Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

———-advertisements placed here by WordPress———–

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

permission to grieve

I will start off with acknowledging that in the realm of eternity, this is minor.  Things could have been soooo much worse.  Yet in order to move forward,  I needed to face  this new reality.  In doing so, I gave myself  permission to grieve.

For almost three years I have not felt well.  It has been one thing after another and some unanswered questions along the way.

Friday I went to my family doctor, explained that I was so very tired of hurting, and asked him if he thought it was related to my uterus.  (There are some issues going on with it.)  Could it be my appendix?  Although the majority of  pain is on my left side.

He sent me over for a CT scan with dye. For breakfast –   a barium smoothie.  He had me to wait at the hospital (with the IV in my arm) for the results.  Oh, it could have been so much worse.

Good news – no infection, no perforation,  and no blockage.  I do have diverticular disease.   My large intestine is filled with small and medium pockets.   It explains the random bleeding and the pain.

My doctor explained to me that there are two rules of thought.  One is to avoid nuts and seeds.  The other thought is that it makes no real difference.  My doctor is of the first opinion and he recommended that I abstain for all nuts, seeds, popcorn…   I have numerous pockets and with their size, it just isn’t worth the risk.  I am already having pain and some bleeding.  He is hopeful that diet and extra strength Tylenol  will quiet things down.

My sister and her family were coming for the weekend.  A house full of people, two guinea pigs, a dog, our  cat and lots of Christmas celebrations all kept my mind occupied.  What a wonderful blessing from God.

Today I gave myself permission to grieve — I love popcorn – it is common for me to have popcorn 2 – 5 times a week.  My favorite candy bar is salted nut roll with Snickers following close behind.  Pecans, cashews, peanuts, peanut m & m’s, caramel corn, buster bar, turtle blizzard, granola, peanut brittle, cashew chicken, sesame chicken, poppy seeds, ….. the list goes on.

I remind myself that God is the healer.  Just today a friend of mine was released from the hospital.  Last night things did not look good.  Today she is home recovering.  Yes, I know God heals.  I also know that He expects us to use our brain and not be presumptuous.

So I will follow my doctor’s orders.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— ……………A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

The time of grieving is over.  It is time to laugh and dance.  God’s grace is enough!

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

More importantly, I will smile at the future.   My hope is in God and He does not change.

(If you have diverticular disease, diverticulitis, diverticulosis  I would love to hear from you.  What do you find helps?  How are you handling it?)

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.”  Romans 15:13

til next time

_____________advertisements are placed here by WordPress______________

 

 

 

 

December 27, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

super moon

Did you take a moment to look at the super moon awhile back? Maybe you even took a picture? I did. Sadly, it did not capture the beauty. Yet the source of the beauty wasn’t the moon.

If it weren’t for the sun, the moon would be dark. What we see is a reflection of the sun’s rays bouncing off of the moon.

When people look at us, are they seeing the light of Christ?

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

 

December is here and with it can come the stress of getting the shopping, decorating, and baking done. Then there is the calendar that is already full. For some, adding school programs, work parties, family gatherings to an already stretched calendar is a potential recipe for added stress.

 

The other extreme is also out there. I was talking with a lady who shared with me that the holiday season is the worst time of year for her. Loneliness and sadness are nipping at her heels. Her calendar is too open.

 

Whatever the reason may be, if you are feeling overwhelmed this December, I encourage you to take a few moments (right now would be good) and talk with God. Cast your cares on Him, lay down your expectations at His feet, and allow His peace, love and joy to fill you again.

 

Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

 

btw – I want to be a ‘super moon’!  Reflecting brightly the light of Christ!!

til next time

—-any advertisements are placed here by WordPress————–

December 2, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

squinting

The windshield wipers on my car need to be replaced. I find myself squinting as I try to see through the raindrops. This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13.

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (MSG)

Only God sees all that is going on. For now we see only pieces.   Oh what a day that will be when we see Jesus. Just the thought of it makes me break out into song.

“It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus; Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ; One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase, So bravely run the race til we see Christ.”

But for now: let us trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, and love extravagantly.

(The Message Bible uses trust, many other translations use faith. Trust is our faith in action.)

With your whole heart trust God (Proverbs 3:5)

Be a prisoner of hope (Zech 9:12)

How does your love walk compare with 1 Cor 13?

We all have room for growth.

til next time

–any advertisements are placed here by WordPress———

November 3, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

overflow with hope?

“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.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Do you want to be that someone that overflows with hope? Yes, you can be that person. We serve the Living God – who is the God of hope. He pours His joy and peace into us as we trust in Him.

Trust in Him – recognize that you will face situations where this will be tested. In those moments you can choose to depend on your own strength and abilities or you can depend on God.

When you feel life dragging you down, choose to love, trust and depend on God.  Choose to not give in to fear or worry.  God is greater!!

Say this with me: I trust You God! You are greater than whatever I am facing. (1 John 4:4) You are my shield. (Psalm 3:3) You will sustain me. (Psalm 55:22) My hope is in You! (1Peter 1:21) I trust You God!!

He is at work and will work all things out for our good. (Romans 8:28)

When we walk through our days trusting in God, we will indeed overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. His joy and peace will be ours.

 

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Phil 4:6-7 The Message

Trusting in Him I know I can make it,

til next time

 

~~~~~~~~~~~advertisements placed here by wordpress~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

when I sit in darkness

I was sitting in the church office last Saturday night after everyone had left the Bike Show when I sent out an SOS to God.  I was to preach in the morning and I had nothing.  I had all sorts of topics floating around in my head earlier, but now I had nothing.

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  My mother-in-law went to be with Jesus.   The Bike show had to be rescheduled due to rain. I was drowning in paper work.   I am still dealing with tennis elbow.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

That is when I felt the nudge to pick a card out of my bread basket.

bread basket

(I bought this box when I worked at the eye clinic. After a phone call with an insurance company, I would reach for a scripture to redirect my thoughts.  It worked beautifully.)

just so happenedMicah 7:8b “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

The room wasn’t dark, but my soul (will, mind, and emotions) felt surrounded by darkness.

Darkness can come in many forms.  Here are just a few forms.

pain
heart-break
pressure of deadlines
health issues
situation that looks bleak
loneliness/sadness
betrayal
tough situations with no good options
finances
seeing your child hurting and knowing you can’t fix it
loss

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.  It seems in my life, the larger the trial – the greater God’s grace, goodness, and strength is being poured into my life.

Sunday morning before church I received a text from a dear friend.  All it said was Rom 15:13.  It was a big warm hug from God and a reminder that I am loved.    See that is my go-to scripture.  I was about to preach on hope and hadn’t included it.  God doesn’t leave us hanging.

“Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

I shared Psalm 130.  I encourage you to read the whole thing as it is powerful.  For this blog I am centering on the key verses I addressed.

“1Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord.
….

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is lovingkindness,
And with Him is abundant redemption.”  Psalm 130 NASB)

On Spring break I took the opportunity to see the sky before the dawn.  Sometimes there was the light reflecting off the moon. The gulf was stunning.   Sometimes it was pitch black.   I could hear the waves but I could not see them.  Other times there was such a thick fog that the buildings security light could not even be seen.

When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me!

Sometimes it can seem like morning is never coming.  Keep holding on to God.  He is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as i walked along.”  Psalm 40:1-2 (Living Bible)

Sometimes it seems like we are crossing a mud pit.  Keep holding on to God.  He will steady you.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”  Psalm 33:20 (NASB)

Wait  –  I love Webster’s first definition.  “remain in readiness or expectation”

How do we wait patiently?  We do it with God’s help.  We are given plenty of opportunities to practice the discipline of waiting patiently.

Our God is not hindered or limited by the things that we see that make us feel helpless.  Let that sink in.  Then pray.  Maybe there is nothing we can do physically but we know the One who is able to do more than we can ask or think. (Eph 3:20)  Our God is greater than whatever it is we are facing, our children are facing and/or our nation is facing.  Prayer is powerful!

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”

God uses circumstances in our life to open our eyes to a deeper awareness of His presence.

til next time

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Any advertisements that you see on this blog are placed here by WordPress.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 9, 2015 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

marathon not a sprint

In my weakness, You –  Oh Lord, are strong!

I seem to be saying that a lot lately.   In the beginning I thought I was just overly tired and exhaustion was directing me to God for strength.  Now I realize that it is my total dependence on Him that reveals to me  my weakness and the very need for His strength.

Psalm 138:3  As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.

When I pray, I come to God in faith that He hears me and He does.  Sometimes I don’t get the answer that I was looking for.  Sometimes the answer has nothing to do with the problem and everything to do with who God is molding me to be.

Sometimes He calms the storm but always, yes always He calms me.  This is not something to be rushed.  The older generation used to call it ‘tarrying in the Lord’s presence”  — there are times that I need to  wait in God’s presence – to allow God to speak to my heart.   How sad that some try to treat God like He is a vending machine or a drive up window.

 Romans 15:5  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.

2 Thess 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

I love it when God uses people to bring about encouragement.  My desire is that I would be a Barnabas (some one who encourages) to those around me.  Yet sometimes there is no one around to offer that word of encouragement.  Then what?

I pray to the One who is always with me.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
God takes great delight in us.  That statement really messes with those people who think that God is far off or someone just waiting to punish us when we do something wrong.  How sad.
God is for us!
What a word picture.  The God of the universe, the Creator and Sustainer of Life rejoicing over you and me with singing.   Wow!! Thanks God!!
The longer I am in this journey called life, the more I realize it is a marathon and not a sprint.  I want to finish strong.   I can’t do that on my own which brings me back to to the beginning – in my weakness He is strong.
til next time Continue reading

June 25, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

keep soaring

eagle-in-flight

 I love eagles.  It is a sight to see them in flight.  How majestic.  They make it look so effortless.   

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD
       will renew their strength.
       They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint.

That is a promise we can count on.

During the week of Curt’s dad’s funeral preparations  Curt had a previous commitment in Des Moines that Friday and Saturday.  Plans were made around that.  Many added miles were put on but, looking back I can see the hand of God in that obligation.cherie-lunch1 

While he was teaching, I was getting together with my dear friend Cherie.  She was an oasis in my desert. 

It was her birthday.   We went to the Cheesecake Factory.  I’d never been to one before.  It was fabulous.  All a girl could ask for:   delicious food, amazing desert, and time spent with a great friend who poured encouragment into my life.  It wasn’t my birthday, but it sure was a great present to me. 🙂

cherie-birthday   haPpY  bIrtHdAy Cherie!!

God uses people in our lives to help us continue to soar.  He brings people along side us to keep us grounded in truth and to remind of us of the hope that is ours.  (I am amazed when one person can do both – help you soar while keeping you grounded (in truth)– that is a gift)

Life is a journey.  Good friends are a blessing from God to help us keep soaring on that journey.

til next time

March 21, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments