Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

busy, tired, calm, peace???

What is your answer to the question – How are you?  It seems the most common answer is busy or tired.

Do you find there is more to be done than time or energy to do it?

Are the primary emotions you are feeling frustration, anger, or dread?

Are you excited about a new project only to quit half way through it?

When it is time to fulfill a commitment you made, do you find that you dread the thought of it (It is fun to say yes and have others happy with you but at what cost later?)

still waters

 

He leads me beside still waters —who is doing the leading in your life?

When my ‘waters’ seem anything but still, I need to ask myself who is doing the leading?  Then I either need to say “Jesus take the wheel” or if He is at the wheel then ask Him to calm the storm – the one raging outside or the one raging inside.
It can be so easy to shift my focus to the raging waters instead of to the One who calms those waters. It seems that on any given day there are always things that ‘must’ be done. Resisting the temptation to take back the wheel is crucial to still waters and green pastures.

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. Psalm 23:1-3

til next time

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

good wins

Good vs. evil.

Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.”  Psalm 34:14 (NASB)

Overcome evil with good.   (Romans 12:21)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11 (NASB)
 
There is a thief and he is out to destroy.   However,  Jesus came to give us life and not just an ok life but an abundant life.  Which voice are you listening to?  The thief or the shepherd. 
Obviously we should listen to the shepherd.   Faith come by hearing and hearing the Word of God.  (Romans 10:17)    When is the last time you picked up the Bible and read it?   Don’t stop there,  apply what you read to your day to day living.     As we continue to grow in godliness and our faith increases — we draw closer and closer to God.  (1 Tim 6:11,
Greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) We need not fear the thief.
 
Over and over and over again the Bible tells us to not fear. We are like sheep and Jesus is the good shepherd. He will take care of us. He is an ever-present help in whatever we are facing. (Psalm 46:1) He will make a way where there seems to be no way. (Isaiah 43:19) He is for us! (Psalm 118:6) He brings beauty out of ashes. (Isaiah 61:3) He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
I’ve read the end of the book and good wins!  God wins!  God is greater!
 
The Lord is my shepherd!  Psalm 23:1
til next time
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December 12, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

25 years – really?

This month we will finish our 25th year at our current church.

Lifeway Research suggests the average pastor’s tenure in a local church is 3.6 years – not even 4 years – other research suggests between 5 and 7 years. Wow!IMG_20160201_095513_479In the beginning it looked kind of like this picture.  We knew we were on the road God led us to.  We were moving forward, but we couldn’t really see very far down the road.

Staying 25 years means we know what it is like to go through the fire and not leave.  We have witnessed the worst in people and we have seen the best in people.  We see babies grow up and become solid Christians.  Lives are being changed and God is at work.

Personally, I believe there are way too many pastors that leave too early.  Just like there are parishioners that get hurt and church hop, pastors can do the same thing.  The other side is true too.  Sometimes pastors stay too long.  Listening to God’s direction is vital.

I remember a time of great personal hurt that I begged God to move us on.  I wasn’t surprised that people could be so mean, but I had never had it so blatantly directed at me.  I know what the enemy was trying to do and later looking back I saw how God used it.  (Years later, I just happened to stop at a garage sale that this individual also stopped at – still being here allowed her to make amends and move forward.  I assured her I had long ago forgiven her, now she needed to forgive herself and accept God’s forgiveness.  I wonder how many ministers, leaving too soon, never get to experience this?)

For much of our time here either both of us or at least one of us has had employment outside of the church.  This is a challenge that is hard to explain.  It is doable but not easy.

Over the years, I have worked at seven different jobs outside of the church.  This was always out of necessity.   The church was doing what it could, but if we were to stay then additional money needed to come from somewhere.  God said stay and He blessed me with some great temporary jobs.

Yet, there would be times when I would find myself struggling with the demands of my current employment, the responsibilities at the church and raising our boys.   During one such time I was asked how long I had stayed at any one job, but I could not count the ministry.   What kind of a question is that?  My primary job is ministry.    I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for ministry.

Ministry is so much more than a job.   It is a calling.  It is my heart’s cry.  I believe that where ever you are, as a Christian you should be letting your light shine.  I just happen to be called to shepherd.

Col 3:23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” 

Ministry is so much more than a job but it is still a job.  What is the longest I have stayed at any one job?  As of this month – 25 years.  That is a real testimony to the power, love, and grace of God!

The danger of staying an extended period of time is to lose the freshness of what God wants to do.  How to avoid that is to guard your quiet time with God, make the most of opportunities that come your way, (most people know that if they come to me about a prayer need – I pray right then and there with them) be teachable,  and be transparent. Be real and people will want what you have — a relationship with the living God.

Whether it is your 1st year or your 25th year – take that step of faith.  It may look different each time but step out of the boat.

live out loud

What did we do on the 25th year of pastoring at our rural Iowa church?  In December we had our first service in a neighboring town.   We were either going to sink or walk on water.   We believed that God was opening the door and we were stepping through.

There is a reason why younger people do most of the church planting.   Adding a third service to our weekend, especially one that includes set up and tear down is a bit hard on this body.  My husband keeps telling me that God’s grace is enough and it is.  With God’s help we are walking on water.

25 years and I can say without a doubt that boredom has never been an issue.  I am pretty sure that word isn’t even in our vocabulary.  I have the opposite issue – sometimes I just want a time out.  The battle gets pretty intense.   It is then that I am reminded –   “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Tim 2:3-4

25 years ago, God called us to rural Iowa.  How long will we stay?  Until God says “It’s time to go.”  In the meantime we will embrace the journey, following God’s lead, and look for opportunities to let His light shine.  Keeping it fresh and vibrant!!

P1080733

til next time

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February 2, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment