Monday, August 29, 2016

REMIND ME LORD

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges


But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel: 
 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; You are Mine...Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you...Fear not, for I am with you...Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; 
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” 
Isaiah 43:1, 4a, 5a, 7





Maybe if I buy a bottle of ink and dye my hair you won’t see me for who I really am.

Maybe if I obscure my message within words that need definition to understand among the letters, you won’t pay attention to my pain.

If I stand before you, a smaller slightly different version of myself, smiling, nodding, you won’t see my need.

Could it be that I am really that naive?

Sometimes hiding, pretending, playing hide-and-seek and make-believe is the only way I know how to live.

And you? Do you play these games too?

But bottles of ink and obscurity of words do not make a life worth living.

It’s in the raw honesty in the deepest part we find our strength. Shedding light on the darkness that permeates. Hiding, lurking in those sacred, holy shadows is the truth that will set me free.

And where the light of Jesus shines, the death of me lives. Deeply. Immensely. Invasively. Purely. Holy. A reminder that He is still here and still God. Reminding me of the unholy I really am but that His deep, red, life-giving blood has forgiven that unholy and made it precious.

Remind Me Lord...

Remind me Lord
of Who You are
in the joy and sorrow
in the pain and rain
of the goodness, grace, mercy
faithfully magnifying Your name.

Remind me Lord
of the sacred holy,
and even the hard,
where Your sacrifice
pours through every part.
I know You cried tears
sands of grain nor stars count
as You stretched Your arms wide out.
You hold universes in Your hands
but I am not a speck...

Remind me Lord
of Who You are
so I can always remember
who I am
in You.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 August 2016
All Rights Reserved.



Today I rest in this. Remind me, Lord, of Who You are—in me, for me, with me—so I can remember who I am in You—loved, cherished, forgiven, free, saved—Yours.






From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie

For more reminders of who God is and who we are in Him I encourage you to open your Bible to Isaiah 43, 44 and 45. Read slowly. Drink deeply. He loves you.





Monday, August 22, 2016

NOW WHAT, LORD ~ PART 2

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  1 Corinthians 2:10-12 


I was so encouraged this week by a devotion I read through Proverbs 31 First5 app. The above verses in 1 Corinthians are only a sample of the richness that is found in its second chapter.

Sometimes we seek wisdom and understanding from others. Sometimes through our own abilities and thoughts.

 


But here Paul encourages us to walk in the Spirit. Not just any spirit. The HOLY SPIRIT!

Here is part of the devotion from First5:

“Paul didn’t try to dress up his message with slick persuasion or palatable appeal. He didn’t clean up the shocking story line of the gospel. He didn’t diminish its upside down demands or tame its truth. Paul didn’t trust in his wisdom to teach or in the wisdom of his audience to understand. Paul trusted the Spirit of God who “searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10b). (italics mine)

Through His Holy Spirit, God reveals deep and mysterious truths about Himself, “explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Corinthians 2:13). Through His Holy Spirit, God enables us to understand the words and works of Jesus. Through His Holy Spirit, God helps us rightly apply those words to our lives in a way that honors His character. (emphasis mine)

Why does Paul spend the first few chapters of this important letter to the Corinthian church talking about wisdom and how to find it? Because he’s inviting them to think biblically, not culturally, about wisdom. Paul is reframing what it means to be wise!

Through the rest of the letter Paul will address divisive issues the church is debating. From the outset, Paul desires that the church at Corinth not trust persuasion through manipulation, but seek the wisdom that comes from God’s Spirit.

When we disagree, when we wrestle with God’s truth and how to apply it, we are wise to seek the Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit that gives us the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:16) The body of Christ should seek to be governed and guided by the mind of Christ. Oh, that we would seek to be wise more than we would seek to be right!” (Whitney Capps) ¹
 

Spirit of the Living God

fall fresh on me.

Your wisdom only I seek.

Not of Satan, not of man
not of myself do I give in.

Holy Spirit, breathe life in me.

Guide me, break me, mold me
use me.

Your will and Your way do I desire.

Only You, most precious Spirit,
may I look for my future and dreams.

Anxiety and worry flee in Your presence.

My soul drinks in Your Living Water

refreshing, renewing, reviving.

Spirit of the Living God
may Your truth set me free.
~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2016, All Rights Reserved.


Remind us Lord, that as we desire more of You and less of us that we MUST seek Your wisdom and Yours alone.
 

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie

¹First5 app is a ministry through Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can visit their website here to connect with God each morning for 5 minute devotions. Right now we are studying Romans and 1 Corinthians.  


More of You Lord and Less of Me requires Your wisdom 


Speaking of wisdom will you pray with me as I work on my upcoming book that God would be the One to give me the poems and words to use in it to minister to all who would read it?
 


Monday, August 15, 2016

NOW WHAT, LORD?

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30

Bridgescreations ©2016
Week before last God whispered, “It’s going to be okay. Really. It is.”*

And last week He urged us just like Dory, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”, to just keep going. Just keep going.* Don’t give up.

When I’m texting with my friend who lives in San Diego oftentimes we will get to a stopping point in our conversation. We don’t want to end our time together, but we don’t know what to say next and the topic we were on has been run into the ground so inevitably one of us will type, “So now what?”

Ever asked God that question? Yeah. Me too. A lot lately actually.

Maybe you’re stuck at the end of your side of the conversation with God. You are settled knowing it’s going to be okay and you’ve kept going even when it feels too tough to hang on. But, now what Lord?

Lately in my quest to understand where God is leading me I’ve begun to crave more of Jesus in my life. In one of the Bible studies I worked through with Beth Moore she said that she spends 6-8 hours a day in God’s Word. I thought, “What bliss! I wish I could!”

I’d love to spend that kind of time with You Lord but I have all of these other things I need to do. I’m a wife and mother, there’s housework and errands and internships and, and, and... but man do I just want to sit and bask in Your presence.

But maybe it’s not just sitting and reading God’s Word for hours. Maybe it’s not praying each minute. Maybe, just maybe, while tending to other things in life I take time to contemplate what I’ve read, heard, and learned. Maybe I turn off the television to listen to praise music and turn my heart to thanksgiving and adoration. Delighting in the goodness and grace of the Lord.

Bridgescreations ©2016
More of You, Lord,
that’s what I crave
this empty shell
needs filling today.
Make me aware
of Your presence
fill me this hour
with Your mercy and grace.
When my eyes wander
my feet are ensnared
place in my path
a detour to Your Word.
There’s no other place
I’d rather be
living more of You
and less of me.
A servant of surrender
here is my part
I trust in You, Lord,
with all of my heart.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2016
All rights reserved.

 

I want more of the Lord. No, not want—I am craving more of Jesus and less of me. I know it’s going to be okay while I keep moving forward with my eyes fixed, solely focused on Jesus. And as I do, the things of this world will ever so gradually, fade away, and grown dim.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie 

*Click to read blog post.


More of You and less of me that's what I'm craving Lord


 

Monday, August 8, 2016

JUST KEEP GOING...JUST KEEP GOING

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” 
 Deuteronomy 31:8 AMP

Pixabay.com
Rain splattered on my windshield. Little bitty drops. One here. One there.

I could see what was coming. The sky had darkened, sheets of rain coming down. I had choices  to make. Keep going, stop and wait it out, or turn around and go back to the hotel I’d just checked out of.

But I needed to get home and the little drops dried up giving me hope that perhaps I’d miss the storm up ahead.

A little while later the skies opened up. Rain so heavy I could barely see the lines on the road. I began to pray for a place to pull over. A place to wait it out.

God had another idea. Stoplights.

As I rounded another major curve, there in the midst of the deluge, a red light.

A sigh of relief escaped my lips as I took a minute to just settle down and relax. I had been gripping the steering wheel so tightly my arms and neck ached. I cracked my knuckles, flexed my wrists and took some deep breaths.

A momentary break. The light turned green and once again I slowly made my way toward home, every little while stopping at red lights.

What kept me going? The promise of blue up ahead. Finally, the rain ended and God’s blue eyes (skies) covered me the rest of the way home.

Pixabay..com

Keep going when all seems lost
it’s easy to quit, but hard to live
take a break, breathe Jesus in
let Him speak life into you again.

Blue skies are ahead if only you’ll believe
your faith can move mountains with the tiniest seed
sometimes the seed takes long to grow
reward of the steps in moving on.

Should you feel like fainting, giving in
make praise a part of your exercise regimen
add some thanksgiving, a smile or two
and soon you’ll be seeing those skies of blue.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©7 August 2016, All Rights Reserved.
 
Do you feel like quitting? Do you only see gray, cloudy, dark skies? Giving up is the easy thing to do, but it’s the regret that will keep you from living. Keep running the race God has for you. He will be with you every step of the way. He promised.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie


Monday, August 1, 2016

IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY...REALLY...IT IS

by Marcie Bridges, @Marcie_Bridges

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

She walks into the room, book in hand, and says, “Hey mom? Am I allowed to write in this book?” 

“Yes, honey, of course you can. It’s your book.”

“Good. Cause I already highlighted a bunch of things in it. Can I share them with you?”

Words this momma’s heart loves to hear. 

Words this momma’s ear longs to hear.

My daughter read some of what she’d highlighted but it wasn’t what was in the book that made my heart melt. It was the words my daughter said next:

“I cried while reading this mom. For once someone knows exactly how I feel. What I’m going through. I mean, I have always known deep down that I am not alone, but it is so good to hear someone has the same problems. I can relate to her. She is just like me.”

Oh dear friend. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.

So many times we think we’re the only one who is experiencing something hard in life but in reality, there are many others who are going through it too. And I think we all at one point or another say, “I wish I could talk to someone who knows exactly what I’m going through. What I’m thinking, feeling, and experiencing.”

But often we don’t reach out and connect with others. Or, when we do, they don’t know what to say or do because they’ve not experienced it like we have.  Making us feel lonely and scared.

So where do we go when this arises?


This past week I became quite angry with God over a difficulty in my life. I have not had much of a problem with it before. I have lived with it for years. This week I broke down and cried and railed at God in fear of my future.

Sometime between that experience and the following day as I poured out my heart to Him I found a new peace within me. And I heard Him say, “It’s going to be okay. No matter what happens from here, I promise you, it will be okay.” 

Hearing my Lord say that was like a balm in Gilead to me. My heart has felt so much lighter since then. Do you need God’s reassurance in you? Go to Him. Plead your case. He can handle your anger and your emotions. Then sit quietly and let Him lead you to a place of comfort and peace knowing it will be okay.

Friends can listen and comfort the best they know how. But oh how good it is when we find that Someone who knows exactly what we are going through and can bring us peace.

SWEET LULLABY


Because somewhere in the night
You sang me a sweet lullaby
whispering no matter what happens from here
it’s all going to be to be all right.
Cradling me in Your arms
holding me in strong love
my ragged breath turns deep sighs
head resting against pillowed chest of Christ.
Emotions, dreams, thoughts, desires,
emotions of longing only require
nestling into Your embrace
crashing with You into the waves
of steady, drum beats of heart
the one who loved me from the start.
Walking in the morning light
burdens of hurt, fear, despair
somewhere in the darkness disappeared
soft tears flow from streams of living water
sung to me somewhere in the night
refreshing, reassuring,
it’s going to be all right.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©26 July 2016
All Rights Reserved.

 

A couple of days later, I read Ann Voskamp’s blog post on the same thing, affirming what I knew God was telling me. You can read that post here.

I will be praying for each of you this week that you will know deep within your hearts that no matter what happens, it will be okay.

From My Heart to Yours,
Marcie



 *Top Picture from Pixabay
*Bottom picture Bridgescreaions, 2016