Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for November 2009

simplicity

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Our series of sunday sermons continued yesterday with a teaching on simplicity as a discipline… taking time to weed out the distractions so you can hear the still small voice of God is one that is a challenge in my life.
Our challenge was to turn off eveything and just quiet our heart and mind before god and ask him what He wants of your life.
I am sad to report that yesterday I fell asleep while I was quieted and still. And today at lunch my cell phone kept going off during my quiet time.

Lord, help me to slow down, and quiet my heart so I can hear your voice. Speak to me and I will answer, call upon me and I will go or do. Take the distractions away so that I can clearly hear your voice and direction. Amen”

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Written by Barbara Bloom

November 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Posted in daily life, growth

Inner life versus Outer Appearance

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I have given some thought to this but perhaps you have or have not. As young as I could remember i could hear my parents remind me that I had to look sharp, crisply ironed clothing, and every hair in perfect order, smelling good, looking good, appearing polished. But I also remember with great joy how wonderful it was to put on that old pair of beat up jeans and the soft and gently worn sweatshirt and just be me. I feel more like myself when I am wearing comfortable clothing, and don;t have to worry about the outward appearance.

But the truth of my parents reminders is that we do judge each other on the outward- if they look polished, well dressed, smell good, look good then perhaps they are good. But the reality of the outward appearance is that it does not always match to the inward heart attitudes. Some poeple look like a million bucks, but when you spend 5 minutes talking with them you realize they have not spent time building the inner self. Or as my one friend so fondly says “the lights are on, but noone is home” inside that beautiful exterior.

Weekly I get an email from Christ Notes called Weekly Wisdom. Today’s message is “Your outer life is your reputation with people, but your inner life is your reputation with God. ” While I used the analogy of clothing and appearance, indeed how we function in public does speak of how we are developing an image or reputation with other people. And often when you hear someone;s name there is an instant thought – “Oh, she is such a giving person” or “He is a hard working man, devoted to his job” or “I don;t want to deal with her because she is impossible to work with.”

King David knew the importance of putting God first in order to maintain a good inner life. In Psalm 27:4, he wrote, One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life. David made God — and spending time in God’s presence — the one thing he wanted. For David, his inner life was more important than his outer life.

1 Peter 3:4 says that your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

What ever the reputation, it is based on time spent and exposure to that person. And we all know that there are times when we are putting on an image that may not be true. But God sees through all of this to know who we truely are. He knows when we are truthful, working on or struggling through our character and he knows how much time we spend with God, and he knows how willing we are to work on wrestling with God for character development, disciplining our mind and body to spend time with God, and be opened to allowing him to change and mold us. I want to know that my time spent with God is like the comfort of my old jeans and sweatshirt… natural, comfortable, and I can fully be myself in his presence.

If you are looking for a weekly blessing, log onto http://www.christnotes.org/ and sign up for weekly wisdom. It has been a blessing in my life and I pray this will bless you also.

Written by Barbara Bloom

November 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM

What are you building on?

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Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

— Matthew 7:24-25

My email inbox oepend this morning to reveal the verse of the day…. and what a good verse this is. The only picture in my mind I have is of a famous series of photos taken at an east coast lighthouse. The lighthouse stands stately against a rocky coast when suddenly the high tide catches a huge wave crashing against the structure…. and the wave receeds. The winner is the lighthouse, still standing strong, because it was built well, and built to withstand those storm surges that will occur in a coastal area.

I just love how visual Jesus is. When he was teaching he always looked around at his enviornment and drew lessons from normal life. So he looked at a beach, and then up the hillside to the rocks… it was not a hard leap of faith for those listening to his teaching. They had walked on wet sandy beaches, and knew what it was like to feel sand sink into their toes and leave a trail of footprints that would wash away with the next lap of the waves upon the sand. And perhaps many of them knew the fury of storms brewing up on the water.

At the heart of the matter is keeping the teachings of Jesus as the foundation and focus of all we do. In my life when I have done this I can say that the storms of life like loved ones becoming sick or dying, job loss, financial issues, have been there but I have know I have Jesus to hold on to. The storm will batter me, but I remain standing, because the foundation is Jesus.

Lord I have been guilty of not always choosing the best when building any part of my life. I acnowlege this as sin, and repent from excluding you in my life. I ask you to be a part of every step,and every thing that I do, say or plan. May you be the rock and sure foundation for my life so that all can see your faithfulness in my life. AMEN

Written by Barbara Bloom

November 5, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Determined to Write

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I want to be able to document and communicate what is going on in my life in every aspect of my life, especially my spirit. I am not so successful at journaling during quiet time, not have i spent as much time here on this blog. But I feel compelled to tell you that I need to write this down, and document my intention to carve out time for writing. So hold me to it, and pray for me to be successful at this endeavor.

Written by Barbara Bloom

November 2, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Posted in daily life

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