To Honor the Dream

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)

Forget about the wrong things people do to you. Don’t try to get even. Love your neighbor as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, ERV)

You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself… – (Leviticus 19:18, AMP)

 

Historically, there have been many groups of people that have had reason to hold a grudge for the wrongs done against them, yet for change to occur, the right to revenge had to be released, and love had to prevail. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was a phenomenal example of choosing love, despite his circumstances. Dr. King found ways to bring truth in love, and fight for change through peace. Hate was not his motivation, but rather a heart of love. As a husband, father, minister, leader and spokesperson for civil rights, he let his faith shape the way in which he lived and loved. His words, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear”, still remind us of the way in which we ought to choose to live. Be it an acquaintance, an associate, or a companion, may we choose to stick with love; for it is the very way in which we are called to live.

 

The only true way, mlk

To find peace at last;

Is to stick with love,

Let go of the past.

When we choose forgive,

Our hearts are set free;

The burden of hate,

Is far too heavy.

May we stick with love,

And choose to redeem;

Value all people,

And honor the dream.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the men and women who have chosen to rise up and stick with love, despite the barriers and difficulties that have stood before them. Thank You that when we choose love, You move mightily among us. Forgive us for the times that we have held grudges rather than chosen love. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would stick with love, and not allow the weight of hate to destroy that which You intend for good. Show us how to love every acquaintance, associate and companion as You would have us love ourselves. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. May your peace prevail, and love win where hate has tried to reign. Be glorified O God, as we choose love again and again, knowing that You will use every decision of love to bring the dream to further fulfillment. 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

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Kind Words Bring Joy

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. – (Proverbs 12:25, NLT)

Worry takes away your joy, but a kind word makes you happy. – (Proverbs 12:25, ERV)

The weight of worry drags us down, but a good word lightens our day. – (Proverbs 12:25, VOICE)

 

The whole idea of “Don’t worry, be happy,” is great in theory, but not as simple in its application. Worry’s weight sneaks in and surrounds us before we realize the enormity of its burden we are trying to bear. At times, something so simple as an encouraging word, has the capacity to lessen our load, and remind us that we are not alone with the weight we carry. Ultimately, worry has everything to do with trust. If we cannot see a possible solution, we struggle to trust that there is a way out from under the weight. God tells us to cast our cares upon Him, as He is more than strong enough to bear the burdens that are far too heavy for us on our own. He promises to go before us, remain with us, and never leave us. If we could only remember His encouraging words when worry wanders our way, we would avoid the trap of being burdened by a weight so overwhelming that it steals our joy. May we go forth this day in trust, knowing that the Lord will help carry our loads, as we both hear His words of encouragement to our hearts and be people who extend encouragement to others.

 

Let not the worries,

Ragnar2016.cheeringrunners

Cheering on runners as the round the corner into the final stretch.

 

Of life weigh you down;

For God is our help,

Our hope that is found.

There’s little as sweet,

As offered kind words;

For they lift us up,

The moment they’re heard.

When worry finds way,

In our hearts and minds;

Help us seek You, Lord,

For Your words are kind.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we do not need to be burdened by the weight of worry, as You are greater than anything that would come against us or seek to steal our joy. Thank You that Your words for us are encouraging and full of life. Thank You that You place people in our lives to encourage us and for us to extend the same. Forgive us for allowing the weight of worry to steal our joy. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You and Your help, as Your arms are more than big enough to bear any burden that lies before us. Help us to encourage others as we are encouraged by You. Show us how to love well, all whom we encounter. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give our worries to You, and allow the truth of Your word to encourage our hearts and minds, so that we may go forth and be an encouragement to those around 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

Carried

Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior! For each day He carries us in His arms. – (Psalm 68:19, NLT)

Praise the Lord! Every day He helps us with the loads we must carry. He is the God who saves us. – (Psalm 68:19, ERV)

 

I am abundantly aware of His help and His arms in this long and exhausting season. This latter portion of the school year has been the most difficult one that I can recall in recent years. There are numerous factors contributing to the building burnout, yet each day, as the final bell rings, I breathe a sigh of relief and recognize the grace that has carried me. God is good, and He is my help and my hope, even when I struggle. He walks beside us, and helps us carry the burdens that we are unable to bear on our own, and He saves us from walking away when we are meant to stay. May we ever seek Him to be our help and our hope, and give Him our praise for all that He has done.

 

When the road is rough,Compassion in Confrontations

And we’re weary, worn;

Trust in the Lord’s help,

With strength, He’ll adorn.

For when we are weak,

He comes along side;

Helps carry our load,

To rest, He will guide.

Rise up, praise the Lord,

He’s our God who saves;

Our help and our hope,

Throughout all our days.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are the Lord, our God and Savior. Thank You that You carry us in Your arms when we cannot continue on our own. Thank You that You never leave us nor forsake us. Forgive us for attempting to bear burdens on our own, rather than turning to You in trust. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lay them at Your feet, and allow You to show us what is ours to carry, and what You are already managing on our behalf. Lead us to love those around us in such a way, that we help lift them up and let them know that they are not alone when the road gets rough. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for who You are, and thank You for all that You do to be our help and our hope. Amen.

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

Listen… be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. – Proverbs 23:19

To Find Favor

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – (Proverbs 3:3-4, NIV)

 

Though God’s word has been carved in the corners of my heart, this is the time of year that love threatens to leave me and my faithfulness falters when facing the ongoing adversity of the end of the year. There are days that school feels more like a combat zone than a place of teaching and learning, and I question my calling to this career. I manage, by the grace of God, to keep my responses calm, but internally, that which is bound around my neck and nearly choking me, is not necessarily the most loving. This week, I was granted favor that was not deserved on two occasions that made all of the difference in the moments in which they occurred. Part of my investment in such early rising, is to prepare my heart and mind for whatever may come my way each day. Without time to quietly reflect on the goodness of God, His love and faithfulness would likely feel out of reach for me. I need reminders often for things to resonate and remain at rest within me. God is good, even when our circumstances are frustrating or trying, and He loves us more than we can fathom. May we let His love and faithfulness be what we display, and allow His truth to take hold of our hearts; for favor and a good name in the sight of God and man come through walking in His ways.

 

Let God’s faithfulness,Delivering Dreams

And love remain near;

Write truth on our hearts,

So His way is clear.

As we choose follow,

Walk right and obey;

We gain the favor,

Of those on our way.

To have a good name,

Before God and man;

What faithful love does,

It’s part of God’s plan.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your love and faithfulness never leave us, and that as we bind them around our neck and write them upon our heart, You use them to grant us favor and a good name in Your sight and the sight of others. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to hijack our emotions, rather than running to You for strength and help and hope when the burden is too heavy to bear. Teach us how to seek You in all situations, so that love and faithfulness never leave us. Show us how to love those around us as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we bind Your love and faithfulness around our necks and write them on the tablets of our hearts. Amen.

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

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

Given Despite What We Deserve

“We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – (Luke 23:41-43, NLT)

 

This scene so perfectly depicts the mercy and grace that God is willing to give if we choose Him. Like the criminals hanging on the cross beside Jesus, we all deserve to die for our sin. Not one of us is sinless, and the promised punishment for sin is death. However, while we were yet stuck in our sin, just as those hanging beside Him, Jesus chose to bear the burden for all so that we could come to Him to have life everlasting. All it took for the criminal in his final hours of life, was the recognition and admission of who Jesus was, and how he deserved what he himself was receiving. In asking to be remembered, the criminal was granted the mercy and grace that is given to each of us who choose to do the same. When we come to Christ and call on His Name, admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior who are seeking His forgiveness and grace, He grants us the very same promise of eternal life that was given on that most remarkable day. May we remember the price Christ paid for our sins, and the love that leads us to life everlasting.

 

Criminal status,Shackles No More

All of us with sin;

Each destined to die,

‘less grace enters in.

Because of the cross,

We all can choose claim;

Christ as our Savior,

Find hope in His Name.

For it is by grace,

That we all may come;

Receive His mercy,

O Most Holy One.

So come one and all,

Seek mercy and grace;

Receive forgiveness,

Everlasting place.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to be restored to right relationship with You. Jesus, thank You for willingly taking our sin upon Yourself, so that we could be made righteous before You. Thank You for loving us despite our unworthiness. Forgive us for thinking that we or anyone else has to be qualified somehow to deserve mercy and grace. Teach us to love as You love, so that we would offer mercy and grace to all whom we meet. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love others as You have loved 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

Belief in the Hearing

Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? – (Galatians 3:5, NIV)

 

God, in His goodness, gives us the gift of His Spirit, not because we follow the letter of the law, but rather because we choose to believe the truth that we have heard. Our belief, our very faith, can only exist if we hear the good news. It is in the hearing that our faith is established, and the wonder of His works become made known. With eyes and hearts wide open, we recognize the mighty miracles, great and small, that take place in and around us all the time. May our faith be firmly rooted and established in the truth that we hear from Him.

 

May God in His grace,belief-in-the-hearing

Continue to show;

That all comes through faith,

His Spirit makes known.

Let our belief rise,

In wonder and awe;

At who the Lord is,

Not following laws.

Free from the burden,

The weight the law made;

By faith we are free,

To walk in His ways.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are no longer tied to the burden of observing the letter of the old laws, but rather we are saved by believing and trusting in You. Thank You that You grow our faith as we listen and trust in the truth that we hear of You. Forgive us for trying to do enough or be enough to somehow earn Your favor. Teach us to trust that investing our hearts into knowing You more, is far greater than a laundry list of doing. Show us how to love others well out of the overflow of what You have given unto us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we walk in the freedom of our faith, trusting You to lead us and guide us in the direction that we are meant to go. Amen.

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

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

Hide Nothing From Him

“Can anyone hide from Me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” Says the Lord. – (Jeremiah 23:24, NLT)

 

Though we may not try to physically hide ourselves from the Lord, often there are things that we keep hidden in our hearts and avoid broaching the subject. Our avoidance does not make the difficulty go away. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and waits patiently for us to bring even the things we most want to avoid, before Him. The Lord does not wait as an impatient dictator, but rather as a loving Father. He longs to lead us to a place of freedom, where the pain of what is hidden may be removed and the weight that was, will no longer be a burden. May we bring our darkness and burdens before Him, rather than allow them remain hidden. He is our strength and salvation, and true freedom is found in the Lord alone.

 

We’ve no place to hide,When My Soul Waits

And no place to roam;

Where God cannot see,

Where our path’s unknown.

For our loving Lord,

He knows and sees all;

He directs our steps,

When on Him we call.

Let us set aside,

Our own foolishness;

choose trust in the Lord,

And His righteousness.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter where we go or what we do, there is no place and nothing that can be hidden from You. Thank You that You are everywhere and aware of all things. Forgive us for trying to keep things hidden in our hearts out of fear, and teach us to trust in You more, so that we would place all things at Your feet. Show us how to love those around us that demonstrates Your goodness and grace in a way that is authentic and pleasing unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we bring all things before You, and trust all things in Your strong and loving hands. 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

 

 

Share of Shackles No More

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has redeemed you from your enemies. – (Psalm 107:1-2, NLT)

 

The first portion of the passage is fairly self-explanatory. God deserves our thanks, for He is good and His love lasts forever. As for redemption, that can be a bit trickier to grasp, as we are not living in the same times as when the original text was written. In some parts of the world, redemption, as in the buying back or paying a price for freedom, is still relevant. However, for those of us who have always known freedom, it is a bit more of a learning curve. We must first recognize that we were held captive in our hearts. Our chains tend to be spiritual and emotional, not physical. At times, the unseen can be more difficult to be rid of, because we must first acknowledge that they exist. Chains in the physical are obvious. If a person is shackled, they want to be free. In the same way, if a person is trapped in the tangles of sin, or locked in the lies that they have been told for far too long, ideally, the desire would be for freedom to be found immediately. Invisible chains must first be identified, recognized for the burden that they truly are, and then help must be sought to rid ourselves of the weight.

Thankfully, God is patient and faithful. He is willing to wait for our readiness for His help, and He loves us to life when we call on His Name. When we have been rescued from ruins, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, we ought to let others know what the Lord has done. Our story may be their opportunity to recognize their own unseen chains. May we give the Lord thanks for His faithful love, and tell those around us of all that He has done.

 

Give thanks to the Lord,Shackles No More

For He’s always good;

His love shall endure,

His grace understood.

He sets captives free,

When we call on Him;

Removes the shackles,

That tie us to sin.

He takes all the weight,

Of the burdens worn;

And loves us to life,

Our souls are reborn.

So bring all the chains,

That keep us from free;

And trust in the Lord,

Where all praise should be.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are good and that Your faithful love endures forever. Thank You that You have redeemed us and You call us by name. Thank You that we have a story of how You have set us free from the chains that held us captive to the weight of sin or lies that we were never designed to carry. Thank You for setting us free. Forgive us for keeping our own story silent, when so many might benefit from hearing the truth of Your goodness and grace. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be willing to share all that You have done in us and for us, as You are such a good and faithful Father. Show us how to love others well, so that they might see Your goodness and grace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we give You thanks and speak out of all that You have done. Amen.

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

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

Hope Postponed

Hope postponed grieves the heart… – (Proverbs 13:12a, NLT)

 

I know far too many folks who are in the midst of a season of grief. The hope that they had held, seems to be slipping away. Such enormous grief accompanies the loss of something that was held in hope for so long, that to the one who is grieving, it feels as if the weight will never relent. As one who has walked through that space of postponed hope and overwhelming grief, I can attest to the promise that He hears and provides comfort as He loves us back to life once again. Where hope was buried in the burden of pain, God gave comfort and restored the hope that was all but lost. One breath at a time, one moment, one hour, one day… Each a provision of the hand of the Lord to restore what was lost and broken, as He continually loved. May our prayer mirror that of Psalm 10:17, that states, “Lord, You know the hopes of the helpless. Surely You will hear their cries and comfort them.”

 

When death’s ugly door,Asking for Amazing Answers

Stares you in the face;

There’s nowhere to run,

No place that seems safe.

Yet despite hope lost,

We may rest assured;

When we are in Christ,

Our hope is secured.

No matter the height,

Nor depth that we fall;

In Christ there is hope,

To overcome all.

For He is our Rock,

Redeemer and friend;

Pulls us from the pit,

With us to the end.

Though sorrow may come,

Our hope shall remain;

Forever in Christ,

As we trust His Name.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that despite how we feel, our hope remains in You. Thank You that in the midst of trials, grief and struggles, You are our anchor that keeps us secure. Thank You that You hear every cry and provide comfort to those who call on You. Forgive us for losing sight of hope in You when our grief is great. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on the truth of what is known, rather than what is simply seen. Show us how to love others in such a way, that they would come to know that there is always hope in You who hears every cry. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we call on You for comfort in our grief, and seek You in our struggles. Be our hope to hold forever, Lord God. Amen.

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

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

Looking to the Lord

Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – (Psalm 105:4)


It is easy to get ourselves worked up and on a wild goose chase when things are out of whack.  We wander to and fro, searching for solutions to solve the storm that can only be stilled by our Savior.  He calls us to look to Him and His strength, and to seek His face – ALWAYS.  It matters not whether times are great, or tumultuous; for He knows and He hears our every prayer.  When we choose to seek Him, we are keeping Christ in proper perspective in our lives, as He alone deserves the throne that is high and lifted up.  No matter what comes our way, may we look to the Lord and His strength; seeking His face always, as He is faithful to meet us each moment we choose to seek Him.
                                                                                                                                                               Let not weary hearts,

image by Elizabeth Blank

image by Elizabeth Blank

choose search high and low;
for that is futile,
as the good Lord knows.
He knows what we need,
before we choose ask;
and He’s ever near,
may we take to task.
As we seek His face,
He’s faithful to give;
the strength that we need,
to thrive as we live.
So, look to the Lord,
and seek Him always;
for He is so good,
for all of our days.
                                                                                                                         Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can look to You and seek Your face, and You provide Your strength and supply all that we need.  Thank You that You are not a God out there, but rather You are God right here – as present as every breath we breathe.  Forgive us for seeking solutions elsewhere, rather than running to You, our Redeemer.  Teach us to trust You more, so that we we look to You and seek Your face, no matter what comes our way – be it a season of blessing or one of bearing burdens beyond what seems bearable.  Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see Your strength and grace through us, as we love.  May many come into a saving relationship with You.  Be glorified O God, as we look to You and Your strength, seeking Your face always.  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