Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

faith?

I read something today that made me wonder and not an awe type of wonder.
 
A woman posted something on Facebook and the consensus of the comments on the post could be summed up with this quote “… her personal life has NOTHING to do with her faith in god!”
 
How very sad! How sad that people would think our faith has nothing to do with our personal life.
 
Our faith in God has everything to do with our personal life. God desires a personal intimate relationship with us. To know and be known (John 10:14) — yes, it is personal!!
 
He is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalms 46:1) He is with us always. (Matt 28:20) He holds us up. (Psalms 63:8) He fights for us. (Ex 14:14)
 
This is my prayer for you today:
 
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
 
11-12 Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely. The Message (MSG)
 
All to Jesus, I surrender!
til next time
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April 25, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

is God silent?

Is God silent?
There have been times in my life when it seemed my prayers were hitting the ceiling and bouncing back. God seemed to be silent.
I can remember asking, “Where are You, God?    PPPPPPlease, God!”
Maybe you have seen the saying, “When you are in the midst of a trial and you wonder where God is, just remember, the teacher is always silent during the test.”
When you are taking a test, you rely on what you have studied, It is a reflection of what you know. The same is true for our spiritual tests and trials. We draw from what we have studied and what we know. We know by reading and discussing the Word. Spending time in praise, prayer, and meditation strengthens us.
Is God silent?  Truth is God is never silent. (Isaiah 55:11) His Word is alive and powerful. (Hebrews 4:12) I just need to pick up His Word and start reading to hear what God is saying, or  I can give in to the temptation to let it sit on the shelf.
One thing we may not realize is that the tests of this life are OPEN BOOK TESTS. 
In addition to an open book test, we have Jesus (who is ever interceding on our behalf.) –Romans 8:34   When the test seems crushing, I am ever grateful that Jesus has my back. Also, we are told to pray for one another. (James 5:16) Don’t let pride stop you from asking for prayer in the midst of difficulties.
  Unlike tests you took in school, in the tests of life you can ask a friend for help. I am grateful for good friends who remind me of the truths of God’s Word and encourage me in the midst of trials.
til next time,
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February 8, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

not the same old same old

Eight years ago history was made. The first black president was sworn into office. Today history was made again. Donald Trump, who defied the odds against him, was sworn into office. Whatever you may think about President Donald Trump, he now holds the highest office in our country.

Listening to his inauguration speech,  it is clear that this is not a polished politician.  In fact, he takes a few shots at the political establishment.   A couple of things that stand out to me is his love for America and desire to bring about a positive change.

Whatever the future holds, today is what is before me. This is the day the Lord has made and I an choosing to rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) As for the future, I smile, knowing God is in control.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NASB)

There may be change in the air but, God changes not.

”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)

I appreciated Franklin Graham’s usage of 1 Timothy, his gospel presentation that he incorporated into his prayer and that he concluded in Jesus name. The Word went forth and it will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)

1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Join me in praying for President Trump and those in leadership of our great country.

til next time

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January 20, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

praying for others

You wake up in the middle of the night and a person is on your mind.  What do you do?  I pray.  I have come to realize that God uses those moments to get my attention and pray for that person.

Sometimes I find myself not knowing what to pray or how to pray about a particular situation.

The Word has much to say about prayer and praying for others.  Today we will look at what Collosians 1: 9-12 says:

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”

This is a good list to draw from to pray for my children, my friends, family members, my co-workers or even for myself.

Pray that they would:

v 9 understand God’s will and make wise choices

v10 live lives pleasing to and honoring God

know God better and better

v 11 be filled with God’s strength,

endure,

keep on keeping on

stay full of Christ’s joy

v 12 always be thankful – Looking for the good instead of focusing on the bad.

prayer

Why not take a few moments right now and pray for that person that comes to your mind?

til next time

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November 27, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what, why, outcome??

prayer
How’s your prayer life?

What is prayer?     Communicating with God – the One who rules the universe and all the galaxies beyond, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere

Asking Him to intervene on a particular situation or person

Asking for His peace, joy, love, hope and strength to be poured out and for eyes to be opened to Him

Why pray? because He cares about us. He is for us! He wants a relationship with us. He loves us. (Psalm 119:18, Isaiah 40:29, Jude 2, Psalm 42:5, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 118:6, John 3:16)

Outcome?  Prayer changes things. Prayer makes a difference. The greatest change is in me. It draws me closer to God. Therefore, my corner of the world is better because of Jesus.

Don’t forget a part of prayer is listening. It is in listening that I find God pouring peace into my heart. We may never hear the audible voice of God but He still speaks to us: thru His word, thru music, preaching, thru others, thru a sense of assurance, God even used a Dove Chocolate wrapper to speak to my heart.

I encourage you to spend some time in prayer/communication with the One who loves you most.

til next time

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November 26, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

standing in the gap

When I tell someone I am praying for them, what that really means is I am standing in the gap for them, their marriage, their children, their health, our friendship, (whatever is going on at that time in their life) and asking God to help them press on. (Phil 3:12)

“We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,” Colossians 1:3

Give thanks – having a heart of gratitude makes a difference in how we handle life. When we begin giving thanks to God for people, it affects how we treat those very people.

Giving thanks is a part of prayer. Are you a thankful person? When things are good, it is easy to be thankful. Even when things aren’t good, God is still with us. He is helping us and that right there is cause enough to be thankful.

Praying always – (1 Thess 5:17 “pray without ceasing,”) means to become aware of the presence of God. God is everywhere. “We should be cultivating an awareness of the presence of God.” Pastor Curtis

Prayer should not be our last resort. “Praying always” means getting to the place where prayer is our first response. Prayer becomes as natural as breathing. Have a problem? Pray. Have a ‘just so happens moment” – give thanks.

How’s your prayer life?

prayer

til next time

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November 25, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what can we do?

As I think about the turmoil, sadness, and fear in our land after the recent events the question that keeps surfacing is — What can we do?

There is evil in this world – clearly that is evident. People have free will – clearly that is evident.

Pray, and pray is what I have been doing and will continue to do. It is powerful. Prayer makes a difference. One of the biggest things prayer does is change the person who is praying.  Oh, that more people would pray.

God is still on the throne. He offers forgiveness, peace, comfort, joy, help….. an ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 — please not that trouble is real but so is God’s help) People doing horrendously evil acts does not change the fact that God loves us and He is with us.

Mother Teresa is known for saying that she saw Jesus in each face she touched. What a difference our world would be if that become the norm.

I do not live in Dallas, Baton Rouge or St. Paul but I can make a difference in my corner of the world. I can spread God’s love to those I meet. I can look for opportunities to do good. I can refuse to let fear rule my thoughts and actions. I can speak up for justice. I can and will let God work through me.

What about You?

 

mother teresa

 

May my life reflect You, Jesus, my Savior, King, Lord, and Friend!

til next time,

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July 8, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

get in the truth

Recently I witnessed drama to the tenth degree.  I hate that feeling of helplessness when you see what’s happening and you can’t stop it. Like a snowball rolling downhill – it gains momentum and debris as it rolls.

However, this is where truth comes in.  Truth sets us free.   I may not always like what truth reveals about me, but it is then that I can choose to allow Christ to change me and help me handle it different next time.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

The ultimate truth is found in John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus dwells in our heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17) and shines a spotlight on areas that need attention.

When we are in the truth about our hang ups, we are a position to be freed from them. Walking in the truth is a life long process. However, if we refuse to get in the truth or if we play the blame game – we stay stuck.

So much drama would be avoided if people took a long hard look at their own actions and acknowledged their role in the drama.

Years ago I prayed a simple, yet life changing prayer. (I pray it often, especially when I know I will be in a difficult situation.)

“Lord, help me to not say or do anything today that I will need to apologize for later.”

It makes me very aware of my behavior. Sure there are times I fail miserably. It is then that living in the truth causes me to own up to my actions/words. Owning up to it helps me next time to be more careful.

 

As for the drama situation mentioned at the beginning of this blog, God answered my life changing, simple prayer.

Let’s walk in truth.

How.Very.Freeing!!

til next time

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May 23, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dehydrated christian?

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You…” Psalm 63:1

What do you do when you are thirsty?   Hopefully, you reach for a glass/bottle of water.

There have been times in my life when my body was thirsty but I didn’t recognize the signs so I reached for a piece of candy or some sort of snack food.  My body was thirsty and that didn’t fix the problem.

If I continue to ignore the signs that my body is in need of fluid, I will become dehydrated.

One of the first things that I look at when I get a headache is how much water I have been drinking. Headaches are a symptom of dehydration. The treatment for dehydration is to take in fluids.

wilted

in need of a drink of water

As Christians, there is a yearning in our heart for God.  If we don’t recognize that yearning we may reach for the latest video game, or go shopping, or call a friend.  We do all of this in an attempt to fill the void.

There are symptoms of becoming dehydrated as a Christian. Here are just a few – irritability, lack of joy, and discouragement.

 

Don’t become a dehydrated Christian.

An effective treatment is to immerse yourself in the Word of God and spend time in prayer casting your cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:7) Praise music is also effective in removing those symptoms. Attending church is another helpful remedy. Gathering together for worship, prayer and the Word strengthens us. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. We need each other.

To keep yourself from becoming dehydrated spend time alone with God, turn up some praise music, and make plans now to meet together at God’s house this weekend.

 

til next time

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February 26, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

out of the box

think outside the box…..

get out of your comfort zone……

stretch ——->

take that step of faith……

where God guides, God provides……

and my favorite one –want to walk on water?  then get out of the boat!!

These are all statements meant to inspire us to take action.

Recently our church became a parent church to a new church plant in a nearby town.  This was not a decision made lightly, nor did it happen over night.

God specializes in things thought impossible. (Luke 1:37)

When my husband first mentioned it to me, I didn’t see how we could possibly add one more huge commitment to our lives. Throughout our ministry one or both of us have worked outside the church.  Currently he is a professor at a local college and  I  am a chaplain at two different locations.  So adding something of this magnitude seemed most unlikely.  Add to this that I have been dealing with some health issues  (in fact I had surgery less than one week after our first service) and you have the  makings of  something only God could pull off.

Our friends (who are also on our worship team) received their license to preach this past April.  The interest in this church plant began to emerge.

It was brought to the church board.   It was decided that we would do some scouting, get some more details  and spend the next month in prayer.

God opened the door to a great location at a very manageable price.  I should mention here that the finances at the church are not in abundance.  In fact, this year there have been few months that my husband has gotten his full salary.  Living by faith is something we walk out each month.  I could write a book about the unusual ways God provides.

No doubt about it, money is needed to start up a church.  This was also a concern mentioned at the board meeting.  The decision was made that we would go ahead, trusting God to give us all that we would need to effectively represent Him at this new church.  Since we are a parent church, our board is the board of the new church also.   We are blessed with  godly board members who desire God’s will to be done and realize God is able to do even more than we can ask or dream.  They are willing to “get out of the boat.”

With the addition of a ministry couple from another church we now have our pastoral staff.  We have our location, our start date,  and all that was left was putting everything together.

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Sign at the top says – We believe in the power of prayer. For public prayer, fill out a prayer request form to be collected during the service.

This is our table that holds prayer request cards to be filled out and  handed in before prayer time.  Praying for the needs of the people attending is an important part of what we are here to do.  It saddens me when I visit a church and they don’t see the benefit in praying for the needs of the people attending.

A few things that are out of the box with this church plant:

  • we meet on Saturday nights
  • preaching will be on a rotation
  • children’s church will also be a rotation of the pastoral staff
  • music list will be similar to music at parent church on Sunday
  • our first service was Dec 5 – who starts a church in Dec?
  • 4 of the 6 staff members are on staff at both churches
  • not only do we have to set up, but first we must remove some things that are there – so tear down, set up our things, tear down, set up what was there to begin with, stop by our church, unload and set up a few things for Sunday’s service.
FB_IMG_1450134457788

sound check

 

At our first service a dear sweet lady said that she has been praying for eight years for an A/G church to come to her town.  It is exciting to be used in an answer to someone’s prayer.

 

FB_IMG_1450134424099

first service

People from our church have been wonderful in supporting the new work.  We are blessed indeed!

What does the future hold?  Only God knows.  What I do know is that I will not fear the wind or the waves.   I will continue to take steps of faith.  I will do my best to not put my God in a box and I will rest in the knowledge that God’s grace is sufficient for whatever comes my way.

The things that I think limit me will never limit Him.

“… because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

How about you?  Is your view of God one that fits nicely in a box or on a shelf?  When was the last time you took a step of faith?

He (God) heals the heartbroken
    and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars
    and assigns each a name.
Our Lord is great, with limitless strength;
    we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does.
God puts the fallen on their feet again
    and pushes the wicked into the ditch.”  Psalm 147:4-6

til next time

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December 15, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment