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

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

WAITING FOR YOU

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)
© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014

LADY IN WAITING
I waited
I called you and we talked
I waited
I texted you and you texted back
I waited
I asked you how you are doing
I waited
and waited
and waited…

My phone is silent
My messages blank
My email empty
Day
after day
after day…

And I can’t
I can’t keep on like this
I can’t
Keep hearing you tell me I’m your friend
I can’t
Keep playing your words in my head
I can’t
Be in this one sided friendship
I can’t….

I waited
For you to be MY friend
I’m still waiting
To hear from you
Because being the one to always
pick up the phone, start the conversation
has gotten
old.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©11 January 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
Have you ever felt this way? Doesn’t feel very nice does it? Let’s turn this upside down.

How do you think GOD feels when WE treat HIM this way? Is your relationship with Him one-sided? Day after day after day He is waiting…

He waits and waits for us to come to Him.  He is so patient. So loving. He delights in our time with Him.

An Excerpt from Sarah Young, Jesus Lives:

          “…  Although many of your prayers remain unanswered, you can trust in My great faithfulness: I keep all My promises in My perfect way and timing. Among other things, I have promised to give you Peace that displaces the trouble and fear in your heart.

            If you become weary of waiting for answers to your prayers, remember that I also wait: so that I may be gracious to you and have mercy on you. I wait till you are ready to receive the things I have lovingly prepared for you. Blessed are all those who wait for Me—expectantly, longingly, trustingly.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

—Lamentations 3:22–24″

(Jesus Lives, Sarah Young)

It is just as much a blessing and glory to God to wait for us to come to Him as it is for us when we DO go to Him. He’s waiting for your friendship. He’s waiting for you to come, just as you are, to receive His blessings. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling you. Can you hear Him? Will you go to Him today? He’s waiting for you with open arms. COME.

© 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

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  

WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ON TO?

    WORDS OF WRATH

Lightning lashed and thunder clashed
Branches trembled, trees toppled.
Wind swirled in unceasing torment
Rain pounding a tantrum on window panes.
Night sky dark, foreboding in its eerie emptiness
As words tumbled from lips of anger.
Unbidden, without premeditation
Heart pounding in rapid succession of fury
Leaving debris in the wake of the tornado
Only ruins of a relationship that might have been.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©5 February 2014
Revised 12 February 2014

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile. But before I get to what I really want to say, I need to add some back story.

A couple of years ago I was in a situation that tore me from limb to limb. It stripped me of every emotion I could have. I couldn’t eat and I barely slept. It was that bad. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. It was one of those situations that leaves a person feeling as if their prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and He’s not listening.

It was suggested to me to write down what I was feeling. To write a letter to this person I was struggling with but not send it to them. Just to get the emotions and the words out. I did. I remember that night of sitting up until 2 AM crying my eyes out and typing. Six pages later I still didn’t feel finished with it, but I was spent. I lay down and slept the night away for the first time in at least two months.

That wasn’t the only “letter” I wrote. I had about 4 of them before it was all over with. I never did send any of them to anyone. But they’ve been sitting here on my computer ever since then, staring me in the face every time I open my word program. I’ve not read any of them in over a year until tonight.

Why tonight? As I said, I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and the whole idea of forgiveness. I’m a big believer in it. Not just because the Bible tells us to forgive. Not just for the one we ask forgiveness from, but for ourselves. Forgiveness gives us peace. Forgiveness gives us a new breath in life. Forgiveness gives us freedom. Forgiveness makes things new again.

But by keeping those letters on my computer, had I really forgiven my friend? Had I really given it to God to set it right in my own heart? Or was I just holding on to it all to keep reminding myself of why this person doesn’t deserve my friendship or my trust? I said I forgive them. I said I’d never stop being their friend. Yet, I realized one day that by holding onto these letters, perhaps I really didn’t mean it after all.

Tonight I re-read the letters. Then, I deleted them. Not just once, but for good out of my computer. I never printed them off so that’s it. I don’t have them anymore.

You know what? Not only did I not cry, I didn’t feel any of the pain anymore. I didn’t feel mad or even angry. I didn’t feel any of those feelings I used to feel. As a matter of fact, it feels like  heaven.

 Photo by Karen Culley
SOUL RESTORATION

Restored, rejuvenated, refreshed
the heart that once trembled with anger
the eyes that once cried torrents of tears
the mind that once screamed insults
and the feet that walked in fear
no longer flinch at the thunder
 or cower from bolts of lightning
as the wind sweeps softly anew
and the bondage of darkness
is given over to the brightest day
a rainbow promise God’s forgiving grace.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©22 May 2014

 
All other pictures by: © Tee-Tee Barnes Photography, 2014
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges 2014