Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

following my own advice

I am always telling people to turn on praise music when life heats up. Following my own advice, I cranked up Klove.

Praise makes a difference. What we fill our mind with matters. What are you listening to?

“Our God is greater! Our God is stronger! God You are higher than any other.”

 

“I will stand my ground where hope can be found….. You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.”

 

“We’re not meant to live this life alone. No man is an island…”

 

“Who the Son sets – is free. I’m free. This is the sound of chains breaking….”

 

“Seems like all I could see was the struggle… I am redeemed. You set me free. So I’ll shake off these heavy chains…. I am redeemed.”

 

With each song I felt the weight lifting. Did the messiness of life go away?  No!  But the peace of God settled the messiness in my heart.   The assurance that He is in control and working all things out for my good fills me once again with peace.

We can sit and stew or we can sit and praise.

We can rehash the problem or we can lay the problem at the feet of Jesus.

We can stick our shoulder into it and force a solution (probably the wrong one) or we can operate in the strength God gives us that spills over into joy.

We can grumble or be grateful.

We can operate in a victim mentality or we can let God arise, be our defense and help us to operate as a child of the King.

I join the apostle Paul in praying for you the prayer he prayed – found in Colossians 1:9-12 (The Message)

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” (Col 1:9-12 The Message)

God is not done!

til next time

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March 2, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

thankful heart – even in difficult days

Today I found myself giving God thanks for so many things. I even found myself thanking Him for the challenges that I am facing as I have come to realize that those challenges are opportunities for God to do amazing things in my circumstances. (Romans 8:28)

Psalm 136 has a lot to say about giving God thanks.  Here are just a few of the things listed.

Give thanks:

  • He is good (1)
  • He alone does miracles (4)
  • He made the sun, moon, and stars (7-9)
  • He parted the Red Sea (13)
  • He led Israel safely through and drowned Pharaoh and his army He will do the same for us.  (14-15)
  • He led them through the wilderness – again He does the same for us (16)
  • He remembers that we our weak (23)  He is strong!
  • He provides for us (25)
  • His Love Endures Forever!!!

 

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How about taking some time right now to give God thanks!
til next time
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January 25, 2018 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, 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

merry little christmas

The Christmas program is over.

Now that may not seem significant to you, but (for me and many other worship pastors out there) this day is right up there with a snow day!!   Actually it is even better than a snow day.

We have spent countless hours putting things together, praying that it turns out the way we see it in our heads,  practicing with various groups (in my case – the first time my children’s choir was all together was the day of the performance)  and trusting that it all brings glory to God.

I posted this on a worship ministers page Sunday night.

 ” Anyone else just really glad your Christmas service is over? I know some of you have already looked ahead to Easter but I am just resting in the fact that today is over. I only heard good things but it sure seemed like chaos to me. It was one of those days were I could have used a larger platform. smile emoticon Very proud of my kids choir and the adults did fabulous also. I went with an older theme — even had a couple poems (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Martin Luther) read by kids. But I am really really glad it is over!”

A couple things about Sunday.  The mom (of a good number of the kids involved in our program and she herself was in it) had to deal with her son having over 150 seizures  before coming to church.  He is a survivor of shaken baby syndrome.   He teaches me so much about worship, but that is a topic for another blog.

Would it have been easier for her  to just stay home than do what was necessary to get 9 kids to church while her heart is breaking over her son’s condition?  Think about that the next time you don’t feel like doing something.  Ouch!

Ten days ago I had surgery.    Three of my five health issues are worsened by stress.  As much as I love Jesus and know that His grace is sufficient, there is no way to get around stress when you are the one in charge of the program.  News flash — these things don’t just happen.   Long before Thanksgiving, I started working on the Christmas program.

All of this to say, I am grateful.

Grateful to God for:

-seeing me through the whole process
-the ability to have joy in the journey
-the grace to press on in the midst of physical pain
-my husband, who held my hand and prayed over me more times than I could possibly count throughout this whole process
-the clarinet and trumpet duet – new talent rising up
-the Sunday school classes reading of Martin Luther’s A Christmas Carole
-the kids who read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Christmas Bells
-our worship team – they do make my job easier
-our adult choir – this was their second performance of the year and what a fantastic job!
-my kids choir – their enthusiasm is contagious
-being my strength in weakness – (2 Cor 12:9)
-pain, because it is really a blessing least understood – truly the outward man is perishing BUT the inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)
-being my ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)

What are you grateful for?

Here is a small taste of our program.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — some words have been changed.

 

 

til next time

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December 22, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

674

674 and counting

Awhile back I was at a PW retreat and was challenged to start a gratitude journal.  I have great respect and admiration for the woman who challenged me.  She even went as far as to supply us with journals.  I had no excuse.  (Shortly after that I read the book  1,000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp.  I highly recommend this book.)

The idea behind the journal is to list three things that you are grateful for each day – no repeating.

My first three:

1. The love of God
2. My husband
3. My children

I am up to 674.  While that is a lot, if I had in fact listed three each day there would be so much more.  However, this is not about guilt or self- condemnation when I don’t write in it for a few days.

It is about getting me to focus on what God is doing in my life.  It is about keeping a record of the little things that I would have missed if I wasn’t looking for the beauty around me.  It is a tool to help me cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in my day.

“Let us cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.”  Curt Girod

Another benefit is that on those days when life seems to have kicked me in the teeth, I can open up my journal and read through it.  I can’t adequately express just how encouraging that is!

“God is good.  Life is good.  Life can be hard but God is still good.”  Curt Girod

What about you?  Do you find yourself rushing through each day?  Is it easy for you to be dragged down in negativity?  Do your days seems to be ‘same old, same old?’  Do you recognize the fingerprints of God in your day? Do you struggle with gratitude?

I encourage you to grab a pen and notebook.  Start your own gratitude journal.  If you keep at it, it will change you.

Here are a few of my entries.

Sand between my toes,
Greenish blue water meeting the bright blue sky, dotted with white fluffy clouds (just reading that takes me back to that moment -makes me smile)
Vastness of the ocean,
White keys –black keys flowing into music,
Smell of the air after a downpour,
Great hair day,
Bad hair day – have hair!
Alexander snuggles,
Encouragement of a friend,
Tree lined highways,
Cake for breakfast!!
Belly laughs,
Crisp bacon,
Wading across the Mississippi,
My husband’s smile,
Alexander’s really long hug while my tears flow – life is precious!
Peace in the midst of sadness,
Heating pad,
Apple fritters that remind me of mom,
Hope,
Just so happens moments – when God lines things up (there are many of those listed)
Peppermint mocha creamer,
Crying with a friend,
Alexander walking in my shoes,
The sound of my children laughing,

What are you grateful for?  Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  What a great time to start your own gratitude journal.

til next time

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November 25, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment