you!
 
Thank you Jesus for the rest you give. Today I choose to walk in Your unforced rhythms of grace. (Matt 11:28-30 MSG)
til next time
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May 12, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

disappointment

Yesterday our Governor made the decision to cancel school for the rest of this 19-20 school year. The seniors did not realize that March 13th would be the last day they would be in class with their friends. For moms and dads homeschooling is a real thing. For the teachers, summer can be hard enough to come back from but now add 2 1/2 months to it and what will it be like in the fall?
 
Disappointment.
 
One thing covid19 is good for is disappointment. It is sure to affect everyone in some way.
*seniors who will miss out on Prom, sports and scouts,
Graduation ceremony and parties
*loved ones in the hospital and you can’t be there with them
*weddings that have had to be changed or postponed
*funerals that are void of people contact
*layoffs
*no gathering with family/friends
 
How do we handle this? Possibly the last thing you would think of is to rejoice. Yet, when we choose to rejoice in the Lord, in the midst of difficulty, we are really winning the battle and shutting the enemy down.
 
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NASB
 
Covid can lead to disappointment. Hope will not lead to disappointment. Hold on to the hope you have in Christ.
 
Earlier in Romans 5 The Message bible puts it this way.
“… And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. 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.”
 
Feeling disappointment? Shout your praise! His grace is enough. Sing with the angels — giving God glory!!
 
Gloria
 
esterday our Governor made the decision to cancel school for the rest of this 19-20 school year. The seniors did not realize that March 13th would be the last day they would be in class with their friends. For moms and dads homeschooling is a real thing. For the teachers, summer can be hard enough to come back from but now add 2 1/2 months to it and what will it be like in the fall?
 
Disappointment.
 
One thing covid19 is good for is disappointment. It is sure to affect everyone in some way.
*seniors who will miss out on Prom, sports and scouts,
Graduation ceremony and parties
*loved ones in the hospital and you can’t be there with them
*weddings that have had to be changed or postponed
*funerals that are void of people contact
*layoffs
*no gathering with family/friends
 
How do we handle this? Possibly the last thing you would think of is to rejoice. Yet, when we choose to rejoice in the Lord, in the midst of difficulty, we are really winning the battle and shutting the enemy down.
 
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:3-5 NASB
 
Covid can lead to disappointment. Hope will not lead to disappointment. Hold on to the hope you have in Christ.
 
Earlier in Romans 5 The Message bible puts it this way.
“… And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. 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.”
 
Feeling disappointment? Shout your praise! His grace is enough. Sing with the angels — giving God glory!!
 
til next time
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April 18, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

essential workers

Yesterday I shared a devotional geared toward those of you working or staying at home.  Today I want to shift gears.  Since I’m one of the ones working from home, I reached out to some friends who are still going to work – to get some insight.

Thank you for all the responses I received.  I am overwhelmed by some of the pain and rawness.  Truly this is uncharted territory.

“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:28 NKJV

Here are some of what essential workers have shared with me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

  • rude people made the list way too many times
  • breathing with PPE on and the shields cause glasses to fog up
  • PPE gets in the way of my work
  • working extra hours is taking its toll on my body
  • shortened hours while increasing the load
  • breaks are shortened or non-existent
  • people are scared, mean, hateful and taking it out on us workers
  • bosses decision to not use PPE puts us in danger

What changes have taken place?

  • not being able to go to church but I can go to work 😦
  • drive thru only
  • stopped allowing customers in – all work done by phone, email, text
  • family is not allowed in
  • vacation plans gone
  • people who don’t want to come to work and so they really don’t work once there
  • nothing much has changed except some parts of the plant have restricted access – not good for morale

What is difficult/hard with working during covid19?

  • the reality that I could become infected or be a carrier and bring it home
  • struggling to empathize with people because my life is crazy busy and I’d love a week at home
  • so close to the edge
  • seeing people at their worst – fear changes people
  • not being able to do anything to truly protect people I care about
  • to see beyond self and all I am doing
  • lack of interaction with people that I am taking care of
  • exhaustion
  • finding it difficult to sleep because of anxiety
  • added demands = added physical pain
  • workers who took 2 weeks off claiming covid because they could
  • actually my job is easier without people coming in
  • seeing empty space were co-workers should be

To the essential worker –  where does your help come from?  Look up!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. (verses 1&2)

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (verse 8)

Psalm 121

 I also asked where do you see God in all of this?

  • when I pray with people
  • cheerful people even when their lives are turned upside down
  • when I talk with friends
  • in the people who thank us for being open
  • in knowing He has my back
  • in the direction He gives me to care for others and myself
  • in the peace I have that I am doing His will
  • people who cater meals
  • people who show love for one another
  • in my child – in how well he is handling all of this

TO ALL OF US!  — God’s grace is enough for whatever we face, be it loneliness or exhaustion.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”  Ephesians 1:2 NLT

Grace and peace go together.  Grace is God’s strength working through us to enable us to do what we can’t do on our own.  We struggle and can even put forth great effort and yet we fail.  All while God is saying to us – let me help!  My grace is enough.  (2 Cor 12:9)

If peace is lacking in our lives – the first thing to do is look at who you are depending on — yourself?  your job?  the government? money?   Often peace is lacking in our lives because we are holding on to our cares.  We are trying to make something happen in our own strength, instead of giving our cares to God and walking in His strength.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Cor 3:5, Phil 4:6-7)  Peace can also be lacking because we are stretched thin and need refreshing that comes from spending alone time with Jesus.  (Matt 6:6)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 NKJV
Rock — Jesus — 1 Cor 10:4, Psalm 18:2
Overwhelmed?  Make time for Jesus.  Don’t neglect your one true source of help.  (Psalm 46:1)  Turn those hard things, the changes, the challenges, the loneliness, the fear, the stress over to Him.  Ask Him for help. (Psalm 121:1-2)  And then remind yourself that you trust God.  Declare it when you first wake up.  Declare it on your way to work.  Declare it when you get your bills in the mail.  Declare it anytime doubt tries to creep in.
IN GOD I TRUST!
Say this with me:    Today, Lord, You go before me. (Deut 31:8)  Today You are with me. (Matt 28:20)   Today You hold my right hand.  (Psalm 73:23)  In God I trust!  (If trust is a weakness for you then I encourage you to read these verses out loud  – Prov 3:5-6, Psalm 4:5, 7:1, 16:1, 18:2, 20:7, 22:4-5, 40:3, 91:2, 1 Tim 4:10)

 

Again, I want to thank all of you that shared your heart.   You are in my prayers.   If you want to add to this list – please contact me or leave a comment.

til next time

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April 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good Friday

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NKJV)

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed three times. “Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matt 26:39, 42, 44 (NKJV)

Today is Good Friday.

Jesus paid the price for us. Even at this lowest point of His life, He still poured out love to the thief on the cross. (Luke 22:42-43) He also made sure that His mother would be taken care of after He was gone. (John 19:25-27) What love!!

Jesus makes it very clear that He is the only way. If there were any other way then His torturous death would have been unnecessary.

His love for mankind kept him on the cross until “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Today we remember the price He paid. We remember the cross, the crown of thorns, the nails, and the great love of our Savior.

Oh how He loves you! Oh how He loves me!

til next time

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April 10, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace – rest in God’s grace

Sing with us! Go ahead, sing it loud! God’s Amazing Grace!! 
 
God’s amazing Grace — None of this has taken Him by surprise. He is with us, for us and making a way when a way seems so uncertain. He is the same today as He was last year when we gave little thought to covid19. (Hebrews 13:8)
 
Seeing this verse play out right before our eyes.
 
Isaiah 43:19
“For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
 
A great verse to memorize and meditate on is
Romans 15:13
 
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” NIV
This people person is adjusting and determined to thrive, not waste a day in despair (sure there are moments but I know where to go when they hit — the feet of the One who loves me most – Jesus)
 
 
til next time
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March 26, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

see the world as your valentine

It’s Valentines Day.  What a great day to examine your love walk.  As Christians, we are called to love others.  Let’s see the world as our Valentine.

“Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him.” Eph 5:2 TLB

Faith, hope and love are powerful things.  I am ever grateful for all three.  Let’s not forget that the greatest of these is love.  I believe that is because love is eternal.  Once we are in heaven in the presence of our Lord we will no longer need faith and hope.  Love, however, will be present.

“… the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

Love is so much more than a feeling.  Love is an action.   It is meeting a need.  It is listening with compassion.  It is lending a helping hand.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35 NLT

Happy Valentines Day. What a great day to make it your aim to brighten up the lives of those you meet today. Let’s let God’s love shine through us.

john 3 16 a

Live by faith (Heb 10:28)
Grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18)
Walk in love (Eph 5:2)
til next time
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February 14, 2020 Posted by | holiday, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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