Monday, February 20, 2017

UNVEILED

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are.
Romans 8:19*



The fluorescent light in the bathroom has been on the brink of extinguishing for weeks now. Today it finally gave way to death. Death of energy. Death of electricity. Death of a spark to ignite the light.

Today it is a deathly, suffocating darkness in that small room. There is not a window in it to give even a speck of light. The darkness consumes my inner being causing me to gasp in its pitched thick blackness.

A lamp is turned on. A small, red plastic, battery-powered emergency lamp. The bathroom is now lit, however dimly, with one small beacon of reassurance. I look around at the shapes and shadows realizing that in this inky darkness all stains and cracks are hidden.

Until even the smallest light begins to fill this empty cavern spilling truth into my heart: even in the darkness God still sees. He still knows.

My hands find the faucet where water gushes forth to cleanse me of my filth. Water that pours out the blessing. His water, from His side, poured and spilled out with His blood—cleansing, refreshing, renewing.

“It is finished!” He’d cried. The sky so black I’m sure I would have suffocated; trapped in the breathless, still, silence of that moment.

But only a few would stay. Only a few would mourn—staying in that darkness—stunned. Silent. Angry. Hurt. Why, if He was God, didn’t He stop this? Why did He let them kill Him? What was the past 3 years for then? Did we follow blindly a man who truly had no power to save and to heal?

As the light of dawn spilled onto the earth a stone rolls away. No longer is the tomb embedded with death but the bursting forth of glorious light!

A new bulb is in place and everything looks as it should once again with one exception: for weeks the old light had cast a dim glow upon its surroundings. The true colors of the room could not be seen but now in the presence of the new bulb, I see everything clearer. A rich, clean light.

And I wonder if that is what this life truly is. Only a dim reflection of who I really am in Christ until I reach Heaven. A new light. Where I will see with unmasked, unveiled heart (and eyes) the Light of the World in all His glory

 
Fix your eyes on Jesus
look fully in His glorious face.
The things of this life that haunt you
will wonderfully, suddenly fade.
Heaven will break open in splendor
the clouds will rush away
and all darkness of suffocation will vanish
in the pure light of His amazing grace.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©February 2017
All Rights Reserved.




From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

*God’s Word Translation - GW




 


Monday, February 13, 2017

LOVE LIKE A RIVER

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, 
rivers of living water will flow from within them. 
John 7:38 

Brilliant orange, pink and purple burst forth across the ridge of the mountain tops. I had to stop. I had to drink it in. Either that, or I was going to crash my car. It was absolutely the most breath-taking sunset I’ve witnessed in a long time.

I fumbled with my cell phone and took pictures. Then I grabbed my Nikon camera from its case and shot more pictures.

The moon, too, was large and full with a soft yellow ring around it. On one hand, it soothed my soul and on the other, I shook a little at its eerieness as clouds scattered across its face. I took picture after picture of the moon (but none of them turned out well so I deleted them).

But I just couldn’t get enough of either sight. Bold, beautiful, stunning, marvelous. How I wish I could paint the vision for you with my words.
  

If love is a river
Then I want to be
Swept away by the current
Of your love for me.

If love is an ocean
Then I want to ride
On the waves
That bring in faith's great tides.

If love is a valley

Then I want to rest
In the bosom
Of shadows sweet peace.

If love is a mountain
Then I want to scale
To new heights
Higher than fear can reach.

If love is a waterfall
Then I want to bask
In the delight of
Your glory in rainbows promise.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©18 June 2015
Revised: ®12 February 2017

 
And I want to love God like I loved that mesmerizing sunset. I want His Spirit to flow through me like a river flows into the ocean. I want to live so close to God that His love will flow from me to all who are near me.

But how do I do that?

According to John 7:38 I must believe. Believe in Jesus. But not just believe with my head. No, I must believe with my heart as well. And when I believe, trust in Him, then His Spirit will flow through me like springs of living water.

And when His living water flows through me, then I no longer feel so dry and thirsty in my soul.

I pray that this week we will each long so hard after God that His Spirit and love will flow through us so much everyone will truly know God lives within us without even asking. 
 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 





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Monday, February 6, 2017

DEAR GOD

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
Psalms 63:1-5

 

I have written and rewritten the first line of this blog post at least five times now. Maybe more. I cannot seem to come up with a single thing to add to this poetic piece.

I have prayed. I have sought the Lord. I have pleaded. 

 

But He seems to be a bit silent tonight. And I wonder if I have done something to quiet the Holy Spirit within me.

I realized that even though I have had a quiet time every day this week, I have not felt satisfied.
 
DEAR GOD

I asked from You for days
to spend time basking in Your grace
not doing any tasks or errands
just sitting inside Your Presence.

Worshiping in prayerful adoration
Reading Your words in prayerful concentration
Speaking Your words in prayerful recognition
Being still, quiet, in prayerful contemplation.

Seems life has been too busy
days filled with worried agony
longing for peaceful security
finding a need for Your constant company.

Thought maybe all of these days doing nothing
resulted in a lazy and irresponsible identity
realized the truth that sets me free
spending time with You is priority.

I asked from You for days
to spend time just basking in Your grace
slowly coming to the dawn of truth
You’ve answered my prayer each day.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2016/2017
All Rights Reserved. 

Today a longing for God developed that I cannot quench. I feel so depleted — in need.

“But how can this be when I have spent time with You Lord?” I ask.

I spent time talking out loud to God in the car the other day and after a bit I said, “You know Lord, I think I’m doing too much talking. Perhaps You have something You’d like to say to me? I’ll just get quiet and listen.”

My mind tried to wander but I squelched it. I honestly needed and wanted an answer from God in a certain matter. His answer? (I kid you not. I heard this loud and clear.) “Wait...”  Stopping at a light I sat back confused. Drained. Empty.

More waiting?

Today a longing for God to fill this empty vessel moved within me. I am not sure how I got to this place of emptiness, I just know this one thing: 
 
When we fervently, sincerely, genuinely, honestly, openly seek God He will find us. He will satisfy us with from the springs of everlasting water only He can provide. 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie
 
 



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Monday, January 30, 2017

KEEPER OF THE WELL

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14

My parched lips could stand it no longer. I had lowered the bucket five times and each time it came up empty. Dry as a bone. Despair set in, loneliness surrounded me. No one would help me. They all knew what a wasteland my life had become. I leaned my head against the well waiting for death to overtake me. To relieve me from this solitary existence. Death was near—I could feel it. My bones cracked brittle from the dust I had consumed and my joints ached with every move. I closed my eyes to ward off the brightness of the noonday sun that pierced my retina’s; my head screaming in pain.

Hands gentle and warm caressed my face. I looked upon the man that knelt before me, his eyes cobalt blue and a countenance radiant with kindness. He asked me for a drink of water but I could only whisper, “The well...is dry.” 

If I’d had any moisture left in my body, I would have cried at the tender look He gave me.

He smiled and said, “I can give you water so that you will thirst no more.”

Confused, I found enough strength to ask what He meant.

 “If you knew of whom you are speaking to, you would know that I am the Living Water. The water in this well, when you drink of it, you will continue to thirst for more of it but if you drink of the water I give to you, you will never thirst again.”

Desperate for relief I clung to His cloak.  “Dear Sir,” I pleaded, “please, give me this water you speak of!” 

Slowly, my body began to gain strength, my mouth salivated, and my joints moved freely. I felt like I had come out of a trance. Had I been dreaming? The man I was speaking to was no where in sight.  I looked down at the water bucket, still in my hands, and in my surprise I almost dropped it. Tears poured down my face as I beheld my reflection in the pure, clean, crisp, fresh, sparkling water overflowing its sides. My heart filled with love for this Jesus who had not only rescued me from death, but He truly had given me the gift of life through His Living Water. **

 
Lord, please fill our cups to overflowing for You
Bring new life to our hearts and light to our souls
May we continue to desire Your presence alone
More than any other offering of this world.
Thank You for caring for us even when we
persist on living in the desert instead of Your oasis.
Fill our hearts with songs of joy
like the babbling brook as it bubbles along
saturating the ground around and beneath its song.
Flood our souls to overflowing with Your Spirit
removing the dust and debris from our dry, brittle bones
Satisfy our deepest desires with a longing for You only.
Creating a spirit of love and not of fear
within our hearts drawing closer, ever near
to Your well of Living, flowing, moving water.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©22 September 2016
All Rights Reserved.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

**Story found in John 4:1-26




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Monday, January 23, 2017

IMPOSSIBLE PEACE

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9
 
The couch sank beneath the weight of burden’s too great. My eyes bore holes into the carpet. The only thing keeping this body upright was in knowing that people were counting on me to follow through on a project that felt impossible to complete.

Impossible.

Too much. Too hard. Too many things to do. Nope. Wasn’t happening.

I turned on my iPad and opened my First 5 App for my quiet time.

The picture that emerged stole my breath; it’s words brought a flood of tears to my eyes.

“OUR GOD is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE.”

And the title of the devotion for the day?

“PRAYING GOD-SIZED PRAYERS”

Did I just read that correctly? I blinked back the tears. You know as well as I do this was no accident. God was speaking and I chose to listen.

“In the midst of the battle, Joshua asked God to intervene and do the impossible…the inconceivable.”

My eyes read that sentence again and again. I knew God was asking me to entrust Him with this task.

I continued to read about Joshua and how he conquered in battle because he chose to trust God. He also prayed one of the most God-sized prayers you’ll ever read:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the valley of Aijalon” (Joshua 10:12). God not only heard Joshua’s prayer, He answered it.

Our God―the God of the impossible.

“Scripture says of God: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).

Prayer is a powerful privilege because it’s the arena where our faith intersects with God’s abilities. We pray in the natural, trusting God for the supernatural. We pray standing on what we believe about God, not simply on facts we know about God. This believing, this trusting, comes when our head knowledge travels to our heart and moves us to believe in God as our Creator and our Father who knows us and loves us deeply.

It’s believing so strongly in who God says He is that we will commit our lives to Him and believe Him for even the impossible.”  ~Wendy Blight¹
 
Prayer —
the most
powerful
place
to
pierce
the
powers
practiced
by the
prince of darkness
pointing
us to
passionately
pursue
the
Prince of Peace
Whose
presence
pleasingly promises
perpetual
penetrating
protection
and
purpose
each
period, pinnacle and
peak
of our life.
permanently,
persistently
present.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015/2017
All Rights Reserved

I closed my eyes and prayed for God to do the impossible that day. I prayed the whole armor of God to protect me and to keep me safe from the enemy’s attacks. One of the pieces of armor is “having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).  After praying for God to do this impossible task for me, and praying for protection,  I felt a peace I have not felt in years. I spent the rest of the day, and the next, feeling everyone’s prayers for me and resting in this peace as I finished the task I once thought impossible.

God truly is the God of the impossible. Jesus is truly The Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit truly is God’s Comfort and Presence.  
 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

¹First 5 App: Praying God-Sized Prayers by Wendy Blight http://first5.org/plans/Joshua-Judges/ff_joshjud_10/

 




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