Monday, December 26, 2016

A QUIET PONDERING

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“But Mary kept all these things 
and pondered them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19  

Ponder: To meditate, consider carefully, to think about, reflect on — to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

The Bible tells us that after Jesus was born and the shepherds had visited, Mary took time to consider all that had happened, meditating on it quietly and deeply.

This week I’m going to take a lesson from Mary. It is going to be a time of quiet meditation for me.

A time to reflect on this year and to pray. Asking God for direction for the coming year. A time to be quiet before the Lord and seek His face.

There have been many wonderful, joyful experiences this year but there have also been many hard, difficult lessons to learn as well.

 

Jesus my Savior, Redeemer and Friend
thank You for getting us through to the end
another month has come and gone
Your faithfulness to us has remained strong.
Let us lift up our voices in song
praising Your name all the day long.
For the gifts of Your grace, mercy and love
showered down from Your throne above.
In joyful thanksgiving we worship and sing
glory, honor and majesty to Your great name.
There’s so many things to be thankful for
no matter the circumstance we have endured.
Jesus, Emmanuel, God come in flesh
we humbly thank You for Your priceless gift
born of a virgin, a babe grown to die
may we remember Your love for us at this Christmastime.

 
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©30 November 2016
All Rights Reserved. 

As we come upon the New Year, I hope we will all ponder within our hearts this year and hold close those things that have made it special while letting go of the circumstances that make our hearts grow dim with pain.

This is my last post of 2016. May you have a blessed New Year in the Lord. Thank you for being such a special part of my year and being so faithful in reading my posts.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 



Monday, December 19, 2016

MY HEART, CHRIST'S HOME

by Marcie Bridges, @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


Years ago someone gifted me a small book. More like a booklet that can fit in your pocket. But don’t underestimate the size of this book. Its message packs a powerful punch and will transform your life and heart if you will let it: 



 
My Heart, Christ’s Home

Each little chapter takes us on a virtual tour of each room in the house to teach us a different aspect of how we can make our hearts a better home for our Lord. We get to examine the living room, dining room, bedroom and yes, the closet too.

“More than ten million readers have enjoyed Robert Boyd Munger's spiritually challenging meditation on Christian discipleship.

Imagining what it would be like to have Jesus come to the home of our hearts, Munger moves room by room considering what Christ desires for us. In the living room we prepare to meet Christ daily. In the dining room we examine together what appetites should and should not control us. We even explore the closets in our lives that Christ can help us clean out.

Munger's practical and profound booklet...helps you give Christ control over all of your life.”¹

Every time I’ve read this book it has convicted me of my need to dig deeper and ask the hardest question, “Have I REALLY made my heart Christ’s home?”
  

Jesus.
Holy is Your name.
The shepherd’s came
to see this infant babe
declared from on high
angels in the sky
singing Your praises
sharing the way
to Your manger.

And we today find You
like wise men of long ago
no longer in swaddling cloths
but sitting on high
on Your heavenly throne.
King of kings, Lord of lords,
we bow down and adore
humbly residing within
our hearts — Your home.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©18 December 2016
All Rights Reserved.

There may not have been any room in the inn for Jesus, but have I made room in my heart for Him? Have you?

"Room For Jesus King of Glory
Hasten now His Word obey
Swing your heart's door widely open
Bid Him enter while you may." 



From My Heart to Yours ~ Merry Christmas with Love,
Marcie




(click on above links to view availability) 




Monday, December 12, 2016

THE GIFT OF ANTICIPATION

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 
James 1:17

It was our little tradition. Once mom and dad were in bed for the night, we were allowed to get up and see what was under the tree.

My brother and I would always get up somewhere around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Where did all of those gifts come from?

And look! One was left unwrapped!  An acoustic guitar just for me, a shotgun for my brother and for my sister? A sewing machine!

How wonderful! How exciting! What else can there be? I shake out the contents of my green, white and red crocheted stocking.

Wow! Look at all of these lovely things.

 
THE GIFT OF ANTICIPATION

Excitement is in the air!
Can you feel it? Are you prepared?
Cookies, cakes and candy canes
a cinnamon flavor heaven made
greenery tall with sparkling lights
bring delight to each child’s eyes.
Packages with green and red bows
waiting ‘neath the tree for love
children all snuggled in their beds
hoping the morning will reveal their requests.
Look at the snow! Look at the scene!
Look at the precious Nativity.
Mary and Joseph both sit in awe
the shepherd’s and sheep bow low
Come Thou long - expected Son
King of kings, Emmanuel with us.
Oh how I can’t wait to open the gift
laying my crown at Jesus’ feet
how long must we wait our dear Lord
til the coming of Your Word?
I’m eager to see You, I’m eager to know
when the time will be—in the air we’ll see
Your glorious, enchanting appearing!
How I long for the day
what a celebration we’ll have
I can feel You so near as I wait right here.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©12 December 2016
All Rights Reserved.


Are you like me? Do you wait in anticipation for Christmas Day? Do you enjoy the excitement it brings?

I’ve been longing so much for Jesus’ return lately. Some days I’m more excited than others and if I were being really,  really honest? It scares me like standing at the edge of a cliff. But I can’t help that little tingly feeling that spreads throughout my heart when I think about being in Heaven.

 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 


Monday, December 5, 2016

The Soft Swish, Swish of His Voice

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges 

“A word was secretly brought to me, 
my ears caught a whisper of it.”
Job 4:12

I can’t get this phrase out of my mind. I’m not sure what it leads to.

Is it an opening or a closing line? I don’t know yet, but if I don’t write it down, I’ll lose it.

So here it is:

the soft swish, swish of God’s breath

What does that make you think of? Does it ignite any emotion or feeling at all? Does it create a smile or even a thought? Maybe you spend moments just pondering it or wondering what it might feel like to have God’s breath be a soft swish around you?

After the thunder and the earthquake came a still small voice. In the garden His voice was like breathing—just a breeze passing by. Can you imagine it as a soft swish-swish? I can.

 Be still and listen and know
Trust in His everlasting arms
Rest in the cradle of His hands
Be still and feel His love, peace and Presence.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28, May 2016
All Rights Reserved.

I lay my head upon my pillow thoughts swirling in my mind. “Dear Jesus,” I pleaded, “I have so many things to do I can’t seem to...”

Hush. (He interrupted.)

“But Lord, I need to decorate and get a tree. I need to be cleaning my house and editing. I need...”

Hush. Hush my child. Your mind is consumed with too many things. Just rest.

“But...”

Hushhhhhhhhhhhh...

Cool air like a feather floating on the wind brushed past my face. Slowly I sank into a quiet slumber.

As I woke up, my heart peaceful, I heard it once again within my inner soul:




swish, swish, hush,
 came the voice I’d heard so softly in my sleep
Be still and know. Just trust. I am here.


From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie


What does God's voice sound like to you? 


 

Monday, November 28, 2016

HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ME?

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, 
and you are to call him John.’”
Luke 1:13 

I thought God had forgotten me. 

No. Wait. Let me rephrase that.

I thought He had forgotten the word He had spoken to me.

Maybe it’s the same thing?

I took the path on the right knowing this is the one He wanted me to take but the sights, sounds, and smells were all wrong.

I saw a sign that said, “Promised Land this Way”, but I must have read it in a fog because the landscape is barren, I’m thirsty all the time, and I feel like I’ve been circling this mountain for far too long. Didn’t I go this way already?

Every year at Christmas time I like to read the story of Jesus birth in order beginning with Luke. I love that God keeps things hidden from us until the right time — just when we need it most.  I’ve read this story over and over my entire life but I never connected these dots.

Zacharias and Elizabeth were old in age (just like Abraham and Sarah) when they were told through an angel that they would have a son. They had waited and waited and I think perhaps Elizabeth was feeling a bit forgotten by God. Don’t you? And Zacharias was maybe also wondering how he’d pass on his name I’m sure.

But the Lord had not forgotten them. In fact, Zacharias’ name means, “the Lord hath remembered”. I have always loved the name Zechariah because it represents that God has not forgotten us.

So it dawned on me this week that God has not forgotten me. He will bring to pass the things He has promised me. It may be a different path than I thought I’d take to get to my Promised Land, but He knows that this is the way I must go. Sometimes He must wait until we are mature enough to handle the Promised Land He has for us. And He will remember at just the right time that He promised it to me and He will fulfill that promise. 

A Forgotten Promise?

The leaves dim on the tree
like my love has dimmed for Thee
I cried out, but could not see
You have always been here for me.
As I stare at the fallen leaves
my mind drifts to a different scene
focusing on a cross
where blood was shed for all of us lost.
And there in my agony
I realized You’ve never forgotten me
Your love washes over my heart
covering my sin like leaves cover the earth.
Tears course down my cheeks
as my eyes gaze at Your tree
the one where You bore my crown
where Your blood flowed down.
In humbleness You shed Your authority
and took all my sins willingly
how can I let my love grow so dim?
Now my heart cries from within
thank You, Jesus, for Your Calvary.
Thank You for fulfilling destiny.
Renew my soul, O Lord,
may I always give praise and honor
to You my God and King. 


~Marcell Warner Bridges 
©27 November 2016
All Rights Reserved.


Do you feel forgotten? Do you feel like the path you are on is not the right one? Are you waiting on God to answer a certain prayer you’ve been praying for so long you think He isn’t listening anymore? Go to God today and ask Him to seal His promises within you and to remember you.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 


 


I am having so much fun doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems this month! Each day I create a new poem and post it on my poetry page at Facebook. You can visit me here to read them:

Monday, November 21, 2016

TREE OF GRACE

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

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

 




Lord, I stand in awe of You. I am humbled by Your gift of salvation. Free to all who will just believe and accept it. Thank You, Jesus, for shedding Your blood all those years ago for us and rising again from the dead to show us that You are not a fable, but a real person. You came to give us life and life more abundant through salvation so we can live eternally one day with You. 



TREE OF GRACE

Russet crinkles underneath my feet
Standing in awe at the base of Your tree;
Tears bottled for years run down my cheeks
As I kneel in the russet blood soaked leaves.
The sap of Your goodness flows from its bark
Reviving my spirit, refreshing my heart;
A taste of Your grace is what my spirit needs
As I kneel in the russet blood soaked leaves.
Cool, crisp air brings life to my lungs
Singing Your praises my eyes look up;
No more do I kneel at the base of a tree
But the Cross of Your Son who died for me.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©21 September 2016
 All Rights Reserved.



As we celebrate Thanksgiving, may we learn to also make it an every day thanks-living. Each day thanking God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us; even when we don't feel like it or think there is nothing to thank Him for.

Blessings to each of you and your families this thanksgiving.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 




I am having so much fun doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems this month! Each day I create a new poem and post it on my poetry page at Facebook. You can visit me here to read them:

Monday, November 14, 2016

CASTING OUT FEAR

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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 4:6-9
 
©BridgesCreations, 2016
Everywhere I turn this week I see blog posts, Bible verses, memes and more that all talk about the same thing: FEAR.  I have drawn a single conclusion to this. God is trying to talk to me about fear in my own life. Every one of these blog posts have encouraged me to renew my thinking and to let God rule my life and heart―not fear. Living in fear is not living; living in Jesus is living life to the fullest. Maybe you are having trouble with it too?

One of the posts I read encourages us to quit dwelling on what those things that are causing us fear by renewing our minds and taking those thoughts captive so that we are no longer living in fear but living in the abundant life of Christ.

“The enemy uses fear to bully many of God’s children. Spiritually, I see him as standing in the way of God’s blessings for us.

The enemy says (metaphorically speaking), “If you want to get to God’s blessings, you’ve got to get past me!”

Fear may mask itself as anxiety, worry, apprehension, or concern but these are still fear-based emotions... However, God’s word gives us prescriptions to stop fear at the source. My go-to prescription when fear tries to come upon me is 1 John 4:18:

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

God does not want His children to live in torment, victims of the enemy’s bullying. Jesus came to set us free and destroy the works of the enemy through the power of His word!” ¹ ~Kimberly Taylor, Take Back Your Temple

 
Fear is not welcome here
worry no purpose or plan
guilt is a bottomless pit
complaints have no gain
and doubt only causes pain.
Why should I speak of
thanksgiving each and
every day? Ahhh... my friend
now there’s the rub
what could it hurt to think
©BridgesCreations, 2016
on things of praise?
Take a minute, sit right down
take pen and paper out
write today’s thanksgivings
at least five treasures down.
“Five?” you say?
Oh yes, I think that
that will do just fine
whatever is good, lovely
and pure whatever is
noble and kind.
I see you have them
written and I also see
a most praiseworthy thing
a very peaceful smile
has accompanied your face.
What good is all the worry
what good is all the fear
why not end each day
with a grateful heart in prayer?

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

©BridgesCreations, 2016
I encourage to go read Kimberly’s blog post (click to read) for yourself as she outlines how we then go from being in fear to casting it down from our imaginations. But the one thing to remember is this:

“When you are fearful and/or dismayed, that means you are meditating upon thoughts of “I am not able.”

However, during those times, you need to remind yourself that the Lord is with you – and He is able.” ¹
 
God is here with us. He’s never left us. He never will leave us. And isn’t that the root of our fear? That God will not be there wherever we go? Oh beloved friend, God has already been there.

As Lauren Daigle sings in her song Trust in You, “There’s not a place where I’ll go You’ve not already stood!” ²

No need to worry. No need to fear. God is right here with us and goes before us so we can meet Him there.  

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 


¹Kimberly Taylor, Take Back Your Temple, 3 Scriptures to Cast Out Fear http://takebackyourtemple.com/3-scriptures-to-cast-out-fear/

²Lauren Daigle, Trust In You. (C) 2015 Centricity Music



I'm doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems through November. Come join me at Marcie Bridges Poetry Page 

Monday, November 7, 2016

ELEVENTH HOUR PRAYER

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

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

“My mother once said if there are any tears shed in heaven, they’re going to be shed over all the answers to prayer for which no one ever bothered to ask! John 16:23 quotes Jesus, who said, “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.”

To ask and pray in Jesus’ name means you come to God believing that Jesus is your Lord and Savior — believing He died and rose for you, and in response you have submitted to His authority. Jesus is waiting for you to ask! Waiting because He wants to get your attention. He wants you to acknowledge your need for Him. And when the answer comes, you will know it comes from Him.

Ask according to God’s will. Ask in Jesus’ name. Just ask.” ~Anne Graham Lotz *

 

I call upon You Lord
in this eleventh hour
for You alone God
have the power
to save us, redeem us,
strengthen us in weakness.
Lord, we may not like
the choices we’ve been given
but in our time of
such great need
please supply Your wisdom.
As we humble ourselves
we seek Your face
repenting, returning
from wicked, evil ways
God! Hear Your servant!
I am pleading with You
to heal this land
bring us back together again.
I bow my head to
Your great authority
I trust in You Lord
even when Your ways aren’t mine.
I bow my knees to
Your sovereignty
I open my hands to Your plans
I rest my heart in Your hands
Not my will Lord, no not mine
but Yours —
I place this prayer at the foot
of Your throne
In Jesus’ name I pray this alone.
And years from now may I
look back and see
that what You had planned
was the best I never thought
it could be.
To You be all glory and honor,
Your kingdom come, will be done
for You Lord, need to be, the
Author of this outcome.
In humble thanks I pray
Jesus Christ be praised
Amen, Lord, amen,
yes and amen.


~Marcell Warner Bridges
©6 November 2016
All Rights Reserved.
 


There is not a greater time than this to ask God to change our hearts, our minds, our lives, so that He will heal us and heal our nation. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” **
 
From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie  


* Lotz, Anne Graham. Fixing My Eyes on Jesus. Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI: 2012. Print. Page 330.

** Psalm 33:12



For the month of November I am sharing 30 Days of Thanksgiving Poems again. I would love for you to join with me in the fun at Marcie Bridges Poetry Writer https://www.facebook.com/mwbheartthoughts/