Monday, November 24, 2014

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.  Psalm 100:4-5
  © NanJones, 2014
© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
THANKSGIVING PRAYER

As friends and family gather around
This Thanksgiving may our hearts abound
With love and laughter and the gifts of the heart
For another year God did impart.
Whether heartache or heartbreak, whatever befell
In sorrow or joy we remember this well
That God in His infinite mercy and grace
Has brought us together once again on this day.
May we always be thankful for the good and the bad
For times in good health and times we were sad
Whether rich or poor may we open our door
To the unloved, unlovely, hopeless and frail
God grant us love to all who hover near.
Let us always be humbled by the gift of God’s Son
For each brand new day He has granted us
In each moment, each hour, may we never forget
To soak in Thanksgiving brings the greatest of gifts.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©22 November 2014

  

 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 
 Hebrews 13:15-16 
  © Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19-20


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

IN THANKFULNESS FOR CALVARY'S BLOOD

"Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken,Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  Isaiah 53:4-6

      CALVARY’S BLOOD

I stood on the side of the hill
looking up at the form hanging
on two boards in the shape of a cross
arms attached by wrists imprisoned with nails
feet crossed one on top of the other
splintered by iron
A crown of thorns dug into his scalp
and blood, so much blood
running, streaming down.

The sign reads, “King of the Jews”,
people snicker at the accused
Son of God? They laugh and spit
I see no joy in any of it.

His eyes so full of sorrow

tears mix clear with red
I want to turn away
something about Him compels me to stay
feels as if He is looking only at me
my heart does not want to beat
there is so much love and compassion
emanating from His gaze
I cannot bring myself to look away.
In that moment I hear Him say
“I love you this much my child,
My death is not in vain
Believe in Me right now, today
In your heart I’ll come to stay.”

Then all at once He closed His eyes
“It is finished!” I heard Him sigh
darkness like none I’ve ever known
the earth shook me to my knees
I cried out, “Father God forgive me please!”
Light around me shone
peace descended like a dove
I looked up to where He’d hung
felt His presence and overwhelming love.

Looked inside the tomb where He’d been laid
He is not there, He’s risen again
now I know without a doubt
there is power in His blood
mercy and grace overflows like a flood
forgiveness was granted day
and in the shadow of the Old Rugged Cross
I remain.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
 
©14, November 2014
Google Image
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 

Tears pool in my eyes as I reflect on Jesus’ love for me. As He prayed, “Not my will, but Yours”, and as He took the beatings with the whip, as He trudged up the hill bearing a cross, thorns digging into His scalp and hanging on the cross looking mangled, un-human. It's almost more than I can bear.

To say I am thankful for my salvation seems so trite. 

I want to REFLECT that thankfulness. I want to LIVE that thankfulness.

Because soaking in Thanksgiving brings greater Thanksliving.


A HEART OF THANKS

I’m learning to live with a heart of Thanksgiving
Not just a thank you here and there
Not just when skies are lovely and fair
Not just when the sun comes out to play
I’m learning in all things, in all ways,
To live with a heart of Thanksliving each day.
No matter the time, no matter the place,
If life is a mess and too much in the way,
There’s always a reason, always can I say
God, thank You for this miraculous day.
Thanksliving is daily seeking the good
A time to pause and sit with the Lord
Brings joy to the weary, troubled soul
A heart of Thanksgiving brings a greater Thanksliving.

~Marcell Warner Bridges

©14, November 2014

"I love you...that's what Calvary said...I love you...written in red"



© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014






Monday, November 10, 2014

BREAKING FREE


"In the past, other people shamed you and said bad things to you. You were shamed much more than any other people. So in your land you will get two times more than other people. You will get the joy that continues forever."  Isaiah 61:7 (ERV)



LOOKING FOR DIRECTIONS

Sometimes things thought long ago buried
Come bubbling up in such a hurry
There is no way to plug up the leak
The dam is overflowing and the ship about to sink.
The tide has come in and the markings in the sand
Have been sifted away but the debris has washed ashore
Never to return back to its home.
The hole is too big to contain
Feelings come rushing in once again
Long put away, neatly, safely hidden
The suddenness of it quickly overwhelms
A heart once beating normal now swells
And threatens to overtake every inkling of common aid.
There’s a Red Sea to cross, a decision to make
Forward, backward, or maybe just stay
Consequences will surely dismay
If wrong choices are in the way.
Prayer must lead like the cloud of God
It’s not a Simon Says type of game
Holy ground requires bare feet
And a willingness to stand near the heat.
Excuses come but if God has His way
They’ll evaporate like fog on a sunny day
Moses could not keep from obeying
Nor Noah, Elijah, or Abraham
Obedience is the key to walking even on high wire beams.
Don’t look down, it’s scary there
Look up to the One who will catch all tears and fears
Sometimes things thought long ago buried
Are the very things He wants to carry.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©5 November 2014




Earlier this evening I didn’t know what to write. I had been praying all day what to say. I asked my best friend and she said, “Don’t think about it. Just write down the first thing that comes to mind. You can change it later.” The first thing that came to mind was the word, “shame”. I decided to do a keyword search of the Bible for the word. This was the first verse that popped up and I cried:

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.” Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)
 
Even more interesting is that this is a whole chapter of “The Good News of Salvation”. God is promising salvation to His people and a double portion to them of their inheritance because God has seen the shame that was put upon them even though they didn’t deserve it.
 
I sat stunned. Really Lord?

You see, I've been wrestling with this lately. I mean, have you ever felt pure shame over something that was not your fault? Years have gone by, you’ve carried the pain with you even though you don’t realize you are harboring it. Maybe when you think about what happened, it causes you so much heartbreak that you don’t even see the truth for what it was or is. It was not your fault no matter how many people have told you it was.

Over the years we let a scar form over it and buried it way down deep inside hoping it would just stay put and the band-aid would stay covering it. But then suddenly one day out of the blue so unexpectedly it knocks the wind out of you, it comes to mind. And it stays there. The longer you think about it, the worse you feel.

What do you do with it?
 




Suggestion…take it to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him why He is bringing this to your mind. Ask Him if you have unfinished business with it. He may not give you an answer right away, but you can either wallow in it and feel despair over it, or, you can talk with Him about it. He can and will give you the peace you are seeking.

They say time heals all wounds but time only heals wounds we allow God to heal within us.

I began to write and ask God for help. I’d like to share with you some of what God is showing me (or at least, questions I am pondering):

Why am I allowing his sin against me to be my sin? Why am I carrying a guilt and reproach when it was never mine to hold on to?

Maybe because when I finally told those closest to me they called me a liar. They said I was to blame. They said I wasn’t the Christian they thought I was and that God was disappointed in me. I decided never to tell anyone else about it.

Obviously God has other plans here. He wants His light to shine into this darkness and to reveal the truth for what it is. I'm not meant to carry this. It's not mine to be ashamed of. It's time to let it go. I am scared half to death to hit the publish button, but I firmly believe God is asking me to do this and I'm not afraid anymore. The truth sets us free.
 
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”  Isaiah 61:10, 11
 

My friend, has someone done something to you that caused you to believe it was all your fault? Have you believed all of these years that you were the one to blame. That it must have been something you did that made that person sin against you? I’m just going to get real with you. It’s not your fault. It’s never been your fault and it is time to take this to the Lord to heal that wound you’ve been carrying for far too long. Bringing it into the light of God’s Word is how we defeat Satan and his attacks on us. It is how we defeat the guilt and blame and the shame that we thought we deserved. God is ready to bring salvation to this part of your life. He is ready to make all things new within you. Will you, and I, let Him do that today?


All photos except for the last one are Google images. The last photo is courtesy of © Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014