Archive for February, 2014


“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 record 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)

Whenever I think that I am somehow becoming more patient and kind, something happens to show me just how far I have to go.  I say this not as a discouragement, but rather an encouragement; for we all are a work in progress.

As a mother, patience with kids is a fairly natural and routine part of my world.  The same holds true in my role as a teacher.  However, when lines are crossed, and students intentionally attempt to inflict harm upon other children, I no longer feel patient, nor kind.  When the attempt is made on my own child, a fierce sense of protection rises up, and mama bear’s claws come out.  Though I did not physically lash out, nor verbally go after said child, the initial thoughts in my heart toward him were neither patient nor kind.

Once I had the time to slow my body and mind long enough to listen, I recognized that God loves that child, just as I love my own.  The truth of the matter is that hurt people, hurt people, and the boy obviously needs more support than he is being provided presently.  Additionally, God protected my son from what could have been, and created opportunity to speak truthHis love never fails.  Every morning before my children wake, I pray for their protection.  Once again, He has shown me how He always protects, for His love never fails.

Lord make my heart,His Love Not Mine

patient and kind;

let my eyes see,

through Yours, not mine.

In You, is truth,

what we can trust;

loving kindness,

from birth to dust.

Teach me Your ways,

so my life shows;

unfailing love,

that each day grows.

Your love alone,

endures always;

it never fails,

all of our days.

May we hold hope,

in You alone;

trust in Your grace,

know that we’re known.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with an unconditional, everlasting, unchanging love.  Thank You that You are patient and kind, and that You keep no record of our wrongs when we confess and ask for forgiveness.  Thank You that You are our protection and our hope, and that You give us the strength to trust You so that we may persevere.  Forgive us for our tempers, our pride, our lack of patience and kindness, and for our keeping record of wrongs.  We desperately need You to walk out our lives as we are called to do.  Teach us how to extend grace to the hurting who hurt us and our loved ones, and help heal the wounds that have hurt them so deeply.  May hearts be changed and lives restored, as we love like You love us.  Let the lost, the lonely, and the hurting, find comfort and restoration in You.  Be glorified, our great and loving Lord.  Amen.

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

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy.

– Hebrews 4:16

As Jesus and His disciples reconvened after being sent out in pairs to share of the hope that is held in Him, Jesus recognized that these men were in need of nourishment and rest. “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – (Mark 6:31) 

Though the work they had done was very important and invaluable to the spreading of the Gospel, Jesus valued each of them individually, and was more concerned with their well-being, than how much they could accomplish.  He still sees each of us the same way.  God’s work is good and necessary, yet all of us need times of rest and refreshing in order to be effective.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28)

Let not pursuit,To Find Rest

of service to God;

take away rest,

on this path we trod.

For we’re not called,

to toil in vain;

but to honor,

the Lord’s holy Name.

How can we bring,

God our very best;

if we are worn,

and choose not to rest?

In His great strength,

may balance be found;

to serve and rest,

let His joy abound.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and care for us personally and individually.  Thank You that You are more concerned with who we are in You than with what we can accomplish.  Thank You that You are the One who will call, equip and empower us to do what is asked, when we are asked, and that You will provide the rest that we need.  Forgive us for trying to power through when we are meant to rest, or for not slowing down long enough to truly listen to all that You have for us to hear.  Thank You that You are patient and kind, and that You lovingly guide us in the way that we are meant to go.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may depend on You for everything, even rest for our weariness.  May we love well, as we are loved by You, and may many come to know the rest and renewal that is available to all who seek You.  Be exalted through our every word and deed, and may we find rest in You.  Amen.

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

When times are good, be happy. – Ecclesiastes 7:14

In Mark 5, the story of Jairus, the synagogue ruler whose daughter was dying, is told.  There are numerous things about this story that stand out, yet the one that is in the forefront of my mind this morning, is how when all that was seen, was directing Jairus to despair, Jesus had another plan in mind.  Members of Jairus’s household had just come and told him that his daughter was dead, and to not bother Jesus anymore.  “Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid, just believe.” – (Mark 5:36)

Life’s circumstance told Jairus to despair, yet Jesus told him to hope.  Jairus, in that moment had a choice to make.  He could choose to focus on the news that had just been delivered, or he could hold onto the hope that was standing before him.  As the story further unfolds, Jairus clearly opted to believe, as Jesus joined him on his journey home, and ultimately healed his daughter from death.  In order for the healing to happen, Jairus had to be willing to allow his focus to be reset from what was, to Whom was standing before him.

The same holds true for each of us.  We can fix our eyes on the struggle, challenge or obstacle that we are facing, or we can allow our focus to fix securely on our solution.  We have hope, despite how things appear.  Our strength in the struggle and our light in the dark, is available; we must let go of fear, and just believe.

Let not our eyes,Resetting Our Focus

determine our view;

for what is seen,

is not always true.

God is greater,

than life’s circumstance;

when fixed on Him,

nothing’s left to chance.

All strength, all hope,

all power to be;

comes from the Lord,

Him who truly sees.

Look to the Lord,

not to the trials;

faith’s not by sight,

it’s trust in fires.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are where our gaze should rest, as in You and through You, we find our hope and our help.  Thank You that You are the solution before we can even formulate the question, and that You love us so much that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You, individually; personally.  Forgive us for fixing our eyes on the struggles and trials that are before us, and help us to reset our focus on You.  Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, as You are the One on whom we can depend.  May we walk by faith and not by sight, and may we live out our lives in love as You love us.  Let those who are looking, come to find the fullness of a lasting relationship with You.  Be magnified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  – 2 Corinthians 3:5

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” – (Psalm 29:11)

Strength and peace supplied by the Lord, make all the difference.  At the close of Mark 4, when a squall suddenly came upon the disciples as they were crossing the sea, and Jesus was sleeping in the stern of the boat, fear and desperate need were their reality.  When they called to Jesus, He spoke to the wind and waves in His strength, and said, “Be still.”  Peace promptly followed.

How many times have we found ourselves in a similar situation?  Wind and waves far larger than our own sense of security looming ever closer, and panic present where peace belongs…  It is only when we take our eyes off of the wind and waves, and seek the strength of our Savior, that the peace that surpasses all understanding, becomes present.  He provides what we are lacking.  His strength grants the fortitude to face the storm and continue rowing, and the wisdom to know that eventually, the sea will again be still.  The Lord is our safe harbor, our beacon, and our anchor, and He alone knows which is needed and when; we must trust in His strength, and allow His peace to wash over us in the midst of the storms.

When the wind and waves,Strength and Peace Supplied

are whipping about;

when all that surrounds,

is drowning us out,

the Lord gives strength.

When desperate need,

knocks upon our door;

when our eyes can’t see,

security’s shore,

the Lord grants peace.

When chaos ensues,

and fear enters in;

let our hearts hold hope,

and choose to seek Him,

He’ll say, “Be still.”

Our Safety in storm,

our Light in the dark;

our Anchor secure,

grants flame to our spark,

the Lord is good.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give strength and peace to Your people, as we seek You.  Thank You that there is no storm too great, nor situation too strenuous, for You are Lord of all.  Forgive us for trying to take things on ourselves, or for somehow thinking that we are meant to endure things in our own strength.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we may give all to You, allowing You access to every struggle and storm, as well as every celebration.  Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and that You are always present, ready to provide Your strength and Your peace, even in the midst of life’s storms.  May our trust in You lead us to love others well, so that many may come to know You personally.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Yesterday, my pastor continued the series, Into the Wild, with a message titled, The Power of Generosity.  The text for the message was taken from Genesis 13:1-18, and continued with the story of Abram on his adventure Into the Wild, as he walked in obedience to the Lord’s calling.  In Abram’s obedience, the Lord had greatly blessed him, so much in fact, that his herdsmen, and Lot’s herdsmen, had begun to argue about having enough pastureland to graze all of their livestock.  Rather than focus on He who had blessed them, the herdsmen had begun to fixate on the blessing.

Instead of allowing disputes to ensue, Abram moved in faith, and acted in abundant generosity.  Though he was the patriarch of the family, and had every right to claim all that had been given unto him, he treated Lot as his equal, and gave him first choice of the land before them as they were to part company so that the land could better support all of their livestock.  Lot chose what appeared to be the better of the two directions, yet Abram seemed unfazed by his decision.  He recognized that the God who had so abundantly blessed he and his family, was not limited in how He might bring forth the promised blessings.

Abram’s generosity models how we ought to live.  Generosity is one of the ways that we are most able to live freely before God.  When we are generous, we are choosing to live our life unrestrained, for Him.  As we release things to God, we make room for the miraculous.

The power to change,The Power of Generosity

a heart full of pride;

sincere humbling,

grace giving resides.

A generous heart,

gathers and unites;

selfishness scatters,

makes people take flight.

Such hearts are humble,

they give God control;

releasing the reigns,

make serving their goal.

Perspective through Him,

hearts that understand;

all His ways are best,

so trust in His plan.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of how to live generously, so that we may fully understand and know the freedom that comes when we give all unto You.  Thank You that generosity is not just about our finances, but it is about who we are, being all in for You – our time, our trust, our encouragement, our willingness to do whatever You ask.  Forgive us for withholding any part of ourselves or our resources from You, and help us to understand how to release all unto You.  May we make room for the miraculous in our lives.  Let us live our lives in love, as You love us, and may many come to know the generous and loving God You are, as a result.  May hearts be turned and lives be changed.  Be glorified, O God.  Amen.

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

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25

Is the promise really the promise, when the glorious reality is in full view, yet there are giants between where we now stand and where we must go to enter into what God has spoken?  Ultimately, it becomes an issue of whether or not we trust that God is greater than the giants, and do we trust Him to be true to His word.

In the desert, as Moses and the masses were on the move, spies had been sent ahead into the land that God had promised them.  The men had seen that the land was indeed, flowing with milk and honey, and had even brought back evidence of its fruitfulness.  Despite the plentiful promise land before them, they allowed their fear of the powerful people living in the land to stand in their way.  One man spoke up in faith. “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’  But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We can’t attack those people, they are stronger than us.” – (Numbers 13:30-31) 

Caleb chose trust over fear, and stood strong despite popular opinion.  He had seen the land for himself, and trusted that God was greater than anything that stood between the people and laying hold of the promise.  Sadly, the people chose not to listen to Caleb, and ended up wandering for forty years in the desert as a result.

What promises can we lay hold of through faith, if only we choose to trust Him, in spite of how things appear?  I don’t want to miss out on all that He has for me, only to be left wandering in the desert, aimless and longing for what could have been.

Promises made,Taking Possession of Promises

from the heart of God;

don’t ever change,

despite path to trod.

What the Lord says,

He will indeed, do;

God is faithful,

His word’s always true.

We must choose trust,

despite what’s seen;

God is greater,

on Him, we must lean.

God is with us,

the giants, fear not;

He’s far greater,

than the darkest plot.

Rise up in faith,

claim promise in Him;

dispel all fears,

our God always wins.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the promises You have spoken are “YES” and “AMEN”, and what You say is what shall be.  Thank You that neither giants, nor mountains, nor seas, nor anything else in all creation can stand in the way of the fulfillment of Your promises spoken.  Forgive us for allowing fear to deter us from moving forward in faith.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we might boldly take each next step that You are calling us to take, despite the appearance of giants or obstacles that seem to be standing in our way.  May we boldly move in obedience unto You, and may our faith be unwavering in Your truth.  Lead us by Your love, to love others well, and may many come to know You personally, as a result.  Be honored in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

The joy of the Lord is your strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

David, the author of the 27th Psalm, encourages us to: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (verse 14)  He knew well, what it meant to wait for the Lord.  David had been anointed king as a teen while still tending his father’s flocks, yet did not don royal robes until he was much older.  As he waited, he faced giants, fled from a friend turned foe, overcame countless obstacles,  and all the while, trusted the Lord to be his strength and believed that what God had spoken, would come to pass.

When we hear a promise, it is never easy to wait.  At times, it can even seem as if God isn’t answering our prayers, because nothing seems to be happening toward the fulfillment.  However, we are not privileged to view things through God’s lens, so what He is doing, may easily escape us.  Often the series of seemingly unfortunate or unplanned events that are occurring, are a sort of preparation for our hearts and minds, to teach us to further trust, and strengthen our faith in the Father alone.  God’s promises are always worth the wait.  The time we have between the promise and the fulfillment, can be our time to hold hope, and allow the Lord to refresh us, renew us, and teach us.  Be strong and take heart, for He is always worth the wait.

Wait for the Lord,Wait for the Lord

be strong in the wait;

in Him, take heart,

do not hesitate.

Wait for the Lord,

He is always good;

trust in the Lord,

our pain’s understood.

Wait for the Lord,

no matter what’s seen;

call on His Name,

in the time between.

Wait for the Lord,

the day soon will come;

the fulfillment,

His promises done.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength in the waiting, and that we can always trust in You.  Thank You that You are faithful to fulfill what You say You will do, and that You have purpose when there is a time of waiting.  Forgive us for our impatience, and help us to learn how to be refreshed, renewed, and to grow in our understanding of You, as we wait.  May we grow in mercy and grace, as we have so lavishly been given these gifts by You.  Let us love others, as You love us, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be magnified through all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering

because he is conscious of God.   – 1 Peter 2:19

*(NIV footnotes for Psalm 27:13 utilized as a resource too.)

Desires, dreams, the very hopes we hold in our heart that are deeply rooted and established in our faith, are not there by mistake.  God places these things in us, so that we faithfully move forward with Him.  However, there is often a long and winding road to take between that which we long to do, and the fruition of said reality.

Paul was no exception.  He desperately desired to preach the gospel in Rome.  I imagine that Paul’s plan did not include chains, shipwrecks, snakes, arrests, and long delays, in order to actually arrive to his desired destination.  “Although he may have wished for an easier passage, he knew that God had blessed him greatly in allowing him to meet the believers in Rome and preach the message to both  Jews and Gentiles in that great city.  In all things, God worked for Paul’s good.” – (Acts 28:17-20 NIV footnotes)

Like Paul, we can trust that God will work all things out for our ultimate good.  He may not make it easy, nor comfortable, but He will be present, and will provide what we need to do that which He has called us to do.  When all is said and done, we too, will see that God has worked all things together for good, and that though His ways are not our ways, His ways work wonders.  As He moves in us and through us, hearts are moved and lives are changed.  His kingdom is further established in the hearts and homes of all who hear.

What is the dream,Chasing Dreams

that your heart does hold?

Do you pursue,

or fearfully fold?

Are there delays,

obstacles in route?

Are there trials,

disturbing pursuit?

You move forward,

be faithful to trust;

don’t be deterred,

by obstacles thrust.

Often the bumps,

the trials and tests;

grow us further,

to trust in the mess.

When the dream comes,

may hearts recognize;

strength in struggles,

bring hope realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You place in us, dreams and desires.  Thank You that in You, we have all that we need to move forward in faithful pursuit, as You call us to go.  Thank You that despite the way things often appear, You are working and moving in us and through us, even when we don’t understand how it is possible.  Forgive us for our fears and disappointments when things do not go the way that we imagined they would, and help us to trust You more.  Teach us to see things through Your eyes, rather than our own, so that we may have an eternal perspective.  Lead us to love as You love, so that many may come to know the saving grace that is available in You.  May lives be changed and hearts made new.  Be glorified in all that we say and do.  Amen.

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

May God Almighty grant you mercy. – Genesis 43:14

As we are surrounded by a broken and hurting humanity, it is nearly impossible to not allow the lies being spoken over us, to somehow start to stick.  Between having to be enough, do enough, and just plain measure up, we quickly learn that we will never quite “arrive”.  Yet, there is a still small voice that says otherwise.  The voice of truth whispers that we are loved, regardless of what we have or have not done, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.  When we choose Him, He enters in, and remains present forever.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.” – (Psalm 23:6)

His voice is the one that I want to hear most clearly.  Goodness and love provide grace and mercy, rather than reminders of our shortcomings.  Beyond the treasures of today, His love provides us with the hope to hold for our forever.  All who come to Him and invite Him to be Lord, are assured that they too will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.  These are His words spoken, that we can depend upon.  He is faithful to His promises, and His love is everlasting.

The voice of truth,The Voice of Truth

softly calls your name;

always gentle,

this hope we can claim.

Other voices,

continue to lie;

offer defeat,

as hopes slowly die.

So listen not,

to words of the world;

unclench your fists,

let fingers unfurl.

Extend your hands,

to Him who is love;

He will speak truth,

tell you you’re enough.

For by His grace,

all stains are made clean;

each sin erased,

a pure heart now seen.

Love for today,

hope for tomorrow;

joy in His grace,

comfort in sorrow.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the voice of truth, and the only voice that we need to allow to speak to our hearts and minds.  Thank You that You say we are enough in You, as You created each one of us with a purpose in mind.  Thank You that You whisper Your words of love and life, if we are only willing to listen.  Forgive us for giving ear to the lies that surround us, and help us to be deaf to that which is not the truth.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we hear only Your heart for us, and that we move boldly because of it.  May we live in love as You love us, so that many may come to hear of the mercy and grace that You alone, give to all who call on Your Name.  Let hearts be opened and lives be changed.  May our every move be motivated by Your goodness and love, and the hope that we hold in You.  Amen.

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

They will celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness. – Psalm 145:7

*Two songs that came to mind: Who to Listen to (Amy Grant) & Voice of Truth (Casting Crowns) – click either title to enjoy.

To bless another, is a way of requesting that God’s divine favor rest upon them.  Finding oneself in the favor of God, is a space of peace and protection, abounding in love.  Who doesn’t long to be in that space of feeling loved and protected in His peace?

The Lord told Moses how Aaron and his sons were to bless the people.  The following are the words He gave:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” – (Numbers 6:24-26)

Five different components are contained in this beautiful blessing.  First, it conveys the hope that God will bless you and keep you, which is the Lord Himself, providing His favor and protection.  Next, to make His face shine upon you, is to have God Himself, be pleased with us.  To be gracious, is our great God demonstrating His mercy and compassion toward us.  Turn His face toward you, is an expression that means giving His approval.  Finally, give peace, is the peace that passes all understanding in our hearts and minds, as only God can give.

May the God of all hope,Bless You

be near you today;

may you know His favor,

as you go on your way.

May He be your safety,

wherever you go;

may His face shine on you,

so you reflect His glow.

May the God of all grace,

show mercy to you;

may compassion be near,

in whatever you do.

May you find approval,

from the Lord, Himself;

may His peace be present,

great God, above all else.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us and keep us and make Your face shine upon us as You are gracious to us and You grant us Your peace.  Thank You that You look upon us with loving kindness, and see us as blameless before You, because of the sacrifice of Your Son.  Forgive us for our unkindness toward others, or for any attitude that is not full of gratitude toward You.  You have given far more than we can even grasp, yet we so easily take it all for granted.  Help us become more aware of the magnitude of the blessing that we have before us to behold.  May we embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and go forth as You are calling, so that many more might come to know the abundant blessings found through faith in You.  Let those who are looking, find their hope in You.  Be glorified in all that we say and do, and may we be a blessing to all who are around us.  Amen.

*(NIV footnotes for 6:24-26 summarized within text above)

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

For the Lord your God will bless you, … and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

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