Archive for June, 2014


For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. – (Titus 2:11-12)

 

The grace that God has given, is the gift of His Son. Jesus died so that we might live – His life ransomed for ours. After He rose and ascended into Heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to be our Counselor and Comforter, so that we would have help in an uncertain world. That still small voice within us that whispers “No“, to the things that we know we ought not do, is His voice, teaching and protecting us so that we might live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. May we each choose to receive what He freely offers, so that we are able to live the lives He has for us.

 

Abundant grace,Knowing the No

poured out for mankind;

to open hearts,

give sight to the blind.

His Spirit shows,

the way we’re to go;

when it’s a “Yes”,

and where it’s a “No”.

No to the things,

ungodly and wrong;

and yes to those,

that make our walk strong.

All by His grace,

His love, it abounds;

receives the lost,

His power, profound.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us so much that You made way for us to brought back into a relationship with You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, and for the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Jesus, for laying Your life down for mine, so that I could truly live. Thank You for Your still small voice that teaches us to say “No” to that which we ought not do, and compels us to move forward in those things to which You are calling. Forgive us for ignoring the “No“, or for standing stuck when we were meant to move forward. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will move either forward toward that which You are calling, or flee from that which You are warning us away from. May our life of obedience be an example to those around us, and may many come to know who You are and how much You love them as a result. Let the lost be found in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we receive Your grace and obey all that You ask of us. Amen.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit to do anything good. – (Titus 1:15-16)

 

Paul’s words to Titus were strong and straightforward. Focus on God and His ways, and our hearts will be pure before Him. However, if we choose to act according to our own will, rather than His, we deny God, and are detestable in His sight. The very idea of being disobedient and unfit to do anything good, is a powerful reminder to keep our priorities in place. That being said, how do we keep our priorities in the proper place? Our relationship with Christ must come first. Philippians 4:8-9 says it this way: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

 

To keep our hearts,Whatever is Pure

pure before the Lord;

we must listen,

Spirit’s sounding board.

Focus on truth,

noble and what’s right;

the excellent,

our Savior’s delight.

All that is pure,

and admirable;

focus on these,

the desirable.

Daily practice,

doing all of these;

our heart’s shall know,

the Lord’s promised peace.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, as we seek with our whole heart. Thank You too, that despite the ugliness in the world around us, we are given countless opportunities to see that which is good, pure and lovely, because You dwell in us, and help us to see things through Your lens. Forgive us for fixing our eyes on that which is corrupt or callous, and help us instead to focus on all that You have for us to see. Give us Your eyes and heart with which to view the world. May we love as You love us, and may many come to know You personally, as a result. Be glorified, Lord Jesus, as we put into practice what You have taught us, and walk in the peace of Your presence. 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

Last summer, much of my free time was spent driving back and forth to Seattle to spend time with my dear friend, Anne, and to take her to various medical appointments. Anne had been bravely battling stage four cancer for nearly nine years. Many of those years had been extremely victorious. However, the unpredictable and ugly disease had spread its corrosive cells throughout her entire body. Though Anne presented a valiant fight, the cancer was finding a foothold that nothing could seem to stop. By summer’s end, she needed a place to stay where she would not be left alone for long stretches of time, but rather where there would continually be a person present in the home. God provided the perfect place – a home with a loving Christian couple and their eldest daughter, who happened to be an in-home care medical person. Additionally, the new location was a mere fifteen minutes from my home, rather than forty.

 

One of the many things that Anne loved about their home, is that they would talk with her and spend time reading the Bible aloud to her, as she requested. There was a verse that came to be very significant to Anne as she became increasingly frail, and barring a miracle, it was apparent that her end was near. This morning as I read through the passages in my daily reading plan, there was a hitch in my heart as I came upon that particular verse. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – (2 Timothy 4:7) Anne, although her days were far shorter than any of us would have liked, she fought the good fight, she never wavered in her faith, and she finished her race strong, even unto her final breath. It is my prayer that I would learn from her example, and that no matter what comes my way, that I would continue to fight the good fight and keep the faith. When my days are done, I want to know that I have finished the race He has set before me, with no regrets.

 

Whatever we do,To Fight the Good Fight

may it give God praise;

with all of our heart,

for all of our days.

To fight the good fight,

means stay in the game;

trust that He is good,

have faith in His Name.

We must run the race,

that He’s called us to;

for He’s qualified,

and equipped to do.

View not the struggle,

nor look to the task;

instead to the Source,

our Strength as we ask.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us numerous examples of those who have gone before us and have fought the good fight, have finished the race, and have kept the faith. Thank You that this is not something that we are meant to do in our own strength, but rather in Yours. Thank You that You supply all that we need to stand strong and stay in the fight for as long as we are meant to run our race. Forgive us for allowing weariness to let our hearts wander off course, and help faith to rise up as we grow in our understanding of who You are, and just how much You love us. Thank You that Your mercy is new every morning, and that Your grace is enough. May we stand strong in faith in the fight, and run our race as You call us to run. Let Your love be what people see in us, and may many come to know You as their Lord and Savior, as our path points people to You. Be glorified through how we are running our race. 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

 

 

 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

The Bible is our instruction manual for how to live our lives right before the Lord. In His word, He teaches us what is good and pleasing to Him, and what is not. If we invest our time in studying His word, He will speak to us by His Holy Spirit, as He teaches, rebukes, corrects, trains, and thoroughly equips us for every good work He has prepared for us. The more we choose to invest spending time in His word, the deeper our understanding of who He is and what He has for us, becomes. Additionally, when we know His word, we are better equipped to distinguish what is the truth, and what is not. May we be sensitive to His Spirit as He leads us to further invest in the study of His word.

 

The Word of God,Training in Righteousness

is trustworthy ground;

for heart training,

where His truth is found.

To know what’s true,

we must each invest;

study the truth,

to learn what is best.

As we give ear,

to all that we read;

He speaks to us,

if we let Him lead.

Teaching, training,

correcting, rebuke;

preparing hearts,

for work we’re to do.

All of His Word,

will show us the way;

to please the Lord,

in His safety’s stay.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Word. Thank You that all Scripture is God-breathed and useful. Thank You that as we study Your Word, You teach us, rebuke us, correct us and train us in righteousness, so that we may be thoroughly equipped to do good work, as You call us. Thank You that You do not expect us to figure it out on our own, but You’ve given us Your Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts and minds as well. Forgive us for not investing the time, or for ignoring what You are softly speaking to our hearts. Help us to hear all that You are saying, and more than that – teach us to trust You enough to act on what You ask. Lead us and guide us every moment of every day, as we are being equipped and prepared for all that You have for us to do. May many come to know You as their Savior, as we faithfully follow You, loving well, all whom we encounter. Be exalted, Lord, as we are trained in Your righteousness. Amen.

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

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

 

 

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. – (2 Timothy 2:22)

 

In a culture that tells us, “if it feels good, go for it,” those who call on Christ and want to walk in His ways, are to take a different path. We are called to a higher standard. While most are simply pursuing pleasure, our charge is to run after righteousness; to follow that which God has for us, and to turn away from that which He does not. To flee the evil desires of youth, is to keep ourselves out of harm’s way. If we know a place or a group of people that create in us a propensity to sin, then we are to flee and avoid the situation, so that we may remain upright before our Father in Heaven.

 

As we pursue what is right according to Christ, we will grow in faith and love; experiencing His peace, as He purifies our hearts. He does not call us to walk this road alone, but rather to walk beside others too, who are seeking to answer all that He is asking. May we flee from that which is evil in the eyes of the Lord, and pursue passionately, all that He has for us.

 

Flee from all evil,Run From Ruin

pursue righteousness;

call out to Jesus,

to show which way’s best.

As we choose follow,

His path, and not ours;

faith, love and His peace,

find home in our hearts.

Do not walk alone,

but rather invest;

in those seeking,

to follow His best.

For on this rough road,

we best navigate;

when we’re surrounded,

and don’t isolate.

Shoulder to shoulder,

we shall rise above;

the world’s temptations,

as we walk in love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we run from that which leads us into temptation and pursue the things of You, You grow our faith, overwhelm us with Your lavish love, and help us to know Your peace – even in places where peace seems impossible. Thank You that You take us as we are, and refine us, creating in us, hearts that are pure and acceptable before You, by the power of Your goodness and grace. Forgive us for allowing ourselves entry into toxic situations or scenarios, and grant us wisdom so that we will flee from the spaces that suck us into sin. Thank You that You are merciful and loving, and that You do not allow us to stay in such spaces, but rather You correct and redirect so that we may follow You with all that we are. Thank You that You do not call us to walk this road alone, but rather You created us for relationships. Thank You that we are called to walk beside one another, shoulder to shoulder, to hold one another up, encourage and challenge each other in love. May many come to know the peace that is found in You alone, as they seek to find faith in You. Let our love extended through hearts You have purified, reflect Your radiance to the world. Be glorified, O God. 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

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. – (Joel 2:13, NIV)

 

Tear your hearts, not your clothes. Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and merciful. He does not become angry quickly. He has great love. Maybe He will change His mind about the bad punishment He planned. – (Joel 2:13, ERV)

 

God is indeed merciful; slow to anger, abounding in love. However, we must make a choice. We either elect to turn from our selfish and independent ways and choose to trust Him, or we continue on our self-made road to ruin. Jesus made the way so that all who call on His Name, may be saved. All of our sin and shame has been covered at the cross; we need only be willing to repent and receive what He is offering. Each of us have a finite time on earth. Not one of us know the number of our days. Sitting idly by, saving the decision for “someday“, is playing roulette with our eternity. There is no better time than now. He has been waiting since the moment He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He knows your name, and everything you’ve ever done – yet He still love you and is ready to call you His own. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God. – (John 1:12) Repent, receive, and believe, for we are meant to be His.

 

Today is the day,Redemption for the Repentant

to turn to the Lord;

don’t let it slip by,

seek in one accord.

For He is waiting,

with arms open wide;

to call you His own,

to stay by your side.

No matter your past,

the sin you have done;

covered at the cross,

that battle’s been won.

All that still remains,

is you choose receive;

to trust in His word,

have faith and believe.

There’s no greater choice,

to ever be made;

O child of the King,

embrace Him today.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Thank You that You receive us into Your kingdom when we call on Your Name and repent from our sinful ways. Forgive us for overcomplicating Your love or Your grace, and help us to both receive and extend all that You are offering. May we be living examples of lives transformed by You. Let those who are looking, find their way to a lasting relationship with You. Help us to hold fast to Your truth, and live and love as You love us. Be exalted, O God, as we share of the goodness and grace You grant all who seek Your face. 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

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain. – (I Timothy 6:6)

 

If we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, our desires will align with His, and we will find that we are content in our current calling. The measure of our wealth will be by heaven’s standards, rather than those of earthly exchange. We will look to see what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of those around us, counting His movement, a gift of great gain.

 

Seeking the Lord,Contentment is Great Gain

leads to godliness;

He’ll lead us out,

of unrighteousness.

Aligned with God,

we find there is peace;

heavenly wealth,

investment increased.

He is faithful,

to answer our call;

His grace enough,

to cover us all.

Pursue the Lord,

and His righteousness;

contentment’s gain,

our God, glorious!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and Your righteousness in our lives, we find contentment – and that is of great gain. Thank You that we do not do these things in our own strength, but rather by Your Spirit, You enable us to do all that You ask of us. Forgive us for our lack of contentment at times, and help us to grow increasingly aware of Your economy, rather than this one. May our priority be Your kingdom and Your righteousness in all that we say and do. Let our every word and deed be a building block for Your kingdom. May those who are seeking come into a saving relationship with You. Help us to love others as You love us. Be glorified, Lord God, as we contend to be content in all things at all times, knowing You are present and You are working in us and through us. Amen.

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

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. 

Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

What’s Your Story?   Yesterday, as we gathered together for our Sunday service, that was the morning’s topic. The question was not posed in a typical sermon format, but rather our pastor had several different people from our church come forward and share part of their own story. About six months ago, just as we began the new year, we invested together in a series called  Into the Wild. The premise of the series was all about how we are called on a journey, and as we journey it is wild, but we have His promises and His presence as we go. Each person who shared their story, spoke of a portion of the adventure God had been taking them on over the past many months. All had the common thread of His promise and His presence that they held onto, even when the path before them seemed to be unmarked, and the ground unstable. Each one, was evidence of His faithfulness, as they had walked in obedience where they had been called.

 

This morning, I caught a glimpse of the bulletin. There in the top row, sits my smiling face, waiting to tell a story. At first, I kind of complained to the Lord, as I do not have as concrete of a path as some of the stories told yesterday. The gentle nudge did not let up, so I shall attempt to speak of the story He has been writing in me, as I have willingly walked into the wild…

 

By nature, I am an introvert. To those who know me, this is no great surprise, especially if observed in a large group. Also, as a result of both environment and of choice, I had become a very closed individual emotionally, and was unwilling to allow others to see past the smile. “The Wild” for me, has been a journey of learning to be vulnerable with trustworthy individuals. Willingness to share my heart, my thoughts, my fears, my hopes – without reservation, has been both a foreign and freeing phenomenon. Though I have in no way “arrived“, there is a visible change in my willingness to be “real” with those whom I trust, and I find myself opening my heart to more people than I ever thought I would. I know that I am still wandering in this portion of wilderness, yet He is with me, leading me, guiding me, and holding my hand as I travel in trust. Greater things are yet to come, and I look forward to all that He has for me – for all of us.

 

You will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. – (Acts 22:15)

 

We are His, and no one can dispute what He has done in our lives, personally. Our story, is ours. He uses what we are willing to offer. May we be His mouthpiece to touch lives and transform communities.

 

What is your story?

What has Jesus done?

The trials you’ve faced,

the battles you’ve won?

Where have you wandered?

Where has your heart been?

Has He brought you through,

time and time again?

Think of the little,

as well as the large;Your Story

He’s ever present,

wherever you are.

Every aspect,

of each of our lives;

matter to Jesus,

that is why He died.

He willingly took,

every stain and scar;

so as we journey,

we’ll know Whose we are.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each of us has a story. Thank You that our story is not a quick read, but rather one with many chapters. Thank You that our adventure into the wild does not end when You walk us through a challenging season, but rather, You call us to adventure with You our entire lives. Thank You that You are always present, and that You promise to never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for our fearfulness as we step out into the unknown. Make us courageous and strong to trust You in all things and at all times. Help us to clearly hear Your voice, so that we know which way we are meant to travel. May many come to know You as their Savior and King, as we live and love as an obedient offering. Be exalted, O God, through the story You are writing on our hearts. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

 

 

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. – (I Timothy 4:7, NIV)

 

People tell silly stories that don’t agree with God’s truth. Don’t follow what these stories teach. But teach yourself to be devoted to God. – (I Timothy 4:7, ERV)

 

Godless myths and old wives’ tales are made up stories that are meant to have a message, yet they are missing an essential element: the truth of God’s word. Investing our time and energy in such things does nothing for our spiritual development, nor for the deepening of our relationship with our Redeemer. Instead, we ought to focus our time and energy on digging deeper in His word, and seeking to understand His truth; allowing Him to lead and direct our every step. He is faithful to answer as we ask, and will train us in the ways we are meant to go, if we choose to humbly seek Him. May we fix our hearts and minds on God, being devoted to Him in all things, so that we may become more like Him each day.

 

Look to the Lord,Forget Foolishness and Follow Him

in all of your ways;

allow not myths,

to lead you astray.

Such foolishness,

leads to agony;

yet seeking Christ,

shall set the heart free.

Invest your heart,

your soul and your mind;

all unto Christ,

so His truth you’ll find.

The investment,

is worth the return;

future secure,

His heart to discern.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek You and invest our hearts, minds and souls in the pursuit of becoming who You have created us to be, You make us more like You. Thank You that You train us in the way we are meant to go, if we willingly submit to You. Thank You that You provide Your word, Your Holy Spirit, and godly wisdom in trusted individuals that You place in our lives. Forgive us for giving ear to any foolishness, and give us hearts to discern clearly, that which is from You, and that which is not. May we walk in Your wisdom and truth as we love all whom You place on our path. May many come to know the saving grace that is found in You alone, as they turn away from foolishness, and toward Your eternal truth. Be glorified, O God, as we train ourselves to be as You call us to be. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

 

 

 

…This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. – (2 Chronicles 20:15)

 

Though the original writing of this verse was God’s message to Judah as the enemy bore down upon them, God’s words still apply to us today. When all that would come against us seems to rise up, we need not fear nor be discouraged at the vastness of what lies before us. Ultimately, it is all in His hands. He goes before us, and He knows how it all ends. No matter the immediate outcome, our final victory is secure in Him forever. Our place of peace, even as we face that which appears daunting, is assured because He has gone before us, He is with us, and He surrounds us. We are not alone, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

Do not be afraid,The Battle Belongs to The Lord

shun discouragement;

trust not in what’s seen,

but in heaven sent.

Every battle,

is God’s and not ours;

place each in the hands,

of Him who heals scars.

He takes what we bring,

and grants strength within;

the Lord is for us,

He knows where we’ve been.

Fear not, faithful one,

despite what you face;

our God is greater,

He’ll deliver safe.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not be afraid nor discouraged by what stands before us, when we have the assurance that You are for us, and will remain with us. Thank You that every battle we face is not really ours, but Yours. Thank You that You fight on our behalf, and that You supply all that we need for that which we are called to do. Thank You that You will never leave us nor forsake us, so we need not fear abandonment in the battle. Forgive us for our fear, as we fix our eyes on the obstacles before us, rather than on You, our Redeemer. Help us to focus on You, our strength and our solution, rather than that which robs us of the richness of all that our relationship with You offers. May we fully embrace Your grace, strength, and love as we walk forward in obedience. Let those who are looking, see You in us, and come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted, Lord God, as we rely on You in every battle we face. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.

– Acts 2:28

 

 

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