Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

crumbling?

How are you doing? We are 2 1/2 months into Covid19.
 
Is your ship sinking? Is your house crumbling? Have you had more than enough?
 
It seems that once we start to spiral downward – the spinning goes faster and faster.
 
I ask you to look at your foundation. Foundation – the lowest load bearing part of the building, typically below ground level.
 
For you, what is bearing the load of your life? What are you standing on? What is it that you are depending on to see you through? Where is your anchor? When life is turned upside down, who/what do you cling to?
 
We were never meant to do life on our own. God desires to walk with us. He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 ESV
 
If your life is spiraling downward, look up and then build your foundation on the Solid Rock.
 
til next time
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May 27, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, life, Pastor's wife, relationships, 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

in the storm

I woke up to Isaiah 12:2 this morning.
“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2 NASB
God is my salvation.” Salvation – deliverance from sin and also deliverance from harm. God is in the salvation business. (here are a few verses – Ex 15:2, 1 Sam 2:1, 19:5, 2 Sam 22:3, 1 Chron 16:23, Psalm 13:5, 38:22, Lk 2:30, Phil 1:19)
“I will trust” — make that your declaration today. God, I trust You. The media has tried to instill fear concerning covid19 from the very beginning.  I will “not be afraid.”  Remind yourself of this as often as you need to.  I certainly have had to remind myself.
God does give us wisdom and we should use that wisdom. (wash your hands, stay home when you are sick, sanitize, comply with our leaders- Romans 13:1-2) This does not mean that we give in to fear.
The Lord God is my strength and song” – remember where your strength comes from (2 Cor 12:10) and don’t lose your song. (Psalm 77:6)
God is and “has become my salvation” Look to God, your help comes from Him. “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” Psalm 121:2 NLT
Matt Redman’s ‘Song in the Night’ —- “And so when I am in the storm, Lord, the storm is not in me.”
til next time
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March 28, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

smile

“If you have to do something, you might as well do it with a smile.” I don’t even know how many times my daddy told me that. It would sure be nice to hear his voice again – reminding me.

daddy

However my heavenly Father does reminds me in Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” NASB

Strength? Where does my help come from?

“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.” Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

Don’t give in to fear. Don’t give in to worry. Don’t give in to all the ‘what ifs?’ (yes, I have had to remind myself of this.)

Do hold on to God – He is holding on to you. Do continue to trust in the maker of heaven and earth. He knows you. He will make a way. And go ahead and smile at the future. God’s got this!

“Even though I am in the storm, the storm is not in me….I will fear no more” The Afters

til next time

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March 21, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

greater is He!

In our weakness, He is strong. (2 Cor 12:9) Our help comes from the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. ” 1 John 4:4

Greater is He!

Say it with me – Greater is He!

Whatever we face — Greater is He!!

In the good times and the bad – Greater is He!

Keeping things in perspective,
til next time

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March 20, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

doing nothing is still a choice

Is there something you really don’t want to do but know that it needs to be done? Do you tend to put it off as long as possible? When we put off something that needs to be done, it can weigh on us like a ton of bricks.

Doing nothing is still a choice. Consequences can become worse the longer we wait.

Dread is a powerful emotion. It is a joy stealer.

Instead, reroute your approach.

God is your strength. Whatever it is that needs to be done – God knows all about it. Ask Him to help you. Ask Him to turn it into something greater than you can imagine. Ask Him to use you in the situation to bring Him glory.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3:20-21 ESV

I can’t count the number of doctor visits I have had this year. In the beginning, I was focused on the time and money that each one seemed to be wasting. Thankfully God got a hold of my thought process and now I see them as potential opportunities to give God glory.

Today was such a day. I had a nurse I rarely have and there we were talking about how good God is as she took my vitals. She shared something personal and again we gave God thanks. It all took maybe a minute but it was a power minute. It was a day changer minute.

I have become friends with the Phlebotomist. We played catch up on our lives as she drew blood. I could see joy bubbling up in her as we talked.

Why not make it a goal of yours to leave people a bit better after talking with you? Why not look for ways to encourage?

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25 ESV

 

til next time

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August 19, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace

Peace – you can’t put a price tag on it. Even if you could, you can’t buy it. Yet, it can be yours. God offers peace – peace that goes beyond our understanding, our reasoning. (Phil 4:4-7)
 
Let’s look at 2 Chronicles 14. Here we find Asa. Verse 2
“And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” “… And the kingdom had rest under him.” (verse 5)
 
I believe there is a connection between doing what is good and right in God’s eyes and having rest/peace.
 
As we read on in the story of Asa we find that he had a mighty army of 580,000 men of valor. When along comes Zerah the Ethiopian. He has an army of a million. The battle line is drawn.
 
Verse 11 “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.”
 
Not only was the Ethiopian army defeated – not one of them remained alive.
 
Who do you rely on?
til next time
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May 30, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God is greater than my struggle

6 more weeks — trying to wrap my head around 6 more weeks.

You know that moment when you realize that the outcome you believed, with all your heart, is not the reality you are in?  Two weeks ago I started on prednisone.  Click here for the start of the journey.

I went back for blood work fully expecting my sed rate to be in the acceptable range.  With God’s help, I managed to navigate the two weeks keeping Godzilla at bay.   To God be the glory!

My sed rate is down but still too high.  Instead of a prescription for two weeks, I picked up  one for six weeks.  The thought of six weeks was enough to put me in full force tears.   The edginess, the nausea, the insomnia, the tiredness, the hunger, the headaches, the tears, the emotions all over the place — 6 weeks – which happens to include some mighty big things:  Easter, twins birthdays,  district council meetings, motorcycle blessing and show and the day to day life filled with loving God and loving people.   I can’t possibly hibernate for 6 weeks, can I?

    “when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,”  (Psalm 61)

Where do I go when I don’t get the answer that I so badly thought was coming?  I go back to God’s Word.  I call upon my Savior.  I lay my disappointment at His feet – knowing He loves me, will be there every step of the way, and He will use this for my good.  How?  I don’t have to know.  I just need to trust.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46

God is my safe place.  In my weakness, He is strong.  He is with me all the way.  I will not fear:

  • how my body will handle this medicine
  • how my emotions will respond
  • that six weeks won’t be enough to lower my sed rate
  • that I will fail miserably (God’s grace is enough)
  • that I can’t do this
  • the changes this will undoubtedly produce
  • what the medicine is doing to my organs
  • the withdrawal after six weeks
  • But most of all, I will not fear period because God is greater.

I may have to remind myself of this daily.    A great reason to be in the word daily.   It amaze me how God knows just what I need when I look to Him.

til next time

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

take my hand

“Take my hand.” Three words often said to children as an intersection is approaching or in a crowded store. Holding hands is a safety measure.
 
Did you know that God takes us by the hand?
 
“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand, who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ll help you..” Isaiah 41:3
 
The Message bible says it this way — “I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’
 
Don’t panic. Don’t be afraid. He is not letting go. He is right there. He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
 
Whatever you may face today or in the days to come — remember who is holding your hand.
 
til next time
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February 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i didn’t sow this!

God knows just what we need. God knows what will get our thoughts back on the right track. God knows how to encourage us. But, if we just let His Word sit unopened – we can miss it. When we take time to connect with God, He speaks into our hearts.

Each morning my husband and I try to take time to have devotions and pray together. I say try because it doesn’t always happen.

I told my husband that there are things I am reaping that I did not sow – that he did not sow. That can be rather hard to swallow.

We read from the devotional – Jesus Today.  It prints the scripture verses. Here is one of them.

“Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor 13:11 (NKJV)

Here is an excerpt from Sarah Young
“…I want your character to reflect Me more and more. So endeavor to be loving and peaceful in your relationships with other people. When someone irritates or upsets you, try to see Me in that person. Remember that I created everyone in My own image. The most effective way to love people is to allow My Love to flow through you to them. My Spirit lives inside you, and you can ask Him to love others through you…..make every effort to live close to Me, the God of Love and Peace.”

I trust you can see how God spoke to my heart about the situation that is not right. We laid the wrong at Jesus feet in prayer and left it there. It’s His issue now and I refuse to dwell on it.

Drawing closer to God and loving the people who come across my path today! How about you?

til next time

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March 26, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment