WRITING BLOG TOUR

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Today on my blog I am participating in a Blog Tour. This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process.

I am honored to be asked by Norma Gail to be a part of this tour. Norma writes for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and her debut book, Land of My Dreams, will be out April 22nd. I know she is extremely excited about this achievement. I certainly cannot wait to read it! To find out more about Norma Gail go to: http://www.normagail.com/my-writing-process-blog-tour-june-23-2014/
And now for why I write and how I write:
What am I working on?

I never thought poetry would become such an integral part of my life but over the last few years it seems to have taken over my whole love of writing. Believing that God is pushing me in this direction, I am currently looking to get a book of my poetry published. I have other projects in the fire but am not at liberty at this time to reveal those. You’ll just have to stay in suspenders for those I guess. *grin*

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my work is different in that my main focus on writing is about God. About how He works in and through us to establish and keep our relationship with Him full and rich. I seek to put as much life into my poetry as I can using the most descriptive words to connect with my readers. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But not all of my work is strictly God-based. Some of it is just for fun and some of it I am seeking to stretch myself in how I express my thoughts about different aspects of life as I see them.

Why do I write what I do?

I have a strong faith in God that I am not at all ashamed of. Jesus Christ has always been the center of my life so not to write about Him would be a disuse of the talent I feel God has given to me. My main goal is to encourage others in their faith. I think the body of Christ as a whole is lacking in encouragement in living their lives to the fullest through Christ. Besides the fact that I just have to write. When I don’t write poetry or any other form of the written word (I do write stories from time to time) I just don’t feel like…ME!

How does your writing process work?

My writing process is mostly when the words start pouring into my brain I write them down as soon as possible. It is rare that I intentionally write a poem meaning that I will sit down and make myself come up with one. Poems like that don’t normally turn out very well for me. Unfortunately a lot of my poetry decides to come when I am driving in the car and so I have to try to remember it when I get to my destination to be able to write it down. Many times you can find me at Chick-Fil-A with a large sweet tea pondering and writing. ☺ I also study the craft and read other poets work to see what works and what doesn’t. My favorite poets are Roy Lessin, Robert Frost, Helen Steiner Rice, Sarah Kay, and many more! I have two very close friends I send my writing to and they give me direction and help with it, especially if I am not certain it is worded correctly. As far as what I put on my blog, it is done through much prayer and asking the Lord’s direction on which one to use and how to use it.

You can find my blog at: http://marcieheartthoughts.blogspot.com/
Other places to find me?  https://twitter.com/katylyssiesmom
https://plus.google.com/u/0/116601944170151215598/about

Where do I get my inspiration and encouragement from? I read, read, and read some more… Here are a few places I enjoy spending time. 

Ann Voscamp is a tremendous writer with the ability to put life into words in ways we normally wouldn’t think of them. Her passion for God and His Word is so abundant and infectious. I love reading her work. She has a blog titled “A Holy Experience” at http://www.aholyexperience.com/ and she has several best sellers out, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully”, “One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces” and a photography book, “One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters”. 
Nan Jones is my personal friend and mentor. I’ve had her on here a couple of times so you are already familiar with her name and work. Nan has inspired me greatly in my own writing and God’s light shines right through her every day in every way. I have been privileged to work with her on her debut book, Perils of a Pastor’s Wife which will be coming out soon. Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.
Jamie Britt is blind but she can see so much more than we who are not. She shares a message of hope and has a desire to see women find their value in Christ. Blind from birth, she challenges us to see God’s sovereignty and care in the midst of our trials. Through her blog, she encourages women to be transformed by the power of Christ, discovering they are never alone; God shows His love and faithfulness to us every day. Jamie is a graduate of the 2011 NCompass Writers Retreat and the 2012 and 2013 Writers Advance! Boot Camp. She’s also a featured guest blogger on MorningGloryLights.blogspot.com and CindyRooy.com. Stop by Jamie’s blog at www.encouragingwomen-strength.blogspot.com 

Rose Chandler Johnson and I met through Nan Jones. She has a debut devotional book out through Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. I really like her devotional book!  Rose Chandler Johnson met Jesus at the age of eleven.  As a young bride, she left her tiny Georgia town to start a new life. Through years of disappointments and overwhelming obstacles, her faith in God sustained her as she learned to find God in the midst of everyday moments. A devoted Christian and mother of six, she has been a teacher of English and French over the last twenty years. Her articles, poems, and devotions have appeared in numerous publications.  She is the author of the devotional blog, Write Moments with God, and looks forward to continuing her writing ministry in the years ahead. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments, which released July 1, 2013, is her first published book.  This devotional has named a finalist in the Selah awards in May and also received the Georgia Author of the Year Award finalist on June 7th in the inspirational-religious category. Rose’s blog is found at: http://writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com/ 
Vicki Byassee Hurley and I met through various friends. Vicki is a bold proclaimer of the word.  Through her creativity and hospitality the truth is declared that will set people free from deception. Always relevant and on target, Vicki’s interpretation of God’s word to you will bring insight and revelation. You can find her blog Releasing Truth at: http://www.releasingtruth.com/
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! Please go visit my friends websites and blogs! 
Pictures of the journal and Bible are my own. Thank you to my friend Rhonda for the journal when I graduated from high school! 🙂
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

COMFORTING THE COMFORTLESS

© AlyssaBridges, 2014
 
 
I don’t have a clue how she feels. I don’t have any idea what my friend is going through. In fact, I have several friends that are going through such strenuous times this year that my heart is just breaking for them.

The following poem was written 24 years ago but it still applies today. My dad was in the Air Force and he was to be sent to Kuwait to help with the war.  I remember vividly as I looked for comfort from someone I thought was a close friend and would at least pray with me but instead as I tried to hug her she pushed me away and said, “I cannot help you. I don’t know how to help you with this.” I was devastated. I was crushed. And I went home, cried, then later wrote this poem.

So, how do we comfort someone when we have no idea what they are going through? We’ve never been in their shoes and never gone through that particular pain?


How do we comfort one
When we’ve never known
Never felt, never shown
A love, or care, or feeling?

Do we dare say a word
When there are no words to say
Nothing to send one’s way
Who is hurting today?

How do we comfort one
Who needs comfort and love
When all around us
Is hate and bitterness?

Do we dare say we understand
When we’ve never understood?
How do we give of ourselves
When we have never felt?

How?

~Marcell Warner Bridges
20, March 1994, All right reserved

Today I encourage you to pray for your friends who are hurting, alone, and in the deepest, darkest days of their lives. I encourage you to send someone a card to just say “Hi” and let them know someone is thinking of them today. Send a friend a Bible Verse on their Facebook wall and say, “Hey, thought this might be of help to you today!” Give someone a hug. Do you see someone in a store or a foodcourt that looks like they are having a bad day? Smile at them. Find something about them to compliment on. Thank someone for a job they are doing whether it is done well or not. Perhaps saying thank you will give that person an incentive to do a better job. And even if they don’t say a word back to you, or smile at you, or maybe they say something negative back to you, don’t despair. Know that whatever you did – that hug, smile, card, prayer, verse – will stay with them the rest of that day. 


DEAR FRIEND WHO IS HURTING:


God cares so much for you. He loves you. Cast those cares on Him and He’ll give you the peace you are seeking. He’s right there with you. Holding you tightly and walking with you. 


“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.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
 For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, *YOUR SAVIOR;” 
Isaiah 43:1-3a (NKJV)*emphasis mine
 
 
THANK YOU TO MY DAUGHTER, ALYSSA, FOR DRAWING THE PICTURE ABOVE FOR THIS POST! 
 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

PRAISE THE LORD!

Praise the Lord for blessings dear
From those we have so close and near
For the things from our Lord we hear
At just the right time.
Praise Him for His Word of Life
For His salvation to grasp tight
And tender mercies we can share
For love from Him who really cares.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Thank Him for His grace bestowed
Of which is given in abundant love
To those of us in Him we trust.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Lift your voice!
Sing His praises, shout for joy
Clap your hands with thanksgiving
Give the Lord the praise that is due Him!
Praise and worship to Him give
Praise Him for our Redeemer Lives!
Be ye joyful forevermore
Praise Him! Praise Him! O my soul!

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©19, July 1995, All rights reserved

Psalm 148 (NKJV)
Praise to the Lord from Creation

148 Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
6 He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9 Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the Lord!

All Photos  © Tee’s Photography, 2014
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

FIRM(LESS) FAITH

“On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand!”
 (“The Solid Rock” is a Christian hymn written by Edward Mote in 1834.)

Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)  Build on the Rock:

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

I KNOW, THAT I KNOW, THAT I KNOW if I were to die today I would go to Heaven. I know it without a shadow of a doubt. I’ve lived this faith for many years and I’ve believed every single word of the Bible without a doubt in my soul.

Recently I encountered something I truly had never heard of before. That God’s Word is all a myth based off of folklore from India and the Persians. I was so side-swiped by the idea I am not sure I heard the rest of the what was being said to me. I began to look into the claims and as I did I was warned not to look too closely because it might lead me down a road of disbelief. As I looked at the book in my hand that was going to supposedly tell me the truth of whether the Bible is true or just a bunch of made up stories, I looked at my husband and said, “Wouldn’t it be sad if after 37 years of living my life according to a solid faith that I would read one book and it would shatter it all?” The whole idea made me very sad and a little sick to my stomach. What a shaky faith that would be!

Job 19:24-26 (NKJV) says, “That they were engraved on a rock, With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God..”

Here’s my question: Do you know what your faith stands on? Is it a firm foundation, or, is it sinking in the sand? Is it a house built on a rock standing firm in the storm, or, a sand castle that is destroyed easily by the tide that rolls in? The Apostle Paul exhorts us, “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5) and for each of us to be ready with an answer as to why and what we believe.

If someone were to look you in the eye and ask you, “What do you believe?”, what would you say?


FIRM FOUNDATION?

The beginning. The very beginning.
Of time, of space, of man, of race.
Doesn’t matter what you really think
Or what you really believe
How it all started, or,
Does it?
Because, see, here’s the thing –
Opinions are great and theories grand
Somewhere it became part of a strand
Perhaps even the most elaborate of scams
Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
BUT
Conviction of the heart is EVERYTHING
So whatever it is that you think you know
Whatever faith you want to exhale
Believe it. NO!
Consume it – deeply –
Stand firm, never, ever wavering
Because it would be so sad now wouldn’t it
To truly believe and then with one book,
With one look, one wink of a different view
To have it all crumble, crash around you
Have it all taken away in the sinking sand
of firm-less faith.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©16 May 2014

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014
Top pictures © Bridgescreations, 2014

WHOM OR WHAT SHALL I FEAR?

 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.   
Psalm 56:3(KJV)
©Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
FEAR

Sudden and without provocation
grips you with its talons deep and strong.
There doesn’t even have to be a reason.
It’s just there.
Lurking.
Waiting.
The moment will come and when it does
it will make you stop dead in your tracks.
No going back.
Whispering into your ear.
Heart beats in an unnatural rhythm
and hands begin to shake.
And then,
it snatches you up.
Eats into your mind.
Claws into your gut.
The world spins out of control
a merry-go-round
going faster and faster
stomach gets queasy
head begins to pound.
And just when you think
you can’t take it anymore
it stops.
You get off. Stagger a bit.
Confused for a moment.
Then walk away.
Everything is normal.
Or,
is it?

©Marcell Warner Bridges
29, March 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ever gone through an experience that was so horrible it almost paralyzed you? This last week I went through an ordeal that even now has me feeling kind of squeamish. It was one of those episodes in life you are sure you’ll never ever forget and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to do things the same ever again.

And I’m NOT going to tell you about it!  (I’ve told enough people and I don’t care to relive the memories right before bed time.)

But sometimes life can get pretty scary. Sometimes it scares us so much we can’t put one foot in front of the other. Or maybe we can’t even get out of bed. But I’ve learned something really important this week.

So when we feel like we can’t handle it, this is the time to give it to God and when we trust Him with it, we are strengthened and we are able to move forward. We are able to calm down and to rest in Him.

This last week was hard when it came to sleeping. I feared closing my eyes so I wouldn’t encounter the memories that come with nothing else to think about.  But last week my friend **Nan just happened to do a blog post entitled Be Still and with it she posted a video of Alan Jackson singing the old hymn, “In the Garden”. Every time I tried to close my eyes to sleep I found myself singing that hymn and many others. I found singing hymns specifically with the name of Jesus so soothing that I eventually drifted off to sleep and each morning waking up thanking Jesus that I did not have any nightmares.

LIVING IN FEAR IS NOT LIVING AT ALL. Give your fears to Jesus and see what He will rescue you from.

I made this video for some friends about a year ago, some of my favorite hymns. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  

**Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. You may visit Nan at her website: www.NanJones.com or her blog, Morning Glory: http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.

 

  © Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014