Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

finish strong

What happened to Asa?
We’ve spent two days discussing Asa from 2 Chronicles.
 
Thursday – “And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” “… And the kingdom had rest under him.” (2 Chron 14:5)
 
Friday – the warning – “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you” (chapter 15)
 
Asa had ever reason to  trust God.   Yet in chapter 16 we find him seeking help from the Syrian King. What about us? When trouble is coming at us, who do we turn to? Where do we place our trust?
 
When a prophet of the Lord came to rebuke Asa, instead of recognizing his error, he became angry.
 
“Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time Asa also began to oppress some of his people.” 1 Chron 16:10 NLT
 
Here we see the spiral of sin. First he didn’t rely on God. Then he refused to acknowledge his behavior and repent. Next his treatment of others took a turn for the worse. Oh, how far he has come from doing what is good and right in the sight of God.
 
At the end of his life we find that Asa developed a serious foot disease.
 
“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians.” 2 Chron 16:12 NLT
 
I am reminded of the scripture “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor 10:12 ESV
 
Let us seek the Lord!  Let us finish strong!
til next time
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June 1, 2019 Posted by | bible story, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace

Peace – you can’t put a price tag on it. Even if you could, you can’t buy it. Yet, it can be yours. God offers peace – peace that goes beyond our understanding, our reasoning. (Phil 4:4-7)
 
Let’s look at 2 Chronicles 14. Here we find Asa. Verse 2
“And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” “… And the kingdom had rest under him.” (verse 5)
 
I believe there is a connection between doing what is good and right in God’s eyes and having rest/peace.
 
As we read on in the story of Asa we find that he had a mighty army of 580,000 men of valor. When along comes Zerah the Ethiopian. He has an army of a million. The battle line is drawn.
 
Verse 11 “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.”
 
Not only was the Ethiopian army defeated – not one of them remained alive.
 
Who do you rely on?
til next time
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May 30, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

eyes wide open

Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT) is often used as a blessing at the end of a church service. I will use it as a prayer for someone that I know is going through a difficult time. it is my prayer for you today.

‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

May today find you noticing the blessings of God. Blessings are all around us. He is with us and He will make a way where there may seem to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19)

We don’t have to look far to see how gracious God is to us. His grace (getting what we don’t deserve) and His mercy (not getting what we deserve) are examples of His great love for us.

Favor and peace – Thank you God! He is working all things out for our good. (Romans 8:28) He is able to do more than we can even begin to imagine. (Eph 3:20) His grace is enough. (2 Cor 12:9)

Throughout the day stop, look up and thank Him for the big and the small things. It is also good for us to remember that He blesses us to be a blessing to others. (Gen 12:2) Let your light shine. Let them see Jesus in you. How about looking for ways to be generous.

May God bless you today and may we not forget that it is God.

til next time

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April 25, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not my friend

I thought I  was done with you.  I had said my good byes.   You are a horrible ‘friend’.   You cause nausea, headaches, sleepless nights and make me feel on edge All The Time.

I thought that I was all better without you.  I thought I no longer needed you.  And then I got the call.

When the doctor informed me that he was putting me back on prednisone (this time for six weeks) I knew it was a challenge that I did not feel I was up to handling.   Prednisone you are not kind.  Your friendship is certainly a challenge I do not want.   Many of you know that it really doesn’t matter when your body has issues.

So I do what I know works. When in the midst of a challenge I don’t want to face, I fall on my face before God. I stay there and return there every time that peace seems to be outside my grasp. Becoming aware of His presence brings a calmness that is much needed.

Nothing takes Him by surprise. He specializes in giving His children peace that goes beyond our ability to understand the why’s and how’s. (Philippians 4:6-7)

When I give in to the frustration of this ‘friendship’ I take my eyes off of Jesus.  My awareness of His presence is hindered by my focus on the reaction my body is giving to this drug.

Luke 6:45 is my battle cry!

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV

 

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So I fill my heart with more and more of God’s Word and I meditate on His goodness.  I hold tightly to this scripture that says out of my heart is what my mouth will speak.  It is not out of my pain or out of my edginess.  I’ve asked God to set a guard over my mouth – to keep watch over the door of my lips.  (Psalm 141:3)

Will I get it right every time?  No!  I can tell you that I have had to apologize and I have no doubt that I will need to apologize again.  Yet, that does not mean that I just give in to the medicine and be a jerk.

 

What challenges are you facing? Let God arise and scatter fear and doubt. Let God fill you to overflowing with hope. (Romans 15:13)

God’s got this!  More important God’s got me and He has you too if you will just lean on Him.

til next time

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April 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

just as if

Part 2 continuing from yesterday (what I love about Christianity)

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

Justified — just as if I’d never sinned. Justification takes away the guilt that comes with sin and makes a way for peace.

All of this happens by faith. That is how God set it up. We come to Him in faith – believing.

We have peace with God. We are reconciled with God. We are restored – all because of Jesus.

“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” Eph 2:14 ESV

Jesus has broken down the walls of sin and shame.

The enemy will try to use condemnation and guilt to build up those walls again. Remember you have been set free by the blood of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction to our lives but He does not use condemnation or guilt to do this.

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8 ESV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 ESV

 

til next time

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March 8, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

following my own advice

I am always telling people to turn on praise music when life heats up. Following my own advice, I cranked up Klove.

Praise makes a difference. What we fill our mind with matters. What are you listening to?

“Our God is greater! Our God is stronger! God You are higher than any other.”

 

“I will stand my ground where hope can be found….. You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.”

 

“We’re not meant to live this life alone. No man is an island…”

 

“Who the Son sets – is free. I’m free. This is the sound of chains breaking….”

 

“Seems like all I could see was the struggle… I am redeemed. You set me free. So I’ll shake off these heavy chains…. I am redeemed.”

 

With each song I felt the weight lifting. Did the messiness of life go away?  No!  But the peace of God settled the messiness in my heart.   The assurance that He is in control and working all things out for my good fills me once again with peace.

We can sit and stew or we can sit and praise.

We can rehash the problem or we can lay the problem at the feet of Jesus.

We can stick our shoulder into it and force a solution (probably the wrong one) or we can operate in the strength God gives us that spills over into joy.

We can grumble or be grateful.

We can operate in a victim mentality or we can let God arise, be our defense and help us to operate as a child of the King.

I join the apostle Paul in praying for you the prayer he prayed – found in Colossians 1:9-12 (The Message)

“Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” (Col 1:9-12 The Message)

God is not done!

til next time

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March 2, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

priorities

I am certain that we all, at one time or another, have had our priorities messed up. It can be easy to get distracted. Maybe you don’t want to disappoint someone so you say yes when you know you should say no. Too many of those moments and you will find yourself frustrated. You might even want to blame someone else. Yet, we are responsible for our own choices.
 
What does God’s Word have to say about choices? Plenty!
 
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Eph 3:20 NLT
 
It is clear that we cannot do all the things that we want to do, nor all the things others would like us to do. I find that fulfillment comes when I seek to do those things God has planned for me to do. His grace is enough to do all that He calls me to do. The problem comes in when I am trying to do more – or do something other than what He intends for me to do.
 
I want to do it all — all that God has planned for me.
 
How do we know what He wants?
 
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT
 
Read the Word. Study the Word. Pray and ask God for direction.
 
“He will give you wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it.”  Curtis Girod
 
I want to make the best use of the time and energy that I am given. This requires being intentional about what I spend my time doing. When I set my priorities to line up with God’s leading, I can relax and focus on what is at hand. I can walk in His peace even in the midst of difficulties.

Intentional
How are your priorities?
til next time
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February 12, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

peace – a precious commodity

Peace of mind is a wonderful blessing that God has for us. Phil. 4 tells us what we need to do to receive this blessing.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)

I have yet to meet a person who can worry and be at peace at the same time. It just isn’t possible. Worry steals peace. Worry, left to run free, ties us up in knots.

The Bible tells us over and over to not worry, don’t be dismayed, fear not, be still, cast cares, trust, pray….

Here we are told again to pray. What about? Everything!

Prayer is communicating with God. Talk to Him about what concerns you. Spend time in quiet before Him. Take some time also to thank Him. Having a heart of thankfulness changes us in many ways. It is difficult to grumble if you are being thankful.

As we refuse to give in to worry, as we talk with God about life’s situations, as we thank Him, we will find that our hearts are at peace because we trust Him. He holds us together. (Col 1:17)

Selah,

til next time

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October 9, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, 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