Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

whatever

TODAY!!!
Whatever comes my way today – God is with me.

Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

He calls me to trust Him – to let my faith arise.

battle

“By faith—by believing God—we know that the world and the stars—in fact, all things—were made at God’s command; and that they were all made from things that can’t be seen. ” Hebrews 11:3 (TLB)

After all, God created the heavens and the earth, He holds it all together, He has me engraved on the palm of His hand. AND that battle I am in, well, I won’t forget that it is His battle and I are His. (Gen 1:1, Col 1:17, Isaiah 49:16, 2 Chron 20:15, Psalm 110:3)

Whatever it is that is coming at us – God is greater!

Say this with me:

–That person that is trying to make my life difficult — God says that Vengeance is His – He will repay. (Romans 12:19)

–The health issues that I face — God says to trust Him. He is my healer and His grace is sufficient.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, Exodus 15:26, 2 Cor 12:9)

–That job related issue that is bringing me stress – God says to cast my cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:7)

–That thing that is trying to bring anxiety – God says His comforts gives me renewed hope. (Psalm 94:19)

—-When my paycheck is reduced, I trust God — God says He is my provider. I will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10)

“Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:2-4 (NLT)

til next time

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November 21, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

music

Worship is so much more than the songs I sing in church.  It is the life I live each and everyday.  Music is one way my heart expresses the awe that I feel.
I often break out into song.  I almost always have a tune in my head.  Sometimes I am not aware that  my mouth is sharing that tune.

For me, music keeps my heart in the right place.

 

“This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NASB)

“May my life song sing to You!! I want to sign your name at the end of this day knowing that my heart was true. May my life song sing to YOU!”

That is my goal for today – when all is said and done – when I lay my head down to sleep – that my life will have reflected my love for Jesus. I don’t want to just get through this day.  I want to enjoy this day and make a difference.

The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning.

What are you going to do with your day? How will you spend the next few hours? What will consume your attention?

 

word picture

If we don’t intentionally set out to enjoy today and be grateful, it can so easily escape us.

 

til next time

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July 14, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dehydrated christian?

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You…” Psalm 63:1

What do you do when you are thirsty?   Hopefully, you reach for a glass/bottle of water.

There have been times in my life when my body was thirsty but I didn’t recognize the signs so I reached for a piece of candy or some sort of snack food.  My body was thirsty and that didn’t fix the problem.

If I continue to ignore the signs that my body is in need of fluid, I will become dehydrated.

One of the first things that I look at when I get a headache is how much water I have been drinking. Headaches are a symptom of dehydration. The treatment for dehydration is to take in fluids.

wilted

in need of a drink of water

As Christians, there is a yearning in our heart for God.  If we don’t recognize that yearning we may reach for the latest video game, or go shopping, or call a friend.  We do all of this in an attempt to fill the void.

There are symptoms of becoming dehydrated as a Christian. Here are just a few – irritability, lack of joy, and discouragement.

 

Don’t become a dehydrated Christian.

An effective treatment is to immerse yourself in the Word of God and spend time in prayer casting your cares on Him. (1 Peter 5:7) Praise music is also effective in removing those symptoms. Attending church is another helpful remedy. Gathering together for worship, prayer and the Word strengthens us. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. We need each other.

To keep yourself from becoming dehydrated spend time alone with God, turn up some praise music, and make plans now to meet together at God’s house this weekend.

 

til next time

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February 26, 2016 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

bass player?

When I grow up I want to be a head banging, feet jumping bass player??  Yes, maybe I have found what I want to be when I grow up.

Yesterday my husband and I walked into a used guitar shop looking for a bass.

Since I know very little about what is good and I have trusted their input in the past, I told the salesman what I was looking for and that I knew nothing about bass guitars.    His response (not moving an inch) was to point to the left wall and say something about there they are. (Where was the owner who has been so helpful in the past?)

After a few minutes, I reminded the salesman that I know nothing about the differences, well, except for price.  Again, he just sat there mumbled something about not buying a particular brand but they didn’t carry that one right now anyway.  Pretty much any one of their bass guitars would do.

UGH!

So I did what I should have done first.  I call my son.  (We were just looking initially.  I would have talked to him before buying but when I saw the prices and figured I could get  one that day, then I was grateful Chris could come right then.)

“Help!!  Can you help me??”

Actually one of the things I said to my son was, “There is no one who knows anything about bass guitars that will help me.”   True statement.

When I hung up, the salesman says to me, “Hey! What am I?  Don’t I know something about guitars?”

I just turned to look at him and held up my hands and said, “Well??”

Finally,  he put down his magazine and got off his behind.  He walked over to the  row of bass guitars.    At this point I asked a few questions but  I was waiting for my son.

My son came and looked over the bass that I liked how it looked.  Isn’t that how you pick out a bass?  He plugged it into the amp we were looking at getting.  The salesman had recommended one twice as large – even after I told him the room that it would be used in was a very live room.

Then Chris started playing the bass.  He really has never shown an interest in the bass.  I am not sure,  this may have been his first time actually playing one.  He is a fabulous guitar player and he knows his stuff.   I wonder how long before I can play like that, if I will ever be able to play like that.    That’s my boy!

I  thanked my son and told him the salesman should thank him for the commission that he gave him.  🙂  My son told his father that the salesman is probably only used to selling to potheads and teenagers.

It is possible he didn’t know how to make a sale to a woman.  It is possible that when I told him I was going to teach myself how to play bass so that I would have a bass player when needed, that he didn’t really think that was true.  I didn’t see his look, but my husband informed him that I had taught myself how to play piano.  I did see that eyebrow raise.  Maybe he has an issue with worship bands.    I am pretty sure there was some stereotyping going on in his head.

Here’s my baby!  Almost nine years ago I was given a gift of money and hadn’t quite figured out how I wanted to spend it.  (Pretty good for me.)  This is a wonderful reminder of the love intended with the gift.   bass

On a side note, this guitar came with a gig bag.  (It was the one good thing that came out of the salesman getting off his behind.  He told us how to tell if it came with a gig bag, hard case or no bag.)  They couldn’t find the bag that went with it so I was given a brand new bag. Just a little icing on the cake — the favor of God!!

The salesman did apologize before we walked out of the store.  There is hope for this next generation.

When I grow up, I want to be a head banging, feet jumping bass player!  Be looking for a video in the near future!

til next time

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February 20, 2016 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

merry little christmas

The Christmas program is over.

Now that may not seem significant to you, but (for me and many other worship pastors out there) this day is right up there with a snow day!!   Actually it is even better than a snow day.

We have spent countless hours putting things together, praying that it turns out the way we see it in our heads,  practicing with various groups (in my case – the first time my children’s choir was all together was the day of the performance)  and trusting that it all brings glory to God.

I posted this on a worship ministers page Sunday night.

 ” Anyone else just really glad your Christmas service is over? I know some of you have already looked ahead to Easter but I am just resting in the fact that today is over. I only heard good things but it sure seemed like chaos to me. It was one of those days were I could have used a larger platform. smile emoticon Very proud of my kids choir and the adults did fabulous also. I went with an older theme — even had a couple poems (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Martin Luther) read by kids. But I am really really glad it is over!”

A couple things about Sunday.  The mom (of a good number of the kids involved in our program and she herself was in it) had to deal with her son having over 150 seizures  before coming to church.  He is a survivor of shaken baby syndrome.   He teaches me so much about worship, but that is a topic for another blog.

Would it have been easier for her  to just stay home than do what was necessary to get 9 kids to church while her heart is breaking over her son’s condition?  Think about that the next time you don’t feel like doing something.  Ouch!

Ten days ago I had surgery.    Three of my five health issues are worsened by stress.  As much as I love Jesus and know that His grace is sufficient, there is no way to get around stress when you are the one in charge of the program.  News flash — these things don’t just happen.   Long before Thanksgiving, I started working on the Christmas program.

All of this to say, I am grateful.

Grateful to God for:

-seeing me through the whole process
-the ability to have joy in the journey
-the grace to press on in the midst of physical pain
-my husband, who held my hand and prayed over me more times than I could possibly count throughout this whole process
-the clarinet and trumpet duet – new talent rising up
-the Sunday school classes reading of Martin Luther’s A Christmas Carole
-the kids who read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Christmas Bells
-our worship team – they do make my job easier
-our adult choir – this was their second performance of the year and what a fantastic job!
-my kids choir – their enthusiasm is contagious
-being my strength in weakness – (2 Cor 12:9)
-pain, because it is really a blessing least understood – truly the outward man is perishing BUT the inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)
-being my ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)

What are you grateful for?

Here is a small taste of our program.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — some words have been changed.

 

 

til next time

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December 22, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

vision and wisdom

My last post was titled overwhelmed.  Some days are just like that.

So it really came as no surprise to me that this week I would find myself working on a song for band practice that is about vision, wisdom and has the word overwhelmed in it.

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom
You know just what to do

And I will love You, Lord, my strength
And I will love You, Lord, my shield
And I will love You, Lord, my rock
Forever all my days
I will love You, God

Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days
I will worship God

My son asked me a month ago to work up this song.   I do so much better when I have music.  It doesn’t require as much time or effort on my part.  However, some things are worth the effort and I just need to make time.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)  He will never leave us.  (Hebrews 13:5)  He gives wisdom liberally.  (James 1:5)  He will make a way.  (Isaiah 43:19)

til next time

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September 8, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i.woke.up.this.morning

This morning I turned on the tv in hopes of getting a little more sleep.  I just wasn’t ready to try to get out of bed. The ringing in my ears is most annoying first thing in the morning.  The tv helps.

This morning was different.

What??  What did they just say?  Where’s that remote?  Rewind.

Nine killed last night in a church in South Carolina?

Only moments before I was wondering if I would be able to walk this morning, if I would need to go get x-rays, if I had re-injured my elbow, how much damage was done to my neck,  and how long before I would not feel like a truck had run over me?

Perspective.

I.woke.up.this.morning.

That’s right.  I woke up this morning and so did you since you are reading this.

My heart goes out to the families of those nine people and to all those who witnessed this horrendous act of violence.  There just are no words.  I am so glad that God can read my heart because I don’t even know how to pray about this.  My heart is grieved.

I, too, was at a Bible Study last night.  The spiritual battle that is raging was made very evident to me before Bible study.

Here is what happened.

I was up at the church 1 1/2 hours before practice doing the usual stuff when I fell on the platform landing hard on my left knee and both wrists.  I then proceeded to fall off the platform (18 inches or so) landing on my back.   My first thought was ‘my phone is on the piano (that is where I put it when I am playing) and there is no way I can get to it.’  Then I reached for my pocket and it ‘just so happened’ that I hadn’t taken it out yet.  Thank you God!!!

I called my husband.  No answer.  I called the house phone and left what I am sure was a rather panicked message.  I did tell him “I have fallen” and even though my mind immediately went to ‘and I can’t get up” and even though that was true, I did not say it. Only later was I able to see the humor in all of this.  I am sure it would have won America’s funniest home videos if only someone had recorded it.  No, I am not going to repeat it for any amount of money.

Fast forward — Curtis and Andrew show up.  There I was on the floor just like those commercials.

Curtis did not like the angle of my foot.  He wanted to call the ambulance.  I would have none of that.  I don’t know how many times I had him pray for me.    What I know is that I was eventually able to move my leg a little by little and the angle of my foot was better.

Chris showed up and we had a family moment.  I have a three great men in my life!!

Here is why I wouldn’t go to the ER.  I just knew it was a spiritual attack.  Yes, I had physical issues but there was so much more going on.

I am not one of those die-hard leaders that says practice must go on.  I have been known to cancel practice.  BUT this week I was doing a new thing.  Three additional singers were joining the team to do a 6 solo special for Father’s day.  Without this practice that song wouldn’t happen.  I am confident that the song idea came from God and I was just as confident that the enemy of my soul wanted to take me out.  Just as in Job, he could only go so far.  By the way, my right leg is the leg I need for the piano.

Andrew and Curtis got me up and to the piano where I remained until after prayer time was over in Bible study.

The special?  It was all I envisioned and more.  POWERFUL!!!

So this morning I woke up.   I can move.  I can walk.  I can even walk without the assistance of the cane I used last night.   I have pain but pain does make me know that I am most certainly alive.

Perspective.

Again my heart grieves for all those who lost people they loved.  May God pour His comfort, peace and assurance into their hearts.

Evil is running rampant.  There is a spiritual battle raging.  The enemy knows his time is short.  He is seeking to devour, steal, kill, and destroy.  (1Peter 5:8,  John 10:10)

Jesus came so we would have life and have it abundantly.  (John 10:10) God is an ever-present help in trouble.  (Psalm 46:1)   Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.  (Psalm 68:1)

Let’s go out and make today count.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

til next time

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June 18, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

dirt therapy

Dirt therapy how I have missed you!  I may be sore in the morning.  Who am I kidding?  I am sore now but, oh so grateful I can finally handle it!!  I managed to only get one thorn stuck in my thumb.  Success!dirt therapy

Landscaping is nice IF you keep up with it or you have a gardener that will take care of it for you.

Last year I was physically unable to do much yard work.  The very little that I did was quite painful.   If you were to have watched me today, you might have thought it was painful still.  My knee and foot demanded that I slowly ease myself to the ground.  Getting up made me giggle as I thought about how it must look. It didn’t stop me.

hostas look so good in springThe tiger lilies have finally filled in and now we have a nice camouflaged dog kennel.

pine tree and tiger lillies

                what dog kennel?

Once again a bird  has built her nest in the pine tree.  This time outside the kennel fencing.

momma bird

I love working in the dirt. It reminds me of my dad.  It also gives me plenty of meditation time. (I think that is why my dad liked it too.)

Another huge reason I enjoy gardening is that you see results. I can stand back and see the difference. Sure I will have to weed it again but at this moment it is mighty fine!!dirt therapy

So much of my life does not have immediate results.

If I am not meditating then I tend to break out into song.

“You and I were made to worship.  You and I were called to love.  You and I are forgiven and free.  When you and I embrace surrender, when you and I choose to believe, then you and I will see who we were meant to be.  Even the rocks cry out.  Even the heavens shout at the sound of Your holy name…..” 

I giggled again as I thought about whether or not singing is the same as talking to yourself?  Then I decided I wasn’t singing to myself.    I had an audience – Jesus.

patioOf course I have daisies.

daisy

This year my husband put in the vegetable garden for me while I was at a meeting.  My hero!

peas and beans are peekingAlways a reminder of my step-dad.  He brought these all the way from MN.  They sure multiply quickly.

columbinesThe sound of running water makes my gardens complete.

fountain

Dirt therapy — give it a try.

til next time

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May 23, 2015 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a smile on my face

I was looking for a verse on hope today.  The Bible is filled with them.  God is a God of hope.  No matter how difficult life may become, we have hope that God will turn it around.   It is a promise.  Romans 8:28

As God so very often does, He gave me so much more than just one scripture on hope.    For today’s blog I am going to just let the scripture do the talking and thank God again for His Word that breathes freshness into my life.

“Fixing my eyes on God — soon I’ll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face.  He is my God!!”

A white-tailed deer drinks
    from the creek;
I want to drink God,
    deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it—
    arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears—
    tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
    people knock at my door,
Pestering,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

These are the things I go over and over,
    emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
    right out in front,
Leading them all,
    eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
    celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.

 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
    harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.  Psalm 42  MSG

2015 begins tomorrow.  What will it bring?  Whatever comes your way, rest in the hope and promise that God is holding your hand!

new yearIf you have a moment, listen to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It is how I am ending 2014 and starting 2015!!

til next time

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December 31, 2014 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

church – boring or refreshing?

Why is it that two people can be at the same church service and one of them leaves refreshed and the other leaves unchanged?

Why is that one person can only complain about the worship service and the other person entered the very throne room and was changed during worship?

How about the person who is bored during church?  Is it really boring or has that person missed the whole point of church?

Church is a gathering of people for the purpose of joining together for worship,  uniting together in prayer,  and hearing the preaching of the Word so that they can apply it to their day-to-day lives.   Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”   We gather together to give and receive.  It is not a spectator sport.    As you leave our church you pass under a sign that says “You are now entering your mission field.”

This past weekend my husband and I went to a Pastor/spouse retreat.  drawing My name was drawnretreat 2013 for one of the prizes.  I am looking forward  to reading the book  “Redeemed” this week.

More important than winning a drawing was the presence of God that filled that place and filled my life to over flowing.

The music was powerful –“From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, Your glory will be known.”  That’s it.  No matter what is going on let God’s glory be known.  Let God’s grace be known.  Let God be praised and let that be evident in our lives.

I went with an expectant heart and God met me there is a powerful way.  He does that you know, meet you at church  in a special, powerful way.   (God is always with us but there is a special anointing of His presence when we gather together for church.)   As you enter into worship and give God your attention, seeking Him –He will speak to you through the music, prayer and the Word.

Here are a few things that spoke to my situation.

God doesn’t change His purpose when the storms come.  Just because trouble comes, God hasn’t changed His mind.  Storms are opportunities for God to demonstrate His power.  You don’t know the availability of God’s grace until you step into it.  Being wounded in ministry is a sign that you love.  –Laurie Hoyt

Crucible — 2 Kings 4  Every life and ministry will face heated crucibles.  You don’t get to decide what it will be, when it will be or where.  You decide how you respond.  What you have is God’s starting point.   Every crucible is an opportunity for answers to emerge. –Gary Hoyt

My heart goes out to those people who attend church but miss the opportunity for God’s presence to make a difference in whatever they are dealing with.   Even if you don’t know the songs, or the songs are old, or  they are too fast or slow,  don’t let that stop you from engaging in worship.  Worship is warfare!

With all the technology that we have at our finger prints –  guard against that becoming a distraction from what God would speak to you during the service.

I can use my iPod for Bible reading but I, personally, cannot post a quote from the service on facebook without getting pulled in to facebook – at least a little.    It becomes a distraction.   Another thing I find is that I have to sit up front.   I am way too distracted by movement.

What distracts you?  Guard against those distractions. Find what works for you to be able to give your attention to worship, prayer and the preaching of the Word.  You will be glad you did.

But most of all come to church bringing a sacrifice of praise  with an expectant heart and  you will be changed (strengthened, equipped, refreshed) in the presence of a Holy God.

til next time

March 10, 2013 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments