Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

loving life – part 12

I love my life!

What about when life’s situations seem overwhelming? What about when your heart is breaking? What about when the pain won’t stop? What about when the dark clouds come?

“From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.” Psalm 61:2-3 NLT

God’s Word has much to say about suffering, trials, pain, being overwhelmed, mourning – the problem is that often when we are in the middle of all that, we ignore the Bible. The one thing that can help us, sits unopened. We don’t ‘feel’ like reading or singing or going to church. We allow our feelings to dictate our path.

Learning to rule over your emotions instead of allowing your emotions to rule over you is vital to living the abundant life. Feelings can be based on a lie. The devil loves to lie to you. He wants you to feel bad and continue to feel bad. Allow God’s spotlight to expose those feelings that are choking the joy right out of you.

Ask God to help you see the lies and walk in truth. Immerse yourself in the Word. “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT

Even in the darkest hour, God is with you. Even in the deepest pain, God’s peace is for you. Even in the hardest trial, God’s strength is yours. Even when the night is long, morning is coming.

If that is where you are today, I encourage you to open your Bible and let the Living Word wash over you.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:5-7 NIV

til next time

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October 1, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

in Your hand

My times are in Your hand, O Lord!

That is such an encouraging truth! God is in control. God knows! God is holding our hand. (Psalm 73:23)

Psalm 31: 14-15
“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.”

Deliver me — as I sit here thinking about this, I am reminded that sometimes we are our worst enemy. When we allow our thoughts to take us down the road of negativity, when all we see is problems, problems problems, or give in to lies about who we are or who God is — well, we need to be delivered from that way of thinking.

How do you see God? Our God is greater. (1 Jn 4:4) Our God is able. (Psalm 138:8) God is with us (Matt 28:20) for us (Psalm 118:6) sustaining us (Psalm 55:22) and He is enough! (2 Cor 12:9)

May today find you believing what the Word says about who you are and who God is!!

But as for me — I trust You God!


til next time

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October 4, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do lies have color?

Speak truth!

“What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” (Ephesians 4:25 The Message)

In 1 John 2:21 it tells us that truth does not breed lies. In our society telling the truth seems to be a foreign concept. I think some people really no longer even know what truth is.

When my kids were growing up, I would often tell them to not bother to lie because the truth would come forward and then there would be consequences for telling a lie. (Mark 4:22 NASB)

How truthful are you? Have you fallen into the trap that lies have color?  “Oh, it’s just a little white lie?”

A lie is a lie.

I understand not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, but there are other ways to avoid hurting someone than to take the easy way out and lie.  Remember you do not have to say every thought that comes into your mind, you can look for something positive to say, or you can change the subject.  If you don’t like the dress or the haircut — don’t lower your integrity by saying how fabulous it is and give insincere praise.

When you are a person of truth you never have to remember who you told what. How refreshing!

Being a person of integrity means being a person of truth.

Proverbs 3:3 reminds us to bind truth and kindness around our neck. I like to think of this as a filter. Any words that are about to come out of my mouth must pass through truth and kindness.

When you do find that you have spoken a lie, go to that person and acknowledge it.  I have found that this is a sure fire way to avoid telling a lie in the future.


Keeping it real!

til next time


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May 17, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

blame game or ownership? you decide

Have you noticed how too often blame seems to have replaced accepting responsibility?

It’s not my fault, he did this and this and this and well what do you expect me to do?  —-  It’s his fault I’m not happy.  —- She doesn’t love me so I showed her.  —  He pushed me away. —-   I was out of  my meds and the baby wouldn’t stop crying. —- I wouldn’t have been drinking if my boss hadn’t fired me. —  He owes me. — What do you expect with the way he talks to me?

Blame –pointing a finger at someone else instead of taking responsibility for your choices.

I am grateful my parents taught me early on that my mistakes were my fault.  It didn’t matter what someone else did. I answered for what I decided to do.   What someone else did was not an excuse for me to do the wrong thing.

Let me say that huge truth again.

What someone else did was not an excuse for me to do the wrong thing.

My dad would say over and over again, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

Trying to pass blame or lie about things only made it worse.  The truth does have a way of surfacing.  I think people sometimes forget that.  (Luke 12:2-3)

Holding someone accountable for their actions is appropriate.  Accountability brings with it truth.

Truth begins the journey to healing. 

Blaming someone else as the reason for why you choose to do or not do something is wrong.

Sadly there are some choices that the consequences will follow you all your life. For the drunk driver who killed someone, for the spouse who threw away her marriage by having an affair, for the father who chose to shake his son causing irreparable damage ….. sometimes choices cannot be undone and consequences will forever be a part of your life and even a part of the lives of others.

So what do you do?

Own up to it.  Make real amends. (Continuing to place blame is not ownership and is not making amends.)  Start making right choices.  Live in the truth.  Put up boundaries, if necessary, so that you don’t act out of anger.  Acting out of hurt or anger is still  a reflection of who you are.  Think about it before you say or do something in a moment of anger.  Two wrongs do not make a right.

David is a wonderful example of someone who made monumental mistakes and yet we read that he was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)

  1.  It was spring and the kings went into battle.  David chose not to.  He neglected his responsibility.
  2.  He inquired about a woman and was told she was married.  He should have stopped right there but he doesn’t.
  3.  Now she is pregnant (a consequence to his actions)
  4.  He tried to manipulate her husband into sleeping with her.  Uriah was a man of integrity and did not.
  5.  David decides to get Uriah drunk – manipulation again.  It doesn’t work.
  6. David has Uriah placed on the front lines – in essence issuing his death sentence.  Uriah dies.

David then marries Uriah’s wife.   All is well, right?

The story is not over.

Choices have consequences. 

David’s consequences:

  1. The sword will never depart from David’s house.
  2.  Evil will rise up from his household.
  3. The child born will die.
  4. David’s wives would be given to his companion.
  5. What David did secretly will be done openly.

How does David respond?  Does he cast blame?  He was King, surely there were people he could blame?

No, he owned up to his mistakes.  He did not look for someone to blame.  He went before God with a broken and contrite heart.  David acknowledges his sin.  He makes another right choice by going to the house of the Lord and worshiping.  He recognizes his desperate need for God.  (You can read the story in 2 Samuel 11 and 12)

In Psalm 51 David writes about this whole situation.  Here are some of the things he prays.

  1. Have mercy on me.
  2. Wash me.
  3. Cleanse me.
  4. Purify me.
  5. Make me hear joy and gladness.
  6. Create in me a clean heart.
  7. Restore joy.
  8. Sustain me.

It didn’t end there though.  With God the story always goes on.   God would make beauty out of ashes.

Then I will teach your ways to other sinners, and they—guilty like me—will repent and return to you.”  Psalm 51:13 (TLB)

David would teach.  David would proclaim God’s truth. David would follow God.

til next time


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June 6, 2015 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God hates….???

Do you know that there are things God truly hates?  Just in case we try to gloss over them, the Word repeats the point calling them an abomination. In a world where anything goes, a warning rings out.

Yes, there are things that God hates.

“There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:  Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.” Proverbs 6:15-19

“haughty eyes” – “a proud look” – “eyes that are arrogant”  — overestimate who you think you are while you underestimate who you think others are.

We are to have a healthy self-image.  That is not what this is talking about.  This refers to thinking you are so much better than someone else.  It can mask itself as thinking that a particular task is beneath you.  It is an attitude of the heart.  This type of pride is at the root of most sins.

“lying tongue”  God hates this one so much that it makes the list a second time.  “a false witness who utters lies” – “a false witness who pours out lies”  – “a mouth that lies under oath”

A repeated saying when I was a kid was “liar, liar pants on fire.”  It was later that I would realize the deep profound truth to that statement.  “ and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.  (Revelation 21:8)  

We all know people that we take what they say with a grain of salt, recognizing that they are prone to exaggeration and/or twisting the truth.  The truth does come out by the way.   A little lie is still a lie.

Just tell the truth!  Oh, what a different world we would live in if people would tell the truth.  God hates lies and yet even Christians will misrepresent the truth and fall into the trap of lying.

I had someone this week contact me and ask me if I had said………  I appreciate that.  Instead of just believing it to be true, she came to me.  I was able to tell her that I most certainly did not say that.    I also had someone this week tell me things about a situation that they had not so much as talked with the other person involved and yet there they were proclaiming it as truth.  Oh, how that affects a persons reputation.   How easy it can be to fall into that trap.  It was a reminder for me of just how important truth is.

“hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil” – “murdering, plotting evil, eagerness to do wrong” –   notice it doesn’t say you have to carry out said wicked plans for God to hate it.  He hates it when we allow our thoughts to entertain the very idea of wickedness.   

Rioting and looting come to mind when I think of feet running rapidly to evil – eagerness to do wrong.  My daddy used to always tell me “2 wrongs don’t make a right.”

“one who spreads strife” – “a person who stirs up conflict in the community” – “a trouble maker in the family”  —  sadly this has been used to tear down many a church.  I find that this is generally connected to the first thing God hates – pride.  Someone gets their nose out of joint, things don’t go their way, pride takes over – that self-importance – I am right attitude and conflict follows.

Yes, there are things God hates.  We would be wise to take heed.

til next time


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June 4, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

is it easy for you to lie?

Lies — first off, I hate to be lied to.  How about you?  Therefore, I have purposed in my heart to speak truth.  (the Golden Rule in action)

Some people think lies have color.  “It’s just a little white lie.”

Some people don’t call it a lie.  They were just fibbing or joking around.

For others,  stretching the truth is the only way they know how to tell a story.

Then there is the “I didn’t lie, I just let you come to the wrong conclusion.”   Deceiving people is just another form of not telling the truth.

The Bible has much to say about speaking the truth.

“I haven’t been writing this to tell you something you don’t know, but to confirm the truth you do know, and to remind you that the truth doesn’t breed lies.” 1 John 2:21 (The Message)

Lies breed more lies.   Once you have told a lie, telling a second lie to cover up the first one is quite common.   Before you know it you find yourself in a web of lies.   Who did you tell what?   I often remind people that lies will be uncovered but by then the damage will have been done.  (Mark 4:22)  Avoid this by telling the truth.

You never have to remember what you told who if truth is on your tongue.

“Don’t steal.

“Don’t lie.

“Don’t deceive anyone.”  Leviticus 19:11 (The Message)

Most people want to be known as a person of integrity.   When we speak, we want people to believe us.  Being a person of integrity includes being a person who speaks truth and not lies.

When backed into a corner — speak truth — even if it brings pain.  The pain of a lie revealed far outweighs any pain truth brings.

Lies can destroy relationships.  Telling someone what you think they want to hear, instead of the truth, only brings distrust when the truth is revealed.   We all know people that we can no longer believe anything that comes out of their mouth.  How very sad.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.”  Proverbs 3:3 (New American Standard Bible)

Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church.”   Ephesians 4:15 (Living Bible)

I will say it again — the pain of a lie revealed far outweighs any pain truth brings.

til next time


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March 5, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

what do your words say about you?




Somewhere in between.

Where do you stand?  Do you tell the truth most of the time?  Do you think lies have color?  You know, the little white lie?  or Are you known for telling the truth no matter what?

Most of the people in my life know that I won’t lie for them.  I say most of the people because lately I have had some people close to me assume that I will let their ‘story’ become my ‘story‘.   I don’t think they really thought about the fact that they were not telling the truth – that is until I was asked about it and then questioned them?  No matter how good the lie is, lies do not hold up to questioning.

People tell lies to make themselves look better or to pass blame onto someone else.  However truth does prevail and when the lie is exposed they look way worse than if they would have just come clean in the first place.

Sometimes I think people revert back to the kindergarten playground.  You know the place where lies ran rampant and the teacher did her best to instill in us that telling the truth was the right thing to do.  Of course if she couldn’t get through to us, then our parents sure could.  Ah, but that was back in the day when actions/words had consequences.

Now adults have jumped on the band wagon and their children hear them telling fibs.  (fib- We’ve even changed the name because lie is too strong of a word.  It is really only just a fib. Ugh!)

I used to be shocked when parents would call the school (that I worked at) and tell lies with the intent of getting their child off of detention.  Really??  That is the lesson you want to teach them?  Or how about the parents that call their  child in sick when he just doesn’t want to go to school?

One of my jobs now is dealing with collections.  It has certainly been an eye-opening experience for me.  I used to take people at their word but do you know how many people lie when it comes to money?

Another ‘reason’ people tell lies is that they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  The hope must be that they won’t get caught because lies hurt.

Then there is the exaggeration lie.  We all know people who are prone to exaggeration.  After awhile it is  hard to believe anything they say.

Why are we so afraid of the truth?

The key is, when telling the truth, you should wrap it in love, grace and mercy.   You don’t have to be mean, nor should you be mean.   There are times that one must be extremely gentle in telling the truth but still tell the truth!  Don’t sell your integrity short by resorting to a ‘white’ lie.

If I ask you what you think – I don’t want to hear what you think I want you to say.  I want to know what you think.  Those people who just want you to agree with them, well, they might stop asking you what you think if you start telling them the truth.  However, when they really want to know the truth, you will be the first one they come to.

Psalm 43:3 “Let Your light and Your truth lead me.”  (My paraphrase)  As we become more and more like Christ there is no room for lies.

Telling the truth means you never have to remember who you told what because you tell everyone the same thing – the truth.   A person of integrity knows that what she/he says matters.  Once you are caught in a lie your integrity in all other areas comes into question.  What a price to pay.

What do your words say about you?

I choose truth!

til next time

July 18, 2012 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry | , , , , , , | 5 Comments