Tag Archive: arrive


And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until He completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again. – (Philippians 1:6, ERV)

There has never been a doubt in my mind that God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day that Christ Jesus appears. – (Philippians 1:6, MSG)

 

What God begins in us, He will be faithful to finish – even if it seems to be a very slow and labor intensive process. God loves us as we are, wherever we are at, but His love is too great to leave us that way. He takes the good and makes it better, and meets us in our most broken and wounded places and begins to mend and restore and bring beauty where there was once only ugly and injury. If we are willing to allow Him in, He often will take what we perceive to be our most worrisome weakness, and utilize it somehow to magnify His majesty as we rely on His strength. May we ever seek the Lord and trust Him, as He is faithful to finish all that He has begun both in us and through us.

 

God, He is faithful,IMG_3268

For what He begins;

He will continue,

Persist to the end.

Each good work started,

Will continue on;

Until it’s finished,

And old ways are gone.

So ever seek Christ,

And allow Him move;

As His will is done,

And His goodness proved.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that the good work You begin in us will continue until it is finished when You return. Thank You that none of us “arrive” or get it right all of the time, yet You are good and full of grace, ever loving us and drawing us nearer to You still. Forgive us for not seeking You in the places we need You most. Teach us to trust You more. Show us how to love well, all those whom You place in our lives to love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing love that works within us to finish every good work that has been started by You. 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

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” – (1 Peter 1:15-16, NLT)

 

When I read this verse I am at a loss as to how I could ever even begin to measure up. The teacher in me decided to start at the beginning, and determine what exactly it means for me to be “holy“. According to the various definitions that I could find, holy is: dedicated or devoted service to God; having a spiritually pure quality; to be declared sacred. Though on my own, this explanation make holiness even further out of reach, I know that in Christ, I am washed clean and declared His, by which Christ calls me sacred before Him, and spiritually pure in His eyes. Knowing that He has done these things for me, draws my heart to devotion unto Him. This does not mean that I will get it right every single time, nor will I “arrive” at some super holy status, but I will pursue His will as I walk out my days, and trust that I have been cleansed and declared His, which makes me wholly His. When God looks at us, He views us through the holy lens of Christ, not through our brokenness. May we embrace the grace that we have been granted that cleanses us and declares us holy and pure before the living God.

 

Because He’s holy,Clean Inside Out

We must be the same;

Not for what we do,

Rather by His Name.

When we’re His children,

He calls us His own;

Cleansed and made holy,

Made right, we are known.

This tremendous grace,

He gives unto us;

Makes hearts long to serve,

Our Savior, Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because You are holy and You cover and cleanse us from our sin, we too can be called holy before You. Thank You that Your goodness and grace draw our hearts to devotion unto You. Forgive us for not walking in Your ways or listening for Your voice. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your ways in everything that we do. Show us how to love others in a way that honors You and demonstrates Your holiness. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to be dedicated and devoted unto You in all that we do because You are good. 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

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – (Isaiah 55:9, NLT)

 

It is really easy to look at what is, and predict what should be. Based on what is seen, all indicators seem to point in a particular direction. However, that is not necessarily the case in God’s economy. His plans are far greater than ours, and the road to arrive at His next destination for us, is nearly never the one we planned to take. There are twists and turns, bumps and obstacles, yet incredible views along the way. What we learn as we journey according to His plan, grows our faith and refines our character. Each new leg that we travel, there is a learning curve for trust in Him. The beauty in being His children is that He is for us, and we know that our final destination is glorious beyond our comprehension. As we go, we need to trust that God has us in His hands, and that His ways are higher than ours. May we move forward in confidence, trusting that the Lord is for us regardless of what we see.

 

No matter what comes,Sense in Storms

We need never fear;

God’s ways are higher,

And He remains near.

Despite what we see,

God is in control;

He knows where we’ve been,

And where we’re to go.

So trust in the Lord,

And all of His ways;

For He lifts us up,

Stays present, always.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your ways are higher than our ways and Your thoughts, higher than ours. Thank You that You hold us in the palm of Your hands. Forgive us for our lack of faith when what we see is so unsettled. Teach us to trust You in spite of what lies before us, and help us hold fast to the unwavering truth of who You are, and how You love. Show us how to love those around us in such a way, that we may provide stability and truth in unsettled and shaky surroundings. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your ways and Your thoughts, as they are far higher than ours. Amen.

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

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

I will fix my mind on Your instructions and my eyes on Your path. – (Proverbs 6:15, VOICE)

I will study Your commandments and reflect on Your ways. – (Proverbs 6:15, NLT)

 

One of the best ways to better know God, is to spend time in His word. As I fix my mind on His instructions and the path He places before me, more and more of who He is become clear. His capacity to love and His concern for us individually, becomes all the more evident when we draw near to Him. Because God is so great, we never “arrive”. The capacity for learning through spending time studying His word is endless. Each time we invest our hearts and minds into seeking to better understand His will for us, the Lord will reveal something new. May we never stop fixing our minds on His instructions nor quit reflecting on His ways.

 

Each day as I rise, photo (11)

I’ll fix eyes on You;

For time in Your word,

Makes mind and heart new.

The Lord’s instructions,

Shall make our path clear;

If we choose silence,

So that we may hear.

Reflect on His heart,

His mercy and grace;

His clear commandments,

To walk in His way.

It’s not about rules,

But rather, His love;

If we love like Christ,

The Lord’s lifted up.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word that we can study. Thank You that You provide instructions for us, that point us on Your path for our lives. Thank You that when we invest time in Your word and seek You for answers, You are faithful to answer and show us the way. Forgive us for not seeking nor reflecting on the truth of Your word. Help us to invest ourselves more to fixing our minds on Your instructions and our eyes on Your path. Show us how to love as You love us, so that many may be pointed to the path of eternal life in You. Be glorified O God, as we study Your commands and reflect on Your ways, so that we may do what You are calling us to do. Amen.

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

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – (Proverbs 3:5, NIV)

Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge. With every step you take, think about what He wants, and He will help you go the right way. – (Proverbs 3:5, ERV)

 

This morning as I woke, these were the first thoughts that came to mind. Typically, my mind races with my “To Do List” for the day as I rise, rather than God’s word, so I knew that the Lord was waking me with a reminder of what I am meant to do, and how He will be my help. Today, I am called to trust Him with all that I am, and not merely rely on my own understanding. I must choose to submit to the Lord and His ways, and as I do, He will show me which way I am meant to go. Though I imagine this was intended to provide peace to my heart and mind regarding my appointment with the specialist this afternoon, it applies to all things in my life. As I wake my children and seek to best prepare them for state testing so that they are alert and confident as they go; when I arrive at school and proctor the same tests with my students; and even on my drive into the city for my appointment – in all these things, His path is far greater than my own, and I will choose to trust Him. May we place all of our trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding, but in all of our ways let us submit unto Him, and He shall make plain our paths.

 

Let’s trust in the Lord,Break Camp and Move Out

With all that we are;

Submit to His will,

Our bright Morning Star.

For He’s always good,

He makes the path plain;

If we seek His way,

And allow Him reign.

Let not what we see,

Nor what our ears hear;

Determine the truth,

Or leave us in fear.

No matter what comes,

Far greater is God;

He’ll lead and guide us,

Show which path to trod.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we trust in You with all that we are and submit to You, leaning not on our own understanding, You show us every step that we are meant to take so that our path is made plain. Forgive us for depending on our own understanding, rather than trusting You completely. Teach us to trust You more, as You alone are the One who sees and knows the way we should go to have the very best possible outcome. Show us how to love others well, so that we are living examples of faith in action. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, as they recognize the faithfulness that is found in You alone. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You completely, and depend on You with every step that we take. Amen.

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

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. – 2 Corinthians 3:5

As people understand Your word, it brings light to their lives. Your word makes even simple people wise. – (Psalm 119:130, ERV)

 

The only way that we can come to understand God’s word is to actually invest time reading it. When we do, His Spirit in us, reveals insight and understanding that we did not have before. I am in awe how I can read a passage of scripture that I have read many times before, and it seems that each time it is read, something new is gained through the investment. Even more incredible, is that so often what I learn, applies to what is going on in my life at the time. If I am struggling with difficulty, there is something about the reward of perseverance; if sorrow, the reminder that joy comes in the morning. There is ALWAYS something new to be gained through time in His word, and His wisdom is worth more than anything else that is out there.

 

I love that we don’t have to be biblical scholars to study God’s word. He will reveal Himself to us individually, and personally. He meets us where we are, and shows us more of Himself, each time that we choose invest in Him. Interestingly, the more one invests in the study of His word and time spent with Him, the more it is craved. After making time in God’s word a part of how I begin each day for the past four plus years, I feel really off if something delays my regular routine. Each offering of opportunity to further study the word, is something that I gravitate toward all the more. As new insights come, so do more questions with more to be revealed. I know I will never “arrive”, which makes the pursuit all the more necessary. May we passionately pursue God and His word, as He brings light to our lives and wisdom to our way.

 

Seek understanding,Jesus is God of the Miraculous

through time in the word;

for light for our lives,

is in that space heard.

It is Christ with us,

who shows us the way;

grants wisdom and grace,

to live out each day.

Not just for scholars,

but all who pursue;

the Lord through His word,

shall come to know truth.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your word. Thank You that as we invest time in reading and meditating on what it says, You reveal more and more of who You are, and how You want us to live. Thank You that You grant us wisdom and understanding by Your Spirit in us, and that there are no prerequisites to our studying Your word. Forgive us for thinking that it is too difficult or that we do not know enough, and help us to learn to listen to Your Spirit within us as we study Your word. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will count on Your faithfulness to reveal more and more of who You are and what You have for us, each time we invest time spent with You. Lead us to love others well, so that they too might see the light and grace that You alone give to all who choose to follow You. May many make the decision to be Your disciples. Be glorified O God, as we seek to understand Your word, and walk in the wisdom that You grant us. 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

Paul, more than most, understood what it was to stand firm, even in the face of a long and raging storm. Several times, he was imprisoned for his faith, yet each time Paul utilized his time in chains as an opportunity to stand firm, and share with others, the foundation of the faith on which he stood. After two years of imprisonment, Festus brought Paul before himself and the accusers from Jerusalem. Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” – (Acts 25:8) As the hearing continued, Paul made it clear that he had no fear of death if he deserved to die; however, knowing that he was innocent, Paul made his appeal to be heard before Caesar as a Roman citizen. After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” – (Acts 25:12)

 

Because Paul knew he was innocent and knew his rights as a Roman citizen, he was able to seek Rome’s protection. Also, Rome was a destination that Paul had hoped to go to preach the gospel, and this appeal would provide the opportunity – prisoner or not. Paul was standing firm in his faith in Christ’s strength, faithfulness, and provision, as he knew that though the path he was taking to get to Rome was not ideal, it was a way for Paul to arrive in Rome sooner than he might have otherwise. He did not bow down in despair as he remained a prisoner, rather he recognized the upcoming opportunity to share the good news with those who had not yet heard.

 

How can we do likewise? How can God use our circumstances to be light in the midst of darkness? When we remain grounded in Christ, regardless of what is going on around us, there is something magnetic that draws others in. Whether it is wonder or awe, people cannot help but draw near to a space of peace in a storm. May we stand firm in our faith, no matter what storm rages around us.

 

When mighty winds blow,Standing Firm in the Storm

and nothing is still;

depend on the Lord,

Who’s present to fill.

He will grant us strength,

when we have run out;

He’ll love us to life,

show us the safe route.

At times He will lead,

us right through the storm;

where we have to trust,

know He’ll keep us warm.

No matter what comes,

the promise remains;

His grace is enough,

to remove each chain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us with Your life. Thank You Jesus, that as You stood secure through the storm of the cross and took our every sin upon Yourself, You conquered death and brought new life to all who choose to believe. Thank You that when we stand firm in You, You see us through our every storm. Thank You that You remain present, and You provide the strength and support that is needed to either ride out the storm, or find a way out. Forgive us for failing to stand firm when storms seem too strong for us to face, and teach us to trust You more. Lead us to love well all whom You place in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in You, through every storm that blows our way. 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

Today, my reading plan had me reading both Exodus 6-8, and Luke 23. Though there were many individual verses that I could have highlighted, the thing that stood out to me the most, was the way in which both Moses and Jesus chose to remain faithful to their calling in captivity. Moses, was appealing to Pharaoh for the people of Israel to be set free to go into the desert to worship, and Jesus was being held after His arrest, as He was bruised, beaten and tried six times before various courts – none of which could find Him guilty, in obedience to be the sacrifice for all of our sins.

 

In both portions of scripture, God had called each to a specific task. For Moses, he was being asked to lead a nation out of captivity when the ruler of the nation paid no regard to his requests. Jesus, was being asked to bear the weight of the world on His shoulders, as He knew the pain He was called to endure. Neither story seemed to go smoothly. Both bore the burden before them, and endured enormous adversity to ultimately arrive in the place to which they had been called. This can be a bit overwhelming, yet completely encouraging, as we know that in all things, God is faithful to those who trust in Him. Though we may not see what He is doing in the midst of adversity, we can trust that He has a plan and a purpose for everything that we endure, and that He will utilize each trial and triumph for our ultimate good. May we hold fast to our hope in Christ alone, as He is faithful to walk beside us, be it in trial or triumph.

 

When life surrounds you,Tether Our Hearts

forced captivity;

choose trust in the Lord,

to keep your heart free.

For only in Christ,

is true freedom known;

set free from our sin,

where His grace is shown.

Though often unseen,

His purpose is clear;

to love each of us,

as we choose draw near.

Let us seek the Lord,

no matter what comes;

hold fast to the truth,

Christ, the faithful One.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given us great examples of those who have endured tremendous trials by depending on You. Thank You that no matter what comes our way, Your presence is promised, and Your hope is secure. Thank You that You are faithful to remain with us, even when we are unaware of Your presence. Forgive us for our fears and faltering faith when the fight becomes too much, and teach us to tether our hearts and minds to You alone. Give us Your eyes to see things through an eternal perspective, so that we may remember that all that is in the here and now is only temporary, yet that which is yet to come, is forever. Lead us to love intentionally, just as You so purposefully and completely love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we hold fast to You, in all things and at all times. 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

As we are surrounded by a broken and hurting humanity, it is nearly impossible to not allow the lies being spoken over us, to somehow start to stick.  Between having to be enough, do enough, and just plain measure up, we quickly learn that we will never quite “arrive”.  Yet, there is a still small voice that says otherwise.  The voice of truth whispers that we are loved, regardless of what we have or have not done, and He will never leave us nor forsake us.  When we choose Him, He enters in, and remains present forever.

“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)

His voice is the one that I want to hear most clearly.  Goodness and love provide grace and mercy, rather than reminders of our shortcomings.  Beyond the treasures of today, His love provides us with the hope to hold for our forever.  All who come to Him and invite Him to be Lord, are assured that they too will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.  These are His words spoken, that we can depend upon.  He is faithful to His promises, and His love is everlasting.

The voice of truth,The Voice of Truth

softly calls your name;

always gentle,

this hope we can claim.

Other voices,

continue to lie;

offer defeat,

as hopes slowly die.

So listen not,

to words of the world;

unclench your fists,

let fingers unfurl.

Extend your hands,

to Him who is love;

He will speak truth,

tell you you’re enough.

For by His grace,

all stains are made clean;

each sin erased,

a pure heart now seen.

Love for today,

hope for tomorrow;

joy in His grace,

comfort in sorrow.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the voice of truth, and the only voice that we need to allow to speak to our hearts and minds.  Thank You that You say we are enough in You, as You created each one of us with a purpose in mind.  Thank You that You whisper Your words of love and life, if we are only willing to listen.  Forgive us for giving ear to the lies that surround us, and help us to be deaf to that which is not the truth.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we hear only Your heart for us, and that we move boldly because of it.  May we live in love as You love us, so that many may come to hear of the mercy and grace that You alone, give to all who call on Your Name.  Let hearts be opened and lives be changed.  May our every move be motivated by Your goodness and love, and the hope that we hold in You.  Amen.

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

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

*Two songs that came to mind: Who to Listen to (Amy Grant) & Voice of Truth (Casting Crowns) – click either title to enjoy.

Though this morning’s reading includes chapters in Genesis, a Psalm and Luke 19, I find it difficult to get past my own gratitude on this day, as I remember twelve years ago.  Part of what I’m meant to do this year, is to look for the miracles all around me; and twelve years ago, on this very day, a most marvelous miracle occurred.  Our beautiful baby boys were born.  Five weeks ahead of schedule, so their debut was quite unexpected so soon, yet arrive, they did.

Baby Adventurous

Baby Adventurous

The first miracle was that my water broke, despite the time being so early.  As it turned out, there was twin-to-twin transfusion, or as I explain to the boys – Cautious was hogging the goods, and Adventurous was going hungry.  Had I gone full-term, my beautiful, insightful, tender-hearted Adventurous, would not likely have lived.

Baby Cautious

Baby Cautious

Upon their blessed arrival, I barely caught a glimpse of either boy, as they were quickly whisked away to be assessed and cared for.  The second miracle, that despite the myriad of possible complications, each boy only needed oxygen and time to grow.  Wee little lads they were, as Adventurous was 3 lbs 15 oz, and Cautious was not quite as tiny at 5 lbs 5.5 oz.

Spending nearly five weeks in the hospital, turned out to be another miracle in and of itself, as the boys and I were able to room together in Pediatrics after week two.  I was given round-the-clock assistance and training as to how to care for and manage twins, and help in how to best mother my premature babies.

Boys get to go home

Most twins who are born prematurely and on oxygen, don’t go home at the same time.  My prayer from the get go, was that they would.  Yet another miracle, my tiny wonders were weaned from their oxygen within hours of one another!  And, believe it or not, my little firstborn, Adventurous, was the first one weaned.

Despite their small start, today, this delightful duo is anything but small.  Our magnificent miracles are now larger than me, and are projected to pass even their father (who is not a dainty man).  Happy Birthday Boys!  I am so very proud of the young men that you have become!

Miracles are found,Birthday Boys then and now

wherever you are;

just take in the view,

you’ll need not look far.

The eyes of a child,

the touch of a hand;

the warmth of a smile,

all God’s loving plan.

Give thanks to the Lord,

He who gives us all;

Miracle Maker,

He hears every call.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the miracles all around us.  Thank You for the blessings that You provide us through family.  Thank You for allowing me to be the mother of our boys, and for trusting them in my care.  Thank You for the miracles that You continue to provide, as we live life.  Forgive us for our shortcomings in the roles that You have placed us in, and please show us how to live and love as You are calling us to do.  Help us to be ever aware of the miraculous around us, and may our gratitude be evident in all that we say and do.  May we love others as we are loved by You, and may many come to know You as their personal Savior, soon.  Thank You is not nearly enough for all of the ways that You love and bless us so well.  May we honor You in all.  Amen.

“We will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.” – Psalm 145:7

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

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