Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

finish strong

What happened to Asa?
We’ve spent two days discussing Asa from 2 Chronicles.
Thursday – “And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” “… And the kingdom had rest under him.” (2 Chron 14:5)
Friday – the warning – “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you” (chapter 15)
Asa had ever reason to  trust God.   Yet in chapter 16 we find him seeking help from the Syrian King. What about us? When trouble is coming at us, who do we turn to? Where do we place our trust?
When a prophet of the Lord came to rebuke Asa, instead of recognizing his error, he became angry.
“Asa became so angry with Hanani for saying this that he threw him into prison and put him in stocks. At that time Asa also began to oppress some of his people.” 1 Chron 16:10 NLT
Here we see the spiral of sin. First he didn’t rely on God. Then he refused to acknowledge his behavior and repent. Next his treatment of others took a turn for the worse. Oh, how far he has come from doing what is good and right in the sight of God.
At the end of his life we find that Asa developed a serious foot disease.
“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians.” 2 Chron 16:12 NLT
I am reminded of the scripture “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor 10:12 ESV
Let us seek the Lord!  Let us finish strong!
til next time
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June 1, 2019 Posted by | bible story, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

there’s gonna be trouble

Here it is another day.   How’s your soul? (Will, mind, emotions) Are you off to a good start or do you find yourself weary? Jesus addresses this in Matthew 11 (28-30)

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (NLT)

I have a friend who insists that bad luck comes in threes. I don’t believe in bad luck. Bad things happen but that should come as no surprise when we are told over and over again things like ‘count it all joy when you face trials’ James 1:2 – ‘in the world you will have trouble….’ John 16:33 — ‘rejoice always, again I say rejoice’ Phil 4:4 –‘even though the going is rough’ 1 Peter 1:6 — ‘endure hardship’ 2 Tim 2:3 — what we suffer now’ Romans 8:18 ….

When life starts to press in on you and things seem to go from bad to worse, remember what Jesus says to you. “Come to me!” Make the time. Open your bible and read what He has to say to you. Sit quietly before Him and allow His gentleness to permeate you. Cast your cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:6-7) Let His peace wash over you. (Phil 4:4-7) Let Him give you rest.

word pic 19a

Rest in Jesus

til next time

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February 20, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it’s monday – how’s your soul?

Here it is the Monday morning.   We pack a lot into our weekends so it is not unusual for  exhaustion to set in on Monday morning.

I want to do it all!  Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.  (hmm, I am starting to see a pattern in my life.)


matthew 11 28


Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day.   It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?

I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough.

Jesus is more than enough.

Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother set the bar high for her daughters.  She worked full time and her house always looked great.   She rose early and was the last one to bed.  I can’t live up to that expectation of myself.   Laying that down has been very liberating.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV)

How’s your soul?

Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.

til next time

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February 12, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas is coming….

Here it is the day before the day before Christmas. For some, by this point, exhaustion has set in. In addition to your normal full schedule, you have added decorating, a list of people to shop for, cards to send, treats to make, parties to go to, and a host of holiday commitments.
All these things are good. I want to do it all! Yet, it can cause weariness to set in if I’m not careful.
Jesus says to us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
matthew 11 28
Sadly, when our schedule gets overloaded – spending time with Jesus can get squeezed out of our day. It isn’t like it is an intentional thing but nonetheless it can so easily happen. Then is it any wonder we find ourselves overwhelmed?
I encourage you to be adamant about spending quiet time with God. If your days are filled like mine – it may be the only quiet time you get each day but it will be enough. Jesus is more than enough.
Another thing you can give yourself and others is the gift of laying down expectations. My mother would make 20 different Christmas treats (some years more than that) and her house always looked great. I can’t live up to that expectation of myself. Laying that down was very liberating.
Also, look for the good in others and extend to people grace. This is good advice for any last minute Christmas shopping.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 2 (NIV) How’s your soul? Maybe spending time with Jesus right now is what you truly need.
til next time
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December 23, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , | 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

green pastures/quiet waters

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3a)
Green pastures, quiet waters and restoring my soul all speak of rest and peace to me.

still waters

It is not God’s desire that we burn out or rust out. He wants us to finish strong. To say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;” (2 Timothy 4:7 NASB)
I believe rest and peace go together with trust. Resting in God, having peace in the midst of whatever we face is possible when wetrust God completely.

Trust that:

  • God is in control
  • it will work out for good
  • you don’t have to force things to happen
  • God’s timing is right
  • God controls the outcome
  • God is for you
  • God will make a way
  • God loves you!
If you are lacking in peace or rest I encourage you to spend time today in prayer asking God to restore your soul (will, mind and emotions.)
Then take some time to meditate on these verses from Psalm 23

 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.
 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Resting in Jesus!
Til next time
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May 10, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I woke up this morning and I knew before I ever got out of bed that I was emotionally depleted.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is what it is.

psalm 61It can be the result of  a good thing as it can mean that I have had a schedule filled with all sorts of wonderful activities and been traveling on an emotional high.  I am reminded of Elijah in the Bible – 1 & 2 Kings.   This weekend my victories were not on the same enormous scale as his were, but there are similarities.

It can also occur due to a torrential downpour of “issues”  bombarding me.  Those things that try to squeeze the life out of me and never seem to come one at a time.  Instead they seem to come out of nowhere or where I would least  expect there to be a problem.  I am reminded of Paul addressing his troubles in 2 Corinthians 1:8 & 11:26-28.

Physical pain/sickness can also cause emotional depletion. Some days it seems like I am on the top of a teeter totter and the other person has just jumped off the bottom.  Other days the pain doesn’t even phase me.  Personally, I am so ready to have my life back.   The longer pain lasts, the greater toil it can have on your emotions.  Yet, greater trial – greater victory!

Then this morning I go and read this in Mark Batterson’s book “The Grave Robber”

“A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and we’ve been praying for spontaneous remission — the medical term for miracle.  Unfortunately, further tests were trending in the wrong direction at his first follow-up visit.  When my friend called me, it was tough to know what to say.  And the truth is, it’s better to listen than to talk.  But then I felt like I needed to remind him of a simple yet difficult truth.  “I’m going to keep praying for your healing, but healing isn’t the ultimate goal.  The ultimate goal is God’s glory.”

The goal is God’s glory!praise  (see John 9)  Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I act as if the goal is pain free, problem free, financially free…

Last night we had a powerful praise service.  Kneeling before the Lord is one of my favorite positions.  Yet, it’s been almost 11 weeks since I messed up my knee and have not put any weight on the top.

During this song  my desire to kneel before God was strong.  (to listen to the song – click on the title)   This is my desire   

I did a one knee kneel at first but then it was as if God was prompting me to ‘go ahead – kneel with the other knee too’  So I did.  No pain!   Still numbness but no pain!

restIf your heart is overwhelmed please recognize that you have a choice.  You may try to ignore it but that won’t help.  Blaming something or someone won’t help either but you can choose to go that road and stay miserable.


You don’t have to remain overwhelmed.  You can recognize it for what it is and then go to the Rock (Jesus) and wait in His presence.  Take the time to immerse yourself in His Word.  Allow Him to fill you up again.  Take time to quiet your soul.

flower message

“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)

In closing, remembering God’s goodness is vital to dealing with the sense of emotional depletion/exhaustion/being overwhelmed.  A tool available to everyone is to start a gratitude journal.  I recommend it highly.  I don’t write in it every day but I try to regularly write in it.  The key is to not repeat something – be looking for treasures.    It does open your eyes to the beauty that is all around and the big and small ways God works in our lives.  (A great book to help you get started is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp.)

I am confident that nothing takes God by surprise.  My life is in the palm of His hand.  He has a plan that will turn ashes into beauty, give me joy instead of mourning, and my praising Him will overtake any heaviness that tries to rest on me.  (Isaiah 61:3 my paraphase)  He will do the same for you.

til next time


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August 31, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

rest – a four letter word

For busy people, rest can seem like a four letter word.  You know right up there with diet and other unmentionable words.

After years of ministry, I have found that rest is one thing that can easily get pushed back.  It seems there is always something that can occupy your time and attention.  Some Christians even wear their busy schedules as a badge of honor.

In my opinion, overworking and over-committing are two tools that the enemy uses to tire out Christians.  Ministers are right at the top of this list.  Learning how to live a life of balance is vital to living an abundant life.


If you ask  Christians about a Sabbath rest, you are sure to get an assortment of answers.  Some will tell you that on the 7th day God rested and He set  the example for us.  Some will tell you that Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  (This one will be used both to support observing a Sabbath rest and to support the idea that one does not need a Sabbath rest.)

Rest – sleep, freedom from work or activity, state of inactivity, something used as a support  (Webster)

I grew up with parents who took very seriously a Sabbath Rest.  Sunday was all about church and resting.  I have fond memories of the Sunday afternoon drives that mom, dad, and I would take.  As a kid, it was so much more fun than taking a nap.   Yet, many a Sunday would find me reading a book and nodding off to sleep.

Fast forward to me as a newly married woman and the surprised look on my face as my husband was going out to mow the lawn Sunday afternoon.  He grew up with parents who worked every day of the week.  (They owned a couple of mom and pop grocery stores.) Sundays were the day you got all the work done around the house.

It took some convincing, but I was able to get him to agree to ‘try’ a Sabbath rest for one month.  He was humoring me.  But after that month was up, he was a firm believer in the benefits to taking a day of rest.  He accomplished more in those six days then he ever did in working seven.

A day of rest gives support to the other 6 days of the week.  Rest enables you to stick it out for the long haul.  This thing called life isn’t a sprint but a life long marathon.  Resting is beneficial, especially if you are prone to workaholic-ism.

God’s Word has a lot to say about rest.  (519 references in the NASV and 545 references in the NKJV)

I am so looking forward to tomorrow.  As ministers, Friday is our day to observe a Sabbath rest.  I have not done so well in guarding my Sabbath rest the past few weeks.  My body is loudly protesting.

Even though I have daily devotions and rely on God as I encounter each days challenges, there is something powerful about ‘coming away with Him and resting’ –  sitting at His feet like Mary.  (Luke 10:38-40)  A day of relaxation and rest!

How do you answer the call of Jesus?  “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”

til next time


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You are not alone!!

May 14, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

climbing mountains


I am not a mountain climber.  Well, not in the literal sense.  It does seem that over the course of my life – I have climbed many ‘mountains’ though.

Monday I found myself facing a ‘mountain’ that I have climbed many times in the past.  Quite frankly,  I would just as soon not have to climb  this ‘mountain’ again.  Which reminds me of the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden  –“Not my will but Yours be done.” (Matt 26:39, 42, 44)

climbing Climbing in the Badlands was fun.  Although the terrain felt a bit crumbly under foot, it was fairly easy.    Going up was a breeze but what goes up must come down.  Getting down was more of a challenge.  Some ‘mountains’ we face are more of a challenge.

sheer rockI chose not to attempt to climb this mountain even though it wasn’t that big.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were given a choice as to which ‘mountains’ we would climb?   I am a firm believe that God is in control and my life is in His hands.  As I come to the base of this ‘mountain’ I know that lessons will be learned, faith will grow stronger, and my relationship with Jesus will grow deeper.  He is my provider (Phil 4:19) — my ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) and He is with me (Heb 13:5.)

‘Mountains’ can be financial, relational, physical, emotional …. something that appears too big.  But it is not to big for God.

The Bible is filled with examples of people facing mountains.

Daniel’s ‘mountain’ was the lion’s den.
The three Hebrew children faced a ‘mountain’ in the form of a fiery furnace.
Joshua’s ‘mountain’ was Jericho.
Jonah’s ‘mountain’ was the belly of a fish. Yes, sometimes mountains are a direct result of something we have done or not done.
Sold into slavery, falsely accused and jailed were ‘mountains’ Joseph faced.
Paul faced numerous ‘mountains.’ They came in forms of beating with rods, receiving 39 stripes, and having  stones thrown at him. Other ‘mountains’ he encountered were being shipwrecked not once but three times. He was robbed. He faced the ‘mountain’ of betrayal and the list goes on.

God is able to remove the mountain.  If, for reasons we may never figure out, He wants us to (go through the trial) climb the mountain, then He will be right there with us and equip us for the challenge ahead.

Here are some of the ways he does that.

God’s Word helps us navigate the twists, turns, hills, and valleys but we have to read it.




“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

studyas newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”      1 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)

Are you feeding on the Word of God?


Rest is another tool that God gives to us.  Yet, we can fill our days so full that we forget the benefit of rest.  Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”

There are no Lone Ranger Christians.  We need each other.   This is another way God equips us.

church“You use steel to sharpen steel,  and one friend sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Sometimes worry or fear will try to set in as we face the ‘mountain.’  God’s word tells us what to do.  Pray!

Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

A list of things God equips us with would not be complete without mentioning praise.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”  Psalm 113:3 (NASB)

Praising God is a powerful weapon that we have to help us over whatever ‘mountain’ we are facing.

So as I face this ‘mountain’ I will dig deep into God’s word.  I will be mindful to quiet myself before God and rest.  I will not face this alone but reach out to others to help.  (I thank God for a wonderful church family.)  Prayer and praise will be on my lips.  Yes, this is how I face the “mountains’ (trials) that come my way.

“When I trust deeply that today God is with me and holds me safe in His embrace, guiding my steps, I can let go of my anxious need to know what will happen. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within and around me.” (anonymous)

How is your climb going?

til next time


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January 28, 2015 Posted by | ministry, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

rest – why does it take so much effort to do nothing?


my prayer

Almost 90 days ago I joined a book club on ‘Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be.’  It is a 90 day guide to living the Proverbs 31 life.  Donna Partow addresses most every issue from faith, to Godly habits, to healthy eating, to our body, to finances, to  dress,  to food, to household, to family, to ministry, to retirement, and to finishing strong.

In the beginning she writes — “He (God) has brought this book into your life at this particular time because there are certain things He wants to show you, lessons you need to learn………….you won’t be able to apply every lesson or implement every strategy .  That’s okay.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide as He instructs you day by day.”

She was right.  There was no way I could do everything, nor did I feel the need to do everything.  It did cause me to think about areas in my life that I don’t generally give a lot of thought to.  So when our vacation time came around, my mindset was on rest.

Why does it take so much effort to do so little?  I have pretty much mastered the art of taking a Sabbath weekly.  Even so, there are weeks that I find myself once again needing discipline to not do that one little task or finish that one project.

Vacation – period of rest from routine

When was the last time you took a few days and did very little?

Some of our vacations are anything but rest.  However, this last one was all about rest – well mostly.

our song mmmmmore donutsgo babedonutsIt started  with a conference for Chi Alpha (which is a college ministry my husband leads) on Sunday – Tuesday.   We rubbed shoulders with a bunch of 20 somethings.

FYI –  I have heard a lot of chatter about the under 40 ministers.   Close to 90% of the people at this conference were under 40 – many of them in their 20’s.   From what I witnessed, they are alive and well and taking their mission field by storm!!

Sunday night was game night.  We broke up into six  teams. We were to create a Chi Alpha song to the tune of a Christmas carol. Here is our song to Away in a Manger.   We aced it.

The other pictures are of Curtis trying to eat 30 powdered donuts in like 2 minutes or was it 3?


We then spent two nights/ three days at a cabin – no charge.  What a blessing.

my view during my devotions

my view during my devotions


'a river runs through it"

‘a river runs through it”





around half of them were done on vacation

around half of them were done on vacation





From there we had no clear destination.   The agenda — rest!

The year is coming to a close.  Some of the busiest times of the year are up ahead.  For our family, there are a couple significant changes that will affect the upcoming holidays.  My mother passed away and our daughter-in-law chose to leave.   Life, however, marches on.

“Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5)

Yet even as the Proverbs 31 woman can laugh at the days to come,  I too can and will laugh because life is worth enjoying.  Celebrating the little things as well as the big things is on my agenda.   After all God has clothed me with strength and dignity.  (Proverbs 31:25)

I trust God!

til next time


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November 14, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment