Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

whatever you face

Whatever you are facing, I encourage you to turn to God.

  • For those dealing with lose – He is the God of all comfort.
  • For those who are fearful and worried – He is the God of all peace
  • Those battling discouragement – He is the God of hope
  • So many are lacking – He is the God who provides.
  • Many are dealing with illness and pain – It is God that heals and gives grace.
  • For all those who are hurting – His love brings a balm like none other.
  • For those who feel such an emptiness inside – remember that God is the one who brings fulfillment.
  • For those who are so sad – He is the God who brings great joy.
  • For all those who have let life stress them out — God is still in the business of calming the sea.
  • To the lost – He is the God who guides
  • For all those dealing with shame – It is God who redeems
  • And to all those who feel alone in the midst of this pandemic – He is the God who stays.

Father, I come to You with a heavy heart. There is so much strife, anger and hurt in our world. Help us to keep our eyes on You. Bring Your refreshing into our hearts and minds as we keep our trust in You. Lord, use us (Your children) to be agents of Your love for mankind. Show us how to love like You love. Help us to walk with You and not in our flesh. May You be glorified in the life of Your children. Amen.

til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

January 13, 2021 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

challenge is not a bad word

This time of year finds me doing much reflection. My Gratitude Journal is full of many of the ways God has touched my life in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, a broken arm, and a hospital stay – from the smallest of small ways to the miraculous ways – each has caused me to stop and say “Thank You God. I know that was all YOU!”
For me, 2020 has also been a year of many challenges. Challenges is not a bad word, but challenges can be hard. Some are good. Some are not. Some are beyond our control.


My prayer for you is that in the midst of challenges you will choose to walk with God and in His strength.


“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.” Colossians 1:11-12 the Message

This year has had its share of pain. We choose what we do with pain. I choose to let God use the pain for His glory, to learn from painful experiences, and to love through the pain. I refuse to let it consume me and drag me into self-centeredness. (I’ve walked that road and it is void of joy.)


I choose joy. I choose to remember that in my weakness, His strength is so very evident if I am seeking it. (2 Cor 12:9)


Challenges can certainly shake things up. Sometimes it feels like I am walking on a tightrope. It is then that I remind myself that Christ is right there with me and He is what keeps me balanced so that I won’t fall.

“even there your hand shall lead me,    and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:10 (ESV)
 “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 (ESV)

In each and every challenge, God is still God and He is with us! That my friend is enough!
til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

December 28, 2020 Posted by | life, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

is 2020 over yet?

Maybe like me – you have had enough of 2020. It can be way too easy to fall into a slump. I do think that it is important to acknowledge those things that saddened us or challenged us. Please don’t stop there. Lay them at the feet of Jesus – even if you have to do it over and over again. Cast your cares because He does care for you. (1Peter 5:6-7) Trust Him to work it out. (Romans 8:28)


For us, it’s been quite a year. It is the year:

  • we closed our PAC church
  • covid interrupted our only vacation
  • I broke my arm in two places and was off work for 9 weeks. (I’m still healing.)
  • we learned what a derecho is and just how long clean up can take. (As of today, we still have things needing attention from that storm.)
  • both our boys got married. I’m so proud of both of them and their wives. They weathered the pandemic and all the many changes it caused.
  • five of our family came down with covid at the same time and I ended up in the hospital for five days.
  • my husband is teaching from home
  • as a church, we went online for services – a continual challenge
  • we were unable to go to MN for our Thanksgiving tradition
  • we give thanks to God because He promises to be with us and to bring beauty out of ashes. (Matt 28:20, Isaiah 61:3)
  • God has provided in amazing ways when things looked so bleak (Luke 6:38)

I am sure that you have your own list. If you’d like to share it, I’d love to pray over it. The enemy of our souls is constantly looking for ways to bring us down. (John 10:10) Acknowledging the hard things and giving them to Jesus is one way we stop the enemy in his tracks.

We can put a lot of effort and time into our own happiness. Truth is that we cannot control things or people. Storms come – people hurt us – we can control how we respond, what we dwell on and what we give to God.

Image may contain: text that says 'The "do what makes you happy" culture is so toxic for Christians. We are NOT called to do what makes us happy. We're called to do what glorifies God. Christianity isn't always sunshine & happiness. It's hard work & dedication to him not us. Do. What. Glorifies.Go Author unknown'

The harder the trial, the closer Jesus is if we but look to Him.

2020 isn’t over yet. What is it God may be wanting you to do? Let’s do what glorifies God!

til next time

ads placed here by WordPress

December 11, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, life, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

count it all joy? what?

I had someone once say that my life was easy. (She is probably not the only one to think that.) If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know that dying to self and living for Christ includes trials and suffering.


Life is filled with things that test our faith.


“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1: 2-4 NLT


“an opportunity for great joy” This used to puzzle me. Some things that we face in life are painful. Then I started to think about what joy is.


Joy in the Lord is constant. Circumstances don’t dictate joy. God’s great love for us does. He is with us and for us. He is an ever present help in trouble. His joy is our strength. He is making a way and He will turn ashes into beauty. So, trials that come our way are indeed an opportunity for great joy because God is working in us and through us. We can see His fingerprints if we are looking for them.

Are you in the middle of a test of your faith? Remember all tests are open book. The only thing stopping you from reading the Word is you.

My prayer for you comes from Romans 15:13 “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.”

God knows what awaits us today.
Walking with Jesus!

ads placed here by WordPress

October 7, 2020 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

enjoy today? yes! yes I will!

“You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” Psalm 92:4 NLT


As I sit here this morning, awoken once again by pain, I have two courses of action. I can allow the pain to take over or I can refocus my thoughts. What I can’t do is make the pain go away. What I can do is not give it power over my day.

That’s the problem we encounter. We give whatever is going on power over us. We allow it to impact our thoughts and before we know it, we are wallowing in discouragement or frustration.

What is stopping you from enjoying today?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Heb 12:1-3 NLT

What is the weight that is slowing you down? What is it that is trying to get you discouraged?

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening,” Psalm 92:1-2 NLT

When we have an attitude of gratitude, when we focus on our Savior, when we take captive our thoughts and keep our eyes on Jesus — we find that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Neh 8:10)

I choose joy!

til next time ——ads placed here by WordPress

August 10, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

joy

Joy in the Journey
 
Recognizing that if God allows it, He will help me through it. (Isa 43:2)
 
Trusting that God, who sees the big picture, will work all things out for my good. (Romans 8:28)
 
I choose joy! (Psalm 92:4)
joy 1
Living life to the fullest may mean that I will need a nap. Hey, even Jesus took a nap. (Mark 4:38)
 
When worry knocks on my heart, I will remember that God is greater. I will trust.
(Prov 3:5-6)
 
Some days are just hard, but even in those days God is faithful. God is good! God is able! (Eph 3:20)
 
Those things that I would rather not do, I will choose to adjust my attitude and be thankful that I am able to do them. (1 Thess 5:18)
 
In my weakness, Christ is strong. He makes up for whatever I may be lacking. (2 Cor 12:9) I won’t compare myself with those who seem to do it easier or better. I will put my heart into what I do because I am really working for Christ. (Col 3:23)
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

June 12, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life, Pastor's wife, 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
ads placed here by WordPress

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

grace – rest in God’s grace

Sing with us! Go ahead, sing it loud! God’s Amazing Grace!! 
 
God’s amazing Grace — None of this has taken Him by surprise. He is with us, for us and making a way when a way seems so uncertain. He is the same today as He was last year when we gave little thought to covid19. (Hebrews 13:8)
 
Seeing this verse play out right before our eyes.
 
Isaiah 43:19
“For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
 
A great verse to memorize and meditate on is
Romans 15:13
 
“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.” NIV
This people person is adjusting and determined to thrive, not waste a day in despair (sure there are moments but I know where to go when they hit — the feet of the One who loves me most – Jesus)
 
 
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

March 26, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

closing a door

I am grateful that I can trust God and don’t have to try to make things happen.  His timing! His will! His glory!
 
Today we shut the doors on our church plant.  I have been believing God for a worship team to replace the one that is moving.  It hasn’t happened.  I don’t understand.  Yet, I trust God.  It is ultimately His church.  His timing.  His will.  His way.
 
“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.” NIV
 
God is the God of hope. If you are lacking joy and peace in your life – ask yourself if you are truly trusting Him. Often we can find ourselves casting our cares but then picking them back up again.
 
Trust Him!
romans 15 13
 
A product of trusting God is indeed joy and peace. It is more than that though. It is overflowing with hope – again not something we can muster up. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit and it is connected to trusting Him.
 
When things don’t turn out the way you planned, when you don’t understand, when life is best described as a mess — Trust God!
 
When things are going great, when life seems to be smooth sailing, when blessings abound — Trust God!
 
Trust God!
 
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

February 29, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

attitude says it all

How’s your attitude today? It’s Friday!
For some, it’s the end of their work week. For some, it’s the beginning of a weekend of work. For some, today is no different than any other day. For me, today is my Sabbath. Ahhhh, yes!
 
Regardless of the day, our attitude is a determining factor in how our day will go. Crummy attitude pretty much equals a crummy day. Sadly, when we embrace a crummy attitude, we miss so many good things.
 
No matter what is going on around us and no matter what others do that impacts us – we are responsible for our attitude and behavior. Many people tend to forget this.
 
God’s Word has this to say —1 Peter 3:8-9 “Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.” (MSG)
 
Today, I choose joy. (Nehemiah 8:10) The joy of the Lord is my strength. I choose to “be” His hand extended.
 
1 peter 3 9
til next time
ads placed here by WordPress

February 7, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment