Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

another day

Another day begins.  What will bring?  How will I handle it?  When the day is done, will I look back on it and wish I had done things different?  I hope not.  That is why I purpose in my heart to see the good, do good, and trust God.

God is good!
All the time!
And all the time
God is good!

psalm 103 2
“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NASB)

“But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6 NLT)

“For God called you to do good,
even if it means suffering,
just as Christ suffered for you.
He is your example,
and you must follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21 NLT)

“My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver. ( Psalm 119:71-72 NLT)

“I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love.
I will praise the Lord for all he has done…” (Isaiah 63:7 NLT)

What are you going to do with your day? I am going to look for the good and give God thanks. I choose to rejoice and trust – knowing that He is in control. I need not worry for He is working in those difficult circumstances.  I choose to follow Jesus.

God is good!

 

til next time

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May 30, 2017 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rule follower / rule breaker?

Rules — Some people think rules don’t apply to them.  Some people are bent on being rule breakers.  Other people recognize the need for rules. 
There are rules to playing games, driving a car, sitting in a library, taking tests….. everywhere I look there are rules. Now when it comes to some things – playing dominoes for example, the rules may differ widely from one group to the next. So it is important to set the rules up before playing that first game.
 
rules
Some rules we can change. Other rules we cannot change. I can remember getting kicked out of the library as a teenager because I wasn’t following the rules. At the time I thought it was a stupid rule. (I was in a conference room designed to be a place to talk, so why couldn’t I talk?) Consequences can help us to abide by rules in the future. The librarian set and enforced the rules. I learned to abide by those rules.
 
Our country has many rules. Sadly, I don’t get to set the speed limit. I read where Montana, at one time, did not have a daytime speed limit. Just because I obey the speed limit doesn’t mean I don’t want to go fast. Obeying the laws – even the ‘stupid’ ones, unless it clearly goes against God’s Word (Acts 5:29) is what we are called to do. (Titus 3:1) It is a tall order, but God is right there ready to help us.
 
God also sets up some rules for living an abundant, fruitful life. When God says “thou shall or thou shall not,” He isn’t trying to cramp our style. Rather He is leading us down a path of peace, strength, joy, and victory. He has our best interests in mind. He is for us. (Psalm 118:6)
 
Thankfully God offers grace, mercy and forgiveness to us as we strive to follow Him. Applying God’s Word to our day-to-day living is a lifelong process.
 
Following Jesus!
til next time
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May 26, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

abundant life? for me?

How would you describe your life?  Are you in a rut?  Are you enjoying life.  On a scale of 1 – 10 where would you put abundant living?  Do you even know what abundant living looks like?

Jesus said in John 10:10  – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  (KJV)

I want life more abundantly.  I believe there are many factors that are involved in living an abundant life.  First, and foremost, is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to God unless they go through Him.  (John 14:6)

Our relationship needs to be growing.  1 Thess 5 tells us  what God’s will is for us, in Christ Jesus.  We are to rejoice, pray and give thanks.  How are you doing on those three things?

We  grow by reading the Word and  hearing the Word preached but that isn’t enough.  We must  apply the Word to our lives.  If it doesn’t change us, then we can’t expect to walk in the abundant life.

1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14   “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.” (MSG)

5 keys to living an abundant life
1. Keep your eyes open – watch – don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore what is going on around you
2. hold tight to your convictions – stand firm in your faith – don’t be wishy washy and when doubt comes at you, lift up your shield of faith
3. give it all you’ve got – be all in – 100% – be brave
4. be resolute – determined – strong – Joshua 1:9 tells us “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
5. love without stopping – walk in love – let all you do be love based – do unto others and you would want them to do to you. (Luke 6:31)

1 cor 16 13 14

I am going to work on these five things this week.  What about you?

Living the abundant life that Jesus came to give me!

til next time

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May 22, 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

faith under pressure

Is your faith under pressure?

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (The Message)

How we behave when the pressure of life gets intense reveals the depth of our Christianity. Impatience tosses peace right out the window. Negativity tears down hope and trust. Fear cripples faith.

Pressure forces us to see areas that are in need of improvement. Hopefully, then we recognize our great need for God to help us become all that He intends.

When you are frustrated – see it for what it isn’t. It isn’t from God.

God loves us just as we are and that love changes us.

We can spend way too much time and energy trying to figure out why instead of letting our faith in God rise up (Psalm 68:1) and our trust in God quiet our fears.

God will make a way!

til next time,

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April 27, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Resurrection Sunday in song

He is Risen.
He is Risen Indeed!
The following is a compilation of various lines from Resurrection Sunday hymns.   See how many you can pick out. 
TELLING THE STORY THROUGH SONG
Thus He left His heavenly glory
to accomplish the Father’s plan (1)
On Calvary’s hill of sorrow
where sin’s demands were paid (2)
 
For twas on that old Cross,
Jesus suffered and died
to pardon and sanctify me (3)
Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe (4)
 
 
Lives again our glorious King
Where, O death, is now thy sting? (5)
Death cannot keep his prey
Jesus, my Savior (6)
I know that He is living
whatever men may say! (7)
 
My richest gain I count by loss
and pour contempt on all my pride (8)
And from my smitten heart with tears,
two wonders I confess
the Wonders of His glorious love
and my unworthiness (9)
May I be willing, Lord, to bear
daily my cross for Thee (10)
 
I am so wondrously saved from sin
Jesus so sweetly abides within (11)
Redeeming love has been my theme
and shall be til I die (12)
 
O how I love Him, Savior and friend
How can my praises ever find end! (13)
Then He’ll call me someday
to my home far away, (14)
It will be worth it all
when we see Jesus! (15)
 
 
How many songs did you recognize? I enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Music is powerful.
 
I only wish I would have put this together while my mom was alive.  She would have loved this!
Here are the songs.
1 – He Was Nailed to the Cross for Me
2 – I see a Crimson Stream
3 – The Old Rugged Cross
4 – Jesus Paid it All
5 – Christ Arose
6 – Christ the Lord is Risen Today
7 – He Lives
8 – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
9 – Beneath the Cross of Jesus
10 – Lead Me to Calvary
11 – Glory to His Name
12 – There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood
13 – Blessed Redeemer
14 – The Old Rugged Cross
15 – When We See Christ
til next time,
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April 16, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what did Jesus do?

If we are not mindful, we can get sucked into the hurry, hurry, schedule packed, pulled in many directions, life going round and round in circles leaving no room for the unexpected. Yet, the unexpected happens.

Jesus is leaving Jericho heading to Jerusalem. It is 17 miles. Before leaving he told his disciples what would take place there. (Death and Resurrection)

As he left Jericho, a great crowd follows him. Two blind men are sitting by the road. When they heard who was passing by they began to cry out to Him. The multitude tried to quiet them. They got all the louder. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David.”

What did Jesus do?
Matthew 20:32 -33 “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

V 32 He stood still, and called them – even though He was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing what was ahead – he stood still. He met them in that moment.

What Do We Do? Are we willing to stop, stand still and do good? Do we take time to help? Once you start to pay attention to the opportunities, you will find them everywhere.

finding the smooth rhythm of grace,
til next time,

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April 13, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

reflection

“You may be the only Bible some will ever read.”
“People are drawn to you and then to Christ.”
Some days all I can say is, “Oy!”
I make mistakes. You do too. Life isn’t about the mistake as much as it is about what you do with the mistake.
Do you run from the mistake or do you own up to it? Do you learn from the mistake or do you keep repeating it? Do you seek truth or choose denial? Do you ask God to help you to make choices that are pleasing to Him?
People watch us. People see how we handle life. People see through phony. What are we showing them?
Do I demonstrate the overcoming power of God in my life? Does His love shine through? Do I point others to Christ by the choices and actions I take?
“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
Be ready!
I want to be a reflection of Christ.  Just as the moon reflects the suns rays, I want to reflect the love, joy, peace and hope I have in Christ.
Let them see You in me!
til next time
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April 6, 2017 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, 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