Monday, December 28, 2015

MY END OF YEAR PRAYER FOR US ALL


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
Deuteronomy 6:5 
Dear Lord,

here we are — it’s the end of the month
we come with open hands, grateful hearts
for all the ways You’ve seen us through
every moment, each joy, tear or struggle
we thank You dear Lord
for grace upon our weary hearts
blessings that flowed to each and every part
mercies cascading from Your haven
wish we knew how to truly give thanks.
In quiet meekness, simple, authentic worship
all we know to do, offer as our gift
is our heart, soul and mind fully as we
move forward into this Christmas time and new year.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015, All Rights Reserved.
As I reflect back on this year I am so grateful for every single aspect of it. There’s not a single thing I can think of that I am not thankful for. Even in the hard places—the times when I struggled or when someone dear to me was struggling.
 
I started the year with something I had never done before and that was to ask God for one word that I would focus on for the year. One word He would give me that I would let God teach and instruct me in how it applies to my life and my heart but more than that, my relationship with Him. (See January's post My Word Focus for 2015 )

I felt God wanted me to learn what it meant to commit myself to Him and so for this very first word focus, my word for the year was commit. Boy did I have a lot of learning to do! Here it is, December 28th and I still feel like I have a lot more learning in this area. God took me from that one single word, commit, and transformed it into: I cannot commit if I am not fixing (focusing, giving all of my attention to) my eyes on Jesus, humbling myself before Him and obeying Him in all areas of my life.

Perhaps I will always be working on what it truly means to commit myself to Him. Not just my writing and editing career or even my health and weight issues, but my whole life. My WHOLE being. The very inner parts of me that I don’t want to expose to anyone and especially not to God. God has made it clear He wants every single part.

I do not have a word to focus on for 2016 yet. I cannot say if I will take this same focus into the new year or if God will show me something else He wants me to grab onto. But whichever way it goes, I know that He plans on weaving it all together and by the end of 2016, I will have a deeper understanding of who He is and who He wants me to be.

 
I hope you will pray and ask God for a word focus for 2016. It has truly enriched my life and my relationship with God and I know it will with yours too. And when you do find out what your word for 2016 is, will you share it with me? I would love for us to pray together as God instructs us in all wisdom and understanding of His Word into the very inner parts of our souls and beings.

Monday, December 21, 2015

NO ROOM

@Marcie_Bridges

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 
Luke 2:7

NO ROOM

My heart hammers in staccato beats
www.pixabay.com
staring up at the figure on the cross.
I cannot believe this is the boy
that I fell in love with as a child.
I remember like yesterday that baby boy...

We passed by the stable and I peeked inside
instead of food for the animals to my surprise
there lay a baby in the manger surrounded by
a man and a woman and a strange light.
The sheep, goat and donkey all lay around
they didn’t seem to mind their trough taken up
with a bundle of human sleeping so sound.
I wanted to get closer but my mother wouldn’t stay
and we walked off in a hurry the other way.

I saw glimpses of him for a couple of years
I watched as he learned to walk and talk
Google Image
he was like no other child I’d ever known.
So many times I tried to get near to him
circumstances kept me away and unengaged
thought maybe I’d get to play with him one day
until they left unexpected — was he afraid?

I’ve thought about him often, that little cherub face
there was such a special something I never seemed to place.
And here I stand so grief-stricken as I look up amazed
that the little boy I admired, is being treated this heinous way.
I know it’s him — I’ve never forgotten the babe
I can see it in his eyes as he looks down upon me with such grace.
My heart feels so much compassion, so much love
I cannot bear this sight of him
hanging on that rugged cross by Jews and thieves condemned.

I was such a little girl when I spied that tiny peaceful  miracle
always wondering why he was born in a dirty, rugged stable
my pondering turns sudden and anew
why didn’t that innkeeper give him a room?
And could it be that’s all he wants from me and you?
A room within our hearts, a place into our lives
not just a stable behind the scenes
but a home in our hearts to dwell and abide.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2015 All Rights Reserved.



Have you any room for Jesus?  Or will you relegate Him to the stable of your life this season? Will you place Him on a shelf for display or make Him the focal point of all you do and say? 

I pray we will all find room in our hearts for Jesus each and every day—not just on the celebration of His birth. 

From My Heart to Yours
Merry Christmas
Marcie 




 

Monday, December 14, 2015

HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED EMMANUEL


“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, 
“God with us.”  Matthew 1:23


Emmanuel
God with us
wherever we go
His presence
within us
around us
before us
behind us.

Emmanuel
I am with you
always
today
tomorrow
when you rise
when you sleep.

Emmanuel
come
dwell within us
be among us
Your tabernacle
is with men
You let us
dwell in Your land
and You
Emmanuel
God with us
gives us
peace.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©14 December 2015
This Christmas season I pray you will be filled with Emmanuel. God's gift to us, wrapped up in love and laid in a manger. His name is Jesus and when we confess with our mouth's and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, He comes to live...abide...in us. In the form of His Holy Spirit. 

Emmanuel...God with us. 

Now. Tomorrow. Always. 

He has come to bring you peace. Will you accept His free invitation to receive His salvation today? 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

for further reflection:
Genesis 28:15; Exodus 33:14; Leviticus 26:11-12; Psalm 46:7; Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8; Haggai 2:4; Matthew 1:23; Revelation 21:3



 

Monday, December 7, 2015

WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM


 
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, 
they presented gifts to Him: 
gold, frankincense, and myrrh.    
Matthew 2:1-2 & 9-11
 
Wise men three
you came from afar
seeking a king
you followed a star.

I can’t help but wonder
why did you go
what really compelled you
to seek him so?

The perfumes you brought
fit for a king
you gave them away
to a small babe.

Did you understand
who he would become
did you even realize
who he really was?

Wise men three
you traveled so far
lighted by a star
falling on bended knee
you honored The
King of kings.

If wise men still seek Him
I wonder how far
we will go seeking
our One True Star?

At Christmas time
(or all year through)
will we go out of our way
to seek the Christ child anew?
How far will we go
to follow Your light?

The only present — our hearts
a perfume of worship to give
so precious, so perfect
our only true gift
presented on bended knee
in our quest of Him
just like the wise men three.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©6, December 2015

 
I started thinking about this last Christmas but never quite followed through on my inquisitiveness until now.

Why did the wise men seek Jesus?

These men were seeking the one they had heard would be the King of the Jews. They were looking for The Messiah. What is interesting is that these three men were not Jews. They were Gentiles and yet, they sought after the One who would be king.

Don’t miss this fact: Jesus lived in Bethlehem for 2 years and His own received Him not. The Jews didn’t honor Him, they didn’t look for Him and didn’t pay Him any attention. Yet, three men from another country desired so much to know this King that they pursued Him with all of their hearts, giving up all they had, until they found Him.

In Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Matthew chapter 2 we read this: “With ourselves, we must give up all that we have to Jesus Christ; and if we be sincere in the surrender of ourselves to him, we shall not be unwilling to part with what is dearest to us, and most valuable, to him and for him; nor are our gifts accepted, unless we first present ourselves to him living sacrifices.” ¹

I want to be a wise (wo)man. I want to seek after God with my whole heart so that in my worship to Him, it will be a most precious ointment of sacrificial worship to Him.

It’s a high calling but so worth the living. Will you become a wise man and seek God too?
 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie