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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” – (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

 

Jesus has a plan for each of our lives. His plans are good. Ultimately, His plans are to pull us up out of the muck, and place our feet on solid ground. As we are moved, He grants us hope for today and promise for our forever. Seeing Christ’s faithfulness compels us to call on Him and commune with Him. In doing so, He hears our prayers. With hope rising in our hearts, we come to a place of knowing our own need for Him. He assures us that as we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. More than that, He will bring us back from the places where we have previously been stuck. Captivity is not always a physical imprisonment; as we are so often captive to our own sin and selfishness. Jesus alone sets us free from all that hinders us from moving forward with Him. May we seek You and find You as we seek You with all that we are.

 

The plans of the Lord,His Mighty Power

are hopeful and good;

no intent to harm,

His love understood.

As we call on Him,

He listens and hears;

each of our heart’s cries,

He sees all our tears.

A future He holds,

for all those who seek;

Him with their whole heart,

His blessings released.

Freed from our prisons,

that keep us from Him;

hope in Christ the key,

ushers new life in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have plans to prosper us and not to harm us. thank You that Your plans grant hope and a future with You. Thank You that as we call on You and pray to You, You hear our prayers. Thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, we find You. Thank You that You set us free from that which keeps us captive. Forgive us for not seeking with our whole heart, or for not calling on You in all things and at all times. Teach us to trust You completely, so that our first response is to seek You alone. Lead us to live and love in the hope You have provided, and help many come to know the very same hope found in You alone, for themselves. Be exalted, O God, as we seek You and Your plans for our lives. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – (Psalm 118:24)

 

Today, this hit home. This morning, 3:40 came painfully early. I was not so glad when my alarm went off. I was even less glad when I remembered that I would not be consuming coffee as I spent my time with the Lord, for soon after, I will be going on a long run, and the two just don’t mix… However, as I read the words of the 118th Psalm, I was reminded anew of just how great our God truly is. He made today, and I have life and breath to live it; for these reasons alone, I ought to rejoice and be glad. Whether the day begins painfully early, or at a leisurely pace, we have the gift of another day of life and drawing breath. He ordained this day as one of our days to live well, so we may as well put on our big kid shoes and get ready to run the race with endurance, rejoicing, simply because we are still in it. May we make the most of this day, rejoicing in all that He has for us, and giving Him the glory that’s due.

 

Today is the day,Shan Ragnar 2014

never to come again;

the Lord has made it,

and invited us in.

Let us choose rejoice,

to move forth in His joy;

for all that we have,

are His gifts to employ.

Thanks be to our God,

for this day and for life;

let’s make today count,

for it won’t be lived twice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that this is the day that You have made, and that in and of itself is reason to rejoice. Thank You for love and life and breath and hope, and for all that You give unto us, through Your amazing grace. Forgive us for forgetting the blessings that each new day brings, and help us to hold fast to an attitude of praise, rejoicing in You, all of our days. May our glad hearts give glory unto You, and may many come to know You as their Savior and Lord, as they see You in us. Be exalted in our rejoicing each new day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – (1 John 1:9)

 

Though we have been forgiven because of Christ’s death, the admission of our sins before Him is an important practice on our behalf. First, our confession is agreeing with Christ that our sin is sin and we are willing to walk away from it. Second, by coming clean before Christ, we are not hiding our sins from Christ nor ourselves. Finally, when we confess our sin before our Creator, we are made aware of our own capacity to sin, and relying on Christ and His strength to overcome that which entangles us. (NIV footnotes paraphrased)

 

Our confession keeps communication uninhibited with our Creator. Often, our own junk gets in the way. We need His forgiveness, purification, and righteousness to cover all our mess, so that we may be restored to a space where our obstacles are out of the way and we can clearly hear Him, once again. May we seek to keep short accounts with our loving Creator, who is faithful to forgive us as we come.

 

Every heart sins,The Benefit of Broken Barriers

needs to come and confess;

to Christ, Redeemer,

Who forgives all our mess.

He’s faithful and just,

He forgives all our sin;

He purifies us,

and He starts from within.

All that is unclean,

hidden, ugly and wrong;

He already knows,

and to Him we belong.

He washes us clean,

and makes us new again;

sweet restoration,

in His love we remain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that if we confess our sins to You, You are faithful and just, and You forgive us and purify us from all our unrighteousness. Thank You that You restore us to right relationship with You, though we do not deserve it. Forgive us for every word, thought and deed that has not honored You, and help us to turn from our sinful ways and faithfully follow You. Show us where we need to fix our eyes and heart more securely, so that we may trust You more. Lead us to love others as You love us, so that many may come to know just how faithful You are for themselves. Be exalted O God, as we confess and then continue moving forward as You call us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (Psalm 105:4)

 

Strength is a funny thing; Jesus grants us what we need, as we need it, yet the sense of it rising up within us never seems to come until we set aside ourselves and seek to solely rely on Him. We are created to be relational. Not just relational with people, but with our Creator. In this fallen world, we need His wisdom, guidance and strength to navigate the ways in which we are meant to walk, daily. Be it in trial or in triumph, may we seek His face, and look to the Lord for His strength, so that we may honor Him all of our days.

 

Though we may have strength,Worry Versus Concern

of faith, might or heart;

without seeking God,

all will fall apart.

For we were designed,

purposed each to be;

in relationship,

with Jesus our King.

Let each day begin,

with seeking His face;

ask the Lord for strength,

and receive His grace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can seek You and find You always. Thank You that You are our Source of strength, and that You grant us all we need as we choose to rely on You. Thank You that You created us to be in relationship with You, and that You made the way for us to enter into a relationship with You that remains forever. Forgive us for trying to rely on our own strength, or for not seeking You in all things and at all times. Teach us to make it a new normal in our operating throughout our days. May many come to know You as we love others as You love us. Be glorified as we live, love and serve in Your strength. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God Almighty grant You mercy. – Genesis 43:14

And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” – (John 20:22)

 

All life and truth is God-breathed. At creation’s beginning, there was no life until God breathed into people, the very breath of life. Here in John, is a foretaste of the breath of Jesus and the power presented when He breathed on mankind. The context of this verse is when the disciples were in the upper room and Jesus appeared before them after He had risen. At this point, His breath was an impartation of His power to do God’s will on earth. Breathing is our reminder of just how near our Savior is to each of us. With each breath, He is present, and His power is available to all who have invited Him to be Lord of their lives. May we go forth this day, breathing deeply, knowing His nearness and operating in the power He has already presented.

 

Our very first breath,Do Everything in Love

was His gift of life;

hand-crafted, unique,

and bought with great price.

We’re given a choice,

to receive His breath;

the Spirit-filled one,

that saves us from death.

With His sweet Spirit,

too, comes His power;

to rise and obey,

our great Strong Tower.

Allow Him to breathe,

His life into you;

the power and grace,

to live a life true.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us life and breath and our very being. Thank You that when we choose to follow You, You grant us the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that Your Spirit dwells in us, and is available with each breath that we take. Forgive us for forgetting that the very same power that raised You from the grave, is alive and dwelling within us who believe. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may rise up and move in faith as You are asking. Lead us and guide us in Your love. May we love others in such a way, that they clearly come to see who You are. Let the lost be found in You. Be glorified as we go forth today, with every breath we take. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. – (John 19:26-27)

 

The command that we are given to love one another, is powerfully modeled by Jesus as He hung on the cross. Even in anguish, He recognized the needs of His mother that would have to be filled, and asked His dear friend to see to it that she would be cared for in His parting. John, Jesus’ disciple loved enough to be present and to say yes, and Jesus had loved so completely, that each knew what it was to love and be loved as Jesus was asking. Soon after that significant moment, John, Mary and the rest of the disciples, came to understand just how great His sacrifice truly was. Jesus’ act of love and sacrifice made way for all mankind to come to know Him, personally; individually; eternally. May we go forth and care well for our families and all whom are in need around us, just as Jesus did.

 

Even in anguish,The Look of Love 2

love sees other’s needs;

it moves and it acts,

love touches and feeds.

Love comes alongside,

when struggles are real;

love extends a hand,

or prepares a meal.

Love chooses silence,

to listen, not speak;

to hear what’s broken,

give strength to the weak.

When there is sorrow,

love still chooses stay;

reminds there is hope,

for Love makes a way.

When joy is present,

love celebrates too;

for we’re hand-crafted,

Love’s making us new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved us so much that You made the way for us to be brought back into right relationship with You. Thank You Jesus, for coming and living, loving, sacrificing and demonstrating Your overwhelming power and presence, all because You love us. Thank You that You modeled what it is to love others. Forgive us for not loving others well. Give us Your eyes to see everyone whom we encounter – from friends and family to strangers on the street. May we love each one, as You would. Grant us wisdom and insight as to how You would have us love, individually, and let us not grow weary in doing good. Let Your love flow freely through us, and may many come to know You as the Lord of their life, as a result. Be exalted, O God, as we look to love others as You love us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For the Lord your God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against Him.” – (John 18:38)

 

Pontius Pilate was no different from much of the world at large today. He believed truth was relative to whatever the majority of people agreed to, or whatever helped to advance his own political or personal agenda. “When there is no basis for truth, there is no basis for moral right and wrong. Justice becomes whatever works or whatever helps those in power. In Jesus and His Word we have a standard for truth and for our moral behavior.” – (NIV footnotes for John 18:38)

 

Without Jesus, we become a society that slips further and further in our own moral decay. Countless examples are present in the Old Testament of kings who ceased to follow God’s way. For each of the kings that did evil in the sight of the Lord, warnings and prophesies were presented. If the warnings were not heeded, destruction surely followed. May we be a people pursuing His path of truth. Jesus is the truth and the light, and in Him there is no darkness. Let us fix our eyes on the Author and finisher of our faith, so that we may run our race with endurance.

 

There’s only one truth,Tending Our Talents

found in the Lord’s Word;

receive nothing else,

as truth to be heard.

For all must agree,

with what the Lord says;

for if it does not,

the words are not His.

Invest in learning,

the biblical facts;

be wise and weary,

of twisted attacks.

There’s only one right,

it’s following Christ;

He opened the way,

with His sacrifice.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Truth, the Life and the Way. Thank You that we can come to You, and You have made the way for us to enter into an eternal relationship with You. Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and for demonstrating Your power as You defeated death. Thank You that You grant the very same power to dwell in each of us when we choose to trust in You. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that we have access to the truth and can study and learn more of who You are and what You ask of us. Forgive us for not investing in Your word, or not quieting ourselves before You to allow You to speak that which You want us to hear. Teach us, instruct us, and lead us in every area of our lives. May we go forth as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of You and the truth, and may we love others as You so lavishly love us. Let those who are looking, come to know the Truth. Be exalted, Lord God, in everything we do today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – Johm 11:41

The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty;

the Lord is robed in majesty

and is armed with strength.

The world is firmly established;

it cannot be moved. – (Psalm 93:1, NIV)

 

The Lord is King.

The Lord wears majesty

and strength like clothes.

He is ready, so the whole world is safe.

It will not be shaken. – (Psalm 93:1, ERV)

 

Above all else, Christ is King. His strength and authority over the whole earth are firmly established, and cannot be moved. Regardless of our situations or circumstances, God is still God, and He shall not be shaken. Nothing is outside of the grip of His grace, and no one has fallen so far that He cannot pick them up again. The Lord’s authority and majesty cannot be moved. Our charge and our choice is to believe and place our trust in Him. If God is for us, who can stand against us?

 

In majesty,Breaking Free from Barriers

our Savior reigns;

He’s armed with strength,

beyond all shame.

Nothing can stand,

against the Lord;

for He is God,

His love outpoured.

Though storms shall come,

He’ll not be moved;

none can compare,

faithfulness proved.

Hope for today,

future secured;

by trusting Christ,

promise ensured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You reign and are robed in majesty and are armed in strength. Thank You that the world is firmly established and cannot be moved unless You choose to move it. Thank You that all things are in Your hands. Thank You that even when the world seems to be in shambles or our own space seems chaotic, You are still present and moving on our behalf. Forgive us for our fearfulness and uncertainty, and help us to grow confident in Your strength and authority in all things and at all times, no matter what we see in our human understanding. Lead us to love as You love us, and may we help others to see Your strength and majesty, so that they too, may come to know You as the Lord and Savior of their soul. Be glorified, O God, in all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

God wants you to know you are not alone. You have the Holy Spirit to comfort you, teach you truth, and help you. – (footnotes for John 16:1-16)

 

John 16:1-16 is Jesus teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit whom He will send when He is no longer with them. Though they do not initially grasp what Jesus is saying, all of His words come alive in the beginning of Acts.

 

Today, more than anything else, I think I needed to be reminded that I am never alone. He is always with me. He is my Comforter, my Teacher, and my Helper in all things and at all times, regardless of how I feel. When I am less aware of His presence, perhaps because the chaos is too close, I have to choose to trust. He is faithful, and will never leave me nor forsake me. Time and time again, He has proven this to be so. As I am intentional with my time, and rise early to find quiet space in His presence, He is faithful; always. The tossing and turning, times of sleeplessness, often are meant to be times to stop and just listen as well. Father, thank You that You pursue us in the quiet spaces, and remain present, even when we are beyond overwhelmed.

 

When chaos surrounds,The Mouth Makes Known the Heart

and the walls close in;

call on Christ Jesus,

He’s dwelling within.

Our Comfort, present,

we needn’t look far;

He is here with us,

wherever we are.

He’ll teach us the truth,

when we are confused;

be our Source of strength,

our Help and good news.

So seek quiet space,

allow Him to speak;

He will be our strength,

when we’re feeling weak.

Even in the storms,

true peace can be found;

by resting in Christ;

our true solid ground.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that with You dwelling in us, we are never alone. Thank You that You are our Comforter, our Teacher, and our Help. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that Your presence and Your promises remain forever. Forgive us for our fears and doubts when the chaos overwhelms, and help us to hold fast to You. Thank You that when we are weak, You are strong. Help us to trust You in all things and at all times, regardless of what is going on around us. Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified as we seek You in our storms. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. – (John 15:9)

 

The love of the Father and of the Son, extend beyond human understanding. We may grasp but a glimmer of their love in how we love our spouses, children, families and friends, but it does not even begin to scratch the surface of the sort of sacrificial and all-encompassing love that God the Father, and Jesus, His only Son, have for us, their created. While we were yet sinners, they loved – loved to the point that a plan was put into place so that a way could be made for each of us to have the option of eternal life. If we choose to invite Christ to be the Lord of our lives, and remain in the love that He freely gives, both our present and future are secure in Him. Though troubles and trials will come, He will remain. His love will never leave us nor forsake us, and His promises are provided forever. What abundant and complete hope we hold when we remain in His love.

 

Faith, hope and love,His Love Endures Forever

the truth that remains;

gifts of His grace,

to wash all our stains.

He asks us to stay,

remain in His love;

embrace the gift,

He grants from above.

May we hold fast,

to all that He gives;

let our hearts praise,

the reason we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved so much that You sent Your one and only Son to make the way for us to spend eternity with You. Jesus, thank You for loving us with Your very life, while we were yet Your enemies. Thank You that when we give our lives to You, You call us friends, and welcome us into Your family. Thank You that our hope is held for all time in the blessing of Your lavish love for us. Forgive us for not receiving that which You freely give, or for running from that which You ask us to do. Jesus, grant us the courage to remain in Your love, so that we may be bold before all men. May many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, and receive Your love for themselves. Be glorified as we remain in Your love today. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.

Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

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