Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

grace upon grace

God’s Grace
 
John 1:15-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
“John taught the truth about him
when he announced to the people,
“He’s the One! Set your hearts on him!
I told you he would come after me,
even though he ranks far above me,
for he existed before I was even born.”
And now out of his fullness we are fulfilled!
And from him we receive grace heaped upon more grace!
Moses gave us the Law, but Jesus, the Anointed One,
unveils truth wrapped in tender mercy.”
 
“And now from him we receive grace heaped upon more grace!” — From my teenage years through the present – I am very much aware of my own shortcomings. Somewhere along the way, though, I began to realize God’s grace is deeper. This is not an excuse for my failings. Rather it is an understanding of truth.
 
I Need God!
 
It is through Christ that I change. (Psalm 51) In my weakness, He is my strength. (2 Cor 12:9) I am not a victim. I am victorious in Christ. (1 Cor 15:57)
 
Today I am meditating on God’s grace. What a powerful attitude changer.
 
Walking in God’s grace,
til next time
 
 
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June 6, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

leaving nothing undone

Holy Week!
Good Friday!

There is the:
judgment
crowd demands
whipping – beating
crown of thorns
mocking
face slapping
cross carrying
crucifixion
dividing of his clothes

So many aspects that we could zero in on. I want to look this year at the witnesses.

“but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-27 ESV

My dad died when I was 17. It was shortly thereafter when the roles started to reverse and I found myself looking out for my mom. I wanted to protect her and spare her anymore pain.

At one point during my college years I had decided that I would leave at the end of the year and move back home to be with her. She was slowly fading away from loneliness. God did an amazing thing. Before the school year was over, my mom was engaged to be married to a local church man whose wife had passed away. I stayed in college and the rest is history.

There is Jesus on the cross and his mother is right there. He can’t spare her the pain but He can see to her future.

I can’t begin to understand how Mary felt. I am sure there was much that she hung on to – treasured about her son. (Luke 2:19 and 2:51)

Let’s take some time today to remember the price that was paid for each of us, the love that kept Him on the cross, and the freedom that we have in Christ.

Oh How He Loves Us!

til next time

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April 19, 2019 Posted by | bible story, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

betrayal

Holy Week
The Lord’s Supper

It wasn’t just any ordinary meal.

It is here that Jesus speaks of the upcoming betrayal.

“And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” Mark 14:18 ESV

Jesus understands betrayal.

Jesus knew who it was and yet did not treat him in such a way so that others knew. (Mark 14:19 “They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?”)

Truly this wasn’t an ordinary meal. This one would be remembered through the ages.

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:19-20 ESV
(For additional reading – 1 Corinthians 11:23-30)

With a heart filled with gratitude!
til next time

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April 18, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

weeping – cleansing

Holy Week

Weeping and Cleansing

We’ve talked about the  triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Today we will look at weeping and cleansing.

“And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it” Luke 19:41 ESV

It is here that Jesus speaks of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. They refused to recognize God’s offer of salvation. (41-44)

I wonder how much impact it would make on our lives if we spent more time weeping over those who don’t know Jesus and are living in darkness? When was the last time you prayed for someone to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord? I am reminded of a line from a song that I love — “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”

We then find Jesus entering the temple.

“And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” Luke 19:45-46 ESV

“A den of robbers” indicates that unfair dealings were taking place. Even though animals were needed for the sacrifices, selling them inside the temple was not acceptable. I believe it was also a prophetic action that sacrifices were no longer going to be needed. Jesus would become the sacrifice once and for all.

Weeping and cleansing — let’s take some time today and pray for those who are living with out hope. Let’s take some time to ask Jesus if there is a cleansing that needs to take place in us. Maybe it’s a negative attitude, a destructive habit, a stingy mindset, a laziness of sorts, complacency, pride, envy, a lying tongue…. is there something that is standing in the way of us being all that God intends us to be?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalm 19:23-24 NLT

til next time

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April 18, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not just any parade

Holy Week
Triumphal Entry (click here for part 1)

Parades bring excitement – This was an unusual parade.

Returning from war, Roman emperors would not choose a colt but a fine prancing horse for their parade. There would be warriors, prisoners in chains, and a great display of the spoils of war. Instead Jesus came riding on a colt, no warriors, no prisoners and no spoils of war.

John 12:12-15 “The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

The crowd took action and rolled out the red carpet. Here comes this man riding on a colt (fulfilling Zech 9:9) They laid down branches which was a sign of victory and success. (Rev 7:9)

(The other 3 gospels mention laying down clothing – custom of that day – when God would appoint a King. see 2 Kings 9:13)

THE CROWD WAS LOUD
They were looking to Him for deliverance.

“Hosanna Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 118:26 – 29)

EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING.
The word is out. He raised a dead man, he healed the sick, the lame walk, the blind see – surely He can free us from Rome. Finally Rome will be overthrown.

EXPECTATIONS WERE HIGH
They thought they knew what should be done – what was best.

If we aren’t careful we can fall into that trap easily – thinking we know what is truly best instead of trusting God.

How much frustration would be eliminated if we placed our expectations in the hands of Jesus and trusted Him with outcome?

Not my will but Yours be done!

til next time

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April 17, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Triumphal entry

Holy Week
The triumphal entry (part 1)

Jesus is leaving Jericho heading to Jerusalem – 17 miles Three times He tells his disciples what will happen there – death and resurrection. They don’t get it.

As he left Jericho a great crowd follows him. Two blind men sitting by the road cried 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?

“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.” Matthew 20:32-33

V 32 He stood still, and called them, He was on His way to Jerusalem, He knew what was ahead and yet he stood still. He met them in that moment.

What Do We Do? Are we in such a hurry that we don’t hear or see what is going on around us? We should be willing to stop, stand still and do good.

Lord, help me to not be so focused on my agenda, in such a hurry to get to the next thing that I don’t see the need right in front of me. Help me to be Your hand extended today.

Let them see You in me,

til next time

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April 17, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

what I love about christianity

Christian life – faith working through love (Galatians 5:6)

These five verses in Romans contain the things I love about being a Christian.  It is not an  all encompassing list, for there are so many things – too many to name.

Here are the things listed in Romans 5 that  I love:   God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, faith, peace, hope, tribulations, endurance, character and love.

Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

You might think tribulations shouldn’t be on that list of things I love. Yet, without tribulations/problems/suffering I would be self-centered and impossible to live with and so would you.

Trials bring me to my knees before God. Having gone through suffering, and seeing how God works in and through it, helps me to build up endurance.  Endurance is needed.  We are not in a sprint but a marathon.

Our character needs developing. This is a life long process resulting in a deeper hope in God and His promises

God doesn’t want us to be a wishy washy Christian. Our character is developed as we hold fast to Christ and go through tribulations. With each one we learn to trust God more. We grow.

Tomorrow I will look more closely at verse 1.

til next time

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March 7, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

lent – to fast or not to fast

Today is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. Giving up something for Lent is meant to help us remember Jesus’ wilderness experience and His sacrifice. This is considered a type of fast.

40 days of Lent
The number 40 shows up in the scriptures often. Here are a few:
Noah and the ark – It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. (Gen 7)
Moses went up into the mountain for 40 days. (Exodus 24)
The spies were sent out to check out the land for 40 days. (Nub 14)
Wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Number 32, Acts 7, & 13)
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. (Matthew 4)

If you count the days, you will see that there are more than 40 days until Easter.  Sundays are not considered fasting days.  Sundays are considered feasting days.

Whether you decide to give up something during this Lent season or not, I encourage you to ask God if something is out of balance in your life. Balance in a Christian’s life is not about everything being equal but about being in line with God’s Word and will. It is God who brings balance to our lives. It is God who gives purpose.

 

John 3 30

til next time,

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March 6, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Jesus loves you period!

Reading in Romans today. (See comments for Romans 8:31-39.)

If God is for us (and He is) than who can be against us? (v 31) Our God is greater! God makes a way for us. He sees the whole picture.

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? (v 33) Oh how grateful I am that God justifies! God is my defense. (Psalm 27:1) When we are walking with God, He has our back. (Isaiah 52:12)

Jesus is ever interceding for us. (v34) Think about that for a moment. Intercede – to intervene, to pray, to reconcile differences.

Jesus loves us – nothing can separate us from that love.
“Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…” (v 35-36 The Message)

Life is messy. In a perfect world bad things wouldn’t happen. We don’t live in a perfect world. When life does not go in the direction we hoped, remember Jesus intercedes for you, He loves you.

We are more than conquerors through Jesus. Why? Because He loves us. (v 37) We can be a victim or a victor. God will make a way. God will turn ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3)

What defines us should be what God says about us. We belong to Him. We are victorious in Christ. (1Cor 15:56-57) It ain’t over until He says it is over.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:58 NASB

Nothing’s gonna dull the sparkle that Jesus gives me!

 

til next time

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March 1, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment