Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

busy, tired, calm, peace???

What is your answer to the question – How are you?  It seems the most common answer is busy or tired.

Do you find there is more to be done than time or energy to do it?

Are the primary emotions you are feeling frustration, anger, or dread?

Are you excited about a new project only to quit half way through it?

When it is time to fulfill a commitment you made, do you find that you dread the thought of it (It is fun to say yes and have others happy with you but at what cost later?)

still waters

 

He leads me beside still waters —who is doing the leading in your life?

When my ‘waters’ seem anything but still, I need to ask myself who is doing the leading?  Then I either need to say “Jesus take the wheel” or if He is at the wheel then ask Him to calm the storm – the one raging outside or the one raging inside.
It can be so easy to shift my focus to the raging waters instead of to the One who calms those waters. It seems that on any given day there are always things that ‘must’ be done. Resisting the temptation to take back the wheel is crucial to still waters and green pastures.

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. Psalm 23:1-3

til next time

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

muck and mire

Recently I found myself asking God, “How long?”
 
Just when I thought it was over, there it was rearing its head again. I am grateful for the examples God gives us in His Word. I am grateful that when I turned to His Word today, God lead me to David.
 
You see David also asked ‘how long’ in Psalm 13. (There are other passages of scripture where this question is also brought up.)
 
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?…” (Psalm 13:1 NASB)
 
David is venting, but notice who he is venting to — God! Our complaints – our frustrations should drive us to our knees. If people vent to us, let us be careful to point them back to God.
 
How long? Long drawn out problems, health issues, trials can cause us to think it will never end. This can lead us into despair and rob us of our peace and joy.
 
I often tell people that it is perfectly ok to be honest with God about questions that we have or how we feel. God is bigger. Your thoughts are no surprise to Him. BUT don’t plant roots in the muck and mire of your troubles.   Don’t get stuck there.
 
David didn’t stay there.
 
“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (verses 5-6)
 
His prayer turned into praise. He started out sinking and ended up rejoicing. Again we see the power of praise. Singing praise tears down the walls of gloom and despair.
So today, I laid my questions before God.   I gave Him my fears and frustrations.  Then I turned my thoughts to how grateful I am that He is in control, He is at work – even when I don’t readily see it, and He is worthy of my devotion and trust.
I lifted my voice up in praise.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in YOU!!!

waters

til next time
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May 19, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

life

Life seems to be what happens while we are making all sorts of plans.  Good intentions don’t do us any good unless we follow through.

I want my life to make a difference.

psalm 34 14

Turn from evil.

Do we turn from evil or do we let it entertain us? The movie industry does a fine job of filming corruption, violence, greed, affairs, murders, sex……. we choose what we watch.

Do good.

Do is an action verb. Be intentional about doing good.

Seek peace.

When we feel ourselves getting worked up over something — remember we are offered peace that goes beyond our understanding. (Phil 4:6-7)

John 14:27 Jesus is telling us:
“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.”

Pursue peace.

Going after peace is repeated. Personally I think that is because of the importance of having a peaceful state of mind. If we are upset, we are much more apt to worry, make bad choices, say things we regret, and/or focus inward taking our eyes off Jesus.

Turn from evil. Do good. Seek peace and pursue it. My prayer is that I will grow in my understanding and ability to apply these things to my life. What about you?

growing in faith!

til next time

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April 28, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

go ahead – smile :)

Today — I hope that you put your smile on and share it.

It seems that everywhere I go, I see people who could use cheering up. I may not know their story but I do know Jesus makes everything better.

I can share the hope and love Jesus has given me. I can brighten up my corner of the world. Smiling is contagious. Just go ahead and try it and see for yourself.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Look for the fingerprints of God — they are everywhere!!

bloom

til next time

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April 4, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

with you

Moses speaking with the Lord in Exodus 33:13 says, “Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”

The Lord’s response to Moses is powerful.

“And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 (ESV)

I believe we can hold on to that promise also.

Over and over again God says that He is with us. Emmanuel (a name given to Christ) means God with us. We can take great comfort in this truth. We are not alone.  What a wonderful promise.

Not only are we not alone but it is the Lord who will give us rest. Peace that goes beyond our understanding is ours as we cast our cares upon Him and trust Him. (Phil 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, Prov 3:5-6)

Jesus said in Matthew —teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20 NASB

til next time

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March 28, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
1
I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

3

After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
2
We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i choose….

Today!

A new day is beginning. I have heard it said and believe it to be true that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you handle it. Before the day really gets started, I make a choice to trust God with whatever comes my way. He holds all things together and that includes me.

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 NASB

Today is a gift.  There will be no do overs.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

Notice ‘we will’ — it is a choice made ahead of time. I choose joy!  I choose trust!

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

Sometimes life is messy. Sometimes life is down right hard. A key to maintaining my peace and joy as I go through hard times is praise. Praise changes me. It takes my eyes off of whatever is going on and puts them back on Jesus – the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) When I turn my eyes upon Jesus, He speaks peace. Hope is renewed. What a difference it makes to praise God throughout my day.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17 (KJV)

Another key is prayer. Reminding myself to cast my cares (1 Peter 5:7) and talk with God as I go through my day helps me to stay centered. Prayer should be our first response not our last resort.

So a new day is beginning – how will you choose to handle it?

Me?  I choose Jesus!    My hope is built on Him!  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand!

til next time

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March 4, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

calm

“Peace, be still” — that is what Jesus said to the sea (Mark 4:39) and there was a great calm.

“Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Is the storm raging around you?

flower message

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 “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.”

“Peace, be still.”

Pray with me — “Father God, speak peace, be still into my life today. It is You I trust. My life is in Your hands.”

til next time
https://youtu.be/3FrEmqyM4-k

STILL By Hillsong
Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still, know You are God [x2]

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February 7, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

super moon

Did you take a moment to look at the super moon awhile back? Maybe you even took a picture? I did. Sadly, it did not capture the beauty. Yet the source of the beauty wasn’t the moon.

If it weren’t for the sun, the moon would be dark. What we see is a reflection of the sun’s rays bouncing off of the moon.

When people look at us, are they seeing the light of Christ?

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

 

December is here and with it can come the stress of getting the shopping, decorating, and baking done. Then there is the calendar that is already full. For some, adding school programs, work parties, family gatherings to an already stretched calendar is a potential recipe for added stress.

 

The other extreme is also out there. I was talking with a lady who shared with me that the holiday season is the worst time of year for her. Loneliness and sadness are nipping at her heels. Her calendar is too open.

 

Whatever the reason may be, if you are feeling overwhelmed this December, I encourage you to take a few moments (right now would be good) and talk with God. Cast your cares on Him, lay down your expectations at His feet, and allow His peace, love and joy to fill you again.

 

Now, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

 

btw – I want to be a ‘super moon’!  Reflecting brightly the light of Christ!!

til next time

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December 2, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

be still?

Are you troubled?  Does life have you stressed out?  Would you describe your life as peaceful or chaotic?

 

 Check out yesterday’s post on peace.

Picking up where I left off.

Be still, and know that I am God;”

flower message

What a wonderful truth. God is in control. When life seems uncertain, when problems attempt to overwhelm us or when we are in the middle of something huge, we can be still and know who is God.

 

still waters

Psalm 23:2 “He leads me beside the still waters”

Sometimes we can be so focused on what is going on around us that we go rushing past the still (quiet) waters. In rushing past, we miss the opportunity for God to refresh our hearts.

Be still and know that I am God.”

Did you know that this verse doesn’t end there?

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! 
Psalm 46:10(NJKV)

This takes my thoughts off me and puts them back on God. God is in control. He sees all.

He longs to use each one of us to reach a lost and dying world. There is so much darkness in our land.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NASB 

 Let God shine through you on purpose!!!

To God be the glory!

til next time

 

 

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November 11, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment