Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

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

question 2

2 of 4 questions God asked and is still asking today.

Could you not keep watch for one hour? Could you not wait?

In Mark 14 Jesus is going to pray. He takes with Him Peter, James and John and tells them He is deeply grieved. He asks them to keep watch.

Yet, they fell asleep. A second and third time He asks. They can’t seem to stay awake.

38 “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The world we live in seems to be more and more focused on instant. Hurry, hurry, hurry, we want it right now.

How are you when God says wait? Do you trust Him? Do you trust His timing?

Do you wait with Him? In prayer, word, mediation?

How much of your attention does God get?

Keep watching – keep praying – keep connected

tomorrow question 3

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October 17, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

today

It can be easy to get caught up in looking down the road on where God may be leading us that we forget today is where we are and where God wants to use us.
 
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)
 
When I am intentional about practicing these three things, my day is so much better.
 
Rejoice always – Negativity is something I battle with more than I would care to admit. It doesn’t win when I remember to rejoice throughout my day. Sure, some days are difficult but my joy is found in Christ and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8)
 
We do have a choice. I choose joy!
 
Pray without ceasing – to me this is the realization that at anytime and any place I can talk with God. He is with me always. He is my first response, not my last resort.
Giving thanks – here is another huge thing that will have an impact on our day. It is hard to be thankful and selfish at the same time.
 
God does care about how our day goes and He offers to us these three things that will enhance our days and therefore improve our lives.
 
Rejoicing, praying and thanking God as I go through this day.
 
How about you?
til next time
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June 29, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

catching up

I had lunch with a friend today. It’s been way too long. We had so much catching up to do that this one visit wasn’t going to accomplish it all.
 
I wonder, do we do that to God? Maybe you haven’t talked to Him in ages so you have a lot of catching up to do.
 
I hope that you talk with God often throughout your day. You don’t have to schedule an appointment. However, you might need to set aside some time in your schedule to have an uninterrupted talk with Him. (Remember a conversation involves talking and listening. If you think God is silent – open up His Word. It will communicate with you anytime/anywhere.)
 
“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
 
Pray without ceasing is something we get better and better at as our relationship with God grows. It is having a mindset that God is always listening. He is our first response not last resort. We can talk with Him anywhere. Our thoughts can become prayers and He reads our heart when words just aren’t there.
 
Why not take a moment right now and talk with God, give Him thanks for this moment, and don’t forget to offer up your praise to Him. Praise tears down walls.
 
grateful!
til next time
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April 4, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

attitude

How’s your soul? (will, mind, emotions)

My morning started out a little rough.  Did you know that you can change your day by changing your attitude?

My attitude was heading south. There are a ‘million’ things I could focus on concerning my health and the way I am feeling BUT I want to enjoy this day. There are no do overs. So as with anything in my life – I took it to God.

Maybe you need to pray this prayer with me.

Good morning God. This is the day You have made and I am wanting to choose to rejoice in it. In order to do that I need Your help. Help me to not fixate on the pain, the ‘now what’, or the ‘how’, but to keep my eyes on You. You are good! You love me and You are working all things out for my good. Yes, even this pain. Help me to see beyond myself, to see the opportunities You have for me today. I can do what you set before me this day because You are with me. I choose hope! I choose You, Jesus! (Psalm 118:24, 46:1, 2 Cor 10:5, Heb 12:2, Rom 8:28, Col 4:5, Phil 4:13)

I also looked to God’s word to speak to my heart. If you haven’t read Ephesian 3 lately, I encourage you to read it.

My take on a few of the verses:

V6. God’s plan is that we belong to Him

V7. it is a privilege to serve God

V14 because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come to God boldly and confidently. We don’t have to have it all together or say the right things but we come just as we are.

V14-15 there is something special about kneeling before God – surrendering to the Creator of everything

V16 is my verse to hold on to today!

V17 trusting Christ (in the good and the bad, health and pain) sinks our roots deep in God’s love and that keeps us strong – I want that!

V18 God’s love – nothing greater (wide, long, high, deep) Makes me want to break out into song “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh how He loves us.”

V19 we don’t just know of His love, we experience His love

V20 God gets the glory! He is able to do more than we can even imagine

Yes, I am now ready to face the day as a mighty child of God.

What about you?

til next time

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October 13, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

surgeon’s scalpel

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (MSG)

Recently I went under a surgeon’s scalpel. A piece was removed that had been causing me trouble. Getting to it was more of a challenge than even the doctor had anticipated. At one point I reminded him that I had people praying.

God’s Word cuts through everything. It cuts through hatred, going through the motions, blame game, complacency, and lukewarmness. The Word will slice open excuses, doubts and false justification. Maybe this is why some Christians don’t pick up the Word and read it. They have missed the point though. God wants us to be free from things that would hinder us.

I could have refused the surgery. I could have ignored it. It still would have been there causing me trouble. When God’s Word reveals something to me, I can refuse to do anything about it. I can ignore it. I can come up with some excuse but none of that will change the fact that it needs to be dealt with. Instead, I say – Yes, God.

We come to God just as we are and then He steps in and helps us be all we were intended to be.

Let’s be people who listen and obey.

til next time

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March 20, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how’s your soul?

How’s your soul? (will, mind, emotions)
My morning started out a little rough. I have a pinched nerve in my neck that I thought was gone. Sadly the medicine was only masking the pain – not fixing it.

Did you know that you can change your day by changing your attitude?

My attitude was heading south. There are a ‘million’ things I could focus on concerning my health and the way I am feeling BUT I want to enjoy this day. There are no do overs. So as with anything in my life – I took it to God.

Maybe you need to pray this prayer with me.

“Good morning God. This is the day You have made and I am wanting to choose to rejoice in it. In order to do that I need Your help. Help me to not fixate on the pain, the ‘now what’, or the ‘how’, but to keep my eyes on You. You are good! You love me and You are working all things out for my good. Yes, even this pain. Help me to see beyond myself, to see the opportunities You have for me today. I can do what you set before me this day because You are with me. I choose hope! I choose You, Jesus! (Psalm 118:24, 46:1, 2 Cor 10:5, Heb 12:2, Rom 8:28, Col 4:5, Phil 4:13)

I also looked to God’s word to speak to my heart. If you haven’t read Ephesian 3 lately, I encourage you to read it.

My take on a few of the verses:
V6. God’s plan is that we belong to Him
V7. it is a privilege to serve God
V14 because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come to God boldly and confidently. We don’t have to have it all together or say the right things but we come just as we are.
V14-15 there is something special about kneeling before God – surrendering to the Creator of everything
V16 is my verse to hold on to today!
V17 trusting Christ (in the good and the bad, health and pain) sinks our roots deep in God’s love and that keeps us strong – I want that!
V18 God’s love – nothing greater (wide, long, high, deep) Makes me want to break out into song “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh how He loves us.”
V19 we don’t just know of His love, we experience His love
V20 God gets the glory! He is able to do more than we can even imagine

Yes, I am now ready to face the day as a mighty child of God.
What about you?

til next time

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March 7, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Correction

Recently I asked the question  “Do you have a teachable heart?” Today’s question “How do you handle correction?”

“To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:11 TLB)

When someone addresses an area of concern, do you become defensive? We ought to be able to talk with someone about something they have done and the impact it has on us without fearing anger in return. It isn’t easy to be on either end of this type of conversation but how we handle it does reveal much about our character.

There are two types of people that Proverbs 9 addresses.

“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.” MSG

“Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” (verse 8)

When I am faced with a situation that requires correction I pray, seek advice, write it out, sleep on it, pray again, reread what I wrote, use the delete button, seek advice again. Then I hit send. I now have a record of what I said. There is no he said, she said because it is there in writing.

Sometimes writing it is not an option. Just remember you can’t take back the spoken word. Pray that you will operate in the spirit and not in your flesh.

When I am on the receiving end – when someone brings a correction to me – how I respond is a reflection of who I am. I want to be a wise person. I make the choice to own my behavior – apologize if that is what my behavior calls for. I want to learn, to grow in compassion, and to receive correction with a teachable heart. All that said, it isn’t easy but God is right there to help me (you) respond in a godly way.

Let’s show what it means to have Jesus living inside of us – loving through us.

Teach me Your ways, O Lord (Psalm 25:4)

til next time

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March 6, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment