Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

we have hope

One thing you will for sure get if you listen with any regularity to the news is conflicting information. Don’t wear a mask. Wear a mask. Disinfect your groceries. You don’t need to disinfect your groceries. We are doing good. We are not doing enough. We need to start reopening. It is too soon to reopen. And there is plenty of blame going around.
 
I find that I keep going back to Lamentations.
 
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:21-25 ESV
Just reading that again refreshes my heart. It is like a cool drink of water on a hot day.
 
We have hope. No matter what the media says, the experts say, or you read on facebook — We have hope!
 
One of the things I often talk to God about is – let me use this time wisely.
 
When we can freely go about our lives, when this is behind us, I don’t want to have any regrets as to how I used this time. May I point people to Christ. May I share the hope i have in God!
 
Today is a gift!
til next time
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April 21, 2020 Posted by | covid 19, just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

essential workers

Yesterday I shared a devotional geared toward those of you working or staying at home.  Today I want to shift gears.  Since I’m one of the ones working from home, I reached out to some friends who are still going to work – to get some insight.

Thank you for all the responses I received.  I am overwhelmed by some of the pain and rawness.  Truly this is uncharted territory.

“My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word.”  Psalm 119:28 NKJV

Here are some of what essential workers have shared with me.

What are some of the challenges you face?

  • rude people made the list way too many times
  • breathing with PPE on and the shields cause glasses to fog up
  • PPE gets in the way of my work
  • working extra hours is taking its toll on my body
  • shortened hours while increasing the load
  • breaks are shortened or non-existent
  • people are scared, mean, hateful and taking it out on us workers
  • bosses decision to not use PPE puts us in danger

What changes have taken place?

  • not being able to go to church but I can go to work 😦
  • drive thru only
  • stopped allowing customers in – all work done by phone, email, text
  • family is not allowed in
  • vacation plans gone
  • people who don’t want to come to work and so they really don’t work once there
  • nothing much has changed except some parts of the plant have restricted access – not good for morale

What is difficult/hard with working during covid19?

  • the reality that I could become infected or be a carrier and bring it home
  • struggling to empathize with people because my life is crazy busy and I’d love a week at home
  • so close to the edge
  • seeing people at their worst – fear changes people
  • not being able to do anything to truly protect people I care about
  • to see beyond self and all I am doing
  • lack of interaction with people that I am taking care of
  • exhaustion
  • finding it difficult to sleep because of anxiety
  • added demands = added physical pain
  • workers who took 2 weeks off claiming covid because they could
  • actually my job is easier without people coming in
  • seeing empty space were co-workers should be

To the essential worker –  where does your help come from?  Look up!

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth. (verses 1&2)

The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (verse 8)

Psalm 121

 I also asked where do you see God in all of this?

  • when I pray with people
  • cheerful people even when their lives are turned upside down
  • when I talk with friends
  • in the people who thank us for being open
  • in knowing He has my back
  • in the direction He gives me to care for others and myself
  • in the peace I have that I am doing His will
  • people who cater meals
  • people who show love for one another
  • in my child – in how well he is handling all of this

TO ALL OF US!  — God’s grace is enough for whatever we face, be it loneliness or exhaustion.

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.”  Ephesians 1:2 NLT

Grace and peace go together.  Grace is God’s strength working through us to enable us to do what we can’t do on our own.  We struggle and can even put forth great effort and yet we fail.  All while God is saying to us – let me help!  My grace is enough.  (2 Cor 12:9)

If peace is lacking in our lives – the first thing to do is look at who you are depending on — yourself?  your job?  the government? money?   Often peace is lacking in our lives because we are holding on to our cares.  We are trying to make something happen in our own strength, instead of giving our cares to God and walking in His strength.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Cor 3:5, Phil 4:6-7)  Peace can also be lacking because we are stretched thin and need refreshing that comes from spending alone time with Jesus.  (Matt 6:6)

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2 NKJV
Rock — Jesus — 1 Cor 10:4, Psalm 18:2
Overwhelmed?  Make time for Jesus.  Don’t neglect your one true source of help.  (Psalm 46:1)  Turn those hard things, the changes, the challenges, the loneliness, the fear, the stress over to Him.  Ask Him for help. (Psalm 121:1-2)  And then remind yourself that you trust God.  Declare it when you first wake up.  Declare it on your way to work.  Declare it when you get your bills in the mail.  Declare it anytime doubt tries to creep in.
IN GOD I TRUST!
Say this with me:    Today, Lord, You go before me. (Deut 31:8)  Today You are with me. (Matt 28:20)   Today You hold my right hand.  (Psalm 73:23)  In God I trust!  (If trust is a weakness for you then I encourage you to read these verses out loud  – Prov 3:5-6, Psalm 4:5, 7:1, 16:1, 18:2, 20:7, 22:4-5, 40:3, 91:2, 1 Tim 4:10)

 

Again, I want to thank all of you that shared your heart.   You are in my prayers.   If you want to add to this list – please contact me or leave a comment.

til next time

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April 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

white as snow

I look out my window and it is snowing – big, fluffy snow. Snow has covered the ground making everything white.
 
White.
 
There’s an old chorus that we sing
“White as snow, white as snow,
though my sins were as scarlet,
Lord I know, Lord I know,
that I’m clean and forgiven….”
 
Oh, how grateful I am that my sins no longer define me. My past no longer defines me. I’m forgiven. Today is a new day.
 
White as snow.
isa 1 18 (2)
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
 
Right before this verse are instructions for our daily life.
 
“cease to do evil
learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.”
 
May today find us growing in our understanding of God’s Word and find us applying that Word to our daily lives.
 
White as snow,
til next time
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January 25, 2020 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

loving life part 9

I love my life.

Jesus came to give us life abundant. (John 10:10) He didn’t die so we would be miserable.

What will today hold? I know what is on the schedule for today but I do not know how it will play out. God does. Trusting God means just that trusting Him. I can enjoy today because God has me in the palm of His hand. He loves me. He loves you.

It doesn’t matter what happens today. I am still responsible for my actions, reactions, attitude, and words. My attitude plays a huge part in whether or not I will love my life.

It is so much easier to love your life when you meditate on scripture.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 ESV

Guess what? Love wins!

Love wins. When I love the life Jesus died for, when I see obstacles as opportunities for Christ to shine through, when I let love guide me – I can truly say I love my life.

til next time

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September 27, 2019 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

enjoy today

 
I enjoy my life. It is very full – which is how I like it. I vaguely remember being bored back when I was a child. My dad took care of that quickly. By the time I was 7, I was the only child at home. Learning how to entertain myself was a wonderful gift that has carried into my adult life.
 
I enjoy life, yet, there are times that I find myself worn out – exhausted. (I’m not talking about the tiredness that comes with my current health issues but a mental exhaustion.)
 
Truth is that each time that occurs, I can trace it back to not spending enough time at the feet of Jesus. Unforced rhythms of grace is only possible as we walk with and work with Jesus. He teaches us how to rest and how to live life freely and lightly.
Mark 6 31 (3)
 
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG
 
Are you tired? Jesus is calling you to come away for awhile and sit at His feet. The most important thing you can do today is to spend time with Him.
 
“Cultivate an awareness of His presence.” (Curtis Girod)
 
He is with you always. He is able! He is greater! Allow Him to fill you to overflowing with renewed hope!! (Romans 15:13)
 
 
Loving the life Jesus has given you is one way for you to show your gratitude! “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!” Phil 4:4 MSG
til next time
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September 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

attitude

How’s your soul? (will, mind, emotions)

My morning started out a little rough.  Did you know that you can change your day by changing your attitude?

My attitude was heading south. There are a ‘million’ things I could focus on concerning my health and the way I am feeling BUT I want to enjoy this day. There are no do overs. So as with anything in my life – I took it to God.

Maybe you need to pray this prayer with me.

Good morning God. This is the day You have made and I am wanting to choose to rejoice in it. In order to do that I need Your help. Help me to not fixate on the pain, the ‘now what’, or the ‘how’, but to keep my eyes on You. You are good! You love me and You are working all things out for my good. Yes, even this pain. Help me to see beyond myself, to see the opportunities You have for me today. I can do what you set before me this day because You are with me. I choose hope! I choose You, Jesus! (Psalm 118:24, 46:1, 2 Cor 10:5, Heb 12:2, Rom 8:28, Col 4:5, Phil 4:13)

I also looked to God’s word to speak to my heart. If you haven’t read Ephesian 3 lately, I encourage you to read it.

My take on a few of the verses:

V6. God’s plan is that we belong to Him

V7. it is a privilege to serve God

V14 because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come to God boldly and confidently. We don’t have to have it all together or say the right things but we come just as we are.

V14-15 there is something special about kneeling before God – surrendering to the Creator of everything

V16 is my verse to hold on to today!

V17 trusting Christ (in the good and the bad, health and pain) sinks our roots deep in God’s love and that keeps us strong – I want that!

V18 God’s love – nothing greater (wide, long, high, deep) Makes me want to break out into song “Oh, how He loves us so. Oh how He loves us.”

V19 we don’t just know of His love, we experience His love

V20 God gets the glory! He is able to do more than we can even imagine

Yes, I am now ready to face the day as a mighty child of God.

What about you?

til next time

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October 13, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

give me Jesus

Wrong side of the bed?

Are you crabby this morning? Maybe a little owlie or grouchy? Some could even say you got up on the wrong side of the bed.

I have found a sure fire way to start my day off right. Before I get out of bed, I start my conversation with God. Yes, it is just that simple.

“But as for me, I will sing about your power.
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety when I am in distress.” Psalm 59:16 (NLT)

Sometimes I’m awake long before I have to get up. As I am talking with God, I may fall back asleep. That is not a bad thing.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

“Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143:8 (NLT)

It’s not too late. Take a few moments right now to connect with God. It will change your day..

psalm 92

Starting with Jesus,

til next time

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March 22, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

shine

Today, let them see You in me.

Today, let me walk in Your love.

Today, shine through me!

love

God’s Love Wins!

til next time

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February 26, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , | Leave a comment

don’t wait — start today…..

  • Today:
  • Make the choice to believe God
  • to stand on His Word
  • to apply that Word to your life.

“This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Choose joy! Choose peace! When we decide that our joy and peace are not dependent on our circumstances but instead upon God and what He says — what a difference that makes.

Don’t wait until you ‘feel’ like being glad. Chances are you will keep looking at your circumstances and sometimes there isn’t anything glad about them.

But God!

But God is greater than your circumstances. But God is for you. But God is with you. But God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

You can choose to be glad because you know what God’s Word says. He is who He says He is.

Awhile back I was walking in the woods and the trees were swaying and the leaves were rustling. It was beautiful. The trees were doing exactly what they were created to do.

What about you? Are you doing what you were created to do?

 

isai 55 12

  • Today is a new day:
  • Choose to say Yes to God!
  • Choose Joy!
  • Choose Peace!
  • Choose Love!
  • Choose God!

til next time

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January 22, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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