Renewed Hope and Cheer

When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. – (Psalm 94:19, NLT)

Lord, when doubts fill my mind, when my heart is in turmoil, quiet me and give me renewed hope and cheer. – (Psalm 94:19, TLB)

Whenever my busy thoughts were out of control, the soothing comfort of Your presence calmed me down and overwhelmed me with delight. – (Psalm 94:19, TPT)

 

Just yesterday, this verse was demonstrated in a tangible way. My fiancé and I had made an offer on a house, and we were eagerly awaiting an answer. Additionally, it was the first day of state testing for my students, and the group I was to test is my most energetic group of sixth graders. I had concerns going in, as they struggle to stay on task during our usual 90-minute block class, despite the break that is given in the middle. For testing, I was scheduled to have these kiddos for a three-hour block until lunch. Between technology difficulties and an extremely rigorous test, we ended up with our same group of test-takers until the end of the school day. All but one of my cherubs had completed the assessment by the conclusion of seventh period, and it was implied that we would go on to eighth period to end the day. For whatever reason, that did not happen, and we ended up in staying together in my shrinking classroom for the final 45-minute period of the day as well. There was a bit of turmoil for all of us, yet after a short time, we all settled in and made the best of the down time. It provided room for each to decompress without academic expectations and I was pleased with the smiles and giggles around the room as kids colored, visited, played games, and some even sat in the sunshine right outside of my classroom door. Additionally, I received a text from my fiancé telling me that our offer had been accepted and we officially had acquired our new home. Comfort, hope and cheer were supplied in the midst of far too many busy thoughts. God is good, and He quiets us when our hearts are in turmoil and grants us renewed hope and cheer. May we ever seek Him when doubts fill our minds, for He is our comfort and conductor of cheer.

 

When my mind races,

img_20180508_201111_5701970752241.jpg

Our new home! ❤

And doubts enter in;

You bring me comfort,

Show me hope again.

Within my turmoil,

You come with Your peace;

Your presence brings calm,

As Your good’s released.

You still busy thoughts,

In love, You draw near;

You delight my heart,

As hope brings great cheer.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when things get hectic or chaotic and begin to cause our hearts to doubt, You bring Your comfort as You quiet our hearts and renew our hope and cheer. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to overwhelm us and steal our joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on You in all things and at all times, as You provide all that we need no matter what lies before us. Show us how to love well so that we may offer comfort, hope and cheer to those struggling with their own busy thoughts. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks for Your faithfulness to meet us in our moments of mayhem and bring Your calm as You renew our hope and cheer. 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

Fresh Hope Reconciled

He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. – (John 1:11-12, NLT) 

He came to the world that was His own. And His own people did not accept Him. But some people did accept Him. They believed in Him, and He gave them the right to become children of God. – (John 1:11-12, ERV) 

He came to His own people, but they didn’t want Him. But whoever did want Him, who believed He was who He claimed and would do what He said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. – (John 1:11-12, MSG) 

 

Under the law, God was One to be approached from a distance, rather than One whom we could draw near and be in relationship with personally. Jesus came to break the barrier that separated us from God and give us access to our Heavenly Father as dearly loved children. Our part is to believe and trust in Him. As we do, we are adopted as daughters and sons of the living God. The reality that we are considered children of God when we believe and accept Him as our own, is overwhelming. He sees and knows everything about us, and yet He loves us more than we can even begin to grasp. My role as a mom likely only begins to give a glimpse of the depth and breadth of His love for us. The love I have for my children feels limitless. When they hurt, I hurt. When they are doing well, I am full of joy. How much greater is the capacity to love of He who created all that is and ever was, as He knit us together and breathed life into our being? May we embrace the glorious grace that we have been given, as we receive the gift of being called daughters and sons of the living God through believing in Him and accepting His word is true. 

 

Often rejected, Risk to Reward

Jesus, He still came; 

To offer His love, 

As we call His Name. 

For all who believe, 

Accept His word’s true; 

Become His own kids, 

As we are made new. 

No longer from far, 

But we can draw near; 

Speak to Mighty God, 

We have Daddy’s ear. 

Just as a parent, 

Loves deeply their child; 

We’re loved by the Lord, 

Fresh hope reconciled. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and made the way for us to be restored to right relationship with You. Thank You that when we believe and accept Your word, You call us Your own. Forgive us for rejecting the truth that You make known to us, and teach us to trust You more. Help us to walk in Your way and honor You in all that we say and do. Show us how to love those around us so that they might gain glimpses of You through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we accept, believe and receive all that You show us of Yourself and Your word. Amen. 

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Patient Acceptance

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. – (Ephesians 4:2, ERV) 

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. – (Ephesians 4:2, NLT) 

Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love. – (Ephesians 4:2, VOICE) 

 

Last evening, I was the grateful recipient of patient acceptance, as my teammates and coach were humble and gentle, allowing for my very “off” time at practice. After sleeping so little the night before, I was exhausted and struggling to recall plays. Rather than respond with irritation or unkindness, I was surrounded by people who gently and patiently helped remind me of the routes that I could not recall, and continued to encourage, despite my exhausted state. After sleeping so little the night before, I was struggling to remember routes for the different plays. Rather than grow weary of my questions and seeming memory lapse, those around me gently reminded me of that which I could not recall, and encouraged, even when I did a less than stellar job. Having been on the receiving end of humility, gentleness and patience, I am all the more refueled to go and do likewise in love for those around me. No one has it all figured out, and we are all a work in progress. We tend to thrive and grow exponentially in an atmosphere where we are given grace where we fall short, and encouraged by those who walk in humility, gentleness and love. May we ever go forth with patience, humility and gentleness, accepting others as we are accepted by God. 

 

Always be humble, Patient Acceptance

Choose gentle and kind; 

Patient, accepting, 

With others in mind. 

When we act in love, 

Encourage, build up; 

The empty places, 

Soon become filled up. 

Acceptance in love, 

Provides room to grow; 

So let us choose love, 

As grace is made known. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and accept us as we are, despite our faults and failures. Thank You that You call us to patiently, humbly and gently do the same for one another. Forgive us for the times that we have not tolerated one another in love. Teach us to look to You to walk in patience, humility and gentleness, so that we may love others as we are loved by You. Show us how to love and accept others as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we follow Your example of humility and gentleness, patiently accepting one another in love. 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

Accept One Another

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. – (Romans 15:7, NLT)

Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honor to God. – (Romans 15:7, ERV)

So accept one another in the same way the Anointed has accepted you so that God will get the praise He is due. – (Romans 15:7, VOICE)

 

We are called to accept others in the same way that Christ has accepted us – with open arms that see the good, not highlight the flaws. God does not look at us and immediately go into “fix it ” mode, but rather He sees us in love. It is through coming to understand the depth of His love and grace that we are compelled to make changes so that our lives will more clearly reflect His light through our own. The more we know Him, the greater our desire to do as He has done for us. May we ever seek to grow in our understanding of who God is and how great His love is, so that we may go forth and love others as we are loved by God.

 

We’re called to go forth, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And love as we’re loved;

Received, accepted,

By grace from above.

As we do the same,

Accept each other;

God’s given glory,

Grace to discover.

So, let us choose love,

As Christ has loved us;

All praise to the Name,

Of our Lord Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love and accept us, just as we are, even in our broken and messy spaces. Thank You that Your love is what cleanses and heals us. Thank You that You only call us to do that which You have already done, and are willing to strengthen and equip us to do as well. Forgive us for withholding love or acceptance from anyone, and teach us to trust You more, so that we extend the same acceptance to others that You give to us. Show us how to love and accept all those around us in a way that blesses them and honors You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we accept others just as You have accepted us. Amen.

 

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

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3

Trust in His Words

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. – (Romans 4:20-22, NLT)

He never doubted that God would do what He promised. He never stopped believing. In fact, he grew stronger in his faith and just praised God. Abraham felt sure that God was able to do what He promised. So that’s why “he was accepted as one who is right with God.” – (Romans 4:20-22, ERV)

 

Abraham’s righteousness before God was not based on his following the letter of the law, but rather by his faith in the Father. God looks at us the very same way that He looked upon Abraham. He is not looking for people who cross their “t’s” and dot their “I’s” just so, but rather He wants people who place their trust in Him and believe that He will do what He says He will do. Our faith is both challenged and grown in the wait between the promise and its fulfillment. Few of us have to hold out for seventy-some years to see God’s promises realized, but how we choose to trust in the interim matters just as much. Thankfully, we have countless examples that have gone before us to show that faith is worth the wait. Additionally, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, to encourage our hearts and remind us who He is and how He loves. May we ever trust in our Heavenly Father, as He is faithful to fulfill every promise that He provides.

 

By faith we are seen,hope-overflowing

As right before God;

Our trust in His words,

Triumph over flaws.

For righteous to Him,

Belief that He’ll do;

All He has promised,

That His word is true.

Let go of the law,

And focus on Him;

By faith we’ll do right,

As we enter in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that what You promise, You are faithful to fulfill. Thank You that You count all who trust in You as righteous before You. Forgive us for not believing that You will do what You have promised, and grow in us an unwavering faith that always trusts. Show us how to love others well as we walk forward in the faith that You loving give to us as we seek You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your words and believe Your promises will be provided. Amen.

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

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

Reality Among Us

Because of this, the love of God is a reality among us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we could find true life through Him. – (1 John 4:9, VOICE)

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. – (1 John 4:9, NLT)

 

One enormous, sacrificial act of God on our behalf, and heaven’s doors were flung wide open with invitation for all who choose to accept, believe and receive Jesus, enter in. Christ came to restore what had been broken by sin. His one sacrifice paid the price for all that ever has been, is or will be, wrong in the sight of God. In Him, we are covered and called clean, accepted and received as redeemed before the Righteous One. May we embrace the grace that God has given through Jesus, and move forward in mercy, so that others too, may come to know the wonder of God’s amazing love.

 

What great love is this,

Build Your House on the Rock

image by Nicole Egerer

That sent His own Son;

So we might have life,

When our time is done?

Only God’s own grace,

Shows love that’s so deep;

Through Christ made the way,

For our souls to keep.

May we each embrace,

The hope we now hold;

And make His love known,

As our story’s told.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your one and only Son to make the way for us to find true life in You. Jesus, thank You for Your forgiveness and grace. Thank You that there is nothing that we have done that is not covered by Your sacrifice. Forgive us for not recognizing the magnitude of Your mercy and grace, or for refusing to receive it for ourselves. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would embrace the glorious gift that You have given, and then go forth and share of Your love. Show us how to love others well, so that they may see Your goodness through how we love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we receive all that You have given and go forth in love and grace so others may recognize the redemption You offer. Amen.

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

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

Chosen Representatives

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you – from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. – (1 Peter 2:9-10, MSG)

 

If we are followers of Christ, we are among those considered His chosen people. Those who are chosen, are also now called. Our calling is to be representatives of Christ – to be His instruments of peace, telling others of all that He has done in us and for us. Both our words and our deeds should demonstrate the dramatic difference that an identity in Christ makes in how we navigate. May we represent well the wonders of the work of His hands, so that many may come to know Him.

 

For we are chosen,Forgiveness is Free

To represent well;

A life changed by God,

Our story to tell.

In all that we do,

And words that we say;

May His light be seen,

As we walk His way.

Once we were nothing,

Headed for demise;

Then God made the way,

And loved us to life.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and You call us Your own. Thank You that You choose us to be Your instruments of peace, to represent You to those around us. Thank You that You qualify and equip us to do so. Forgive us for staying silent when we have so much to say about all that You have done in us and for us. Teach us to trust You more so that we would be bold on Your behalf. Show us how to love others where they are, so that they may seek to find the Source of our love too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we do and say the things You call us to on Your behalf, allowing us to represent You well. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31

Finding Common Ground

“…I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” – (I Corinthians 9:22b-23)

Paul is telling us a plethora of important principles in but a brief statement.  First, we must find common ground with those around us.  That does not mean we are to partake or indulge in sinful stuff, but rather we must take the time to invest in the lives of those around us, and love them well, where they are at, if we ever hope to have a voice in sharing what matters from our own hearts.  Second, we cannot have a know-it-all attitude.  Humility is the only way we will ever be heard.  Another necessary element in the process is to assure those around us that they are accepted, right where they are.  There are no requirements of “cleaning up” to come to Christ, but rather it is a matter of a sincere heart that is seeking Him.  We must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of those around us, and do what we can, practically, to help meet their needs.  When there is a relationship of trust established, opportunities to share what Christ has done for us personally, will be presented; we need only be available and willing to share.

(Italics  above are paraphrased from NIV footnotes for 9:22-23)

To find common ground,Purple flower

we need open our eyes;

take time to invest,

in other people’s lives.

For if we’re not known,

why would they lend an ear?

No one will listen,

’til another draws near.

We must first listen,

hear each heart and each voice;

notice what’s needed,

sincere service our choice.

When we invest time,

and let love be our choice;

our heart will be heard,

despite chaos and noise.

Let Love lead the way,

be faithful to the Lord;

people will notice,

His light can’t be ignored.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came and showed us the way to love others well.  Thank You that You came near to all, and made everyone who came near feel accepted and loved.  Thank You that You were always concerned about the needs of those who came, and touched lives as You transformed hearts.  Thank You that You sent Your Spirit, so that we too, have the capacity to love, accept, help, and share in such a way, that people may see You.  Forgive us for not investing time, or not being sensitive to those around us.  Help make us aware of the needs around us, so that we might be Your hands and heart to those who need Your touch, or word of encouragement.  May we learn to find common ground with everyone we meet, and allow You room to move as You see fit.  May many come to know You as their Savior and King.  Be exalted in everything we say and do.  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

Unity in the Body

Unity is a necessary component for any group to grow.  In order to be unified, time and energy must be invested and mutual respect extended, or an organization will never truly become united.

As a department, the Language Arts team at my school was able to block out a few hours to meet together for a previously determined purpose.  We always begin with a time of connections, recognizing the importance of opportunity to simply air where each of us are coming from.  This tremendous team has inadvertently tapped into the importance of unity in a body.  Safety and confidentiality have been established (TRUST), and each of us are available to help one another as we are able.  Though we may not have accomplished as much of the task as we had intended, our team walked away from our time together, feeling more united and supported than before.

Paul was encouraging the people in Corinth to do the same, as he wrote the following: “I appeal to you, brothers, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no division among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” – (I Corinthians 1:10) I don’t think that he meant that they had to agree about inconsequential things, but rather that they were to be united in purpose, and were to follow the ways of Christ, steering clear from the immorality that was widely accepted in society.  I am amazed that the very same appeal, still applies today.  The immorality that is widely accepted runs rampant, yet we are called to stand firm in our faith, staying true to our Father in heaven.  He is our Judge, not our neighbor nor our friends.  Ultimately, our decisions must be made by referring back to His word, and asking Him.

Together as one,Surrendered to See

in purpose and plea;

become the body,

through true unity.

Called to follow Christ,

stay true to His word;

let the Spirit lead,

not just what is heard.

Honor each other,

don’t argue and fight;

prefer each in love,

in purpose unite.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to be united together as a body in You.  Thank You that we are not meant to live out this life alone, but rather we are meant to walk together, learning and growing, side-by-side, so that we may strengthen and encourage each other.  Forgive us for any attitudes that can cause division among the body, and help us bring unity where it has been lacking.  Teach us how to come together as one in purpose, in You and for You, and may lives be changed on Your behalf.  Let our ability to be united appeal to those who are standing alone, and help all who come near, feel welcomed in.  May we love and welcome others in as You do.  Let lives be changed and hearts be healed.  Amen.

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

Culmination through Christ

by Elizabeth Kaeton

by Elizabeth Kaeton

Image of invisible,

the firstborn over us all;

by Him all things created,

came to be, as He did call.

Things in heaven and on earth,

those visible and unseen;

all created together,

His craftsmanship to esteem.

He is the head of the church,

body of we who believe;

Who is and was and will be,

our Rock to whom we may cleave.

Because He was fully God,

and still He was fully man;

our peace through His sacrifice,

accepted redemption plan.

We were once so far from God,

because of our evil ways;

now that we are reconciled,

by faith, we’re free all our days.

So continue in fierce faith,

established; and be not moved;

stay true to our Lord Jesus –

our firm foundation of truth.

(Responding to Colossians 1:15-23)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite our inability to grasp all that You are, You love us and have made the way for us to be in a relationship with You, the Creator of all!  Forgive us for being flippant about our faith, and teach us to be fully invested and firmly established in all that You are offering.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace that have granted us access to our faith.  Keep temptations far from us, and lead us to love like You.  May many come to know the magnificence of You, our Maker, and let lives be changed.  All praise to You, our Protector and Provider.  Amen.

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