Monday, January 26, 2015

ARE YOU THIRSTY?

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — The sure mercies of David... Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7

               I THIRST

Is there no Balm in Gilead*
for this parched existence of mine?
Is there no well to feed my soul
no place to rest this weary mind?
Have I been forgotten in this wilderness
where on hands and knees I crawl?
Untilled is the land, wasted sand
cotton-mouthed, shriveled and lonely
there isn’t even a mirage of an oasis
to quench this thirst, this hunger, this madness.

“Come.”

Who said that? Where are you?
Show yourself to me!

“Come.”

Time stands still, dust continues to blow
the quiet is too much to bear
I must know...

“Come. Little one you thirst.
Drink from My hand and I
will satisfy your every need.”

A vision of His nail-scarred wrist
Fingers reaching to my lips
Upon my knees I freely took
of His outstretched hand and understood
Within His care, within His Words
are life abundant and even more.
Should I crave what this world can give
my life is empty, desolate, arid
But when I seek the Lord, His beautiful face
lay my burdens down before His feet
When I surrender all, my everything
the things I craved are a different need
More of Him, less of me
He is my oasis, my healing, my rain.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©25 January 2015

*Jeremiah 8:22

 
I’m longing for a lot of things right now. I’m craving things. Some are good, some are bad.

But my biggest desire, my loudest hunger pangs and saliva dripping need? God. 

I just want Jesus

Have you ever just wanted Jesus. Nothing else can satisfy this particular appetite. Nothing can reach this itch. Not food. Not drink. Not television, chocolate, cigarettes, exercise... nothing. And if you are in this painstaking desert, or ever have been, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The Christian life is not easy. The easy part was giving my heart to Him. The hard part is surrendering it to Him for good. And even harder, is surrendering it again, and again, again. 

I’ve been reading a book called “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. Made to Crave is all about learning to satisfy your deepest desire with God, not food. And before I send out these quotes from her book to you, let me just say this. Yes, I already knew this stuff. Yes, I’ve heard it all before. Yes, I could probably tell you this in my sleep. But sometimes God decides it is time for me to ingest it in a new way. He beckons me to come and sit at His feet and listen to His Words for a new understanding. 


Because here is another thing
 I’m learning about commitment. 
About giving God control so that 
I can use self-control to obey Him.

“Don’t get distracted by physical food. Don’t think physical food can satisfy the longing of your soul. Only Jesus can do this. Our souls were created to crave Him and love others to Him. See, there are many people waiting to hear the message of your calling. Don’t get stuck in defeat and held back from it.” (Emphasis mine)

WHOA! THAT IS SOME POWERFUL STUFF AIN’T IT?! But here’s the really good stuff to chew on. To fill up on. Are you ready?
“BEING RULED BY ANYTHING OTHER THAN GOD IS SOMETHING GOD TAKES SERIOUSLY.
 AND SO SHOULD I.”

Jesus wants us to know only He can fill us and truly satisfy us. He really wants us to know that...Only by being filled with authentic soul food from Jesus – following Him and telling others about Him – will our souls ever be truly satisfied. And breaking free from consuming thoughts about food allows us to see and pursue our calling with more confidence and clarity.”
©Karen L Murphy Photography, 2015
O Lord Jesus, may we learn to fill our lives with You. Help us to make Your Words our food and Your praises our thrist-quencher. Help us to take YOU more seriously than anything else. May we seek You with our whole hearts so that we will no longer be ruled by anything other than You and what You want us to do and be. 




  
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All Scriptures taken from NKJV
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015







Monday, January 19, 2015

TO FLY OR NOT TO FLY?

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. 
 Isaiah 40:31
                                                                     HUSH

                                        Hush little bird
                                          quit flapping your wings
                                        sit quietly in your nest
                                          close your eyes to everything.

                                        Hush little bird
                                           there will be a day to sing
                                        today is the day
                                           to listen in peace.

                                        There’s a voice in the breeze
                                           soft as a petal floating
                                        He’s singing a lullaby to you
                                           Do you hear His sweet melody?

                                         Hush little bird
                                            it is time to be still
                                         tomorrow you will fly
                                            with the wings of an eagle.

                                          ~Marcell Warner Bridges
                                             ©6 January 2015


Sometimes we try to rush ahead. Sometimes we are restless and just want to fly when we should be sitting still, listening.

Sometimes the lessons are hard and long. Instead of waiting, we hop out of our nest expecting to fly but we’re not ready, so we fall to the ground.

Other times we are in freefall. Not sure where we are going to land or when. “Sometimes we need to freefall to teach us how to fly”. ¹
It’s scary out there you know. That place where you feel the call of the Lord to do something. You have the itch but you just can’t reach to scratch it?

Yeah. That restless tugging, pulling, beckoning to the unknown. Right now I’m identifying with Rebekah Lyons as she says, “I felt alone and uneasy. As if I were standing on the abyss of uncertainty.”¹ Yep. It is time to stop, look and listen.

Lately I’ve been reading Beth Moore’s devotional Portraits of Devotion  and here’s some notes I took the other day:

“Commitment requires focusing on God instead of myself. It calls for obedience - no matter what. Obedience requires trust and humility in God not in myself. Self-control is actually giving God control. When I allow God to control my thoughts and actions I can be obedient and can use self-control.”

Okay, you got that? Cause here's the kicker! I was just doing my work in my new Bible study Freefall to Fly... not only is she using the same verses as my devotional from Beth Moore but um, well, here's this...

“...God calls us to control ourselves, to be patient, kind and forgiving. Yet, He also calls us to true faith in Him - to use self-control to solely focus ourselves on His plan and purposes. To allow Him to guide us down unknown paths, even when that means uncertainty and struggle.”¹

As you might remember from last week my word for this year is “commit”. So as I freefall to fly I must learn to commit. Commit means I must learn to focus solely on God. But I must also learn to use self-control. So instead of looking down into that abyss of uncertainty I need to look up and focus my eyes on Jesus. Wait on Him (self-control) to show me when to spread those wings and fly.


Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
    I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
    until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,

    to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
 He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
    disgracing those who hound me. 

My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
Psalm 57:1-3 (NLT)

¹Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey to a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons
² Portraits of Devotion by Beth Moore

If you would like to join us in this 6 week online journey of Freefall to Fly you can see all of the details and sign up here:






All Photos: © Karen L. Murphy Photography, 2015, Used with permission
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015




Monday, January 12, 2015

MY WORD FOCUS FOR 2015

 “Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

Google Image

Where thoughts begin, words end,
as all rivers flow into the sea
time stands still like placid lakes
unmarred by dirt, death and decay
little black dots float upon the retina
as a white sheet of nothingness invades
can’t see a thing, the road ahead blank
fear sets in with a double beat thumping
blindly searching for the curve ahead
screams erupt through tear filled eyes
pleading for help from God on high

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path”¹

A shaft of light beams through the fog
lighting the way that once was gone
vision clears in the light of day
God thank You for this gift to point the way.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©11 January 2015
© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
One morning I was driving to school and the fog was so thick I truly couldn’t see around me. Light fog is hard enough for me to drive through. I always feel like I’m suffocating. Claustrophobia was at its peak this particular day as I tried to drive. I literally cried out loud to the Lord and asked Him to clear the fog quoting ¹Psalm 119:105. I don’t remember my exact words but I do remember that one minute I was enveloped in a white blanket and the next sunshine poured in bright rays from the sky lighting my way.

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.”

For a few months now, just about every single day the Lord has brought this verse in front of me in some way whether it was in a devotion I read, a picture on Facebook, someone sent it to me for encouragement or any number of other ways and it has become obvious God wants me to pay attention to this.

Commit. This is my word for the year.

Lately my brain has been as thick as that foggy blanket. My thoughts have been scattered. My heart hammering out of my chest some days wondering what in the world I think I’m doing and who am I to be writing anything to anyone.

Commit. That word leaps off the page, into my mind and I cannot shake it.

What does it mean to commit? In what ways/areas in my life does God want for me commit to Him?

These are the questions that plague me.  These are questions I want answers to.

It’s a huge step to take; yet, I am excited to see the path that God has for me this year. 


Psalm 16:11 proclaims, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

As we commit our lives to Christ, He will show us which way to go, He will establish our thoughts and in His presence we will find the joy we’ve been seeking.

What word do you feel God is giving you this year? Do you have the courage to make it a focus in your life and see where He will take you with that word? 
© Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
 As part of committing myself to the Lord, I am participating in several new ventures beginning this week. One of those is the 3030 Challenge with Joyce Meyers. She challenges us to read God's Word for 30 minutes each day. Take a look at this video (below). If you'd like to learn more and join the challenge, you can go to this link to sign up 3030 CHALLENGE FROM JOYCE MEYERS
A word from Joyce Herself:
I hope you will join me in this because I think it will greatly change our walk with the Lord as we read His word every day. In this way, His thoughts will be established in us. 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

MY MOTHER'S LOVE ~ A Tribute to My Mother

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
Proverbs 31:28
Today is my mother's birthday. Her name is Marlene and here is our first picture together. I was all of 4 lbs. 6 oz. when I was born. My mom loved me so much. I don't have very many pictures of us together; especially while growing up but here's a few more of us over the years and a poem I wrote for her. HAPPY 65TH BIRTHDAY MOM! I LOVE YOU!

Okay, so we skipped 18 years... here is my high school graduation


                 Here's my very very favorite picture of us. 


And my second favorite picture...I got married in 1995! Um... this was 20 years ago... WOW!

I finally graduated from college in 2013...mom had just had knee replacement surgery 

And now... my poem... 

MOTHER DID YOU KNOW?

Mother did you know?
I’ve learned so much from you
And although it doesn’t always show
The learning still continues.

Mother did you know?
You are treasured so much more
Than all the possessions I have owned
My love for you continues to grow.

Mother did you know?
Your presence is my comfort
Your understanding is my strength
Your love is my protection
For all that comes my way.

Mother did you know?
You’ve given me so much
But nothing can compare
Than leading me to God.

Mother did you know?
I love you and
I always will . . .
No matter what.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2001





©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2015