Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for September 2008

Micah’s hope

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I have been reading through the blue letter bible online, and the daily reading today was the book of Micah.  Oddly as I read through the book I realized the world Micah lived through is not too far off where we are today – a world filled with wickedness, adultery and every imaginable sin directed against God.  We have set up idols, and placed them in prominence in our lives – perhaps even this economic crisis our nation faces is as a result of setting it as an idol.  So micah heard the word of judgement, and the promise that wickedness would not prosper.  But the book closes with several verses that shine a blazing light on hope:

15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things].
16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.
18 Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardons iniquity. ” God stands along in his ability and passion for his creation.  While the world of Micah’s day continued in sin and disregard to God there was a hope that this sin was not completely overtaking the entire world.  God had set aside a remnant of his people that he would forgive, and to whom he would pardon. 

Micah had the privilege of seeing God’s marvelous works unfold before him.  He was allowed to not only see the sin and wickedness, but the reconciliation and repentance of a people, and the grace and mercy of our great God and King.   While we must repent, the majority of these actions are that of God himself:

  • He created a reminant of people
  • He pardons
  • He passes by transgression
  • He retains not his anger
  • He delights in mercy
  • He turns again
  • He has compassion
  • He subdues our iniquities
  • He casts our sins into the sea
  • He swore (covenanted) with our fathers

When the world runs wild with sin, injustice, and inequality lets remember that if we are bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we are saved by his shed blood that we are that reminent, set apart for God.  I need to remember this and I need so desperately to run to Him and seek his mercy and grace daily. 

Lord, Thank you for the book of Micah.  Thank you that while nothing is new under the sun, we know that your grace and mercy are new each day.  Thank you that you have promised to not leave us helpless.  Thank you that you have not remained angry with us forever, but you are the author of compassion and you will subdue the iniquities we wrestle with.  Keep us near you and far from sin.  Amen.

Written by Barbara Bloom

September 25, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Life, learning and the spirit

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Yesterday was just another ordinary day filled with ordinary details of work and home life.  But in the midst of that day there was one very unique fact.  Exactly 22 years ago yesterday I wrestled with God, and he won.  I emerged from my spare bedroom as a child of God, saved by the grace and mercy of our great God and King. 

That simple fact that I can point back to a specific date on the calander and say that this was the day that God broke through this hard heart and thick mind to save my soul from eternal damnation is surprising still, some 22 years later. 

I can also say that for 22 years I have been learning about my God, allowing his spirit to wash over me, and his word to scrub me clean.  Sometimes the learning has come easy with rapid spirts of significant change.  But that is not always true.   Growth these days is challenging, filled with deep disappointments, and stresses that have caused me to remember that my gaze must always remain on Jesus. 

Today, as I write this post I must confess that I have returned to the Lord over and over to ask him to rekindle the fires of my desire to obey him.  I have sometimes stopped after reading a verse that challenged my very soul and have confessed my sprit of rebellion.  And I have reminded Him that my life is not mine, but in his hands.  I am thankful to say my life is in his hands.

On this first day of my 23rd year of salvation I am beginning my new year asking Jesus to be near me.

Mighty Savior and King, Thank you for this gift of salvation you have given me.  Thank you for your love for me.  You alone hold our lives in your hands.  You are the author and finisher of this great faith you have bestowed upon me.  Please stir the fires of my soul for greater depth of knowlege of you, more resolved obedience to your word and spirit, and courage to live this faith in a way that you will use.  Life my gaze from the crumbling dust of this life, and turn my focus heavenward that I might know you more fully and sense your presence in greater ways each day.  Amen.

Written by Barbara Bloom

September 24, 2008 at 1:01 PM

prone to wander – part 2

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A while ago I wrote about my struggle to wander from God, and my stress for not fitting in with those I rub shoulders with daily.  It is interesting that as I pray more, and work this salvation out with God he reveals a bit more of the picture. 

In a previous post I spoke of my coworkers who are not Christ followers.  I have watched them, and asked the Lord to show me them through his eyes. Dangerous prayer if you are sensitive like I am.  but a good prayer, because the Lord is always willing to reveal insight.

I have begun to understand that both women share several common bonds, although they are seperated by over 20 some years in age.  Each women fears being alone, and have entertained the idea of living with a man outside of the bonds of marriage.   Both share a strong opinion that they are in charge and often overwhelm others with their “take charge” attitude.  They both know pain and sorrow in their lives and they like to anesthetize their pain with alcohol and sex.  And they don;t hesitate discussing this in the work arena to the shock and dismay of those in earshot.    But the most significant issue both women share is their willingness to compromise their lives in little and big ways (don;t we all do this!) , to the point that they do not want to hear God, nor allow his word to pierce their soul.

What started out as something very personal to me, in that I felt very rejected by them, has deepened to an understanding that it is not me, but Christ in me, that is an foul odor and reminder of death in their lives. 

I am convinced that there is enough of God’s wiring and programming placed in each of us to begin to recognize God in our lives.  I am asking God to do the work to quicken their spirits, pierce their hard hearts, and speak deep into their souls as only he can.  These women share one more common bond – neither realizes how despirately they need to know God, and to exerience the joys of his salvation. 

No, no, no!  I may be prone to wander, but when God shows his insight of someone else I have to just drop to my knees and thank God for his salvation of my life, knowing that at one time I was in the company of those who did much worse.  May I never loose that sense of understanding of where I came from, nor judge those who walk this life without Christ. 

The next line of my favorite hymn goes

“Here is my heart lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”

Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

September 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM

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