How He Answers

As a reading instructor, part of my job is to help kids learn how to pick apart a piece that they are reading, and identify the key information found in various passages.  Some of the most basic, yet foundational information as we read, can be identified through the use of who, what, when, where, why and how questions.  This morning, I decided to inquire of Him these same sort of questions, that I might be reminded of the basic and foundational truth that He has planted deep within my own heart.
Who am I?  I am the daughter of the King.  Flawed and fragile, faithful and full of fortitude; trying to trust in the midst of trials.
What do I know?  That He alone is my hope, my strength, my security, and my safety.  Each of these are required revelations to remain in Him.
When do I trust?  When I am afraid.  When I am alone.  When I am not enough.  When I am weak.  In all things and at all times…
Where will I find Him?  In all that have breath, for He made us each in His own image.  Even the rocks cry out of our mighty Creator, if we slow down and take in our surroundings.
Why do I allow Him in? His presence promises protection, passion and His perfect peace.  He is good and worthy of all of my trust.
How do I know?  Every breath that I breathe and each beat of my heart, are remarkable reminders of His heart for me – His created.
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – I Corinthians 13:12 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we do not yet fully know You, we are fully known.  Thank You that when we invite You to be Lord of our lives, we gain the hope and the promise of one day dwelling in Your eternal presence, and understanding fully what we now only know it part.  Thank You for Your promises that provide protection, passion, and perseverance.  May we each carry the hope that You have for all who call on Your Name.  Lead us to love well.  Amen.

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

Faithful to Fulfill

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.  Does He speak and then not act?  Does He promise and not fulfill?” – Numbers 23:19

Our heavenly Father is not fickle nor flighty, and does not lie or change His mind.  When He speaks, He acts, and what He promises, He fulfills.

Just like a determined child that wants his/her way, we ask God again and again for what we want, rather than what we need.  When God speaks, His word remains unchanged.  His truth is timeless and may not be refuted.  Our Father is faithful to fulfill His every promise, and carries out all that He commands.  It is our job to listen and obey.  As we do, we begin to recognize that where man is flighty, God is faithful.  He is true to His word and worthy of all of our trust.  He loves us too much to change His mind.

Like a small child, we need a constant and reliable Father.  Though He will not give us all that we want, He is faithful to supply, all that we need.

Thank You Father that You know our needs and are faithful to fulfill all that You speak.  May our hearts understand just how worthy of trust You truly are.  Equip us with an ever growing faith, so that we may embrace Your every act of mercy and grace.  Amen.

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

Leaping Off Ledges

“The Lord is the strength of His people, a fortress of salvation for His anointed one.” – Psalm 28:8

image from wikipedia

When we commit our heart to God, He becomes our saving fortress.  He considers us anointed, and will be our source of strength.

As we come and commit our whole heart to Him, He sees us through the shield of His Son, and considers us sacred; set apart to serve Him.  The very idea of being set apart to serve our Savior would be all too overwhelming on its own.  However, when we come to realize that this calling is not to be carried out in our own strength, but in His, the perception of our projected path becomes less daunting.  He is a fortress we can run to, that is mighty with impenetrable walls.  He saves us from ourselves, and grants us strength to stretch with each new step.

In my own existence, this is essential.  I am looking over the ledge, and being led to leap.  He is not asking me to pack my parachute or don a squirrel suit, rather He is calling me only to trust Him to keep me safe and enjoy the ride…

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and safety.  Thank You that You have set us apart so that we might serve You – not in our own strength, but in Yours.  May we be ever aware of our security in Your strength as we leap from the ledges to which You lead us.  Amen.

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

Peace for His People

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” – Psalm 29:11

God is the ultimate source of strength and peace for His people as we call out to Christ.  He gives these things as a gift – a blessing that He bestows on His beloved.

Though I begin each day by intentionally fixing my eyes on Him, the worries of the world attempt to worm their way in and weaken my will.  What I must remember, is that He comes quickly to supply His strength, as I invite Him into the heart of the matter at hand.  When I present my request before Him, His peace is provided.  With my Savior’s strength and peace, I am able to stand strong in any struggle.  He holds my heart in His hands and reminds me that He is abundantly able to do far more than I can imagine.  As fear and frailty are handed to the Father, He is faithful to supply all that is required to weather the storm.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our source of strength and the Provider of all peace.  Thank You that we don’t have to work to earn it; rather we are to present our need before You, yielding our own plans and ideals, and allow You, our loving and faithful Father, to supply Your strength and present Your peace as blessings for us to behold.  May we walk out our days ever aware of the abundant blessings before us, as Your presence is the provision that is most desperately needed.  All glory and honor to You.  Amen.

He knows every need
and He lovingly waits
for our hearts to cry out
He’s never too late.
For He sees every struggle
each tear that we shed
every time that we fall down
all our moments of dread.
He is ever beside us
extending His hand
ready to lead us
to walk into His plan.
Lord, prepare my heart
to hear every word
You lovingly whisper
and want to be heard.
Make me ever aware
of how You hold my heart
so I hold nothing back
giving You every part.
For in You alone
is true faithfulness found
may I let go and give You –
my will, I lay down.

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

Family of the Father

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” – Mark 3:25

When we invite God to be our guide and lead us in the way we are to go, we become part of the body of Christ.  Even more, we are welcomed into the family of God – a fellowship formed for all who follow our loving Father.

What an incredible inheritance we have as the Creator’s kids.  Though our eyes cannot yet perceive all that He has prepared for His children, we are granted glimpses, when we slow down and take in our surroundings.  Our very senses sing of the significance of our Savior.  Color, fragrance, sound, light, touch, taste, warmth – all but a preview of what awaits His sons and daughters in heaven.  Beyond the immediately observable, He places us in His family of believers.  He provides brothers and sisters to walk beside us to encourage, inspire, correct and comfort, as we were not intended to travel this trail alone.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us family as we come before You.  Thank You that You provide people to walk beside us as we pursue Your good and perfect will.  May we behave as Your body – Your beloved children, as we extend our arms and hearts in Your loving kindness to all who cross our path.  May glimpses of Your glory abound as we gather and go forth in Your Name.  Amen.

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

Loyal and Lasting Love

The underlying theme in what God has been teaching me in recent weeks is just how great His love is for me, individually.  There is nothing that I can do to earn it or make it increase; rather His love has been there for me since before I was ever even conceived.  He has known me and loved me for all time, and there is nothing I can do to separate or take away that love.  I do not have to perform, nor achieve a certain level of holiness, to gain access to His abundant love for me.  He has pursued me since birth, and has showered His mercy and grace upon me all of my days.

As a woman who has strived to achieve academically and athletically for as long as I can recall, I am discovering that though I know I do not have to earn His favor, or be “enough” in my head, my heart is still learning to decipher the memo…  It is indeed good and right to do everything as unto the Lord, bringing our very best to all that we do; yet He is not watching over us waiting for us to slack off, so that He might remove the goodness and grace that He has so freely and generously given.

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100:5 (NIV) The Message says it this way, “For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.”

Knowing that He is good and that His love is forever, is only the beginning.  He is faithful always, and loyal and generous to the end.  Yes, He wants me to give Him my whole heart, and all that I am, yet His love does not depend on it.  His covering is not conditional on our correctness.  If we are in pursuit of Him, even when we falter, His love is unfailing.  It does not fail.  It does not falter.  It is forever for each of us who call on His Name and invite Him to be our heavenly Father.  He who is love, gives love that lasts.

Perhaps my point is simply that I am beyond grateful that I am gaining greater glimpses of just how great God’s love is for me.  Neither life nor death, nor anything in all of creation, can separate us from the love of God.  His heart is for us, and His help, are ever within our grasp.  He longs to lavish us in His great love.  When we are still and we are available to receive all that He has for us, He comes.  He willingly and intentionally whispers words that give life and encourage our hearts.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love is unending and Your grace for us is far greater than we can even begin to imagine.  May we be still before You so that we each may hear Your heart for us, as Your beloved children.  Thank You that You call us sons and daughters.  Thank you that You call us friends.  Thank You that in You, we are enough, and You long to lavish us in Your perfect love.  Teach us to receive all that You have for us, and as we are filled, may we extend that loyal and lasting love to all who cross our path.  Amen.

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

Waiting Without Waivering


“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

“Wait for the Lord” – okay, I know and understand the concept of waiting on God.  “Be strong” – I am to allow His strength to be mine so that I do not waiver as I wait.  “Take heart” – this one threw me a little bit.  Based on the various appearances of the phrase throughout the Bible, it seems to say – trust Him with my whole heart.  Therefore, I am to wait on the Lord in His strength, not mine, and trust Him completely as I continue to wait.

People in general, are not patient.  As technology continues to grow exponentially, our access to information and everything else imaginable is nearly instantaneous.  In the world of waiting, we just don’t do much of it.  However, once our heart is His, it seems our training in patience and trust begin almost immediately.  No longer are we in a position to pursue what pleases us, rather we are to ask, to trust, and to wait on His timing.  He is gentle and kind, and often blesses us with quick solutions to that which we place before Him, or have heard from Him in our heart.  Perhaps this happens to encourage and grow our trust in His faithfulness.  After we have seen countless requests and promises faithfully fulfilled by Christ in the small things, we are somehow better prepared to trust for the big things.

In my own life, I have seen Him answer that which I have asked, in amazing ways.  However, there have been times when the span between the promise and the fulfillment have felt unbearably long.  It has been and continues to be, in those times that He teaches me to trust, one day at a time.  My eyes must remain securely fixed on His face, or my faith will begin to falter.  When I turn my whole heart to Him, and allow His strength to equip me to trust, I find the faith that is required to continue to rely on my Redeemer.

This path before us, paved with obstacles to overcome, has purpose as it propels us to pursue Him with our whole heart.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You provide strength and teach us to trust with our whole heart as we wait on You.  Thank You that Your timing is perfect, despite our impatience.  Strengthen each of us as we continue to trust You with our whole heart as we learn to yield to our own will, and completely trust You and Your timing.  Direct our steps Father, that we may find footing directly in Your good and perfect will for our lives.  Amen.

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

Training Trees

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” – Matthew 12:33

As “trees”, though we cannot make ourselves good or bad, we can submit our hearts and minds to Him, who is abundantly able to cultivate His goodness in us so that we bear good fruit.

In order for a tree to bear good fruit, it must be planted in fertile soil.  The tree must also be pruned at various times, in due season, to remove sickness, disease, and places that have become rotten, hindering the full potential for growth within the tree.  Without the trimming, branches become withered and the tree is left fruitless.  When a tree is properly nourished and pruned regularly, it becomes a tree that bears good and abundant fruit.

The fertile soil is God’s word, in which we must be firmly rooted if we hope to bear good fruit.  The Holy Spirit waters the soil and breathes life and understanding into the word as it makes way throughout our entire existence.  We must be kept from unnecessary exposure to the elements that do not breathe life, lest they cling to our branches and attempt to worm way into our core and produce fruit that is rotten.

As we allow our roots to receive the word and the water, it also becomes necessary for our branches to be pruned.  Each exposed end must be trimmed and cut off, if we are to truly bear good fruit.  The fruit that lasts, that nourishes its recipients, is that of the Spirit – peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.  Fruit such as these enter the heart and mind of the recipient, and encourage all who are exposed to its goodness.

It is also written, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” – Matthew 7:19  I added this verse not meaning to be full of doom and gloom, but to remind each of us that we must make a choice, as ultimately it will determine our final destination…

Dear Heavenly Father, please raise us up as trees that are firmly established in Your soil, and able to receive the water and nutrients that You provide as we allow our roots to dig deeply into the fertile foundation You have granted each of us.  Please trim away all that hinders good fruit from growing.  May we each become the bearers of good fruit, that nourish a nation in need of Your mercy and grace.  Breathe new life into all of us as we grow.  May every one of us become trees that are recognized by the fruit that we allow You to cultivate in us.  Amen.

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

Beside Quiet Waters

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:2-3
When my world is in chaos and my heart is far from still, He brings me to a safe space and speaks softly to me as I slow down.  He heals and commands calm, when I am still and willing to listen.  He leads me in the way I am to go, in order that I might honor Him.
After the chaos caused by a crazy weekend of challenges and obligations, He brought me before dear ones who are a blessing to me.  He provided His heart and His hope through the kindness of a friend over coffee.  Her genuine care for my well-being, encouraged my heart and eased my mind of the emptiness I often encounter in the middle of a mess.
Throughout the day, little reminders of His love for me were made evident through small and simple things.
In the evening, I was again in the company of another calm and godly woman.  Her heart to hear Him as we spoke, brought healing and hope to mine.  His words and His very heart for me are still echoing in my mind this morning.
Each of my encounters were places of green pasture, surrounded by quiet waters of calm – places where His presence was evident, not because of location, but because of His love in each of their hearts.  When I willingly laid down my walls and allowed truth to be told, it was then that my soul was restored in His complete and caring calm.
I am so grateful that He provides people along our path to help point us in the right direction.  So often, it is the tangible presence of another that He has provided, that make the narrow road navigable.  His nearness becomes seen, heard, touched and embraced as He places His people on our path.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not meant to walk this journey alone.  Thank You that You are always with us and that beyond that, You bring people to walk beside us and encourage us when we become weary.  Thank You that You see us and know us, far better than we know our own need.  Thank You that Your timing is perfect and that we may always come to You in our time of need.  Thank You that You are ever near, holding Your arms open wide before us.  We need only to run to You, and we are received.  Thank You for Your magnificent mercy and permanent presence as we move toward becoming the men and women You are calling us to be.  Amen.

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

Help in Time of Need

It never ceases to amaze me how remarkable God’s timing is for me.  After this past week’s health challenges with our boys, the lack of sleep was beginning to take its toll.  The laundry had gone from a small hill to a magnificent mountain, the dishes had began to spill over from the overfilled sink onto every free counter space, and the living room floor appeared to have been part of a tornados path, as my boys have both used it as their play place during recovery.  The entire scene that I took in each time I entered my home, was overwhelming.  It seemed that every effort I extended to begin to take on the mess, was in vain.
Yesterday, my mom came for a quick overnight visit on her way home from my grandma’s.  Not only did she tag-team errand running with the boys and me, but she partnered with me in an all-out assault on this disaster zone.  More than that, she led the way.  She truly has a gift for transforming spaces from dismal to delightful with a whirlwind of work.  God provided me with the very help I needed most, at the perfect time.  Side-by-side, the rooms of wreckage became a clean, organized and presentable place once again.
When I at last laid down my head to rest, I slept soundly for the first time in several nights, and woke feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy this bonus day off. My entry into the living room was greeted by the sweet sight of Adventurous and my mom snuggled on the couch, and I was again reminded of how truly blessed I am.  Cautious soon joined in our room of relaxation, and peace continued to permeate in this place.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our ever present help in time of need, and that You care about even the little things that bless our hearts and provide peace.  Lord, thank You for the blessings that remind us just how much You love us and see each of us individually.  Lord, may I be used to bless others as You have provided my mom to bless me.  Amen.

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