Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

i’m tired

I’m tired. I’m tired of covid. I’m tired of the guidelines that may or may not do any good and yet we follow them. I’m tired of the contradictions that are surrounding covid. I’m tired of the manipulation that I have felt as we move forward.

I’m tired of the injustice I see toward race. I’m tired of labels. I’m tired of the hatred towards cops. I’m tired that my friends don’t feel safe. I’m tired of discrimination.

I’m tired of the hatred toward Trump, Pelosi, and/or Obama and that list goes on and on. Hatred breeds hatred and there is nothing kind about it. Don’t think you can hate anyone and it not affect who you are as a person.

I’m tired of the looting. I’m tired of the media fueling the fires.

I’m tired. Maybe you are too.

So here’s what I am doing. Spending time with the One who loves all mankind and learning at His feet. I want to be more like Him – Jesus. I will look for the good in people and try to encourage that.

 

“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” Colossians 4:5-6 (MSG)

 

Today is George Floyd’s funeral. Today I will be spending much time just ‘being still’ trusting that God will heal and mend the broken-hearted and show me how to reach the hurting.

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til next time

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June 4, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

pain

Watching someone you love dearly deal with great pain and knowing you can’t make the pain go away is one of the hardest things in life.
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What we can do is point them to Jesus. He knows about pain. He is their peace. (Eph 2:14) His grace is enough to see them through whatever is going on. (2 Cor 12:9)
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Sometimes pain can be so intense that the person loses hope. Doctors seem to not be listening. Medication isn’t working. Pain increases. This is where it is so important that we speak life into their lives. (Proverbs 18:21) Remind them that there is hope. (Psalm 42:5)
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“This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],” Heb 6:19 AMP)
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I am grateful that God is an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) He will make a way. (Isaiah 43:16) He brings beauty out of ashes. (Isa 613) He is with us. (Matt 28:20) He gives us strength. (Isa 40:29) He holds us up and holds us together. (Psalm 63:8, Col 1:17)
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Thank You Father for this day. Thank You that whatever comes our way, You are with us. You love us with a love that is deeper than we can truly understand. Thank you for loving us. Today may Your love shine through us to others.
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til next time
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May 7, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, 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

touching the hem

Something unusual happened this past Sunday.  (warning -a longer post than my normal.)

It was Communion Sunday.

Let me back up a bit to set the stage.  Saturday night was our last night at our satellite location as key worship people will be relocating and they were done at the end of February.   I fully expected God to raise up or send in their replacements.

I felt led to start praying last November for a worship team. ( I was filling in on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturday)   Unbeknownst to me, it was around Thanksgiving that our key people began the journey that would eventually lead them to South Carolina.

I fully expected God to fill the holes.  When I had to pick up those Saturdays a couple years ago, I just knew God was going to bring in someone to take over when the time came.

The time came and He didn’t.

understand

So Saturday night, after our last service,  we loaded up two vans and a pick-up with all of the gear that is needed to have church there.

We unloaded at the parent church and I could tell I was pushing it.  Thankfully we did have some great help unloading and they came with yummy food.  The best part of the night was sitting around  the table, after all was said and done, eating and chatting with dear friends.

Sunday morning  I was a hurting unit.  I have been on a moderate dose of prednisone since last March for polymyalgia rheumatic.   (I also have inflammation in my  airway.)  The RA doctor has been weening me off the steroid.  It is too much for too long.  However,  the lower the dose, the higher the pain seems to go.  At this rate it will be September before I am done with steroids.   Then what?

I woke Sunday hurting both physically and mentally.  I was a mess.  Over and over again I have told myself that I am not going to let my health define me.  I am going to let God work through me.

I lead worship at two services every Sunday morning and on a “new normal – good” morning it can be challenging.  There was little good about this morning.   I managed to get to church, get set up and as is the case – in my weakness, God came through with strength.  Over and over again I can testify to the scripture found in 2 Cor 12:10.

As we are about to take communion (first service) – I am thinking about the blood.  I told Jesus that if I could – I would most certainly find a way to touch the hem of His garment.  Could this be the moment that something changes?  I believe in healing.  Could this remembrance be the moment You touch me?  Oh the blood of Jesus.

I don’t know why I had that conversation with Him – other than I was hurting so badly.

Then it happened.  The pain lifted.  I’m sitting there and my shoulders/chest/legs, hips, arms, and wrists begin to feel  lighter.  My heart rate dropped back to normal.  Later, I was able to go downstairs as a normal person who has no pain.

I wondered if the ringing had stopped also.  (Later I would find out that it hasn’t.) God’s grace is still enough.

I am ever so grateful.  I don’t know what all has taken place.  I still have some slight  stiffness but nothing like what it was.   I want to try eating popcorn to see if the diverticular disease is gone also.   What I know is God touched me right there, right during communion.

1 thess 5 18 a

I can’t really explain it.  I feel lighter – which is down right funny because Monday morning I hit an all time high on the scale.  Prednisone has truly messed with my eating and emotions.    It is a nasty drug.  Yet, I will praise the Lord.  I will give Him thanks, because no matter what happens, He is worthy of my praise.

psalm 9 1 2

 

til next time

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March 3, 2020 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace

God’s peace – it is a wonderful gift that is ours through Christ Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14 NIV

In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” Later in John (16:37) he says, “… in Me you may have peace…”

God offers to us peace. In the midst of whatever is going on we can turn to God, giving Him our hurts, confusion, stress, anxiety, struggle… and receive from Him peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7)

If we could market peace, true inner peace, into a capsule form, we would make millions. I believe it would be the hottest selling item. There are just so many miserable, stressed out people in the world today. Sadly, Christians can fall into that trap as well.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NASB)

The key to living a life of peace is to be steadfast, trusting that in any situation that arises, God is in control and He is greater than whatever life throws at us. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fixate on the problem that our peace can go right out the window.

Nothing takes God by surprise. (Psalm 139) He is not off on some vacation unaware of what you are facing. Instead, He is with you. (Matt 28:20) He will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for you. (Psalm 118:6) He is working all things out for good. (Romans 8:28) Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. (Jer 32:17, Luke 1:37)

Keep trusting – it isn’t over yet,

til next time

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March 3, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

know

Continuing with Psalm 100. For verse 1 click here, for verse 2 click here

Today Psalms 100:3

“Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his:
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” ESV

Know – to be aware of truth – convinced that the Lord is God! Know – to be aware of truth – convinced that He made us and we are His!

We are His!!

He is our Father. (Matthew 6:9) We are His people. We are His sheep. He is our shepherd. (Psalm 23)

Today when things aren’t going right remember who you belong to – you belong to God. He doesn’t promise us beauty alone but beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He doesn’t promise us smooth sailing. In fact Jesus says we will face trouble.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

He has overcome and we are His!

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 ESV

Today make sure your knower (yes I created a new word) works. Know – to be aware of truth – convinced that the Lord is God and we are His!

til next time

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February 27, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

plans change – God knows why

How was your day? Did it go as planned? How about your week?
 
Thursday is the end of our week. Friday is our Sabbath and then our week starts all over again on Saturday.
 
Usually on Thursdays I schedule low key things, work mostly from home and it is the one day I generally don’t have much interaction with people. This is intentional. I want lots of coffee and lots of Jesus time.
 
It is also usually the day that we will hold our Hour of Power once a month prayer meeting. It is by far one of the most powerful hours of my month and having it on Thursday works. We had it today.
 
This week has been one change after another in my schedule. Today I ended up putting on my chaplain hat and spent the afternoon loving on and listening to person after person. It was once again proof that God is strong in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:10)
 
“What is closest to your heart is what you will talk about. And if God is close to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.” A.W. Tozer
 
As I recorded my information for work, it became real apparent to me why my schedule had changed. I needed to be right where I was, listening and sharing about my Jesus.
 
Looking back over your day, what was on your mind? What did you talk about and share with others?
 
Tonight – it’s pizza and tv – actually probably pizza and a nap. Sigh 🙂 but very much a contented sigh.
 
aw tozer close
til next time
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February 20, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment