Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

muck and mire

Recently I found myself asking God, “How long?”
 
Just when I thought it was over, there it was rearing its head again. I am grateful for the examples God gives us in His Word. I am grateful that when I turned to His Word today, God lead me to David.
 
You see David also asked ‘how long’ in Psalm 13. (There are other passages of scripture where this question is also brought up.)
 
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?…” (Psalm 13:1 NASB)
 
David is venting, but notice who he is venting to — God! Our complaints – our frustrations should drive us to our knees. If people vent to us, let us be careful to point them back to God.
 
How long? Long drawn out problems, health issues, trials can cause us to think it will never end. This can lead us into despair and rob us of our peace and joy.
 
I often tell people that it is perfectly ok to be honest with God about questions that we have or how we feel. God is bigger. Your thoughts are no surprise to Him. BUT don’t plant roots in the muck and mire of your troubles.   Don’t get stuck there.
 
David didn’t stay there.
 
“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” (verses 5-6)
 
His prayer turned into praise. He started out sinking and ended up rejoicing. Again we see the power of praise. Singing praise tears down the walls of gloom and despair.
So today, I laid my questions before God.   I gave Him my fears and frustrations.  Then I turned my thoughts to how grateful I am that He is in control, He is at work – even when I don’t readily see it, and He is worthy of my devotion and trust.
I lifted my voice up in praise.
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in YOU!!!

waters

til next time
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May 19, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

it happened and yet God worked it out

It happened.
We drive older vehicles and have put on thousands and thousands of miles over the years. We have broken down a few times. Each time we could see the hand of God clearly making a way, providing what was needed, taking care of the details and getting us back on the road.  We have always made it home in the scheduled time frame.
Then it happened.
I was driving along when the check engine light began to flash.  I pulled over at the next exit. There ‘just happened’ to be a parts store right there.  However, they did not have a sensor so they sent us one more exit down.
As I was driving to the next parts store, we passed a Chevy dealer.   They ‘just so happened” to be open til 4:00 and had a mechanic that could work on our vehicle.
Wa-La the hand of God!
It was a spark plug issue.  However, after the test drive the car was still having issues.  Now he would need to start the long process of elimination and that meant waiting til Monday.  Curtis asked him what he thought it could be and agreed to have him replace that part.  (ca-ching)

Still thinking that we are going to be on the road, we patiently waited reading our books.  I was getting just a tad hungry.  🙂  We were looking at a long drive home as we still had 400 miles to go. It did not even occur to us that this wouldn’t fix it.

Then we got the news.  There was still an issue but the light was now steady instead of flashing.  Could we make it home?  The consensus was yes.
Then it happened.
Before the next exit there was a hill and the car was having none of that.  It sounded and shook worse than before.    So, we took that exit and made it into the hotel parking lot.
Now what?  It was Saturday.  All car rental shops were closed.  Car repair shops were closed.  We knew no one in the area.  We just sat in the car for a couple of hours.  I think we were both processing the realization that we weren’t going anywhere and now there was the real possibility of waiting til Monday to get it into a shop.
After seeing car after car pull into the hotel, we decided we better get a room.  It was as if God was saying, “What are you waiting for?  I provided a great place at an amazing price.  Now go get a room before they are all gone.”
We hadn’t had lunch and wouldn’t you know it – the hotel had warm cookies available.
But now what?
We weren’t going to make it home in time for services.  We weren’t sure when we were going to get home.  I couldn’t really think about what that could mean.  I just kept reminding myself that I trust God.  He will work things out.
 Before leaving on vacation, we had talked about what a blessing it is to be able to go on vacation and know that the church is in great hands.  However, this was not part of the plan.   We knew that Ed had just gotten back from an overseas trip and the weekend before was a very full one for Susan.  Yet, Curtis called Ed and Sunday services were taken care of.  Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it but I know God will reward them for their servants hearts.
Curtis also called Brian — you know 1-800-Brian.  He diagnosed the problem from 400 miles away.    Even though, years ago, he had told me to take away Curtis’ tools, he was confident that Curtis could replace this part – some housing unit thingy.  The parts store opens at 7:45.
So now it was time to order in pizza.  It wasn’t like we could drive somewhere and get food.  I must say Domino’s outdid themselves.  That was the best pizza and chicken!
1
I wish I could say that I was rock solid the entire time.  I didn’t freak out but  anxiety loomed just below the surface.  In my head, I knew it was going to be alright.   A few times, while at the hotel, I needed Curtis to repeat this to me.
  1.  We were safely off the road.
  2.  We had a place (a very nice place) to stay.
  3.  One way or another we would get home.
  4.  It was alright and  going to be alright.

God taught me even more about joy!

3

After a great breakfast, some guy gave Curtis a ride to the parts store.  When he went to put it on, it turned out to be the wrong part. However, even that was a God thing.  When Curtis had initially called to see if they had what he needed,  the guy assumed the wrong thing and told him they had it.
So, another trip to the store – this time one of the hotel workers took him.
When he went to exchange it, the computer said they didn’t have what he needed.   He explained to the guy and it turned out that their computer had the part listed under a wrong name.
Those of you who know my husband, know that working on a car is not even on his list of qualifications.  He is gifted in many areas, but vehicles are  not one.  (thus the 1 -800- call Brian.)
He did drop one spring, but as he stepped back and looked down – there it was.  Other than that, it went perfectly.
Now the test drive.  He drove to the parts store to have the warning light reset.
2
We were on the road again!
 It happened yet God worked it out.  We didn’t make it back in time for church.  Yet God took care of church!   I missed a Connections meeting with a great group of ladies but God got us and the car safely home.  Life is about the journey!    And the journey is much better when you trust God!
til next time
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March 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i choose….

Today!

A new day is beginning. I have heard it said and believe it to be true that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you handle it. Before the day really gets started, I make a choice to trust God with whatever comes my way. He holds all things together and that includes me.

“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 NASB

Today is a gift.  There will be no do overs.

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (KJV)

Notice ‘we will’ — it is a choice made ahead of time. I choose joy!  I choose trust!

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

Sometimes life is messy. Sometimes life is down right hard. A key to maintaining my peace and joy as I go through hard times is praise. Praise changes me. It takes my eyes off of whatever is going on and puts them back on Jesus – the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) When I turn my eyes upon Jesus, He speaks peace. Hope is renewed. What a difference it makes to praise God throughout my day.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17 (KJV)

Another key is prayer. Reminding myself to cast my cares (1 Peter 5:7) and talk with God as I go through my day helps me to stay centered. Prayer should be our first response not our last resort.

So a new day is beginning – how will you choose to handle it?

Me?  I choose Jesus!    My hope is built on Him!  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand!

til next time

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March 4, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how big is your God?

I was reminded again of how much difference your view of God makes in your day to day choices.

If your view is obstructed by worry, fear or doubt – God may not even hit your radar. You may find yourself spiraling down into despair.  You might try to make things work out on your own.

If your view of God is based on the Bible — what a difference that makes. God is omnipresent – everywhere, omniscient – all knowing, and omnipotent — all powerful. He is the Great I AM! God’s got this!

God is always fighting for us. (2 Chron 20:17 Proverbs 21:31)

To name just a few things. He is our: Savior, provider, healer, sustainer of life, source of goodness, ever-present help in trouble, peace, joy, love…..

 

There is an old song that goes like this:  “We’ve got a great big wonderful God, a great big Wonderful God…a God who loves everyone of us, done so much for all of us.  A great big wonderful God…  He never, never, never leaves us.  He’s always standing by  -To pick us up when we stumble.  We’re the apple of His eye.”

How do you see God?

 

Lord, I will see you that way,

 

til next time

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February 4, 2017 Posted by | pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a monkey?

“Hey, isn’t holding a monkey on your bucket list?” my husband asked me.

Yes, yes it is!

Here was a chance, possibly of a lifetime.

However, the lady informed me that this monkey, Lucian, did not really like women or children.

She was more than surprised that he took to me right away.   In fact, I am sure that I was given more time with him because I was very good for business.

Lucian started jabbering and had eye contact with me from the beginning.   He took a moment to pose for a picture. (3rd picture)   Then He decided to groom me.  (4th picture)  After that there were snuggles and of course more jabbering.  Finally, she told him it was time to go.

He grabbed on to my neck and hugged me tight.  He was having none of that.  He didn’t want to let go.  He did have a pretty good grip on me.   She had to pull out the big treat to get him to go back to her.

In the most unexpected places, at unexpected times, God smiles a blessing on us.  Holding a monkey is a small thing.  Yet, it was something I have always wanted to do.  I may have been hugged by a monkey but the whole process was a warm hug from God.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  Psalm 37:3-5 (NASB)

My first and foremost desire is for God’s will to be done in my life.  I think that is the primary application for these verses.  As we delight in the Lord our desires will be for His will to be done and for Him to be glorified in us and through us.  As we trust Him, commit our lives to Him, do good and strive to be faithful – God will do the rest.  God is good!  All the time!

Yet even as our earthly father wants to bless his kids in many ways.  God also looks for ways to bless us.  For me, this time it was holding a monkey.  What a blessing it was.

Now about that trip to Israel that’s also on my bucket list??  I’ll keep you posted.

til next time

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January 9, 2017 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

battle

Looking back over 2016 I can see God’s fingerprints and I am in awe.   I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I do have a goal for my life.
My goal comes from John 3:3 (TLB)      13 words that have and are changing my life.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
 More of God and less of me – that’s my daily goal.  I am a work in progress and so are you.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6 (NASB)
I am thirsty for God’s way of doing things. I want to do what pleases Him.  May He shine brightly through my life.  To God be the glory.
Today I want to remind you that it isn’t up to us to win the battle. It isn’t up to us to “make’ things happen. It isn’t up to us as to the outcome. The battle belongs to God.  We win because of Him.
It is up to us as to whether or not we trust God and are growing in godliness. It is up to us as to whether or not we follow God’s leading. God will give us the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. It is up to us to be faithful!
 
“and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chron 20:15
battle
God’s got this!!
til next time
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December 29, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sink or walk on water

Faith — stepping out in faith —  something so huge that it has the potential to push you over the edge but also something that you just know – that you know -that you know is where God is leading you.

It has been one year since we started our PAC church.

“We were either going to sink or walk on water.   We believed that God was opening the door and we were stepping through.” (from 25 years- really?)

I think of Peter and what that must have been like to take that step out of the boat onto the water. How incredible. Sure he didn’t walk far and he became overwhelmed by the waves but that doesn’t change the fact that he stepped out on the water. Besides, Jesus grabbed Him, rescuing him — it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Over the past year I have experienced that rescue by Jesus – a few times.

What an incredible journey it is when you say “yes, Lord!”

So this month, as I found myself adding one more thing to an already full schedule, I realize that the stretching continues.   I remind myself that keeping the main thing the main thing is essential to my not becoming overwhelmed.

The main thing?  Jesus Christ is the reason for the season. In my weakness, He is strong!! Where He guides, He provides!
I walk by faith.
I live by faith.
I put my trust in Jesus!

https://youtu.be/VtZVxBzghNQ

til next time,

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December 3, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

squinting

The windshield wipers on my car need to be replaced. I find myself squinting as I try to see through the raindrops. This reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13: 12-13.

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (MSG)

Only God sees all that is going on. For now we see only pieces.   Oh what a day that will be when we see Jesus. Just the thought of it makes me break out into song.

“It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus; Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ; One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase, So bravely run the race til we see Christ.”

But for now: let us trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, and love extravagantly.

(The Message Bible uses trust, many other translations use faith. Trust is our faith in action.)

With your whole heart trust God (Proverbs 3:5)

Be a prisoner of hope (Zech 9:12)

How does your love walk compare with 1 Cor 13?

We all have room for growth.

til next time

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November 3, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

because of my chains

Paul after proclaiming the gospel of Christ in Philippi, was arrested, beaten and locked in chains in a dungeon. He could have questioned God’s plans for his life.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NASB)

He could have questioned God’s plan, BUT that is not what happened!!

He refused to allow his relationship with God to lessen just because others had devalued him.

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14

What a great way to witness to the palace guard. Different soldiers took turns guarding him. They were a ready audience. They couldn’t beat him into silence because he was a Roman citizen.

Because of his chains others were stepping out in confidence.  Fear was replaced with boldness.

Who is God wanting your life to impact? Let God use you today to advance the gospel.  Be a witness!  (Acts 1:8)

Proclaiming the gospel!

For more on Romans 8:28 click on not why but what  or  all things  or a hungry lion  or  but I’m the one He loves

til next time

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October 21, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

a hungry lion

 

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (NASB)

All things!

Daniel was a man of integrity. He was at the height of a distinguished government career when he was thrown into the lion’s den because of his jealous colleagues. When they couldn’t find anything to charge against him, they set him up.

He could have wondered if God had forgotten him.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED!
He refused to allow his relationship with God to nose dive just because others had devalued him.

RESULTS:
Daniel saw the hand of God as an angel shut the lion’s mouth.

What about those men who set Daniel up?

Daniel 6:24-27 (NASB)
“The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: “May your peace abound! I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;
For He is the living God and enduring forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be forever.
“He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

What an incredible turn around – talk about using it for good.
When we trust God with all things in our lives, He will amaze us.

For Your kingdom, for Your glory, To You, O God, we trust!

 

More thoughts on Romans 8:28  all things  and not why but what   or but I’m the one He loves or because of my chains

til next time,

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments