Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for the ‘Inspiring Quotes’ Category

“We desire to possess a beauty…

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“We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”
― Stasi Eldredge, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

Beauty – deep in the core of our frame is the desire to be accepted, found beautiful, wanted and worth being pursued.  In our  teen years the spirit of pursuit awakes, but at that time so does the enemy, seeking to destroy our thoughts of beauty. He comes in subtle ways “oh you can stand to loose weight”  “your nose is bigger than anyone on the planet”, and a thousand thoughts subtly assault our beauty, our image, our core.

But these assaults are lies. Lies designed to trip us up from being who we are made to be… princesses, daughters of the most high, set in high places in Christ Jesus.   If the enemy can undermine our mind, make us to feel that we are not worthy to be pursued, not worthy to be viewed as beautiful, then he will win.

The battle is on.  Thoughts are prisoners, and King Jesus can give us victory over these horrendous attacks.  Daughters of Adam, choose what you will listen to.  Select each thought and weigh it carefully – is it good, peacable, kind, uplifting?  Know that our great god will only speak truth to you.  He will never speak in ways that belittle you.  For you are a holy nation, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, called, chosen, blessed, and he sings over you.  He loves you so much that he pursues you with all the powers of heaven.   For you are beautiful, and captivating to him.

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Written by Barbara Bloom

March 19, 2014 at 11:44 PM

Comfort is overrated

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I heard those words on a blog i was reading and gasped… taken by surprise because everything in our mortal being strives to find comfort, to find the minimum resistance, the place where there is no pain. But there is a truth to the statement that comfort is overrated. I pondered this for some time.

Why was i surprised by this comment? what was it about comfort that drew the writer of that blog post to make this statement? In the back of my mind i have heard this before. Friends who went off to the mission field of the third world have easily come back changed, understanding that the church of the united states is soft, at ease, much like a former athlete who discovered the relaxation of breaking from the training schedule. I have heard natives of other nations speak of how the struggle, the pain, pushing through the difficulty builds the character, and develops a strong faith muscle. I confess until i lost my job i thought i had a pretty strong faith muscle, but realize now that was not the case.

So here are the comments he made about discomfort. This is what stirred my thoughts:

Comfort is overrated. It doesn’t lead to happiness. It makes us lazy—and forgetful. It often leads to self-absorption, boredom, and discontent.
Discomfort is a catalyst for growth. It makes us yearn for something more. It forces us to change, stretch, and adapt.
Discomfort is a sign we’re making progress. You’ve heard the expression, “no pain, no gain.” It’s true! When you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort.

These words spoke deeply to me. This is what i want in 2012 – growth, profound catalytic growth.

Lord, through this past year you have been the strength, the comfort, the one pulling us to new and unfamiliare places. I must confess that when i loose sight of your good hand it seems that I loose sight of the work you are doing in my life, my soul, my heart. I also confess that i like ease, comfort, minimal stress and i realize I have not grown during times of ease. Thank you Lord for seasons of growth, of trial, of challenge because it is in those times that we learn your true love, power, and wisdom. We learn your character in deeper and more secure ways. I thank you for the season of lack of comfort, and i yield this simple life to you. Make me into what you want me to be. Amen”

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 9, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Covenant Prayer of John Wesley

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I love the legacy of christian history, and the prayers of those who went before us. I never before heard this prayer until i read Kay Warren’s book and the concept of surrender spoke so strongly to me. Here is the prayer.

Covenant Prayer
From John Wesley’s Covenant Service , 1780

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

All I can say is Amen, Lord Jesus. Everything about this prayer spoke to the despirate need in my heart to accept his will in my life.

Written by Barbara Bloom

February 7, 2010 at 2:20 AM

Coming to the end of myself

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I must confess that the title of this post is something I have given little thought to, or previously had a very different view of its true meaning. With our financial crisis I have learned that my life is not my own, and i have come to the end of my resources, finding myself yielding the scraps of what is left to the mighty hands of the lord. I am helpless to change my situation apart from the direct intervention of the lord himself.

So I have come to the end of myself. is that so bad? or is there a new freedom in surrendering wholey and completely to a God whose character is good, and holds everything in his sovereign hands.

I have just finished reading “Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God” by Kay Warren, so the concept of surrender is burning on my heart. In fact, everything I have heard, or read these past weeks has focused on complete surrender. I am compelled to realize the call of God on my life to surrender… to loosen and remove my grasp from my life. As Kay Warren said, the kingdom of me must die. But I am a slow learner or perhaps a very selfish lover of my kingdom. But I must love the king, Jesus, more than I love myself. So the cry of my heart is that I want to yield everything to him afresh, lay down the life I have known, willingly embrace what he leads me to.

So Father, here i am, sitting before you and crying out to you that I want to yield everything back to you, but I am fearful, and so limited in my capacity to learn. You have given me the gift of faith, and the glorious hope of salvation. Forgive my unbelief, forgive my fear. I have loved the life I have known, but this is not the place you want me in. You want my surrender, and nothing less. Please take me deeper, lead me on to the place you have ordered for me. Grant that I might have faith to trust you and trust your good hand in my life. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

February 6, 2010 at 2:06 AM

Living for a Cause Greater than Yourself

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OK, another inbox message in email that I just had to respond to. This was from Os Hillman at Marketplace Leaders. His daily devotional is always challenging and certainly gives room for tough self reflection and soul searching. Here is today’s:

Living for a Cause Greater than Yourself
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, January 13 2010

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Ps 82:3-4).
God raises up leaders to take on causes that are much greater than themselves. However, these causes are often first birthed as a result of a personal crisis or conviction; then this leads to a larger cause.

Martin Luther King had a personal conviction that racial discrimination was wrong. He sought to change this through preaching and nonviolent demonstrations. It wasn’t long before this became the conviction of others and it became a movement larger than any one person.

William Wilberforce was a political statesman in England. He came to Christ when he was twenty-eight years old. He began to have personal convictions about slavery in England and he committed his life to the goal of destroying slavery. He finally achieved his goal after fifty years of work. His work also resulted in sixty-four world changing initiatives before he died.

William Wallace was burdened about the persecution his country received from the wicked English king named Edward the Longshanks. Born in 1272, Wallace grew up under the persecution from the wicked king. When he was older, he led a rebellion against England that resulted in the freedom for the nation of Scotland. The popular movie, Braveheart, was the story of William Wallace.

My own ministry to those in the workplace first began as a personal crisis. This developed later into a call to serve believers in the marketplace.

Has God allowed a crisis in your life? God often raises leaders and begins movements as a result of a personal crisis in a leader’s life.

What can I say except “AMEN!”

Lord, life has been challenging this past year, and I realize that some of my struggles come with accepting changes to my life, but I also ask you to show me how I can take these changes and push them toward advancing a cause greater than myself. Show me what you want my life to bear fruit of and lead me in clear steps toward following your plan. May my life and the ash heap that it often feels like yield a peacable fruit of righteousness. May you have a voice through me to this dark and sin scarred world. Amen”

Great Society comes from investment

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A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never sit in.”

— Greek Proverb
Quoted in Mentor Like Jesus
by Regi Campbell

I have thought long and hard about this idea, but never was able to distill it to such a concise word. We benefit or fall on the generosity and selflessness of previous generations. My parents, people of the “greatest generation” knew sacrifice, struggle and selflessness through financial lean times, and times of world war. They gave of themselves, probably never were paid what their work was worth, but society was stong, solid, and they were supportive of the growth, willing to shed their self-ishness for the greater good of the whole society.

The quote strikes a cord in me that cannot be silenced. If we choose to live selfishly, looking only at our own interests one day we will come to a place where there is nothing for the greater society. Life the ecology movement, there is something essential and necessary in our soul that we sould give without reaping the benefits of what is given. The seeds of our gift will one day grow into a harvest of a forest if, and only if, we begin to pay forward the goodness that we have been blessed to know.

So here I am Lord, benefiting from the freedom of our nation, and the toil and sweat and lives that have paid a price for me to be free. Here I am able to say just about anything I want to anyone, and the freedom to believe whatever I wish, and practice that believe openly thanks to those courageous generations that are now with you in eternity. and I am saddened by my generation and our total lack of insight into the idea of building for the future. I yearn to live in a way that brings growth, and change to the world around me. This new year, 2010, I commit myself back to you and ask you to take this heart and mind, hands and feet and show me how you want me to be used for your glory, to plant trees I may never see the shade of. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 3, 2010 at 1:03 AM