Supplied by His Spirit

“If, however, I am guilty of anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die.  But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them.  I appeal to Caesar!” – Acts 25:11

Paul, empowered by the Holy Spirit, appeared fearless.  His faith remained ever firm, even in the face of fire.  He did not fear death, for he was well aware of his ultimate destination.  However, he did not stay silent and spoke boldly – recognizing what was right by the laws of man and in the eyes of God.  Because he spoke truth, even in the presence of his accusers, he was heard and granted what he had confidently requested.

How much more should we approach our loving Lord with our requests that are intended to honor Him?  He who holds our hearts in His hands, lovingly listens to us, His children, when we present our requests, prayers and petitions before Him.  Though none of us are worthy in our own way, when we come before God, covered by the cross, we are counted as clean before Him – becoming blameless as our hearts are lovingly heard.

So often I stay silent, even when my heart is holding words to speak.  Though He has equipped and empowered me, I still struggle with fear.  He is doing something new in this season, as I sense an unlocking of what has so long bound my voice in silence.  For me, this seems to be a slow and gentle process, as my Heavenly Father knows my need, and patiently presses on the places I am again being asked to give to Him.  Where there was previously no place for words to escape, they have now found a pathway through pen and paper (or keyboard and screen…).  He is holding my heart and supplying His strength in spaces I had never even imagined were possible.  He is more than able where we most certainly are not.

Dear Heavenly Father, please equip and empower each of us to stand strong and speak boldly in spaces where Your truth must be told.  May we be gentle and kind as we speak truth in love, just as You call each of us to do.  Keep fear far from us and allow Your heart to be heard.  Thank You for Your patience and kindness to us, as we learn to listen to Your leading.  Amen.

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

Circumstances Cannot Separate

Yesterday, as the new day had barely just begun, I was jolted awake with the realization that I needed to check on Adventurous, as he had been to urgent care the day prior for breathing treatments to combat the asthma issues he was having.  With bleary eyes, yet firm footing, I marched in to take a look.  Unfortunately, my fear was realized as I watched my sweet son’s labored breathing as he slept.  I checked his oxygen saturation levels and the pace and depth of his breaths.  The trio of observations were quickly steering me to a trip to the ER.  In desperation, a breathing treatment was prayerfully delivered, but alas, it was not enough.

Adventurous and I set off for our local children’s hospital.  Along the way, my son, despite his labored and rapid breathing, raved about the beauty of the city lights reflecting on the still waters of the Puget Sound, singing softly as he strained on our drive in.

We arrived, walked in, and were whisked back to the ER wing.  Adventurous was seen immediately, and the monitoring of his breathing began.

He and his twin, Cautious, were preemies, so the monitors, numbers and alarms are forever etched in my mind.  I know the meaning of every beep that is heard and every wave displayed on the screen that sits behind my hurting child.  Each beep, demanded my heart back to prayer, as I waited on the Lord to intervene.

As Adventurous was put on oxygen and given back-to-back breathing treatments, the lack of change in numbers began to weigh heavily on my heart.  I could feel fear attempting to find a foothold.  As I prayed, I was propelled to ask people to pray.  The numbers were telling me that he was about to be admitted, yet the Voice of truth said, “wait, I am with you”.

We did wait.  They took him off of oxygen and waited and watched for the medication to work way into his system and open his inflamed airways.  The kind nurses brought my boy breakfast.  As he joyfully munched on bacon, his numbers began to rise.  Slowly, yet steadily, the numbers were nearing the space of safety.

Though the whole ordeal was over the span of several hours, His presence was with us and His love, evident, through not only the outpouring of encouragement from those who partnered in prayer, but also through the kindness of the staff who so completely cared for my child.

My takeaway is the reminder that “…nothing can separate us from the love of God…” – Romans 8:37-38.  He reminded me that no struggle nor stress, neither present circumstance nor future concern, can separate us from His love.  He is with us in all things, holding our hearts and hands and He lovingly leads us through.

Heavenly Father, thank You that there is NOTHING that can separate us from You.  Amen.

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

Truth Taught As We Trust

The Sound of Insanity from blogzilly

“Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” – Psalm 25:4-5

David, the author of this Psalm, desired to honor God in all that he was asked to do.  From his humble beginnings as a shepherd boy, to his facing the giant on the battlefield, and ultimately throughout his time as the king of a nation.  His life was lived as one who had been anointed and equipped, as he sought the Lord in all things.  David trusted the truth that God taught him, and faithfully followed the leading of his heavenly Father.

As we ask, we must also listen.  As we hear, we must also trust.  He alone will teach us truth and guide us as we go.  He saves us from all uncertainty and provides the promise of our heavenly hope.

It is only as we step forth in faith, into those places that He provides for our path that are uncertain, unknown – it is there that we learn to truly trust and allow God to be God.  As faith rises, fear flees.  If  He brings us to it, He will take us through it – no matter how messy or monumental it seems.  He is ever faithful, even in the face of fire.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we are willing to listen and learn, You teach us, lead us, guide us and equip us for all that You ask.  Thank You that we may become more than conquerors through Christ.  Lord, may we hold the hope of heaven in our hearts, all of our days.  Let our obedience open doors that direct others to desire You.  Use us Lord, we pray.  Amen.

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

Everything Established by Him

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” – Psalm 24:1-2

The earth and everything and everyone in it, has been formed and established by God.  All belong to Him, the Creator, and ought to be cared for accordingly.

“For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10

He has a plan and a purpose for each of us, His created.  We are His people, and are called to care for His kingdom.  Though each of us has been created with different strengths and giftings, the ultimate purpose for each of us is the same.  We are called to love God and love people.  All that we say and do should be a reflection of our calling.  If we sing, let it be a song unto Him that encourages His people.  If we teach, let our lessons be laden with love.  If we build, let all be built upon His firm foundation, deeply rooted in His remarkable redemption.  If we create, let it be filled with evidence that cries out of Christ’s loving kindness and mercy for all men (and women).

Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created and established each of us with a purpose in this place.  Lord please lead us so that we may learn how to love You and love people with our whole hearts, as we pursue the path on which You have placed us.  May we be ever aware of Your presence and Your purposes in each of our lives.  Thank You that Your plan provides us with a hope and a future.  Thank You that as we surrender ourselves to You, You accept our offering and allow us to extend our hands and hearts on Your behalf.  Let our lives be lived in love and aligned with Your leading.  Amen.

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

Love Defined

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…” – I Corinthians 13:4-8a

Love is: patient, kind, protective, trusting, hopeful and perseverant. 

Love is not: envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, angry or begrudging.

On this day set aside to recognize and celebrate love, it seems only suitable to recognize and remember He who first loved us.  It is only because of His ultimate act of love, that we can even begin to glimpse the glory graced to us by God, who by His very nature, is love.  

My love letter, or list per se, is one abundant in gratitude and praise for He who shows me love, when love is seemingly impossible.  When I feel impatient, He comes alongside me and reminds me that love waits.  When I feel unkind, He showers me with His merciful kindness, again demonstrating to me how I might love as He loves.  When I feel afraid, He hides me in the shadow of His wings and reminds me that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  When trust is all but taken, He shows me again and again that He IS trustworthy.  When hope is hard to find, He tugs on my heartstrings and lifts my head toward heaven, where all hope forever dwells.  When I feel as if I cannot go on because the burden is too great for me to bear, He takes my hand and leads me, and exchanges my yoke for His.  For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  He carries me when I cannot continue walking where He has called me to walk.

More than a feeling, love is a choice.  He chooses to change our hearts as we intentionally seek Him.  We must likewise, choose to love.  Jesus modeled what love is.  He touched the untouchables, spoke with sinners, healed the hurting, and loved the unlovable.  He chose to love.  He chose to love with His whole life, even unto death on the cross so that we might one day know what love really is.  My hope is that my heart would hear every whisper that my Savior speaks, so that I might love well. 

Heavenly Father, thank You that You first loved us so that we might learn to love.  Lord, may our love be patient and kind, protective and perseverant, trusting and full of hope.  May we love others well, as You have loved us.  Father help each of us to rejoice in the truth that tells us how You love us, regardless of what is surrounding us.  Love is not a feeling, it is a foundation of faith.  Form us to follow You in how we are to love.  Thank You that Your love never fails.  Amen.

May your day be abundantly blessed with His lovingkindness and the knowledge that YOU are the apple of His eye and His child in whom He delights.  YOU are a treasure to the King of all Creation, and He is pleased to call YOU His own.

With Love because He first loved us,


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

To Be Holy

“Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” – Leviticus 19:2

For me, I know that God is holy, but needed to dig deeper to get a grasp on what exactly it means for me to be holy.  According to Webster, holy is defined as follows:

1) specially recognized as or declared sacred (set apart)

2) dedicated or devoted to the service of God

3) saintly; godly; pious; devout

4) having a spiritually pure quality

5) entitled to worship as if sacred

Okay, so specially recognized or declared sacred, set apart, is how He sees us when we give our lives to Him and are covered by the cross.  Dedicated or devoted to the service of God ought to be our response to definition number one in our lives.  Saintly; godly; pious; devout – how we ought to be viewed by those looking at our lives – not in a way that is worthy of worship (wait for #5), but rather as people pursuing the path placed before them with a passion after God’s own heart.  Having a spiritually pure quality comes as we confess to Christ.  As for being entitled to worship as if sacred,  there is only One who is called holy as such, and that is the Living God.

So, my understanding of what is spoken in Leviticus 19:2 is that I am to be dedicated or devoted to the service of God, pursuing a spiritually pure quality provided by God, because He is entitled, deserving, of all of my worship and praise.  He is sacred, pure, and alone worthy of all of our praise.

When we invite God to enter into our hearts, our lives, He sets us apart and declares us His daughters and sons.  By His Spirit in us, we are empowered and equipped to be devoted to the service of God.  No, we are not all called to be pastors or preachers, but we are all called to love God and to love people.  When we love God and love people as He calls us to do, He places in us a spiritually pure quality, regardless of our past, present or future sin.  The sacrifice of the Savior on the cross, covers all of our sin against Him, and allows us to be seen by Him as holy. (set apart and spiritually pure)  God, because He is God, is holy. (entitled to worship because He is sacred)  He loves us to life, and we, in return, ought to love Him with all that we are, as His holy (devoted and dedicated to Him) children.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are holy and worthy of all of our worship.  Thank You that You make us holy, spiritually pure in Your sight, when we ask for Your forgiveness.  Teach us Father to live holy lives, devoted and dedicated to You, most holy God.  Amen.

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

Halting All Harm

“For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” – Acts 18:10

When we are doing as God asks of us, He is with us and provides protection and people along our path.

Image by Obscene Speed (click for link)

As God asks us, He also equips us for whatever He is calling us to do.  His peace and His provision are present when people pursue their purpose on His path.  He surrounds us with His security and speaks softly to the hollows of our hearts.  He encourages us so that we might know His nearness and stand firm in our foundation of faith.

Several years ago, (pre-marriage, kids and career) I spent some time with a team in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  We happened to be in the city right about the time that there were riots to protest some sort of labor dispute.  Our team was young and had never been so near to such chaos and craziness.  For a few days, we had to remain in our concrete confines, and were asked to stay put for our own protection.  One young lady on our team became quite fearful after a fitful night that had been navigated by nightmares.  The next night, a few of us prayed for her protection and peace as it was time for us all to try to sleep.  The next morning, she was overwhelmed and amazed at what God had shown her as we all slept.  She had seen giant men, mighty heavenly warriors, keeping watch through the night in each of the four corners of our room.  This vision, whether a dream or divine insight – instilled a confident awareness of His protection and peace, and a sense of knowing that there were His people placed there for our protection.  I am certain that we were kept safe because He was with us, and He had placed people around us to prove His protection was present.  He made His trustworthiness tangible to the terrified.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are with us and for us.  Thank You that You protect us from harm and provide people along our path.  Please continue to teach us that Your very presence is our protection.  When You are for us, what could come against us?  May our resounding response be, “NOTHING!”  Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times.  Amen.

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

Housed in Hearts

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” – Acts 17:24

God, Who is the Creator of all and Ruler of heaven and earth, does not dwell in buildings made by man.

Though God has given many men the great gifts of creativity and craftsmanship, and many magnificent buildings for gathering to worship have been constructed, He chooses to dwell in the hearts of man – His created, rather than something constructed by His creation.  He has made us in His image, and our hearts are where He longs to dwell.  He does not need us to attempt to get our hearts right to receive Him.  Instead, He comes in and cleans from the inside out, when we invite Him.  He unearths the ugliness of our sin and shame, and creates in each of us, something beautiful.  As we fix our eyes on Him, His giftings placed in us begin to come out.  In each of us, He has supplied a specific strength that has been given to help encourage and support the body of Christ.  When we gather together to worship Him, our praise is a fragrant offering unto the Lord.  The beauty is not in the building, rather it is in the body of believers as He builds our faith before Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You dwell in us, rather than in buildings crafted by Your created.  Thank You that You are God with us, rather than One we have to go and find in something formed by man.  Thank You that by Your blood, we become the beautiful body in whom You lovingly dwell.  Father, free us to allow You to clean the house of our hearts so that others may see the good gifts You have given to us for You glory.  May we each be encouraged and be an encouragement to not only the body of Christ, but also to those who need to know You.  Amen.

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

Let Me Love You

With heart hanging heavy
in search of some rest
my mind kept on saying
Lord, You know my heart best.
Tell me, dear Father
what I need to know
to release these burdens
so freedom may flow.
His reply was quite clear
four simple words
Let Me love you
is what I soon heard.
“Oh Jesus, but how?”
my heart then did ask.
Be silent and listen
I’ll teach you the task.
Let me love you in darkness
when you’re deep in despair
My arms wrap around you
shining light into there.
Let me love you in places
where there is so much lack
I’ll encourage your heart
and take your burdens back.
Let me love you in fear
when your feeling afraid
I’ll protect you, my daughter
I will not delay.
Let me love you in chaos
when nothing seems right
I will call out “be still”
and the chaos’ll take flight.
Let me love you in triumph
when you’re feeling so great
embrace when your hurting
I won’t hesitate.
As You love me so well
please equip me Dad, too,
lead me and guide me,
teach me what to do.

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

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You speak softly to our souls in our space of seeking You.  May our hearts be ready to hear all that You have to say.  Thank You that You are ever faithful – regardless of fear, foes, or folly. Teach us Father, to let You love us.   May our lives be lived listening to Your leading.  Amen.

Enough for Everyone

“No!  We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” – Acts 15:11

God does not discriminate as to whom He freely gives grace.  Salvation does not come through rituals and rules, rather it is graciously given to all who earnestly seek Him.

Our past, our personal history, does not determine our option for salvation.  ALL who seek Him will find Him, when we seek Him with all of our heart.

He hears the prayers of the crooks and the criminals just as clearly as those of the clergy.  We are all born with a sinful nature and a desperate need to be redeemed so that we might restore a right relationship with God.  It is only a matter of time and exposure before we are given the opportunity to come to know our own need and respond in faith.  His grace is sufficient and freely given, regardless of the gravity of our Godless grievances that have gone on prior to turning to Him.

I am so thankful that He hears our heart as we seek Him, and forgives us from our every failure to follow Him, each time we repent and receive His gift of grace.

Dear Jesus, thank You that Your grace alone provides our path to salvation.  Thank You that as we come to recognize how great is Your grace, our hearts grow in need to know You and serve You with our every step.  Forgive us, free us, and grant us the faith to fully follow You.  In Your good and glorious Name, amen.

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