Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

at peace with others??

There is this verse tucked away in Romans 12 that says:
 
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (verse 18 ESV)
 
Are you doing what you can to live peaceably? Sadly there are people who love to stir the pot, people who love to ruffle feathers, and people who enjoy making others look bad. How very sad.
 
As Christians, we are called to love.
 
Living peaceably with all does not mean that you lie because the truth would be hurtful. It doesn’t mean you shove things under the rug and not deal with issues. It also does not mean that you agree with whatever is being said so as not to cause waves.
 
Living peaceably will mean confrontation from time to time. Let love guide you. Speak the truth in love. Speak up when you see an injustice. Just do it in love.
 
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (verses 17-21)
 
These are some great verses to meditate on.
 
walking in peace,
til next time
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June 10, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

civil unrest

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NLT
 
What an appropriate verse. Sadly our country is at civil unrest. So much anger – so much disregard for people and property – so much violence that is overshadowing the real issue.
 
I woke this morning to hear that Davenport has issued a stay at home order. Why? because there are those who are taking advantage of a horrible situation to promote hatred.
 
There will be people that, no matter how you try, they will hang on to their anger and nurse their bitterness. Do what you can to bring about peace. Do what you can to defuse the situation. And pray! Pray for them.
 
With someone who is bitter, guard your heart from either embracing that bitterness or taking it personally.My daddy told me often — “Like water off a ducks back Gloria — let their words slide like water off a ducks back.”
 
Instead, look for the good.  Be the good. The golden rule does not say to treat people how they treat you. (Matt 7:12) Let’s be people who see the good in others. Let’s be people who reach out with love when others reach out in hate. Let’s be people who see others as God sees them. Let’s be people who do what we can to live in peace with everyone.
 
“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” Col 4:5-6 MSG
 
Lord, have mercy on our country. Heal our land. Heal the pain. Help us to not cause pain. You have shown us how to live. Help us to follow your lead. May our reactions, our responses be pleasing to You. You have called us to love.
 
matt 7 12
til next time
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June 1, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

violence

Minnesota is hurting. To all my friends and family in Minnesota – you are in my prayers. George Floyd should not have died. My heart hurts for his family, his friends – I can’t even begin to imagine the pain. What has followed is senseless destruction – my heart breaks for all those impacted by the violence.

mn
 
As is my custom, I turn to God’s Word for guidance. What do I do now?
 
Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
How we approach our day makes a difference in how our day goes. Notice Isaiah says “Go out with joy – be led out with peace.
 
It’s the ‘led out with peace‘ that I want to focus on today. Do your words, your actions, your fb posts promote peace or strife? Are you adding to the hatred or letting love for mankind guide you? Will you go out with peace?
 
Father, lead me out in peace,
til next time
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May 29, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

power of God

Today we gathered together online. I look forward to gathering together in person. Where ever we are, we can and should praise God. He is worthy of our praise.
 
Psalm 29 talks of the voice of the Lord. His voice echos from the clouds, thunders through the skies, splits giant trees, shakes mountains….
 
” So powerful is his voice; so full of majesty.” verse 4
 
There is a saying I heard a long time ago. “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”
 
“..But in his Temple all are praising, “Glory, glory to the Lord.” At the Flood the Lord showed his control of all creation. Now he continues to unveil his power. He will give his people strength. He will bless them with peace..” (verses 9-11)
 
I will be among those most excited to gather together again. However, let us not forget that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19-20) Where we go — He goes with us. Are you praising Him?
 
Part of the power of God is His ability to give us strength. His power is unveiled as He blesses us with peace.
 
Truly we are as close to God as we choose.
til next time
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April 19, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

essential workers

Yesterday I shared a devotional geared toward those of you working or staying at home.  Today I want to shift gears.  Since I’m one of the ones working from home, I reached out to some friends who are still going to work – to get some insight.

Thank you for all the responses I received.  I am overwhelmed by some of the pain and rawness.  Truly this is uncharted territory.

“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:28 NKJV

Here are some of what essential workers have shared with me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

  • rude people made the list way too many times
  • breathing with PPE on and the shields cause glasses to fog up
  • PPE gets in the way of my work
  • working extra hours is taking its toll on my body
  • shortened hours while increasing the load
  • breaks are shortened or non-existent
  • people are scared, mean, hateful and taking it out on us workers
  • bosses decision to not use PPE puts us in danger

What changes have taken place?

  • not being able to go to church but I can go to work 😦
  • drive thru only
  • stopped allowing customers in – all work done by phone, email, text
  • family is not allowed in
  • vacation plans gone
  • people who don’t want to come to work and so they really don’t work once there
  • nothing much has changed except some parts of the plant have restricted access – not good for morale

What is difficult/hard with working during covid19?

  • the reality that I could become infected or be a carrier and bring it home
  • struggling to empathize with people because my life is crazy busy and I’d love a week at home
  • so close to the edge
  • seeing people at their worst – fear changes people
  • not being able to do anything to truly protect people I care about
  • to see beyond self and all I am doing
  • lack of interaction with people that I am taking care of
  • exhaustion
  • finding it difficult to sleep because of anxiety
  • added demands = added physical pain
  • workers who took 2 weeks off claiming covid because they could
  • actually my job is easier without people coming in
  • seeing empty space were co-workers should be

To the essential worker –  where does your help come from?  Look up!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. (verses 1&2)

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (verse 8)

Psalm 121

 I also asked where do you see God in all of this?

  • when I pray with people
  • cheerful people even when their lives are turned upside down
  • when I talk with friends
  • in the people who thank us for being open
  • in knowing He has my back
  • in the direction He gives me to care for others and myself
  • in the peace I have that I am doing His will
  • people who cater meals
  • people who show love for one another
  • in my child – in how well he is handling all of this

TO ALL OF US!  — God’s grace is enough for whatever we face, be it loneliness or exhaustion.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”  Ephesians 1:2 NLT

Grace and peace go together.  Grace is God’s strength working through us to enable us to do what we can’t do on our own.  We struggle and can even put forth great effort and yet we fail.  All while God is saying to us – let me help!  My grace is enough.  (2 Cor 12:9)

If peace is lacking in our lives – the first thing to do is look at who you are depending on — yourself?  your job?  the government? money?   Often peace is lacking in our lives because we are holding on to our cares.  We are trying to make something happen in our own strength, instead of giving our cares to God and walking in His strength.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Cor 3:5, Phil 4:6-7)  Peace can also be lacking because we are stretched thin and need refreshing that comes from spending alone time with Jesus.  (Matt 6:6)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 NKJV
Rock — Jesus — 1 Cor 10:4, Psalm 18:2
Overwhelmed?  Make time for Jesus.  Don’t neglect your one true source of help.  (Psalm 46:1)  Turn those hard things, the changes, the challenges, the loneliness, the fear, the stress over to Him.  Ask Him for help. (Psalm 121:1-2)  And then remind yourself that you trust God.  Declare it when you first wake up.  Declare it on your way to work.  Declare it when you get your bills in the mail.  Declare it anytime doubt tries to creep in.
IN GOD I TRUST!
Say this with me:    Today, Lord, You go before me. (Deut 31:8)  Today You are with me. (Matt 28:20)   Today You hold my right hand.  (Psalm 73:23)  In God I trust!  (If trust is a weakness for you then I encourage you to read these verses out loud  – Prov 3:5-6, Psalm 4:5, 7:1, 16:1, 18:2, 20:7, 22:4-5, 40:3, 91:2, 1 Tim 4:10)

 

Again, I want to thank all of you that shared your heart.   You are in my prayers.   If you want to add to this list – please contact me or leave a comment.

til next time

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April 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

hitting close to home

In the last week, I have heard from 4 people I love dearly that – either an employee they work with, a neighbor in their apartment building, someone on the crew (that they didn’t necessarily work directly with,) or someone they take care of has tested positive for covid19. What do we do with that news?
 
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 TLB
 
You’ve heard the saying “All I can do is pray” – as if that isn’t enough. I want you to look at  the way scripture sees it. Pray is what you are suppose to do – always.
 
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7
prayer
 
Pray. Don’t feel peace? Pray some more – turning your cares into prayers. Thank God for the good that you see. Thank Him for the answers. Testimonies is one of the things I miss about not getting together. I’d love to hear some!
 
Here is one of mine — The issue we had with the VA has been resolved. This time I got Loreen on the phone. He was a wealth of information. He was kind. It is done! Thank you God!
Please share some testimonies!  I’d love to rejoice with you.
til next time
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April 6, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hope

Knowing that God is with me always and He will make a way – gives me peace. In the midst of the uncertainty that we are living in right now — peace is what my hearts needs.
 
“The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!” Psalm 16:8-10 The Message
 
“I am happy from the inside out.” There is the key to true happiness/joy. What is going on inside us – what we are dwelling on, what we do when fear/worry/stress is trying to knock us down — Trust God.
 
Stability – Confidence – Patience – Hope!!
 
Growing in my understanding of how much God loves me – gives me stability when all else may be unstable.
 
Seeing example after example of ‘in my weakness He is strong’ – gives me confidence. (This ‘going live’ is such a real example of God’s present help in my life.)
 
Understanding that in some things I just won’t understand and the freedom that comes from realizing I don’t have to understand, I only need trust – gives me patience.
 
Resting in assurance that He is in control – gives me hope.
 
Yes, ‘day and night I’ll stick with God.’
 
Keep on keeping on — trust God, read your Bible, spend time talking with Him and listening to Him. Allow Him to refresh you.
 
til next time
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April 3, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

my mind tends to wander

I trust God. Yet my mind tends to wander. My mind tends to give in to stress easier than it should. I find that I have to be intentional about where my thoughts go. I think we all do.
Holding tightly to this verse.
Isaiah 26:3 English Standard Version (ESV)
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.”
I finally watched our Fireside Chat live video just a few minutes ago. (If you watch it, start at 4:12) I couldn’t watch it earlier. I read the comments but that was it. My mind had me convinced that it was nothing short of a failure. Who needs to watch that?
From there my mind went to – we don’t have the proper equipment, lighting, knowledge, what are we thinking? Curtis told me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
As… I… thought — Thoughts — oh how they can deceive us.
Our thoughts can cripple us. Our thoughts can hold us hostage. I have said for years that the battles that we face are really lost or won in our mind. How we think about what is going on. What we dwell on — what lies we give credibility to and the damage that it does.
Or do we keep our mind on Jesus?  Looking to Him, trusting Him, believing and living out His promises found in the Word.  He will never leave us.  He is an ever-present help in trouble.  He will see us through.  He is greater than whatever we face.
Do we see problems as opportunities for God to shine in our lives?  Do we see trials as a way that our faith is displayed for all to see?  Do we see tribulation as nothing more than something Christ said we would have but we can be of good cheer because He has overcome the world and we are overcomers because of Him?
“perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you.” Maybe like me, you need to be reminded of the great importance of keeping your mind on God. It really is of utmost importance to walking in peace.
And guard against letting the enemy pull your thoughts away to a dark place that will not do anyone any good.
fixing my eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:1-2)
isa 26 3 a
til next time
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March 27, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace – rest in God’s grace

Sing with us! Go ahead, sing it loud! God’s Amazing Grace!! 
 
God’s amazing Grace — None of this has taken Him by surprise. He is with us, for us and making a way when a way seems so uncertain. He is the same today as He was last year when we gave little thought to covid19. (Hebrews 13:8)
 
Seeing this verse play out right before our eyes.
 
Isaiah 43:19
“For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
 
A great verse to memorize and meditate on is
Romans 15:13
 
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” NIV
This people person is adjusting and determined to thrive, not waste a day in despair (sure there are moments but I know where to go when they hit — the feet of the One who loves me most – Jesus)
 
 
til next time
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March 26, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace

God’s peace – it is a wonderful gift that is ours through Christ Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14 NIV

In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” Later in John (16:37) he says, “… in Me you may have peace…”

God offers to us peace. In the midst of whatever is going on we can turn to God, giving Him our hurts, confusion, stress, anxiety, struggle… and receive from Him peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7)

If we could market peace, true inner peace, into a capsule form, we would make millions. I believe it would be the hottest selling item. There are just so many miserable, stressed out people in the world today. Sadly, Christians can fall into that trap as well.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You. “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 (NASB)

The key to living a life of peace is to be steadfast, trusting that in any situation that arises, God is in control and He is greater than whatever life throws at us. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus and fixate on the problem that our peace can go right out the window.

Nothing takes God by surprise. (Psalm 139) He is not off on some vacation unaware of what you are facing. Instead, He is with you. (Matt 28:20) He will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for you. (Psalm 118:6) He is working all things out for good. (Romans 8:28) Nothing, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him. (Jer 32:17, Luke 1:37)

Keep trusting – it isn’t over yet,

til next time

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March 3, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment