Everything in Love

“Do everything in love.” – I Corinthians 16:14


Everything?  What would that actually look like?

First, I would wake in love, regardless of the early hour, with my gaze guided to God, and my heart overflowing with gratitude for the gift of another day.  As my first waking hour is spent seeking Him, love songs for my Savior ought to be what resounds in my heart and mind.

Preparations for my day would then be packed with prayer and petition before the Prince of Peace.  My drive to my destination would be done in love, despite other drivers.  I would display not disdain for drivers who cut me off, but rather offer loving words, lifting all others before Him – praying for His presence and peace to permeate their hearts, minds and vehicles.  At work or out and about, my heart would wield to His every word and extend each encouragement that He invites me to offer.

When my cherubs fight, my response would be correction and redirection delivered in love that reveals His light, with frustration and irritation far from me…

Cleaning would come with calm adoration and thanks for His provision of our place.  Meals would be masterfully made with the sole desire to nourish all who partake.

At the end of the day, my heart would be full to overflowing as I had remained aware of His love through every moment that I have drawn breath.

What if my love for Him could be displayed as often?

No, I am not there yet…  There are amazing moments, that I feel by His grace, His pleasure to be present with me.  Thankfully, He loves unlike us.  His love is constant and incorruptible.  It is not swayed by the happenings in a day, rather it is an eternal choice to love His created.

Dear Heavenly Father, my desire is to do everything in love.  Please teach me Your ways O Lord, that I might love like You.  May my heart be held in Your hands so that I am forever changed to become a clearer reflection of You and Your great love.  Search my heart and change that which dulls or hides Your reflection.  Teach us to breathe in Your grace and exhale Your loving kindness in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

The Savior’s Song

“By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” – Psalm 42:8

The Message states Psalm 42:8 this way: “God promises to love me all day and sing songs all through the night!  My life is God’s prayer.”

God’s love is astounding!  His love is constant and unwavering.  It is not dependant on our circumstance nor obedience; He simply loves because we are His and He chooses to love His children.  The love that directs our steps and whispers words that our hearts need to hear, sings songs over us as we sleep.  Just as parents sing lullabies over their precious babies, so does our Heavenly Father sing over us.  There is such sweet comfort in His song.  It is in that place of peace that I long for my whole life to be lived as a pleasing prayer unto Him.  He alone is the Provider of peace and the Source of safety all of our days.  It is He who dispenses direction and provides purposeful pathways.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You direct our steps by day and sing songs over us as we sleep.  Teach us to live lives listening to Your leading so that our path is in prayerful pursuit of You.  May we become ever more aware of Your presence and more passionate to present ourselves in prayer to Your perfect plan for our lives.  Lead us Lord, that our lives may be lived as a prayer unto You.  Amen.

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

Denying Disorder

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” – I Corinthians 14:33

Christ does not call forth chaos.  He is the ever-present Prince of Peace.

Though this verse is referring to orderly worship in the gathering of the body of Christ, I am fairly certain that if we consider all of our actions as acts of worship to Him, His best for us is to provide His peace as we are aware of His presence.

My life often resembles a raging storm.  Thoughts swirl and fly in countless directions.  The chaos that comes, continues until I center my heart and mind, and call on Christ.  He is faithful to settle my soul and provide peace where chaos was attempting to seek shelter.  My heart was designed to rest in His perfect peace.

As we approach Easter and rush about, attempting to accomplish all items on our “to do” lists, may we make time to settle our souls and seek the Savior whom we celebrate.

Dear Heavenly Father, please keep us from allowing obligations to divert our gaze from You.  As we seek Your steadfast safety and security, please cause the chaos collapse and Your calm to come.  May our minds be cleared of the clutter and our hearts be open to all the wonder You whisper when we are willing to listen.  Let our lives be lived in love as our ongoing act of orderly worship, and allow Your perfect peace to be passed on to all people in search of Your presence.  Amen.

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

Guarded by God

With caution and courage

small child presses on

Walks into the darkness
and waits for the dawn.
Though memories haunt her
and fear tries to come in
she’s guarded, surrounded
her protectors will win.
Mighty warriors
flanking each of her sides
wings willing to grant shadow
safe space to reside.
Press on little one
take courage, don’t fear
nothing will stand
when I am right here.
Keep walking and trusting
soon light will appear
no longer will darkness
bring paralyzing fear.
For My light will shine
from inside to out
casting shadows far from you
removing all doubt.
Trust Me, sweet child
hold onto My hand
in my strength move forward
continue to stand.
No weapon that’s wielded
will ever have chance
to hurt or to harm you
in your circumstance.
For I am Your God
and You are my daughter
I’ll love with my life
as Protector and Father.

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

Being the Body

“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.  (27) Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.” – I Corinthians 12:12 & 27

jonmrichardson.comWe are all part of the body of Christ.  We come in all shapes and sizes and have been given unique and individual gifts that were graced to each of us by God, so that we might contribute to the cohesion of all who follow Christ.  The body of believers is better, when we each bring the blessings that our Beloved has bestowed upon us.

No one gift is greater than another.  Though some are more visible, they are no more valuable.  All gifts are given for the greater good of the body.  Without hands, whom could He reach?  Without a voice, who would hear His heart?  Without feet, how would we walk in His way?  Without willing servants, how would anything ever get done?  Each part is significant to Him!  He loves us so much, that He designed us with something special, that only we can bring.  Often, our gift is in doing what comes naturally, so it does not feel like it could possibly be our part to play.

For me, when I slow down and take in all that has transpired in a day, I am able to sense His pleasure in the little things, rather than in something seemingly remarkable.  It is in the moments where we extend our hearts and our hands to another, that He is most able to move.  Hugging a child, encouraging a friend, listening to a loved one – all are gifts that God grants us to bless and better become His body.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being deliberate in how You designed each one of us.  Please forgive us for not always recognizing or appreciating who You have blessed us to become.  Teach us to each embrace the extraordinary part that You have prepared us to play in the body of Christ.  May Your body of believers bring all glory and honor to You.  Amen.

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

The Direction of Discipline

Just as we guide, lead and correct our children in the way in which they are to go so that they may become responsible and reliable members of society, so does our Heavenly Father for us that we may walk in His way and be beyond reproach before men.

“When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” – I Corinthians 11:32

God’s discipline is not in anger, but in love.  His correction and redirection is given for the good of His people.  If He did not love us, He would leave us to our own devices to decide which way is best.  He spares us the sadness of wandering alone and lost, when we are willing to hear His correction.

Our Heavenly Father knows best.  He knows the outcome before we ever begin; yet in His great love for us, He grants us the freedom to choose whether or not we listen to His leading.  It is His hope that we hear, and His loving kindness that is willing to lead us out of our deserts and into His promised place of peace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You consider us Your kids, and love us so much that You do not leave us in our sin and shame.  You bring us out of the darkness and call us by name.  Thank You for loving us so much that You are willing to wait for our attention to turn back to You.  May we receive and respect the correction You offer, so that we may one day stand before You and hear the words “well done”.  Amen.

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

Embracing Grace

“Looking at it one way, you could say, ‘Anything goes.  Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.’  But the point is not to just get by.  We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.” – I Corinthians 10:23-24 (The Message)

Since we are no longer under the laws requiring regulations and rituals, and have the freedom to approach the Father’s throne because of the saving sacrifice of His Son, we ought not scrutinize our every action, rather we should whole-heartedly pursue His path for our lives so that we may be people who love well.

We are not to take advantage nor abuse the grace that has been so freely given, but we are to embrace it, turn away from our sin and shame, and move forward in seeking to serve Him.

If we focus our hearts and minds on loving God and loving people, our actions – our words and deeds, ought to align with His will, and not need to be overanalyzed or scrutinized to see of they measure up.  When I am submitted to His will and stumble, He picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me to keep moving forward.  He does not expect perfection, rather He asks for my willing submission.  Our charge as His children is for each of us to set aside our ideals as to what we imagine that we should and should not be, and allow Him to show us the masterpiece He intends for us to become.  In doing so, we are given eyes to see His perfect plan and learn to live and love well, just as He intended.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your generous grace that forgives our shortcomings and leads us to live and love like You.  May we each embrace who You intend for us to become, so that we will walk in Your will for our lives, and love well.  Be glorified in our becoming.  Amen.

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

Running with a Race Plan

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – I Corinthians 9:24

Our race is not a sprint, but a lifelong marathon.  To win the prize, we must keep running our best race, depending on and fixing our eyes toward He who strengthens when we grow weary, and encourages when our days seem dismal.

If we run aimlessly, without a race plan, we will become weary and wander off course.  Yet if we study His plan for our own race, and seek Him for direction each time we encounter a fork in the road, He gladly guides us in the way we were meant to go and supplies all that is needed to keep running.  He stays beside us each step of the way; we only need to open our eyes to see His presence and find plain His path that He has placed before us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to sprint the entire span of our race.  Your loving kindness leads us and supplies us so that we may each run the life that you have called us to.  Thank You that the finish line ends with us finding our feet on the streets of gold that You have prepared for all who have invited You to direct our steps as we follow Your race plan.  May we each seek You as we go, and listen to Your leading, so that not only will we each finish our own race, but others too may find You and Your plan for theirs as well.  May every eye see the prize that You have prepared for us.  Amen.

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

Love by Design

“But the man who loves God is known by God.” – I Corinthians 8:3

God knows each of us, down to the most minute details.  As we learn to love Him, the recognition of being known by Him becomes all the more meaningful.

There is no greater relational treasure than being known, and in turn, loved in spite of it.  When we are known, all of us – the good, the bad and the ugly, and loved anyway, it is a treasure to which we cling.

Spouses, children, siblings, friends – all have but a fraction of God’s capacity to know and care for us unconditionally.  We value the blessings of our closeness to others because it is a hint of God’s love, made tangible.  However, we must seek first, the capacity to truly love God with our lives.  For it is only by His love, that we are able to love others as He has designed.  His love forgives and keeps no record of wrongs.  He blesses, without expectation of something in return.  He is the only perfect example of both Father and Friend.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created us to be relational.  Help us to invest all that we are in our relationship with You.  As we grow in You, may we walk out Your ways in our earthly relationships too.  Thank You that You first loved us, so that we may learn to love like You.  Amen.

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

Sustained to Stay

“Brothers, each man (and woman), as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.” – I Corinthians 7:24

Our responsibility to God is to stay where He calls us.

When the going gets tough, the faithful stay and fight.  He has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power that prepares us to persevere.

In my own life, I have seen the blessing that He bestows on His beloved that remain faithful in the face of fire.  I was called to a position long ago, and asked to remain unless granted release.  A time came when the wind was whipping so hard, that I did not know whether or not I  could stand where I had been called.  For nearly a year, the storm raged and my foundation shook.  He was ever faithful to meet me in my moments, and provide places of peace, despite the storm.  As I held fast to His promises, and fought to cling to Christ, He equipped and empowered me to keep walking where I had been placed.  Thankfully the storms at last ceased, and a season of sustained sunshine began.

He equips and empowers us to do far beyond what we can imagine in our own limited insight.  He is faithful and able to hold our head, heart, and hands, even through the most difficult days.  Joy does come in the morning.  Joy, not always in sunshine and smiles, but in a deep-rooted understanding of who we are in Him, and just how much He loves each and every one of us.

The beauty that we must not forget is that we are not home yet.  What awaits us in a little while, is worth every sacrifice or space of suffering that we must walk through in this place.  Today is but a blink of an eye, compared to what is promised for all of eternity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what is promised is far greater than even our very best days here on earth.  Teach us to have an eternal perspective, so that we may persevere in the present, and find joy in You, as we press on toward the promise.  As we are faithful, may You be forever found by the hearts who are ready to be held in Your hands.  Amen.

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