Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for the ‘Lessons learned’ Category

Protected: Resistance or confirmation?

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Written by Barbara Bloom

April 25, 2014 at 7:18 AM

“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.

Written by Barbara Bloom

March 19, 2014 at 11:44 PM

“She is the cre…

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“She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish with Eve. She is the Master’s finishing touch.”
― John Eldredge, Captivating

How often have we thought of women as the second class, made from parts of a man, the afterthought.  Boy were we dead wrong on that one… we were the final crowning touch of his creation…. not an afterthought but the perfection and completion of all that was good.  Can you wrap your brain around that?

Written by Barbara Bloom

October 10, 2013 at 6:10 AM

God is Good… all the time

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Years ago that was a very popular expression in the city churches… and i remember hearing a large african american woman say that all the time.  Her life was a story of challenge, trial, adversity, and loss.  It seemed that at almost every turn she expereinced yet one more departure from normal and mundane life.. but she always came back with that response “god is good… all the time… and all the time… God is good.”  Intellectually i understood her cry, and in my head i knew this to be true.  Every passage of scripture backed her statement up… and in every instance where an older saint came to the notice of the world for something heroic, startling or shocking it was always the same song… God is good… all the time.

I am not heartless, and i do not forget to connect my heart to my knowledge, but there was one thing missing from my life those years ago… it was that direct and immediate application of this principle in my own life.  Until our job loss my view was that God was indeed good… he provided cars, a job for each of us, and good health, all the food we wanted, and a life filled with stuff.  We could buy whatever we wanted.. well, almost everything.  He provided warmth in the winter, and fresh cool breeze in the summer…. and we were very insulated from the palpable cry hidden in that woman’s statement.  For we knew a god that prevented us from knowing the pain of joblessness, or of death.  He was a God of the mountain tops….

and it was only when our jobless adventure took us deep into the valley and the shadows of death that we really understood the goodness of God, walking us through times when we were not certain how any bills would be paid, or if we would have food on the table.  He provided.  Never beyond exactly what we needed, but his provision has been right on time, precise, calculated, and a blessing.  And he has held us in those emotional times when the world just did not seem right, or we wondered what else would be taken from us… but as the dust settled we knew he was looking out for us.  He cleared our plates of the burdens of excess, providing just what we need.  Is God Good?  Amen

Is God’s way my way? Not on your life.  But is his goodness better than my very life? You Bet. 

So i think back those many years, and still hear that deep growly voice shout from the depths of her soul “God is Good… all the time”… yes, in the death of a son,  and in the loss of that job, and in the time when a spouse walked out, and when the car died, and the house is falling apart.  Is God able to meet the need? Absolutely.  Does he want us looking to him for everything – Yes?  Does he take joy in being our provider, our savior and our friend – Amen.

So the God of the mountain tops does visit the valleys, the deep places where there is great pain, and challenge.  And he walks with us through these places, and stays with us as we ourselves change, shed the garments of materialism, and of greed, and of selfish desire…  For you see, we had worn worldly garments of self fulfillment, of greedy behavior, of indulgence, and of taking for granted the opportunities he had placed in our lives.  That valley shook us to the core.  Bankrupcy – of our souls, emotions, spirit and of our wallet… everything felt like it was stripped away, or ripped away.  In those moments i remember saying to God over and over “Please dont let us be homeless!”  And slowly we emerge from those  rags we once wrapped around ourselves, naked, sad that we have gotten it wrong for so long.  The message of worldly materialism is a distructive one, masquarading itself in a cloak of luxury, and desire, appealing to the deepest fleshly desires… and it was in direct opposition to the God of Creation.  He had other plans.  He allowed us to have alot stripped away – naked emotionally, financially, spiritually.  And naked we find ourselves being handed garments of praise, richly appointed clothing of humility, of dependence, and of selflessness.  We are no longer our own, and we no longer look like the world.  We emerge from the valley dressed in the garments of our God, prepared for us, that we may proclaim to every ear that will listen “God is Good… all the time”.  The climb up the mountain from the valley is challenging.  Rebuilding our lives is not for the faint of heart, but God has known that he designed us for his service, and for surrender from the world. 

Perhaps you ar e there… the economy has thrown you down for the count, left you wondering what your life is about or how you will ever regroup and move forward.  That same God who is Good will be there for you, and see you through this adventure, until one day you kneel in his presence in heaven, with this world’s struggle ended, and eternity beginning free of all of this.  My challenge is look to Jesus… fix your eyes on him, read his word, and yield your emotions and your mind to his spirit.  Stop letting the emotions lie to you, and let Jesus show you his goodness, his kindness, his mercy and his grace.

What is keeping you from yielding to his sovereign will today?

 

Written by Barbara Bloom

July 17, 2012 at 11:07 PM

writing is cathartic

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I’ve known for a long time that I love to write .  But there is one thing about writing – it takes discipline in time .  and I will be the first to admit I am not very disciplined it sitting down to write .  so is a blog idea came to mind,  partly because it could be quick and short .  I love the thought of of selecting from what is going on in real life and spending a few moments thinking about it .  perhaps I missed my calling in should have gone into journalism .  at the heart of this blog was the goal of documents in my thoughts  and I most difficult time in my life .  I had a job that was challenging ,and I worked with people that were very strong willed .  throw my personality and my sense of faith in and this was quite a dynamic and challenging environment . Faith was not something that was valued in that environment  .  Curiously my faith upheld me through this time of difficulty. 

the writing is cathartic ,it’s healthy, and helpful to me to find ways of expressing what’s going on .  and perhaps writing is a means of document in my life  . 

Written by Barbara Bloom

April 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Posted in daily life, hope, Lessons learned

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Handling it….not me but God.

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Last night I had another powerful reminder that our lives are fragile and our God is a strong defender and protector.

Our neighborhood is older and so is the infrastructure.  The gas company is working on updating all the gas lines and moving meters out of our homes.  Last night was our turn to let 5 men with tools and hard hard loose in our basement to complete the work.  Here is the miracle: the gas company found for big leak in our gas line in the basement .  the more amazing thing was the biggest lake was at our furnace and the repair guy said the furnace it is blowing up and killed us all .  But god is good and he watched over us to protect us from that happening repairs are almost all done no more gas leaks and I’m thankful I’m alive .  last night when the news broke off valve leaks I was a bit frantic and then I realized how good god is to me.  initially the gas repair people told me the gas would be turned off we have to hire a plumber and thought we would then have to call to get service turned on.  steve was at his name and study and I didn’t want to disturb him but I was alarmed and needed to pray with him . we prayed together and then steve spoke with his mom’s bible study .  they prayed for the situation and offered several opportunities of christian man who do plumbing .  but here’s the miracle the gas company came back about 45 minutes later realizing they had been using 1 gauge that was hyper sensitive .  dan hypersensitive gauge was showing leak that did not necessarilly hold true .  when nate and tested the line with another gauge it has been fine .  the valve to the furnace is captain waiting are on completion repair however the gas service was turned back on and hallelujah we have no other leaks . 

so this is the miracle that god does ip knew that big ass would be leaking can you get it could kill us it wasn’t hard time and more than that he put on parts of the gas company none the idea to test with a different gauge . I know now how clearly god wants to answer prayer .  and I saw his good hands responding in very short order .  so I am thankful I’m alive and I’m very thankful that I know the lord and more than that I’m thankful that he loves and protects us .  god is good all the time .

Written by Barbara Bloom

April 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

All we can do is pray

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No, not a hopeless statement, but a declaration of sheer dependency on the Sovereign God who rules over all things. I hate to tell you that i bristle when I hear someone say “well, all we can do is pray” as if to say there is no other alternative.

Prayer needs to be the core and first choice of every human… seeking the wisdom, guidance, clarity, and abundance that only our father can bring is not a last ditch effort.

Prayer has always been a part of my life, but in the crucible of unemployment, sharp and marked economic reversal and new health concerns there is no other thought than to lay everything into the hands of God, and seek his clarity daily. And honestly that may also be moment to moment at times.

So why do we carry a misconception that as humans we have the power to make everything happen, make it better, heal that wound, change that future in our own power.

For those of you reading who still believe you have great power over your life please excuse me for being so brash, but “You don;t have power over your life. Nor do I over mine.” Surely we have times of free will, and times when God blesses us in spite of our best layed human plans. But the truth is even the breath we breathe comes from Him. Salvation is not something we can conjur up – The Father has to draw us, to put a deep longing, a hunger, a desperate need for His Salvation deep in our soul.

And we are hopeless to shrug this sin nature, apart from His Spirit filling us up and changing our hearts. And yet we sin, and yet we stumble and fall. But He stands waiting for us like a parent holding his arms out and calling us back.

So the next time you hear someone say “all we can do is pray.” I challenge you to turn it around and say “Prayer is all we can do – the answer is up to the Lord.”

Written by Barbara Bloom

March 17, 2012 at 2:40 AM