Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

spring time, horses, and Carter

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“Behold, I make all things new .”  Rev 21:5

It is Spring, isn’t it?

It was a cool 23 degrees this morning when I woke at O’ Dark Thirty.    Last Friday there were a few snowflakes in the air as we toured an Amish community.  I was reminded of how grateful I am for warm vehicles when I saw this coming toward us.

amish

The horse must know where it is going.   I remember all to well when the horse I was riding  (Jim was his name) took off for the barn.  It appeared I was just along for the ride.  There was nothing I could do to stop him and he even attempted to scrap me off as he ran past the house.  He was quite the spirited horse.

What did I do?  When the horse finally stopped at the fence, I regained control.  Jim and I turned around and went back out.  We walked (he hated to walk) past the house, down the lane and to the railroad tracks.  Then I turned him around and we walked back to the barn.   He never tried that trick again.  The consequences weren’t worth it for him.

April is Child Abuse Awareness month.  I know a sweet little boy who suffered at the hands of  his biological father.  Carter’s only crime was crying – 4 month old babies will do that.  The consequences for Carter are severe.  He is now blind, tube fed, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, along with global mental and physical delays.  His biological father served 2 years of a 7 year sentence.  Is that justice?

It seems that our country has stricter punishment for animal abuse than for child abuse.

Carter loves worship.   He has taught me much about worshiping with abandonment,  giving it my all.  He loves Gloria kisses and I love him!

Spring time, horses and Carter might seem like an odd combination for a blog but it is what is on my heart this morning.

Spring is here – no matter what the temperature says.   So I brought a little springtime inside.flowers

Horses remind me of the consequences of choices made.  Consequences remind me of the price others pay for choices beyond their control – Carter.  Carter reminds me that God takes something that was broken and reveals beauty that is there.  God’s grace is enough.

spring

til next time,

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April 12, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, living in a fish bowl, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

change doesn’t happen just cuz you want it to

I enjoy tea.

Do I?  Really?

Or do I enjoy the idea of tea?

Let me explain.  I have 15 containers of tea.  Some of them hold an assortment of tea.  Seriously, how many different kinds of tea do two people need?
teaWhen my husband saw me taking a picture of all of our tea – his response was along the lines of – I guess we better be drinking tea!

For me, tea is all about  slowing down time, kicking my feet up, a tea cup in one hand and  a good book in the other. Since I rarely do that, I guess I must just like the idea of tea.

That is going to change.

I enjoy reading.

Do I?  Really?

Or do I enjoy the idea of reading?

A couple of years ago, if you had asked me how many books I had read recently – well let’s just say the answer would not have proven that I love to read. That all changed when I found myself dealing with a fissure and four 20 minute sitz baths every day.  Now I can say that I have read many, many books. (I read almost exclusively non-fiction books.)

Now that I am down to usually one sitz bath a day, I find myself  back to just liking the idea of reading again.

That is going to change.

Change – rarely happens all on its own – usually it takes effort and determination.  Reading and drinking tea is not something that is going to happen without my help. Change doesn’t just happen because I want it to.

Many people have made New Year’s resolutions and many of them are broken by now.  (Jan 2)  Change can be hard.  Good intentions can become an excuse as day after day goes by.

“I’ll do it tomorrow.”  Right!

It seems there is always something  that needs my attention.  Carving out time can be a challenge.  Yet, the alternative is that the longing in my heart for knowledge is being ignored.  Why is it that it is so easy to put off something I do just for me?

What are you putting off?  What good intentions are you not following through on?

How about making time now?  I am going to post this and then grab a cup of tea and my book “Extravagant Grace” and read a chapter.  I am confident that everything that needs to be done can wait that long.

My verse for today – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

til next time

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January 2, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

all i need

Psalm 23

It is often quoted at funerals.  Yet it has so much more to say to us than just about the ‘valley of the shadow of death.”  It has everything to do with the living.

It was the  first whole chapter I memorized as a kid.  Also something my mom could rattle off at high-speed even when she couldn’t remember what or if she ate anything that day.  Up til the end, she could recite scripture and sing some of the beloved hymns word for word.  Dementia did not take that from her.   This only reinforces what I know to be true – that God’s Word is powerful and when we hide it in our hearts, it goes deep into our being.   (Psalm 119:11)

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Psalm 23

You are all I need.  You are my Shepherd.

“Beside quiet waters” …. Help me to relax and enjoy each day.  In the mornings (early) I sense the quiet waters.

You restore my soul (will, mind and emotions.)

Take me by the hand, so I may indeed walk in the path You have for me.

My cup does overflow.  I see Your goodness all around me.

Help me to magnify You not the problems.

My life is in Your hands.  You have and are and will take care of me and my family.

You are faithful!

I have that sweet confidence and complete trust that You do know what is best and You are working all things out.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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(an excerpt from my journal)

til next time

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March 8, 2015 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

soul tank? huh?

Recently I was sitting in a break out session at a Pastor’s/spouse retreat when the speaker (Carol Alexander) said something so profound and yet so simple.  She was talking about our spiritual tanks and our soul tanks.

She said,  “These tanks are filled differently.”

huh?

The spiritual tank I am very familiar with.   It is a reflection of my relationship with Jesus.  There are many ways I keep that full – spending time with Jesus, growing in my faith,  reading His Word, trusting Him, meditating, prayer,  praise and worship, walking in obedience,  going to church, giving and receiving grace and mercy…

I also am very well aware of what happens as it begins to run dry.  Freshness is gone.  My life begins to resemble stale bread and I am much more susceptible to negativity.   Operating  more out of the fleshly side of me than the spirit side of me becomes visible.   Irritation is right below the surface and the list goes on.  What I couldn’t  understand was when some of these same things would pop up even when I was spiritually full.  This made absolutely no sense to me.   I would then caulk it up to hormones or peri-menopause.

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”  3 John 1:2 (NASB)

Just as your soul prospers – I have read this scripture many times, even quoted it.

Taking a long hard look at my soul/emotional tank, I realized that it was in need of CPR.  The tendency to see all the things that need to be done makes it easy to put off things I want to do.

every day

God has been trying to tell me this for awhile.

 

SOUL TANK

Educate your soul — make time to read, learn something new, take that class that you’ve been talking about for years, stretch your brain

Refresh your soul — have fun, get together with friends, take a bubble bath, find what refreshes you and do it regularly.

Since my sister and brothers were 10, 12, and 14 years older than me, I pretty much grew up an only child.  I learned early on how to entertain myself.  Living life to the fullest was in my DNA and it still is.  It seems to have gotten buried under the load of responsibilities.

Responsibilities.  Also in my DNA is my mother’s work ethic.  I can’t seem to do the things I want to do when there is so much that needs to be done.    Maybe that is why I seem to collect an assortment of teas and books.  I love the idea of drinking tea and reading for hours but hardly ever give myself the luxury of doing just that.   In reality, it is (for me) necessary in refreshing my soul.  I see that now.

I picked up on a tell-tale sign, for me, that my soul tank is depleting.   It is when I get the overwhelming sense that I am dealing with this (valley, trial, test, sickness, death, pain) alone.  Now it is important to realize that this feeling is a lie but nonetheless it is a strong feeling that must be dealt with.  The truth is that God is always with me and there are people I can turn to who truly care.  This feeling of ‘being all alone’ is magnified when you think someone is there for you only to find out they really aren’t.   When that happens, I encourage you to open your eyes and see the people who are there for you.  In those times when it is just you and God then know that you and God are indeed more than enough.  He is for you and with you!   Make sure both tanks (spiritual and soul) are full.  It is important to being whole.

This song is only 2:06 long – if you have time – let these words sink into your very being.

When I walk through deep waters – I know that You will be with me.
When I’m standing in the fire – I will not be overcome.
Through the valley of the shadows – I will not fear.
I am not alone — I am not alone — You will go before me.  You will never leave me.
You’re my strength; You’re my defender.  You’re my refuge in the storm.  Through these trials You have always been faithful. You bring healing to my soul.
I am not alone — I am not alone — You will go before me.  You will never leave me.

til next time

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February 20, 2015 Posted by | ministry, perimenopause, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace – more than a short prayer before a meal

Grace!

What do you think of when you hear the word grace?

My first thought is unmerited favor from God – getting something I don’t deserve but it can also mean:
elegance or ease of movement
favor or goodwill – mercy
pardon: an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable
and of course a short prayer before a meal

It is my desire that when people walk away from a conversation with me that they are encouraged.  It is my hope that they will see Jesus living in me.   Extending grace to others because I know of my own need for grace.   It is an area that I will forever be growing in.

Colossians 4:5-7 (NASB)

“5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

Walk in wisdom

Live  in a manner that rightly reflects God.   We have heard it said that actions speak louder than words.  Just what are our actions saying today?   This is a new day – redeem the time – make the most of today.    Make each day count.  There are no do-overs but there is today – this moment.

Speak with grace

Let’s  deal with people not according to what they might deserve but with grace, with wisdom – expressing love.   Nothing is quite so refreshing as a person whose speech is gracious.  One goal we can have is to try to bring out the best in others.  Help them see the good.  Our words can bring life or death.  (Prov 18:21)  May our words point others to Christ and His unfailing love.  May our words be pleasing in God’s hearing.  (Psalm 19:14)

Seasoned with salt

We are the salt of the earth. (Matt 5:13)  Let our words be salt.  Salt brings healing,  adds flavor, breaks through the hardness, and preserves relationships.

Knowing how to answer takes us back to wisdom.

For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”  Luke 12:12 (NIV)

This song is indeed my prayer.

til next time

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February 10, 2015 Posted by | ministry, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

climbing mountains

mountain

I am not a mountain climber.  Well, not in the literal sense.  It does seem that over the course of my life – I have climbed many ‘mountains’ though.

Monday I found myself facing a ‘mountain’ that I have climbed many times in the past.  Quite frankly,  I would just as soon not have to climb  this ‘mountain’ again.  Which reminds me of the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden  –“Not my will but Yours be done.” (Matt 26:39, 42, 44)

climbing Climbing in the Badlands was fun.  Although the terrain felt a bit crumbly under foot, it was fairly easy.    Going up was a breeze but what goes up must come down.  Getting down was more of a challenge.  Some ‘mountains’ we face are more of a challenge.

sheer rockI chose not to attempt to climb this mountain even though it wasn’t that big.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were given a choice as to which ‘mountains’ we would climb?   I am a firm believe that God is in control and my life is in His hands.  As I come to the base of this ‘mountain’ I know that lessons will be learned, faith will grow stronger, and my relationship with Jesus will grow deeper.  He is my provider (Phil 4:19) — my ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) and He is with me (Heb 13:5.)

‘Mountains’ can be financial, relational, physical, emotional …. something that appears too big.  But it is not to big for God.

The Bible is filled with examples of people facing mountains.

Daniel’s ‘mountain’ was the lion’s den.
The three Hebrew children faced a ‘mountain’ in the form of a fiery furnace.
Joshua’s ‘mountain’ was Jericho.
Jonah’s ‘mountain’ was the belly of a fish. Yes, sometimes mountains are a direct result of something we have done or not done.
Sold into slavery, falsely accused and jailed were ‘mountains’ Joseph faced.
Paul faced numerous ‘mountains.’ They came in forms of beating with rods, receiving 39 stripes, and having  stones thrown at him. Other ‘mountains’ he encountered were being shipwrecked not once but three times. He was robbed. He faced the ‘mountain’ of betrayal and the list goes on.

God is able to remove the mountain.  If, for reasons we may never figure out, He wants us to (go through the trial) climb the mountain, then He will be right there with us and equip us for the challenge ahead.

Here are some of the ways he does that.

God’s Word helps us navigate the twists, turns, hills, and valleys but we have to read it.

 

 

path

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

studyas newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”      1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)

Are you feeding on the Word of God?

NASB

Rest is another tool that God gives to us.  Yet, we can fill our days so full that we forget the benefit of rest.  Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

There are no Lone Ranger Christians.  We need each other.   This is another way God equips us.

church“You use steel to sharpen steel,  and one friend sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Sometimes worry or fear will try to set in as we face the ‘mountain.’  God’s word tells us what to do.  Pray!

Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

“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.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

A list of things God equips us with would not be complete without mentioning praise.

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

Praising God is a powerful weapon that we have to help us over whatever ‘mountain’ we are facing.

So as I face this ‘mountain’ I will dig deep into God’s word.  I will be mindful to quiet myself before God and rest.  I will not face this alone but reach out to others to help.  (I thank God for a wonderful church family.)  Prayer and praise will be on my lips.  Yes, this is how I face the “mountains’ (trials) that come my way.

“When I trust deeply that today God is with me and holds me safe in His embrace, guiding my steps, I can let go of my anxious need to know what will happen. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within and around me.” (anonymous)

How is your climb going?

til next time

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January 28, 2015 Posted by | ministry, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

tis the season

Tis the season……….

Merry Christmas

For unto us a Child is born!

 

In my head – I think this time of year should be filled with evenings at home, fireplace roaring, feet kicked up, hot chocolate with lots of mini marshmallows and my husband sitting next to me.    I was looking over our schedule for this week (after finally getting home Sunday at 6:15 – having left the house at 8:00 that morning)  and my husband informs me that three evening commitments (out of the next four nights) is not too bad.

When did that get to be not too bad, I wondered??

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and a flame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 The Message)

“Don’t burn out …. don’t quit in hard times.”  

If things came at us one at a time, maybe quitting would never come up.  However, life – much of the time- comes at as like the title of a movie “fast and furious.”   So how do we not burn out?

“keep yourselves fueled and a flame”

If I don’t take time to read the Bible I can tell a difference.  If I go for a couple of days – those closest to me know something is off.  If I go for more than a couple of days — well I am pretty much parched – a very dry land with no fresh Word to give others. As a minister this is not a good thing but truthfully it isn’t just about ministers.  As a Christian this is not a good thing.

If I am too busy to read the Word, then I am way too busy.  The Word equips, encourages, renews, strengthens, and disciplines me.  I choose whether or not it is a priority.    Yet, even reading every day I can find myself exhausted at the end of the day.  Sometimes I try to do more in my day than God ever intended.  Learning to have balance is important to finishing well.  Then there are just some days that are beyond my control and yet God’s grace is sufficient.

“be alert servants of the Master”

Am I distracted by the whole host of things needing my attention or am I alert?  Do I have a servant’s heart or do I behave like it is all about me?

“cheerfully expectant”

What is my demeanor?  When others looks at me – do they see someone who is cheerful and expecting good?  This one has been a challenge for me these last nine months.  The various levels of pain that I have dealt with meant cheerful was something I had to do on purpose even when I didn’t ‘feel’ it.  I was reminded over and over again of what my daddy would tell me.  If you have to do something, you might as well do it with a smile.

Smiling through pain is a sacrifice of praise.

“Pray all the harder”

This one I have nailed down.  I find myself praying when I go to bed, when I wake in the middle of the night and before I get up.  Then throughout the day – well, everywhere I look there are things that only God can do, so I pray.  When I am on facebook I pray.  People are facing huge and small things and all of it can be covered in prayer.  Prayer is inviting God into the situation.  It is also a reminder to me that without Him, I am nothing.  Prayer keeps me connected with God all through the day.

“help needy Christians”

What does this mean to you?

There are so many ways we can help.  The question I ask myself regularly is “What does God want me to do with my day today and  who can I help?”

“be inventive in hospitality”

I love this — not because I am so very good at it but because it means I don’t have to do hospitality the way my momma did it.   Who has time for that?  It is a different world and yet I can find inventive ways to be hospitable.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and a flame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 The Message)

 

tis the season 🙂

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

til next time

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December 18, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

in my weakness

Music soothes the soul.  At least good music does.

Sometimes I hear a song and it just soothes my  heart like comfy slippers wrapping around my tired feet.

“Oh I may not understand but I will lift my eyes and trust this is Your plan…… I won’t let go of You now because I know, Oh, You’re not shaken.”  (You’re Not Shaken by Phil Stacey)

It  has been over six months now.  In the scope of eternity that really isn’t a long time but it in the world of pain and discomfort it is pretty significant.  I have a chronic fissure.  If you don’t have a clue what that is then take a moment and just thank God that you have not had one nor know anyone who has.  I had finally reached a point where I was almost 100% when it opened again.  (click here for a previous blog on this fissure journey) 

Michael W. Smith’s song “Sovereign Over Us”  is the song that wrapped itself around my troubled heart this morning.

It is like a waterfall to my soul.

falls

“There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust”

God is indeed working in my waiting, waiting for healing and teaching me to trust Him more.  As is the case with life, this isn’t the only thing on my plate that I am dealing with.  When the fissure came I was still grieving my mother’s death, 3 1/2 months ago my daughter-in-law  left my son (grieving the loss of my daughter and seeing  my son deal with this deep form of pain), and I fractured my foot all while life and ministry marches on.

two peas in a pod - well almost :(

two peas in a pod – how I miss what we had

exchanging the boot for matching shoes - YAY!

exchanging the boot for matching shoes – YAY!

Sometimes people think that ministers are exempt from problems.  Ministers place themselves on the front line of the battle (and so do those who are actively following Christ.)  And yes there is a battle.  My husband said it best.  “People are not the problem.  People are the prize.  The battle is not with people.  The battle is for people.  God loves them.  We try to show them the love of God.”  This comes at a cost.  This stirs up and angers the enemy but greater is He that is in us!! (1 john 4:4)

I have had people tell me that Curt and I are lucky to have each other.  Lucky?  Luck has nothing to do with it.

laughter

It isn’t luck. It is being obedient to God and His Word. We have each other not because it has always been easy or we have never been disappointed in the other one but because we made a vow to love, honor and cherish til death parts us.  We both know that whatever comes our way we can and will with God’s help work through it together.  A great marriage takes trust, commitment and work of both partners. There is no luck involved.  God blesses obedience in more ways than we will ever realize. Our marriage is strong, healthy and fun because we both desire to walk with God in obedience.

the Song goes on to say:

“Reigning high above the Heavens
Reaching down in endless grace”

Grace – prior to this latest health issue I often stated that ‘in my weakness He is strong, I am nothing without Him.”  (2 Cor 12:9, John 15:5)

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”

Looking back I wonder — is this a Job affliction?  Did the enemy of my soul ask for me to be tested in a mighty way?  Can I say as Paul did –

“Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”  (The Message 2 Cor 12:10)

Michael W. Smith goes on to sing:

“Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory”

From glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18) faith to faith (Rom 1:17) strength to strength (Psalm 84:7) grace upon grace (John 1:16) God is an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) and He will see me (us) through.

til next time

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September 25, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

relationships

Some people walk into my life and teach me so much about love, forgiveness, and grace.  Others walk into my life and are like a cool breeze on a hot summer day — truly refreshing,  bringing a smile to my face and encouraging me to press on.

 I wonder  what  I bring when I walk into someone’s life?  What do you bring?

 

word picture  My prayer!

Sometimes it is so easy.  Other times it is so challenging.  I am reminded of the Golden Rule.  Luke 6:31   (TLB) “ Treat others as you want them to treat you.”  Recently I read a twist to the Golden Rule.  “From this point on I plan to treat people exactly how they treat me.  Some will be glad.  Others should be scared.”  While the desire is sometimes there in a strong way — I will continue to treat those who mistreat me – the way I wish they would treat me.  God’s opinion of me is what matters and He is the one who will help me to do what His Word says to do.

 

word pic 5My desire!

“I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned in awe of the One Who gave it all. I’ll stand – my soul Lord, to You – surrounded. All I am is Yours!”

Yes, some people have taught me much about love, grace, forgiveness and mercy.   For I have found that the  way to grow in those areas is to be in situations that require more grace than I have had to extend or  forgiveness for a hurt that runs deeper than anything I have yet encountered.  God is faithful and He is right there when trouble comes knocking.   (Psalm 46:1 (NASB “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”)

I find that the greater the pain, the more I need to remember to  “Be still, and know that I am God” (KJV) or another translation says it this way   “ Cease striving and know that I am God;” (NASB)  Psalms 46:10

flower messageThe Words I hear often in the innermost part of my being  — “Be Still and Know I Am God!”

Whatever I am facing, no matter how ‘ugly’ it may be, even if the night seems long or the pain doesn’t lessen, I know that I know that My God is with me.  If He chooses to not quiet the storm, He will most certainly  quiet my heart.

My prayer is that how I handle each relationship will in fact reveal my absolute trust and devotion to Jesus .  He is my:  Savior, God,  healer, provider, peace, strength, hope, joy and He is more than enough!

 til next time

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September 16, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

playground of life

Do you play well with others?

If, as adults, the world is our playground, would you be found playing nicely with others or would you be up against the wall in a time out?

My blog is titled “Living life in a fishbowl” because life as I choose to do it means letting people see the real me.  I am open about my victories and my failures.

Recently we  decided to add fish to our 20 gallon fish tank.  We found a great deal at the pet store.  Six neon tetras for $4.00.  Jackpot!!   We had one neon at home that was very lonely because they prefer to swim in a group.

fishIn addition to the one lonely neon fish we  have two fairly large goldfish, a couple scissor fish, an albino catfish and a rather large sucker fish. As you can see by the picture, the goldfish rule the tank.  The sucker, who is bigger than both of these,  is hidden behind the plants.

Imagine my surprise when the next morning I could only locate one new neon fish swimming with the older neon.  Apparently our goldfish thought we had brought them supper.  Before long they had managed to consume the final two neons.

Bad…. bad…. fish.

They obviously don’t play well with others.

Back to the pet store.  The sales guy stood up for our goldfish and said that they really didn’t know what they were doing.  Like that makes it right?

 

new home

new home

Since there is no way to make our goldfish stay up against the wall of the tank for a time out, we purchased a new home for them.  It came with a rotating light  fixture.  I wonder if the changing of colors bothers them.  I happen to really like it and now I have a tank in the dining room.  Do you know that fish are supposed to be a huge stress releaser?

Come on over to my house — I’ll put the coffee pot on and we can watch the fish.  Oh, won’t it be serene?

6 more neons

6 more for $4.00

The fishbowl is one happy playground again.

This has made me think of the people I come in contact with.  Some of them really do not play well with others.  Some people are just plain mean.  I often wonder what has happened in their life that has left them so miserable.  Some women I know have aged prematurely due to bitterness and jealousy.  How very sad and how avoidable.  Do they consciously get up every morning and decide to be bitter  or do they just not realize there is another option?

Romans 12:17-19 (MSG)

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Some people  are narcissistic.  You know the kind, it is all about me, my, and  I.  Life seems to revolve around what they think, feel, or want.  How sad to see the world as only something to cater to your whims.  Can you truly be happy when the selfish choices you make causes pain to others?  I think not.

Galatians 2:20 (MSG)

“Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.”

Then there are the antagonistic people.  You say left and they must say right.  You say the sky is blue and they will argue that it is any color but blue.   What is it in their life that has caused them to seem to always be on the defense about something?   Insecurity?  Maybe?

Romans 15:13 (NASB)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Then there are the people who insist on burning bridges.  If at all possible, I never burn a bridge.  I just may want to cross it again some day and I want to know that it is structurally sound.  Yet it seems that people throw away other people without even so much as a passing thought.  How sad.

1 John 4:7-8 (NASB)

 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

I value friendship.  I value what other people bring into my life.   I am grateful for friends that stick beside me when the going gets bumpy.  I also value those friends that challenge me and cause me to rethink my views on extending grace and mercy to others.  But for the grace of God where would I be?

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NASB)

” For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

So what about it?  Do you play well with others?

til next time

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June 22, 2014 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments