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So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. – (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)

 

Though these words were from Moses to Joshua and those who were to lead the Israelites into the promised land, they hold true for us today as well. Yesterday, as I chose to go in trust to my MRI, I kept reminding myself that God would be with me, despite the claustrophobic conditions that I would be subjected to for my impending MRI, and that no matter what, His presence would be my comfort. As I arrived, my heart was settled, for I had chosen to trust, regardless of what I was about to face. God had personally gone before me in a way that I could not have even imagined, for as the kind technician led me back to the machine, I was greeted by an open machine with a large window looking outside at blooming trees. Because the imaging was for my back, I was placed in the apparatus feet first, leaving my head quite close to the end, with permission and the ability to turn and look out the window as I wished. What could have been an hour of panic and misery, was almost restful and relaxing. I never once felt ill-at-ease, and could not stop thanking God for His overwhelming kindness in something that might be considered so insignificant to many.  My choice to seek strength and courage in Christ, kept fear and panic in check. He personally went before me, and remained present throughout the entire process. If He cares about something so seemingly insignificant as this, how much more does He care about the big stuff? The unknown is always the most unnerving, and Monday that is exactly where I am headed as I go see the specialist about this injury. As I prepare to go, I will cling to the promises that He has proven true again and again, and trust Him to be my source of strength and courage. God has already gone before me and knows the outcome. No matter what is spoken, He will neither fail me nor abandon me. May we choose courage and strength, keeping panic far from us – for God is the one who will go ahead of us without failing us nor abandoning us; for He is always faithful.

 

Do not give panic,Dispelling Discouragement

A place to take hold;

For the Lord our God,

Gives strength to be bold.

He goes before us,

And prepares the way;

He’ll never leave us,

If we ask He stay.

What we are to face,

Really matters not;

For God is greater,

Each battle, He’s fought.

Choose to trust the Lord,

For in Him, strength’s found;

Rise up and fear not,

His grace shall abound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can be strong and courageous in You. Thank You that we need not fear nor panic, for You go before us and will not leave us nor fail us. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we face the unknown. Teach us to trust You more, for You alone are worthy of all of our trust. Show us how to love others so that they may see Your strength and courage in us, as it is provided by You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to trust You to be our courage and strength, knowing that You go before us and remain with us in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

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

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, NLT)

Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – (Joshua 1:9, ERV)

 

When I am afraid or leery of something that I know I need to do, this verse always comes to mind. What has been absent as I have recalled these words, has been the first phrase – “This is My command“. Not only does God call me to be strong and courageous in Him; He commands it. He promises me to be present wherever I go, so it is my job to seek strength and courage from He who is with me. Today, these are once again going to be words that work as a sort of anthem as I go. I am extremely claustrophobic, and I have to have an MRI on my back to determine the extent of the damage. Already, the injury itself triggers fear and discouragement, and the thought of being stuck in a tube that clanks all around me is not a pleasant one. As I go, I have to be mindful that He is with me. If my eyes are fixed on Him, knowing that He is right there, holding me in the palm of His hand, I need not fear. More than that, He has commanded me to be strong and brave – not in my own strength, but in His. If He is for me, what can stand against me? Though this is an unpleasant obstacle, it is temporary. God is my healer, and He has given man wisdom to help heal bodies as well. There need not be fear on my part, for He has already gone before me to prepare the way, and He will walk beside me as I go. I have been carried thus far, and can trust that He will see me through until total health is restored. He is good, and I will trust in Him. May we remember that He commands us to be strong and brave in Him, because He is with us wherever we go.

 

For the Lord commands,Bold in Battle

Have courage, don’t fear;

As He goes with us,

His promise is clear.

We must choose be brave,

Fight discouragement;

in the Lord’s presence,

Is where we’re content.

No matter what comes,

Nor where we must go;

The Lord is with us,

His presence made known.

Rise up warriors,

Be strong in the fight;

Fear not what we face,

For God is our light.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that not only can we find strength and courage in You, but You actually command us to do just that! Thank You that You promise to be with us wherever we go, so that we need not fear, no matter what we face. Forgive us for our fear and discouragement in the face of things that are so much greater than we can handle on our own. Teach us to trust in You, remembering that You are far greater than anything that we face or go through. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we may provide encouragement to the discouraged and courage to those in fear, just as You do for us. Let Your light be what is evident in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we are strong and brave in You, fending off fear and discouragement because You are with us wherever we go. Amen.

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

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

 

Jesus stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. He said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm. – (Mark 4:39, ERV)

He got up, shouted words into the wind, and commanded the waves. “That’s enough! Be still!” And immediately the wind died down to nothing, the waves stopped. – (Mark 4:39, VOICE)

 

Just as Jesus commanded the physical storm to be still as the disciples were attempting to cross to the shore, He will calm the storm in us as we seek to move in the direction to which we are called. It takes but a whisper from His Spirit, and all that is unsettled, suddenly becomes calm. The peace of God can come and comfort us, even when all that is around us is in turmoil or simply does not make sense. His love and comfort, though undeserved, always bring peace to a troubled heart. He who can calm the water and the wind with but a word, can settle the storm within us as well. God is good, and His faithfulness is unending, regardless of what we are experiencing in our own present circumstance. May we seek our Savior who can calm our storms within, and trust Him to bring peace in the places where the waves are overwhelming.

 

Be still my heart Lord,Sense in Storms

from all that’s within;

the wind and the waves,

that I’ve allowed in.

The trembling and fear,

where the unknown dwells;

please speak to it now,

so all shall be still.

It takes but a word,

spoken in Your love;

to settle the storm,

and trust You above.

There’s nothing on Earth,

nor anywhere else;

anyone can run,

to find peace themselves.

Please lead us Lord God,

through storms and in peace;

so we will seek You,

and our faith increase.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that not only can You calm the storms that surround us with but a word, but You can calm the storms within us and grant us Your peace. Thank You that there are times that the storms continue to rage on, but You whisper to our hearts and we are granted Your peace in spite of the storm. Forgive us for not seeking You, as You are the way to find rest and hope and peace where there seems to be none. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would know Your peace, even in the eye of the storm. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we too may be Your instruments of peace when they are in the throes of chaos. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to calm the storms within us, no matter what we see. 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

 

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)

Don’t worry – I am with you. Don’t be afraid – I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. I will support you with my right hand that brings victory. – (Isaiah 41:10, ERV)

 

These words are incredibly encouraging reminders of truth, as I am standing in the face of the unknown. Over the weekend, as I competed in a Tactical Strength Challenge, I sustained an injury in my first event (of three). At the time, this verse proved to be true, as I had some fearful and worried moments, as pain began to radiate from the small of my back. I had to decide whether or not to keep going. For me, it was a decision to trust in His strength, as He had already brought me so far. He did sustain me, and ultimately, I did exceedingly better than I anticipated I would, considering I was finishing the competition in pain. After seeing a doctor and having x-rays taken, fear and discouragement again are seeking foothold, as the injury has turned out to be more significant than anticipated. Somehow, I suffered a compression fracture in my low back during my third and final deadlift. Now I am at an impasse, where I must slow down and take a break from my normal routine of training, as I seek the best possible solution for a speedy recovery. Fear and discouragement are fighting for a foothold, as movement is so much a part of my existence. I know God is good, and that He holds me in His hand. In Him, just as He sustained me and granted me strength, despite pain, He will lead me in the direction I am meant to go to find healing and wholeness once again. The Lord will uphold me, and I can trust in Him. May we give our fears and worries to Him, and allow the Lord to be our strength and support, as all victory comes from Him.

 

Do not be afraid,photo

For the Lord is good;

No matter what comes,

Let‘s trust as we should.

For He is our God,

Where all strength comes from;

Victory granted,

Through faith in His Son.

Do not let worry,

Be what our hearts see;

Instead, let His hand,

Bring our victory.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we need not be afraid nor discouraged, for You are our strength and our help. Thank You that You hold us up with Your victorious right hand. Forgive us for allowing fear and discouragement to find footing in our hearts when unexpected things come at us and knock us down. Teach us to trust You more, as You are our strength and our hope, and all that we need is found in You. Show us how to walk victorious in You, so that we might be an encouragement to those around us. Lead us to love well, all who are afraid or discouraged, so that they too may find Your hope and help. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your strength and help, and choose to place fear and discouragement in Your hands. Amen.

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

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

 

So Christ can save those who come to God through Him. Christ can do this forever, because He always lives and is ready to help people when they come before God. – (Hebrews 7:25, ERV)

This is why He can completely save those who are approaching God through Him, because He always lives to speak with God for them. – (Hebrews 7:25, CEB)

 

Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Because He is for us, we can approach the throne of God, without fear, knowing that we will be received as sons and daughters – as Christ has covered all of our unrighteousness and is ready and available to hear and help us as we come. Let us not forget that we have a Great High Priest who is for us, seated at the right hand of God. No matter what comes against us, He who is both in us and for us, is far greater than anything that is in the world. May we approach the throne of grace, in times of trouble and times of peace, knowing that Christ is ready to hear us and help us; always.

 

May we each choose come,Hope in What is Unseen

Approach the Lord’s throne;

For Christ is ready,

We‘re already known.

He’s interceding,

Before Father God;

So we can be saved,

From sinful steps trod.

Forever He reigns,

In love and by grace;

Ready to save us,

As we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for a right relationship to be restored between us. Thank You Jesus, that You came, lived, died and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Thank You that You are always ready to help us as we come before You. Forgive us for not seeking You, or somehow thinking that we will not be received. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would come before You in all things and at all times, knowing that You hear our every praise and petition, and You present them perfectly before the Father. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that they might see the glory of Your goodness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You, trusting in Your unfailing love that is always ready to help. Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

 

 

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy. – (Colossians 1:11, NLT)

Strengthen them with Your infinite power, according to Your glorious might, so that they will have everything they need to hold on and endure hardship patiently and joyfully. – (Colossians 1:11, VOICE)

 

Not only was Paul a conveyor of truth, but he was great at encouraging believers to persevere, no matter what they were facing. He spoke not out of hypothetical scenarios, but rather much of his writing was done in prison or while under house arrest. He knew what it meant to be strengthened by the Lord, and had experienced again and again, the endurance and patience that God gives. Despite his circumstances, Paul was full of joy. The glorious power that the presence of God provides, was Paul’s constant companion, and the reason that he could exhort his fellow believers as he did. We too, have the very same Spirit dwelling within us, when we place our trust in Christ. All of His power provides the endurance and patience that we need to navigate whatever comes our way. His joy fills us as we recognize the reality of who He is and how He loves. May we go forth as encouragers who convey the truth, always persevering, no matter what comes. May His joy fill us to overflowing.

 

May we be strengthened,Growing Awareness

With the Lord’s power;

In our time of need,

Seek our Strong Tower.

He shall provide us,

All strength to endure;

Patience and His joy,

In Him, we’re secure.

All that we might need,

The Lord shall supply;

He’s present to hear,

Every heart cry.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and pray to You, You hear us and answer our heart’s cry. Thank You that You strengthen us with Your glorious power, and give us endurance and patience that we so desperately need. Thank You that You fill us with Your joy. Forgive us for our lack of patience and perseverance when things get difficult. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lean into You, relying on Your strength rather than our own. Show us how to love others in a way that strengthens and encourages every heart that is feeling defeated, so that they would look to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our strength, and rely on You to provide patience and endurance as You fill us with Your joy. 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

You will help me do even greater things. You will comfort me again! – (Psalm 71:21, ERV)

 

Yesterday, I participated in my first Tactical Strength Challenge. A TSC is a three-event competition that tests brut strength on the deadlift, muscular control on the pull up/chin hang, and lastly, muscular endurance with the five-minute kettlebell snatch test. The entire event was an incredible experience, as each competitor, officiant and spectator was positive and encouraging to all others. After months of training, I was hopeful to accomplish personal records in each event, as I felt ready. Sadly, on my third deadlift, I somehow injured my back as I was attempting to pull 300 pounds.  The pain impacted how I did on the bar hang, as I did not do as well as I had hoped. However, my teammates did amazing things, and the excitement of their success was a great encouragement and comfort to me. Somehow, on the final event, His strength was granted and I did PR on my kettlebell snatch test, in spite of how my back was feeling. This morning, as I ice the injury, I am encouraged and comforted through both reading the Psalms and reflecting on all that God has done. He has done great things in me and my teammates, and greater things are yet to come. His comfort is with me, and last evening I was receiving text messages from each of these friends who have become family, offering to help if there was anything that I might need. I love how God uses everything that we do and all that we go through, to encourage us and deepen our circles of community. He is always good. May we invest well in His word and His created, for loving Him and loving people are where all good is found.

 

Do not be troubled,IMG_2174

When things go awry;

For greater shall come,

Continue to try.

Let not a setback,

Turn our hearts away;

Instead seek the Lord,

For His strength each day.

He is our comfort,

No matter what comes;

Don‘t let a struggle,

Mean your story’s done.

Press into the truth,

Where comfort is found;

Rise up and press on,

For His grace abounds.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our help and our comfort, and that You grant us strength and hope. Thank You that regardless of what happens today, You give us new grace and strength for what shall follow. Thank You that You create us for community, and for the blessing of people that You place in our lives. I am overwhelmed by not only the people with whom I train, but by other dear friends that knew what I was doing who checked in to see how it went. Thank You for blessing me with such an amazing circle. Forgive us for doubting You when we feel disappointed or defeated, and teach us to rise up and trust in You. Show us how to lean into You to receive the comfort and grace that You give, that renews our strength and propels us to persevere. Lead us to love others in such a way that we might be a comfort and encouragement to them, just as You are to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our help and our comfort. 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

You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. God paid a very high price to make you His. So honor God with your body. – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ERV)

Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who comes from God and dwells inside of you? You do not own yourself. You have been purchased at a great price, so use your body to bring glory to God! – (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, VOICE)

 

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was blessed with parents who invested in my physical being as well as my spiritual training. Soccer, gymnastics, skiing, and softball were staples in my growing up years, then in college I discovered a passion and natural aptitude for crew. As an adult, I enjoyed jujitsu and kickboxing, then later discovered a love for running. Most recently, a bit over a year ago, a friend plugged me into kettlebell training. Today, I will be participating in my first Tactical Strength Challenge Competition. My hope is that just as I seek the Lord each day to train my heart and mind so that I may honor Him with my words and deeds; so too, I long to give Him glory with my body, as He has blessed me with a body that is strong and healthy, and I desire to use it wisely. This temple of the Holy Spirit that I have received, is not my own. I have done my best to tend well the temple, through healthy eating and rigorous physical training. Though I have personal goals for today’s outcome, my ultimate goal is that I might bring Him glory in all that I say and do, regardless of the environment. May this temple that I have been given to tend, offer light and hope to all whom I encounter.

 

Within a temple,IMG_2036

each of our hearts dwell;

home to God’s Spirit,

we‘re called to tend well.

Purchased at a price,

our life didn’t come free;

for Christ’s love alone,

is for you and me.

For all we’ve received,

and to God’s glory;

let us honor well,

God with our bodies.

Help us to go forth,

and shine well Your light;

so others may see,

the path that is right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You paid the price for us, so that we might know what it is to have the Holy Spirit dwell within us. Thank You that our bodies are the temple of Your Holy Spirit, and that we are trusted to tend Your temple well. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected any part of the temple that we have been given – be it body, heart or mind. Show us how to honor You with what we have been given, so that all glory goes to You. Teach us how to love others in such a way, that we are light and life that lead those who are looking, unto You. Help us to lift up and encourage all those around us, as You so lovingly do for us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we honor You with our bodies. Amen.

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

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

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him! – (Isaiah 30:18, NIV)

So the Lord is waiting to show His mercy to you. He wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord is the God who does the right thing, so He will bless everyone who waits for His help. – (Isaiah 30:18, ERV)

Meanwhile, the Eternal One yearns to give you grace and boundless compassion; that’s why He waits. For the Eternal is a God of justice. Those inclined toward Him, waiting for His help, will find happiness. – (Isaiah 30:18, VOICE)

 

God is full of mercy and grace. He is good and just, and longs to bless those who seek Him. Help, hope and happiness are found through our Heavenly Father. The Lord is our source of comfort, and supplies justice when all is awry, and peace when storms surround us. May we seek His face and wait on Him, for He is our help and our hope, now and forevermore.

 

When chaos comes in,

Judge Not

and fear takes a hold;

run to the Father,

where truth may be told.

Despite what we see,

the Lord is our source;

His peace and comfort,

our help and life force.

His great compassion,

unending for us;

and mercies are new,

each day through Jesus.

The Lord is waiting,

so run unto Thee;

His hope and His help,

are for you and me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You long to be gracious to us, though we do not deserve Your goodness and grace. Thank You that You show us Your compassion when we come before You. Thank You that when we wait for You, we are blessed, as Your presence and Your peace surround and overwhelm us. Forgive us for attempting to figure out or fix things on our own, instead of running to You. Teach us to trust You more, as You are gracious and just, and our source of all comfort when chaos reigns. Show us how to bring Your peace to people in places of unrest, and help us to love others well. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your grace and compassion, and trust You because You are just. 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

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me. – (John 10:28, NLT)

I give My sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of My hand. – (John 10:28, ERV)

I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. – (John 10:28, VOICE)

 

Once we commit our hearts and lives to the Lord, no one can take His love, hope nor peace away from us. Our future is secure in His hands. Eternity is promised in His presence, when our trust is in the Lord. No matter what comes, we are His. There is much comfort in the blessed assurance that the Lord holds us in His hands and will not allow anything nor anyone to steal us away from Him. May we trust all that we are in His hands, and allow the hope found in Christ alone, to permeate every pore of our being.

 

The Lord gives us life,Generous Giving

for eternity;

as we give ourselves,

His love sets us free.

Free to embrace hope,

by truth, we are found;

no more set to die,

in His life, we’re crowned.

And beyond the hope,

He holds us secure;

nothing can remove,

our future’s assured.

All glory to God,

our Savior and King;

Protector, defense,

from trials life brings.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give eternal life, and that in You, we will never truly die. Thank You that nothing and no one can steal us from Your loving and protective hand. Forgive us for seeing You as less than You are and making You too small in our own understanding. Teach us to begin to grasp the greatness of who You are and how You love, so that we would trust without wavering. Show us how to love others in a way that highlights the hope we hold in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive all that You offer, and trust in You with all that we are. 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

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