Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

leaving nothing undone

Holy Week!
Good Friday!

There is the:
judgment
crowd demands
whipping – beating
crown of thorns
mocking
face slapping
cross carrying
crucifixion
dividing of his clothes

So many aspects that we could zero in on. I want to look this year at the witnesses.

“but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:25-27 ESV

My dad died when I was 17. It was shortly thereafter when the roles started to reverse and I found myself looking out for my mom. I wanted to protect her and spare her anymore pain.

At one point during my college years I had decided that I would leave at the end of the year and move back home to be with her. She was slowly fading away from loneliness. God did an amazing thing. Before the school year was over, my mom was engaged to be married to a local church man whose wife had passed away. I stayed in college and the rest is history.

There is Jesus on the cross and his mother is right there. He can’t spare her the pain but He can see to her future.

I can’t begin to understand how Mary felt. I am sure there was much that she hung on to – treasured about her son. (Luke 2:19 and 2:51)

Let’s take some time today to remember the price that was paid for each of us, the love that kept Him on the cross, and the freedom that we have in Christ.

Oh How He Loves Us!

til next time

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April 19, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor, ministry, bible story | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

this is what they meant??

Prednisone you are not my friend.   You’ve been responsible for a flood of tears.  You bring with you weight gain but even worse than that you mess with my emotions in a way that I have never before experienced.   You had better be worth it.   (I go for a stress test Wednesday.  That will be interesting as the meds are kicking up my heart beat just walking.)

I  have always had a wide range of emotions.  I feel things strongly.  When I get excited, I almost always talk louder and faster.  Some, who don’t know me, think that this means I am getting angry.  No, getting loud is not synonymous with anger.   I used to try to subdue it but then people would ask me what is wrong?

(I now embrace the excitement but try to be aware if someone is misinterpreting my voice raising.    This recently happened when we were having a discussion about women ministers.   This topic is near and dear to me.   I feel very strongly about it.  There was a time when someone’s disapproval  and lack of understanding of scriptural context would get under my skin.  Funny thing is then I didn’t say anything.     Now I recognize the responsibility to speak up –   to educate – to point out that God’s Word does not contradict. I am not mad at the person for being misguided.)   Ahh a topic for another day.

So a few days ago my Dr. put me on a steroid to bring my sed rate down from a much elevated level.    I was warned by many that it messes with your emotions.  Even knowing that did not prepare me for Godzilla.

I have reminded myself that I am a child of God.    I reminded myself that I do have the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life.   Knowing that I am devoted to God and it is my desire to follow Him – I quoted the scripture “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Matthew 12:34)  

I pray  — Oh God break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Help me operate in the compassion that comes from You.  Help my words be kind.  Help me build up.  God, I NEED YOU to be kind through me….”

I also cleared my schedule today – a rarity for me.  I told my husband this would be a really good day for him to use the church office.  I was not doing people today.  I love people and that is why I was not going to leave the house.

I asked God what I should do.  How was I going to get through the next 11 days – til my follow up appointment.  Starting tomorrow I cannot clear my schedule.  Come Thursday I leave with a large group of women (that I love dearly) for a 2 1/2 day retreat.  Sitting there with God this morning, that scared me.

Weird as it sounds, I felt impressed to get on facebook.  I was thinking – ok I can distract my emotions with that for awhile.  First thing I saw, upon scrolling, was a song a friend had posted.  I remembered that song from long ago.  I listened to it and it was as if God was all over that song.  I thanked my friend and got offline.   I sat down at the piano and began to play the song – over and over and over.

 

 

I don’t know how the next 11 days will go.  How often will I need to apologize?   I don’t know if I will pass the stress test.   I don’t know what is ahead health wise after my follow up appointment.

What I do know is that God loves me.  God loves you.  His grace is enough.  In my weakness He has proven Himself strong EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you see me, yes, I could use a hug.  Yes,  I will need grace.   Yes, I really am trying to keep Godzilla buried.   I apologize ahead of time and will do it again later as needed.  Please be understanding and please pray for my husband!!

Honey, I know you will be reading this.  I am soo glad that you are going through this with me.  I know your heart.

til next time

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

hard times? yes

When you are facing something difficult there here are a few very important things to remember:
1. God is with you (Matt 28:20)
2. This is not a surprise to God. He knows all things (Isaiah 40:28)
3. God will provide a way for you (Isaiah 43:19)
4. In the midst of the battle, He is your firm foundation (Psalm 18:2)
5. In your weakness, He is strong (2 Cor 12:9)
6. God will turn beauty into ashes (Isaiah 61:3)
7. Our God is greater!! (1 John 4:4)
romans 5 3 5
til next time,
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March 10, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

what I love about christianity

Christian life – faith working through love (Galatians 5:6)

These five verses in Romans contain the things I love about being a Christian.  It is not an  all encompassing list, for there are so many things – too many to name.

Here are the things listed in Romans 5 that  I love:   God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, faith, peace, hope, tribulations, endurance, character and love.

Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

You might think tribulations shouldn’t be on that list of things I love. Yet, without tribulations/problems/suffering I would be self-centered and impossible to live with and so would you.

Trials bring me to my knees before God. Having gone through suffering, and seeing how God works in and through it, helps me to build up endurance.  Endurance is needed.  We are not in a sprint but a marathon.

Our character needs developing. This is a life long process resulting in a deeper hope in God and His promises

God doesn’t want us to be a wishy washy Christian. Our character is developed as we hold fast to Christ and go through tribulations. With each one we learn to trust God more. We grow.

Tomorrow I will look more closely at verse 1.

til next time

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March 7, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus loves you period!

Reading in Romans today. (See comments for Romans 8:31-39.)

If God is for us (and He is) than who can be against us? (v 31) Our God is greater! God makes a way for us. He sees the whole picture.

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? (v 33) Oh how grateful I am that God justifies! God is my defense. (Psalm 27:1) When we are walking with God, He has our back. (Isaiah 52:12)

Jesus is ever interceding for us. (v34) Think about that for a moment. Intercede – to intervene, to pray, to reconcile differences.

Jesus loves us – nothing can separate us from that love.
“Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…” (v 35-36 The Message)

Life is messy. In a perfect world bad things wouldn’t happen. We don’t live in a perfect world. When life does not go in the direction we hoped, remember Jesus intercedes for you, He loves you.

We are more than conquerors through Jesus. Why? Because He loves us. (v 37) We can be a victim or a victor. God will make a way. God will turn ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3)

What defines us should be what God says about us. We belong to Him. We are victorious in Christ. (1Cor 15:56-57) It ain’t over until He says it is over.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor 15:58 NASB

Nothing’s gonna dull the sparkle that Jesus gives me!

 

til next time

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March 1, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

each room of my heart

When I invited Jesus into my life, I thought He was going to put up some wallpaper and hang a few pictures. But He started knocking out walls and adding rooms. I said I was expecting a nice cottage but He said I’m making a palace in which to live.” C.S. Lewis

And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love;” Eph 3:17 (TLB)

Our home is decorated with the love of others. The room I am currently in has two pieces of furniture from Curt’s grandparents, two pieces of furniture from my grandmother, a piece of furniture from my sister, a chair from a couple we mentored, a computer from a dear friend, and numerous knick knacks and wall hangings from people who love us. Yes, I am surrounded by the love of others.

When Jesus comes into our lives, He brings love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to decorate our lives.  (Gal 5:22-23)  Are we displaying them for all to see?

When He dwells within us, our lives are changed.  “…What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.”  Gal 6:14

Our house has siding on it and shingles on the roof. The Bible addresses what are ‘siding’ and ‘roof’ should look like. “…putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thess 5:8) Does your ‘siding’ or ‘roof’ need some attention?

Often my house is in need of cleaning. It is the same in our lives. David understood this. “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Yes, our home is decorated with the love of others but more importantly my life, your life, is decorated with the love of Jesus. May He feel at home in our lives!

Jesus, You are welcome in each room of my heart!

til next time

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October 14, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

you don’t have my back?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

Even my best friend, the one I always told everything

he ate meals at my house all the time!—

has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself.

God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

Selah,

til next time

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October 10, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace, peace, mercy

In all of the books Paul wrote, he started out asking for God to give the reader grace and peace. In four of his books he added mercy to the list.

Grace – getting what you don’t deserve.

Peace – -untroubled; tranquil; content – Peace with God, peace in your own heart and peace with others around you

Mercy – not getting the punishment you deserve

Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.” (NLT) 2 John 3

Living in truth and love is vital if you want to live a life of grace, mercy and peace.

2 Peter 1:2 tells us “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Who doesn’t want more grace and peace? It flourishes when we grow in our relationship with God. As we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8) We are truly as close to Him as we choose to be. Does it seem that you could use more grace and peace in your life? Then make the decision to spend time getting to know who God is. As you do, you will find your faith will grow and with that peace, grace and mercy will too.

My dad would end all his letters with this passage from Jude 2.

Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”

Selah,

til next time

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October 7, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

but as for me…

But as for me”

I love that phrase. It reminds that no matter what is going on, no matter what others are doing, no matter how I feel — I get to choose what I do next. But as for me, I will trust God. But as for me, I will obey God. But as for me, I will nail my feelings to the cross and believe what Jesus says.

Psalm 59:16-17

But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.

Where are your thoughts this morning? If we focus on problems – problems will be all we see. If we see problems as opportunities to see the hand of God helping us – we will start seeing His hand more and more. When we put God first, He really does give us wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. But as for me, I refuse to get jazzed up about ___________. But as for me, I depend on God.

Today is a new day. This morning I choose to sing with joy, to lift my voice in praise to the One who loves me most. God’s love never fails.

What are you choosing?

Selah,

til next time

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October 3, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sparkle

When I opened my shades this morning, I was greeted to a dusting of snow on the ground. My first thought was — look how it sparkles!

Sparkle — hmmm.

Sparkle was a code word for me when I worked at the clinic. It reminded me to stay positive, to not complain, and to let God’s love shine through in all situations.

So there I was looking out my window thinking about sparkling.  Of course, then, I was not about to complain about snow on April 19th.  So my next thought was ‘white as snow’ from Isaiah 1:18.

isa 1 18

‘white as snow’ — the transformation that takes place when we grasp the forgiveness that is ours through the blood of Jesus. His love for mankind kept Him on the cross. Death could not keep Him. His resurrection displayed His power.

So today as the temperature rises and the snow melts, may we remember the price that was paid so we could be ‘white as snow.’

Let’s sparkle!

til next time

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April 19, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment