Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

extraordinary

We can use ordinary everyday things for a greater purpose.

‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

Whatever you do………….. most of that will involve ordinary things.

Driving to work is a wonderful opportunity to talk with God about the day, the issues you are facing, and about the people you will come in contact with that day.

An ordinary task that used to wear me out was working in my kitchen.  Then I discovered the difference popping in a teaching CD makes. (I listen to Joyce Meyer) The kitchen is no longer an issue. Taking an ordinary thing but making it extraordinary. Win win!!

Stopping for a red light becomes a moment of solitude for me now.   When I find myself stopped I am reminded that red means Stop. Yellow means Breathe (actually take a deep breath) Green means Believe (redirect my thoughts to a promise from God.) It is a wonderful way to remember that God is greater and He is already working on whatever it is I am facing.

Going for walks is another ordinary task that can easily become a prayer walk. It is amazing how your neighborhood changes when you begin to pray for your neighbors.

What ordinary things do you turn into extraordinary?

learning to cultivate an awareness of His presence as I go through my day,

til next time

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August 18, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

what goes around – comes around -really?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Luke 6:31

As a child, I thought the Golden Rule meant that people would treat me how I treated them. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that just didn’t work like I thought.

I remember talking with my dad and trying to explain to him how this just didn’t work.  I was friendly and kind – in return the other person was snobbish and cruel.    Evidently that is how she wanted to be treated so that should be how I treat her, right?

Then I would get the ‘you only have to answer for your own actions‘ speech.   (Romans 14:12)  He sure said that a lot.

Somewhere along the way it stuck.  I am responsible for my behavior – my actions.  No matter what someone else does or doesn’t do, I will answer for my choices.  How I treat someone will be a reflection of who I am not of who they are.

What about  ‘you reap what you sow?

Yet we know that the Bible tells us

For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  John 4:37 (NJKV)

Now the Bible does talk about reaping what you sow.  Check this out.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  Galatians 6:7-8

What choices are you making about how you live your life?  Which one are you feeding?  the flesh? or the Spirit?

You’ve heard it said that ‘what goes around comes around.’  Yet, there have been things that happened to me that I have not done nor would even dream of doing to someone else.  I think we all have experienced that to some degree.

I offer grace and mercy to others because that is what I want others to give to me.   It is the Golden Rule in action.

I have told my husband that sometimes I feel like there is this bulls eye on my back or a sign that says open season on Gloria, take your best shot.  Yet, I absolutely believe that nothing, NOTHING happens to me that doesn’t first go through God.  He is in charge of my life.  He is in charge of the calling He has placed on my life.  He will bring beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He will turn this around for good because I love and trust Him! (Romans 8:28)

Joyce Meyer Ministries puts it this way:

“You know what tenderizes you? Your own personal pain. You go through something that is so gut-wrenchingly hard that you think you can’t stand it. But when you come out of that, you’re gonna be more tender-hearted. You’re gonna cry easier. You’re gonna care about the hurting more quickly. You’re gonna be more careful what you say to people.”

Pain can make you bitter or better.   I will take better every time.

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”  Romans 14:12 (NKJV)

So I will continue to treat people the way I would want them to treat me. Even if, or maybe especially when, they are mistreating me.  I will not repay evil with evil, but remember that good overcomes evil. (Romans 12:17 & Isaiah 1:16-17)  With God’s help, I choose good.   I will be intentional about letting God’s love shine through me.

How about you?

til next time

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May 22, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L2L

What importance do you put on your love for others?  In our society, where ‘what’s in it for me’ is very prevalent, it can be way too easy to get caught up in self.

John 13:34 (NASB)

 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

verse 35 goes on to say:

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Loving others — God says that it is proof to others of our devotion to Him.   Our treatment of others is not to be taken lightly.  No where does it say to love only nice people or those people who love you first.  In fact Jesus tells us in the Word  “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”  (Matthew 5:44) and  “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Luke 6:27)

We are instructed over and over again to love!  What would it look like if everyone who claims to be a Christian would actually allow God to help them grow in their love and compassion for others?   Instead it is so easy to justify or ignore our own non-loving behavior.

I have always had a love for people.   Yet I am well aware that there is room for growth.  God takes us where we are and teaches us how to have  a deeper love and compassion for others.  We come to recognize that there is a bigger picture than just what we see.

This week I received this in the mail.  L2L L2L  – Live to Love

L2L (I posted the verse at the beginning of this blog.)

  Each Sunday our Impact class recites (KJV)  “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”    Beloved let us love one another.   1John4:7-8  If you have been around awhile you may recognize this as a song. 

By now the regulars have it memorized.  This Sunday we are going to add John 13:34-35.   Why?  Repetition is a great way to memorize.  Memorizing scripture helps us walk in victory.  (Psalm 119:11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” KJV)

I close with a portion of 1 Corinthians 13 from the Message Bible.  As you read this ask God to show you what area needs your attention today.  Then ask Him to help you.  He desires to use you to be His hand extended to those you come in contact with today.  What a great adventure.

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

til next time

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March 7, 2014 Posted by | relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

ordinary things

If I asked  how are you, what would your answer be?

Busy?  Stressed?  Overwhelmed?  Bored?

What are the demands on your life?

Do you find that you are in a constant state of ‘rush’?

Does it seem that one task is not even close to being done when the next task is demanding attention?

Sometimes life meets us coming and going.  Sometimes I eat on the run.  Other times I find myself with more to do and night has come.

Awhile back I was talking with a friend about the importance of answering the call to  “Come away” and how easy it can be to ignore that call or put off that call.  Who has time for that anyway?

Mark 6:31 (NASB) “And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

In our Impact class we were talking  about using ordinary tasks to incorporate more time in prayer.   Driving to work is a wonderful opportunity to talk with God about the day, the issues you are facing, and about the people you will come in contact with that day.  God is already on the scene but we must learn to cultivate an awareness of His presence.

A long time ago I started working in my kitchen with Joyce Meyer.  It seemed that  there just never was enough time/energy to cook and clean up.   My attitude reflected this.  What was I to do?  Continue to struggle?

LIghtbulb!!

I receive a new CD every month from Joyce.   I have numerous CD sets of hers that someday I was going to take time to listen to,  so I decided to pop one in.  Wa La,  the kitchen is no longer an issue.  Thus Joyce Meyer and I do dishes together.  Taking an ordinary thing but making it extraordinary.  Win win!!

Another ordinary task that has become a moment of solitude in my day is the restroom.   Might sound kind of strange to you, until you try it.  When I need a moment to remind myself that God is greater and He is already working on whatever it is I am facing, I close the door, take a breath, and connect with Him.   What a difference a couple of minutes makes.

Going for walks is another ordinary task that can easily become a prayer walk.  It is amazing how your neighborhood changes when you begin to pray for your neighbors.

Yet while all of these things are helpful, the call to me to “come away to a secluded place” was greater than just the ordinary places.     Maybe that will mean getting up a half hour earlier.  It could mean turning off the tv and going to a quiet place instead.

I thought when I  was no longer bi-vocational that time would just present itself.  After all, I was not going to fill up my calendar.  Dropping into bed at night dog tired would be a thing of the past.   The plan was to take the first two weeks to regroup and adjust.

The first week was horrible.  I actually found myself wishing I was working.   The down time I had so desperately looked forward to was not going as planned.  Life was still coming at me fast.

It was then that the call came in loud and clear.  “Come away with me to a  quiet place.”

And I did!

What ordinary things do you turn into extraordinary?

When was the last time you went away to a quiet place?

til next time

August 18, 2013 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

45 day challenge

How’s your love walk?

Awhile back I read a book that drastically changed my love walk.  “Reduce me to love”  by Joyce Meyer is still the 2nd best book I have ever read on love.    (The best book you ask?  Of course –  the Bible.   The Bible is a living love story from the God of the universe.  It doesn’t  get any better than that. I recommend reading a portion of it everyday.)

“Reduce me to love” used scripture and did a great job of showing me how much deeper my love walk could be.    I highly recommend it but be warned it will show you things about yourself that may surprise you.

At a conference I was at recently, all of us pw’s were encouraged to take the 45 day “love revealed” challenge.  It is a book by Kerry Clarensau.   Each day contains a devotional about one aspect of love.  It concludes with a challenge point for that day.  After all, it really doesn’t do any good to know something if you don’t apply it to your daily life.

Yesterday was day 1

“Unfailing love”

Reminds me of the Chris Tomlin song by that title.

Unfailing love

God holds everything in His hands and yet He still has time for me and you. God loves us — really truly loves us.  I don’t have to be, nor could I be, perfect.   I can’t earn His love no matter how hard I try.  Yet He offers to me His gift of love.  He loves me and He loves you.  Yes, Jesus loves me.  Now there is something to ponder.

today – Day 2

“sacrificial love”

What conditions do you put on love?  What if God put those same conditions on His love for you?  — I am so thankful that He doesn’t.

Let the day begin.

til next time

October 4, 2011 Posted by | ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

to complain or not to complain?

“God is not motivated or moved by our complaining.”  Joyce Meyers

Did you know that Joyce and I do dishes together?  She is a great help to me.

In all began a few years back.  See  I was in this funk.   I didn’t want to cook.  I certainly didn’t want to do dishes.   I was beginning to dread any time that I had to spend in the kitchen.  As a wife and mother that meant a big chunk of my day was filled with dissatisfaction.

That’s when Joyce came to my rescue.

I had been receiving her ‘teaching of the month’ cassette.   I was building up quite a pile of them.   When the thought hit me (thanks God) that I could put one in while I was working in the kitchen.

What a difference!    We’ve been doing dishes together ever since.  To say that I love my kitchen would be an understatement now!!

So, currently I am listening to “Contentment and Satisfaction — finding Joy in every situation”.    Every situation — yes I have room for growth.

It was during the 4th cd that Joyce made the above quote.  (“God is not motivated or moved by our complaining.” )

Complaining……..murmuring……..whining………muttering…………grumbling

About a month ago I mentioned to my husband that the next time I told him that I did not want to go to work – I had to pay him $1.00.  No big deal, you might think.  However, my husband is a financial guru and we budget everything.  Yes, even down to each getting  an allowance.   (This is money that I do not have to account for. )

How much you ask?  You might be surprised to hear that it is $10 a week.  Yes that is correct $10 a week.  Hey that is $40 a month I do not have to account for.

Why do I tell you this?  Because it is so easy to spend money and not even be aware of how much.   At the end of the month do you know where your money went?   If I did not have a set amount it would be so easy for me to spend three to four times as much during the week just on whatever I felt like at the time.

So when I said I would give him $1 that was huge.  Even greater is the fact that I have not had to pay him, not even once.

That was only the beginning.

My next challenge.

Complaining……..murmuring……..whining………muttering…………grumbling

STOP……CEASE…..ENOUGH……INSTEAD…..BE THANKFUL……BE POSITIVE

Now I am not one of those people who go around complaining and murmuring every chance I get.  I do try to see the good in each situation.  Yet I do find myself griping about the heat, or little things,  or situations out of my control, or the work load — that is a big one, or our crazy schedule …………… words that just don’t need to be spoken.  Period!

Now I’ve managed to sugar coat it so that I can kind of – sort of – justify it but, when Joyce made that statement my heart went ouch.

She also went on to say that we open a door for the enemy, in our lives, we invite destruction through grumbling, fault-finding and complaining.

When I am murmuring the devil is doing a happy dance and just loving it.  Why do you think it is so easy to complain?   Grumbling is contagious but so is thankfulness.  From now on I am going to be mindful to spread thankfulness!

For the next 30 days I am going to attempt to not complain about anything.  Now I know that some of it is habit (i.e.  Oh it is so stinkin’ hot.  or Is it 5:00 yet? whine – whine – whine )  and I will slip up.  But those of you that know me personally — feel free to remind me that I was giving up whining and maybe, just maybe,  you will get a quarter.  (Hey that’s 1/40th of my allowance for the week.)

What is God speaking to you about?

til next time

July 12, 2011 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments