Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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. 
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

i choose

walk by faith

Next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless remain that way. Say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.” Max Lucado

When was the last time you actually took time to enjoy the sunrise?  or set?

When you look at flowers/gardens – do you focus on the beauty or  the weeds?

Choices — we get to choose what we focus on.

This year found me again finding new ways to tackle weeds and sadly not very effective ways.  Oh, how we can take for granted the ability to get on our hands and knees.


My husband gave me this little reminder.  For me, it isn’t just about my gardens.  In my life both beauty and weeds will grow.   What I focus on will affect how I see things and even how I feel.  My garden is not the only thing that is in need of regular weeding.

Today is not a good day for me physically.  It is what it is.  BUT  I still have a choice.  I can let this overtake me. In which case, discouragement is right there.  OR I can make the necessary changes to my schedule and do those things that I know will eventually give me some relief.  I can give in to self-pity or I can walk by faith that even this has a purpose in my life.  (Rom 8:28)  Choices!

Paul said in Corinthians that the even though he begged God to make him well again and remove the thorn – that God’s response was —  “No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.”  (2 Cor 12:7-10)   

So today I remind myself again that I am nothing without Jesus.  All of my talent and ability comes from Him.  He is in control of my life and if today finds me changing my plans then I will embrace today in the same way I embrace a day of activity.  This is the day God has made, I will rejoice and be glad.  (Psalm 118:24)

louis a

I see leaves of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you and I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white. The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Whatever the day holds for you, remember you have a choice.  You can trust God that He is an ever present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (Please notice it doesn’t say He will remove all trouble.)  In your weakness He will be strong, if you trust Him and let Him.

I choose joy!

God I look to You.  I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like You do.

God I look to You.  You’re where my help comes from.  Give me wisdom to know You know just what to do.

til next time

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October 13, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

vision and wisdom

My last post was titled overwhelmed.  Some days are just like that.

So it really came as no surprise to me that this week I would find myself working on a song for band practice that is about vision, wisdom and has the word overwhelmed in it.

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom
You know just what to do

And I will love You, Lord, my strength
And I will love You, Lord, my shield
And I will love You, Lord, my rock
Forever all my days
I will love You, God

Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days
I will worship God

My son asked me a month ago to work up this song.   I do so much better when I have music.  It doesn’t require as much time or effort on my part.  However, some things are worth the effort and I just need to make time.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  He will never leave us.  (Hebrews 13:5)  He gives wisdom liberally.  (James 1:5)  He will make a way.  (Isaiah 43:19)

til next time


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September 8, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

grace – more than a short prayer before a meal


What do you think of when you hear the word grace?

My first thought is unmerited favor from God – getting something I don’t deserve but it can also mean:
elegance or ease of movement
favor or goodwill – mercy
pardon: an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable
and of course a short prayer before a meal

It is my desire that when people walk away from a conversation with me that they are encouraged.  It is my hope that they will see Jesus living in me.   Extending grace to others because I know of my own need for grace.   It is an area that I will forever be growing in.

Colossians 4:5-7 (NASB)

“5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

Walk in wisdom

Live  in a manner that rightly reflects God.   We have heard it said that actions speak louder than words.  Just what are our actions saying today?   This is a new day – redeem the time – make the most of today.    Make each day count.  There are no do-overs but there is today – this moment.

Speak with grace

Let’s  deal with people not according to what they might deserve but with grace, with wisdom – expressing love.   Nothing is quite so refreshing as a person whose speech is gracious.  One goal we can have is to try to bring out the best in others.  Help them see the good.  Our words can bring life or death.  (Prov 18:21)  May our words point others to Christ and His unfailing love.  May our words be pleasing in God’s hearing.  (Psalm 19:14)

Seasoned with salt

We are the salt of the earth. (Matt 5:13)  Let our words be salt.  Salt brings healing,  adds flavor, breaks through the hardness, and preserves relationships.

Knowing how to answer takes us back to wisdom.

For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”  Luke 12:12 (NIV)

This song is indeed my prayer.

til next time


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February 10, 2015 Posted by | ministry, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hiding in plain sight

I found a treasure the other day.  I had thought it was gone for good.  I had searched hi and low.  I had finally given up.  It was then that I found it hiding in plain sight.

What did I find?  My devotional journal.

Here is an excerpt from it.

  “that the proof of your faith…..may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ” 1 Peter 1:7

Our faith can be put to the test and it is.  However, that is the time of proving.  In the fire of trials is Jesus lifted high – given glory, honor and praise?

I believe – I believe!  All things work out for my ultimate good.  Acceptance with joy — faith is an action — believing in what the Word says.

You are in control.  My life is in Your hands.  My heart is in Your keeping.  Trusting in You, I know I can make it.  Let my words, thoughts, and actions – please and glorify You.  You are in control.  My Redeemer – my Firm Foundation.  I TRUST YOU!

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  Psalm 84:11 NIV

{I started my devotional journal in 2001.  There are entries from 2001, 2002,2003, 2006, 2008, and the last date was 2010.   It is like a long-lost friend returning.   It is my plan to blog more often and now I have material for those weeks when time is in short supply.  Although I do look forward to writing in it again.}

til next time


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February 5, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

good intentions

“have a plan, do the plan, be the plan,  accomplish the mission” — my husband’s formula for getting things done.

the plan

I really want to ____

Tomorrow I am going to ____

sigh  –  such good intentions

Does it really matter if I meant to do something but never got around to it?  Is there credit given for thinking about doing it?  How about credit for planning to do it?  Or at least give me credit for announcing it on Facebook.

I can have the best of intentions but if I don’t follow through and carry out the plan, then the plan is really only words.   So easily good intentions can end up being a convenient excuse.

I meant to do it.

I was going to take care of that.

I intended to get that done.

Just.  Do.  It.

The plan:  I need to start working at the church office.  Working from home is productive and I enjoy the distractions.   However,  spending time at church will help me deal with the little things that I don’t think about but are in  need of  attention.   So  Sunday I decided that this was the week.  I was going to start putting in office hours at the church.

Monday, my husband and I had a training session  out of town.  2 1/2 drive there, 4 hour meeting, time spent chatting with others after class, 2 1/2 hour drive home = no church office hours on Monday.  {By the way, I was the only woman in a room with 15 other men.  As I looked around the room, I realized that I could feel out-of-place or I could recognize that some of these men were my peers.   For some of the others,  I have been involved in ministry almost as long as they have been alive.  It was a great class on leadership by Dr.  Prascha.}

Today I have a bad case of the “I don’t wanna” happening.  Working from home in my jammies sounded perfect.    Then I remembered the plan – the good intentions that I had.


So I got dressed, grabbed my keys and headed up to the church.  Since my motivation was still lacking,  I took some much-needed time  to refocus.

My prayer:

May they see You in me.

Lord, I give you my heart.

Lord, have Your way in me.

Then I was ready to tackle the long list of things needing attention.  What a productive day!  My husband may be on to something with this whole “have a plan,  do the plan, be the plan, accomplish the mission.”

til next time


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March 4, 2014 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

make my life……

When piano lessons were not an option for me, I taught myself.  Yes, it is possible.   We had a piano in our living room and my sister’s old lessons books were inside the bench just waiting for me to open them.    It also helped that I took cornet lessons in school and that my desire to play was very strong.

Little did I know then that playing piano would be such a huge part of my adult life.  My goal was to accompany our high school choir.   My senior year that goal was reached.   These days my goal is to encourage others.

pianoAs a worship leader, I am grateful that I can play the piano.  However, church is not the only time I play the piano.

For me, sitting down at the piano has been instrumental (pun intended) in dealing with potentially overwhelming situations.   When it seems that a vice grip is tightening around my heart, one of the ways that I successfully deal with that stress is by playing the piano.   I play for  an audience of One.  It is just God and me.   At first, maybe all I can do is play but as time goes on, I find my voice and I proclaim again my love  to the One who first loved me.

I find my voice and I sing ….. Make my life a prayer to You.  I want to do what You want me to.   No empty words and no white lies, no token prayers, no compromise……I want to thank You now for being patient with me.  It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me.    (written by Melody Green)

I can’t even count the number of times over the years that I have poured out my heart to God while singing this song.  It has helped me through the death of my father, heartbreak, dying to self so I could live for Christ, chronic pain, disillusionment with some bible school professors,  ministry heartache,  and most recently my mother’s death.  Each situation was different, but the truth of this  song was my heart’s cry.

This last heartache was as close to unbearable as it gets.   As if dementia wasn’t enough, since mom’s  fall in August, it has been a whirlwind of agonizing decisions and sadness.  Every girl needs her momma.  Yet, dealing with death is  a part of life.  So  I sing:

“I want to thank You now for being patient with me.  It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me……….You’re coming again.  Coming to take me away.”

til next time


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February 28, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

in awe

When was the last time you stood in awe as you gazed at something beautiful?

beautyThe Conservatory at Como Zoo surrounds you with beauty.  Yet beauty is not just reserved for greenhouses.

 Creation sings praises to God.  Beauty is there for the beholder.  Are we too busy?  Do we just hurry past?

How long has it been since you took even a moment to allow your mind to grasp the wonder of  our Creator?   Or have you subconsciously tucked God away in a tidy box?   Is God reduced to one hour on Sunday?

Have you lost sight of the enormity of our God?  He is Omnipresent — everywhere.  He is Omniscient — all-knowing.   AND He is absolutely in love with you!

I am grateful for our opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon.  It was easy to be overcome with awe and wonder as I stood on the rim of such vastness.

on top of the worldIt was the same way this past summer as we took our beach run.  Yes, I still felt small as I stood beside the ocean.  What magnitude!  What power!

Atlantic beach

What a reminder to me that I am alive to live a life of purpose on purpose!

No matter what is going on the waves continue to roll.  The tide comes in and the tide goes out.  The ocean is doing exactly what it was created to do.  Mankind was created in the image of God.   (Genesis 1:27)  God has a plan and purpose for each of us.  (Jeremiah 29:11)  That plan is bigger and better than anything we could come up with.    No matter what is going on, I choose to keep following God, keep moving forward, keep growing, keep loving, and to keep on keeping on.

But I cannot just pop over to the Grand Canyon.  The ocean does not border Iowa.  My flowers do not come close to the flowers at Como Zoo.  Yet each day I can choose to be in awe of the wonder of my God.  His creativity is evident all around me.   I am learning to cultivate an awareness of His presence.  You can too.

my patio

my patio

married to my best friend

married to my best friend

always something to laugh about

always something to laugh about

having fun

having fun

life is too short to not enjoy it

make memories

beauty right in my living room

beauty right in my living room

finding the hidden beauty

finding the hidden beauty

time in the Word opens my eyes to wonder

time in the Word opens my eyes to wonder

   Romans 11:33-36 (Amplified Bible)

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)!  And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!

 For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor?

Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense?

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it).

I hope that you too will choose to be in awe of the wonders of God.  I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things.  Yes, that causes me to want to shout and dance.

til next time.


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November 4, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a lifetime

Christians  are called to follow Christ.   John (3:30) tells us that  He must increase but I must decrease.  This is a process.  Acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior takes but a moment.    Living for Him takes a lifetime.

Are you growing closer, becoming stagnant, or moving away from God?

A few years back I asked a dear friend to pray with me that I would crucify my flesh and live out Galatians 5 in all areas of my life.

Here are a few verses but the whole chapter is powerful.

Galatians 5:13  ‘For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

16  “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

24-26 “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

I knew it wouldn’t be a cake walk but how hard could it be?  I was way past the point of just wanting God to rubber stamp an ‘ok’ on my plans.   My love for God spilled out in all areas of my life.   Sacrifices and being obedient to what God wanted was nothing new to me.  I already stood on the truth that God will make a way and His ways are so much better than mine.

Yet I knew that there was growth that needed to take place in my life.   I knew there was more that God wanted to do in me and being accountable to my friend gave me the encouragement I needed to look closer at my life.

Crucifying the flesh is an ongoing process in the life of a Christian.  The  old nature tries to resurrect itself any chance it gets.

God’s grace gives me (and you) the power to change.   It is not about earning our salvation but living out our salvation.

To crucify my flesh means learning how to respond differently,  keeping my eyes on Jesus and not the circumstances I find myself in, refusing to be offended (Psalm 119:165) and learning how to think with the mind of Christ.  (1 Corinthians 2:16)   It is about controlling my feelings and not letting feelings control me.  It is about being mindful of my attitude and actions – living with purpose and on purpose.  These are all areas that just when I think I have mastered one – a new level appears.  Crucifying the flesh is like peeling off the layers of an onion.

I am grateful for God’s loving forgiveness  when I stumble and try to do something my way.   God’s love is greater than my blunders and He restores my soul.  I try to respond not react to things but sometimes……  Today is a new day.  When I place my head on my pillow tonight this is my prayer.

Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have tried me and have found nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

For more on this topic – click here for a powerful message on Walk or Run in the Spirit

til next time

I have included the words to Carmen’s song Hunger for Holiness in the comments section.   I believe that all Christians have a hunger in them for holiness but sometimes make the mistake of filling that hunger with other things.


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September 10, 2013 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ending 2012 and starting 2013 with praise

How did you ring in the New Year?

In the past we have participated in youth lock-ins, getting together with friends, having a quiet evening at home, or lately it has been ringing in the new year fast asleep.

game night 2013This year we decided to have a game night/praise service at church.   The idea was to meet at 7:00  for  games and food.   Then at 9:00 we would go upstairs for a time of worship.

I expected that I would be home easy by 11:00 and fast asleep by midnight.   After all, I am usually asleep on the couch by 8:00 on Mondays.

We had a great turnout – over half of our average Sunday morning attendance.

Good friends, good food, and games made for a wonderful couple of hours.

Then it was time for worship.  What a wonderful way to end 2012.  This year has had its share of challenges, but it has also been a year filled with the blessings of God.

One of the  final challenges of the year came with the start of worship.  The projector refused to work.  I spent the first few songs trying to get it to work.  Praise God we have an updated chorus book that we could use.

I finally decided that the projector just wasn’t going to work and I was not going to waste another moment on it.  It was time for praising.

We had a time  of worship, communion, more worship, a time of prayer, Curt shared and then he officially closed the service.  However, there were those of us who were just not ready to be done.  So we sang the last set of songs.  With 15 minutes left before midnight and our last song on the list had been sung, Pat suggested we sing – “I will ride” and Kent requested “I see the Lord”.   We entered 2013 singing “and I cry Holy, Holy is the Lord, and the temple is filled with the glory of God…….”

By the 19th song our voices had been stretched and I am sure our worship leaders fingers were feeling it but you couldn’t tell it as we rocked the house.

What a great way to usher in the New Year!

Whatever 2013 holds, I know that God will work all things out for my good because I trust in Him.  (Romans 8:28)   He will help me through the challenges.  He will carry me when I just can’t seem to go on.   His mercies and grace are new every morning.  There are many wonderful blessings in store for me.   He holds me in the palm of His hand and I am safe.    All of these things are for you also if you give Him your life.  Even as we sang last night “yes Lord, I will ride with you………..yes, Lord.  Yes, Lord.”

I look forward to the future but I will live in each moment for today is the day the Lord has made.  (Psalm 118:24)  I hope that you will rejoice with me and be glad.

til next time

January 1, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments