Archive for April, 2014


After watching Jesus successfully do what they had not been able to do, the disciples asked Him why they had been unable to take on the task at hand. He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – (Matthew 17:20)

 

Jesus was not condemning the disciples, but rather pointing out how powerful faith can be. He was guiding them to fix their eyes on the solution, rather than the source of the problem. We too, have access to the very same power. If we take our eyes off of the mountain before us, and instead, focus on the Maker, we shall see mountains moved, obstacles overcome, and needs met in ways we could never have imagined.

Efficacy Through Faith in the Eternal

We cannot by will,

make our mountains move;

if we stare them down,

our plight shan’t improve.

Yet, if we will look,

to the Lord of all;

He will make the way,

and answer our call.

Impossible things,

are not so, to Him;

He can make a way,

if we’ll let Him in.

Trust that He is good,

place all in His hands;

all is possible,

with faith in God’s plans.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and You are for us, even when the mountains before us seem overwhelming. Thank You that You who made the mountains, can handle whatever comes our way. Thank You that You love us, even when our faith is so small. Forgive us Father, for our fears and lack of focus on You, the solution, and help us to fix our eyes on You, rather than the obstacles before us. Grow our faith God, so we may be quick to come before You, trusting that You are the solution. May we love faithfully, as You so faithfully love us, and may many come to know You, as our love guides them to Your grace. Be glorified as we move in faith today. 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

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” – (Matthew 16:15)

 

Though this was a question presented to the disciples by Jesus, it aligns with where my mind still lingers after Sunday’s message. During the sermon, Surprised by Hope – The Ascension, my pastor posed a very poignant question, as he had us participate in the following exercise. Close your eyes. Picture Jesus. What do you see? Do you see a baby lying in a manger? A boy, learning and growing in the temple? Perhaps a teen, learning carpentry? Or do you see Jesus as He began His ministry, touching the untouchables, healing the hurting, and teaching all who would hear? Perhaps an image of Christ on the cross comes to mind? An empty tomb? Maybe you imagine Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after He had risen. Though all of the aforementioned images are part of who Jesus is, none portray Jesus now. For after He had commissioned the disciples to go out into all the earth, He ascended into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is on His throne, and is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, where He is worshipped continually, and has reclaimed all power and authority that belong to Him. He holds all in His hands, and there is NOTHING that He cannot overcome. How we picture Jesus, impacts how we think He can move.

 

Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter six, verses one through nine, was given a glimpse of God seated on the throne. He became very aware of his own sinfulness, and as a result, asked for forgiveness. As he was forgiven, he was then commissioned to be the mouthpiece to a sinful people that surrounded him.

 

Today, we have access to both the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Our hearts are continually being drawn unto Him. It is up to us to accept all that He has done with a repentant heart, and then go forth as He calls. May we hold fast to the truth of who He is, and allow Him to update the image we hold in our heart.

 

When I close my eyes,Who Do You See

whom does my heart see?

An infant in hay,

looking up at me?

Or perhaps a boy,

seeking all that’s true;

a young man growing,

preparing for new?

Could it be the man,

who went out to touch;

He healed hurting hearts,

as He loved so much?

Is it the Savior,

hanging on the cross;

or the empty grave,

that dealt death its loss?

Do I see the One,

who walked through the wall;

showed His nail-scarred hands,

to answer a call?

What I ought to see,

is Christ on His throne;

all power is His,

and I’m called His own.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to make the way for us to come to know You, personally. Thank You Jesus, for dying, rising, and ascending to take Your rightful place. Thank You that as You are seated on Your throne, You intercede on our behalf. Thank You that Your ascension affirms all blessings and promises that were previously made, for You are good and faithful. Thank You that You sent Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and that You are preparing a place for us. Forgive us for our warped view of You, and help us to begin to picture You properly. Teach us to embrace the goodness and grace that You have given, and help us to go forth in love, just as You have loved us. May many come to know You as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as they allow You to come rule and reign in their lives too. Be magnified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Though caring for our bodies is quite important, the care and condition of our hearts is critical.

 

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and those make a man unclean.” – (Matthew 16:17-18)

 

The condition of our heart is what matters most to God. He sees where others cannot, and only He can shed light where darkness dwells. As we allow Him to rule and reign in our hearts, minds and entire lives, that which comes out of us, becomes pure and pleasing before Him. If we keep things hidden, or do not allow Christ full access, that which escapes from our mouth reveals the darkness dwelling within. May our every move be motivated by our magnificent Maker.

 

Whatever’s let in,The Mouth Makes Known the Heart

will soon be revealed;

is it light and love,

or darkness, concealed?

For out of our lips,

flows what’s in our heart;

may each word we speak,

shed light where it’s dark.

Words that encourage,

grant hope, offer peace;

go forth when Christ reigns,

and set captives free.

May the words we speak,

come straight from the Lord;

let His light flood in,

as love is outpoured.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that more than the external, You care about our heart condition. Thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for each of us to have clean hearts before You. Thank You that You provide Your word, Your Holy Spirit, and Your Presence to instruct us, correct us, and cleanse us so that we may be considered clean and worthy before You. Forgive us for the things that we keep hidden in our hearts, and consequently, for the ugliness that comes out of us. Create in us a clean heart, and restore a right spirit within us. Teach us to turn to You in all things and at all times, and may we receive Your forgiveness and grace, and go forth, extending the same to all those whom we encounter. Help us to love others as we are loved by You. May many come to know You as their Savior and King. Be exalted in everything that we say and do, so that our entire lives are a reflection of You. Amen.

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

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

“Lord if it’s You,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to You on the water.”

“Come,” He said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. – (Matthew 14:28-29)

 

So often, the story of when Jesus walked on water seems to highlight how Peter began to sink as he took his eyes off Christ. However, I find it quite remarkable that Peter was the only one to recognize and respond so radically to the Lord, that he asked Him if he could come to Him. Peter did not want to wait for Jesus to reach the boat, he wanted to be where Jesus was. His exuberance led to an experience that Peter would likely never forget. Not only had he walked on water towards Jesus, but when he allowed his gaze to avert from Jesus to that which was surrounding him and began to sink, Jesus did not let Peter go under. He took his hand and rescued him. Peter’s experience was a powerful demonstration of how important it is to fix our eyes securely on Christ, yet if we discover we have allowed our focus to shift and call out to Him, He will be our help and our hope.

 

When we hear His call, are we willing to get out of the boat? If we fix our eyes on Him, we are able to do surpassingly more that we ever thought possible. On the other hand, if we avert our eyes to the challenges and obstacles that stand in our way, we become overwhelmed and feel defeated; ready to jump back in the boat, despite our distance from the directed destination. When our eyes engage with the obstacles, we can call on Christ to help us refocus. He is our Source of safety, and the One who will lead us where we are meant to go.

 

When wind and waves come,Stepping Out of the Boat

and violent the sea;

Christ calls us by name,

says, “Come unto Me.”

Though scary the step,

from idle in boat;

with eyes fixed on Him,

we will stay afloat.

If we look away,

and start to go down;

His presence is there,

His faithfulness found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are present and faithful to be our help and our hope. Thank You that You call us to get out of our spaces of security and comfort, and trust You to walk into the new and remarkable that You have for us. Thank You that it is always beyond what we could ever even imagine we could carry out on our own, yet in You, mountains are moved and miracles happen. Forgive us for shifting our gaze from You to that which gets in our way from accomplishing that which You are asking, and help us to continue to call on You to be our Help and our Hope in all things and at all times. May we fix our eyes securely on You, and love others as we are loved by You. May many come to know the security found in You alone, as lives are changed and made new. Be glorified in everything 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. – I Peter 2:19

 

 

 

 

 

“O Lord, I say to You, ‘You are my God.’ Hear, O Lord, My cry for mercy.” – (Psalm 140:6)

Yesterday afternoon, just prior to setting out for a gathering with dear friends, I learned that a gal whom I had grown up with, had lost her seventeen-year-old son. My heart filled with heaviness on her behalf, and all I could do was cry out to God, to cover she and her family with His peace and His presence in this horrific time of grief.
Too often, young lives end long before they seemingly should. These treasures that we are given from God, are cut short, leaving so many to grieve and wonder why. There is hope, despite the desperate tragedy. When we raise and instruct them in the ways that they are meant to go, the truth will be hidden in their hearts. Our ultimate hope is held in our eternal reunion. Though there is a seemingly agonizing season of separation on earth, imagine an eternity together…

When precious lives lost,Shan

young taken too soon;

hearts torn and broken,

with Christ, come commune.

He is the sweet space,

where healing begins;

He is the hope held,

as anguish extends.

Every cry heard,

that we offer up;

He’ll hold heart and hand,

and carry our cup.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our God, and that You hear our every cry. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, and that You are able to bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Forgive us for our fearfulness, and help us to place all into Your hands. Please provide Your peace and comfort to those who are in desperate spaces of despair, and move hearts and minds to surround the hurting to extend Your comfort and calm, simply by being present. May we love as You love us, and may many come to know the security and safety found in salvation in You. Be exalted in everything 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

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” – (Matthew 12:30)

 

There is no middle of the road with Christ. We cannot linger on the line of indecision and expect our souls to be secure. The word clearly states that we are either actively pursuing Christ, or we are against Him. Inactivity and idleness are equated to the rejection of our Redeemer. Choosing to be separated from God, who alone is good, is not a viable option. There is no room for neutral in an authentic relationship. He asks for all of us, and in return, gives us: forgiveness, love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, hope, and the promise of His presence both now and forever. For me, the choice is clear. I am all IN. My life is not my own…

In or Out

Identify with Christ,

Name above all names;

Or reject the Lord Jesus,

Redeemer, the same.

Options are presented, it is

Up to each of us,

To receive or reject, Savior, Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t love us just a little, but rather You love us so much that You sent You only Son, so that we might choose life in You. Thank You for making the way for us to come to You, wholeheartedly, and be received as Your own. Forgive our places of indecision, or seasons of settling, thinking that sitting idly by would be okay. Help us to passionately pursue You, daily, so that we may know You more. Lead us to love others as we are loved by You, and grant us Your grace and goodness to give. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as they too, passionately pursue You with their whole being. Be glorified as we choose to be all in each day we draw breath. 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

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – (Matthew 11:28)

 

It is easy to get so busy and buried in our burdens, that we do not even realize our own weariness until it is unbearable. Yesterday, weariness snuck up and smacked me square in the head. Out of seemingly nowhere, narcolepsy was threatening to take over at the start of my sixth period class. I actually had to consume a cup of coffee, just to get through my final hour of teaching. Though the coffee was a band aid of sorts, I was alert enough to get through the remainder of the school day, go for a run, and then get home to prepare dinner. God was gracious, and supplied the strength needed to assist our boys with their homework. However, as soon as they were done, the makings of a migraine began to set in. Again, God provided His rest, as Super Spouse suggested I retire for the night. It was really early, but I did not argue. This morning, I woke well before my alarm, rested and ready for the day.

 

Though the blessing of a good night’s sleep is not the solution for all weariness, it was God’s provision of something that I needed. He knows what we need, and is willing to provide, if we come to Him and trust Him to take on our load. Sometimes, He utilizes those around us to be His hands, heart, and voice to deliver the direction necessary. My part is to remember to give the things that I am not meant to carry, to Him. His arms are far stronger than mine. He is willing and waiting, we need only come, and we will find rest in Him.

 

Come unto the Lord,Rest for the Weary

when weary and worn;

He’ll carry the load,

rest for the forlorn.

He’ll take our burdens,

into His strong hands;

He will provide rest,

our Heavenly Dad.

He will hold us up,

when we’re broken down;

He’ll grant us new life,

as in Him we’re found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You when we are weary and burdened, and find rest in You. Thank You that You take our burdens upon Yourself and supply all that we need to stand strong in You. Thank You that You never grow weary nor burdened by us. Forgive us for trying to carry burdens that are not meant to be ours to carry, and help us to hand the heaviness to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will bring our burdens to You the moment we recognize that they are before us. Grant us wisdom and strength to know what we are meant to carry and what we are not. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may we offer strength to the weary, and help point those who are searching, to the path that leads to a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

© 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

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – (Matthew 10:29-31)

 

Because God so loved, He created. He intimately knows His creation, and loves each of us, individually. If God is aware of all of the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, how much more so, is He aware of us, personally? The Father’s love is so great that He sent His only Son to die for us, (John 3:16), so that we could have life abundantly in Him forever.

 

This does not mean that our troubles will all fade away. However, we need not fear in times of trouble, for our help and our hope is present with us, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. The One who knows the number of hairs on our head, knows what we need in all things and at all times, far better than we do. He values us more that we do, as He willingly gave up His life for ours. How can we help but trust the One who truly knows and loves us?

 

We are known and loved,Sparrow2

from before our birth;

to the Lord above,

hold infinite worth.

He knows us by name,

and our hidden parts;

He still chooses love,

and mends broken hearts.

There’s nothing that He,

does not clearly see;

yet He still picks love,

despite the ugly.

Our God’s perfect love,

shall cast out all fear;

for it cannot stay,

when we know He’s near.

Allow His great love,

to grant hope, rebirth;

for we are each His,

of infinite worth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us intimately, and love us anyway. Thank You that we are of infinite worth unto You, as You loved us so much that You willingly sent Your Son to die in our place, so that we could have eternal life with You. Thank You that Your perfect love casts out fear, and that You remain present no matter what we face or endure. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of trust, and grow in us an unwavering faith that trusts in all things and at all times, that You are with us and You are good. Help us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You and Your great love as a result. Be magnified as we move forward faithfully in You. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

“Some men brought Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” – (Matthew 9:2)

 

Perhaps the paralytic had a hurting heart that went far beyond what was seen. Jesus was exceedingly more concerned with heart healing than with physical healing. Though He gladly healed the man’s physical infirmities, Jesus touched far more with His words. Jesus likely saw a spiritual need that no one else was even aware of, and set out to heal in that space first. Not only did the paralytic walk away, but he walked away changed. His formerly heavy heart now knew forgiveness, and he had new hope, not just for today, but for eternity.

 

Clearly Christ is far more concerned with what is eternal, than with the temporal. I have had the privilege of witnessing His healing hand both physically and spiritually in the lives of dear ones; and though physical healing is a miracle, healing of the heart seems to make a more impactful change. Dear friends and loved ones who have battled illness over the past several years may not have received physical healing, but each one of them came to understand the healing His hands provided to the hurts held in the heart. Hope became real, where it had not previously been. As a result of His touch, I have the assurance that they are happily in heaven with Him.

 

When hope calls His Name,He Looks to Heal Hearts

take heart as you come;

He is our Healer,

wholeness from the Son.

Ask all that you need,

and trust that He knows;

allow Him your heart,

where true healing grows.

Embrace Him as Lord,

and trust He is good;

receive all He gives,

our need’s understood.

His love is enough,

for each hurt, to heal;

allow Him to move,

Christ’s hope to reveal.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Healer. Thank You that though You heal physically, You are far more interested in healing hearts and minds. Thank You that You draw us unto Yourself, so that we may come to know You, personally. Forgive us for not recognizing all that You are doing, even when a physical healing has not come for one that we faithfully present before You. Thank You that Your ways are higher than our ways, and Your thoughts, higher than ours. Help us to hold onto our hope in You, and recognize that ultimate healing happens when we someday see You face-to-face. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know You as the Healer of their hearts, and the Lord of their lives. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on Him.” – (Matthew 8:14-15)

 

Peter’s mother-in-law’s response to the miraculous was immediate. She did not delay, but set right away, to serve the Savior, out of her heart of gratitude. She is an excellent example of how we ought to express our gratitude to God, as He too, has so often rescued and healed each one of us. Additionally, we have the promised hope of our heavenly home to hold, as our reason to give thanks. How we love and serve others, is a way that we are able to express our gratitude to God.

 

The touch of His hand,Expressing Gratitude

has made our hearts whole;

let our lives give thanks,

praise to Christ, extol.

May we serve others,

as He has served us;

let our existence,

reflect Lord Jesus.

With hope in our hearts,

and praise on our lips;

may we serve Him well,

as we’ve been equipped.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us as we are, and that Your love brings healing to our hurts – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thank You that we can respond immediately to Your touch by stepping up to serve. Forgive us for thinking we have nothing to offer, or for being “too busy” to step out. Teach us to seek You in all things and at all times, so that we may be ever aware of what You have done, and what we have to hold in hope, so that we cannot help but long to serve out of a heart full of thanks and praise. May many come to know You, as we express our gratitude to You, our great and glorious God. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

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