Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for December 2009

The Gate of the Year

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I was searching the internet and found the following poem/prayer. May it bless you as it did me:

The Gate of the Year’

I said to the man, who stood at the gate of the year
Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown’
And he replied ‘Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known Way’.

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life, our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?

In all the dizzy strife
of things both high and low,
God hideth his intention.

God knows. His will Is best.
The stretch of years which wind ahead,
so dim to our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears are premature;
In Him all time hath full provision.

Then rest; until God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
our minds shall fill.
….Minnie Louise Haskins image

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Written by Barbara Bloom

December 31, 2009 at 11:59 PM

What am I reading now? Learning to Fly Again

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I have always shared a passion for missions and world evangelism. In fact at one point in our lives we were actively pursuing the first steps to candidate for a church planting mission agency. That said, I have also remembered praying for various missionaries in distress. In 2001 a non-descript missionary couple serving in the Phillapeanes were taken hostage, and held captive for over a year. When the Phillapean government liberated them the husband, Martin, was killed by their bullets. Gracia was left to return to the states and begin to rebuild her life with their 3 children.

Gracia Burnham has written two books – the first was an account of that year of captivity. (Yes, I read this immediately after it came out) The second is what I am reading now. The title of her secound book is “Learning to fly again“.

It was one of my forrays into books on tape – partly because I spend the majority of my work life reading computer screens and anything else required, and generally my eyes are weary for anything else.
But with the first disk in, and 5 minutes into the book I knew this was something the Lord himself wanted me to learn.

The back cover of the book sums it up well

“Is it possible to soar—not just survive—after life has knocked you down?
Like a violent microburst that threatens to down an aircraft, an unexpected crisis may rock your world and leave you wondering whether life—as you’ve known it anyway—is over.

Gracia Burnham understands those feelings. She and her husband, Martin, spent a horrific year as hostages among the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines. She was rescued after a gun battle that killed her husband. When she returned to the United States, her life was filled with uncertainty.

In this book, Gracia Burnham reflects on how, by God’s grace, she is rebuilding her life. Using illustrations from the Burnhams’ year in the jungle, as well as her experiences since returning home, Gracia writes about the confusion, fear, anger, anxiety, and loss of control that all people in crisis experience. She also illustrates how God longs to pour his grace into people with broken dreams and fill their life with new meaning and joy.

You may be one of the many thousands of people who know the Burnhams’ story from Gracia’s first book, In the Presence of My Enemies. Or perhaps you are seeking direction and hope in the midst of your own crisis. Either way, after reading this book you’ll better understand why God’s sufficiency, grace, and peace are never so real as when you choose to trust him in the midst of pain and difficulty. – Taken from http://www.tyndale.com
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I will keep you posted on the book and valuable lessons I am learning through this amazing book.

Written by Barbara Bloom

December 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Rejoice for Christ is Born!

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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

May your Christmas be blessed with the real purpose and meaning – that is the gift of the birth of our Savior. And May He fill your day with his peace, his wonder, his wisdom and his love. Merry Christmas! Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

December 24, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Emmanuel, God with us!

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Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew 1:23 (King James Version)

Emmanuel, God with us. In the stench of an animal barn, nestled into the straw in a feeding trough Jesus, the Son of God, breathed his first human breath. It is incomprehensible to me that the all powerful, all knowing and ever present God who spoke and creation was formed would lay aside his power, veil his glory, empty himself and take on this tent of flesh to dwell among us.

In the still moments of this season, if you can push aside the bustle of busyness, the distractions of materialism, and the frivolity of partying to soak in this thought, God came down to earth, to dwell with us.

In the midst of this season Lord we stop and thank you for your willingness to be Emmanuel – God with us! Thank you for your willingness to empty yourself and veil your glory. Thank you for taking on a tent of flesh, and experiencing life on the human side. We bless you and thank you for your love and your mercy. Emmanuel be with us and keep us near you today. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

December 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Seasonal joy, seasonal adjustment

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It is a funny thing the way our minds work, and the way that life is. Christmas has always been a favorite time of year for me… the visitng , the food, the company, the decorations, the baking…

But the year my mom died shattered that joy. And for a few years after it was a challenge to just put up the tree, or do anything that was previously routine. But that was 17 years ago and I certainly know that I needed to give time for the grief process to heal my wounded heart. And for at least the last 10 years I have tried to start new traditions, and again return to a joy of the season, all be it different because it will never be as it was in my youth.

This year has hit me like a ton of bricks. I want so much to celebrate, but I am working 2 jobs, semi-exhaused, and trying to move forward seems like treading in mud. So it hit me today that I have a committment to those around me to find the joy in my life, and that glint of light of hope, and instead of focusing on the despiration of wanting things to be as they once were and never will be, I need to focus on the blessings I have, and the grace God has bestowed upon me to call me out of darkness, out of a sin steeped life and into his light and his salvation. This season of time in my life is just that. Seasons change, and one day the discouragement and sadness I feel now will melt away when I gaze into the face of Jesus, and in his grace he lets me see my mother again.

So this is more of a pep talk to myself that this season is all about remembering the mercy of God, that he would not let mankind suffer and die in deep sin, but that He, himself, who knew no sin would immerse himself in this sinful world.

Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
Zec 3:4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

The stains and scars we bear now is temporary. One day we will have our fithly garments removed, and we will be clothed in the righteousness of our God. One day, like Joshua, we will no longer have to bear the heavyness of sin and the filth of this sin scarred world.

I am thankful that this Christmas I posess the greatest gift I could ever have, and that is the gift of salvation and friendship with Jesus.

May you experience the joy of salvation and turn your eyes to him this season. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

December 22, 2009 at 11:58 AM