BY FAITH

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go
Joshua 1:9
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                                BY FAITH

Ghostly apparitions hover over burnt orange grasses
Gray skies accentuated with billowed clouds
Gone is a sun playing more hide than seek
Trenches of tears streak down a windshield
Blurring the lines of reality and make-believe
Still a glimmer of hope where faith only sees.
Darkness invades where light should be
Haunting a soul filled of sorrow and grief
Road curves and twists through the screams.
So many see only what they want to
Asking, “Where is God?” around them
Can’t, or, won’t see the forest for the trees
Becomes the loneliest place to be
Like a poet in the midst of a dream
Looking for the song in the melody.
The Son never ever disappeared
Trust that He really, truly is there
Even when the foggiest of nights appear
Dreariest of days fill the pillow with tears.
One day the mask will be removed
Clear skies will once more bloom
And the haze that shadowed the land
Will transform in a most vibrant hue.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©12 October 2014

© Bridgescreations, 2014

 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

 “Why can’t I see God?”

“Why can’t I feel God?”

“How do I even know He is really there? I can’t see Him.”

When the sun hides behind the clouds, it is still there.  The clouds may be hiding it, but we know and trust that the sun is still there…by faith.

Just like the sun that is blocked by the clouds, by faith, we know in our hearts that God is there. We can sense Him in the weather, we can see Him in others, we can find Him in nature.

Where is God?  

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.



He is the lamp for your feet, the light for your darkness, the shepherd to lead you, the hand to guide you.

Do not be afraid. Do not worry. Do not be dismayed.  

For the Lord your God is with you everywhere you go.
For You are my lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.  2 Samuel 22:29
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014
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FOR THE WEAK, WEARY, SOUL

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning…You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  Psalm 30:5b, 11-12
 
  © Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

 HEALING

Weak and weary,
worn and torn
tired, heavy soul
cast aside black garments
the time for mourning gone.
Stand in strength
for the Prince of Peace
has made His presence known.
Grace and mercy comes
riding on Spirit wings
be still and listen closely
His voice whispers on the breeze.
Hungry, thirsty soul
see plenty of water in His well
come, drink of life everlasting
O desperate soul, be filled.
Rise, put on the colored robe
dance in praise before the LORD
O happy, joyful soul
the sun has come out once more
with blessings forevermore.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©9 September 2014 
 

  
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

My spirit waged war within me. Every thought was nothing short of evil.

Evil? Me? Yes. The evil that is made up of words of wrath. Not horror, not Gothic, but words so un-Christian my brain needed washing out with bleach. Yeah. Those words. Those thoughts.

And what goes into the mind comes out in actions. The irritability, anger, frustration. Raw emotion that has pent up and now spews forth like vomiting everything eaten for at least a month.

Spent, tired, worn, broken, heavy soul. What good can come from such evil within me?

                                     COME AND SEE:
  © Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Jesus asks us to spend time with Him. “When You said, “Seek my face,” my heart said to you, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8

The other day I studied from **three different devotionals and all three for that date bid me come to Jesus and spend time with Him. By the time I had finished my spirit indeed was growing stronger, sweeter and more peaceful than it had in days.

Blood shot eyes fell upon the next page of my Bible drawing my heart like an avalanche to Psalm 30.  There my heart rejoiced and my mind completely cleared from the fog it had been trapped in as I read these words (read them again with me?):

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning…You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  Psalm 30:5b, 11-12

Is your soul tired, worn, weary, even broken? Take it to the LORD! He will turn your sorrow into dancing. 
**If you would like to read the devotionals I alluded to:


JESUS CALLING BY SARAH YOUNG

 
Each devotional has some thoughts God shared with Sarah and verses at the end that go with it. 
REVEALING JESUS: A 365 – DAY DEVOTIONAL BY DARLENE ZSCHECH
Taken from life lessons she’s learned as a worship leader Darlene leads us into worship with the Savior.
GOD, ME, and SWEET ICED TEA: EXPLORING GOD IN THE MIDST OF EVERYDAY MOMENTS BY ROSE CHANDLER JOHNSON. 
A wonderful book of thoughtful reflections of God’s grace in everyday moments.
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

DEPTHS OF DESPAIR

“Anne Shirley: Can’t you even imagine you’re in the depths of despair?
Marilla Cuthbert: No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, movie 1985
FALLING

I’m falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Someone catch me.
Please.
Anyone.
Is there an end?
Falling.
I.Can’t.Breathe.
If I try
I will cry.
And if I cry –
there are too many people –
here
around me.
If I cry
then there is pain.
Pain.
Deep.
Dark.
Way. Down.
There.
Flailing.
Sinking.
Despair.
Desire.
Where.Are.You.God?
I’ve hit bottom.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 August 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014   (Maui, Hawaii)
I’ve been thinking about the quote above from Anne of Green Gables and I wondered what it really means to be in despair. Is it the same as just depression? Or is it something deeper? So I did a little research. According to Merriam-Webster the definition for despair is this: “to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change”.

Have you ever felt that way? That no matter what you do, where you go, who you are with, etc… your situation is never going to get better?  

Let’s read the words of the Psalmist as he laments his despair:

Psalm 42
For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,
 “Where is your God?”4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?

The anguish King David feels is so palpable here. Can you feel it? Does it resonate within you? Oh it sure does me! King David didn’t have anti-depressants to take though, did he? So what DID he do to overcome his despair?

Keep reading (beginning at the second half of verse 5):

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, 
my Savior and my God.


8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (taken from the NIV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
(Kauai, Hawaii)
King David went to the only source He knew would and could help Him. GOD! He went to God to find his hope and His strength.

Don’t be afraid to go to God and to ask Him what it is that is troubling you. To make it clear to you and to give you a way out of it. You may need to confess sin that you have been living in and turn away from it before He can make a way for you to come up out of this pit of depression. In Psalm 32 (a Psalm of forgiveness) King David talks about how his bones grew old because he groaned so much through the agony of the sin he had been in. If you are in despair, consider first your position with God and make sure your heart is right with God before asking Him to show you what is putting you in your current state of despair.

Earlier we saw that despair says we no longer have hope that our situation will improve or can be changed. I think Marilla Cuthbert is right. When we don’t allow God to help us see how to get out of our situation that is causing the despair, then we are turning our backs to Him telling Him our problems are bigger than He is.

Whatever your struggle is today, would you go to the Truest Friend you can ever have and let Him take care of it? He understands. He forgives. He forgets. He changes lives and He cares more than anyone else! 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”

©Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

THE TRUEST FRIEND

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
HOLDING HANDS ACROSS THE MILES

Hands clasped across the table
Tears falling through smiles and pain
Food forgotten in the moment
Whispers of love displayed.
Two hearts equally broken
By circumstances not of our own
Mended by the sweetest Spirit
His presence filling the space around.
Hugs fiercely, tightly given
Good-bye a solemn spoken phrase
Yet the hands that had clasped together
Would always stay that way.
Because miles driven between
Will never severe that grace
Hands clasped across the table
Whispers of love will forever remain.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©24 August 2014
 

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

I drove up the mountain with an ache in my heart as wide as the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t wait to see my dear friend. I stood by the car waiting for her arrival with anticipation as massive as Texas. The hug we shared was the best I’ve ever had. We found a table and I’ll never forget holding hands and praying with her. A little later the tears we knew would come, came, while we held hands once again trying to say things we couldn’t say. It was one of the sweetest moments.  As we shared stories (can you believe we talked about snakes?!) my heart felt lighter and I knew that going back down the mountain I’d feel better than I had in a long while.

Did you know this is what it is like with God? He never leaves us nor forsakes us but sometimes the miles between earth and Heaven seem so far away we can’t feel His presence. But then one day, we open His Word, He fills the space around us with His presence and it is the sweetest time we’ve ever had. He engulfs us with His peace and we come away feeling better than we have in forever. Jesus is the best friend you can have. He loves us with an unconditional love that NO ONE can love us with. He is there for us anytime, anywhere, every time and everywhere.  Proverbs 18:24, “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Here on earth even those dearest, sweetest, best-est friends cannot compare to the friend we have in Jesus. 

We hugged one last time (I can still feel her arms around me now) tears once again brimming in our eyes, not sure when we’d see each other face to face again but we left each other knowing that the 2 ½ hour trip between our houses is only a whisper away.  



Michael W. Smith’s song “I Will Be Here For You” reminds me that God will always be here for me no matter what. 


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

SET YOUR MIND ON THINGS ABOVE

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV)
A RAVAGED MIND
A mind ravaged by unimaginable circumstance
Overwhelmed, overworked, overwrought
Time stands still amid the destruction
Pain has become the norm instead of exception.

How can I escape these thoughts?
How can I believe my Lord?
Where do I go from here?
Who will help me contend?

My head lays down tears soaking my pillow
Sleep will not come amidst the agony
Then love floats down in a soft, soft whisper
My heart settles in a new, sweet peace.

A mind tormented by unimaginable circumstance
Enters into Heavens open glorious gates
Breathing Jesus through thanksgiving
Believing, taking Jesus at His Word.

Sweet, sweet peace descends upon me
I no longer struggle now
Leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus
I rest my burdens down.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©17 August 2014

© Tee-Tee’s Photos 2014
The past few weeks have been wrought with heartache and turmoil. It has felt like living through a hurricane. There have been days when you could have knocked me over with a feather. To say it has been rough is the understatement of the year.

Sleepless nights have been a constant, my thoughts consumed with doubts and worry, days filled with migraines and vertigo attacks. Extremely hard decisions have had to be made that have cost me dearly. 


~ BUT GOD ~

God has also been my constant companion. Leaning into Him, nestled in His arms have become my comfort. My strength lies in reading His Word and prayers abundant flowing from my lips. Breathing Jesus has become a must. It should always be the thing I do, but in times of need I’ve learned it is my peace. Verses such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3 echo through the turmoil in my brain to finally release tension and fill me with God’s presence. His peace. Knowing God is with me and will never forsake me, I trust in His grace to pull me through and strengthen me for the day ahead and the days to come.

Are you in a situation where your thoughts are consumed with indecision and the problems you are facing? Are you struggling through a painful situation that causes you worry, wearing you down and causing you to have sleepless nights?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look fully into His face. And the things of this world will grow ever so dim.  Turn your thoughts to Jesus. Listen to His Words of love, peace and goodness. The things you are struggling through won’t be quite as hard. Jesus loves you this I know. Let Him love you through it all. 


© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2014

NEW EVERY MORNING

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness
 Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
 
NEW EVERY MORNING

Though mountains around me shake
the earth beneath me quakes
my foundations crack and crumble,
You, O LORD, keep me from stumbling
directing my paths unfailingly
You keep me from troubles consuming
even when emotions are overwhelming.
In the night You hold me tight
In the morning Your mercies unfold
Never forsaking, never moving
Your faithfulness is new every morning.
When the rain pours and the winds blow
I don’t know which fork to take in the road
You, O LORD, bring healing to my parched soul
Mercies tears unceasingly overflow
As Your faithfulness immerses steadfastly
Thoroughly, completely making me whole.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©10 August 2014

 
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
 
Dear Father God, Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. When we are not faithful You continue to draw us toward You. And in our times of need, You stay right beside us, holding us, comforting us, cradling us to keep us from drowning. Thank You for the mercies with which You steadfastly keep us and give us a new way each and every day to walk with You. Father, forgive us when we stray. May we seek to honor You with our lives in every word and deed.  Thank You Lord, for being our safe place. Our hiding place. May we rest in You and praise You even in our times of trouble. Father, thank You that with and through You we will never be consumed by anything but that You are faithful to bring new mercies upon us each morning. Lord, we glorify You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen. 
 
WILL YOU SING ALONG AND WORSHIP WITH ME TODAY? LET’S GATHER TOGETHER AND PRAISE GOD FOR HIS STEADFAST LOVE, UNENDING MERCY AND HIS GREAT FAITHFULNESS TO US! I LOVE THIS SONG!
 
  
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

WALKING WITH MY SAVIOR

The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.  Isaiah 58:11 (NKJV)

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
WALKING WITH MY SAVIOR

There are times in life when we must make the hard decisions
The ones we knew were coming but tried to forget them
These decisions don’t come easily but their outcome
is born from silence
Not the distraction of the world, not talking, not shouting
Just walking quietly hand – in – hand with the Savior
Through the garden, through the sand
Through the rain, through the pain
Listening as He speaks only the wisdom He can give
Silent
No words necessary but the words from His lips.
And when the final choice has resolutely been made
There in the silence – tears on our face –
Glorious peace descends in the rough place.

© BridgesCreations, 2014
 
Savior, our Shepherd, lead me today
Guide me, move me, speak to me I pray.
Whisper Your love in the secret-est place
Draw me to You and Your grace I embrace.
There is a way that seems so right
Take hold of my every thought, every care
I trust You Lord, in Your shadow I stand.
May what I find in Your Word this day
Be the answer I seek from this fetal place.
Thank You for not ever abandoning me
Thank You, Lord, for setting me free.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©31, July 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Psalm 23 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
 

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014