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346. Empowering Lives with Purpose, Interview with Kerri Bridges

By julie

God orchestrates our steps. Today’s guest shares how her steps with God led her to what she does now.   Please join us as Women World Leader’s Worship leader, writer, and editor for Voice of Truth magazine, Kerri Walker Bridges shares her steps of faith journey and the calling God has on her life.   May Kerri’s story be an inspiration of what God can do with a young life of 8 years old in preparation for a lifetime of service to Him. Please be encouraged as you listen in. (Original podcast from May 3, 2021)   ******

Kimberly Hobbs   Welcome to Empowering Lives with Purpose, and I am your host, Kimberly Hobbs. I am the founder of Women World Leaders. Ladies, we are so happy that you decided to join us today. And we are in for a special treat because we have one of our founding leaders here from Women World Leaders, Kerri Bridges. Welcome, Kerri. 

Kerri Bridges   Hi, ladies, glad to be here and share with you all today.

Kimberly Hobbs   We are so happy that you came. So God says every believer has received gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many color tapestries of God’s grace. First, Peter 410. Ladies, we believe at women world leaders that each and every one of us have a special purpose. And we have been given gifts from the Lord to us for His purpose. And it’s our hopes through you listening today and us sharing stories of other women, that we can inspire each other, encourage each other to walk out those special gifts that God has given to us. And we want to encourage you and empower you to also act upon things that God is moving and sharing with you to do in your life. So, before we start with a little bit about Carrie and how God has called her, I want to share with you about who she is, Kerri Bridges, where do I start? Because you are an amazing woman of God in so many ways. Kerri is, as I shared a founding leader of Women, World Leaders. she is one of our original, I believe we had 12 leaders when we started out and now we’re at like 27. It’s amazing what God is doing. Kerri is our worship leader. If many of you tune into our Facebook Lives every month, you will hear her singing and playing and worshiping and leading us. And she’s also an editor in our Voice of Truth magazine. She writes for Voice of Truth as well. And she is also a songwriter, and a lyric writer. And if you listened from the beginning and listen to the end, you will hear the Women World Leaders jingle. That jingle was written and sung by Kerri Bridges. And we are just so thrilled about that because it really has become a little jingle in everybody’s heart and mind as they listen. It’s so fun. Kerri is married and resides in South Florida with her family and God has blessed Kerri with six children. And I know she looks so young, but it is incredible to hear how old some of her kids are. I’m not going to share that with you. But um, yeah, she has been gifted with youth. Wow, Kerri, and we just rejoice that now you are a grandmother. And you have her grandmother for the first time to baby Ezra who was just born a few weeks ago is a little preemie. But we are so happy to say that he is doing healthy. He’s well and thriving. And Kerri’s daughter Allison gave birth to a healthy baby boy, just a couple of weeks ago. And Alison also plays on our worship team. And we are so grateful for this mother-daughter duo. So, we begin. Again, you are a plethora of talent, and you are truly a treasure to Women World Leaders. So maybe I thought that you can give us some insight to how God was molding and shaping your life even at a young age of eight years old. And you shared with me a little bit about a gift that you received when you were eight years old. Can you share about how God moved at a young age? 

Kerri Bridges   Yes. So I come from a very large family. There are 10 of us. And I think I was around eight years old and my mom bought a Kindle Oregon for all of the children for the whole family. And it was the kind where it had the two levels on it. And it came with these instruction books that had the staff on it with the letter of the note on it. And I had never even thought about it. But I would just sit down at this organ every day and just became fascinated with learning this and started teaching myself how to read the music. I didn’t even realize what I was doing. I was just fascinated by it. And so next thing I know, as the years went by, I could play the piano, I had never, I’d never had a lesson at all. But this gift was definitely something that God ordained to put that within me. And ultimately, my, my brother, also he later on in life, I started teaching him how to play and now he is a worship leader in Richmond, Virginia for a very large church. So yeah, 

Kimberly Hobbs   That is so cool how God moves, ladies, so you never know what your children are going to do and how God is going to move in and through things by this by your mom, getting that organ. Oh my goodness, that was just the beginning of what God was doing in your young life. The Bible says, oh, Lord, you do such wonderful things. You plan them long ago. And now you have accomplished them. That’s Isaiah 25. One. And we can clearly see how he had this planned long ago and Kerry’s life. And he’s accomplished them now in women, world leaders in how she serves worldwide. It’s just mind boggling when you see God Scripture come to life in your own life. So listen to this now, at 17 years old, Carrie, you were ready to step out in faith. And you move to a new place, a new church, youth group. And all of these things are new in your life. But God began to use you for His purpose. At that time in your life. Can you talk a little bit about that? 

Kerri Bridges   Yes. So I grew up in a really small church and all of us siblings, we were all part of the choir, we basically were the choir pretty much. And so as we I would play little songs here and there at the church and on the on the piano and sing and then when we moved to a new place, the youth group there that I got involved with the lead keyboardist got married, and suddenly they had a void to be filled. And I don’t remember if I offered myself up to play. I can’t imagine myself doing that because I’m shy. But either way, I was suddenly thrust into a position of the lead keyboardist for this youth group. And I was singing as well singing backup and leading songs. And that was the next step that God brought me to in this life of worship ministry. 

Kimberly Hobbs   Oh, my goodness, that is so incredible. The Bible says to commit everything that you do to the Lord and trust Him and He will help you, and Kerri, that is what you did, like you didn’t feel that you were…you knew enough yet to step into that role, but you walked forward in faith, right? You trusted him. And just like the Scripture says, Trust Him and He will help you. That’s Psalm 939. Five. So ladies, if you are contemplating something that is right in front of you, God is opening the door in one way or another, but you’re afraid and you’re kind of stepping back. This verse says, Trust Him, and He will help you. And remember, God’s Word is true. He puts it there for us to look at and glean from. So this is exactly what Carrie did. And before she knew it, she was walking out what that purpose was for what were what God had intended for her life. So Carrie, you got married, you started having children. Oh my goodness, and you didn’t stop…you are the mom of six children that it’s like that blows my mind still. But on top of having six children ladies, she homeschooled every single one of them all the way all the way till their graduation and that just blows my mind because I can’t imagine that, Kerri, but Kerri you must be a whiz like in all subjects. My gosh, no wonder you’re editing and writing and singing and writing music and I just unbelievable. But during this time, Kerri, you cried out to God, there was something really heavy on your heart at this time. And there was a miracle that was answered. So can you share with us a little bit about, about that crying out to God moment?

Kerri Bridges   Yeah, I, at this point, I had been involved in the adult choirs and worshiping with the adult worship teams. And we had family bands with my sister and brother in law, my dad was the drummer and my sister and her husband, they were the lead singers. And so and my husband even got involved in that at one point. So then we have all these kids back to back to back and I we chose to homeschool them. And I, my kids were a little bit old. At this point, my oldest had wanted to play drums when he was young. So he was around four years old. And he showed interest in that. So we got to junior set for him. And he started learning how to play the drums and my dad, who was a drummer would give him lessons here and there. But here I was at this point where I had all six of my children, homeschooling them from high school all the way down to grade school. And it’s overwhelming enough just to teach them the four basic subjects for school. So I had realized at this poignant moment that I had never put into them, that knowledge and understanding of music like I would have wanted to, like my heart had always wanted to. And I had no idea how I was going to even incorporate that into my schooling that was already overwhelming. So I cried out to the Lord, I really did. Because this was genuinely a desire of my heart for my kids to learn if they had that desire themselves for them to learn music, so I cried out to the Lord and I prayed helped me figure out how to incorporate this. And within a couple of months, suddenly, my son Maddie, he came to me and he’s saying, Look what I picked up on the guitar mom, and he’s just kind of picking this phenomenal guitar lick. And I said, How did you how did you figure that out? My husband’s a guitarist too, and but he had just decided to pick it up kind of like the same way with me with the piano. And within a few months, he was playing incredible stuff like you would see someone after years of playing. He’s picking up after months. And so I saw that this gifting was passed on to him. And then my daughter, Allison started picking up the guitar and the piano and singing and writing music. And then my youngest son Jaden, he is 16 now and he started picking up guitar, drums, piano. And at this point, he is basically a piano prodigy level, he sits down, he listens to a classical song that he wants to learn. And within 15 to 3030 minutes, he has learned the song, he listens to it, and he plays it. And so God answered the cry of my heart. In the same way that I learned, basically, without any lessons God just like downloaded into them the music. So it was incredible 

Kimberly Hobbs   If you have heard Kerri sing and play, it still blows my mind that she has never had a piano lesson in her life. She can read music, and she is so gifted in that area. And then God rewarded her by her prayer and crying out to Him about the burden for her children. She wanted her children to know and understand and love music and be able to worship God the way she did. And he did. Ladies, there’s a verse again, this could be on any anything that God puts on your heart, you know, the desire for your children, the you know, desire for future of what they’re going to do. God says in Second Chronicles 15, seven, Be strong and courageous, your work will be rewarded. So hold that promise to that God promises you be strong and courageous. Do the work. God will reward you and he shared it he answered that cried to carry and through her children now what’s going on? It’s just it’s a god phenomenon, you know, because this family is so gifted in music. So as we continue on now, now God has led you to women, world leaders. So how did you get here? Kerri, let’s talk about that because you’re a founding leader, my dear

Kerri Bridges   Yeah. Well, you and I had met through Sean Loomis, our friend, our mutual friend who was a worship leader. And he asked us to help him out with leading worship at the tiki life group that you guys had held at your house. And next thing I know, I think one of the meetings, I had gone to the piano, because if there’s a piano, my husband’s always saying, let’s go to the piano, let’s play, let’s sing some worship. And so I was sitting down, you didn’t even know at that point that I can play the piano. And I was just playing and you came in, and you were, you know, and that I could play the piano. And then… 

Kimberly Hobbs   So beautifully.

Kerri Bridges   Thank you… 

Kimberly Hobbs   …and without music.

Kerri Bridges   So then, when you go and God birthed inside of you that the calling for women, world leaders, you asked me if I would like to be involved, and I knew that I wanted to be involved, because that was another thing that I had. We I had moved to Florida several years back, and my sisters and I are all very close, actually, my all of us siblings, but my sisters are my best friends. And I missed that friendship that I had with them close up. And I actually I had prayed that God would lead me to some women, I don’t easily make friends because I can be so shy. But I prayed that God would lead me to some women that I could develop the friendships with. And so when you offered this opportunity to me, I immediately knew the answer was yes. I don’t know if you remember that. That was my answer. I don’t even have to pray about it. Because I already prayed about it. And this is an answer to that prayer.

Kimberly Hobbs   Right. Do you hear how God works? Ladies, I mean, this is incredible. So he had already put that desire and curious heart. And He fulfilled that desire, as again, he put the desire in my heart to start a group for women, and which turned into in the vision was huge ladies. God gave me that vision from the beginning that this would go worldwide. So carry you are just part of that vision. When he told me to gather leaders Little did I know I’m gathering so many of them. But God knew what was ahead of us. Right? He knew was going to come down the right but you stepped out of your comfort zone. Praise God. Because you are more of an introvert. And yeah, I am. Yeah. But God’s given me the grace for each step of the way. So Amen. Amen. So let’s share a little bit about what is going on now that women were a leader. So you started off as we met inside of a home ladies, she was playing the piano, and we were just doing worship before we would get into our message. And so she started off there, and then God expanded it so huge. We were busting out of the home to two days a month, because we couldn’t even contain all the women that were coming. Our neighborhood couldn’t contain the cars that came. And God provided us a fellowship hall. And so Carrie, we got a keyboard for women, world leaders, and we became traveling and carry was our worship leader at the fellowship hall. And then we we were like busting out of that. And, and so we went from the fellowship hall and COVID hit. So we had no choice but to go to plan C. And God was already providing. And we had our traveling keyboard and our our guitars because Allison at that point had come your daughter to share in worship on the worship team. And so Mother and daughter piano guitar, we were all set to go right to Facebook Live and start our meetings that way. And that’s how that began. Yeah. And so you were serving so faithfully, Carrie, so faithfully. I mean, this woman, I think, in all of the years, since we’ve started has only missed one meeting that I can think of, well now too, because of your daughter being in the hospital a couple weeks ago giving birth to as but you are so faithful Kerri, and you have answered the call. Amazing. And now you’re an editor for our magazine for women, world leaders voice of truth magazine, can you share a little bit about a purpose creation, which is your column that you write for inside this magazine? 

Kerri Bridges   Yes, so my column is Everything Worship. And my first article that I wrote was called A Purposed Creation because there’s a scripture verse that says we were created to give God glory. And that was a sermon that the youth pastor that the same youth group that I was talking about earlier, that he had given this beautiful message about, we were created to give God glory. And it was in that moment that I realized that this is more than music that God had put inside of me was not about me, it was about God’s glory. And so that birthed in me the desire for taking that gift that God had given me and using it for his glory in His glory alone. And so the art, the column is called A Purposed Creation because we were purposed, created to give God glory. And that’s what the column is about. 

Kimberly Hobbs   Oh, Kerri, and it is such a wonderful column. And for those viewers that are watching on YouTube, Here’s a glimpse from one of the magazines of purpose creation, her column, and it is reaching around the world because not only are we on YouTube, but God has given us the ability to be on five different platforms around the country, we’re on. Not only YouTube, but SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, Apple podcast, Libsyn. So 1000s of women are able to listen to these interviews, not just watch them. And so you can be walking, you can be out doing things you could be cooking in the kitchen and listen to these podcasts on any of the platforms. So at the, at the gym, as Carrie does.

Kerri Bridges   That’s where I listen to it.

Kimberly Hobbs   Wow. So there’s a verse again, I want to share, it reminds me so much of you and me, our listeners gleaned from this verse also. It’s First Corinthians 1558. And it says, always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is Ever useless. And carry that is that is so true of you. You work enthusiastically and everything you do, because you’re following your dream that God put in your heart. I love it. I love that you are working for him. And now you’re encouraging other women through writing in this article to walk into their calling in music, and it’s inspiring. So ladies, if you’re not receiving this magazine yet voice of truth, please contact us at info at women world leaders.com, you can email us there. And it just give us your mailing address if you’re here in the United States, and you’ll get your free copy. But if you’re outside the country, we give it out digitally. And again, it’s free. So just go to email us at info at women world leaders.com. So that takes me to the soul healing Summit. Last year, we put out a soul healing Summit, and Kerri had been serving the Lord back at home and not only serving in ministries, but she was writing music and singing music. And she had this passion to do that. And God provided the perfect opportunity at our soul healing Summit, which was a sold out event at Keiser University in Palm Beach, Florida. And Kerri got to debut her beautiful song that she wrote. And Kerri, can you share a little bit about that moment in time? Because that went over amazing. Everybody loved that song. 

Kerri Bridges   Yeah. Well, I’m, again, quite shy with these kinds of things. But you had asked me if I would be willing to do a song that I had written. And this was a special song to me because it was God gave it to me at a very low time in my life. And I it was a rare moment of being alone at home without any of the kids or even my husband and my mother in law happened to call me that day and she she knew what was going on in our lives. And she told me put it in a song. And so I got off the phone. And within 10 minutes that song was written and done. Oh, that song came.

Kimberly Hobbs   Wow. And I wish we can play it for you ladies but it doesn’t transfer well over zoom which we’re recording through right now. So the great news is, Carrie is now going to start singing the songs that she’s written and the lyrics she’s going to start singing them every month at women world leaders, and we meet for Facebook Live the first Monday of every month at 7pm. Eastern time. So Monday, May 3, which will be the same day this podcast is released, will be the day that Carrie will debut that song for Facebook Live. And you’ll all be able to hear the song that she wrote for the Lord Jesus Christ from her heart from a place that God spoke to her so deeply. And I promise you, wait until you hear the song, it will move you to tears. It is so beautiful. And then Carrie has agreed and we are so thrilled to start playing some of the music and worship that she has written. And as well you have your daughter, right, Carrie that she’s going to be doing the same thing. She’s an amazing songwriter as well. Yeah, she’ll so she’ll be sharing some in the future off. Yes, Alison bridges, we cannot wait to hear your music as well, honey. And we just encourage you just keep going and serving in the way that God has equipped you. So Oh, my goodness, Carrie, as the Apostle Paul says, I am certain that God will be done the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished. On the day when Christ returns. That’s Philippians one, six, and ladies for you, God has begun a work in you and He promises to complete that work. So believe that and trust it, whatever it is, that is in your heart, just believe and trust that God will perfect it in you just walk in it and just start doing it just as Carrie did. She had that enthusiasm and in desire and dream. And now here she is serving in a worldwide ministry. All Glory to God and it’s so beautiful. So Kerrie, and close. As you stepped out of that comfort zone, and you walked into God’s calling for your life, can you share with our listeners, just a word of encouragement that if they’re afraid of they’re afraid to move from that place in their life that they are right now or they’re not feeling worthy to be called by the Lord or whatever could be their their hang up? Can you just encourage them in the way that you will?

Outstanding word, sister, thank you. Thank you, thank you, Carrie bridges, you are a delight. James four eight says, come close to God and He will come close to you. So ladies, remember that just start drawing close to him. Be in the scriptures, you know, beat put yourself around believers that are going to encourage you and lift you up to follow after God’s heart. And before you know it as the closer you get to him, you are going to be walking with him hand in hand. We promise we promise. You thrill me, Lord with all you have done for me. I will sing for joy because of what you have done that Psalm 92 four and we know that Carrie sings her heart out for the Lord because of all he has done in and through her life. And ladies, we want that to be you. We want you to sing your heart out because of all God has done for you. And he’ll carry you the rest of the way. So this is exactly what we’d like to do is just encourage you and inspire just as Carrie has done. So, let us all just testify of the wonderful things that God has done in our life, whatever way he has called us to do that. So in closing, again, I want to say thank you to our wonderful guests, Carrie bridges. Don’t forget ladies, May 3, which is tonight. 2021. And in case you’re listening to this podcast at another time, you can also look up our Facebook live meetings. And you can hear Kerri sharing her song that she wrote, and now, every month following, she’ll be sharing music that she wrote, For the Lord her and her daughter, Allison. So we’re so excited about that. Ladies, if you’re looking for a place to plug in, we invite you to plug into women, world leaders, God is equipping us with women from all over the world who want to help you and walk alongside of you. One way you can do that, ladies is tune into the podcast each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Every Monday, we have these interviews with women from around the world sharing and inspiring you On Wednesdays we have walking in the word with Julie Jenkins where she will teach from the Word of God and I’m telling you she is a powerful teacher and you can just listen and glean truths, as she brings stories from Scripture to life. And then on Friday, we have celebrating God’s grace with Lauren dean. And she Lauren has a heart for God and just will encourage you and inspire you with her stories through women, world leaders and through just stories in life. And it’s amazing to hear this young woman share from her heart what God is doing. Ladies, we also invite you to go to our website, women world leaders.com where you can share your prayer requests. You can interact and you can pray for others there. And there’s all sorts of things for you to plug into. But we want to make sure that you are receiving voice of truth magazine which comes out by monthly and the way that you can get your free copies are to go to info at women world leaders.com with an email and leave us your name, your address and your email address and we will get that out to you. As soon as the next edition comes. God bless you everybody. And remember from his heart to yours. We are women world leaders. All content is copyrighted and cannot be used without expressed written consent.

encouraging, empowering, inspiring each other on this journey of faith

Kerri Bridges   Yes,

Yes, one of my favorite verses is Psalm 37 Four. And it says Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. And when I was a teenager, reading that verse, it leapt out on the page to me that this verse means that God will place inside of you the desires for that which has created you to do for His glory. And God had put that desire in me. And if you have a passion or desire in your heart for something, God has placed that in you to use it for His glory. And then that can look different from one person to another. But we have to believe and step out in faith that God has called us to do this. And it’s not about us. And even though I get moments of anxiety that those few seconds before that video starts, I get that moment of anxiety. But that is a tension on me. And I need to I always pray to push that away from me and remember that that it’s about God’s glory in that mind, because we were created to give God glory in that ourselves. And so I just encourage you to move forward to give God the glory that He is do.