Monday, September 18, 2017

WHERE ARE YOU GOD? ... Part 2

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 
Jeremiah 29:12-13



Lord if I could find you on the mountain top I would go there,
If I could find you out at sea I would swim the ocean deep,
If I could find you in the meadow I would bask in its stillness
But I found you right here where I am on my knees in your presence. 

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©August 2017
All Rights Reserved.



Everything was spinning. Around and around and around. So fast. How did I get on this merry-go-round?

Oh Jesus. Where are you? Are you here?

Floating. I see a hot air balloon wayyy up in the sky. Can I reach it? Why are my feet in the air above my head?

Jesus? Are you here? Mark is holding my hand. I feel him. I hear him. Where are You? Jesus ... Jesus ... Jesussss... there’s just something about that name ...

A voice began to sing along with me. So gentle. So sweet. “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word. Just to rest upon His promise. Just to know, thus sayeth the Lord. Jesus, Jesus how I trust You, how I’ve proved You o’re and o’re. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus. Oh for grace to trust You more...”

And the world stop spinning and I stopped floating as things went a bit dark for awhile.

Such was my experience on Nitrous Oxygen a few weeks ago right before having a tooth extracted and a bone graft done. I was so nervous my blood pressure was at an all-time high. But when I woke up, my arms and legs felt extremely limber. Relaxed was an understatement!

When asked if I remembered anything during my time of Nitrous floating or in the surgery my immediate response was, “I was singing with Jesus.”

Lately I’ve been longing to find Jesus in every part of my life. The Bible says when we intentionally seek God we will find Him. When we search for Him with all of our heart He will come to us and be present with us.

This surgery has given me a lot of time to sit and be still. I am not sure why my energy level is not coming back like it was (though I’m thinking it’s because I’m still experiencing so much pain I can’t eat regular foods even three weeks later). So while I am spending time recovering, I’m spending a lot of time with God. Searching for Him behind every door, every tree, every shadow, every corner.

Psalm 139:7-10 tells us that no matter where we go or what we are doing God is there with us. Doesn’t that give you the most comforting assurance you’ve ever had? He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.

Have you been searching for God too? I promise you, when you seek Him with all of your heart, He will be found.

Even in a dentist’s chair out of your mind on Nitrous Oxide.



From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

To read, Where Are You God (Part 1), click here





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Monday, September 11, 2017

STORM WATCH

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


But of that day and hour no one knows, 
not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
Matthew 24:36


STORM WATCH

You’d never know a storm is about to blow through
with skies so beautiful, white cloudy pale blue
no need to rush about there’s plenty of time
we’ve been waiting for years
what’s one more line?
But in our complacency, our moments of doubt
we don’t prepare like we ought
and just sit around.
Suddenly, without warning, the tides change in a hurry
we find ourselves snowed in
with our guilt and our sins
the trumpet calls, Michael gives a shout
now it’s too late to shovel ourselves out.
You may think it’s funny I’ve prepared for this storm
but safer than sorry is the motto I’ve born
and you would be wise to heed to the forecast —
one day you may find if you’d not waited to decide
what you thought was just hype
is the reason He died —
The storm is approaching, why do you wait?
Today is the day to know for sure of your fate.
And when the flurries begin there’s a warm peace within
we can weather it out we’ve been saved from the pit.
No matter how deep, no matter how grim
you will always be prepared for whatever they predict.
 

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©21 January 2016
All Rights Reserved.

Many of us are preparing for a hurricane; not a snowstorm. But any potential disaster causes us to reflect. To look on our lives and wonder if we have prepared ourselves for the things to come.

A song has been ringing in my brain lately. “Have you made your reservation? We’re gonna meet Him by and by. Have you made your reservation? Don’t want see you left behind. It’s gonna be a celebration. When we reach the other side. Have you made your reservation for your mansion in the sky?”

I think God is trying to get our attention. He's giving us a chance to repent and turn to Him.

God doesn’t wish anyone to perish and go to hell. He sent His son, His only son, Jesus to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. The offer of this free gift of salvation is open to us until the day we die.

Just as we are given time to prepare for many storms in this life, God has given us the opportunity to prepare for the life to come. Eternity with Him in heaven, or eternity without Him in hell. 

Romans 10:8-13 promises, “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Jesus will return one day. Have you prepared your heart? Have you made your reservation? Today is a beautiful day and tomorrow is predicted to be as well here where I live. But there’s a storm coming through soon.  I have made my preparations and my hope is that you will too and I will meet you in heaven one day.


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 







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Monday, September 4, 2017

GOD'S SUPERGLUE THAT MENDS THE BROKEN ~ GUEST POST BY NAN JONES

by Nan Jones, @NanJonesAuthor

I'm so pleased to have Nan Jones as my guest this week. Her genuineness of faith, heart for people and love of the Lord just pour out of her. I know you will be as blessed by her words this week as I am.


WELCOME TO HEART THOUGHTS NAN! 

~~~~~~~~~~

God's Superglue that Mends the Broken
by Nan Jones
 


My grandmother loved birds. She painted pictures of birds. She collected bird figurines and fine dishes from the Audubon Society. Her flower garden was alive with chatter and bursts of color swooping from branch to branch. I share this love with her.

Upon Grandmother's death, I received a porcelain figurine of a bluebird perched on a dogwood branch. This too had come from the Audubon Society many years ago. Not only was it pleasant to my eye, but also its beauty connected me to my grandmother's heart. No dollar amount could ever replace the joy this little guy brought me.

My boys were ages three and four. Wrestling Mania was big at our house—at least the Jones brothers' version. They giggled and tumbled, somersaulting with legs thrashing. Whoops of joy pinged through the house.

And then it happened.

A flailing leg got too close to the coffee table and slammed into the bluebird. Wings shattered. Hearts broke.

"Mommy, Mommy! We're sorry. We're so sorry, Mommy."

I felt sick, but the remorse from my boys kept me tethered to sanity.

"It's okay. I'll find a way to fix, it. It's okay." 

Oh Lord, How am I going to repair this damage? It will never be the same.

I remembered the superglue in the kitchen cabinet. Maybe, just maybe. I gathered the fractured bird and carefully carried the pieces to the kitchen table. Piece by broken piece, I molded the bluebird back to its former beauty. The lines of fragmentation were visible if examined closely, but the superglue did the trick. Bonded. Restored. Complete.

Fellowship is like that.

The Greek word for "fellowship" is koinonia (koy-nohn-ee-ah) and means sharing, unity, partnership. It denotes an intimate bond. "Koinonia cements the believers to the Lord Jesus and to each other" (Spirit Filled Life Bible, page 1628). Imagine being so bonded to the Lord that nothing can separate you from Him. Consider also that in the bonding you find restoration and completeness. **

Isn't God wonderful in His faithfulness to His children? And isn't He wise in binding His children into this fascinating entity called the Body of Christ, bonded through koinonia where we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep?

Koinonia—where we hold up our sister's arms in praise during the fiercest battles when she can no longer hold them up herself.

Koinonia—where prayer for one another comes as easily and consistently as our next breath. 

Many of us can attest to great afflictions these days. I believe the Lord is allowing much sifting and shaking among His children so that we can not only gain a better understanding of the essence of who He is and the depth of His great love, but also so we can learn to function as His Body—a Body that supports and prays for one another with unconditional love and locks arms with one another to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy.

"No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us. By this we know [with confident assurance] that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit." ~ 1 John 4:12-13, AMP

Sometimes in our wrestling, punches are thrown, legs flail, and lives lay shattered around us. I want to be that superglue that helps my sister put the pieces back together again. How about you?


From Our Hearts to Yours,
Nan & Marcie  

** Excerpt taken from The Perils of a Pastor's Wife by Nan Jones, chapter four: The Fellowship of His Sufferings





Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her book, The Perils of a Pastor's Wife was a 2016 Selah finalist and her blog, Beyond the Veil, won first place in the Foundation Awards at the 2017 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Nan is also a monthly contributor to Inspire a Fire, a far-reaching inspirational blog. When Nan isn't writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, teaching bible studies or sharing God’s faithfulness as keynote speaker for special events. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her facebook ministry page, Seeing Beyond The Veil. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@nanjones.com

The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and LPC Bookstore






THE PERILS OF A PASTOR'S WIFE:
 
Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? The Perils of A Pastor's Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God's Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone.

Monday, August 28, 2017

WHERE ARE YOU GOD?

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:25-27



Where Are You Lord?

Where is God when all around me feels like sinking sand?
Is He in the trees or the wind?
Is He in the wringing of my hands?
Trust is something I have learned I am not sure I understand.
Forty years of walking with Him, faith is measured in an hourglass.
Thinking I knew who He was, who He is, but finding
it’s not as easy as I once thought in this faith journey winding
around bends and hills and darkest days, through foggy nights
this does not seem like my life.
There must be something I am doing wrong
something missing, where’s the puzzle piece, where did it fall?
Everything feels messed up, unsettled, shifting, unstable
my heart is melting into an agonizing puddle.
Depression could be a misery but this, this not knowing
not understanding, feeling by hands and feet in dark shadows
is so much deeper, harder, than even a flashlights focus.
I want to know how to trust like the others do
the ones who are so close to God their breath speaks only truth
their faith is unshakable, solid, in and on the Rock
when did my faith become a stumbling block?
I cannot compare myself with Job
I have not lost it all and I still have hope
I know, that I know, that I know my Redeemer lives
that is the promise I am living with.
I do not know what is causing my downcast soul
searched through every crevice, every corner, every hole
but no answers seem to find a place in my dustpan
cowering in a corner would be rather useless.
So I lift my eyes unto the hills, to the sky, to the banner
the one over me with His name written in red
the one that calls me His own and tells me I’m His
and I remain under His umbrella, resting ‘neath His wing
until the day comes when He calls me out
shedding my fears, casting away my doubts
I’ll be on the mountaintop arms outspread so wide
drinking in the offering His love has supplied.
For now, I bow my head and cry
just for a little while until this weakened spirit dies
surrendering to the truth that He who is faithful provides
I regain my strength through the joy of my Lord on high.
 

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 August 2017
All Rights Reserved.

Dear Lord, sometimes I fail to see You in the midst of what I am going through. I forget to ask You to be present with me. My thoughts become cloudy and dark and I cannot seem to make any sense of what is going on. I have built the outer walls of a puzzle and worked in all of the pieces except this last one which I cannot find anywhere. I have looked all over the table, within the box, and on the floor but I cannot find this one last jigsaw piece. And life feels uncertain.

Unfortunately in all of my looking for this identity, I have forgotten that I need to focus on You instead of this one little piece. I have forgotten to seek You first.

Oh Lord, help us to seek You and only You. To find ourselves in You. As the song says, “I was that missing piece of the puzzle. It pleased Him so He breathed His breath in me. Created by His hand to fit the master plan. I was that piece that made it all complete.”* 

Help us Lord to remember You made us and we are Yours. No matter what we may feel or experience today, we can rest knowing that we are complete in You.







 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 


Scriptures from ©NIV, BibleGateway.com

*© “Puzzles” by Dottie Rambo and David Huntsinger, Down by the Creek Bank, 1978.






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Monday, August 21, 2017

HE BECKONS ME TO COME

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
Psalm 118:5



Jesus beckons me
“Come My little one,”
crawl into My lap
sleep in peace and quiet rest.

Jesus beckons me
“Trust in Me today,”
let Me have your cares
bask in My presence and grace.

Jesus beckons me
“Listen to My voice,”
hear every word I say
in this you’ll make the right choice.

Jesus beckons me
“Come sit upon My knee,”
I’ll teach you what you need
wisdom only comes in understanding.

Jesus beckons me
“Be still and know Me,”
I am God your father
it’s time to trust and believe.

Jesus beckons me once more
“Come and rest My dear one,”
there’s no need to fear
My love is ever near, right here,

always.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©20 August 2017
All Rights Reserved.

I’m okay. Really, I am.

I know I’ve been quiet. Maybe, too quiet. Not the person you are used to me being. But, I promise you, I am okay.

Thank you for caring so much. Sometimes a person just needs to be quiet. Sometimes the contemplative side rears its head for awhile. And I need you to know, it’s not that there’s a problem; I just need some time away. Time to think. Ponder. Reflect.

Sometimes a person just needs her Lord.

The last few weeks have left me reeling. One thing after another has done me in. I cannot tell you what I am thinking because my mind is jumbled with many, many things. I think I’m coming upon some answers, some decisions, and soon I will give them.

I really don’t expect to come out of this the same as I was before. But I do believe God is doing a work and things will be much better than I can even imagine at this time.

Your prayers are felt and so appreciated. You have given me the truest and most precious gift with your prayers. Thank you for caring, for loving me, and for listening when I have needed an ear or a shoulder. 

Maybe Jesus is beckoning you to come to Him too? To sit with Him awhile and be quiet. Not talking, just listening. If He is, I hope you will lay down whatever you are doing and find a quiet spot with Him today. 
 
 
 

 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 14, 2017

THINK ON THESE THINGS

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 27:13,14


I lay in my bed with tears upon my face. Thoughts of hatred on my lips as my thoughts sank deeper and deeper into a pit of sorrow.

Words of hatred at myself—condemning me for all the things I had done to deserve this new diagnosis. Once again, I cried out to God, “I don’t want to be a member of this club!”

It’s been almost a year since I found out I had had a stroke. Deep inside my brain, it is small, not leaving any affects upon my life. In fact, had I not gone to have a CT Scan done for a different problem, they would not have found this for awhile. It’s been quite a shock to me—to my system. Yet, even in its smallness, it is so large in my mind I cannot seem to fathom this diagnosis.

I have asked all of the usual questions: what, where, how, why, and when. But on this particular day for some reason the words of my neurologist from that morning exploded into a new depth—a new dimension—of unrest within me. “Though we found it incidentally, a stroke is a stroke, and we must do everything we can to prevent another one. Because who knows if the next one might be larger and do damage.” Thus began my loathing and “cursing” at myself.

Oh faithless child
where is your trust in God?
You whine and cry
when will you seek His love?
Burdens will come
some greater than you can endure
temptations will knock
there’s always escape through an open door.
Life may not be
all that you hoped and dreamed
but there is an answer
to even the most troubling of things.

Oh faithless child
quit your doubting today
turn your eyes upon Jesus
remember His goodness and grace.
Sorrow comes for a night
but there’ll be dancing in the morning
when you praise God
with thankful remembrance of His glory.

Oh child of faith, take heart!
Remember this most special part
God has never abandoned you
He’s always been faithful through and through.
There is nothing so big or so small
take it to the Lord, give it all,
trust in His mighty hand
He loves you more
than you’ll ever be able to comprehend.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©13 August 2017
All Rights Reserved.

As I lay there settling down from my tirade I picked up my iPad to do my devotions for the day. But even before I opened my First5 app my heart suddenly said, “Think on the things you know to be true. Remember who God is.” 

My heart began to release as my mind remembered the goodness of God. His faithfulness. His sovereignty. His love for me.

Then I opened my devotion. We are studying the book of Job and that day we were on chapter 10. Job was no stranger to suffering. And if anyone had reason to complain it would be him. In fact he says, “I will give free course to my complaint.” And boy did he! Yet, within his complaining and loathing he acknowledged who God is and His sovereignty.

And as my heart gave thanks to God for who He is, it also gave thanks to God for never forsaking me and being faithful to me know matter what I may be going through.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

Monday, August 7, 2017

DO YOU SEE ME?

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


He tried to see who Jesus was. But Zacchaeus was a small man, and he couldn’t see Jesus because of the crowd. So Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a fig tree to see Jesus, who was coming that way.  
Luke 19:3-4


I’m just a little nothin’
a speck upon the earth
invisible and slighted
not really much of worth.
So why would God care
about someone as little as me
when there’s so many people
who are more important to see?
Yet, He cares about the sparrow
and He cares about the ant
but He cares much more for hearts
that He created by His hands.
Just because I’m little
doesn’t make me insignificant
He wants to be with me
more than any teeny tiny ant.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©6 August 2017
All Rights Reserved.

He was so excited. Jesus was coming to his town. And he desperately wanted to see Jesus.

There was just this one little problem. He was too short.

As the crowds pressed in around Jesus, Zacchaeus tried his hardest to see. He jumped up and down. He tried to push through. He tried peeking around people. But to no avail. He was just too short.

Then he had an idea! Zacchaeus saw a Sycamore tree up ahead. So he climbed up the tree, found a good sturdy branch, and watched as Jesus came closer and closer.


I think Zacchaeus might have been happy just to watch Jesus as He walked by the tree. But wait! What’s happening?


When Jesus came to the tree, he looked up and said, 
“Zacchaeus, come down! I must stay at your house today.” 
Luke 19:5

Can you imagine how fast Zacchaeus came down from that tree?

We all know this story about how Zacchaeus was not liked because he was a tax collector and then how he came to salvation. But I want to focus on this: Jesus didn’t care that Zacchaeus was short.  Jesus wanted Zacchaeus to know He cares about him. He sees him. He hears him. He is not invisible to Him.

Are you feeling a bit lonely today? Are you feeling a bit left out? Do you feel as if nobody sees you or hears you?

Take heart dear friend. God sees you. He knows you. You are not invisible to Him.

No matter if you are short or tall Jesus loves you and He wants to come to your home today too.

And if you need to, get up high in a Sycamore tree and see if you can find a better view of where you’re at and where you need to go.

From My Heart to Yours,

Marcie Bridges


*Some content excerpted from my blog post over at Moments with Marcie
**Scriptures taken from ©God’s Word Translation (GW) at BibleGateway.com





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Are you feeling broken? Needing a place to find rest for your weary, worn out soul? Broken and Spilled Out: An Offering of Poetry and Prayers for the Hurting Soul is a collection of poems Marcie has written chronicling her journey from places of brokenness to healing. You will also find places to rest and pour out your own prayerful thoughts within the pages of this heart stirring book.