Archive for June, 2016


I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness. – (John 12:46, NIV)

I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in Me won’t stay any longer in the dark. – (John 12:46, MSG)

 

Without Christ, we are stuck in the darkness of our own sin. Christ came so that we might have Light and life and truth. When we believe in Him, darkness must flee, for light and dark cannot dwell together. Light illuminates the darkness. Just as a small nightlight can make a world of difference for a little child on a dark night, so too can one person who bears the light of Christ, in a dark world. When we let our light shine, darkness disappears. Kindness, goodness, generosity and grace are contagious. One spark of compassion can ignite an entire community to do likewise. May we go forth in His light and be sparks, allowing His love to fan our words and deeds into a blaze.

 

May we seek to be,Courage for Change

Sparks that fan to flame;

As we honor Christ,

Glorify His Name.

Light dispels darkness,

In practical ways;

With kindness and grace,

That we give away.

Our great example,

Known throughout the earth;

Chose to love and serve,

And grant us great worth.

May we do likewise,

Go forth and be light;

Love as we are loved,

And choose do what’s right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son into the world to be light and life and love. Thank You that through Him, we can have life abundant in You. Forgive us for remaining hidden in the darkness of our own shame and sin, rather than allowing Your light to shine into the dark spaces to bring light and life where it is needed most. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would invite You to shine brightest in the places that are the darkest. Show us how to love others well, so that we may shine the light of Your hope before them through our kindness and care. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we allow Your light to shine through us wherever we go. 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

If You, God, kept records of wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is Your habit, and that’s why You’re worshiped. – (Psalm 130:3-4, MSG)

 

Today, I am so thankful that God is not like us. Imagine if God were only able to forgive over time? Or worse, if God held grudges? Though we may pursue to extend the same forgiveness to others that Christ has given to us, not one of us has arrived. There is always something that weighs on our hearts, or that takes us time to walk through, before we can truly forgive. With God, He chooses to take our sin and remember it no more. Such mercy and grace warrants worship. May we embrace the grace that our loving Father grants to us, and offer all of our praise to Him, as we seek His help to do unto others as He has done for us.

 

The glory of grace,Risk to Reward

Beyond what we see;

For not one could stand,

Without God’s mercy.

Forgiveness given,

Though it’s not deserved;

Reason for worship,

Give praise undeterred.

May we seek the Lord,

for His love and grace;

So we can extend,

The same all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You keep no record of our wrongs when we repent before You. Thank You that You forgive out of Your abundant love. Forgive us for our stubborn hearts that hold grudges and hurt, rather than giving the offenses over to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would bring all of our burdens before You, and allow You to mend the brokenness with Your lavish love. Show us how to keep no record of wrongs, and to extend mercy and grace to all those around us. May many come to find a lasting relationship with You, as they see Your love in our words and deeds. Be glorified O God, as we seek to love without limits and to forgive freely like You. 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

Is there any task or chore that you despise? For me, I am not a fan of housework. There are a million things that I would rather do, outdoors, than be stuck inside cleaning. The worst part for me, is when I set my intentions to get after it and get the job done, I might begin strong, but often become distracted by something that I find, and end up not finishing what I began.

It is the same with sin. We know which way is right and determine in our hearts that we will follow what is good before God, and then end up doing the very things we wanted to avoid. Our inability to navigate without sin reminds us of how desperately we are in need of a Savior. His word, His laws – are all for our benefit to identify the right way and to know the way we’re meant to walk. Without His Spirit dwelling within us, there would be no way to consistently follow His commands. By His grace, we are forgiven when we fall, and in His strength, we can choose what is right.

 

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. – (Romans 7:15-16, MSG)

 

Paul was well aware of his own short-comings. He recognized the pull of his own broken humanity to lead him away from that which he knew he was meant to do. It was through his recognition of his own need, that he became dedicated to dependence on Christ. We too are in need of Christ to lead us in the way we are meant to go. Without Him, we continue to do the very things we despise. May we embrace the grace that God gives through the gift of His Son, and allow Him access to lead us on the path we are meant to travel.

 

When I long to go,The Direction of Discipline

The way of the Lord;

Do what He deems right,

I try, but then fold.

For the sinfulness,

That dwells deep within;

Will rise up and rule,

When not seeking Him.

The way God commands,

Is not to bring harm;

But rather to save,

To righteously arm.

By God’s saving grace,

We’re able to do;

What He asks of us,

By His strength, ensue.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite our battle with our own sinfulness, You come near and love us to life. Thank You that by Your grace, we are forgiven and set free to do what is right before You. Forgive us for attempting to do things our own way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would pursue You in all that we do, and walk upright before You. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your kindness and grace, so that they might seek after You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we seek You in all things and at all times, so that we might do that which You are calling us into. Amen.

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

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

Today’s reading was found in Numbers 22:21-33. This passage tells the story of Balaam and his donkey as they are on their way to a Moabite town with Moabite officials. Balaam’s journey was not pleasing to the Lord. Three times, an angel of the Lord stood in the path of Balaam on his donkey, and blocked the way. Though Balaam could not see him, the donkey certainly could. In fear, the donkey turned away, held back and finally laid down, refusing to go forward each time the angel appeared. Unfortunately, Balaam could not see the angel, and chose to beat the donkey each time it refused to move forward. Finally, after the third time, God opened the mouth of the donkey and gave it the ability to speak. The donkey asked what it had done to deserve the beatings, and Balaam was concerned only that the donkey had made him appear a fool. What really stood out to me this morning, was the donkey’s reply to Balaam’s rant about being made appear a fool.

 

“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life, have I ever done anything like this before?” – (Numbers 22:30)

 

When those around us do things that are out of character, it is better to ask why, than to get angry or upset at the abrupt change. Most of the time, when people operate outside of their norm, there is a reason. It is almost always in response to something. If it is to hurt, how can we help? If it is to fear, how can we reassure or heed the warning? May we be sensitive to those around us, taking note of attitudes, actions or words that wander from their normal mode of operation. Lord, lead us to be sensitive to Your voice as we listen to those around us, so that we may identify the why when something is awry.

 

When words are like weapons,

Equipped for Desert Seasons

Where never before;

It’s our job to find out,

Discover the sore.

For panic or wounding,

Great heartache or fear;

Each one can be reason,

To ask and draw near.

Let Balaam’s example,

Be warning to us;

Sometimes the uncommon,

Is help from Jesus.

Lord, make our hearts tender,

Ready to give ear;

Help us see through Your eyes,

So all becomes clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You show us things through Your eyes, and give us Your heart for those around us. Forgive us for getting angry or upset when those around us operate outside of their normal mode of operation. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might patiently and lovingly pursue answers as to why someone is “off” rather than be bothered by it. Help us to love others well, just as You so patiently and extravagantly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to understand when things are awry, rather than respond as the recipients of offense. Amen.

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

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

Saturdays are typically my go and get things done day. Yesterday, the intention was very much the norm, though I woke feeling a bit off. I was dizzy and a little nauseous, but figured it would pass if I powered through. Devotions were done, boys were up and out the door for their all-day retreat with youth group, and I went on my way to workout. What I normally blast through, was quite a struggle. My stomach was stirring maliciously, and I had to breathe through each movement. Finally, during the last five minutes or so of the workout, I had to tap out. I simply sat down and waited for it to finish. Stopping is not my M.O., but wisdom told me it was stop or create a scene with how my body responds.

When I arrived home, I crawled straight into bed. All I could do was toss and turn as my body fought the fever. Food and drink did not feel like quality options, so attempted sleep was it – all day long. No errands run, no outing fun – just rest. The fever must have broken late last night, as I don’t remember waking again until this morning.

Today is a brand new day. The sun is shining, the house is quiet, and my stomach seems satisfied with some Gatorade and gluten free pretzels. Though I will likely take another day to rest (and keep my germs to myself) I am so grateful for the difference that a day can make.

 

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – (Psalm 118:24, NLT)

 

My rejoicing yesterday, despite how I was feeling, was the blessing that my mom was in town. She stayed at my house all day, to be available if I needed anything. Her trip to the store yesterday provided that which is palatable for me today.

Each new day is a gift, despite the challenges presented. He grants us what we need to sustain us and see us through, therefore we have reason to rejoice and be glad in the blessings of today.

 

Today is the day,photo (7)

Designed just for you;

He brought you to it,

So He’ll see you through.

Let us choose be glad,

In all things rejoice;

Thanks to our Savior,

We’ve always the choice.

No matter what comes,

Hope will not delay;

With God and His grace,

There’s always a way.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that each new day is a gift from You, no matter what comes our way. Thank You that You can use even our sickness or discomfort, to show us more of Your love and provision. Forgive us for our lack of gratitude when things don’t seem to go our way. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might recognize that You can take every trial and odd turn and use it for Your glory. Show us how to love others with Your goodness and grace. May many choose to seek Your face. Be glorified O God, as we rejoice and are glad in each new day that You grant us. 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

 

 

 

“Can anyone hide from Me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” Says the Lord. – (Jeremiah 23:24, NLT)

 

Though we may not try to physically hide ourselves from the Lord, often there are things that we keep hidden in our hearts and avoid broaching the subject. Our avoidance does not make the difficulty go away. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and waits patiently for us to bring even the things we most want to avoid, before Him. The Lord does not wait as an impatient dictator, but rather as a loving Father. He longs to lead us to a place of freedom, where the pain of what is hidden may be removed and the weight that was, will no longer be a burden. May we bring our darkness and burdens before Him, rather than allow them remain hidden. He is our strength and salvation, and true freedom is found in the Lord alone.

 

We’ve no place to hide,When My Soul Waits

And no place to roam;

Where God cannot see,

Where our path’s unknown.

For our loving Lord,

He knows and sees all;

He directs our steps,

When on Him we call.

Let us set aside,

Our own foolishness;

choose trust in the Lord,

And His righteousness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we go or what we do, there is no place and nothing that can be hidden from You. Thank You that You are everywhere and aware of all things. Forgive us for trying to keep things hidden in our hearts out of fear, and teach us to trust in You more, so that we would place all things at Your feet. Show us how to love those around us that demonstrates Your goodness and grace in a way that is authentic and pleasing unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we bring all things before You, and trust all things in Your strong and loving hands. 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

 

 

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. – (Proverbs 16:9, NLT)

We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. – (Proverbs 16:9, MSG)

 

When we are living life in pursuit of the Lord, it is indeed good to press in and keep moving forward towards that in which we feel we are being called. Though there is rarely a “yellow-brick road” to show us the way, the Lord opens and closes doors to help determine our steps as we choose to continue to walk in pursuit of all that He has for us. He strengthens, equips and provides what is needed as it is needed, so that we can continue in the direction to which we are called. May we pursue the plans that the Lord has placed in our hearts, and trust Him to provide what we need to live them out.

 

With hearts open wide,Our Map and Our Guide

May we seek pursue;

The plans that we hold,

As God sees us through.

For plans are just plans,

Without the Lord’s touch;

In Him there’s power,

To accomplish much.

Whatever He asks,

Is what can be done;

Through His tender grace,

The Most Holy One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we set our hearts on You, You direct our steps. Thank You that You place plans in our hearts, then equip and empower us to carry them out. Forgive us for being fearful when direction is unclear in our own eyes, and teach us to trust You more. Show us how to let You lead us and guide us in all things at all times so that we would walk in the way You call us to live. Help us to love others in such a way, that they turn to trust in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we make plans in pursuit of You, but allow You to direct our steps. 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

 

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” – (John 11:40, NLT)

 

Jesus spoke these words to Martha at the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb, just prior to raising him from the dead. Martha was more concerned with what the tomb might smell like than what the Savior was about to do. She was temporarily trapped in trusting the perceived truth that she could see, rather than the reality held in the power of her precious Savior.

It did not take long for her heart to be set right and her world to be flipped upside down. With but three words spoken, “Lazarus, come out!” Martha’s brother was returned to her as Jesus raised him from the dead, restoring him to life once again.

Though we seldom see Jesus work in the same way as He did in Lazarus, His awesome power is at work all around us. He restores the broken-hearted, heals the sick, provides for those in need, and places the lonely in families. The power of God is not limited to our perception of God. He can do exceedingly more than we could ever hope or imagine. We only get to see God’s glory when we choose to believe that He is who He says He is. May we lay hold of the faith that He imparts unto us, and believe big for the things that He has placed in our hearts. Let His glory be seen to the ends of the earth as we listen, love and get out of the way.

 

May we rise in faith,The Reason for Reverence

In trust, hold what’s true;

For the Lord is near,

His wonders anew.

God’s glory prepared,

For our eyes to see;

His grace and power,

As we are set free.

Choose to walk in faith,

To trust and believe;

Let every heart,

Invest and receive.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we believe and trust in You, we have the privilege of seeing how You move mightily on our behalf. Thank You that You give us glimpses of Your glory in our everyday walks of faith. Forgive us for our lack of faith or our fearfulness when all around us seems to be falling apart. Teach us to trust You in all things and at all times, despite how things appear, as You so often move the most miraculously when things seem to be at their worst. Show us how to love others well, and how to model a belief that points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we believe in who You are and how You love. 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

 

 

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has redeemed you from your enemies. – (Psalm 107:1-2, NLT)

 

The first portion of the passage is fairly self-explanatory. God deserves our thanks, for He is good and His love lasts forever. As for redemption, that can be a bit trickier to grasp, as we are not living in the same times as when the original text was written. In some parts of the world, redemption, as in the buying back or paying a price for freedom, is still relevant. However, for those of us who have always known freedom, it is a bit more of a learning curve. We must first recognize that we were held captive in our hearts. Our chains tend to be spiritual and emotional, not physical. At times, the unseen can be more difficult to be rid of, because we must first acknowledge that they exist. Chains in the physical are obvious. If a person is shackled, they want to be free. In the same way, if a person is trapped in the tangles of sin, or locked in the lies that they have been told for far too long, ideally, the desire would be for freedom to be found immediately. Invisible chains must first be identified, recognized for the burden that they truly are, and then help must be sought to rid ourselves of the weight.

Thankfully, God is patient and faithful. He is willing to wait for our readiness for His help, and He loves us to life when we call on His Name. When we have been rescued from ruins, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, we ought to let others know what the Lord has done. Our story may be their opportunity to recognize their own unseen chains. May we give the Lord thanks for His faithful love, and tell those around us of all that He has done.

 

Give thanks to the Lord,Shackles No More

For He’s always good;

His love shall endure,

His grace understood.

He sets captives free,

When we call on Him;

Removes the shackles,

That tie us to sin.

He takes all the weight,

Of the burdens worn;

And loves us to life,

Our souls are reborn.

So bring all the chains,

That keep us from free;

And trust in the Lord,

Where all praise should be.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your faithful love endures forever. Thank You that You have redeemed us and You call us by name. Thank You that we have a story of how You have set us free from the chains that held us captive to the weight of sin or lies that we were never designed to carry. Thank You for setting us free. Forgive us for keeping our own story silent, when so many might benefit from hearing the truth of Your goodness and grace. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to share all that You have done in us and for us, as You are such a good and faithful Father. Show us how to love others well, so that they might see Your goodness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and speak out of all that You have done. 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

And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love. – (Romans 5:5, VOICE)

 

The Holy Spirit within us grants us hope in our spaces of greatest need. Love from the Lord fills our hearts, and points to the places where hope is held, even when darkness seeks to destroy. It is our charge to look to the Lord when we struggle to hold His hope. He meets us in our moments of need, and floods us with His love. There is a delicate balance between hope for the future, and truly fixing our ultimate hope in Him alone.

Right now, this is a very personal struggle as I wait, not so patiently, for my back to heal from a compression fracture. It has been two very long months, and I am really ready to resume my full activity level with a vengeance. That being said, I must wait and see what the specialist says today after I get a new set of x-rays and he looks at my progress. My hope is that he will say that my back is better and I can return to all activities, but I know that I must really place my hope in the Lord, and trust that He has my very best in mind, and whatever the verdict, I am loved and I am held. God will carry me, regardless of the outcome. If I am cleared, the Lord will grant wisdom as to how I am to resume regular activities. If I am not, He will sustain my sanity, and grant me the grace that is needed to continue to wait for my body to heal.

When we hope in the Lord, we will never be disappointed. His love never fails. Humans fail. God never fails. May we place our trust in Him and allow the Lord to hold our heart and our hope as we go forward into this brand new day.

 

To hope in the Lord,Refreshment Through Repentance

Love that will not fail;

Where people fall short,

The Lord shall prevail.

Let us place our trust,

In He who is love;

Hope that is fulfilled,

By our God above.

Let not the longings,

For things here and now;

Influence our hope,

Of what He’ll allow.

For all that matters,

On our final day;

Is do we trust Him,

Let Him lead the way?

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that hope in You will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because Your Holy Spirit dwells within us, and floods our hearts with Your love. Thank You that no matter what surrounds us, Your hope is ahead of us. Forgive us for our fearfulness and lack of faith when things seem hopeless through our own eyes. Teach us to trust You more, and to hold fast to an eternal perspective rather than one that is temporary. There is so much more than the here and now. Show us how to love others well, so that they too, might see the hope that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hope in You and allow Your love to flood our hearts and overflow to those around us. 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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