Monday, November 30, 2015

HEART PROBLEMS

@Marcie_Bridges

Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. Hosea 6:1 

How can I praise You Lord
when my sins are ever before me?
How can I speak Your Name
when my eyes are focused on worldly things?
How can I even begin to hear You
when my heart is full of darkness?
Mine enemies are always upon me Lord
my wickedness engulfs my inner being
I come to You, LORD, with a contrite spirit
seeking Your forgiveness and redemption
so my countenance can be as radiant as the sun
my heart whiter than blankets of snow
I bow low, prostrate to the ground a sacrifice of
praise rupturing from the pit of my soul
in thanksgiving as I hear You, quietly say,
“My daughter, it is finished. You are redeemed.”

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©29 November 2015
All Rights Reserved.
 

By now you may have come to realize how much I am enjoying Anne Graham Lotz's devotional book, Fixing My Eyes on Jesus. Lately God has really been impressing on my heart my need for learning what it truly means to obey Him. Anne's words are nudging me even closer to that understanding and the need to recognize the signs Satan throws my way to distract me from obeying God—keeping my eyes focused on Him so I do not sin. Here's her devotion from this week (November 27th). Please read it slowly, thoughtfully and carefully. I believe it will have a big impact on your spiritual life as much as it has mine.

LIVING HEART HEALTHY


Above all else, guard your heart, 
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

"One of my children recently had some issues with her heart that landed her in the hospital emergency room. As a result, I did a little research on the Internet and discovered that physical heart attacks usually occur when a clot blocks the flow of blood through a coronary artery, damaging or destroying part of the heart muscle. Heart attacks can be fatal because people often don’t take the symptoms seriously. They confuse them with a minor illness like indigestion and thus delay going to the hospital. So recognizing the symptoms becomes critical.

    My daughter’s issues have been addressed, but her rather frightening episode made me think of spiritual heart attacks. While they may not be fatal to our eternal life, they can cause us to lose heart so that we are rendered ineffective in service. Instead of experiencing victory and joy, we plunge into defeat and despair, trudging our way through the Christian life as though walking through heavy mud. 
     Don’t live with a spiritually damaged heart. Take it to Jesus. Ask Him to reveal the “clots” of sin that may be blocking the flow of His Spirit within; confess them, and ask Him to cleanse you so that you can say with the psalmist, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26)." ~Anne Graham Lotz, Living Heart Healthy, page 352 

From My (Our) Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

How do I keep my heart spiritually healthy? (click to tweet) Tweet: How do I keep my heart spiritually healthy? http://ctt.ec/1bQ1U+ @AGLotz @Marcie_Bridges #heart #devotion #poetry 

Do you know the signs of a spiritual heart attack? (click to tweet) Tweet: Do you know the signs of a spiritual heart attack? http://ctt.ec/cd4I0+ @Marcie_Bridges #christianencouragement #poetry


Monday, November 23, 2015

THANKSGIVING THROUGH MERCY, GRACE AND PEACE

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

Bless the Lord, O my soul; 
And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 
Psalm 103:1-5


 I am so very thankful for the mercy, grace and love God bestows upon me every day. 

Days when I forget that I've sinned against Him and I don't understand why I don't have any peace within me. 

Days when I consistently think about all of the hurts and scars that I have instead of thanking Him for how He has healed me from them. 

And yet, He loves me anyway. He loves me unconditionally. When I falter, He is faithful to forgive me and to cleanse me so that the peace I've been missing, becomes a pool of serenity. Sanity. The worries cease and my spirit calms taking my breath away because I'm in awe of this gift that He so freely gives. 

The gift of peace. 

I pray today you will find thanksgiving and peace within your heart too. 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

For Further Reflection: 
Ephesians 2:8-9; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 3:16; 
John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7





Monday, November 16, 2015

A SOLEMN PRAYER...FOR PARIS...FOR ALL THE WORLD

by Marcie Bridges,@Marcie_Bridges

Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; 
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. 
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. 
Psalms 28:6-7

Photo by Tee-Tee Barnes, 2015

O LORD, on this solemn day
how can I sing Your praise?
My heart cries out in pain
for the loss of so many today.
I am grateful to You Lord
for this day I've made it through
the protections You've given me
O LORD, I fall to my knees.
Please God, don't be angry
when my gratitude is not all it should be
as my heart and my soul they bleed
for those who cannot feel so free
to honor and glorify Thee.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©13 November 2015
All Rights Reserved

Photo by Tee-Tee Barnes, 2015
How do we praise God in the midst of this tragedy we’ve witnessed this past week? How do we thank God for everything, when we watch such wrongs unfold and so many people hurting as their loved ones die? 
 
I’m not going to pretend I have all of the answers because I’m as stunned as you are. I’m as horrified and saddened as you are.  
 
It is so hard to feel like thanking God for anything when we witness such awful events. But that’s the thing about giving thanks. It lifts our spirits. It brings us to a more peaceful place. Rested from restlessness.  
 
Maybe it’s that we just give Him praise for who He is. Be thankful that He is the God who knows all, sees all, and as Anne Voskamp so aptly wrote in her blog post For Paris: 
 
“...we fall to our knees before the Wounded Healer who cups His hands to catch every falling tear and sparrow and breaking heart in His palms, palms that have our names engraved right into Him far deeper than any of earth’s sorrow.

We pray for Paris, pray to You Who catches everything falling so we don’t fall apart,

pray that the City of Love feel our fierce love, and the courage of a globe of prayers, and the rising Light

that cannot be overcome by the dark,


that cannot be afraid of the dark,

that will always, always, always crush the dark.

In Jesus’ name… Amen.” ¹ 



Yes and amen. We fall on our knees in prayer for those who are needing God’s light and we thank God for being the light in our world that never dims.

What is falling apart in your world where you live today? I encourage you to go to a quiet place, fall on your knees, humble your heart before the Lord, and thank Him for who He is and for just being with You. Perhaps that is the only way to give thanks in such a time as this.
 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie

 
For Further Meditation: Psalm 28; 56:8; John 8:12; 1 John 1:1-10

¹Go here to read Ann Voskamp's post FOR PARIS 


 How do we thank You Lord when our world is hurting?
O LORD, on this solemn day how can I sing Your praise? 

Monday, November 9, 2015

LOVE NOTES FROM GOD

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8 


Love Notes From God 


A scrap of paper
Nothing special about it
Fluttering around
Looking for a place to land. 
A hand reaches out
Stopping its ascent
With the wind
Eyes of curiosity
Read its simple message.
Tear drops as rain drops
Smear words of grace
But the message lives on
In a heart grown too cold.
Somewhere inside a spark of
Hope strikes into a flame
Burning as bright as a warm
Fire in a fireplace.
Little scrap of paper
Takes flight once again
Soaring on the wind
For a new hand
To rescue it from flight
Its message of love
Waiting to ignite
Another heart yearning
For God’s light.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015, All Rights Reserved 


God's Word is sure. It is steady and unwavering. His Word will never fade, nor dim.

It gives life to the lifeless, strength to the weary, conviction to those who are searching, and comfort to those who are hurting.

It is timeless, seamless, and a gift to us beyond compare of any gift we could even imagine receiving.

Today may we stretch out our hands and receive God's Word allowing it to light a flame once again into our hearts so we can live a life of thanksgiving to our Lord. 


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie


For Further Reflection: Isaiah 40:8; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:17

 

Its message of love Waiting to ignite Another heart yearning For God’s light. 


This year for Thanksgiving I am writing a poem a day in the month of November. If you'd like to follow along you can view them at my poetry page on Facebook: Marcie Bridges Poetry Writer
 
*Top picture of leaves is property of B&G Photography used with permission (Thank you Gabby!)
*Second picture from Pixabay.com

Monday, November 2, 2015

BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; 
Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.” 
Job 5:17
 
Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
Sometimes we have to say the hard things. No matter how it is said, you know it is going to hurt that friends feelings. You say it with as much love as you possibly can but it still stings them.

We’ve all been there. But the truth is, that is what being the best friend you can be is. Telling the truth in love and prayer. 





BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

Because I love you
there are things I need to say.

Because I love you
there are words you will not
want to hear.

Because I love you
there are times when my silence
will speak louder than words.

Because I love you
there will be times when
encouragement will sound
more like discouragement.

Because I love you,
so dearly, not saying them
would be so unfair.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015, All Rights Reserved
Tweet: Because I love you, not saying them would be so unfair http://ctt.ec/is9dF+ @Marcie_Bridges #Godislove #devotion #poetry  Because I Love You

 
Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
Sometimes God has to tell us the hard things too. Sometimes He has to show us in ways we are least expecting that we are not following the right path. They are extremely hard lessons to learn but the thing is, we have the opportunity to see what blessings we receive from obeying Him when we repent of our errant ways and turn back to Him.

I started out this year thinking I was going to learn what it meant to commit my writing to the Lord. But oh how I have learned so much more.

Committing my work to God involves so much more than just my writing. It involves every area of my life. It means learning to focus on Him and on who He is. It means obeying Him in every area of my walk with Him. You see, we can’t commit unless we are focused on Him and we can’t see the benefits of our commitment unless we are walking in obedience to God.

The hard words are never easy. The chastening we receive from God is never fun. But it would be so unfair for God to not do these hard works in us because then we wouldn’t produce the best relationship we could with Him, without His loving guidance.

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
 
Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2015
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie


For Further Reflection: Job 5:17; Psalm 51; Hebrews 12:10-11;
1 John 1:9; Revelation 3:19  

Sometimes God has to tell us the hard things (Click to tweet):   Tweet: Sometimes God has to tell us the hard things http://ctt.ec/Mdel4+ @Marcie_Bridges #FaithfulGod #poetry #encouragement