Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

got peace?

How would you describe your level of peace? high, so-so, medium, low, non-existent?

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NLV)

Peace is something that God gives to His children. There is something we must do though. We must trust Him and keep our mind steadfast on Him.

That is where the problem comes in. Frustration, irritation, annoyance, worry, fear, anger, offense — all impact our peace. The longer we hold on to these emotions, the less peace we will have.

When you find yourself getting worked up, step back for a moment, see it in the light of eternity. See it for what it isn’t. It isn’t greater than God. It isn’t a surprise to God.

Let your faith and trust in God arise!

Say with me — “God, You are good. You are greater. You are with me. I trust You.” Then pray about whatever it is that is going on and give God thanks for who He is. (Phil 4:6-7)

Selah,

til next time

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October 16, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

recipe for peace

isaiah 26 3

Selah,  (pause and think about this)

til next time

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October 15, 2017 Posted by | Pastor's wife, recipes, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

trouble – peace?

I scrolled facebook this afternoon and once again noticed that there many who are facing some pretty big issues. Sadly there are those who leave God out of the solution.

When my peace is lacking, I can trace it back to a lack of rejoicing on my part, or my gentleness has been replaced with harshness, or I am entertaining worry, or I am ungrateful at that moment or I probably haven’t prayed about it, or I have allowed my thoughts to become negative. Sometimes all of the above are evident. All of these things do seem to go together.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)

Want peace? God’s Word gives us instructions.

 

phil 4 4 7

Selah,

til next time

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October 3, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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