For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  
Matthew 18:20

© Karen L. Murphy Photography
                                                 TREE OF FRIENDSHIP

                         You lean into me and I’ll lean into you
                         like a lean-to supported by a tree
                         One will be the oak, the other the shelter
                         one will kneel, while the other will stand
                         Snuggled together in warmth’s embrace
                         sticking like sap when hardship makes haste
                         When chainsaws of life threaten and cut
                         hands clasped together will keep each other up.
                         The God of the universe made tree trunks strong
                         to withstand whatever hurricanes come
                         Pillars of strength when the weak weep
                         a haven from the harsh sun, a canopy of peace.
                         As branches grow long with fingers that reach
                         leaves of green become umbrellas from rain
                         You lean into me and I’ll lean into you
                         together we’ll be a friendship tried and true.

                                     ~Marcell Warner Bridges
                                               ©29 January 2015


© Karen L. Murphy Photography
In Acts 12 we get to read the account of Peter, an Apostle of Christ, is put into prison by King Herod and then of his extraordinary rescue from it. Herod was bent and determined to kill Peter simply because the Jews were pleased that Herod had killed another Apostle by the name of James.

Killing for the sake of killing? Oh my! But, let’s read what happens next:

“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.”  (Acts 12:5-10)

I don’t know about you but my God is a God of miracles and this one just blows me away! An angel of the Lord was sent to release Peter from prison. I wonder how many times God has sent an angel our way and we didn’t know it?

But here’s what strikes me the most about this passage. Did you see it? Here, let’s look again, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church”. The church, people who worshiped God, were constantly praying for Peter while he was in prison. And where did Peter go after the angel left his side and he walked through the gates? 

“11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” 12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.”

He went to where others were praying for him. He sought out those who were faithful to stand with him and help strengthen him through their prayers.

Wow! I am so thankful for my friends who are faithful like that for me. I am humbled by the thought that because others pray for me, God hears their prayers and He does miracles for me even when I don’t see them or recognize them.

Do you have friends like this? The ones who are there to give you support when you don’t have the wherewithal to keep going. The ones you give the same support back to when they need someone to lean into. I pray that you do but if you don’t, begin now to pray that God will send such a person, or persons, into your life. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today with my praying sisters. 

Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 
 February 20-22, 2015

– See more at:

Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015
Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 
 February 20-22, 2015

– See more at:

Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015

Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015

This coming Thursday – Sunday I will be joining about 50 other writers from around the U.S. at The Cove in Asheville, NC for my first writers conference. It is called Writers Advance! Boot Camp. I am extremely excited to be going, meeting so many special people and learning where God wants me to go with my writing and editing career. Please pray for all of us as we travel – we are expecting a bunch of snow and ice this week! – quite a few are flying in from out of state and the rest of us need travel mercies on the road. Also, please pray God will speak to each of our hearts and show us what we need to learn from Him as we seek His will in this next chapter of our journey.

© Heart Thoughts, Marcie Bridges, 2015

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