Monday, February 23, 2015

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS

by Marcie Bridges @Marcie_Bridges

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

How do we commit ourselves to God? How do we find what God wants us to do with our lives? By daily focusing our minds on the Lord. Reading His Word daily and setting our minds on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, or, as the King James Version puts it, whatever is of good report or praiseworthy. We are to meditate on these things, focus on them, put them into practice and when we make Jesus the most important fixture in our hearts, minds and lives, then we can commit ourselves, what we do, and what we want to do to Him. 

Fix your eyes upon Jesus
Focus on His face
Inhale the essence of His presence
Soaking in His grace.
There’s so much more to living
When we turn our hearts to Him
Find your all in Jesus
This is where we begin to live.  
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©22 February 2015


What would your day look like if you spent it thinking on Jesus and on the good things He has for you, instead of on your circumstances and the “what if’s” in your life?  I’d love to see your answers in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of © Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
used by permission

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

LEAN ON ME

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  
Matthew 18:20
© Karen L. Murphy Photography

                                                 TREE OF FRIENDSHIP

                         You lean into me and I’ll lean into you
                         like a lean-to supported by a tree
                         One will be the oak, the other the shelter
                         one will kneel, while the other will stand
                         Snuggled together in warmth’s embrace
                         sticking like sap when hardship makes haste
                         When chainsaws of life threaten and cut
                         hands clasped together will keep each other up.
                         The God of the universe made tree trunks strong
                         to withstand whatever hurricanes come
                         Pillars of strength when the weak weep
                         a haven from the harsh sun, a canopy of peace.
                         As branches grow long with fingers that reach
                         leaves of green become umbrellas from rain
                         You lean into me and I’ll lean into you
                         together we’ll be a friendship tried and true.

                                     ~Marcell Warner Bridges
                                               ©29 January 2015
  
© Karen L. Murphy Photography
In Acts 12 we get to read the account of Peter, an Apostle of Christ, is put into prison by King Herod and then of his extraordinary rescue from it. Herod was bent and determined to kill Peter simply because the Jews were pleased that Herod had killed another Apostle by the name of James.

Killing for the sake of killing? Oh my! But, let’s read what happens next:

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.”  (Acts 12:5-10)

I don’t know about you but my God is a God of miracles and this one just blows me away! An angel of the Lord was sent to release Peter from prison. I wonder how many times God has sent an angel our way and we didn’t know it?

But here’s what strikes me the most about this passage. Did you see it? Here, let’s look again, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church”. The church, people who worshiped God, were constantly praying for Peter while he was in prison. And where did Peter go after the angel left his side and he walked through the gates? 

“11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” 12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.”

He went to where others were praying for him. He sought out those who were faithful to stand with him and help strengthen him through their prayers.

Wow! I am so thankful for my friends who are faithful like that for me. I am humbled by the thought that because others pray for me, God hears their prayers and He does miracles for me even when I don’t see them or recognize them.

Do you have friends like this? The ones who are there to give you support when you don’t have the wherewithal to keep going. The ones you give the same support back to when they need someone to lean into. I pray that you do but if you don’t, begin now to pray that God will send such a person, or persons, into your life. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today with my praying sisters. 
 
PRAYER REQUEST!  
 
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 
 February 20-22, 2015
- See more at: http://writersadvancebootcamp.com/#sthash.6NFoW62N.dpuf
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 
 February 20-22, 2015
- See more at: http://writersadvancebootcamp.com/#sthash.6NFoW62N.dpuf
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015

This coming Thursday - Sunday I will be joining about 50 other writers from around the U.S. at The Cove in Asheville, NC for my first writers conference. It is called Writers Advance! Boot Camp. I am extremely excited to be going, meeting so many special people and learning where God wants me to go with my writing and editing career. Please pray for all of us as we travel - we are expecting a bunch of snow and ice this week! - quite a few are flying in from out of state and the rest of us need travel mercies on the road. Also, please pray God will speak to each of our hearts and show us what we need to learn from Him as we seek His will in this next chapter of our journey.

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

GOD'S VALENTINE TO YOU

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
Romans 5:8

© nan@jubilantlight.com

JESUS LOVES YOU

I know you are broken
and
I know you are just breathing -
barely -
I know you are feeling
alone and no one cares

at all.

I know you’ve cried
a thousand and more times
I know you believe you
cannot go on.
I know
because I’ve been there.

I’ve been broken
I’ve been on my last breath
I’ve been alone  - and -
I’ve shed the tears.
I’ve believed I could not go on

BUT

My Father in Heaven gave Me the will
to continue to be that broken One.
For you, for all.

I took the pain, I bore the rejection
I laid down My life so that
you can go on with yours.

Trust Me
Climb into My Father’s Lap
Let Us show you what love really is

WHO
love really is
.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©6 January 2014

 
© Karen L. Murphy Photography, 2015 
Do you know this song? Maybe you remember it from your childhood? 
 “Jesus loves me this I know
for the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.”

Sometimes it is hard to believe that Jesus does love us. Just because the Bible tells us He does, doesn’t mean we really believe it or accept it.

Sometimes life brings us to our knees because we feel so broken. So disillusioned. Disappointed. Sometimes we just want to end it all because we just feel like we can’t go on.

Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He was called all kinds of names. He was He was broken for you. His blood was spilled out for you on a cross that took Him to depths of death we will never know. He went through every thing we have ever been through.  (Hebrews 4:15) 

Why? Why would Jesus do that? Why would He go through all of that?

Because He loves you!
JESUS LOVES YOU
© Karen L. Murphy Photography, 2015

God sent you the best Valentine you can ever receive. His Son, His only begotten Son, came to earth as a baby, grew up to die on a cross for your sins and to give you new life in Him. He died to keep you from Hell and to give you Heaven. He rose from the grave to show us that He is still alive and ready to be our Lord and Savior forever if we will accept His free gift of life. Life eternal.

God sent a Valentine especially for you. I pray you will receive His gift of salvation today. 



© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015





Monday, February 2, 2015

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS

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 53:6

© Jessica Lubada, 2015

My heart
pure as falling snow
stained red
from blood that flows
He didn’t
just take my sin
He bore
each lash on skin
He screamed
as metal ripped
He cried
as thorns crowned head
He died
because of my selfishness
This black
oozing sulphurous stench
Has become
the purest, freshest fragrance
My Savior
has redeemed and cleansed
All things
become new in Him
With nothing
but the blood
Of Jesus.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©1 February 2015
 
© Norma Gail Holtman, 2015
What can wash away my sin?

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS

What can make me whole again?

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS

Oh precious is the flow, that makes my white as snow!
No other fount I know...

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!¹

Nothing. Not one thing. No thing. Can cleanse us from sin. Can purify us and make our heart God’s home except the blood of Jesus Christ.

The name February means purification. To purify means to remove dirty or harmful substances from (something) : to free (someone) from guilt or evil thoughts².

In this month of love, the love of Calvary carries me away to the Cross of Jesus where love and blood flowed mingling down to cleanse us of our sins. To make us new. To give us new life. Free from every evil thought and every guilty part.

There’s nothing. Not one thing. No thing. Deeper or wider than the love of Christ.

NOTHING BUT HIS BLOOD. JESUS’ BLOOD.
© Norma Gail Holtman, 2015

“If we confess our sins, 
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


¹Words & Music: ¹Words & Music: William Doane and Robert Lowry (New York: Biglow & Main, 1876)
²Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  © Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015