Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

what’s stopping you?

Sometimes all that is stopping me is me.
My thoughts
my feelings
my partial understanding of a situation
my ‘rights’
fear
laziness or overly busy
complacency
avoidance
These things can all stop me in my tracks.  They can also greatly affect my joy, peace and hope.
So what to do?
Get out of my own head — get into the Word. Purpose to live this day walking with Jesus — that means laziness, complacency, avoidance, and fear has to go. Overly busy needs to be re-evaluated. (To help with priorities, I highly recommend the book “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst)
For me, planning down time is a necessity – right along with scheduling exercise. Rarely do either of those two things happen by chance. Yet, both are valuable to living a healthy full life.
I don’t want to live my life in a small way.
2 cor
So for today I am entering the wide-open spaces. I choose to live this day openly and expansively.   I wonder what will God be up to as I unfold this day with Him?
What about you?
What will you choose to do with your day?
til next time
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March 22, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
1
I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

3

After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
2
We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what’s growing on your tree?

No man is an island.  I heard that all the time while I was growing up.  Look for ways you can help others was another things I heard a lot.  How we live – matters.
So how should we live?
Galatians 5:22-23 – the Fruit of the Spirit.
 
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
patience,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness,
self-control;
against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)
 
As I meditate on these verses, I ask God to help this fruit grow in my life. Memorizing these verses has helped me to be more aware of these nine areas of my life. 

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”  Psalm 1:3 NASB)

What is growing on your tree?

 
Let’s look at Galatians 5:24
 
“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. “
 
What does it mean to crucify the flesh?
The simple definition is to say no to things that you know are displeasing to God. Verse 25 goes on to explain it.
“25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
 
Waking in love not hate,
joy not melancholy,
peace not being always upset,
patience not indifference,
kindness not meanness,
goodness not cruelty,
faithfulness not disloyalty,
gentleness not hardness and
with self-control not instability.
 
How’s your walk?
til next time
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March 7, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment