Spoken to Be

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth. – (Psalm 33:6, NIV)

The Lord spoke the command, and the world was made. The breath from His mouth created everything in the heavens. – (Psalm 33:6, ERV)

The unfathomable cosmos came into being at the word of the Eternal’s imagination, a solitary voice in endless darkness. The breath of His mouth whispered the sea of stars into existence. – (Psalm 33:6, VOICE)

The very same God who spoke creation into being, intentionally made us all. There is a plan and a purpose for each of us, and if God created all that is both seen and unseen, how vast and powerful are His plans for us? Though what we are called to do with our lives may seem insignificant, if our lives show His love to people, we are granting glimpses of God and walking out our purpose. Each time I spend time outdoors, I am reminded of the power, goodness and intention of God. Creation displays God’s majesty. New blooms opening, the sun glistening on the water, the sun setting and painting the colors of the sky – so much goodness has been created to remind us of the work of God’s hands. May we ever take time to look around us and recognize the loving intention breathed into every living thing around us, and give praise to the One who made it all.

All that our eyes see,

Photo by Lukas Rodriguez on Pexels.com

And so far beyond;

The work of God’s hands,

Call hearts to respond.

Respond with all thanks,

Love and lift up praise;

Such purposeful good,

For all of our days.

May we choose to love,

As the Lord loves us;

All thanks to the One,

Who knows and loves best.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the beauty in all that You have purposefully created. Thank You that we cannot even begin to fathom all that Your hands have lovingly made. Thank You that You created all of us with the same intentionality. Forgive us for not recognizing the beauty all around us, and that which is in every living creature. Teach us to love and care well for all that You have made. Show us how to love those around us in ways that make Your powerful, unending love evident. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we thank You and praise You for the incredible work of Your hands – both around us and in us. Amen.

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

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

It’s All About Love

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)

Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.” – (Matthew 22:37-39, ERV)

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.” – (Matthew 22:37-39, MSG)

If we love God and love people in a way that truly honors and obeys His commands, ALL people will feel valued, seen, heard and known. Sadly, everywhere I look, I see evidence that we are far from this. It is devastating to hear reports of people’s brilliance being overlooked, or of individuals being treated harshly or in a way that is in no way warranted. If I read too much, or look too hard, the heaviness is overwhelming. That being said, what can one human do? The answer is Jesus. If I seek Him to lead me in love, I can be part of the change I long to see. My role is to recognize, listen to, celebrate, encourage, educate, empower, value and honor the next generation. At times, this whole remote teaching gig makes it feel like an impossible task. The kiddos whom I never “see,” I struggle to get to know. Each opportunity I have, I attempt to encourage and care well for each faceless black box, and recognize that I have no idea what their environment is truly like. My hope is that kindness and encouragement will help them feel valued, and that at the end of the day, each is aware that someone cares. Lord, help us to love You and love one another as You intended.

Lord, will You lead us,

To love as You do;

Care for each other,

Let Your light shine through.

Help us be vessels,

Afloat in Your love;

May kindness give hope,

Care that You’re proud of.

Show us the spaces,

For encouragement;

Teach us to listen,

Hear discouragement.

Lead us all in love,

So kindness may reign;

May all voices be heard,

And Your love made plain.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love You and love each other. Thank You that You have shown us what it is to truly love one another. Forgive us for the times that we have not acted or spoken in ways that demonstrate Your love to those around us. Teach us to do and be better. Help us to recognize, value, encourage and love well, all those around us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love You and those around us as You first loved us. Amen.

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

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. – Psalm 103:8

More Than Anything, Choose Love

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, NIV) 

Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, CEB) 

Most of all, love each other as if your life depends on it. Love makes up for practically anything. – (1 Peter 4:8, MSG) 

 

We are called to love one another deeply, sincerely, as if our very life depended on it. The forgiveness that comes as a result of genuine love, makes peace possible and creates a culture within us to care well for others. Our capacity to love grows exponentially as we understand and accept the love that God has for us, individually. May we seek the Lord and receive all that He has to offer, so that we may go forth and love deeply, as love makes up for practically anything. 

 

More than anything, Enter With Thanksgiving

We need to choose love; 

From a sincere heart, 

Grace shall rise above. 

Love knows forgiveness, 

So freely, forgives; 

Grants hope to others, 

To rise in grace, live. 

What we are given, 

We often return; 

Let us seek God’s love, 

So perfect love’s learned. 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us to love, as love covers over and forgives a multitude of sin. Thank You that You do not call us to do anything that You have not already done for us. Forgive us for the times that we have withheld forgiveness or love toward another. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would rely on Your grace and goodness to fill us and equip us to love at all times, even when it is difficult to love. Show us how to love those around us in a way that demonstrates Your unending goodness and grace. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek Your heart to love deeply, just as You love us. Amen.

 

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

 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – John 13:34

Most of All, Love

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. – (1 Peter 4:8, NLT)

Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. – (1 Peter 4:8, VOICE)

Most important of all, love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, ERV)

 

We are called to love one another well; deeply, steadily, unselfishly and as if our life depended on it. Our love is not meant to be dependent on what others do or do not do, but rather because Christ first loved us. If we choose to look through Christ’s filter of love, we are better equipped to forgive and forego the faults of others, just as the Lord has done through His unmerited mercy and grace.

This morning, I am about to enter into the last day of a wonderful women’s retreat with the lovely ladies from my church. It has been a weekend of God utilizing women to make His love and grace tangible, through those whom He has placed around me. Each of these ladies with whom I have had the privilege of conversation, has had a heart that was clearly choosing to love deeply, rather than find faults. Just as we have had the opportunity to care well for one another and to choose to love, so too, do we have the choice to go forth and continue doing likewise in our homes and communities. Imagine what our world would be like if we all chose to love steadily and unselfishly… May we each go forth in love, extending the very same grace that we have been given, to all whom we encounter.

 

Go forth and choose love,Confidence in Christ

Wherever you go;

Steady, unselfish,

So God’s love will show.

When we choose His love,

Our hearts can forgive;

Sin that surrounds us,

Give grace as God gives.

Let us love as if,

Our life does depend;

On reflecting Christ,

So anger finds end.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to anything that You have not already done for us, and are not willing to equip and empower us to do. Thank You that You love us so fiercely, that we too, can go forth and love others as we are loved. Forgive us for making our love conditional or limited. Teach us to love steadily and unselfishly, trusting You to show us how and to give us strength to do that which You ask. Lead us to love those who need to know Your love in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love one another deeply, just as You love each of us. Amen.

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

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:23

Remembering to Look Up

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. – (Psalm 121:1-2)

On this Patriot’s Day, as we remember the terrible tragedy that struck the safety of our own soil, we can also recall a time that our nation banded together as a united front, to help the hurting, care well for the courageous that continued to search for the missing, and sought the strength and security that our Savior alone provided. Our help to make sense of something so senseless, could only come as we chose to cling to Christ.

Time has passed, and the new generation of kids I have in my classroom were not even born yet when 9/11 occurred. Many of them, have no personal connection to the event, as they have not traveled beyond the West Coast, or for some, even outside of our state. They have never known life without scanners and security guards at government buildings and hospitals, nor do many have connections to fire fighters, law enforcement officers, or military personnel. History needs to be shared. Each generations ought to be made aware of what has gone before them, so they gain empathy and compassion for those who serve and protect our nation. Today, this verse is more personal, as I lift my eyes to the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, and trust Him to lead and guide me; to show me how to create connections that are relevant and personal for seventh grade students, to an event that occurred prior to their existence. May we each take time to remember the lost, and the lives of those who continue to live with the holes in their hearts all of these years later. Be our help Lord.

Remember the time,911

when tragedy struck;

nation was silenced,

in shock we were stuck.

The world fell silent,

in horror, we watched;

such acts of terror,

and countless lives lost.

The chaos encased,

in great clouds of dust;

everywhere running,

which sense could they trust?

It did not take long,

for heroes to rise;

to search for missing,

help those still alive.

Even days after,

the tragedy fell;

people were praying,

holding hope as well.

Out of the ashes,

came beauty indeed;

people united,

to rise and meet needs.

Let us remember,

the community;

together triumphs,

with trust, unity.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we lift our eyes up to You, You are where our help comes from. Thank You that we can trust and depend on You, even on the darkest of days. Thank You that You bring beauty from ashes and hope from despair. Thank You that You alone, can turn tragedy into triumph. Forgive us for allowing tragedy, trials, grief, or our own lack of hope in what we cannot see to keep us from looking to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would lift our eyes to You, no matter what comes our way – for You are our Help and our Hope, always. Lead us to love and encourage others, no matter what circumstance life has them in, and may many find their hope forever in You. Be glorified O God, as we look to You to be our Help and our Hope, always. 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 Sees

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. – (John 19:26-27)

 

The command that we are given to love one another, is powerfully modeled by Jesus as He hung on the cross. Even in anguish, He recognized the needs of His mother that would have to be filled, and asked His dear friend to see to it that she would be cared for in His parting. John, Jesus’ disciple loved enough to be present and to say yes, and Jesus had loved so completely, that each knew what it was to love and be loved as Jesus was asking. Soon after that significant moment, John, Mary and the rest of the disciples, came to understand just how great His sacrifice truly was. Jesus’ act of love and sacrifice made way for all mankind to come to know Him, personally; individually; eternally. May we go forth and care well for our families and all whom are in need around us, just as Jesus did.

 

Even in anguish,The Look of Love 2

love sees other’s needs;

it moves and it acts,

love touches and feeds.

Love comes alongside,

when struggles are real;

love extends a hand,

or prepares a meal.

Love chooses silence,

to listen, not speak;

to hear what’s broken,

give strength to the weak.

When there is sorrow,

love still chooses stay;

reminds there is hope,

for Love makes a way.

When joy is present,

love celebrates too;

for we’re hand-crafted,

Love’s making us new.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You loved us so much that You made the way for us to be brought back into right relationship with You. Thank You Jesus, for coming and living, loving, sacrificing and demonstrating Your overwhelming power and presence, all because You love us. Thank You that You modeled what it is to love others. Forgive us for not loving others well. Give us Your eyes to see everyone whom we encounter – from friends and family to strangers on the street. May we love each one, as You would. Grant us wisdom and insight as to how You would have us love, individually, and let us not grow weary in doing good. Let Your love flow freely through us, and may many come to know You as the Lord of their life, as a result. Be exalted, O God, as we look to love others as You love us. 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

To Use Well the Gifts

One DayAll that we have,
entrusted to us;
to honor Christ,
holy God with us.
Called to wisdom,
to care well for men;
give to the poor,
breathe fresh hope again.
What is done here,
is heard in heaven;
if we forgive,
we’ll be forgiven.
Let our motive,
be a heart to serve;
receive His grace,
we do not deserve.
On that one day,
we stand up and face;
let words He speaks,
our hearts each embrace.
“We’ll done, dear one,
for you have lived well;
Loving others,
My story you’d tell.”
“Enter here now,
this glorious place;
prepared for all,
who’ve run well their race.”

(Responding to Luke 19:17)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are not home yet. Thank You that all we experience and all that we have here, is temporary; how we respond is eternal. Thank You that wisdom and resources are given as gifts by You, and are meant for us to give away. Forgive us for holding too tightly, anything that is not eternal, and help us to honor You with obedience and generosity. Teach us to hold fast a heavenly perspective on all things, so that we may honor You with what we bring. Let our lives lived in love loosen death’s grasp, and may many come to know of Your glorious grace. Let each heart that comes, know Your loving embrace. May we all one day hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Amen.

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