From Thanksgiving to Advent

With Thanksgiving behind us and the Advent season before us, it is easy to get caught up in the chaos of the preparations for Christmas celebrations. However, Advent is an entire season of anticipation, in and of itself. Advent, is “The Arrival.” This is the season in which we celebrate the arrival of our Savior, as He came to us, from Heaven to Earth, making peace within us, possible.

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. – (Isaiah 9:6-7, NIV)

Isaiah foretold Christ’s arrival long before it came to pass. There had been much anticipation of Christ, the coming King, for far too long. No one anticipated a baby being born in a stable, yet He came. He arrived in a most unassuming and approachable way, and went on to establish His kingdom in the hearts of all who call on His Name. His peace is available and present as we seek Him. His peace within us, can be passed on to those around us, if we slow down and are intentional to prioritize people, not calendars, acquisitions, or agendas. May we be filled to overflowing with His peace during this wonderful season of His arrival, and in turn, let us go forth and be utilized as agents of peace to all people.

With hearts full of thanks,Candlelight

in awe we recall;

tender arrival,

sweet baby, so small.

Precious Son given,

so much more than known;

the great Prince of Peace,

His grace to be shown.

Kingdom established,

in the hearts of all;

who earnestly seek,

on the Lord, we call.

He upholds justice,

righteousness is His;

His reign’s forever,

and in Him, we’ll live.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for an intentional season of thanks. Thank You for the blessings that You poured out upon us as we offered our praises to You. Thank You that as we usher in a new season of anticipation, we celebrate and remember with awe and wonder, Your arrival. Forgive us for not embracing You and the peace that You alone provide, and for allowing ourselves to get too caught up in the chaos that can come with the season’s festivities. Teach us to trust You more, so that we fix our hearts, eyes and energy on what matters most. Show us how to love people as You love, so that Your peace would flow out of us and bring calm into places of chaos. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we are in awe of Your arrival, and seek to be agents of Your peace to the people all around us. Amen.

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

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


Give Thanks for Faithfulness

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. – (Psalm 136:1, NLT)

It is because of the Lord’s goodness and faithful, enduring love, that people are capable of loving well too. I am blessed to be placed in a family that loves well, and for this, I give God thanks. Distance separates us, but our hearts are forever bound by a commitment to love, as we recognize the gift that each of us are given in one another. Thanksgiving has become a time that we have been able to travel and gather, despite the miles, and though not a large gathering, it is one where we make the most of our time together. This morning, I cannot help but give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and His faithful love that endures forever – that He makes evident through the blessings of both family and dear friends. May we each acknowledge God for who He is, and give Him thanks as He so richly deserves.

Give thanks to the Lord,Give Thanks for Faithfulness

for He is so good;

love that is faithful,

for always has stood.

No matter what comes,

His love will endure;

the peace of God rests,

makes our hope secure.

A family’s love,

be blood or by choice;

remind us of His,

so let us rejoice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good, and that Your faithful love endures forever. Thank You for the gift of family – be it by blood or by choice. Thank You that when we seek You and gather in Your Name, You place us in families that love us well. Forgive us for not reaching out to others who might not have family surrounding them during this season. Teach us to listen to Your leading and trust that You will show us what we are meant to do. Give us the courage and the grace to love others in a way that helps them to know that they are not alone in this season of celebrating You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we give You thanks for Your goodness and unending love. 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

Thankful for His Help

But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears. – (Psalm 18:6, NLT)


I am thankful that God hears us when we call on His Name.  Cautious, my son, was struggling with some congestion triggering his asthma yesterday. By last evening, I was on high alert. As we neared midnight, I knew that waiting it out was no longer an option; so off to the ER we went. Thankfully, we are not new to the process, so Cautious was not fearful, just hopeful that relief would be provided quickly. For me, despite the nerves of knowing my child was struggling, a calm came, that only Christ could provide. We were able to enter, be seen and exit the unfamiliar ER in my sister’s hometown, in a matter of a few short hours. There was no wait, and the staff was kind. The prayers of my heart were heard, and He acted quickly on our behalf. May we always remember to call on the Lord in our distress, and pray to Him for help; for He hears our every call and is our help and our hope.


Let us choose give thanks,IMG_1804

to the Lord who hears;

our every cry,

our lips to His ears.

As we choose to pray,

ask help from the Lord;

He hears and answers,

His grace He affords.

We praise You, O God,

for Your loving grace;

You help and You hold,

us in Your embrace.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in our distress, You hear our every cry. Thank You that when we pray to You for help, You hear us and respond to us. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us, and You love us unconditionally. Forgive us for not seeking You in our spaces of distress. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would pray to You in all situations and circumstances, knowing that Your presence will provide the peace and strength that is needed to navigate wherever we find ourselves. Lead us to love others with Your relentless love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we cry out to You and pray to You, trusting that You hear our every cry. Amen.

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

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


Thankful for Life Illustrations

Everyday there are real life examples of scripture being played out. Last evening, was no exception. I am so thankful that God uses the everyday, ordinary things, to show us the truth of His word in action.


Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. – (1 Peter 3:8, NLT)


This morning, as I woke, the memory of last evening’s family outing put a huge grin on my face. The joy in remembering the transformation in my son from how he began to how he finished, was phenomenal. After enjoying our Thanksgiving meal and relaxing for a while, my sister, brother-in-law, mom and myself, were wondering how to get the four boys out and at least a little bit active, after a day of some serious screen time. My sister came up with the brilliant idea of bowling. None of us have done much, so the potential for entertainment was terrific.

When we arrived at the bowling alley and began, Adventurous was not a stellar bowler from the start. He threw several gutter balls, and was becoming a bit frustrated, especially when his youngest cousin was dominating the game. Each of us continued to offer kind words of encouragement, and I reminded him that what mattered most for the evening, was that we were together, and that we were having fun. Something remarkable began to happen as the evening unfolded. Though he had the lowest score in the first game, he began to encourage those around him, and as he did, he began doing better too. By our final game, Adventurous actually beat all of the other kids, and most of the adults!  His kindness and humility had helped him persevere, and he was both amazed and pleased with the result. I don’t think any of us stopped smiling when we realized that Adventurous was going to win the final round. We all sympathized with his initial frustration, and all love him and wanted to see him feel good about his experience. Let us remember to have the mind of Christ so that we may sympathize with each other, love one another as brothers and sisters, be tenderhearted, and stay humble in all things.


Let’s be of one mind,IMG_1774

established in Christ;

where we sympathize,

and choose to be nice.

Let’s love each other,

as we’re called to do;

like our own siblings,

may grace see us through.

Be tenderhearted,

in humility;

let love freely flow,

to all whom we meet.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sympathize with us. Thank You that You love us and are tenderhearted toward us. Forgive us for our lack of humility, sympathy or love towards one another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be of one mind with You, operating in Your love, grace and humility towards all whom we encounter. Lead us to love well, so that those whom we meet may come to know Your grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we love each other as sisters and brothers, sympathize with each other, are tenderhearted and humble, and like-minded with You.  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

Thankful for Perfect Promises

Within each of us, just waiting to bloom, is the wonderful promise of all we can be.


God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection. – (Psalm 18:30, NLT)


Today, as we gather and give thanks, among a plethora of praises, I am thankful for God’s perfection, His faithfulness to His promises, and His ongoing protection. We never “arrive”, yet we are transformed more and more into His likeness as we invest time in our relationship with Him. What He promises, He is faithful to fulfill, despite our frustration with His timing, rather than our own. Additionally, His protection is present in both tangible ways – of which we are well aware, and those times that we cannot even fathom what He is doing on our behalf. Christ is ever present, and always loving. All that He does is for our ultimate good. That which He allows us to walk through may at times be rough, but His presence remains and when we choose to remain in Him, we always come out the other side, changed and stronger in Him.


Let us be planted,When My Soul Waits

deep down in Your soil;

where we may take root,

at rest and in toil.

Hope of Your promise,

Trust in what is true;

Perfect protection,

All thanks unto You.

Keep growing us Lord,

So we may break through;

Bud, bloom and become,

All You want us to.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your way is perfect and that Your promises are true. Thank You that You are our shield of protection. Forgive us for not believing what You have promised because we cannot see evidence of forward momentum. Teach us to trust You and Your promises, no matter what we see, as You are faithful and Your promises are always yes and amen. Lead us to love others in a way that demonstrates our gratitude for who You have made them to be. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we trust in Your perfect promises and protection, and continue to give You thanks in all things.  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


Fixing Our Thoughts on Thanks

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. – (Philippians 4:8-9, NLT)

When we fix our hearts and minds on the things of Christ, His peace is present within us. The more we focus on He who is worthy of all of our thanks and praise, the more we begin to bear the likeness of our Beloved. We have been given tools to know and understand what the expectation is for true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable things. It is merely a matter of opening the word of God and seeking Him, to grow in our understanding of what pleases Him, and what does not. His Spirit within us will provide that still small voice that whispers to either press on or walk away. Our charge is to open our ears, eyes and hearts to Christ, so that we may operate in a fashion that follows His. Let us fix our thoughts on the things of God, giving Him all the thanks and praise both now and forevermore.

May we fix our thoughts,Modeling Our Maker

on that which is true;

most lovely and pure,

things that reflect You.

For excellent things,

most worthy of praise;

are those graced by God,

throughout all our days.

May we give Him thanks,

for His perfect peace;

that He grants to us,

as we gaze on these.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You show us what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. Thank You that when we seek You and listen to You, You lead and guide us to such things. Thank You that Your peace rests upon us as we choose to set our focus on such things. Forgive us for allowing our thoughts to stray from Yours, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would remember that Your peace remains present when we keep our focus on You. Lead us to love others with the very same love that You give to us, so that they too will seek to give You thanks and praise. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we fix our thoughts on all that is excellent and worthy of praise, and rest in the sweet space of Your peaceful presence. 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

Thankful that We are Created for Community

I am so thankful that God did not create us to live this life on our own. He created us for fellowship in community. We were meant to do life together. Christ promised us that when we gather in His Name, He would be present with us.

“For where two or three gather in My Name, there I am with them.” – (Matthew 18:20, NIV)

Though His Spirit dwells in the heart of all who believe, there is a powerful presence that is more readily experienced in community as we gather together, united in purpose, rather than seeking Him on our own. Additionally, His hands, heart and voice are often made tangible through those with whom we gather. He utilizes each of us to express His heart for those around us, and that would be missed if we were not invested in community. May we make the most of every opportunity to invest in the body of Christ, and gather together with others in His Holy Name.

As we choose gather,Called to Come Together

in the Lord’s great Name;

His presence is clear,

and love is made plain.

God’s heart for people,

is good and it’s kind;

He brings help and hope,

where hurt makes us blind.

Gather whenever,

the options arise;

there’s nothing greater,

than hope realized.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when two or three of us gather in Your Name, You have promised to be present. Thank You that though we have Your Spirit in us, always, there is something special in the presence You provide when we gather together with other believers. Forgive us for thinking that we are too busy, or that we can handle things on our own. Teach us to trust You and Your Spirit in others within our community whom You have placed in our lives to walk beside. Lead us to love others in a way that provides help and hope where it is needed most. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we gather in Your Name, and give You thanks for Your faithfulness to be present. Amen.

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

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

Thankful for New Beginnings

As my pastor finished up a series about miracles yesterday, the final subtopic was The Miracle of New Beginnings. Much of the teaching tied into baptism and how as we choose to surrender our life to God, the submerging in the water is the representation of a dying to oneself, and then as we come up, there is an ushering in of a new beginning. This takes place beyond baptism. When we choose to surrender whatever it is that is creating a barrier between us and God, we are willingly allowing the former to die so that new life may burst forth in Him.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – (Revelation 21:5, NIV)

I am so thankful for His promise to make everything new. It is easy to get caught up in the struggle of where we are stuck, and forget that God is for us, and that He never stops moving on our behalf. As we choose to surrender each space of struggle unto Him, we create room for Him to come in and move miraculously on our behalf. Sometimes His movement is a slow and steady stream of small steps in a direction that is barely detectable until we stop and look back at our journey thus far. Other times, He comes in like a flood and flips our world upside down, in the most unexpected and beautiful of ways. Either way, He is trustworthy and true, and for who He is, let us give thanks. May we listen intently to all that He asks, so that we surrender all that is in the way of our walking with Him. Thanks be to God, who makes everything new!

Don’t stay in the stuck,grow

of where we once were;

for God is our help,

our safety assured.

When we surrender,

our stuff and our lives;

God makes all things new,

our hope He revives.

No matter what’s seen,

He’s moving for us;

choose death of the old,

and new in Jesus.

He cleanses our hearts,

He renews our minds;

He grants us all hope,

His glory divine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the God of new beginnings. Thank You that You have made the way for us to surrender all unto You, and watch what You will do to make all things new. Thank You that You move miraculously on our behalf, even when we are unaware. Forgive us for our unwillingness to surrender our struggles or parts of ourselves to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that each time the need arises, we will willingly surrender all before You, trusting that You will bring life where there is none. Lead us to love others with Your loving kindness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for the mighty miracles You do as You make everything new. 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

Thankful for Goodness

Today, I am thankful that what we anticipate, is not what shall be – particularly when we seek to honor God in how we conduct ourselves in all things. On more than one occasion this week, I walked into situations that had made me uneasy prior to my entry, yet I entered having sought the Lord and His strength as I went. Each time, rather than the potential pitfall that I feared, God was faithful to meet me and was so very good and evident in each circumstance.

People on earth will be loyal to God, and God in heaven will be good to them. – (Psalm 85:11, ERV)

When we choose to trust in God and maintain our loyalty to Him, He moves in mighty and miraculous ways on our behalf. Sometimes we are aware immediately of His movement, and others times, it is only after we have walked away, that we can look back and recognize how evident His presence truly was. God is good all of the time. His goodness is not dependent on our faithfulness. I think we become acutely aware of Him and how He moves when our love and loyalty is securely placed in Him. May we give our whole heart unto the Lord, and trust in His goodness and grace.

May our loyalty,

be unto the Lord;

for in Him is found,

all grace He affords.

Our help and our hope,

in our time of need;

God is always good,

trust His light to lead.

In space of unrest,

His peace can come reign;

when He’s invited,

we will see true change.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are always good. Thank You that when we seek You and give our heart to You, You are faithful to us. Thank You that You meet us where we are, and are our help and our hope. Forgive us for fearing situations and circumstances that we cannot control – for You, O Lord, are ALWAYS in control. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would move forward fearlessly, trusting You to lead us every step of the way. Show us how to love others as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give all of our loyalty unto You, and trust in Your goodness and grace. 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

Thankful for Teachers of the Word

Throughout the last year, I have been participating in a Pastor’s Intensive Seminary class on the last Saturday of each month. A few months after we began, at the start of 2015, my life took a turn I did not anticipate. My circumstances necessitated my absence from the class in March, and I actually asked my pastor if he thought that I should bow out during this season. He looked at me, smiled, and said,“Nope. You don’t need to worry about what you missed, just jump in where we are the next time we meet.” Being afforded such grace, the class became a space of normality in my otherwise tumultuous world. Each time we gathered, we all were together for the same reason – to dig deeper in the word and know Him more. All else was set aside. It mattered not how we entered in, we were received and worked together to grow. Each of the three instructors was intentional, approachable, and shared the wisdom and insight that God had granted them to pass on.

I always thank my God for you because of the grace that He has given you through Christ Jesus. In Him you have been blessed in every way. You have been blessed in all your speaking and all your knowledge. – (1 Corinthians 1:4-5, ERV)

This verse has such significance in regard to the class. It perfectly expresses the truth about the instructors of our group, and how they willing shared that which God imparted to them.

Today will be our last class, as the decision was made that December is just too chaotic to attempt to coordinate calendars. Rather than our typical power point presentation of what we have learned, our assignment is to share how the class has impacted us. At first, my greatest concern was having to share out loud, however, when I was driving home yesterday, my heart and mind were flooded with the truth.

The greatest impact that the class has had on me, is not so much what was learned, as the space and grace that was given as we learned. As a student, I never missed a day of school from 7th through 12th grade. Also, I don’t ever recall having attended class without my homework complete and ready to go. For this class, I think I only will have attended 70% of our sessions. As for assignments, there was a time when I had done the wrong reading, a time I hadn’t finished the reading, and then many times that I was finishing the assignments in the early hours of the morning on the day that we were to meet. That being said, what I know to be true is that I am not the same person that began the class at the start of 2015. God has stretched, challenged, and refined me in ways I would have never imagined I’d have to go. As a result of the struggle, I know that I am stronger than I was ten months ago. My understanding of His grace and provision have multiplied. His faithfulness astounds me, and I am overwhelmed at the community in which I am securely planted.

I always thank God,The Power of the Tongue

for the gift of you;

the treasure you are,

as you teach us truth.

Blessings He’s given,

in wisdom and speech;

you never withhold,

but rather, you reach.

You reach with your hands,

your heart and your voice;

imparting to us,

the gift of our choice.

May blessings be poured,

upon you with grace;

you fight the good fight,

and run well, your race.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for those whom You have placed in positions to teach and grow us deeper in our knowledge of You and Your word. Thank You for blessing them with wisdom and grace so that they can clearly communicate Your heart to us, and challenge us to seek You for answers that we long to find. Thank You that we can rest in the comfort of knowing that You are in control for those questions that seem to not have certain answers. Forgive us for not seeking or for making assumptions. Teach us to trust You and to seek You more. Help us to love others well, so that they too would long to know more of You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we never stop seeking, listening and learning more of who You are and what You have done for us. 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