Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

my focus needs focus

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade.
Life is like a bowl of cherries — be aware of the pits.
A rose bush also has thorns.
 
You can focus on the problem or you can focus on the One who is greater than the problem.
 
“Look, God is all-powerful. Who is a teacher like him?” Job 36:22NLT
 
That call from the Dr.’s office, that unexpected repair, that letter of cancellation, that relationship that is strained, whatever it is that the enemy of our soul is attaching a flashing red light to — you don’t have to give in to the fear or frustration.
 
Instead, pick up your Bible and allow God’s Word to refresh and guide you. There are numerous scriptures on trusting God. Do a scripture search on trust. Read all of them, or at least read until you once again sense that assurance that God is greater and you do indeed trust Him.
 
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” PHil 4:6-7 NKJV
understand
There are things we just won’t understand. We can waste so much time and energy and still not have an answer. Instead, trust God. Give it to God. Let His peace fill your heart even when you don’t understand.
til next time
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August 15, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God smiles

God smiles. “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people…” (Psalm 149:4 ESV)
 
Some people have a distorted view of God. They see Him as distant, angry, and/or uninvolved. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
 
God loves us. He has desired a relationship from the very beginning. He would walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. (Genesis 3) — He gave His Son to pay the price we couldn’t pay. (John 3:16) — We are told to seek Him. (Psalm 27:8) — Yes, God wants a relationship with us.
 
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 ESV
 
What about you? Where is your relationship with God?
 
Thy will be done,
til next time
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April 26, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, 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

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

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

got love?

Some people have clearly forgotten what Jesus says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

David was familiar with the pain of a relationship that he thought was solid but wasn’t.

“Even my best friend, the one I always told everything
—he ate meals at my house all the time!—
has bitten my hand.” Psalm 41:9 (MSG)

matt 7 12

It is painful when someone you thought had your back – doesn’t. Oh how I wish the Golden Rule said that people WILL treat you the way you treat them. But it doesn’t. (Matthew 7:12) How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus says to love. I do believe that the deeper we fall in love with Jesus – the greater our love for mankind will be. “For God so loved…..”

But what about this person who has bitten my hand?

First I pray about it and ask God to guide me and to heal my broken heart. Then I ask Him to deal with that person. (Romans 12:19) There are times when I must step back and put some distance there. Healthy boundaries are a part of taking care of myself. God gives us wisdom to know what to do and strength to do it. The key is that in whatever we are doing – let’s remember to let God’s love guide us.

“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

How’s your love walk?

til next time

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February 25, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

put on love

Life is short. People will remember how you made them feel.

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Col 3:14-15 (ESV)

Are you wearing love?

Things that can make a difference both for the person receiving and the person giving:
Be kind
Do more than the minimum
Compliment someone – sure maybe you don’t like that particular outfit but there are so many ways to compliment someone and thereby encourage them.
Go out of your way to help
Smile
See the good
Own up to your choices and don’t look to pass blame
Be intentional about allowing God to flow through you
Hug someone or give a firm handshake
Pray with someone
Don’t show favoritism

Sometimes the hardest people to love, need love the most.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Life is short. People will remember how you made them feel.

Selah

til next time

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November 16, 2017 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s important?

God promises that when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. (James 4:8)

I have often said that we are as close to Jesus as we want to be. After all, everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. What do we do with that time?

For me, I have to be intentional or things seem to push aside the most important relationship I have.

 

“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalms 27:7-8 NKJV

A number of years ago I was introduced to the song “I Miss My Time With You” by Larnell Harris. It has a rather strong message. Are we too busy? Are we too busy trying to serve Him that we neglect spending time with Him? I hope not.
https://youtu.be/_UpMedIINdg

Seeking His face,
til next time

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April 26, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, 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

G.I.R.A.F.F.E

I love giraffes.    It was only a matter of time before I would come up with an acronym that I like.  While at the Chi Alpha SALT conference I came up with this one.  (SALT is a Friday – Monday conference of college students who are going all out for God — fully engaged!)

gir2

I can’t decide which picture I like better, so I will post both.  🙂

gir

Worshiping with hundreds of college students was fantastic.   There was also time spent in quiet reflection and study.  It has been ages since I have done any type of poetry or prose.  I am a bit rusty at it but, the creativity has been once again awakened.

what matters most?
is it those things that scream the loudest?
or is it that book on the shelf?
there it is –
just waiting to be picked up
that life changing book
pages and pages filled with hope
time spent with the living God
becoming more and more like His Son
what matters most?
who you are becoming –
that’s what matters most. (gg)

Jesus, to You I cling

to You I cling
at Your feet I bow down
kneeling before You
sensing your presence all around

not my will but Yours
to You be the glory
I am following You
as You unfold my story

not to the left or the right
but straight down the road
taking the path before me
knowing You carry my load

to You I cling
my heart sings Your song
kneeling before You
in my weakness You are strong

thank You Lord
for Your mercy and grace
thank You Lord
for helping me run this race (gg)

We had some amazing speakers who dealt with Marketplace ministry — letting God shine through you at your job.  I was reminded of that today in my devotions.  (1 Thess)

IMG_20160123_090115_464

Hmmm, what splashes out of you when you are bumped?  What is your response when things happen that you can’t control?

When God’s love fills us to overflowing – it is that love that will splash on others.  When God’s hope and love is evident in our lives – it becomes evident to those around us also.

“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

infused with strength and purity – filled with confidence — Yes!  Yes, I desire that.  Fill me up, Lord!

One more scripture from my devotions this morning.

IMG_20160123_090541_654

Get along, do your part, gently encourage, reach out, be patient, be careful, don’t snap, look for the best, bring out the best…

Do you look for the best in others?

Do you bring out the best in others?

I know for me, it doesn’t just happen – my eyes blinking – that just happens.

I am pretty sure that my daddy used that next verse as his reference when he told me that if I had to do something anyway – I might as well do it with a smile.  “Be cheerful no matter what…”

Lots of direction for day to day living in these verses.  I am grateful that it is God who flows through me, helping me to grow in all of this.  I am also grateful that the Lord is my portion – I hope in Him.  His compassion is new every morning.   (Lam 3:22-24)

Today is a new day filled with opportunities cleverly disguised as impossible situations.  God is the God of the impossible.  He will make a way.  I believe God!

til next time

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January 23, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment