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

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

i will ___

Today I will ____________

Living life with purpose!

I can change the course of my day by making the decision first thing in the morning that today I will rejoice, I will be grateful, I will look for opportunities to do good, I will worship, I will look for the good, I will trust God……….. then whatever comes my way, I have already made up my mind as to what I will do.

“This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad.” Psalms 118:24

“I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.” Psalms 13:6

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What will you do today?

 

til next time

 

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March 23, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , | 2 Comments

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
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I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

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After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
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We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i choose….

Today!

A new day is beginning. I have heard it said and believe it to be true that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you handle it. Before the day really gets started, I make a choice to trust God with whatever comes my way. He holds all things together and that includes me.

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 NASB

Today is a gift.  There will be no do overs.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

Notice ‘we will’ — it is a choice made ahead of time. I choose joy!  I choose trust!

“From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3 (ESV)

Sometimes life is messy. Sometimes life is down right hard. A key to maintaining my peace and joy as I go through hard times is praise. Praise changes me. It takes my eyes off of whatever is going on and puts them back on Jesus – the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) When I turn my eyes upon Jesus, He speaks peace. Hope is renewed. What a difference it makes to praise God throughout my day.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17 (KJV)

Another key is prayer. Reminding myself to cast my cares (1 Peter 5:7) and talk with God as I go through my day helps me to stay centered. Prayer should be our first response not our last resort.

So a new day is beginning – how will you choose to handle it?

Me?  I choose Jesus!    My hope is built on Him!  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand!

til next time

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March 4, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

go out!

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Autumn is here in the Midwest.  Trees are changing color.  A trip the the apple orchard has happened.  My fridge is stocked with apples and I just pulled apple cake out of the oven.   My mums are beautiful.  (My weeds are also thriving.)  My husband did a chimney sweep yesterday.  I have pulled out my sweatshirts and found my Mickey Mouse slippers.  Yes, Autumn is here in the Midwest.

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Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

How we approach our day makes a difference in how our day goes. Notice Isaiah says “Go out with joy – be led out with peace. Go out…..be led out…..joy….peace. Take a moment to think on that.

Autumn is here and the mountains and the trees are breaking forth into colorful song. Nature is alive with beauty. If you haven’t taken time to notice it, I hope that you set aside some time to do just that.

Going out with joy,

til next time

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October 7, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i need to eat today!

I enjoy a good meal. In fact, I enjoy a mediocre meal. Last night, after all of the activities of the previous 24 hours were fulfilled, I sat down with a 32 ounce fountain Mt. Dew. It was the best Mt. Dew.

Now was it really?

At the time, it certainly seemed like it was.

For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17

However, what I ate and drank yesterday does not mean I do not want or need to eat and drink today. It is the same with God. Making right choices, walking in peace and joy with the Holy Spirit’s help is a daily thing.

You could sit down to the best meal ever but if there is conflict and strife, heartache and despair, or drama and criticism I do not think you would possible enjoy that meal. If,on the other hand, you cast all your cares on Jesus, (1 Peter 5:7) – trusting Him to make a way, (Isaiah 43:19) — and take up your shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16) in the midst of whatever you face, then you can eat that meal in peace and joy.

Have you talked with God today?

til next time

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September 13, 2016 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

learning to dance in the rain

I am not a fan of driving in rain. Lately I have had lots of practice. Last week there was such a downpour that I got off at the next exit just to get a break. The rain did let up only to start again after I got back on the highway.

I don’t mind if it is a gentle rain, but when it seems the heavens open and the floods are coming — well, I prefer not to be driving.

Life can be like that at times. It can seem to come at us fast and furious. We barely catch our breath and here comes more.

Once again, I am reminded that my attitude plays a huge role in how I handle the rain storms and the storms of life.

The Message Bible reminds us in James 1:2-4

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Jesus tells us in John 16:33 “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.” (NIV)

So, when you feel life coming at you full speed ahead — look at your attitude – it may need adjusting.  We can learn to dance in the rain.  We can choose to focus on the good.  God is good!   And we can remember peace is available through Jesus.

 

dancing

Peace and joy go hand in hand.
Joy is peace dancing and Peace is joy resting!

til next time

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August 23, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, 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

 

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

I know a good thing when I see it

“The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart.  Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!” Psalm 16:7-10 The Message

“I am happy from the inside out.” There is a key to true happiness/joy.

Knowing that God is with me always and whatever happens must be allowed by Him – gives me peace.

Growing in my understanding of how much God loves me – gives me stability when all else may be unstable.

Seeing example after example of ‘in my weakness He is strong’ – gives me confidence.

Understanding that in some things I just won’t understand and the freedom that comes from realizing I don’t have to understand, I only need trust – gives me patience.

Resting in assurance that He is in control – gives me hope.

Yes, ‘day and night I’ll stick with God.’

Trusting Him I know I will make it!

Till next time

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July 7, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment