Resist Revenge and Do Good

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. – (1 Thessalonians 5:15, NIV) 

Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong. But always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. – (1 Thessalonians 5:15, ERV) 

Resist revenge, and make sure that no one pays back evil in place of evil but always pursue doing what is beautiful to one another and to all the unbelievers. – (1 Thessalonians 5:15, TPT) 

We are living in some seriously crazy times. After months of staying at home, and countless individuals attempting to survive without an income, unrest was lying dormant, ready to blow. Then, atrocities against humanity, caught on video and shared nationwide, were the fuel that sparked the already burning embers of desperation and despair. It is difficult to differentiate the peaceful protest that is taking place, from the rioting, looting and growing violence. Peaceful protest is not paying back wrong for wrong, but rather is a way to take a stand for what is good and right, in a way that grabs the attention of those who need to hear. Sadly, the angst that already existed, has been fueled in such a way, that people want to repay wrongs with wrongs. Our nation’s cities are on fire. In attempt to demand justice, anarchy is becoming intertwined with standing for what is right. How can we do good for all and bring an end to the chaos? I don’t know the solution, but I do know where I turn. God is good and just and kind. His love and compassion for people is incomparable.  Lord, help us all. We need peace and solutions and justice. Chaos cannot reign. Returning to life as we knew it seems elusive and far off. Clearly there are some aspects of what we knew that need to change, but our freedom to work, be out, see family and friends, worship together – these things are the very fabric of what weaves our hearts together and settles the unsettled spaces. All I know is to pray and to choose to do good, even when revenge feels justified. May we, as a nation, seek to do what is good and right, so that justice may reign, and the felt need for repaying those who do harm with harm that ravages our cities, ends. 

Lord, to You we come, 

Bowed heads, bended knee; 

May righteousness reign, 

O God, hear our plea. 

Forgive the ugly, 

And make right the wrongs; 

Help us to rise up, 

United and strong. 

Bring Your true justice, 

Restore, make things right; 

Let Your love lead us, 

To peaceably fight. 

Examine our hearts, 

Show us where to change; 

Let all be in love, 

We pray in Your Name. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in the midst of ugliness, injustice and unrest, You still reign. Thank You that You can bring hope and healing and wholeness to our communities and cities and nation. Forgive us for our desire to repay evil with evil. Teach us to strive what is good for one another, ever choosing to love first. Show us how to love one another as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we resist revenge and seek to do good. Amen. 

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

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18

Praise Him

Praise HimI will praise the Lord,

with my heart and soul;

praise Him with my life,

to Christ I extol.

Trust not in princes,

mortals cannot save;

for their lives will end,

all land in the grave.

But blessed are those,

whose help is from God;

the Maker of all,

to Whom we applaud.

Faithful forever,

He upholds the oppressed;

He feeds the hungry,

helps the poor, distressed.

Grants sight to the blind,

lifts up those bowed down;

loves well the righteous,

helps lost become found.

Keeps close the displaced,

sustains those without;

frustrates the wicked,

protects the devout.

He reigns forever,

generations, all;

give praise to the Lord,

on bended knee fall.

(Responding to Psalm 146)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You alone are worthy of all of our worship and praise. Thank You that no matter our circumstance, songs of praise unto Your rise up in our hearts as we fix our eyes on You. Thank You that our hope is held in You, not in mere men and women around us. Forgive us for placing our trust anywhere other than in You. Please show us how to pray for those You have placed in leadership positions, and grant each one the strength and courage to do what You are calling them to do. Help us to love one another in such a way, that those who know You not, might come to ask for answers that ultimately lead to a lasting relationship with You. May all that I do and say bring praise to You today. Amen.

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

In Heaven’s Hold

In Heavens HoldIn but an instant,

all the pain did end;

as strong arms lifted,

His light did attend.

My heart could not hold,

so much to take in;

my once sickly frame,

no more frail and thin.

This heart now so light,

through bright rays we soared;

soon arriving home,

where I am adored.

Knees wanting to bend,

head ready to bow;

I heard Him calling,

“Anne, come to me now.”

His arms were outstretched,

I began to run;

to my loving Lord,

Overcoming One.

As I reached His arms,

fell in His embrace;

He spun me around,

looked upon my face.

Though I was fearful,

of what I might see;

tender loving eyes,

were looking at me.

With ear to His chest,

I heard His heartbeat;

He told me the sound,

was His love for me.

He allowed me stay,

in the warmth of Him;

’til I was ready,

to get down again.

Back upon my feet,

He offered His hand;

together we walked,

marveled at this land.

All around I peered,

at so much to see;

He then reminded,

that all was for me.

Do not fear friends,

I now know such peace;

I’ll be here waiting,

for your sweet release.

So much to behold,

such wonder to see;

may you find great joy,

when you think of me.

“Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory.” – (Psalm 73:23-24)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, death is not the end, but rather, the beginning. Thank You that You have gone before us to prepare a place in paradise forever. Forgive us for fearing our own end on earth, and help us to hold a heavenly view. Teach us to live and love as though we will see You very soon, as this life is but an instant in comparison to eternity. May our love and hope, even in times of great sorrow and struggle, show those who know You not yet, how to come to hold Your hope and promises as their own. Amen.

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

Lead Us Back to Life

Lead Us Back to LifeWhen darkness surrounds us,

and we fear we may break;

let the new morning’s light,

show Your love for our sake.

Your love is unfailing,

we place our trust in You;

show us the way to go,

so our soul be made new.

Please rescue us, O Lord,

for we’re hidden in You;

teach us what is Your will,

so we’ll know what to do.

Father, You are our God,

let Your good Spirit lead;

take us to level ground,

for You’re all that we need.

O dear Lord, who am I,

that You would care for me?

Our life is but a breath,

fleeting shadow indeed.

Yet You still sent Your Son,

for You know our great need;

You made way to Yourself,

we come on bended knee.

(Responding to Psalm 143:8-10 & 144:3-4)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that even when that which surrounds us seems dark and heavy, You remain with us, holding our hands and heart, and remind us that all hope is held in You. Forgive us for giving fear a foothold when life feels way too overwhelming, and remind us again of Your unfailing love for us. Again, daily, we place our trust in You. Please lead us and guide us, granting us words to speak and Your path to pursue. Thank You that we are safe in the security of Your loving arms. Thank You that despite our brokenness and ugliness, You came so that we would find the way to You. Teach us to trust completely, to love deeply, and to willingly walk in Your way. May our pursuit of You lead many who are looking, to the place where they too, may be found in You. Amen.

Anne

Anne update: She has been vomiting and passing blood. Please pray with me that the internal bleeding would stop, and that total health would be restored, as she is surrounded by His presence and His peace. Lord Jesus, be Anne’s comfort and companion in this place, and be her Healer, and let this become an amazing testimony of Your faithfulness and power. Amen.

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

Mindful Majesty

image by Patricia Griffin Brett

image by Patricia Griffin Brett

O Lord, our Lord,

robed in majesty.

Who hung the stars

and created the sea.

Glory surrounds

all that You’ve made to be.

How is it so,

that You’re mindful of me?

Crowned as Your kin,

with much under my feet?

May I serve well,

and bring honor to Thee.

May every act,

show the You that’s in me.

May I care well,

for the land and the sea.

For each treasure,

You’ve entrusted to me.

Teach me, Father,

I come on bended knee.

(Response to Psalm 8)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are undeserving, You designed us in Your own image and have given us authority over the works of Your hands. Forgive us for taking our role too lightly, and please equip and empower us to be good stewards of all that You have given. May we honor You in all that we do – be it in our work, our play, and our praise – let Your proper place be evident in our everything. Teach us to trust You to lead us and guide us in the way that You want us to go, and to know that You won’t ask anything of us that You aren’t also going to strengthen us to accomplish. Use us as Your vessels Lord, to lead the lost to Your loving light. Amen.

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