Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

God is greater than my struggle

6 more weeks — trying to wrap my head around 6 more weeks.

You know that moment when you realize that the outcome you believed, with all your heart, is not the reality you are in?  Two weeks ago I started on prednisone.  Click here for the start of the journey.

I went back for blood work fully expecting my sed rate to be in the acceptable range.  With God’s help, I managed to navigate the two weeks keeping Godzilla at bay.   To God be the glory!

My sed rate is down but still too high.  Instead of a prescription for two weeks, I picked up  one for six weeks.  The thought of six weeks was enough to put me in full force tears.   The edginess, the nausea, the insomnia, the tiredness, the hunger, the headaches, the tears, the emotions all over the place — 6 weeks – which happens to include some mighty big things:  Easter, twins birthdays,  district council meetings, motorcycle blessing and show and the day to day life filled with loving God and loving people.   I can’t possibly hibernate for 6 weeks, can I?

    “when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
    for you are my safe refuge,”  (Psalm 61)

Where do I go when I don’t get the answer that I so badly thought was coming?  I go back to God’s Word.  I call upon my Savior.  I lay my disappointment at His feet – knowing He loves me, will be there every step of the way, and He will use this for my good.  How?  I don’t have to know.  I just need to trust.

“God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46

God is my safe place.  In my weakness, He is strong.  He is with me all the way.  I will not fear:

  • how my body will handle this medicine
  • how my emotions will respond
  • that six weeks won’t be enough to lower my sed rate
  • that I will fail miserably (God’s grace is enough)
  • that I can’t do this
  • the changes this will undoubtedly produce
  • what the medicine is doing to my organs
  • the withdrawal after six weeks
  • But most of all, I will not fear period because God is greater.

I may have to remind myself of this daily.    A great reason to be in the word daily.   It amaze me how God knows just what I need when I look to Him.

til next time

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April 5, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

organization

I found this ‘new gadget’ that looked like it would help me organize my spices. Now if only there was a basement gadget and a garage gadget. I remind my husband that there is a tool gadget called a tool box. 🙂

spices

right picture is the new and improved rack

Galatians 5:1 tells us “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
 
The main point of this chapter is about practical godliness, striving against sin and not each other, and the struggle between flesh and Spirit.
 
Freedom! Freedom to stand firm. Freedom in Christ.

As I was organizing my spices (getting rid of ones I have never used – finding duplicates – finding spices I had forgotten about) I was reminded how easily my stuff can start to choke me.
 
Sometimes it is as if my ‘stuff’ has become a chain that traps me. Instead of owning it, it owns me. It is then that I find that God is calling me to a deeper level of generosity.
 
“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 NLT
 
I recently took a pair of earrings out of my ears and gave them to someone. It has been way too long since I have done something like that. “Father, help me to hold loosely to what you have blessed me with knowing that I may be the conduit You are using to bless someone else. I am ever thankful for Your many blessings – most of all for Your presence in my life. Help me to be a reflection of You.”
 
What is God calling you to do? Where are you on the generous meter? How tightly do you hold on to your things? Freedom – trusting God with it all!
 
I’m Yours Lord,
til next time
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April 3, 2019 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith or fear – you decide

Fear cripples faith, but faith overcomes fear!

I needed to be reminded this morning that I have nothing to fear. I know some of what today holds, but more importantly I know who holds me today.

Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

Over and over the Bible says fear not, do not be dismayed, do not be anxious, trust God, be strong and courageous, God is with us, our hope is in Him!

Fear is controlling. It limits what a person does. Fear will also cause some people to try to control or manipulate a situation/person. This is not beneficial.

Bad decisions are often the result of fear. Being afraid will create distance, both in our relationship with God and with others.

Fear will try to keep me confined in my comfort zone. I have come to realize that a ‘comfort zone’ is a great way to avoid embracing life. Thankfully God is always nudging me to step out in faith. Oh what an adventure it is!!

For today I remind myself of what Psalm 112:7-8 says

“They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.” (NIV)

Whatever you are facing today – remember you are not alone. Truly God is an ever-present help in trouble, (Psalm 46:1) You are His and You are safe in His embrace. (Proverbs 18:10, 29:25) He is with you, for you, and loves you.

Today trust God, let your faith rise up, and hold fast to the knowledge that God is able to help you handle anything that comes your way.

til next time

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October 16, 2018 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

in Your hand

My times are in Your hand, O Lord!

That is such an encouraging truth! God is in control. God knows! God is holding our hand. (Psalm 73:23)

Psalm 31: 14-15
“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.”

Deliver me — as I sit here thinking about this, I am reminded that sometimes we are our worst enemy. When we allow our thoughts to take us down the road of negativity, when all we see is problems, problems problems, or give in to lies about who we are or who God is — well, we need to be delivered from that way of thinking.

How do you see God? Our God is greater. (1 Jn 4:4) Our God is able. (Psalm 138:8) God is with us (Matt 28:20) for us (Psalm 118:6) sustaining us (Psalm 55:22) and He is enough! (2 Cor 12:9)

May today find you believing what the Word says about who you are and who God is!!

But as for me — I trust You God!

Selah,

til next time

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October 4, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

but as for me…

But as for me”

I love that phrase. It reminds that no matter what is going on, no matter what others are doing, no matter how I feel — I get to choose what I do next. But as for me, I will trust God. But as for me, I will obey God. But as for me, I will nail my feelings to the cross and believe what Jesus says.

Psalm 59:16-17

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.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.

Where are your thoughts this morning? If we focus on problems – problems will be all we see. If we see problems as opportunities to see the hand of God helping us – we will start seeing His hand more and more. When we put God first, He really does give us wisdom to know what to do and the strength to do it. But as for me, I refuse to get jazzed up about ___________. But as for me, I depend on God.

Today is a new day. This morning I choose to sing with joy, to lift my voice in praise to the One who loves me most. God’s love never fails.

What are you choosing?

Selah,

til next time

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October 3, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

trust

Trust in the Lord and do good

Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness

Delight yourself also in the Lord and

He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.”

Psalm 37:3-5

Notice that trust is mentioned twice in these verses. Trust is vital to walking in faith and victory. When we have settled in our mind that we trust God, then whatever happens – we know that God will work it out. (Romans 8:28) He is for us! He is with us! He is more than enough.

Are our actions good? Many times, in the Bible, we are told to ‘do good.’ Yes, our actions do matter.

What are you feeding on? Are you driven to have the latest, greatest, best _________(fill in the blank)? Are you feeding on what you don’t have? Is it gossip that you graze on? There is an old saying – ‘garbage in means garbage out.’ Let’s feed on the faithfulness of our God. Again this comes down to trust.

Delight in and commit yourself to God. This should be an ongoing process in our lives. Let’s reaffirm our commitment to give God our all.

Selah,

til next time

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October 2, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

faith 2nd of 2

Faith (Part 2)

It is our faith in Jesus Christ that makes us right with God. (Romans 3:22) We live out our faith by the things we say and do. Our faith grows as we choose to trust God in the midst of difficulties. God will make a way. (Isa 43:16) He is for us! (Psalm 118:6)

Choices — when you encounter troubles, where will your words and actions take you?

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Col 2:6-7)

Our faith grows as we do what we are called to do recognizing that the glory belongs to God. Our faith grows every time we do the right thing especially when the right thing is not easy.

Our faith grows as we walk in obedience.

1 Cor 16:13 tells us four important things to do.

Be on guard.
Stand firm in the faith.
Be courageous.
Be strong.

All of these are possible as we rely on and trust in Christ to see us through whatever comes our way.

Faith is not so much something we believe.
Faith is something we live.

Living by faith,

til next time

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March 28, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

God’s timing

I woke this morning reminding myself that I can and do trust God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard. Jealousy (as you see someone else enjoying the very promise you are waiting on) tries to plant itself in my heart. When that doesn’t work then sadness seeks to overtake me with thoughts like ‘it’s never gonna happen” or “how much longer can I hold on?” When that doesn’t work then thoughts of what I can do to speed up the process flash across my brain.

No! No! A thousand times no!

God told Abram that he would have a son. (“but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” Genesis 15:4) And then the waiting process began.

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting but nothing was happening. Then Sarah got this idea in her head. She took matters into her own hands and came up with a solution. The promised child would come through her hand-maiden. (Genesis 16)

However, Ishmael was not the child God had promised. What a mess Sarah had made of her impatience and lack of trust. Genesis 16:12 calls Ishmael a wild man. There was a price to pay for Sarah’s impatience. A good example of how our choices can impact others.

It can be easy to fall into the same trap as Sarah. When we do our own thing instead of waiting on God, we also get a mess. Consequences of that mess can follow us the rest of our lives.

Trust, hold on, stay firm, endure – knowing that God is not on vacation but very much active in what is going on in our lives. His timing is always right on.

Are you waiting for something? Don’t lose heart, resist jealousy and/or sadness, and make the choice to follow God.

While I am waiting, I will serve and trust God,

til next time

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March 23, 2018 Posted by | bible story, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

cease striving

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 (AMP)

Sadly too often our words/actions reveal that we have forgotten who God is. It seems that the temptation to give in to frustration, irritation, or stress takes no effort at all. When was the last time you really set out to have a bad day and you gave it all you had to be as stressed as you possible could? Like I said, it takes no effort to go along with irritation.

What does take effort is to refuse to give in to the negative pull. It takes effort to put your faith in action and trust God in the midst of difficulties. God reminded me again recently that when I am frustrated – I have taken my eyes off of Him.

When worry tries to take up residence in your heart – be still and know God
When your heart is breaking – be still and know God
When your car/appliance breaks down – be still and know God
When your paycheck is low – be still and know God
When your body is under attack – be still and know God
When someone is hurtful with their words – be still and know God
When you are starting to stress out – be still and know God
When you seem to be circling the same old mountain – be still and know God
Is there something you are dreading? Be still and know God
Are you tired and weary? Be still and know God
Are your feelings lying to you? Be still and know God
Are you lacking peace, joy, hope? Be still and know God

Not one thing that is going to happen today takes God by surprise. Whatever today holds, we know who holds us. Maybe it’s time to pull away from the activities for awhile and spend some time alone with God.

Getting still before God,

til next time

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March 19, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 7 of 7

Today I want to look at Paul and Silas in Acts 16. A woman was following them shouting at them. I find it interesting that she was speaking the truth but in time it got on Paul’s nerves, so he addresses the spirit that was controlling the girl and cast it out.

Her owner seized Paul and Silas and brought them before the authorities. The crowd joined in the attack. They were stripped and beaten. Finally they were thrown into prison.

Now stop a moment and think of what you would be thinking if this had happened to you. ? It certainly seems like an unjust punishment. Sometimes in our lives we must endure what seems like an unjust set of circumstances.

What were Paul and Silas doing while they waited in the dungeon? Were they rehashing what had happened? Were they wallowing in self-pity? Were they letting anger control them?

v. 25 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

They were singing. At the midnight hour, God gave them a song in their heart to sing. At your midnight hour, God will give you a song too. Open your mouth and start singing.

While I’m waiting, I will praise You!

til next time

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March 17, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment