Hearing With Our Hearts

“The Spirit gives life: the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” – John 6:63

The Spirit of God gives life.  The strength and willpower of people cannot make anything of lasting value happen.  All of the words that Jesus spoke were given to Him to say by the Father.  His words give life to all who are willing to hear and believe.

My fuel, my sustenance – the only Source that truly empowers me to accomplish anything of lasting value in this life, is the Living God.  His Spirit speaks truth, His word instructs and guides, and He who is in me, equips me to do that which is required of me.  He is life.

As I rise in the morning, He greets me with twinkling stars and singing birds.  While I move about my day, He gives glimpses of Himself through the smiles of my children, through the encouragement of a friend, through the laughter of His created.  In the evening, before I rest, He reminds me of His grace as He sets the sun in brilliant colors that bless my artist’s soul.

All of creation cries out to honor the Creator, if we are willing to simply slow down and listen with our hearts.

He is all that I am lacking.  He is all that I truly need.  He is good and I am forever grateful for the greatest gift that has ever been given, His Son, so that all who hear and believe may enter eternity with Him.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you may find time to listen with your heart.

 

 

 

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

Thirst No More

There are days when my thirst feels unquenchable.  It as if there is not enough water in the world to quench my thirst.  This thirst is caused by my own neglect of what my body needs.  I drink too much coffee and not enough water, and the balance becomes difficult to restore. 

The same holds true in my spirit.  When I get caught up in the busyness of life, and neglect that which matters most, I find my spirit feels unquenchable as my thirst for Him can only be satisfied by time with Him.  Yet when I am in the Word and spend time with my Savior, my soul is satisfied and His spring of living water wells within me.

“But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14

Just as our bodies thirst for water, so also our spirits thirst for the living water that is only found by faith in the Father.  Our thirst is not satisfied until we at last come to know the truth, the endless love of our Heavenly Father.  When our spirit knows Him, and continues to press into His presence, living water flows in and through us so that those who are thirsty may come to the only Source that truly satisfies.

My prayer is that He will come and quench the thirsty spaces in our souls as we call on Him and choose to be present in His presence.  May we be used to extend His living water to those who are thirsty.  Amen.

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

A Willing Heart

So long ago, at a time that was foretold

an angel appeared on behalf of the Lord.

He spoke to a girl, with a heart that would hear

of the heavenly plan for Christ to come near.

Though likely afraid and uncertain of how

she said, “may it be so, as you have told me now.”

For her humble heart, though very young

sought after God, ready to bear His only Son.

Her heart as was willing, was by the Father received

her faith in her Maker, gave her strength to believe.

Then the angel appeared to he whom she was to wed

and spoke of God’s purpose, the plan that was said.

He too agreed to have faith in the Lord

and they traveled afar, as they had been told.

When the time had arrived for the sweet baby’s birth

they found shelter with cattle, lying down on the earth.

The heavenly hosts flooded the skies

announcing to shepherds the news realized.

Also above, a star too appeared

bewildering magi, as it seemed ever near.

All of the happenings of this miraculous night

were stored in the girl’s heart, forever held tight.

My hope is that now in this most blessed season

that I too will offer, say yes, and may please Him.

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

Eternal Beauty

"Inner Beauty" by Kim Blair

This morning, as I have been reading in I Peter, the verses in chapter 3:1-4, really held my attention.  The take-away is a wonderful reminder of what truly matters.  The Message states it this way, “The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs.  There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty.  What matters is not your outer appearance – the styling of your hair, the jewelry that you wear, the cut of your clothes – but your inner disposition.  Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.”

My testimony, the beauty that others are drawn to, ought not be my jewelry or hair or clothes that I wear, but rather the content of my character.  If I walk in gentleness, kindness, and the grace of God, the beauty that others see, what people find enduring, is He who resides in me.  External beauty is fleeting, but a beautiful heart is eternal – it will never fade.  In fact, a heart after the Father grows more beautiful as it is further cultivated in the care of the Creator.

This is not to say that I should not take care of the temple, for a healthy exterior makes my feet ready to travel the path where He calls me to walk.  That being said, what truly matters most is attention to the interior, as my body is but a temporary home for my spirit that will live forever.

My prayer is one of gratitude that He claims me as His own.  I ask that He continue to cultivate the corners of my heart so that what others see, is Him who dwells within me. 

May our lives be full of holy beauty, for that is what will last for all eternity.

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

‘Twas the Day Before Break

‘Twas the day before break
and all through the hall
were candy cane toters
both short and the tall.
With smiles on their faces
and hopes in their heads
they scattered to classes
with not so much dread.
On this final school day
the last of the year
each class has been shortened
bringing ever more cheer.
An assembly waiting
the musical kind
where all join in singing
feet tapping in time.
Then back to the classes
each shorter indeed
teachers still trying
to teach and to lead.
And oh how the teachers
enjoy it all too
a few brief hours
and we’ll all be through.
To all of the students
and all of my peers
Merry Christmas to each
may you know Christ is near.

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

Reverent Awe

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptable with reverence and awe.” – Hebrews 12:28

Our promised hope is in heaven, and there is nothing that can take that from us.  God is a fortress that cannot falter.  I ought to worship Him with a thankful heart, and recognize the magnitude of His majesty.

I need to offer all that I am, each day, with a grateful and humble heart.  When I make myself available to Him and all that He has for me, I am participating in an act of worship with my life.  He alone encourages, empowers, and encircles me so that I may remain in the Rock that will not be moved.

Lord, let my life be lived as an act of worship that demonstrates my gratitude, as I recognize in reverence my remarkable Redeemer, and stand in awe of who You are.  Amen

I look to Your light

in awe and reverence

why would You love me

provide deliverance?

The Maker of all

on heaven and earth

the Giver of life

and a second birth.

He is Redeemer

and Saver of souls

the Lover of hearts

the Maker of wholes.

As I come to You

what gift can I bring?

My hope and my heart

each song that I sing?

No act of worship

is worthy of You

yet You see my heart

and accept what I do.

Oh Heavenly Dad

You love me so well

Protecting my heart

from the death grip of hell.

May I wake in song

sing praises to You

and end every day

knowing I am made new.

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

Significance in Simplicity

My boys have been working hard to complete their heritage projects for school.  Adventurous decided to study his Hispanic heritage, and Cautious selected his Irish ancestry.  Both boys have a new-found appreciation for cultures beyond our cozy walls, and have a deeper admiration for their ancestors. 

After a whirlwind of a day at school, it was a mad dash home to pick up the enchiladas that Super Spouse had prepared for Adventurous’ heritage project presentation on Mexico.  With fifteen minutes to pick up plates, forks and get to the school to deliver, somehow, it all worked.  When I walked into the room, Adventurous looked as though he had just announced my coming arrival, and beamed as I walked through the door with the prize.  He promptly promoted the platter balanced in my arms, and led me to the table where we were to prepare the dish to share with the students.  Adventurous was so proud of the food his father had prepared.  Perhaps his enthusiasm is what prompted a classroom full of fourth graders to find a new love for enchiladas.  Adventurous beamed as he passed each plate to his peers.  His feet barely touched the ground as he drifted between desk groups to deliver. 

That absolute joy in Adventurous sharing his blessing, was a remarkable reminder of how my heart ought to hold gratitude for the abundant blessings provided by my Heavenly Father.  Just as Super Spouse would willingly bypass sleep to prepare food for his son’s project, my Heavenly Father has moved mountains on my behalf.  He provides help where it is needed, hope where it is absent, and joy where sorrow once reigned.  His love runs deeper than my wreckage, and His peace calms panicked places in my soul. 

Last night, as I prepared Irish soda bread for Cautious, I was reminded of the buzz of excitement that sharing had brought to his twin.  The very idea of Cautious beaming with joy, fueled my spirit to bake the bread, despite my desire to go to bed.  Though God is God, and does not grow weary and need sleep, I know that He is indeed motivated to bless us with the great love that He has for all of His created.  His love is beyond what my brain can begin to understand. 

As a parent, there is no greater joy that being able to bless my children with good gifts.  Not necessarily anything of monetary value, but rather with labors of love, time together, and unconditional love.  Because I have been shown such things by my Heavenly Father, I am able to pass on and share what has been given to me. 

All this to say that my heart is full, and I am blessed to see my Savior, even in the simple things. 

My prayer is that you too may see significance in all that the Savior sends your way in this blessed season.

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

Secure Hope

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.  He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” – Hebrews 6:19-20

The Message presents it this way, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.  It is an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.”

A high priest was one who was to remain holy and blameless before God, so that he might present offerings on behalf of the people for the forgiveness of their sins.  Jesus has gone before us as our high priest.  He was the final and perfect sacrifice that covered all sin for all time for all who believe in Him.  He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, as a pure and blameless high priest, making a way for all who believe, to enter eternity with Him.

For me, this means that I have safe passage to run to my Heavenly Father at all times.  When I sin and make a mess of things, He invites me to come.  When I am doing as He has asked of me, He invites me to come.  His sacrifice provided safety and security for all time.  My responsibility is to trust and believe.  As I do, He is faithful to provide and be present.  Therefore, I grab hold of the promised hope with both hands and will never let go.  He is my lifeline, regardless of how things appear.  He is good and He is for me.

I am so thankful that He has gone before me and is seated at the right hand of the Father as my high priest.  It is incredible that because of His sacrifice, I am able to come before Him and be seen as blameless in His sight, despite my despicable nature.

Thank you Jesus for the eternal gift that You have given.  Please help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.  Amen.

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

The Throne of Grace

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16

Jesus not only sympathizes with our struggles and temptations, He has empathy.  There is no trial nor temptation that any of us face, that He did not face before us and more.  The difference though, is that He alone, remained without sin.  Because He knows our need not only as our Creator, but also as One who has experienced that need first hand, we can confidently come to Him, trusting that we will not receive what we deserve – death, and we will be granted grace – a gift that is undeserved.  He is our help in every time of need.

There is no mountain He has not climbed and no desert that He has not endured.  He knows our need personally, and He meets us in each moment as we call on His name.  He will walk beside us, and provide His presence and His power to press on.

Though I do not deserve the privilege to approach His throne of grace, I am so very grateful that He lovingly invites me in.  He meets me as I come, and provides all that I need.  He alone is worthy of all my worship and praise.  He is good and His love endures forever.

May you find peace and rest as you approach His throne of grace in this blessed and busy season.

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

Finding Faith

Cypress by William Prosser

“If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13

God’s faithfulness is not dependent on my faith.  Because He dwells in me, He is ever faithful.

Though I aspire to find the faith worthy of my Father’s unwavering faithfulness, I am far from it right now.  For me, finding faith is a lifelong journey.  I am discovering that my faith is found much more quickly in places where I have known His faithfulness before.  In some settings however, I have yet to see His faithfulness, so it takes much prayer and petition to walk in faith and trust that He has my heart and my hope in His hands, and trust that He WILL be faithful to see me through whatever lies before me.

I am so grateful that His faithfulness is not dependent on my faith.

My prayer is that He will continue to deepen my dependence and trust in Him, and that I will continue to learn to find faith the moment faith is required.  Amen.

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