Archive for September, 2013


Yesterday, many gathered together to celebrate and remember our dear friend, Anne. I had been asked to speak the week prior, and on Wednesday evening, I at last sat down, determined to write out what I was to say on Saturday. My prayer was that He would provide words that honored Aine, and glorified Him. Though not in quite the same context as in the word, the following verse rang true: For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” – (Luke 12:12)

What follows, are the words I spoke yesterday at the memorial.

AnneTenacity, strength, and unwavering faith are three of the things I loved most about Anne. Though I had only known her four or five years, Aine quickly became a dear friend. I am not certain whether it was her fiery Irish temperament, or her tenderness for the defenseless, that made it easy to understand and navigate a friendship that felt familial.

I don’t think I have ever met another human being who has had the tenaciousness that Aine had. To fight such an elusive opponent that continued to ravage her body with pain for more than nine long years, took a drive and determination that goes beyond human bounds. Most of us would have thrown in the towel long ago, and simply begged Jesus to take us home. Not Aine. She had faith that would fend off anything and everything that would try to tear her down. No weapon formed against her would ever prosper, and her hope included healing here on earth.

She wanted the healing to be her story – one of flawless faith, that ended in the miraculous.

Though her healing did not come how we had hoped, her story – her very existence and unwavering faith in her fight – was truly a testimony wherever she went. The first time I went to an appointment with Anne, was just before she was to begin chemo. Though she was scared, she was not about to let dear Dr. Linden see a lick of fear. She proudly professed her faith in the Father, and insisted that her healing would come.

One of the many things that I have learned from Aine, is that it is okay to ask for prayer. I so appreciated how Anne did not hesitate to ask for prayer, any time she felt she needed it. There was nothing shy about her, and she knew how very powerful prayer could be. Her boldness and bravery, taught me how to trust Him more.

I am astounded that someone like me, who repels all things medical, could be convinced that I was one of the very people that God had intended to walk beside her through the medical maze. Additionally, she had the uncanny ability to get me to step outside of myself, and do things I insisted I would never do. Even in her heavenly homecoming, here I am, right now, speaking to you, OUT LOUD, despite my fear of using my voice in this way.

In a most profound moment of prayer prior to her homecoming, I was blessed with a picture that not only brought comfort to me, but I was actually able to share it with Aine on the morning of her final day. With a hand on her foot as she rested, I closed my eyes to pray. I had come to a place where I simply sat, ready to listen, as my words seemed to be at a loss. What I saw were outstretched arms with a bright light shining behind Him. Soon, I saw a young, healthy, strong and carefree Anne, running to His extended arms. Jesus embraced Aine, and twirled her around as He held her close. When they stopped spinning, He held her tenderly as she rested her head over His heart. Hesitantly she looked in His eyes, and with a voice full of love, He told her each heartbeat she heard, was just for her. Once she was ready, He carefully set her feet back upon the ground, and took her hand in His. Together, hand-in-hand, they walked upon the streets of gold as He began to show her all that He had prepared, just for her.

Barely able to get the words out, God gave me the strength to share with Aine, what I had seen. She heard me, and gave my hand a squeeze.

All that day and into the evening, I was able to stay beside her and simply hold her hand. By eight or so, I found myself alone in the room with Aine. Her breathing became extremely labored, and I knew she was near her end. I squeezed her hand, and reminded her that it was okay, she could run to Him and she would be safe. Soon, Elka, the night nurse came in. As she attended to Anne, I stepped back and looked away, knowing she would want her dignity intact. Elka turned her on her side, then back again, and she was gone.

I am so thankful that gone does not mean the end, but rather it was only the beginning. Aine is now dancing on streets of gold, lavished in the love and light of the Lord. Though I will miss her terribly, I find great comfort in knowing that I will one day see Aine again. For now, there is sorrow, as a void resides where my sweet sister was held so dear. With time, I know that the sadness will fade, and wonderful memories will warm the now wounded places. Until that day when I see her again, I will hold fast to the very same hope that carried her to her heavenly home.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so faithful to meet us in our moments of need, and provide the strength and courage that is needed to do all that You ask of us. Forgive us for our fear of failure, (as though we could do anything You ask in our own strength), and teach us to trust in Your unfailing faithfulness. Thank You that so many gathered to remember my sweet sister in You, and thank You that though her own sister was unable to travel from Ireland with her newborn baby, technology afforded her the opportunity to see and hear how deeply Anne had touched so many lives. Please be the comfort and strength of all who are mourning, and help each of us to hold fast the the hope of our own heavenly homecoming. May many come to know the comfort and care that You provide, and help each heart to hear how they too, may truly trust in You. Amen.

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

Better is One DayBlessings are beheld,

by the one who hears;

the truth of God’s word,

with wide open ears.

Beyond just hearing,

we too, must obey;

lay hold of the hope,

found through Spirit’s stay.

For love is not love,

if it’s held at bay;

it is only love,

when given away.

The light He has placed,

in believing hearts;

is meant to shine bright,

show others the start.

Let’s rise up and shine,

may His love flow through;

let hearts be open,

so they may see You.

“He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” – (Luke 11:28)

“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand so that those who come in may see the light.” – (Luke 11:33)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who dwells in the hearts of all who believe. Please go before us and prepare every heart that will hear, and each voice that will speak. Grant us courage and strength to share the words You have placed on our hearts, as we celebrate and remember Anne today. Forgive me for my fear of using my voice, audibly, and please strengthen and steady my heart, mind, hands and voice, so that I might honor Aine and glorify You, through every word I speak. Let hearts that know You not, truly hear You calling them to come close and allow You in. May many be moved toward what matters most, and embrace the grace that You freely offer. Lord Jesus, be near to every heart that will hear. All glory to You, our Love and Light that leads us home. Amen.

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

Life Lived in LoveInheritance found,

for Christ is the way;

to love well, people,

through strength in Him stay.

Only by His grace,

can we love so well;

with heart, voice and hands,

our story to tell.

Love too, our neighbors,

all people we meet;

provide hope and help,

to all those in need.

Ask for His wisdom,

pray too, for His grace;

spiritual filling,

equipped for this race.

In order to win,

we must find the start;

that teaches to love,

with all of our heart.

As we rest in Him,

He’ll show us the way;

to love and to serve,

and order our day.

Let us do what’s asked,

may all people know;

that through Christ alone,

is where hope does grow.

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’, and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Luke 10:27)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are no longer bound by the burden of the old laws, which required rituals and sacrifice to come close to You. Thank You that through the sending of Your Son, You have come close to us, and both ask and equip us to love You and love one another with our whole heart, when we place our trust in You. Forgive us for not loving completely, as we often over look the needs of our neighbors and get caught up in the chaos of life. Lead us and guide us, so that we might know how we are to help and make You our priority. Teach us to trust and to listen well, so we may honor You in all that we say and do. Let our motivation for movement be empowered and equipped by You, and our every word and deed, be done in love. May many come to know You through our hearts and hands, as we move in obedience and operate in Your love. Amen.

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo all of those,

who bear His Name;

give praise to God,

share of His fame.

He must be praised,

now evermore;

from rising sun,

to distant shore.

His glory reigns,

throughout the earth;

to heaven’s home,

through second birth.

He is enthroned,

our God, most high;

He cares for us,

none can deny.

Raising the poor,

from ashen heap;

He dries the tears,

of those who weep.

Our place awaits,

in righteousness;

He grants favor,

amidst the mess.

God honors hearts,

to Him are true;

providing peace,

all praise to You.

 

(Responding to Psalm 113)
 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of all our praise.  Thank You that Your love and faithfulness for those who follow, will not end.  Thank You that You are Lord over every tribe and nation, even if You are not yet known or received.  Forgive us for not presenting praise in all things and at all times.  Even in our deepest places of despair, we have reason to praise, as You will not leave us there.  We praise You for all that You are, and all that You do.  May our praises be ever presented before You.  Let our perpetual position of praise lead many to know the loving kindness that is found in You.  May the lost be found, and songs of sorrow turned to postures of praise.  All glory and honor to You, our holy Prince of Peace.  Amen.

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

Storm Be StillWhen sorrow rages,

much like a great storm;

and waves keep crashing,

heart heavy and torn.

Weariness has come,

as ache keeps raging;

the weight of the woes,

relentless, waging.

The flood keeps flowing,

desperate the need;

soul at last cries out,

“I’m done, Father lead.”

In but a moment,

all raging shall cease;

as tender His hands,

hold up and grant peace.

The storm shall subside,

and sweet calm will come;

reach out hands and heart,

to Comforting One.

For just as the sea,

couldn’t help but obey;

so too our sorrows,

each tear wiped away.

Wait in His presence,

in storm and in peace;

allow His great love,

wash over, increase.

(Responding to Luke 8:24)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Comfort and safe space, when the weather of the world wages war on our soul. Thank You that even in the moments of mourning, You are present, our place of peace. Thank You that when we cry out to You, You hear us and hold our heart and our hands. Forgive us for fearing we might feel too much, and help us to be aware of Your nearness when the weight seems unbearable. Thank You that You come and calm the storm in us, and allow us to be still in Your sweet presence. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are quick to surrender our sorrows to You. May our willingness to be transparent, allow many to see and come to know the holy hope that is held in You. Let many be moved into a lasting relationship with You, the Lover of our soul. Amen.

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

Better is One DayFor greater a day,

spent in the Lord’s house;

than a multitude,

elsewhere to espouse.

To draw near the place,

where Holiness dwells;

bask in His great Light,

all fears to dispel.

He’s both sun and shield,

all honor He brings;

as heavenly hosts,

surround Him and sing.

His favor is found,

no good is withheld;

for those who do walk,

upright and upheld.

To all who choose trust,

His blessings unfold;

our promise secure,

His hand we now hold.

Unto us bestowed,

His grace undeserved;

mercy He pours out,

on hearts that have heard.

Heard not with our ears,

but held in our heart;

all hope and promise,

in granted fresh start.

(Responding to Psalm 84:10-12)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the promised hope that is held in every heart that trusts in You. Thank You for making the way for us to one day dwell in Your courts with You forever. Thank You that for now, You make our heart Your home, when we choose to invite You in. Thank You that no matter what comes our way here, it is but a moment when compared to our promised forever with You. Forgive us for losing sight of the hope we hold in You when the world wages war, and grant us Your eyes to see that we are indeed, not home yet. Teach us to rest in You, as You bring peace in the peak of the storm, and light our every darkness with Your lavish love. Show us how to trust You more, and help us to walk upright before You. May our hearts be filled with songs of praise, not for what surrounds us, but for the hope we hold in You. Let us love as You love, and may many come to know the warmth and hope that from You flow. Let hearts be opened and lives be changed. All glory and honor to You, God – our hiding place and holy hope. Amen.

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

Forming a Foundation in FaithDig deep in the word,

the foundation stone;

for it’s best to build,

a heart that’s His home.

Solid foundation,

makes our hope secure;

when the waters rise,

and the storms come near.

When we live in Christ,

and sorrows arrive;

all hope is assured,

He hears our heart’s cry.

As the waters rage,

and torrents fall down;

we’ll not be shaken,

secure is our crown.

Hear well all His words,

and choose then to act;

in obedience,

even when attacked.

For in Him alone,

our future secure;

He will hold us up,

and remain right here.

 

“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” – (Luke 6:47-48)
 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word.  Thank You that as we invest time to study Your truth, You teach and reveal to us, more of who You are.  Thank You that You are good and kind, loving and just; and when we come to You with a repentant heart, You forgive our every failure.  Forgive us for our fears and for the times we give in to temptations and fail to completely trust in You.  Help us to hear Your heart for us, and teach us to respond accordingly.  Let Your light and love radiate through us, so that we may be Your hands, heart and voice, to a weary world.  May many lay hold of the hope that is found forever in You.  Lead us in love, we pray.  Amen.

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

In Heavens HoldIn but an instant,

all the pain did end;

as strong arms lifted,

His light did attend.

My heart could not hold,

so much to take in;

my once sickly frame,

no more frail and thin.

This heart now so light,

through bright rays we soared;

soon arriving home,

where I am adored.

Knees wanting to bend,

head ready to bow;

I heard Him calling,

“Anne, come to me now.”

His arms were outstretched,

I began to run;

to my loving Lord,

Overcoming One.

As I reached His arms,

fell in His embrace;

He spun me around,

looked upon my face.

Though I was fearful,

of what I might see;

tender loving eyes,

were looking at me.

With ear to His chest,

I heard His heartbeat;

He told me the sound,

was His love for me.

He allowed me stay,

in the warmth of Him;

’til I was ready,

to get down again.

Back upon my feet,

He offered His hand;

together we walked,

marveled at this land.

All around I peered,

at so much to see;

He then reminded,

that all was for me.

Do not fear friends,

I now know such peace;

I’ll be here waiting,

for your sweet release.

So much to behold,

such wonder to see;

may you find great joy,

when you think of me.

“Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.” – (Psalm 73:23-24)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, death is not the end, but rather, the beginning. Thank You that You have gone before us to prepare a place in paradise forever. Forgive us for fearing our own end on earth, and help us to hold a heavenly view. Teach us to live and love as though we will see You very soon, as this life is but an instant in comparison to eternity. May our love and hope, even in times of great sorrow and struggle, show those who know You not yet, how to come to hold Your hope and promises as their own. Amen.

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

Blessings Beyond What Is Seen
When answers don’t come,

as we think they should;

continue to pray,

the Lord is still good.

Each prayer that we pray,

is heard by the Lord;

His tender heart hears,

and good He’ll afford.

For Christ, He answers,

the very best way;

as His ways are not,

always how we pray.

In hindsight we see,

great proof of His hand;

loving provision,

just as He had planned.

Seasons of challenge,

times of great trial;

demonstration of,

hope that is worthwhile.

In life and in death,

our hope is assured;

His love will not end,

our future secured.

Sometimes our blessings,

are found through such pain;

peace is provided,

and His love remains.

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – (Romans 5:3-5)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the 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 our Lord.” – (Romans 8:37-39)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though answers may not come in the way in which we hope, You hear our every heart cry, and answer in the way that is best. Thank You that in the times of our toughest trials, You are present, holding our heart and hands. Forgive us for missing the moments that matter, even in the struggle, and help us to clearly see how Your hand is holding us up. Thank You that our hope is not held here, but rather in our forever with You. Thank You that You are our strength and our song, even when we are weary and weak. May we honor You in all our ways, and may Your love shine through us in such a way, that many are drawn unto You. Amen.

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

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