Listen to Learn to Love

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” – Proverbs 18:15

She who shows outstanding judgment and understanding, gains knowledge; she who has wisdom and insight, listens carefully and pursues what God provides.

What is wisdom without learning to listen?

Insight is rarely gained when my mouth is moving.  When I stop and take time to be still, what is spoken provides answer to that which is being asked.

Our call, our charge to live right before the Lord, is to love God and love people.  How can we love those whom we do not know?  The same principle applies for both.  The better we know someone, the more deeply we are able to love.

If I don’t spend time with God, and take time to truly listen to the Lord, I will not really know or understand His heart for me, nor His unflappable faithfulness.

The same is true with people.  If I do not slow down and learn to listen, I miss out on insight that they attempt to offer.  I never cease to be amazed at the insight that is provided, even in a short span of time, when I am intentional to listen.

With my students, it unlocks understanding to the behaviors that may manifest, and calls forth compassion and care that Christ lovingly provides as I depend on Him.  The same holds true with my own children.  When I meet them at the bus after school and they begin to bicker the moment we move toward home, I need to be intentional to ask and then listen to my loving lads; for the fighting is almost always brought forth from an injury that is hiding in their heart.  If I don’t ask and then listen, the hurt remains hidden in their tender hearts.

God gives grace and wisdom and insight when we are intentional to come before Him to listen, rather than to read off our laundry list of needs.  He hears those too, and is truly merciful and full of grace, yet He longs for more.  He loves to lavish us with the words of His heart and to deepen our understanding of who He is and just how much He loves us, His created.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are faithful to whisper Your wisdom and insight if we take time to inquire of You.  Teach us to be intentional to be still before You, so that we may hear Your heart to truly know You, and gain the gift of understanding so that we might better know and love You and all of Your created.  May we be quick to listen and slow to speak, so that we do not miss opportunities to be a blessing in Your Name.  Amen.

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

Designed to Diffuse Dissent

photo by Tomas del Amo

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

When we answer anger with gentleness, it diffuses the determination to destroy.  However, when we speak harshly to another, it accelerates anger and dissent, rather than restore relationships to what they ought to be.

Daily, I am given multiple opportunities to respond to anger and frustration in gentleness, as the Father is faithful to fuel my heart with His kindness to care for kids as they come.  On my own, my response would be to engage in the angry exchange, rather than to respond in love.  Fortunately, He is faithful to meet me in the moments, and equips me to respond in love.  Kindness and compassion are the very things we all need, even in correction.  I am continually amazed as the Savior is swift to speak to my heart and remind me to slow down and breathe, so that I may convey calm, despite the discontent that often enters my classroom.

His care and concern for the kids that come into my classroom (and my own at home), is far greater that the heart He has grown in me for each of these gifts.  He knows their every need, and does not expect me to “fix” anyone.  My charge is to encourage, correct, and convey the kindness of Christ, through how I speak and interact with each treasure trusted in my care.  I am to do as He asks, and allow Him to take care of the rest.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your response to us is gentle and kind, and that Your perfect love disarms discontent, even as You correct and redirect us to stay the course to which we have been called.  Teach us to answer gently always, so others may see Your love shining through us, even when some may come against us.  May walking in Your way diffuse dissention, and lead lives to Your love everlasting.  Amen.

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

Love Covers Conflict

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” – Proverbs 10:12

Hatred starts fights, but love brings peace and restores righteousness.

Hatred is defined as intense dislike or extreme aversion or hostility.  Love on the other hand, is explained as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another.

Love is hatred’s kryptonite.  Hatred cannot remain, once love enters in.  God’s love, which is the definition of tenderness and passion toward people, (to the point of giving up His only Son) diffuses disdain when we depend on Him.  Both love and hate are a choice.  We cannot truly do one, if the other is also held in our heart.  When we hold hatred, we leave little room for love to grow, and it becomes warped and weary and weak (in our own strength).  However, if what we hold dear is the lavish and unfailing love of our Heavenly Father, hatred finds no footing, and it must flee far from us.

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive us for any hostility we may hold toward another.  Help us to release and run to Your loving arms of mercy, and allow Your love to coat the caverns of our hopeful hearts, that we too, might learn to lavish others with Your tender, loving kindness.  Teach us to choose love, even when the cost is great.  May we learn to let love cover conflict and callousness, so that only love remains.  Let our love lead the lost to Your willing and waiting arms.  Amen.

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

May We Remember

“God doesn’t count us, He calls us by name.” – Romans 9:26-27 (The Message)

image from wikipedia

We are not a number among the masses, nor simply a nameless face in the crowd.  He knows each of us and calls us by name.  “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” – Psalm 139:13

Today, I remember those who were mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, that have sacrificed their lives to uphold the freedom we all know and love.  Though I know not all of the names of the lost, God knows each one, individually.  May we never forget the sacrifice of safety and security that each one of our members of the armed forces makes on our behalf, every moment they serve.  My charge on this Memorial Day, is to remember the names that I have known, and to pray for those still selflessly sacrificing to serve their country as they have been called.

photo by Joe Rosenthal

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that all of creation is known by You.  From the parent serving overseas, to the anxious spouse and children waiting at home to hear words of their beloved’s safety.  We lift each up to You, and ask that You surround them with Your perfect peace and place Your hedge of protection around each individual that is willing to lay down their life for the hope of upholding their brethren.  Teach us Father, to remember to lift up these loved ones in prayer, and to do practically, whatever You ask us to do.  May each member of our military feel the protection You provide, and know the eternal security of Your loving arms.  Embrace each one we pray.  Amen.

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

Conquerors in His Complete Covering

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:37-39

His love conquers all.  The love of God, expressed through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, is more powerful and steadfast than anything that ever was, is, or will be – that would try to come against us.

Our circumstances matter not, for Christ’s love continues to cover.  Though our bodies are temporary, our souls are eternal.  When we choose to turn to God and accept His forgiveness and grace, granting Him lordship in our lives, there is nothing that can take away our connection to Christ.  Our eternity is determined when we choose to live for the Lord, rather than for ourselves.

What a blessed assurance we have to behold in becoming children of God!

Just as a mama bear’s love for her cubs is tender toward them, yet fiercely protective, so is our Heavenly Father’s love for us.  This is why we can be called more than conquerors in Christ.  He holds us in His hands and has us, even when the storms surround us.  We may feel shaken, but our soul will not sink when we are set sure in the Savior.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are more than conquerors in the complete covering of Your love.  Thank You that there is nothing at any time, nor in any strength, that has or does exist in creation that can separate us from Your lasting love.  Teach us to walk out our days in confidence that we are continually cloaked in the covering of Christ.  Let our assurance lead us along the path You call us to walk.  May how we live our lives in love, lead others straight to Your loving arms; our faithful Father and gracious God.  Amen.

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

Turn to Trust

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

We must rely on the integrity, strength, ability and surety of God with our entire being.  We are not meant to figure things out on our own.  If we listen and obey Him in all things and at all times, He will keep us on track.

I find that the more I let go and turn to trust, the more clearly I am able to hear His heart for what is best in all that I say and do.

The challenge, is to rely on the Redeemer to provide the strength, courage and tenacity to do what He asks, rather than return to self-reliance.  In my own strength, I will fail repeatedly, yet in Him – all is made possible.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of our trust.  Thank You that as we turn to trust You in all things and at all times, and remember that You are God and we are not, You meet us in our moments and make way where there seems to be no way.  Thank You that Your direction leads us on the path of righteousness and removes us from the road to ruin we ran on, prior to our redemption.  Teach us to rely on You and who You are for our everything.  May our reliance on You help others recognize Your righteousness, and birth in them, a desire to discover a right relationship with You.  Amen.

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

Mastered by Our Maker; No Longer Slaves to Sin

photo by Heifer International on flickr

“For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” – Romans 6:14

Our way to right relationship with Christ does not come through sacrifice nor by following the letter of the law, (though both are good when led by God) rather, we are under the guard of His grace.  His grace supplies all that we need to turn from our wicked ways and walk forward, wherever He leads.

Though we are all sinners, we each have access to the grace of God, that covers all of our sin and calls us clean.  What He requires of us is that we turn to Him, and walk away from our former ways.  We must embrace the grace He freely gives, and live life dependent on our Deliverer.

Despite still being a sinner, I am saved by His grace.  The more I embrace that which He freely supplies, the better equipped I become to lead a life that is pleasing to my heavenly Papa.  Apart from Him, I would stay stuck in my sin; but with Him, I am more than a conqueror, and shall overcome sin and shame through the sufficient grace of my Savior.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we no longer have to be slaves to sin.  Thank You that Your grace that is given as a gift, is what grants us the ability to walk upright before You and to do all that You ask.  Lead us on Your path of righteousness I pray, so that all may come to grow in Your goodness and grace.  Amen.

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

Responding to Romans 5:15-17

Though one man’s sin, placed on all kin,

photo by Paul Huchton

the mark of scorn and shame.

‘Twas one Man’s life, who paid the price,

that removed and took the blame.

For each of us, are born sinful cuss,

destined to live lives lost.

But He who came, and lived without blame,

chose to pay our cost.

The wage of sin, our death and then,

each of us meant a loss.

Jesus came, and loved all the same,

covering each upon the cross.

It did not end, on the hill back then,

the one they called The Skull.

Three days down, inside the ground,

the prophesy being fulfilled.

On the third, a new sound was heard,

because He rose and lived again.

The way had come, through God’s own Son,

to again be right with Him.

For we know not, the mighty cost,

He wore at Calgary.

Yet we have seen, just what it means,

to be embraced unto Thee.

On this day, as we work and play,

may we take time to recall.

The glorious gift, for our souls to lift,

sing praises for it all.


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

Power to Do What is Promised

“Holding Hope” by Gwyneth Amy

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised.” – Romans 4:20-21

This passage is referring to Abraham, whom God had promised to make the father of a nation more numerous than the stars in the sky.  Though he was an old man, elderly really, and still waiting in faith for the wonder that would come, continued to trust and believe that God would do what He said He would do.  Despite he and Sarah’s advanced age, God did as He said He would do; and Sarah bore a son, Isaac.

What promises has He presented to you, that have yet to come to pass?

For me, there are a few that I find quite significant, yet am still in a space of waiting.  Though I believe that He can, I don’t always trust that He will, when all around me points to something quite opposite of the promise that has been presented.

It is indeed essential that I cling to He who has made the promise, and trust that He is able to do immeasurably more than I can imagine, rather than fix my eyes on that which I can or cannot see.  I need to remember to pray with praise as though it has already come to pass.  He is faithful to fulfill what He promises.  His timing is not my own.  He knows what is needed long before I ask, and He alone holds the hope and fuels the faith that grant grace to grasp His glory and goodness, so that I might trust in faith as I wait for the fulfillment.

In the meantime, I am meant to keep moving forward in faith.

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive my moments of unbelief and grant me Your grace and faith to trust that not only do You have the power to fulfill what You have promised, but that You are faithful forever.  What You have spoken will be.  Today, I again embrace Your grace, and hold onto the hope that only You can provide.  May mountains be moved and many be blessed as each of us are strengthened in our faith.  Amen.

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

From Ruin to Redemption

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:23-24

We are all sinners, in desperate need of the Savior.  Though sinful and broken, all who come to Him may be redeemed and restored by His glorious gift of grace that He willingly and freely gives, to all who call on His Name.

Our coronation as children of the King, only comes as we cling to the cross.  His shed blood bore all of our brokenness, so that we might become right before Him.

Any good that is found in me, is that which has been given as a gift by His Spirit who dwells within.  Every good and perfect gift is given by grace from our great and glorious God.  The good we see in one another, is the reflection of our Redeemer, rather than something we might manage to muster.

The Imago Dei, the image of God, is in all of His created.  He made each of us in His likeness, with the intent to interact in relationship with Him; yet we alone chose to rebel and run from Him.

God’s love for His created granted each of us a way to be redeemed, so that we once again may return to right relationship with the Ruler of all.  It is by His grace that He gave His only Son to take our place, and made way for us to be called sons and daughters of the King.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You made a way so that we would not stay stuck in sin.  Thank You for the redemption You freely offer through our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Teach us, Father, to embrace Your grace, so that we may find joy in the journey, because we have been justified by Jesus and have the hope of our heavenly home ahead.  May our joy in You, open the eyes and hearts of all who are ready to hear of Your remarkable redemption that is available to all who ask.  Amen.

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