Choosing Circles

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, NLT)

Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones. – (Proverbs 12:26, ERV)

Lovers of God give good advice to their friends, but the counsel of the wicked will lead them astray. – (Proverbs 12:26, TPT)

 

Yesterday morning, our pastor spoke about the significance and power of our circles. Our relationships have the power to shape our lives emotionally, physically and spiritually. We have the freedom to choose who holds space in our circle, as each person’s circle begins and ends with themselves. Those whom we surround ourselves with ought to encourage us and hold us accountable. Who we walk with determines the person we will become. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – (Proverbs 27:17, NIV) “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” – (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV) We have been created for relationship. The intention is for us to sharpen one another, not to corrupt. The circle we choose can make all the difference in who we become. May we seek the Lord and His wisdom as we learn to grow our circle with grace, so that we may encourage and sharpen one another for His glory.

 

We’ve the grace to choose,

wp-15365818485874977245676892055719.jpg

Photos by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

Our circles ourselves;

We need the Lord’s help,

To choose people well.

Those who will build up,

When we’ve fallen down;

Will challenge with grace,

And straighten our crown.

We’re apt to attract,

Whatever we give;

Let wisdom and grace,

Define how we live.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless us with the freedom to choose our own circles. Thank You that You give wisdom and grace as we ask, leading and providing the people that will encourage and challenge us the way You intended. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected investing in our circles, or for forgetting that we have the freedom to choose. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would listen to Your leading as to which friends sharpen us and which distract. Show us how to be the friend to those around us that encourage and challenge in love in a way that builds up and points hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to surround ourselves with circles that are pleasing unto You. Amen.

 

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

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20

The Force of Faithful Fathers

Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies. – (Proverbs 20:15, NLT)

Much gold and many pearls exist, but wise speech is the most precious jewel. – (Proverbs 20:15, CEB)

You may have an abundance of wealth, piles of gold and jewels, but there is something of far greater worth: speaking revelation words of knowledge. – (Proverbs 20:15, TPT)

 

When I think of fathers, be it those on earth or our Heavenly Father, thoughts of wise words come to mind. Fathers are great sources of advice, and good fathers direct the path of their children as they grow. In the places where a human father is absent, falls short, or simply has no answer, God, who is the ultimate Father, always does. No matter where we are or what is going on, we may seek Him for answers in prayer and in His word. Last evening, I had the joy of watching the wisdom of a good father’s words come to fruition. My bonus son-to-be graduated from high school. He is a wonderful young man who has not been the biggest fan of school. His father, who loves him fiercely, with all of his giant, Viking being, passed on many wise words, often, that ultimately led to his son’s successful completion of public education. It is such a sweet space to watch the pride a father has in his son, as it grants a glimpse of how our Heavenly Father views us as His children. Though it often takes His coaxing, pulling, lifting, loving, redirecting, and many wise words conveyed to us, He is proud of us too, as we reach the various milestones set before us. May we ever seek the best Father of all and celebrate and give thanks for the good fathers that God has granted all around us to show us His heart.

 

Great wisdom in words, fb_img_15292164673276799610905781133347.jpg

Are precious in worth;

Far greater than gold,

The way, they unearth.

Just as the wise words,

That good dads choose bring;

Show us where to go,

And how to do things.

May we choose give thanks,

Seek words that are wise;

All praise for fathers,

Who see through love’s eyes.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of good fathers. Thank You that You are the ultimate good Father to us. Thank You that You grant us wise words to live by that lead us on the path You have placed before us. Forgive us for not valuing the wisdom found in the words that You intended for our hearts to hear. Teach us to have ears to listen and hearts to understand. Show us how to love others well, so that we would speak wise words that You place in our mouths. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in the wisdom of Your Holy Word and learn to value it above things that come and go. 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

Advise to Grow Wise

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. – (Proverbs 19:20-21, NLT)

Listen to advice and accept discipline; then you, too, will become wise. People might make many plans, but what the Lord says is what will happen. – (Proverbs 19:20-21, ERV)

Heed counsel, act on instruction, and you will become wise later in life. The impulses of the human heart may run wild, but the Eternal’s plan will prevail. – (Proverbs 19:20-21, VOICE)

 

The heart of this is that we are created for community. From the start, the intent was for us to be in relationship with God and with those around us. As we seek the Lord and His will, and listen to the wise counsel of the trustworthy whom God has placed among us, we will become wise in His ways and walk according to His plan. On our own, we might make many plans, yet when checked through the lens of the Lord, only that which aligns with His, will remain. May we ever seek the Lord and the counsel of those whom He has placed in our lives, so we will walk in His way, rather than running with whatever whim our hearts desire.

 

Choose to seek advice, IMG_2491

Accept all you can;

It’s how wisdom grows,

Learn to understand.

Though many our plans,

The Lord’s will prevail;

As we pursue Him,

His heart will not fail.

He’ll show us the way,

Grant wisdom and grace;

For all of our days,

As we seek His face.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we listen to advice and accept discipline and counsel, we grow in wisdom. Thank You that though we may make many plans, Your plans and purposes prevail. Forgive us for going our own way and pursuing our own plans, rather than seeking You. Teach us to seek advice and act on instruction in all things, so that we may grow in Your wisdom as we walk out our days. Show us how to love those around us with wisdom and grace, so that all might long to seek Your face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to advice and instruction from You and those whom You have given to us as wise counsel, and grow our hearts in Your wisdom as we walk in Your ways. Amen.

 

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

 

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

Listen for Wisdom

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

Listen to advice and accept discipline, then you, too, will become wise. – (Proverbs 19:20, ERV)

 

Wisdom comes over time, through actively seeking to know and understand. My mom models this principle, much like her mother before her. She pursues new learning wherever she can, and reads constantly. Her circle of friends is vast and diverse, exposing her to a wide knowledge base, even in her social arena. Today is the day that we celebrate her birth, and I am beyond blessed to call her my Mom. She loves with her whole heart, and gives all of herself to those whom she loves and whatever she does. Her wisdom is not flaunted, but sweet and subtle, just as her mother before her. However, when a conversation of depth is covered, the years of actively pursuing truth is evident, and I still call my mom to ask her how to do things and want her to be pleased with the things that I say and do. May we give thanks for the moms who raised us, or those who came alongside us to show us what it is to mother well.

 

All thanks be to God, Mom

For my own mother;

Whose wisdom and strength,

Led like no other.

As she sought advice,

Her wisdom and grace;

Showed me how to live,

To run well, my race.

Thank You, dear Jesus,

For this precious gift;

For my loving Mom,

All praise to You, lift.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we seek advice and instruction from You, You give us wisdom. Thank You for my mom and her mom before her that have modeled this so beautifully for me. Please bless and keep her today and always, as she is a treasure that I am so grateful to have in my life. Forgive us for not seeking You for advice and instruction, and teach us to remember that all wisdom that lasts, comes from You. Show us how to love and appreciate those whom You have placed in our path to both parent us, and for us to do the same. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek wisdom and instruction from You, so that we might be wise in the ways that You are calling us to go. Amen.

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

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

Accepting Advice and Discipline

Listen to advice and accept discipline; then you, too, will become wise. – (Proverbs 19:20, ERV)

 

I think, by and large, most people would like to become wise. The challenge however, is that few of us want to hear what others have to say about our approach to anything, and if discipline or correction is involved, the numbers dwindle even further. Rather than viewing advice and discipline as ways to gain wisdom, we see them as sources of pain or personal attack. It is essential that we slow down and listen to whatever is spoken, so that we may hear the heart behind what is being said. Sometimes the most difficult words to hear, are those we ultimately need to move forward from where we have been stuck or stagnant. May we be willing to listen to advice and accept discipline as it is provided by those whom we trust; for God grants wisdom as we listen and learn.

 

Listen to advice,The Direction of Discipline

Accept discipline;

From those whom God calls,

To speak with wisdom.

For we learn and grow,

As corrections come;

We cannot be wise,

Without direction.

So be quick to hear,

Readily accept;

Direction from God,

So we are equipped.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that if we are willing to listen to advice and accept discipline from You and those whom You grant authority to, we gain wisdom and grow in understanding. Forgive us for turning a deaf ear to those whom You have intentionally placed to speak into our lives, and teach us to give ear to words spoken to us in a way that grows us our wisdom and understanding of Your will. Help us to trust You more, so that we would not only hear, but obey. Show us how to love others in such a way, that we might offer the very words that point people straight to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we listen to advice and accept discipline from You and those whom You give wisdom and words to speak to 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

Wisdom for Life

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – (Proverbs 19:20, NLT)

 

Wisdom comes through seeking to understand. Our first and foremost One to go to when we are in need of answers, is God. However, we are also called to be invested in the body of Christ. When we are surrounded by those who honor and serve Him well, we find people who are trustworthy to ask advice, and from whom to invite instruction, as they have the wisdom of experience to share with those who want to hear. May we each choose to be lifelong learners, ever pursuing God’s best for us, so that we may walk in wisdom all the days of our life.

 

Choose to seek advice,mother and child

Instruction from those;

Who have a strong faith,

And wisdom to know.

Of course pursue God,

For all that we seek;

Give ear to the ones,

Who through Christ, choose speak.

To be wise for life,

May we never rest;

As we pursue God,

To know what is best.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can seek You and ask You whatever we need for wisdom and instruction. Thank You too, that when we need a tangible sounding board, You provide people around us who are able to instruct and advise according to Your will. Forgive us for not seeking advice or instruction. Teach us to trust You and those You hand-picked and placed in purposeful positions in our lives for advice and instruction. Show us how to love those around us according to Your wisdom and grace. May many choose to receive Your salvation today. Be glorified O God, as we seek advice and instruction as a part of our ongoing practice, so that we might be wise for the rest of our lives. Amen.

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

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

Obedience is Walking in Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. – (2 John 1:6)

To truly live a life of love, is to live one of obedience to that which Christ has commanded. All that Christ asks of us can be summarized quite simply; we are to love God and love people. If all that we say and do is governed by our love for Christ and our desire to show His love to others, we will be operating in obedience to His commands. Though seemingly quite simple, it is much more easily said than done. Without investing in Christ and His created, we are not able to love well. We must know and trust God, and be invested in the world around us to actually touch lives with the love that He gives. Often it requires that we listen, even when we’d rather speak; help, when we’d like to have help ourselves; give, when we’re not sure we have enough, and show kindness, despite disdain that may be extended toward us. Love is a choice that we must choose to make if we desire to obey what the Lord is asking. He grants us wisdom as to when it is unhealthy to come close to those who could bring harm, and grace to extend to those who feel unworthy of being loved. May we each choose to walk in obedience to His commands as we walk out this day in His love.

To truly live life,Tether Our Hearts

obeying the Lord;

we must choose to love,

as we are adored.

For Christ grants to us,

all that we will need;

to go and love well,

let His Spirit lead.

Though it seems simple,

it is quite a task;

to love each other,

as Jesus has asked.

For people are flawed,

broken and cause harm;

it takes total trust,

to love as He arms.

Our obedience,

is well worth the price;

eternity sure,

our most sound advice.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it is to walk in obedience to Your commands. Thank You Jesus that You modeled a life lived in love. Thank You that You loved us so much that You gave Your very life for ours so that we could live forever with You, and love as You love us. Forgive us for not walking in obedience to Your commands, as we neglect to love You or others as we are called to love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will love with wisdom and grace, showing others well the way to seek with their whole hearts, Your tender face. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in obedience to Your commands and walk 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

Away with Anxiety’s Hold

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. – (1 Peter 5:7)

 

To give all of our worry, distress and uneasiness of mind to Christ, is easier said than done. It has a way of sneaking into the sinews of our soul, and creating claws, that grab hold and grip tightly so that we find ourselves tense without even realizing why. In Philippians 4:6, we are instructed as to how to cast our cares on Christ, so that we can actually allow Him to care for us. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. In other words, when worry or uneasiness come, pray – tell God about it. We are not meant to carry the burden by ourselves, but rather we are to make our request known before He who is abundantly able to carry the load that we cannot. Yesterday, in my Pastor’s Intensive class, we were covering some deep and difficult material. One of our instructors had a great bit of advice. She said that when we come to a crossroads where we want an answer to be black and white, but there clearly isn’t one for us to find, we are to hit our knees and worship. God is so much greater than our struggles, that our dependence on Him is what matters most. He cares for us and will meet us in our space of need; however, we must choose to trust.

 

To cast far away,

ishareimage.com

ishareimage.com

anxiety’s hold;

place in the Lord’s hand,

whatever unfolds.

For He’s much greater,

than all that may come;

and He cares for us,

as shown through His Son.

Through all of our days,

with much thanksgiving;

present unto God,

the hope lacking things.

Wherever there’s lack,

our God can come fill;

for He’s so much more,

than trials or ills.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can cast all of our anxiety on You, because You care for us, and You do not want us to stay stuck in that space. Thank You that we can come to You, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, and present our requests before You. Thank You that You meet us in that space with Your peace and Your comfort and Your care. Forgive us for allowing fear and anxiousness to reign in silence, rather than calling on You out loud, and allowing You into the darkness. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will remember that where Your light shines, darkness cannot be found. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they too, may come to know the peace and presence that are found forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we cast all of our anxiety on You, and move forward boldly in all that You have called us to become. Amen.

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

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

Walking in Wisdom

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. – (Proverbs 28:26)

 

Though some view the bold individual who soldiers on as a hero, if they are self-reliant – neither asking for nor giving advice, they are living in a way that is contrary to that in which God calls us to live. God surrounds us with His people for a purpose. We are meant to support and protect one another from both foolishness and harm. Yes, ultimately, the Lord is our protection and wisdom, yet as humans, we often need the audible and tangible to really have His will make sense.

 

Just yesterday, I had a task that I was about to “soldier” through. A good run and a clear mind had me in a solid state to enter into what I needed to do. When I paused for a moment and entered into what was before me, I quickly called on a few dear friends to pray. I knew that I needed to be covered and calm, and by allowing them access to the fact that what was before me was more than my heart could handle on its own, God met me in a very real way as I walked through what needed to be done. He is faithful to grant wisdom and safety to all who place their trust in Him. May we allow Him access to all, and place our trust in Christ.

 

Let’s trust not ourselves,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in strength, soldier on;

for that is foolish,

in God, it is wrong.

For those who are wise,

seek wisdom, advice;

surrounded and safe,

mere folly’s demise.

Let’s trust in the Lord,

and those who surround;

the wise and faithful,

may the lost be found.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that You are our safe place and where we find wisdom. Thank You that You did not create us to go forth on our own, but rather You created us for relationships that reveal more of Yourself, and challenge and grow our faith further with You. Forgive us for failing to depend on You and those whom You have placed on our path to help and support us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will call on You for wisdom and safety in all situations, and that we will go forth together with those whom You have placed beside us. Lead us to love others well, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You, and walk in Your wisdom and safety with those You set beside us. Amen.

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

For the Lord you God will bless you, …and your joy will be complete. – Deuteronomy 16:15

Consider Great Things

Life is busy; and busy, can be distracting. In the midst of all that moves us, we are meant to slow down and take time to reset and reflect, restoring our priorities to their proper place. As Samuel was nearing the end of his life and the people had asked the Lord for a king, to be like the nations that surrounded them, he offered much sound advice. A verse that stood out to me this morning, as a reliable reminder to keep our priorities in their proper place, is the following: “But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” – (1 Samuel 12:24)

 

To fear the Lord is to stand in reverent awe of who He is, and to understand that He is God, and we are not. Serving Him faithfully with all your heart is to withhold nothing; allowing Him access to all that we are, and offering our whole selves unto Him. When we feel that tender tug on our heartstrings to do something to serve, we don’t think; we act. To consider what great things He has done for us, is to remember His faithfulness. It takes little looking to see how He has been faithful. Being awake and able to read His word this morning is just one small example of His unending faithfulness unto us. The sun rose, as it was meant to do, I draw breath, without effort… What an incredible God to give us the gift of life and love and His unending faithfulness!

 

Take time to slow down,Consider Great Things

to think of great things;

the gifts from the Lord,

that salvation brings.

His love and His grace,

freedom from demise;

His great strength to stand,

against all the lies.

Stand in total awe,

of our Mighty King;

serve Him faithfully,

as our offering.

Remember the Lord,

and His faithfulness;

all glory to Him,

God of Righteousness!

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are God and we are not. Thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our reverence and awe; for You created everything that is, and was and is yet to be. Thank You for Your loving kindness and faithfulness to us, though we deserve it not. Forgive us for getting so caught up in the chaos of life, that we don’t stop to remember all that You have done for us. Help us to remember Your faithfulness, and trust that You are still the same God today as You were before. May we have hearts that are willing to serve You completely, and trust You with our whole being. Let Your love shine through us as we seek to serve as You call us. May many come to know You as their faithful Father, as we honor You in all that we say and do. Be magnified in the midst of us, as we consider the great things You have done. Amen.

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

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1