What Love Looks Like

image by Valerie Etienne

image by Valerie Etienne

To love sincerely,

He calls each of us;

despise all evil,

cling to righteousness.

To be devoted,

in brotherly love,

honor each other,

place others above.

Never lack in zeal,

keep fervor to serve,

be joyful in hope,

our time He deserves.

Be patient in pain,

and in each trial;

faithful in prayer,

He loves you, His child.

Share with those in need,

open heart and home;

bless those who challenge,

and peace shall be known.

Join those who rejoice,

grieve with those in grief;

live in harmony,

encourage belief.

Be not proud people,

interact with all;

be not conceited,

that leads to a fall.

Don’t repay evil,

choose to do what’s right;

live at peace with all,

you are His delight.

(Responding to Romans 12:9-18)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your word and Your Holy Spirit, which lead us and guide us in the ways that we are meant to live.  Forgive us for not heeding Your instructions, and please help us to live as You call us to live.  Teach us to be devoted in love, to honor others above ourselves, to serve You with fervor, to be joyful in hope regardless of our circumstance, to be patient and prayerful in times of trial and in times of peace; help us to share generously with those in need; teach us to be hospitable; help us to bless those who persecute us, rejoice with those rejoicing, mourn with those in mourning, and help us to live harmoniously with each other.  Keep pride far from us, and may we leave repayment and judgment for evil, in Your hands.  Help us to choose what is right in Your eyes.  May our lives lived in love lead many to move toward Your Majesty.  Amen.

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

Becoming Branches

image from New Church Vineyard

image from New Church Vineyard

Willful rejection,

such branches removed.

Our own salvation,

His blessings to choose.

For we’ve been grafted,

to the tree of life;

nourished as branches,

the offshoots of Christ.

It’s by His kindness,

that we come to grow;

standing firm in faith,

so His fruit may show.

Release unbelief,

fear God in His might;

let not storms sway us,

’til heaven’s delight.

(Responding to Romans 11:11-24)

“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” – (John 15:5)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we have made the choice to follow You with our whole hearts, You have adopted us as Your sons and daughters; grafting us unto You, the Vine, as Your branches that can bear much fruit.  Forgive us for our fears brought on by unbelief, and help us to stand strong in all that You have provided.  May we be fully invested in You, so that we are able to receive all of the nourishment needed to bear good fruit that will last.  May many come to know You through the evidence of Your love in us, as we share the abundance of Your goodness and grace with all whom we encounter.  Amen.

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

Wielding Words Wisely

image from Teen Challenge

image from Teen Challenge

When life becomes heavy,

and our hearts are weighed down,

we are left with a choice;

swim to Him, or just drown.

Anxiety laden,

burdens we try to bear;

we must cast them to God,

allow Him access there.

A word to encourage,

sound advice from the wise;

invaluable lifelines,

to prevent our demise.

God uses our voices,

to drown out ugly lies;

to build up the body,

and to answer our cries.

From the fruit of our lips,

can come a great return;

when kindness and wisdom,

are what we seek to learn.

He delights in the truth,

our speaking of wise words;

for here healing happens;

His delight shall be heard.

(Responding to Proverbs 12:14,15,18,22,25)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we were never meant to bear burdens on our own.  Thank You that You are always at the ready, waiting for us to ask for Your assistance.  Forgive us for trying to power through, and help us to be quick to turn to You, trusting that You are more than enough to bear the burdens that weigh us down.  Please grant us wisdom and Your words to encourage and build up the body.  May we soundly speak truth in spaces where it is lacking, and may Your light illuminate the darkness that deems such spaces so dismal.  Thank You that You are so much more than enough!  May many come to know You and trust You to carry the cares that have kept them from You.  Amen.

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

Wisdom’s Wooing

image by Bob Jones

image by Bob Jones

Now unto us all,

each are called to hear;

listen and be wise,

grant God heart and ear.

For those who listen,

and follow His word;

wisdom is granted,

His blessings are heard.

Keep watch at the door,

be daily at wait;

to answer His call,

do not hesitate.

Whomever finds God,

finds favor and life;

yet to deny Him,

leads to harm and strife.

Rejoice in Presence,

may we find delight,

as we pursue Him,

and choose what is right.

(Responding to Proverbs 8:31-36)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and when we ask, You answer.  Lead us in love, to ask for wisdom, so that we may better understand Your word and walk more boldly in Your way.  Forgive us for hesitating, and help us to both ask and answer as we are prompted by Your Spirit, who is our ever-present help.  Teach us to be watching and waiting expectantly for You always, and may we choose to rejoice, regardless of our circumstances.  May many come to know Your favor and the fullness of life found in You, as we live and love, reflecting Your light to all whom we encounter.  Amen.

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

Honoring Heroes

Honoring Heroes
Conquering heroes,

from then until now,

waked into harms throes,

never asking how.

Fighting for freedom,

defending the weak;

protecting kingdoms,

no glory to seek.

May we remember,

and honor the ones,

parted so tender,

left daughters and sons.

For brave mighty souls,

who too young have died,

laid rest in a hole,

while survivors have cried.

We will not forget,

the brave folks who’ve served;

may we not regret,

grant honor deserved.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many men and women who have faithfully fought, and are still fighting, to defend the freedoms that we are so fond of.  Please be with the families of those who have fallen, and lead us and guide us as to how we might help and lift them up in prayer.  Protect our forces that are serving still, and may we remember and honor well, those who have fallen in the fight.  Forgive us for not giving honor where it is due, or for being passive or apathetic when we ought to at least actively cover our countrymen and women in prayer.  Teach us how You would have us pray and extend practical help to those who are left behind, and to those who return injured or broken from the fight, so that they might not face all that lies before them alone.  May our loving acts of obedience lead many unto You, in who we have access to become more than conquerors, by Your great love.  Amen.

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

The Way to Wisdom

image from Wisdom for Living

image from Wisdom for Living

Accepting His word,

store up His commands;

turn ear to wisdom,

so heart understands.

Call out for insight,

cry out so He’ll show;

search for the treasure,

and at last, we’ll know.

To understand fear,

and knowledge of God;

we must be seekers,

find His path to trod.

The Lord grants wisdom,

from Him comes the grace;

a depth of knowledge,

as we seek His face.

Victory in store,

for all the upright,

He will be our shield,

our battles He’ll fight.

He will guard the course,

of His faithful ones;

protected the way,

as we serve the Son.

What’s right, just and fair,

good path we shall know;

wisdom to our hearts,

pleasant to our soul.

(Responding to Proverbs 2:1-10)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that true wisdom comes from You.  Thank You that it is available to all who earnestly seek You.  Forgive us for wanting wisdom without the work, and teach us to search and seek, so that we may understand what it truly means to both fear You and know You.  Thank You that as we ask, You are so faithful to answer.  May we sincerely seek and find, so that we walk in Your wisdom – extending Your love and grace to all whom we encounter.  Let Your loving kindness lead many unto You.  Amen.

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

Slaves to Righteousness

image by Samuel Williams

image by Samuel Williams

Such treasure was gained,

upon that old cross;

our old way of life,

sin and shame, now lost.

For He took it all,

the One sinless Man;

so that we might live,

access His great plan.

Death to our sin self,

life in His great grace;

as we live for Him,

we’ll finish our race.

Let no sin come reign,

in body or mind;

instead follow Christ,

who is just and kind.

To whom we offer,

we become a slave;

will it be to death?

Or His righteous ways?

For freedom in Christ,

is freedom indeed;

no longer sin’s slave,

He will meet each need.

(Responding to Romans 6:8-14)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we are no longer stuck in sin, but are forgiven as we ask, and have Your Spirit to keep us from succumbing to the same snares of sin again.  Forgive us for falling into old patterns, and protect our minds and hearts from listening to any lie that might lead us astray from Your good and perfect way.  Thank You that Your grace is far greater than our gaffes, and that Your love leads us to repentance and restores us to right relationship with You.  May we walk in obedience, so that we listen and live in love in such a way, that many come to know You for themselves today.  Amen.

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

Eternal Exchange

image by Mami Thyme

image by Mami Thyme

Each of us, born into sin,

deserving most certain death.

We’ve inherited the guilt,

that steals light and life and breath.

This death sentence has an end,

because God sent His own Son;

His free choice on our behalf,

means this battle can be won.

If we choose to make a trade,

His righteousness for our sin;

by faith, receive His grace gift,

eternal hope enters in.

When we come to the Father,

we gain brand new life in Him;

all sin and stains forgiven,

our access to enter in.

The choice seems very simple,

yet so few will walk this path.

Give reigns to God who loves us,

or endure eternal wrath.

I implore you to choose Love,

for there is no greater way;

a life in His abundance,

let your heart be His today.

(Responding to Romans 5:15-19)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were still sinful and wretched, You chose to send Your Son to make the way for us to have a restored relationship with You.  Thank You Jesus, for carrying that cross and bearing the burden of all sin and shame on our behalf.  Thank You for brand new life in You.  Forgive us for taking for granted the enormity of the eternal exchange we have made in You.  Help us to lead lives of love that exemplify and extend Your great grace to all whom we encounter.  May many come to swap their sin and shame for Your great gift of grace.  All glory and honor to You, God.  Amen.

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

Sing Over Me

image by Brenda Boen

image by Brenda Boen

There are few things as soothing as the sweet sound of singing.  In the middle of the tornado in Oklahoma, teachers told their students to join them in song to help distract them, and keep them calm.  A dear friend of mine, nearly every time I see her, prays that I might be aware of His singing over me, prior to our parting.  When I was quite young, and felt afraid because of what was going on around me, I would softly sing songs to Jesus that I had never heard before.  Yesterday, as I was reading one of the many wonderful blogs that I follow (charispsallo.wordpress.com), this verse jumped out at me and wrapped its way around my heart:

“The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in His love He will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.”

– Zephaniah 3:17

My response:

The Lord God is with us,

Mighty Warrior who saves.

The Light in our darkness,

to the end of our days.

He will take great delight,

in His daughters and sons;

His love is forever,

for all His chosen ones.

No more need for anger,

rebuke, wrath nor disdain;

for He hears our calling,

through the wind and the rain.

Embraced and forgiven,

heaven’s bells are ringing;

as our loving Father,

is over us singing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that not only are You the God who saves, who is with us, who delights in us and loves us, but what an overwhelmingly beautiful gift – to think that You, the Creator of all, would rejoice over us with singing!  Thank You for the soothing gift of songs; how the sweet sound can suddenly settle even the most unsettled of souls.  Forgive us for not offering proper praise, as a song unto You should be ever on our hearts, in response to who You are.  May our hearts and voices be open to sing praise to You, and may many be moved toward Your majesty through the truth that is sung through our life song.  Amen.

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

Real Righteousness

image by Charlie Wakefield

image by Charlie Wakefield

To be truly righteous,

it’s apart from the law;

covered by Christ Jesus,

who had no sin, nor flaw.

Righteousness is a gift,

granted to believers;

through faith in Christ alone;

silencing deceiver.

For each of us have sinned,

fallen short of glory;

yet He justifies us,

redemptive grace stories.

God gave His only Son,

lone worthy sacrifice;

He who had known no sin,

the One to justify.

We boast not of our acts,

nor of law adherence;

but boast of His great grace,

and His loving kindness.

(Responding to Romans 3:21-28)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that to be considered righteous before You, we don’t have to do “enough” or be “enough” to earn it, but rather if we place our trust in You, it is a gift that You grant to each of us as You view us through the veil of Your sinless Son.  Forgive us for allowing grace and the law to become muddied, and help us to walk faithfully in the fullness of the grace we have been given, so that we might live and love in a way that is pleasing to You.  May our acceptance of Your grace and our willingness to obey, allow Your light and love to reflect clearly through us to those who need to know You.  May many come to grasp Your great grace for themselves, as their hearts are filled with faith in You.  Amen.

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