OCTOBER REFLECTIONS

OCTOBER REFLECTIONS

Emily P. Freeman invites us to explore what we have learned at the end of each month and share it with her readers. It can be funny or serious. I was reading it earlier and thought I’d give it a try. But, before I get to that I want to let you know, I have a blog on blogger.com that I do all of my blog posts on each Monday and since I can’t figure out how to get them all over here too, you can find my main blog site here.

Now, onto what I learned this month.

  1. Children grow way too quickly. My little baby girl turned 16 this month. Earlier this year our other daughter turned 18. Time flies and in that flying we must make the most of every little moment. mygirls

2. No matter how old I get, I will not be a dystopia fan. I really like the Hunger Games. I can get into that. But the rest of these books, especially if they have overtly sexual scenes in them, are not my cup of tea. Being a college student even at the age of 43 means I have to read certain things I’d rather not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use them in a fire pit to warm up to. Warning, the book Into the Forest by Jean Heglund is not fit for human consumption. In my not so humble opinion.

3. I learned from another professor that I love certain types of Renaissance Literature in poetry. If you’ve never read A Certain Prayer By Lady Jane Grey then go. Now. Do it. (Scroll down the page on the link to see the prayer.) If you are a fan of the Psalms, this will absolutely give you the feels. Lady Jane Grey only lived to her 17th birthday but her love for God was immeasurably beyond her years.

I also love George Herbert’s poetry. He began the idea of shaped poetry and his love for God and ministering to God’s people was very important in his life. Both he and Lady Jane Grey inspire my writings now. My favorite poem by him is called, The Windows.

The Windows

By George Herbert

Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?
    He is a brittle crazy glass;
Yet in thy temple thou dost him afford
    This glorious and transcendent place,
    To be a window, through thy grace.
But when thou dost anneal in glass thy story,
    Making thy life to shine within
The holy preachers, then the light and glory
    More reverend grows, and more doth win;
    Which else shows waterish, bleak, and thin.
Doctrine and life, colors and light, in one
    When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and awe; but speech alone
    Doth vanish like a flaring thing,
    And in the ear, not conscience, ring.
Kudos to this professor! 🙂
4. I can listen to the same 4 songs over and over again and never get tired of them because I so need them in my life right now. I hope they minister to your heart too. Here’s the first 3:
5. There’s just that one song that if you didn’t listen to any others this is the one you want in your head forever and ever. I cannot explain or describe why I love this song. It just touches my soul so deeply I think I drown in it. Before you listen to it, watch Kristene tell her story about writing this song, then listen to the song with your eyes closed.
Rest in God,
Marcie
Psalm 32:7
P.S. I haven’t used WordPress in a very long time so sorry about the formatting errors. Learning in progress 😉
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BREAK TIME

It is almost 1:00 in the morning and I have just finished only a portion of  my homework. As many of you know, I am a wife, mother and also a student in college. In my junior year, I can see a small light at the end of the tunnel and it is NOT a train!
Not to toot my own horn here, but did you notice what I said? A Junior! So even though I see that light, I have an abundance of work to do. My advisor told me the other day that she and a fellow professor read in a book about majors recently that the average English Major will read 400 pages a week. My best friend said of the books I’m reading, “They are certainly a cure for insomnia!” Thanks BFF! I sooooo agree! 
You may or may not have noticed that I have not been publishing blog posts very often of late. I’m sorry that I have neglected this part of my life. It is an important way for me to speak God’s messages and share things from His heart through mine to yours.  I want to tell you, even promise you, that I will get back into it and publish more over the next few weeks but I am afraid to make such a statement and I refuse to make promises I am not sure I can keep.
Right now I feel very overwhelmed. Extremely stressed. Despite taking breaks now and then to do other things or to play a game on Facebook, my mind just doesn’t let up and my body sags underneath the weight. 
So here comes the reason for my confession:
I need prayer. Prayer for strength. Prayer for coherent, clear thoughts, ideas, and words as I write the next 4 research papers. Prayer for my family as they support me through these next few weeks. (Finals are the week of May 11th. Last day of the semester is the 13th.)  Prayer that I will let God have control of my actions, thoughts, and my time. That I will not be easily distracted (as I often am). Prayer that I will keep my eyes and heart on the Lord.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and the many wonderful comments you share with me. I love all of my readers! I have so much to share with you. Just know if you don’t get a new blog here in the next few weeks, that I am treading water and doing the best I can with what I have to work with. I will return to you soon. 
With Love,
~Marcie 
“You are my hiding place. You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 (My life verse)
Twila Paris, The Warrior is a Child:

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/NWWu_798kq0&source=uds

COUNTING THE DAYS

I had planned on doing so many things over my Spring Break from college. A whole week to get caught up on things and to get my car fixed and who knows what else?! Just the thought of some relaxation made me giddy with anticipation.

I cannot tell you what I did Monday through Wednesday. I know I sat at my computer a lot. Perhaps too much? I know I went grocery shopping and I had lunch with my wonderful husband on Wednesday as we usually do. I also spent time reading a fiction novel. But I honestly cannot tell you anything else I did on those three days.

Thursday was a BIG deal though! You see, Friday was my birthday so my friends who live about an hour or so away from me wanted to have lunch together on Thursday to celebrate. Besides, we hadn’t seen each other in at least a month. So I drove up and we spent about 3 hours together and we laughed and laughed and had so much fun.

On Friday my family took me out to a birthday dinner and we did a little shopping afterwards then when we got home watched a movie. The girls made a birthday card for me and they gave me a small gift. It was so much fun and so special.

So now here I am on Sunday evening. Spring Break is over and I wonder how it went by so fast. I didn’t reach too many goals. I didn’t do a stitch of homework I could have done to stay ahead of the mess I’m about to dip into when I get back to school. Trust me on this one thing: I will be one busy lady over the next two months doing research projects up to the ceiling!

I’m guessing by now you are wondering why I’ve taken you down memory lane for this one week in my life. Why I would bother to bore you with such details. Here’s a hint: 
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  PSALM 90:12 (NKJV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I often print it inside of birthday cards.  I wonder if we realize that God wants us to live each day to the fullest. He wants us to intentionally learn to count each day as a special day. Here, let Matthew Henry say it better than I can:

“We must live under a constant apprehension of the shortness and uncertainty of life and the near approach of death and eternity. We must so number our days as to compare our work with them, and mind it accordingly with a double diligence, as those that have no time to trifle.”  (http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms/90.html)

Live our lives each day as if it is our last. Now there’s a sobering thought. So in essence, had I lived each day in the light of it being my last, what would I have done differently? Would I have done things this last week that would have been more eternally significant? Or, would I have still lived it the way I did?

Lord –
may we make each day
a portrait of a life
lived for You.
May we use each color
that You put before us
as a reflection of Your glory.
May we take the canvas
You set before us
capturing each moment
of Your grace and mercy
displaying Your faithfulness
igniting a passion
for Your love
within all those who
come to behold
Your masterpiece.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©23 March 2014

Have you ever watched someone paint a picture and wondered how they did it? I dare you to watch this video and look away from it…betcha can’t!

©Marcie Bridges, Heart Thoughts, 2014

IF I DIE BEFORE THE RAPTURE

IF I DIE BEFORE THE RAPTURE

If I die before the Rapture
    bury me under a lone oak
    wear your most colorful colors
    join with the angels singing
    Amazing Grace and Holy, Holy, Holy.

If I die before the Rapture
    picture me in Glory
    I’ll be waiting with open, outstretched arms
    for when you come to join me.

If I die before the Rapture
    write on my tombstone
    “Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend
    loved everyone with all she had
    and more
.”

If I die before the Rapture
    sing in one loud voice
    this one song I loved the most
    my life was lived in this
    ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.

If I die before the Rapture
    remember this one thing
    God is with you all the way
    He loves you more than anything.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©2 March 2014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You never know when something someone else is going through will impact your life and what you think about.  As I mentioned in my last post PASSING a dear family of ours have endured the passing of a very special lady in their family and this has had me thinking about the end of my life. About what I would want for my funeral and what I hope I leave as my legacy. May Jesus Christ be evident in our lives and may we leave a legacy that honors and glorifies Him. 

Featuring Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus by Casting Crowns
© Marcie Bridges, Heart Thoughts, 2014
Cemetery Pictures © Karen L Murphy Photography, 2014
Hymn Picture © BridgesCreations, 2014  

PASSING – Dedicated to Those Gone Before Us and God Who’s Still Here

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39 (NRSV)

This weekend the Matriarch of a dear friend and her sweet family passed away. As I listen to Amy Grant’s songs, “Better Not to Know” and “How Mercy Looks from Here” I think of my wonderful friend. I think of all the memories she and her family have of this wonderful lady that was in their life for so long. The other day as I was driving home the words below began to spill into my brain and even though they are nothing original, I tried my best to capture life “in nutshell”.  

But I didn’t want to just express life and death, I also wanted to breath God into this life. God is here. He was always here, He always will be even when we don’t want Him to be. God is here. Through it all. 

~ PASSING ~

Human hearts bleed while angels sing
life and death intermingle
day turns to night and night into being
of days, weeks, years of eternity
Or –
is eternity in a year?

One day born and the next life – has been explored
looking back at the
sorrows and fears, hopes and dreams,
when time stood still
while the time machine flew through space.

Realization dawns behind tear stained eyes
in the Aha moments that take by surprise
breath catches, lump of throat
God was there all along.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©18 February 2014

*Dedicated to Karen Murphy and Family*
 
Amy Grant’s latest album titled “How Mercy Looks from Here” is soft and very expressive. Very humbling with words of poetry for the soul. This first video is called “Better Not to Know” about how it is better not to know when things will happen to us in life. I don’t listen to it often as it is a sad song to me but I love how her lyrics speak to the heart of how life is lived. 
This second song from her alum that I am posting is the song her album is titled after. How Mercy Looks From Here really expresses Karen’s mother-in-law in many ways. Amy’s song pictures a woman who lived into her 90’s and the things she saw and experienced and how mercy helped her through it all. A very touching song. 
© Marcie Bridges, Heart Thoughts, 2014
© Photos by BridgesCreations, 2014

I AM ZECHARIAH (POEM)

        I AM ZECHARIAH**

You turned off the light and shut the door
You walked on out
Not looking back just kept on going
Life has a way of cause and effect
You kept doubting
Time flew by with wings as eagles.

Now you stand
In utter misery hands empty in despair
Looking at the door
You know what you need to do
You don’t have to knock
Just reach out and turn the key –
See the light underneath?
I have been waiting, I have remembered
Don’t hesitate, I know it is scary
But I can’t wait
To have you in My arms again.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©11 January 2014
**Zecharaiah is a Biblical name (Prophet) meaning: The LORD has remembered**

This is mercy. 
This is grace.
This is Jesus just waiting to for you to come to Him.
He never forgot you. He has never left you. HE HAS REMEMBERED YOU!
And He longs to embrace you with love as you’ve never felt it before. 
This is love. 

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.  Luke 15:20-24
Video: When God Ran by Phillips, Craig and Dean
I was so ashamed, all alone and so far away
But now I know He’s been waiting for this day
I saw Him run to me, He took me in His arms
Held my head to His chest, said “My son’s come home again”
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes
With forgiveness in His voice I felt His love for me again ” 
© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014

BLOOD SOAKED SNOW (A POEM)

 BLOOD SOAKED SNOW

I watch as the snowflakes drift lazily on a whisper of air
down onto the hard, unforgiving earth.
It lands softly covering the dirt, decay, filth,
filling cracks, crevices, corners and ditches.
The water seeping through the thirsty dry deterioration
of cracked parched lips and winter hands.
Blood
drip, drip, dripping, pooling at the base of a cross
like the blood from birds dead by windmills.
Blood that runs in rivulets down the hill through the shadow
to my bent kneeling body
staining, blanketing earth and cracked dry feet
covering, clothing, washing my heart
like fresh fallen snow
the newness that makes all things clean.

~Marcell Warner Bridges
©28 January 2014

© Karen Murphy Photography, 2014
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.  Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
This is a beautiful song I found  titled “Whiter Than Snow”

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2014