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

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

things you can do to change your day

“Remember that God has been faithful in the past so when difficulties arise you are not swayed by them.” Curtis Girod

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones! 1 Chronicles 16:8-13(NKJV)

Here a few thoughts:
Be Thankful – count your blessings
Recognize the need to call upon His name
Make known – share your story!
Sing – singing songs to and about God is one way to fill your peace tank
Talk – long ago I decided to be intentional about bringing God into conversations.
Seek the Lord – with intent – go after God.

In Awe of the wonders of God!

til next time,

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November 30, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day set aside to reflect on the things one is thankful for.  I’ve heard it said many times, “We should be thankful not just one day a year but all year.”  I wholeheartedly agree.

As I think about it, it is quite hard to be selfish if one is being thankful. The flip side is also true. It is hard to be thankful if one is being selfish. When I am thankful, I am pretty much in a state of contentment. When I am not thankful, selfishness is nipping at my heels.

For some Thanksgiving Day is hard.  Maybe this is the first holiday after the death of a loved one.  Maybe family is fighting or far away or ……  I encourage you to redirect your thoughts to Jesus.  He is with you and at work in your life.

No matter where we are in life, we have much to be thankful for and it starts with the goodness of God.

“I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:12 (NASB)

God is good!

“Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 106:1 (NASB)

Lift your voice and say:

“You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Psalm 118:28-29 (NASB)

Thankful or selfish?? Which one are you?

til next time

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November 24, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

674

674 and counting

Awhile back I was at a PW retreat and was challenged to start a gratitude journal.  I have great respect and admiration for the woman who challenged me.  She even went as far as to supply us with journals.  I had no excuse.  (Shortly after that I read the book  1,000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp.  I highly recommend this book.)

The idea behind the journal is to list three things that you are grateful for each day – no repeating.

My first three:

1. The love of God
2. My husband
3. My children

I am up to 674.  While that is a lot, if I had in fact listed three each day there would be so much more.  However, this is not about guilt or self- condemnation when I don’t write in it for a few days.

It is about getting me to focus on what God is doing in my life.  It is about keeping a record of the little things that I would have missed if I wasn’t looking for the beauty around me.  It is a tool to help me cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in my day.

“Let us cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.”  Curt Girod

Another benefit is that on those days when life seems to have kicked me in the teeth, I can open up my journal and read through it.  I can’t adequately express just how encouraging that is!

“God is good.  Life is good.  Life can be hard but God is still good.”  Curt Girod

What about you?  Do you find yourself rushing through each day?  Is it easy for you to be dragged down in negativity?  Do your days seems to be ‘same old, same old?’  Do you recognize the fingerprints of God in your day? Do you struggle with gratitude?

I encourage you to grab a pen and notebook.  Start your own gratitude journal.  If you keep at it, it will change you.

Here are a few of my entries.

Sand between my toes,
Greenish blue water meeting the bright blue sky, dotted with white fluffy clouds (just reading that takes me back to that moment -makes me smile)
Vastness of the ocean,
White keys –black keys flowing into music,
Smell of the air after a downpour,
Great hair day,
Bad hair day – have hair!
Alexander snuggles,
Encouragement of a friend,
Tree lined highways,
Cake for breakfast!!
Belly laughs,
Crisp bacon,
Wading across the Mississippi,
My husband’s smile,
Alexander’s really long hug while my tears flow – life is precious!
Peace in the midst of sadness,
Heating pad,
Apple fritters that remind me of mom,
Hope,
Just so happens moments – when God lines things up (there are many of those listed)
Peppermint mocha creamer,
Crying with a friend,
Alexander walking in my shoes,
The sound of my children laughing,

What are you grateful for?  Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  What a great time to start your own gratitude journal.

til next time

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November 25, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what kind of person are you?

who do you surround yourself with?The type of person that you are encouraged to be around in this quote sounds to me like a description of a Christian.  In  a world where negativity abounds and you don’t have to look far to find someone who would rather tear you down than build you up, this quote is pretty good.

I say pretty good because it is lacking an important component.

be that to othersThe last line is important because it is all to easy to fall into the trap of “it is all about me,  what I can get out it, what you can do for me…”

Colossians 3:17 tells us,  “And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus.” (TLB)

That is a tall order but we have the living Christ dwelling within us to help us to grow in this area and we should be growing. God is concerned with our words and actions. Let us not forget that we represent Him!  It is not all about us.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,  “So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Don’t stop!  We are called to encourage one another, to build each other up.

I wonder how many people we see each day could use a positive word or even just a smile to change their day?

Encouraging one another is a powerful thing that we can do anywhere we find ourselves but it doesn’t just happen.  We have to do it on purpose – make a conscious effort.

Prov 18:21 tells us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..”

Don’t be stingy with your life words.   Be extravagant!!  Let God’s love flow through your words and don’t forget about your non-verbal communication.

Have you ever spent hours on something only to have someone wrinkle their nose at it? Or roll their eyes? It can take the wind right out of your sail.  Oh, that we would not be people who take the wind out of other people’s sail.  Don’t be a dream killer.

We’ve probably all been on both sides of that coin. – the giver and the receiver of negativity.

At our dinner table the boys were not allowed to say ‘yuck, gross, I’m not eating that…’  They were allowed to say something like ‘I know this took a lot of work mom, you don’t have to go to all that trouble for me again.’

Fast forward quite a few years to find me coming home from the clinic exhausted but grateful that Curt had made supper.    However, it was bad and I  told him so.  (So much for being grateful.)   I then heard my very words coming out of Andrew’s mouth. “We don’t say things like that mom.”  (ouch!)

Truth is Curt does a fine job of cooking and has come up with some great concoctions.  I owed him and Andrew an apology.  My words were not life-giving.

Here’s the truth —verbal or non-verbal expressions of negativity or irritation won’t bring about a favorable change.   It will not promote peace in them or in you. It is not the loving thing to do. It does not build up the other person.

Colossians 3:14-17 gives us a list of things that helps us to be the people God intends us to be.

  1. put on love
  2. let peace of God rule in your heart
  3. be thankful
  4. let the word dwell in you
  5. give thanks is mentioned again

Peace – the enemy loves to set us up, to trick us into getting upset because when that happens he knows our peace goes out the window and discouragement will try to come crawling in.

Discouragement is, I believe, one of the most effective weapons the enemy uses to hinder us from being effective.

If you find yourself discouraged, see it for what it isn’t.    It isn’t from God.

Discouragement can come from:

  1. our interaction or lack of interaction with others
  2. unmet expectations or unrealistic expectations
  3. things not going the way we wanted or hoped
  4. lack of appreciation
  5. life taking a turn we didn’t see coming
  6. pain (physical and/or emotional) and the list goes on………….

We are to encourage one another, to speak life to them, but what if no one is around to speak life to you?  Then what?

One of our tools for combating discouragement is to Let the peace of God rule in your heart.”  Col 3:15

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Peace that goes beyond our understanding.  I can’t explain it but I know that it is available to us and it works.

Colossians 3 also tells us to be thankful – in fact it tells us that twice in just this short passage.

I started a gratitude journal and I highly recommend it.  Write down things you are thankful for with no repeats.  It helps you to see the good (even when bad things are happening) and it can keep you in the moment instead of waiting  for this to happen or that to happen.

Another thing not dependent on others is having the word of God dwelling in you.  If you aren’t reading the Bible, how can it dwell in you? Memorization is helpful in having God’s word dwell in us.  It is a tool available to us but are we using it?  

Having someone encourage me is a blessing but I have learned to not wait for that to happen.  On the other hand, I am making it my goal to speak life to those I come in contact with. Funny how in doing that, I am encouraged also.

What about you?

Let’s be extravagant with our life words.  Let’s not be stingy when it comes to encouraging others.

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”  Colossians 3:14-17 The Message

til next time

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November 9, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, sermon notes, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

to complain or not to complain?

“God is not motivated or moved by our complaining.”  Joyce Meyers

Did you know that Joyce and I do dishes together?  She is a great help to me.

In all began a few years back.  See  I was in this funk.   I didn’t want to cook.  I certainly didn’t want to do dishes.   I was beginning to dread any time that I had to spend in the kitchen.  As a wife and mother that meant a big chunk of my day was filled with dissatisfaction.

That’s when Joyce came to my rescue.

I had been receiving her ‘teaching of the month’ cassette.   I was building up quite a pile of them.   When the thought hit me (thanks God) that I could put one in while I was working in the kitchen.

What a difference!    We’ve been doing dishes together ever since.  To say that I love my kitchen would be an understatement now!!

So, currently I am listening to “Contentment and Satisfaction — finding Joy in every situation”.    Every situation — yes I have room for growth.

It was during the 4th cd that Joyce made the above quote.  (“God is not motivated or moved by our complaining.” )

Complaining……..murmuring……..whining………muttering…………grumbling

About a month ago I mentioned to my husband that the next time I told him that I did not want to go to work – I had to pay him $1.00.  No big deal, you might think.  However, my husband is a financial guru and we budget everything.  Yes, even down to each getting  an allowance.   (This is money that I do not have to account for. )

How much you ask?  You might be surprised to hear that it is $10 a week.  Yes that is correct $10 a week.  Hey that is $40 a month I do not have to account for.

Why do I tell you this?  Because it is so easy to spend money and not even be aware of how much.   At the end of the month do you know where your money went?   If I did not have a set amount it would be so easy for me to spend three to four times as much during the week just on whatever I felt like at the time.

So when I said I would give him $1 that was huge.  Even greater is the fact that I have not had to pay him, not even once.

That was only the beginning.

My next challenge.

Complaining……..murmuring……..whining………muttering…………grumbling

STOP……CEASE…..ENOUGH……INSTEAD…..BE THANKFUL……BE POSITIVE

Now I am not one of those people who go around complaining and murmuring every chance I get.  I do try to see the good in each situation.  Yet I do find myself griping about the heat, or little things,  or situations out of my control, or the work load — that is a big one, or our crazy schedule …………… words that just don’t need to be spoken.  Period!

Now I’ve managed to sugar coat it so that I can kind of – sort of – justify it but, when Joyce made that statement my heart went ouch.

She also went on to say that we open a door for the enemy, in our lives, we invite destruction through grumbling, fault-finding and complaining.

When I am murmuring the devil is doing a happy dance and just loving it.  Why do you think it is so easy to complain?   Grumbling is contagious but so is thankfulness.  From now on I am going to be mindful to spread thankfulness!

For the next 30 days I am going to attempt to not complain about anything.  Now I know that some of it is habit (i.e.  Oh it is so stinkin’ hot.  or Is it 5:00 yet? whine – whine – whine )  and I will slip up.  But those of you that know me personally — feel free to remind me that I was giving up whining and maybe, just maybe,  you will get a quarter.  (Hey that’s 1/40th of my allowance for the week.)

What is God speaking to you about?

til next time

July 12, 2011 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments