Give Thanks Forever

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever! – (Psalm 30:11-12, NLT)

Whether in a season of mourning or one of celebration, God’s grace remains present. His promises are steadfast and trustworthy, and no matter what we see, the joy always comes again. God does not want us to stay stuck in our sorrow. We all have hard stuff that we must navigate, however, He is faithful to walk beside us and supply the strength that we need to pass through the long and lonely legs of our journey. Incredibly, though the season seems long and arduous, when we look back, we cannot help but hold a heart full of gratitude for how far God has brought us from where we began. Joy rises is the recognition of His faithfulness, and our thanks and praise cannot help but be given a voice. May we lift our hearts and voices in songs of praise with thanksgiving, because He is good and He turns our mourning into great joy.

Despite what I feel,

Away with Anxietys Hold

ishareimage.com

I’ll sing praise to You;

all that is sorrow,

You will get me through.

You’ll take my mourning,

and turn it to joy;

light in my darkness,

all hope to employ.

I’ll not be silent,

to You I will praise;

all thanks forever,

Keeper of my days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You turn our mourning into joy. Thank You that You are our reason to sing praise and not be silent. Thank You that You stay beside us, be it in times of sorrow or celebration – for You are near. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to dictate our heart toward You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give You thanks and praise in all things and at all times, for You are our reason to sing praise and not be silent. Lead us to love others as You love us, so that they too would find reason to sing and be grateful. May many choose to live their lives for You. Be glorified O God, as we sing praises of thanks to You in all things and at all times. Amen.

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

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

Repeating Thanks to Remember

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising Him to everyone. – (Psalm 109:30)

Repetition helps us remember that which we ought to recall. If we choose to give repeated thanks to God, we will be quick to remember His goodness and grace, even when times are tough. Additionally, we need to give proper praise where praise is due. As we celebrate the goodness that God has provided, we ought to give Him the glory before others. Every blessing, every step forward when we don’t have the strength, each kind word offered when we need it most – to God be the glory for them all. The Lord provides what we need, be it in times of struggle or times of peace. May our hearts remember to repeatedly give thanks to Him, and acknowledge His goodness before everyone.

May my heart give thanks,

Hearts of Thanks

again and again;

for who the Lord is,

and forgiven sin.

Let all that I say,

offer the Lord praise;

before all mankind,

for all of my days.

May my very life,

exhibit Your grace;

as all that I am,

lifts up Your great Name.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so good and that You alone are worthy of all of our thanks and praise. Thank You that You do not grow weary of our gratitude, and that as we choose to give You thanks, our hearts grow in gratefulness towards You and all that You have done. Forgive us for not giving thanks and praise before You and others, when our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude unto You. Show us how to see life through Your lens, so that we may see clearly, all that You are doing in and through us – laying hold of the hope that is forever in us through You. Teach us how to love others with grateful hearts, no matter how they respond to our offerings. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. All thanks and praise unto You, Lord – now and forevermore. Amen.

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

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

Thanks for the Rain

Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. – (Psalm 106:1, NLT)

God’s love is steady, reliable, trustworthy, true to what He has promised, and will never come to an end. There is no goodness in existence that can be compared to God. In those moments when my mind holds fast to the truth that I trust, I cannot help but give thanks and praise unto Him. God places incredible people along our path, but all are flawed and fall short. Only Christ never fails. His faithful love endures forever. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we can place all of our trust in Him. May we thank and praise our precious Savior for who He is, and for the faithful love that He gives to all who call on His Name.

Praise our precious Lord,No Matter What Comes

all thanks unto Him;

for His faithfulness,

shall not come to end.

Forever endures,

the love of the Lord;

this truth we can trust,

all grace He affords.

The Lord is our hope,

even in despair;

He shall never leave,

He’s always aware.

Praise Him in the storm,

give thanks for the rain;

as He holds our heart,

in both joy and pain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good. Thank You that Your faithful love will last forever. Thank You that no matter what comes, You remain. Forgive us for not trusting or holding fast to Your truth when storms rage around us, and help us to trust in You and Your faithful love that endures for all time. Teach us to praise You in all things and at all times, not for what we see, but for who You are. Lead us to love others with a love that endures like Yours. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You and give You thanks because You are good and Your faithful love endures forever. Amen.

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

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19

Grateful for the Grace to Exercise Self-Control

This morning, I am thankful for the freedom to utilize my voice and the act of wise choice.

A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. – (Proverbs 25:28, NLT)

Yesterday, this was a guiding principle throughout my day. Due to a serious lack of sleep from the night prior, I knew that I would have to choose my words and conversations carefully, as I was too tired to maintain my typical filter that upholds the self-control afforded to me by Christ. When words escape without warning and no control is exercised, boundaries that are built for good, can be broken, and irreparable harm can happen. Most whom I encountered throughout my day, were gracious and kind, and I managed to navigate the school day unscathed. Unfortunately, later in the afternoon, assumptions expressed through electronic communication toward me, made my temper flare. I knew that to engage in such banter would only lead to harm. Rather than opting to engage, I went to my kettlebell class and worked out my rage. By the time I arrived back home, I only had the energy to love and check in with my cherubs about their homework, and then call it a day. We have the choice to exercise self-control and uphold the safety and security within ourselves, or we can give our power away, by losing control and allowing another’s words or actions to have influence over us. May we choose to submit to Christ alone, who grants us self-control, and is our fortress and strong tower at all times.

God grants self-control,kettlebells

to walk in His grace;

to shore up safe walls,

keep us in right space.

He gives us wisdom,

so we are aware;

of when to engage,

or get out of there.

He provides escape,

outlets for our fear;

strength where we are weak,

He always is near.

We thank You, O God,

for wisdom and choice;

self-control granted,

as we use our voice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You give us the strength and wisdom to know when to speak and when to stay silent; when to engage, and when to walk away. Thank You that You provide the self-control that we need to keep from destroying the boundaries and barriers that are necessary to keep us safe. Forgive us for not depending on You for strength and for not exercising self-control. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be wise and people that show self-control through Your strength, not our own. Lead us to love others in a way that helps them to see Your kindness and grace. May many choose to enter into a relationship as they seek Your face. Be glorified O God, as we seek to operate in the self-control that You grant us, and give You thanks for the freedom to do so. Amen.

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

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

 

Let Our Hearts Sing Thanks

Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him. – (Psalm 95:2, NLT)

May we come before the Lord and give Him thanks. Let us sing and praise Him with the gratitude that rises in our hearts when we consider who He is, and all that He has done. Even when our present day is not our banner day, there is always reason to praise.

Yesterday did not end up as I would have hoped nor imagined. I spent much of the day and night seeking medical attention for one of my tender-hearted teens. They had been away on retreat with their youth group for the weekend, and upon returning, Adventurous was struggling with his asthma. Knowing the previous patterns that this sort of incident had taken in the past, a trip to Urgent Care up front, would likely prevent a trip to the ER later. We went to an Urgent Care that was new to us, and were seen right away. The entire staff was helpful and kind, and we were in and out in a bit over an hour. There was reason for our hearts to give praise as we parted, for the x-rays showed that his lungs were clear, indicating no sign of pneumonia or the like. He did, however, have an ear infection. Upon returning home, Adventurous laid down and took a nap for several hours. As he slept, I would do periodic check-ins to listen to his breathing. Unfortunately, that was growing steadily worse. After having prepared dinner for he and his brother, and having no success in waking him to come and eat, I realized that what I had hoped to avoid was going to need to happen.

I roused the sleeping cherub, and we were off for the ER. Due to the nature of our visit, we were taken back fairly quickly, as breathing is rather important. On our way back to a room, all I could do is give God thanks, as we passed by several very sick kiddos. Though Adventurous was struggling, the process of restoration was fairly routine. There was some waiting, and my sweet boy did not respond to the medication as quickly as he usually does, but he did respond, and we avoided being admitted. Three and a half hours after arrival, we were on our way home.

Let our hearts sing psalms,Let Our Hearts Sing Thanks

with all thanks and praise;

to our mighty God,

may our voices raise.

Despite our trials,

there’s reason to give;

thanks to the Father,

who loves and lets live.

We thank You, Lord God,

for love, life and breath;

for grace, forgiveness,

Your conquering death.

Let us not forget,

the wonder of You;

as we sing all praise,

and speak of Your truth.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can come to You with thanksgiving and sing psalms of praise to You. Thank You that You are our reason to give thanks and praise. Forgive us for not recognizing our reason to give thanks in all things is You, regardless of what goes on around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we can see clearly with our heart, what our eyes cannot perceive. Lead us to love others with Your love and grace, so that they too may long to seek Your face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we come before You with thanksgiving, and sing psalms of praise unto You. Amen.

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

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

Enter With Thanksgiving

Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name. – (Psalm 100:4)

Before Christ came, people had to go to the temple to be in the presence of God. To truly present their thanks, praise and offerings, they had to physically go to the temple courts and partake in a rigorous routine. Today, we can enter His gates with thanksgiving and go into His courts with praise, any hour of any day. Christ dwells within our very own heart, if we choose only to invite Him in. When we give thanks to God and praise His Name, it is as if we are in the throne room itself, because of God with us, through the Holy Spirit. Because we are blessed as believers to have Christ with us at all times, we always have reason to give Him thanks and praise. May we choose to rise up and enter His gates with thanksgiving and go into His courts with praise, not for what is going on around us, but for who He is within us.

May each heart enter,Enter With Thanksgiving

His gates full of thanks;

go into His courts,

to offer God praise.

For this is a space,

found within our heart;

as we recognize,

where the throne room starts.

We need not look far,

for the Lord is near;

our help and our hope,

each prayer He will hear.

All thanks be to God,

give praise to His Name;

for He is so good,

let our hearts proclaim.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can enter Your gates with thanksgiving and go into Your courts with praise directly, without having to travel far, nor participate in rigorous rituals to be made right before You. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, who made the way for us to be seen as clean before You. Thank You, Jesus, for bearing all of our sin and shame, so that we could be viewed as acceptable and worthy to worship before You. Forgive us for taking the magnitude of Your sacrifice for granted, or for not giving proper thanks and praise unto You. Teach us to have hearts that overflow with thanksgiving for who You are, as You alone are worthy of all thanks and praise. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may find reason to offer thanks. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we enter Your gates with thanksgiving and go into Your courts with praise. 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

Thankful for Love that Endures

With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; His love to Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. – (Ezra 3:11)

The people during David’s time, had seen the destruction of the former glory of the temple that Solomon had built. Some, had never even known anything except the rubble of the ruins that remained. Finally, fifty years after the destruction, the foundation of a new temple of the Lord had been laid. I imagine there was such power in the recognition of the reality of the promise to rebuild, coming to pass before their very eyes. The people responded with praise and thanksgiving, as they identified His goodness and faithfulness for all time. God had been faithful in the destruction, and continued to remain faithful as they were in the space of rebuilding.

God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Lord is present with people in the midst of destruction, and remains present throughout the healing and rebuilding process. May our hearts, though at times are heavy from all of the destruction that we see, be encouraged to sing praise and thanks to God because He is good and His love and faithfulness to people remains for all time. Be our foundation, O God, no matter what we see.

Praise and thanksgiving,

Vandy Massey Watercolor

Vandy Massey Watercolor

sing unto the Lord;

for He is so good,

all grace He affords.

When all seems but lost,

in Him we are found;

the Lord shall restore,

what was shaking ground.

With great shouts of praise,

give God the glory;

for He holds the pen,

to write our story.

Though storms enter in,

our course is assured;

when we trust in Christ,

we’ve strength to endure.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and Your love endures forever. Thank You for the foundation that You lay in the hearts of all who choose to trust in You. Forgive us for not giving proper praise and thanksgiving for who You are, despite what we witness around us. Father, we lift up all of those impacted by the tragedy in France, and ask that You would be their Comfort and their Healer, as they find themselves in a place of ruin, needing You to rebuild. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might extend thanks and praise unto You through all that we say and do. Lead us to love others so that they may come to know Your goodness and love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we sing of Your goodness and enduring love with praise and thanksgiving. Amen.

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

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

Proclaim with Praise to All People

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. – (Psalm 105:1, NLT)

For His unfailing love, let us give thanks. As benefactors of life and breath and our very being, we have reason to proclaim the greatness of our God. There is only One who willingly bore the weight of our sin and shame, so that we could have new life in Him. Our cleansing through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, is reason that we ought to go forth and freely share of the love that we have been given. May the whole world come to know what He has done, as we give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness.

Give thanks to the Lord,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as we share His love;

proclaiming how great,

is our God above.

May the whole world know,

what the Lord has done;

to make way for us,

through His precious Son.

All that we’ve done wrong,

the Lord wipes away;

as He took our place,

in punishment’s stay.

Yet not even death,

could defeat our King;

He rose from the grave,

by power He brings.

The very same strength,

that brought Love to life;

dwells within our hearts,

as we let faith rise.

Dear Heavenly Father, we give all thanks to You and proclaim Your greatness. Help us to let the whole world know what You have done, for in You, we have life and breath and hope and a future. Forgive us for not giving thanks often enough, and for not speaking of just how great You are to all whom we encounter. Teach us to trust You more, so that our every word and deed would speak the truth of Your greatness before them. 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 thanks to You and proclaim Your greatness and the wonder of all that You have done before all the world. 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

Thankfulness As A Sacrifice

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, NLT)

Set out a sacrifice I can accept; your thankfulness. Be true to your word to the Most High. – (Psalm 50:14, Voice)

At first glance, I wondered how thankfulness would be considered a sacrifice before God, however, when I pondered the passage for a moment, I recognized that the reality in the midst of struggles and suffering is that we must sacrifice some of ourselves (our desire to complain, whine, or wallow) in order to have a thankful heart before the Lord. Additionally, when we present promises to God, He expects us to keep them. None of this is possible in our own strength, yet with Christ in us, we can make thankfulness our sacrifice to God, and be true to the words we commit unto the Lord. May we give up our desire to identify the things that go wrong, and instead sacrifice our self-focus for a God-focus, giving Him all of our thanks and praise. Let us be true to our word to the Lord Most High, as it is by Him and through Him that all moments are measured.

Let a thankful heart,Tether Our Hearts

be our sacrifice;

before the Lord God,

as He paid the price.

For every sin,

has been washed away;

so that we can stand,

and walk in His way.

May we keep the vows,

promises to God;

let’s give our whole heart,

not just a facade.

No matter what comes,

be trial or grace;

may thanks fill our hearts,

and from our lips, praise.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You receive our thankfulness as a sacrifice before You, and that You are pleased when we are true to our word unto You. Forgive us for not making thankfulness our sacrifice before You, or for not keeping the promises that we have made to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would have hearts that are filled to overflowing with gratitude for who You are and all that You have done, as well as an unwillingness to waiver from our word unto You. Show us how to love others from a position of thankfulness, so that they too may see Your goodness through our gratitude. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make thankfulness our sacrifice before You, and keep our promises that we make to You. 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

Give Thanks As We Proclaim

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. – (1 Chronicles 16:8, NLT)

In my early twenties, I had the rare opportunity to be a part of Youth With A Mission, and saw firsthand, the carrying out of the great commission in action. We were able to go out to the ends of the earth and tell the world of what He has done. The teams that I was a part of traveled to Thailand, India, China, Bangladesh, Macau and Hong Kong (before it was turned back over to China). Trains, planes, boats, rickshaws, backpacks up mountains, and living among some of the world’s poorest, were part of our daily adventures. It was an exciting time, and as we gave thanks to the Lord and proclaimed His greatness, we could see, firsthand, how we were letting the world know what He had done.

After returning from such an adventurous lifestyle, it took quite a mind shift to recognize that I could still impact the world through giving thanks and proclaiming who God is. What I discovered as I began teaching in the city in which I was raised, is that the population had become very global. Though I was not going out into all of the world, all of the world was coming into my classroom on a daily basis. Seeds of kindness that I began to plant, were God’s to water and grow.

For years I have utilized writing as a personal outlet, rarely allowing anyone else to read what God had written on my heart. A few years ago, a dear friend who I did allow to read my writing from time to time, began to encourage me to consider sharing my writing with a larger circle. Though terrified, I ventured to spread the circle a bit wider. The few became a few more, and blogging was birthed in me. Today, the thrill of seeing the flag of another nation representing a person who has viewed what God is showing me, is overwhelming. God alone is worthy of all of our thanks and praise, for He is great and has done remarkable things! May we go forth this day and let the world know what He has done, as we live a life full of thanks.

All thanks be to God,Give Thanks As We Proclaim

and let us proclaim;

of the Lord’s greatness,

oh most Holy Name.

May all of the earth,

come know what He’s done;

through His love and grace,

He gave us His Son.

Merciful Father,

makes the way for us;

embrace eternal,

through the Lord Jesus.

Lord, You are so good,

You take what we bring;

and accept us each,

as pure offerings.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are so great and mighty. Thank You that You allow us to be a part of the great commission, wherever we are. Thank You that we can share Your love with the ends of the earth, whether we travel or stay at home. Forgive us for thinking that we cannot make a difference, or for staying silent when we ought to be proclaiming the greatness of who You are. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would use our words and deeds to appropriately express our gratitude unto You in all things and at all times. Lead us to love others in a way that sows seeds of Your goodness and grace deep into their hearts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and proclaim Your greatness wherever we may be. 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