Announced Arrival

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – (Luke 2:13-14, NLT) 

Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing: “Glory to God in the highest realm of heaven! For there is peace and good hope given to the sons of men.” – (Luke 2:13-14, TPT) 

 

One of my favorite moments to anticipate each year, is candlelight service on Christmas Eve. There is a moment in the evening when a single flame is lit, the lights are extinguished, and people then begin to pass the flame, candle to candle, as songs of praise in remembrance of that most holy night, are sung by all. Soon, the entire sanctuary is full of the glorious glowing light, and an army of angelic voices floods the room. Though but a glimpse, it is such a sweet reminder of that most holy night when heaven came to earth and the armies of heaven announced the arrival of Christ, as they sang in celebration of what God had done. May we each find a moment in the so often hectic season of preparation, to take in the tangible reminders of that most holy night. Let the glory of all that God has done flood our hearts and minds as we give our praise to the Ancient of Days. 

 

Darkness was flooded, Glory to God in the highest_sermon

With heavenly hosts; 

Singing out praises, 

To men at their posts. 

In awe, they watched them, 

In wonder and fright; 

As heaven drew near, 

On that holy night. 

This declaration, 

Such wondrous good news; 

Savior’s arrival, 

What would shepherds choose? 

The men in wonder, 

Left their fields that night; 

To see for themselves, 

The glorious sight. 

A glimpse of Jesus, 

In the stable lay; 

Their lives ever changed, 

That sacred birthday. 

May we find moments, 

Where we’re caught in awe; 

Of all that God did, 

Through the babe they saw. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the glorious gift of Your Son. Thank You for the heavenly hosts who announced His arrival to shepherds in their fields that night. Thank You for the moments in this sacred season that grant us glimpses of Your glory. Forgive us for not slowing down in awe and wonder at the marvelous miracle of Jesus and all that surrounded His arrival. Teach us to recognize the remarkable reminders of all that You have done to bring heaven to earth and make way for us to know You. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they make recognize the radiance of Your glory through the good that You send us in this sacred season. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the most holy arrival of Your Son, and give all glory to You. Amen.

 

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

 

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. – Acts 10:36

A Faithful Heritage

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. – (Psalm 100:5, NIV)

The Lord is good! There is no end to His faithful love. We can trust Him forever and ever! – (Psalm 100:5, ERV)

Because the Eternal is good, His loyal love and mercy will never end, and His truth will last throughout all generations. – (Psalm 100:5, VOICE)

 

Every year, I am blessed with the opportunity to gather with family to give thanks. What I have noticed, is that the same goodness and faithfulness that I remember my great-grandmothers speaking of, what I saw in my grandparents’ lives, have witnessed and still see in my mom’s life, I now observe in awe, in my own life and the lives of my children. This is not to say that life has been free of trials or struggles or difficulty, but rather it is that through it all, the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness have been evident through each generation. May we take time to tell one another of the Lord’s ongoing faithfulness in our lives, as His love endures forever and His mercy knows no end.

 

Come and bless the Lord,

wp-15352071291193289620333228013219.jpg

Photos by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

He’s faithful and good;

His love is endless,

Throughout time it’s stood.

Firm in great mercy,

Generous in grace;

Faithful forever,

The Ancient of Days.

Each generation,

Make known to the next;

This love, unending,

As God loves us best.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a heritage of wise women and men who followed faithfully after You. Thank You for the example that previous generations have set for the next. Forgive us for not sharing enough about Your faithfulness with those who follow after us. Teach us to trust and rely on You, so that our children and their children cannot help but see Your faithful, enduring love forever. Show us how to love those around us in a way that makes Your faithfulness, love and grace known through our words and deeds. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your faithfulness forever and give You praise throughout all of our days. Amen.

 

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

 

Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures. – Psalm 119:90

Searched, Known and Loved

You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. – (Psalm 139:1, NIV)

O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. – (Psalm 139:1, TLB)

O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am. – (Psalm 139:1, VOICE)

 

The very One who created us knows everything about us and loves us for who we are. Though we are broken and flawed, He loves. As we seek Him, we find Him. Once we choose to invite Him to be in charge, He will not leave us nor forsake us. There is much comfort and reverence in knowing the overwhelming, never-ending, all-encompassing depth of His love for us in spite of ourselves. May we ever give praise to the Ancient of Days, as He knows us and loves us far better than anyone else ever will.

 

God, our Creator, Searched and Known

Has searched us and knows;

What dwells in our hearts,

When we come and go.

Though dark and broken,

His love still remains;

He brings light and love,

And washes the stains.

So, ever seek God,

He knows our hearts best;

In His love and grace,

We come to know rest.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have searched us and know us and love us anyway. Thank You that You do not place qualifications on Your love. Forgive us for the things within us that are not pleasing to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would give You access to all. Show us how to allow Your light into the dark spaces and give grace room to move where it is needed most. Help us to love those around us the way that blesses and encourages them and helps them to feel known. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for knowing us and loving us as we are, and for refining us to become more of who You are calling us to become. Amen.

 

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Be Full of Joy

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)

Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ERV)

Let joy be your continual feast. Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, TPT)

 

Despite what we go through or the struggles we face, we always have reason to give thanks. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances, but rather it is found in the hope that we know in Christ. As we walk this out tangibly, with His grace, our very lives become a prayer of praise in recognition of God’s goodness for all of our days. This is not to say that our days will be easy or free from trials, but rather as we continue to move in the direction to which we are called, we find faith and trust in knowing where our strength, help and hope come from. God is good, and the more we give Him thanks in all things, the more we discover His joy is present, even when life is difficult. May we never stop praying nor giving praise, for this is the life to which we have been called for all of our days.

 

Never stop praying,Be Full of Joy

Let joy lead the way;

All thanks be to God,

For help, strength and grace.

No matter what comes,

There’s reason to praise;

For God is our hope,

The Ancient of Days.

Despite what we see,

He has a great plan;

His love, unending,

Grace to firmly stand.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we always have joy deep within us through the hope we have in You. Thank You that as we pray and give You all gratitude, our very life is like a prayer before You as You lead us to walk out Your will. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to steal our joy, or for looking for answers anywhere other than You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to the truth we know, and would seek You in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others and spread the joy that You have given to us, so that they too, may come to know the hope that is held in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose joy and make our very lives a prayer as we give You all praise. Amen.

 

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

 

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

 

 

Praise as Majesty Moves

Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough? – (Psalm 106:2, NLT)

No one can describe how great the Lord really is. No one can praise Him enough. – (Psalm 106:2, ERV)

 

Keeping proper perspective in the constant chaos that so often accompanies this time of year is critical. Though all of the activities and festivities are fabulous, that which matters most is our intentional pause to remember the reason for the season. There were a myriad of miracles that took place surrounding the arrival of Christ. A virgin birth, a bright star to show the way, numerous angelic visitations, shepherds serenaded and informed by heavenly hosts, wise men traveling from distant lands to bring gifts, and the list continues… God is so much more than a baby in a manger. That baby grew and healed the downtrodden, the outcast, the sinner and the sick, so that all might come to know Him. More than that, He bore the weight of all of our sin so that we could be in relationship with Him forever. There are not enough words, and not enough time to offer Him the praise He is due. The best that we can do is honor Him with our words and deeds, and extend love and life in tangible and practical ways to those around us. May we seek to honor the Lord in all that we do, so that our very lives are an expression of praise unto Him.

 

Who could ever list,The story of Christmas metaphor represented by a manger and crown of thorns.

The glories of God?

For His miracles,

Too vast and too broad.

Who could offer praise,

That would be enough?

The greatness of God,

Whose love covers us.

So let us go forth,

May our lives bring praise;

As we recognize,

The Ancient of Days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your miracles are far too numerous for us to list, and the praise You deserve extends far beyond what we could ever offer. Thank You that You love us where we are, and lead us where we are meant to go. Forgive us for not slowing down in the chaos of the season to really fix our eyes and hearts on You. Teach us to intentionally focus our gaze on You in all things and at all times, so that we may recognize Your miraculous in the everyday, and offer You praise through how we walk out our days. Show us how to love those around us in a way that glorifies You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize Your majesty on the move, and give You praise for all of our days. Amen.

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

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

Thankful for Belonging

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. – (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ERV)

 

As we approach the day that we gather to give thanks with family and friends, it is good to give thought to all of our reasons to give thanks. Though each of us has gone through trials and difficulties, in Christ, there is always reason to give thanks. In Him, we have hope and assurance for what ultimately lies ahead, and we have His promised presence right now. Regardless of difficulties and disappointments, when our hearts lock in on the Lord, gratitude rises up within us. May each of us see the training that has come from our trials, and the goodness and grace found in each place that we have sought our Savior.

 

May we choose give thanks,ç€À

No matter what comes;

For in Christ, there’s hope,

And His work’s not done.

As we trust in God,

His presence is clear;

In trials and peace,

He always is near.

Every trial,

He uses to show;

His strength in weakness,

So our faith might grow.

Let’s rise up dear ones,

And choose to give praise;

In all things, always,

To the Ancient of Days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in all things, we have reason to give You thanks. Thank You that You call us to be people with grateful hearts, as this is one of the things that should set us apart as people who belong to You. Forgive us for not being thankful in all things. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will give thanks, even in our times of trial, knowing that You will use the challenge to grow us, and that Your presence is reason enough to give You praise. Show us how to love those around us in a way that models a heart full of thanks, so that we may be a blessing and encouragement to all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to be thankful in all circumstances, for belonging to You is reason enough to give You praise. Amen.

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

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

A New Song to Sing

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see what He did and worship Him. They will put their trust in the Lord. – (Psalm 40:3, ERV)

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. – (Psalm 40:3, NLT)

 

When we choose to invest our lives in Christ, we are an ongoing work in progress. As we listen to His heart for us, we cannot help but find that a new song is resonating within us. Our praise is purposeful as we stand in awe of the goodness of God. The life that we lead becomes the song that we sing – to God and before others. When our hearts hold gratitude, that is what overflows in the things that we say and do. Praise perpetuates praise. People see the positive power that God with us has, and want it for themselves. Trust in the Lord comes, as people recognize who He is, and how He loves. May we rise each day, ready to sing the new song that He is birthing within us, and love well, all whom we encounter.

 

Old song of sorrow,

such melancholy;

Strength to Sing

by Hannah Queen @ honeyandjam.com

in Christ is transformed,

to sweet melody.

For in a heart full,

of thanks and of praise;

a new song shall rise,

to Ancient of Days.

Our song shall be sweet,

tender and with grace;

making others want,

peace in their own space.

Desire to know,

our reason for praise;

let us keep singing,

to show of His ways.

O Lord, may our hearts,

give glory to You;

so people may know,

the light of Your truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we come to You and place our trust in You, You give us a new song to sing. Though we will still have struggles and trials, the melody of our lives is one of thanks and praise for all that You are and all that You do. Thank You that You are present and trustworthy, and that You never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for hiding the song that You place in our hearts to sing. Teach us to trust You more, so that our very lives will sing of Your loving kindness and grace. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they will see You through us. May many come to place their trust in You. Be glorified O God, as we let our lives sing the new song You place in our hearts. Amen.

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

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

Thanks for Strength to Trust

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. – (Psalm 28:7, NLT)

This has been a week in which I have seen how the Lord has done exactly this; He has been my strength and shield, and He has helped me and filled my heart with joy. It has taken all that I am in some tough moments, to truly trust Him with all of my heart. That being said, there have been many occasions of bursting out into songs of thanksgiving as I have found myself acutely aware of His faithfulness and love just for me. As much as we despise times of trial and troubles, each one provides opportunity for us to see how God is our strength and shield, as we place our trust in Him. In that space where we become aware of His help and His heart for us, we cannot help but find joy and respond with thanks and praise to He alone, who is worthy. May we choose to trust with our whole heart, as the Lord is our strength and shield. He is our help and will fill our hearts with joy. Let every heart burst into song as we give thanks and praise where it is due.

The Lord is my strength,Gifts Given to Glorify

my protective shield;

in Him I will trust,

His joy we shall yield.

May we raise in song,

all our thanks and praise;

because God is good,

O Ancient of Days.

He will be our help,

in our time of need;

and our Source of joy,

as we let Him lead.

All thanks be to God,

our great Mighty King;

our hope for all time,

and reason to sing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our strength and shield. Thank You that we can trust You with our whole heart, and You will help us and fill us with Your joy. Thank You that songs of thanksgiving rise within us, when we choose to give pause and take in all that You are doing in and around us. Forgive us for not giving You our trust, and for forgetting just how mighty You are. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would depend on You in all things and at all times, as You are our strength and shield, our hope and our joy. Help us to love others with thankful hearts, so that they too may come to know the grace that You freely give to all who seek You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You with our whole heart and sing songs of thanksgiving unto You. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Persistently Pursue in Praise

A blind beggar on the side of the road was calling out to Jesus. People tried to silence him, but he shouted all the louder. His persistence captured the attention of Jesus, and the following exchange took place:

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.

Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. – (Luke 18:40-42)

When we know what we need from the Lord, and we persist in our pursuit of Him, He moves mightily and miracles take place. The challenge is that we not give up when our circumstances or surroundings tell us to be silent. Faith requires us to keep calling out, even when all seems impossible in our own eyes. As we are willing to keep pressing in, we make room for God to move. The moment we are aware of His touch, or His acting on our behalf, we ought to respond with thanks and praise. When we do, others too, have the opportunity to become aware of His faithfulness, and express their gratitude as well. May we have a persistent faith that refuses to be silenced, even when the world around us would tell us there is no hope; for in Christ, our hope brings healing and health and wholeness.

When we are but blind,The Splendor of Salvation

and needing to see;

our charge is to call,

on Christ to be free.

For only through Him,

will we truly find;

freedom for body,

heart, spirit and mind.

We must choose press in,

no matter what’s said;

let faith fill our hearts,

chase doubt from our heads.

With all that we are,

let us offer praise;

so others may know,

the Ancient of Days.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You meet us with Your love as we call on You in faith. Thank You that when we seek You, we find You. Thank You that You are merciful and kind, and that You love us back to life, despite how we come before You. Forgive us for our lack of faith or persistence, and teach us to trust You more, so that we would have the faith of the blind beggar that is relentless, regardless of what those around us might say. Lead us to love others generously and faithfully, so that they might see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we persist in our pursuit of You, and give You all of our praise. Amen.

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

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

What is Required?

So often, what is expected for one to walk out a life of faith, becomes convoluted by rules and regulations that God did not impart.  If we go back to the beginning, as God was about to lead the people into the promise land, He told Moses what He required.  “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” – (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

To fear the Lord our God, is to have reverence for Him.  He is all-knowing and the Creator of all, that alone should inspire our awe.

To walk in His ways, is to live our lives in obedience to what He is asking.  This means we must come to Him and not only ask, but also be willing to listen and obey.

To love Him, is to give Him our whole heart, holding nothing back from the lover of our soul.  He who is Love, deserves nothing less.

To serve the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul, is to give each day our very best unto Him.  Regardless of the obstacles that come our way, we must choose to trust Him, and seek to serve and honor Him in all that we say and do.

To observe the Lord’s commands and decrees, is best summed up by loving God and loving people.  If we do both of these, we are obeying His commands.

Peace is found not through our doing enough, but in the true recognition of who He is, and how much He loves us.  The more we know Him, the more we are compelled to respect, follow, love, serve and obey our awesome God.

Reverent fear,What is Required

for Ancient of Days;

hope and our help,

for now and always.

Seek out to serve,

with whole heart and soul;

honor, obey,

our God we extol.

Do all He asks,

and love above all;

obedience,

to answer His call.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not ask anything of us, that You won’t also equip and empower us to do.  You grant us strength to surrender, power to persevere, hope in longsuffering, and peace in the eye of the storm.  Forgive us for our fearfulness and for our lack of respect and reverence unto You, for You deserve all of our hearts, in all things and at all times.  Teach us how to trust in such a way, that we are swift to surrender all unto You.  Let Your love lead us to follow You so that we lovingly and respectfully serve You, as we obey what You ask, and love others with Your great and lasting love.  May many come to know You personally, as their Savior and King.  Amen.

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

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