Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category

“The culture of…

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“The culture of women in the church today is crippled by some very pervasive lies. “To be spiritual is to be busy. To be spiritual is to be disciplined. To be spiritual is to be dutiful.” No, to be spiritual is to be in Romance with God. The desire to be romanced lies deep in the heart of every women. It is for such that you were made. Are you ARE romanced, and ever will be.”
― John Eldredge

 

I am learning that i must let go of everything and passionately pursue Jesus, and love him above all else.  When this happens, Jesus corrects the wants and needs, and adjusts the disparities.  Our fears, our needs, our hopes melt in the presence of our Savior.  Not a fearsome warrior that sits a far off, but the lover of our soul, seeking to be a part of our every moment, of our every hour.

For he holds our lives in his hands… ordering our steps, calling us to deep waters, calling us to abandon all that the world would ask of us, and yield our very dreams to his tender care.

 

Written by Barbara Bloom

March 18, 2014 at 11:43 PM

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

Recognizing the Battle

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In my reading and research of spiritual warfare I found a simple chart (fancy word is matrix) that is a clear way of analyzing where the battle is raging and the plan for how Jesus will bring the victory:

Father, we come to you, yielding our lives, homes, children, and every aspect of our life to your authority. Thank you that your authority is stronger than any other. And thank yo uthat there is power in your Word, your Way, and your Authority. Thank you for being The Way, The Truth and the Life. Thank you for your love and grace in our lives and for your salvation of our souls. Be glorified in our lives today. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

February 3, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Posted in growth, prayer

thank you lord

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In my last post I poured out my anxiety, fear, and frustration that my thoughts run all too quickly to thoughts not ordered by God. Forgive me Lord for this.

And thank you Lord for your unfailing love. Thank you that you trust us with this trial. I go back to one of those early lessons as a new believer that I prayed that you refine me just as gold and silver a re refined. This is a time of refining, of purging the dross from my life. Thank you that you want to see my life refined and purified.
May you have your way in my life. I just want to thank you for your great and merciful love.

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 20, 2012 at 1:39 AM

keeping my whits

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Friday was a day filled with major blessings, emotional highs, and so intense frustration that desperately tried to steal any hope that God is in charge of our lives.

As you know we have been on the hunt for work – a full time job- for 23 months for the hubby, and 17 months for myself. I think we are becoming insulated from the frustration of a work environment that does not want 50 somethings who have experience and education… we are no longer pretty, and perceived to be wanting the moon in tow with the big salary.

Well, anyhow, along with unemployment comes creatively paying bills. We have tapped the savings out long ago, and then the 401Ks, and now we have enough for one more mortgage payment then who knows where it will come from. Unless the employment situation turns around we are not sure where this money is going to come from – and everything in me wants to be scared and totally freak out like a small child who has lost any senses of security. But then that still small voice of God reminds me I am his, I am bought with the blood of the lamb, and i am loved, cherished, and he will not let his children beg for bread. Aaaah, the voice of God breaks through that crazy welling up sense of panic.

So I ask myself “Do you really believe that your life is in God’s hands?” “Is he really going to come through and open a door of employment for one of us?” “How big is God- am i out of his grasp?” My mind has been running at hyper speed, toggling between the definitive “YES! YES God loves me and has me in his firm grasp – and it even says in Isaiah that he has my name written on his hand. Not one sparrow falls to the ground without the father knowing this, and how much more important am i.” and “Look where you are now – everything about your life is upside down… look deeply at your life- how good can this be that you cannot find a job? why did you do grad school? that really helped, didn;t it?”

No, I am not hearing voices. I think this is just the spiritual war for my mind. I know that I must constantly lay it all down.. surrender my life, my mind, my circumstances and my very being to Jesus and leave it with him.

“So tonight I come to you Jesus, giving you my thoughts, my emotions, my sight, and my very life. You are the all knowing, always present, loving one, the savior, my redeemer, my king. I honor you and yield this life to you again. Like prisoners of war I march my thoughts to you and hand them over too. I know that apart from you I am nothing and can do nothing. I ask you to guard my thoughts, keep my gaze on you, and show me what you want of my life. We have seen you move in miraculous ways and the enemy try to swoop in to steal the blessings. I hide behind your shield, your armer, and want to retreat into you as my high tower. As this battle continues give me your wisdom and your strength to know how to proceed. I do ask Lord if you would open a door for a job- for income to pay our bills. Show us where to look, and make that way for us please. I yearn for the day when you call us home, and we can fall before your mercy, yielded fully from this sin scarred body, and this sin scarred world. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 20, 2012 at 1:35 AM

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

One day the struggle will end

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One day the struggle with this life will dissolve into peace, wholeness and health in the presence of Jesus. Amen. amen, even so lord Jesus come quickly!!!! this has been my thoughts for this first week of a new year. I yearned to know that something is good in this world, but within a few short days of the new year came word that there will be another round of layoffs, and a dear friend told me she had been given her 30 day notice.

I am no super christian, but I am a believer, and I do submit my whole life to the Lord…. this is important for you to hear because what I want to say may sound like I have doubt.

I think I have a healthy sense of life… the uncertainty of life is real. We may be riding high today only to be struggling tomorrow. In my work world I have always enjoyed what I do, even the most mundane chores… and I have always appreciated the people. But the work environment has become so tainted, so poisoned by sin and greed. And it seems that it is getting worse and worse…

I had entered 2011 asking God to break the bands of struggle, and give me a job, a real career, a real income. And to free me from a very tenuous status of my employment that seems to disable my ability to move forward. Listed as part time, but working full time hours, no benefits, no health insurance, no sick time, or vacation time… discounted labor force…. hmm.

But it is not really this that grips me… but one symptom is the corporate culture that hires high priced consultants that make 6 figure salaries, and fly them home across the country each weekend. And the company puts them up at the fanciest hotels, with a food budget, all on the company. And these guys come and go, and when they go they leave a wake of layoffs. Layoffs that had to happen to pay for the high priced consultant’s budgets. And those consultants results were not satisfactory so bring in another round, pay them more than the last guys, lay off another couple dozen people, and continue the process.

So what happened to the workforce that was loyal, hard working, and faithful, lived in the geographic area, and payed taxes here, were invested in the best interest of the community, their schools, their government, their institutions? It is hard to be loyal to this town when you fly cross country to your mc-mansion and mc-kids who probably go to a mc-private mc-school or become members of mc-private country clubs.

ok, cynicism doesn’t become me. But this trend of gutting the work force in favor of business mercenaries who kill and destroy all i n the name of reclaiming their MBAs and maintaining their lifestyle fly’s in the face of everything that has been right and good about America.

We have lost something deep in our fabric. We have lost a sense of the value of people. We have lost the sense of the value of community, and of employing locally, or of graciously helping people rather than kicking them to the curb. And we have lost the willingness that business is not paper perfect – there will be times when you have to understand and encourage that person with some sudden devistating health concern, or the person who is a bit distracted because their home life is in upheavel. We used to understand. We used to make those exceptions and try to help those who needed it back to a life of productivity…. THese days you can;t let them see any emotion or anything they would deem weakness. You just can;t be human. And these days you can;t get older. God help you if you are over 50 in the work place now… that will be short lived.

Yes, ask how many of the unemployed are over 50 years old… and you might be shocked. Ask why – is it because of age alone, or did some MBA crunch the numbers and decide that the older you get the more likely you are to utilize benefits, or draw on health care? Is it a simple cost containment effort under foot here? Or have we severed more of the human sensitivity to life and preferred the “what works on paper must work in life – no emotion, no room for human thought” school of business?

If you are reading this, and have some insight I would love feedback. I would love to understand how this world is changing right before my eyes, and that change is not for the good. I would love to understand how we have turned our backs on the hard working, resourceful, and compassionate and opted instead to hire the insecure, jealous, vindictive and emotion less managers that are keeping shop.

And the next question is this…. is there any hope of recovering from this slide? Can America take back the dignity and wisdom to stop letting a few financial hoars from destroying the life of the middle class?

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. – 1 Timothy 4:1-2

So am i surprised this world is changing? No, a thousand times no. But would I like to have not seen the slide in my lifetime – absolutely.
I think what grieves me is that so many of these people are turning countless lives into states of chaos, upheaval and change. And in the midst of this the care and compassion for one another as humans has come to a severed end, and the greed of money and power has won out only to the determent of our society.