Joel Bridges' personal blog

Love of God

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

We have the wonderful assurance & the unfailing promise that God will never leave us.  We can trust that He will always be with us, regardless of our failures.  And yet this time of year, specifically the next few days, we mark the time in history when God turned His back on his beloved Son.  Even Abraham, as he offered up his son Isaac, had God by his side all the way.  In the end, God saved Isaac from death.  But Jesus had to bear all the world’s sin himself, without God’s protection & most harshly, without God’s presence.  He would not be saved from death.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Matthew 27:46

Jesus had to bear the weight & the wrath of our sin without His Father’s loving hand.  He cried out, but no one answered.


JMT’s thoughts on Lent

It’s Your Song

We believe the songs are yours

We receive them from you Lord

It’s your word that leads us

It’s your love that frees us

It’s your light that guides us

It’s your song

Now I don’t know what tomorrow holds

I may be high, I may be low

But I believe you promised

you’d never leave me hopeless

And I believe whatever happens

it’s your song

It’s the way you show me

It’s the way you hold me

It’s the way you love me

It’s your song

Worship Like a Child

As I was driving down the road, I popped in an old CD & started to sing along.  I noticed Abbie in the backseat, singing right along with me, not knowing a single word.  She had never heard the song before, but she could tell I was excited about it, so she was happy to join in for the pure enjoyment.  Her words were unintelligible & her pitch wasn’t exactly right, but in her father’s eyes, it was beautiful.  It made me so proud to see her singing from her heart, just to make me happy. 

As a part-time worship leader, I’m always looking for ways to encourage people to join in worship.  Sometimes we may not know a song, or prefer something different, but it’s still possible to enjoy the music & join in worship.  If I’m excited about the song & I’m singing from my heart, it doesn’t matter if I don’t know the words or the melody, it will be beautiful in my Father’s eyes… & it will be contagious.

God’s little children

Show mercy on us, kind Father, do not turn your face from your children…

“Nature itself will teach us that (apart from God) we are but orphans of the creation, waifs of the wide spaces, caught helpless amid the whirl of forces too great to comprehend. Onward through this world roars an immense and sightless power leaving in its wake generations, cities, civilizations. The earth, our brief home, offers us at last only a grave. For us there is nothing safe, nothing kind. In the Lord there is mercy, but in the world there is none, for nature and life move on as if unaware of good or evil, of human sorrow or human pain.”  A.W. Tozer

My little 3 year old is starting pre-school and facing the cold hard facts of life.  When it’s time to drop her off at school, she clings to me & begs me not to leave.  It’s tough on daddy, because I want to stay with her & calm her fears.  I remember those feelings of separation & fear of the unknown.  I am learning so much about life through her eyes, it’s amazing how parenthood has changed my perspective. 

Don’t we all wish we could stay in the safe, secure arms of our loving parents, & never venture out into the real world?  It’s a hard lesson we all have to learn.  And just when we think we have things under control & we reach the latter stages of life, we have to face the cold truth once again…as Tozer says, “the earth, our brief home, offers us at last only a grave.”  There is nothing safe, nothing kind in this life.  We are all creatures caught helpless in a whirlwind of forces we cannot control.  But in the Lord, there is mercy.  Praise God, we do have hope & we do have a Father who will always hold us & keep us.  Shouldn’t we cling to Him, with everything we have?

Good Friday

A few years ago, I was born on “Good Friday”…but what really makes this Friday “good”…? 

Well, because Jesus made it so. 

My thoughtful wife presented me with an unexpected Easter gift yesterday, after I had finished this post.  It was a t-shirt with a cross & a Bible verse…Hebrews 10:10.  It says “God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.”   She had no idea what I was blogging about, in fact, she bought the shirt a few weeks ago.  I think that’s pretty amazing.

Anyway, if you read further in chapter 10, you’ll see God was not pleased with animal sacrifices, since the blood of bulls & goats could not take away sins.  So He provided a body to sacrifice, His son Jesus.  Thankfully, Jesus was obedient unto death, so by giving up His life, He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.  God promises never to remember our sins again, & we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

That’s pretty good…

Broken, overflowing, & on fire

Today I found myself sitting in my office, in the middle of my workday, crying tears of joy, thanking & praising God for the gift of His Son…I can remember my former pastor, way back in the day, as he preached he would burst into tears.  They were tears of joy, tears of thankfulness, tears of brokenness.  He was broken, overflowing & on fire.  The love of God bubbled over & out of his personality like a fountain, a river of living water, springing up into everlasting life!  I’ve only known a few people like that in my life, but they inspire me to live my life to the fullest, to the utmost, to the glory of God.  Amen.