Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

talking — texting —- just a whole lot of words!

Words  – I use a lot of them.

Sometimes my mind can act like a rewind button.  I go over and over and over an issue until it has mostly consumed me.  I believe that is why what I think about is so very important.  (“For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NKJV)

What we think about matters.  How we think about something will affect how we choose to respond.  Check out blame game or ownership? you decide

   “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    Be acceptable in Your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”  Psalm 19:14 (NASB)

What do you find that consumes your thoughts?    (Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Phil 4:8 MSG)

It is out of our thoughts that the words flow.

One of the hats I wear at our church is what is now referred to as a worship pastor.  (I have to chuckle at the various names it has been called over the years.)  I find words are a very necessary part of heading up the worship department.

Preaching or teaching a class also lends itself to many words.

I love people and therefore find myself talking with people from all walks of life.   As a chaplain, I am even paid to visit with people.

Words………………..words…………………..and more words……….

    “Watch the way you talk.
     Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth.
     Say only what helps, each word is a gift.”  Eph 4:29 (MSG)

Watch the way you talk.” 

Talking is more than just a bunch of words strung together.  Tone, body language, and facial expressions all enter in to the way we talk.  What does your tone/ body language/ facial expressions say about the words that come from your mouth?  Are you irritated?  at peace? excited? bored? looking for an escape?  compassionate?  understanding?

“let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth”

I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one, except to ask – where do you think sarcasm fits?

“say only what helps, each word is a gift”

I would love to tell you that I have this mastered.  That would be a lie and since I am a huge fan of truth, let me just say that sadly, not all my words are helpful gifts.  I do think it is a goal to reach for and improve in. Please do not fall into the trap of making excuses.   If you have to make an excuse for what or how you say something — stop and change it!

I also believe that the helpful gift of words starts in the home.  How do your words reflect what you feel about your family?  Are you bringing life into your home by the words you speak or are you tearing apart the family structure?

     “Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”  Proverbs 18:21 (MSG)

You choose.  Choose wisely.  And remember that it isn’t only the words you speak.  The words you text, instant message, or post on facebook all are a reflection of you.

Give the gift of helpful words that brings life and causes others to flourish.  You will not have to be sorry for what you say if you are giving life with your words.

patsy

til next time

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June 14, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

little flowers never worry

Flowers –

Life –

And the similarities ——

Some days I dream of what it would be like to have a gardener.  Usually it is on the day that I set out to tackle the weeds that have overtaken my gardens.   I love landscaping, but when it has been left unattended  — it just isn’t pretty!

I found a few surprises.

moss roseI have no idea how this moss rose ended up here.  Isn’t that just like life?  I find myself in uncharted territory  and wonder ‘Now what?”

This  rose decided to not just grow but flourish where it found itself.    You and I can also choose to flourish in an environment that is not ideal.    After all, God is still God and He will give us wisdom to know what to do and the strength to be able to do it.  He will also fill us with courage to overcome the fear of the unknown and step out in faith.  With God’s help,  we will  turn  that challenge into a testimony.

Joshua 1:9  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

playing peek a boo

Another flower  that sprouted up in an unusual place.   It easily could have been pulled up with the other weeds.  I may  have missed it if I hadn’t been paying attention.  I wonder what things in life  I miss because I am distracted, not paying attention or not living  truly in the moment?

on th fenceHere is another surprise flower.  It is growing up right inside the fence surrounding my vegetable garden.  Clearly it is not a vegetable, but I let it continue to grow.

Do we extend love to everyone or just those who are like us?  Do we encourage people to bloom where they are planted or do we uproot them by our words?

roserose

Then there is my rose-bush.  It has bloomed at least three times this year.  It just keeps growing and blooming and growing and blooming.   This is how I want to live my life.

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

Matthew 6:28-29  “And why are you worried about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these……..  (v.33) But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Flowers have little trouble doing what they were created to do — bloom.  Can the same be said about us?

til next time

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September 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

january 16, 2010

Wow, another week gone by already.   Time for my  3rd sermon notes blog.  (Click here to read more)

I started doing this to help out a friend who has to miss church due to work.   While I do feel that this is worth my time and it is beneficial, there is so much that is lacking from just reading my notes.  For instance, I am only sharing the notes on the message.  The worship time is a vital part of the service.  Ed takes us boldly to the throne of grace and leads by example what it means to worship at the feet of Jesus.

Today there were numerous testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of His people.  Praise God!!

Gary sang a song today that he and Joan wrote.  It was a powerful song.  I am not sure what the title is but it could be “Make me a better man”.  This was the theme throughout the song.  It led right into Pastor’s message.

So grab your Bible, as I won’t be posting all of the scriptures.  I  feel that it is important to look the scriptures up in your own Bible –  to stay familiar with the love letter that God has given to us.  (If you don’t have a Bible let me know.)

Read Colossians 4:6

Why the concern about what we say?  Words can be powerful; they can have an impact on others.  We must learn to speak with grace.

“Is your speech gracious?”

Read Proverbs 18:21

Our words have tremendous impact.

“With our words we can encourage someone or we can crush them.  Do our words bring life or death?’

Read Colossians 3:8-9  “words that bring death”

People get angry.  Words  spoken in anger can bring great pain.   Things are said that should not be said.   Malice is going past the point of anger — now you want to hurt someone.  Then there is lying and profanity.  These seem to be common in our society.

How do we change this?

Scripture tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  As we allow God to mold us and make us, as He is working in us, we will more and more be directed by His Spirit.  Our language will change.

“I served in the Marine Corps and if I can clean up my language – then so can you!”

We are called to a higher standard.

Read 2 Corinthians 12:19-21  — Identifying death

Words of death bring contention, strife, arguing, backbiting and whispering. 

“We can rip apart a church, work place, family…. by the words we say.

Gossip – saying something about someone that makes them look bad.

“Like your momma always said, or if your momma never told you, then I’m telling you, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

Colossians 3:16-17  — Words of life

Are the words we are speaking encouraging?  Does Christ approve of the things we are saying?  Or would we want God to “plug” His ears?

Let us use our words for edification, instruction, for the good.


1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

We are called to build one another up, not tear down each other.

Words of life bring comfort.

“May we learn to recognize the difference, not just recognize the difference, but cultivate the words of life.  What a different place our world would be if more and more of us would speak the words of life.”

Let us seek to eliminate words of death from our conversation.  Let’s replace them with words of life.

We all have room to grow in our ability to speak with grace.

till next time

January 16, 2011 Posted by | ministry, sermon notes | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

problem/solution – which one are you?

Maybe it is because my husband is going to the cardiologist tomorrow.  Maybe it is because the last 7 months have been more intense than any other time in my life.  Maybe it is because I am in the midst of peri-menopause.  Or maybe it is just because I am fed up with the enemy stirring up strife and using willing people.

Whatever it is – this is not my usual blogger post.

If you read my blog with any regularity you will know that I love God, love life and am striving to love and encourage people to do the same.

This blog is intended to make you think about whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

Yet there are people who seem to think this doesn’t apply to them and that they are free to tear down their pastor and/or church.  Someone in leadership (whether it is the worship leader, youth pastor, lead pastor, pastors wife or someone else in leadership) is fair game for their critical spirit.

So here is the deal, if something is going on that you feel is not good, then go to your pastor and talk with him/her about it.   I don’t know how often I find myself repeating this to people who don’t even attend church with me.

Here is the other deal.  Most people who gripe just want to gripe and get others to join them.  They don’t really  want to be a part of the solution.

If you call yourself a Christian and yet find yourself tearing down the work of God   —  Shame on you.

If all you do is grumble about whatever it is that you think someone should be doing,  should not be doing, didn’t do right or didn’t do it how you wanted it done, – to anyone that will listen — shame on you.

Let me say that another way.  If you are not willing to step up and help than at least be supportive of those who are trying to do something.  Sure “maybe” you could do it better, but those who grumble are generally not those who take action.

If you are tearing down your church and/or pastor and think it is not a big deal or it isn’t really hurting anyone –  you are mistaken.   You are buying into yet another lie from the enemy.

It can and does hinder the work of God.

Either you can remain part of the problem or you can become part of the solution.

If you remain part of the problem remember that God does not view grumbling and back biting lightly.

If you are the person to whom they are griping to — please don’t let your silence be taken as agreement.  You can offer to go with them to speak to the pastor.  You can encourage them to get involved.  You can turn the focus around to something good that is going on.  Don’t let their critical spirit rub off on you by doing nothing.

Please don’t be a willing participant used by the enemy to stir up strife.

til next time

November 1, 2010 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, perimenopause, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

money – do you have enough?

What role does money play in my life? 

Money consumes some people.  There are those who are in financial disarray.  Financial matters are one of the leading causes of  problems in marriage. 

Money is a part of every day life.  Ask just about anyone these days, and you will see that changes have been made in how they handle their money or they are drowning in debt or that money is at least an issue.  Stress over money is on the rise.  I don’t have to look far to see that ‘cut backs’ are happening everywhere.  Prices go up and wages go down. 

Hubby and I have been re-evaluating our budget.  This is not something I enjoy.  However, I do enjoy not living in debt.   So when the money coming in decreases then the money spent needs to decrease.  Oh if only the government would catch on to that. 

Compared to a lot of people, we are extremely good budgeteers.   Yet there is room for improvement.  I realized  this past week-end that if  I compare myself to my sister-in-law then I have much room for improvement.  I don’t generally play the compare game.  Yet sometimes it can be helpful.  I believe God was showing me that good enough is only mediocre. 

It is my desire to be a great steward of the money God has blessed us with.  I heard about a bumper sticker that says “Living with less so we can give more.”     That just resonated with my whole being!!!  

God is allowing our finances to be juggled.  Along with the inspiration from Di, on that return trip I read the book  “Take God at His Word – Experience the Power of Giving” by Dr Kregg Hood.  Coincidence?  I don’t believe so. 

The Bible is the best book on money.   There are a lot of other books out there on this topic but I am not impressed with most of them.  However, Dr Hood writes in an easy reading style while getting to the heart of the matter.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is

We don’t give to be blessed, we give because we are blessed.”  (p.30)

The book is about taking God at His Word.  There are four main Words that Dr Hood addresses.  

 Word One “I will make you rich in every way.” 

Word Two “I want you to tithe so I can reward you.” 

 Word Three “I trust you to manage material resources.”  

Word Four “I will help you give more than you can imagine.”  

 After each Word there is   a ‘think it thru’ section at the end.  It is useful for applying what the Word says to life.

Since my first babysitting job, I have practiced tithing.  My parents led by  example and demonstrated  the importance and the benefits of tithing.   God tells us to “test Him in this.”  (Malachi 3:10)   

I also tithe because of the consequences of not tithing.  There are many Christians who struggle in this area and have allowed fear to hinder their thinking.   It is a huge trust issue but I can think of no one that I could possibly trust more than God.   He is my source, my provider.  Giving back to Him is my expression of that trust and faith. 

“If you’re experiencing great financial difficulty, have you considered the possibility that you might be living under an easily reversible curse? ”  (p.37)

If you haven’t a clue what the Bible says about money or if your finances are a mess I highly recommend that you pick this book up.  It will change how you look at money. 

The book is also helpful to those of us who are good stewards of our money.    It has encouraged me to press on to be a ‘great’ steward of all that God has blessed me with.

til next time

March 19, 2010 Posted by | spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

who is your God?

Webster’s dictionary defines God as – supreme being.   That’s it.  Maybe that is because to truly describe God would take more time and space then they felt could be devoted to defining one word. 

Who is my God?  He is the Almighty, Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Healer, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, Omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (ever present) and that is only the start.  My heart swells when I think that God, being so much greater than I can even proclaim, reaches down through space and wraps me in His embrace.  He knows my every thought and loves me just the same.  

God is an ever present help in whatever trouble I face.  The road I walk down I don’t walk down alone.  Life as a pastor’s wife can at times be a lonely road.  I don’t know how to get around that.  It just has it’s season.  Ah, but it is just that a season.  Yet it is in those seasons that faith grows deeper.    For you see God truly is enough.  I don’t serve a mamby pamby God but a God who is able to do more than I can think or even dare to dream.  He is not limited by those things that I think limit me.  Nothing is too difficult for Him. 

For some their God is money or status or an accumulation of things or even worse some supreme being without any real power to impact their lives.  That is so sad to me.  God is not some far off deity that in unconcerned about His creation.  There is no where a person can hide that God is not there. 

God sees inside my heart and hears me even when I have no words to say.  

God is amazing.  Chris Tomlin nails it with this song.

til next time

March 14, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

as the day ends

It is the start of a new day.  It will be filled with many choices.  When all is said and done I will not be able to redo this day.  There are no delete buttons.   So as this day starts I am also thinking about how it will end.   As the day ends there are some questions that I will ponder.  God calls me to represent Him, and the day to day way I handle life is a reflection of my relationship with Him.

1:  Did I choose to walk in joy?  It really is up to me to decide to make up my mind that I will enjoy this day.  It comes down to attitude.  Learn to find joy in the simple day to day things.  Dreading anything is a real joy robber. 

2:  Did I make the best of my circumstances?  Everyone has things in their life they would like to change.  Did I do those things that I could and not get frustrated over things I couldn’t do anything about?

3: Did I laugh today or did I take myself too seriously?  For truly life does not revolve around me.  Stress and taking life too seriously go hand in hand.  I need to on purpose add laughter into my day.

4:  Did I live my life in such a way as to silence the negative talk of others?  I can’t stop people from lying or wrongly judging me, but I can live my life in such a way that it disproves those statements.

5:  Did I compromise?  In other words did I settle for what was good enough instead of what was the best?  This can be most difficult.  Good can indeed be the enemy of best.  It can be easy to settle, may I raise the standard and not be content with the status quo or worse lowering the standard (compromise).

6:  Did I waste time worrying?  So much of what people worry about never happens.  It is borrowed trouble.  It’s traveling companion is dread.  (see # 1)  It is the opposite of trust and faith. 

7:  Did I harbor ill feelings toward anyone?  Hate poisons the soul.  Yes, there are people out there who do hurtful, hateful things.  The key is to release it quickly to God.  He sees, He knows, and He will take care of it.  Learning to walk in love – ah, that is the goal.

8:  Is there any regret connected with today?  Regret can rob me of joy both today and also tomorrow.  May I learn from it and then let it go.

9:  Did I help someone today?  It is so not all about me.  I don’t have to look far to see something that I can do for someone else.  Did I take the time?

10: Did I spend beyond my means?  Doing things at the cost of going into debt is not wise.  How I spend my money is a reflection of what is important to me. 

til next time

February 28, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

how’s life?

What word/words would you use to describe your life?  Here are some words to think about: busy, stressed, rushed, agitated, frustrated, or could it be content, peaceful, joyful, exciting, abundant etc.

All of those words, at one time or another, would describe my life.  It’s a New Year and that always causes me to do some personal reflection.  What words describe my life right now?  Am I ok with those words?

Jesus came to give us the abundant life.  Abundant – more than enough.  He was referring to a life filled with all the goodness of God.  He is more than enough for whatever I face.  However, some days the abundant in my life would be described as more things to do than I possibly have time for.  I would find myself with an abundance of demands.  Yet this is not the abundant life Jesus was talking about.  He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I spent New Year’s eve with our youth group.  It was fantastic.  youth-overnight-021youth-overnight-036I am still amazed at how much fun it was.  Fun, now there is something that can get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle of life.  I was reminded that fun does take energy.  It can even be work.   Ah, but laughter follows the footsteps of fun. 

When was the last time you laughed?  For me it was this morning.  Our dog is truly living on borrowed time.  She is so naughty and adorable at the same time.  At least I am seeing some humor in her.

Last night Steve preached on God having a sense of humor.  All I have to do is look at some of the animals and I see plenty of humor.  The fact that Steve’s power point on God having a sense of humor didn’t work was also very funny.  🙂 

Some days just reflecting on what I have done can cause me to join with God in laughter.  I think that sometimes I am guilty of taking life way to serious.  This can rob me of peace and contentment.

How’s life?  Many years ago I started asking my friends this question instead of how are you?  It was a reminder to me and them that life is so much more than just how I am today.  Life is good!!  Sure it can be difficult, but there is nothing like the peace that God brings when situations come up.  Being a follower of Jesus Christ is exciting.  Each day is a new day to witness the wonders of God.  (That is if I am not to busy or rushing around trying to do way more than I should)

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad.”  I choose joy.  I am learning how to slow down in this fast paced world.  Some days are easier than others.  I am learning how to enjoy today because today is the day the Lord has made. 

So how’s life?

til next time

January 5, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

short and to the point

“Lord, give me the grace to hear, to understand, to bear fruit.”   (Sharon Rusch)

the grace to hear – it can be easy to not really hear what someone is saying.  Oh, may God help us to listen.  I know that when I am multi tasking and one of my sons starts to talk to me, I really need to stop what I am doing and give him my attention.  Otherwise, I only catch part of it.  There is nothing more frustrating than to realize that someone is not really listening to you. 

the grace to understand – if we are not careful it is easy to jump to a conclusion that is far far from the truth.  — walk a mile in my mocassins and then we can talk.  Or at least be willing to listen first.

the grace to bear fruit — sometimes we must be pruned in order to produce abundantly.  dttf (die to the flesh) is all part of bearing fruit.  Just accept that this can be painful and keep moving forward.  Too much effort is wasted on whining.  Whining keeps you from moving on.

Lord, give me the grace to hear, to understand, to bear fruit.  One of the ladies at work created this collection of pictures that she attached to an old window frame.  It was the story of the sower who went out to plant the seed.  It is a great picture.  She put this quote in one of the sections of the window.

short and to the point

til next time

October 29, 2008 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, spiritual reflections | , , | 1 Comment

when words get in the way

Talking is not usually a problem for me.   I have lots of words to use every day.    Yet there are times when words just get in the way. 

Things happen that there are just no words for.  Like when a child gets diagnosed with cancer.  What is there to say??  Words can just get in the way.  Oh, there are all the ‘pat’ answers, but most of the time those ‘pat’ answers do more harm than good.  News flash, time does not heal all wounds.  Time will find you learning how to go on and live again.  Only God can heal the wounds.

So when words get in the way, I have found that a hug speaks volumes.  Holding someone as their heart breaks in two while speaking just one word.  Jesus.  That is the one word that never gets in the way.

What about those times that it is my heart that is breaking and no one knows or no one is around.  There are times I would love to shout from the roof tops “walk a day in my shoes and then we will talk!!”   Ah, this whole dttf (die to the flesh) thing is extremely enlightening. 

Have you ever went to God and there were just no words to express what your heart is dealing with?  I have been there – way more than I want to be.  I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me.   I would find myself going to God with the broken pieces of my heart yet again.  Life in ministry is not for the faint of heart.  It has contained the very hardest things in my life.  

In looking back I think God uses those times to keep my heart tender.  God has shown me that those who love much will also experience pain much.  They seem to go hand in hand.   To really love people is messy.  After all look what happened with Jesus love.  It took him to the cross.   

We had Redeemed and Rejoicing in concert today at church.  These words from one of their songs really touched my heart.

‘… When the words get in the way, I know He still hears.  He understands my tears…”

Sometimes life can be so intense that there are no words.  God sees our heart.  He knows the pain we are dealing with.  He understands our tears. 

til next time

October 26, 2008 Posted by | Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , | 3 Comments