Steps for the Seekers

The naïve are heirs to foolishness, but the clever are honored with insight. – (Proverbs 14:18, VOICE)

 

This evening will be a unique experience for me. As a teacher, I have attended my school’s 8th grade celebration/graduation numerous times over the past nineteen years, yet tonight will be the first time in that my role is both as a parent and a teacher. My boys are finishing up their final days of middle school. It is bittersweet, as I have loved having them with me each morning and afternoon on the way to and from school, and there is a certain comfort in knowing that your own children are present on the campus on which you teach. That being said, they are ready for more. Neither of them has allowed themselves to get caught up in the foolishness of which some of their peers partake, and consequently, they have gained great insight and earned good grades, preparing them for that which lies ahead. Although I will miss their daily presence, I am excited to see all that awaits them in their high school experience and beyond. May we each embrace every opportunity for growth that is placed before us, so that we would operate in a space of His wisdom, rather that from our own foolishness.

 

Those who are clever,photo (5)

Are rewarded well;

Insight is granted,

In wisdom they’ll dwell.

With feet both planted,

Secure on the ground;

Future before them,

Their path has been found.

It’s about moving,

Where you’re meant to go;

For that is how we,

Each learn and we grow.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, we find You, and we are rewarded with wisdom and insight through our seeking. Thank You for all of the young people who have earnestly sought You, as they are preparing for next steps in their lives – so many transitioning from elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college or work, and beyond. Thank You that whatever the transition, You are present and leading. Forgive us for forgetting how big You are, and give us the strength to trust You more with the next steps for our progeny. Show us how to continue to lead them well, and help us to love those around us in a way that points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your wisdom and insight in all of our next steps. Amen.

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

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

The Benefit of Belonging

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. – (Romans 8:1-2, NLT)

Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, because when you live in the Anointed One, Jesus, a new law takes effect. The law of the Spirit of life breathes into you and liberates you from the law of sin and death. – (Romans 8:1-2, VOICE)

 

When we come into relationship with Christ, we are no longer condemned for our sins. His Spirit grants us life, and frees us from the power that sin had held on our hearts before we knew Him. With Christ, it is not about trying to obey the letter of the law, but rather it is the joy in coming to know His love, grace and forgiveness. As we know Him more, we cannot help but be compelled to honor Him in word, thought and deed. It does not mean that we will be perfect, but we grow in our knowledge of where to turn for forgiveness, grace, strength and help to continue in the direction to which we are called. May we let go of the law that leads to death, and embrace the One who grants us life in Him.

 

Condemnation comes,What is in a Name

When we go alone;

Try being, doing,

Enough on our own.

For there’s no enough,

Compared to God’s grace;

That’s why it’s a gift,

We’re meant to embrace.

When we choose receive,

All that the Lord gives;

His power frees us,

So in Him, we live.

New life He breathes in,

So we are set free;

To live and to love,

For eternity.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that there is no condemnation when we belong to You. Thank You that Your Spirit in us gives us life, and has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death. Forgive us for attempting to do enough or be enough, rather than seek You and invest our hearts and minds in things of You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may embrace the power that You grant us by Your Spirit within us to overcome the power of sin that leads to death. Show us how to live and love in that liberated space, so that others too, may come to know the freedom that is found in You alone. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust Your Spirit within us to lead us and guide us in the ways in which we are meant to go. Amen.

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

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

Setting Sight on Unseen

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT)

So we think about what we cannot see, not what we see. What we see only lasts a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, ERV)

So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on. – (2 Corinthians 4:18, VOICE)

 

Although the struggles we face in the here and now can often feel unending, they are but the blink of an eye, in comparison to all of eternity. Our hope is held not in what we see right now, but rather in the hope we know through Christ. What we have in Christ is eternal, and His promises and goodness do not end. The troubles of this life will all one day pass away, but the love and grace of God will remain. Heaven awaits all who trust in Him, and the sweetness of what our Savior has prepared for us, far surpasses anything that we can even begin to imagine. May we hold fast to the hope that our hearts know but do not yet see, and release that which we cannot control in the here and now. Let every heart focus on the Eternal, rather than that which is fleeting and will soon fade away.

 

Let’s not fix our eyes,Marvelously Made

on what comes today;

but rather look up,

ahead to hope’s stay.

For what we see now,

will soon fade away;

but what is not seen,

will last for always.

The Lord is our hope,

in Him we can trust;

all our tomorrows,

for He’s God with us.

What He has prepared,

far greater than this;

look not to what’s now,

trust in being His.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not focus on what is seen, but rather on that which is not. Thank You that our hope is held in the truth that we know in You, not in what we see and experience in the here and now. Thank You that all the trials will one day fade away, and what awaits forever, far outweighs any struggles that we face today. Forgive us for not maintaining an eternal perspective when we face trials of any kind. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would hold fast to the hope that we know we have forever in You. Lead us to lay down our burdens at Your feet, allowing You to carry the things that we are not meant to carry. Show us how to love one another in such a way, that others too, may see with their hearts, rather than merely what their eyes view in the present. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen with our eyes, but rather must be felt with a faithful heart. 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

Blessings for Patient Endurance

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. – (James 1:12, NLT)

Great blessings belong to those who are tempted and remain faithful! After they have proved their faith, God will give them the reward of eternal life. God promised this to all people who love Him. – (James 1:12, ERV)

 

One thing is certain – we all will go through times of testing and temptation. It is part of the package that comes with being residents of a fallen world. We are called to patiently endure all that we face before us, so that we may receive that which ultimately awaits. The enduring that is asked of us is not something that we are meant to do on our own, but rather through the strength of He who dwells within us. God is faithful to be present in our every need, and will walk beside us and give us the strength that we need to endure all things. May we rise up in faith and trust He who is more than able to see us through every trial and test that lies before us, so that we can patiently endure to the end and receive the crown of life that God has promised to all who choose to love Him.

 

With patience, may we,Far Better to Finish

endure all that comes;

not in our own strength,

but through Christ, the Son.

For when we choose trust,

dependence on Him;

He’s present to help,

see us to the end.

His promise is clear,

as we set pride down;

trust His grace and love,

eternal life’s crown.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You bless those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Thank You that we have the hope of eternal life to hold, as it is promised to all who love You. Forgive us for our lack of faith and fearfulness in the throes of trials and temptations. Help us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and place ourselves in Your hands in all things and at all times. Show us how to love others so that Your hope may be made plain through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we patiently endure all that comes our way, trusting You to be our strength and our hope each new day. 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

Love that Will Not Fail

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are – high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean – nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when He died for us. – (Romans 8:38-39, TLB)

 

There is much reassurance in this passage. No matter what twists and turns our life takes us on, Christ will be present and His love shall remain. When curve balls come our way, it is easy to allow worry to enter in. Even in our space of angst, Christ is near. His love leads us out of our darkness, and into His light, where we can regain a proper perspective – recognizing that He is far greater than anything that comes against us. As we establish our hope in He who is eternal, we begin to realize the significance that our hope truly holds. Though there will be struggles – highs and lows, peaks and valleys – that we must walk through – He will be present, and what awaits us at the end of our journey is far greater than any difficulty that we encounter along the way. May we hold fast to the truth of who God is, and how unfailing and eternal His love is for all who call on His Name.

 

To where can we go,Enter With Thanksgiving

where love cannot find?

No depth is too deep,

nor mountain too high.

Wherever we are,

God will be there too;

His love shall remain,

to light the way through.

No force that may try,

to come against us;

compares to the strength,

found in Christ Jesus.

Nothing on the earth,

above or below;

compares to the love,

that in Christ we know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that nothing can ever separate us from Your love. Thank You that no matter where we go, or what comes against us, You remain with us, loving us through. Forgive us for forgetting how very faithful and powerful Your love is, and help us to depend on You in all things and at all times. Show us how to turn in trust, even when it feels as if our world is caving in on us. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they might see Your strength and hope through how we love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in Your unfailing, eternal love. 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

Where Blessings Belong

“Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need. God’s kingdom belongs to them.” – (Matthew 5:3, ERV)

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” – (Matthew 5:3, NLT)

 

It is only when we recognize our desperate need for God, that we actively and whole-heartedly pursue Him. When we seek Him, we find Him. God blesses all who earnestly seek Him with His presence and His promises. Hope is found when we identify our need for Christ and allow Him to come and rule and reign in our lives. The security of salvation is the greatest blessing that anyone can ever behold. To confidently claim the Kingdom of Heaven as our ultimate destination, is a space of blessed assurance granted to all who realize and act upon their need for God. May we rise up and respond, recognizing that we all desperately need the Lord in our lives. Let us lay hold of the promises He has granted and the hope we hold forever in Him.

 

Come all you weary,

broken and in need;

Hold Hope He is Faithful

image from quotespictures.com

for God’s great blessings,

are for souls to feed.

He promises hope,

where none has been found;

He holds a future,

that in Him, is sound.

The greatest treasure,

is granted to all;

who earnestly seek,

on God, choose to call.

For heaven awaits,

all who trust in Him;

blessed assurance,

day out and day in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we recognize our own need for You and seek You, we find You and are granted Your great blessings. Thank You that as we place our trust in You, we receive the blessed assurance of both Your presence now and life everlasting in heaven. Forgive us for not laying hold of the great blessings that You have already granted to us, and help us to trust You more so that we would embrace the promises that You have given and hold fast to the hope we have both now and forevermore. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they too, may feel loved and blessed beyond what makes sense. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we recognize our own need for You, and embrace all that You have given to us. 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

Courage to Overcome

“I have told you these things so that you can have peace in Me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” – (John 16:33, ERV)

 

Jesus let His followers know that a life of faithfulness to Him would not be free from trouble, but even in the throws of the most difficult circumstances, they would never be alone. Christ came and defeated death and darkness, so that we may have light and life in Him. No matter what we face in the present, our future holds the hope of eternal glory in His perfect presence. We can take courage no matter what we face, for Christ already came and conquered on our behalf. In Him, we are more than able to endure and overcome what lies before us, and reach that which awaits. His peace is available now, in spite of our circumstances, and His strength is provided as it is needed. May we seek Him and trust Him to be our peace and our strength, so that we may be brave in the face of trouble, knowing that He has already overcome all that we are facing.

 

Jesus has spoken,Bold in Battle

these words unto us;

that we shall find peace,

despite our chaos.

No matter what comes,

Jesus is our place;

where courage is found,

as He pours out grace.

All that we shall face,

He’s already done;

the victory His,

at the cross, He won.

So fear not the world,

and what it may throw;

for when we’re in Christ,

the outcome we know.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we have peace in You, no matter what troubles come our way. Thank You that we can be brave in the face of our trials and struggles, knowing that You have already overcome the world. Thank You that though we may walk through heartache and hard, our present situation is not our final destination. Forgive us for losing an eternal perspective as we go about our days, and help us to see things through Your lens. Teach us to trust You more, even in the hardest spaces. Lead us to love others in a way that provides perspective, strength and courage when they are stuck in the struggle too. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we receive Your peace that surpasses all understanding, no matter our circumstances, and fear not in the face of our trials as we remember that You have already overcome all that we are facing. Amen.

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

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Persevere to the Promise

God has great plans in store for those who love Him. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” – (1 Corinthians 2:9) We cannot even begin to fathom all that the Lord has in store for us, both now and for all of eternity. The more we know God and invest time in His word, the greater the glimpses we gain of what is yet to come.

 

Even through hardships, trials and temptations, when we are in Christ, we have His Spirit with us to comfort and guide us as we press on and persevere. In fact, God uses the hard stuff to stretch and grow us into who He is calling us to be. For that reason alone, we can embrace the trials, trusting that He is using them to make us more like Him. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – (Romans 5:3-5) May we hold fast to the promises of God, trusting that all that we go through is for a purpose. More than that, what awaits us for all of eternity, is beyond anything we may ever endure on earth.

 

Times of great trial,Persevere to the Promise

and tempting shall come;

yet not on our own,

but in Christ, are won.

As we persevere,

our character grows;

as hope rises up,

the Lord’s glory shows.

May we each embrace,

all that comes our way;

the Lord can use all,

as hopeful display.

Let glimpses be gained,

of the hope to come;

as we love the Lord,

may battles be won.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we have not seen, heard, nor conceived all that You have prepared for us who love You, we can trust that it is very, very good. Thank You that when we choose to place our trust in You, our hope is secure forever. Forgive us for our fearfulness in the throes of the trials, and please grant us Your strength to persevere. Thank You that as we rely on You, You grow in us character, and through character; hope. Lead us to love others well, just as You so perfectly and completely love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we persevere in the push, and hold fast to our hope of heaven with You, forever. Amen.

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

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

Mourning’s End

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – (Revelation 21:4)

 

God has granted us a hope far greater than the hard that we face on earth. No matter the trials or difficulty we endure, we are assured that one day, all will be different. As the one-year anniversary of the loss of my sweet sister-in-Christ, Aine, has arrived, I am blessed to hold onto the words Christ whispers to us through this verse. She has been in such a space for a year now. I imagine to her, it has felt like the blink of an eye. All of the pain and suffering she endured in her latter days on earth, as the cancer invaded every inch of her being, gone – no more. Her ultimate freedom was found as Christ welcomed her home. For those of us who are still in waiting, we are left to navigate the precarious road between grief and celebration, as we mourn our personal losses, yet rejoice for the faithful who have left us too soon’s gain. I am so grateful for the blessed hope that is held in the hearts of all who know Christ and believe. One day, we too will join the multitude in singing, knowing that the tears, death, mourning, and pain have all passed permanently. May we hold fast to this holy hope in Him.

 

Aine

Remembering Aine…<3

Though tears may fall,

and pain that runs deep;

death soon shall pass,

for our hearts He’ll keep.

Mourning shall end,

as will all our pain;

the old will go,

and His new, remain.

Holy city,

with twelve giant gates;

made of jewels,

our entry awaits.

To enter in,

our name must be known;

receive His grace,

our Foundation Stone.

Trust in the One,

Who loves us to life;

He’ll take the old,

and set each heart right.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have hope not just for today, but for all of eternity. Thank You for the promise that there will be a day when there will be no more death, nor mourning, crying or pain, and that You will remove the old order of things to bring the glorious new. Forgive us for our fear and frustration with the pain and sorrow present today, and grant us Your strength to endure, knowing that Your are with us, and that whatever we face today, will not be our battle forever. Teach us to love others as You so lavishly love us, and may many come to know the hope that is held in You alone through our love. Be glorified, Lord God, as we seek to share the hope we’ve found in You. Amen.

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Praise the Lord

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo all of those,

who bear His Name;

give praise to God,

share of His fame.

He must be praised,

now evermore;

from rising sun,

to distant shore.

His glory reigns,

throughout the earth;

to heaven’s home,

through second birth.

He is enthroned,

our God, most high;

He cares for us,

none can deny.

Raising the poor,

from ashen heap;

He dries the tears,

of those who weep.

Our place awaits,

in righteousness;

He grants favor,

amidst the mess.

God honors hearts,

to Him are true;

providing peace,

all praise to You.

 

(Responding to Psalm 113)
 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of all our praise.  Thank You that Your love and faithfulness for those who follow, will not end.  Thank You that You are Lord over every tribe and nation, even if You are not yet known or received.  Forgive us for not presenting praise in all things and at all times.  Even in our deepest places of despair, we have reason to praise, as You will not leave us there.  We praise You for all that You are, and all that You do.  May our praises be ever presented before You.  Let our perpetual position of praise lead many to know the loving kindness that is found in You.  May the lost be found, and songs of sorrow turned to postures of praise.  All glory and honor to You, our holy Prince of Peace.  Amen.

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