Archive for October, 2015


Suffering is a natural part of our human existence. Sinful and broken people cause harm that results in adversity, as well as the mere existence of illness and disease that also provide places of pain, distress and hardship. We are not promised a life that is free from suffering, but rather we have hope and help for comfort and strength in the midst of our struggles, and the hope that is held in the promise of that which is yet to come.

In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. – (1 Peter 5:10, NLT)

Hardship and suffering seem to be seasonal. We go through seasons of struggle and seasons of blessing. In our most challenging times, God affords us the opportunity to seek Him and find Him in ways that we never have before. When we do, we come to know His strength, power and presence, in a tangible way, and recognize the hope we hold in Him. Though the suffering and struggles are never pleasant, they are the spaces in which we grow most, and if we are willing, God can use our trials to touch and encourage the lives of others to draw them closer to Himself. May we recognize the kindness of God, even in the midst of our storms, as He has called us to share in His eternal glory forever. Let His love lead us, as He restores, supports and strengthens us, again setting our feet on His firm foundation so that we may walk wherever He calls.

The God of all grace,Hold My Heart

has called unto us;

to forever trust,

His own Son, Jesus.

For in suffering,

our hope is made known;

as we’re granted strength,

by God on the throne.

He stays by our side,

no matter how rough;

the battle we face,

our God is enough.

He’ll set our feet sure,

both firm and steadfast;

and our hope in Him,

forever shall last.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite the suffering and trials that all of us endure at one point or another, You are present and willing to strengthen us and be our help and our hope. Thank You too that though You do not bring the trials nor suffering, You use them to grow us closer to You. Thank You that You can use even our ugliest ashes to bring beauty, hope and strength to another. Forgive us for allowing fear or anxiousness to reign in the midst of suffering and trials. Teach us to place all of our hope in You, so that we would recognize that though the suffering is for a season, glory with You will be for all of eternity. Lead us to love others with an eternal perspective, so that our desire will be that each will come into a saving knowledge of who You are and how You love. May many choose to trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to restore us, strengthen us and make us firm and steadfast for You, despite our trials. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

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Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert. – (Luke 4:1)

Jesus was not tempted and put through trials in the desert until after He had been equipped with the filling of the Holy Spirit. God is loving and kind, and prepares protection for His children. Just as He placed His Spirit in Jesus at the Jordan so that He’d be able to obey all that was asked of Him despite the distractions and temptations, God does the same for us. He doesn’t allow us into “desert seasons” without first equipping us to stand strong, regardless of how things appear. God fills us and leads us, so that we may be ready to withstand whatever comes our way. May we seek His strength in our desert spaces, and trust that He has equipped and empowered us for such a time as this.

In every heart,

that calls on His Name;

the Spirit comes dwell,

for all of our days.

He’ll lead and He’ll guide,

and strength He will give;

so we can stand strong,

in His power, live.

No matter what comes,

a trial or storm;

when we trust in Him,

our heart shall transform.

Where defeat once stood,

our faith shall give rise;

for by God’s great grace,

hope opens our eyes.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t allow us to walk through desert seasons without first equipping us to withstand whatever lies ahead. Thank You that You are faithful to never leave us nor forsake us, and that we can always trust in You. Forgive us for our lack of faith and perseverance, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to rise up and recognize that far greater are You who is in us, than anything that comes against us. Lead us to love others through their desert places, and help us point to You – the only water that refreshes our souls. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust Your Spirit in us when we are in the desert or being tempted in ways that seem too difficult to withstand. Amen.

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

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Encourage each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. – (Ephesians 5:19, ERV)

Music is a miraculous gift that breaks down even the bulkiest of barriers. Though there is always music in my day while I travel from place to place in my car, it has been largely absent in my regular routine. About a week ago, on my way into Fred Meyer to buy groceries, something made me take pause at the small display outside of the electronics section. There before me, were small blue tooth speakers that were affordably priced. As I pondered the prices and products, the sales associate wandered my direction. He had helpful suggestions, and I decided to go ahead and make a reasonable purchase, as I had no other source to play music out loud in my home for myself, other than my phone.

Since that day, I have utilized this fantastic little speaker to blare worship music while I prepare for my day. It is remarkable how much better equipped I feel when I have been singing along with reckless abandon, and soaking in the sweet sound that floods my space as I ready myself for what lies ahead.

Interestingly enough, the first portion of the verse has also come to fruition over this week as well. A friend and I have been sending one another links back and forth for our favorite or most encouraging worship songs. It has been such a sweet exchange to be reminded of lyrics long forgotten, that speak truth that my heart needed to hear. My hope is that the same has held true for her. May we find ways to encourage one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as we go about our day, and may we allow our hearts to sing and make music unto the Lord.

Encourage with songs,

Kari Jobe  - Click to listen to I Am Not Alone.

Kari Jobe – Click to listen to I Am Not Alone.

as the tunes give rise;

for spirits shall soar,

with truth, come alive.

Sing and make music,

from our hearts to His;

may we choose make known,

how worthy He is.

Share of psalms and hymns,

that speak what is true;

so hurting hearts hear,

Who will make them new.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the gifts of Your word, music, and the ability to combine the two. Thank You for Your sweet presence that is made tangible when we choose to worship. Forgive us for neglecting the need within us to sing and make music in our hearts unto You, and the call to encourage others with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Thank You for showing me a new way that this can be done, practically. TeachJust Be Held us to trust You more, so that we would set aside the stuff that weighs us down and choose to allow our hearts to soar in song before You. Lead us to love and encourage others with Your words that meet them where they are and speak to their heart in a way that only You can do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we encourage each other with songs that reflect Your truth, and as we sing and make music in our hearts unto You. Amen.

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

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

A few more favorites:

Casting Crowns – Just Be Held

Amanda Cook & Bethel Music – You Make Me Brave

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. – (Mark 1:35)

Despite the crowds and the chaos that seemed to find and follow Him wherever He would go, Jesus found a way to make time to pray. He established time to connect and communicate with His Father. If Jesus was intentional to create time to connect with God, how much more so should we do the same? In today’s fast-paced world, it is not easy to find a solitary place to pray. We too, must be intentional with our time to make a place in our day for prayer. What I have discovered is that when I consistently make room, I find it is far easier to rise early and be focused than it ought to be, considering the chaos and lack of sleep that occurs some weeks. He is faithful to meet me each morning, as I make the decision to dedicate this solitary time to commune with Him and study His word. I have friends who are faithful to end each day in the same way. Where I would struggle to remain awake, they find themselves energized and encouraged. May we each embrace our own opportunities to seek solitary places to pray. For He is faithful to meet us each time we earnestly seek Him.

To seek a safe space,Believe Instead of Striving

where we are alone;

to come before God,

as He’s on His throne.

For in solitude,

our hearts shall be shown;

how great is His grace,

and the depth we’re known.

For as we choose pray,

seeds of faith are sown;

God’s Spirit waters,

and hope will have grown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can seek You in solitary places to pray, where distractions are far from us, and You meet us, and speak to our hearts. Thank You that You are faithful and loving, and that You encourage, instruct, redirect, and empower us as we pursue You in prayer. Forgive us for not being intentional to establish time with You. Teach us to trust You more with our time and space, so that we would be willing to do whatever it is You ask to create a time to be with just You. Thank You that You desire to spend time with us. Lead us to love others with a love that embraces hurting hearts and points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we seek solitary spaces with You to pray, so that we may be equipped to love as You love each day. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

God’s word is alive and working. It is sharper than the sharpest sword and cuts all the way into us. It cuts deep to the place where the soul and the spirit are joined. God’s word cuts to the center of our joints and our bones. It judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts. – (Hebrews 4:12, ERV)

For whatever God says to us is full of living power; it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are. – (Hebrews 4:12, TLB)

The truth of God stands. No matter what lies hidden, it is known by God. He sees past all pretenses and pretty cover-ups, and gets straight to the heart of things. Where we need correction, He comes. Where we need direction, He leads. Where we need to be encouraged, He speaks life. In those spaces of weariness where we begin to tire of doing good, He grants strength and reminds us how pleased He is when we do His will. God’s word is alive and active and as we invest our time and attention to spending time reading it, He takes what is before us, and instructs, grows and shows us where we are meant to go. May we spend time earnestly seeking the Lord each day through the washing of His word; and may we be encouraged as He refines and defines us, as our hearts become more and more like His.

The word of the Lord,The Word of God

is alive, at work;

it cuts to the core,

highlights sin that lurks.

It judges our thoughts,

actions and desires;

points out our true heart,

rescues from the fire.

The truth of God stands,

for now and always;

it’s hope we can trust,

for all of our days.

By His word He shows,

how we’re meant to live;

what we should let go,

and grace we’re to give.

His words wash away,

that which needs to go;

and raises in us,

His love we’re to show.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. Thank You that Your word gets past all of our walls and straights to the heart. Thank You that by Your word and Spirit, You show us our thoughts and attitudes of our hearts through Your eyes. Forgive us for every way within us that does not align with Your heart and the truth of Your word. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek Your strength to lead and guide us to walk in Your way and live out Your truth. Show us how to love others with the same gracious and selfless love that You give to us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we invest time in Your word and allow Your Spirit to show us how it is to shape all that we say and do. Amen.

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

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11

Yesterday, my pastor continued in a series titled, “Miracles“. The passage from which he brought forth his message, was Mark 4:35-41. This story is quite familiar to many, as it is the story of when Jesus calms the storm. That being said, there were elements within the unpacking, that I had not quite seen in that particular light before.

First, when the disciples were crossing as Jesus had charged them to do, a furious squall came upon them while He slept. The disciples were terrified, yet Jesus was able to sleep. Jesus was able to rest because He was doing what His Father had called Him to do, therefore He was at peace. As for the squall, there is so often a push back from hell when we move in the direction to which God has called us. (For on the other side, was the demoniac waiting to be set free, whose testimony would change the lives of many.)

When the disciples woke Jesus and asked Him if He even cared if they drowned, He rose and commanded the wind and waves to “Quiet! Be still!” Speaking to a storm is no ordinary response. Typically, there is no need to rebuke an object. However, when what was occurring was spiritual in nature, the rebuke was for that which was at the root, to stop. (And not likely in a still small voice)

Just as Jesus commanded for that which rose up against them to “BE STILL!”, we too have the very same power within us, when we find ourselves in a storm. We are best able to weather the storms if we: 1) Identify the storm, 2) Speak to the storm (claim God’s truth), and 3) Trust the outcome to God. – (Pastor Jon McIntosh)

When fear rises up,Sense in Storms

and floods us with lies;

the intent of hell,

is our quick demise.

Yet within our hearts,

the power to speak;

to silence the storms,

and strengthen the weak.

For God did not give,

a spirit of fear;

instead He’s present,

He is ever near.

Every outcome,

He already knows;

so we need not fear,

each time the wind blows.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when the storms of life come all around us, You are already in the boat beside us. Thank You that though things may seem dire, You have set a course before us and will not leave us. Thank You that when resistance comes against us moving in the direction to which we are called, You have already placed Your power within us to stand firm and speak to the storm. Forgive us for allowing fear to reign, when fear is only based on what our eyes perceive, rather that Your truth. Teach us to trust You and the outcome You have for us, rather than what we imagine. Lead us to love others in such a way, that we can offer calm in their storms and hope in their places of panic. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to Your promises and continue moving in the direction in which we are called. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” – Andrew Murray

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – (Matthew 19:26, NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “This is something that people cannot do. But God can do anything.” – (Matthew 19:26, ERV)

I am so grateful that God is a God of making the impossible, possible. What is seen through human eyes, is not the full reality through God’s perspective. We only see in part, what God sees in whole. That which is our struggle, the mountain that seems impossible to navigate today, may either be made low or He could grant us His strength to overcome far more than we could imagine in the coming days. Our job is to trust and to continue moving forward in the direction to which He is calling. He does not ask us to climb the entire mountain in one swift movement, but rather one step at a time. It is remarkable to take pause and look back, for we can suddenly see clearly, just how far He has brought us beyond where we thought we could climb. May we seek the strength of our Savior, and trust in His unfailing love; for in Him, all things that seem impossible can become possible as He calls them into being.

The mountain ahead,

seems too hard to climb;

for we’ve not the strength,

for just one more time.

It’s not up to us,

but rather to God;

to what is conquered,

and what path we trod.

For impossible,

only through our eyes;

with God there’s a way,

He hears all our cries.

He makes plain our path,

and grants us the strength;

to keep climbing upward,

o’er height and great length.

Let us seek the Lord,

no matter the task;

He makes possible,

to those who choose ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what is impossible for man, is possible for You. Thank You that You delight in showing us Your loving kindness and power, as You strengthen and equip us to do the impossible through You. Forgive us for our lack of faith that causes us to shut down in the face of impossibilities. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rise up in faith and recognize that though something is impossible for us in our own strength, for You, ANYTHING is possible. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they may come to know and understand Your relentless and unwavering love for them too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to make the impossible possible, by Your grace and strength. Amen.

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

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

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

Strength and peace are two commodities that are necessary to survive a day in the life of a middle school teacher. Strength to stand, even when weariness threatens to stop us in our tracks, or keep us from trying new things to better our craft and reach the kids that struggle the most. Peace must be present within us, as there is always chaos around us. There is no way to gather groups of tweens and young teens, and not have a bit of angst, eagerness, a few outbursts, lots of laughter, and the occasional fits of fury. The Lord is gracious, and He grants strength, when it feels as though there is none; and He provides His blessing of peace, even in the most chaotic of circumstances. With Him, there is joy in this job that many of us are called to do. Kids notice a difference when we find strength, despite our exhaustion, and peace regardless of that which goes on around us. May we each embrace the strength and peace that the Lord grants to those who seek Him.

The Lord gives us strength,Calm in the Storm

whenever we call;

He sees all our needs,

and won’t let us fall.

For He longs to bless,

His people with peace;

let anxieties,

to Him be released.

The Lord is faithful,

He is present still;

to help and to hold,

lead us in His will.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give strength to Your people, and that You bless those who call on Your Name with peace. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You – in every situation and circumstance. Thank You for the youth of this generation. Thank You for the hearts that are seeking You. Forgive us for the frustration that we have with anyone we encounter that seems to zap our strength or steal our peace. Teach us to rely on You, so that in those situations, we are sharing Your love and grace, and instead, giving the opportunity to others to experience Your kindness and peace in a tangible way. May many choose to invest their lives in You. Be exalted O God, as we receive the strength and peace that You give, and use them for Your glory. Amen.

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

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, ERV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – (Galatians 6:2, NIV)

God created us to be in relationship with one another. He did not intend for us to do this life alone. When one is struggling, those around them are meant to come beside them, and help, support, encourage and lift them up until they again are able to stand securely. When we help one another, we are living as Christ is calling us to live. To carry the burdens of another can be something so simple as preparing a meal for an exhausted friend, a quick phone call or text that offers encouraging words, ongoing and faithful prayer for the circumstances that are wearing the other down, and providing time to be present to sit beside one another and listen. God both uses and honors the help that we offer, as we are obedient to that which He calls us to do. Our offering is fulfilling the law of Christ. May we help one another with our burdens, so as to love well, as Christ calls us to love.

When we look around,Faith and Hope in Action

what need do we see?

We are called to rise,

“Lord, come and use me.”

For if we choose love,

in tangible ways;

we’ll help each other,

and in tough times, stay.

Oh Lord show us how,

to bear burdens well;

grant us grace to love,

and Your words to tell.

Let all that we say,

and all that we do;

encourage others,

give glory to You.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us for relationship and that You did not intend for us to navigate this life alone. Thank You that You call us to help one another and to bear one another’s burdens. Thank You that to do so, is to walk beside in love, making Your grace and strength tangible when it is needed most. Thank You that when we walk in this way, we are fulfilling Your intended purpose for us. Forgive us for withdrawing into ourselves when we struggle or for neglecting the needs of another that we see. Help us to reach out beyond ourselves when we see a need and when we have a need; for You are our Great Provider. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they feel supported, encouraged, strengthened and loved, even in the midst of their own struggles. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we carry one another’s burdens in obedience to all that You ask of us. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

He made no distinction between us and them, for He cleansed their hearts through faith. – (Acts 15:9, NLT)

God does not discriminate nor give preferential treatment when it comes to receiving people into His kingdom. All have fallen short, and all must earnestly seek Him to be saved. It is only by His grace that we are saved when we come before Him in faith, trusting that He is who He says He is. In the same way, we must not discount anyone, nor assume that they are too hard to receive the love and grace that God has set in place for us to extend toward them. It is not up to us to determine how it is received, but rather to be obedient to extend His loving kindness to all whom we meet. God will be God, and He will do immeasurably more than we could ever hope or imagine if we do our part and then get out of the way. Let love and faithfulness be our motivation, as we love well and allow God to reign.

To say, “God so loved”,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

where grace was begun;

when God sent for us,

the gift of His Son.

Because Jesus came,

each can become clean;

by faith, seeking God,

trusting the unseen.

This gift is for all,

all people of earth;

cleansing, renewing,

blessed second birth.

Please open our hearts,

help reach out our hands;

so we may love well,

just as You have planned.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not make a distinction between us, as You receive ALL who call on Your Name in faith. Thank You that when we trust in You and give our hearts to You, You purify all that is sinful within us, and call us clean before You. Forgive us for thinking ourselves or anyone else is too far gone to be reached by Your grace. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would walk in obedience and allow You to be God, as You move in ways that only You can move. Lead us to love all those around us, even if they seem unloveable. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for the wondrous ways that You move in our midst, despite our doubts based on what we see. 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

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