Monday, December 11, 2017

EMMANUEL ~ GOD WITH US

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14


Emmanuel

Proclaimed throughout the ages
God with us He would be
born of a virgin, in flesh He’d come
as a baby for you and for me.

Fear within is no match
when Emmanuel’s presence abides
Going before us, protecting behind
and His perfect peace lives inside.

In the fullness of the season
may our hearts be an open door
welcoming Jesus our Savior,
Emmanuel, God with us, forevermore.
 

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©10, December 2017
All Rights Reserved.

Dear Lord,

Some of us are not feeling at all prepared for Christmas. For whatever reasons, our trees are not up twinkling and bright. Decorations are still packed away in boxes, waiting for their moment to emerge back to life. The anticipation of the season wore thin the minute the word “Christmas” was uttered. Lord, our lives are feeling a bit overwhelmed and rushed by the hustle and bustle that is to come.

So we ask You Lord today, to come. Come be with us. As Your name, Emmanuel — God with us — promises. We ask You to remove our fear. Our fear of not being enough. Not having enough. Not doing enough. Remove from our hearts the stone that is forming, hardening us to the wonder of the season. Help us to remember what this is really all about. You.

Help us to know that even though it is fun to have the decorations, lights, trees, and presents and baking food to fill our bellies full of goodness; there is so much more to Christmas. Help us to remember that with You, we can have Christmas each and every day because You are Emmanuel, God with us. God in us. No matter how frustrated we may become, help us to find peace in You and only You.

Thank You for sending us Your son, Jesus. Thank You for sending us Your Holy Spirit. Dwelling among us. Dwelling within us. Emmanuel.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 
 


 
 
Need a Christmas present that will touch hearts? My poetry book, Broken & Spilled Out, is available for purchase 
 
 
 

Monday, December 4, 2017

SPECIAL MEMORIES

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  
Isaiah 1:18

As I was doing some cleaning on Saturday I found something special.

In 1996 I started sending Heart Thoughts out to family and friends. It was a monthly endeavor that I loved doing. Each issue contained a poem or two by me, some other poets, little quotes, and Scripture verses. It was usually centered around a central theme; especially if that particular month had a holiday in it.

By 2001 I was needing a break. I actually was looking into making my own magazine but that never panned out. Besides having two babies; paper, ink, envelopes, stamps, etc... could cost a lot of money. At the time I had 60 subscribers to my little newsletter.

So on Saturday as I sifted through a box I found a copy of the very last one I sent out. Smaller than probably any other I had done, it simply has a poem on one side and a heart felt good-bye on the other. Wow. Bitter sweet.

(I started this blog in 2009 but it wasn’t until 2013 that I really worked on it. That’s another story, for another time.)

I don’t remember writing this poem but it touches something inside of me. A simple prayer asking God to not let me, or you, forget what Christmas is truly about:

Dear Lord,
it sure would be nice
to look out my window pane
and watch the white fall
to the ground
from these skies so grey.
How others would laugh at me
and maybe even scorn
if they knew how much I long
for the white to fall and fall.
But when it comes upon this land
it serves to remind me so
that as You look upon my heart
it is whiter than the snow.
The red, red blood of Jesus
has cleansed me from my sin
so please, dear Lord, I ask You
the from the clouds
to descend.
And once again this Christmas
I’ll remember why He came
and my heart is pure and spotless
whiter than the snow
I see out my window pane.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©10, December 2001
All Rights Reserved.


I know there are some people who hate snow. I happen to love it. One morning last winter I woke to a blanket of it outside and my first thought was, “Great is Thy faithfulness. Thank You Lord.”

Oh how I LOVE the blood of Jesus. I am so thankful, grateful, for His willingness to go to that cross, be nailed to it, and take every sin — past, present, and future — upon Himself so I, and you, can have eternal life with Him in heaven when we accept His free gift of salvation.

I think this Christmas I’m going to start back a tradition I used to do. Wrap my heart inside of an envelope and place it underneath the Christmas tree. My gift to Jesus.

Will you do the same?


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 


Snow reminds me of Jesus' blood that cleanses from us of our sins. What aspect of Jesus does it remind you of? 


 
Need a Christmas present that will touch hearts? My poetry book, Broken & Spilled Out, is available for purchase at Amazon.com and Blurb.com

Monday, November 27, 2017

JUST AS I AM

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17


Jesus
I come
just as I am

as I wash these dishes
launder the clothes
clean the bathroom
from head to toe
polish the furniture
mop the floor

Jesus
I come
just as I am

dirty, filthy,
with rags in hand
a pile of trash
to take out to the curb
all of the shame
with all of the hurt

Jesus
I come
just as I am

not another day
will I wait to make amends
today Lord,
today
right here and right now

Jesus
I come
here’s my heart
just as I am

break each barrier
break each band
cut through the chains
that keep me at length
take all of me
I surrender

Just as I am

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©November, 2017
All Rights Reserved.

I stood at the kitchen sink, hands plunged in dish soap, listening to Amy Grant sing. My attitude had been sour for days. Frustrations had turned my heart into a mess.

Devotions were leaving a void within me. Have you been there too?

Nothing seems to grip your heart. Every verse just complicates life. You want answers but none are coming and life just feels like it is falling apart.

My eyes spied the pile of dishes by the sink. Maybe if I do the dishes I’ll feel better? Someone needs to do them. So I got up, turned up the music and began my task.

Her soothing voice interrupted my dark mood...

“Jesus, take all of me
I come to You, I run to You
There is nothing that You don't see
You love me just as I am...”

I come to You ... just as I am. My hands stilled. My heart stirred. I closed my eyes and let the song fill my soul. Tears poured forth.

Could this be how devotions can be done? Does it always have to be sitting on the couch, reading my Bible, and prayer? Can it be that in doing this work, I’m giving myself to the Lord?

I bowed my head and surrendered myself to Him. Every action, word, deed, and thought. Whatever I had to do, wherever I needed to go, I gave to God, just as I was, right then.

Bible study, Bible reading, and prayer are an essential part of our Christian walk. But I think every now and again, God is okay with us just enjoying being with Him and serving Him as our quiet time.

A close friend reminded me recently, “It’s not about rules, it’s about relationship.”

And just the other day my daughter told me she didn’t like the do’s and don’t’s of Christianity. She doesn’t want to be in a religion that is so strident. But that’s the greatest part of having a relationship with Jesus Christ. It isn’t about rules. It’s about how much we love Him, because He loved us first. He gave His life for us.

So many times we get so caught up in ourselves and get so distracted by “everything”, we forget to just come to Jesus. Let Him have it all. Not trying to clean ourselves up first, but coming just as we are in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving to Him.

I usually don’t like The Message translation of the Bible, but I want to share with you its take on the main verse for today. I think it speaks volumes in how we surrender our lives to the Lord.

“Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” Colossians 3:15-17


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

all pictures provided by www.pixabay.com


Does my #quiet #time always have to be done the same way every day?


Devotions...It's not about rules, it's about our relationship with the Lord


Amy Grant: Just As I Am/Jesus Take All of Me






I'd love for you to join me for 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems over on Facebook at Marcie Bridges Poetry Writer  
 

Monday, November 20, 2017

FINDING SATISFACTION AT THANKSGIVING

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:6


SATISFY ME, LORD

Satisfy me in the morning Lord
with Your goodness and grace.

Satisfy me in the afternoon
when my day feels like a waste.

Satisfy me in the evening Lord
as I sit tired with worry and care.

Satisfy me Lord, with You,
not the things of this world.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©11/13/2017
All Rights Reserved. 


Dissatisfaction. Incompleteness. Longing. Desires. Want. Lack of...

Her question griped my heart. “What does it mean to be satisfied? What can satisfy our souls?”

My thoughts wandered around. Thinking of things in my life that feel so . . . what’s the word I’m looking for? Empty? No, not quite. Dissatisfactory? Yeahhh. Getting closer.

I can’t really put my finger on the right words to use. But, I think you might know what I’m talking about. That gnawing in your stomach that leaves your heart feeling a bit hungry but nothing seems to satisfy it?

It’s so hard to give thanks to the Lord when we feel like a tumbleweed blowing through the desert. We yearn for contentment and think if we could just find that contentment, then maybe, maybe we can find a thankful spirit within us.

But did you know that thankfulness comes BEFORE contentment? In fact, when we find thanks in everything, we not only find our contentment, we also find satisfaction.

What? No way! You’re thinking. Not even close. Come on Marcie, you’ve totally lost it.

It’s true. Satisfaction and contentment go hand-in-hand with thanksgiving. 

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Did you see that? Thanksgiving comes before peace. I can be having the worst day, but then when I stop and think of the things I’m grateful for, the attitude of my heart begins to change. I calm down. I begin to think clearer. I smile a bit and then next thing I know, my heart feels more peaceful, content, and yes, satisfied.

Not because I got what I wanted. Not because I got a new car or a  new house. A better this or a something I’ve yearned for for a long time. No, nothing can satisfy like God can.

When we hunger and thirst after God — righteousness — and we make Him the priority in our lives, then we find satisfaction. Everything else pales in comparison when God is our focus. 

I have to admit when she asked what word comes to mind when we hear the word “satisfy” my first thought was: Snickers. Ha! But you know what, a Snicker’s bar may fill my belly for a few hours but it will never fill me the way God’s Word can. The way His love will.

And you know what else? He gives us the living water that will keep us from thirsting. He will fill us up more than any material thing or any food.

I love Thanksgiving. I love Thanks-living. I love how God gives us all we need exactly when we need it. When we seek Him, we will find Him. And when we find Him, we have everything we’ll ever need.

May Jesus fill you with His love this week as you find your Thanksgiving in Him.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 








I'd love for you to join me for 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems over on Facebook at Marcie Warner Poetry Writer 

Monday, November 13, 2017

THE COURAGE TO HOPE

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Broken Glass, www.pixabay.com
I know the feeling
hearing the crunch
of broken, shattered heart
underneath my feet.
Watching as one small crack
echoes through the windshield
splintering the view
once a perfect collage of colors
now fragments of pain
the making of mountains
out of ant hills.
Slicing bite size into minuscule
nothing left but a crumb
of what I once was.

I know the feeling
of sutures sewing wounds
binding the gauze
replacing the heart
with thankfulness
beyond all hope.
Cracks, bruises, scars remain
but the pieces have been gathered
taped back together
still fragile, ugly, sore
but where once was despair
hope springs up like an
oasis in a deserted land.
A spark has ignited
smoke arises
perhaps there will one day be
a flame
to demolish all that’s been taken away.
Restoration will make its presence
the colors of Spring and Autumn
will pop out and refresh
bringing a heart once shattered
into love of life
once more.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©29, October 2017
All Rights Reserved.

I’m never sure how transparent to be in my blog posts. Sometimes I want to write about anything but myself. But each week I take time to pray and ask the Lord what to write about and sometimes He asks me to get a bit personal.

Lately I’ve been in a hole. Or, as the Psalmist would say, a pit.

Not necessarily of my own making, but it’s been dark and deep some days. I have scarred the palms of my hands and ripped up my fingernails trying to claw my way out.

There have been good days, but many more have been given over to discouragement and disgust.

And truthfully, I didn’t want to admit I was depressed. But, I had to finally face it and once again, seek help for it.

Life throws curve balls fast and hard sometimes. If we’re not careful, if we lose sight of who we are, we will get knocked down so hard we need an inhaler just to stay breathing.

Waiting on the Lord is a hard thing for me to do. I’ve never been one to enjoy silence. Solitude, yes. Silence, no. Especially the silence of God. Oh how I long to hear His sweet voice tickle the ear of my heart.

Maybe He is and I do not recognize Him. It’s possible, you know?

I recently told a close friend I feel like I’m trying to tape my life — my heart — back together and it just won’t stay put. Like a Band-aid that’s lost its stickyness.  

So, here we are. Thanksgiving once again and as I write a new poem each day for 30 Days of Thanksgiving I find my spirit lifting a little more each day. Healing a bit more. Gaining renewed energy and strength.

Only God can do that. As God gives me the courage to face each day, to fight, to move forward, then perhaps — could it be — I’m hearing His voice after all?


So dear friend, be courageous, take heart, wait on the Lord. And He will renew your strength.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie






Want to join me for 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems? You can find me on Facebook at Marcie Warner Poetry Writer 

Monday, November 6, 2017

I NEED SHADES!

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 


For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10


I want to be a light
A city on a hill
Salt upon the earth
A beacon of hope and goodwill.
Starlight to the darkest night
Twinkling for those who wish
Sunlight to the bended weary
Refraction off the rivers ebb.
Diamond shadows glistening through trees
Bursting forth rays of God
Only others can see
Glaring so bright they shield their eyes
Glory of You that shines
Directed to the heavens above
I want to be a moonlit path of Your love.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
4, November 2017
All Rights Reserved.

 
The Lord has created me. A special creation for His glory. When I refuse to see myself as His masterpiece, I am refusing to be used of Him. When I lose sight of who I am, I need to remember that my flaws do not make me; but, my uniqueness in Him (does). My flaws become the stamp of His signature upon my life. And if I will let Him, He can and will use them to create a better representation of Himself to others. Instead of putting myself down or condemning myself, I need to remember to see myself in His eyes. Not who or what I think I should be. I need to learn what He created me to be and walk confidently in that creation. I am created, formed, and absolutely loved by the Master Artist—the Creator of the universe.

And so are you. A new creation in God to shine so brilliantly that others have to use sunglasses around you.

Each morning as I’ve driven home from my daughters school in recent weeks, the sun shines right in my eyes. At one point, all who are driving must go slow and cautiously through a stoplight because the sun completely blocks out everything in front of us. We cannot see what color the stoplight is because it is blotted out by the sun.

Every time I approach this intersection, it reminds me of how I want others to see me.  Let me rephrase that. I don’t want to be seen. I want only Christ to be seen. I want Him to shine through so completely that He is all anyone sees when they look at me. 

When we walk in His light, we are the salt and light for Him. I want to encourage others. I want to be the Marcie God created me to be. I want to help others see Jesus. The only way to do that is to walk in Him.

May we remember this week that all we say and do is a representation of Christ living within us.

Amen?






From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 



 
 
During the month of November I will be doing my 3rd Annual 30 Days of Thanksgiving. I will write a new poem every day of the month and share it on my Facebook Poetry Page. I’d love for you to join me! 
 



Monday, October 30, 2017

ENTER IN

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalm 100:4


ENTER IN

Praise the Lord! O my soul!
Your goodness so faithful
Your grace so amazing
Your mercies are new
every single morning.
Your gates are open
for all to enter in
with thanksgiving we
praise You in Your courts
in joyfulness we shout forth
You are God! There is no other!
We are Your sheep,
You our Shepherd
we kneel before You
our King, our Maker.
From everlasting to everlasting
Your truth is our freedom
Your love our comfort
Your name our peace.
We bless You Lord each day
in thanksgiving we sing praise
to Thee—Jesus Christ our King.
 

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 November 2016
All Rights Reserved.


I sank down onto the couch trying to wrap my brain around the events that had just occurred.

Moments before, our girls and I were hunkered down in a dark basement while the wind howled around our home and our electricity suddenly failed.

Finally I ventured upstairs with cell phone in hand and husband on the other end. Trees were down all over the place. Miraculously, no houses in our neighborhood were harmed nor people. We were all safe.

The storm was confirmed to be an EF2 tornado that demolished our nearby airport and turned our usual low-key, laid back city and surrounding area into a war zone.

Such was the beginning of my week this last week. Out of the blue. Out of the ordinary.

Tears found their way to my eyes as I looked around my home realizing how truly grateful I am for it. I found my voice to lift up praises to God. A prayer of thankfulness tumbled from my lips for keeping us safe. I confessed to the Lord how much I complain about my house and poured forth heartfelt, thankful words for His provision of my home and keeping it safe as well.

As we draw near to Thanksgiving I’m reminded of the verses in Scripture directing us to always be thankful. “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6. 

Not in some things. Not in a few things. Not to cherry pick when we are thankful or what we are grateful for. But to be thankful in all things. At all times.

Why wait until Thanksgiving Day? Start today. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” You might be amazed at how much better you feel and your day will turn out.


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie






During the month of November I will be doing my 3rd Annual 30 Days of Thanksgiving. I will write a new poem every day of the month and share it on my Facebook Poetry Page. I’d love for you to join me!