Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

what do you talk about?

“What is closest to your heart is what you will talk about. And if God is closest to your heart, you’ll talk about Him.” AW Tozer

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A new day has dawned. What will you do with your words today? What will you post on FB today? As a wife, mother, grandma, friend, co-worker, pastor, chaplain – I wear many hats. There are many topics that I love to talk about. It is no surprise that God fits into each of those topics, if I let Him.
 
“May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 TLB
 
Use your words today to encourage, build up, and point others to Christ.
til next time
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May 21, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

words

If you haven’t memorized Psalm 19:14 I would highly recommend that you do that today.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Words…

What did you do with your words today?

Sometimes I speak without thinking. Sometimes that causes laughter, other times not so much. I enjoy the laughter of others. Sometimes, I need to think first.

Using my words to encourage, to be helpful, to bless, and to speak life can change the atmosphere i find myself in. (Death and life are in the power of the tongue.) Most of all, it is my desire that my words are pleasing to God.

Father God, May the words I say and the things I do – make my life song sing – bring a smile to You! May my life song sing to You…..

Gloria

March 21, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you stir the pot?

Are you the type of person to stir the pot or to reduce the pressure? Do you give thought to what your words are producing?

Truly there is power in what we say and how we say it.

Things can go from bad to worse or from bad to better. We can ignite a situation (just go ahead and tell someone something that you know will get their dander up) or we can calm a situation. I prefer to bring peace, as much as is possible, into the turmoil.

As Paul closes out his second letter to the Corinthians he says this:

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Cor 13:11 ESV

Paul mentions rejoicing often in his letters. Here we see it again. Rejoice (period)

Don’t be stingy with your rejoicing. I challenge you to look for new things to rejoice about. Today I was overjoyed as a toilet tank filled up with water. (We’ve had some issues with it.) I rejoiced in a vacuum that quit working so I could go to lunch. (Hopefully it just overheated but whatever – God will help me figure it out.) Be a person who rejoices. I know my life is way better because of it.

Tomorrow we will look at the rest of the verse. For today, let’s work on rejoicing and using our words for good.

til next time

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January 16, 2020 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

this is what they meant??

Prednisone you are not my friend.   You’ve been responsible for a flood of tears.  You bring with you weight gain but even worse than that you mess with my emotions in a way that I have never before experienced.   You had better be worth it.   (I go for a stress test Wednesday.  That will be interesting as the meds are kicking up my heart beat just walking.)

I  have always had a wide range of emotions.  I feel things strongly.  When I get excited, I almost always talk louder and faster.  Some, who don’t know me, think that this means I am getting angry.  No, getting loud is not synonymous with anger.   I used to try to subdue it but then people would ask me what is wrong?

(I now embrace the excitement but try to be aware if someone is misinterpreting my voice raising.    This recently happened when we were having a discussion about women ministers.   This topic is near and dear to me.   I feel very strongly about it.  There was a time when someone’s disapproval  and lack of understanding of scriptural context would get under my skin.  Funny thing is then I didn’t say anything.     Now I recognize the responsibility to speak up –   to educate – to point out that God’s Word does not contradict. I am not mad at the person for being misguided.)   Ahh a topic for another day.

So a few days ago my Dr. put me on a steroid to bring my sed rate down from a much elevated level.    I was warned by many that it messes with your emotions.  Even knowing that did not prepare me for Godzilla.

I have reminded myself that I am a child of God.    I reminded myself that I do have the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life.   Knowing that I am devoted to God and it is my desire to follow Him – I quoted the scripture “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Matthew 12:34)  

I pray  — Oh God break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Help me operate in the compassion that comes from You.  Help my words be kind.  Help me build up.  God, I NEED YOU to be kind through me….”

I also cleared my schedule today – a rarity for me.  I told my husband this would be a really good day for him to use the church office.  I was not doing people today.  I love people and that is why I was not going to leave the house.

I asked God what I should do.  How was I going to get through the next 11 days – til my follow up appointment.  Starting tomorrow I cannot clear my schedule.  Come Thursday I leave with a large group of women (that I love dearly) for a 2 1/2 day retreat.  Sitting there with God this morning, that scared me.

Weird as it sounds, I felt impressed to get on facebook.  I was thinking – ok I can distract my emotions with that for awhile.  First thing I saw, upon scrolling, was a song a friend had posted.  I remembered that song from long ago.  I listened to it and it was as if God was all over that song.  I thanked my friend and got offline.   I sat down at the piano and began to play the song – over and over and over.

 

 

I don’t know how the next 11 days will go.  How often will I need to apologize?   I don’t know if I will pass the stress test.   I don’t know what is ahead health wise after my follow up appointment.

What I do know is that God loves me.  God loves you.  His grace is enough.  In my weakness He has proven Himself strong EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you see me, yes, I could use a hug.  Yes,  I will need grace.   Yes, I really am trying to keep Godzilla buried.   I apologize ahead of time and will do it again later as needed.  Please be understanding and please pray for my husband!!

Honey, I know you will be reading this.  I am soo glad that you are going through this with me.  I know your heart.

til next time

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Correction

Recently I asked the question  “Do you have a teachable heart?” Today’s question “How do you handle correction?”

“To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:11 TLB)

When someone addresses an area of concern, do you become defensive? We ought to be able to talk with someone about something they have done and the impact it has on us without fearing anger in return. It isn’t easy to be on either end of this type of conversation but how we handle it does reveal much about our character.

There are two types of people that Proverbs 9 addresses.

“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins. So don’t waste your time on a scoffer; all you’ll get for your pains is abuse. But if you correct those who care about life, that’s different—they’ll love you for it! Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it; tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.” MSG

“Reprove a wise man and he will love you.” (verse 8)

When I am faced with a situation that requires correction I pray, seek advice, write it out, sleep on it, pray again, reread what I wrote, use the delete button, seek advice again. Then I hit send. I now have a record of what I said. There is no he said, she said because it is there in writing.

Sometimes writing it is not an option. Just remember you can’t take back the spoken word. Pray that you will operate in the spirit and not in your flesh.

When I am on the receiving end – when someone brings a correction to me – how I respond is a reflection of who I am. I want to be a wise person. I make the choice to own my behavior – apologize if that is what my behavior calls for. I want to learn, to grow in compassion, and to receive correction with a teachable heart. All that said, it isn’t easy but God is right there to help me (you) respond in a godly way.

Let’s show what it means to have Jesus living inside of us – loving through us.

Teach me Your ways, O Lord (Psalm 25:4)

til next time

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March 6, 2018 Posted by | life lessons, ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

let’s be like Jonathon

In 1 Samuel 23 we find Saul is after David to kill him.

Then an interesting thing happens.

“Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” 1 Samuel 23:16 (NLT)

I appreciate the people in my life who seek me out to encourage me. We need each other.

So tonight as another full day comes to a close, I want to encourage you to stay strong in your faith. Keep your feet firmly planted on Christ the Solid Rock. Take up your shield of faith.

Pay attention to where you thoughts take you. Walk in the truth. The truth is God loves you. God is for you. God is with you. God will help you! God brings beauty out of ashes and He will make a way for you.

Lastly, I also want to challenge you to find someone to encourage. If you are married, your mate could certainly benefit from some encouraging words.

The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21 NLT

 

In a world where negativity abounds and looking out for number one seems to be a priority — an encouraging word carries even more weight.

We can all be a Jonathon.

til next time

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February 7, 2018 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dread

Is there a task that you dread doing? Maybe something that just gets under your skin and yet it needs to be done?

When the boys were young, I hated washing dishes.

When we moved from the apartment to the house, it only got worse. I found myself also hating my house – especially my kitchen. Yet, God had given us this house. I knew that I knew that this house was a big blessing from God.

I needed to take control of my words and speak life not death. (Proverbs 18:21 – I stopped saying I hate this house and instead I began to thank God for our home. Wow! What a transformation took place in me.)

I still needed to find a solution to my dishes problem. So I prayed.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17

Whatsoever! How is this possible?

verse 16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (here is a plug for church also — we need each other)

Later that week I had received in the mail my teaching from Joyce Meyer. WaLa! I popped it in and that began a beautiful journey of doing dishes with Joyce. To this day, I still do dishes with Joyce and I love it.

Whatever it might be that tempts you to complain or dread, ask God to show you how to get victory over it. Dig in His Word for insight. Pray, praise, read the Word and apply it to your situation. Use your words to speak life not death.

til next time

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January 14, 2018 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what are you thinking?

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Some people seem to be gifted with the ability to criticize. They see what is wrong everywhere they look. That is not the way to be at peace. True, it is necessary to see what is wrong if we are to fix it, but to just focus on the ugly or the broken is no way to live. We should look for the good around us. This good is present in many, many things. There is some good in all people. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on the good. (Curtis Girod)

What are you meditating on? Dwelling on? Fixated on?
Are you quick to criticize or do you look for the good?

Do your thoughts lead to good actions?

What does God require of us?

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)

One more scripture to think on:

“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

Selah,

til next time

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December 29, 2017 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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