Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

what consumes your thoughts?

The Bible has much to say about our behavior as Christians.


“But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. Colossians 3:8-10 NLT


Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”


The things listed in Colossians 3 bring about death – death to relationships, death to happiness, death to peace, death to integrity……


Don’t lie – don’t deceive – be a person of truth. I give people the benefit of believing what they tell me until they are caught in a lie. Then what comes out of their mouth is questioned. I can’t quite believe them in the same way.


We are called to be people of truth. You don’t have to say everything that comes to your mind. In fact, it is good to ask God to help you set a guard over your mouth. (Psalm 141:3)


When all is said and done, when I lay my head down to sleep, I want to know that my life has reflected my love for Jesus. I don’t want to just get through this day. I want to and I choose to enjoy the blessings that this day brings – giving to God the cares and issues that this day may bring.


How will you spend the next few hours? What will consume your attention? The Georgia election? Covid 19? I hope not.


Today let’s decide right now that we are going to bless the Lord at all times. We will be thankful on purpose. Today we will carve out time to seek His face. We will taste and see that God is good. We will take time to read scripture. Today we will trust Him.


Finally let’s be intentional about speaking truth and being a person who radiates the peace of God because we have indeed spent time with God.

til next time

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January 6, 2021 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, life, Pastor's wife, relationships, 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

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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

what to do with anxiety

So many people are operating out of fear. Anxiety seems to be at an all time high. What is a Christian to do when anxiety (fear) wants to rear its ugly head and dominate your thoughts?


“In the multitude of my anxieties within me,Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)


How quickly life as we know it can change. I am grateful for so many things, one of which is that I don’t have to live in fear. When anxiety rears its ugly head I know what to do. I turn to God and receive from Him comfort. He quiets my soul. He renews my mind.

Let’s read Psalm 94:19 from the Living Bible.
“Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer.”


Doubts, fears, turmoil, stress, anxiety – all of these mess with my mind and take my eyes off of Jesus. I don’t want to live on the merry-go-round of fear and anxiety. The good news is that God is greater than whatever I am facing (1 John 4:4) and He is with me. (Matt 28:20) His Word is true. (Psalm 33:4) He is with you also. He doesn’t want you to operate out of fear and worry. He offers to you peace. (John 14:27)


“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT

til next time

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September 28, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

instead of asking why?

Picking up where I left off yesterday.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

I know that God will use this event, circumstance, trial, test to make me more like Jesus. – to make you more like Jesus.

Nothing in my life, in your life, is wasted. No effort, no pain, no anxiety, no tears, no discouragement is ever lost in some garbage heap somewhere.

Out of ashes, God will bring beauty. (Isaiah 61:1)

Instead of asking Why? Ask What?

What do you want me to learn as a result of this?

What do you want me to do as a result of this?

What do you want me to become/change as a result of this?

Making me more like His Son will take a lifetime. I may not understand or appreciate all that the Master Potter does to transform my life – this lump of clay. (Isaiah 64:8) It may be painful or confusing at times but I know His intent. He’s already told me and that makes all the difference. (V 29 to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.)

We are the work of His hand!

He will work all things out for our good. He is for us!

God said it. I believe it.

til next time

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March 24, 2020 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

words

If you haven’t memorized Psalm 19:14 I would highly recommend that you do that today.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Words…

What did you do with your words today?

Sometimes I speak without thinking. Sometimes that causes laughter, other times not so much. I enjoy the laughter of others. Sometimes, I need to think first.

Using my words to encourage, to be helpful, to bless, and to speak life can change the atmosphere i find myself in. (Death and life are in the power of the tongue.) Most of all, it is my desire that my words are pleasing to God.

Father God, May the words I say and the things I do – make my life song sing – bring a smile to You! May my life song sing to You…..

Gloria

March 21, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

psalm 23:3

No matter which translation you use Psalms 23:3 is powerful!

psalm 23 3

Thank you, Father, that You refresh my life! On difficult days, You give me new strength. When my world seems to be upside down, You restore order. When I am struggling to breathe, You let me catch my breath while You renew my strength. With a heart filled with gratitude, I worship You!

 

til next time

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February 22, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you stir the pot?

Are you the type of person to stir the pot or to reduce the pressure? Do you give thought to what your words are producing?

Truly there is power in what we say and how we say it.

Things can go from bad to worse or from bad to better. We can ignite a situation (just go ahead and tell someone something that you know will get their dander up) or we can calm a situation. I prefer to bring peace, as much as is possible, into the turmoil.

As Paul closes out his second letter to the Corinthians he says this:

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor 13:11 ESV

Paul mentions rejoicing often in his letters. Here we see it again. Rejoice (period)

Don’t be stingy with your rejoicing. I challenge you to look for new things to rejoice about. Today I was overjoyed as a toilet tank filled up with water. (We’ve had some issues with it.) I rejoiced in a vacuum that quit working so I could go to lunch. (Hopefully it just overheated but whatever – God will help me figure it out.) Be a person who rejoices. I know my life is way better because of it.

Tomorrow we will look at the rest of the verse. For today, let’s work on rejoicing and using our words for good.

til next time

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January 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

chronic stress?

Stress can be a big deal.  Some of us are walking around in chronic stress.  What can we do to reduce stress?
 
The Bible tells us:
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 ESV
 
Where our mind is, where our thoughts go will impact the amount of stress we deal with.
 
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” Romans 8:5-7 ESV
 
“To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  There is the key to handling stress. Where is your mind set?
 
Meditation and memorization of the scripture are huge tools to setting your mind on the things of God. When is the last time you meditated? (Rehashing negative things is a form of mediation. It is not a good form and it will not lead you to peace.)
 
Here are a couple great scriptures to memorize and then meditate on when you feel stress knocking.
“In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11 NASB
 
“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6 ESV
 
 
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Setting my mind on the Spirit!
til next time
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November 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

loving life – part 11

I love my life!

Jesus didn’t die so we would be miserable. He came to give us life abundant. (John 10:10)

You know that feeling you get that this is going to be a rough start? Maybe you didn’t sleep well and you woke in pain. Maybe you know today you have some unpleasant things to deal with. Maybe you are just bone tired. Maybe your soul (will, mind, emotions) is weary. Maybe your heart is breaking.

Loving your life is not synonymous with life is pain free and smooth sailing.

Jesus said we would have tribulation (suffering) in this world. (John 16:33) He also said “be of good cheer” – Be – we choose. Jesus says we can choose cheer.

This morning I choose. I could do nothing – that is a choice. In which case I know from experience that doing nothing does not make my life better. I could sit and dwell on the various things that I wish I didn’t have to deal with. That is not going to help me love today. Or I could choose to praise. Praise tears down strongholds. Praise puts my attention back on to God.

 

worship is

“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone” Mercy Me “Even”

Here’s another one.

“When I can’t see, You lead me
When I can’t hear, You show me
When I can’t stand, You carry me
When I’m lost, You will find me
When I’m weak, You are mighty
You are everything I need.” Lauren Daigle “Everything”

One more

“The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes.” Matt Redman 10,000 Reasons

What are you choosing today? I choose to rejoice! I choose to see the good! I choose to do things God’s way! I choose to love the life God has given me. He is my healer, my provider, my source of joy. Yes, in the midst of suffering, I can love my life.

til next time

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September 30, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment