Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

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

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

waiting 6 of 7

For the past 5 days I have looked at waiting. One thing I haven’t addressed is joy in the waiting process.

Col 1:11 Paul prays that they would endure (wait) with joy.

We are truly missing out if we think that joy is only available when we are problem free. After all, the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Neh 8:10 I believe it is a lack of joy that causes us to give up instead of endure.

Jesus came not so we could be miserable 70% of the time. He came that we would have life abundant. (John 10:10) In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

Our joy is not dependent on our external circumstance. Our joy IS dependent on our relationship with Christ. We are building on the firm foundation of Christ. He helps us. Our heart can indeed leap for joy.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

The realization that I can rely on the Lord for my strength – that right there is cause for joy!

In my weakness, You, O Lord are my strength,
til next time

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March 16, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 5 of 7

Waiting changes us. It is the only way I know to grow in patience and endurance. Don’t waste the waiting time tangled up in fear. Use this time to let your hope and faith rise up. God keeps His promises and one of them is that He is with us always.

What God does in us – in that long night of waiting – He wants to do through us.

Psalm 40 starts out with waiting on the Lord. God lifted him out of the pit. On the other side of waiting is a new song and blessing.

v.3-4 “He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.”

This new song in our heart isn’t just for us. While we are waiting, others are watching. They want to know that this Jesus thing is real. They are looking to see if we believe what we say. Others will see that new song in our heart and be drawn to Christ.

Psalm 37:3-7 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;

While I’m waiting, I will praise You, Lord!

til next time

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March 15, 2018 Posted by | Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 4 of 7

“Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Waiting patiently is not for the weak, but waiting will make the weak strong in Christ. We begin to recognize our strength when we truly are depending on Christ. Our courage comes from our relationship with Him. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. (Psalm 68:1)

“Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

God will come through. Though the night seems long, morning will come. He is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 40:1) In the light of eternity, it really isn’t as long as it seems. (2 Cor 4:17)

I am reminded of a powerful little chorus.
My soul waits for the Lord
in the hope of His promise
in the hope of His promise
my deliverance will come.
My soul waits for the Lord
through the night til the morning
like a nightwatchmen waiting
for the coming of the dawn. (taken from Psalm 130:6)

Trusting His timing,

til next time

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March 14, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 3 of 7

“Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69:1-2

Sometimes life can seem like I am treading water – in over my head – emotions shot – I am a mess and God is asking me to wait a bit longer. He asking me to keep trusting Him.

Maybe you can relate to David in verse 29 of Psalm 69
“But I am afflicted and in pain;
May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.” (NASB)

While we wait there are things we can and should do. Let’s look at the next verse. (30)

“I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Singing praises to God from a heart of thanksgiving is something we can do right now in this moment. It is not dependent on our circumstances. Giving God thanks is one way that we magnify Him. What you magnify will be the thing that dominates your thoughts.

Whatever it is that has you in a time of waiting, don’t waste that time. Dig deeper into God’s Word and lift your voice in praise. Casting Crowns has it right. “I will praise You in the storm.”

While I am waiting for the answer, for the solution, for direction, I will praise Him. What will you do?

til next time

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March 13, 2018 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 2 of 7

“O Lord, from the depths of despair I cry for your help: … I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised..” Psalm 130:1,5 TLB

Sometimes the waiting is long because the work that is being done in me requires it. Waiting causes me to face my fears. Waiting helps me see my great need of Christ. I am nothing without Him. (John 15:5)

If I could have gotten myself out of the pit, I would have. My efforts alone bring about more frustration and misery. I learn the benefit of endurance while I wait. (Colossians 1:11)

Waiting expectantly….. We go from faith to faith, glory to glory, grace upon grace and strength upon strength. (Romans 1:17, John 1:16 2 Cor 3:18 Psalm 84:7)

I have come to see that waiting is truly a great gift God gives to me. (Isaiah 40:31) While I wait for the answer, the solution – my faith, hope and trust just grow deeper.

Keeping my eyes on Jesus, (Hebrews 12:2)

til next time

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March 12, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting 1st of 7

Waiting – it seems there are always areas in which I find myself waiting. Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad but other times the dark night seems to drag on and on.

Today is the 1st in a series of 7 posts on waiting.

When it seems I am waist deep in the pit of a bleak situation and I feel myself sinking in the mud – I have a few choices.
*I can become impatient and try to use my own strength to get out – to change things.
*I can wallow in the mud – giving in to self-pity.
*I can play the blame game.
All of these choices result in sinking deeper in the mud.

There is another choice. I can seek God for help. I can cast my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) and take this time to go deeper in Christ. How? By reading His Word – I am grateful that each test of our faith is an open book test. Also we grow deeper by praying, taking time to listen, meditating, getting together with others at church to worship, pray, and hear God’s Word, listening to praise music – go ahead Sing!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, Psalm 40:1-4a NLT

I cry out to God. My faith knows He will help me.(Psalm 46:1) He will steady me. He will amaze. I trust God!

Using the waiting time to grow deeper in Christ.

til next time

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March 11, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

waiting

I really don’t like waiting.  Seriously, does anyone?  Yet over time I have learned to wait more graciously.  I seem to have lots of practice opportunities.  Everyone does.

When a baby is hungry or uncomfortable he/she will start to fuss.  If that does not get the desired result – next will come tears and much louder fussing.  If this is ignored then the intensity will increase until the baby is in an all out fit.  Hmmm, for some people nothing has really changed.  *heavy sigh*

When our boys (twins) were little they were not sleeping through the night.  They would take turns being awake.  They made a great tag team.  I did not function well on little sleep.

Finally, the doctor told us that we needed to change our tactics.  After they were fed and changed we were to put them to bed (awake) and let them learn the art of falling asleep on their own.

Curtis was at this particular doctors visit and he believes in following doctors orders.  So that night he had to literally restrain me from going in there.  It was the longest few minutes of my life.   The waiting was horrible.    The result —- they slept through the night that night and from then on.    My babies were beginning to learn the art of waiting.

Sometimes in life I find myself in that place again.  Only this time it isn’t the babies but a long dark night.   I am reminded of the song —  “My soul waits for the Lord through the night til the morning, like a night watchmen waiting for the coming of the dawn. ” (Psalm 130:6)

One thing is for sure morning is coming.   Things are always changing.

There is another scripture verse that I seem to return to quite often.

Isaiah 40:31  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

In a society where you can drive up for your coffee, food, banking, and even in some places worship – there are still things that cause us to wait.  It is the way we wait  that we have control over.

I cannot make the doctor hurry up and call but I can rest in the knowledge that God is in control.

When I am stuck in the ‘wrong’ check out line – I can look for some way to encourage the person next to me.  (I find that I manage to get in the wrong line quite often.  Hmmm, I don’t think that is a coincidence.)

While I wait for the day that I only work one job, I can choose to make the most of the opportunities that my second job gives to me.

When the night seems long I can hold on because morning is indeed coming.

Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I can’t handle.

til next time

October 30, 2010 Posted by | ministry, twins | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

waiting……..

  “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”    Plato  

Every where I look there are people facing mountains.  Some of them are really huge.  Others may not seem huge to me, but then again I am not facing that particular thing, nor do I have all the details.  Sometimes it is the combination of a million little things that pushes us to the edge. 

 “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  (Psalm 30:5)   Oh, but sometimes it seems as if the ‘morning’ is never going to get here.   

How long?      

I feel Your presence
yet the storm roars.
I think I’m ok …
only to plunge once more.
 
In my head
I know You are there.
In my heart
I know You care.
 
How much longer though,
will this go on?
When will the night end?
Where is the dawn?
 
While the storm rages
To You O Lord I cling.
The morning IS coming
when again my heart will sing.
 
I continue to trust Your Word.
You are working things out.
You are in control,
of this there is no doubt.

Have you noticed that there are a number of songs out now that deal with facing hard trials?   I love this one by Mark Schultz.  Here is just a portion of it 

Love has come

I know this life is filled with sorrow.  And there are days when the pain just lasts and lasts.  But I know there will come a day when all my tears are washed away. With a break in the clouds and His glory coming down.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that God is love and love has come for us all.  Every heart set free, everyone will see that God is love and love has come for us all. 

  Or this one by Casting Crowns “Praise You in this storm.”    

I was sure  by now that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away.  Stepped in to save the day.  But once again I say Amen and it’s still raining. ….  I praise You in this storm.   I will lift hands, You are who You are, no matter where I am.  Every tear I cry, You hold in Your hand.  You never left my side and though my heart is torn  –I will praise You in this storm.   

I find myself  ‘waiting’.  Waiting for:   the storm to end, the rain to stop, the  emotional roller coaster of perimenopause to cease, life to slow down, problems to disappear, pain to be gone,  a day when all goes right (had to throw that one in),  and on and on it goes.  Yet life is messy and complicated — always has been and always will be.   Somewhere along the way I forgot a key element.   

In acceptance lieth peace. 

My life is in the hands of the Almighty God, the creator of the universe.  If He allows it then there is a reason – I may never know what that is but truly that is not important.  God is in control.  I am not.

So for today I am going to practice acceptance of what comes my way with expectation that God has a plan and He will work things out His way.

til next time

 

 

 

July 19, 2010 Posted by | life lessons, perimenopause, relationships, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments