Wednesday, December 25, 2013

MY CHRISTMAS WISH FOR YOU

ALL IS WELL

All is well, all is well
God has blessed beyond compare
Though trials came throughout the year
He’s been faithful to stay near.

I don’t know what the future holds
But knowing whom holds it makes it clear
That all will be well and good and dear.

Through good and bad, hard or sad,
He’s with us to the end.
So my friend,
I pray for you this little wish -

That God will keep you close to Him
And no matter what your next year holds
You’ll find in Him the peace you seek
The love, strength and grace you need
To go through each day and each minute
with strength
No matter what has been placed in it.
May your Christmas be merry and bright
With the love of our Saviour in your heart and mind.

Marcell Warner Bridges
©11, December 2008
Revised ©24, December 2013

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU! Thank you so much for your loyalty and faithfulness in reading and sharing my posts. Richest blessings to all of you, ~Marcie 

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© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LESSONS FROM CHRISTMAS


It was one week before Christmas. Money was scarce and the wooden, 3 bedroom, 2 bath brown painted house had surely seen better days. The screen doors creaked as they opened and shut and there was a noticeable draft of cool air throughout the house as if to remind the family how badly repairs were needed.  The house moaned and creaked but it stood against the winds that buffeted it. And the family, for all intents and purposes, stayed fairly warm and dry throughout that winter and spring. But it was the holidays that made them quiver.

Christmas had always been a happy time.  The birth of the Savior’s celebration was top priority but mom and dad made sure to buy just enough presents so everyone was happy and the food was always a great feast. But this year would be different.

It was one week before Christmas and there wasn’t a single bit of Christmas in that house. No decorations, no tree, no presents and definitely no food.  They said not to worry that they’d make it somehow but actions speak louder than words and even louder than words - the look on their faces as they tried to convince everyone that the family would have a good Christmas - or, maybe they were trying to convince themselves.

But it was a week before Christmas... the family piled into the car and headed for church to sing about Jesus in the manger and hear about the miraculous birth and they wondered if such a miracle would be possible for them too. They drove home quietly lost in their own thoughts and didn’t see their miracle until they got out of the car.

It was a week before Christmas and there by the door was a Christmas tree so beautiful and presents galore. Dad took in the tree and put it up in the corner and what decorations could be found was tearfully adorned.  Then when they thought all of that excitement was over a knock at the door and there stood friends with food for them all. A turkey, some stuffing, some bread and some vegetables, God had provided where it was not possible.

A week before Christmas and Christmas came early. The good cheer, the happiness, the singing so merry. Another miracle was born that night for that family.

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This story is based off a true event in my life. I really will never forget that year and that Christmas.  It has helped me appreciate not only the lean times in life but even the times when I have much. It helps keep my perspective in the right place, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year when many have so little and I have the means and opportunity to help those who need it. I think everyone has a time in their life like the one I’ve described but I also think it is how we learn from it and use it that benefits us the most, or ... doesn’t. Because we can either ignore the lessons God gives us along the way or we can acknowledge them and use them to bless others. And by blessings others, we glorify God and give ourselves blessings in return. ~Marcie 


One of my favorite Christmas songs...I cry every time I listen to it. 
The Christmas Shoes by New Song


 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

AN EXCEPTIONAL THANKSGIVING POEM


  © Tee's Photography, 2013

 An Exceptional Thanksgiving
When it rains it pours in threes or more
words of hate roll off our tongue
one, by one, by one.

Joy once etched across miles of wrinkles
become thoughts of rage in broken pieces
shattered, scattered, hardened heart.

Waiting for light to peek through foggy haze
the windows barred shut, curtains drawn
life subsists, life drifts, life drains.

Is this all there is?
Just beaten up promises and frozen limbs?
And we wait, we wait, and we wait.

Not a prayer on the lips or a praise on the heart
daily living has become a tedious chore
tick tock, goes the clock, tick tock.

But the roof overhead, the car in the shed
the food that keeps showing up at the door
given, we take, we receive.

And there in the midst of the pouring rain
the wind driving hair into the face
we kneel, we speak, we pray.

A new hymn begins with the music of Him
wrinkles smoothed out with upturned tears
lifted, longed for, thanks.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
© November 2013

 (FOR NAN)


                                                        © Tee's Photography, 2013

(And) my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

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I have had a virus on my computer and was not able to post this Thanksgiving poem last week. It made me really sad that I couldn't share it with you. But even a week late is still not late because we should celebrate Thanksgiving to God every day. I hope you enjoy this poem and I pray that you will know that even in the midst of our worst days God is still there to bring us through them and to provide for our every need. 


All photo's (except for the very top one) courtesy of my sweet friend Tee-Tee Barnes. You take such beautiful portraits!  Thank you Tee! 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

THANKSLIVING - EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T WANT TO

Because some days you feel like no one cares.

Some days you feel God's not even there.

Every day is worse than the day before.

You can't stand what you see when you walk in the door.

Each thought you think is negative.

Dreams you dream are dark instead of brave.

And Thanksgiving comes.

You want to be thankful but you can't.

But somewhere down in that darkness

Somewhere deep inside there's a desire

A longing....an ache of great proportion

To be included in the festivities.

Because some days you feel exactly like Madame Blueberry:


Thanksgiving is not just one day in the year.

It is not taking 30 days to say thanks and leaving out the other 335 days.

Thanksgiving is what we need to do every single day.

For everything.

Even when we just know there is nothing to be thankful for. 

Create in yourself what I call "Polyanna Syndrome". *Polyanna always found something nice, something happy, to say about everything in every situation. Try to do the same. Finding something, even if it is only one thing, each day to be thankful for creates in us a happier person. It lifts our spirit even if it is just for that one minute.

Make it a point today to begin a life of  THANKSLIVING. Get a journal or just piece of scrap paper and write down one thing today what you are thankful for. You don't even have to list why...maybe that comes later. And tomorrow, two things. The next day, three. And so on. Until next Thanksgiving you have 365 (or more) happy thanksgiving's to celebrate. 

Because...A THANKFUL HEART IS A HAPPY HEART. 


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

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For those of you who do not know me personally, I am taking college courses to earn my B.A. in English. There are times, such as now, that I am swamped with tests and essays so please bear with me as my posts from now until mid-December may be a bit sporadic.  If you think of me, please pray for me as I work through the stress of it all.  Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Each of you are a blessing to me and I pray God will richly bless you in all things.  ~Marcie

*Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

BECOMING THANKFUL

 Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 
 BECOMING THANKFUL

As a child I listened endlessly to Evie Tornquist sing on her album, "A Little Song of Joy for My Friends".  One of the songs on this album is titled "The Good Things That You Got." Right now I can't help thinking about how much we complain about even the littlest things in our lives when there are so many people in the world who have so much less. People like the people in the Philippines who've lost it all from this Typhoon. People who've lost everything to tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, fires.... or even everyone due to deaths in families. At the moment I can't imagine what it is like. I have had instances in my life that could bring me close to understanding, but still not quite. 

Every year I post as a Facebook status the lyrics to the chorus of this song but I think this year I will post the whole song right here. I hope it helps us think more about being thankful to God for what we do have and what we are given instead of complaining about what we don't have. Or what we don't get. Or..... 

Why Complain?
by Evie Tornquist


Why complain about your clothes and your shoes?
Why complain about your teacher and her rules?
Why complain when so many have no home?
Why complain when you have one of your own?

CHORUS:
Just be thankful for the good things that you got
Oh be thankful for the good things that you got
The good things that you got are for many just a dream
So be thankful for the good things that you got

Why complain about the way that you look?
Why complain about the scolding that you took?
Why complain when so many cannot run?
Why complain when you're having so much fun?

CHORUS:
Just be thankful for the good things that you got
Oh be thankful for the good things that you got
The good things that you got are for many just a dream
So be thankful for the good things that you got

Just be thankful for the good things that you got
Oh be thankful for the good things that you got
The good things that you got are for many just a dream
So be thankful for the good things that you got






© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

ETERNAL BLESSINGS


 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”  
Genesis 15:5 (NKJV)


ETERNAL BLESSINGS
 

I gaze into the midnight sky

each star shining eternally bright


My hands sift through silky kernels

each grain of sand blends with the shoreline


Watch as water droplets sprinkle down

each splash of rain that wets my brow


Snow that swishes to the ground

each snowflake different making no sound


There=s so many blessings to be found

Your goodness and faithfulness abounds


Your blessings, Lord, they fall on me

But truly I cannot count the ways.



~Marcell Warner Bridges

87 November 2013



                                            © photo by Bridgescreations, 2013
 

Driving home today leaves swirled and tumbled about in the wind and as I watched the numerous leaves cascade to the ground I thought of God's promise to Abraham that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars. Could Abraham count the stars? No! Neither can we. And it occurred to me that as God blessed Abraham so abundantly, He does the same for us. Go ahead...count your blessings, naming them one by one, see the great things that God has done (but I bet they are so numerous you can't name them all!) 


©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013
 
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Chains of Unforgiveness by Jamie Britt, Guest Blog

Today I want to introduce you to my special friend Jamie Britt. I can't wait for you to read her heart thoughts.

The Chains of Unforgiveness 

 by Jamie Britt, Guest Blogger




Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36 (NKJV)

               Checking your email can be very dangerous sometimes. One morning last December I received an email that no one ever wants to read. It was from someone at church telling me we could no longer have contact. I was absolutely devastated. You see, this lady and I shared many conversations about deep life hurts and struggles. All that went out the window that day.

                Several months prior, she had given me a CD of herself singing. I played it constantly. Now, I couldn’t listen to it and no longer enjoyed the peace that it brought. My emotions were in turmoil. For several months afterward, when she’d do a solo in church, I’d turn my head away. Friends would say, “That’s her loss,” but I didn’t want to hear it. All I wanted was the close bond we once shared back. God wanted to heal my heart but I didn’t accept the grace being extended. I wanted what I wanted, and wasn’t changing my mind. Have you ever been there?

                Over the next few months, a dear friend gave me counsel. My friend advised that I give her space and try again in a few months. However, as time progressed, I was encouraged to move on. Again, my heart wasn’t receptive.

              Do you know what was really difficult for me? I had to forgive her for what she had done. On several occasions I thought I’d forgiven her but realized later that I hadn’t. I was very bitter toward her.

             Many times she’d see me in church and not speak to me and that wound would re-open. I refused to move past the pain. Then a lady I really admire said something I’ll never forget. “She isn’t worth your tears.” By that time, my heart was starting to be receptive to others’ counsel.

             I was advised to pray for her and for her heart to change. But, that was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t want to pray for her. I wanted her to regret what she had done and ask for my forgiveness. But, I realized that might never happen. I’d think, “She’s moved on with her life, and probably doesn’t give me a second thought. Or if she does, she certainly doesn’t give the offense a thought.”

            I commented to a friend that all I wanted was her friendship back. She helped me see that it wouldn’t be a good thing though. She said waiting for her to do the right thing wasn’t healthy for me physically or spiritually. God wants to move me in another direction, and I have to be willing to accept that.

           And praise God, I can say that I’ve forgiven her. I’m finally free! I decided to put her CD in once more. And guess what happened? I was absolutely fine with it. I’m proud I am now able to listen to her music without any problem.

          What do I hope you gain from my story? I encourage you, if you’ve not fully forgiven someone, please do it. Until you do, you will be in bondage to that person. God wants to set you free from those chains today. He wants to take you in a new direction, and if that means losing friends for that to happen, rejoice in it. It won’t be easy, but it’s so worth it.

Father, I pray for each reader today. Lord, if there’s someone they’ve not forgiven give them strength and courage to do it. You said on the cross, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” I ask Lord that you prepare their hearts to receive the forgiveness that You offer as well as to forgive that person. Lord, we love You and we praise You. Amen.  

 

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BIO: Jamie Britt shares a message of hope and has a desire to see women find their value in Christ. Blind from birth, she challenges us to see God’s sovereignty and care in the midst of our trials. Through her blog, she encourages women to be transformed by the power of Christ, discovering they are never alone; God shows His love and faithfulness to us every day. Jamie is a graduate of the 2011 NCompass Writers Retreat and the 2012 and 2013 Writers Advance! Boot Camp. She’s also a featured guest blogger on MorningGloryLights.blogspot.com and CindyRooy.com. Stop by Jamie’s blog at www.encouragingwomen-strength.blogspot.com

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013



Friday, October 25, 2013

FUN FRIDAY POETRY....DECISIONS





                                                                 DECISIONS

                                             Dandelions and dragonflies delicately dance
                                             Dewdrops descend at dawn
                                             Diamonds decorate the skies daybreak
                                             Daring to dream in the dark
                                             Drinking deeply desperate daffodils
                                             Dodging deaths dark door
                                             Drowning defiantly in deafness
                                             Dusty, dank, defeated daydreamer -
                                             Daytime diffuses the danger
                                             Doodlings and drawings dribbled despairingly
                                             Descending down deeper, deeper
                                             Daughters drastic decisions
                                             Decorate and delight dissolving - then -
                                             Disabling the dreary demeanor
                                             Daylight decked in diamonds
                                             Dressed in damask decadence
                                             Dusks designs denote the end of day.



~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 October 2013


THANK YOU TO MY FRIEND TEE-TEE BARNES FOR THE PICTURES!!!! 
© 2013 Tee's Photography

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

THE WAY I WANT TO BE

THE WAY I WANT TO BE

I don’t want to be like you
broken down, blue
sitting there all alone
always wondering what went wrong

I don’t want to be in that place
where there is never any grace
or peace upon this heart of mine

I don’t want to feel ashamed
of what I’ve been or done
I don’t want to be that way
where there’s always sorrow, always rain.

I want to be someone new
someone kind, loving
always encouraging always humming
words uplifting, words of praise

That’s the only way
I want to be.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©29 January 2013


Who do you want to be like? Who do you emulate and think that if only you could be that person your life would be so much better? Or maybe if you could do what they do then  you would have the perfect life?


Patterning our lives after people we know, we love, or maybe even have set up on a pedestal causes dissatisfaction in our lives. It causes us to always be jealous of what other people have and how they look or how their lives have turned out so much better than we think ours have. When we try to live our lives like others instead of how God wants us to live, we turn everything into what we want instead of what God wants. And we can become depressed and even bitter.

God wants us to live our lives for Him. To be a Christian is to be like Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2) and to be like Christ we need to renew our minds and our hearts through the reading of His Word (Romans 12:2), prayer and asking Him to mold us and shape us into the person He is desires us to be (Jeremiah 18:1-6; Isaiah 64:8). 

Please watch this video as this drama team will give you goosebumps showing us through sign language and visual image The Potter's Hand. I think it will bless you and illustrate God's molding and shaping us in a way maybe you've never thought of it. 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

LET THE HOLY SPIRIT LEAD

I sat at my computer and typed away then I erased it. Typed again, once again, erased it. Type, delete, type, delete. The words just wouldn’t come out right.

The poem below had been running through my mind all day. I wrote it quite a few years ago and as has been my habit for a long time, I have tried to find a Scripture verse to go with each poem I write. Finally I pulled out my binder, flipped through poem after poem until I found it. I read it then looked up the verse at the end. John 16:13.  “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”  I had been praying for the Lord to help me write what He wanted me to and I knew then, and know now, in my heart His Spirit was speaking to me all along what to post today.

BUT, if that wasn’t enough confirmation, I heard a voice inside me say, “Open up Jesus Calling* and read today’s (October 16th) devotion.” Well, okay. Let’s see what it says, just for giggles.

“Look to Me continually for help, comfort, and companionship. Because I am always by your side, the briefest glance can connect you with Me. When you look to Me for help, it flows freely from My Presence. This recognition of your need for Me, in small matters as well as large ones, keeps you spiritually alive. When you need comfort, I love to enfold you in My arms. I enable you not only to feel comforted but also to be a channel through whom I comfort others.  Thus you are doubly blessed, because a living channel absorbs some of whatever flows through it.  My constant Companionship is the piece de resistance: the summit of salvation blessings.  No matter what losses you experience in your life, no one can take away this glorious gift.”  (Jesus Calling, October 16, pg. 303).

Um, did I say, “Just for giggles?” I’m not giggling. I am smiling though. What a beautiful reminder to us how the Holy Spirit works in our lives. How He helps us to grow, be nurtured and how He guides us and helps us in our time of trouble
.
 Let the Holy Spirit lead
in action, speech and thought
in each decision He must lead the way
through every path that must be trod.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
in deed, duty and discussion
in each hour of each day may He
be fully seen by others.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
for through Him we can be
a light, a lamp, a beacon to all
who may otherwise never see Him.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
in want, in will, in worship
for with His loving, faithful guidance
we’ll bring others to His salvation.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
give Him complete control of all
in Him we find such a wonderful peace
that surpasses our understanding.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
let Him have His way with thee
though rugged, steep the path may be
there is no better way to go.

Let the Holy Spirit lead
let Him have complete control with thee
for when we find in Him we hide
this is where all blessings flow.

He’ll mold us, He’ll make us
and with grace He’ll sustain us
guiding, leading, faithfully convicting
in everything He’ll bring us to
the place we have been seeking.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©3, September 1996

Bill Gaither introduces the song...what a beautiful old worship hymn:

*Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson, 2004
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MY FRIEND KAREN MURPHY © Karen L. Murphy Photography, 2013
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

THE EVIL WITHIN ME

"...whatever things are lovely..." (Philippians 4:8)

                                                    © 2013 Tee's Photography


THE EVIL WITHIN ME    

Recently a schoolmate said to me, “Marcie, you’re too nice to be evil!”  I responded back to her that I most certainly do have an evil side, I just don’t let anyone see it.

I AM a nice person. BUT, there is an evil side to me. And there’s only 3 people who have seen it. God, Satan, and me. I keep it to myself.

At this point I know what you are thinking. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT MARCIE?

I’m talking about how I talk to myself. The mean, awful, ugly, despicable things I say to myself.

“I’m fat.”
“I’m ugly.”
“Nobody really likes me.”
“I’m not really that good at.....singing, writing, speaking...”
“I can’t do such and such because I’m so fat.”
“Nobody cares about me.”
“I’m not a good friend.”

You get the picture. And these are not even the worst of it. I just can’t seem to write the worst of them. I’ve let you see more than I should maybe.

You see, here’s the thing. We all have evil inside of us. Maybe not the evil that a murderer has or some horrendous criminal like Hitler, but we all have that side of us that is not nice.  It keeps us from being the person we should and ought to be in Christ. It keeps us from being happy and living a life truly fulfilled.

That’s why we are admonished to think on the good things.

Philippians 4:8-9: “ Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are LOVELY, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Did you catch that? Whatever things are lovely, beautiful, good, true, pure.

It is hard to always think nice things about myself. Especially when I stare at myself in the mirror and I don’t see the person I want to be or think I should be.

So what do I do about evil Marcie? When I begin thinking evil thoughts to myself I know I have to pray and ask God to give me positive things to think. Things that are uplifting and pleasant. Then I thank God for those positive things about me.

“I am beautiful.”
“I am kind.”
“I am smart.”
“I am important.”
“I AM LOVED!”
Isn't it about time you stop putting yourself down and start thinking about who you are in Christ? This song will help you see... YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING...and that my friend, makes us BEAUTIFUL!

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2013